Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

3 POWERFUL Back to School Traditions

Friday, September 9th, 2016

It is back to school season. Your kids or grandkids might be enjoying the fun of grandkids-back-to-schoolnew school supplies, cool new backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles or maybe feeling the thrill of that fun new back to school outfit or uniform. But you, as parents, might be excited for back to school time for an entirely different reason!

 

In our books for parents (10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex, Got Teens? and Raising a Modern Day Princess) we encourage parents to leave their TradeMark  [TM] o their kids and grandkids with

Traditions: Those yearly look forward to moments or activities

Memories: Those once in a lifetime experiences or Rites of Passages

Here are 3 powerful  ideas to consider and implement as your kiddos head back to school:

  1. Create Character: Our Back to School tradition was the yearly “Learner and Leader” Day. It was a day we set aside to negotiate privileges and responsibilities for each child. We also selected ONEtm-sons-10bp character quality to focus on for each child, each year and selected a verse to pray over that child connected to that leadership trait we would be reinforcing all year. You can read more about our “Learn, Leaders who Love God” parenting plan in our book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. Our goal with Learner & Leader Day was to create a system for solidly placing the baton of faith, values and character to the next generation. (It is fun to now watch our grown children create their own version of Learn and Leader Day and their own Back to School Traditions. (Download a copy of the Learner and Leader chart for your child, or pick up a copy of 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and get the list of “What Chores Kids Can Do at Each Age and Stage”)

For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalms 139:13)

 

If you asked us the three best choices we made in raising our kids, it will include:

(A) Faith – Pray for your kids and teach them how to have their OWN relationship with God.

(B) Family Create a family identity by using traditions like Learner and Leader Day, Rites of Passage, and shared meals, and memory making experieinces etc.

(C) Fun– Weave activities your kids love into all of this. Reward church attendance with paying for them to go to an enjoyable youth camp; Make family devotions a creative hands-on experience; Schedule fun memory making activities. (Yes, let the kids pick and plan some of these!)

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Psalms 139:14)

 

  1. Prepare the Plan: Our friends Deanna and Jon Ramsey take a night out with their children and host a goal setting session. Deanna shares, “I love seeing them dream and plan and look forward with anticipation of a great year to come!”

After the children are done with writing their individual goals, the family then has a conversation about how they can help each other achieve those goals.

ramsay-kids-goals-back-to-school-learner-leader

You might recognize Deanna and Jon because they have also been the musicians at some of our marriage events, and they are frequent hosts at Forest Home Family and marriage camps. Deanna is also a popular speaker  and musician for women’s conferences as she shares with hope and humor how their family kept making the next brave and right choice when husband, Jon, was stricken with a life threatening illness.

The Ramsay’s thrived during this difficult season because they maintained routines, rhythms, and faith traditions despite the hardship.  Deanna’s parents held a similar goal-setting night for their children while growing up, now Deanna and Jon are building on that foundation of faith with their children. At the goal-setting night, the Ramsey’s also created and shared with the kids,  a “So You Have Free Time?” –a list of healthy, quality activities for kids other than being on media. And a “So You Wanna Make Some Money?” –A list of chores kids can do to earn extra money.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,  when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. (Psalms 139:15)

 

  1. Celebrate Their Uniqueness: Our friends, Tammy and Chris Morgan are the leaders for Fellowship of Christian Athletes at University of Louisville. When their daughters head back to school, they celebrate theback-to-school-morgan-cake day with baking a cake, and it often reflects a love of that girl. In our years serving in youth ministry and our own parenting experience, we observed that celebrating a child’s unique talents, strengths and loves gives them a strong sense of understanding who God made them to become and what God what God would be calling them to do. A cake is a simple and affordable celebration and because it is a rare treat to have sugar in a family that is very athletic, healthy and eats clean, it is rare, so it makes the celebration uniquely special too.

 

Your eyes saw my unformed body;  all the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them! (Psalms 139:16-17)

 

Find (or create) traditions that resonate with you or your family– then live and love them year after happy year!

 

pam-bill-red-umbrella-rebecca-closePam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, Co-directors of Love-Wise and authors of 45 books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti 

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7 Simple Traits of a Great Man

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

 

 

 

This is my husband, Bill’s, IMG_8450 birthday week. We have celebrated 36 happy years together—and the happy part is largely due to the great guy I married. Since Bill is the creator of the 7 Simple Skills series (for men, for women) I thought I would use 7 of his best qualities to show how ANYONE can hold on to Jesus and create a life to look forward to living.

When we met at a leadership conference at Campus Crusade (CRU) Headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, I am not sure anyone would have predicted we would go on to marry, write 44 books, (most on relationships), and raise 3 godly sons who married 3 amazing gifted and godly wives and have 4 precious grandchildren who all are following Jesus with whole and happy hearts.

The statistics were stacked against pam bill dating bcus: me, a daughter of an alcoholic abusive dad and Bill the son of a brilliant but busy father and a mother who then and now struggles with fears and emotional trauma.

These 7 of Bill’s best traits surrendered to Jesus helped us break the dysfunctional cycles and build a foundation that our own grown children are building even stronger, better lives on.  

Maybe reading through these traits will help you cultivate growth in some of these areas to move your life, your marriage, and your family and future forward too!

