MAY / JUNE 2017
Voices of the Rescued ‘Amanda’: freed from trafficking
I Heart Treasure Valley Community projects
Nick Vujicic Returning to valley
Young Life Fun and Gospel sharing
Bethel Ministries & Coatings Plus Giving ex-prisoners a home, a job
“Amanda” is shown here with Ron Kern, founder of Voices of the Rescued
Contents May / June 2017 Your past & parenting:
How it affects you
Youth-centered, fun ministry
“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God.” — A.W. Tozer
Cover Story —
Notes from Home: Kids’ play
Faith: 14 Challenging Now’s the time This: 18 Consider Restoration from ruins
I Heart Treasure Valley:
A voice of the rescued
Are They 20 Where Now?:
Bible restorer Rick Monroe
One couple, two ministries
Arthur Scovell: A job, a family
Keeping the peace: Delivered from trouble
Editor Gaye Bunderson email@example.com 208-854-8345 Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen firstname.lastname@example.org 208-854-8345 • Scott McMurtrey email@example.com 208-841-4583 • Sandy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org 208-703-7860
Graphic Design Matthew Sanchez Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Brad Carlson, Ann Doupont, Terry Frisk, Dani Grigg, Ron Kern, Janet Lund, Joel Lund, Rosie Main, Joseph March, Gary Moore, Candy Troutman and Dan Woodworth Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services
Departments Your Daily Bread: Power source: 25 5 Meaningful estate Stay connected with God distribution Gift from above: 26 Brains and altruism 12 Understanding Relationships: Bethel Ministries & 28 Marital conflict CHOIS Chairman Linda Patchin
Publisher Sandy Jones
Cover Photo Heather Alexis Photography
Volunteerism and a message A hero for all
Volume 5, Number 3
Website Design SEO Idaho Christian Living is committed to encouraging and instructing individuals in their daily lives by presenting stories of people in the Treasure Valley who are living on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and who serve as uplifting examples to others. Views expressed in Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by Christian Living to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017 by Christian Living Magazine LLC. Christian Living is published every other month and is available in over 600 locations throughout the Treasure Valley, including most grocery stores, convenience stores, medical waiting areas, and churches. If your church would like additional copies please email us today at email@example.com Annual subscriptions available for $10/year. To start your subscription or give one as a gift send your check or money order, along with complete address information, and a phone number to call in case there’s questions about your subscription to Christian Living Magazine LLC, PO Box 867, Meridian, ID 83680. Find us on Facebook Badge
29 In Each Edition Publisher’s Corner: 4 Seeds we plant 31
CMYK / .ai
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 3
Seeds we plant today grow over time By Sandy Jones
dream of owning the magazine; it was a whole different thing to think about really owning and operating it. Welcome to the May/June 2017 issue of He spelled out a plan as to how it could all Christian Living Magazine! While every work — clearly he’d given this much thought. issue of CLM is special to me, I have to say Again I asked, “What do you want for it?” that the May/June issue always has special He smiled like he was talking to someone significance. Three years ago it was the first from another land or time and said, “We’re issue published as Christian Living Magazine giving it to you.” He went on to explain that LLC, with my husband and I as the new the magazine had not grown as quickly as he’d owners. hoped, and without me there to help, he and While I was on the development team of his wife had decided to pull the plug; he just CLM, and it was my concept, I did it while didn’t feel that he could lose any more money working for someone else. Three years ago on this project. this past December I was forced to leave my I was stunned to say the least, but I hadn’t lost position at that company due to stress-related my mind; I knew a couple of things to be true. illness. When I gave notice, my then-employ- Sandy Jones, Publisher Christian Living Magazine The first was that I had to talk to my husband er asked what my plan was. I laughed. My about this, and we needed to go to the Lord in career had been in full swing; I was “home” prayer about it. Something else I knew was that no one gives for the rest of my working life — or so I thought. I had no a viable business away, and I felt that I needed to be able to plan B. He insisted that I had to have a plan, and finally in honestly say that we bought the magazine. Explaining this I desperation to get out of that meeting, I blurted out that if I said, “We have to pay you something, even if it’s just a dolhad the money I’d buy Christian Living Magazine; it was my lar!” passion after all, though I never dreamed it might actually He smiled, humored again at my extreme level of honesty happen. — he’d frequently told me I was always all black or all white, Two weeks later he called me in to his office late in the day. never gray (and he was right) — and said, “Fine. A dollar, if Walking in his door I explained that I literally had seven you insist.” Looking back on it now I chuckle; he knew it was minutes until I had to leave for a therapy appointment. He pointless to argue with me, and it was only a dollar after all. I started visiting about my family, asking about my hubby and left telling him I would have to pray about it, and that Steve kids, then chatting about his family. I remember thinking, and I would have to talk about it as well. “This is what you called me in here for?” Then I got myself Clearly we felt God calling us to this ministry, since this is in check by remembering that while I had given notice, he what I’ve been doing full time for three years now, but as Paul was still my employer and as such deserved my respect and Harvey used to say, now the rest of the story. attention. Boy, am I glad I did because just as I was running Part of our agreement was that I needed to take a few weeks out of time he said the most peculiar thing: “My wife and I have been talking and off to rest before taking over the magazine. One sleepless night as I lay in bed thinking, I was going over the checklist of we’ve decided you should have Christian things I needed to get done to finalize the deal. You know, the Living.” There it was, rabbit trail in the middle of the night — one thought leads to another. It went something like this: Contract – check. … just like that. Check? Oh no, I couldn’t write him a check. I needed to go “What? What do to the credit union and get a brand new dollar bill; I couldn’t you mean?” I stamgive him some wadded up dollar out of the bottom of my mered. purse either. He repeated, “My That’s when an old memory washed over me like it was wife and I have yesterday. Suddenly I was 7 years old again. My parents had decided that you should have Christian bought the Frostop Drive In on Fairview from a retired circuit Living.” There it was, pastor named Barry Cox. Once free of the drive in, Barry returned to the circuit, and when he would pass through again, plain as day, Boise he would stop by to see how my mom was doing, as she and as matter of fact ran the business. On one of these visits, as Barry finished his as if he’d told me lunch in the dining room he called me over to him and asked what time it was. me to hold out my hand. He laid three well-circulated silver I shook my head in disbelief. “What does dollars in my tiny hand and closed my fingers around them, telling me that silver would be the next gold, and if I took that mean? What do care of these coins, they should pretty well pay for my college you want for it?” My when I was ready to go. head had started to I then recalled going to the coin dealer fresh out of high spin. After all, it was school. Miraculously I had managed to make it to adulthood one thing for me to
4 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Your Daily Bread with the coins, and I was sure this was my ticket! Disappointed, I returned home with all three coins, their value at that time was a mere $13 — not even enough for one of my textbooks. Their sentimental value was greater than that to me; I’d rather keep them. Now I knew. I didn’t need a brand new dollar bill either. Way back in 1970 a retired minister had planted three seeds in my life, suggesting they would pave the way to my future, and he was right. It was now 2014, and I was going to harvest one of those seeds as it had grown into the dream that is today known as Christian Living Magazine. The internet is a beautiful tool. I didn’t have to go to the coin store for an estimated value; I was able to Google all three of them, and the 1888 was the most valuable, coming in at a blessed $243. I wrote my former employer the story of how I’d come into possession of this prized coin, the significance of its real value, and enclosed the most precious of the three in the envelope. Touched beyond words he said he would never part with it, as now it had an even greater sentimental value. Often Christians share with me that they feel they’re not doing enough, that they don’t believe they are making a difference in others’ lives. I smile, and if time allows, I tell the story of a retired circuit pastor who planted three seeds in a little girl’s life that didn’t sprout for 44 years, and then it was only one of them. I explain how I’m left to wonder if I will see the other two sprout, or if, perhaps, it might be my grandchildren who get to harvest them. It’s all in God’s perfect timing. Until next time – God Bless! N
By Terry Frisk The Baby Boom generation has accumulated vast sums of wealth over their lifetime. An article published by Deloitte University Press reported 50 percent of the wealth in the U.S. is held by Baby Boomers, whose average net worth is $253,000. As members of this generation reach the end of their lives, they will leave Terry Frisk behind a large amount of wealth to be distributed. Most people leave their remaining assets to their surviving spouse, who then leaves the balance to children or other family members. As American wealth grows, the amounts inherited by the next generation will have a profound impact on their lives. The Old Testament contains a number of references to inheritance. Proverbs 13:22 states, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.” Other verses provide specific instructions on how the inheritance is to be distributed: a double portion to the firstborn son, then to the remaining sons and only to daughters if there are no sons. However, in biblical times, the only wealth that families had to pass on to heirs was land, which was farmed to provide subsistence. Continued on page 8
Publisher’s note: Please understand that although the purchase price was covered, CLM is still a business with operating costs and overhead like any other business. Like all print products we knew it would take 3 to 5 years to grow, and today we have incurred some debts. But know that God is blessing our ministry, because that’s what it really, truly is, our ministry. We are humbled every day to be privileged to share His hope and promise with you, our readers, His precious children. As I’ve said so many times in this column, we are 100 percent advertiser supported. Please frequent our advertisers, and thank them for their support of Christian Living Magazine, because without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
Bequeath resources in a meaningful way
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 5
NEVER too late to change
Don’t let your past affect your parenting By Janet Lund
Parenting in a great new world
because of their past parenting choices. They felt like they had already set in stone how things were done in their family. Finally, I observed something that parents rarely talk about, but need to. We are all given obstacles we don’t even know we have, from our own parents. Not on purpose. It just happens. None of us grew up in perfect families and neither did our parents. Parents pass whatever skills they learned on to their kids. Whatever you grew up with, that was your normal. No matter how healthy or dysfunctional the situation, the parenting methods you unconsciously use are the parenting skills you were given.
We moved to the great unknown, Boise, Idaho, the week of spring break. Our daughter was only in first grade. Wow, that seems like both yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. It was an exciting and intimidating time. My husband went off to work that following Monday, where he had been working for the past seven weeks, while I drove my daughter to her first day of school. She settled into the desk in her new classroom. So, I slowly dragged my feet out the door. Boy, what a lonely feeling. Janet Lund The parenting tool belt There was a lot of work for me to do. I It’s not until you start sharing personal stories with other needed to find stores, banks, doctors, dentists, a CPA, etc., etc. And my goodness, I needed some gal pals. There was only one adults, friends, parents, a parenting coach or with a counselor thing to do: start meeting other moms. Being an introvert, that that a lightbulb goes on. Not everyone did family life like your family did. Some families are healthier than others. But none wasn’t an easy thing for me to do. Luckily, during the early of them are perfect. That’s when you realize that your parentgrade-school years, there are many opportunities to bump ing skills “tool belt” has another hook, loop, or pocket that into other parents. I also met some new moms at a church we needs to be filled. started attending.
