Welcome to a Blog for Blended Families !

Blended Families often seek Encouragement, Hope, Motivation and Insight. Join us here each week for practical & powerful ways to rise up & defeat those challenges that can weaken, damage or destroy your family.
.................... God has a plan for victory for YOU! ....................

Friday, December 30, 2011


Stepfamily Radio on your iPad, iPhone, Android or PC
Get Smart Blended Families on Smart Phones.

Sometimes we forget to share all of the stepfamily encouraging resources we offer.

This is a quick reminder that you can get FREE PODCASTS on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Galaxy or other smart device.  Listen, Laugh, Learn.  You always will come away with at least one "Yes, that's me" or a "Good idea!" or a "God is Good!" or some other heartfelt thought.

Click on the images now to go to your free stepfamily resource.

Please share this blog.
Blended Family Today was started in 2009 and was the 'first of it's kind' radio program on traditional radio, based in Kansas City, yet broadcast globally that was directed 100% to stepfamily dynamics.


Dan and Rebecca interview nationally recognized figures such as:
  • Pat Williams, Sr. VP of the Orlando Magic & Author of over 70 books 
  • Zig Ziglar Family (Tom Ziglar, Julie Ziglar Norman & husband Jim) 
  • J.J. Jasper, AFR Radio's DJ / nationally recognized Comedian
  • Dr. Dan Erickson, Author of 'God Loves Do-Overs'
  • Dr. Ken Canfield, Author, Speaker, 2006 KS Gubernatorial Candidate
  • Jill Brooke, former CNN on-air personality / noted author & blogger
  • Robert Sherwood, fmr Silicon Valley exec & Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Dr. Randy Shepard, College Funding Expert
  • Al and Kay Betz, Founders of OUTFLUENCE
  • Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering
  • Dr. Bob Reccord, Pastor, Author and nationally recognized speaker
  • Patricia Plum, Forgiveness Expert
  • Bill Nicks (aka James Naismith, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower & more)
  • Henri Boucard, Career Planning Expert
  • ++ many more you'll enjoy, & learn from for your marriage & family
Also...enjoy DAILY TIPS via TWITTER direct to your cell phone or digital device.
Click on the iPod image below to FOLLOW US and get DAILY TIPS.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blended Families ... Embracing the Word YET!

for your Blended Family.

Our daughter Amanda started high school this year.  Something TREMENDOUS happened as we attended 'Meet the Teacher' Night.  Rebecca and I joyfully discovered every one of her teachers absolutely loves their job.  You could see it in their face, their speech, their plans, their hopes for our daughter...they LOVED their jobs.  You can tell alot about an educator when they love their job.  They'll find the way to inspire our children to learn and grow and prosper in life...not just get through the daily work.  We see WINNERS at Ray-Pec high school.  From the Bus Driver to the Band Teacher... all posessed the great attitudes that make learning fun and lasting!

So here is our SHOUT OUT and APPLAUSE for Raymore-Peculiar High School and the teachers we met.   Great Work and Thank You!

As we walked into the Advanced Geometry classroom, we enjoyed hearing an upbeat 'we are discovering learning together' message from Mrs. Gina Prowell.  My often ADD giant right brain bounced around the room (my friends are smiling and thinking "Squirrel!" from the movie UP! right now) scanned the setting and saw multiple locations of signage with the word "YET!".   Simply the word 'YET!' on a wall, a filing cabinet, above the chalkboard (oops, I guess it's 'whiteboard' now days), right near her desk and other places.

So when it was time for the famous 'are their any questions', your daydreaming friend Dan asked 'What do all those YET!'s mean?'  You should have seen the looks on the other parents.  WHAT is this dummy talking about??? Of course our daughter smiled and knew Dad had been scanning the room.

Mrs. Prowell seemed to like the question and here's where the POWER WORD was described by her.  When a student stumbles with an answer or a problem or comes to her and says 'I don't get this', she is sure to smile at them and get them to add to the end of the phrase the 'power word' YET!
As always...you may now be thinking...
'Dan, how's this relate to stepfamilies?'
OK...I'll share that. 
I'm confident by now you know where you can lead your marriage and family.  Add YET! to these very common quotes and SEE THE DIFFERENCE:

He doesn't love my children like he loves his own......YET!

