Category: Newsletters

August 1st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Psalm127:1

Last month FamilyLife celebrated their 40th anniversary in ministry!

It all started in 1976 when Dennis and Barbara Rainey were asked to be a part of a new ministry emphasis at Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) to equip singles on staff with God’s plan for Marriage.

The first pre-marriage conference was held in California in the fall of 1976, exclusively for Cru staff. The speakers didn’t have a budget to bring their wives. You can imagine trying to do that conference with all male speakers! In the early days, the speakers would host the conference and immediately rewrite all the materials to include what they were learning. That was a lot of late nights stuffing papers into folders.

A year or two later, many of our early attendees were married and started sneaking in the back of our “pre- marriage” conference for a refresher. Then they started bringing their friends and families. And FamilyLife was truly born.

FamilyLife began just as the culture of divorce was really taking off in America, in the wake of the sexual revolution. This ministry still exists in spite of the attacks that have come on marriage and family because God wants more marriages and families to thrive using His blueprints.

Two quotes from recent Weekend to Remember events sum up what we love about partnering with you in this ministry…

“My wife and I prayed a prayer for salvation last night.”

“We came to this conference 20 years ago as an engaged couple. You gave us the foundation that we built our marriage on.”

To God be the glory!

This month Mark and I will be traveling back up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a family wedding. Our daughter and four children are coming with us.

We will stop in Kenosha, WI for a few days to visit with Marks family and then off to Michigan for the wedding. That is where my family lives.

After we return home Mark will have surgery on his hand August 23rd. He has a torn ligament on his right hand. They are going to remove the wrist bone and fuse it. He will be in a bandage for 2 weeks and a cast for 4 weeks. Then he will have physical therapy for 2 weeks.

Because of this surgery Mark and I are scheduled to minister at just 2 events this fall…
Las Colinas, TX (Nov. 11-13)

St. Louis, MO (Nov. 18-20)

Every home a godly home,

Mark and Linda

August 2016 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

July 1st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“Tell of His glory among the nations, His marvels among all the peoples” Psalm 96:3

In June we wrapped up our getaway season ministering in Peoria (Normal), IL.

There were 301 in attendance and 17 indicated they received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,

We praise the Lord for what He was doing in changing lives…

Wife – “We came into this event with a pretty healthy marriage, and we came away with an even better one. Praise God for using FamilyLife to teach us more about His plan for oneness. My favorite part of the weekend, the projects! Thank you for giving us an opportunity to openly communicate and grow closer. I’ll forever cherish the letter my husband wrote to me while we were here.”

Husband – “This weekend reinforced and re-encouraged me in my walk with the Lord and walk with my wife. We are a team and a reflection of God’s beautiful purpose and design. We will be better friends and parents because of the Biblical principles laid out.” – Married 15 years

“I loved it! It’s made us understand our marital roles more, helped us open up about or thoughts, and what a marriage looks like Biblically. My biggest regret is that we didn’t come sooner.” – Married 2 years

“Although my wife and I had great pre-marital resources, the first year of marriage is difficult. This retreat has been a tremendous help to remind us of the skills we have learned, and center us on our relationship with the Lord as the center of our relationship.” Pastor – Married 5 months

“The getaway opened us up to our problems and weaknesses, created a safe place to truly express ourselves, changed my perspective on marriage and my role as a husband. I am the head of this marriage and God is the leader of our lives.” – Married 1 year

After the conference we drove to Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoyed visiting with family, friends and supporters.

This month FamilyLife is celebrating God’s favor on 40 years of ministry.

This will be a three day celebration. During this time we will be hearing from featured Guests such as..

  • Dennis Rainey,
  • Nancy (DeMoss) Wolgemuth
  • Crawford & Bryan Loritts
  • Al Mohler
  • Current & Former Staff
  • International Guests 

    Mark and I look forward to hearing all the things the Lord has done in the lives of so many. This will be an encouragement to us. We thank the Lord for allowing us to serve Him in ministering to families.

    FamilyLife is even more vital today because of the way our world continues to turn its back on God and Biblical principles.

    Thank you for your partnership with us in helping to build godly homes for God’s glory.