3 parenting obstacles
During these early years in Boise, I observed something I had not consciously been aware of before. Moms unwittingly allow their past to become an obstacle to their parenting. I first noticed this while picking up my daughter from a classmate’s birthday party. I overheard a frustrated mom proclaim, “How can I possibly hold my kids accountable when I am guilty of behaving that way when I was a kid? I have no right. I’d be a hypocrite.” The second time was when I was attending a moms’ Bible study. I listened to moms share how they felt like failures
6 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
What are your parenting obstacles?
What part of your past is getting in the way of you feeling empowered as a parent today? Have you adopted the notion that because of your choices as a kid, it would be hypocritical to require better behavior from your kid? Are you permitting your past decisions as a parent to dictate how you parent today? Or do you simply feel like you need some new tools? Whatever the case may be, hear this: Peace be with you. You can change it. Today is a new day!
Hypocritical parenting? No way.
Holding your kids accountable for things that you blew-off while growing up is not being hypocritical. It is being responsible. You now understand on a deeper level why you shouldn’t have done whatever it was that you did. You are no longer that kid. Stop beating yourself up for making childish decisions as a child. That’s what childhood is all about, learning to become a grown-up. Instead, make use of what you have learned and turn it into a teachable moment for your kids.
Changing the rules
It is never too late to change things up. If you didn’t like how you parented in a past situation, that’s okay. Now you know. Figure out how you would like to handle it in the future. You are the parent. You are in charge. You make the rules.
Filling your tool belt
It is never too late to learn a new parenting skill. Frankly our relationships with our children continue to evolve as they mature from babies to adulthood. As they grow into adults, we need to continue to grow as their parents. This requires gathering new tools for our parenting “tool belt.”
3 empowering steps to overcome your obstacles Use your past to give you powerful insights to your present.
How? 1. Reflect on what is holding you back. Do this through journaling about: a) Childhood choices you made that you may feel ashamed about. Remember that you were just a child. Have the adult-you set the child-in-you free from shame. b) Parenting decisions you wish you could have a do-over. No worries! Figure out how you would like to address things in the future. c) Parenting tools you would like to have. 2. Visualize the relationship you want to have with your kids. Picture how you would like to discipline and communicate with your kids in the future. 3. Grow by getting help filling your “Parenting Tool Belt.” Talk with friends, teachers, pastors, youth pastors, parents, parenting coaches, and counselors. Consider joining local moms’ groups or Facebook groups. Read age-related parenting books. Learn about online programs created just for you. Reflect. Visualize. Grow. You’ve got this! Don’t let your past become an obstacle to your parenting. Instead, use it as the cornerstone for a strong parenting foundation. N Janet Lund is a relationship coach who specializes in nurturing the bond between moms and their teen/pre-teen daughters. She leads moms through coaching, speaking, and songwriting. Janet has spoken and performed in Canada, the United States, and Norway. Follow her on facebook.com/ momkeepcalm and visit her website momkeepcalm.com for parenting tools and words of support to be a calm mom.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 7
Daily Bread Continued from page 5
Land was left to the sons to provide for their families, and the daughters were presumed to marry a man who inherited property. Today, most children establish their own careers and do not need to rely on their parents for financial support. In many cases, receiving an inheritance would only increase their already high standard of living. This could result in unhealthy spending behaviors, feeding addictions, estranged relationships between jealous family members, marital problems, and greed that the additional wealth can fuel. In the Parable of the Rich Fool, a man from the crowd asked Jesus to tell the man’s brother to divide the family inheritance with him. Jesus replied, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 13:15) Children anticipating an inheritance may not develop a strong work ethic and form unhealthy spending habits, viewing their inheritance as an entitlement. They believe the financial payoff will provide them financial stability when, in fact, the bonanza often results in greater financial difficulty because they lack the skills and experience to manage their money. The famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie once stated, “The almighty dollar bequeathed to a child is an almighty curse. No man has the right to handicap his son with such a burden as great wealth.” As an alternative, consider leaving a portion to support God’s Kingdom. This could include your church, religious ministries or any other organization that supports God’s work. Imagine all that could be accomplished if each of us leaves a portion of our
8 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
accumulated wealth to continue His work after we have passed. Below are some action steps you can take now to ensure your estate is shared according to God’s and your wishes (no matter how large or small): 1. Prayerfully consider how your estate should be distributed. Here are some questions to consider: 1) Do you have family members who need additional support? 2) Are there any ministries you are passionate about that would benefit from your support? 3) Are there other groups (educational, charitable or other) that you wish to support? 2. Communicate your plan with family members. Inform them of your intentions and rationale now so there are no surprises when you pass and they are experiencing grief. 3. Create a will that spells out your wishes. Don’t leave it up to a judge. Work with an attorney to ensure it meets current legal requirements. Many churches have resources available to assist you in securing competent counsel. In addition, your church can advise you on where support is needed. You’ve often heard it said, “You can’t take it with you.” Remember that everything you have accumulated in life is His. How you bequeath your worldly possessions is your final act of love for God and your family. N Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES from Home
Playing with toys not mom’s strength By Dani Grigg Today I watched my 4-year-old son spin around with his Lego airplane, making airplane noises for a full minute. It was so boring. I mean, it was cute, yeah, because he’s a never-ending fountain of cuteness, but the way he plays with toys — and really, playing with toys in general — is so boring to me. I just wonder: How is that fun for him? Last week he and his older brother asked me to play cars with them, like they frequently do, and sometimes I say yes, so I said yes. I sat down on the rug and picked up a car and thought about the task at hand: Push toy cars around. Make car noises. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. There was probably a point in my life where this would have sounded appealing to me, but these days: Nope. I did it anyway. It was boring. Then we got involved in racing the cars across the dining room floor, and that was a little better. Still, I was grateful when a reasonable amount of time had passed and it was okay for me to get up and do grown-up stuff again. As parents, we all have strengths. For me, playing with toys is not one of them. As parents, it’s easy to feel guilty about the things that are not our strengths. I know kids enjoy it when you play with them. It is one way they feel special and feel your love. So the fact that I’m not doing it as often or with as much gusto as some other parents are doing it makes me feel guilty. But I have to remind myself, first of all, that comparison is the thief of joy (thank you, Theodore Roosevelt, for that handy and powerful little maxim) and, second, that I have other meaningful parenting strengths. Today I asked my 4-year-old if he knew I loved him. No hesitation:
“Yes,” he said. How did he know that, I asked. “Hmmm. Because I’m a good guesser,” he said. I wonder if he knows it because I give him lots of hugs. Or if it’s because I compliment him. Or because I help him find his shoes or make him meals or kiss his owies. I wonder if he knows it because I take him places and show him things. Or because I read him books and answer his questions and teach him about Jesus. Maybe he can see it in my face when I look at him. Maybe he can hear it in my voice when I pray for him. Maybe he knows simply because I tell him so. It’s not because I play with him a lot. I don’t. Or because I maintain an always tidy and peaceful home for him. I don’t. Or because I’m always patient and kind. I’m not. Or because I’m a perfect teacher and example. Once more — I’m not. The important thing is that he knows. He knows I love him. That’s one of my biggest goals for motherhood, to make sure my kids feel loved. I’m trying to be better about focusing on my strengths. I’m doing lots of things well, and I need to remember that. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. So in the meantime, I’m also trying to be better about playing with my kids. If it seems important to my boys that I do something with them, I try to do it. I remind myself that even 15 minutes will make a difference to them. I can do anything for 15 minutes a day, even if it’s spinning in a circle making airplane noises. But let’s hope it’s not that. N
Dani Grigg is a Boise freelance writer, wife and happy mother of two young sons including Jonah and Andy.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 9
Organization shows teens By Gaye Bunderson Everyone needs to know they’re loved — loved by other people and loved by their Creator. The mission of Young Life is to reach teenagers with the knowledge that someone cares about them. Though Young Life is all about reaching out to youth, the organization itself is 75 years old, having been launched in Dallas, Texas by a seminary student named Jim Rayburn. It has been in the Boise area for 45 years, and Matt Romberg, who is currently the Boise area director, has been with the organization for 15 years. For the most part, Young Life hasn’t changed much over time. Its mission statement is solid and unwavering: introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. “We go where the kids are, and we earn the right to be heard,” Romberg said. “Young Life seeks to go and build relationships with them and show them they are loved — by us and by God. We meet kids on their turf. We want to be around so they know who we are.” Teen turf might be a school athletic event, for instance. Young Life volunteers come from all walks of life, all church denominations, and all ages, from 17 to 65. They are thoroughly vetted and trained and include teachers, principals and coaches, among other professions. (Romberg himself once worked as a teacher after receiving his degree from Boise State.) For youth who are interested, there are weekly and bi-weekly club meetings, sometimes in churches and sometimes in homes. “We invite the kids to come to the clubs, and for many it’s the highlight of their week,” Romberg said. “They come, play games, sing songs, laugh like crazy, and be themselves.” The teens’ right to be themselves is a high priority for Young Life and its volunteer leaders, who use the Lord as their example.
