What happens when we don’t have a topic to start the podcast?


An emotional tidal wave of issues that have been building up over the week.

In this weeks show we discussed a plethora of topics:

2 Family arguments
Learning that Alisa isn’t happy with our devotional time
Tony being rejected in the bedroom
Finding time during the week to talk
Planning date night
Feeling distant from God
And much more.

Stripped Down Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Remember back to your wedding day. We’re not talking about just the ceremony and reception. We want you to remember how you felt. Your marriage was going to last forever. You were sure of that. And then…reality set in. You think you can deal with it, and maybe you can – for a while. You still love your spouse, but it’s just not the same. Is it just a part of life? Do you let that fire die into just a smoldering pile of ashes? You don’t have to!

Grab Stripped Down: 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Your Marriage today!

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12 thoughts on “087: WHEN DISASTER STRIKES

  1. Dear Tony & Alisa ~

    I’m sorry to hear you had a challenging week. We’ve all been there! Thought I’d share with you our devotional habits.

    Years ago, we made a determination not to consume physical food without also consuming spiritual food. We have 3 children ages 7-17 so we have learned that it helps to keep devotional time fun and interesting or run the risk of the kids tuning out…

    For our morning devotions, we use a Bible Reading Plan through our church, Eagle Rock Community Church. Their website address is http://www.ercc.org – look under “Resources” and pull up the current week. (I think today the website is under construction, perhaps wait until tomorrow to check it out?) Every day we read the assigned chapter and then answer 4 questions that are part of a weekly crossword puzzle. Morning devotions at our house are a lot of fun – and VERY competitive! Once the question is read you have to be the first to “buzz in” in order to answer the question. When there is a question that no one knows the answer to, we take turns “buying a letter” until someone can guess the answer on their turn. We used to keep score. Now we just play for fun. Oh, and we use the New Living Translation – to keep the reading understandable and interesting for the kids. The whole devotional time doesn’t take more than 10 minutes.

    We have also make memorizing Scripture part of our morning devotions. We are currently memorizing the book of Colossians. We’ve been working on it for a few months now and we are almost through Chapter 1. When we first started, we would give the kids a “Bible treat” after they would recite their verse (something small like a cookie, a Hershey’s kiss, or a few M&Ms, etc.) – anything with sugar in it is a rarity in our house and was consequently a huge incentive to memorize! Now, years later, we don’t use “Bible treats”. They are no longer needed. The kids are simply satisfied by having memorized the Scripture – it has become it’s own reward. 🙂

    For our lunch devotional, we use The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos. Makes the whole of the Bible fit together into a story and come alive. Our kids have really enjoyed this resource. I have enjoyed this resource! There aren’t any questions or anything, just a chapter a day read while they’re eating lunch. Sometimes they even beg me to read another chapter…

    For our dinner devotions, we read one chapter of Proverbs each night – whatever chapter coincides with the date. We usually end up discussing one of the verses. Good, good family discussions….

    We stick to this “routine” no matter what. Just last weekend, my husband and I went away for our 19th wedding anniversary. The kids stayed with their Nani & Papa. Even though we were 500 miles apart, we were all reading the same thing. Our oldest led the devotional times, and Nani & Papa joined in the crossword puzzle game! We even stick to our routine when we have guests – it brings about great conversation!

    Anyway, just a few suggestions. Stick with it until you find something that works for you. You will be blessed by it. Family devotions are priceless!

    • Wow Chris! Thank you so very much for pouring your heart out here and letting us know what you do in your family. It is so much appreciated. Devotional time has always been one of these areas that has slipped for us. We do them, then we don’t. This is for us and with the kids. It should be one of those things we do, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen, just means we need to make it a priority in our lives. Working on it over this past week.

      Blessings to you.

  2. So this is what it sounds like to be distant physically & spiritually? In my house, I promise it would sound much more dramatic. (; My husband and I have read devotionals together in the past. Our devotion time changed since both of us “weren’t feeling it”. There is no one author who knows exactly what our family needs on a regular basis. So we’ve decided (mr. & I) to make a list of things concerning our marriage, children & home. Then we use our devotion time to seek the Author & Perfecter of our faith. We give Him do praise, seek direction and to continually trust He works all things together for the good.
    I love your transparency. Tony, great job in making devotion time with your wife a priority. Alisa, I appreciate your humility in wanting to do the devotional for your husband and honesty in acknowledging you weren’t ‘feeling it’. I’m glad you both addressed the problem and aired it for the world to listen. Some couples out there may not know how to communicate through problems and this podcast may be their only example.

    • Thank you so very much for this Evette. It’s good to know that others go through times like us too. Being honest to the ONE community has helped us over the years to take of the masks that we might sometimes want to keep on.

      More importantly it is all the emotional intimacy we engage in that allows us to get to this point in our marriage. There are times when we want to keep them on thought and we have a show like we did this week.

      Since this I will say that Alisa and I are connecting much more as we have stripped away the masks and connecting fully.

      Love having you a part of our lives.


  3. I just recently started listening to your podcast. Love your podcast. My wife and I are newly weds and are having a blast with our one year old little girl. I thought I would suggest a couple of books that you guys may consider for your podcast. My in-laws actually suggested them. They are Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and Captivaiting by John and Staci Eldredge. Their website is http://www.ransomedheart.com. They are both amazing books and give really good insight into the why of why men and women are the way we are and why god wired us this way. Keep up the great work.

    • Thanks Scott for the suggestions. We’ve both read books from John and Staci, but they just don’t jive with us. I know they have been an encouragement for many many folks and couples though. Did a men’s small group many years ago on Wild at Heart and saw the impact it had on many of the men there.

      Glad to have you two here and your support is much appreciated.


  4. That was very awkward to listen to, but I so appreciate your transparency! It was refreshing to hear that others also struggle with distance and frustration.

    My husband and I have always struggled with doing devotions. I think part of it is our different reading and processing speeds. Just today (before I listened to your podcast) we began again with a new book. We’ll see how it goes.

    Did you find an interesting book to share? Often, rather than reading together, we listen to a sermon or podcast and then use that as a “devotion” time.

    Thanks again for your honesty.

    • After listening to it myself I will have to agree that it is awkward to listen to. I wanted to delete it and do something else at the time, but we realized that other couples go through the same conversations as well.

      Seems many of us struggle with devotional time. I don’t know what it is, but Alisa and I are still trying to get this figured out ourselves. We have decided to go over the sermon notes that we get each week at church. We figure this will allow us to dig deeper into the bible and have a connection with what we are learning in church. Problem, we haven’t started yet. We need to get over ourselves and just start doing it.

      Thank you for being a loyal listener Angela and for sharing your insights along the way.


  5. I’ll be honest… I know big surprise 😉 I’ve never really understood devotionals, but then again I don’t like study bibles, commentaries or even Bibles with the words of Christ in red. Let me explain. To me it’s adding to the Word of God. I like the Bible straight and undiluted, which is one reason I’ll only read the KJV, anything else is man’s words which aren’t infallible. I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us while we’re reading His word, that’s why I have a note takers Bible. So my devotional suggestion is simply to read the Word of God, together, out loud and then discuss what you read when you’re done. Tony, read say maybe 10 verses, then Alisa 10, then Tony, etc… This is what my wife, our 5 and 3 year old and I do and it’s incredibly powerful when the Holy Spirit just speaks to us all out of His Word. My wife and I also do this with just the two of us.

    I personally read the complete Bible a minimum of 4 times a year. It forces me to set time aside for God and His Word. Now I have a busy life like everybody else. Two young boys, I’m gone at work 10+ hours a day 5 days a week, I’m a deacon at my church, run the PA system, balance the books, run a Sunday school bus route, run a local jail ministry, and of course the standard house duties, car fixing duties, and let’s not forget loving and making time for my wife… I’m busy, but I still make time for God, I have to schedule Him in because I know how lazy I can get without a schedule.

    In listening to this episode, I’m glad you guys stuck with it! It’s also nice to see your “human” side as a couple 🙂 We all have it.

    Though I have my doctrinal disagreements with you, I simply need to filter that out and glean the information to make my marriage stronger. I’m sorry if I’ve offended you from time to time, it’s not judgment, trust me, just strong Biblical convictions on my part.

    Again thank you for not quitting, you offer a very valuable service and it’s an awesome ministry, even if you never made a penny off it, imagine the eternal difference you’ve made in tons of marriages.

    God Bless


  6. Thanks for being so open. I just got to this podcast and I laughed so much! It’s so REAL! So glad no one’s perfect! We’ve been listening to your podcast for a while now and started a marriage redemption group at our church using your materials. It’s nice to know that marriage is not perfect for anyone but it’s working through those and moving on with grace. You two are so cute!

  7. How do you stop the cycle of drifting farther apart?

    I’m sure this requires both people to accept that they are drifting. But as you said, if you are in this situation, how to you start the move out of it?

    We have no answers at this time. We both feel the disconnect, but have no solutions that seem to work for both parties. Anything you have would be greatly appreciated.

    And I totally agree with the wanting sex and going through the motions even though you know the other person is not into it. It sucks compared to what it is with both involved, but man, if that’s all I can get at times, it’s difficult to not go through with it.

    Breathe in and breathe out. sigh…. Thanks for recording this. I needed to hear it.