My 'ex' is not honoring the parenting plan...YET!
My stepdaughter doesn't want to have anything to do with me....YET!
We're lost in this stepfamily life, we don't know how to navigate...YET!
My adult children aren't accepting my spouse in their life.....YET!
We don't seem to agree at all over discipline for the children...YET!
I just can't handle this hectic schedule with two families ...YET!
My parents are accepting my new wife as a part of the family...YET

Our finances are hurting so bad and we don't have the answer...YET!
Our two teenagers are accepting and bonding together...YET!
We don't know where to turn for answers...YET! 

The list of phrases could go on.  So YOU FILL IN YOUR QUESTION and simply add YET! to your challenge.  Like Geometry teacher Gina Prowell, stay positive, believe you can overcome doubt, fear and discouragement.  At TBF we challenge you to make sure you are a YET! family!  Smile at your spouse and remind them.  When you children complain or discuss what's 'not working' teach them this powerful 'keeper for life' word and attitude.

Scripture has some ENCOURAGEMENT in this area.
Romans Chapter 5 very early on reminds us...

'...by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.'

Blended Family Life, especially working towards being a BONDED FAMILY does take perseverance and hope.   YES YOU CAN get through all things.  Say YET! and keep asking God for the strength you need to find victory.

For your WEEKLY BLENDED FAMILY COACHING AND TIPS... check out our BONDCAST and Weekly Tips available to you.  We'll take you through some YET! questions each week.
Follow us for Daily Tips on TWITTER.
Friend us on FACEBOOK.
Dan Snell

Feel Free to Copy and Paste this YET! below and put it on your REFRIGERATOR.
REFRIGERATOR ART for the blended family ages.

Blog @Copyright The Bonded Family 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Neither Myth is True...So Live Victoriously!

We are a blended family. 
We own a black cat also. 

Our culture has developed the attitude that blended families don't work... and somehow think that black cats are unlucky. Both these premises are man created MYTHS.  
God didn't create black cats, nor stepfamilies, to be bad, evil or full of potential woesome results. Man's imagination + "stinkin' thinkin'" did.

This morning our 17 year old black cat Crash (would take a whole blog to explain why that name) was walking back and forth in front of our youngest daughter Amanda. She laughed and said 'Wow, Crash has walked back and forth in front of me 5 times so I'll have 35 years bad luck'.  We all laughed.  Crashed looked at us - he holds a very communicative personality - and barked 'meow'.  Crash does seem to bark when he knows he's being talked about.  I was one of those 'don't like cats' guys until this feline was adopted away from homelessness. Crash is my buddy.  I admit it.  Cat-lovers cheer here.

So what does the black cat myth and blended families have in common?  Cats are very consistent in their behavior.  Depending on their 'personality' that can appear to be 'aloof', or maybe 'playful', 'standoff-ish' or sometimes 'mean-spirited'.  Cats actually can be very loyal buddies if you treat them right and 'invest' a little time bonding with them.   

Often personalities and relationship dynamics within blended families can be the same.  Each child is unique, somewhat different in their own special way. Thus relationships should be developed and nurtured differently.  Some will come quicker, some may take years.  Perseverance is a foundational word you hear a lot from our team at The Bonded Family.  Perseverance comes from trusting God. Seeing what happens when you 'let go and let God'. Remember this saying when you feel exasperated or there is no hope.  "God's not done".

It's also a real 'myth' that stepparents and stepchildren can't get along. Just like spending time with a kitten will help one 'bond' with the cat, we recommend that you 'invest time' to discover what talents and treasure each child holds. What are their dreams, hopes and wishes?  Don't simply buy into the negative stepfamily myths.  The more you understand your unique or complex family situation - and that is one of the goals at The Bonded Family - the more success you will have. Understanding behavior is key.  It's why people share with us after our conferences "I wish we knew THEN what we've learned from you NOW".