Mark and Linda

July 2016 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

May 1st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit
of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

On May fourth our seventh grandchild, Lawton Timothy, was born to Jason (our son) and Heather. Both sides of the family were there to welcome him to the family.

Mark and I are so blessed to have our families in the same city.

The first weekend of May we were in Indianapolis, IN ministering at the conference. There were 1024 in attendance and 32 people indicated they received Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Here are some comments that will bless you as you read…

“I can’t believe how much the Bible speaks on the importance of the relationship between husband and wife. Coming from a man who had such a desire to be successful in the business world, I now realize that my desire for my wife to be at my side is greater than my desire to reach “the top.” I have a very grateful heart. Thank you.” Married 5 years

“We have been married for 5 years and have a blended family. We have attended many marriage conferences and marriage counseling. We came to the weekend to remember as a last effort before getting divorced. This weekend and the amazing speakers have completely turned our marriage around.”

We are committed to putting God at the center of our lives and marriages. We both feel a sense of hope and confidence that we have never felt before. The information presented to us was perfect. Just what we needed to hear! God Bless you all for what you do. Our marriage has been redeemed!” Married 6 years

“It has been a good experience and a reminder of what God wants in our marriage and family. We should have done this over 30 years ago.” Married 36 years

God is changing lives for His glory.

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

Our final Getaway for this spring is June 3-5 in Peoria, IL. From there we will be in the U.P. of Michigan, June 7th -13th and Kenosha, WI. June 14th – 20th. We hope to see many of you!

Thank you for partnering with us to help strengthen marriages through the message from God’s Word!

To God Be The Glory,

Mark and Linda

May 2016 Newsletter

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April 1st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“Tell of His glory among the nations, His marvels among all the peoples” Psalm 96:3

Mark and I just returned from a Weekend to Remember in Jacksonville, Florida where there were 334 people in attendance.

On Sunday morning after the women’s session a young lady came to me (Linda) and asked if we could talk.

I learned they are separated and her husband had filed for divorce. He has a girlfriend, but was willing to come to the conference. He had attended all the sessions except on Sunday morning. She said the weekend was encouraging to her but she did not have much hope for her marriage. So my conversation focused on her and where she is spiritually. She, Summer, says she is a believer but is not attending church right now because they had moved to a different town. He, Brian, is not a believer.

Since the separation Summer is living with her parents who are not believers. I encouraged her to start reading the gospel of John and write down everything about Jesus and what He did for her. I also encouraged her to find a good church. I prayed with her and I was able to get her address. I sent her a note. I don’t know if I will hear from her but at least she knows we are praying for her.

Pray with us for:

  • God to intervene in their marriage
  • Brian’s salvation
  • Summer to find a good church
  • Summer to grow in her love for Jesus

These comments will encourage you:

“Really opened my eyes to what I wasn’t doing right; a very fun weekend combined with godly teaching and advice; without a doubt the best marriage teaching we have ever attended.”
Married 23 years

“We have been drifting apart for a while now due to my selfishness and both of our sinful responses to each other. This weekend provided an opportunity for us to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to both of us, to confess our sins, and be reconciled to God and each other.”
Husband, Married 9.5 years

“This has saved our marriage and our family. We have renewed hope and confidence in the Lord to sustain a good work in us.”
Wife, Married 9.5 years
(They are husband and wife!)

God is changing lives!

Our next getaway is April 29-May 1 in Indianapolis, IN. Mark and I finish our Spring getaways in Peoria, IL June 3-5.

The weekends we are home, Mark and I spend a lot of time at the baseball fields watching our grandsons, Brooks and Dane. It keeps us busy!!

In June after our last getaway we will travel to Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for two weeks to visit family, friends, and supporters. We look forward to seeing everyone!

“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm9:1

Thank you for partnering with us!

Mark and Linda

April 2016 Newsletter

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March 1st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

Our conference season this year started in Hershey, PA. It was on Valentines weekend and there were over 1800 people in attendance. The Lord was at work in the lives of many. There were 230 people who indicated they received Christ as Savior and Lord.

