Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Keep Hope Alive!

Friday, September 29th, 2017

In today’s world, it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden. Frightening headlines blast the worst possible scenarios into our homes. The stress of daily responsibilities and providing for our families weighs heavy on our hearts. If that were not enough, our lives can quickly be devastated by unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted and unbelievably harsh floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease  But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!

Discovering-Hope-Header 3 authors CORRECT

While writing my newest book (co-authored with Bible teacher Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher), Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience, Jean, in passing said, “I think Psalm 71:14  could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up Psalm 71:14:

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)


I like to say, “trust while you tarry,” or “wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God to show up and show off!” After doing a word study, I discovered this hoping is to bepsalm 71 14 fountain exercised surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!

My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE,  I have pages in my bullet journal where I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams. I then wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.

bullet journal prayer circles page

The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!

So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, I use pages to accumulate praises in my bullet journal.

sun praise bullet journalOne looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. (Use your imagination: a Christmas tree with gift underneath; a set of balloons, a garden with a series of daisies, a set of ocean waves– anything with a series can be used to capture your praises)

I have created a free PRAYER AND PRAISE handout  you can download. One side are the circles to record prayer requests, the other side is a vase of flowers to keep track of praises as they come.   Use in your prayer journal, your bullet journal, in your  Discovering Hope in the Psalms  Bible study, as a family devotional or date night– or hang it on your refrigerator  as a prayer prompt. prayer praise sheet

To help you accumulate praise in your life, I am hosting a once a week online Facebook Bible Study. To order your facebook live online bible study hopeautographed copy of Discovering Hope in the Psalms (or to get it quicker) and to register for the Bible study, click here. (An email will be sent to you with link to the online private facebook  group) Praying you accumulate bundles and bushels of praises so you can HOPE continually!


Pam Farrel is co- director of Love-Wise (with her husband, Bill) , international speaker, author of 45 books and budding Bible Art journaler. When she isn’t speaking around the globe, or teaching Discovering Hope in the Psalms, you will likely find her paddlebaording or kayaking near her home, a liveaboard boat in Southern California. (This blog contains a few affiliate links to products referenced)


Overwhelmed in Marriage?

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

pam-bill-helm-boatThis past year has been one of the MOST CHALLENGING in our marriage: a home remodel to get home ready to sell,

a home sale that took over a year and included  being in escrow three times before the sale was final, downsizing 90% of our belongings to move nearer Bill’s aging parents (one who is frail of body, the other frail in mind), and we are currently living on a beautiful country vineyard of a relative, driving a few hours each way to catch flights for speaking or to look at  boats (we plan to liveaboard a boat). Yes, life has been rigorous! In the middle of all this, my friends Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory, sent me an advanced copy of their book, OVERWHELMED, asking if I would like to read for a possible  endorsement.


Endorse it I did! Overwhelmed was EXACTLY the hope and help I needed when I was feeling VERY OVERWHELMED.

Enjoy this excerpt—may it help you feel a little less OVERWEHLMED today too!Overwhelmed Cover lipp gregory

What Overwhelms Me May Not Overwhelm My Spouse

“Why is this glass on the counter?” my husband asks. I turn and stare. “I have no idea.” “Well, is it yours?” he asks. “I don’t remember getting it out,” I reply. “But you know that doesn’t mean I didn’t; I may have and then forgotten.” Daniel sighs, puts the glass in the dishwasher, and walks away.

Alone in the kitchen, I have a conversation with myself, processing what just happened.


Reactive Cheri:  Why does he have to make a big deal over a glass?

Empathetic Cheri:  I guess it isn’t “nothing” to him.

Reactive Cheri:  But it’s just a glass!


Empathetic Cheri:  To you, it’s just a glass. To him, it’s an unsolved mystery, a question without an answer. For his brain, that’s overwhelming.


Reactive Cheri:  Are you sure he’s not just trying to get on my last nerve?


Empathetic Cheri:  100% positive. He’s a totally different personality than you, so what overwhelms him is totally different from what overwhelms you.

What You Need to Know About the Four Personality Types

I known for decades that understanding the four personality types helps me bring out the positives in all my relationships.

But recently, I’ve come to realize that a deep understanding of the personalities also helps me understand what overwhelms others.

If you’re not familiar with the four personality types, here’s a quick run-down:


Life goal:  to have fun Major needs:  attention and approval Analytic

Life goal:  to achieve perfection Major needs:  order and sensitivity


Life goal:  to have control Major needs:  achievement and appreciation Amiable

Life goal:  to keep peace Major needs:  respect and self-worth For a more in-depth exploration of your personality type, take our online personality assessment.


What Overwhelms Each Personality

What Overwhelms an Expressive

Expressives become overwhelmed when life is no fun.  They can handle just about anything if they’re having a good time doing it. But when they have to grit their teeth to get through a boring or painful situation, that is when they start feeling completely overwhelmed.

What Overwhelms an Analytic

An Analytic becomes overwhelmed when life is imperfect. An analytic is unsettled and may not be able to think straight, when things are out of order. This can easily become overwhelming for them.

