Relationship Coaching to end Romance

Money Can’t buy me Love

A relationship strengthening guide for intimate connections

Can a stuffed animal with a romantic message solve a relationship problem? Nope. Neither can a trip to the jewelry store, boxes of chocolate, sappy cards, balloons or vases of expensive flowers… none of these can fix a distant, damaged or dying relationship. But the VASE can.  Let me explain why.

Relationships take work. There is no easy way to achieve closeness and connection on an intimate level without time, talking and gentle touch. It can’t be done. We’ve all seen the commercials about a couple having a romantic exchange in a restaurant as the waiter brings them a special dessert with a diamond ring attached to a note that says, “Marry me”.  But as a counselor of more than 30 years I can tell you if that couple were distant or detached from each other before they got to the restaurant the jewelry would only be a shiny trinket that didn’t repair hurt, selfishness or neglect. 

Expensive gift cannot fix relationship problems. They can cause debt, which complicates problems, (84% of couples report they fight over spending according to Money Magazine), or cause a momentary escape from what isn’t working in their relationship… but the old saying is true. “Money can’t buy me love.”

So what can you do to really connect to the one you care about? Get a VASE. Here’s why.

Stuffed teddy bears and expensive perfumes affect the senses- the VASE approach affects the soul. Tina Turner got it right when she sang, “What’s love got to do with it?” because the feeling of romantic love is a fickle and temporary emotion. Having a fun dinner date on your anniversary is special – but not as powerful as really connecting over a bowl of Cheerios every day. Lasting love is about going deeper and that’s what this process creates… lasting committed relationship instead of a temporary feeling of chemistry. Real relationship connection on the heart level will grow a relationship closer than anything offered for sale at Macys.

V.A.S.E. stands for VALUES, ACCOUNTABILITY, SILENCE, EXPECTATIONS and here’s how it works.

Values-  Most couples have never sat down and actually talked about their core values. They might be able to guess what their partner believes, but haven’t communicated these issues to one another.

When you find a safe place to discuss your belief system with the person you care about the most it creates a powerful connection on a deep emotional level. One that is stronger than anything you could ever buy at a store. When I know what my wife believes about life, kids, family, money, love, politics, fun, God and everything else important to her I know her on a heart level. And when I know her heart, I can actively work to meet her there. Knowing and respecting your partner’s values removes silly arguments and power struggles from the conversation because you are working together out of shared beliefs instead of working against each other.

A-Accountability This isn’t a word most people like and it definitely isn’t a word people seek out. It’s tough to have someone in your life who asks you the hard questions like. “Haven’t you had enough to drink?” or “How is eating that going to affect your diabetes?” or “Why did you close the computer when I came in here?” or “Can we afford to do this?” When someone asks you a tough question you either have to face the issue and answer it, or you have to get really, really mad at them for having the courage to speak up. You know what path most people choose. They would rather fight than be held to a standard of behavior… one that matches what they say they believe, (see core values section above for more on this).

S-Silence isn’t golden in relationships, it’s deadly. If you go silent on expressing your feelings, fears or future with the one you say you love there is nothing a cute card with a talking dog that makes it better. I know card shops exist for the purpose of saying what you don’t know how to say… but can I be your friend for a moment and say “get a life?” There is more information available today on how to communicate in a loving way with your partner than there ever has been in the history of the world. Books, webinars, seminars, podcasts, workshops, retreats, teleseminars, counseling, classes, YouTube clips, even old episodes of Dr. Phil have tips on how to connect verbally. Too many people spend $5 on a piece of recycled card stock that says what a copywriter in Kansas thinks about love instead of sitting down to express what they believe about the one they care about. Want a more powerful relationship connection? Learn to express love. It’s worth every penny you spend to the people who won’t have to guess how you feel about them because you took the step, (and the risk) to verbalize your heart.


E-Expectations lead to great joy or great pain, which is usually heartbreaking and it goes back to silence. Here’s why. Picture a woman who thinks this is the year her guy will remember their special day and take her to their special place. She tells her friends, her mother and her therapist that they are going to the bed and breakfast for a romantic getaway because she has been dropping hints for months that were so easy a caveman could figure it out. Problem is her guy isn’t a caveman – he’s a guy and men often aren’t listening carefully to what their lady may be saying. In fact if the relationship is distant he may not be listening at all. Expecting your intended to read your mind isn’t going to get you what you want, but it can cause some huge explosions of rage over misunderstanding. If you expect a physically exciting weekend and you get ESPN instead your feelings are going to be hurt – and you may have caused it. I know some people like the feeling of being surprised that their hints led to a temporary feeling of being special, but most of the time their hints set them up for hurt. Better is to learn to speak up about what you want in the relationship. If you want more romance – say so. If going to a particular movie is what you want to do– bring it up. If something is important to you learn to express it directly. This may take away the pleasant feeling of surprise, but will guarantee you won’t experience the painful feeling of shock that silent expectations always bring.

So how does this VASE formula help?