Here are a few comments…

“I came as a roommate and left as a wife.”
(Married 34 years)

“We went from a good marriage to a rocking Christ-led, biblically modeled marriage destined for glorious success.”
(Married 5 years)

“Huge, we were on the edge of marriage, I had filed divorce papers and now I am recommitted to our marriage and our family.”
(Married 5 years)

February 26-28 we were ministering at the Albuquerque, NM “Weekend to Remember”. There were 680 in attendance and 15 indicated they received Christ.

We would ask that you would pray for two ladies that are dealing with some big issues. One is dealing with being sexually abused as a child. It is hard for her to forgive, even as a believer. We prayed with her and gave her scriptures to help her to look to Christ. Her husband is a big support to her.

The other lady was there by herself. Her husband asked her for a divorce just before the conference as he was being deployed. She came to learn how to be the woman God wants her to be. She said it was an incredible weekend learning how to be a godly woman. She was very encouraged.

Here are a few comments from the weekend.

“I had filed for divorce. My husband begged me to attend. Thank you so much. God is good. Our marriage is worth saving. Our relationship will thrive. We both committed ourselves to each other through God’s plan.”
(Wife Married 33 years)

“I had gotten sort of “stuck in a rut” and had fallen away from bold, intentional biblical living. I had allowed some of my character defects to take hold instead of practicing the life changing spiritual principals that had changed my life and relationship with Christ. This was the refresher that I needed. Now on to application.”
(Wife Married 9 years.)

“I did not want to come. I had never done anything like this and I assumed it would just be a room full of people wanting to talk about feelings. I was right. I was also wrong. Yes, we did talk about feelings, but more important it gave Tad and I tools and resources to talk about the hard issues and build a foundation of a healthy (future) marriage centered on Christ. Thank you for a game changing experience.”

Continue to pray for us. We will be in Kansas City, KS next weekend (March 11-13). There are over 900 registered.

Pray for…

  • Us to stay healthy
  • Hearts to be prepared to hear the gospel
  • Marriages to be strengthened through Christ.

Thank you for partnering with us!

To God be the Glory,

Mark and Linda

March 2016 Newsletter

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January 31st, 2016 by fpielhau777

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

As we look back at 2015 Mark and I want to share an e-mail FamilyLife received from the St. Louis getaway where we were ministering.

“Good afternoon! I spoke with you earlier today regarding the marriage retreat in St. Louis. I wanted to follow up with an email, which you can hopefully share with the staff, so they too can see what an impact the retreat has on marriages.

“My husband, Jeremy, and I were in the middle of a divorce. The documents had been filed and it was proceeding, with our first court date scheduled for January. It broke my heart that after 13 years of marriage and 3 wonderful, healthy, beautiful children, it had come to this. I asked Jeremy several times if he would be willing to try a marriage retreat and/or counseling and his answer was usually ‘no’ followed by ‘if it has anything to do with God I’m not interested.’

“I signed up to win tickets to this retreat on my favorite radio station, Joy FM. I received a call about a week before the retreat to say I had won the tickets. I thought maybe this was a sign from God. I told Jeremy about it and he agreed to go (we were both starting to feel the effects of the divorce and it was wearing on us and the children, but I wasn’t sure there was any real hope to reconcile).

“The weekend for the retreat came and we actually missed Friday evening (neither of us were sure it was worth it)…but we made the Saturday and Sunday sessions, as a last ditch effort. I can tell you, without a doubt, it was life changing. The retreat SAVED our marriage. I believe God’s hand was on us all along and opened our hearts to see each other in a new light. Our marriage had flat-lined and we had informed family and friends of our pending divorce. It was a heartbreaking time and devastating to us and so many people in our lives…especially our children. Without this retreat we would be divorcing and breaking our family apart.

“The retreat gave us new hope and restored our marriage. I cannot thank FamilyLife enough for offering such a fantastic retreat. We cried and laughed and hugged and held hands. The retreat was entertaining and uplifting and full of awesome content and information….never dull or boring!

“I could once again see the love in Jeremy’s eyes. We know we have a long road ahead of us and we know we need to work at our marriage, but this retreat gave us a starting point and opened our hearts to each other again. It gave us back our family and for that, I will forever be grateful!

“May God continue to work through each of you to encourage marriages. I would certainly appreciate your prayers as we continue to heal and move forward in our marriage. Every time I think about what this retreat did for my family…and generations to come…my heart smiles. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making such a profound difference in our family.”

