Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BLENDED FAMILY Lessons from a Walmart Morning


Follow this guys lead in your Blended Family.

It was a recent blustery, snow-filled Saturday morning and I was off to grab some waffle mix, eggs, milk and cantelope for a 'Dad's Waffle Breakfast Morning'.  Not enough Saturday's free, so I was excited to enjoy that family tradition.  Good 'bonding' time and hey, I even like my own waffles, so while the kids slept I went to Walmart early to grab the 'stuff'.

As I thought I would be in and out, little did I know I would leave the store with much more than food for family, but bigger than for life.  To share with you.

While I was in the waffle mix aisle, I could not help but overhear the joyful voice, from the next aisle over, of a youngster repeating his Father's words and mentoring.  I heard the little voice say 'I am a happy boy!' repeating his Dad. Then it was 'I can grow up to do great things!' following the coaching, then an interesting comment that really sparked my interest,  'I look for the good in people!' followed by 'God made me special!'.

By this time those of you that know me, understand already that my cart was wheeling around the corner to go meet this 'Super Dad'.  Surely I thought I would find Zig Ziglar's first cousin, Anthony Robbins himself, or maybe just some high school football coach in a cap with a whistle around his neck who knew the power of inspiring his players.  Or perhaps one of those 'hired WalMart Greeter' people who usually are fairly fired up individuals themselves.  They seem to naturally have a smiley face on and love people thanks to Sam Walton's legacy.

You see the voice I heard, but could not see, from across the top of the waffle and cereal aisle divide certainly was certainly a character shaper and a giant of a man.  I wanted to meet him and shake his hand!  Tell him I love what I heard!

So when I spun my cart down that next aisle and looked ahead I did not see any of those wondermen of motivation I spoke of, but instead a man in a torn overcoat, scraggly beard and a weary walk.   After greeting the man and telling him how powerfully he impacted me from across the aisle top, he simply said 'I want Joey to grow up with more positive voices in his little head than I did'.  God's gonna make him better than me'.  Wow!  After hugging the man and telling him God's already blessed this little guy with you, I asked little Joey 'are you happy?'.  He smiled big and blurted out 'I'm a happy boy!'

I had earlier especially been taken by the boy following the wisdom of... "I look for the good in people". Worth repeating. 'Look for the good in people'.

Especially in stepfamilies, too often a parent or child is 'looking for error' in a relationship instead of following that wonderful wisdom...'look for the good'.

Blended Families or any family.   Learn from a scraggly bearded man, who might just have been an angel so I can share this story with you.  Encourage your children.  Be a positive and Godly force that echos into their future.

Scripture shares in Proverbs Chapter 17 and Verse 22...

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Go tell somebody THREE THINGS that you like about them.
It will be...good medicine.  And God just may give you one more step on the journey 'from Broken to Blended to BONDED'.

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Keep Looking UP!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's 2010! Throw out and bury those OLD TAPES in Blended Families! Be Encouraged!

God doesn't make mistakes. Ask Him to renew you.
The past is past. His Grace and Mercy are new every morning!

We see much hope and encouragement for 2010. I believe it is embedded deep into every person's very being to appreciate 'fresh starts' when times have been challenging. God built us that way. To be OPTIMISTIC about our tomorrow's. To want to have the hope and expectation that we can and will rise up and break through a challenge. So, as we set forth into 2010...let's remember what....

'Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.'


Here's a shout out to those 1974 high school classmates with whom I shared 8 track tapes. Who could ever know that in 2009, I be warmly recalling and 'blogging' about Mike Behne's black and white Chevy Impala, hanging out with some 'best buddy names you ever have heard of' like "Behne", "Kozy", Scholzy", "Leroy" and "Doley", and that we drove around in listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive sing 'Takin' Care of Business'. On a eight track tape. Now...I am "Taking Care of GOD'S Business". We've come a LONG WAY from those days on the country roads of Nebraska. Miss those guys, but not our antics. Look up 'stinkin' thinkin' in a dictionary ...picture of us.

Sometimes 8 track tapes, reel to reel recorders and now even cassettes sometimes seen so out of date and irrelevant, that we laugh about them. Why can't we do that in life?

Often the wounds and brokenness of divorce carry over to the new marriage and fully discovering your 'fresh start' blended family joy. Often, historic, out-of-date opinions and 'commentary' from former spouses, or parents, or friends, at the workplace, or even churches keeps coming up. We 'hear' and let the 'old tapes', the old stories, the old messages dampen our spirit and our new family.

The "old tapes' messages come in the form of 'well, she'll never change' or 'he's a loser', 'he can't handle being a Dad' or 'she won't last with that guy' or 'he's always late' or 'that step-parent never plays with the kids' or 'teacher, call me, cause he'll forget' or whatever those 'old tape' sounds like.

They are not YOU. Maybe it's the OLD YOU...but YES YOU CAN start anew. We believe in YOU! God believes in YOU!

We say at The Bonded Family..."Throw out those OLD TAPES".
God offers you a fresh start.

Don't let your past cloud your future. Make amends. Say your sorry where you need to. Call your former spouse, children, friends, whomever and ask for peace. Foremost Pray and truly ask God for forgiveness and trust in His rue and faithful promise of a second chance. God is the place to go for second chances. Some of us He gives so many chances we wonder just how big is our loving God. Grace is amazing. We are going to make mistakes. Only Christ was perfect. God's promises are real. Count on them.

Become the NEW you. Don't beat yourself up over "old tapes". Throw out the 'old ways' and make your life an iPod-like exciting new message. Then 'download' positive and encouraging messages from the Bible.
What you put into your mind and heart is the direction you will take. What you read, listen to and take in is BIG. Take God's word into your heart. We encourage you for 21 days to pray daily, more like three times a day for your marriage and family. THEN...WATCH WHAT HAPPENS! You WILL SEE great and wonderous things...and say 'Wow! How'd that happen?'

satan (never give evil a capital letter) wants you to fail. Remember John 10:10 'the evil one comes to hurt, kill and destroy, but I (Christ) have come that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly'. Take this to heart. Don't let the enemy get you to hear in your heart, mind and soul that your aren't worthy of God's love, His promise of a new day, and the creation of a new and WONDERFUL FAMILY!