10 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Young Life programs are held year-round. Currently, Young Life members are preparing to participate in summer camps. Fun is a high priority at the camps, along with a Gospel message of love. (Photo provided by Young Life)
Said Romberg: “Jesus came to walk beside those who struggled, and He still does that more than 2,000 years later. We operate on the Christ model. He loved people no matter where they were in life. We walk alongside the kids no matter what they’ve been through, or haven’t been through yet.” Romberg refers to “the C’s of Young Life” and defines them as follows: • Christ: helping cultivate a personal relationship with Him • Contact work: connecting with the kids • Club: events that are as fun as a good party • Camps: summer camps and camps during the school year • Campaigners: Bible study and small group interaction • Church: getting plugged into the body of Christ Young Life has a number of branches within the Young Life
Numbers vary, but according to Romberg there are currently 2,000 to 2,500 local youth in Young Life, and club size varies from 10 teens up to 150 in the college-age group. The volunteer leaders come from 15 churches throughout the valley. Summer camps are ramping up. “We give Young Life members an inYoung people learn they’re valued, while at the same time having a lot of fun, credible adventure when they participate in Young Life. (Photo provided by Young Life) all over the West. organizational tree, including: It’s like a resort; the • Young Life, for high school students kids are spoiled,” Romberg said. • WyldLife, for junior high and middle There is a speaker every day who school students shares the Gospel, and camp locations • Young Life College, for college-age include: students • Washington Family Ranch in western • Young Life Capernaum, for kids with Oregon (60,000 acres in size) special needs • The Malibu Club in British Columbia • Beyond Capernaum, for older youth • Capernaum Camp at Lost Canyon in age 25 and above with special needs Arizona • Young Lives, for teen moms and their Young Life has more than 20 camps in babies all, said Romberg, and fundraising efforts “They are all at different phases in life, help pay the way for many students. with different needs, but they especially He has some thoughts on what has need to know they’re loved,” Romberg made Young Life such a vibrant part of said. the local community for 4½ decades. “We are passionate about being an out- “No. 1, God is in it. We couldn’t do it reach,” he continued. “We have kids who if it weren’t for Him. No. 2, we have an don’t have much spiritual interest (and incredibly vibrant community of volunwere raised without that at home), and teers who love God and love kids and we have kids who come from spiritual aren’t afraid to step into the gap between lives (being raised that way).” the two. There’s a great sense of passion, Though the foundations of Young adventure and joy that the leaders have, Life have withstood the test of time, the and we invite kids into that. Our leaders dynamics of modern life are very differare absolutely brilliant, and they contribent from 75 years ago. That has lead to ute thousands of hours a year. ongoing training for volunteers. “One of the best parts of relational “The culture is changing, and how to ministry is leaders get to walk alongside connect with kids and be honest and real students for years, and even decades. It’s is always changing,” Romberg said. a great honor. Relational ministry based There are three Young Life groups on the Great Commission is to go, and in the Boise area, he said, with close to going brings great fruit; and learning to 100 volunteers and four full-time staff go can prepare our kids and leaders for a members. The three groups include lifetime of ministry.” N Boise, West Ada, and Young Life College. (There are also groups in Canyon For more information, go to https://boise.younglife.org. County, including Nampa-Caldwell and Matt Romberg may be reached at email@example.com. Middleton.)
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 11
Some conflict inevitable in all marriages By Gary Moore
I’ve learned over the years, every married couple experiences conflict. We all have different desires, different likes and dislikes, different When I was growing up I never saw my things that irritate and please us. parents argue. For some reason, they felt they In such times of heated fellowship and emoshould never argue in front of my sister or tional involvement it’s easy to think, “I married me. We never had modeled for us how you the wrong person. If I had married the right can have moments of “heated fellowship”, person, it would not be like this.” Not so. aka conflict, resolve said conflict and still preSome people have learned how to resolve serve the relationship and each other. conflicts in a friendly manner. Others resort to When I got married I couldn’t believe how heated arguments. illogical my wife How do you handle conflict when it rears its could be and ugly head? You have to begin by accepting the she couldn’t reality that you will have conflict. Conflicts are believe how not a sign that you have married the wrong harsh and Gary Moore person. They simply affirm that you are hudemanding man and that each of you has issues. I could be. Some of your conflicts will be major; some will be minor. I didn’t want to be harsh. I Large or small, all conflicts have the potential of destroyjust knew my idea was the ing an evening, a week, a month, or a lifetime. On the other best idea. Of course she felt hand, conflicts have the potential of teaching you how to love, the same way about her idea. support, and encourage each other. The difference is in your Naturally that led to conflict expectations and how you process the conflicts. and times of “icy silence”. Dr. Gottman of The Gottman Institute at the University As naïve as it may sound, we of Washington says there are two kinds of marital conflict didn’t know that conflict is a normal part of every marriage. — Perpetual Problems (69 percent) and Solvable Problems (31 percent). In his book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” he says, “Despite what many therapists will tell you, you don’t have to resolve your major marital conflicts for your marriage to thrive.” What is your expectation? Do you believe you have to solve all your conflicts for your marriage to thrive? Is it okay to just agree to disagree?
Continued on page 15
12 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 13
Now is the time to pursue your dreams By Joel Lund
because to deny it or delay it just guarantees you stay on the course you’re on already. Choose to work with time, rather than against it. The following is an excerpt from my upcoming It’s simple. Working with time means that you book, Prepare For Rain; The Ten Essential Steps For Creating The Life You Want. no longer take it for granted. It means that you treat it as priceless and sacred and probably everything you haven’t treated it with before. Like with It’s your time respect. Like with trembling. Like with gratitude. Often, we’re so busy making mistakes we don’t Because you just have no idea how much time have time to notice them. you get to live with. And you know what? Your Other times, we’re so afraid of making a dreams are absolutely tied to time. Every moment mistake we freeze. We play it safe. We convince you are not engaged in pursuing your dreams is ourselves that “It’s not the right time. Not yet. time you don’t get back. It’s your life, frittered. I’ll get to that later. You know, when (something If you ever want to begin making your dent in undefined and vague) happens.” the universe, as Steve Jobs put it, you better get Joel Lund That’s our story, too. So you won’t get any judgstarted on them. Right now. ment from us. Stop wasting time. Embrace it for what it is. Yours to lose. Hardly. We waited far longer than we should have to begin pursuing our It’s always about our choices dreams. And the problem with that is something you already know The good news is that we always get to choose. That proverbial about. fork in the road that Robert Frost writes so compellingly about We all face it. isn’t something that you face only once in your life. It comes every We all get the same amount of it. morning. Each day we come to it. Each day it presents the same It makes absolutely no difference if you are rich or poor, tall or choice. This way? Or that? The road most traveled? Or the one short, smart or not. It cares not at all what color your skin is. It’s less traveled? You get to choose. as strong as gravity and its consequences are far more impactful, In prior issues, I have boldly stated that “It is easier to not pursue good or bad. your dreams.” Because it is easier. Everyone takes it for granted until something happens. SomeBut “easier” isn’t the same as “better.” It is better to pursue thing big. Something that changes everything. them. Madly. As if you are possessed by them. That’s better. AlAnd too often, by that point, it is too late to do anything. ways, every single time, better. Not easy. But better. Because time endures when we do not. Is it uncomfortable chasing your dreams? Yep. Somedays it is exEach of us receives 168 hours of time every week. It is ours to cruciating. Other days, the struggle just takes the wind out of you. use as we please. Even when our choices are limited, because of Then, often when you least expect it, you get a productive day our circumstance, our place in this world, or what family we were — a good day — and you’re renewed enough to stay committed. born into. Still, every day is a challenge when you live into your purpose. Time is, oddly enough, changeless. It marches on at the same Dreams that are worth achieving aren’t fulfilled without massive speed for all of us. And that speed is faster than we admit. effort. So you have a choice to make. Right now. Whether or not you Why? finish reading my book. You do not dare not make this choice, however you make it, The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. – M. Scott Peck Lest you chalk this up to a bunch of pseudo-psychology, Paul urges all believers “to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Eph. 4:1). And he informs us that “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Rom 12:6). Where do you expect your sense of purpose comes from? And where does the time allotted to you proceed? Perhaps it’s time to invest yourself into “your spiritual act of worship” (Rom. 12:1b). Live into your purpose. Now is the time to choose. Choose. Now, this time. N Joel Lund is a certified master coach and business marketing expert. Are you a business owner? Check out his newest enterprise, PurposeDrivenAcademy.com, an online business accelerator. Owners and entrepreneurs using the academy quickly break through to higher revenues, with less work and more fun. Download his (free) simple 10-step guide for living with more purpose and joy: www.prepareforrain.com/ebook.
14 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Understanding Relationships Continued from page 12 If you don’t have to solve all your conflicts, you still have to address them. How do you do that? A healthy plan for addressing conflicts begins with recognizing the need to listen. The problem is, when we have conflict we are in a highly emotional state and we feel we need to talk — not listen. If we are listening at all, we are listening to respond — not to hear. And, remember one of the basic rules of communication: until the emotions of the situation are dealt with, the facts don’t matter. It’s not unusual for the wife to say, “We need to talk.” When a husband hears that it usually stresses him out and puts him in a bad mood. Since men generally handle stress by withdrawing, not talking, this isn’t going to go well. This is why I many times recommend to the couples I’m coaching that they establish a time each week to meet and talk about their relationship. If they have any current issues they can talk about them at that time. Then the reason they’re meeting is not the issue. The reason they’re meeting is that this is just one of the ways they have chosen to process life. If the only time you try to have a substantive discussion about your relationship is when you sense trouble or have an issue to resolve, the husband, especially, isn’t going to want to meet and talk. To him, that just means trouble. How do you begin one of these weekly checkup discussions if you’re not used to having them? “How do you think we did last week?” isn’t usually a good way to begin. Let me suggest another approach. Either the husband or the wife can begin by saying, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate
our relationship this past week?” If the answer is anything less than a 10, which it probably will be, the next question is, “From your point of view, what would it have taken to make it a 10?” You’ll get the information you are looking for, but the responding spouse will have much less emotional investment in the answer and subsequent discussion. Not all marital conflict is solvable. However, remember in marriage it is never “having my way”. It is rather discovering “our way”. N
Gary Moore is currently a part-time staff member at Cloverdale Church of God in charge of Adult Education. He’s served as associate pastor there for the past 11 years. He’s principal of .003 Coaching, providing life coaching, couples’ coaching and business coaching locally and around the country.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 15
A voice of the rescued By Ron Kern
By the time you finish reading this article, approximately 20 people will have been forced into human trafficking, and that’s just in the United States alone. For perspective, that is 833 people per day and 25,000 per month — staggering numbers for a crime that is rarely discussed. When you hear of human trafficking, what images or pictures enter your mind? Perhaps it’s a movie or documentary you have seen or maybe an article you have read; but this article is different, as I am going to be sharing a real-life story about a woman forced into sex trafficking, her trials, her faith in God, her escape and where she is today. It’s common for most people to think that human trafficking takes place in a distant land and is not happening close to home. They are right about it happening in a distant land but completely wrong about it not happening in the city where they live. First, it’s important to define human trafficking so you have a clear, accurate grasp of what will be discussed. Human trafficking is forcing someone into sexual exploitation (sex trafficking) or work (forced labor) against his or her will, by force or coercion, and without pay in most instances. This crime takes place in almost every country in the world, including the United States. It’s estimated at least 300,000 people will be forced into human trafficking in the U.S. this year alone. Most of them will be under the age of 18, and most will be female; but regardless of age, it’s a tragic statistic. More alarming is the fact human trafficking is the second largest type of crime, along with the fastest growing crime in the world. Regarding forced labor, the victims are oftentimes young children who are forced to work in crops, mines or warehouses, 15-18 hours a day, with very little food or water, and without pay. The conditions are incomprehensible and dangerous, as many are forced to work with chemicals, mercury, lead, and other toxic materials. If a child, or anyone for that matter, refuses to do the work, they will be severely punished. Imagine what reasonable punishment means to you, multiply it by 10, and then you might be getting close to the actual brutality of their owners, but likely still falling short. Sex trafficking — those who are sexually exploited or forced into prostitution — has a level of brutality that is very difficult to describe, let alone believe or comprehend. I have seen victims as young as 4 years old, with the average age being 13 years old. There are wonderful organizations whose members risk
16 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
their lives by physically removing trafficking victims from their nightmare, and I applaud all of them vigorously. However, for every owner or pimp removed, 10 more appear, so it’s a very difficult issue to solve. “If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.” These are the eerie words from “Amanda,” a young woman who was tricked and forced into sex trafficking at the age of 21. Her story is sadly all too common, but by her being brave enough to share it, she feels others may avoid becoming victims themselves. Amanda is a pretty woman and could easily be referred to as “the girl next door,” and the last thing you would envision is that just nine years earlier, she was a slave, forced to do unthinkable acts, beaten, abused, drugged, and unable to do anything about it. Amanda comes from a loving and supportive family, with entrepreneurial parents, and life was pretty good for her. This isn’t the typical background of someone who is forced into sex trafficking. Most often we envision runaways, drug addicts and similar types of people becoming victims, but the criminals more and more are selecting their victims differently, more strategically, as they did with Amanda. Amanda moved to Texas to pursue her passion, which was music. One night she was a victim in a domestic situation, and a neighbor provided her comfort. Several days after this event, her neighbor, a female about Amanda’s age, suggested going downtown to take a break and “get away from it all” for a few days. Amanda, her neighbor, and her neighbor’s boyfriend drove down to Houston, Texas, for a time of clearing minds and relaxing. The couple seemed normal, looked normal, and the drive went well. They arrived in Houston and drove to what Amanda describes as a strip mall. All three of them went into one of the buildings, and after the door was closed, Amanda’s life changed. Her neighbor and her “boyfriend” were not a couple after all but were more accurately involved in a pimp and slave relationship. This neighbor was forced to trick Amanda into the trip to Houston and, unfortunately, she was successful in her sinister, although forced, intentions. Amanda was told that going forward she was going to be a prostitute and make a tremendous amount of money for the pimp. Scared and confused, she told them she wouldn’t do it. At that point, pictures of her children, her parents and siblings were shown to her by the pimp, who said, “You are going to do it.” Amanda was told that if she tried to leave, told anyone or refused their demands in any way, her entire family would be killed and, shortly afterward, so would she. You have to understand that in this dark environment, threats aren’t made to sound tough; they are a foreshadowing of actual things that will happen if someone is noncompliant.
