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Welcome to Dr. John Trent's Blog... and the main site for equipping people create a culture of the Blessing in their homes, churches, workplaces and world!

Without a doubt, I have the best job in the world.  I get to wake up in the morning and use my training as a counselor, pastors, educator and coach to help people like YOU create a culture of the Blessing in their friendships, families, ministry or workplace! 

I’ll explain what the Blessing is shortly - and why and how we go about helping people live out this biblical tool by making it a "culture" in their life and family. But know too that you've reached the home of StrongFamilies.com - the home for Dr. John Trent's speaking ministry that sends him out all over the country as well. And you'll find a bookstore here, along with a clear PATH you can follow in doing three things:

Step one: Lean what the Blessing is all about - the "why" it's so crucial for your children, your spouse, and your loved ones. 

Step two: Tools that can help you Bless others. Like how every month you'll find a specific way to give and live the Blessing. For example, in September, we'll coach you how to write a "Backpack Blessing" for your children to take to school - so your words of Blessing are going with them to go up against the challenges and negative words they'll hear. In October, we ask people to write a letter of Blessing to someone in their life story who "taught" them - or to a teacher who is pouring into the life of their child right now. You'll also find tools like a brand new small group series on the Blessing, a link to the Blessing Book videos that people view when they read The Blessing, and we're working on a personality tool right now that can help you better "attach high value" to your loved ones. (And see your own, God-given strengths more clearly as well). 

Step three: So while our goal is to first explain the Blessing to you, and second equip you to live and give it each month, our prayer FOR SOME is that they'll consider becoming Blessing Champions! That's where you seek to help others Bring the Blessing home to their family, friends and loved ones. 

But most of all, The Blessing is something that starts in YOUR home.

If you’re single and have a roommate – it’s THAT person God has "placed" in your life story with that needs your Blessing. If you’re married, it your life-partner that NEEDS your Blessing. If you have kids, the Blessing it’s ESSENTIAL not optional. That word “essential” is uppercase on purpose. I believe both biblically, and after 30 years of being a counselor, that if you withhold the Blessing from your child it can (and in many cases will) cause life-long hurt. For example, withhold the Blessing from a child and watch man of them become workaholics, trying all their life to feel acceptance and acceptable... yet somehow falling short even when they've done great things or been highly successful! Sure, your son or daughter can fight their way past the “dam” you’ve set up. (A picture of the "curse" that's the opposite of Blessing). You can choose NOT to Bless a child - but know there is a "choice" set before you. "I call heaven and earth to witness that I have set before you a choice. Life or death. The Blessing or the curse." Deut. 30:19. One way or the other, you ARE choosing to either Bless or curse - to add life or subtract from your child or loved one - but you the one thing you can't "choose" is to opt out of that choice God sets before you. 

Which means that even if you’re a great-grandparent reading this and you’ve never chosen to give anyone downstream in your family the Blessing – YOU can choose to reverse the curse! ANYONE, at any age, can start giving the Blessing! Even if they never received it in their own home growing up!

The Blessing is all about giving 5 incredibly simple, life-giving things to that child or loved one God has placed in your life. 5 things that communicate unconditional love and acceptance and that point them towards a special future. You can even start giving the Blessing to that neighbor kid. That boy or girl in your class if you’re a teacher or coach, who needs it so much. That kid whose parents for whatever reason aren’t going to give it to him or her. 

If you read the Blessing book, or go to www.TheBlessing.com, you'll find out about the Blessing ChallengeOur call to see a million of us - choose to give the Blessing to our family first, and then choose to write out and give a Blessing to ONE OTHER CHILD as a family that we're going to Bless as well.

Not quite convinced it's that big a deal? We just finished a brand new DVD series on the Blessing with our friends at Focus on the Family. Take just a minute to see what difference just a few words of Blessing meant to this young man. It's a story that launches the series. Then think about learning to bless your child, your friend, your spouse, those you work with, go to church with, do life with... 

Being ON MISSION for Jesus starts with you BRINGING THE BLESSING HOME to YOUR FAMILY first. When them seeing God's love lived out @ home first. And the Blessing is a great way to show them a Heavenly Father's love. 

