that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Phil 3:10
This verse has special meaning to me. I met a curly -haired, tan, fit college student leader at Campus Crusade for Christ headquarters in the late summer of 1978. His Bible was so used and worn he had to have it rebound in rough tan leather and burned into the front cover was “That I may know Him” I fell in love with Bill Farrel not just for his good looks, but rather, for his God-chasing heart. Any guy who wants to identify with Christ, not just for His majesty and power but also for his sufferings, is a deep man of faith.
Cultivating habits that allow God’s resurrection power to flow into your life is imperative so that you can stay strong, even in times of suffering . Here are three ways that have helped me find and experience resurrection power:
Partner for Power
Since the day I met that gorgeous guy, I have watched him graciously handle suffering and hardship with a 5-fold P.O.W.E.R process that has become our “Go to” when times get tough:
Pray: God will get us thru this. Let’s pray.
Open up: Let’s both share our needs with each other
Wisdom seek: Let’s find some scripture to hang our heart on to keep our hope, joy and peace.
Endure: Let’s just keep doing the next right thing. Let’s be true to God and God will be true to us.
Reach out: Let’s gather our trusted faith community to pray and believe with us and for us.
Which would help you most right now?
Pam Farrel and her husband, Bill, are relationship specialists, authors of 50+ books, international speakers, and Co-Directors of Love-Wise.com. They live on a boat docked in Southern California.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
(2) Take time to tell your Heavenly Father thanks too! Take a prayer walk and thank Him for what you see along your path; pull out a photo album or the gallery on your smart phone and scroll through photo memories and give him praise; Or kneel and honor Him in humility by praising Him for his character traits, attributes and names. Abba is the name Jewish children call out to their father, it means “Daddy” Thanks your Abba Father for walking alongside you and His spirit being in you.
the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. ..” (Luke 6:23)
Let’s make this summer of JOY!
Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 48 books including several bestsellers like Men Are Like WAffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, Discovering Hope in the Psalms and Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience. (co-authored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House) Pam and her husband, Bill have been married almost 40 years, and that makes them REJOICE! Together they Co-Direct Love-Wise. The Farrels call their live aboard boat docked in Southern Ca. home.
As storm clouds gather, they often cover the sun and a harsh greyness vails the light. This was the place B ill and I found outselves for three long years, as Bill commuted back and forth almost weekly through gridlock Los Angeles traffic to care for his againg parents, all while we worked to keep up with our acre of land, and our Love-Wise ministry of writing, speaking, and travel. While our marriage was weathering the storm, we both we tired of the treadmill that seemed to have now end. A darkness of depression was trying to cover over our hope. One night, at the end of yet another long an rigorous commute, about midnight, I heard Bill’s footsteps, heavy on the stairwell, then say his weary face in the dim light of our bedroom. I whispered,
“Keeping your parents alive is killing you. Something has to change”
He nodded in exhausted agreement.
He worked to remodel our home and place it on the market, while I was writing my portion of
Discovering Hope in the Psalms. We handled these unbelievably long work days and very short nights of sleep by emailing Psalms to each other; sharing Psalms as we ate meals together; as we traveled in the car and as we sorted, packed then moved boxes.We looked for Psalms to sing praises and we listened to Psalms as musical choruses or being read aloud as we drifted to sleep. The Psalms calmed our hearts, renewed our spirits, and revived our HOPE despite the difficult circumstances
Psalm 43:3-4 gave comfort one day in the middle of the mess of life. Our home wasn’t sold (yet still needed to be kept picture perfect for showings), our parents still needed care, our commute was still long, our ministry needed an infusion of energy and finances that we lacked, and nothing on the horizon in our circumstances was indicating anything would be changing any time soon. We needed to have a verse to hang our heart on to move forward emotionally in this very long wait. So, we prayed Psalm 43:3-4:
“Send out Your light and Your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to Your Holy hill and to Your dwelling. Then I will go to the alter of God, to my God my exceeding joy. …”
Instead of looking at our current difficult circumstances, we looked at the end game. God would bring us to a place where we saw the exceeding joy only God could give. And He promised to dispatch His light (the kind of light that pierces the darkness like dawn) and His truth (some translations say, “faithful care” or the trustworthy truth that is backed by God’s caring character of action) And we were most encouraged that the kind of “leading” that the Psalmist is describing is a fluid one that moves forward and back to create the best opportunity!
We hung our hearts on verses like these. for a long five-year journey, but in the end, God brought a church planter to buy our
home at a price that was a win-win for all; God moved us on to our family’s vineyard as an oasis of recovery, then provided the perfect live aboard boat, at a miracle price where I daily now, read a a #sunsetpsalm from the bow of our vessel moored in a sunny southern California marina. . . and yes, there is exceeding joy on our tiny home on the water!
Easter for a child can often only mean candy, ducks, bunnies and an Easter egg hunt. And for the
first six years of my life, I am sure waking up to find out how many jelly beans and chocolate bunnies were in my Easter basket must have been my priority– that is until one Easter, when my mom’s best friend recognized how much we needed the Easter message:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
My family NEEDED that living HOPE! My parents’s marriage was unraveling and hanging by a weak, fraying thread. And we also needed the unconditional love Christ demonstrated when HE CHOSE to leave the glory of heaven and come live among we lowly, imperfect human beings– and my alcoholic dad especially needed to hear he was loved, even in his unlovely state. We needed the grace and mercy the Father extended. To this day when I wake up, I pray God’s grace and mercy over me, my marriage, my family and my future:
God give me GRACE: Lavish me with the blessings I DO NOT DESERVE but that you freely give
I am a sinner, You are the Savior
God give me MERCY: Hold back the wrath that I DO DESERVE but You shield far from me
I am unrighteous, You are the Redeemer
As a little girl, in my pajama’s, I used to tip-toe out to the living room, pull my flannel night gown over my knees and turn on the TV to watch a Christian television cartoon that showed a healthy mom, dad and happy children. I would pray, (not even having a clue who I was talking to in the cosmos,), “I want a happy family like that.”
Soon, God sent my mom’s best friend to invite us to her church. My mother, sensing this was an
important day, dressed us all up in our very best and bought me white gloves and an Easter bonnet to wear on my first day of going to the “House where God lives.” There, in that little tiny church, in a little tiny town, a little tiny girl met the GREAT and GLORIOUS GOD.
My life was forever transformed for the better. I soon began a personal relationship with the Creator God I had been whispering to. Eventually my mother, my siblings all began a relationship with Christ– and the day my dad died, he too, while reading Steps to Peace with God by Billy Graham, finally gave his broken heart to the One who had been lavishing love over his life, waiting patiently for His prodigal son to come home.
This is why we write — we write, we speak, we teach for the reason Christ came and gave His –to reach the lost, the hurting, the broken and the bruised,
The Easter Sunday, or any Sunday after, be brave enough to pray one of two prayers:
Lord, give me eyes to see who needs a relationship with you, and the courage to invite him or her to come hear about You, the God who loves us all enough to go up Calvary’s hill and give your perfect life, in payment for our imperfect lives.
Lord, I want to know You. I, too have been talking to You, hoping, wishing, praying for a better life here on earth and an eternal home one day in heaven. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I receive that free gift of Your love.
Pastor Pete Jankowski once put it like this, “The cross was not Christ’s destination– YOU were.” .Jesus went through the grueling pain of the cross out of love for you! God reached out in sacrificial love to you, now, simply reach back in surrender to the God who created you, knows you and loves you.
E Jones and Karla Dornacher) and the Farrel’s best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti The Farrels have experienced many of the merciful answers to Pam’s “little girl” prayers, including a happy marriage of 38 years and three grown sons, three daughter in laws and four grandchildren who all love Jesus too.Pam and Bill live in Southern California, where they enjoy Easter sunrise services on the beach.
This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly, first uttered this
now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.
I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.
As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:
Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities . (On her website these images rotate automatically!)
Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match
who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling? Am I approachable and easy to relate to in this image? This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple. Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”
In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.
What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!
Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”
This week, I signed a contract with Harvest House Publishers for my 45th book. This one is a wonderful collaboration between myself and a wonderful Bible study teacher, Jean Jones and a very talented artist in Karla Dornacher (see Karla on Etsy). We each bring our strengths to the book and we also pull our platforms together for greater reach and influence.
I have had the joy of co-authoring with some amazing people:
“Two are better than one” is a phrase often heard at weddings, but that concept can be extended to ministry and business relationships:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor (Eccl 4:9)
The upside reasons to co-author:
Greater Flexibility: It may or may not be less time writing—because the time you save on sharing writing will be taken up with conversations, but it is less time in front of the screen and at the keyboard – typically. This team-player approach maybe helpful if you have a full plate of speaking engagements or a day job because you often “take turns” doing pieces of the book so your work time can be a little more diversified in the various tasks—not just mainly in front of the screen.
Greater Audience Reach: books that are co-authored or collaborations bring each author’s sphere of influence into the circle come launch time. It could also mean a varied platform as one of you might be terrific at Instagram while the other rocks facebook. One might have a radio show or podcast while the other has a powerful online video presence. A co author might also have a reach into an audience you don’t have. For example, when we teamed with youth speaker of women of Faith’s Revolve tour, Chad Eastham, so he could translate our “Waffles & Spaghetti” material to the net generation.
Greater Trust: Often in a co-authoring situation, a reader will see two trusted or three trusted names and the power of so many quality people in one book is appealing so it can move a persons to buy the book.
Greater Balance: Sometimes co-authoring will help you gain those few extra hours to sleep, work out, or spend with your spouse of family.
Greater Veracity: With many voices, you must have agreement of theology. You are less likely to go off track spiritually with greater accountability.
Greater Friendships: All our co-authors have become dear friends because of the honest conversations and numerous hours spent connecting over deep, important ideas. We have also remained friends because up front we talk over co-author details so everyone if unified and pulling in one direction. We always have an agreed upon mediator, and to date we have never had to use that person/company.
Greater Synergy: Having varied ideas, styles, voices, passions is electric! You may just enjoy the energy and excitement of a team project.
Co-authoring isn’t for everyone—but it could be for you.
This Christmas, I had the joy of speaking at many women’s teas and Christmas events. My message was on “Christmas Light” and it is based on our family’s Christmas Advent Wreath and Dinner and Dialogue tradition. We use Isaiah 9:6 as the center of our celebration and conversation because it is the center of the hope and light we all enjoy because of Christ’s birth.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
This Christmas, which name of Christ are you leaning on? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or Prince of Peace?
Those same four names can lead us to creative ways to bless back those who have been a blessing to us during the past year. In doing so, we reflect the light of God’s love.
For with you is the fountain of life; in yourlight do we see light (Psalms 36:9)
For those who have blessed you, not just personally, but professionally, let’s look at 4 simple ways you can boomerang back some of the blessings that have been extended to you:
Wonderful Counselor: Give those who supported you a little support too. Send them a book (video, conference scholarship, a meeting with a mentor or counselor, a day away at a conference grounds for solace) that equips them for an upcoming important event in their life (marriage, birth of a child, care for a parent), or comforts or lends wisdom for a struggle he or she might be working through (that they may have shared with you).
This can be a fun way to express your creativity too. For example, we often give our book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, and wrap it in a pasta bowl with spaghetti noodles, waffle iron with waffle mix and the utensils needed to cook these up. On occasion I have a friend in ministry close enough to send a fun gift to– like our Red Hot Monogamy book wrapped in a set of sheets, or in a basket of fun “hot items” like Red Hot candy, hot tamales, a gift card to a Mexican food café, or a collections of hot sauce bottles.
Mighty God: Offer to pray them through a difficult situation or circumstance. Send Bible verses, prayers, or a Bible gift item with a verse they can hang their heart on to have hope. My friend, Lisa Copen, of Gutsy Goodness, has an invisible illness that keeps her in daily pain, yet she runs Rest Ministries to help others in pain and she also creates beautiful messages of hope on necklaces. During a difficult season in my life, God led me to Neh. 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Today, I wear that phrase to encourage me on a necklace Lisa made for me.
Everlasting Father: Good dads make life just a little bit easier. Perhaps your gift can help lighten the load or ease the work of someone who has eased your load. Options can include gift cards, but you can also add your logo (or theirs) to tools that people need for work as a small reminder that you care: usb drive, coffee mugs, water glasses, sticky note holders, coasters, desk accessories are all items we have received and given. (Often your local Christian bookstore is a great place to find unique gift items with some deeper scriptural meaning– and it is a terrific way to thank your bookstore with your business!) For example, to go along with my book Becoming a Brave New Woman, I was able to purchase a coffee mug with a verse on courage on it to give to some brave women who had helped me be brave.
Prince of Peace: One of the best gifts you can give a leader is to enrich their own walk with God. You might give them a beautiful book mark, a new Bible, or a new devotional. The year A Couple’s Journey with God book was released, some of our friends got a copy of that devotional with some travel items like luggage tags, flight ticket holder and passport cover. Our book Devotions for Men on the Go and Devotions for Women on the Go have been given with items to keep those friends “on the go”: coffee gift card, coffee thermos or dark chocolate espresso bean candy; gas fuel card; or cute key chain or fitness item.
To gain creativity, think of your life, and a walk a mile in your own shoes and ask, “What would make my life easier, stronger or better?” Make a list of those items, then put on your friend’s tennies or heels and walk through their life asking that same question. Chances are the circle of their life and the circle of yours will over lap and there may be items in your world or the books and resources of other author friends you know that could bless those around your ministry.
In this ever changing world, it is easy to want to sit back and watch others sink or swim. Have you ever been with a group and you all want to do something that appears fun, exciting, thrilling—like jumping off a rock ledge into a lake on a hot summer day? There is a moment when everyone dares everyone else to “go first”. Finally, the bravest (or maybe just the craziest) runs and jumps in!
Often new options of social media feel this way. There was a time when Youtube, Vimeo, LinkedIN, Facebook, GooglePlus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Periscope were new—and there will be MORE NEW options!
So why would we try to learn and use social media?
Because we all want to reach people with the hope and help offered through a personal relationship with God. We also want to strengthen individuals, marriages, families, churches, businesses, and communities (and countries!)
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. (1 Cor 9:19 NABRE)
As writers, speakers and book store owners—social media does handcuff us to the populous. It is time consuming, and many days we might even feel “enslaved” to the digital world.
But we do it (Likely not all forms, but a few favorite forms) because it is another road to reach some for Christ.
Yes there is a learning curve—yes, learning it will be time consuming, but just like learning to swim, when we learn it, we can enjoy using this skill! When we learn a few favorite social media methods, we can use it to reach others. However, no matter your chosen favorite social media, to learn how to use it best, you have to jump in and SWIM.
We can take “swim lessons” from others who seem capable:
Leaders we can observe – We gain principles as we read and survey their choices.
Leaders we can help – We gain network friends and see the more inner workings as we participate.
Leaders we can become – We gain wisdom as we try—and maybe fail some and succeed some or swim and tread water somewhere between.
Bill and I are “jumping in”. In conjunction with the release of our newest books:
We will host a 7 Day Celebration of SIMPLE SUCCESS. Each day we will share a SIMPLE SKILL, a SIMPLE SUCCESS TOOL and a SIMPLE SUCCESS TIP. We are weaving together a “life raft” of social media to keep our Simple Skills ™ message afloat for 7 days. We invite you to take a dip and jump in with us!
Join our Thunderclap social media campaign (auto tweets and posts will be sent to you) Click on this link for details and auto tweet to post. (We need at least 100 for Thunderclap campaign to work—so each one of you is VITAL—even 1 minute of your time will make a difference! And if we happen to go OVER our goal of 100 friends, all the better!)
One of the ways of multiplying sales is to develop a challenge that the “everyday” man or woman can fit into his or her already full and responsible schedule. This is one reason books like: The Love Dare or Purpose Driven Life (and other 40 Day challenges) have done well in helping books fly off the book shelf. My friend, Arlene Pellicane, has several 30 Days to books (30 Days to Younger You; Happy Husband, etc.) My new book, Red Hot Romance Tips for Women is a 26 Day challenge to help women become a more loving wife. It is an A to Z look at the 26 traits husbands find most desirable in a wife. (I had the wives set goals using my “K.I’S.S.” method which I walk women through in my Red Hot Romance Tips for Women book).
Each wife buys the book, (paperback or ebook) then there is a short reading of a few pages each day in Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (where she will select the idea she wants to implement). I encourage whole Bible studies, women’s ministries, or friendship circles do the challenge together. I also offer a daily email for 28 days (26 daily challenge “extras” and encouragements plus a day before and after as introduction/ reminder and a wrap up/ follow up (with ideas of the next book to use to enrich her marriage).
I also created a Red Hot Wives private facebook group that is an optional meeting place for these motivated wives. The facebook group, along with my blog, had additional reach to feature books by other authors , as well as our own (like Red Hot Monogamy couple’s study), that touch other books and resources which impact marriage. I also had a daily graphic that was reposted, tweeted and shared by many members.
There were also giveaways of romantic items and books during the challenge to keep women connecting to the several times a day.
So far several thousand women have done this simple Red Hot Wives Challenge, and many of them have seen their marriages rescued and most all of them have seen their marriage improved or enriched. Even the few who have serious marriage issues have found a safe place to receive prayer and support during a difficult season in their marriage. To pull this off, I teamed with a talented graphics person, who automated as much of the contact as possible, however she also did the hard work to invite women into the private facebook group and did trouble shooting with the women who might not be as techie.
To expand the reach, next time I will team more with Christian counselors or writers who are also counselors. The challenge was especially popular during the Valentine season (and was a great godly, Biblical rebuttal to the “Shades ” attack on marriage as my tag line was, “Never settle for Mr. Grey when God’s Plan for Love is Red Hot!” Over all, the vast majority felt the challenge enriched and enhanced their marital strength, and for those with already healthy marriages, the challenge created many positive romantic memories and gave them an opportunity to be a bright light of God’s love in a world desperate to see if any couple has the real deal of a happily ever after marriage.
The wives have the option of staying in the Red Hot Wife private facebook group and I have seen women (and myself) share helps and resources and encouragements there between challenges, so a true community of wives who care about their marriages is growing organically). This group will receive marketing on future romance and marriage enrichment like invitations to our speaking, webinars, teleseminars, as well as video or new book release emails. A challenge is a way to really locate then minister to your target audience.
Some church leaders might want to target a time of year, like “Make Your Summer Sizzle” or “Make Every Day Valentine’s Day” . For more information about how the Farrels can team with your local church or community, contact us through Love-Wise.com website contactpage.
The Farrels are relationship specialists, international speakers, and ministry leaders who have written 40 books and have been happily married 35 years. www.Love-Wise.com . Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (and most of the books by the Farrels) are available at most of the Christian Retailers bookstores, as well as online at CBD or Vyrso (ebook by Logos)