In closing...these words from scripture grabbed people's hearts for centuries as much as they were made for YOU this very day to hear.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corithians 5 : 17

You ARE a NEW creature. The old (tapes) are gone! Rejoice.

For Coaching from a member of The Bonded Family team, as a 'fresh start 2010 kickoff' we are offering a special Blended Family Coaching Program. For $90, we'll extend a survey for your 'Today We Start Fresh' review and analysis, one 40 minute get acquainted visit and 3 follow-up coaching session for 20 minutes each. Total coaching time 100 minutes for $90. We'll listen, assess, encourage, suggest practical ideas and pray together.
This is a limited offer to the first 10 couples who desire blended family coaching.
Write us at for more information.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blended Families - Just Play YOUR BEST!

Stepfamilies, Just Play Your Best For One Another!

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? One that as a child you really loved? I did. The LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. Loved it!

This last week, Trace Thurlby, a friend and solid man of God was sharing a Christmas message to a luncheon group and he put the Drummer Boy song into special perspective. I immediately thought 'Hey there's a message in their for blended families too!'.

Trace said...'listen to the lyrics of the carol'. The words stood out as a thought to share with you, our blended family readers, to share encouragement and hope and inspiration. Inspiration from the Little Drummer Boy.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.

Sometimes the holiday season can be challenging for blended families. Everyone wants to have time, and relationships. The dynamics of multiple houses can create emotions and conflicts for schedules. We also strive to make sure that gifts to children are special and memorable so the kids come away happy. We're sometimes called to balance any step-sibling rivalries. The extra efforts can place undue stress on marriages and families. It truly is a God-sized challenge that indeed requires seeking His wisdom in all things.

Remember, you are not alone if the 'other parents' house doesn't share well, or there is 'gift competitiveness'. Remember that Little Drummer Boy? He gift was merely playing his drum, while the "King's" brought lavish gifts to the baby Jesus. In stepfamilies, one house may try to be the "king", the better gift giver, or be the 'primary' house. A parent trying to be a 'better than you' parent is truly showing their insecurity. A fundamental position of any truly strong and great parent is..."It's okay to love both houses." Encouraging relationships with the other home makes you the parent to be admired.

Be the Drummer Boy...Play your Best! to see these family dynamics throught the eyes of the children. One child may be unable to feel they received an equal gifting. Or they may act out of pressure from another parent. Seek to remember they are not equipped as adults are to filter out all the situations. So be patient with them. Again, God is not done with them or your relationships.

We stand by the coaching to always follow the "Golden Rule". Don't participate in 'stinking thinking'. You're children are watching. They will remember whether you were honorable, or dealt with someone they love dishonorably. We have coached families with children who, now in their twenties and thirties, have turned around on the alienating parent for costing them childhood relationships and memories. It can be very hurtful and hard for the targeted parent to walk through dishonorable behavior toward them 'during' the lost time, yet always remember...GOD IS NOT DONE.

And just focus on...Playing your Best!
When you think you have nothing to give...Play your Best!
It's what the Little Drummer Boy - who had nothing - did.

We encourage all blended families parents, and even grandparents, to be strong and to not let these dynamics affect who we are and 'Whose' we are. God loves us, loves our families and wants joy in this season. He knows the Truth. Remember, your kids love you. They are kids, not adults. They more than likely just want school's out fun and memories.

So let's ask God to whisper gently to 'be like that Little Drummer Boy'.

I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Just "PLAY YOUR BEST".... your behavior, patience and creating the good memories.

For more tips on Blended Family Holiday ideas visit our recent radio broadcast at:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celebrating Our Special and Historic VICTORIES in Blended Families

You'll Remember It When Looking Back.

Bob White, a great friend, is a very special man of God who helps us lead our Sunday Blended Family Fellowship at First Baptist Raytown in Raytown MO recently commented about how often times they are special or historic events in stepfamily life. Times when you see real breakthroughs or victories in relationships. We were then discussing Moses and Joshua and how they would 'mark' the occasion when they had a key memory for their people. Right away I thought...'Good Word Bob!' and knew I had to blog about this for all of us to take into our hearts.

In Old Testament times, the people of Israel, upon a victory in a battle, or a special event would build of stone a memorial or marker, sometimes referred to as a stele. They placed together stones, or created an altar where they sacrificed an animal as part of a ritual of giving thanks. This was done in remembering what GOD HAD DONE in the lives of His people. They knew He had brought them through the trial.

They did so for the purpose of 'marking' the moment or time. So years or decades later, the 'history' could be marked that indeed the Lord had been good and brought them through a challenge or delivered His grace and power and might for just the right occasion.

Examples were when being chased by the Pharoah and the Egyptians, God led Moses to stand and raise his hands and staff and how God made the Red Sea part and allow His people to walk across, later crushing with water the Egyptians as they followed. Also, after Joshua led the people into the chosen land they marked with stones the twelve tribes. These stories can be found in scripture.


As we have seen in our family, often times God will allow a significant event, victory, challenge or dynamic to be overcome in our family. We all have them. It could be a relationship or trust breakthrough. A truthful sharing of a hurt or wound or hidden thought that a child shares with you and you grow closer. It could be a family story that you will all remember as significant in the bonding of your family. Maybe a family vacation that bonded the stepfamily closer to God and each other. Maybe a moment in a relationship with God for a family member.

We suggest creating some form of 'marker' or 'memory' of that particular victory or season you passed through by the grace of God. Perhaps something you hand make. Maybe pick up a rock of some size and write something on it, a date, a memory, whatever and keep it somewhere like a garden or pathway or somewhere it can be seen occasionally. Maybe it's a scripture plaque or small statue from a bookstore where you could write on the bottom the date and 'special victory'.

We have many of these types of 'markers' around our home. Often, we even forget what's on the back of a picture hanging on the wall, or a small figurine or statue. Then by chance when we come across it and read the date and note, we truly feel the power of God and how he brought us out of our deserts and into His promises.

The point is...celebrate and give thanks to God when you see your family make it through a particular tough challenge.

Visit our website at:
Listen to our BLENDED FAMILY TODAY podcasts at:

If you'd like to have us speak at your church or organization, or lead us to a church that might want to host a Blended Family Conference, write us at: info (at)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


BRN...a nationwide Bible teaching broadcaster.
'FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS' your family...
Encouragement and the Challenge we need to Keep Looking UP!

