Wednesday, January 06, 2010

LIVING WELL Monthly Letter, January 2010

Where were you in the Christmas Eve blizzard of 2009?

Everyone has a story to tell; we have one too. Our daughter had to work until 3:00 in the far north part of Edmond (a 45 minute drive home to Bethany on a good day). After making it a fraction of the way home, she got stuck in a line of traffic and could not move. She was a long way from home and we do not have a 4-wheel drive. Fortunately, a close friend of ours lives a couple of miles from where she was stuck and does have a 4-wheel drive. After they were able to get their vehicle out, they came and rescued her and left her car. She spent the night on Christmas Eve at their house; they dug her car out of the snow the next morning and brought her and her car home. She ended up being stuck in her car for 3 ½ hours, some of it after dark. We are so thankful for good friends who came to her rescue.

This year was a very different holiday season for us. Because of Donna’s recent surgery, we stayed home for Thanksgiving and Donna’s sister brought us a Thanksgiving meal. And we chose not to get out our usual Christmas decorations, tree ornaments, etc. We were not able to get out for any of the usual pre-Christmas festivities. Christmas day celebrations were delayed a couple of days. Our hot water heater went out on New Year’s morning, limiting our enjoyment of our alma mater’s bowl game. But the Lord was faithful to show us that all of the usual happenings are traditions we have created, none of which preclude us from being thankful for His work and provision in our lives or from celebrating His incarnation. What really matters in our relationship to Him cannot be taken away.

We pray that each of us and all of those who read this letter will commit to do something to develop a more intimate walk with our Lord during 2010 and to strengthen their marriages (for those who are married). Ed is reading through the Bible chronologically and highlighting God’s words and actions. Along with reading through the Bible, Donna is studying a devotional written by Martin Luther.

We are back to work and Donna is almost back to normal. The healing from her surgery has taken longer than we had expected. We were unable to see any appointments during December but are now resuming a normal schedule. We have a full schedule for January and February.

Our Preparing for Marriage class begins Monday, January 18 from 7:00-8:30. This class is for any couple who is seriously dating, engaged, or in their first year of marriage. The class will meet in the charming, Old Paseo Chapel (in the Paseo district of Oklahoma City). The details and sign-up are on the home page of our website, Couples spend a lot of time and money on the wedding, what is their investment in preparing for the marriage? If you know anyone who is at that stage of life, pass on the information about our class or contact us and we will get the info to them.

We are doing a marriage retreat in Chickasha January 22-23. Ed is speaking to a men’s group at Emmaus Baptist Church, Saturday, February 13. We are starting a marriage enrichment class, Sunday evenings, 6-7:30, beginning February 14, at Putnam City Baptist Church. And we are doing a weekend conference in Ponca City near the end of February.

With the Marriage Network Oklahoma team, we are actively sponsoring and promoting Marriage Week, February 7-14; the theme is Forever Together. Churches and organizations have an opportunity to be a Marriage Forever church (no cost) and be a part of this great movement to honor and celebrate marriages. More details are available on the highlighted link.

We are thankful for the end of year donations we received. We are still very far behind in our budget. Our salaries are determined by our board of directors; we have a maximum salary that we can draw monthly but there is no minimum. We do not draw a full salary if the donations do not meet the budget.

We ask you to join us in a concerted, sincere prayer to our Father to provide for our budget, so that we may meet all of our financial obligations.

Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. You may donate to LIVING WELL online or by mailing a check to PO Box 720828, Oklahoma City, OK 73172. All donations are tax-deductible.

LIVING WELL - Monthly Quote and Prayer Requests

The Bible opens up with a wedding, and it ends with
a wedding. It opens with
a marriage, and it ends with
a marriage. . . . Your Bible is essentially a love story.  
Frank Viola, From Eternity to Here

For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself. . . . Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” . . . And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Revelation 19:7b & 9b, 21:2

Prayer Requests for January 2010:
  1. Donations to fill the gap of our budget shortfall, so Ed and Donna will be able to continue Living Well ministry activities
  2. Donna’s continued healing after emergency surgery on Nov.16
  3. Preparing for Marriage class, Mondays, starting Jan.18, 7-8:30
  4. Marriage Retreat in Chickasha, January 22-23
  5. Wisdom in training and follow-up with Oklahoma churches
  6. Wisdom in marriage and financial guidance appointments
  7. Good health and protection for our family.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

LIVING WELL in 2010 - Strengthening Marriages

How far into marriage was I when I realized that I didn't know what was I doing?

I guess it was somewhere in my first year. I knew that I didn't really know any couples whose marriages I wanted to emulate. I knew that I didn't have any specific training on marriage; I had not even read a book. I knew that the person to whom I had committed the rest of my life could hurt me more than anyone, without even trying. And I didn't know anyone to seek for advice or anywhere to go. I thought I was smart enough to figure it out .... wrong!!!!

Finally, the Lord did a great work in my heart and I started looking towards Him for answers. Then I discovered Dr. Dobson. His radio program along with many books, friends, mentors, seminars, and classes began to show me His way. It worked ... still together after 36 years!

But those agonizing first years of marriage showed me how hard it is for a good marriage to just happen! Great marriages, yes, even good marriages take outside help! God drew my heart and Ed's heart to be catalysts in other couples' lives to strengthen their marriages.

We are more committed to strengthen marriages in 2010 than ever before. We will be teaching a retreat January 22-23 in Chickasha, a men's breakfast in south Oklahoma City on February 13, an 8-week class at a church in Oklahoma City starting February 14, and another seminar in Ponca City February 20-21. That is just the next two months!

And every week, we minister to couples in our office, giving them guidance to heal and strengthen their marriages.

We see God work in a way that we have not seen in any other area of ministry. I have done women's ministry, written Bible study literature for adults and kids, trained teachers and lay counselors. Ed has led men's ministry, developed a benevolence ministry, and been a deacon and church staff member. However, we both agree, marriage ministry is God's call on our life as a couple.