It takes the cultural feeling of romance being something that money can buy down to a practical level of relationship that is priceless. The Beatles were wrong on this one. Money can’t buy love, but VASE’s can.


About the Author – Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach who has been making a difference in people’s lives since 1984. He serves on the executive leadership team of ICCA to fulfill the vision of Dr. Tim Clinton. Follow him online at or @DwightBain


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12 Coaching Strategies to avoid Ministry Burnout


There are few vocations that can engender burnout for people in ministry like the pastorate does. The demands on a pastor’s time, emotions and energy can be overwhelming.When I was a pastor, I often felt at least the symptoms of burnout. I recently spoke with 17 pastors who had experienced burnout, or who felt they came precariously close to burnout. The good news about these pastors is that they moved out of burnout, and now they are re-engaging in exciting and visionary ministries.So I asked them the obvious question: What did you do to reverse the dark spiral of burnout? The question was open-ended, so they could respond with as many answers as they desired. When it was all said and done, I tabulated 12 different responses from the 17 pastors. Obviously, many of them gave similar answers.

Here are the 12 responses ranked in order of frequency. Each answer has a representative quote from one of the pastors. 

1. Spent more time in prayer and the Word. “Slowly over time, I spent less and less time in the Bible and in prayer. I succumbed to the tyranny of the urgent. When I committed to reversing that pattern, my life and leadership began to renew.”

2. Dreamed again. “When I first arrived at this church, I had great visions and excitement. But I got caught up in negativity and trivial things, and I lost my vision. But recently I asked God to restore my dream and vision for my church, and He’s already answering that prayer.”

3. Stopped comparing. “One of the most freeing things of my ministry was to stop comparing myself to other pastors, and my church to other churches. I finally got it that God doesn’t love pastors of larger churches more than He loves me.”

4. Developed relationships with non-Christians. “I got so busy doing church that I started neglecting engaging people in the world. Now I make certain that I’m in some type of ongoing relationship with a non-Christian.”

5. Moved my focus from the negative to the positive. “I don’t know why I let the critics dominate my time and thoughts. When I stopped letting them control me, and when I started spending more time with positive and great people in the church, my entire emotional state improved dramatically.”

6. Learned to have fun. “I realized that there is a difference between taking my ministry seriously and taking myself too seriously. I have learned to lighten up and laugh more. As a result, I find myself rejoicing in the Lord more.”

7. Ended draining relationships. “There was this church member that made an appointment with me almost every week. He was so negative and so draining of my emotional energy. I knew he had his own emotional problems, but I knew I wasn’t equipped to deal with them. When I finally got the courage to end our counseling relationship and refer him to a professional, I felt like a weight had been lifted off me.”

8. Expressed gratitude regularly. “One of the ways I dealt with my impending burnout was to commit to handwrite five letters of gratitude a week. It was amazing to see how my vision began to restore when I took the focus off me and expressed gratitude to others.”

9. Spent more time doing things that energized me. “I tend to be a prideful person, so I don’t like to admit that I am not very good at something. Well, I’m a poor administrator, so administrative work drains me. When I finally got the courage to admit I wasn’t very good at it, I had a lay volunteer step right in and take much of the work off me. He told me that everyone knew I was a lousy administrator, and that he was thankful I finally admitted it. I am now spending time doing those things that I enjoy and give me energy.”

10. Got in better physical shape. “In my busyness, I started eating more, exercising less, and sleeping fitfully. I stayed tired and depressed. But when I got into an exercise routine and ate better, my whole outlook changed.”

11. Made a commitment to have a greater servant spirit. “I had trouble admitting that I had an ego problem. I always wanted things my way. God got to me and showed me that my calling in life is to serve others. It is absolutely amazing to see my leadership passion restored as I put myself last to the needs of others.”

12. Began to pray for my community. “Burnout can be the result of looking inwardly too much. I asked God to give me a greater vision for our church’s community. Shortly after I prayed that prayer, I became burdened for the elementary school near our church. Now I’m praying for specific direction to serve the school. I know God will answer that prayer as well.”

 Thom S. Rainer is president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. This column first appeared on his website, Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress) or Facebook ( )


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Weekly Websaver Deadline Approaching

Enroll by January 26, 2014

Dear Colleague:Life Coaching is exploding! Millions of people who don’t need counseling still hire coaches to assist them in achieving their most important life goals. And thousands of professionals, pastors, lay leaders, teachers, and guidance counselors—those God has called and gifted to help others—are adding this new area of helping to their repertoire of skills. Now it’s your turn!ICCA Executive Director Dwight Bain, says, “Life Coaching is the next big trend and will take your career to a new level of success by equipping you to make a positive difference in the lives of your clients.”Don’t miss out on being a part of this burgeoning new field – an opportunity to expand your professional services and ministries. With expert Christian coaches such as Catherine Hart Weber, Katie Brazelton, Dwight Bain, Linda Mintle, Daniel Amen, Larry Crabb, and many more, you’ll be trained to coach others through life’s journey providing hope, direction and encouragement.