What Overwhelms a Driver

Drivers become overwhelmed when life is out of control. Surprises are not the Drivers’ friend. When goals or expectations have been set (by themselves or others) and cannot be met, that is a sure way of overwhelming a Driver.

What Overwhelms an Amiable

Amiables become overwhelmed when life is full of pressure from others. None of us like to be pressured, but this is particularly overwhelming to an Amiable whose whole goal is to be at peace and get along with others.

3 Benefits of Understanding What Overwhelms Your Spouse


Learning what overwhelms your spouse can keep you from being overwhelmed by petty frustrations over their seemingly irrational behavior.

Understanding what overwhelms the one you love helps you develop three key aspects of intimacy:

1)  Curiosity

When you ask yourselves, “What overwhelms him/her?” you’re recognizing that your spouse is different from you. Instead sitting as a critic, you’re positioning yourself as a learner.

2)  Empathy


When you remind yourself, “I get overwhelmed, too” you’re doing the highly empathetic work of translating your spouse’s external signals into a message you can understand internally. Instead of polarizing the differences between your overwhelm triggers, you’re focusing on what you have in common: the experience of feeling overwhelmed.

3)  Intentionality

Curiosity and empathy lead to asking, “How can I best support my spouse when (s)he’s feeling overwhelmed?” Instead of getting annoyed, holding back, or even hiding, you seek healthy ways your spouse can have less stress and ways to increase the peace.

Gift from Pam and Bill:

Discuspam bill close rebecca beachsions like this one from OVERWHELMED can really help couples process stress. (It helped us! I am a DRIVER and my husband is AMIABLE) Learning ways to help the other feel less stressed lowered our feelings of being OVERWHELMED. The other tool that helped Bill and I survive and thrive in this past stressful year was our WEEKLY Marriage Meeting Worksheet. We would meet, pray, plan and prepare for God to help us handle issues on the road ahead. Download the Marriage Meeting worksheet, and pick up a copy of OVERWHELMED—and you will soon feel the waves of peace coming over your



Gift from Cheri and Kathi:


Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (that will only last for a week), how about creating a Personal manifestoKathi and Cheri Photo overwhelmed that will carry you through the rest of your life?  Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.




About Overwhelmed


Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it’s possible to move from “out of my mind” to “in control” when you’ve got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?


Kathi and Cheri want to show you five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don’t often work, and how you can finally create a plan that works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you’ll understand how to…


  • trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life
  • decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite
  • replace fear of the future with peace in the present


You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.




Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the bestselling author of several books, including Clutter Free, The Husband Project, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four young adults.


Cheri Gregory spends her weekdays teaching teens and weekends speaking at women’s retreats. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, for more than 28 years. The Gregorys and their young adult kids, Annemarie and Jonathon, live in California.


Disclaimer:  This blog post reflects one woman’s experience. Each marriage is unique; what works for one couple may not work for another. A marriage that involves abuse, addiction, adultery, abandonment, and/or apathy is beyond the scope of this blog post and may need the intervention of a trained counselor.


God, the Masterchessman

Monday, November 28th, 2016

This past year has been the most intense, faith s.t.r.e.t.c.h.i.n.g., exhausting year of our lives—so far. About a year ago, in Oct of 2015, God created a set of circumstances to convince us that none of our grown kids would be moving back to California with their families, and with our travel schedule keeping us on the road 200-250 days a year, we realized we just didn’t need our 3,000 square foot home with office combo anymore.  As empty-nesters, it was time for a el-cajon-homedownsize.  During this same season, Bill’s aging parents need to have a caregiver nearer them escalated week by week. His parents are now 87, both were (are)  experiencing declining health issues and Bill is daily on the phone, and weekly drives back and forth across southern California (a 10 hour round trip with traffic, and usually a two- three day investment several times a month, and often weekly.) Caregiving to his parents was putting a consistent stress on Bill’s ministry schedule, and we knew if we didn’t make a location change, it also could impact Bill’s own health too.

We offered to move his folks in with us (as we had plenty of room) but some unchangeable and immovable factors on his parent’s side of the equation made that option an impossibility, so clearly, the next best option was to sell our home and downsize significantly to free ourselves to live nearer his parents. We also felt God’s clear call to simplify to become more free to travel and speak as “marriage missionaries.” At this same time,  God called me (Pam) to set a phone alarm to ring each day at 3:20 so I could pray Eph 3:20 over our life, our family and all those in our Love-wise3-20-alarm-phone ministry sphere:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

One day, near Thanksgiving 2015, Bill approached me with an idea, “I know this next season of caring for my parents will have some consistent challenges, and I know you love the ocean, so what if we lived on a boat, in a nice marina? It could be for a little while, or longer, depending on how we like living on the sea. But it would add some hope and light to this more demanding transition.  I think the kids and grandkids would love vacations on the boat. You could kayak, paddleboard, walk the beach every day if you wanted. It could be our happy spot in the water in the middle of a sea of responsibility.”