In my part-time role serving as Director of Public Affairs for the Kansas City stations I am blessed to often get to share also about our work with stepfamilies via The Bonded Family. We are thankful for a partnership for families with Bott Radio Network.

Recently in speaking to a Pastor's Appreciation Dinner in Kirksville MO for the BRN station there, I was blessed to hear over and over the impact of God's word upon hearts.

One thing Rebecca and I know for our house, and also from many others we work with on the trail to 'bonding' families to Christ, Christian radio is a strong and mighty tower to keeping families on track. God's promise are real. His Word is sound.

Dick and Sherley Bott, and their son Rich Bott, now have launched over 80+ stations across America. Also heard 24/7 on the internet at the messages of hope and trusting in God are ongoing. BLENDED FAMILIES NEED THE LORD'S STEADYING HAND AND WISDOM. The Bible is still the 'best selling' instruction manual in the world today. There is a reason for that. Discover it.

And when you don't have time to spend in the Word, we encourage you to listen to Christian radio like Bott Radio Network. Your family with be blessed by the messages and lessons shared by many of America's top Bible teachers and speakers.

Until next post....KEEP LOOKING UP!


Listen to BLENDED FAMILY TODAY podcasts at:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


TOM ZIGLAR, CEO of Ziglar Corporation, and JULIE ZIGLAR NORMAN, joined by her husband JIM NORMAN, will be SPECIAL GUESTS on BLENDED FAMILY TODAY.

We are honored to have 'America's Family' on the program Sunday October 4th. Zig Ziglar has inspired, encouraged and motivated America to serve one another for years. His son Tom and daughter Julie continue the legacy through their work.
ZIG ZIGLAR was gracious enough to do a promo for this Sunday's show. We put some pictures of Zig and and tribute to him together on this YouTube video.Our YouTube site is

Visit for more information on how to listen. Email us at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

WEBTALK WITH BOB - Can a Radio Program Really Bond Your Blended Family? YES!

BOARD GAMES can be 'KEYBOARD' GAMES...and a way to BOND.

As you know, we encourage some form of group activity for blended families a lot. Board games, Wii, Checkers, Monopoly, Chess... anything that allows for a focused time of being a teammate or allowing for good, clean, common rules, fun competition.

Another place we've found is the computer keyboard and mouse. Most kids or grandkids like 'making AND spending money'. We've found a way for that...and it can become 'bonding' time. Create an start up small web business together and follow it's progress together as you 'build and bond' a small entrepreneurship together.

There is a weekly radio program available (each Thursday 3 PM CST) called WEBTALK WITH BOB. Bob Sherwood, the hosts offers a fun listener experience as he encourages everyone to be 'Web Ready', and he provides tips and examples of how to get 'Web Ready'. Bob INFORMS, EDUCATES AND INSPIRES people to see how actually easy it can be to create a small website that can actually make money.

WEBTALK WITH BOB podcasts can be heard and they not only offer educational value for any age, but they also open a 'window' of opportunity for bonding.
Bob Sherwood challenges people to explore the opportunities on the web to 'take their passion and turn it into a web business'.

We applaud Bob Sherwood / WEBTALK WITH BOB and join him in this 'challenge'. It's to parents, older brothers and sisters, or grandparents. Invest an hour a week helping a family member start a small website that offers either some product or service to sell. Or using methods learned on WEBTALK WITH BOB, become an affiliate of companies that sell products or services of items the particular age group might be buying.

In most families, often a hobby exists, or someone holds an artistic skills or expertise. If your children are into sports or music, almost every sports or music site offers some form of 'affiliate' programs Bob speaks about. If people / teammates / players buy from the site, you get a small commission, say 5% to sometimes 15%. As we said, why not let you kids earn some spending money AND learn how to be 'WEB READY' all at once. Visit There are archives / podcasts of the programs that speak to 'affiliates', or 'Clickbank' or other ways to make money on the internet.

They key is really the 'doing the start up small web business together'. Cheering each other on! Seeing a check for maybe $45 a month, then $70, then higher. Bigger than the've created a memory and a bond.

LISTEN EACH THURSDAY to WEBTALK WITH BOB. In Kansas City it's on KCTE 1510 AM from 3PM to 4 PM or it can be heard live via streaming audio at click Listen Live button.

We know of WEBTALK WITH BOB and Bob Sherwood through KCTE 1510 AM, the station that each Sunday morning our own radio program is on. BLENDED FAMILY TODAY is on Sunday's 8 AM to 9 AM. Likewise wherever you are you can hear it via:

KEEP LOOKING UP ! God is smiling at you and wants you to find joy in Him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hi everyone, Here's a link to our BLENDED FAMILY TODAY radio program podcast:
See you there! - - Dan & Rebecca

Friday, May 22, 2009

Radio Program for Blended Families

THE BONDED FAMILY begins Radio Ministry

BLENDED FAMILY TODAY is now a blog and radio show

J.J. JASPER, Christian Comedian and Blended Family Dad this week!

Join us for what is sure to be the most joy and fun-filled program of the year. WE GUARANTEE BELLY LAUGHS!

This Sunday, May 24th, Memorial Day weekend at 8 am CST, J.J. Jasper will be our guest. You know J.J. as a morning radio show host for American Family Radio, heard globally via J.J. travels the country providing great, clean and belly laugh generating humor. You'll hear some on BLENDED FAMILY TODAY this weekend.

Visit J.J. Jasper website at: (what else??)

To listen to program in Kansas City metro area, tune to 1510 AM. Worldwide (tell your friends in blended families) you can hear it via streaming audio LIVE at then click LISTEN LIVE button.

If you have a question you want answered, or want to support the radio program, write us at

OUR TOPIC THIS WEEK FOR THE SHOW: "VACATING" (vacations), FUN and FAMILY LAUGHTER are a gift from God to help you BOND as a step-family. You'll love this show. Great preparation for summer schedules.

Visit our radio program archives at:

OR...merely use the below resource:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

OUTFLUENCE Author and The Bonded Family Friend Al Betz Wins National Award

OUTFLUENCE's Nationally Recognized Author, Speaker and Friend to The Bonded Family named 'Author of the Month' for April.

