Scavenger Hunt #20: Imagine Love

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

This interview is a part of a wonderful blog hop scavenger hunt through Christian Authors Network. Follow the hunt from site to site collecting the words or phrases needed to complete the winning sentence—AND meet some amazing authors all along the way! (In this blog, be on the look for “and teach” as you read about the talented author and editor, Kathy Ide):

As the author of relationship books like The Secret Language of Successful CouplesSecret Language of Couples new sub title unlock love, today I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to my friend, Kathy Ide, a stand out author and editor in my CAN writer’s network. She has a very unique series of “fictional devotionals”, that is, a devotion that uses fiction and the use of powerful story-telling to move your heart and life closer to God.

Here are a few Questions and Answers that will give you a more up close and personal look at Kathy and her innovative writing:

  1. Tell me about your newest book.

It’s actually a four-book series of Fiction Lover’s Devotionals, published by BroadStreet Publishing. The booksKathy Ide-rectangle [210302] are collections of short fiction stories, all written by different authors—some new, some intermediate, and some well-known, beloved best sellers. Each story is followed by a brief Life Application, written by the author of the story, that suggests how the messages inherent in the fictional tale can be applied to the reader’s daily life.

  1. What’s unique about this series?

A lot of readers today love Christian fiction. But in their quiet times with the Lord, they want something with a little more depth … and something a little shorter than a novel. There are lots of compilations with short true stories out there. The Fiction Lover’s Devotionals are for readers who enjoy fiction. For people who haven’t discovered the joys of Christian fiction, these short stories will be a great introduction to it.

  1. Which authors are included in these books?

21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love has chapters by Angela Hunt, Deborah Raney, Cindy Woodsmall, Tracy Higley, Cecil Murphey, DiAnn Mills, Kathi Macias, and more.

21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift includes chapters by Lena Nelson Dooley, Joanne Bischof, Jan Cline, and Lynn Kinnaman.

21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships contains stories by Cindy Woodsmall, Susan May Warren, Sherry Kyle, and Renae Brumbaugh.

21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom features the writings of Lynette Sowell, Mary DeMuth, Deborah Raney, and Cindy Woodsmall.

Bios of contributing authors are featured at the end of each chapter, so you can get something new from the novelists you already know and love as well as samples from other authors you can add to your favorites list.

  1. How do you see people using these devotionals?

The books are being published as hardcover gift books—small enough to take with you wherever you go, and with chapters short enough to read anywhere. You can enjoy these stories over breakfast, at lunch break, before bed, or curled up in your favorite chair with a cup of coffee or tea. They make terrific gifts too!

 

  1. Can you share a sample?

21 Days of Love kathy ideExcerpt from 21 Days of Love:

 

Silk Roses

by Kathy Ide

 

“Don’t marry someone you can live with. Marry the man you can’t live without.”

As Jamie floated across the dance studio floor, her cousin Stacy’s words of advice rang in her heart. She gazed into Tony’s sparkling green eyes. He hadn’t stopped looking at her since the waltz began. His arm around her waist, he led her gracefully through every turn and twirl.

This amazing man was definitely her soul mate. Tony made her feel loved. Cherished. Like she was the only woman in the world. Well, the only woman in his world.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered in her ear.

Her cheeks—already flushed from the dance—warmed even more.

Jamie’s focus flitted back and forth between Tony’s adorable face and the glittering diamond he’d placed on her finger on Valentine’s Day one year ago. When they began making wedding plans, she’d shared her lifelong dream of dancing with her groom at the reception.

His eyebrows rose, but after a moment’s hesitation, he’d said, “If it’s important to you, I’ll learn.” Just one of the many things Tony said that melted her heart.

 

  1. Can these books also be used in group settings?

Absolutely. They’re great for a book club, Bible study, life group, Sunday school class, or just getting together with friends. There’s a study guide available as a free PDF on www.FictionDevo.com or as a 99-cent e-book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, which can be used for groups to encourage and inspire as well as teach more in-depth individual study.