Enroll Now and Save Over $500!

 use this special link to access these deep discounts to start your journey as a coach:

Enroll now in one or more of the Professional Life Coaching training programs and enjoy the best savings we have to offer. Order any course before the October 6th deadline and pay only $299 per course (no limit). I am including a $300 Limited Scholarship that may be used for each Professional Life Coaching Training Program you purchase.We love being a part of your life!

Blessings,Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT

President, AACC and Light University

P.S.—Enroll before the deadline to use the $300 Limited Scholarship and pay only $299 per training program instead of the regular tuition price of $800! Receive a free first-year preferred membership in ICCA when you enroll in any Professional Life Coaching course ($69 value).

Enroll today to benefit from the Core Elements of Coaching from our Global Coach Training Team: 

COCH 101
Coaching: The New Helping Relationship

Dwight Bain, M.A. and Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D.
 • COCH 102
Christian Coaching: Scriptural and Spiritual Foundations

Katie Brazelton, M.Div., Ph.D.; Sandra Dopf, B.S.; Richard Eley, Ph.D.; Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D.
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Theory & Practice: Developing a Model for Effective Change

Georgia Shaffer, M.A.

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Relationships and Communication: Core Coaching Skills

Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D.

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Facilitating, Learning and Change: Advanced Coaching Skills

Georgia Shaffer, M.A.

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Assessment and Resources in Coaching

Richard Eley, Ph.D.

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Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards in Coaching

Dwight Bain, M.A.

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Coaching as a Ministry and Spiritual Care

Katie Brazelton, M.Div., Ph.D.
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The Business of Coaching

Dwight Bain, M.A.
 • COCH 110
New Directions: Specialty Coaching

Dwight Bain, M.A.; Katie Brazelton, M.Div., Ph.D.; Sandra Dopf, B.S.; Georgia Shaffer, M.A.; Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D.

• COCH 111
Coaching for Creativity and Innovations

Dwight Bain, M.A.; Katie Brazelton, M.Div., Ph.D.; Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.; Sandra Dopf, B.S.; Richard Eley, Ph.D.; Sylvia Frejd, D.Min.; Georgia Shaffer, M.A.; Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D.

• COCH 112
The Future of Christian Coaching

Dwight Bain, M.A.

• Bonus DVD
The Top Secrets to Marketing Success as a Coach

Dwight Bain, M.A.


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Coaching Empathy is the key to Coaching Change

“Don’t do for me, that which I can do for myself. Do for me what I am incapable of doing for myself.” This is the heart cry of someone who is struggling with life’s problems. This is what God did through Jesus Christ when He set aside His glory, entered into the reality of His creation, and provided a path of reconciliation for you. This is empathy.


Empathy requires you to model God’s actions towards mankind by voluntarily setting aside your standing, status, or station, entering into the reality of someone who is struggling with life’s problems, and creating the environment for that person’s restoration. Throughout this book, you will learn how to order your life to become a person of empathy. You will be challenged to step into someone’s life and offer the four actions of empathy. You will also learn how to live life beyond yourself by being a conduit for God’s resources to flow through you for the benefit and growth of others.


The first action that communicates empathy is mentoring.


Mentoring is a developmental relationship through which one person (the mentor) shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else (the mentee). There are five elements of the mentoring relationship that produce the potential for empathy to flourish. They are time, intentionality, wisdom, active listening, and intuition. Of all of these elements, time is the most important. Unless you spend time with a person, you will have a limited knowledge about the depth of that person’s soul. Mentoring requires both quality and a quantity of time. It is through the quantity of time spent with someone who is struggling that you find the quality of time necessary to create the environment of restoration.


The second action that communicates empathy is encouraging.


Encouraging is a developmental relationship through which one person inspires, with courage or confidence, the ability of another, to accomplish something far beyond the normal capacity of that person’s perceived limitations. To encourage is to instill or infuse with courage. We see this behavior as Jesus infused seventy disciples to go out and heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God is near. When someone is struggling or suffering, you need to comprehensively encourage that person in six primary areas. You need to strengthen that person with physical courage. You will also need to strengthen that person with intellectual courage. Another area that needs to be built up with courage is a struggling or suffering person’s emotional state.  As the one who is walking along side of a person who is struggling, you need to also encourage that person with moral courage. In close relationship to moral courage is the necessity to infuse social courage into the life of a person who is struggling. The final area that requires courage is the spiritual aspect of a person’s life.


The third action that communicates empathy is nurturing.


Nurturing is a developmental relationship through which one person promotes and sustains the growth and development of another, by meeting the immediate physical needs, while building the foundation of self-sustainability. Unlike mentoring, which requires time and intentionality, and unlike encouraging, which requires a comprehensive infusion of courage, nurturing requires a commitment of physical resources and the ongoing investment into another’s life until self-sustainability is achieved. Nurturing is the act of allowing God’s resources to flow through you to meet the immediate needs of those who are struggling and suffering.



The final action that communicates empathy is supporting.