As Rebecca and I are always on the outlook for people, books, ideas and resources to serve blended families, we came across in 2008, a gifted and gracious man Al Betz, who had written a book called OUTFLUENCE a Better Way to Influence.

As you pray and search for ways to help your blended family grow and 'bond' together, I am sure you find encouragement often when you discover something special. God is a God of 'no coincidences'. He can line up chance meetings and events. Have your 'antenna' up and watching for God's hand in your lives, your marriage, your children and for your blended family. Keep in communication with God daily through prayer, and just 'watch' and 'observe' what happens.

Al Betz was indeed a 'no coincidence' that we see God had aligned. To serve others. To help us serve blended families. Marriages and children. Sometimes you meet people and think it's God's amazing favor that you met them.

In the Old Testament, the book of Habakkuk, Chapter 1, Verse 5...

Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days--
You would not believe if you were told.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NASB)

Habakkuk, a little known prophet who only has three chapters and is often missed in the Bible. It's in the Old Testament, go to the book of Nahum, and take a right. Kind of like the 'under the radar' demographic of blended families....nobody often notices or cares....(but God does). Habakkuk cried out to God in his frustration with the way things were going in 'his land'. Just like we want to cry out when things get tough in 'our land'. We encourage, keep looking up, trusting God, watch and be amazed... and as that saying you often hear in the world actually came from the Bible... God can show you things 'that you would not believe, even if you were told'. Trust in Him for your family.

Back to meeting Al Betz. As you are reading this, stop and think about in 2008, who is someone you think was placed in your life by God to encourage, motivate, share interests with and just overall have you remember to recognize the blessing from the Lord and lift up a prayer saying 'thanks Lord, for aligning our path to meet this person.' Also to that person it's important to let them know you appreciate them by sharing 'I'm so thankful we met'. For us, Al and Kay Betz are friends like that.

The OUTFLUENCE book is written for both secular and faith-based audiences, business and personal, young and old, and is filled with the clear foundation of what we came to see in Al and Kay. Their hearts, intentions and spirit is to serve. To be 'servant leaders'. From the first email and phone exchanges, we discussed that it 'wasn't by coincidence' that God aligned our steps and that we could blend our resources to serve families. Stay tuned in 2009 to see how OUTFLUENCE may serve you as blended families.

AL BETZ was named Author of the Month for April 2009 for his work on OUTFLUENCE by Business Summaries. Business Summaries is an outstanding service to help people, businessmen or families, who are busy and on the go, catch the basics and key points of new books that are popular reads. Nationally recognized authors and leaders have book summarized there.

Author of the Month for April 2009: AL BETZ (here's what they wrote)To read interview with, CLICK HERE.

Learn more about Al, purchase OUTFLUENCE, sign up for his "Pearls" messages by going to

And as always...keep trusting that GOD CAN take your step-family 'from Broken to Blended to Bonded!'.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We (Wii) Are Family ! GAMES TOGETHER Can Raise Up Blended Family Life! Even improve VISION!


There is all kinds of research that set forth caution and warning of too much video game time for youth. Likewise I've read studies that the games can actually help in some cases mental quickness and acuity. XBox, PSP, PS2, Wii, Nitendo DS and others do seem to grab a large slice of America's children's attention. Many parents limit video game and TV time, and that is wise counsel.

It's Christmas time. More opportunity to bond as a family. Use it or lose it. We encourage you to make the best of the time together.

At The Bonded Family we enthusiastically suggest blended family game time. Treasure the time. Plan for it. Let it be a special time unique to your family. A TRADITION for your family. Perhaps play a game prior to a Family Summit time (we talk about this in conferences). Use the time as a catalyst to unity and fun. Sometimes everyone 'playing' together can help bring down 'strongholds'.

We believe a family that plays together and prays together....... will stay together.

The Bible holds solid counsel to check where our treasures, our hearts, our eyes and our spirit's are. Attitude is everything. Trust God to change hearts and attitudes.

In Matthew 6, verses 21 and 22 holds a message to blended families. To treasure one another by 'seeing' one another and the 'whole body' of the new blended family with good eyes, not critical or negative eyes.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light."
MATTHEW 6 : 21-22

God provides an important message to any age family member there. Parents and Children. Where are our eyes focused?? Importantly in the Christmas season, or any holiday time, we'd like to encourage with this message and include Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles or other people who sometimes impact thinking. If our EYES work to 'look for the good' instead of the shortcomings or flaws, then the 'whole body' of the new family will be more filled with happiness.

In our household, and we have heard from others, that video games that include many family members - children and adults - actually brings laughter, joy, teamwork, playing honorably,fun rivalries and foremost... BONDING MEMORIES.

We own a Wii game. Four controllers, means four people at once. (We are not endorsing one 'system' over another just complementing Nitendo Wii for it's games and inclusive ability) Besides enjoying and seeing via family game time that I still posess "age defying lightning quickness" -- hmmm...along with humility? :-) -- we so enjoy the laughter and joy that comes from the 'time together'. There is nothing better than high fives and belly laughter to bring people together. That is the key...the TIME TOGETHER. TIME TOGETHER can equal BONDING MEMORIES.

Now...there can sometimes be reluctant participants mostly spirit of the heart, stubborness, fear, etc. Pretty much anything the evil one can muster against your family. Look UPward and ask God, then look INward and see what your heart holds.

Remember John 10:10 (grab your Bible and check it out). satan wants to take out your family, wants to hurt you and destroy your family life. YOU CAN WIN THIS BATTLE. Jesus came that we might have Life! And He means for us all - when we trust in Him - blended family life!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008



We always seek to further the awareness of the challenges often faced in blended family life. President Bush started the FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES program and funding arena. President-elect Obama has expressed publically that he sees the value and believes in the work of ministries that are making a difference in America.

Rarely do we reach into Washington DC, yet we do always encourage people to vote and make their voices heard. That is part of good citizenship that all parents should encourage their families to be a part of.

Presently, even the U.S. Census doesn't even specifically track step-families in America. They do not extend exacting questions. Awareness of the uniqueness of situations is important to improving the nation.