Amanda wasn’t alone in her captivity; there were approximately 10 other females facing the same issue. Amanda described most of these girls as “the girl next door types, pretty, and innocent.” “Pimps choose these type of girls as they don’t have to do much work in making them pretty, and the more pretty and innocent they are, the more money they can make,” she said. The pimp moved all of the women to another location, which Amanda described as “a club-style building, looking like a restored house made into a club.” She said that she and the other girls at this location “…slept there, ate there, stayed there, everything happened in this one place.” This makeshift club was actually the place where men would come and have the opportunity to look at all the women lined up, and decide which one (or more) they would buy for the night. What they were buying was sex and all other disgusting acts associated with it, and all money went directly to the pimp. Besides being forced into unthinkable acts several times a night, Amanda was threatened, beaten and given drugs to keep her sedated and easier to control. The drugs were like a date-rape drug, along with Ecstasy, and often were in large doses. This provided the pimps even further control and helped them brainwash Amanda, as well as the other girls. Due to Amanda’s physical appearance, she was called “Treasure,” meaning that she could bring in a lot higher income than perhaps others. Names are too personal, so most pimps and slaves are given nicknames. The horror, threats, prison and brutality of being sexually exploited lasted almost a year for Amanda. There wasn’t ever a break or a time she wasn’t forced to participate, and likely if you try and put yourself in her shoes, you just can’t. Periodically, the pimps would move the girls, possibly to avoid the police or just moving out of paranoia. A common question from people who don’t understand the intricacies of this crime is, “Why didn’t you just leave? Why didn’t you go get your kids, change your name, and move to another state?” When I asked Amanda about this she said, “I thought of it more in a dream state, not something that I could ever accomplish. I tried leaving once and was beaten so severely that attempting to leave again wasn’t an option.” As the beatings continued and the drugs forced into her system increased, her body decided it had reached a breaking point. One evening, after receiving a high dose of drugs, at age 21 she suffered a heart attack. She had prayed for so long that God would just take her. With her gone, her captors would have no reason to harm her children. But that wasn’t God’s plan. Amanda, in severe pain and heavily drugged, numb and sick, lay helpless on the bathroom floor in agony for four days. No ambulance was called, nobody was there to provide comfort, and according to her pimps, she was now “damaged goods.” God and her desire to see her children again kept her alive as, medically speaking, she shouldn’t have survived. “There is no sympathy in this industry; you are nothing more to them than a dollar bill. After they felt I recovered enough, I was thrown right back into it and expected to work,” Amanda said. As I continued to speak with Amanda, I could feel my emotions and anger increasing toward her captors. The thought of forgiving them and moving forward didn’t compute, and
I found myself amazed when I asked her how she could ever forgive them. “I think everybody needs to find what works for them, regardless of the trauma they go through. For me, it was my faith,” Amanda said. “At the time I was angry with God, wondering why He would allow me to go through this and I didn’t understand it. But now I have an opportunity to help people, having gone Christian Living contributor and founder of Voices of through this.” the Rescued, Ron Kern, right, stands by “Amanda”, Occasionally, there was a victim and survivor of human trafficking. (Photo by an after-hour club that Heather Alexis Photography) the pimps would take the girls to, with a high-paying clientele. “During those trips, I made friends — heavily in secret so as to not be punished — with the head of security. He had received word that within a very short time, they were going to kill me, so he approached me and made a plan to get me out,” Amanda said. “He took me to a hotel, then another, then another, always moving as not only was I in great danger, so was he. He was abusive too, but I loved him for getting me out. He saved my life.” Although this situation wasn’t great, it “wasn’t nearly as bad as where I was,” said Amanda. The relationship ended when Amanda forged enough bravery to contact her parents, who wired her money. She eventually made her way to the airport, finally on her way home. “I was broken and I couldn’t be myself, didn’t know what that even meant, and trying to get back into society without anyone knowing what I had endured was not easy,” she said. “Forgiving them had nothing to do with the men who did this to me; I’m responsible for my actions and everything I think and do.” After being rescued, Amanda was baptized and “…washed everything away, and I let go.” Amanda is doing well these days. Her entire family now knows what happened, she continues her healing and is to a point in her life she’s ready to go full force on helping others avoid, and or get out of, sex trafficking. She is now the spokesperson for a non-profit organization, “Voices of the Rescued,” and jointly will be going on a speaking tour, educating and spreading awareness of this global crime, and sharing her story. She’s a brave, strong and incredible woman, a woman God clearly isn’t done with yet. To learn more human trafficking, to help or support victims, or to listen to an in-depth audio interview with Amanda, visit www.VoicesoftheRescued.com. N A multi-business owner in Meridian for more than 20 years, Ronald Kern and his wife sold their businesses in 2013. Ron is founder of Voices of the Rescued. He is a serial entrepreneur, personal and professional consultant, author, columnist, motivational speaker and philanthropist. All of his information is on his website, MyPassionInAction.com, and he always looks forward to speaking with his readers.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 17
God promises restoration from ruins ary 10 when the freeway opened up after being closed for a week. We finally arrived here on JanuRestoration is the heart of the Our Overcoming ary 10. This was a spiritual battle and He gave us Loving Lord. He reveals Himself as the Restorer. the victory. Listen to His healing words of restoration in We stayed in my parents’ former apartment next Isaiah 61:3-4 in the New King James version of to my sister’s house. A computer was working at His Living Word: the desk and I saw an ad about buying a house in To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty Boise. I clicked on it and checked “yes.” Then I for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise thought, “That was foolish. There is no way we for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of can buy a house.” We had given our house back righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be to the bank in 1994 to move here. This time we glorified. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall rise had no jobs and very little money. up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined The next day I received a call from a young cities, the desolations of many generations. woman who had opened a new business called Did you notice all of the miracle restorations Gold Standard Mortgage. She asked me to come Dan Woodworth from hurt into Hope and Healing and pain into and see her. I told her that clicking on that ad was Peace and Power? Listen to His healing words of a mistake and we could not qualify to buy a home. restoration in Joel 2:25-26: She kept asking me to come and see her because we would be So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the surprised at what could happen. crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army I reluctantly made an appointment and went to see her. She which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise asked for my data and typed it in to her computer. A few seconds the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My later she shouted, “You qualify for a NINA.” I asked her what people shall never be put to shame. that meant. She said, “You qualify to buy any house in Idaho. No I feel that sharing three stories of restoration that My Most income and no assets are required from you.” Miracle restoration Beautiful Beloved Bride, Irene, and I have experienced since 1994 had happened. will encourage and empower you with hope for your own restoraI was astonished. I told my Sweetheart and she was also amazed. tion. I looked at about 15 houses with her. She looked at another 135 In October of 1994, we moved back to Boise from Perris, Calif. more houses by herself. to attend a ministry training school. We had lived in Boise two We have trusted our Gracious God to be our Perfect Peace, different times for three years (1979-1981 and 1982-1983) for Perfect Prosperity, Perfect Provision, Perfect Protection and Perfect ministry opportunities. Praise ever since we met each other in January of 1978. He has When we moved back here in 1994, we had to give our house never failed us as our Restorer. back to the bank because the housing market was drastically On March 6 she noticed an open house ad in the newspaper for affected by a recession back then. Many people in our neighborSunday, March 7, 2004 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. This was a onetime hood just walked away from their houses without selling them. showing only. We went to see it. When we arrived at 2:00 there The rental rate was about half of our house payment and the were probably 50 people in the house walking around. Most of value of our home was much lower than our loan. To move, we them were wearing very expensive clothes and shoes. We were in had to give it up to follow Him. Back then there was a very minor an upper class neighborhood. penalty of two years on our credit. It was nothing like we have My Most Beautiful Beloved Bride, Irene, said, “This is it. This today. Even