Simply put Bill is:

Surrendered- Bill’s goal is to keep 100% of his life is under God’s leadership. Now, he is, like all of us imperfect, but the moment he sees an area that is not reflective of Christ, he works hard to learn new skills, dig in  God’s Word to discover new truths. Bill also looks up experts in that arena to learn new tools to shore up those areas and bring them back under Christ’s control.  

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.. . (Romans 12:1)

Kind- My guy is just really, really nice! He is kind, thoughtful, attentive, forgiving  and caring.  I fell in love with the way he cared for my heart. I call this compassionate trait his “Superman” quality, so because of this there is always a line waiting for Bill’s help— so  l must be willing to share him with the world. (Which is a small price to pay to be married to a really great guy!!)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph 4:32)

simple vertical horizontal relationship

Intellectual- Bill is smart. In high school he only missed ONE answer on the math SAT test. (I had to marry a math major to pass college math!)  He can figure out an answer to almost any problem. 

I call him “Superman” because he can fix almost anything: cars, the house, people’s traumas, the kids’ dilemmas, etc.

People call themselves experts even if they have not spent any time researching, bill pk at podium 2010studying or interning in that field.  People today have a bent toward narcissism and pride so they think their idea or opinion has equal value to leaders who have spent decades working in a field of endeavor.  My Bill was humble enough to know he needed to pay the price to be heard by studying HARD. He first thought he would be an architect and build houses, but God turned his heart toward the people who lived in those houses so now he helps families build happy homes—on the inside! He got his undergrad in Math because it was the quickest route to seminary where he got a Masters of Divinity (studying the original languages of the Bible: Hebrew and Greek) and his emphasis is in Practical Theology and counseling. While we were at Biola, Bill cultivated mentoring relationships with some of today’s best leaders.  

I believe it is because Bill walks in humility that God has entrusted him with the gift of taking complex topics and synthesizing them to make them simple enough for everyone to understand and implement.  

“The one who gets wisdom loves life.” (Proverbs 19:8)

Loving- One of the goals Bill had for our sons was to help them become a skilled lover as a husband. He has now developed a phone APP: Her Best Friendwhich sends one romantic idea a day to a man’s phone to help him romance his wife. That means 365 ideas a year! (And I have been the blessed recipient of many of these simple yet preciously wonderful ideas!)  In addition, Bill loves his sons, their wives, and our grandkids—and his friends sense his commitment by the loving things he says and does.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:24-25)

her best friend ap cold lake

Listener- Bill is one of the best listeners. He is patient, empathetic and wise, so after listening carefully, he often knows just the right principle from God’s Word to share and how to apply it to move a life forward.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)

 Enthusiastic- Bill sings in the grocery line, is quick to offer a funny joke orFarrel09 132 pam over shoulder hug and laugh humorous story to lift the heart and his laugh is hearty and contagious.  His positive  attitude and steady, calm pace makes life more enjoyable—and somedays, his humor makes ME more bearable!  He is a shepherd, encourager, and motivator in the gentlest of ways.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up (Proverbs 12:25)

 

Dedicated- Bill goes the distance.

One of my favorite examples is when Bill built the home we raised our children in. Our wonderful (then small) church volunteered to offer their skills in plumbing, carpentry, roofing, cabinetry, etc to help hammer up a home because it sweat equity was the only way their pastor would be able to afford a home in expensive Southern California. I was pregnant and Bill was racing the stork to complete the home so we could bring the baby home to our new place. Even the local news was reporting on the race! 

bill and 10 best book To get final approval, all the hills must be planted and all the sidewalks must be in and all the details signed off on by an inspector. The last two days before my scheduled C- section Bill got zero sleep. After I delivered our healthy son, Bill fell asleep on the fold out chair in my room. In the middle of the night, after I had nursed our bundle of joy and placed him in the bassinet, my VI came out and blood was splashing out so I tried to wake Bill—but to no avail. I ran for a nurse and discovered in the mayhem,  the call button was unhooked as well, so I waddled slowly down the hall to the nurse’s station only to be chastised for being up and walking before I was cleared.

The nurse also began a “Can’t trust a man” tirade and asked me why my husband wasn’t helping me out. When I explained his heroic marathon of sleepless nights she quickly changed her tune. When she saw Bill collapsed in a deep sleep snoring, she simply said, “Oh, what a good man! Let’s just let him sleep—he deserves it!”

bill tools work

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Our Love Story: Anniversary Ever After

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

 

In celebration of our 36th wedding anniversary, here is a creative attempt at telling our love story using our book titles:pam bill dating bc

Once upon a time there were two kids that wondered, “What are THE BEST DECISIONS A MAN CAN MAKE and THE BEST DECISIONS A WOMAN CAN MAKE?”  Pam, a little girl from a chaotic home, knew she didn’t want to marry an alcoholic like her dad, and she knew that only Jesus could heal her heart and life, so at age eight, she made the BEST DECISION and asked Jesus to come into her life. Meanwhile, Bill, a few years later, as a high school QB who thought he was fearless went to see the a horror movie and was filled with fear! He read 1 John 4: 4”Greater is He who is in me than he (Satan) who is in the world.” So Bill made the BEST DECISION and asked Christ into his life.  These great choices made Pam and Bill CELEBRATE! Because they made a great decision to follow Jesus and God laid a strong foundation to their lives!

pam bill engagement moroAs college students, on two different campuses, they each made the BEST DECISION to go to a leadership conference at Campus Crusade Headquarters in Arrowhead springs. Pam wanted to become A WOMAN GOD CAN USE. Bill wanted to study to become a pastor.  There, after using one of the 30 WAYS TO WAKE UP A QUIET TIME,  Bill and Pam each made the BEST DECISION to give God their future and each decided to go into full time Christian work. Each entered the lobby from  a different door and sat on sofas that faced the other. Bill made the BEST DECISION to introduce himself to Pam and ask her, “What did God teach you today?”

