Dave and Penny's Story
Many times, one’s mission in life is built out of the ashes of a painful situation.
Our life has been filled with sorrows and joys, battles and blessings, along with set-backs and growth. From the beginning, we professed faith in Jesus Christ and we desired to live for Him. At a young age, Dave had favor in his work and accelerated very quickly in position and compensation. As the years went on we were pulled in two directions. One was to follow the ways of Jesus, and the other the ways of the world. Ultimately the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for worldly abundance drove a rift between us.
During our struggles through the years, I was trained in freedom and reconciliation ministry. I met weekly with women who desired a renewed understanding of their identity in Christ. They desired to be set free from oppression and condemnation. While I was helping others establish this freedom Dave and I experienced our own battle with identity. We learned, a wrong understanding of who we are develops internal discord. And unresolved internal discord generates external conflict. This conflict was destroying our marriage identity.
Dave felt conflicted by the way he and I viewed and approached life together. He concluded that being opposites we could never produce a successful marriage. He would often say, “We are like oil and water and we don’t mix.” Our life was moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts which led us to a marriage impasse.
One night in 2006, Dave showed me papers mapping out a separation. I felt terror, not fear, but spine-tingling terror. I prayed quietly and asked Jesus for help. Then I confronted Dave, “I don’t want this”. He asked in return, “Why do you want what we have….after all we are like oil and water and do not mix?” Out of my
came these words, “Because you bring out the best in me.” Those words were not my words, but from Jesus. We know this because of what happened next is nothing short of a miracle. Dave asked me, “Will you kneel with me?” As we knelt he ripped up the separation papers and threw them into the trash. Then he opened his heart. “Pen we need a clean start. We have so many wrongs written on the blackboard, and we keep holding them against each other, and it’s killing us. Will you stay here on our knees with me until we repent of every wrong word, every hurt, every way we have cursed our marriage and one another, and ask Jesus to wipe the slate clean?” I agreed, so we knelt there and prayed for what seemed like through the night. This was a new beginning, but Jesus knew we couldn’t develop new ways of living on our own, so he sent Pastor Bill and Pastor Carol Mantel. Bill and Carol opened their hearts and home to us as mentors, coaches, and shepherds. They spent countless hours with us discussing, praying, and looking to God's word for direction to our next steps. Their "up north" cabin became a retreat for intensive weekends. These times together continue to this day and have changed our hearts toward one another and our future.
As our hearts were united, one day during prayer, God gave us this promise, "Out of a united marriage will come the outflow of ministry”. To understand this, we were led to Ephesians 3:14-21. Here we learned our Heavenly Father knows every family by name. His intent is to preserve marriages and families. He gave all of us the power of forgiveness and reconciliation through the indwelling Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ grows in our hearts. He promises Jesus will ground us in love and gives hope for our relationships and future generations. He also promises in scripture that “Jesus is able to do exceeding abundantly more” than we know to ask or imagine. This is where the name IMAGINE BEAUTIUFL originated from.
As time went by, we continued to pray and ask what this word meant for us. Today we know Jesus has called us to pass onto other couples the same courageous care and commitment provided for us. Having this vision in mind, we now meet with one couple at a time in our home for a 2 night retreat, to refresh the soul, facilitate biblical marriage coaching, reconciliation when needed, and provide a date night too.
Today, our journey together is rooted in Jesus Christ, for apart from him we can do nothing. In this, the outflow of ministry has come. Dave and I now work together as marriage relationship coaches, providing a welcoming atmosphere and a safe place for couples to be heard, process life matters, reset priorities, and plan for opportunities to grow in their marriage, family, and calling. We also facilitate reconciliation and spiritual warfare prayers to bring healing and tear down "strongholds" or patterns of thinking that are destructive to marriage, life, and forward progress.
Hebrews 13:4 tells us marriages are sacred partnerships, to be held in honor by all. It is precious like a most rare jewel. Jesus won the battle for our marriage. A courageous couple fought for our marriage. And now it is our turn to fight for your marriage.
If your relationship needs to be strengthened and encouraged, pray about spending a weekend with us to work on your marriage. One weekend to pray, discuss life matters, repent and allow The Lord Jesus Christ to make it right. It is what God used to change us, and it has been transformational for other couples who have taken part in a Marriage Summit™ Retreat. Our Heavenly Father knows your family by name. Jesus wants to do exceeding abundantly more than you know to ask or imagine in your life. It can start right now --- IMAGINE BEAUTIFUL. Call us today: 612-735-0705
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen - Ephesians 3:14-21(NKJV)
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled - Hebrews 13:4a (NKJV)
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? How beautiful are the feet of him who brings the good news - Romans 10:15 (NIV)