so, we had no asset that would have come from our is the perfect house for us.” I thought that we had no chance, but home being sold. If we obey Him, He will restore everything and she deeply desired it so I said okay. more that we have lost. Our realtor, a former pastor from Alaska, wrote up a bid for the We lived in Boise for two years and then moved to a small town asking price and faxed it to the seller about midnight that night. in south central Idaho to plant a new church. We lived there for About 9:00 the next morning, he called us and said there were four years and then moved to Portland, Ore. in 2000 for me to seven offers on the house. I told him to keep our bid where it was. serve as a prison pastor and a pioneer pastor preparing to plant a I felt that if Our Overcoming Loving Lord wanted us to have this new church in the Portland area. house, He would give it to us. The next morning the realtor called On December 1, 2003, we flew back to Boise to speak at my me and said, “You have the first right of refusal.” I asked what mother’s funeral on December 7. We flew back to Portland on that meant. He said, “You got the house.” December 9. On April 1, 2004, we moved into our home, exactly 13 years to That night, as I was on my knees praying and reading the Word the day that I am writing this article. of God near our bed, I had a vision of Jesus wrapping His nailWe had no jobs. We had our last monthly check from Portland. pierced hands around my heart and pointing me back to Boise. I We had no financial assets. knew that He had called us to move back to Boise. We did not pay a down payment. We had no closing costs. While we were in Portland, we had no idea of the amazing During the closing we received all of our earnest money plus restoration that Our Overcoming Loving Lord would graciously $100 more back that we paid to secure the house. This miracle give us. house did not cost us anything to buy it. Our realtor and the title We were ready to move in our U-Hauls to Boise on January 4, company officer said that they had never seen anything like that. 2004. The blizzard of the century kept us in Portland until JanuIt was a miracle of restoration. By Dan Woodworth
18 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
We had a month-long grace period with no mortgage payment due in April, the first month we lived in our miracle home. On May 1 we paid our first mortgage payment with the earnest money that Our Overcoming Loving Lord graciously gave back to us. On May 3, I was hired as a Membership Director for the Better Business Bureau in Boise. This is our Miracle House from Heaven. Our Overcoming Loving Lord will restore what you have lost. If He did it for us, He will do it for you. The reason I know is because He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Let’s look at another miracle of restoration that can apply to our lives. In Matthew 8:1-4 in The Message, Jesus restored health to the leper: Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.” Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” I have experienced five near-death health problems. Jesus has restored health to me every time. My Sweetheart prayed me through all of them. There is no way I would be alive today if I did not experience the restoration of ruins just like that leper experienced. Again, Our Overcoming Loving Lord is no respecter of persons. If He did it for the leper and me, He will do it for anyone calling on Him. My Most Beautiful Beloved Bride, Irene, is the only survivor of malignant hyperthermia in the over 100-year history of St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise. This restoring miracle happened on October 30, 2009. I will share this miraculous story of restoration of supernatural healing in a future article. If He restored health to her miraculously
(and many medical professionals told us that), then He will restore health to you as you call on Him. If He restored our dream home for us, He will restore financial blessings for you. If He restored health and life to us, He will restore health and life to you. He is no respecter of persons. The main critical component to restoration is Overflowing Supernatural Favor from Our Living Loving Lord. How do we receive this gift? Let’s look at His living words in Proverbs 3:5-6 in the King James Version: My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Let’s look at this transforming revelation from heaven. If we live in the law of the Spirit and Life and obey His voice and live in His love, mercy and truth, we will experience His Overflowing Supernatural Favor with Him and with people. We don’t have to ask over and over for His Overflowing Supernatural Favor. All we need to do is listen to His voice and follow Him. Restoration is His gift to us. Let’s receive His gracious gift and live in His grace with thanksgiving. N Dr. Dan Woodworth earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the King’s University in Los Angeles in 2009. His passion is to encourage and empower people with the transforming power of hope and healing to become all they are created to be. He and his beautiful bride, Irene, have planted three churches. They are in the process of creating a cross/cultural, cross/generational healing community solving pressing problems in Boise and beyond. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 19
WHERE Are They Now?
Bible restorer Rick Monroe adds color By Brad Carlson
flowing even more strongly for the Kuna resident. He picked up his paintbrushes in Editor’s note: Rick Monroe and his collection of the second half of 2016, resuming a craft antique Bibles were originally featured in the he once pursued enthusiastically. January/February 2015 issue of Christian Painting pictures gives Monroe an adLiving. Contributor Brad Carlson visited Monroe ditional outlet for expression and the opto see what’s new. portunity to reach out more broadly with The inspiration Rick Monroe sought by his Christian message. moving to Idaho from Texas a few years “In some sense, it opens the door always back is evident in the form of all those to share the Gospel with others,” he said. historic Bibles and Christian texts he has Now, someone who brings in a book for restored. restoration may also see one of Monroe’s But the good feelings recently started paintings. And someone viewing a painting may show interest in the historic books he collects and restores. Customers of his niche automotive business, through which he restores classic stainless and aluminum trim, can be exposed to Bibles and historic Christian texts, or to his paintings. Monroe has shown up at auto swap meets, Bibles and Christian volumes in hand. The books have drawn some curious looks and some life-changing Rick Monroe is shown here with some of the books from his collection (a set of Matthew Henry’s Works on the Bible) and one of his paintings, titled “Commu- realizations. “There have been times on several ocnion.” Monroe recently resumed his passion for painting and finds that he’s able to combine book restoration with art and use them both to connect with people he casions when people have been brought meets. (Photo by Brad Carlson) to tears at auto swap meets,” he said. “And now my wife, Janice, and the kids Why Advertise in are happy to see my paintings hanging on wall in our home,” Monroe said. Christian Living Magazine? theOver time, the painting / book restoration combination could fuel an overall • Encouraging stories about your friends increase in creative energy while creating and neighbors being the opportunities for future projects, he said. Hands & Feet of Christ Monroe around 1999 painted “Com• 68% Female Readership munion,” depicting a vision he had • $50,000-$75,000 average before moving back to his native Oregon readership income from Michigan, where he had lived for • Our readers frequent our advertisers about five years. It’s on display in the Westland, Mich., church where he began • 15,000 Copies delivered in over 800 his Christian walk in 1988. Now he’s locations throughout the Treasure Valley sharing the story behind it and seeking • Locally Owned & Published people who would like to acquire a reproOne new advertiser said it best: duction on canvas, in various sizes. “I was sitting here reading your magazine, “I will use a process of putting a clearbrushed finish onto the piece, creating thinking about how much I love it – what will appear as an original painting,” then I stopped and asked myself – he said. “And I will number and sign why aren’t we in here?!”
each one.” Recent paintings depict waterfalls, and open, mountainous landscapes. He also enjoys seascapes. His painting, “Fall at Indian Creek,” can be seen at Kuna City Hall. (View projects and read details on Facebook at Rick Monroe: Art and Antiquarian Work.) Book-wise, he has been busy. He recently restored a Matthew Henry folio set of biblical commentaries from 1737. He used leather from an old sofa to re-cover the five big volumes (Matthew Henry’s Works on the Bible, fourth edition, unabridged) whose page boards and spine were in good condition. “I took great pains to give them a very aged look even though the leather is not period leather,” said Monroe, who uses period leather when he can find it. The sofa leather also was used to cover two other books: John Taylor’s Paraphrase with Notes on the Epistle to the Romans (1769) and James Durham’s Commentary Upon the Book of the Revelation (1689). Monroe also finished re-backing a 1704 folio of The Complete Works of the Author of the Whole Duty of Man by Richard Allestree. He used period leather and linen cloth to reattach the boards. He owns a 1716 Isaac Barrow folio featuring period leather. A current project is to restore a folio of the works of John Tillotson, Containing Fifty Four Sermons and Discourses ... Together with the Rule of Faith, using leather from the Barrow folio. The Tillotson work had a famous previous owner. Monroe plans to in turn cover the Barrow folio with same leather used for the Henry set’s restoration. As for combining painting with the book restoration hobby he pursued starting about six years ago, “the creative parts of what I’m doing go hand-in-hand,” Monroe said. N
Brad Carlson is a Treasure Valley freelance writer.