  1. Where can people purchase the books?

The print versions can be ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook, and other online retailers. It’s also in several Christian bookstores and some Barnes & Noble stores. The e-book is available from Amazon, BN.com, iBooks, and Google Play. The www.FictionDevo.com website’s home page has links to various places where the books can be ordered online, so readers can “comparison shop” for the best price at the time they order.

kathy ide 21 days of book series

  1. What do you want readers to take away from the book?

I am a huge fan of Christian fiction. The Holy Spirit has spoken to me many times through novels, as I relate personally to the characters and their situations. And I’ve heard about others whose lives were changed through a fictional story they read. I believe the same thing can happen through the short stories in these devotionals. Also, when I’m looking for a new book to read, I tend to go for the authors I’m already familiar with. It’s tough to decide which new novelists to try because I don’t know what their style is and whether it’s something I’m going to like. Reading short stories from a variety of novelists all in one book will give fiction fans an opportunity to sample different authors and find new ones they enjoy.

  1. What can readers do after they read the books?

They can post their responses to the stories at www.Facebook.com/FictionDevo. I’m very excited about reading what the Lord is doing in people’s hearts and lives through these books. And, of course, I’d love for readers to spread the word about these books so the publisher will be able to continue the series!

  1. How can people find out more about you?

My website, www.KathyIde.com, has information about my editing services, my editor networks, and my speaking engagements. I have a blog and a newsletter with tips for writers and publishing industry news. Additional tips and announcements are posted on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KathyIde.AuthorEditor, and my Twitter page, https://twitter.com/KathyIde.

“Did you catch the secret phrase? to encourage and 

Your next stop on the CAN Scavenger Hunt is: http://kathyide.com/can-scavenger-hunt-21/

If you’re ready to enter the CAN group Scavenger Hunt contest, click here to send in your entry: http://christianauthorsnetwork.com/newreleases/

 

Thanks! And speaking of love . . . have you joined the 90 Day Red Hot Romance Challenge? 13 weeks of adding spark and sizzle into your marriage!

Pam and Bill

RH90dayHeader red hot

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Red Hot Romance! 90 Days to a Sizzling Marriage

Monday, July 11th, 2016

 

Crosswalk asked us to create a 90 day, 13 week challenge to help move couples CLOSER.  Using some of the practical wisdom found in our books Red Hot Monogamy; Red Hot Romance Tips for Women52 Ways to Wow Your Husband; and Bill’s phone App: Her Best Friend, we have SIMPLIFIED and synthesized an easy to implement 10 week romance challenge. Below is the article we wrote for Crosswalk, then the sign up for a special ONCE A WEEK Romance Rev — a personal email from Bill and I that contains some extra helps plus two ideas for developing your marriage with a FOCUSED date and a FUN date for each week.

Your heart beats with anticipation when you round the block and head into your driveway. It skips a beat when you hear that special ringtone and see your mate’s face on your cell phone. Your smile widens as the one you love walks in the door. Your entire being longs to be with your spouse. Others want what you have—that spark and sizzle of a love that is on fire!

The couple in Song of Songs 8:7 felt this kind of love, saying, “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away…”

Why do we long for intense, all-consuming love? It is because God designed us to give and receive love. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). With a little bit of focus, enthusiasm, and creativity, in a short time, it is possible to renovate and revive your marriage. Or if you feel your marriage is already on solid footing, a focused period dating your mate will enrich your love even more! Fanning the flame on passion is what the 90 Day Red Hot Romance Challenge is all about.

RH90dayHeader red hot

What Bill and I have observed in our 36 years of marriage ministry is when couples hit a difficult patch, or one or both are feeling disinterested, disengaged or distracted, a marriage can be reignited when one of two things happens.

pam bill dating bc1. They both commit to be “all in” for a focused period of time so new skills can be learned and feelings of love can be rekindled as new happy and satisfying memories are experienced.

