By Lavern Nissley
Practical jokes and pranks are what April 1 is known for. Kinda fun to lure people into thinking something unbelievable is true, and then exclaiming, "April Fools!" One comes to expect good-natured pranks on this day, but what if we shifted the terrain a bit? What if we could identify some pretty foolish things, and then NOT do them in April? What if we narrowed the list of foolish items to relationships? Maybe this is what would emerge . . .
By Tessa Stump
We’ve all been there.
It’s 3 o’clock.
You’re sitting in the office, and that turkey sandwich you had for lunch has long since worn off. Your tummy is grumblier than Winnie the Pooh without his honeypot. Then you see it…the vending machine. And inside that giant metal box of empty calories is the Pop Tart.
Normally you would never go for that Pop Tart. It’s just not good for you. It’s full of sugar and artificial flavors, it has no substantial energy source, and let’s face it – they don’t even taste that good. So, why do you want that Pop Tart so bad?
By Abby Glaser
It’s hard to believe we’re nearing a year of life in a pandemic! What started for many of us as a temporary adjustment has become a new way of life. This is especially evident in the distribution of labor for many couples with children! With our children doing virtual school, I became responsible for overseeing the education of our children while trying to work from home. I began to burn out quickly, lashing out in frustration at everyone in our household. I wasn’t alone in that. Research shows that women are three times as likely to report suffering from significant mental health consequences due to covid. Women also account for 80% of those who have left the workforce in the past year. We quickly realized that how we had always done things wasn’t going to work and we had to start from scratch in the division of labor. Here are a couple of ways we have done that!
By Kermit Rowe
The finale of Encompass Connection Center’s recent Valentine’s Day virtual Gala, attended by 126 supporters and beneficiaries of our 16-year-old relationship ministry, featured staff member Jenny Hamilton and her husband, Mike, doing a touching rendition of the wildly successful worship song “The Blessing.”
It led me to think deeply about the blessing of holy matrimony, and what the Bible says about it. Obviously, the blessing of having my wife Nancy in my life the past 40 years quickly came to mind. She has been a constant blessing. But I also know that the word “blessing” is used so loosely in today’s culture, that its true meaning can easily be cheapened or even lost.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.