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REFRESHED | June 2014

June 2014 | REFRESHED


from the editor… SCOTT NOBLE

Download a digital version of Refreshed magazine for convenient viewing on your favorite digital device.

Where should I go? I will admit it. I’m the type of person who likes to have my life mapped out for me. You will do this for x number of years, and then you will move to this city and do y. After that, you will take a leap of faith and do z. It has taken me a long time to realize that’s not the way life works—and certainly not the way God usually interacts with us. We don’t receive—no matter how much we desire—that 27page manual on life, which tells us each step we will take, when we will take it and for how long each step will be in play. I have come to learn, however, that it’s often in those moments of uncertainty where we learn the most about life and grow in our faith. The feature articles in this issue address this idea of future life choices head on. Christian recording artist Mandisa, who will perform at the Joyful Noise Family Fest this month, was unsure what she wanted to do with her life after her appearance on American Idol. Read about the experiences that helped give her direction and the faith to follow where she believed God directed. Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom was not much interested in law enforcement as a kid. The only conversation he had with his police officer father as a young man ended with his father telling him to explore other career options than law enforcement before making a final determination. Bostrom did and now more than 30 years later, he is the sheriff of the oldest law enforcement agency in the state. Both Mandisa and Bostrom had decisions to make about their careers. They didn’t have the coveted 27-page life manual that directed each of their steps. However, circumstances and wise words and the influence of loved ones helped direct each of their paths. It’s a wonderful reminder that life’s most precious moments often happen at crossroads.


PUBLISHERS Lamar & Theresa Keener GENERAL MANAGER Lana Branham EXECUTIVE EDITOR Scott Noble PROOFREADER Lis Trouten CONTRIBUTORS Joanne Brokaw, Sam Helgerson, Jim Jackson, Kory Kleinsasser, Wendie Pett, Jason Sharp, Colette and Jonathan Stuart, Doug Trouten Copyright © 2014 Selah Media Group Refreshed is an independent, faith-based magazine published monthly by Selah Media Group. It is distributed in bulk, free of charge, to hundreds of locations throughout the Twin Cities metro region. For a 1-year mail subscription, send $24.95 to the address below or visit Refreshed welcomes story ideas. All unsolicited material is subject to approval of the publishers and is not returned. Viewpoints expressed in Refreshed are those of their respective writers, and are not necessarily held by the publishers. Reasonable effort is made to screen advertisers, but no endorsement of the publishers is implied or should be inferred. The publishers can accept no responsibility for the products or services offered through advertisements. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising. ADDRESS ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO: P. O. Box 131030 St. Paul, MN 55113 E - MAIL PHONE/FAX (763) 746-2468 ADVERTISING (651) 964-2750 FOUNDING CORPORATE SPONSOR

For information on the benefits of being a corporate sponsor, please call Lana Branham at (651) 964-2750.


REFRESHED | June 2014

contents FEATURES

7 Overcomer

Mandisa paves her own way in Christian music


10 Read… indeed

Young girl establishes literacy project

13 Called to serve

Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom follows circuitous path to law enforcement

19 Joyful Noise Family Fest Special guide insert: Schedule, map and more


Book review








Events calendar


Community news



COLUMNS 30 Doug Trouten | unplugged 31 Sam Helgerson | leadership sense 32 Jason Sharp | sharp focus 33 Wendie Pett | here’s to good health

30 33

34 Colette & Jonathan Stuart | marriage matters 35 Jim Jackson | purposeful parenting 36 Kory Kleinsasser | inspired living 38 Joanne Brokaw | that’s life!

36 June 2014 | REFRESHED


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REFRESHED | June 2014

Overcomer Mandisa paves her own way in Christian music by SCOTT NOBLE


t’s an experience few people will ever undergo. Standing on stage, waiting to see if millions of voters thought well enough of your singing abilities to move you on to the next round. Every week during the highly rated television show, contestants do their best to convince the tens of millions of people watching that they have what it takes to become the next “American Idol.” While Mandisa Lynn Hundley, known on stage as Mandisa, waited to see if she would make the next round of the popular TV show, the wheels were already beginning to turn in her head about what kind of artist she wanted to become.

Early years

Mandisa can’t really pinpoint a time when she wasn’t singing. It was part of who she was from an early age. “I used to lock myself in the bathroom and put on my Whitney Houston cassette tapes, and my curling iron was my microphone,” she said. “I can’t really remember necessarily a moment where I realized I could sing. It’s really what I’ve always wanted to do.” Singing in church as a young person was a major influence in her budding career. People in her family were involved with church choirs and leading worship, but no one had done it professionally. However, that didn’t dissuade Mandisa from believing that was what she eventually wanted to do: sing professionally. “I’ve always wanted to be a June 2014 | REFRESHED


singer,” she said. “When people would ask me, especially at a very early age, what I wanted to do, I would always say that. And then as I got older, people would ask me what my backup plan was, and I said, ‘I don’t have a backup plan.’ I grew up wanting to be Whitney Houston, and so I guess things changed for me after American Idol.” Prior to being on American Idol, Mandisa was singing background for various artists, including Don Moen and Twila Paris. She also sang on the worship team for speaker and author Beth Moore. She had actually just performed her last event with Moore before flying to

Hollywood for what the American Idol producers call “Hollywood Week,” a time when the contestants are put through numerous performance tests—sing in front of the judges by themselves, with groups, without a band—to determine who will make the live TV shows. Mandisa was on season five of American Idol, a time when the show was still in its relative infancy and was pulling in huge television ratings. Standing up on stage that night, Mandisa had made the top ten, a significant feat for anyone after beating out thousands of other contestants. However, her time on the show was about to come to

an end. Ryan Seacrest, the show’s longtime host, announced Mandisa was eliminated. She had taken ninth place. At the time, Mandisa didn’t know exactly what her next steps would be. “I had different kinds of labels calling and wanting to do meetings, but I just realized I probably couldn’t; I wouldn’t fit very well in what would be considered R&B mainstream music,” she said. “It’s just my values are different. I don’t necessarily want to sing about the kinds of things you hear on R&B radio.” That’s when she had a spark of an idea, something that would ultimately lead her to a successful music career as a

Getting personal with Mandisa Who is on your iPod?

A little bit of everything. I tend to be a fan of girl voices. Nothing against my guys. A lot of Natalie Grant and Britt Nicole. Also artists like TobyMac and more pop-leaning groups. I just love artists like that.

What’s a day off like for you?

Honestly, I wish it was something exciting. It involves my bed and my DVR. On a day off, that’s typically where you can find me.

Do you have a favorite CD so far that you’ve done?

I hope that most artists say that their last one is their favorite. That certainly is mine. All of my albums have been a reflection of what God has been doing in my life. My last album, “Overcomer,” is definitely; it’s where I am right now.

What do you enjoy most about being a music artist?

I think it’s hearing from the people that my music has had an impact on. It is hearing the stories of difficult times that people have gone through, and then the right song comes on the right station and just at the right moment. It’s knowing that God is using me to encourage and uplift people.


REFRESHED | June 2014

Do you enjoy touring?

If you would have asked me several months ago, my answer would be different. I just got off of a long, long period of touring, and I am exhausted. Probably my answer right now is I would not mind being off the road for a little bit. Once I’m off the road for a little bit, I’m twiddling my thumbs and going, “I need to get out there again.” Honestly, if I could like transport myself to each location and skip like the busses and the planes and all of the in-between stuff — if I could just transport myself to being on the stage, I would probably enjoy it a whole lot more.

If you weren’t a Christian recording artist, what would you be?

I think I would be speaking, only because in the last year or so, I’ve felt that call. As soon as I said “OK, God,” I started getting a lot of people asking me to do it. I think just recently I’ve come to understand that God communicates in a lot of different ways, and your music is one of those ways, but it’s not the only way. I think there’s going to be a combination of both speaking and singing a lot more in my future.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Right now it’s probably 1 John 4:4: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Mandisa is one of the featured performers at the Joyful Noise Family Fest on June 6 and 7 at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Joyful Noise is sponsored by 98.5 KTIS.


Joyful Noise Family Fest Friday, June 6 | Saturday, June 7 National Sports Center, Blaine Tenth Avenue North, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, Steve Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Lincoln Brewster and more TICKETS: Christian recording artist. Mandisa heard Randy Jackson, a judge at the time on America Idol, tell the season’s top two competitors that they should do the music that comes most naturally for them. “That’s when I realized the music that I wanted to do was about Jesus,” she said. “I wouldn’t say that that was a backup plan, necessarily. It’s just my desires changed, and my goals changed. That was just a matter of the Lord putting that on my heart. I feel like He gave me the talent, but as I grew [in] Him, that’s when I realized I wanted to use that talent for Him.”