Supporting is a developmental relationship through which one person serves as a foundation to sustain and withstand the weight of the personal burdens of someone else until that individual is restored. For someone who is struggling, supporting is the knowledge that someone else cares. It is the sense that someone else has your back. Someone who is struggling needs to have a sense of security within a trusted relationship. The developmental relationship of supporting is to meet the ongoing needs (not just the immediate needs) of someone who is struggling so that he can begin to realize progress in other areas of his life.


This can be accomplished in two ways: directly or indirectly. When you directly meet the needs of someone in the midst of his struggles, you are providing the resources to shore up the walls that threaten to collapse and bury the person. Indirect support takes place in the form of providing the resources to an organization that then provides the direct physical support to those who are struggling. You also might assist the person with identifying and securing the resources necessary to aid the person through a difficult time. You do not necessarily need to be the source of the resources to have an empathetic spirit.


As a person of empathy, you need to voluntarily set aside your standing, status, or station, enter into someone else’s reality, and be the catalyst for that person’s restoration. With Jesus as your model and the Holy Spirit as your guide, you will begin to build up the courage, desire, and ability to become that empathetic spirit that will make a difference in the life of someone who is struggling.


The excerpt is taken from the new book by Coach Kenneth E Rupert, “Empathy: Love and Life Beyond Self”. Jesus Christ provided us with the example of how to be a more empathetic person. As coaches, we need to recognize that beyond accountability and the motivation to achieve results, we are mentors, encouragers, nurturers, and supporters of our clients.

About the Author - ICCA writer Ken Rupert is founder of The Vita-Copia Group and a Board Certified, Master Christian Life who specializes in Strategic Life Coaching & Financial Mentoring. He is a successful Author who has released:

  • Planned Excellence: How to Achieve Greatness through Strategic Planning
  • Strategic Goals: The DNA of Personal Success
  • The Dynamics of Abundant Life: Living a Life of Purpose and Meaning
  • 10 Ways to Improve Your Retirement Planning: Behavioral Changes That Make a Difference

All of which are available at his website, Cross Books Publishing or Contact Coach Ken directly or visit his profile to find out more about his vision to impact legacy. 

 Want to share your coaching insights with the global ICCA team? Send your article submissions to 

Remember to follow ICCA on Twitter @CoachAlliance 

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Everyone in the Media is talking about Coaching!

“You will never maximize your potential in any area without COACHING. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be.” – Andy Stanley


“If you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you call a coach.” – Denver Post


“Today’s managers, professionals and entrepreneurs are hiring coaches to help them with time management, a change in career or balancing their work and personal lives.” – Fortune Magazine


“Who, exactly, seeks out a coach? Winners who want even more out of life.” – Chicago Tribune


“Got a nagging feeling that your life could be more fulfilling? Want to change direction but aren’t sure how to do it? Here’s how to jump start your new life today? Hire a personal coach.”- Modern Maturity Magazine


“People who want to stand out at work or face a job crisis increasingly turn to career coaches.” – The Wall Street Journal


“The number of executives hiring personal coaches is rocketing as more and more professionals turn to outside help for advice in how to manage their day, dollars, employee’s, develop better leadership skills and maximize effectiveness.”- London Evening Standard

Recent studies show business coaching and executive coaching to be the most effective means for achieving sustainable growth, change and development in the individual, group and organization.”
– HR Monthly, (published by The Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI)

“If you’re thinking of overhauling your career to achieve a more fulfilling life, consider joining the estimated 100,000 Americans who annually enlist the help of a personal coach each year.” - Money Magazine

 “Managers that underwent a managerial training program showed an increased productivity of 22.4%. However, a second group was provided coaching following the training process and their productivity increased by 88%. Research does demonstrate that one-on-one executive coaching is of value.”
– Public Personnel Management Journal

“Coaching is an action-oriented partnership that, unlike psychotherapy which delves into patterns of the past, concentrates on where you are today and how you can reach your goals.” – Time Magazine


“Once used to bolster troubled staffers, coaching now is part of the standard leadership development training for elite executives and talented up-and-comers at IBM, Motorola, J.P. Morgan, Chase, and Hewlett Packard. These companies are discreetly giving their best prospects what star athletes have long had: a trusted adviser to help reach their goals.” –


“People are looking to coaches as sounding boards and motivators who can offer a fresh perspective on career and life problems – but without the conflicting agendas of a spouse, family member, or even a mentor.” – Fortune Magazine


“How do you define success? For some, obviously, success means money. Others rate emotional happiness as being more important. Yet others rate popularity above all else. Regardless of how you define success, an emerging specialty called ‘success coaching’ (also known as personal and professional coaching) offers the chance to visualize your highest goals and stay on track to achieve them.” – Central New York Business Journal


“For years, business people have used corporate coaches to help their companies work more effectively. Now, an increasing number of individuals are turning to coaches for help in finding balance in their personal lives.” - The Spokane Spokesman Review


“Coaching can certainly help you strengthen your sense of self-worth, focus on your goals – and get there, fast.” - The London Daily Telegraph


“The hottest thing in management is the executive coach – part boss, part consultant, part therapist. Coaches are everywhere these days…Corporate coaches are in such demand that they can charge from $600 to $2,000 a month for three or four 30- to 60-minute phone conversations.” – Fortune Magazine



“Coaching is not about the past or figuring out why and how life got so complicated or overwhelming. It is about moving forward on the things that matter most to you, dissolving barriers and blocks to your own success, and designing a life that you love. A personal coach is better than a best friend.” – Sausalito Networking, Inc.


“Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist, and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals – career, personal, or most often, both.” – Newsweek Magazine


“Coaching started in the business world to help stressed out executives cope with their professional and personal lives, and it still thrives in the corporate environment. But, increasingly, individuals are turning to coaches for help with every sort of problem.”- Boston Globe


“Coaching is the number two growth industry right behind IT (Information Technology) jobs, and it’s the number one home based profession.”- Entrepreneur StartUps Magazine


“Coaches aren’t just for sports: They goad you, guide you on the road to success” – Seattle Times


“A coach maybe the guardian angel you need to rev up your career.” – Money Magazine


“Coaching simply speeds up a process of change that would most likely occur anyway if an individual had enough time. Without a coaching program that forces a client to focus and make time, people sometimes miss the real issues they need to focus on.” – The Ivy Business Journal


“Part therapist, part consultant, part motivational expert, part professional organizer, part friend, part nag – the personal coach seeks to do for your life what a personal trainer does for your body.” – Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune


“No matter how strong a person mentally is, without proper mental nourishment he or she will crumble. Personal coaching is one of the best ways to help you get that nourishment and to keep you stay focused.” –


“In the next few years, coaching will become the norm in the business world.” – Washington Post


“What exactly is a coach? Part personal consultant, part sounding board, part manager. For a surprising number of people, it is now the coach – not the boss – who pushes them to hire, to fire, to fine-tune a sales pitch, to stretch.” – Fortune Magazine


“At a time when companies are downsizing and at a time when boomers are facing retirement, coaches are easing traumatic transitions.” – Long Beach Press-Telegram


“A coach maybe the guardian angel you need to rev up your career.” – Money Magazine


“The goal of coaching is the goal of good management – to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.”- Harvard Business Review


“Coaching usually refers to a relationship between an individual and a trained professional who work on a set of pre-defined objectives with the aim of achieving particular goals or targets. Coaching protagonists believe that as a result of this relationship, greater results can be achieved and an individual can go on to do things that would otherwise have been impossible.” – Journal of Management Development


“Coaches are everywhere these days. Companies hire them to shore up executives or, in some cases, to ship them out. Division heads hire them as change agents. Workers at all levels of the corporate ladder are taking matters into their own hands and enlisting coaches for guidance on how to improve their performance, boost their profits, and make better decisions about everything from personnel to strategy.” – Fortune Magazine


“The leaders of organizations such as Alcoa, American Red Cross, AT&T, Ford, Northwestern Mutual Life, 3M, UPS, American Standard, the federal governments of the United States and Canada are convinced that coaching works to develop people and increase productivity.” – C2M: The Journal of Management Consulting


“Across corporate America, coaching sessions at many companies have become as routine for executives as budget forecasts and quota meetings.”- Investor’s Business Daily


“To get the most out of yourself you need to tune yourself regularly, just like a musical instrument needs regular tuning. Personal coaching is one of the best ways to help you improve yourself and stay focused.” –


“The demand for Executive Coaches has skyrocketed over the past 5 years- today’s executive coach is intended to help leaders and potential leaders across the rocky, wild, and challenging road of organizational growth in today’s dynamic and unstable work environment.” – The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology


“Asked for a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from the coaching they got, these managers described an average return of more than $100,000, or about six times what the coaching had cost their companies.” – Fortune Magazine


“I absolutely believe that people unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.” – Bob Nardelli, former CEO, Home Depot


“What’s really driving the boom in coaching, is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180? As we go from driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting on motorcycles? The whole game changes, and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not fall off.” – John Kotter, Harvard Business School


“We’ve done lots of research over the past three years, and we’ve found that leaders who have the best coaching skills have better business results.” – Tanya Clemens, V.P. of Global Executive & Organizational Development at IBM


“I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable,” – John Russell, Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd.


“People who are coached will be the norm because other people won’t get promoted.” – Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric


“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” – Timothy Gallwey, author


“Corporations believe that coaching helps keep employees and that the dollar investment in it is far less than the cost of replacing an employee.”- David A. Thomas, Harvard Business School





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A Christmas Parenting Perspective

Christmas means many things to many people. It means family and friends. It means warm celebrations and Christmas eve services with a church family. It can mean the glow of wonder in a child’s eyes. However, there are some who struggle during this time of year. Some have lost loved ones, some who feel the cold presence of loneliness, and some who struggle in silence because there is no one there to listen.

