Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Our Fall Countdown class will begin this semester, only about a month away, and we still have three openings!!! This rarely happens, so please pass this along to anyone who you think might be interested! Anyone who is engaged, or is about to be engaged, that is. Below I have copied an excerpt from our Countdown blog to give a fuller picture of what this ministry is all about. We are passionate about marriage ministry, and though we've taught it for more than six years now, it's equally as fun and exciting each semester when my living room fills up with these adorable couples on the brink of something great. Read all about it, and if you're a Countdown alum, feel free to stand up and testify in the comment section...
Is Countdown for You?
You're engaged! You have a ring! You are looking at churches, cakes, invitations, and a lot of family tension! Congratulations!
The engagement period is so exciting.
It is a journey between two people falling deeply in love, and going from two to ONE!
This time can be totally consumed with planning the "Big Day," as it's called, but we would like to challenge you...put aside wedding planning for a bit and do some marriage planning. That one day is so special, but it's just the beginning. Having the wedding of your dreams needs to take a backseat to having the marriage of your dreams, so to speak.
What kind of marriage do we dream of? Is your goal to stay married without totally hating each other, or do you really long to be old and gray, and as in love as you are today?
Well, the adventure you are about to embark on is exciting, it's passionate, it will thrust a mirror in front of you that will reflect your selfishness and sin like you've never seen, and it's a new birth. The birth of a family, of a ministry team, of a new YOU. It will change who you are, your relationships, and your view of the world.
Have I scared you? I hope not. But this thing called marriage requires more preparation than any of us realize. We invite you to explore God's Word for what His purpose for us is in marriage, and what the fullness and abundance of His plan for us in marriage looks like.
We want to teach you how to build your marriage, and every aspect of it, on the rock solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Everything else is sinking sand. "When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built." Luke 6:48. You have already started building your house. What is it built on? If it's built on compatability, romantic love, friendship, or shared interests, these are faulty foundations. They are foundations of sand. They are blessings in marriage, but they cannot bear the weight of your house. There is only one foundation that will never crack. Our God.
We say this all the time, but we believe everyone wants a fantastic marriage. But good marriages don't just happen. Desire is not enough. We must be taught. Taught from the Word, the ultimate, flawless authority in our life, totally relevant to our every need and desire. Without being taught, we are floundering for elusive bits of advice to apply to our real lives. It is like water through our hands, trying to grasp the reality of God's gift to us: marriage.
What, When, and Where do we teach?
Countdown is a 9 week class, taught in our home on Thursday nights from 8:30-10:00pm. We teach a class every semeseter. The semester is concluded by an overnight retreat.
We teach a curriculum written mostly by us, from our marriage, incorporating written assignments from us and also from Byron and Carla Weathersbee. They are our mentors in Countdown, founders of our parent ministry Legacy Family. (legacyfamily.org) Rusty and I were students in their Countdown class in Waco, Texas when we were engaged in 1998. They founded this ministry to engaged couples and families in 1995 and have been used by God to change lives since then! We feel blessed to be under their ministry, and to have been trained by them personally.
In Countdown, we will discuss a different topic each week. The topics include: God's Purpose for Marriage, Roles and Responsibilities, Money Matters, In-Laws, Spiritual Growth, Sexual Intimacy, Commitment, and Communication and Conflict Resolution. Each week couples complete their assignments, some seperately, but mostly together, before coming to class. It is an informal, discussion oriented time. Everyone comes ready for dessert first, and we have a great time!
Part of the fun is walking through your engagement and learning alongside other couples. Couples who are experiencing the same things you are. We often see friendships among the couples forming, and we have a few social events for fun. The retreat culminates all we have learned in a semester, and is the highlight for me! We have so much fun, with a few surprise for our couples.