Popularity and CDs

Since her time on American Idol ended in 2006, Mandisa has released four CDs and won two Grammy Awards. She admits that she is unique in the Christian music scene because of the music she performs. “When you look at like Contemporary Christian Music, I’m a little bit different than a lot of the other artists in CCM,” she said. “But I will say there are a lot of people who have kind of paved the way for the kind of music that I do, like when I look at Anointed or Cece Winans to an extent, or really like Nicole C. Mullen.” Even though her music, which has a R&B flair to it, isn’t yet widely played in all CCM markets, she believes things are

changing. “I’m seeing CCM radio be a little bit more open to different types of music, more variety in that,” she said. “I feel like the doors are opening for more artists like that. I’m very, very thankful.” Mandisa’s most recent CD is titled “Overcomer.” When she was putting it together, she noticed that a lot of the songs had the theme of fighting and warfare and “recognizing that in the body of Christ, we’re in a battle and that the weapons we fight with are not swords and guns, but prayer and the Word of God and worship,” she said. The title track “Overcomer” was inspired by Mandisa’s friend, Kisha, who is battling cancer. “My friend Kisha, who inspired the song, she’s not going to be an overcomer when she’s cancer free,” Mandisa said. “She’s an overcomer right now because, one, based on what the Word of God says, especially in First John, an overcomer is somebody that has Jesus living in their heart. But it’s also somebody who chooses to fight every single day.” The theme of overcoming has struck a chord with many around the country. Mandisa was recently sent a video from a public school in Arkansas where the students were using the song in an effort to uplift a teacher who is fighting cancer. “Just seeing all those kids, hundreds and hundreds of kids, coming together to encourage somebody who is fighting cancer … I was crying looking at it, because that’s really what it’s about,” she said. “I can just imagine that that teacher looking at that video and being remind-

ed of who she is because of what Jesus has done.” The video, she said, is a reminder that what she does is more than just about the accolades or the number of CDs sold. “It’s encouraging people, and it’s giving them hope,” she said.


Over the years, Mandisa has been trying to streamline what she feels called to do. While singing and performing are integral to her career, she also feels led to help people in other ways, as well. “I really feel like my main calling is encouragement,” she said. “I think I’m understanding how spiritual gifts come into play. When I look at most of my songs, they have a ‘You’re going to be OK, stay in there, God is with you’ kind of a message to it. I didn’t necessarily set out for that. When I look back at those songs, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. “When I hear from people who are going through difficult things, encouragement is a big need in the body of Christ. I think when people walk away from me, I definitely want them walking away knowing they need to stay in the fight to the final round, and that they’re going to make it. Don’t quit, don’t give in. You’re an overcomer.” Mandisa is certainly an overcomer in her own life. Not giving in to the pull and draw of a music career that would possibly compromise her values, Mandisa has paved her own way in music, a path now available for many others to follow. ■ Learn more at June 2014 | REFRESHED


… d a e R Indeed!

Young girl establishes literacy project by SCOTT NOBLE


hen Maria Keller was 8 years old, she had a vision to make the world a better place. How might she do this? One book at a time, was her response. As a young book lover, she had asked her mother an innocent question: Why don’t other kids love books as much as I do? Her mom, Maura, replied that some kids just don’t enjoy reading as much. Others, her mom continued, just don’t have books. “That shocked me as an 8-year-old,” Maria, now 13, recalled, “and I wanted to do something about it.” So she did. Maria, with the help of her parents, started Read Indeed, a nonprofit literacy organization whose goal is to place books in the hands of children around the world. “We started by having a small book drive in my church,” Maria said. “We eventually collected about 5,000 or 6,000 books. Then we donated those to St. Joseph’s Home for Children.” Her vision to make the world a better place was inaugurated. Maria didn’t just want to start a nonprofit dedicated to reading. The entrepreneurial 8-year-old set a lofty goal for her efforts: to collect and distribute one million books by the time she turned 18. To date, the organization has distributed


REFRESHED | June 2014

nearly 1.1 million books, five years ahead of schedule. The distributed books have an estimated value of more than four million dollars. Read Indeed books have found their way to 35 states around the country and to more than a dozen countries around the world. Providing books to children is more than just a hobby for Maria; giving books to children who would not otherwise have access to them can have significant, long-term effects on their lives. According to the children’s literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), two-thirds of children who live in poverty in the U.S. do not have books in the home. In addition, RIF notes that many public and school libraries are under stress to close or reduce their operating hours due to budget constraints. Having access to books and possessing the ability to read play important roles in children’s development, thus helping to set the foundation for success as an adult.

Distribution network

Read Indeed collects gently used and new children’s books from individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, schools and any other group willing to provide the gift of reading to children around the world. “We have a warehouse in Hopkins

To date, Maria Keller and Read Indeed have distributed nearly 1.1 million children’s books around the world.

As a young book lover, Maria Keller was shocked when she learned that some kids don’t have access to books. June 2014 | REFRESHED


where we sort and count the books,” Maria said. “Then I will box them up and from there have organizations come in and ship the books out.” A typical shipment might include an organization that contacted Read Indeed with a request for books. Once the books are collected, Read Indeed volunteers ship them from the warehouse or schedule a pick-up time if the group is local. Maria is quick to point out all the help she has received over the years from classmates and friends. “They helped out a ton,” she said. “We actually have a youth advisory council for Read Indeed. They help generate ideas and new ideas and programs for Read Indeed and that’s awesome.” Even after five years, the number of volunteers continues to amaze her mother. “It has been astounding how many people continually help at the warehouse, host book drives, send her books from all across the country and send her emails of encouragement,” Maura said. “I love seeing how many children and teens come and participate in sorting events. They really get into helping because it is a fun experience to be surrounded by thousands of books. The young kids/ teens are typically our hardest workers.” Maria has also heard from those who have received the books. Mary Jo Copeland of Sharing and Caring Hands said on the Read Indeed website: “I just wanted to say thank you for giving books to God’s poor of poor children! I know God is using you in a very special way to bring His love to this broken world. You truly bring light to many dark worlds. God will always bless you.” Claire McGlynn, an author, wrote via the website: “I am sending you a thank you note to thank you on behalf of all


REFRESHED | June 2014

the children who are receiving Read Indeed books. Your gigantic book drive has already helped so many kids. You are a kind, thoughtful girl who is a leader. Thank you again for being so thoughtful of other kids who don’t have any books.”

Give as Jesus

From the beginning, Maria has been inspired by the example of Jesus in helping others. During the five years of Read Indeed, her mother has noticed how much Maria’s faith has grown. “She has become very confident in her goals and her vision, and she often tells people that she believes God continually works ‘behind the scenes’ to make things happen,” Maura said. “Read Indeed is solely funded by individual donations so when Maria needs to ship out books to locations near and far, she relies on the adage ‘If God wants this to happen, it will happen’ and then she will receive donations to help offset the cost of shipping the books.” As with any business, Read Indeed faces challenges and obstacles. Two in particular are the most common: raising the funds to ship the books and receiving an adequate supply of new books, since institutions like hospitals will accept only new books. “So for us, new books are kind of like gold,” Maria said. “We always need more new books. Used books are awesome, but new books are even better just because it’s better to give the kids new books even if they don’t need them. I think it makes them feel better about getting them new books instead of used books.”

Business acumen

Starting and running a business is certainly challenging for someone so young, but it has also helped prepare

Maria for life after high school. “It’s definitely going to help me because I have a lot of experience already,” she said. “It’s such a big learning curve for me right now. I have learned so much about the nonprofit and doing all this sort of stuff.” Her mother is encouraged by how much of the business she is learning— not just distributing books but the more intricate details of running a complex organization. “She is learning how many layers encompass a nonprofit business,” Maura said. “She has learned how collecting and distributing books is one facet of the organization—the main facet—but she has learned all the other elements that go into running a growing organization. She leads her youth advisory board, and she leads the adult board of directors’ meetings as well.” Despite being so young, Maria encourages other kids to grab hold of big dreams and see where they will take them. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can really still make an impact on the world and do great things for other people, even if you’re extremely young,” Maria said. “Even if you’re a kid, you can still do a ton of stuff and really help people all around the world—to make a difference.” Even though she has already reached her goal of distributing one million books, Maria is not done. Her new goal is to distribute children’s books to every state in the union and every country in the world. Does she think it will happen by the time she turns 18? Probably not, but she is committed to fulfilling that goal as long as it takes. There’s little doubt she’ll reach it. ■ Learn more at

Called to

SERVE Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom follows circuitous path to law enforcement by SCOTT NOBLE


hen Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom was a freshman in high school looking at potential career opportunities, he came home one night and asked his father a question. It seemed a rather innocuous question at the time, but one that ultimately would play a significant role in the future and career of the young man. “Hey Dad,” Bostrom said, prepping his dad for the occupational question. “Maybe I should become a cop.” Bostrom’s father, a police officer, looked at his son and said, “Matt, there are so many other jobs out there.” And just as quickly as the issue arose, it died. Bostrom and his father never talked about it again until college, when career choices become more imminent.

Growing up on the East Side

The Bostroms grew up on the venerable East Side of St. Paul, an area known for its rich history and hard-working residents. “I grew up near Lake Phalen,” Bostrom recalled. “The first seven years of my life were right off the corner of Geranium and Payne Avenue. My parents moved a couple of times, but they were all on the East Side. Ultimately over by Birmingham and Ivy, by Prosperity Heights School, is what I would call my childhood home—fifth and sixth grade there. Then I went to Hazel Park, and then I graduated from Johnson [High School].” The East Side is also where Bostrom met his wife, Cheryl. As band students growing up, they spent a lot of time together, eventually marrying and recently celebrating

their 32nd wedding anniversary. Even though Bostrom might not have realized his career prospects when he asked his father in high school, he would soon discover a career in law enforcement—much like his father and uncle— was in store for him as well.