Uplift, Entertain & Enlighten Call today to schedule a time to meet with one of us! 208-957-6430 208-703-7860 or email email@example.com
20 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
I HEART Treasure Valley
Serve each other, hear a great speaker By Sandy Jones You’ve heard about I Heart Treasure Valley on the radio, as well as on the local news community bulletin boards; and if you’re on Facebook, it’s probably showing up in your feed there as well. But you might be asking yourself: “What is I Heart Treasure Valley?” We had the opportunity to sit down with Pastor Mark Thornton to learn more about an extraordinary event coming up on May 6. The first “I Heart Treasure Valley” event was held on March 16, 2013 with almost 3,000 volunteers working side-by-side in cities throughout the Treasure Valley. It ended with a large celebration that evening at the Ford Idaho Center, with internationally renowned guest speaker Nick Vujicic sharing a Gospel message that saw approximately 1,000 people respond to a call for salvation. This year the event returns on May 6, and the website, ihearttreasurevalley.com, best sums it up: “Throughout the day, thousands of volunteers in cities across the Treasure Valley will serve their communities through various service projects. This event is designed to meet the practical needs of a city and its people through painting, cleaning and beautification, food drives and more. We are partnering with many organizations to make this happen. This is scheduled to be an annual event and provides an opportunity for people of faith, and those of good will, to gather together and serve our community.” This year’s lofty goal is 10,000 volunteers. Who can participate? Churches, non-profits, schools, businesses, clubs, and groups of friends — anyone really. This isn’t about any one church or denomination. In Pastor Mark’s own words, “I Heart Treasure Valley is anybody who wants to love on their com-
munity.” It’s best summed up by the group’s mission statement: “A place where ‘faith and good will meet’ to serve our community.” Mark continued to share his heart: “We’ve got too much division in this country now — there’s got to be a place where we can set down our differences for one day and actually come out together and serve. That’s why I’m excited because different faiths that might not hang out with one another, on that day will be working side-by-side, and for me that’s a picture of what God has called the body of Christ to do.” While Pastor Mark is an associate pastor of Capital Church, he is quick to point out that I Heart Treasure Valley is not a Capital project — it is a Treasure Valley project for all churches, groups and organizations. Examples of past projects have been one group going into a school to remove gum from desks and clean and repaint lockers. Another group painted the handicapped stripes in a parking lot, and then finished up by restriping the rest of the parking lot. Another time, a group went to Meridian’s Head Start and did a beautification project, pulling weeds, and putting in gravel where it was needed — all things schools, shelters or non-profits simply don’t have the manpower or resources to do. The day doesn’t end when the projects are completed. At 7 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, everyone will come together to celebrate the day with a time of music and fellowship. Plan to be encouraged and inspired as Nick Vujicic returns to the Treasure Valley to share his message of hope and inspiration. Visit www.ihearttreasurevalley.com to submit a service project, volunteer or find a project to join. Donations to help fund the event and assist with materials for various service projects may be made there as well. N
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 21
Incredible message, amazing messenger By Gaye Bunderson Nick Vujicic is a hero for all of us. I first heard of him while watching a segment of “60 Minutes” years back. I saw a bright, cheerful young man smiling out from my TV screen. After the camera pulled back a little, I still saw the same young man, but with no arms and legs. The segment was titled, “No Limbs, No Limits,” and it told the story of Nick’s life and how he overcame huge obstacles. Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982, he suffered from a rare disease called tetra-amelia syndrome, which meant he was born without limbs. I remember two things very clearly about that interview: 1. Nick discussing his only suicide attempt. He was 10 years old and, in a bathtub filled with water, he tried to drown himself. He stopped, he said, because he realized his death would be difficult for his family. Through his amazing life, he has turned many others away from thoughts of suicide. 2. Nick openly declaring his belief in God, with millions watching on television. Many believers are reluctant to openly discuss their faith, but not Nick. He is full-on dedicated to spreading the love of God. He acknowledges that God has helped him, and he wants others to know that God is available to help them, too. The title of Nick’s first book, published in 2010, sums up his attitude toward life now: “Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.” He has achieved so much in his own 34 years of living, including: • Launching his public speaking career at the age of 19. • Graduating from college at age 21, with a double major in accountancy and financial planning. • Founding an international nonprofit and ministry in 2005 that he calls Life Without Limbs. • In 2007, founding Attitude Is Altitude, a secular motivational speaking company. • Marrying his wife, Kanae Miyahara, in 2012. • Becoming the father of two sons, Kiyoshi and Dejan, and
moving to Southern California, where his nonprofit is based. • Achieving international fame as a speaker, author and motivator. On Nick’s website, LivingWithoutLimbs.com, there is a Frequently Asked Questions section. The following questions and answers were taken from that section at https://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/about-nick/faq/. These are just some of the questions; you will find many others on the site. Q. As a child, did you feel you were “different” compared to other kids? A. Yes, of course I felt different. However, I had a few friends who were always there for me. My parents often reminded me that I was a creation of God, wonderfully and fearfully made. (Psalm 139) Q. Can you tell us about your childhood? A. I loved playing with marbles, fishing with my dad, and playing soccer with my brother and cousins. Q. As you grew into a teenager, the time when most worry about “looks,” etc., were you hindered in terms of confidence when it came to girls? A. In high school, I was a little envious about other guys who dated pretty girls. I began to have anxiety over whether or not I’d ever have a relationship or marry at all. In time, I gradually overcame that fear. By the time I was in my twenties, I was pretty confident...maybe too confident. LOL! Q. I would imagine a person who is different from anyone else has had a difficult time in school with his/her peers. How was your childhood and how did kids in school treat you? A. Sure, I used to get teased a lot, and would come home crying. But day by day my parents would tell me to just smile back at people, start talking and playing as much as I can with them so they would know I’m just like them. It started to make a difference. Q. What is your advice to people with similar disabilities? A. Anyone with any sort of disability must know that they are loved by God, and that He sees them and knows their needs. Q. What are some of the things you can do that most people wouldn’t expect? A. I can open a can of Coke with my teeth.
Nick Vujicic, left, is returning to the Treasure Valley, and one of his stops will be at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6. The public is welcome to come hear him deliver a message of “Unstoppable Faith.” At right, Nick speaks with an elderly woman following one of the many presentations he’s given throughout the world on God, love and hope. (Courtesy photos)
22 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Q. In your books you speak a lot about your faith. Can you tell us why your faith is so important to you? A. I am not someone who says “just have a positive attitude” or “just have a little faith,” because without God, those words are meaningless and empty. My faith in God, and my personal relationship,
has given me the strength to go on and the humility and grace to ask Him to change my life each day. I learned that if my circumstance doesn’t change, then my heart needs to change. Q. Are there areas in your personal walk as a Christian that you struggle with? A. Sure, just like everyone else. At times, I find I am undisciplined in reading the Word or having a quiet time with God so that I can know Him to a fuller degree. Because God is long-suffering, patient and kind, He draws me back to Himself. Most times, it is through a testing or trial. Other times, it’s when I went my OWN way and fell flat on my face in failure and shame. He forgives me, picks me back up and sets my feet on the righteous path. Q. What does helping others mean to you? A. Out of His great love for me, God put a love in my heart for others. Helping others doesn’t look the same every time, and it won’t be the same for everyone. Most of the time for me, it comes in the form of giving someone my attention, praying for that person even when it’s most inconvenient, listening to someone share their heart, and asking God to give me the right words to share. Helping others means loving them. Loving others means putting their needs ahead of your own. Q. You have a great sense of humor in spite of your circumstances. How important is humor to you, especially in light of your disability? A. I often use humor to break the ice for those who aren’t sure what to expect from me. I think I learned this coping mechanism as a young boy figuring out how to get people to like me or
befriend me. Q. What do you think your special qualities are? A. I love people. I love meeting new people. I absolutely love talking to people. I am not a shy person. My mom often encouraged me to “just start talking” so that people could see that I was a normal guy with only a few pieces missing. That prompting early on in my life from my mom really helped develop in me a friendly attitude, extroverted personality, and love for people. Q. What message are you trying to get across to those you speak with? A. I want people to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is hope in Christ. That entrusting your future to God, who has a greater plan for you than you can ever imagine, is the wisest decision you’ll ever make in your life. N Nick will be speaking to the public on the topic of “Unstoppable Faith” at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. For more information, see the “I Heart Treasure Valley” story written by Sandy Jones on page 21.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 23
An interview with Linda Patchin By Daniel Bobinski
student-on-student violence. There’s also enhanced family relationships. Regular readers know that I’m a strong This can be between parents and their children, homeschooling advocate. Recently I sat down to and also among siblings. When families send a talk with Linda Patchin, Chairman of CHOIS child to public school, it’s common for the child – Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. Each to start thinking the teacher is smarter, and year CHOIS puts on a two-day homeschooling that creates distance. Also, kids quickly believe conference for people who homeschool — and that their peers are more intelligent than their those who are thinking about it. I encourage siblings. But know that if your kids have been anyone even thinking about homeschooling to in public school, it takes time for them to re-escheck out chois.org and go to the conference the tablish close relationships. The time will vary by first weekend in June. I guarantee you’ll learn a child, but a certain amount of time for “decomlot. In the meantime, I asked Linda some quespression” is to be expected. tions that people curious about homeschooling How do I know which materials and commonly ask. Here are my questions, and her resources to use? Daniel Bobinski answers: I always recommend reading The Way We If I want to start homeschooling, but Learn, by Cynthia Tobias, and 102 Top Picks for my spouse / parents / friends are skeptical, what can Homeschool Curriculum, by Cathy Duffy. From there, it depends I do? on where you’re at in the journey. With a preschooler, you have There are really two questions here. If it’s your spouse, you time to study what resources are out there. But if you’re taking need to pray and wait. You’ll need your spouse’s support in a child out of a traditional school, I recommend starting with homeschooling. But if it’s anybody else, move forward and don’t a traditional textbook approach until you have time to match look back. In time, you can share your stories with these people. curriculum with your child’s learning style. At the homeschool Both friends and extended family will want to know how things convention we have a vendor hall full of curriculum and books. are going, so tell them! Grandparents especially want to know We’ll also have speakers that can tell you about learning styles that their grandchildren are doing well so they can brag about and different teaching methods. I would NOT recommend them. Googling “homeschool books.” Instead, Cathy Duffy’s book is You can also get others invested in your effort. Almost everyone the best starting point. is an expert at something, so bring them in to teach something What kind of support groups are available? to your children. When they start seeing your child’s interest in There are plenty, ranging from Facebook groups to moms what they’re talking about, they often become an ally. getting together on a regular basis to groups bringing in speakHow will children learn to get along with others if ers. There are also lots of co-ops, which usually meet during the they don’t go to school with other kids? morning one day a week with moms or dads teaching on subjects Since we don’t spend our lives locked up, you’ll be taking them they know. You can even find homeschool choir and orchestra, to church, Boy Scouts, karate, and all sorts of places where they’ll plus other co-ops that focus on the arts. interact with other children. You can also join a play group or inAdditionally, the dual enrollment law in Idaho, section 33-203, vite other families over. Homeschool is not sitting in a classroom says if a public school has room, then homeschooled students can seven hours a day. A classroom is not the real world — it’s an participate. You just have to choose the school that your children artificial environment. There’s no other time in life when we’re would attend if they were going to public school. A few districts in a room all day, week after week with 30 other people our own have been somewhat antagonist, but most are very welcoming, age. In real life we regularly interact with people of all ages, so letting homeschooled kids come in and participate in activities with homeschooling you’re giving your child the opportunity to like any other student. do just that. However, dual enrollment comes with advantages and disadWhat are some benefits of homeschooling? vantages, so parents should do their homework and know what Before I answer that I think it’s important to know why you’re those are before getting involved. And I strongly recommend homeschooling. Write it out, and review it every year. Your parents be very involved if they participate in dual enrollment. reasons may change over time, but it’s important to know your How will I know if my child is learning? goals. If you don’t have a plan for where you’re going, you won’t If you’re investing the time to teach your children on a daily know whether you’re succeeding. basis, you’ll know whether or not they’re learning. But if you preBut as for the benefits — and they’ll depend on what your fer third-party feedback, the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators goals are — first you’ll be able to transmit your faith, your moroffers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills each year. Your kids take the als, and your values. Traditional schools don’t often teach what tests, and then you get the results to see how they’re doing. Christian parents would like to see. Another benefit is academic More information about homeschooling and the CHOIS convention can be enrichment. Parents can set higher standards and provide indifound at chois.org. N vidualized teaching so their kids can learn at their own pace. In nobility, it’s common to hire a governess to come in and teach the Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed., is the CEO of Workplace-Excellence.com, helping teams and children. That’s pretty much what homeschooling is like. individuals learn how to use Emotional Intelligence. He’s also a homeschooling dad, a Another benefit is safety. It could be emotional safety, such as best-selling author, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at dan@ with bullying, or physical safety, such as with acts of terrorism or workplace-excellence.com or (208) 375-7606.
