Here is the latest edition of the newsletter from Treasured Relationships. I hope you will find it helpful.
Treasured Relationships Newsletter, October 8, 2015
In This Issue:
- Valentines Day Special (in October for a reason)
- Thoughts From Dave
- My Latest Article: "Choices in Life and Love"
Valentine's Day Special (in October for a reason)
Valentine's Day is only 4 months away. Would you like to have your best Valentine's Day ever with your mate? How about giving your marriage a real boost in being the marriage you have always wanted!
Have a more fulfilling, fun, and intimate relationship. Communicate better, resolve conflict easily, solve problems as a team (instead of opponents)! Appreciate and understand your differences (men and women are different, think differently, express ourselves differently; and yet at the core we want the same things). Resolve unfulfilled expectations. Deepen your commitment to each other. Experience forgiveness and the restoration of intimacy. Preserve and protect your friendship. Enhance your sex life. Develop strategies to keep your relationship strong, for as long as you both shall live.
In short, "do marriage" the way God designed it to be done.
I am offering a special "Valentine's Day Package" for up to 6 new clients (individuals or couples) to start working with me during the month of October. When these 6 openings are filled, I will take a waiting list. This is not a group for 6 clients, each individual or couple will work separately with me three times per week for four months, either on the phone or over the internet. There will be no need to travel anywhere, and my system works fine for the husband to be in one location, the wife in another, and myself in a third location. I will provide easy instructions to use the system.
Between sessions, I will provide worksheets, reading materials, scriptures to read and reflect on, forms and questionnaires, etc. as your "homework" to keep you focused and moving forward. You will have a secure log-in to your private section on my website, where much of the materials will be provided. Other materials will be provided by email, or if a book is needed it will come to you in the mail. You will also have unlimited email support from me, and four "bonus calls" to be used whenever you need them, during or after the 4 month program. The program will be unique to you, because you are not like everyone else. It will be designed, week to week, to specifically address your challenges and the areas you are ready to work on. You will benefit from everything I know about building great relationships and following God's design for marriage. Enrollment is limited so that I can give you my full attention. My goal will be to help you in every way possible to develop the marriage of your dreams, and quite possibly a marriage that far exceeds your highest expectations.
To request enrollment, follow the directions to set up a consultation, as outlined in the last few paragraphs of the article below.
Thoughts From Dave:
1. I am aware that earlier editions of this newsletter have been way too long, and I am going to do something about it. Starting now, I will move upcoming events to the website and only mention the ones taking place in the next 2 to 3 weeks in the newsletter. Articles I have written will be provided in their entirety, and everything else will be held to an absolute minimum.
2. As mentioned before, I am in the process of upgrading the Treasured Relationships Website to a new platform. I had hoped to launch the new version this week, but have run into some problems. Therefore, I am holding off until everything is working properly. I will let you know when it is done, so that you can go see all the improvements. (By the way, the website address will not change, just the way it looks and operates once you are there.)
Dave's Latest Article:
"Choices in Life and Love"
Every adult, sooner or later, realizes that your situation in life today is a direct result of the choices you have made. Examples include where you are living, what sort of job you have – or not, your finances, your relationship with God – or not, many potential health issues, and the list goes on. This truth also applies to your most important relationships with others, such as your spouse, children, family members, friends, work acquaintances, etc. When we come to this realization, we probably have some regrets. When that is the case, we may or may not have time to make changes.
Taking responsibility for what we do, however, is not very popular in our society. Many people prefer to blame everyone but themselves for their lot in life: "It’s my parents’ fault that I am this way." "My teacher is too strict on grading, which is why I am failing that class." "My only option was to become a criminal, because I was born into a poor family living in a rough part of town." "I’ve been married and divorced 5 times, and I don’t understand why I can’t find the right husband/wife." Examples abound, and include blaming our situations on our ethnic roots, race, the school system, the economy, etc. None of this could be our fault… or could it?
The truth remains that we make large and small choices throughout our lifetimes, and those choices bring certain consequences, good or bad. When we finally grow up and admit this fact, we are challenged to accept personal responsibility for our situations in life. And this is an extremely good thing, because when we admit our own responsibility a new possibility takes place:
“If I start making different decisions in my life, then my situation can change!”