Putting a stake in the ground and committing your marriage and family into God's hands is the absolute success criteria foundation.  Without it...you are built on sandy soil.  Some will 'turn away' right now reading this saying 'Oh that God stuff', yet the fact are the facts, the true stats are there.  Write us and ask about them.  info@thebondedfamily.com

Our children hear often that rock solid advice for VICTORY in life...

Scripture also holds a verse that speaks to VICTORIOUS LIVING. 
PROVERBS 15:15 shares...
'All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.'

Work on your heart.  Discipline your mind.  See the good in all people.  Look for the good in all situations.  Discover the good where you can't see it at first.  Guard against feeling 'afflicted' or you 'days will be bad'.   INSTEAD... say to yourself and ask God to strengthen you and give you a CHEERFUL HEART so that your days and life - and your blended family - will feel as a 'CONTINUAL FEAST'

Sometimes that takes coaching.  We can help. 

Follow us on TWITTER.   Daily Tips to Encourage.

Friend us on FACEBOOK.   Stay up-to-date on what we're doing.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keep Your Blended Family Antenna Up!

Your Blended Family
Rabbit Ears
Picking Up Stepfamily
Signals Around You.

Recently I was with my good friend Dr. Randy Shepard at a coffee place called GUSTO! in Lee's Summit.  We were discussing technology and college funding, two of his many areas of expertise.  In the shop was David Davies, another great friend of our ministry and a 'Bonafide Encourager' in every sense of the word.  He was across the room 'encouraging' (of course) a young man in some way.   I approached to say hello. 

After meeting his friend, the young man shared 'I've heard you speak. You shared at our early morning breakfast meeting last year' and then he, unbeknowst to him, inspired me.  He said 'You know, since you shared about the number of people facing struggles in stepfamilies in America, all of a sudden I now have my antenna up, and have found many people around me, that I pointed to your ministry'.

This is indeed what we are seeing as we put forth our message of encouragement, hope, practical tips and inspiration.  The more people know about the 'under the radar' demographic, the more they are 'willing to reach out'.  That is powerful. 

So here is our 'REACH OUT CHALLENGE' to YOU.
Picture walking around with these 'rabbit ears' on your head.

For generations rabbit ear antenna has been used to 'tune in' to a TV or radio signal.  I propose that you be a 'difference maker' in somebodies life.  Begin today to start 'tuning in' to the potential stepfamily frequency signal.  You may find signals and families all around you. See with over 23+ stepfamily there is absolutely the statistical probability that within your family, workplace, church or circle of friends that you know multiple cases of blended families.  Perhaps you'll notice a larger family that may not all resemble one another.  some match Dad, some more to Mom.  Or you may be witness to a conversation that is talking about a stepdad or stepmom.  Maybe even see or experience a drop off or exchange of children.  With your 'antenna up', you now are able to be a positive force in their life if you witness any challenges.  Yuo can say 'did you know there are organizations out there that can help?' Often times you may not know they may be struggling because they are having unique to their family stepfamily dynamic issues and don't want people to know.  YOU can now be a helper and a HERO!

Send them to check out our resources at THE BONDED FAMILY.


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Friday, July 8, 2011

Blended Families, Rough Water and a Guide

 Blended Families... Can Face Rapids and Rough Waters
Listen to the 'GUIDE' as to how to maneuver the rocks.

We've had some tremendous vacations as a Family.  We wrote recently of 'vacating' and it's 'bonding power', because you are 'away, alone and accepting'.  I can't stress the power of 'vacation' as a means to discovering each other and finding blessings and bonds in that time.

One 'Christmas vacation' was a small cabin, at a closed for the winter YMCA camp, just us, that left us with some great memories of 'owning' the Grand Lodge Hall, which we used to produce fun that was captured in video and will echo for decades. 
A 'Tradition' of stopping at Metropolis, IL and getting a picture with Superman lives on even today.  Great joy in youth, 'oh Dad' in teen years.
                    Our memory of visiting Washington DC for the 4th of July fireworks.  Remembering checking in through super tight post 9/11 security, sitting three hours in the intermittent rain on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Then to see the skies clear, and the DC Mall ablaze in a patriotic spectacular.  Voted all time best fireworks display by the family. 

