in our own words: John and Julie
By Lavern Nissley
In April, 2016 John and Julie Balzer completed the RINGS Experience and then requested follow up step-family mentoring. Both had gone through previous marriage failures and wanted to ensure health in their current marriage journey. They completed most of their mentoring sessions before their wedding in mid-June, 2016.
Let's listen in to their reflections. They are pretty specific and tangible on how they've been affected by gaining emotional intelligence and relationship literacy.
Leaving an inspiring legacy
By Lavern Nissley
(With personal reflections from Gloria Hoover)
DeLynn Hoover was a pretty memorable kind of guy. I had the pleasure of working together with him and his wife, Gloria, for seven years at Vineyard Northridge as he oversaw the youth group and Gloria directed the children's ministry. For the past 15 or so years the two of them have been directing a youth missions training camp in Costa Rica, a thriving location that Ronda and I have visited the past three Decembers to lead relationship skills training.
DeLynn died suddenly and unexpectedly last week of a heart attack in Honduras at the way too young age of 48. The news sent shock waves and grief through the many circles of acquaintances in the United States and Central America. It was one of those times many of us were feeling and saying, "No, please, no!"
His funeral service was live streamed on Facebook July 14 with over 650 viewers. Hundreds of people posted their reflections and memories, as well as prayers of comfort for Gloria and immediate family and staff.
Of the many things DeLynn was known for (constantly joking, driving aggressively, pushing people out of their comfort zones), a beautiful legacy he has left is a healthy, vitalized marriage. I'd like you to hear from Gloria as she reflects on his kindness to her and her last morning with him.
By Ronda Nissley
“America’s Leaders Can’t Agree on Reopening Protocols. Neither Can Families”. The headline from a Wall Street Journal article caught my attention.
I had just engaged in a rather tense interchange with a family member on Covid precautions. Both of us had strong feelings, and we were definitely not on the same page.
It appears these conversations have become quite common within families and have become as polarizing as politics. As the article states, “Behind all the confusion are thousands of conversations and arguments every day in households across America about how to do the right thing—with disagreements on what that is.” It has become a balancing act between caution and connection.
I'm sharing several principles I need to remind myself of daily.
Helping us tell our story
By Lavern & Ronda Nissley
There are these refreshing moments in life, often totally unexpected, where a conversation or phone call feels like a real gift.
Jeff Fourman, a local business owner and good friend of ours, gave us one of those refreshing gifts in August of 2018. He wanted to do a spotlight on our ministry, so he brought a videographer to help us tell our story. This moved us greatly, especially when we saw the finished product several months later!
Something affirming and validating happens to people when we take the time to draw them out with great questions. At Encompass we're committed to helping couples, families and organizations tell their stories on a regular basis. You can watch these at https://www.encompasscc.org/blog/category/our-stories.
Today, we simply say "thank you" to Jeff Fourman and Fourman Insurance Agency for taking the time to honor our story.
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.