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April 2018 Newsletter

Friday, April 13th

APRIL 2018 E-NEWSLETTER

One of the most rewarding parts of the work we do together is seeing how your partnership is impacting families all across the state of Florida. Just a couple of weeks ago a graduate of Adventures in Marriage grabbed me by the arm to tell me how much the skills they learned were helping their family. Not only were the husband and wife communicating better and growing closer, but the change it made in the lives of their children was truly transformational.

I hope you have time to read this newsletter start to finish, but just in case you are strapped for time, let me hit the highlights before going into more detail in each region’s section.

  • Triple the value of your donation – 1 DAY ONLY! Our Bradenton region has a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure an additional $200 for every $100 gift we receive. If we can get 500 people to give $100 each on May 1, 2018, we can raise a total of $150,000 in a 24-hour period.
  • Lisa May’s efforts in the South Florida region remind me of what Luke recorded about the apostle’s early work, “these are the ones who have turned the world upside down…” (Acts 17:6). Literally, tens of thousands of people are learning about the opportunities for a better marriage and family as a result of their efforts in South Florida.
  • Time Magazine and most recently, the State of Florida have acknowledged what we all know to be true – pornography is an epidemic and a public health risk. In Tallahassee we have launched the Champion’s Series to educate men and Christian leaders in how to address the porn epidemic and our partnership in South Florida with “Fight the New Drug,” led to the state legislature acknowledging the public health crisis caused by pornography.
  • Our Bay County / Panama City Beach office is now up and running with a new director, Logan Kirksey, a former radio personality and Christian leader at St. Andrew Baptist Church.
  • Jacksonville has more programs than we can list in a single newsletter, but what is truly exciting is the translation of our Adventures in Marriage program into Spanish along with 4 Spanish speaking couples stepping up to lead the Spanish AIM efforts.
  • Finally, we are excited that we have added former board member Rob Siedlecki as the Director of CMI (Community Marriage Initiative) Model Refinement and Replication (in laymen’s terms Rob is going to monitor, track, and then develop the most effect way to transform a community through marriage and relationship education to allow us to share that model with others). We have also added Raquel Tripp to our Jacksonville office to assist with our Spanish speaking and Catholic ministries in that region.

Now that you have seen the highlights, grab yourself a cup of coffee and take 5 minutes out of your day to dig a little deeper into how your partnership, prayers, and financial support are transforming our communities, churches, and homes.

BRADENTON / SARASOTA

Triple the value of your donation – 1 DAY ONLY!We are asking every Live the Life partner, donor or friend to prayerfully consider setting aside $100 for our May 1st giving challenge.

Effective Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 12:00 noon through Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 11:59 a.m. the Community Foundation of Sarasota will match every $100 donation with an additional $100, but all gifts must be received during that time period atwww.givingpartnerchallenge.org. Matching gifts are always exciting, but in an effort to encourage donors from all across our state to give, our board has sweetened the deal by offering an additional $100 for each gift given and that board matching gift will return to the designated region. Here is how it works:

Pre-register to help Live the Life and your local region by sending an email to Trent Wheeler (trent@livethelife.org) with the following information: 1) Your name, 2) The region you are supporting (i.e. Jacksonville, South Florida, etc.), 3) your email, 4) and your cell phone number. This way we can ensure each region receives their matching gift.

  • On May 1st you will receive an email and a text message reminding you that we are in the 24 hour giving window and requesting you make your online gift at that time.
  • On May 1, 2018 go togivingpartnerchallenge.org and make a $100 donation to Live the Life.
  • Once we receive the final giving report from the Sarasota Community Foundation, matching gifts will be sent to each region.
  • If you have any questions please email Trent Wheeler at trent@livethelife.org, or call him at (386) 406-3783.

Just imagine how powerful this day of giving can be if each of us gives $100 to Live the Life’s work. 500 individual $100 gifts triples in value to $150,000. Send us an email to register, mark your calendar, and watch your $100 gift grow like never before.

South Florida

Lisa May and her tireless team of board members and workers are really shaking things up in our South Florida region. As a result of all the work that is being done in the region, Lisa was recently invited as a guest on the Moody Morning Radio Show to discuss “addressing our emotional needs.”

Last month we talked about the importance of South Florida’s work in the local schools in light of the Parkland tragedy. While the important conversations have been hijacked by many, Live the Life continues to work with our schools in the region to address the most pressing topics facing our children. In the past couple of weeks Fort Lauderdale High School has requested that we help provide them 70-80 mentors to work with students in the High School. While it is difficult to address spiritual matters in the classroom, these mentors can engage these students at a spiritual level after hours and off campus.