WHITEWATER RIVER RAFTING was voted the 'all time, all timer' great family vacation time.  So by now you want to know what that has to do with YOU, and not just our family times??

In stepfamily dynamics you can be assured that there will be some 'rough waters', some turbulence, some 'hold on to your seat' places. Often just simply due to the  'unknown' of what sometimes lies ahead on your family journey.  Stepfamilies often feel like the 'waters are moving fast', that they are 'swept under', that the 'rocks' are seemingly going to 'sink their ship' or the 'marriage or stepfamily raft of life'.   Of this you can be assured.  Those rocks will be ahead.  The waters will swirl and splash.  The whitewater may try to 'throw you off the boat'.  In fact there are usually forces at work 'hoping' you'll be crushed, toppled or even die as a family unit.  Sometime former relationships and wounds will 'reach in' to your family.  Foremost remember that satan is real.  He wants marriages, children, families...all life to be miserable. It's a fact.

God gave YOU and I a message of ENCOURAGEMENT AND HOPE 'for such a time as this'.  In our weak moments, our 'I can't do this' moments, our 'I am going down' moments... read this, repeat this promise of God.  Yes...it is GOD'S PROMISE, not mine, Dr. Phil's, Oprah's or anyone elses...it's God personal commitment and PROMISE to YOU!
Isaiah 43 : 2 shares in Scripture (NIV):
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
The MESSAGE, another Bible version shares it this way...
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you, I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
   When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
   it won't be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God..."
You see, God offers to be your GUIDE in life.  He knows best how to 'steer' through the rough waters, the rocks and the challenges.  In the picture above our 'GUIDE' is the only person visible.  Our family is 'below the water' so to speak, yet the 'guide' knows exactly how to lead us out of the rough waters.  I put my family's 'trust' in her hands.  People in general seem to only turn to God, to put their trust in Him, during times of catastrophe, serious illness or near death situation.  At The Bonded Family, we suggest turning to Him every day.  Giving thanks when the water is smooth and from where He's taken us already, asking Him to be with us in the journey ahead.  Not just in a crisis.   THE MESSAGE OF THIS BLOG.... LET GOD BE YOUR GUIDE IN YOUR BLENDED FAMILY.  Our research, data, experiences with thousands and success statistics prove it true.  If you think you know a 'smarter' way... perhaps you should check out this page on our website.  http://www.thebondedfamily.com/lifeinstructionmanual

Be sure and visit our website, THE BONDED FAMILY for events, resources and our new WEEKLY VIDEO BONDCAST COACHING.  Best resource for blended families available today for weekly LIVE Question and Answer sessions and topical discussions.  Plus get video mail with TIP OF THE WEEK.

Join over 12,000 fellow stepfamily 'TWITTER FOLLOWERS'
by following @BlendedFamilies

Or join us on FACEBOOK

And remember to Keep Looking UP!


Copyright, The Bonded Family 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

College Funding Questions Arising?

BLENDED FAMILIES have unique options!

Listen to this FREE and VALUABLE PODCAST.

DR RANDY SHEPARD offers valuable insight, tips and suggestions, for parents, especially stepfamilies.  There are 'additional options' for blended families, because you have two households to review and draw ideas from that might extend tax savings and open up financial eligibility.


At The Bonded Family, we seek to help families in many areas.  
College funding being one of them.
Whatever age you child is, Fr. Soph, Jr, Sr or in college now...college funding questions could be on the horizon and Dr. Shepard can assist you.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


"VACATING" Stepfamilies will Bond Better
Plus...Buy Q20 Here for your 'Vacating'

We can't encourage you too much to intentionally and with special planning create your new blended family vacation times.  They are giant opportunities to 'get away' and 'bond'.  No external pulls, ties, conflicts, other home influences, etc.  It is one on one time as a group.  It works! Plan it!  Do it!  We did a radio program on 'VACATING' on our radio program BLENDED FAMILY TODAY.  Enjoy AFR DJ and Comedian J.J. Jasper on that one too.  Visit the VACATING and Family Fun broadcast by clicking here.