This is why we press on. You have a part in this through your prayers and financial giving. Thank you!

These are the events where we will be ministering this spring…

Hershey, PA (Feb. 12-14)

Albuquerque, NM (Feb. 26-28)

Kansas City, KS (March 11-13)

Indianapolis, IN (Apr. 29-May 1)

Peoria, IL (June 3-5)

Pray for…
1. This couple in the e-mail.
2. Our health during conference season.
3. Safety as we travel.
4. God to change lives for those who attend.
5. Hearts would be open to the gospel.

To God be the glory,

Mark and Linda

January 2016 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

November 30th, 2015 by fpielhau777

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Psalm 127:1

Imagine an architect with an impeccable reputation has already drawn up the plans for your dream home, then you meet your contractor.

He unrolls the blueprints and immediately starts crossing off structural elements he claims you don’t need. “Nobody does it like that anymore,” he says, putting red X’s through most of the load-bearing walls and re-routing exposed wires through the kids’ rooms. Then he says, “We’ve decided to redefine the foundation and make it out of something different—something we’ve never done before.”

You’d be out of there so fast you’d leave skid marks!

Yet that’s exactly how our culture is treating our marriages and families today, and millions of homes are being pulled away from the historic and scriptural truths that create a solid foundation for the church and our nation.

It takes a lot of courage and commitment to build a marriage and family that’s spiritually equipped to stand in this culture. That’s why FamilyLife is here, to give you (and millions of others) courage by standing beside you, offering practical, biblical help and hope that WORKS!

You have blessed us through the years as we have served with FamilyLife, by sacrificing and partnering with us prayerfully and financially. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for how He has provided for us through each of you.

We need your help!!!

As Linda and I look ahead to 2016, your continued investment of prayer and finances in our ministry is so critical, as we share Christ and God’s blueprints for the family.

We know people give special gifts or increase giving at year-end. We would deeply appreciate your consideration
of our ministry in your year-end giving. A substantial amount of our annual support comes in during December, so this is a crucial time for our ministry.

For Linda and I to be fully funded, salary, reimbursable expenses (medical, dental, and ministry supplies) and enough in our account for two months in case of emergency, we need to raise an addition $800 in monthly support. We are working to replace support we have lost this past year. Our goal is for (16) new supporters at $50 a month or (32) supporters at $25 a month.

If God is directing you to help, please make your check payable to Cru and mail it in the enclosed envelope, along with the response card.

We would also like to know how we can pray for you, so please send the response card, whether you send a gift or not.

Thanks for considering this request, investing for eternity, and helping more couples choose life for their marriage.

Serving Him. . . with you,

Mark and Linda

November 2015 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

October 31st, 2015 by fpielhau777

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Psalm 127:1

We just returned from serving in Fort Myers, FL. This is a beautiful area for a getaway, but the team there was overwhelmed by the prayer requests and the depth of what people shared.

These are a couple of the prayer requests. One woman confessed of having an affair with her pastor who she still loves but was here with her husband. Another asked for prayer because her husband had an affair and the woman he was with not only got pregnant but they found out she has HIV!

Here are some evaluations about how the biblical principles made an impact on their lives…

“Two weeks before this event, my husband flat out told me that if this weekend didn’t “fix” our problems, we needed to talk about separating. I knew we were on the rocks, and he’d talked about it several times over the three years of marriage. But I was devastated. This event has opened our eyes, and begun softening our hearts to each other. I am filled with hope for the first time in years, and am finally equipped with tools. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, I am actually looking forward to the rest of our life together.” Married 3 years

“My husband and I have lived apart for eight months. He has filed for divorce and before this I thought it was over. We have decided to put the divorce on hold while we practice what we have learned this weekend. We have recommitted to each other and to our family. We have asked God to come into our marriage and show us His plan rather than ours.” Married 3 years

“Weekend to Remember was a great decision. As a pre-married woman, I learned about things that I will be dealing with as a wife…surprisingly— a lot had to do with how selfish I am, and the changes I will need to make to become that Godly, unselfish, and loving wife that God wants me to be.” Engaged

“We addressed some long ignored issues that had built a wall between us in our marriage. The Weekend to Remember helped us ask the Lord to break down that wall and move forward in a spirit of love and forgiveness.” Married 6 years

We praise God that 9 people received Christ as Savior and Lord!

Please pray with us that the biblical principles they learned this weekend will make an impact on their lives and marriages. God is greater than all our circumstances.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Mark 10:27


We are going to be grandparents again!! Our son Jason, and his wife Heather
are due to have a baby next May. This will be number three for them. We are excited and happy for them! Mark and I will keep you updated.

To God be the glory,

Mark and Linda

October 2015

Posted in Newsletters

September 9th, 2015 by fpielhau777

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1

Mark and I just returned from ministering at the Weekend to Remember® in Delray Beach, Florida.

We had 447 in attendance and nine people indicated they received Christ as their Lord and Savior. We are so encouraged each time we are able to minister at these getaways. We want to share two stories with you so you know how to pray and be encouraged.

It was Sunday morning after the women’s talk that I (Linda) was able to encourage and pray with a young lady. She is engaged but had some fears about getting married. They both were previously married. When I asked her why she was fearful she really did not know.

We then talked about Jesus and the gospel. She said she was a believer but was not in the Word much. I challenged her to read the book of John and write down everything it says about Jesus and what He has done for her. I prayed for her to have a better understanding of the Lord and to trust Him with her fears.

Pray with us for Marilyn. Pray for her salvation if she is not a believer. If she is a believer that she will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is an encouraging story from one of our supporters who attended the event.

“We went through a very bad time and finally sought out marriage counseling in 2005. Our pastor then took us to a Weekend to Remember in St. Augustine, and we were hooked. I was the weaker one, the one with the least amount of knowledge about how to be married and I was blown away.

The biggest epiphany was the idea that trouble in marriage does not equal a troubled marriage. I thought that if you ran into trouble it meant you had chosen the wrong person. Seems so silly now, but that’s how I thought! If it weren’t for the conference, I have a strong suspicion that our marriage might not have made it and it would have all been due to a false idea!

I wish everyone I knew would take the time to attend one of these. Maybe then we could see more of our friends sticking it out and staying happily married.” (Female Married 23 years)

It’s fall here in Little Rock. With the fall season comes sports. When we are not ministering to couples we are at our grandchildren’s baseball games, volleyball games, and dance recitals. Then there is the three year old that keeps us laughing!! Our grandchildren keep us entertained and we love it.

Mark and I want to say thank you for allowing us minister to couples through your prayers and financial giving. Together we are making a difference!!

To God be the glory ,

Mark and Linda

September 2015 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

August 9th, 2015 by fpielhau777

Mark and I along with over 5000 from CRU attended our staff conference at Colorado State University in Moby arena. It was an outstanding time and very encouraging. We had eight days of hearing about what is going on with the other ministries in CRU and heard from great speakers.

He was asking us if we were caught up in doing ministry for our satisfaction or are we doing ministry to bring glory to God through the power of the Holy Spirit? This question is a great reminder for all of us.

The last night our speaker, Francis Chan, talked to us as ministers of the gospel. He commended CRU staff for being doers in ministry and for our boldness in sharing the gospel. Then he shared his concern for us as individuals. He said, “ask yourself, Do I really love Jesus? Do I love the gospel? Am I stunned, overwhelmed by the gospel, ecstatic about my salvation?”

“One thing I have asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

He was asking us if we were caught up in doing ministry for our satisfaction or are we doing ministry to bring glory to God through the power of the Holy Spirit? This question is a great reminder for all of us.

This is just a glimpse of our time there! We appreciate, more that words can say, and thank you for all who made it possible for us to be there.

Mark and I will be ministering at four getaways this fall…

Delray Beach, FL (Sept. 11-13)
Fort Myers, FL (Oct. 9-11)
Pittsburgh, PA (Nov 13-15)
St. Louis, MO (Dec. 4-6)

Enclosed is a fall getaway brochure and (if you have given $120 or more a year) a gift certificate to attend a “Weekend to Remember” of your choice for only $39 per person. This is one way we are able to thank you for your financial partnership that makes it possible for us to minister to couples. Remember, this certificate is transferable to anyone you choose!

Partnering for His glory,

Mark and Linda

August 2015 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters