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13 Tips for a

Bedroom Makeover

focus on the family’s


Starbucks with Church


Than a Letter


Get Real about Girls $2.00


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2007 Brio Missions:

Frozen Moments in Peru 9/25/07 9:44:52 AM



by Martha Krienke



Brandon Palumbo from Ashburn, Va. What amazes you most about girls? Their deepness and the way they can think about two things at once, and guys can’t. They’re on a totally different level than guys are.

Learn more about how guys think in the book The Truth About

Guys. Author Chad Eastham reveals what every girl should



John Crist from Atlanta, Ga. How do you feel about girls calling guys? That’s definitely a no-go. I’m the kind of guy who likes to be in control of the situation. Think about the information a girl would call to ask you. If she just wants to break the ice and ask, “What are the directions to get to so-andso,” she could have gotten the information from a million other people, but she called you. You can definitely take some good information from that. But I don’t support girls calling guys at any age. f


Wales, Australia How can a girl show her guy friends she cares about them without the guy getting the wrong idea? Guys tend to take things literally, so you wouldn’t give him a note that says, “I love you.” You’d want to say, ”I enjoy knowing you. You’re a good friend, and it’s great to hang out with you.”

Danton Derksen from Newton, Manitoba, Canada How can a girl show her guy friends she cares about them without the guy getting the wrong idea? They can make me food. I love food! Or I like to make food together, too. If a girl likes you but you don’t like her back, does that make things awkward, or will you continue to be her friend? I just continue to be her friend. It’s only awkward if she tries to do something more.


Tyson Goddard, New South


Simon Tessier from Lavenir, Quebec, Canada Why did you decide to go on a Brio missions trip? It was a personal challenge for me to get out of the country and do things for God. I’m kind of a shy person, and I don’t talk much about my faith at home. So I wanted to come here and talk about it and allow this experience to affect my life back in Canada.



Rob Sykora from Skippack, Pa. What’s the best way for a girl to comfort a guy? It goes both ways. Sometimes guys want their space to simply be alone with their thoughts, but it’s also nice to have someone you know is there for you.



know. Item code: P00660B, U.S. suggested donation: $13, • november 2007

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Canadian price: $12.50 plus tax.


9/26/07 8:47:40 AM

True Love


Anyone can be nice during the dating stage of a relationship. But it’s what happens later that really matters. by Amy Steele


bb nov 07 c.indd 16 • november 2007

9/20/07 10:37:20 AM


hen you find a great guy and think he’s a keeper, you need to make him really mad once or twice and see how he reacts.” That’s one of the dating tips my mom gave me before I began officially dating at age 16. It struck me as a little unorthodox, and I never thought I’d use it. But I did. Accidentally. I thought about this bit of exhortation a great deal during high school and only had the chance to apply it in theory there. But when I went to college, the stakes of romance got higher. These guys were marriage material. Mom’s advice provided clarity in more than one instance, such as the handsome ministerial student who hit the dashboard with his hand whenever I disagreed with him. It didn’t take long before I wondered if he might substitute me for the dashboard, and we parted ways. While college was incredible, I lived for summers. Every June I headed into the muggy, buggy woods to work at a Christian youth camp. It was 11 weeks of exhausting fun. I forged deep friendships in the grueling pace. Of course, the amazing Christian guys on staff were a bonus. One in particular intrigued me. My Crush Chris was quiet and seemed happiest working behind the scenes. He had long hair and a wry sense of humor; his relationship with Christ was solid, and he loved his big family. I developed a huge crush on him. I found myself volunteering to clear brush in the tick-and-fire-ant infested woods, cleaning toilets and doing heavy • november 2007

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manual labor alongside this guy. Normally I avoided stuff like that, but it was enormous fun to work with Chris. During the next couple of years, we slowly became good friends in spite of our vastly different personalities. I was the baby of the family, while he was the oldest of four. I tended to be more exuberant and emotional, while his nature was more introspective and rational. Chris had been working his way through college bit by bit while I had been pretty sheltered. (OK, I was pretty spoiled!) We were opposites in many ways, but we both loved God and had a great time ministering to kids at camp together. Defining the Relationship We wrote weekly letters through fall, winter and spring. I still liked him a great deal, but I enjoyed our friendship the most. We grew a lot closer, but I didn’t think I registered on his romantic radar as anything more than a buddy. Then one day he called and asked me out, but I was dating someone else! We wrote more letters while I sorted through a few romance issues, and then he somehow had the insane notion to ask me out again. This time I was able to say yes. Five months after our first date, Chris asked me to marry him. We’d been praying about it separately, but I was still surprised. Joyfully, I stammered my yes, and plans were made for a Christmas wedding. In the middle of all the excitement, my mom pulled me aside one afternoon. What she said really surprised me: “He’s a great guy, and we really like him, but has he gotten mad at you yet?” I had seen Chris upset a couple of times, but he had expressed his feelings in appropriate ways—telling me how it made him

feel, not blaming me or lashing out. I assured my mom that his restrained personality didn’t hide anything malicious. Neither of us could have imagined how I would soon test that restraint. True Colors A month after our engagement, we went to visit his family during one of our college breaks. Chris and I left his parents’ house early Monday to return to our respective schools. I followed his little turquoise Saturn out of their subdivision, which had rather erratic street patterns. Every so often, a stop sign would appear, but there was no apparent logic to their placement. Chris and I had joked about it, because I had nearly run a few of those pesky stop signs while driving around the neighborhood. But that morning I was having difficulty reaching the gas and brakes because my long, lanky fiancé had been driving my car all weekend. I reached down to pull the lever releasing the seat lock and just glanced down for a moment to adjust the seat position. WHAM! The noise was tremendous. One of those roving stop signs had popped up, and Chris had stopped in front of me. I had timed my rearranging poorly. I hadn’t seen the stop sign. I had hit him without even slowing down. I stared through the intersection where the crash had sent Chris’ car hurtling before it stopped at least 50 feet away. I couldn’t see his head through the rear window. I could read my license plate number imprinted on the back of his car.