Right after God created us... He blessed us. (Gen. 1:27-28). We were made for His Blessing and we're called to be a blessing to others. Starting with our own family. 

At every seminar, an almost every day here at this website, we get a note from someone saying, "It so simple." or "I should have known!" or "I just didn't know!" 

Again, I'm not in this challenge to get parents and loved ones to Bless their family alone. There's our own team at StrongFamilies.com whose focus every day is to send me out across the country to encourage others at seminars and conferences. And we have some incredible friends across the country we're teamed up with to help bring YOU the Blessing.  

That begins with my partner in all things "blessing", Dr. Tony Wheeler. Tony is on the faculty at Barclay College and heads our Institute for the Blessing at Barclay College! He's also a pastor most Sundays in Wichita, Kansas and a Kansas State Ph.D. (K State having great team colors - but not being even 1/2 the team that TCU is in football, where I attended.). 

In addition to working with Dr. Wheeler, I'm honored to work with Focus on the Family - our partner in The Blessing Challenge

Then there's Dewey and Lynne Wilson at Strong Marriages in Dallas, Texas. They're our "go to" people for helping you bring the Blessing home to your marriage. It's crucial to Bless your children. But without a doubt, having a Strong Marriage is in and of itself one of the greatest things you can do to reinforce that Blessing every day. Dewey and Lynne are a joy to work with. What they've done in helping mentor couples (even a great many struggling couples) by introducing the Blessing to a marriage is incredible. They’re also one of our Blessing Bloggers and you’ll love hearing from.

And to help you stay inspired to give the Blessing and to understand how God's blesses you - just click on the Music that Blesses Others! That's where you’ll meet Shon Stewart. He's an outstanding young man who's a Christian singer and awesome friend. For example, he just did an interview with Joni Erickson Tada that airs on her radio program on May 1st! Each month, Shon picks a key song for us that matches one of our monthly Blessing Themes. Shon, and his mom and dad, are the definition of inspiration AND blessing! So stay inspired at Music that Blesses Others!

That's the long version of what blog is all about! It all comes down to us helping us, help YOU, create a culture of the Blessing in your home. Helping you live out the Blessing Experience. 

May the Lord bless, keep and guide you and your loved ones in every new season of life!

John Trent, Ph.D.


Need even MORE details? Want to know our “participation” rules for the blog?

Many thanks to my friend, Michael Hyatt, for his outstanding book PLATFORM, which coaches people in building outstanding online platforms. I HIGHLY recommend his book, which I (with his permission in the book) have leaned on heavily for the "fine print" that follows. 

That's it for the "About" us page. If you’re looking for a more formal, detailed resume for me personally, you’ll find that on our Speaker page. 

What’s StrongFamilies.com, your speaking ministry?

This is the ministry that I head up that sends Dr. Wheeler and myself out all across the country and world to do conferences and workshops on the Blessing to help build strong families, friendships, churches, teams and communities. We’re a 501c3 ministry, so yes, we have a wonderful group of friends who support our ministry. It's their prayers and financial help that helps us help so many children, families, friendships, and students. 

Their support allows us create tools and even "places" now like The Institute for the Blessing at Barclay College, and our new Marriage and Family Courses on the Blessing at Light University that help us get the word out in so many ways. Our Federal charter at the founding of our ministry in 1984 was Encouraging Words. We still hold that name. (Type in www.encouragingwords.com and it will take you to... this site!) But to make it even clearer what we do, or Board decided on a name change. On September 10, 2001, (yes, the day before 9/11) we officially began used our DBA, StrongFamilies.com. What a eye opener. While Encouraging Words is always crucial. Building StrongFamilies became even more our task after 9/11. Thank you for praying for us and consider joining our support team! We need help and would LOVE you to join with us!

My Contact Information 

You can contact Dr. Wheeler or myself from this site, or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. (I'm not doing Facebook right now, but.... one of these days I'll join the Facebook world). Please note: We’re a small ministry team. Meaning, I read every email and answer as many as I can. Plus I join in many blog discussions – but I can’t and don’t post on every one.

