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Archive for the ‘Goal Setting’Category

Q: Pam, your new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, is a bible study for women. So how have the Psalms been helpful or hopeful for you and Bill in your marriage?

The Psalms have been our “go to book” of the Bible when we need comfort, guidance and healing. There are several verses in the Psalms that God has used at strategic times in our marriage. Let me share just a few and how they have helped us. We will do this in a series of blogs over the next few weeks:

The Beginnings of Love (Our Psalm of romance!)

Psalm 37:3-6

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

This is the set of verses God used to guide me in the summer I was deciding to marry Bill. God used each challenge in this Psalm to guide my decisions during those strategic months:

  1. “Do good”- I was impressed to stay focused on ministry to others and not give in to the temptation to make my needs the main priority.
  2. “Dwell in the land”- Bill and I met through our involvement with Campus Crusade (now CRU). It seemed God was telling both of us that our relationship would progress as we both stayed under the umbrella of that ministry. As a result, I signed up for a 6-week Biblical Studies course Cru offered. Much to my surprise, part of the experience included a marriage Prep class taught by Dr Dennis Rainey during the first year of Family Life radio!
  3. “Delight in the Lord and he will give me desires of my heart”- The year BEFORE I met Bill, God had me take a year off dating. I admitted I was addicted to the attention of men which was competing with my love for Jesus. During that year, God led me on a journey through the Bible to see what a godly man looked like. I studied the lives of Jesus, Boaz, Daniel, Joseph and the Disciples. This helped me be better able to discern who was a healthy, emotionally stable, strong Christian man. I made a list of qualities I wanted in a future mate. Then I asked, “Am I those things?” because I know quality attracts quality. I worked hard on healing some of my emotional issues (caused by growing up in a home with domestic violence from an angry, alcoholic dad). When I met Bill, he was all the things I had prayed for and MORE!
  4. “Commit your way”- We dedicated our relationship to God and took the high road in all aspects of our relationship. We agreed not to sleep with each other and not even kiss until Bill would propose. We wanted to stay pure in heart and regret free. We also took the summer to seek God in prayer. For 6 weeks Bill and I didn’t write or phone each other (and no social media back then). We wanted to hear from God if we were called to marry the other.
  5. “Trust in Him and He will act” – during our dating months, Bill wrote relationship questions in a spiral notebook that we “needed” to discuss before we go out on a date. I asked him why he was doing this and he said, “I have never had a Christ based relationship so we need to figure this out together.” So, before we could go bowling or to the beach, we had to answer these relationship questions! This showed me Bill cared greatly about walking in integrity and protecting our budding love. It took until the last day of the six weeks for me to decide and it was in reading Psalms 37 that I was convinced Bill was Mr. Right for me!
  6. “He will bring forth your righteousness like the noon day”- We believed that if God was bringing us together, godly, upright friends and family members would applaud the decision. We also believed God would use our relationship to shine for him, which is what we have seen for 38 years and counting! We were thrilled when our dating “notebook” turned into a Premarital resource to help others decide and prepare well for a successful marriage in The Before You Marry Book of Questions. And our choice to stay pure in body and heart resulted in a lifetime of Red Hot Monogamy!

May God use His Word to guide you through all your vital decisions.

Pam and Bill have been married 38 years and are the authors of 45 books including the updated, expanded best seller Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and Pam’s newest, Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience

 

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10 2017

Q: Pam, your newest book is Discovering Hope in the Psalms. What was one of your darkest moments and how did you get through it?

lighthouse matt vs bible artA: Lighthouses are special to our family. Our youngest son proposed to his wife at a lighthouse. We live on a boat so lighthouses are a beacon of hope to us in the fog or squalling sea. God’s word is that same kind of lighthouse, a beacon of hope to guide is into safe harbor during the storms of life.