My response was positive—instantly! And we began to call our dream our #crazygoodmidlifeadventure. I selected “adventure” as my Word of the Year in January, while  Bill opted for “Intrepid” (meaning “fearless, adventurous, bold, heroic”)  And my verse for the year was 1 Cor 2:9, “…“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— “

Excited for this new adventure, we skyped our  “far-flung family”, spread across the USA,  all in on a conference call. They were unanimously on board for this unique new plan. To confirm, God had each son call, independent of the others, and offer to come help us prep our home to put on the market. This translated to our boys and their godly wives giving up a relaxing Christmas vacation in trade for a whole lot of hard work! (This was one of the sweetest weeks in the entire year—to see our kids and our wonderful daughters in laws sacrifice to bless us.)

We put the home on the market at the end of January 2016, and within a few days, we got a great offer, for near our moving-saleasking price. We did a happy dance in the airport Admirals Club where we signed papers for the sale between flights enroute to a speaking engagement.  The potential buyers were a military family, and they also owned a business which needed the large storage building on our property. We were thrilled to think we might bless a military family with the home God had given us to steward. However, as the escrow papers  were being drawn up, they crunched numbers of what could happen with the birth of their coming baby, and they decided to pull out.  Our dancing turned to determined prayer.

Bill’s folks still needed us to move, and now we had to trust God for new buyers. Many potential buyers came through on numerous open houses and so many appointments we have lost track of the number!  Months went by without a solid offer. We evaluated and elected to pull our home off the market to upgrade. Bill scraped off popcorn ceilings and laid a beautiful new wood floor throughout. We put the house back on the market and an agent who had been watching our home brought his friends buy—and they LOVED our home and they gave a great offer. Our agent, Mike Wilmers, went the distance in creating a workable  win-win agreement and into escrow we went, with the contingency of their home selling.  But it did NOT SELL.  These buyers decided to stay in their home so we couldn’t even offer to wait for them to sell so our home dropped out of escrow.  This time the prayers and encouragement of dear friends buoyed us up. We never lost faith that God COULD sell our home, but we did wonder why he WASN’T selling our home. As one might think, we did plenty of soul searching. We called prayer vigils, anointed our doorposts with oil, and daily prayed scripture over our life, our ministry  and our home.  We came to the conclusion that God would send the “right” buyer—one more like us:  a family who would appreciate the long, steep driveway that ensures a beautiful view and plenty of privacy; A buyer who needed the 900 square feet of office space and the almost 1000 square foot storage building. It would not be an ordinary family, but an extraordinary family with a business or ministry that needed every square inch of our mountain that would be interested in our property. Along with asking God to send a good family that would bless our neighborhood, we began to pray that God would send buyers who had courage, bravery, and a boldness of spirit.

hope-in-psalms-hashtags-author-collageDuring these now 9 months of waiting, God had arranged for me to be writing “Hope Alive” sidebars for a book I was a co-author for, “Discovering Hope in the Psalms: Creative Biblical Expressions”. We were submerged in these Psalms — and believe me, we needed those verses of HOPE, like:

O God, from my youth you have taught me and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O god do not forsake me… You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths you will bring me up again.” (Ps 71:17,18, & 20)

“By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, at night his song is with me… Why are you downcast O my soul; and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God: for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalms 42:11)

“Send out your light ands truth; let them lead me…then I will go to the alter of God,  to God my exceeding joy…”  (Psalms 43:3)

As the long, hot summer turned into fall, we were reminded again that spending so much time upgrading our home,psalms-42-7-8-bible-art-creative-biblical-expressions and then caring for his folks with all those trips back and forth for months …and months… and months… Bill’s work schedule was definitely impeded, so economically the pressure was on as well.  During all this time, God was faithful to always allow us to travel for every speaking commitment and fully engage with our audiences—and we welcomed the normalcy of doing what we love: speaking to build and bless marriages and families.  As we rolled up to the one year mark of when God had called us to this transition, the reality of the timeline to sell our home before November (and all the holidays) placed yet another burden on us—to emotionally survive, we kept rolling the pressure to sell back on God’s shoulders to carry.

One weekend in September, we got a glimmer of hope as we had 10 couples all interested, and it looked as if one couple, (ministry friends of ours from 20 years ago) might make an offer, …but then in the end, none of those interested could seem to make the pieces come together to make an offer. We were steady in our faith, but emotionally e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d.

Bill was teaching on Nehemiah, and our small group Bible study of best friends, prayed with us Neh. 2:18:

“I told them how the gracious hand of God had been on me

We were asking God to show off His hand of goodness to the world.  One of my prayer partners, prayed God would dynamite open an answer : “Build up! Build up! Prepare the Road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” (Is. 57:14)

On October 1st, I got a facebook private message from Bria, a MOPS mom I had befriended when I spoke in Menifee a several years ago. Seems she had a dear friend, Staci, who was married to a successful church planter, Eric, and they had 4 sons, living in San Diego. They were in need of a home to rent. That same day, their Murrieta home happened to go on the market, they received 3 offers, and opened escrow 2 days later. Apparently, Bria had sent our MLS link to Staci, 2 months prior, asking if she was aware of anyone in the San Diego area shopping for a house. Staci agreed to keep her eyes and ears open. Well, when they were suddenly in need of a home, Staci reached out to Bria to follow up on our listing, to confirm if it was still on the market!