Testing for community service

Bostrom initially took his father’s advice and stopped thinking about law enforcement as an occupational track. He had a certain aptitude for mathematics, so he attended the University of Minnesota after high school to study engineering. He completed a couple of internships at 3M and felt as if this was work he could do, “but it didn’t feel like it was where I was supposed to be,” he said. At 19, he began to explore the idea of June 2014 | REFRESHED


getting a degree in finance. The field still involved mathematics to some extent, and Bostrom hoped this would be where he would find a career home. “I was going to transfer to [the University of] Northwestern – [St. Paul],” he said. “About that time when I was transferring schools, my dad slid a civil service test in front of me, saying, ‘It never hurts to have some experience. Take the civil service test.’” The test was specifically a community service officer test. “You didn’t have to be a police officer, and so he said, ‘This would be a good way to work your way through college if you got a job like this,’” Bostrom recalled his dad saying. “‘But nonetheless, good experience.’” After taking the test, to Bostrom’s surprise he got hired. He ended up working with quite a few police officers in the communications center and enjoyed the work. Bostrom also discovered at the time that there was one more police test that was still open. “It was open to anybody that had a clean record and a high school diploma,” he said. So he took it, later discovering that 2,100 people had registered for the test. “I was so naïve that I didn’t realize that when I was being called back for the physical, called back for the psychological, called back for the oral test, that not everybody was doing that,” he said. He was walking through the process and not really asking his dad for advice along the way. He was moving through a potentially life-changing process but not giving much thought, at the time, to what it might ultimately mean. “In the end, nearly a year after I took that test, they decided to hire 24 people,” Bostrom recalled. “I was number 21 on that list. I thought, ‘All right, I’ll do this


REFRESHED | June 2014

Matt and Cheryl Bostrom have been married for 32 years. for five years and finish up my degree, and my wife and I will get on with our lives.’” Finally, after bouncing around for a few years wondering where he fit, Bostrom knew he had found a home. It was the early 1980s. “The Lord took it from there,” he said. “When 2,100 people sign up and ultimately they hire 24, sometimes when you wonder where you’re supposed to be, that takes the mystery out of it. I knew where I was supposed to be. Didn’t know for how long. I thought it was temporary.” Temporary in this case meant more than 30 years.

The early years

In those early years on the St. Paul police force, everyone worked patrol,

Bostrom recalled. “First year, I worked just about every part of the city,” he said. “Made it through field training and then ultimately my assignment came, and lo and behold, I was on the East Side working the midnight shift. “The way the shifts worked, the newest guys typically ended up on the midnight shift. The people kind of midcareer were on the afternoon shift. The folks that had a longer time on their careers—the senior folks—were on days. You knew when you finished the academy and after your field training, you’d end up being assigned to a midnight shift. So I was.” Bostrom and his partner also worked what was then called the “emergency car.” It was a carryover from when the city used to do medic runs.

“We didn’t do the medic runs; the fire department had taken that over,” he recalled. “What that meant was that we had all the camera, crime scene, the finger printing tools, crime scene processing; we had some extra skills. So on any major crime, we were kind of the bridge between the crime lab, not calling out the crime lab. So on anything but a homicide, we pretty much did all of it.” Through those early years as a police officer, Bostrom got to know the city well, working the Midway and Highland areas, as well as the East Side.

DARE to change

In 1989, after serving with the St. Paul Police Department for seven years, Bostrom was recruited to participate in the newly developed DARE program, which encouraged and educated kids to make important life decisions. Bostrom speaks highly of his four

years on the campaign, saying it made a huge difference in his life and was one of the most rewarding jobs of his career. The time he spent in front of kids in a classroom helped Bostrom see the hope in their lives, a hope that tomorrow could be better than today. He didn’t realize until he got into the classroom that he had begun to develop a less-than-optimistic view of the future. “But when I saw these kids …. That fire hadn’t gone out, but the flame grew again,” he said. “It’s never changed.” Bostrom’s years with DARE also reminded him about the importance of education and his love of teaching. He eventually returned to school, earning his Bachelor’s degree at Northwestern; a Master’s degree in Education at the University of St. Thomas as well as receiving a teaching certificate; and a doctorate in Public Administration at Hamline University.

Ramsey County Sheriff

About four years ago, Bostrom said he was approached by more than 20 people at independent times and at strange places … all with the same question on their minds. “Matt, has anyone ever talked to you about running for sheriff?” At the St. Paul Police Department, Bostrom had filled several roles after his early years as a patrol officer. He had served as a sergeant, lieutenant, commander, senior commander, chief of staff, assistant chief of operations, and assistant chief of Homeland Security and Support Services. Assuming the question was based in flattery, Bostrom thanked them for asking and told them he was satisfied with his current job. But his mind slowly changed. “There came a point though with the people that were saying this …” Bostrom

Getting personal with Sheriff Bostrom What’s your favorite place to go in Minnesota?

Southeastern Mille Lacs Lake area between Isle and Malmo. That area is one of my favorite places. A lot of fond childhood memories [occurred here] and now my father more recently purchased some property up there. A lot of those memories are coming back.

What’s your favorite memory from childhood?

The summer trips. Beginning at 10 years old—fifth grade— my dad bought a travel trailer and a pickup truck. [We would] hook that up, and we would go for two weeks, me and my brothers, Mom and Dad. He would just pick a spot. It could be Yellowstone and you’d see everything on the way to Yellowstone that you could, take a slightly different [way] back and see everything. We went to the East Coast. We went to California. Those were tremendously fond memories.

What’s your favorite food or dessert?

I really like a good steak. I don’t do it very often. For a fa-

vorite dessert — I don’t do this very often either — but a real, you know, baked strawberry cheesecake or cheesecake with strawberries. That, I enjoy thoroughly with a strong cup of coffee. I never developed a chocolate thing.

If you weren’t the sheriff or in law enforcement, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be teaching somewhere. Maybe I’d be teaching and coaching in a public school setting. I’m part of the leadership team at our church, so I do a little bit of that. I would suspect I’d still be part of whatever I’ve been called to use my gifts at my church: Cross Cultural Evangelical Free Church.

Where would you live if you didn’t live in Minnesota?

I’ve had the blessing to visit a few places that I really like visiting. I think I could get along quite comfortably in Kauai. People say I might get island-itis or whatever it is; I’d like to try. I would like to try that and see if that really happens.

June 2014 | REFRESHED


recalled. “They were from different political parties. Many of them were public servants, not politicians. Several of them … I had enough respect for [them] I thought, ‘It’s not fair for me to be flippant. I really do need to give this due consideration.’” Over time, Bostrom said it became clear that “I should at least make myself available for that, so I did.” He was a newcomer to politics, not having run before. “My father has run for local office— city council or school board—so I had some familiarization,” Bostrom said. “That was stuff he did. I would help him only, but I never worked on other campaigns ever. I had no interest. That’s why I’m a law enforcement officer. I like the Constitution. I like settling disputes. Allowing the environment to occur where both sides can freely weigh in and feel protected. I feel a very deep sense of purpose when I’m doing that. So getting involved in politics—taking sides—didn’t feel right to me.” But he eventually moved forward with his campaign, laying forth a vision for what he felt professional law enforcement should be.

Situational leadership

As the sheriff of Minnesota’s oldest law enforcement agency, Bostrom serves as the leader of its 400-plus staff members. While some people adopt a handson leadership style or pursue a leadership style that places authority on the shoulders of senior staff, Bostrom has discovered he feels more at ease with a situational leadership style, an approach that regularly encompasses four spheres. “Meaning, when someone is new on the job, they need their boss to be a little bit closer and more clear,” he said. “Make sure they learn the job and that


REFRESHED | June 2014

you’re frequently checking with them so that they have what they need, and [you] are available to answer questions. Two, sometimes you have to step up because you get an employee that knows how to do their job but something happened to them. They’re broken. They had a bad boss or something going on at home or whatever. Those types of folks need that encouraging boss. Inspire them to reconnect, tell them that this is some purposeful work.” The third sphere Bostrom operates in is the coaching style for those who know their stuff and who basically need to hear the play called and then they are off and running. “Then you’ve got the last ones that you really are hands off,” he said. “They’re the ones you are developing to get promoted. You give them additional responsibility and allow them to start training that next group.”

Character and faith

Through his years as a law enforcement officer and now as the Ramsey County Sheriff, Bostrom has learned that hiring people with character is the best thing a law enforcement agency can do. “These are people who have a strong core, an unwavering center, sense of purpose,” he said. “Two, they care about other people. My task is to find men and women that have those characteristics, because I think I have a better chance of training them to have a skill set so

that when they leave our training academy and they’re working, people should see a Ramsey County deputy as someone that is of the highest character and the highest skill set.” As he spends more time on the job and grows in his faith, Bostrom believes he is quicker to see God working in his life. “For instance, if I’m frustrated with you or I’m frustrated with some other practice, policy or person, the Lord catches me faster and faster, saying, ‘What’s our relationship like?’” Bostrom said. “So back to the greatest commandment, am I loving the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength? As I do that, I am equipped then to better deal with those other issues that have to do with loving my brother. “Each day, that becomes … when I feel myself getting frustrated with something, especially somebody, that really is telling, saying, ‘Did you spend adequate time quiet this morning?’ That becomes focus number one. And with age, I’d love to say I’ve perfected that, but I move back to understanding that faster and faster now.”