So many of you would agree that Estes Park Colorado is an incredible place to enjoy as a family.  That was our first vacation as a blended family and it started the great tradition of road games.  We did the contest of spotting various states license plates, who could spot the first water tower, first church steeple, first McDonalds (then we had to stop for a malt) or doing the alphabet via letters on licenses or other games.
One of our favorite games was 'The Whine Counter Game'.  Mom / "Rebecky" would keep a list of who moaned or complained or whined the most.  Everyone would of course 'assist' her in pointing out a brother or sisters moan about something.  The 'top whiner' would have to do the dishes or other chores at the mountain cabin.  Funny how the whining dropped off the day we played that game.   Anyway, as you plan and enjoy your family 'vacating', be sure and find some great games to play while driving and create some 'bonding' memories.  Our kids remember and actually seemed to LIKE the LONG TRIPS.  God is good.

One year we bought some mini-electronic games for the road.  The BEST ONE and the ALL-TIME, ALL-TIMER FUN BONDING MACHINE is the 20 Questions little round device called the Q20.  It is amazing.  You think of 'something', it's asks you  20 questions...and then 'get's it right!'  You have to have one.  So that's all I got to say.  Spend $15 and get a MILLION dollars worth of family joy.   "VACATING" with Q20 is a bonder.  Buy your Q20 below.

REMEMBER... to grow a BOND in your Blended Family...be sure to enjoy 'VACATING' together!

Visit THE BONDED FAMILY website at: http://www.thebondedfamily.com
Join us on FACEBOOK at:  http://www.facebook.com/blendedfamilies

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God is Sad for a Blended Family when...

'God is Sad When...'
When We Act Broken In Our Ways...
A "NO Stinkin' Thinkin'" Blended Family Thought

In our regular weekly Blended Family Fellowship on Sunday mornings here in Kansas City we have some tremendous and very cool people.  Rebecca and I often say 'we get more back and learn more from others when we teach than we give'.
Ron and Laurie Grant
Ron and Laurie Grant are an awesome couple.  Truly a blended family couple that walks and lives out the Bible verse Romans 8:37 'we are overcomers / we are more than conquerors with Christ' (paraphrasing).

They have great joy and love.  Also, like most, they have faced trials.  They are shining examples of trusting God, perseverance and knowing that 'God is not done' in any situation.  A couple to be emulated.

Recently as we were talking about behavior and situations that arise in stepfamily dynamics Laurie said 'You know I bet God is sad when that happens.'   I thought to myself... 'Self...that is profound and people should think about that in their blended family interactions...or for that matter...anywhere'.  I asked them for permission to borrow and 'expound' upon their wisdom with what came to my heart when she said that.

God is the almighty powerful force in the universe.  The Bible shares where He has got mad, brought about consequences, plagues, storms, fire, wind, you name it.  Jesus even got mad at His disciples when they fell asleep in the garden after he asked them to pray.  Or when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple.  We've read of God's upset.  But we often don't think, and we should, 'does God get sad?'.   'Do we hurt our loving Heavenly Father?'  I think the answer is YES.

I don't want to enter into a 'theological' debate over this.  I'm not a Pastor, nor theologian.  I did seek scripture on this and welcome anyone else's thoughts.  But for those who want to point out my contextual errors... I also share wryly a quote from my friend and a wonderful man of God, Zig Ziglar, "Some people find fault like there's a reward for it."  Keep that one tucked away in your heart for future reference in your life.

Certainly as a Father, we can imagine the sadness God felt when His Son Jesus was tortured, mocked and crucified. Think on that sadness for a minute. Jesus was sad when Lazarus was dead.  The shortest verse in the Bible? 
John 11:35  "Jesus wept".

I am pretty sure that "God is sad when He sees...."