That day God connected their hearts.

They wanted to date in a God-honoring way, so Bill had a spiral notebook that had some BEFORE YOU MARRY BOOKOF QUESTIONS in it.

The Farrels believe and base their love and life on the verse:

This helped them begin A COUPLE’S JOURNEY WITH GOD so they decided not to kiss until they were engaged and after dating for 9 months, they took a summer off: no writing or talking for 8 weeks—just praying to see if they were God’s will for each other. They needed to learn the 10 BEST DECISIONS A SINGLE CAN MAKE. Bill worked hard all summer cleaning pools and saved for a ring, because he wanted to LET HER KNOW HE LOVED HER! Pam studied hard all summer at Institute for Biblical Studies. One a quiet night in August, they met up and they knew God had called them to begin a life serving Jesus together. Pam and Bill also knew they would LOVE TO LOVE EACH OTHER!   Shortly after, near the beach they had often dated on, Bill knelt on one knee and sang a song he had written for Pam and then asked, “God has brought us together. Will you marry me? Will you kiss me for the first time?” and Pam joyfully, excitedly, enthusiastically said, “YES!” pam bill wedding 2 view frame prov 14 22 verse

That day God connected their futures.

 

On December 14, 1979 they married in Bakersfield, Ca. They had a heart’s desire to live out the BEST DECISIONS A COUPLE CAN MAKE.

That day God connected their spirits—and their bodies!

Those FIRST FIVE YEARS were a rollercoaster of emotions: The challenge completing their college with  little money, but joy too as they saw God do miracles! (One big one was, seeing their youth group pray God would provide transportation– after riding bikes for a year everywhere God gave them a used car!) The Farrels loved youth ministry, and during those years,  Bill finished Talbot seminary, while Pam attended bill carrying pam 1BIOLA. As they studied, God gave them a heart for helping people with relationships. They often wondered, “WHY DO MEN AND WOMEN ACT THE WAY THEY DO?” It was a MARRIAGE IN THE WHIRLWIND  of responsibility so they were having many DEVOTIONS FOR MEN ON THE GO  and DEVOTIONS FOR WOMEN ON THE GO. After much hard work, Bill graduated first (BA, then MDIV) , then Pam (BA).

Those days God connected their ministries.  

Soon kids came along, and they wanted Brock, Zach and Caleb to reach their God given potential so they prayed, “God, what are THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A PARENT CAN MAKE. We want to help find THE TREASURE INSIDE OUR CHILD(ren) so they can learn that GUYS ARE LIKE WAFFLES AND GIRLS ARE LIKE SPAGHETTI (and SINGLE MEN ARE LIKE WAFFLES, SINGLE WOMEN ARE LIKE SPAGHETTI) . Lord, help our sons step into their calling and try to  follow THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A GRAD CAN MAKE.  And, God, here’s a tough one–How can we can answer those QUESTIONS KIDS ASK family sons smallABOUT SEX?”  To get answers they dug deeper into God’s Word. Their kids made good choices so life and their marriage seemed a PURE PLEASURE.

Those days God connected their hopes and dreams.

Bill and Pam answered God’s call to San Diego where Bill at the young age of 28 became a Lead Pastor. Right away, the Farrels began to help people with their relationships. They wanted people to be “LOVE-WISE.”  They knew MEN WERE LIKE WAFFLES, WOMEN WERE LIKE SPAGHETTI  and if couples could just put God in the middle of their love, they too could have RED HOT MONOGAMY.  Pam desired to Farrel_366be a WOMAN OF INFLUENCE so she began to share God’s views on life and love.  She also taught on RED HOT ROMANCE TIPS FOR WOMEN and 52 WAYS TO WOW YOUR HUSBAND to help other marriages gain strength too!

Meanwhile, Bill equipped men to be their wife’s BEST FRIEND.  They knew they had to keep growing so they could keep ministering in the local church as well as in their travels for speaking and writing so they asked God to help them learn 10 SECRETS FOR LIVING SMART, SAVVY AND STRONG so they could have a FANTASTIC AFTER 40 life. They were STEPPING OUT ON THE PATHWAY TO THEIR DREAMS. Pam was trying to BECOME A BRAVE NEW WOMAN, a WOMAN OF CONFIDENCE,  who steps into God’s adventure and Bill was her courageous Superman living out THE 10 BEST DECISIONSfamily dogpile A LEADER CAN MAKE. This was vital because eventually they GOT TEENS and they needed all the wisdom of God!!  

 All those sons married beautiful, godly women and finally some girls began to enter the Farrel family—and after a few years, grandchildren arrived!  Nana and Papa want their granddaughters to become  MODERN DAY PRINCESSES, and their grandson to walk out THE 10 BEST DECISIONS A MAN CAN MAKE like his daddy and granddaddy.  Together they have cultivated the ability to LOL WITH GOD, even when times are tough.

complete Farrel family jessica caleb wedding use as christmas card 2015These days God is connecting their legacies.