Next call

With an election coming up in a few months, Bostrom is still relying on going where he feels God directs him. “The Lord didn’t guarantee I’d be elected,” Bostrom said. “He said, ‘I need you to do this.’ There might be other things I might be interested [in], or perhaps there’s another place I could contribute. But I haven’t been called to those places. Any time in life, what I’ve found is [what] that means in that quietness, He still has work for me here. I’m not going to worry about really … there’s an election in the fall, so He might make it clear then.” ■

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June 2014 | REFRESHED


book review

Death of son causes author to explore idea of heaven with fresh eyes by SCOTT NOBLE “Between Heaven and Earth: Finding Hope, Courage and Passion Through a Fresh Vision of Heaven” By Steve Berger, ©2014, Bethany House Publishers, 187 pages, $14.99 Steve Berger and his wife, Sarah, experienced perhaps the most dreaded event any parent can imagine. Their son, Josiah, was on the cusp of beginning his freshman year of college at the University of Tennessee when he was involved in a single-car accident, which ultimately took his life. One minute Josiah and his parents were preparing for a landmark event in the life of their son; seemingly a second later, they were preparing his funeral plans. It’s something every parent fears and also something that dramatically changes the lives of the surviving parents. For Steve, senior pastor of Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, the sudden death of his son caused him to wonder more about heaven. As a pastor, Berger had no doubt studied the Scriptures about heaven, preached numerous times on it and most likely engaged in serious conversations with grieving parents about our eternal resting place. But this idea of heaven became much more personal to him after his son’s death and played a significant role in his desire to write “Between Heaven and Earth: Finding Hope, Courage and Passion Through a Fresh Vision of Heaven.” “[The book] was born really out of a desire to know what my son was experiencing in heaven,” he said. “We dove into the Scriptures one more time and probably a deeper way than times past to see what all the Scriptures said about heaven and what people are doing in heaven.


REFRESHED | June 2014

And what we can expect to do when we get there.” It’s not a book, however, about what Berger calls “cartoon theology,” the illinformed idea that many people—including some Christians—have about heaven. Ideas that include people sitting on clouds with wings on their backs while they play harps or sing old hymns. Berger believes this notion badly misses the truth. “You dive into the Scripture, and you see [heaven is] so filled with life and adventure and authority and responsibility,” he said. “Just go through the book of Revelation alone and lay prophecy aside for just a minute, and look at the activity of the saints in heaven. Look at their creativity. Look how they are creating new songs, look at how they are worshipping, look and see that they get to rule and reign with Christ, which means they have authority and responsibility and kingdom activity.” This picture is certainly not one that could be described as boring. “Between Heaven and Earth” is well written and covers numerous topics and questions people have about heaven. One chapter is devoted to what people will do in heaven, while another chapter talks about “hard-pressed living” on

this side of heaven. The remaining chapters touch on a variety of helpful and Scripture-backed topics. Throughout the book, Berger uses Scripture to help paint the picture of heaven he is creating. Even though the idea of heaven has been discussed and debated for millennia, many people struggle with the very nature of its existence, particularly those walking through the maze of illness, job loss, abuse or the death of a loved one. It’s this particular reader Berger wants to reach. “I would encourage people to understand that heaven has the final word over the followers of Jesus,” he said. “That tribulation, that trials, that death itself doesn’t even have the final word over us; heaven has the final word over us. When we realize that, all of a sudden everything here on earth finds its places underneath that. All of a sudden we realize, ‘You know what? Whatever we’re going through here on earth—it doesn’t have the final say over me. It doesn’t win. Jesus wins and heaven wins.’” For those still wrestling with the idea of heaven’s reality, Berger has a prescription. “You have to take an openhearted look into the Scriptures, because it’s the Scriptures that are going to reveal to us the beauty and majesty of heaven,” he said. “If they will give themselves to the study of Scripture, the Holy Spirit will then come alongside them and reveal to them the deep things of God. They’ll have an encounter with heaven if they approach it with an open, honest heart.” Learn more at www.bakerpublishing or visit a local LifeWay store.

June 2014 | REFRESHED



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June 2014 | REFRESHED



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1. Pick up a free copy at one of 700 locations in Twin Cities metro, including all LifeWay Christian 6WRUHV/RRNIRULWDW\RXUFKXUFKRUˉQGDOLVWRI retail locations on our website. 2. Read a digital copy. Download a PDF to your desktop computer, laptop or notebook — or VLPSO\YLHZLWRQOLQHWKURXJKRXUGLJLWDOˊLSERRN 3. Order a mail subscription for convenient delivery to your mailbox each month. One sure way to never miss an issue. 4. Drink a glass of ice cold orange juice.

Visit to learn more about all these options. Well, all but #4. Go to the grocery store for that.

June 2014 | REFRESHED


outtakes Veteran actor Jim Caviezel stars as Coach Bob Ladouceur in Tristar Pictures’ “When the Game Stands Tall.”

Standing tall: Life gets gritty on and off the field

Life and loss, victory and defeat take the field—and streets—Aug. 22 with the Tristar Pictures and Affirm Films release “When the Game Stands Tall.” Starring Jim Caviezel “(Passion of the Christ,” “Person of Interest”), Michael Chiklis (The Shield, The Commish), Alexander Ludwig (“The Hunger Games,” “Lone Survivor”) and Laura Dern (“Jurassic Park,” “Little Fockers”), the inspirational film is based on the true story of De La Salle High School’s storied Spartans football team, and its 151 consecutive victories spanning 12 years. Although football anchors the story, the movie centers on far more than the Concord, California team’s winning streak—an unprecedented feat. The National Football League’s longest winning streak, for instance, is 21 games, held by the New England Patriots, and 47 games at the collegiate level, owned by the Oklahoma Sooners. The screenplay, based on the Neil Hayes book, was crafted by Scott Marshall Smith and David Zelon and focuses on Caviezel’s Bob Ladouceur, who coaches his team on not only how to play the game, but also how to succeed off of the gridiron. The movie will also be supported with a variety of resources that can be used for group studies. Group sales are being handled through Sony and can be made by call 1-877-488-4258.

‘Ben Hur’

Entertainment titans Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who in recent months have made headlines with the release of “The Bible” and “Son of God,” will coproduce a remake of the classic “BenHur,” set to release in February 2016.


REFRESHED | June 2014

The power couple is teaming up with Metro-GoldwynMayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Burnett joins producers Sean Daniel (The Mummy Franchise) and Joni Levin (The Way Back), while Downey joins as an executive producer. “We are thrilled to have Mark and Roma join the production team to bring such an indelible classic story to the big screen,” said Gary Barber, MGM’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Their unrivaled passion, creativity and success in the faith-based content space, will be a huge asset to the film and we look forward to working together.” MGM and Paramount are currently partnered on the upcoming “Hercules,” releasing July 25. Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) will direct the film. The screenplay, originally written by Keith Clarke (“The Way Back”), with revisions by Academy Award-winner John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”), is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 epic novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” Downey (“The Bible”) and John Ridley will serve as executive producers along with Keith Clarke and Jason F. Brown. The film returns to the heart of Lew Wallace’s epic novel focusing on the nature of faith. The story follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness. The couple also announced they are producing “A.D.,” a new drama series for NBC, and “The Dovekeepers,” a fourhour miniseries on the story of Masada for CBS. Both will air next year.

Films to go

The home video market has several films releasing now.

‘The Redemption of Henry Myers’

After robbing a bank, hard-living frontiersman Henry Myers turns on his fellow thieves by fleeing with the take in

this Echolight Studio picture. But they’re hot on his trail and shoot him. Left PHOTO COURTESY OF TRISTAR PICTURES for dead, he’s cared for by a widow (Erin Bethea) and her children. Thriving under the care of the family, Myers must decide which road he will take—redemption or revenge. Releases June 10.

‘Seven Deadly Words’

The BMG film, inspired by actual events, follows Pastor Evan Bennett who arrives at a Connersville, Indiana church which has no money and is out of touch with the community. As Bennett works to restore the budget and relationships, and begins to challenge several of the congregation’s sacred traditions, some of the faithful fire back, “We’ve never done it that way before.” The results are surprising and inspirational. Releases June 3.

‘On the Edge’

BMG tackles the broader questions of spirituality as college student Vince, reflecting on his own faith journey that began on a skiing trip to Lake Tahoe, bets his college roommate that he can prove that God exists by taking him on a camping trip with a few friends from church. Taking adventure of the great outdoors, the group tackles the tough questions of life as they hike in the mountains and swap stories around the camp fire. Produced and directed by Rick Garside, “On the Edge” was filmed on location at the spectacular Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Featuring the music of BarlowGirl, Bob Carlisle, Debby Boone, and Benny Hester. Releases June 3.

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Gospel hall of fame inducts four new legends The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame has expanded its elite roster by adding a producer, an a cappella sextet, a celebrity gospel band and a late contemporary artist during its April 29 ceremony. The newest members, Brown Bannister, Take 5, Gaither Vocal Band and Rich Mullins, inducted posthumously, were honored in Nashville on April 29. Bannister, an audio engineer, producer and songwriter, has won 15 Grammy Awards, 20plus Dove Awards and been named Producer of the Year five times by the Gospel Music Association. He has produced award-winning albums for Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, MercyMe, Avalon, Point of Grace, CeCe Winans and Twila Paris. Take 6, an American a cappella gospel music sextet formed in 1980 on an Alabama college campus, has received 12 Grammy Awards and five Dove Awards, as well as a Soul Train award. They were named Vocal Group of the Year by Black Radio Exclusive as well as Best Jazz Vocal Group for four consecutive years in a Downbeat Readers poll. The band’s contemporary style integrates R&B and jazz influences into its devotional songs, with a swinging, harmony-rich sound. The Gaither Vocal Band, launched after an impromptu backstage singing session in the early 1980s, has wowed

audiences with its pinpoint harmonies even as its artists have changed over the years. Launched as a contemporary Christian band, the group now specializes in Southern gospel. Bill Gaither, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1983 and as part of the Bill Gaither Trio in 1999, has anchored the band; its past and present membership reads like a “Who’s Who” list of the gospel music industry’s best-loved voices. In addition to Gaither, the current band, reconfigured after the departure of Mark Lowry and Michael English late last year, includes Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles. The Gaither Vocal Band Homecoming Tours have drawn more than 1.1 million guests over the years, and the group has produced nearly 30 albums. Most of their DVDs and CDs have gone gold or platinum, with total unit sales estimated at 100 million volumes. Mullins, who was killed at the age of 41 in a September 1997 car crash, was a well-respected singer and songwriter who penned the classic praise chorus “Awesome God.” His songs have been performed by Caedmon’s Call, Five Iron Frenzy, Amy Grant, Carolyn Arends, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, John Tesh, Chris Rice, Rebecca St. James, Hillsong United and Third Day. The Gospel Music Association launched its Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1971 to recognize significant contributions by individuals and groups in the genre of gospel music. Among its previous inductees are Gloria Gaither, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash, Shirley Caesar, James Blackwood, Andrae Crouch, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Aretha Franklin, Larry Norman, Dolly Parton, Al Green, Elvis Presley, George Beverly Shea, Amy Grant, Keith Green and Ricky Skaggs. Band inductees include the Black-

wood Brothers, DeGarmo & Key, The Hoppers, Imperials, Kingsmen, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Oak Ridge Boys, Petra and the Statler Brothers.