24 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
ELECTRIC connection failure
Make God your primary power source By Candy Troutman A few years ago all the electronic connections in the office went down. Even the phones were down so we couldn’t even make an announcement that everything was down! The power was still on but we couldn’t connect to it. We all groaned and whined and bemoaned all the work that wouldn’t get done or would have to be crammed into the end of the day. Some went home because they didn’t think they had anything to do. Someone else would fix the problem and office life would get back to normal. Some plugged into different connection sources on their laptops or cell phones that were outside our company network. Some were forced to complete tasks they’d been putting off...you know, boring maintenance things like filing and tidying or cleaning out the breakroom refrigerator. Things that had to be done but no one wanted to do them. It was either that or not get paid. We can allow our relationship with God to become like this office disconnect. We wake up one day and find we have no power in our spiritual life. We have no joy, no motivation. Relationships seem bothersome. Spiritual growth seems too hard. Our church body “work” seems more like an obligation. Our frustration level is high and our energy level is low. Our anger flares more easily. We second guess ourselves. We don’t like who we are. We keep ourselves busy with activity. We have no spiritual focus...our spiritual mind tends to wander. We feel weak. Where is the peace? We need to rest. But what about all the things that need to be done? What about ministry needs? What about time for nurturing relationships? What about being productive? The house needs to be cleaned. What about the schedule? What about sleep, for heaven’s sake? We don’t have
time to be weak. Ah...it is at this exact moment of awareness that the Lord comes with His offering of divine peace and rest. Perhaps we’ve “gone home” or tuned out His voice in the busyness of life. We think God will somehow magically fix it so we have a vital spiritual life. We may have plugged in to other power sources outside of the Lord’s “network.” He comes with an invitation to do some spiritual “maintenance.” You know, the stuff you don’t think you have time for...like reading the Word and having real, two-way conversations with God (talking AND listening). Stuff we know would be for our good but we often put off because we’re so busy “doing” instead of “being.” If we will “maintain” our spiritual life, there will be a payoff. That ugly list above will shorten and become less intense. Our joy will return. Our relationships will be more fulfilling and our productivity will increase. Our perspective returns to us. We will hear His voice more clearly. We will have a sense of power and motivation. We will enjoy peace and rest in our spirits even in the midst of a busy schedule. Which list do you prefer? Eventually the electronic connections at the office were restored. What did it take? Pushing the reset button on the server. The good news about the office disconnect? It didn’t affect the coffee pot. N Candy Troutman is a speaker, writer, social media manager, life and small business coach and serial entrepreneur from Boise. She particularly enjoys speaking and writing about self-discovery and personal growth, simple and intentional living and personal finances/debt-free living. Follow her on Facebook or visit her website at www.candytroutman.com. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 25
GIFT from above
This is your brain on altruism By Joseph March
Our minds allow us to love and be altruistic, traits not needed for life, but which beautify it. How is this true, and what does this teach us about our Creator? First, a few definitions. Love, in this context, is caring, and Webster’s defines altruism as: 1. Unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others 2. Behavior that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to [a being] but benefits others. In a purely mechanistic world, where no good deed exists unless it materially benefits the doer, love and altruism, or unselfish giving, makes little sense. However, we’ve been endowed by a higher power with the ability and desire to express love — largely, unselfishly, and sometimes spontaneously. There was the construction worker name Jason Smith (not his real name), who, while standing on a New York City subway platform, saw a young epileptic man have a seizure and fall onto the track. Without thinking, Smith jumped down to save him; but seeing the train was upon them and couldn’t stop in time, he pushed the young man down in a drainage ditch, joining him there. The train passed over them and neither of the men was hurt. Why did he do it? “I saw someone who needed help, so I did what I felt was right,” he said. Apparently, we are born with the instinct to help.
26 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Per the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley, studies have found that little children, unprompted, will often help needy people “out of a genuine concern for their welfare...” While looking for a scientific basis for altruism, GGSC says, among other things, that: • Altruism makes us happy. • Altruism is good for our health. • Altruism is good for our bottom line. • Altruism promotes social connections. However, it’s just as valid (more so, in fact, per info to follow) that we were simply designed to help people, to beautify the lives of others, and that’s why such giving makes us happy (Acts 20:35). Brain Capacity and Ability: Altruism-By-Design Argument — Per Scientific American, Feb. 2016, “A new study has found the brain’s information storage capacity may be a quadrillion bytes.” That’s more than you could ever use in a lifetime, so we have excess capacity. Here are some notable comments from other sources about the human brain: • Molecular biologist James Watson: a brain is “the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe.” • Neurologist Richard Restak: “Nowhere in the known universe is there anything even remotely resembling it.” • Encyclopædia Britannica: a human brain “is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one
person’s lifetime.” (1976 Edition, Volume 12, Pg 998) • David A. Sousa: “For all practical purposes, the capacity of the brain to store information is unlimited.” — How the Brain Learns, Pg 78, 2nd Edition, copyright 2001 • Encyclopædia Britannica: the brain “is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person’s lifetime.” (1976, Vol. 12, Pg 998) • Carl Sagan: a brain could hold information that “would fill some twenty million volumes, as many as in the world’s largest libraries.” (Cosmos, 1980, Pg 278) • Biochemist Isaac Asimov: the human brain is “perfectly capable of handling any load of learning and memory which the human being is likely to put upon it — and a billion times more than that quantity, too.” — The New York Times Magazine, October 9, 1966 • Last but not least: “[God] has put eternity into man’s mind.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Revised Standard Version) How do or can we use it? Playing or listening to music taps all the brain centers. A Johns Hopkins Medical doctor noted that listening to or playing music provides a complete brain workout. Creative musicians and complex compositions are not found among the lower animals, and a gorilla never wrote, played, or sang a love song for his mate. The creativity of musicians and artists requires a complex network of brain activity. Using a brain in this way makes it better and stronger, giving credence to the saying, “Use it or lose it.” Children get smarter when they learn to play an instrument. Frontiers in Neuroscience magazine says musical training in youth has positive effects on brain development. Our brains were not just made to be musical, but artistic and to enjoy art. Professor Semir Zeki, University College London, said that looking at beautiful paintings increases brain blood flow as much as 10 percent. “What we found is when you look at art — whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract or a portrait — there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure,” Zeki said.
Artists perceive and use nearly infinite colors to share their visions with others; and computer monitors can display 16 million colors. Why would we need such a sumptuous palette if we couldn’t use it? Why do we need to see and enjoy so many shades of color? Clearly, we need these brain-derived abilities, because God loves beauty and sharing it, and so do we. Then there is imagination, a trait apparently found only in humans. Albert Einstein famously said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein is known for his thought experiments where, for example, he would imagine riding a light beam as a path to his great scientific discoveries. Visualization is long known to be a tool used by great geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, who is famous for his drawings and related inventions, an ability unheard of among lower mammals. Simply stated: Evidence shows we were made in the likeness of our Creator, and are thus gifted with a mind that enables us to creatively give, invent, and beautify the lives of others. Applications to Living — How can this be applied in everyday living? Mentor someone. Benjamin Disraeli: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” Thank someone. William Arthur Ward said: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Touch someone. Oprah Winfrey said: “I don’t think you ever stop giving…I think it’s an ongoing process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” We been given an enormous gift that resides between our ears. Use it to help others, touch their lives, make a difference, and then smile. Love and altruism are divine. Exercising these stewardships makes us happy. As noted by Paul, quoting Jesus, in Acts 20:35: “There is more happiness in giving than receiving.” N Joseph March is a longtime resident of the western states and a professional business writer with an interest in expanding awareness for evidence-based faith, rather than belief based on credulity.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 27
BETHEL MINISTRIES & Coatings Plus
Lees give ex-prisoners a home and a job By Gaye Bunderson God helped Rob and Allison Lee through the ups and downs of both their business and their ministry. The Lees own Coatings Plus, and Rob also serves as executive director of Bethel Ministries. They’ve faced challenges of all kinds, including financial. “By the grace of God, we’ve made it,” Rob said. Bethel Ministries houses men who have been released from incarceration and are trying to reintegrate back into society. According to a post in the history section at bethelministriesidaho.org: “Bethel Ministries recognized the importance of developing an ongoing relationship with Christ Jesus in each person, wanting to help men who, having great obstacles to overcome, desired the kind of help necessary to develop a personal relationship with Jesus and make a new life.” Homes were opened for those men, offering not only a residence but assistance in education, employment, and fellowship. Rob’s dad, Bob, who keeps the books for both the business and the ministry, said of Bethel: “A lot of these guys come from dysfunctional families. We try to create a family environment at Bethel. They eat together and are expected to cook a meal. They do chores, they clean house. It’s a family structure — they can interact as a family.” Rob’s involvement started in 2002 after what he calls an “act of waywardness” led him to become a resident at Bethel. “I only spent 41 days in jail and five years on probation,” he said. But Idaho Department of Corrections staff perceived something in him that made them confident he was on a path away from crime. Looking back, Rob sees the hand of God orchestrating events in his life at that time. “The Department of Corrections trusted me and supported me. I was going places people on probation shouldn’t be going,” he said, meaning he was given a lot of independence. His freedom stemmed from the positive view Corrections had of him; he gives credit to God’s grace for that. No longer a resident, Rob was named director of invitations for Bethel in January of 2006. Men who are accepted as residents must meet specific requirements, submit an application, and go through an interview process. Rob stresses it’s a face-to-face interview, not a phone interview. Decisions about what men will be accepted at Bethel are up to Rob — but not exclusively. He said he sometimes doesn’t feel like a particular man is a good fit for the program, but God intercedes and tells him otherwise. “God will say, ‘He needs to come.’ I pray about it. Ultimately God is in charge,” Rob said. In May of 2006, Rob was named executive director of Bethel Ministries. It was partly a decision made through attrition but also because Rob understands what the men are going through. “I can relate to them 100 percent,” he said. The Bethel Ministries homes — there are four of them — can hold 24 men; in early March, there were 20 men in residence. There is no offense that will prevent a man geniunely seeking redemption from being housed at Bethel, including a sex crime. It’s the sort of thing that can make people — including people in church — quite uncomfortable. Rob, though a low-key, restrained person, has a response for that. “There are 700 churches in the valley that label themselves ‘Christian.’ It would be fantastic if churches would be more open to accepting men and women from incarceration, especially ones who have a sexual offense in their history. But politicians and the media paint them as modern-day lepers,” he said. He stated that, with many churches, the attitude is, “It’s a wonderful
28 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
ministry you do, but don’t do it here.” He understands people’s concerns, and is sympathetic to victims of crime, but he wishes people of faith would be more welcoming to former prisoners and have greater trust in God when it comes to opening church doors to them. “There is a difference between being safe and protective and being resistant. You can still love someone within good, healthy boundaries. You can do it by accepting them as they are and by telling them what they did was horrible, but THEY’RE not horrible.” Are there ex-prisoners who sometimes fail the Bethel Ministries program? Yes. “If guys stay for six months, the success rate goes up exponentially,” said Rob.
