• AACC Dallas LifeMapping Workshop Handouts

    Thanks so much for being hanging out until the very end! Here are several handouts, in this post and the next two, that you can download until the END OF SEPTEMBER

    May this be ONE tool you have in your quiver to help you build strong individuals, friendships and families! 

    LifeMapping Workbook    LifeMapping Handout    Storyboarding Handout


    The "Storyboarding" handout is attached above. We do NOT have time to go over Storyboarding in detail. But this handout can help you see this powerful tool that can help you create projects, map out books - and is the foundational tool I used in "storyboarding" out a person's life-story!

    Again, thanks for carving out time to come to the workshop - and if you have more questions on using LifeMapping® then the book by the same name is available on Amazon. And if I can help answer any questions, my email is jtrent@strongfamilies.com

    John Trent, Ph.D                           Kari Trent, MBA

  • Know someone who just found out they're moving???


    It's a book for ANYONE you know (including you) who is anticipating or in the midst of a MOVE, or needing to emotionally and spiritually “unpack" and THRIVE in their new digs... Here's the foreward I wrote that can explain a bit of why I'm such a fan:

    For many couples, their major goal in moving is to stay married! For singles, the need is to maintain their sanity – and to find that “special friend” with a truck! Moving isn’t easy, not matter your age or stage in life. As someone who has packed too many haul-it-yourself trucks in his time, I know that moving can rank right up there with wallpapering, root canals, pet-siting a pit bull, and having your six-month-old triplets all start to teethe at the same time. But it isn’t just the physical exhaustion that’s the real challenge in moving. It’s emotionally unpacking that can hurt long after the sore muscles have healed.

    The real help you need after the boxes show up at your new place is what this book is so incredible at providing. Here, in this revised and updated edition of what’s become a family classic, you’ll learn hot wo close loops and start anew. How to help your children do more then just mope around, how you can find and be a new friend, and how you can move forward as a person, spouse, and family. Reading Susan’s book is like having a world-class coach show up at your door the day you found out you were really moving. She brings her wisdom and encouragement to take the pain out of having to pack, the smarting out of having to uproot the kids, and the sting out of leaving family and friends. And once you get to your new destination, like a personalized welcome service, Susan Miller will provide biblical advice and clearheaded counsel to guide you through the many adjustments still to come, months after everything is on the shelf.

    Believe me, Susan’s been there. She and Bill, her husband moved more then a dozen times in their life-story. She knows the financial, emotional, and spiritual challenges that comes with a change of address – especially an unexpected change. She knows what it’s like to leave parents and best friends, search for a new church, hunt down a seemingly nonexistent reasonable rental home, and find a doctor in a strange city at midnight. More than that, she knows how to grow spiritually during those times of incredible transition, as well as were to find the courage to put down roots all over again. Even if you had to move a few months ago with almost no warning! Or the place you’re going isn’t like anywhere you’ve ever been! In this book is hope and help.

    Not only has Susan lived out the principles you’ll learn in this powerful, hands-on resources, but she has also taught them to hundreds of people just like you. Susan’s ministry has been a wonderful success. Her program of helping those who just moved should be a required ministry in every church that’s serious about welcoming and really walking well with newcomers.

    It’s an honor for me to recommend this REVISED AND UPDATED book and recommend Susan Miller to you. She is a wonderfully talented author with words of hope for you as you deal with all the trauma and uncertainty that go with transition. This book will not only help you get the boxes packed and unpacked at the new place – it will help open up your heart and your family’s heart to this new place God has planted you.

    God’s best to you as you read this outstanding book!

    John Trent, Ph.D.
    Gary D. Chapman Chair of Marriage and Family
    Ministry and Therapy at Moody Theological Seminary
    President of StrongFamilies.com
    Author of The Blessing and LifeMapping


  • Losing a Wonderful Friend - Gary Smalley with the Lord

     Last night, my friend of decades, my co-author, and the person our two girls called, "Uncle Gary," went home to be with the Lord. I had the honor of heading to Houston two weeks ago - with our oldest Kari - named after Gary and Norma's daughter, Kari - and we were incredibly blessed to get to sit with Gary and Norma. To share some old stories. To pray with them and for them. To hug Gary and say goodbye. 

    Our heart and prayers and love go out to Norma, Kari, Greg, and Michael Smalley and their families.

    I don't know any details. I got off a plane in Chicago at 1pm last night and there were a dozen messages on my phone when I turned it on. All from people who do Facebook. I don't. All were filled with joy for Gary not having to be so sick anymore, and his getting to be with the Lord. Yet sadness too for his family and for so many friends that will not have Gary's smile and encouragement and love to bless them. Until we join him. 

    We have lost an incredible champion for marriage and family. If there were a Mt. Rushmore for the top people on the planet who have served and walked well with couples and families for Christ - I believe with all my heart Gary would be chiselled in. His faith and speaking and writing and modeling love for his own family changed our family, and THOUSANDS more families as well. And his willingness to be "real" and share stories of times he was less than perfect (in a way that made you laugh and nod your head at the same time) was a model for authenticity for the rest of us who aren't perfect. 

    I miss my friend. I grieve for Norma and Kari and Greg and Michael. Gary's own father was a merchant marine who was rarely at home. Gary "reversed the curse" and loved his Lord, and his family, and so many other families well. 

    And Gary's ministry continues. All three of his children are changing lives and marriages across the country - and like Gary - that starts with their loving their own families with God's love first. And now they'll love on Norma even more, as well. 

    Gary and I wrote a book together called, The Blessing. I just read Jim Daley's post about Gary's passing. In it, Greg Smalley shared about his Dad. In the moments before Gary went to be with the Lord, Greg wrote, "a "blessing" in scripture was read over him." It was, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you."

    While I'm not sure if all the verses of that wonderful Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 were read, I picture the last verse being read to Gary by Jesus - in that next moment when he joined Him.

    "The Lord TURN (italics mine) His face upon you, and give you peace."

    Well done faithful husband, father, friend, minister, speaker, writer and servant of Jesus. 

RSS Feed