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June 2014 | REFRESHED



Inside a Christian artist’s studio by SUSAN OLASKY Anne Nelson’s studio in New Orleans’ 8th Ward has 12- or 14-foot ceilings and

plenty of light. It’s small—about 15 by 15 feet, and cluttered with canvases. Paint-

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ings and sketches hang on the walls. She is looking at two abstract canvases hanging side-by-side. Each painting is about 3 feet tall and 3 1/2 feet wide. Nelson is trying to explain what comes next. She points at the left-hand painting. “Is this one finished?” she asks. “Probably not. Two days ago, I put a lot of black outlines around this mass. I want to bring blue and gray on top to make the surface. A couple of marks that keep it from being finished.” Making abstract art is a conversational process, she says. “What I love about it—I don’t have complete control over it. I’m going to make marks that I didn’t anticipate. I’ll have to react to that. Fun and interesting to do,” she says. Nelson studied art at Bethel University, near her home in Minneapolis. She began painting representationally—often landscapes. But that began to change as she struggled to make sense of some of her life experiences. After graduating from Bethel in2009, Nelson moved to New Orleans to be Artist-in-Residence at St. Roch Community Church, a member of the Presbyterian Church in America. During her nine months in that position, she made many paintings. She applied to the Master of Fine Arts program at Tulane University, was accepted, and graduated in May 2013. Since then, she’s been a member of the Staple Goods Collective, where she has her studio—and where she is puzzling over the two canvases. Nelson said the forms on the canvases aren’t symbols for anything, but they are connected in some way to faith. She rarely paints Christian subjects, but her faith is part of who she is and what she values. The two paintings she’s working on are her first attempts to deal with her faith directly. “That’s really the first time I’ve deliberately dealt with my faith life as being

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June 21-22 | Aug 9-10 | Oct 4-5 | Dec 6-7 subject matter,� Nelson says. “It’s slightly terrifying.� There’s a small gallery at the front of Staple Goods. Nelson has shown her art there and curated shows for other artists. She says trying to make a living as an artist is difficult. She teaches at Tulane, works for Habitat for Humanity, and sells paintings. “For a couple of years, I was only living off of sales and my grad stipend,� she said. “And then the grad stipend ended, and I went back to work in the real world over the summer just for a few months. But you’re just basically constantly pulling together a variety of ways to fund life.� She said she loves teaching and hopes to keep doing it. It offers stability and helps her afford art supplies. Canvas is $300 a roll, but it can last 18 months, depending on how much she buys. Paint is $45 a tube. But her biggest expenses are two rents, one for an apartment and the other for her studio. Still, despite all the juggling, Nelson can’t imagine not painting. “It’s just part of how I think,� she said. “I’m going to respond to something visually. I’m going to be looking at art. It gets really stressful to be constantly tracking down the next job and the next grant and the next residency and the next show. But even if I were to burn out on that for a while, I would still be making stuff in the meantime.�

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Susan Olasky writes for World News Service. June 2014 | REFRESHED


events calendar THRU JUN 24

Richfield • (612) 961-8812

Reformation (not revival) Meetings with Vishal Mangalwadi speaking “Why Christianity Lost America – How to Return America to Greatness,” 7pm, Tuesdays. Redeemer Lutheran Church, 61 Mississippi Way NE, Fridley •


JUN 3 • TUESDAY The Watoto Children’s Choir, choir from Africa, in concert. Celebration Lutheran Church, Sartell • watoto. com/the-choir/see-the-choir

JUN 4 • WEDNESDAY The Watoto Children’s Choir, choir from Africa, in concert. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Perham • watoto. com/the-choir/see-the-choir

Joyful Noise Family Fest, National Sports Center, Blaine. Featuring Tenth Avenue North, Audio Adrenaline, Hawk Nelson, MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Lincoln Brewster. Presented by 98.5 KTIS •

JUN 9 • FRIDAY The Single Parent Christian Fellowship monthly social, 6:30pm. Veterans Memorial Park, Richfield. Potluck meal, volleyball & more games • (612) 866-8970, (9651) 649-4525

camp designed for high schoolers 9th-12th grade. $75 • (651) 6386149,

West Highway 96, Arden Hills. Various rates. By Int’l Healing & Restoration Ministries • (763) 5447700,



Christian Songwriters Workshop, 2pm. Frontier Fellowship, 1139 Payne Ave., St. Paul. By MN Association of Christian Songwriters •

Minnesota Country Gospel Opry, 7pm. Crowne Pointe Church, Richfield • (612) 961-8812

JUN 15-JUL 13 The Oakridge Gallery of Gospel Art, “It Was Good” – Seven Days of Creation exhibit, Oakridge Community Church, 610 County Road 5, Stillwater •

JUN 10-13 • TUE-FRI


The Watoto Children’s Choir, choir from Africa, in concert. Trinity Lutheran Church, Pelican Rapids •

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities Annual Summer Institute in Spirituality and the Arts with Lynette La Rue, Nicole Smith, Tom Witt & Emily Jarrett Hughes. 3000 5th St. NW, New Brighton • (651) 255-6138,

Twin Cities Creation Science Assoc., “Why is Creation Important in Evangelism” with Brian Young speaking, University of Northwestern, 3003 North Snelling, Roseville, Nazareth Hall •


JUN 13-15 • FRI-SUN

Minnesota Country Gospel Opry, 7pm. Crowne Pointe Church,

Bethel University hosts the #MyMediaCamp event. Journalism

Walk & Run for Life to support New Life Family Services, 8:30am. Lake Nokomis • (612) 866-7643,



JUN 21-22 • SAT-SUN Marriage Encounter. Mount Olivet Conference Center, Farmington • (651) 454-3238,

JUN 27 • FRIDAY Christian Singles Event, Jesus Culture Conference , 8am, Mpls Convention Center • www.

JUN 27-28 • FRI-SAT Mission Possible, Friday 7-9pm, Worship Time/Preaching & Saturday 12noon-3pm, Teaching/ Service/Community Outreach). Amazing Grace Assembly of God, 1237 Earl St., St. Paul • (651) 4085124, (704) 493-4171

JUN 28 • SATURDAY “Woman-to-Woman” Workshop with Reverend Regin Irwin, Minister Mary Johnson, De’Vonna Pittman & Pastor Barbara Myles speaking. Dealing with aches, hurts, pains, un-forgiveness, sexual abuse, deliverance & healing, 9:30am. 8100 Knox Ave. South, Bloomington. Free-will offering, lunch available $7 • (612) 6187955, empowermentoutreach4u@

JUL 10-12 • THU-SAT “Come to the Fountain” Leadership & Healing Conference. North Heights Lutheran Church, 1700


REFRESHED | June 2014

JUL 15 • TUESDAY Twin Cities Creation Science Assoc., Illustra Media DVD “Flight,” University of Northwestern, 3003 North Snelling, Roseville, Totino Fine Arts Center, Room F2128 •

JUL 16-19 • WED-SAT Sonshine Festival, Willmar. Featuring Switchfoot, TFK, Disciple, Britt Nicole, Family Force 5, Newsboys, Kari Jobe, Jamie Grace, Colton Dixon, and many more. 5 stages, music tournament, inflatables, camping, kids activities, and much more • sonshinefestival. com

JUL 21-27 • MON-SUN Revive Twin Cities, evangelism and discipleship campaign •

JUL 25-26 • FRI-SAT Mission Possible, Friday 7-9pm, Worship Time/Preaching & Saturday 12noon-3pm, Teaching/ Service/Community Outreach). Amazing Grace Assembly of God, 1237 Earl St., St. Paul • (651) 4085124, (704) 493-4171

JUL 28-AUG 1 • MON-FRI GoFish Gotta Move Vacation Bible School (4 years – 8th grade), 9am. Berea Lutheran Church, 9308 Rich Valley Blvd., Inver Grove Heights. Free • (651) 454-1915,

AUG 1 • FRIDAY Minnesota Country Gospel Opry, 7pm. Crowne Pointe Church, Richfield • (612) 961-8812

AUG 2-3 • SAT-SUN “Restore” concert to express God’s heart for Israel & the nations with Jonathan Cahn, Paul Wilbur, Barry & Batya Segal & For His Name’s Sake, 1:30pm. Grace Church, Eden Prairie. $25-35. By Key of David International • (612) 564-9893,

EVENTS ONLINE For more events and community news, please visit www.

community news Children’s choir to make tour stops in Minnesota

TWIN CITIES — The Watoto Children’s Choir, a choir from Africa that travels to help raise awareness about orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa, will conclude its Minnesota tour with stops in central Minnesota. The choir will visit Celebration Lutheran Church in Sartell on Tuesday, June 3; St. Paul Lutheran Church in Perham on Wednesday, June 4; and Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids on Thursday, June 5. Each member of the choir has experienced the loss of at least one of their parents. The children live in Watoto Children’s Villages. “Through the choir’s Concert of Hope, we share a message of transformation by telling the story of Africa’s rescued orphans and women,” said Gary Skinner, founder of Watoto, via a media

Bethel University to host journalism camp

SAINT PAUL — Bethel University will host the #MyMediaCamp event June 13 to 15. The journalism camp is designed for high school students entering grades nine to 12. Attendees will learn from Bethel University professors and area journalists about reporting news with current media tools. The $75 fee includes food and lodging. Equipment and supplies will be provided. For additional information on #MyMediaCamp, visit journalism-camp, email johnson-center@ or call (651) 638-6149.