With this awareness, the person fully understands that as long as one keeps doing what he or she has always done, they will keep getting what they have always gotten. And the flip side of that is that to make different decisions will bring different results. At that point the person is ready to benefit from strategic decision making.
These are sobering thoughts:
You’re in the shape you’re in today because of the choices you’ve made.
Your marriage is in the shape it’s in today because of the choices you’ve made.
Your relationships with your spouse and children are in the shape they’re in today because of the choices you’ve made.
If you’re in financial bondage today, it’s because of the choices you’ve made.
God declares that He wants to set you free (see John, chapter 8). The Bible tells us what we need to know in order to live without feeling trapped, being in bondage, and overwhelmed with life. But you may feel like you’re in bondage and you’re trapped; so you feel that you’re a slave to your debt and relationships because you’ve not listened to the word of God.
Until you listen to God’s directions for life, you will continue to make the wrong choices, to go down the wrong path, to lose your family, lose your home, lose your security, lose your investments, etc. You might pray for God to bless you and to change your situation in life, only to find that no such blessings come your way. Because God has a way for you and I to live life, and we can’t live life any old way we want to and expect God to bless us. But we can make different life choices and become available to receive all sorts of blessings God wants to send our way! Perhaps it’s time for some strategic decision making!
So, the reason that many people today are in bondage, frustrated, and defeated; is because they don’t really want to know what God says. They don’t want to live God’s way.
Still, God assures us that His word will set us free. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5) A lot of us go through life depending on our flawed understandings about everything, and then wonder why things don’t work out the way we want them to.
When we choose to start living life God’s way, we then start to make decisions differently as we learn more and more about how His word is directly applicable to our lives. Before long God will bless you in ways you can’t even imagine. Following God’s design for your marriage will open up a whole new level of connection with your mate, and the two of you will experience marriage as God intends it to be. This naturally overflows into other relationships and situations in life.
It has been my privilege to see God at work in many lives, families, and marriages; as well as experiencing this first-hand in my own life. At this point in my ministry and life, I get to (a) guide people to discover God’s directions for their lives and important relationships, (b) teach people life-changing relationship skills and strategies that really work, and (c) coach people through the change process. The result is that they gain greater clarity about their relationships, and become highly motivated to follow through because they understand that their deepest desires in life are possible and within reach. As they follow a careful plan, taking one step at a time, they do not feel overwhelmed or inadequate to change their lives, their marriages, and their families.
Relationship coaching is a relatively new discipline, with its roots going back only about 25 years. It is exciting because it successfully blends the best of “Marriage Enrichment” with “Life Coaching.”
Sometimes people confuse this new discipline with “Counseling,” not realizing that this is an entirely different approach than the old therapeutic model. Women are far more likely than men to want to go see a marriage counselor. Men tend to resist because they don’t want to tell some stranger all about their mistakes of the past. “Besides,” a man might say, “what good will it do to go over all that junk again? It will only cause us to re-live the pain or our relationship failures.” And he makes a valid point! But men tend to engage in the coaching process pretty easily. The man in a marriage, that is not as great as he would like, appreciates an approach that is future-focused and teaches him exactly what to do to have a great marriage with his wife; without ever being forced to disclose his past failures! Men are usually "fixers." They say "Just tell me what to do to fix this, and I'll do it." Finally, we have a male-friendly approach to genuinely helping couples thrive in marriage.
When I entered the ministry in 1974, I had a deep desire to help people develop marriages that followed the Biblical model, were fulfilling to both men and women, and were avenues for God’s blessings to flow. My own marriage was far from what it should have been, and I was keenly aware that there was a difference between the Biblical model for marriage and what my wife and I were experiencing. In college I studied Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion. In seminary I focused on Pastoral Counseling, which became my passion. In the 1980’s, as a military chaplain, I became one of the early “Marriage Enrichment” specialists, teaching people the skills and strategies needed to have great marriages. This approach proved to be a good bit more successful than the old therapeutic model, and was a lot more fun for all involved.