That same week, I spoke for Moms in Prayer, (which is a great place to be when you need some miracle prayers to come through!) The theme verse for the Unshaken conference was Psalms 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

As I was packing that week, I came across greeting cards I got from Christian nuns in Germany, more than 10 years ago, when we were in our last very D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T. season of Bill resigning his Sr Pastorate to stabilize his own health issues. I had not seen these cards of encouragement for more than a decade, but God wanted me to see the message of one in particular on THAT day:

So we were looking with great anticipation for the fulfillment of our year-long prayer request:

Then things really got interesting!

I got another Facebook message from a friend in ministry, who also had a ministry couple who had come to our open house and loved our home. They made an offer.

Then a scientist who had looked at our home six months earlier, returned home from overseas and saw our home was back on the market. He made an offer.

And then a multifamily group, swooped in on their last day of vacation from the East Coast—and they made an offer.

beeman-familyAnd we met with Staci and Eric, and their family and were very impressed by the deep faithfulness and commitment  Eric and Staci—and their entire extended family. Rarely in today’s world of people seeking comfort and ease do you meet an entire family tree full of people sacrificing and pulling in the same direction for a great spiritual goal—like planting a church.  After viewing the property, they made an offer!

From famine to feast! Four parties had given offers!  All were great people with good offers that all landed on the same weekend! So we prayed and answered each back.  And we  w.a.i.t.e.d.  Day after day stretched into a week, waiting for the replies to our counter, waiting on paperwork, waiting on answers and waiting on details,  . . .  and waiting to see who God would select as the buyer for our home.

The waiting at this point was one consistent plea to God, “P…L…E…A…S…E… sell our home to one of these qualified, gracious, and good families. “ A friend, Lisa, who is a talented Bible artist, (I have her art in my #CreativeBiblicalexpressions Facebook group), posted a drawing with this verse:

“You have stayed on this mountain long enough” Deut 1:6

We felt like God was saying deliverance, the sale of our home, which is located on a granite mountain, was at hand.

We asked God to make it very obvious to us who should get our home. In the end, through a series of circumstances that only God knew and would control, the Beemans’, the church planters, offer rose to the top.  All the obstacles, all the challenges, all the months of waiting were because GOD HELD OUR HOME FOR HIS GLORY- FOR HIS WORK- FOR THE PASTOR who was planting a NEW CHURCH in East county.

When we look at how far back God laid the stones in place for the transfer of ownership many of His previous works of preparation were revealed. For example:

  • 22 years ago, Eric’s parents moved onto a sailboat in San Diego. (Yes! We were amazed to meet a couple who were living the life God was calling us to—living on a boat! )
  • Eric had successful experiences planting churches in the Murrieta area, where his family became great friends with Bria, the MOPS mom who introduced me and our home to Staci.
  • Eric and Staci heard the call to plant a new church in San Diego 3 years ago. They immediately leased their home in Murrieta to a caregiving ministry, uprooted their family of 6 and moved in with Staci’s parents in San Diego to begin focusing on a new work.
  • During a three year time frame, Eric began working for a mega church in East County, focused on re-acclimating himself to the San Diego area and began praying about where God would like to begin a new work. The lead pastor (about the time we placed our home on the market last winter) blessed Eric and his family in this bold step of faith and sent them out to start a new church. Then friends and family rallied around Eric and Staci and plans went into action to launch a church, which would become known as Convergence Community Church.
  • Then, most recently, Eric and Staci learned her mom got an early diagnosis of cancer and would require treatment, and the Beeman’s wanted to give a quiet place to mom to recover, so moving their four sons into their own home became a pressing priority to them, and an answer to prayer for us as it would release us sooner to move to care for Bill’s folks.

And in the middle of this faith-filled pressure cooker on all sides, theirs and ours, God crossed our paths.

Everything the Beeman’s need in a home base for success in this season of church planting is answered in our house.

Everything we need to be freed to care for Bill’s folks and to travel and speak to build marriages and families to live LOVE-WISE is answered in the Beemans’ offer.

To all of us, the body of Christ, and our own families play a large role in helping work out all the myriad of details involved.  The hearts of a few key people, and their  “in step with God’s Spirit”  obedience and actions have made this plan of God a tangible reality. We are very grateful to the love and support of family on both sides of this home sale: My mom, and Bill’s parents as well as both Eric’s and Staci’s parents who have all loved and supported in a way that so reflects the love of God to a world that is looking for what love and family should look like.  Then our agent, Mike Wilmers, and his team who have prayed with us and for us and never gave up on us or our home. Their many dedicated hours are truly a precious gift.  And financial expert Jeff Merritt,  whose heart for God’s leaders helped create a path for one pastor to sell a home to another pastor. And of course, Bria, who obeyed that whisper of God, and kept telling Staci about her friend, Pam, who had a home for sale that seemed it might be a great fit for Staci and her family—we are forever grateful for her quick action when the Holy Spirit prompted her to connect us all up.