That coworker who is always smiling in the break room, she is going through a painful divorce. That man in the seat next to you on Sunday, he is watching his daughter die of leukemia. That high school football coach that passes you in the hallway, he is hiding the emotional wounds of physical abuse. That business executive who has the corner office, she is struggling to care for her father with Alzheimer’s. Those new neighbors who recently moved in have a child who needs a complicated surgery and is facing a long recovery and rehabilitation schedule. The scenarios of quiet suffering are endless and each story carries its own pain.

As we move through the Christmas season, keep in mind all of those who long for the touch of a caring individual. Consider those who just want someone to talk to, someone to be interested in who they are as a person. Some of the greatest joys we have had this season was buying and wrapping presents for the residents of the Arc of Carroll County. These are disabled adults who no longer have family in the area. Giving food to Carroll Food Sunday to provide a meal for those who are still struggling with the effects of a difficult economy. There are so many ways to make this Christmas more meaningful by reaching out to those who are not as fortunate as you.

Some of you know my son Daniel. He has physical and cognitive challenges, but he also has an incredible spirit. This year he has shown my wife and me that a simple gesture and a kind word came make someone’s Christmas season a little brighter.

As my son Daniel left the radiologist’s office last night (an experience he has never liked), he stopped an older couple (in their mid 90′s) in the hallway and took the older woman’s hand and said “Have a good Christmas.” She smiled and replied with a similar greeting.

He then took the older gentleman’s hand and said “Merry Christmas.” He too, was pleased with Daniel’s kind spirit. As the couple shuffled down the hall, I just had the sense that in the gentleness of his spirit, Daniel made this couple’s Christmas special.

This Christmas season, touch the lives of others with an empathetic spirit. This season is about being a person who does for others what Jesus Christ did for you. God, who is infinite, who is self-existent, who is omnipresent, who is omnipotent, and who is omniscience, in the person of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, set aside His divine nature, and His righteous position of glory, to enter into the reality of mankind, who, not being bound by time submitted Himself to the limitations of time, to walk along side of His creation, to mentor, encourage, nurture, and support that creation, by spending quantity and quality time together, to share experiences that create vulnerability, to seek to understand, to learn to accept the differences, and finally, to love with the love of the Father in pursuit of you to develop a love relationship, suffered public humiliation, false accusations, illegal trials, and excruciating torture, only to died on the cross just so you would have a pathway for reconciliation to God the Father, since you had no ability to reconcile yourself to Him. That is an overwhelming thought.

About the Author - ICCA writer Ken Rupert is founder of The Vita-Copia Group and a Board Certified, Master Christian Life who specializes in Strategic Life Coaching & Financial Mentoring. He is a successful Author who just released his 4th book, titled “The Dynamics of Abundant Life: Living a Life of Purpose and Meaning” which is available at his website or Contact Ken directly or visit his profile to find out about his vision to impact legacy.

Are you an ICCA member with a passion to add value to other Christian Coaches? Share your story with us at today. 

Follow ICCA on Twitter @CoachAlliance 

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The most dangerous stage of your Career is now Mid-Life… That’s why so many people are considering becoming a Coach.

Are you falling behind in your career?

Worse, are you in the high-risk age bracket of 55+ who are at the mercy of organizations who tend to force more experienced workers out because of their age? (Don’t believe this happens? Just ask your friends who were laid off or fired and now can’t find anyone to hire them).

Americans are living longer and also working longer than ever. American workers have fewer retirement savings to rely on as well, in fact, a survey from AARP revealed that half of the respondents between the ages of 50-64 are afraid they won’t have enough money for retirement. That’s why 7.2 million Americans over the age of 65 are still working full time jobs, a 67% increase over a decade ago according to AOL Jobs.

Sadly the official unemployment for Americans over the age of 55 is brutal, with over 1.4 million unemployed with fewer and fewer options. What would you do if you were fired? Do you have any employment options?

Leveraging your life experience for extra income as a trained Christian Coach could be your answer. Listen to what the media says about this new industry – “If you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you call a coach.” – Denver Post

ICCA is the global leader in Christian Coaching with thousands of members who want to make a difference. Many of the thousands of new Coaches who joined ICCA are highly skilled, highly experienced and are now highly compensated as coaching experts. Are you in this new group?  Are you ready to move forward in your career as a professional Coach? You can’t be fired, but you can stay fired with enthusiasm because of the value you will feel over waking up every day making a difference in people’s lives.

Here are the 3 things you need to have in place right now so you don’t get left behind.