Colophon – (Fancy word for what our awesome website builders do) 

It’s been a joy for me to work with the great team at Collision Media in building and launching this site. They build sites - like this - that are filled with all the social media tools you can dream about. But even more, it's a website that even a "Mac" user like me - who has no time to learn programming and html and rss feeds - can manage myself! AMAZING! Tommy and Emily Bailey who head Collision Media are incredibly gifted people when it comes to creativity, design, and building that amazing back end to a website and blog YOU can manage. They are also incredibly patient which has helped them in working with me! If you're in a ministry or a speaker or have a Christian company, I would highly encourage you to CONTACT THEM if you’re looking to build your own website or online platform!

Disclaimer 

This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer, Encouraging Words (DBA, StrongFamilies.com), nor those of Grace Community, Scottsdale Bible Church, or any of the other ministries, colleges or universities I work with. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.

My Comments Policy 

As you know, the Web is all about conversation. But without a few simple ground rules, that conversation can turn into a shouting match that discourages others from entering the discussion. So here is my comments policy. 

By posting on my blog, you agree to the following:

1. You may comment without registering. You can log-in at the end of each post, or contact us through the website or post on Twitter—or not at all. It’s up to you.
2. You may post anonymously. I don’t recommend this, but you may do so if you wish. I may change this rule if it is abused.
3. You may post follow-up questions. If you have a question, chances are you are not alone. Others are likely thinking similarly. Therefore, I would rather receive your comments on my blog than via email. It is a better use of my time to address everyone at once rather than answer several similar emails.
4. You may disagree with me. I welcome debate. However, I ask that if you disagree with me—or anyone else, for that matter—do so in a way that is respectful. In my opinion, there is way too much shouting in the public square to tolerate it here.
5. I reserve the right to delete your comments. This is my blog. I don’t have an obligation to publish your comments. The First Amendment you the right to express your opinions on your blog, not mine. Specifically, I will delete your comments if you post something that is, in my sole opinion, (a)snarky; (b) off-topic; (c) libelous, defamatory, abusive, harassing, threatening, profane, pornographic, offensive, false, misleading, or which otherwise violates or encourages others to violate my sense of decorum and civility or any law, including intellectual property laws; or (d) “spam,” i.e., an attempt to advertise, solicit, or otherwise promote goods and services. You may, however, post a link to your site or your most recent blog post.

6. You retain ownership of your comments. I do not own them and I expressly disclaim any and all liability that may result from them. By commenting on my site, you agree that you retain all ownership rights in what you post here and that you will relieve me from any and all liability that may result from those postings.

7. You grant me a license to post your comments. This license is worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, and royalty-free. You grant me the right to store, use, transmit, display, publish, reproduce, and distribute your comments in any format, including but not limited to a blog, in a book, a video, or presentation.
In short, my goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. I believe this simple comments policy will facilitate this.
Permissions Policy With the exception of “guest posts” written by others (see the bottom of this page), I own the content on this Web site. It is copyrighted in my name. I want to strike the appropriate balance between getting my content widely distributed while at the same time protecting my intellectual property rights. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Without My Permission 

You are free to do the following without my permission:
Link to my site or any specific post on my site. Extract and re-post less than 200 words on any other site, provided you link back to my original post. Print off my posts and photocopy up to 50 copies for internal distribution within your own company or organization or or class. Yes, you can post in a church newsletter or bulletin or other non-commercial publication (e.g., company newsletter, church newsletter, class syllabus, etc.), provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2013, John T. Trent. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.JohnTrent.com.” 

Not Without My Permission 

You must have my express written consent to do any of the following:
Use this content in for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of my content. Alter, transform, or build upon this work. 

 Re-posting and Translation Rights 

I do not permit the re-posting of my posts in their entirety. This is because Google penalizes websites for publishing duplicate content. It often can’t tell which site hosts the original, so I risk getting penalized myself for granting permission. In addition, I don’t allow the translation and publication of my work in other languages. I simply don’t have the resources to validate the quality of the work.

Guest Posts and Guest bloggers 

Guest Post bloggers retain the copyright to the posts they write. The above permission guidelines do not apply to their work. If you are interested in re-posting or publishing their content, you must contact them directly. I cannot serve as a broker, agent, or contact point.

If you have some use for my content that is not covered here, please contact us.

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