Treasured Relationships Newsletter; August 4, 2015
In This Issue:
- I'm Back!
- Missing Newsletters? - Tiny Mistakes Can Mess Things All Up
- Article: "What The Bible Teaches Us About Communication" (part 1)
- Treasured Relationships Update
Thoughts From Dave - I'm Back!
Many of you already know that I was badly injured in a vehicle accident on June 22nd. For others, this is new information. My injuries included 6 broken ribs, with 3 of them broken in more than 2 places; a broken scapula (shoulder blade) on my right side; a break in my pelvis near my left hip joint; and internal bleeding around my right lung. After 3 weeks in the hospital and then recovering from home, I am finally able to fully engage in my work helping committed couples build fulfilling marriages.
During my down time, I only missed one commitment and they were very understanding about me being a no-show. My wife, Laura, was able to contact everyone else; and I used my "smart phone" to reschedule appointments from my hospital bed. Since getting home, I have only worked with ongoing appointments until now. As of today, I now have blocks of available time scheduled on my calendar for potential new clients to schedule "Strategy Sessions" to get to know one another and determine what their best course of action might be.
For those of you who have been lifting Laura and I up in prayer during this time, we thank you. Your love means more to us than we can say. It sure is good to be back!
Missing Newsletters? Tiny Mistakes Can Mess Things All Up
Around the middle of June I discovered that many of you were not getting the newsletters I was sending out twice a month. It appears that the last one that actually went to everyone was on April 3rd. Since then, only new people who signed up through the www.treasuredrelationships.com website received the newsletter, and then only the next one that went out after they signed up.
Well, I got busy trying to figure out the problem, and sure enough it came down to operator error. The operator was me, and the error was a truly tiny mistake in my template that adds new contacts to my contacts list. The error was that there was an empty space in a line of computer code. When computers encounter a blank space, they interpret that as one command followed by a new command. I_had_left_out_an_underline, and instead had an empty space. And that messed things all up because it entered a blank into your email address. It even kept the new newsletters from going into my archive list!
As I worked to straighten this mess out, it dawned on me that this is a lot like things can be in a marriage. One partner fails to do something that to them seems like no big deal; but to their partner it is a big deal. Perhaps if the mistake takes place only once, it won't matter too much. But what if it becomes a pattern? That can throw everything off. One tiny _ (fill in the blank), repeated over and over, has the power to leave your partner feeling rejected, unloved, left out, taken for granted, etc.
I want you to know that all of you are important to me, and I apologize for leaving you out. I promise to make every effort to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Article: What the Bible Teaches Us About Communication (part 1)
God is the Great Communicator, and has revealed many important communication principles in the Bible. By following these, we can strengthen our relationships and learn to think and act more like our loving Creator. Here is our first lesson to consider:
Esther 7 tells of the conversation in which Queen Esther saved her people:
"So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther's banquet. And while they were drinking wine that day, the king again asked her, 'Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!'
"And so Queen Esther replied, 'If Your Majesty is pleased with me and wants to grant my request, my petition is that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had only been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would have been a matter too trivial to warrant disturbing the king.'"
"'Who would do such a thing?' King Xerxes demanded. 'Who would dare touch you?'"
"Esther replied, 'This wicked Haman is our enemy'" (Esther 7:1-6, New Living Translation).
Hamran was one of the King’s advisors, a powerful man who hated the Jews. He tricked the king into allowing him to do as he pleased with these people, not knowing that Queen Esther was born a Jew. Hamran’s intent was to have all the Jews in the country put to death on a certain date, though King Xerxes was unaware of this plot. When Queen Esther “spilled the beans” on Hamran’s scheme, the King discovered that he had been tricked and he had Hamran put to death on the selected date. You could say that Hamran’s words came back around and bit him in the butt!
Looking closely at this story from the book of Esther, we find that what we say and how we listen to others is important to God. He warns us that "death and life are in the power of the tongue" and that we must give account of "every idle word" we speak (Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 12:36).
Application: Pay careful attention to the words you speak to those you love. We have all heard the childhood saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” That may be a cute rhyme, but it is far from the truth. Some of the most hurtful things can be our words.