In my new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, I share one of our stormiest seasons and how God’s lighthouse of hope helped us navigate our perfect storm. The winds first hit our little lifeboat during one of our media tours. Bill wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the ER where a doctor informed him he had high blood pressure. That news caught Bill’s attention. His dad had a stroke in his 40s that paralyzed half his body and Bill’s grandfather died of a stroke in his late 40s. Soon it became apparent that God was asking Bill to resign from the lead pastor role he had served in for 15 years. This decision was difficult emotionally and financially. In this same season, our youngest son, Caleb, was hit in a football game and rushed to the hospital where he needed a blood transfusion to save his life. Eight days later, when we brought Caleb home, all I wanted to do was to wrap him in my arms, but I had a speaking engagement, which our family needed me to keep.

During my time away, I received calls about my other two sons who had both also experienced athletic injuries. Then I got a call that my younger brother was hospitalized after having a heart attack, and could I come help with his family. My stress was welling up like a tidal wave.

joy comes in the morningWhen friends would ask, “How are you?” I didn’t know how to answer. So I went to the Word and read Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” JOY! That’s what I needed. I immediately went on a joy hunt. I read Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and kept following the well-lit path of joy verses. I printed them, studied them, and hung them around my home. Joy became my lighthouse of hope, an anchor in a storm that lasted three years.

Since that day I found hope in the Psalms, I answer the, “How are you?” questionJoyful with “Choosin’ joy!” Responding that way helped me immensely as it kept my focus on God, His power and His willingness to put joy in my heart no matter what life brought my way. Amazingly, this saying has caught on with thousands of women who have heard me share my story of hope. That’s the power of the Word. The joy that becomes the lighthouse for your journey lights the way for those around you also. May the God of all hope continue to multiply your joy!

Join Pam’s online Bible study using Discovering Hope in the Psalms (Register here/ Order book here)

Discovering Hope Header

 

13

08 2017

Pam and Bill, you have become known for creating SIMPLE SKILLS that lead to healthier living and more successful relationships. Why the SIMPLE focus?

One of life’s great mysteries is that complex issues can be addressed with Simple Skills. When the Israelites asked, “How can we live in a way that is pleasing to God?” Moses was given the 10 Commandments. Jesus stunned people with His authoritative simplicity in such challenges as the Simple Skills golden ruleGolden Rule, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Luke 6:31) Throughout the Bible we see God’s desire for our lives summed up in simple directions:

  • One thing I ask from the Lord . . . (Ps 27:4)
  • Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack . . . (Mark 10:21)
  • I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do . . .  (Phil 3:13)

We want to spend 7 days in October with you making life simpler for all of us. From October 12 – October 18 we will send you ONE SIMPLE TIP and ONE SIMPLE TOOL each day, if you sign up for the Simple Skill Celebration.

SIMPLY go to the SIMPLE SKILLS book page, (http://love-wise.com/simpleskills.php) watch the video, scroll to the bottom and sign up for the 7 Days of Simple Success Celebration.

SIMPLY STICKY

There is power in having a SINGULAR FOCUS brought about by simple questions:

“What one change would improve your outlook?”
“What one habit would you like to develop?”
“What one skill would help you live more effectively this year?”

Last week we challenged our social media connections (ezine/ facebook/ twitter) to answer the following question:  What one thing do you believe God would like you to DO before the end of the year?

end of 90 day personal professional simple
We are all putting our answer on a sticky note and placing it where we can see it every day (a mirror, desk, refrigerator or dash board). It’s simple. It’s sticky. It keeps us focused on success!

We are committed to pray for every one of you who posts your sticky note on our Facebook page because we know it will encourage all of us if we share the journey together.

SIMPLE STEPS

Over the years, we have discovered that our most valuable accomplishments came about because of Simple Skills applied diligently.

Capture the power of SIMPLE today.

Join the 7 Days of Simple Success Celebration today.

Get your copy of 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman today.

Post your sticky note on our FACEBOOK page so we can pray for you.