God is the Master chessman, and He moves the people and pieces of life around for our greatest good and His greatest glory.

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalms 73:28)



7 Sensational Reasons to Travel Together

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Couples who travel together enjoy more “Red Hot Monogamy” according to U.S. Travel Association.


And of those, 40 percent said their intimate lives are permanently better since traveling.10 sunset profile

Because we wrote 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and Every Woman, we thought we would gather 7 SIMPLE but sensational reasons why traveling together builds a relationship. When you go on T.R.A.V.E.L.S. together, you will enjoy…

Trying New Things: Become More Interesting: As you broaden your horizons by going to new places, meeting new people, and try new skills, you both become more interesting to each other and to your friends and family. In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success at Keeping It All Together , I share,

Relaxing Together: Often couples are in conflict simply because they are EXHAUSTED! Weh you can get away, get rest, get unhurried time together, often you can move from conflict to connection. That slower pace can also be easily transformed into some wonderful “red hot monogamy” and renewed intimacy.

Anticipating Fun– In your very busy, responsible life, looking forward to a trip, planning exciting experiences and dreaming together puts light at the end of the tunnel. A trip on your calendar brings HOPE for easier, happier, less stressful days.

Viewing the Extraordinary: Imagine the two of you in a hammock watching the sunset over the ocean, snorkeling with exotic and hawaii san diego cruise pr pixcolorful fish, dancing under the stars. Make a list of things you want to see LIVE and in person together, then put dollars to your dreams by putting the dream vacation on your calendar, and place money in savings or monthly payments to the tour company or cruise line.

Experiencing Caring Connections and Conversations: Getting away can give you time to regroup, renew or realign your lives. Longer stretches of uninterrupted time gives you the opportunity to solve issues or problems and you two can proactively plan together so you can avoid issues that might ensnare other couples.

Learning from Experts: Often, while enroute you can learn information to enrich, encourage, educate and inspire you, your marriage and your family. Some travel can include listening to podcasts or audio books, or you can travel WITH experts (cruises, vacation destinations, Christian Conference Centers, or educational tours- like to Israel)

Sharing Memories: You will traverse experiences together. Some of these memory making activities will be romantic, others might be adventurous, some might be a little problem you victoriously solve but most will be precious, priceless bonding moments together!

marriage cruise 2017 laffoon farrelTraveling anywhere in the world can meet many of these extraordinary expectations and exciting experiences  but we know from past experience, our Marriage Cruise happening THIS COMING January 7-`14, will include all of these 7 sensational yet simple, sweet memory-making opportunities. (This week will include time with us, but also great wisdom from The Smalley’s and the Laffoons, who bring their biblical insights in creative ways. Get more information on the cruise here. And please use this link to register as a “Friend of the Farrels” to get a special onboard gift. If you register for the conference and BOOK your cruise room with deposit by AUG 31, the cruise line is offering some SPECIALS and UPGRADES. Please email us at and let us know you are coming!)

We would also LOVE to bring a relaxing, renewing, rejuvenating, re-energizing retreat weekend getaway to your area! For details on how to bring us to your church, conference center or recreational area, email
We hope to have you join us on a vacation with purpose sometime this year!

Praying this promise from God from Psalms 32:8 over you:


15 Characteristics of a Person of Grace

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Today, I have a guest post from my friend, Kathy Howard.  I know she is a person of grace because I have stayed at her home, spoken for her church, and when I have needed it most, she has lavished grace over me. I highly recommend her new book “Lavish Grace“, especially if you want to lavish in God’s grace and become a woman of grace. Read to see which areas of grace might be where you want God to grow you this coming school year (Mine is #12).

Here’s Kathy:pam and kathy howard

Would you describe yourself as a channel or a pool of grace? A “channel” shares the grace with others that God has lavished on them. A “pool” hoards all God’s grace for herself, failing to pass along His undeserved loving kindness.

Anytime we find ourselves more “pool” than “channel,” it’s time to reflect again on God’s underserved grace in our own lives. In his book Putting a Face on Grace, Dr. Richard Blackaby writes that when we truly grasp its depth we would not dare withhold it from others. “We are not called to just bathe in grace; we are called to shower it upon others. Grace has not been fully experienced until it is fully expressed to others. The deeper our understanding of grace, the more we see the necessity of making it the fabric of our Christian life.”

Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we will be depends solely on God’s lavish grace working in our lives. When that truth sinks into our hearts and minds, we will live our life as a grateful response to the grace God so generously pours out on us.

Yet sometimes I forget. Often, I am that stagnant pool, hoarding God’s grace like a selfish child. But God calls me to be channel of His grace, not a pool. As someone who receives His constant supply of glorious grace, I should willingly share it with everyone around me.

