By Lavern Nissley
Have you heard of "The Chosen" series on the life of Jesus and surrounding characters? It's one of the best depictions I've ever seen in this genre. Currently Season 1 is available via a free downloadable app that contains 8 engaging and memorable episodes, each about 50-55 minutes in length. The project is also crowdfunded with opportunities to "pay it forward."
Part of my interest and fascination is with the relationship dynamics in every episode. It's not just about the life of Jesus, but also the very real lives of people like Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Peter and his family, Roman soldiers and officials, Matthew and others. Both the writing and acting come across as compelling and real without deviating from the central story. Certainly a lot of drama is inserted as a novel based upon scripture and historical traditions.
Here are a few of my own relationship observations after watching the entire series of 8 episodes.
By Lavern & Ronda Nissley
This past weekend we received a combined Mother's Day/Father's Day gift from our daughter and son-in-law. It's a fun cartoon of the two of us on our tandem recumbent bicycle, masterfully drawn by local artist Valerie Rieker of https://vnrieker.artstation.com/.
We purchased this bicycle in 2010 and have logged about 12,000 miles. Riding it together is truly one of our favorite together activities. Lots of great conversations, discussions on vision and a handful of disagreements/conflicts!
One discussion we've had is the idea of writing a book someday about what we've learned about marriage from riding a tandem. Here are 5 insights (but we think there are probably more like 15-20!).
Exactly one year ago today, June 16, 2019, Ronda was told by an Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner to go directly to the ER. Within several hours she was in a surgery that was totally life-altering and that would require a reversal surgery and months of recuperation.
In late May of this year we shared our story for Fellow Church's God Story segment. This was one of the major health challenges we've faced in our 40+ years of marriage. But as you'll see, we didn't face it alone.
By Kermit Rowe
I have a question for you: What is it about a question that leads us to answers?
I am being a bit facetious, but I am also trying to make a point.
It seems our go-to tendency is to go into a conflict trying to get out of it at any cost. For many, the surface level of conflict is so uncomfortable that the modus operandi is to go no deeper into the issue than is absolutely necessary to achieve some semblance of temporary peace. Is there a better way?
By Lavern Nissley
Our country appears to be coming apart at the seams.
How do we assess the comparative damages of a 2-3 month quarantine against an external virus to a one week explosion of pent up anger, riots and looting following a horrific internal act of police brutality in Minneapolis? Both have brought incredible negative impact that leaves gaping wounds and losses - of collective body, soul and spirit.
The 4 Communication Danger Signs that we help couples, families and workplaces back away from are being totally disregarded by politicians, news media, community leaders and self-appointed experts on social media. Escalation, Invalidation, Negative Interpretation and Withdrawal are the "new norm" for all things communication.
However, I'm grateful for many voices of calm and hope in the midst of chaos and insanity. I'd like for you to hear 2 of them.
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.