2. One of you, a husband or a wife, decides he or she is willing to try to “outlove” their spouse with God’s power and provision. When one person loves like God loves, it raises the possibility for God transform your marriage.

If you want a Red Hot Romance and a sizzling, satisfying, sex life, commit to the 90 Day Red Hot Romance Challenge to give God the time and opportunity to give you back those honeymoon feelings. Just like a diamond in a wedding ring has many facets, a strong marriage has unity in 13 different areas of intimacy. Here is a preview of the journey of love you two will travel:

Week 1:  Archival – The number one reason couple’s who have filed for divorce decide to pull their papers and stick it out is they remember how much they have already invested in their marriage. Just like a bellow blows and an ember sparks into a flame, a couple that feels their love is growing cold will find their romance ablaze again when they take a trip down memory lane. In this week, you will pull out memorabilia like your wedding album and video; retell your love story to your children; or create a “flashback” date and return to the place you met, first said, “I love you,” first kissed, had your first date, proposed or honeymooned.

Week 2: Social – While doing research for “Her Best Friend” phone App, Bill discovered that the primary her best friend ap cold lakecharacteristic of successful, long lasting marriages is that the husband and wife have become best friends. In this week, you will brainstorm a list of new activities you two can try TOGETHER with the goal of finding something you BOTH love doing. Each of you brainstorm a bucket list: things to do, classes to take, places to go, hobbies to learn.  Now compare lists, looking for common denominators. This might be the year to take that Pacific Rim Island cooking class that reminds you of that honeymoon in Hawaii! Or this could be the summer to have a weekly picnic at the pops symphony, or motorcycle to all the best burger places in the county.

Week 3: Nutritional – While writing Red Hot Romance Tips for Women, I discovered that science supports some of the mythological food aphrodisiacs. Creating a meal together using many of these heart healthy items can produce passion as you whisk, bake and taste-test delectable ingredients.  For a quick example, check out to power of beloved chocolate. 70 percent cocoa, a sweet, erotic staple, contains phenylethylamine which is linked to the release of endorphins. Dark chocolate increases the feelings of attraction between two people and causes a more intense and a longer brain buzz than kissing does.

song of s 3 4 red hot pam bill smWeek 4: Physical – You will be more likely to enjoy Red Hot Monogamy if you are ALIVE and well! Couples that workout together have more sex than the average couple. This is NOT about looking perfect, rather about feeling healthy and strong. Together you will discuss, decide and complete a health and wellness plan. Exercise releases happy endorphins, but passion itself has an upside for your health too. For example, kissing for 15 minutes burns 30 calories.

Week 5: Recreational – The longer you are married, the more likely you are working harder and playing less. This is the week to find an activity you BOTH enjoy! For example, during our children’s teen years we were so busy supporting their sports we forgot what sports we loved to do as a couple.  The year our first son launched into college we tried a variety of activities from cross country skiing to mountain biking in search of “the perfect set of sports.” We settled on sports of the sea: paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, jetskiing and beachside biking.

Week 6: Vocational – Couples are often in conflict over who does what and when. Once a year, Bill and I sit down to make goals and decide what the priorities are in our careers and at home. This is also a good time to discuss and delegate chores and household, yard, and car maintenance responsibilities. In Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, we have a “What’s Important to You” worksheet that helps a husband and a wife see which areas of your personal and family life matter most to each of you. The person who cares the most about a particular priority should pick up that area—no matter if it breaks gender stereotypes. If he’sWafflesCover new a better cook and she loves to be outside mowing the lawn, go with it! A fun date this week could be a “trading places” swap. Change the side of the bed you sleep in, who drives the car when you are together, who cooks or does dishes or even spend time in each other’s work places if that is possible. It is amazing the appreciation that builds when you walk in each other’s shoes.