Group to start Christian youth leadership camp

SAINT PAUL — The Minnesota Family Institute announced last month that it’s organizing the Student Statesmanship Institute (SSI) Minnesota. The camp will be a “summer leadership youth camp, which seeks to provide spiritual challenge, biblical worldview training and practical hands-on experience in legislature, media, law, business and cam-

release. “We hope to reach out to audiences with the message of Christ’s healing power.”

For additional information about the group’s U.S. concert schedule, visit www.

paigns,” according to a media release from the group. The program will begin July 20 at Concordia University in St. Paul. “We’re very excited to announce the establishment of SSI Minnesota this summer,” said Tom Prichard, director of Cultural Initiatives for the Minnesota Family Institute, via the release. “It’s a highly successful youth leadership program, which has trained up 4,000 youth leaders in Michigan over the past 20 years. We’re excited to bring it to Minnesota.” The first year of the camp will include a legislative track, where students will learn the intricacies of legislative work. Future years will include journalist, lawyer, business owner and campaign manager tracks. For additional information, visit www. or call (612) 789-8811 x207.

will run through June 24. Mangalwadi is the author of “The Book that Made Your World” and is also founder and president of Revelation Movement. The series is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken. For additional information, email

Lecture series addresses Christianity in America

FRIDLEY — Vishal Mangalwadi, author and speaker, will present the series “Why Christianity Lost America—How to Return America to Greatness” on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley. The series

Workshop to deal with hurts, healing

BLOOMINGTON — From Death to Life, 1 Life 2 Change, Inc. and Your Woman of the Hour Outreach will present the Woman to Woman workshop on Saturday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m. in Bloomington. Special guests include the Rev. Regin Irwin, Minister Mary Johnson, De’Vonna Pittman and Pastor Barbara Myles. The event is designed to help women with “aches, hurts, pains, un-forgiveness, sexual abuse, deliverance and healing,” according to an announcement from organizers. The event will include a free-will offering, and lunch will be available for $7.00; no one will be turned away. For additional information, call (612) 618-7955. June 2014 | REFRESHED


plugged in DOUG TROUTEN

Twitter: Not the best place to think out loud Dan Haseltine didn’t mean what he said. And he didn’t say what he meant. On April 21, the front man for the Christian rock band Jars of Clay was flying home from Australia where he had taken part in a panel discussion on whether the Western church’s focus on moral behavior undermined the church’s ability to love. That, plus an in-flight screening of “12 Years a Slave,” got Haseltine thinking about how some Christians have historically misused Scripture to justify the oppression of others. And because he is a thoughtful man, he wound up wondering if he had any such blind spots in his own life and if objection to same-sex marriage could be such a blind spot. Then he started thinking out loud. On Twitter. Oops.

right and wrong are of vital importance to Christians, they have relatively little to do with our duty to our neighbors. For the Christian, the question is not, “How does God want my neighbor to behave?” The question is, “How does God want me to behave toward my neighbor?” Now, reasonable people who share a high view of Scripture may agree or disagree with that more nuanced point. It’s certainly a discussion worth having. But Twitter doesn’t really lend itself to nuanced discussion. The 140-character limit on tweets virtually guarantees a lack of context. Twitter is good for lobbing one-liners back and forth and terrible for thoughtful engagement—by design. Haseltine seems to have learned this lesson. He wrote, “Twitter is a great place to share selfies and a horrible forum for discussions and a bad place to communicate under the fog of jetlag.” Because Twitter is so current, there’s a greater tendency for users to drop their filters and tweet whatever comes to mind. There’s a “publish first, filter later” mentality. But Twitter users need to remember that their audience includes a lot of people who don’t really know them and may therefore misunderstand the intent of a tweet. Haseltine is certainly not the only person to publicly slip and fall on Twitter. One night during a scandal involving the sale of burgers containing horsemeat, British supermarket chain Tesco sent the ill-advised tweet, “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay!” And NFL commissioner Roger

Twitter is good for lobbing one-liners back and forth and terrible for thoughtful engagement… The tweet that got the most attention said, “I don’t particularly care about Scripture’s stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.” After that tweet, he said “The tsunami hit.” He apologized, saying, “Rightly so, people were shocked and offended by my statement dismissing the value of Scripture.” He admitted, “I communicated poorly” and added, “I care about what Scripture says. It matters.” Believe it or not, there’s a context within which Haseltine’s poorly worded tweet isn’t just a thoughtless dismissal of the Bible. I believe his point was that while biblical standards of


REFRESHED | June 2014

Goodell discovered just how unpopular he is during a Twitter “press conference” when the most retweeted question was, “If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book to keep you company, wouldn’t that be better for everyone?” So if Twitter isn’t a good forum for discussion, what is it for? It’s certainly being used for public relations and marketing and occasionally for realtime updates during breaking news. But it’s mostly used for nothing in particular. A study by Pear Analytics broke Twitter traffic into six categories: • Pointless babble: 40 percent • Conversational: 38 percent • Pass-along value: 9 percent • Self-promotion: 6 percent • Spam: 4 percent • News: 4 percent Reading through that list always makes me feel better about not spending more time on Twitter. Tweets help feed what sociologists call “ambient awareness.” It’s a general sense of being connected to somebody even without direct interaction. You can ignore them when you don’t have time, then check up on them when you’re ready. And in the long run, tweets can paint a surprisingly good picture of somebody—like dots in a pointillist painting. But just like those dots, it’s hard to pack a lot of meaning into a single tweet—as Haseltine discovered. Doug Trouten is chair of the Communication Department at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul.

leadership sense SAM HELGERSON

4 tips for doing life well A couple of weeks ago, I was asked what advice I would give to a young woman who was just launching into her career. Perhaps these are worth sharing here. My thoughts fall into two categories: Things I’m glad someone told me, and things I wish someone had told me.

Challenge yourself

Over the years, I’ve found that most people have no idea how much they are capable of. In light of that, make it a habit of doing things that are hard for you. Develop new skills, then pick a few of them and develop them to excellence—don’t settle for good enough. I know a handful of friends who are world leaders in their particular fields. They willingly share the secret to their success: They simply applied themselves to learning all that they could about their chosen area, using it in real life and sharing it with others. Push yourself. Learn where your strengths are (and are not), and use your energies to make a difference.

Work on your faith first

Learning to trust God is not an easy process and unless you are intentional about it, nothing will happen. Our culture soaks in a vat of technological optimism, and we can very easily replace God with confidence that science will find a way. That optimism often turns into a cheerful sort of idolatry. The problem is that faith in God is not usually forged in the good times when all is going well. It often grows best in times of adversity. Find a church. Be part of that community. Volunteer for stuff and get involved. Nothing grows faith faster than being around a like-minded group of people who can help show the way. Get to know some people outside of your own age group, and be intentional about living out your faith in every aspect of your life.

Learn from the stuff you have to put up with

The early career years are generally miserable. This is not uncommon, nor is there anything wrong with it. Usually, it feels like this: I have a lot that I could do but because I’m young, I don’t have the authority to do any of it. If you find yourself in that situation, learn from it. Pay attention to your col-

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leagues and co-workers. Who do you most want to emulate? Who do you not want to emulate? How do some people manage to get things done while others seem to do nothing? Who has the most influence on others? Be forewarned: Somewhere along the way, you will fail. You will run into trouble. You may even be fired. These experiences are not bad, but they test (and prove) our faith in God. How we handle them can refine our character. Learn constantly, and let God use your experiences to shape you. Use every circumstance either as a model or as a warning.

Be thankful

Things are rarely as we hope they will be, but you will never experience the day when everything gets back to normal. I suspect that there is no such thing as normal. It’s interesting that the psalmist wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” We don’t get to pick our circumstances, but we can be grateful for all the grace and goodness that we find in them. The early stages of your career are the building blocks for your future. Be intentional about putting down a solid foundation now, or you will have nothing to build on later. As I often say, “Prepare faithfully, and God will open the doors when you are ready.”