1. Get trained as a coach from a recognized Christian Coach training program like

2. Join a group of highly motivated coaches, (Like ICCA) to learn about coaching and the basics of building a coaching business

3. Get credentialed as a Christian Coach from a recognized accreditation group like the International Board of Christian Coaches,

   Get started right now by joining Team ICCA at to receive a full year of benefits to equip and empower you as a Christian Coach! As a member you receive the following free annual benefits:

- Listed in the World’s largest directory of Christian Coaches
- 4 powerful editions of CCT
- the premier Magazine for Christian Coaching
- 4 tool building global webinars featuring the top Christian Coach speakers, authors and trainers
- 52 Audio MP3 audio Coaches Toolbox training segments sent directly to your phone or email
- 12 electronic newsletters of breaking trends, tools and techniques to expand your influence as a Christian Coach
- Over 1000 motivational quotes, stories, resources tools and trends sent via social media to you every single year… (no one sends you more!)
- Never having to feel like you are moving forward as a coach alone… because you will be part of a massive global movement to carry your coaching message forward with the largest team in the world.
- Discounts on additional training and resources to equip you as a Christian Coach with the latest techniques and more!

Why wait? Join ICCA today!

Has your ICCA membership lapsed? Don’t miss a single benefit to help you as a coach. Renew here today

And remember to tweet that you are on the team so global coaches can connect with you –  @CoachAlliance

  About the author- Dwight Bain is Executive Director of the International Christian Coaching Association, an organization dedicated to helping Christian Coaches reach their professional goals. (Here he is huddling with some of the top Christian Coaches in the country, Shannon Etheridge, Tom and Pam Wolf and Sherry and Lindon Gareis).  Bain is an author, Certified Life Coach, Nationally Certified Counselor and Family Law Mediator based in Orlando, FL where he lives with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @DwightBain 

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Hard Coaching Lesson – learned from the mulitation of an English Muffin

So the other morning my hubby was making breakfast and he asked me if I wanted an English muffin with my eggs. YUMMMM! YES PLEASE! We had just bought a package of Pumpkin Spice muffins and I couldn’t wait to give one a try. The anticipation since the grocery store outing had been killing me and this was going to be the crowning moment of pumpkin glory.

As I sat at the table catching up on our ministry’s social media for the morning, the smell of coffee brewing permeated the kitchen. I looked up at my handsome husband happily preparing our breakfast. It was one of those moments in time when life feels perfect. Heart, mind, body, soul….and tummy, all feeling warm and fuzzy.

And then it happened. In an instant, everything changed.

It was the strangest sensation as ‘slow motion’ meshed with ‘it happened so fast I couldn’t stop him in time’. Very weird.

With a knife in one hand and my English muffin in the other, he started sawing down the center, instantly annihilating every nook and cranny, leaving nothing but a shear, flat surface on the inside of each muffin half.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” I screamed………..but it was too late.

Lindon turned and looked at me rather nonchalantly. “What?”

“What do you mean what? You just mutilated my English Muffin - butteredperfectly crafted English muffin. You took away every little butter holding crevice and destroyed the jagged edges which would have transformed into slightly crispy ridges of heaven when toasted to perfection.” So much for my moment of pumpkin glory.

He looked at me like I was crazy. And then he started laughing. Really hard. A loud, belly aching roar. The kind that really irritates me, especially since I can never resist joining in. But I didn’t want to. He was a wrecker of English muffins, and on behalf of English muffin lovers everywhere, I wanted him to understand the seriousness of his infraction.

Which of course, he did not.

English Muffin - separating with forkHuh? How could he not understand? How could he be so unaware of the destruction and devastation he caused? How could he not care? How? How? How? EVERYONE knows English muffins are supposed to be carefully separated with a fork, using a gentle back and forth rocking motion, right? Maybe even pried apart with experienced English muffin separating fingertips, but NEVER hacked away at with a knife. Never ever.

And then it dawned on me. He didn’t understand, was totally unaware and didn’t care because quite simply, it didn’t matter to him one bit whether there was a flat surface or one filled with nooks and crannies. There was absolutely no distinction. It was all the same. This was just the way HE saw it. His personal take.

It might sound like a stretch, but our English Muffin Mayhem really made me think. Something so obvious to me was completely off his radar. How many other situations in life present this same case scenario? Over and over again we find ourselves on opposite sides of the fence with people, disagreeing over ‘this’ or arguing over ‘that’. Sure, there are times when the issues are important and differences must be addressed, but how often do we get hung up on the ‘English Muffins of Life’? The inconsequential personal opinions and wonderfully distinctive characteristics that people bring to the table. Those special attributes which make each of us unique individuals with different likes, dislikes and preferences.

Variety is the spice of life, right? Then why do we get so frustrated, angry and offended at ‘variety’? We go to battle over the most insignificant things. When you stop and consider what’s actually going on, our narrowness is rather unattractive. Think about these examples and note if you instantly feel a preference:

  • Toilet paper under or over (over of course!)
  • You say toe-may-toe and I say toe-mah-toe
  • Night owl vs. morning person
  • Beach vs. Mountains
  • Hugs vs. Kisses
  • Action adventure vs. comedy

I was talking to someone yesterday who was lamenting over a Thanksgiving spent with ‘new’ friends. “They just don’t do it the way we do.” Hmmmm. “Well if that’s true, it’s also true that you don’t do it the way they do either,” I thought. How about a little grace on BOTH sides?