Yes, just as for most everyone, life has not always been  easy, because in all honesty, EVERY MARRIAGE IS A FIXER UPPER,  but Pam and Bill have held on to God and each other “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.”  Together they gathered 7 SIMPLE SKILLS that God layered into their heart. Those SIMPLE SKILLS  have helped them succeed at life and love, write 44 books, which have been translated into 15+ languages, and now they travel about 240 days a year sharing God’s good news to help others become LOVE-WISE too. Bill and Pam are committed to making their marriage—and others– work “til death do us part.”

Bill and Pam know they could not have made it to this, their 36th wedding anniversary, without thepam bill kiss at ocean rebecca love of family, friends and the wisdom of God, so they want to take their HATS OFF in thanks to all those who have poured wisdom and love into their lives so they could gain THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SUCCESSFUL COUPLES and unlock THE MARRIAGE CODE. Deep down, Pam and Bill know that the verse they claimed on their wedding day, “We love because, He (God) first loved us” (1 John 4:19) is the only reason they can live happily ever after.  

pam and bill fine art DONE cropped smaller rebecca love made in heaven no framePS: Change is coming right around the corner for Pam and Bill, please join them on Thursday evening Dec 17 at 7 pm (Pacific Time; 8 MT; 9 CT; 10 ET)  on PERISCOPE as they share LIVE ONLINE “The Next Chapter”  God has for their lives and for LOVE- WISE ministry. (To join the Farrels for their important announcement, download Periscope, then login. You will be able to send comments and questions. It is also our hope  (if technology co-operates) to record the session which we will post on our website and this blog in near future)  

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Passing the Baton

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

 

brock speak forest homeRecently I got to team teach with my son, Brock, for Forest Home’s Mother/Son retreat. Brock is a football coach but he has helped plant a couple churches, and he is active as a coach in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is impacting his world on the high school campus by being a man of integrity and role model to young men in a society where nearly half do not have a father in the home.

One of the highlights of my weekend team teaching was to sit under Brock’s teaching as he encouraged moms to honor sons by effectively training then releasing their sons, and sons to honor moms by obeying them so they could learn to obey God.

One of the verses we have used as inner motivation for our parenting and our ministry is Psalms 145:3-4: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

It is a call to proactively pass the baton. That weekend I thought of all the tools we have used and we use to equip other parents to train up their children:

The Inner GPS Question

gps best

Compass for the Future!  We have three parts to our family compass:

The Family Mission– a vision paragraph for your family

Ours hangs in our house and is in 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make sons 10 best parent

and 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make  books

The Family Motto– a sentence or phrase that summarizes your vision

Ours is “Those who Honor God, God Honors”- 1 Sam. 2:30

The Family Moniker– a logo or piece of art that pictures your family vision

crest farrel color[Read a detailed article on How to  Create Your Own Family Compass]

Simplify!: See Love-Wise blog for simple way to create your own family moniker or crest.

Contract the Future!

To get everyone on the same page, and to lessen arguments and raise family unity, we found a serious of contracts helpful to use with our children as they grew:

The Learner and Leader contract– start this one as early as age 4.

The Teen Relationship Contract– start this one as early as age 11tm sons 10bp

The media contract– start this one as early as age 8

The Education Contract and The Driving Contract  (these are in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and are useful in jr high, high school and college)

The Freshman Foundation Dinner and Discussion Questions– this is a series of five sets of questions on the five vital areas a college student must handle to succeed in higher education and launch successfully into his or her own life.

Create a Future!

For those special needs, strong willed or children who lack a strong self-identity, we created a Treasure Map so he or she could see themselves closer to how God views them. This is a powerful tool to help any and evtreasure chestery child sense their God given potential and discover their unique talents, strengths and giftedness.

 

To prepare a son or daughter to own his or her decisions, choices and life responsibilities, we recommend  Rite of Passages, like our “walk into manhood” for our sons and Raising a Modern Day Princess celebration for those with daughters.

We believe in placing God’s Trademark ™ on your kids with traditions and memories.  TM means:

Traditions-

Things you do year after year, like our annual Leader and Leader Day that we held before school starts. We enjoy a fun family activity then negotiate privileges and responsibilities. Another  yearly tradition are father/son trips where Bill passes along what it means to be a man.

Memories

Those once in a lifetime or a few times, like the Rites of Passage- Walk into Manhood.  These are personalized, Brock was a QB so his was held on a football field, Zach loved his truck so his was held at a racetrack; Caleb is an outdoors man so his was held at a lake. We invited their mentors to come speak into their lives then enbill caleb harding helmetjoy a meal together. Memories also included  the “team parties” where each of our sons invited their high school sports teams to our home for a pizza party and then they shared video of Christian athletes, played some games then our sons each gave their personal testimony of their faith and gave their friends an opportunity to come to know Christ personally.

 

All these proactive choices, laid out in our books 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make , 10 Best Decisions a Grad Can Make, 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex,  and Got Teens? , — these all go back to that same camp– Forest Home. Years ago, when  Bill and I were a young couple, expecting a baby, we were at a couple’s conference (much like the one we are scheduled to speak at in the fall of 2015 at Forest Home). The speaker was very good, but it was just the husband. Bill and I went into the same small chapel that Billy Graham prayed in when He placed his stake in the ground declaring he would always preach God’s Word as the Only Truth. That day we knelt and prayed, “Lord, it seems that in marriage and family training it might be more effective if couples would teach together so both the husband and wife share. If that is something you think we would be able to do to help people find a relationship with You and improve their marriages and families, then Lord, we pray like Isiah, “Here am I Lord, send me” .