Sam Helgerson, PhD, is the program director for the Master’s program in Organizational Leadership and the assistant dean of Business and Leadership Programs at Bethel University. June 2014 | REFRESHED


sharp focus JASON SHARP

God doesn’t need you, but ‌ I struggle with self confidence. It’s true, and I’m really OK with letting you know. Transparency is an active part of my life; just ask anyone who works with me on a regular basis. I am one of the many people at KTIS who have taken the Strengths Finder Assessment from Gallup. One of my top five strengths is the fact that I am an Achiever. That means that I am somewhat driven and have a constant need for achievement. Every day starts at zero, and I must achieve something by the end of the day in order to feel good about myself. It’s like a daily bank account, where my balance makes all the difference in how I feel about myself. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Not only is it exhausting, it’s also depressing because, unfortunately, I don’t end each day with a large balance and that leads me to wonder why God even needs me. Do you ever feel that way? I’ve got good news! God doesn’t need you, He wants you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed

anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else� (Acts 17:24-25). My wife, Julie, and I have two children: Haley, 14, and Carson, 12. Carson, like most boys his age, is into anything that involves a ball and is always on the go. In his busyness running from one end of the neighborhood to the other to play with his friends, I’ll see him and stop him in his tracks by saying, “Hey buddy, want to play catch?� After looking at me like I am speaking German, he says, “Sure, if you want to.� Want to? It would be the highlight of my day! He’s amazed that his dad wants to hang out with him and wants to spend time with him. Oftentimes, I’m that way with God: “Sure God, I’ll spend time with you if you want to� when

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God’s invitation is to know Him in a deep and personal way. This is the God who created Pluto and Saturn and Jupiter and the sun. Light and darkness. God made the swift cheetah and the delicate butterfly. God made the evaporation system. God made the industrious beaver and the galloping mustang. God made the food chain. God made the gorgeous diamonds and rubies. God made you, and God made me. God wouldn’t even ask me for a sandwich if He were hungry. He does not need me for the minutest thing yet He stretches out His beautiful hand to me through His only begotten Son. “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!� (Psalm 8:4). So, in spite of the fact that He is everything and I am nothing, He desires relationship with me. When I have that perspective, I am not worried about achievements or bank accounts; I am just honored to be a part of what God wants me to be a part of. I hope you find encouragement today, that while God does not need you, He wants you. God wants a relationship with you, an active, vibrant relationship. Jason Sharp is station manager of 98.5 KTIS in the Twin Cities. Follow him on Twitter @ jasonrsharp.

here’s to good health WENDIE PETT

Attitude is everything Attitude … It makes a world of difference to the success in all areas of your life. Did you know that the word “pessimist” is from the Latin word “Pessimus,” which means worst? Pessimists believe that the world is bad and getting worse and that evil will triumph over good. They resign to defeat and expect the least favorable result in everything they do. They expect a bad day, failure, bad service, illness and even bad hair days. Stay clear of them for they could drag you down with their negativity and energy draining mindset. I’m reminded of something I heard author and speaker Joyce Meyer say recently, and it’s so true. She said, “Deadly ried alive … never die.” emotions buried Now that’s a powerful statement. n have you noticed How often n your current that you’re in e to the emosituation due u’ve attached tions that you’ve to it? Maybe you’ve never ut it, but I want thought about to encourage you to take ke on those notice and take th new feelings emotions with hat and actions that are positive. This will begin the shift for positive change to occur in yourr life. How so? in Well, the brain is wired with tiny neurons that connect e way you together. The are “wired” iss the way in which yourr attitude and actions will be delivered. In order e way to change the d,” you you’re “wired,”

must sever the neurons that are currently keeping you stuck and generate new wiring that only occurs by new actions and new thinking. This takes practice and persistence, but it scientifically works. This is how new habits are formed: by creating fresh, positive neurons that wire together within your brain that will offer new emotions regarding certain situations. Now, let’s move on to the word optimist. It’s from the Latin word “Optimus” and means best! Optimists believe people and events are inherently good, and the world is a positive place. They expect situations to work out for the best. They expect a parking spot, good day, a good par promotion, good health and good humor. Find Fin an opperson, and you timistic person their company. will enjoy the They are the ones that in my mind resemble a lit res match in a rroom of darkness; they beam and alb low others to t see clearly. Studies Studie prove that optimistic peoop ple live longer, happier lives. At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, a study found that 50 percent of people lower peo their risk r of dying early than th those who are negative. Optimists Optimist don’t allow situations situation and circumstances to define cumstan them, and an they tend to let life’s life “stuff” roll off their backs—like a

duck in water. They are perfectly content, happy and see the silver lining no matter what life brings their way. Because of this, the studies also tell us that happy people typically live seven years longer than their “negative nelly” friends. So, if you don’t think that your attitude matters, think again! Oh … and did you know that the mind and spirit must be in a positive, loving and peaceful place before your physical self can ever transform? It’s true. It’s pretty difficult to stay sad, angry and depressed with an authentic and genuine smile on your face. Slap a smile on your old emotions and watch your circumstances change and give new light to press forward. Start by reading and receiving this scripture, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This is one of the first steps to change your physical well being: having gratitude. Next, get that smile and body moving to release positive endorphins in the brain as another natural way to become optimistic and happy. If you’re looking for motivation to become your best, it comes from within. But it sure helps to surround yourself with optimistic people who also believe in you! And you can … just change your thoughts, and your life will follow! “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Wendie Pett is a nationally-renowned fitness expert and coach, mother, TV host, speaker, author and creator of the Visibly Fit™ exercise program. Learn more at June 2014 | REFRESHED


marriage matters COLETTE & JONATHAN STUART

Deposits and withdrawals in the logistics of life Financial management is important in marriage, but have you ever considered the idea of deposits, withdrawals and the beauty of compound interest in your relationship? Deposits are those little things we do that put currency into our relationship investment portfolio. Withdrawals come in those times when one partner has to pick up extra slack while the other depends on credit. It’s not always easy to make even little deposits. To focus on your spouse when he or she is talking to you or meet one another’s eyes while responding, instead of texting or watching the Twins game, takes intentional effort. All of us get these deposits in different ways. They might come through

Jonathan had been thinking of things to talk to Colette about all day and knew he only had a small window of time to get in the door, check in and get something to eat before taking the kids to their events. Like a ping pong game, he started pelting off questions along with bits of information that Colette “needed to know” about the kids, house, schedule, etc. If this episode is sounding a bit familiar, you can guess what Colette’s reaction was. Her initial excitement to reconnect quickly sizzled. She felt overwhelmed by the bombardment of information and frustrated with Jonathan for not taking time just to check in with her. If only we could take a do-over in those situations! If Jonathan could have come back in and given her a hug to say hello, made small talk about the trip and asked about how it had been at home, things could have been different. But those deposits hadn’t been made, so there was nothing to withdraw. With both of us under pressure and after having not seen one another for a couple of days, our marriage account was overdrawn. We often live in the tension of deposits and withdrawals in our relationship. Like any type of good investment, it takes the ability to be deliberate and deposit a little at a time. You may be realizing you are withdrawing more than you’re putting in but if two are better than one, as it says in Ecclesiastes, then having someone to invest with means you get a stronger return than if you were all by yourself. What small but significant thing can you do today to make a deposit? Here are a few conversation starters and tips

With both of us under pressure and after having not seen one another for a couple of days, our marriage account was overdrawn. setting up the date night so you can be alone together, being the one who runs that extra errand or just in that hug before you walk out the door. Your deposits might be different than they are for your spouse. Knowing and communicating what each of these look like is the first step to actually making sure you’re investing in meaningful ways. Consider the following example that recently happened with us. Jonathan came home from work to find Colette cooking dinner. It was our first time seeing each other in two days because of a business trip, and we had an extremely busy evening ahead. Two of our three kids had activities to get to, and Colette also had a meeting.


REFRESHED | June 2014

for keeping tabs on your marriage account: 1. Make a list of the top five ways you feel your partner makes deposits in your marriage. This might come through multiple ways, including verbal affirmations, time alone together, physical touch, etc. Make another top five for how you think your spouse feels deposited into by you. Compare notes and see how you did recognizing each other’s needs. 2. If you’d like to think more about your style of giving and receiving in your relationship, a great and helpful read is Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages.” 3. How do you communicate in those times when your marriage account is depleted? We can fall into either one of two unhealthy patterns: communicating disrespectfully about it or wanting to avoid the issue and completely shutting down. “The Peace Maker” by Ken Sande is a resource we’ve found that offers a great model for repairing these conflict situations. Jonathan Stuart, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. He specializes in training and mediation services. Colette Campbell, M.A., is an adjunct faculty member, speaker/consultant and coach. She offers workshops on connecting to your calling, working with differences, and workingbetter2gether.

purposeful parenting JIM JACKSON

How we spoil our kids and how to stop There’s a lot being said about spoiled kids these days. Much has been written about how kids tend to believe that they deserve to be happy, they deserve the best, and they deserve to be served. How could so many well-meaning parents and caregivers let this happen? Here’s how:

best education and the best schools they can get in to. Whatever a family’s ability to pay for things, parents tend to spend uncomfortable amounts of their funds to get their kids the best they can afford. It’s well-intended but tends to leave kids g, well,, entitled to the best. feeling,

1. “I deserve to be happy!” We protect kids from disn they forappointment. When get their lunch, we bring it to on’t get as them. When they don’t much stage time orr playing time as they want hem (or as we want them ir to), we talk to their directors or coaches. When kids are embarrassed by selling things for fundraisers, we do m. the selling for them. le When they struggle d with homework and s, we fear bad grades, ve we jump in to drive en the process. We even m. do the work for them. on’t We simply don’t uffer. want our kids to suffer. But the Bible tells us that at proit is suffering that duces character (Romans 5:3-4).

