Well thanks to Michelle Singletary, through her nationally syndicated column “The Color of Money” for the Washington Post, it happened. Michelle wrote a great article on the need to concentrate on the relationship in these hard economic times and recommended 10 Great Dates and 52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate, as resources to do just that.
I have attached the article without the full color graphics below. Michelle also chose our books for her book club selection this month.
A little background: We met Michelle and her husband at a weekend marriage retreat we spoke at for First Baptist Church Glen Arden, MD back last summer. At the end she came up and said how much they enjoyed our dates and that she wanted to write a column on our dating books for Valentines Day 2009.
10 Great Dates and 52 Fantastic Dates are having their day in the sun on Amazon.com and elsewhere. 10 Dates is presently at 148 on Amazon.com. Michelle emailed us last night about the great response we are receiving saying:
“Didn't think the column had that kind of power.
But ultimately all the glory goes to God. He put you in the right place at the right time for me to find out about the books!
Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Columnist
The Washington Post”
Our prayer is that many couples will truly focus on their relationship in these hard economic times and that our books may be a path to achieve that goal and to find the Lord in the process. Please join us in praying to that end.
Contact Gary Olsby, Associate Pastor, for more information: Phone: 559-323-9675, Ext. 31 or email at: email@example.com
Mississippi Statewide Training for 10 Great Dates: On January 13th, at First Baptist Church Jackson, MS we trained 270 pastors and social workers from across the state. This training was funded and sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Health and Human Services and the Mississippi State University Extension Service primarily for churches and faith based organizations.
Thanks to your prayers for us, we were able to get there on time despite two cancelled flights en route to Jackson. It was a very receptive and warm group of predominately pastors and lay leaders and we already are seeing groups starting across the state. Your prayers do make a difference and we felt their power before, during and after this training. Thanks!
Below is the Washington Post Article.
Blessings to all,
Dave & Claudia
Sunday’s Washington Post Business Section:
Short on Cash? Invest in the Relationship
By Michelle Singletary
Sunday, February 8, 2009
It's often said that money is the main cause of marital discord and even divorce.
But that's not quite accurate. What really causes the fights is all the emotional baggage -- fear, mistrust, immaturity, selfishness, or lack of self-worth -- that gets stirred up when money enters the conversation. Money
-- that's just a convenient, albeit huge, hook for the quarrels.
As I was going through the many "love and money" books I get this time of year, I decided to choose two non-financial works for the Color of Money Book Club pick for February.
This month I've selected "10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage" by David and Claudia Arp (Zondervan, $12.99), available in bookstores and online.
There's also a companion book I recommend, "52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate" (Thomas Nelson, $12.99), which you can get at any of the online bookstores or at http://www.marriagealive.com (click on the link for "catalog/store," then "full catalog").
The Arps are the founders of Marriage Alive International, a nonprofit organization that strives to build better marriages and families.
Their approach is soft-spoken, low-key and humorous -- despite the serious topic. Their goal is to take couples back to their dating days, when love was in the air and money was just paper.
Perhaps the world's most famous dating couple right now is President Obama and first lady Michelle (what a lovely name). The first couple has frequently talked about their regular Friday night dates.
The concept of both books is deceptively simple. In the first book, couples go on 10 dates, each intended to concentrate on a particular skill. The first three dates focus on developing an effective way to communicate.
Subsequent dates involve learning to encourage each other, finding unity in your diversity, building a creative love life (whoopee), working together as a team, balancing your roles as partners and parents, developing spiritual intimacy and setting goals for your marriage.
In "52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate," the Arps have created even more interesting ways to get couples talking to each other, and not about the kids or the MasterCard bill. Some ideas include a bubble date -- as in blowing bubbles.
"Be willing to let your child out from time to time," they write. "It will add laughter and fun to your marriage team."
What's fun and frugal about these dates is that you don't have to spend money. You can if you want to, but it's not about the place, meal or event.
It's about reconnecting.
"Great dates involve communicating with one another, reviving the spark that initially ignited your fire, and developing mutual interests and goals that are not focused on your careers or your children," the Arps write. "Great dates can revitalize your relationship."
That certainly may be in order for a lot of couples dealing with the fallout from the recession. In a recent survey focusing on relationships and finances, 43 percent of U.S. couples said the economic downturn has caused them to argue more often, primarily about finances. One in 10 couples reported that the role of the primary breadwinner had changed over the past six months because of a job loss or salary decrease, according to the third annual "Can't Buy Me Love" survey conducted for PayPal, the online payment-processing company.
The research that PayPal commissioned examined topics centered on love and money in the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and Britain.
The survey found that more American couples are hiding purchases from their partners (23 percent), and that U.S. couples bring the largest levels of debt into their relationships (51 percent).
If your marriage needs a financial boost, get these date books.
"Every divorce prevented saves the government money in down-the-road services," Claudia Arp said in an interview. "We believe that when we strengthen marriages, we strengthen our economy."
With the economy in a crisis, "10 Great Dates" is an easy and inexpensive way to make a difference in marriages and families.
To become a member of the Color of Money Book Club, all you have to do is read the recommended book. I also invite you to join me online to chat about the book. We'll have a live discussion with David and Claudia Arp at noon Feb. 25 at http://www.washingtonpost.com.
In addition, every month I randomly select readers to receive a copy of the book, donated by the publisher. For a chance to win a copy of "10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage" or "52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate," send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and an address so we can send you one of the books if you win.
· On the air: Michelle Singletary discusses personal finance Tuesdays on NPR's "Day to Day" program and at http://www.npr.org.
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