And God answered.

Later, when our baby was just a newborn, we prayed again, “Lord, it seems that some kids soar at 18. Help our kids soar into their calling, and help us help others also soar into the God-given potential and calling.”

And God answered.

And now the baton is passing and our own sons are carrying the mantle in their own ways. All three love and serve Jesus, they all married godly wives with hearts to reach and equip others too.  And one day,  our grandchildren will pick up the baton of faith and run the race that is marked off for them too.  God wants to help you and your family pass the baton of faith too. Simply pray in faith, Lord, help us be proactive parents”

And God will answer.

SONY DSC

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Inspiring Transformation: A Model You Can Follow

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Last post, I introduced you to our son, Zach, who has a
Masters in Exercise Science and is a coach at a prestious university. While an undergrad, he also was the captain of the Universty’s co-ed cheer team and they won the National title each year he was captain. So Zach is more than a challenging drill instructor type, he also cheered this mom to victory in her wellness journey. I was fortunate to have many “cheerleaders” who believed I could and would hang tough til the finish line. Here are a few more questions and answers—and a pretty inspiring story from Zach’s life to cheer you on today too:

Q: You have encouraged us to cross train (vary our workouts)- why?
A: In-terms of cross training, I think that it is very important to increase activity in general. Resistance training will increase your ability to accomplish everyday activities. Cardiovascular training will be a great solution of you are unable to resistance train, have high blood pressure, or have a low understanding of how to resistance train. The ultimate goal should be to decrease fat mass and increase lean body mass.

Q: Why is interval training is so helpful in dropping pounds ?
A: Interval training allows for higher quality work at higher intensities. It will also increase the ability to burn calories of fat at resting after you are done working out. The ultimate goal of working out is to increase your ability to utilize fuel at rest and during activity. With the interval work you can do double the work I less time. Example: Running a mile vs. Interval Bike Sprints- 10 minutes to run a mile (low intensity, BORING!) vs. 10 Minutes 30 Seconds All out Sprint/ 30 Seconds Recovery Cycle can increase the amount of work being done, Increase heart rate, increase body and core temperature, and Increase fat burning at rest.
Examples to use – All on the Bike/Treadmill/ Track/ Resistance Training/ Body Weight Exercises
All 5-10 minutes 1-2 sets of each.
15 Seconds All out – 45 Seconds Recovery
20 Seconds All out – 40 Seconds Recovery
30 Seconds All out – 30 Seconds Recovery
15 Seconds All out – 15 Seconds Recovery
20 Seconds All out – 10 Seconds Recovery (Much Harder)
(Note: Zach’s introduction of interval training produced twice the benefit in half the time, so if you are a busy leader, consider learning some circuit training and interval work outs to make the most of you precious work out time).

Q: Zach, You had your own fitness journey your freshman year of high school. What do you think took you from chubby kid to a top competitive all star athlete?
A. I would call what I went through the end of my Freshman year in high school more of a Body Transformation not a Fitness journey. I was 160 lbs at 5’6″ tall probably over 20% BF (high for a male athlete). My older brother decided that it was time for me to start weightlifting with the varsity football team. I started out as a short chubby kid who had no idea what he was doing in the weight room to being a lean, aggressive, strong, Varsity caliber football player all within 6 months. I decided that I was not ok with being 3rd/4th string anymore. I made a decision and set a goal for myself. I wanted to play varsity football with my older brother. I asked the head football coach, “What do I need to do to be on Varsity?” He gave me an answer that was direct and led me to make the decision to spend the next six months dedicated to changing my body and work ethic. Every day after school, I went straight to the weight room and said “Coach, what is today’s workout?” Monday through Friday for 2-3 hours after school I went and did something that would get me in better shape. Weight Lifting, Plyometrics, Conditioning, whatever it was– I did it and did not complain. I wanted more and more because I knew that what I was doing wasn’t enough for me. I had set my mind on a goal and did not want to stop until I achieved it. I knew that if I did not accomplish this goal I would not be the person today that I am. I thank God, my parents, and my older brother for pushing me and allowing me to never give up. I was unable to drive to school so it was my dad’s job to take me every morning at 6:30 am for early “optional” practice, which wasn’t optional in my mind. I had a strong direction in what I wanted, that came from my walk with God, my parents guiding me and never allowing me to “quit” when things got tough. It was hard, I was exhausted but I saw results not within a week, but within 6,12,18 weeks. The biggest thing that I did was– I made a lifestyle change. I made my life revolve around my goals and what I needed to do to make those accomplishments.

Back then, it was easy, I was in High School. Well, the answer is the same now! I am a full-time employee at a Division 1 University working 70+ hours per week (12-14 hrs a day) and I make time to get my training in. I don’t just train, I am also a competitive Weightlifter (http://farrelweightlifting.blogspot.com/) you can see what I do and how I have made the decision to keep this a part of my life. I have goals, I have people around me who will help me get to the gym to train, and I have a drive that allows me to go when I don’t want to.

