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.

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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!'.