- a smart person like you make poor choices when knowing better
- our hurt and pain and tears over relationship struggles

- a divorce and the ripples it causes through people's lives
- children's lives impacted by parents who bicker over custody
- a husband or a wife unleash a sharp tongue to their spouse
- a misunderstood stepfamily member not fully grasping how to cope
- the hurt and pain that children feel when they miss a parent
- He sees the hurt and pain a parent feels when they miss their children
- the light in a child's eyes dim when they're blasted by a stepparent
- ache in a stepparent heart when a child shouts 'You're not my Dad!'
- a 'christian' treating a divorcee or single parent with disdain
- a couple turning away from Him for marriage solutions
- all the "Stinkin' Thinkin'" that goes on in selfish hearts
- observes me -  maybe you too - and sees my bad spirit about things

See God sees all.   He knows your joys and your sorrows.  Loves you the same when you are good or slipping in your walk with Him.

Ephesians 4: 29-32 shares it so well for blended family relationships:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."   
God does 'grieve' when we treat one another wrongly.  He forgave us.  We are His children He wants us to model ourselves after His ways.

Rebecca and I have always shared with our six children "Do what's right...even when no one is looking."  If we coach, mentor and teach our children honor, truth and unconditional love, whatever their biological role, we are serving them in their life.  If we show grace and mercy and 'The Golden Rule' in tough situations (former spouses, treating children fairly, etc), even when it's hard, then our children and future generations of their children will be blessed.

There are a lot of cool things going on at The Bonded Family. Visit our website to see.  
* Zig Ziglar's Daughter Julie Ziglar to speak at TBF Luncheon May 20th
* Weekly Coaching Program that pays for future conference investment

And you can join us - you don't have to attend our church - every Sunday and "Meet Ron and Laurie" in person.  You'll love them as we all do.  For info about the Sunday Fellowship our blended family resources, write:

Keep Looking UP!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blended Family Getaway in Colorado!

36 Hours Left to Register ----  THIS WEEKEND! 
ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT!  Renew Your Marriage and Family.

Blended Family Getaway - Workshop and Retreat for Couples
Colorado Weekend Offers Renewal, Rest and Rediscovering Purpose

Mention the word 'Colorado' and 9 out of 10 people will get a big smile, rise to attention and enthusiastically say they 'love Colorado' using descriptive words like majestic, fun, peaceful, special and foremost relaxing and renewing to their hearts.

That's why THIS WEEKEND April 1st through the 3rd we are bringing blended family couples to HORN CREEK CAMP in Colorado for a special couples weekend called 'BLENDED FAMILY GETAWAY - a Workshop, Retreat and Renewal time for couples seeking to better 'bond' their blended family (stepfamily).

More information quickly at: www.thebondedfamily.com/horncreek

The Horn Creek facility is nestled in the Rocky Mountains about 80 minutes southwest of Colorado Springs.  The Meadows cabins, the part of the camp we will be at, is the newest part of the complex and holds a special mountain lodge feel that will allow for relaxing and learning at the same time.  We purposefully built in lots of husband and wife getaway time into the weekend. 

You can arrive early on Friday morning at the camp to take advantage of the recreation center with a full basketball, bowling, rock climbing, internet cafe, volleyball and other amenities. Our formal workshop sessions together begin Friday evening 6:30 to 9:30, then Saturday AM from 9:00 to 11:30, then Saturday evening 6:30 to 10:00 with a campfire after that.  Sunday morning service at 9:30 AM allows still for time before leaving camp later in the day.  So adding up time you can just 'take in the mountains' could be up to 24 hours apart from the group alone if you choose.  There will be group activities, fun games, tournament competition if you choose to participate.

IMPORTANTLY...the SUPER RATE we've partnered with Horn Creek to offer you.  For $269 a couple (yes that's not per person, but per couple) you will get three (3) great days and two (2) nights at the cabins, ALL your meals, coffee and snacks during the workshops, use of the camp facilities, couples pictures in the mountains taken by TBF staff members for your memories, PLUS 8+ hours of blended family fun and informative workshops from some of the leading authorities in the nation on stepfamily dynamics. Where else can you get a hotel, all your food, training and a 'view' like that for $269 per couple.  We say 'Thank You Horn Creek' for delivering a great weekend getaway partnership.

If you are a Grandparent, Family member, Co-Worker or Friend of a Couple you know could use a boost in their blended family situation, consider SPONSORING a couple to this special weekend.

Special Thanks toDestination360 for this pic.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How are your Blended Family world windows?