How important is marriage and relationship education? Calvary Chapel has found our Adventures in Marriage program so effective than on Easter Sunday, April 1st a Live the Life testimonial video was shared with over 25,000 attendees in an effort to encourage more families to commit to marriage education every year. In addition:

Lisa May recently ran into a couple of our Adventures in Marriage graduates at a wedding and asked, "are you using the tools you acquired?" They immediately pulled the daily temperature reading cards out of their wallet to indicate that they kept the tools with them daily. So we have to ask, "What's in your wallet?" Be sure to register for an Adventures in Marriage class today.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville continues to serve as a model for what can happen when a community rallies together to support marriage education. It is exciting to see Catholic and Protestant churches tearing down the walls of division and coming together to support marriage.

Last month 54 Care Partners at Celebration Church were trained on the resources available through Live the Life, six new couples attended Adventures in Marriage classes and the Jacksonville Naval Air Station Chaplain indicated that he was interested in referring people to our Adventures in Marriage programs.

In addition, we had 15 couples attend the “We Care About Marriage,” event at Holy Spirit Parish to serve as a launching point to implementing a comprehensive marriage ministry program and growing a work leadership team. Raquel and Chad Tripp also hosted new team members for theHispanic Adventures in Marriage program with couples being trained to teach 3 sets of sills at the June 22-23 Adventures in Marriage program in Spanish.

The work in Jacksonville is exciting at so many levels, but the most significant thing that can happen in any region is what makes Jacksonville’s work so successful. Every month there is a growing partnership of new churches and parishes in the region. Jesus taught 12 men who went out and taught others and ultimately changed the world. Every new training, every new church partner means that more people are committed to strengthening our churches and families.

Northwest Region

Live the Life is excited about having Logan Kirksey as our new director for the Northwest region. Most of you know that Panama City Beach and Bay County have one of the highest per capita divorce rates in the nation. Logan has accepted the challenge to implement the Live the Life model in that region to ensure that Panama City Beach will lose the ignominious title of “the place marriages go to die.”

Logan spent almost 30 years behind the microphone in radio broadcasting. He has made Bay county his home for close to 20 years. He met and married his wife Leanne here and they have three great children: Zac, age 17, CeCe, soon to be 15, and Sammi, age 13. The Kirksey’s are active members of St. Andrew Baptist Church where they lead a small group focusing on marriage enrichment. Logan has also served as a deacon since 2005 and has played Peter in the Panama City Passion Play just about every year since its inception in 2004.

Live the Life is fortunate to have Logan on staff. He has hit the ground running as he tirelessly prepares for the challenges of implementing marriage and relationship education all across the Northwest region of the state.

Tallahassee

Tallahassee continues to be the heartbeat of Live the Life. Rev. Gene Strickland now serves as the Regional Director for Marriage and Family Programs in Tallahassee. His efforts are opening doors to new church partnerships in the region and most recently they have launched the Champion Series, a five-week program designed to help men overcome pornography addiction.

The office launched this program to educate pastors and community leaders on the impact pornography is having on homes, families and churches. The program is being offered to educate pastors and ministry leaders during the day and is led by Rev. Gene Strickland. The evening class is being led by Richard Albertson and Faith Radio. These programs help our community leaders to know what resources are available to their churches and within the community.

There are a lot of good people doing a lot of great work all across the state of Florida, but none of this is possible without your partnership. Your willingness to serve as coaches, to circle in prayer, and to give is what allows us to change families, transform churches, and empower entire communities in serving God with grace and mercy.

Upcoming Events

This year we have several exciting events we want you to mark your calendars for. There will be additional information on registration and special speakers. Here is just a sneak peak of what to expect:

  • NARME (National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education) Summit in Orlando, Florida, July 18-20.
  • 20th Anniversary Celebration – Dates and keynote speakers to be announced soon.
  • Live the Life Family Reunion at Camp Anderson. Join us for a family camp weekend with Al & Lisa Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame). To learn more about camp events visit Camp Anderson at campanderson.org
  • Date Nights and fun and family events all across the state to celebrate 20 years of serving marriages and families.

Partner with Us

Join with us in the following ways to help marriages in your community and state:

  • Join us in a circle of PRAYER for marriages and families all across the State of Florida.
  • SHARE with your friends and family the relationship resources that Live the Life promotes.
  • VOLUNTEER to help at one of our 5 statewide regional offices. We need couples to be trained as coaches, volunteers to help with mailings, and ambassadors to open doors in churches.
  • GIVE. Each of our offices is tirelessly working to make our communities better places to live by serving our families and churches. Your gift doesn’t just save a marriage, it transforms communities for generations to come.

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