7 days 7 simple skills celebration

08

10 2015

Q: Creating a family mission statement, a family motto, and an illustrated family moniker (or crest) seems kind of difficult and labor intensive. Is there a simple way to create these?

A: Yes! Year after year we have worked to make these vital ingredients to a family compass easier to create. Focus on the Family interviewed us about these when we were on air talking about our books 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make and 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. (Link to interview on Intentional Parent part 1; part 2). Also, we created a simple step by step document to help you create a family compass.
forest home brock momHowever, more recently, I was speaking for a Mother and Son conference at Forest Home camp, and our son, Brock, was team teaching with me. It thought it might be nice for moms and sons to work on a family crest together. Here is the simple crest and four simple questions that might begin your journey to create that vital family crest that can serve as a compass to you and your kids.

In each of the 4 spaces in this shield, place a symbol that answers these four questions (one symbol per space):

Family Crest Blank

  1. The best thing about our family is:
  2. The belief or value I think our family stands for is:
  3. The trait about God our family loves most is:
  4. The best way our family can help reach people for Jesus is:

While doing research on my newest book, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, I discovered a fascinating statistic. Children who grow up in families with a strong identity and a habit of sharing family stories that depict morality or belief choices make better choices and decisions themselves!  That is exactly what the process of creating a family mission, motto and moniker will do—they are tools to set up the environment for some wonderful, deep and meaningful conversations.  We encourage you to pick up a copy of 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make to help you pass on your baton of faith securely to the next generation. The many tools work together to help move your child forward into his or her God –given potential.

Psalm 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.

May these tools help you commend God from generation to generation!

01

04 2015

Q: We want to avoid marital crisis. So how can we know how we are doing as a couple?

A: Each January, the President of the United States  gives a state of the Union address pointing out things that are going well and some suggested areas of improvement—then the debate, discussion and dialogue begins. In similar manner, Bill and I meet each January to review the state of our union.

In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we walk a couple through 8 vital areas of life that create marital intimacy, harmony and unity. Set a date this week and rate yourself 1 to 10 how you are doing in each area: (Download State of the Union: Red Hot Relationship Date Night worksheet)

  • Social – Are you enjoying friendship with each other and those in your life?
  • Financial – Are you stable now and do you have a plan you are working for your future?
  • Recreational– Do you have a plan you both are working to stay healthy and happy?
  • Vocational– Do you have a plan in place to help both of you grow and move forward in your career (education; volunteer work)?
  • Parental– Are you on the same page as parents; do you have a plan to help you children reach their God- given potential?
  • Emotional– Are you both calm, peaceful, stable, and enjoying strong mental health?
  • Spiritual– Are you both growing in your walk with God?
  • Sexual– Do you enjoy regular intimacy, closeness and sexual expression?

Together set a goal in each area and move your life and love forward. (Download State of Union worksheet)

Setting goals is Biblical:

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  . . . Luke 14:28-33 ESV

 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

BestYearGoalDownload Your Best Year Yet Goal Worksheets for Couples. (This will help you each set goals (a sheet for a husband and a wife), and it will help you talk through your life from a broad, global perspective. Change is possible! If you set one goal a month, in a year you will have moved your love and life forward! Or choose one area to focus on in the following year to laser movement in a problem area.

 

RHMBuy Red Hot Monogamy and set aside 8 weeks to move your life and love forward in all 8 areas of intimacy—and this book has 200 red hot ideas to fan the flame on your intimate life, so there can be great rewards for all your hard work you are doing as a couple! It is a built in red hot love incentive plan! (Even God gives incentives for wise choices, “Great is your reward!” (Matt 5:12) In this case, a red hot love is its own reward!

03

02 2015

Q: How do you two work together to make forward movement in life?

A: We set goals together! I (Pam) have selected a word and a verse for the year each January since I was 19. When Bill and I got married, we continued this tradition.BillAndPam-Rock

Download our Your Best Year Yet goal-setting worksheets.