What about you? Are you a channel or a pool? Use the following characteristics to evaluate whether your words and actions reflect God’s grace to others:

1. Doesn’t insist on being right, but seeks to make things right

2. Willing to be inconvenienced

3. Seeks the welfare of the other personLavishGrace-683x1024 kathy howard

4. Speaks words that build up, not tear down

5. Doesn’t demand to be heard, but strives to listen

6. Focuses on others needs instead of our own

7. Acts with humility, not pride

8. Doesn’t keep score

9. Looks for ways to help and encourage others

10. Freely forgives

11. Seeks to understand

12. Doesn’t expect a return

13. Focuses on the important over the urgent

14. Doesn’t pick and choose whom to show grace

15. Doesn’t overlook sin, but encourages holiness

Seem overwhelming? Remember, God has given us everything we need to live a life that pleases Him (2 Peter 1:3).

When do you find it most hard to show grace? What are some things that help you show grace to others?

This post is adapted from Kathy Howard’s new Bible study Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing. Lavish Grace is a 9-week journey with the apostle Paul that helps readers discover God’s abundant grace for their daily lives and relationships. You can find out more about Kathy, her speaking and writing, and find free resources at


Want a Blessed Life?

Monday, June 6th, 2016

CRCphotography (12 of 16) crop umbrella 1


Often I hear, “I want God to bless my life”, and the key to God putting his hand of goodness and favor over your life is found in Psalms 5:12: “For it is You who blesses the righteous [woman/man}, O LORD, You surround [her/ him] with favor as with a shield”  (Ps 5:12)

In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, I explain that it is wise to desire to be under God’s umbrella of blessing. Yes, storms come (we are either in a storm, have just been through a storm, or see a storm approaching) but God promises to be a “shield” and grant favor to the “righteous” (upright; person seeking to live in integrity with God’s plan)

I recently signed my 45th book contract for wonderful Bible Study in the Psalms hope in psalms pam sign(by Jean E Jones)  that will incorporate with the study creative interactives, coloring pages (by Karla Dornacher), the option of creative writing as well as Bible Art Journaling (so if you like Illustrated Faith, you will like this one!) I am writing practical “Power Step” devotionals for each chapter, that will help YOU experience the power God can give YOU when YOU dig into God’s Word. (Join our Creative Biblical Expressions (TM) Facebook group and be a part of a community of women who love art and the Bible)

umbrella of blessing psalmHere is a drawing of how I picture God’s umbrella of blessing. When we walk in step with Christ, seeking to walk in righteousness, God is our shelter in the storm. He is with us.  And God promises to grant favor over our lives as we seek to follow Christ with all our heart.


Keep under God’s Umbrella of Blessing, one upright step at a time!

pam bill red umbrella rebeccaPam Farrel is author of 45 books, and loves Creative Biblical Expressions (TM)



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


Fit for FUN! Working Out to WIN at Love!

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

In my book to help wives fan the flame on love, Red Hot Romance Tips for Women:

I share that

Here’s a short excerpt to help you two get up and active . .  and reap the many rewards of wellness: body, soul, spirit and SEXINESS!

“Let’s get something very clear—your husband, at least at some point, and more likely even now,song of s 3 4 red hot pam bill sm would use at least one of the above words to describe you. He thinks you are beautiful. One of my favorite stories that captures just why your man might think you are amazing (even if you don’t feel that way about yourself) is a story that goes back to what is traditionally seen as the first love-story: Adam and Eve.

The scene is this: Adam was created, then God grabbed a rib from Adam when he slept and made Eve. The word “make” is banah and it gives the impression of God planning out her design. He carefully put the finishing touches on her so she was exactly matched her man. Make can also mean “to accomplish, appoint, or bring forth.” So God didn’t just dream about Eve’s design; He accomplished the dream. So if your guy has ever said, “You are the woman of my dreams” or “It’s like we were “made” for each other”—well your man is exactly right!

As we discuss beauty, can we set aside all the unrealistic glossy fashion magazine runway model expectations for just a moment?  That’s a relief- because

DSC03058Our discouragement might be related to the fact that the average model weighs 23% less than the average woman. The Yale Center calculated how much an average healthy woman’s body would have to change to have the proportions of a Barbie doll. She would need to grow two feet taller, extend her neck length by 3.2 inches, gain 5 inches in chest size, and lose 6 inches in waist circumference. Now that we have set the impossible aside, let’s look at a more accurate definition of beauty.

What is Beautiful?dance close

I think First Place 4 Health

Vice President, and author of Don’t Quit, Get Fit, Vickie Heath sums up a better view of beauty with a simple comment, “Strong is the new skinny” Yes, let’s  focus on wellness, fitness and health. The man you married wants you as a life partner so your job is to just live longer and stronger.

There are some interesting facts that link wellness to a red hot sex life.


While researching our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we discovered couples that work out together have more sex!

There are several reasons for this:

1) Endorphins are released when you exercise and you are happier, so over all this means you will like your man better!