Coatings Plus Powder-coat: To cover with a polyester or epoxy powder, which is then heated to fuse into a protective layer. Neither Rob nor Allison were experienced in the powder coating business when they purchased Coatings Plus. “It’s all trial by fire,” Rob said. “We came in completely blind and really had to learn it,” Allison said. “We lost money for three years while we learned the business. It was very stressful. We prayed and asked God if this was what He really wanted us to do. God said, ‘You’re still in this; you’re still helping people.’” Acquisition of the business was made to help give jobs to the men living in the Bethel houses. With criminal backgrounds, it’s difficult for them to get employment, especially 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day jobs. Bob explained that with the family structure in the houses, it’s requisite that the men be home for dinner at 6, attend a life skills class at 7, and honor the curfew of 8:30 p.m. Allison, who describes herself as the face of the business, said she came to Coatings Plus with a 10-year background in corporate management in the jewelry industry. “I went from three-piece suits and heels to Carhartt and boots,” she said. She’s worked hard to learn about powder coating — and not just to learn it but to do it herself. She now knows the business firsthand and can do anything that is required. “I want to know everything,” she said. “I’m a woman in a man’s world.” “Her dad is an architect, so she understands blueprints,” Bob said. Allison is also the face of management at the business and is the leader of the men who work there. “She’s able to deal with them,” said her father-in-law. “You have to use creative love,” she said. “I don’t want to know their crimes. I want them to be just like me,” she said, meaning everyone should be on an equal footing. “Rob knows their crimes, and he’d be very protective of me when it came to some of the men; but I don’t want to know their crimes.” The business has a good relationship with Probations & Parole, and Corrections staff will call and ask if there are openings. “They know we’re felony-friendly,” Allison said. “If we have no work at that time, I will say, ‘There’s no work, but send them down. I’d love to talk to them.’” She walks them through the process of doing a job interview, filling out applications and writing resumes. But most of all, she helps build their sense of self-worth. “She does a lot of coaching,” said Bob. “I give them confidence,” Allison said. When men come to work there, they know they’ll be respected.
“They’re in a safe zone,” Allison said. “We care about them, and we pray about them. They get more chances with us.” “We represent something they know is higher than they are,” Bob said. Coatings Plus is an industrial powder coating shop and accepts work from all businesses, not just Christian ones. Allison said that while the company’s emphasis isn’t on custom coating, walk-ins are welcome. The business is doing well now, with its twin emphases on great customer service and completing all projects on time. “We are finally turning a corner. We always say, ‘Trust God at 512,’”
A Bethel success story
Allison said. (The business is located at 512 E. 45th St. in Garden City.) Rob, Allison and Bob are all fully committed to both the business and the ongoing work of Bethel Ministries. It’s personal for each of them, including Bob. The senior Lee cares deeply about the men who are trying to better their lives following incarceration. His commitment stems from Rob’s experiences. “Bethel gave me my son back,” he said. N
For more information about Bethel Ministries, go to bethelministriesidaho. org; for more information about Coatings Plus, visit coatingsplusboise.com.
Arthur Scovell gets new chance at life By Gaye Bunderson
Like all ministries, Bethel Ministries in Boise has had its share of both failures and successes. Bethel houses men formerly incarcerated and tries to help them achieve responsible, law-abiding lives. One of the ministries’ best success stories is Arthur Scovell. Arthur’s personal history differs markedly from most people’s, and now that his life is looking (way) up, he’s not ashamed to talk about it. “I’m a graduate of Bethel,” the former Oregonian said. “I lived in downtown Portland; at age 9, I was on the streets, and I was in prison at 38. I was in prison for 16 years.” He had moved to Idaho and was incarcerated in the Idaho prison system. While he prefers not to name his crime, he’s eager to talk about Rob Lee, who is executive director of Bethel Ministries and co-owner with his wife Allison of Coatings Plus. “Rob came to the prison and said to me, ‘I’d like to talk to you about Bethel Ministries.’ He gave me an application, but I threw it away — I intended to go back to Portland,” Arthur said. Allison Lee, left, owns Coatings Plus with her Rob returned to the prison and gave husband Rob (not shown). One of the men who him another application and, later, a works there is Arthur Scovell, middle. Bob Lee, third application. Arthur said he began right, is Rob’s father and helps keep the books for to think, “God is trying to tell me the company. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson) something.”
He started listening. He was released from prison in 2014 and went right into a Bethel Ministries house. One of the many goals of Bethel is to help its residents find employment. It’s the reason Rob and Allison bought Coatings Plus. The powder coating business would be a place for the men to work, to hold down a steady job — a first for many of them. Arthur himself admits he’d never held a job for more than six months before he started working at Coatings Plus. He’s now been steadily employed there for two years. Along with a paycheck and pride, he gets a daily dose of encouragement from Allison, as well as Bob Lee, Rob’s father. “They’re like a mentor. They put their trust in you. The Lees are like my family. If not for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Arthur said. “He’s our boy,” said Bob, who keeps the books for the company. Arthur is also grateful for the opportunity he was given to reside at and be a part of Bethel Ministries. “Bethel Ministries doesn’t shut the door on you; they have an open door policy,” he said. On a personal level, Arthur is back with his wife and is now able to see the children he was barred from seeing in the past. “God has allowed me to have that relationship back,” he said. Arthur, who refers to his boss as Miss Allison, said he likes his job at Coatings Plus. “I look forward to it every day,” he said. “I don’t boast; I try to think about other people. I love my job. It’s all about God.” Allison admires Arthur for what he has overcome, but also for something else. “I learn so much from him,” she said. “He teaches me to be grateful all the time.” N
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 29
CHURCH DIRECTORY Celebration
CHURCH & PRESCHOOL 765 E. Chinden Blvd. Meridian, ID, 83646
Sun. Worship: 8:15 &11am Sun. School & Bible Study: 9:45 am
Pastor: Thomas Hausch Please Call about our Youth Group Times
Family to grow fruitful in Jesus Sunday Morning Service 9:30
Check out our website for info on our Valley School of Supernatural Ministry! www.valleychurchidaho.com
Loyal To One Ministry
• AWANA - Pre-K - to 6 grade • Youth Group • Adult Bible Studies Pastor Clint Henry: email@example.com
Sunday Morning Services & Sunday School 9:30 AM & 11:00 AM 3755 S. Cloverdale Boise • 362-1700
30 May / June 2017 | Christian Living
Sunday Service 10 AM Wednesday Service 7 PM New Location! 212 W. Main Street Middleton • 546-9845 Scowboychurch.com
Join us Wednesday Nights at 6:45 pm for:
You are invited Sundays...
Worship Service 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am Bible Study 9:30 & 11 am Children’s Church 11 am
600 N. Ten Mile Rd. Meridian, ID
Come Join Us for Sunday Services at 10:30 AM 232 N Main St, Meridian
Serving the least, the lost & the forgotten.
Worship Service - Sunday 10:00 am. Youth Service - Sunday 6:00 pm Adult Bible Study - Wednesday 7:00 pm
615 N. 9th Street • Boise
To Equip and Empower You to Fulfill your purpose in Christ
2900 Life Way, Caldwell, ID (208) 459-9133
9:30 a.m. Bible Classes 10:45 a.m. Worship
All Bikes & Hot Rods Welcome Meeting at Busted Shovel Bar & Grill — 704 N. Main • Meridian
(*Must be 21 or older)
For information on adding your church to this directory, please call 208-957-6430 or email: boisechristianliving@ gmail.com
KEEPING the peace
Being delivered from all your troubles By Ann Doupont In these days in which we’re living, there is understandably much chaos going on at a lot of places. In 2 Timothy 3, beginning in verse 1, we can see what to expect in these last days. “Men (people) will be lovers of their own selves, boastful, proud, blasphemers…unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Peace is lacking in many places, maybe even in your own life. Jesus said that “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (See John 14:27.) We hear of wars, rumors of wars, famines, all kinds of diseases and earthquakes in many places. This is predicted in the Bible that these things shall come. In those same verses (Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7), He is again saying to not be troubled. I love the book of Psalms. Maybe you do as well. Recently, I posted on Facebook asking others to share what is their favorite chapter and I received various responses. One of my favorites is Psalm 34. In it, I found that it says what to do when troubled. It states in verse 6 that “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all of his troubles.” What an awesome promise that is and it’s available for all who will do likewise. The man mentioned in that verse cried unto God, and was heard by Him, and was saved (or freed) out of ALL his troubles. What an amazing God we have, one who hears us when we cry out to Him and frees us from all of our troubles. It’s not that troubles never again come our way, because they will come back again. But there is a God in Heaven who hears us and delivers us from all the things that are troubling us. He has promised to keep us in perfect peace IF our minds are stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Now, that’s a challenge set before each of us, that of keeping our minds on Him instead of our circumstances or on others and what they do or have done. Looking back again at Psalm 34, see what it says in verse 14: “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” That word translated “peace” in this verse is the Hebrew word “shalom,” which many of us have heard before. This word not only refers to what we think of as peace, but also means to be “safe, well, happy, friendly, healthy and prosperous.” (See Strong’s concordance H7965 for this and other meanings of the word “shalom.”) In order to depart from evil and do good as is shown in the above-referenced verse, we need to know the difference between the two. We need to understand what is truly evil in the sight of the Lord and what is meant by doing good. Repentance from all disobedience can then be accomplished once this is understood. In Proverbs 4:7, we find that in all of our getting, we are to get understanding. We’re not to lean to our own
understanding (Proverbs 3:5), but we are to seek the Lord for His. So then, the verse in Psalm 34:14 continues by saying to “seek peace and pursue it.” To pursue something is to run after it. It doesn’t appear to come only to the casual seeker, thinking that if God wants us to have it, He’ll then give it. No, there are spiritual principles to be followed in order to receive ANYTHING from God. They don’t just happen like ripe cherries falling off a tree. There is a battle going on for the souls of men and women, boys and girls. It’s a spiritual warfare that can only be won using spiritual weapons. God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit, is our greatest weapon against the enemy of our souls. With our minds renewed to His way of thinking, His Word engrafted into our souls, we have then set right boundaries against the devil who intends to trespass against us. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). How important it is then to be sure that our ways are pleasing to the Lord in order to have this peace in our lives! When we take a stand for righteousness and truth, not everyone is going to like it. But when the Lord is pleased, we will have His peace. N Ann Doupont has a passion for writing and for living the life to which she’s been called. She has authored and published four print books and over 50 ebooks, all of which can be found on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/anndoupont. As a student of God’s Word, she has learned that the Lord is indeed trustworthy and faithful to do all that He has promised, and that the answers we seek can be found through a diligent and prayerful study of the scriptures.
May / June 2017 | Christian Living 31
32 May / June 2017 | Christian Living