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Together Going Vertical - 14+ Years

Growing Together

Intentionally

Together Going Vertical is a time-tested, relationship framework that allows couples to come together with the purpose of going vertical. As you go towards God together, you grow closer together. Over the past 14 years, we have found the following to be an amazing part of the process of growing together:

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The Journal

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The Big Page

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Devotion

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The Bible

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The Prayer List

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Praying Together

Hours Together

Cups of Coffee

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The Journal

We list the date, time, temperature, and often location if we are on a trip on the top of the right hand page. This is where we begin to recall the happenings of the previous day. Everything from meetings, phone calls, events with our family, business ups and downs . We also thank God for everything. Our gratitude is not just for big deals or major wins. It’s for being alive !” Give us THIS day!!”

Communication flourishes when you allow comfortable time. Tammy and I focus together on issues and opportunities . Getting our attitude right and thanking God is a wonderful way to start our day.

The Big Page

A full page on the left of the day before. Could be a birthday of a family member (we will often text a picture of those out). Could be a picture of a date we have at a restaurant. Something that makes us laugh. Somebody we are praying for. Or a positive movement in something in our goals. The Big Page highlights what we are most grateful for or what might need the most prayer. Our family now asks about their Big Page and want to make sure we send one for their spouse or child to celebrate birthdays or events. When they come stay us they want to join in on our Coffee Time. What’s the next generation seeing from our lifestyle? Maybe one day when we go to Heaven there will be a time they can review all the books. For now, we are planning more ways to see them here and now!

Devotion

We write the date in the devotion and then read the devotion out loud. There are so many daily devotions available. We love the messages, encouragement , prayer, scripture that seems to just fit what we need. Getting other view points is a step in learning. Our church has a wonderful outline that includes scripture and a discussion guide, questions , a memory verse, daily readings. You can download them each week at brookwoodchurch.org/resources

The Bible

We know that reading the Bible brings us God’s Word. It keeps us on track and clearly defines our boundaries and opportunities. Sometimes in the world my opinions  begin to be influenced by the cultur. See for yourself the word of God. All of your anxiety and questions are clearly defined. We use a Life Application Bible – New International Version. It’s clear and has explanations of the verses. We love to go thru Proverbs some months . There’s 31 Chapters allowing for a chapter a day. How about at Christmas and Easter getting the real story from the Bible? It’s great to hear and see these words in an environment where you discover and feel the power and meaning of God’s Word.

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The Prayer List

Don Preston, a devout leader and mentor once showed us his prayer list. His book was full of names. Don showed us where our name was listed on Tuesdays page. It struck us that we needed to have a list of people we pray for. In fact, we have had situations where we prayed for folks that we struggled to forgive. And over time we actually forgave them. Forgiveness is a real hurdle for most of us. If someone is on your mind, pray for them. God may have put them on your mind because no one else is praying for them.

Prayer Together

Previously, we rarely prayed together. But now, praying together has become a major component of our relationship. It’s how we start every morning together. My first prayer was to get on the floor , hold her hand and recite the Lords Prayer. We often pray for help, protection of others, and mostly thank God for such a wonderful day and life. We encourage you to get with your spouse, get on your knees, and take turns praying together.

Q&A

Common hurdles we have faced in these 14 years each morning

How Much Time Does It Take

Everyone always ask us how much time to we take doing this. The answer is that sometimes its quick and then other times it’s like the length of a great movie. We love this and are so grateful that we have this vehicle that we prioritize it before other things. Television is an example of a key distraction. There are times that a good show slides in and takes a ton of time. In fact, we think that getting early and good sleep is worth so much more now. Because we love getting up with the sun and having our Coffee Time together. Everyone has the same 168 hours each week. It’s natural to see that there is a time commitment. And in our hearts we know what it has done for our marriage, family, life, peace , and dreams. Tammy once said, “ How do you not have time?” Once you start and see the benefits you will find the time. The few days a year Tammy and I are apart – we will do a version of Coffee Time over FaceTime.

Just Get Started

Be kind but ask your partner to join you. Don’t preach – just read to them. Begin a journal and note things to be grateful for. What’s the best thing that happened yesterday? What is troubling you? How was your day? What are we thankful for? Keep up with issues and projects. Praise a dinner. Tell your spouse of anything you appreciate. Ask about work. Ask about family. You begin to see things that you’ve just taken for granted. We want this to be a family tradition. With a fresh day your thoughts will follow where you focus your time and attention. I sure have taken so much for granted. It’s not the big things; it’s all the little things. Typing this right now I’m hearing a bird sing so loud I can’t pay attention. And I’m thankful. How much better would your marriage be if you had a forum to listen, discuss, plan, and make a decision. Lack of plans and decisions ruin organizations. It’s the same for couples. It’s also a hundred times better than having the topic brought up 90 seconds before you’re going to sleep. You have a wonderful spot to discuss everything. Step up and lead. It’s worth it.

Don't Allow Your Past To Disqualify You!

You’re not so sure you deserve to be in church or pray because of your past. That’s probably the biggest head wind out there. In fact, the saints among us probably will all think this is so simple and not intellectually sophisticated. It’s a total opportunity for you to explore Christianity. A friend of mine, a former Navy Seal who has become a leading business coach told me recently that the biggest hole in most top executives is the lack of time with their spouse because they dont take any time for them. And these same big business winners are giving no time to their spiritual lives.

What an incredible habit to keep your marriage on track. We have also built a 100 month goal process that syncs up with our morning Coffee Time. This last year has been the greatest of our lives. And at the same time, we also can be discouraged by thoughts of being unworthy. We are not pastors. We are not teachers. What I am is a man who loves his wife and family.

What Can You Accomplish If You Start Today?

We stumbled upon this process and it’s changed our lives in a great way since Feb 2008. How many great things are by somebody thinking they are not good enough? There’s only one of you ever made. God doesn’t make junk. Why not just start?