Selecting a Word for the Year helps provide focus.  We each  choose an area needing the most growth, help or improvement. By focusing our energies, choosing a Word for the Year, a verse, a theme and a clarifying question, we often see powerful results.

Let us share one example. During the fall of 2010, I (Pam) began to experience some physical issues in my body. In January that year, at a Christian Wellness week sponsored by First Place 4 Health, I received some test results that shook me to the core. I had been working out daily, eating what I thought was healthier in my choices, and yet my weight kept going up. I was now slapped in the face with the reality that my health was at risk unless something changed!

I knew I wanted to live long and strong for God. I also knew one of my books was going to be re-released under the new title 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong—and I felt like none of that was true of me at that moment. I was so discouraged. I instinctively picked up my Bible reading through my Logos Bible software. I scanned for verses on being STRONG! I was so discouraged and fearful so when I read this familiar passage, I dug in:

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

Joshua was also not feeling very strong or courageous. He too was discouraged, looking for help and hope. I felt I had found a comrade in arms! I phoned Bill and together we elected to use STRONG as our Word for the Year. We also chose Joshua 1:9 as our verse because Bill wanted to see strength increase in many areas of his life as well.

The word “strong” used here means to grow in strength – so God says it is a process! Courageous, likewise, means to make strong, bold and victorious. The word discourage is a pretty encompassing emotional word and God was saying, “don’t tremble, be in terror, be dismayed or adopt dread or fear.”

StrongBill and I arranged weights to spell out the word STRONG in one of our workouts. We combined the picture with the verse to create a motivating poster. We hung our hearts on the word STRONG. We adopted the motto, “Stay strong.”

So what are the results of meditating on the word STRONG and studying how God makes one strong? I grew in strength! I shed over 50 pounds; I went from walking to running; I moved from health risk to health strength.  Bill made new strides in his career and his health. In my book, Becoming a Brave New Woman,  I make it a goal to give women a bigger, stronger, view of God. I quote A. W. Tozer who says, “What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.”

In what area of life do you need God to make you strong?

Here are some tools to help:

Your Best Year Yet Worksheets (for couples) (for women)

Robert Herjavec, entrepreneur and star of ABC’s show Shark Tank says “a goal without a date is just a dream.” In Woman of Influence, I quote Emilie Barnes, “Goals are just dreams with deadlines.” Move your dream into reality with a goal plan and follow up. For long range success, we suggest one of our 10 Best Decisions books: for couples, for men, for women, for singles, for parents, for leaders, and for grads. Select one of these and spend 10 weeks creating a strong foundation for your year– or more importantly, for your LIFE! Once your goals are written, schedule in time you will need to accomplish those goals. Review Your Word for The Year and Your Best Year Yet goals sheets regularly to check on progress.

For more ideas on how to select and dwell in a word for the year, check out the book, My One Word by Pastor Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen.

Find a word that reflects the desire of your heart for forward movement. Make it your one word prayer for the year. Find a verse that reflects the heart of this word. Then dig in to as many verses as you can find in which that word appears and watch—God will empower you to cross the finish line as a victor too!

Here are our words for 2015:

Pam: BEAUTIFUL

Pam SunsetMy prayer is that I will see God’s beauty and that my own life would better reflect the beauty of living by God’s design and plan.  I want to enjoy the beauty of some of the fruit of living by God’s beautiful plan-  our 35 happy years of marriage and our family with all our kids who love and serve Jesus, our grandkids and adding a new beautiful daughter-in law later in the year.

Bill: SIMPLE

Bill SunsetSince I wrote 7 SIMPLE SKILLS FOR MEN last year, this year I want to take diligent yet SIMPLE steps to see progress in some important (but not always enjoyable) areas of our life.  I want to enjoy the SIMPLE delights along the path God sends me/us.

So what is the word you need to hang your heart on this year?  Post it on our Bill and Pam Farrel facebook page and we

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01 2015