The next time differences crop up, decide if they are an ‘English Muffin Moments”. If so, declutter any criticism, judgment, condemnation, arrogance, selfishness, narcissism and control you might be feeling and celebrate (or at the very least, joyfully tolerate) differences instead of attacking them. Remember, you want someone else to do that for you too.

In the future, I’ll either enjoy my English muffin ‘Lindon Style’, OR I’ll offer the make them myself! Either way, it will always be a reminder how much I really do enjoy our differences and how blessed I am to have a unique and wonderful husband, even if he doesn’t know how to properly separate an English muffin!

Do you need help appreciating the variety in life? Life Coaching can help! Contact Certified Christian Life Coach and ICCA writer Sherry Gareis, co-fonder of Action Plan Ministries at And be sure to sign up for her weekly blog post alert to the right. See more of her practical approaches to “De-Clutter your life” at:

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Coaching those facing Tough Times this Thanksgiving?

Looking for a deeper understanding of how Suffering can shape Character?

Learn from those who have been there to gain a new insight into how faith can grow stronger during seasons of trials and tests.

Here is a free link to The Works of Richard Sibbes, vol. 1—containing his best known writings, including
“The Bruised Reed” and
“The Soul’s Conflict.”

Charles Spurgeon said – “Sibbes never wastes the student’s time- he scatters pearls and diamonds with both hands.”

(This Free gift is compliments of our friends at Logos, for which all of us at ICCA are grateful).

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Career Coaches move people through the process of Hired- Fired- Mired

Who hasn’t felt that most exciting moment… HIRED. The excitement and anticipation of a new job.  New people, new challenges, full-time pay.  The road to success.  Prove yourself, work your way up the ladder.  Worth, value, self-esteem.  The American Dream.
       On the other hand…who hasn’t felt the anguish and pain of losing a job.  Laid off.  Downsized.  Or just FIRED.  It leaves you feeling devastated.
One of the worst experiences you can go through in your adult life. You feel worthlessness, insecure, full of shame and guilt.  It feels like the end of world.
       Or perhaps yours is somewhere in between.  You’re just stuck. Hating your current job.  Disliking the boss, loathing the hours, MIRED in a muck of confusion, frustration and depression. 
       I have been all three.  In 30 plus years of church work in Texas and Tennessee, I have been hired, fired and mired.  What a roller coaster it has been.  The great times were truly beyond great.  Being a part of changed lives was a blessing beyond words.  Sharing people’s most important moments…weddings, baptisms, funerals, and other life-changing moments, was always the highlight of my ministry career.
        Then…there were the down times.  The failures.  The poor decisions.  The completely overwhelming feeling that I was in way over my head.  Who could I talk to?  Who could I possibly share the fact that I was down, depressed and just plain old stuck?  I was completely mired in all the muck. And then…fired.  Worthless.  Extreme pain.  Guilt.  Anger.  Feeling like the weight of the whole world had just crashed down on me.
      It’s fascinating at this juncture of my life as a Certified Life Coach to look back on those times.  As I ponder and reflect on the past, I have come to realize that some fundamental foundations of life were in place during all of these times: 
 1.         God was there in it all.
Oh sure, some days it felt like I was totally alone.  No one cared.  No one noticed.  But time and time again He showed himself.  In the eyes of a kid.  On the face of a stranger.  He really is there.  He really will not ever leave you no matter what. Period. (Joshua 1:5)
 2.         You always reap what you sow.  Get back what you give.
      I have found this to be true 100% of the time in life.  I look back on unwise moves I made, unkind words I said, and now know that I got back what I gave out.  Boom.  And…Ouch.
3.         Too often I lost focus.
       I was consumed by my love of sports.  Caught up in conflicts between youth group kids.  Consumed by a difficult elder’s meeting.  Worried about different theological opinions among those I worked with or ministered to.  Too busy trying to please.  At times, I completely lost focus.  I wish I could go back.
  4.         Family and best friends really are all you need.
     There were times throughout my church career that I could count my supporters on one or two hands.  My wife, children, and closest life friends.  I always knew they were there.  I never wondered if they loved or supported me.  They truly were the embodiment of the verse, “a friend sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) 
 5.         In the end, all that really matters is YOU and GOD.
      All the pressures, stresses, ups, downs, highs, lows, politics and even jobs don’t matter in the whole scheme of things. What does matter is the question…How are you and God? That is the thing that I monitor and stay on top of regularly. What am I learning about Him?  How much time am I spending communicating with Him?  What is He teaching me that’s new and fresh? (Job 29:20) He is there.  He will never abandon you. He never changes.  He is the One constant you can always depend on.  Throughout it all, He remains.  Never forget that, whether you be hired, fired, or mired.
ICCA Guest Blogger Bill Speight is the Founder and CEO of iCoachLife. He is a Certified Life Coach based in Nashville. Visit his website:
Are you an ICCA member with a message to encourage Christian Coaches globally? Consider writing for the ICCA website at
And follow ICCA on Twitter @CoachAlliance
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