Archive for August, 2013

For most of my pastoral ministry, I have used Prepare/Enrich in my premarital counseling and for helping married couples to enrich their marriages. A few years ago, I became a workshop facilitator so that I could help pastors have access to this good tool. Like any tool, it’s imperfect. However, Prepare/Enrich has helped me immensely as I prepare couples for marriage. I offer a couple of these workshops each year. Here’s the information about the next one: 

Prepare/Enrich Training Workshop for pastors and counselors
Tuesday, September 17, from 9:00am until 4:00pm

Mandeville’s First Baptist Church
Follow this link for more information and to register:
Registration deadline is September 9, 2013.

Prepare/Enrich provides you with the leading relationship assessment tool so that you can prepare a couple for success in marriage.  Helping couples with their relationships is no easy task. How do you encourage productive conversations? How do you address issues couples have if they are not yet aware of their problems? How do you identify their relationship strengths? What relationship skills can you teach to help couples resolve current issues and prevent future problems? How can you quickly understand a couple’s needs and maximize your impact?

For over thirty years, PREPARE/ENRICH has been the #1 guide for helping couples explore and strengthen their relationships. Built on a solid research foundation, PREPARE/ENRICH has been improved and refined over the years to become one of the best, most effective, easy-to-use relationship assessment tools available. PREPARE/ENRICH is a scientifically proven program that will help you make a significant impact in the life of a premarital or married couple. Whether you are a counselor, clergy, mental health professional, mentor or relationship educator, PREPARE/ENRICH is the ideal tool to help you do your job better. As with any sophisticated assessment, you need to get trained on how to administer and interpret the results for your couples.

Get Away Trip with Gayla

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Family, Marriage, Stories, Writing

In the past four July-s, Gayla and I have seen three of our children marry wonderful spouses — our daughter, Kendal, married Colin in 2010; our son, Travis, married Rebekah last year; and last month, our daughter, Melissa, married Cameron. No matter how you tally the score, that’s three weddings in four years. Frankly, we feel come consolation in knowing that we have launched all our of our children into adulthood and into married life successfully.


With Melissa and Cameron’s wedding on July 27 and an impending international mission trip in late August, I wanted to take Gayla on a trip of our own. We had previously planned to visit Gayla’s stepbrother and his wife this summer, but with wedding preparations becoming the main priority for the summer, those plans had to wait. Since Wes and Marion live in St. Louis, I eyed a weekend in June when the Texas Rangers would play at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals. My bucket list includes visiting all the major league ballparks, so having my favorite team play in St. Louis would have been icing on the cake. However, my cake icing this year would be on a wedding cake!

However, last week Gayla and I did get to make a trip to St. Louis. We had a great time visiting the city. We took the obligatory ride to the top of the Arch and viewed the city from 630 feet. Getting into that little egg-shaped contraption just about brought me to my claustrophobic knees, buy I managed to make the descending trip as well (as if I had any choice). We visited the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park. We shopped in an eclectic place filled with all kinds of furnishings and stuff that must have come from a variety of estate sales in the city. We tried interesting foods, including a Persian cafe and a Vietnamese restaurant. On our return trip, we stayed a night in Memphis and dined at one of Elvis’s favorite diners.

All in all, we had a great time visiting with family and enjoying a lot of “couple time.” By the way, we made back to our home town in time to attend the wedding of some church family members. It seemed appropriate, since the family also had ties to St. Louis. By the way, the game we watched involved the Dodgers defeating the Cardinals. But I didn’t really care who won!