(Note: It is nice when your “cheering your child” to his fitness goal boomerangs back to bless you, as Zach now cheers me on to my wellness and health goals! Moms and Dads, what you sow into your kids “WILL reap a harvest if you do not give up!” Our ideas on cheering on your child is in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make)

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Gal 6:9)

Ready to get inspired- watch this:

(Follow Zach’s weightlift blog at:
http://farrelweightlifting.blogspot.com/)

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My Wellness Journey: Does Anyone Challenge You?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

 

 

Today’s (and tomorrow’s) blog is by the person who inspires and CHALLENGES me the most- my son, Zach. Zach is a Performance Coach at a Large Div 1 University and trains athletes who compete on the national and even international (Olympic) level.  His athletes WIN championships- much in part because he and the other strength coaches challenge players OFF the field and prepare them when there are no spectators.  One of my favorite quotes ach often repeats to athletes that I love is, “Do today what others will not do so you can do tomorrow what others cannot do”.  In short, Practice Pays in Performance.

Here are a few questions and answers that might challenge you to take the next step in your wellness journey:

 

Q: Zach, you work with top athletes, what advice do you give them on exercise that the average person should keep in mind?

A: When exercising it is important to understand two things:

 

1. Training age – By training age I am referring to how many years you have been training. For example: If you have been consistently exercising for 1 year- your training age is 1. I have been training (exercising) consistently since I was 15 years old; my training age is now 13 years.

2. Knowledge- By that, I am referring to your personal exercise library. What exercises do you know how to do? Do you only know how to run? Do you like to resistance train? Increasing your exercise library will increase your ability to stay in the gym. Albert Einstein defined Stupid as, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. If you only know how to do one thing in the gym you will only see one result. How long can you only do that one thing? After a while you will get tired of only doing that one thing!

(Note: This is why each time I see Zach I ask him to teach his dad and I one new exercise).

 

Q: How can the average person avoid injuries as they are trying to get back in
shape?

A: When taking that step to get back to the gym you must answer a few questions about yourself.

  1. Previous Injury: Do you  have any previous injuries? Research has shown that one of the leading  causes of injury is a previous injury.
  2. Do you know how to   structure a workout? Warm up, Resistance training/Cardiovascular Exercise/  Cool down?
  3. Resistance Training – How  to structure/ Upper Body/ Lower Body/ Pulling Exercises vs. Pushing Exercises.
  4. Posture- Do you know  what proper posture looks like?
  5. Do you quit when things  get hard? Do you like to” talk about” or “be about” doing the exercise?
  6. Do you have a training  partner? You need to have an accountability partner for when you don’t  want to go– they will make you!
  7. Goals- Do you have goals  set? Short term/Long term? If not set them and place them around so you  know what you are working for.

(Note: Good reason to get a personal trainer- See previous blog for finding one near
you)

 

Q: What credentials should someone look for when looking for a quality qualified trainer in their city?

A: Finding a qualified training is a must if you are just getting into exercising. What to look for: Certified Personal Trainers, if you ask them they should have no problem telling you what they have accomplished. I would also look into getting a Functional Movement Screen done to fully know how your body works.

http://www.functionalmovement.com/experts – Is a website that you can locate a certified movement specialist to take you through the screening process to find movement compensatory patterns.

(Note: This assessment is very helpful as a marker for your wellness and it will spot problem areas so you can avoid injuries as you get back in shape)

For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul
(Proverbs 2:10)

PS- Stay tuned, more from Zach tomorrow!

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Do You Have a Word for Your Year?

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

 

Each year since I was 19, I have selected a “Word for the Year”, a “verse for the year” and later I added a motto for each year (something you might put on a coffee mug, billboard, T- shirt or bumper sticker). In 2012, Bill and I selected the same word and the same verse:

STRONG

Be strong and  courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will
be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

“Stay Strong”!

We know it is often hard for couples to dovetail their goals. In Men Are Like Waffles, Women
Are Like Spaghetti,
we have a chapter on Achieving Together  in which
we describe the process we use  to get on the same page. It begins by having an honest conversation of just what is really  important to each of you. Often couples have different priorities when it comes to the delicate balance of home, work, marriage, family, friends and self care.
We encourage you to grab the book, and a stack of 3 x 5 cards and begin writing down all the areas you each are responsible for personally and professionally- at work, home, church, family, and in community. (You’ll need to pick up a copy  of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti to hear just what to do with these cards and how to use the “What’s  Important to You” survey in the same chapter). But we promise, if you use these  tools, there will be much LESS arguing and a lot MORE “Red Hot Monogamy” going on.

We also have a goal setting sheet for couples, as integrating the goals of each person in the family can be a challenge if you are fighting for your desire to be top priority. However, goal setting conversations can also be a great opportunity for deeper connection and intimacy. We have provided our Your Best Year Yet worksheet as a template for your conversations as our gift to you. We developed this process several years ago so we could be pulling in the same  direction TOGETHER!

So what was the result of our year of being STRONG? We launched a new Love-Wise video  production company and the first products have rolled out. (See Bill’s 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make DVD series clip). We both got stronger physically –(I (Pam) lost 50 pounds!) Our family got stronger (we added a beautiful daughter in law and  new grandson too!) We got stronger spiritually—and God is using us- we traveled for ministry 250+ days last year, including to Singapore to release a marriage enrichment DVD commissioned by their government: “Love-Notes”.