Blended Family Life can be a place for a 'Fresh Start'
Do YOU know a Stepfamily that could use a boost?
SEE them with 'new windows' from your heart.

*** NOTE *** A struggling couple we are coaching mentioned their 'neighbors', even people at their own church, seemed to be judgmental about their new marriage and blended family.  Even felt like they were being 'whispered' about. This hurts. Anyone who has walked through divorce, single parenthood and now perhaps blended family life knows firsthand the sometimes 'branded-ness' (by some) of the situation.  Our tag line is 'from broken to blended to bonded'. Sometimes 'branded' is part of that brokenness. Remember, God doesn't make mistakes. Keep Looking UP!

(First a story I read multiple places online a couple of years ago.
Knew it might serve others one day.)

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. 

"That laundry is not very clean", she said. 
"She doesn't know how to wash correctly. 

Perhaps she needs better laundry soap." 

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.  Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,  the young woman would make the same comments. 

See a Blended Family next door?
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.  I wonder who taught her this." 
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows." 

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

ENCOURAGING 2nd story from scripture... John 8 : 1-12

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

Blended Family Fresh Starts

 But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

My wonderful wife Rebecca often mentions that she wonders if Jesus, as he knelt and was writing in the dust of the ground, was actually writing the 'shortcomings' and 'sins' of the Pharisees.  Or perhaps to share with the woman, right where she is at, that she was free to go and begin anew in her life.  

We certainly understand why God states in Malachi that He hates divorce.  We do too.  The ripples it causes His people for generations is not His plan.  But it is not an unpardonable sin, nor a place where others can condemn if you truly are seeking a 'new beginning'.  SO BE ENCOURAGED!  GOD LOVES YOU!  HAS A GREAT PLAN FOR YOU!  BELIEVE IN HIM!

Whether it's your own house windows or the public square, where is your heart.  Help a marriage, a child, a neighbor, co-worker or fellow church member rise up above their circumstance and see the 'fresh starts' that God offers them.

We are here to help:  www.thebondedfamily.com   We know you can do it.  If God believes in you and is for you, who can be against you?  We'll help you become 'overcomers' in your family setting like you've never believed you could.  We offer practical tips and the inspiration to 'keep on, keepin' on'.   That's the key.  Not just in the techniques but in the special touch and strength of God.

PERHAPS A GRANDPARENT, NEIGHBOR, FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER?   Consider a SPONSORSHIP / SCHOLARSHIP to our upcoming Colorado weekend April 1-3.  Call a family member or some couple you know struggling and say 'we want to send you to Colorado for a fresh start'.  www.tbfcolorado.eventbrite.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Blended Families...
Feeling a Little 'Stinky'...
From a Stepfamily Fight.

Get Washed Clean.
Renewed. Redeemed.
'Live Under the Spout'...
 Of God's Showering Love.

Often times in our work surrounding stepfamily dynamics we see a need for 
getting 'refreshed' in the sometimes 'stinky' areas of emotions, feelings and foremost in a persons 'spirit'. Are you living in an blended family household where you feel the 'stinky' consequences of...TOXIC WORDS? OLD WOUNDS? STEPCHILD HURTS? A FORMER SPOUSE (EX)? SIBLING RIVALRY?PRIDE? STUBBORNNESS? EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS? CHILD EQUALITY? JEALOUSY? SPOUSAL UNITY ON ISSUES?

We've found that 80+% of these issues stem from the marriage couple being unprepared for stepfamily dynamics, unmet expectations, emotions running undisciplined and a true lack of an foundational commitment to something bigger than themselves.  We know that faith in God can be and is the best 'foundation' that any stepfamily can stand on.  That's why God said "go share your 'tests' as a 'testimony'".

If you've experienced divorce, remarriage, bringing together children while sharing them with another household, at some point you'll probably walk through many of those above scenarios.  It's part of the reason why the Bible says 'God hates divorce'. (Malachi 2:16)  He doesn't want you to walk through that kind of 'stinky' stuff in life.   Yes... divorce stuff really stinks up a life.  'I know it, you know it and the American people know it.' (famous Bob Dole quote) 

God does hate divorce perhaps for the reasons of the effects of the pain and suffering that the children, parents, grandparents, even the workplace, community and schools go through it.  Yet He doesn't hate YOU.  He loves you.  We want to repeat that so you 'get it'.  You may have walked through divorce, however it is NOT the 'unpardonable' sin. God loves you. He wants joy and peace and a great life for you. Trust in Him.  