9/25/07 9:52:49 AM


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Amy Steele loves Canadian bacon pizza and lives in


My Man The whole incident quickly reached legendary status among our friends and family. My husband loves the part where his 14-year-old sister went to the crash site and gathered up pieces of broken taillights to save for a wedding present. I still remember my tactful, sweet mother-in-law kept leaving the room while we called insurance companies and car repair shops. I later learned she was having difficulty controlling her giggles and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. My parents were thankful

for Chris’ godly response and shocked that he was still willing to marry their hapless child. While it’s a hilarious story, I see the whole mess as a gift from God. We had a big issue to work through together almost immediately, and we had to decide what attitude we were going to have about lessthan-perfect situations. Marriage is full of love and affection, but trials and trouble are part of the package, too. I’m so thankful that Chris turned out to be a keeper . . . but I find it interesting that he insists on driving when we go anywhere together. m


I nodded. He simply said, “Follow me back to my house.” Chris never raised his voice. Once back at the house, I asked, “Do you still want to get married?” He had the enormous grace to laugh and assure me that he still did, indeed, want to get married. And we did.


The impact had crumpled his beloved used Saturn, bought with minimum wages saved after months of stocking shoes at Payless Shoe Source. It was his pride and joy. The driver’s seat had broken from the force of the hit, leaving Chris flat on his back, wondering what had happened. My own car was steaming from the front end, the bumper hanging off and the hood folded into a bizarre position. I began to cry. If I hadn’t killed the man I loved, I knew he was going to be furious. I wouldn’t have blamed him for yelling at me or calling the wedding off entirely. Thankful and apprehensive, I was relieved to see the driver’s door open in the metal heap in front of me. Chris got out of the car, limped toward my car and tapped on the glass. I rolled down the window. Before I could say a word, he asked me one question. “Are you OK?”

Am I the One? will help you avoid life’s biggest mistakes and find love’s greatest success. Check out this book by James R. Lucas for clues to finding and becoming a person worth marrying. Item code: P00343B, U.S. suggested donation: $13, Canadian price: $14.25 plus tax.

Bowlus, Minn. • november 2007

9/25/07 9:55:32 AM

Everyone needs to feel significant, loved and needed.

In Praise of







St. Arbucks

hances are, churches in your community are named after the apostles. You know . . . St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church or St. Paul’s Methodist Church. But there’s another place where many of your friends probably hang out on Sunday mornings. It’s called St. Arbucks. While that omnipresent coffee shop isn’t exactly a church, if we’re honest we can see qualities at Starbucks that resemble churches that are alive and growing.   The parking lot is always full. There’s a buzz of excitement. People are standing in line waiting to find a seat. The music is upbeat and current. Colorful banners on the wall celebrate the joy of the season. And there’s more.  The person behind the pulpit (even if it’s a very long pulpit with funny little nozzles) makes you feel special. And he or she doesn’t take a long time to do his job. That’s really good news! Best of all, the “thirst” you had when you entered has been satisfied by the time you leave. • november 2007

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And there’s more! As you sit with friends and drink in the exciting ambiance of Starbucks, you really do feel as though you’ve entered a safe place. A sanctuary. Just for an hour you feel protected from the frightful onslaught of peer pressure and school demands (not to mention the hostility of those who love to make life difficult). More than Just a Latte Yes, a visit to St. Arbucks is almost a spiritual experience. That’s the reason it’s such a popular activity for millions of Americans! Actually, it has little to do with coffee. It has more to do with community. We long to gather with people with similar thirsts in a place that’s brimming with life. Whether it’s at Starbucks or our local church, we all need a place to hang with those who are thirsty for more of God. We know that going it alone isn’t much fun. It also puts us in a place where we are more apt to doubt what we know to be true.

by Greg Asimakoupoulos

One of the letters included in the New Testament is written to the first century Jewish Christians. It’s called Hebrews. Although we don’t know the name of the person who wrote the letter, we do know what he was up to. The writer of Hebrews was attempting to encourage followers of Jesus with suggestions on how to stay strong spiritually and stand up against those who put down their faith. One of the suggestions he makes is making Christian fellowship a priority. In the 10th chapter he writes, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25). Now there’s high-caffeinated advice! If followed, it will help us stay alert to life and our need of coffee-dates with friends that build us up at St. Arbucks or St. Luke’s. m

Greg Asimakoupoulos pastors in Mercer Island, Wash., and has been married for 25 years. He loves Scrabble and writes poetry in his spare time. 19

9/25/07 9:59:05 AM

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Bedroom Makeover 2007 Brio Missions: Starbucks Comparing about Girls with Church Tips for a bb nov 07 FINAL.indd 1 9/25/07 9:44:52 AM NOVEMB...

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