Lastly, if this whole concept of having a Word for the Year is new, Pastor Mike Ashcraft and my friend,  Rachel Olsen just released a book, “My One Word” (Zondervan), and it can walk you through step by step on how to select, implement, and maximize your word.
My favorite quote from this resource is:

“My foot needed to be held on the outside for the sake of what was going on on the inside. This is
true of our spiritual lives. We need a boot, so to speak. Something to hold us in a given position long enough for some specific inner work to happen My ONE Word can be that tool.”-
Pastor Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen

So get ready for the Best Year of Your Life—Choose a Word
for the Year, get a copy of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and My One Word, then dovetail those goals with your mate for some awesome synergy!

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Why Would We Want To “Save Our Girls”?

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One might wonder why a mom of three SONS would co-author a book called Raising a Modern Day Princess.
(Focus on the Family, co-authored with Doreen Hanna). Or ask you to join her to “save our girls”.

Well, I have spent a lifetime mentoring, discipling and equipping women and girls.

Hundreds of them.

And each year, I get more and more concerned about the world they face. Some days it is just HARD to be a woman of integrity, let
alone a girl pursuing goodness. They need our help.  (And God has asked us to mentor our girls: see 2 Tim.2:2, Titus 2:3-5)

Your daughters, the girls of the next generation, need YOU! They need me! Why?  Because their crown
is slipping! Consider these startling statistics from our book, Raising a Modern Day Princess:

  • One in three girls becomes pregnant before age 20.3
  • One in four will contract a STD (sexually transmitted disease)
  • Forty percent of girls at a contraceptive clinic are there without their parents’ knowledge.
  • One third of all teen pregnancies will end in an abortion.
  • Nearly one-third of all juvenile arrests are girls, and one-third of all property crimes are perpetrated by girls.
  • About one-quarter of all aggravated assaults are committed by girls.
  • Girls are more likely to be violent at home, and the victim more than any other is her mother.

(Watch this short video for even more on what girls face these days.  Read an excerpt of Modern Day Princess book at Focus  on the Family. )

 

So what can we do? What Can YOU do? (Pick any or all of the following):

Today’s girls need you . . can you help us “save our girls?”

Here is my heart’s motivation, my two granddaughters who I pray will be strong women of God in their generation- true Modern
Day Princesses
who walk as Daughters of our God, “The King of Kings”.

Together we can make a difference—for the girls!

October 17 @ noon

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special  possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you  out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

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Parenting Plan Can Bless your Kids and Your Marriage!

Monday, August 27th, 2012

 

So much marital stress is caused because the husband and wife are not on the same page
in the way they deal with their children. One way our marriage has been protected is through the “Learner and Leader” day we do each fall (We do this family tradition from age 4 until our children are age 20 or get engaged for marriage- whichever comes first).

Years ago,when Bill was a youth pastor and Brock was a baby, I looked around the youth group we were running and then looked at this precious baby in my arms and prayed, “Lord, there seem to be kids that soar and succeed at 18 and others that stumble and fall” What traits, what skills, what leadership character qualities do we need to
train and pass on so that our sons can soar by age 18? Then I set about creating along list of traits and skills (the list (and many other tools) are in our book: 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make).

The list seemed so long that I was a bit overwhelmed so I showed the list to Bill and he said, “Pam, seems like there are really three main categories here. We want our kids to be:

 

  1. Learners—have a teachable attitude
  2. Leaders- be influencers in their own unique God given style instead of followers
  3. Love God—we want them to own their own faith.”

We prayed and I asked God to show a fun way to instill the values (because kids respond to fun!) So we decided to
have a Learner and Leader Day each fall and on that day we’d negotiate privileges and responsibilities for the year. (We did this for 20+ years- now we are DONE! becuse our kids are all grown and all leaders! So it works!)

We also select one trait off the list and focus on training and equipping in that area for that particular child that year. And we select a verse to pray over that child which had something to do with the trait we have selected (as the kids entered second grade we taught them how to select their own verse). Then we give a gift (because we wanted it to fee like Christmas!) The gift would be one that would build into their God given passion or calling as
the Lord was revealing their strengths year by year.

We have a set of criteria in choosing the gift:

It must be practical, something I might have to buy anyway.

It must be personal. The child should be able to tell I thought about the gift.

It must be prophetic, meaning that it speaks the truth about the uniqueness, the calling, or the strength we see God building into each child.

The Learner and Leader privileges and responsibilities chart is also in our book, along with other tools like a list of what children can be responsible for at what ages (chore ideas) , plus a teen relationship contract,
driving contract, education contract, and a set of  Freshman Foundation questions to use with college students or career age young adults. We have our children sign the contracts, and included in each are the
consequences they will receive if they do not follow through with their
commitment. As the children get older (early in elementary school),  we have them create their own consequences
ahead of time so they know exactly what their punishment will be if they drop the ball on their commitments.

By spelling everything out ahead of time, year after year, and having everyone sign off on it (both parents and the children), there is little arguing in our home and the children have never been able to “play one parent against the other” in our home, thus protecting our marital harmony as well. And because there is a built in relationship time, a fun family activity on Learner and Leader Day, the kids have always been motivated to complete the small yearly assignment (the chart), and because it also has a built in incentive plan (the Learner and Leader gift that applauds the child’s unique strengths), the child is easier to live with all year!