GOD IS A GOD OF SECOND CHANCES.  Ask God to renew your life, your spirit and your commitment to Him and he will give you 'the desires of your heart'. (Psalm 37:4)   We serve a loving God who does want you to recognize that if one follows His commands and precepts, life will be more joyful and you'll 'see' and 'feel' His love and goodness in a more special way.  And have a 'family' life that shines bright!

Picture God's Grace Pouring on your Family
A longtime friend of mine Dan Madasz once shared an example of thinking of 'God's Grace' being like a shower head.  That people don't 'get under the spigot' of God's goodness to shower us with His love.  Importantly, we don't show our honor and love of God enough and take the action (prayer, trust, honor, praise, etc) that He asks from us, so that we might be blessed by the 'shower' of His love If America prayed, and praised, God as often as we 'showered', we'd have stronger marriages and families and be a much happier nation.
"If America prayed to, and praised, God as often as we 'showered', we'd have much stronger marriages and families... and be a much happier nation."
 In blended families, and at The Bonded Family we share the message, that God CAN take a stepfamily 'from Broken to Blended to BONDED.'  Picture your family if you all were 'stinky' and dirty, and then holding hands, jumped under a giant shower head.  It would be a 'bonding' event and remove the stinky, sticky feeling that sometimes dampens the joy of children and parents and all around.  God does want your family to feel 'fresh', 'renewed' and 'smelling and feeling good'... just like after a shower.

Blended Family 'Shower Power' of God
If you're in a blended family, and working on bonding, consider making THIS 'SHOWER POWER' IMAGE a family discussion during a "BLENDED FAMILY HUDDLE".  Make 'we need some 'shower power' phrase a way of realizing that 'stinky' stuff is going on in your family.  Acknowledge it.  Nothing more powerful then when a 8 yr old blurts out 'we need some shower power here'.  It may just be God using a child to break up the struggle and help your family 'win the moment'.  God Bless You in your 'Shower Power'!

Scripture speaks of God encouraging us to 'wash ourselves' clean in Isaiah 1:16-18

"Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. 'Come now, let us settle the matter,' says the LORD.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..."                                
Isaiah 1:16-18

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Blended Family Dominoes

We Can ALL Help God Stop the Tumbling.

Often times the challenges of stepfamily dynamics creates a 'domino' effect.  We all stumble and tumble at times.  I know I have, I do and I will.  Just ask my bride or children. One slip up or lack of seeking to live via the 'fruit of the spirit' (love, patience, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and the big one in stepfamilies - self control).  What it can look like is the first domino starts to tip and tumble and then a series of mistakes - can be by parents or children or grandparents or whomever - starts to create 'noise', uncertainty, falling spirits and fear of somehow going to be 'crushed' in some way.  Like the couple in the image above.

NOW COMES THE GOOD NEWS!  See that giant hand stopping the dominoes before they flatten the couple?  The Hand of God is THE HAND THAT CAN stop the dominoes.  The same God that we cry out to when there is a disaster, emergency, sudden crisis or real life danger, is also there to handle for you and your marriage and your family the day to day dominoes.  Just as this image shows.  BOOM...God's hand can STOP THE TUMBLING DOMINOES.  We do have to ask Him for the help.  And do so daily...BEFORE the first domino falls, DURING the tumbles and then giving thanks AFTER the tumbling has been stopped.  We encourage a quick morning and evening prayer - together as husband and wife - and praying for your marriage and each and every child by name.  It works.

Scripture shares with us great 'Hand of God' wisdom.

'Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.'
                                                                      1 Peter 5:6-7

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Join us in the ROCKY MOUNTAINS - April 1-3 for the BLENDED FAMILY GETAWAY.
Or if near Kansas City, hear Zig Ziglar's daughter Julie Ziglar Norman live and in person for a great evening.