3. “I deserve to be served!” I saw three teen teens in a public restroom. They were goofing off at the sinks, splashing water and wadding and throwin throwing a barrage of paper towels. As they prepared to leave, the they looked at the mess and one o of them said, “They pay peopl people to clean up,” and hurried a away. tidie up some of I tidied an headed for the mess and cof the nearby coffee shop—to g find that same group of three behin what I prewas in line behind sumed to be the mom of one wa ordering for of them. She was turne to ask the them and turned h said “They pay same one who had wha he wanted. This people …” what fr triggered my frustration from the cur restroom. I curiously offered, “I’m co guessing he could order for himself.” h can!” she snapped “You bet he g back. “He’s going to take the sto world by storm.” And she turned comple and completed his order while an the others went her son and t over to a table to await her delivery. So we we’ve ended up with a commun of well-intended community parents who do a lot of stuff kids thinking it’s good to for kids, so Much of the advice do so. a about this is to stop doing so much stuff

est!” 2. “I deserve the best!” We parents tend to unknowingly reinforce this message. We provide the best opportunities. st activities. We choose the best lay sports, If they want to play est equipwe get them the best s, the best ment. If it’s the arts, ments. We lessons and instruments. achers, the want the best teachers,

for our kids because it produces entitled kids. We agree. But something’s missing from the discussion. More is needed. It’s not enough to stop doing certain things for your kids. We need more than stop signs. We need a new path to travel. God’s path. “We are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). If you really want kids who grow to believe that they are not the most important thing around, create daily opportunities for them to “do good works” that bless others. This is the pattern of Jesus, who did not come to be served but to serve. Help your kids know that whatever talent they have is talent given so they

…create daily opportunities for them to “do good works” that bless others. can give—so they can participate in God’s plan to bless the whole world. Start small. Start next door. Even on vacation! One parent just wrote us to say they’d practiced this idea at a famous theme park, and they found that being kind and serving even the help staff was the highlight of their trip! When parents act on a vision to orient their kids this way, those kids really do take the world by storm—in the name of Jesus! Jim Jackson is the cofounder of Connected Families, author, speaker and parent mentor. Learn more at www. June 2014 | REFRESHED


inspired living KORY KLEINSASSER

The power of grace I grew up on a farm in South Dakota, which provided all the fun and benefits of farm equipment. One particular piece of equipment was a 1978 Chevy 3/4 ton truck with a “ram bar” that protruded from the truck about six inches or so. It was intended to be used to push other equipment when it was stuck. My grandmother apparently believed it was to ram cows that weren’t walking fast enough into the barn. One other benefit of living on the farm was a 500-gallon gas tank raised about six feet off the ground. The tank had a hose and a nozzle just like you’d see at a gas station, except there was not a gas meter attached to it. In other words, the gas was free (to me, anyway). I remember vividly the day I pulled up to the tank to fill the truck with gas. When I finished, I hung the nozzle on the hook and got in the truck to head on my way. Like a good teenager with a truck on gravel, I thought it would be fun to put the truck in reverse and floor it. Instantly, rocks flew as if shot out of a shotgun. It was great fun … until I looked at the front of the truck and realized the hose was still attached to the ram bar.

what happened. Knowing that every gallon that escaped from the tank was like money down the drain, he ran to the tank, reached up and covered the hole with his hand. Gasoline was spraying

in his face as he tried to apply enough pressure to stop the deluge. He told me to call Grandpa and tell him to get a cork to plug the hole. Grandpa eventually arrived and drove a cork into the opening. I knew my dad’s hand would soon be free and, though he wasn’t big on corporal punishment, I was afraid of what was coming. I sat on the front stoop of the house and watched him move a little closer with each step. I braced for the worst. But as he came to the stoop, instead of raising his hand, he lowered his body, sat next to me and told me the story of a teenager 20 years earlier who pulled a tractor up to an elevated diesel tank. Without thinking, this teenager backed away from the tank, pulling the hose loose and leaking gallons of diesel fuel onto the ground. That teenager was my dad. It takes a great amount of humility to offer grace instead of punishment. Our

Imagine my surprise when I looked up to see gasoline spewing from the tank—gallon after gallon saturating the ground below. Imagine my surprise when I looked up to see gasoline spewing from the tank—gallon after gallon saturating the ground below. I knew my dad would know what to do, so I ran to tell him


REFRESHED | June 2014

natural reaction to events like this is typically anger and the desire to punish. There’s certainly a time when punishment is necessary but as I reflect on my dad’s reaction, I’ve come to realize that grace was much more effective. Guilt and fear might prevent me from making the same mistake but in the long run, it only leads to separation and resentment. As the image of my dad standing with his hand up and gasoline spraying into his eyes flooded my mind, my heart grew in compassion for him, because he cleaned up my mistake and didn’t take it out on me. And far from wanting to take that act for granted, it made me want to do it right the next time—not out of fear but out of love. Grace isn’t soft. It isn’t the easy way out. Grace doesn’t sweep sin under the rug or ignore the problem. While guilt and punishment drive people away from God, grace has an astonishing power to reorient people toward God and motivate obedience. This is God’s approach toward us and our sin. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that God reconciled us to himself through Christ by refusing to count our sins against us. And now we have been given the message of reconciliation. Next time you feel the urge to punish or retaliate, remember your own story— how you had a God who saw your sin, and yet chose to give you grace and let that move you to do the same for others. Kory Kleinsasser is senior pastor of Waite Park Wesleyan Church in Minneapolis.

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that’s life! JOANNE BROKAW

Happy birthday to me By the time you read this column, I’ll have reached one of life’s many mileth th stones: the 20 anniversary of my 30 birthday. Or, to be more specific, I turn 350 in dog years. I’d love to share some words of wisdom about turning 49+1, but publishing deadlines being what they are, as I sit down to write this column I’m still a few weeks shy of the actual Big Day. All I have as a prediction of the coming decade is my past experience. My 40s were significantly better than my 30s, which were much better than my 20s. Each decade has brought with it increasing wisdom and maturity, allowing me to both apologize to and forgive myself for the previous decade. If that trend continues, I’ll be eligible for membership in Mensa. Or sainthood. Since I have nothing g to offer yet on what it means to join in the Over the Hill Gang, I turned urned to my friend Lynda forr some thoughts on what to expect. xpect. Her birthday was just a few days ago, so the big g event is still fresh in her er mind. She had a week-end-long celebration that included a night out with the girls, dinner with family and a lot of pictures on Facebook showing that she’s barely rely aged since high school. When I asked her how it felt to turn 10x5, she mused about a little arthritis in her knees, along with the requisite hot flashes and slightly higher blood pressure. You know, the things people tell me that “women your age” deal with, along with resistant gray hair, memory loss, and those few extra


REFRESHED | June 2014

pounds that won’t go away no matter how much you diet or exercise. Fair warning. The next person who says “women your age” to me will find out that women my age can still give you black eye. But back to Lynda. She isn’t letting a milestone birthday get her down. She has a lot to celebrate this year. She and her husband will be married for 25 years. Their daughter turns 21 and their son starts high school. “I have a job I love, which I work part time, so low stress,” she told me by email. “Two great kids, an awesome husband, a lovable dog, a roof over our heads, living in San Diego, and just came back from the beach, where my son’s swim team was taking their team photos.” With characteristic optimism, she survived the millenniadded, “We su it’s all bonus years from um, so it’ here on out!” Maybe she’s so upbeat beMay the birthday cake sugar cause th cleared her system yet, hasn’t cl or sshe’s high on all of that California sun and surf Ca so absent here in Western er New York, where I live and write (and shovel snow in May). I s needed feedback from someone in my own climate. My friend Lisa celebrated The Big One cele last December, during a blizzard. There was a surprise party, although she didn’t feel much like celebrating. And it wasn’t just the weather. “I’m not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life,” she admitted over lunch recently. I understand what she means. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, while

people I went to high school with are retiring from jobs they’ve held for 25 or 30 years. Another friend, Mickey, has a year or two on me and Lisa, and she added this perspective: “When I do realize how old I’ll be it amazes me. I’m not where I thought I’d be but it’s been a pretty good trip to where I am.” That explains Yvonne’s thoughts, too. She said that as the years have passed, “I gained confidence. I gained experience. I gained knowledge. I gained self-esteem.” This birthday is when she bloomed. “I moved forward and I’ve never looked back.” Sounds like the key to aging is to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination. Good. That means I can throw away all of those mailers from the cemetery offering to help me preplan my funeral. Today turns into tomorrow, this year turns into the next, and life keeps happening, regardless of how many candles are on your birthday cake. While I haven’t made a big deal about my impending leap into old age, it would be nice if everyone else stopped counting. Yesterday the mailman delivered my membership application for AARP. That led to maybe the best feedback I’ve gotten so far about turning … gulp … 50: “Enjoy it,” said my Aunt Mary Ellen. “You’ll never be any younger.” Award-winning freelance writer Joanne Brokaw spends her days dreaming of things she’d like to do but probably never will— like swimming with dolphins, cleaning the attic and someday overcoming the trauma of elementary school picture day. She lives with two dogs, a cat, six chickens and one very patient husband. Learn more at

You have the passion


We’ll prepare you to lead the way.

At Bethel Seminary, we’re committed to equipping ministry leaders. But here, leadership means something more. It’s about living our beliefs and bringing theology to life. It’s about becoming thoughtful scholars and faithful servants. It’s about developing our God-given talents while gaining the biblical foundation we need to think critically, discern faithfully, and act wisely. It’s about using everything we’ve learned and everything we believe to make a real difference in our communities and our world. St. Paul | San Diego | Online June 2014 | REFRESHED


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REFRESHED | June 2014

Refreshed Twin Cities • June 2014  

Refreshed magazine—is a monthly life-style magazine that is about faith, inspiration, culture and intentional living. Subscribe to the print...

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