We join a host of other organizations nationally, whether faith-based or secular, encouraging the government to become more aware of the unique family dynamics and situations of step-families, and consider them in funding programs that educate and improve society. We do know of Congressmen who have extended an ear to hearing more.

We have worked with the Faith-Based Initiatives office in Washington DC, and know they hold interest in step-family programs. We simply would like to see that continue.

Click below and vote.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Blended Family - HOPE + The Will to Win!

Family Experience, Sports, HOPE and Faith...
Pat Williams Knows Blended Families !

To find success and blessings in your Blended Family...observe, listen and learn from those who have proven the ability to rise up, and are sharing their success. Watch for the level of PERSEVERANCE AND HOPE in their hearts. A 'Will to Win' that comes from God, because the trust is in God instruction, not man's.

We have experienced in our own family great joy at times... and... due to the normal dynamics step-families often face... we have experiences some trying times. Be encouraged. That's normal. Be strong and courageous. Trust God. You will get through it.

Romans 5, verses 3 to 5 reminds and encourages us when times get tough... "...but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." .... ROMANS 5 : 3-5

I had the privilege to spend some time and get to know Pat Williams in 2005 during a Ministry Conference that he spoke at. Pat Williams is the Executive Vice President of the Orlando Magic Basketball team, an author of 50 books, AND in a blended family. I didn't realize prior to that visit with Pat that he, through re-marriage and adoption, had walked through the dynamics of large families and is a terrific Father to 19 children. A truly encouraging and entertaining book for a fun read is You've Got to Be Kidding!: Real-Life Parenting Advise from a Mom and Dad of Nineteen Find it and buy this book at our online Bookstore for The Bonded Family

We spent time talking about our ministry - The Bonded Family - and our heart and passion for serving Blended Families. Our vision is to have Pat Williams one day speak at a major conference. Pat Williams understands step-family life. He has experience bringing together children from different backgrounds and circumstances. He also, foremost, knows that FAITH is the key principle to instill into a FAMILY.

Faith best can provide the 'will to win'...because the 'Head Coach' - the Lord God Almighty knows the best ways to win. The Bible is the 'instruction manual'. It is THE BOOK. Pat Williams knows 'the Book' (Bible) If you also reference and dig into THE INSTRUCTION'll soon rejoice in knowing that we always win in the end. Your family can too. Do not quit. That ROMANS 5 :3-5 Scripture will come to life. Watch out for discouragement... the evil one wants you to fail...God wants you to succeed in your new family relationships. We do too. Listen to this video clip from Pat...and be encouraged!

Pat Williams website is
We encourage you to check it out. Pat is a man who loves the Lord, his family, and those around him. He is grounded and gifted and wants to encourage others. You will be blessed by any of his books.

Also, visit our blended family ministry site when time allows.

If your church or community would like to host a B3 Conference - from Broken to Blended to Bonded - contact us at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Can Refresh Blended Families!

Rain Refreshed the Morning Sky.
GOD CAN Refresh Your Blended Family!

This morning as I was driving, I noticed the crispness of the air, the sparkle of the morning as the sun was rising. The clouds were parting. The sun was shining brightly through. It was a 'Wow' type moment. The previous night's heavy rain had cleansed the atmosphere. It reminded me of the promise that God's mercies are new every morning. That HE can shine brightly through the step-family struggles of life. If we trust Him and seek Him.

Just then the song 'Who Am I' by Casting Crowns came on. The video is below. There I was, smiling, singing, basking in the new morning sun and the song. I was pumped up. God was giving me a special encouragement treat that moment.

Be still for one moment. Focus on the words of this song.

WHO AM I? That God would care to help me through my struggles. Catch ME when I'm falling. Know my hurts and troubles. Care. Want to be there for me?

At The Bonded Family we work with families all over the country to set forth HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT through growing in one's faith and trust in God. Given the current economic challenges, the struggles are heightened. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a Rock to stand on.

God is the best way to take a step-family...from Broken to Blended to Bonded. If we BOND to God, lift up our issues to Him, it is easier to see the 'new morning sun' and understand it. No, all the trials, challenges, hurts, struggles and pain won't just go away. We understand that. Rebecca and I still feel weekly the fallout and the consequences of family life apart from how God had originally planned for it. What you can be assured in, is that His plan for us, for you and your family, is a good one if we ask Him to help us in our new circumstances. This I can tell you. I am weak. HE is strong. If the worldly solutions were the better answer, why would the divorce rate in step-families hover at 70%, while the divorce rate of husbands and wives that pray TOGETHER daily be less than 10%. Do the math. :-) Trust the Lord.

God is the God of second chances. We can focus on the trouble, or Him. It's like as a child playing tag, and there is a base to run to where you are 'safe'. God is that 'base', He is the Rock. His Word is true. His promises real. His strength and protection are there if you call upon Him. He is in the fresh start business. The miracle business. We have seen it. We have lived it. YOU CAN TOO.

BELIEVE AGAIN ! Visit us at

If you have friends or family in step-family situations in NW Arkansas... call them and tell them about Nov 14 and 15th. See next blogpost about the National Center for Fathering Championship Fathering Conference.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dads in Blended Families - NW Arkansas

Blended Family / Step-Family Dads Need Encouragement.
NW Arkansas Championship Fathering Partnership.

The National Center for Fathering is hosting a CHAMPIONSHIP FATHERING event in Northwest Arkansas on November 14th and 15th at Christian Life Cathedral in Fayetteville Arkansas.

I am blessed to speak frequently to groups about blended family dynamics on a national level and the impact it is having on families in our country. God is opening doors to allow Rebecca and I, through The Bonded Family to continue to offer resources, encouragement and hope that we can see is impacting lives in our nation.
The recent 'economic crisis' only places more stress upon families. Blended Families then can be sometimes doubly impacted because their lives are touched by multiple homes and financial stress situations. God's strength, courage, patience and understanding only becomes a greater need in times like this. Through our efforts in partnership with the American Blended Family Association we are raising the level of awareness. God is also providing a path to serve through that, that may have not been available.

Another great group we partner with is the National Center for Fathering. Carey Casey is the CEO there and is doing mighty work across the nation. Through their CHAMPIONSHIP FATHERING Experience and conferences Dads lives - their families too - are being changed. I am blessed to be Carey's friend and a partner in seeking to serve Dads and families as the National Center for Fathering provides super resources for Dads, Single Dads and Step-Dads.

