Responses from Interview with Gary Bruegman

A week ago as part of our Sunday Morning service at Calvary Assembly, we had a special interview with guest and marriage counselor, Gary Bruegman, on the topic of relationships.  Those in attendance were able to text in questions for Gary.  We had so many come in that we were unable to ask them all in the service.  So to still provide responses to the unasked questions from that morning, Gary Bruegman has been gracious enough to answer the questions below.  If you missed the interview, you can listen to it on our website here.

QUESTION: How do u let the issues of the past not affect your relationships of today?

RESPONSE: I refuse to rewrite history. I am the only one who can make the decision to diffuse the negative messages and behaviors exhibited by other people in the past. I refuse to let past issues have any power or control over me. My relationships with people today are better because I have learned valuable lessons.


QUESTION: Does your wife ever travel and speak w you?

RESPONSE: My wife occasionally travels with me if at all possible. She participates in seminars when asked, but does not teach. She is 100% devoted to praying for every person, couple and marriage seminar I am conducting.


QUESTION: My wife and I find it hard to pray together. What advice do you have for a couple to start praying together?

RESPONSE: Recognize that praying together signifies or reflects the unity that should exist in your marriage relationship. It’s difficult to communicate to God in prayer together if you struggle as a couple to communicate. Be consistent and persistent.


QUESTION: Is it unhealthy for a couple to fight over control?

RESPONSE: It’s unhealthy for a couple to fight over anything. No one likes to be controlled. The goal of two people in relational power struggle is to win or be in control. Healthy marriage is about being teammates. Teammates work together, not against each other. Effective communication is the only way to diffuse individual control in a relationship.


QUESTION: Do you have any advice on how to pray for someone who has been wearing a mask for most of their life?

RESPONSE: Someone who, as u said, is believing lies about them self, has fears, and is seeking approval and their identity from others?. . . . Pray that the individual’s heart becomes open to seeking the truth about themselves. God is the only who can show us the value and worth we possess. It is irresponsible to expect others to make us happy, valued and somehow significant.


QUESTION: How do you reach out to someone who does not want it, to talk about spiritual things?

RESPONSE: Don’t continue pressing to connect with someone when they are resisting your advances. Rethink your strategy. Ask them things about their life, family and interest areas.  The opportunity to present spiritual things will come when you gain their trust and respect.


QUESTION: How has your relationship with your mother been effected by your past and now in your present?

RESPONSE: My mother died several years ago. I had the privilege of praying with her and I believe she is saved. I was able to look beyond her weaknesses and dysfunctional life only because of my relationship with Christ.


Steelers Fight Songs

Every time the Steelers make it into the Super Bowl, I always enjoy the Steelers Fight Songs that come out.  They range from rap to country to polka, and everything in between.  Here’s one of my favorites from this year’s Super Bowl run.  It’s a Pittsburgh rendition of the Mark Cohn hit, “Walking in Memphis”.  Enjoy and let’s go Steelers!!

The Proposal – Part 2 (The Pictures)

Heidi did a great job describing the incredible night we were engaged in my previous post.  Below is a small glimpse into that night, with a short journey through the night in pictures.  It was a night of joy and tears (the good kind)…I feel so blessed to get to marry such an amazing girl!

(Special thanks to Drew Horne, Brian Lippert and Rich Jones for taking pictures and capturing video of this exciting night!)

This is the beginning of the carriage ride at PPG Plaza in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Heidi and I riding through the streets of Pittsburgh in the carriage.

Our friend, Sarah Calcara, giving Heidi her first 3 roses.

Our friend, Dawn Meling, giving Heidi her 3 roses.

Our friend, Pam Mikec, waiting for the carriage to stop to give Heidi her 3 roses.

Just after our friend, Shelley Allen, gave Heidi her roses and right before our friends, Sarah & Justin Liptak, gave Heidi their roses.

Here are the final set of roses waiting for Heidi and I to arrive at the outlook on Mt. Washington.

Here’s a close-up of the roses and rose petals.

Heidi and I finally arrived.  Here we are chitchatting away!

Here’s a good shot of the view we had from our outlook…not too bad!

Yes, that’s me down on one knee proposing to Heidi!

Here’s the big proposal moment…Heidi said yes!

Impact South Side

This past Saturday we held what is becoming an annual event at Allison Park Church, our ‘Impact’ day. This day is an awesome opportunity to serve a community in which we are planting a church.  With the launch of LifeStone Church in just a couple weeks, this year’s Impact community was South Side.  This day really hits one of our big values in church planting, which is serving the community. Not only does it teach the new church plant this value, but it allows individuals from APC to be physically involved in this exciting process of launching a church.

This year in South Side, we had numerous projects and were planning for close to 250 volunteers to blitz the community.  With the large amounts of rain we ended up receiving that day, we did cancel a good number of our projects, but God was faithful!  We still had almost 140 people walking the streets paying parking meters for people, picking up trash all over the South Side, planting flowers in local parks, repairing homes for senior citizens, and more! It is incredible to see how God could use even a portion of what was planned to still make a big impact in this community!

I talked to a number of people from the community that were so amazed at the number of people that came all the way to South Side just to serve and bless the community. With all the work that was done this day, the Kingdom of God was visible and tangible. It wasn’t just about a sermon on Sunday, but service on Saturday.  I believe this is the greatest expression of the gospel…serving with no strings attached.

A big thank you to all of you that weathered the storm that day and came out to serve!! LifeStone Church and South Side residents will be forever grateful for the hard work you put into this great day!

Sermon Sunday – Loui Giglio

This week I wanted to feature a message by Loui Giglio when he reminds us of the fact that we are wonderfully made by an amazing Creator. Loui is the founder of the Passion Conferences and is planting a church in the Atlanta area called Passion City Church. He is a gifted speaker and has a way of inspiring people young and old! Enjoy the message!!

I Need Thee, Oh I Need Thee

As I woke up and was praying this morning, I had this song in my heart and thought I would share it with you.  Call me old fashioned, but oh how we need Jesus today and everyday!

Sermon Sunday – Bill Hybels

Below is a message by one of the great pastors of our generation, Bill Hybels.  He pastors Willow Creek Community Church just outside Chicago, IL, a church he and his wife started over 30 years ago.  It is one of the largest and most influential churches in the nation.  In this message, he talks about the power of God’s simple whisper.  Wow, very challenging message.  I hope it challenges you today as it challenged me.

Hope in Pittsburgh

The Network of Hope is an organization I serve on the board for and have worked with for almost 3 years.  It is a great non-profit in Pittsburgh that is committed to “Moving Beyond Charity to Lasting Change” and has some exciting things on the horizon. NOH uniquely works through churches to provide hope to struggling communities and people through various programs and events.  This growing organization has served over 3,000 people annually for the last 8 years.  Here’s  a short video that tells a little more about NOH.

You can get more info about Network of Hope at or if you’re interested in donating to NOH, you can do so here.

With Everything

Thought I’d share one of my favorite newer worship songs with you all today.  It’s a powerful song from Hillsong that reminds us that we can surrender everything to God because He is greater!

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