Week 7: Parental – People often ask us how our family gets along so well and arguments seem very rare. One of the top contributing factors to family unity is to have a clear plan. In 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, we share how to create a family compass including a Mission, Motto, and Moniker (or crest), and our yearly parenting plan to help our sons become “Learners and Leaders who Love God.” As tm sons 10bpparents, your marriage is strengthened as you realize your marriage is about much more than just your own personal happiness. God calls us all to pass the baton of faith to the next generation. If you are newlyweds, and having children is still in the future, this might be a great time to take a parenting class, read a parenting book and discuss your views on child rearing. If you are empty nesters, you might decide to have a date that includes your grown kids and their significant others or the grandkids. Or maybe your date could be a scouting trip to check out venues for the next family reunion.

Week 8: Emotional – This world is hard on people. Like us, one or both of you might come from families of origin filled with dysfunction and drama. A date that includes couple’s counseling, a marriage workshop or retreat might be just the thing to repair broken hearts or broken dreams. To find a quality counselor in your area, we recommend a visit to your local Christian bookstore, ask your own Pastor or Marriage Ministry Director or contact ministries like AACC or Focus on the Family.  A favorite marriage tune up, with some of the best interpersonal communication tools, is a United Marriage Encounter getaway weekend. (If your marriage is in a tough place, we have a list of other resources in Marriage On the Rocks? Try Again!)

Week 9: Financial – Money is the number one area couples typically argue about! This week you will tacklewow laugh this area and decide what one choice would most help you two move forward in unity. You might decide to watch some Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University or Crown Financial videos, or sign up for a class. It might be the week to actually create a budget, or clip coupons and go on a “two for one” date. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive. While writing 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband, I posted a contest on social media and ask friends to give examples of “Dates on a Shoestring Budget.” The winner wrote: “We each get $5 ($10 if we’re lucky) we take turns going into a store while the other waits in the van… Usually Wal-Mart, Kwik Trip, ACE Hardware, or Good Will… Sometimes we have a drawing for which store.)  We each buy — without the others’ knowledge — whatever we want for “Date Night.”  Combining the two items into one date night is a hoot!  He might buy a Styrofoam cup of worms and a sixpack of Mountain Dew for a few hours of fishing — and I purchase a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.”

fire hat red hot 60Week 10: Spiritual – Couples that attend church weekly, pray together daily and are in small group Bible studies with those who believe in long lasting love tend to also have a long lasting marriage and rate their sex life as more satisfying than the average couple. Mutual spiritual growth creates a pathway to true intimacy. God created us body, soul and spirit so as we seek to interweave our spiritual lives it builds trust, and trust is the key that unlocks freedom to enjoy your intimate life. Dates to develop your shared walk with God could include watching a Christian marriage video (like our Red Hot Date Night), or pop some popcorn and watch a movie produced by a Christian movie company like bestselling War Room or Fireproof; or attend a Christian music concert of a favorite or new artist.

Week 11: Inspirational – Even in marriage, it is “more blessed to give than receive.” Some of the sweetest memories Bill and I have are times we have done ministry together. We started as newlyweds teaching 4-year-old Sunday School, and more recently, God has us traveling the world equipping couples and families in various cultures on love, marriage and parenting. This week’s date is your opportunity to try a new ministry like serving food at a homeless shelter, gathering donations for a women’s center, teaching a children’s or teen class, or hosting a barbeque that reaches out to neighbors and friends that might not know Christ yet.  People are looking at your marriage and wondering “What is the power that helps them stay in love?” We sign all our books with that answer, “We love because He [God] first loved us” (1 John 4:19)

Week 12: Sensual – When all five senses are used in creating a date, that memory sticks! Researchers at hawaii bill pamCambridge discovered if you are “super surprised” then you “super learn” and more details of that experience lodge deeper in your memory. This week you will each plan a mini date using all five senses. One of our most memorable dates was when I surprised Bill at a conference he was attending. I had a picnic basic that included some of his favorite luau foods from the islands, lotions we brought back from Hawaii, candles in coconut shells, Hawaiian print sarongs and ukulele music by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, and as we experienced all five senses, we spent the night, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Week 13: Sexual – Lack of time is the number one reason couples cite for not having frequent sexual relations. The goal of this 90 Day Red Hot Romance Challenge is to increase your frequency and satisfaction level of your intimate life. Most weeks, sexual expression will likely happen simply because you are paying greater attention to one another, but this week you will talk about your sex life. In the Old Testament, the word most used for sex is “to know” and that is really the goal, to know your mate head to toe, inside and out, body, soul and Spirit. Phil 2 encourages us to consider “others as more important than yourself” so this will be the night you keep your mate’s desires in mind.

two hands one heart beach sunset romanceIf you would like to join the Love-Wise 90 Day Red Hot Romance Challenge and receive email that gives more enrichment, encouragement, education and equipping in these 13 areas of intimacy. Take up the challenge and create a marriage that is red hot!

 

 

 

Pam and Bill Farrel international speakers, relationship experts and the authors of 45 books includingpam bill red umbrella rebecca Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, Red Hot Monogamy, 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband, and Red Hot Romance Tips for Women. Bill is the creator of Her Best Friend Phone App which sends one romantic idea a day to a man’s phone to wow and woo his wife. The Farrels have been happily married 36 years and together they are Co Directors of Love-Wise

 

 

 

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Navigating Transition: What to Do in the Waiting

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

home and fushia flowersWe are in another transition. Our home is on the market, we are downsizing, and moving our ministry headquarters nearer Bill’s aging parents. His parents need someone in the family closer, much more often, and we know it is our time to give back to the couple who gave Bill life. But our home hasn’t sold . . .yet. . . so we feel like we are in spiritual limbo. Like a plane circling an airport to land, we keep doing what we know will keep our life safely flying until we are cleared for landing.

Thinking back, we have been in transition many times before: before we married, before God called us to go to seminary, waiting to see if we would receive our first ministry calling, waiting for the results of a pregnancy test (three times), waiting to see which would be our first home, waiting to see what church would be Bill’s first pastorate, waiting to see if any publisher would want to print our book(s) . . .waiting, more and more waiting. In 10 Best 10 Best CoupleDecisions a Couple Can Make, we walk couples through many life typical transitions.

In a more tender moment, at a time of life and death of our youngest son, God enlightened us on what to do while waiting:    

I [Pam] was sitting in a hospital room—my son in ICU—with my husband who had just ended a job he loved. I was asked to endorse a book, Gracepoints by Jane Rubietta, and God sent His hope in the middle of the pain of my changing world through Jane’s book as I read: “God is working just beyond the headlights of your life. . . .”

Here are a few other things I have learned about navigating change:

brave book courage mugIn my messages on Becoming A Brave New Woman: Step into God’s Adventure for Your Life, I encourage women to follow the example of Naomi in the book of Ruth, who, when her husband and sons died, went back to the last place that she knew she had heard from God, her homeland. If you are feeling lost, go back to familiar people and places, and the promises from God’s Word.

 

 

 

 

Look at nature, the consistent roll of the waves—tide in, tide out; or the sun that rises and sets each day. God is in control. Psalm 50: 6 reminds us, “The heavens proclaim his righteousness.” Observe the certain in nature and rely on that same reliable control of God in your own life. God is in control even if you can’t see or feel it, so observe it with a sunrise or a moonrise today to remind yourself of His power to provide.

In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, I share  the obvious “Do the Next right thing” principle: Do what is healthy while you are waiting and wondering. Cleansimple known to unknown gods will b and p both  house, get dressed, visit friends, and continue in ministry, even if it is just helping the next person who God brings across your path. Proverbs 31:13 gives an example of a woman who “works with eager hands.” If you don’t have answers, research and step out to call, write, or visit people who created the information. Function on the thread of information you do know, and it will likely lead to a person or resource with more information.

Remember God’s faithfulness in your own life. Log away the faithfulness of God in a scrapbook, a photo album, and in your heart—like the Psalmist who lists twenty-five faithful victories of God in Psalm 136 and ends each accomplishment with the praise, “For His love endures forever.”

Send Up a Simple Prayer: Lord, when I am navigating change, help me focus on You, the CREATOR, not my circumstances. Be the compass needle of my life. Create light to lead me t my “next right thing”. Amen.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:2)

 

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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.

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No to Grey! God’s Love is Red Hot

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Never Settle for Grey When God’s Love is Red Hot!

With all the stir over the upcoming release of the Shades of Grey movie , and the cultural impact of more than 100 million copies sold, I thought I would share why I WILL NEVER SETTLE FOR MR. GREY. I will NOT read the books NOR  will I watch the movie—or any erotica or mommy porn like it. Simply put, I don’t like counterfeit love when God’s plan for love is REAL and it produces LASTING RED HOT RESULTS! (more…)

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Saying Yes to God

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

I am so excited for you to hear from my friend, Sharon Jaynes. She is a “Brave New Woman” who, like me, likes to say “Yes!” to God because life just keeps getting better when you do! Enjoy Sharon’s wisdom, and her new book for women: Sudden Glory!

Sometimes I look at my life today and wonder how in the world I got to this place of ministry. And then I realize that much of the reason I am here is because I chose to trust God’s leading, even when, especially when, it didn’t make any earthly sense at all. Then I wonder about all the missed opportunities because I didn’t.

Many years ago, I had a ministry opportunity that seemed way beyond my ability…it was. I wasn’t qualified. I wasn’t trained. I didn’t have a theology degree. I only took one English class in college—the one required to graduate.

            Did you notice how many of those sentences in that last paragraph started with the word “I?” I certainly did. Just as surely as Paul filled Romans 7 with more “I’s” than any good writer should, I filled my mind with personal pronouns that shined the spotlight on my own insecurities and inadequacies, rather than God’s sufficiency.

For one year I had been praying that God would show me what my next phase of life was to look like. I was a wife, a mother, a dental hygienist, a Bible study teacher, a crisis pregnancy counselor, and a volunteer for a host of worthy causes. But my soul was restless.

            I had written a few Bible studies for my home church, a couple of articles for various magazines, and scribbled a file folder full of personal stories with spiritual applications. “God, do you want me to do something with all this writing?” I asked. Then I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

            One year after my initial prayer about this nudging in a new direction, I met a gal named Lysa who asked me to join her in a new ministry to encourage and equip wives and mothers through writing, radio and conference speaking. While I didn’t feel qualified, I did agree to pray about it.

            A few weeks later, Steve and I got up on Sunday morning, and the restlessness continued to play over my spirit like a fiddle. “Steve, let’s go to a different church this morning. Just for fun. Let’s go over that that big church that has the choir that sounds like the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I could really use some cutting-loose praise and worship today.”

            “Sounds good to me,” Steve replied.

            So off we went to a church that was not our own. When we arrived, we discovered a visiting preacher who was not their own, slated to teach that day. After thirty minutes of incredible worship, the visiting pastor approached the podium. “Well, I had a sermon all prepared, but God has just changed it. Forget what’s printed in your bulletin. I’m going to preach from John chapter 2 today.”

            So off he went down a road that God had paved. The pastor painted a picture of Jesus at the wedding of Cana with his mother and a few of his best friends. Leave it to Mary, Jesus’ mother, to notice the party details. The wine was just about to run out and it was only day three of the seven-day celebration.

            “Jesus,” she whispered, “they are running out of wine.”

            “What’s that to me?” he replied.

            With a twinkle in her eye, Mary turned to the wine stewards and said, “Whatever he says do, do it.”