For blended family life and fatherhood, the combination of NCF efforts and our own efforts seeks to provide encouragement to Dads. 'Dads in Challenging Situations' (Divorced Dads, Single Dads, Step-Dads,etc) is an excellent session during the special Championship Fathering event. It is exciting to see God move in these Dads hearts. If you are in a 'challenging situation', you will come away blessed and feeling more able to face those dynamics and challenges unique to you. God has allowed me to 'take a mess and turn it into His message' of hope and encouragement.

FOR THE MRS....'The Power of the Parenting Team' session is Friday night and we encourage Wives and Moms to join the men for this fun and educational 'Date Night'.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yes You Can FIREPROOF your Blended Family ! Great Movie Coming Soon !

What will be one of the most memorable and marriage blessing movies in a long time will be released on September 26th, 2008... FIREPROOF.


FIREPROOF the movie is from the creators of 'Facing the Giants'. The Bonded Family is planning in Kansas City and Wichita special FIREPROOF showings via a 'Fireproof My Blended Family' special ticket arrangements.

Starring Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea as a couple on the verge of breakdown, only to see God work mightily in their marriage. Enough said. You must see and feel this marriage, then let God do the rest. Together, you can make a long-term difference in your family relationships and marriage … starting with yours!

Visit the official movie website NOW:

To learn more about the Kansas City FIREPROOF MY BLENDED FAMILY write us at:

As we always say...and this movie will tie into the message...

GOD CAN...take a step-family...From Broken to Blended to BONDED!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blended Families? Do your struggles seem big to you? Wonder if God know about it? Does He care? Can God help my step-family?

Blended Families...does the 'size and scale' of your problems and challenges seem very big? Please know...our problems are tiny compared to the universe.


"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God." LUKE 12: 6-9 Remember not only does God know and love the smallest of sparrows, but He knows ever hair on your head...every planet in every universe...and handles it all. HE is God. He knows what you are reading right now here. What you are thinking. God CAN handle your step-family trials and hurts and challenges and struggles...and answer your prayers. We must ACKNOWLEDGE and TRUST in that.

Bring a B3 Conference to your community or church. Contact us at Visit our website at


Your Blended Family universe and YOU can rotate around God and be on track.

GOD CAN...take a step-family...


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blended Family Marriage Training --- Invest Pennies Upfront vs. $100 Bills Later

"Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man's heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand."
PROVERBS 19 : 20-21


Some of you may remember that old television commercial where the man says "you can pay me now...or pay me later" inferring that doing it right upfront is the best way to go. We speak that same thought as we encourage you to...
LET GOD LEAD THE your Blended Family.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH READING out of three step-family's will stumble, lose hope, give up, fail and get divorced. We do NOT want that to be YOUR FAMILY. Let's together turn around a mess, and turn it into a message of God's strength.

Often times, step-families wait until AFTER the challenges start to seek any counsel or help or ideas or wisdom. It isn't about money, it's about hearts and relationships. But spending a $150 for a weekend conference for step-family training vs. $3,000 or more for months of counseling just makes common sense. We say be like a Boy Scout...'Be Prepared'.

On our website at we speak to our current trend in American culture. About how 'SOMEBODY HAS SWITCHED THE PRICE TAGS.' What we should value as highest, our family...we spend little time and money preparing or finding out the 'best practices' in the stepfamily arena.

In America today people study, research, 'do their homework' on:
-- cars
-- 'best practices' and the latest innovations for their business
-- plasma or LCD TV's
-- sports camps for the kids
-- vacation destinations or locations
-- stocks, mutual funds, financial tools
-- companies to go to work for
-- or even GPS devices that 'show us the way on the journey'

We spend hours and days investing to make sure we 'get it right'.

YET...when people are about to step into a 'life-long' commitment with their new family...a step-family scenario that is known to hold challenges...we see people just go get the marriage license.

Our hope what and we encourage - and are encouraging government to likewise encourage those seeking a license - is to invest some 'pennies' upfront... so they can find ways to avoid 'hundreds of dollars' at a counselor or worse yet attorneys.
The divorce rate for re-marriage is over 70% within 5 1/2 years. Spend the pennies. Save the hundreds. Find the joy. See God's goodness and power in your family.

Our hope is that in the near future blended family / step–family couples will see that one of the greatest wedding gifts they can give themselves, and their children, is to invest in a 'date weekend' with a faith-based blended family seminar or conference. It will be 'the romantic thing to do'. Doesn't have to be at one of our conferences from The Bonded Family, there are many good ones out there.

A blended family pre-marriage, and then post marriage program, should be as much a part of the new family as going on vacation. The peace, joy, relief, understanding, sharing and experience you will gain will 'feel' like the joy of vacation.

We would suggest that one of the GREATEST GIFTS A GRANDPARENT CAN GIVE...would be a REGISTRATION fee to a conference somewhere for their soon to be married son or daughter...know matter how old they are. Then you truly, as /Parents/Grandparents, are INVESTING in the health and welfare of your Grandchildren and Children.

In 1 TIMOTHY 4:6...scripture tells us "If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed."

To learn more about our work ... write us at
or visit

GOD CAN...take a stepfamily...From Broken to Blended to BONDED !

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blended Family Legacy in the Mirror


As water reflects a face,
so a man's heart reflects the man.
Proverbs 27 : 19

The incredible smile and inner beauty in the reflection of the young woman's face holds the level of joy and peace we all would like to see when we look in a mirror.

In step-family life, our countenance doesn't always reflect the true level of goodness that we generally hold in our hearts. Quite often parents misunderstand parents, parents misconstrue the facial expressions or comments of children, children take a simple scolding and feel 'thrown out of the house' by a step-parent... and even dogs and cats sense the tension and run fast under the couch or to another room, cause they thinks big trouble is at hand.

Why? Because the 'volume is turned up' in stepfamily life. Normal emotions and looks seem like giant emotions and looks. A look or a comment can mistakenly come across to someone as a scowl or a scream. Everything gets multiplied due to the carrying of baggage, the brokenness and hurt that can exist from either the parent or child's past. If we are aware of that...we can handle the 'volume turned up' scenario a little better.

We discuss this common dynamic in our workshops and conferences as not only being a behavioral aspect of step-family life but also being part of 'spiritual warfare'. It really does take place. There is good and evil in the world. Face it, know it, be prepared for it...and you can handle the moment better. Let there be no mistake...the evil one does want you and your blended family to fail. Divorce is a good thing to the devil. he (I never give him a capital letter) leads the charge in the family battle zone to take out your family. Do you know anyone else who thinks divorce is good?

You can win this battle! You have a bigger, stronger warrior to call upon if you trust God to provide you 'strength in the moment'. We're not saying there are some fundamental underlying and natural psychological family aspects to understand here...but God can 'calm the storm on the waters'. He did part the Red Sea. He did rise again on the third day. Ask Him in the moment of the storm.

God does not want you or I to be discouraged, upset, dissatisfied or unhappy. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. That's a promise you can trust. We are to look up to Him for answers... not unlike the young boy alondside his father in the bathroom. The son 'wants to be like Dad'. The Dad 'wants to care for his son'. The Son trusts the Father. That's where we should keep our focus as parents. Seek to be the strong Father, and a good listener to THE FATHER'S voice. Our Heavenly Father.

Seek to be the wise parent. Whether biological or step-child, children are the same in God's eyes. If they are the same in God's eyes, then let them be the same in yours. Yes, it can be hard. It's hard for the children too. Parents must lead.
It is important for parents to take the lead in letting God be the foundation and level set point for blended families. If you have a daughter - we have three - picture her as a young adult gazing into a mirror. Do you want to see her looking lost? Do you want her to go forth into life with a foundation that will last? What will our children's future hold? Can we look up to God and know that He can make a difference. YES.

In a recent blog post I shared a statistic that is worth repeating. THE HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO PRAY TOGETHER DAILY HAVE A LESS THAN EIGHT PER CENT (8%) CHANCE OF GETTING DIVORCED. Take that to the bank...or overdraw your life account and face the fees associated with trying things the broken ways.

God Can take a stepfamily from Broken to Blended to Bonded !


Climbing the Blended Family Mountains!

Then we'll...See You at the Top !

Zig Ziglar's signature phrase is "See You at the Top!" Those of us who admire the 81 year old motivational phenom, know that his faith guides his life, and he credits the Lord with his rise to the pinnacle of speaking success. Zig links himself to Christ. As we have, Zig has seen God's goodness and glory in his life. He still teaches a Sunday School class at his home church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas TX. He arranges his schedule to make sure he is available to serve his home church. He stands strong in his faith as even in secular, non faith-based arenas, he always draws the large crowds to understand his ascension to the top of public speaking and business comes from his sold out faith in Christ.

BLENDED FAMILIES too can ascend to success by climbing the seemingly high mountains by hooking themselves to Christ...and each other by prayer and trusting God. When people are serious about climbing, the fully understand the gear that is needed. A 'Carabiner' is a way to hook each other together. It is generally locked. Can't be easily unhooked. That carabiner creates trust. The two people can trust they are on the ascension of the mountain together. There is safety that if one stumbles, the other is there. Then if they link their carabiner to God, they have found the ultimate safety cord.

In our seminars, we give out 'Carabiners' as a symbolic statement that the Husband and Wife need to be hooked together in their marriage. Neither outside pressure, internal family dynamics, nor children issues will allow them to fall. The 'carabiner' is a reminder that God has place the couple now together, without possibility of 'unhooking'. Then we place into the picture the ultimately third carabiner hook up to God. He is the total trusted safe and solid connection and the absolute link up.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Let's face it. Blending a family offers unique dynamics that rarely can be understood unless you are actually in the arena. We have been blessed to live through our own blended family ascent, facing the trials and stopping to enjoy the family 'vistas' that brought us great joy along the climb. Rebecca and I are absolutely 100% hooked together and our 'carabiner' is hooked to the Lord God Almighty.

Know this. I have stumbled fully at times in my life. Only by the grace of God am I climbing mountains today. You can too. It takes turning around your life and accepting that we need Jesus Christ in our lives.


Bring some 'Carabiners' to your church or local community.
Visit us today at ......
or email us at .........

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blended Family Peace = A Praying Dad & Mom blended families...when things seem very tough...and you can't figure it out...or find the right words...emotions may be hot...the 'step-family dynamics' are swirling...this is an alternative that will work...if you have enough faith to 'be still and know that God is God'.

HE can handle it. REMEMBER...the Red Sea did part.
Smile, this too shall pass.

Exodus 14:13-14
"Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest."

the Red Sea did part and they passed through the challenge of the day...and the enemy they thought would destroy them.

And God's Promise to us for peace...if we lift up our prayers to Him in Phillipians 4:6-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

We have seen in our own family God's hand...and His power...and His peace..and His Goodness and Grace. YOU CAN TOO.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tell Me When Blended Families Get a Fresh Start?

Sometimes blended family parents feel banged up, beat themselves up emotionally, believe in a lie that they can't go on and are failing, and are struggling to find answers to lifes most important questions. They feel like 'man...we need a fresh start'.

The answer to that is in the pictures above...and the message at the end.

Our life and experience leads us to share there are indeed answers. They can be found in the ideas, concepts, provision and precepts of the Bible, in prayer, and in trusting that God is bigger than the challenge one is facing. Most of the time God is the 'last place' people turn. Funny how only when our lives, our nation, a family member or friend is on the we turn to God.

A recent Kansas City Star newspaper poll found that 91% of there readers said 'they believe in God', but only 28% go to church regularly. People know God exists...but place Him on the shelf for when He is needed. That is kind of like having an M-16 rifle in your tent, and charging the enemy hill with a slingshot. We say... use the darn firepower if you want to win the battles.

We are trying to help families reverse the trend when thinking of 'looking upward'. We say "go first and go often". Kind of like voting in Chicago. (just kidding to all you Chicago readers) Seriously...we have seen it in our lives and the lives of others.

In our workshops and conferences people come to us with stories that encourage us that through our own examples and stories they were 'renewed' and start each day new.

Now we accept that some people will now quickly tune us out and say "I am out of here...not gonna listen to this God thing... Hey pal I got real problems!" OK... to those I ask read on, let me share documentable and proven research that is not from me. Common knowledge exists that the divorce rate hovers at 50%, whether non-believer or even yes, evangelical Christians. Just going to church doesn't make the difference. But check this out... time and time again studies (i.e. Barna Group) have shown that a husband and wife who prays daily or regularly together... the rate is below 10%. Below 10%! Is that a powerful weapon in the battle for victory or what??

As a Father to six children in a blended family, I would not be truthful if I didn't share that I have done and said some real bonehead things. We all have.
Our human nature simply is incapable of not doing or saying things we would like to then have a 'do-over' chance. I am thankful that the 'do-over' period is the next day. Apologize if needed. Ask for forgiveness and understanding if that is possible.

So that leads us to the FRESH START. We share what we believe should be the FOUNDATION and the ROCK of every family and that is the very basic importance that only God can create the unique and special bond in a blended family.

God does allow step-families - the parents and children - to have a fresh start daily. It's in His promise...the Word of God. God does promise you a 'new morning'. He is faithful. Stop beating yourself up and accept the 'new morning'. Make it better.

Scriptures shouts out to us every morning when we see the sun rise anew. We are told in Lamentations 3 : 21 -23 the following.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Blended Family Research Increases Knowledge, Understanding & Wisdom

We came across what we believe to be a solid Blended Family article done by LINDA CARROLL, who does research and writes for MSNBC.

The story offers knowledge...and with knowledge comes understand and hopefully brings wisdom. You can take this as encouragement because you can keep hope flowing as you understand that your blended family is not alone. There are over 23 million households in America facing similar challenges. (see ABFA) Linda Carroll's article notes that in most new step-family situations teens struggle most with new step-parents. In particular her research finds teenage boys seem to have the most issues with 'step-fathers'.

We hear this often as we coach and work with blended families. We also saw it at times in our own family. Being a teenager is hard enough in any situation, given the maturing process, newfound freedoms and responsibilities, peer pressure, hormones and relationships. If internal 'whom do I choose as best' loyalty issues arise, or if disrespect is shown and modeled from the other homes bio-parent(s) toward your step-parenting role ... troubled waters will prevail. Parents are to be the leaders and the model that children observe and emulate. Be a positive influence. It will take a patient, positive parent who trusts God to shine brighest and bring long-term benefit to the child. If the struggle is one that maybe a 'peace summit' meeting between child and parents will help, do so. Remember foremost that Husband and Wife must stand strong house divided. Take disagreements into a private room. If the negative influences are external, we encourage all blended family parents to pray and rise above personal feelings, hurts, frustrations, and upset with the 'other house' and make sure you coach and emulate 'respect and honor' in both families home.

IF YOU ARE A TEEN and reading this...we ask you walk the extra mile and try to start each day new. We came across an interesting site for Children of Divorce.
They have surveys there. Children are not alone either.

Here is a link to the article we mentioned that we want to credit as fine work:

Friday, February 29, 2008

Blended Family Baby Leads The Way

On our Wedding Day in the top picture you see 5 wonderful children, as part of our blended family wedding.
We encourage that to happen for all couples who are creating a 'step-family'. It is an important passage, a value and connection that takes place not only that day, but years later when the picture is viewed and better understood. It can be a positive message to a child that they fully are 'a part of something God has His hand upon'. It also allows them to be a part of the specialness of your wedding day.

The second picture holds the same wonderful five children at the wedding our our oldest. The picture also holds the girl in the flower girl wedding dress... the 'baby', the 'Ours', the sixth child that was and is wanted, and cherished, by all. This "Ours" daughter is often called the 'glue' of the family because her innocence, joy, and love for all equally offers a special unity to the family. She belongs equally to all in the family, and that is a gift from God to all of us.

Everyone loves her, hugs her with the most special of hugs, and there are no step-family dynamics or feelings outside of pure love for her.

I remember the pre-Thanksgiving night in 1996 when we gathered the five children in the living room... then ages 4,5,6, 10 and 13... for a special 'family meeting'. We shared that they were going to have a little brother or sister. Their smiles and eyes rose up, and if one could see into the heavenlies, you could see their very spirits unite together in a special way. They would have something 'together' and equal. Our youngest child shouted 'I won't be the baby anymore!' and all laughed with joy at the innocence and pure thrill in his voice.

Much has been written and psychologically analyzed about adding an "ours" child to the mix of a new blended family. Should we have a child together? When? What will it do to the other children? How will they feel? Is an 'ours' child a good thing in a blended family? First pray and be sure that the foundation of the marriage is resting with God and solid is your first pillar in the decision. If the love you have for 'family', and 'each other' and 'children' is secure...then we shout out 'Trust God and know He doesn't make mistakes.' Don't let the doubt and fear creep in. Fear and doubt come only from the devil who wants you to fail anyway, right? Know this. Don't anticipate battles with it.

REMEMBER to grab your Bible and head to EXODUS 14 : 13-14

Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

The LORD can and will fight your battles for you if you trust Him. We have seen this happen in our own lives and in the lives of other step-families. Some will doubt this. Remember...the Red Sea did part. :-)

We believe children in step-families truly in their 'heart of hearts' long to 'belong' and seek 'togetherness' in a complete way. They do want the acceptance, connection, and peaceful relationships because that is a basic child-like attitude... to want to have that special sense of family. That's why at The Bonded Family we are proponents of including children in the wedding, and yes, if an 'ours' child is wanted, to trust that God is with you in that.

We do not think that hyper-analysis of how an "ours" will affect the overall family should be allowed to be more than that...hyper analysis. In our own lives, and in working with hundreds of blended families across the nation, we have found that it is most often 'outside interference' that creates any rejection of that basic need to safely belong together. Taht interference is common and damages children and the new family. It is something you have to live through long term and trust God can and will handle and not our 'self'.

We can share that the positive value to a blended family of having a new 'ours' is big. The 'ours' child not only unites the 'yours' and 'mine' together, but it offers the marriage - which should come first in God's eyes - a special gift that no one can take away. There is nothing more special than seeing these six together.

It is by chance that we became a blended family, but by God's Hand we became a family. We would encourage those parents contemplating have an 'ours' child to first look at their marriage and place it in God's hand. Then joyfully and robustly go for it!.