2) Exercising together bonds you with a work hard-play hard attitude

3) When you exercise, you will feel better about your body, and that means you will want your husband to see it!

So what will help you look and feel well? In 10 Secrets for Living Smart, Savvy and Strong I share the details of my personal story, of how I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off and regained my health. But let me give you a quick list of what to go “get” in order to “get”  healthier:

  • Get a great physician and nutritionist (Consult a doctor before you begin)        10 secrets and ps 92
  • Get Moving (Exercise 5-6 times a week)
  • Get good nutrition (Eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies)
  • Get lean proteins on your plate
  • Get supplements (vitamins and minerals)
  • Get away from sugar and processed (fast) foods
  • Get adequate rest (at least 8 hours)
  • Get more water and less caffeine
  • Get a good trainer
  • Get some cheerleaders (healthy friends)  around you
  • Get a lifestyle tracker (food and exercise log or a techie gadget like a Fitbit, “Up “or “smart “watch that can tack food, sleep, exercise.)


Picture yourself fit, alive and in love—now that IS BEAUTIFUL! When I took steps to regain my health, I felt more confident, sexier and gained the energy to do even more fun activities with my husband. He was beaming ear to ear as we jogged along the beach in our new running shoes on our 33rd anniversary. It had been at least a decade since I had enjoyed (or even tried) running with Bill. He told me later how proud he was of me, and how sexy I looked in my workout gear (that he also enjoyed taking off me later).

pam bill beach kayak bike snowmobile

For the past decade, we have used our anniversary to try new activities and buy new fitness gear: We have snowshoed, jetskiied, cross country skied, biked, kayaked, and ball room danced. We have purchased bikes, skates, racquets, and workout gear.  For Bill’s birthday last year, I gave him a set of 12 red envelopes and inside each was a gift card for an active date. The gift got double the impact- he smiled when he got the present and when we used it!


Tips for Red Romance

bill pam snow shoeDanna Demtre, who is a grandmother now) and author of Scale Down- Live It Up!, has seen the impact of caring about wellness: “Even after 28 years of marriage – there is strong physical attraction. One thing we both do consistently to keep romance alive is to take really good care of our bodies – stay lean and fit. We accept each other’s flaws and the normal things that come with aging. But, we both appreciate a fit, lean body and that keeps things HOT for us! I think when men or women totally let themselves go as they become comfortable and even take their spouse for granted – it can impact intimacy greatly. I think we should give as much attention to pleasing our spouse physically in our later years as we did in our early years!”

Which of these activities would your husband like to try this month?

©      Take to the dance floor (line, swing or ballroom dance classes)

©      Take the water (kayak, jet ski, water ski, paddle board, surf, wind surf)

©      Take to the air (parasail, sky dive, glider)

©      Take to wheels (bike, motorcycle, skates)

©      Take to the ice and snow( ski, snowboard, ice skate, snowshoe, sled)

©      Take up a racquet (tennis, table tennis, badminton)

©      Take a swing (baseball, softball, golf)

©      Take a hike (walk, backpack, stroll a lake, park or the beach) splash rebecca pam bill

©      Take advantage of technology (a wii fit, wii dance party, etc)

©      Take up a hunt ( with a camera, rifle, or bow and arrow)

©      Take to the gym (cross fit, a kickbox , zumba, or martial arts class)


Try to think of a clever way to invite your guy on this active date. Show up in a new workout outfit (or bathing suit); Create a clever invitation (tie a hotel key to a golf club); Dress up as a hula girl and hold his new surf board or boogie board as he enters the house. “

Red hot wives correctAnd remember to join the Red Hot Wife Challenge– a 26 day journey looking at the traits, A to Z that make us a more loving wife!


[1]New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (1 Co 3:16). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.



Legacy of Love

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

In September our newest granddaughter, the first born of our middle son and his wife, entered this world. We are a “far-flung

pic by Rebecca Jo Photography

pic by Rebecca Jo Photography

family” because we encouraged our sons to follow God’s clear call—wherever it might lead. So while we were visiting our new angelic bundle of joy we walked, rocked, sang and prayed over our beautiful new granddaughter. On days when the world seems crazy (like the night we prayed for those innocents murdered by terrorists in Paris, or sent money through WORLD HELP to get food to Christian families fleeing for their lives), on those kind of days, we reflect on the wisdom of God to send new life into our arms to give us all hope for a better, more loving tomorrow.