            It was as if that pastor looked right at me in the sea of thousands. Whether or not he did, I don’t know. But I do know God spoke directly to me. Did you hear that, Sharon?  Whatever I say do, do it.

            God had written those words on the heart of this man standing behind the podium, sealed them in an envelope of the sermon, and express mailed them to me. Fifth row, second seat. My name was on the envelope just as sure as if the pastor had called out my name. The postmark was clear. It was a sudden glory – a moment when God made His presence known.

            Yes, God had been stirring the pot of my life’s soup. And now it was time to serve it up. But would I take His hand and join Him on the dance floor, or sit this one out because of fear?

            I had to make a move. I had to decide. I had to choose to obey or not. Even though what I felt He was asking me to do made absolutely no sense at all, I had a choice.  “Whatever He says do, do it.”

            In order to be a Brave New Woman, you will always have a choice. But I can tell you, 17 books later, when you say “yes” to God, your life will be filled with moments of Sudden Glory when God makes His presence known to you at every turn.

Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and the author of 17 books,including her newest release, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. To learn more, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.

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Brave? How to Become a Brave New Woman

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

 

 

Watching the new Disney Pixar movie, Brave, I was inspired by one of the last lines of the movie, “The fate of our lives are within us; we just need to brave enough to see it.”  That reminded me of one of my favorite verses, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:10 NASB) God created an adventure or each of us! He has called us into this adventure and to walk it, we need to become BRAVE! It takes a courageous heart of faith to walk out your God-given adventure!

In the movie, Brave, the main character is a young princess named Merida who prefers an adventurous life complete with a bow and arrow over settling down—but she and her parents see life differently. Without revealing more of the plot, she does discover the real meaning of bravery—but she first goes to the wrong kind of sources, which causes all kinds of chaos. Grown women today often look to the similar false supplies of courage: palm readers, psychics, tarot cards, horoscopes—or even a buffet of motivation speakers who say things like “Look to your inner strength”. “ You are your own God”, or “ You are master of your own destiny”.

There is a dilemma–while doing research for the writing of my book, Becoming a Brave New Woman, I discovered research like 90% of the thoughts women have about themselves are negative! And even a bad hair day can set a woman back (yes, there is scientific evidence on that!)  So women do need courage, confidence and in a world with the heart-stopping headlines like we see daily, we need to learn to become BRAVE.

In Becoming a Brave New Woman, I suggest, “Nothing is more vital, more central to your self-confidence than your confidence in God”. I like to say, “Show me the size of your God, I will show you the size of your confidence; BIG God, BIG confidence. BIG God, BIG courage. BIG God, BIG bravery!”  See, when we look to our own power to be brave we see we are limited, but when we depend on God’s power, His is limitless. That is why the Bible has bravery building verses like:

I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me . . . (Phil 4:13)

Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)

Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through
Him Who loved us. (Romans 8:37 AMP)

In Becoming a Brave New Woman, I layout the STEP method of stepping into your God-given
adventure.

Speak the Adventure

Team Up for the Adventure

Energize the Adventure

Push the Adventure

It also has “winning ways” which helps a woman apply what she is learning, with activities and
discussion. I encourage women to have an adventure team (or if you will, brave buddies), so grab some girlfriends, read the book in your book club, Bible study, or with a mentor (or mentee) and become brave together! To help you, “winning words” are included in each chapter. These are personalized prayers of scripture strung together by topic to help a woman get a bigger, more accurate view of God. Finally, Becoming a Brave New Woman includes “winning wisdom”, empowering quotes to post on your mirror, desk or refrigerator.

Don’t let fear stop you from achieving God’s adventure for your life, grab hold of our big God and Become a Brave New Woman!

Becoming a Brave New Woman is available as an ebook or get an autographed copy at www.Love-Wise.com . I pray over each copy of Brave New Woman my ministry sends out—I pray with God’s help, you and I will be BRAVE!

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