Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LIVING WELL Monthly Letter, March, 2010

February was a whirlwind. Thank you for your prayers for us. Our marriage conference in Ponca City went well. The people there were very attentive and appreciative of the material that we presented. We have a good class of young married couples taking our marriage class on Sunday nights. Ed’s talk on “guarding your heart” went well with the men’s group. We have battled the weather with our Monday night “Preparing for Marriage” class and are having to double up to catch up on it. We were encouraged with numerous marriage events across our state this month. A video simulcast from Focus on the Family is still coming up on the last weekend of February.

As we teach and speak on marriage, the topic of communication comes up over and over. Communication is a common catch-all for what goes wrong in a marriage. Interestingly enough, when we meet with couples preparing for marriage, we have never heard one of them say “We just can’t communicate.” In fact, quite the opposite is true. They most often say “We can talk about anything.... When we have a problem, we talk it out.” What happens between those courting days and the days that follow a wedding?

In today’s world, communication takes place in a myriad of avenues. When we were kids, we could talk to someone in person, write them a letter, or call them on the telephone. Now, we have the ubiquitous cell phones with text messages ... or we can email or instant message or chat online. According to statistics from a year ago, Americans send 2.5 billion text messages/day. Many people are having personal conversations electronically; some are with a person they have never seen face-to-face.

Oh, but text messages are so 2008; it’s 2010! A new avenue is permeating all sectors of our culture - social networking. Facebook has 400 million active users who post 60 million status updates each day. New numbers released by Nielsen recently confirm: Facebook is the web’s number-one time sink. More interesting, though, is how much more time is spent on the world’s largest social network today than six months ago. Back in June 2009, Nielsen estimated that the average U.S. user spent four hours and 39 minutes on Facebook per month. In January 2010, though, the amount of time the average person spent on Facebook jumped to more than seven hours per month or 14 minutes per day.

We are now facing all kinds of new marriage and communication challenges as the text-message generation gets married and older adults populate facebook. ( a new book has just come out, Facebook and Your Marriage, which deals with this topic) We see dating couples breaking up by text message. People are having affairs with a “virtual person” in an online game - a person they have never seen in the flesh. High school chums,10-20 years later, re-connect on facebook. Our social networks are expanding but our personal social interactions are becoming more difficult.

On the internet, you can search the word “communication” and get 306,000,000 results in .45 seconds. Sound overwhelming? We have put down a few main ideas to give you some insights on communication.(at this link) We hope to give you some encouragement in connecting with others; we all seem to struggle to communicate effectively, especially with our spouse.

We hope to have an announcement soon on our next trip to east Africa. Stay posted!

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.

Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. If you are your church are interested in having us speak or teach in your church, please let us know. We would love to talk with you about it.

Electric Communication

"Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true." Charles Dickens

"Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11(NLT)

"So encourage each other and build each other up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11a (NLT)