We also rejoiced over the wisdom, excellent parenting and nurturing we observe in our son and daughter in law. We know this little girl will grow up with some important advantages (just as our first three grandchildren do because our oldest and his wife are also terrific parents)

pix by Rebecca Friedlander

pix by Rebecca Friedlander


The one clear advantage is the power of a loving, intact, Christian marriage. Research is clear that children from two parent homes far better. In 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex, we share a few statistics that should motivate each of us to learn to love a little more like God. (Click to read more of what grown-ups can do to question collage lifeguard verse 50better equip the next generation)

For example, children with both a mom and dad in the home have higher grades, less likely to have a teen pregnancy, less likely to go to jail, less likely to commit suicide—important things like that!  But coming from a home of divorce myself, I know God is a GREAT Father, and if an individual is willing to hold TIGHT to Jesus, God can redeem, restore, and remake a life.  This means all of us at Love-Wise have a clear mission to help prepare each individual to love as God loves. Our goal is to equip people before they are married, strengthen those who are married, and repair and reignite those who have had broken hearts, all to reflect God’s love and pass it as a legacy to the next generation. To accomplish this lofty goal, we must intersect God’s wisdom with God’s love and this will produce “Love-Wise” individuals, couples, families and churches.

brock eden baptism,Most recently, our oldest granddaughter asked Jesus in her life, went on her first mission’s trip to India and was baptized to proclaim her dedication to be a bright light of God’s love. She has a sensitive heart toward others and her sincere faith is inspiring to we, her grandparents, too!

      We are THANKFUL for all of you- our readers, our audience members, leaders who have trusted us to speak at your churches, conference centers and corporations. Teaming together we can shine a brighter light of God’s love. (To get a monthly relationship encouragement from Pam and Bill  input your email at

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts  (Ps 145:4)



Be a Hero! Parents On Guard!

Thursday, November 5th, 2015


question collage lifeguard verse 50We live in San Diego, so going to the beach is a common activity. As prudent parents, and now grandparents, we always select beaches with a lifeguard on duty. From their viewpoint in the tower, they have a vantage point that helps them spot dangerous rough waves, hidden under currents or predatory animals that could attack innocent swimmers. Those lifeguards are also on call to help rescue those who might get into troubled waters while at the beach. In short, they are heroes because they protect lives. To succeed they must do a few things well: remain vigilant while on guard, communicate warnings, and respond swiftly to needs.

In the Old Testament, God commanded  leaders to be “watchmen on the wall” with very similar duties: In Ezekiel 3:17 God rouses the prophet: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.”  In !0 Questions Kids Ask About Sex, we explain that YOU, as a caring parent,  are like the vigilant watchman.

While we were parents, youth leaders, then pastors working with families, we developed several proven tools that helped our children navigate safely through the ever changing rough waters of culture and the dangerous under currents of societal immorality. Our sons made it safely to shore. They were young men with relationship integrity who have become godly leaders married to godly young women. In addition, families who have used these tools have also seen a much higher rate of seeing their own children make wise relationship and life choices.  Here is a list of tools we are very grateful that God allowed us to develop, and since it is back to school time, think of it as easy as A, B, C:

A is for Ask: Kids will ask questions, so we parents should have answers. And sometimes, it is we parents who should ask questions of our kids, tweens, teens and college students need to develop answers for. In 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex we prepare your to talk with your kids (pre-school through premarital) giving bullet points and wording to use to explain the “birds and bees” at each age and stage.

B is for Baton Pass: Our job is to work ourselves out of a job by preparing our kids for life- then passing the baton. Raising a

Raising a Modern-Day Princess Modern Day Princess (and Becoming a Modern Day Princess Journal) and for guys, Raising a Modern Day Knight  are rite of passage programs churches or parents can use to prepare a young person for adulthood, and mark the moment with a spiritual celebration.

C is for Contracts: Spell things out. In our book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, we explain how to  lay a strong foundation of character using our Learner and Leaders Who Love God contract of privileges and responsibilities, a fun family day accompanied with a gift and prayer each year before school begin. The gift is selected based on three things.

It is:

  • Practical, something I might have to buy anyway.
  • Personal. The child should be able to tell I thought about the gift.
  • Prophetic, meaning that it speaks the truth about the uniqueness, the calling or the strength we see God building into each child.

Then, we add in more tools and conversations, year after year.  Desire, hormones, love, sex—these topics are much too important to leave to innuendo, guess work or hint! We use a set of agreements to have those very important conversations:

Teen Relationship Contract is an interactive tool with verses on God’s views on managing relationships and sexuality in a wholesome way.

Driving Contract is a series of questions to gain agreement of all the details that come with the privilege of driving.

Media contract helps those as young as 8 thru college make wise choices on use of all types of media.

Education contract helps parents of teens and college students gain unity on the best plan for a young person’s future.

Freshman Foundation is a series of 5 Dinner and dialogue questions covering vital areas a college student needs to take responsibility for to succeed.

Yes, God is calling you to be the Lifeguard, the “watchman” over your children’s lives, but what is really needed is a host of parents willing to train their own kids to become watchmen—lifeguards—HEROS to their own generation, as well.

brock 11 football pix series 10 best parent

Above  is a photo series of our oldest son, as he grew into a Learn and Leader who Loves God– and now he is leading his own family– tickle brock hannah grandkids rebeccawith their own unique way of doing learner and leader days too.

Our goal– and YOURS– is to complete the baton handoff, generation after generation:

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! (Psalm 22:30–31).

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, authors of 40 books on marriage and family including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex. Find out more about their many parenting resources and the Talking to Your Kids About the Birds and Bees seminar at