The less child-created stress a marriage has, the more everyone enjoys being in the family. And because we delegate work to our children as they grow, Mom and Dad actually have time to date and stay in love—which is the best gift that any set of parents can give their children. And because we are deliberately trying to help our children/ teens take on more and more responsibility year after year, by college (or for sure age 21), our children and yours have the opportunity to be leaders owning their own lives and leading others in a positive way!  Having responsible adult children is also a great blessing to your marriage! (And your future in laws will thank you too!Our daughter inlaws love us and so do their parents!)

            So this year, before you run to the store for new school clothes and pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks and
lunchboxes, take time to hold your own Learner and Leader Day.  I you have college kids, set aside 5 nights to go over the Freshan Foundation  Dinner and Dialogue questions, and maybe this year, you might even get in a few dates to stay in love!

Parentng resources:

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, Got Teens? Learner and Leader Chart, Freshman Foundation are all found at www.Love-Wise.com

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Sex Before Marriage: The Landmine of Love

Friday, August 24th, 2012

According to a study on sexual activity by Relevant, a Christian magazine,

as many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex. 

This is a startling statistic in light of two  very clear commands from the Bible:

                Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will
love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
(John 14:23 NIV)

                It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 

(1Thessalonians 4:3 NIV)

If one wonders what sexual immorality is, if you use Logos Bible Software, and dig into The Word, you will discover it means ALL sex outside the bounds– the context of marriage.  

So many of this generation (teens and grownups ) think they will come out ahead if they sleep with the one they are “in love” with. However studies show something entirely different. Jim Burns of Homeword radio, in his book, Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, quotes a study out of the University of Wisconsin (so a secular study, so people can’t say it is slanted due to Christian bias!). 

Here are 9 Facts about Pre-Marital Sex:

Fact 1: Premarital sex tends to break up couples

Fact 2: Many men do not want to marry a woman who has had intercourse with someone else.

Fact 3: Those who have premarital sex tend to have less happy marriages

Fact 4: Those who have premarital sex are more likely to have their marriage end in divorce.

Fact 5: Persons and Couples who have had premarital sex are more likely to have an
extramarital affair as well.

Fact 6: Having pre-marital sex may fool you into marrying a person who is not right for
you.

Fact 7: Persons and couples who have had premarital sex experience sexual satisfaction
sooner after they are married. HOWEVER—

Fact 8: They are likely to be less satisfied overall with their sex life during marriage.

Fact 9: Poor premarital sexual habits can be carried over to spoil sex in marriage.

And let Bill and I add a Biblical observation we have made as Fact 10:

Fact 10:Couples who engage in premarital sex are practicing DISOBEYING God together, which is a terrible way to erode a marital foundation before you ever get to the altar. In addition, the consistent practice of premarital sex causes a callous to develop over the heart of each individual so it makes it harder for each to hear and respond to God’s guidance.

So what can we do to reverse this trend?

Parents:  Prepare your child, tween and teen by proactively educating him or her on love, sex, and relationships. Use our Teen Relationship Contract .Talk with your teen and reward your son or daughter for making wise choices.

Church leaders: Teach the whole counsel of God, offer discipleship, mentoring, and small groups with role models who are walking in integrity. Partner with parents for events and opportunities to equip tweens
teens and college students.

Teens: Read books like Guys are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti or The Purity Code (Jim Burns) – books aimed at teens to equip you to make your own wise choices. Have a daily quiet time so you practice listening to and responding to Jesus daily.

Reliable ministries that have helps and resources for this core vital issue: Homeword,  Focus on the
Family
, Family Life Today, Vicki Courtney -You and Your Girl, Generations of Virtue, Modern Day Princess, Dannah Gresh- Pure Freedom,  
 and
of course, Love-Wise.com.

Some of our resources that help parents and teens make wise relationship choices  are Guys are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti, Got Teens?, 10 Best Decisions a Teen Can Make, The Teen Relationship Contract, The Freshman Foundation Dinner and Dialogue Questions.

For singles: 10 Best Decisions a Single Can Make and Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are
Like Spaghetti.
 

 

 

The first step is likely a simple prayer.  Based on your past choices, you select the verse to pray over your life:

  1. You have had premarital sex and you desire to repent (stop), or you are already
    married but never have told God you are sorry and claimed his forgiveness:

Lord, your word says that is I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive all my sins and cleanse me from
all unrighteousness
. (1
John 1:9)  Now I choose to hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against
You. (
Ps 119:9-10)

2. You are still a virgin, and you want to stay true to that commitment, or you are praying for your son or daughter, that they will stay strong:

I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.  I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.  I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands (Psalms 119:58-60)

 The best way out of the field of landmines caused by premarital sex is:

(1)  To never enter it or ( 2) ask God to lead you step by step out of it back to a safe more secure place.

Forgiveness and redemption are possible, see Pam and Bill’s book, Love, Honor and Forgive or 10 Best Decisions
a Woman Can Make
. Consult  a trusted pastor or counselor- God can repattern your heart to hear and respond to His best plan and path.  Take the first step, acknowledge you have gone of course and want to get back to the heart of God and allow Him to direct your path to healing and wholeness.

PS: Hold Oct. 17 noon to for Save Our Girls Day to Pray – join us in praying for the next generation of teens: www.saveourgirls.org

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