By the early 1990’s, I was deeply involved in the “Marriage Education” movement. This was another positive step in effectiveness. But when we added relationship coaching to the mix, the success rate went through the roof! It was a new and unique idea, to combine teaching relationship skills with coaching people through a few months of implementation. So we experimented with several different ways to conduct the program, carefully evaluating the results. For 20 years I conducted this work as an active duty military chaplain, before “retiring” from active duty and accepting a civilian position with the Marine Corps to continue the work. I have since retired again, but have no intention to stop this important work. It is almost non-existent in the civilian sector, so I am introducing what I've learned to the civilian sector with intentions to build up a team of others to join the effort.
Some of the steps in my career progression were intentional, well-researched decisions that were bathed in prayer and study of God’s word. Others came as a surprise to me as God closed one door while opening another. The results were life-changing for the couples who benefitted from the work. And this is an illustration of the truth that when we make good decisions, especially decisions that are directed by God, we will end up in really good life situations. (I’m not suggesting that there will never be challenges along the way. Sometimes it is even scary to step out in faith when God leads.)
Notice that I related to you a process of change in my professional career. Relationship Coaching didn’t exist when God first called me to this work. The journey to this career took a long time and involved a lot of small steps along the way. In the same way, I now lead people in a step-by-step process of getting their lives and marriages on track. As far as I know, there are no instant fixes for relationship challenges. But I do know that a tremendous amount of growth can take place in just a few short months. I have experienced it in my own life, and have witnessed several thousand other couples making brand new marriages with their same on mates!
In closing, I want to leave you with a challenge. If you need to make different choices concerning your most important relationships (and start having entirely different results), I challenge you to give me about 45 to 50 minutes of your time. I would like to hear what your dreams are for your relationship, and what you perceive as standing in your way. By asking specific questions and listening carefully to your answers, I can get a pretty good idea of what would benefit you the most. Armed with that understanding, I would then take a day or two to put together a plan tailored specifically for your situation, for you to consider. If counseling is what is needed, I can make a referral, since I no longer do that. If some combination of relationship skills training and relationship coaching would be most effective, I can help you with that. If relationship coaching is what you really need, but for some reason my approach is not a good fit for you, I can refer you to another coach. Starting into this process, you will see significant improvements within 30 days; and within about 4 months your life will be dramatically different.
If your relationships are all great, but someone you know is struggling, please pass this offer on to them.
Here’s the way to take advantage of this offer: Go to my website at www.treasuredrelationships.com and in the right-hand column you will see a drawing of a calendar and a clock. Click there and follow the on-screen steps to select one of my available blocks of time for us to meet. As soon as you lock in one of those available time slots, it will disappear from the list. That keeps me from getting double-booked. Then I will send you an email with details for how we can meet either over the phone or over the internet.
For married couples, it is best (but not essential) for both the husband and the wife to participate in the initial meeting as well as the ongoing coaching sessions. So I encourage you to try to select a time that works for both of you. Also, if none of the “available time slots” on my calendar work for you, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with some suggestions of when would work well for you. I can meet in the evenings, or early in the morning if needed.
Taking me up on this offer could be your first strategic decision and step to improving your life, marriage, and other significant relationships.
Marriage tip from the scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”
Many people today have placed their faith in Christ and yet are still making life choices that ignore the directions God provides for life. It’s a bit like getting born but never growing into adulthood; or like trying to drive a car that has no engine. Is it time to let the past go and move forward in newness of life?
Questions or comments?
Email me privately at email@example.com with any questions, comments, etc. Or go to the www.treasuredrelationships.com website and book a time for us to “meet” over the phone or internet. You select one of my available time slots, and I will send you the details of how we can connect live. I meet this way with people in Australia, Canada, Egypt, and a bunch of US states. So it really doesn’t matter how far away you are from Wilmington, NC. I am here to serve you, and I wish you well.
1. 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. For churches close by, I am available to come in and teach classes, lead workshops or retreats, speak at special events, preach, etc.
2. As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, professional Pastoral Counselor, and Clinical Chaplain, any confidential information you might share with me is 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 consult with me right on the website by clicking on one of my available time slots in the online 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 I 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 me 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!"