Listen attentively to what your spouse, children, and others close to you say. Sometimes we think we already know what someone else is thinking, so we don’t listen very well. We may even be formulating what we are going to say next in our own minds while they are speaking. Instead, try to listen with curiosity. You may be surprised at what you hear! And when it is your turn to speak, don’t say things to them that you don’t mean. Speak love into existence, even when you feel far from loving (or feel unloved yourself). There is power in your words.
Treasured Relationships Update
Progress and Plans:
Treasured Relationships continues to progress and make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, couples, and families. I have not been leading any classes in churches during the summer, which is a good thing since such a large portion of the summer has been disrupted by my injuries. I am currently looking for opportunities to assist pastors and church leaders with their ministries. My interest and calling is to help build healthy relationships anywhere that I can be used by God. So, please let your church leadership know. Please introduce us, so that we can discuss the possibilities!
This past Spring the "How to Avoid Falling For a Jerk (or Jerkette)" class you the youth group at College Acres Baptist Church in Wilmington was very well received. This program is all about learning to date smartly and follow the Biblical principles for mate selection. Then I taught a 7-week class for married couples at the same church, titled "Biblical Marriage." This was a study of what the Scriptures say about marriage; and how applying these teachings in practical ways leads to stronger marriages with greater: commitment, communication, intimacy, romance, physical connection, and solid families. I can build a program to meet the needs of a particular congregation, and will be glad to do so.
I am still working on the details for an upcoming singles class for students at UNCW, which has been tabled during their summer break. I'll give those details later.
Last but not least, I would like to enroll about 8 to 10 couples to start a group coaching program in the near future. The format will include some teaching of effective marital skills, but mostly supporting those couples in moving forward to achieve their goals. This will be fun and non-threatening for everyone, because we will follow the coaching model instead of a counseling or therapy model. But, once the group begins, it will be a closed group. New people wanting to join will have to get on a list for the next group. I could have up to 2 groups going at a time. Also, these groups can be either in-person or virtual. I have a conference line we can use for virtual meetings, which makes attending much more convenient for everyone. Attendees can attend by using their computers or their phones, easing childcare and distance concerns. If interested, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date and time not yet certain: "How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerkette)" for students at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Individual and couple coaching sessions via telephone, Skype, or conference line as preferred by the clients. Some choose to set a certain time to meet each week, while others prefer scheduling their sessions on the website.
There are plenty of openings weekly for "Strategy Sessions", which are no-charge opportunities to meet, get to know one another, and determine which possible approach might be most helpful. One purpose is to determine if counseling/therapy are needed prior to being ready for coaching; and whether an individual/couple approach or a group approach would be the most effective. In these sessions, the goal is to provide support in any way that I can, and make referrals if that is the best option. I am an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and communications are covered under pastoral confidentiality. What you share with me will never be shared with others, unless you ask me to do so (for example: to intervene on your behalf).
Please tell others about Treasured Relationships! If you know anyone who might be able to benefit from this ministry, ask them to check us out on the website. They can also schedule a free, no-obligation, 1-hour "strategy session" with me right on the website by clicking on one of my available time slots in my calendar. Then I will send them the details about how we can "meet" in real time via the telephone or internet. The days of having to drive across town for appointments are over, and we have embraced technology that makes this more effective and more convenient at the same time.
Welcome to new members of the Treasured Relationships community!
I send the Treasured Relationships newsletter to you twice each month. This is usually on the first and third Tuesday of the month. I hope you will stick with us, and that you will find the content beneficial. I also hope that you will allow us to help you as needed, and encourage others you know to get plugged in as well. I personally answer all email, so send me your questions, thoughts, concerns, suggestions, whatever. But, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time and your request will be honored.
Your contact information is never shared, period. I hate spam just as much as you do. If there is something that I think you would appreciate, I may suggest that you sign up for it and can provide the link in this newsletter.
Treasured Relationships LLC: "Helping couples relate well, build fulfilling relationships and experience marriage as God designed it to be!"