Life Dimensions
July/August 2010
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
Book in Review
Relationship Tip
Blueprint for Success
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"Let your gentleness be known to everyone" (Philippians 4:5).

In a day and time that values strength, gentle can seem wimpy.  By definition, gentle means not rough, severe, or violent.  It also means honorable and respectable as well as polite, refined and courteous.  Why not let your gentleness be known to everyone?


Some years ago I attended a conference in Charlotte, North Carolina for the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) of which I have been a member for 25 years.   The conference was downtown and I wanted to see more of this southern city so I hopped on a bus.  This way I also got a chance to experience the people.  Riding a bus is a great way to experience a city's flavor!  What impressed me more than anything was the "gentleness" of the people I observed.  I don't know if it was just "southern hospitality," noted by a westerner from Colorado, but I do know it felt really good.   The mothers I saw with their small children were gentle with them.  They took their little hands and gently guided them onto the bus.  They sat together quietly.  The bus ride was relaxed.  People were courteous to the driver and each other.  There seemed to be an honor among the public traveling companions.  If only I could bottle that up and take it everywhere!


Gentleness can certainly be known to more people.  I often see moms being very rough with their children in a store or on the street.  I see people very discourteous to one another in a shopping mall when even a door can't be held for an elderly person or someone whose arms are full of packages.  I know couples who don't honor each other with respect.  If one person can be the calming presence in a myriad of circumstances, what a difference our chaotic world could be.  Let your gentleness be know to everyone.      


A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

                                                            --Proverbs 15:1


Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.

                                                            --Mohandas Gandhi


Nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

                                                            --St. Francis de Sales

A little girl watched her exasperated mother sift through and delete a long list of e-mails.

"That reminds me of the Lord's prayer, " said the child. 

"What do you mean" asked the mother.

"You know the part about delivering us from e-mail."



A teacher's job is to take a room full of live wires and make sure they are well grounded.


The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.



  Book in Review 
How to LoveA colleague of mine recommended reading How to Love by Gordon Livingston, M.D.  I found it very useful in my work with relationships.  As a psychiatrist, Livingston offers his own brand of philosophy on human psychology and that of a healer of the human heart. 
His primary emphasis is helping us recognize both within ourselves and in others those character traits that may either hinder or help compatible relationships and long-term happiness. 
I liked his down-to-earth  style which is illustrated by his chapter titles such as:  Don't blame the mirror for your own reflection, No hell is private, The best of compasses does not point to true north,  We flatter ourselves if we believe our character is fixed, What is essential is invisible to the eye, The most dangerous food to eat is a wedding cake, The trouble with parents is that by the time they are experienced they are unemployed, and If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you.  



Relationship Tip
To get someone's attention, a gentle touch can start a positive message. 

Blueprint  for Success 

Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker. People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work. Success is a result of healthy relationships.

Workshops & Seminars

Mary Ann offers workshops on a variety of relationship topics. 
For more information visit:
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Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions