Thursday, December 26, 2019

Wir sind gemeinnütziger e.V.! | We are a non-profit charity.

Liebe Freunde, liebe/r Leser/in,

was lange währte, wurde endlich gut:

Seit Kurzem dürfen wir endlich den Wandel von ‚RelateWorks’ zum gemeinnützigen, eingetragenen Verein (e.V.) feiern und können dadurch noch mehr Ehen, Beziehungen, Familien und Singles präventiv auf verschiedensten Wegen stärken.🕺👊🏻

Falls Du diese Leidenschaft mit uns teilst und Dich gezielt mit Deinen Finanzen einbringen willst, dann kannst Du dies (sogar noch mit einer Spendenbescheinigung) in 2019 (ab € 50,— bis € 50 Mio. 😇) mit Angabe Deiner vollständigen Kontaktdaten im Verwendungszweck per PayPal oder Banküberweisung in die Tat umsetzen - auch Daueraufträge sind willkommen:

RelateWorks e.V.
IBAN DE45 6906 1800 0004 4512 01

Schon jetzt im Voraus sagen wir herzlichen Dank und wünschen Dir ein segensreiches 2020,

Rainer & Kerstin

Dear friends & dear readers,

loooong time waiting, but so worth it:

Finally, we have recently been able to celebrate the change from 'RelateWorks' to a non-profit, registered association (e.V.) and can thus preventively strengthen even more marriages, relationships, families and singles in various ways.🕺👊🏻

If you share this passion with us and want to get involved with your finances in a targeted manner, then you can do so with a donation in 2019 (from € 50,— up to € 50 million😇) via PayPal or bank transfer - standing orders are also welcome:

RelateWorks e.V.
IBAN DE45 6906 1800 0004 4512 01

On behalf of the whole team, we warmly thank you in advance and wish you are blessing-filled 2020 ahead,

Rainer & Kerstin

Monday, November 11, 2019

Atempause. Die Ruhe zieht das Leben an - Kraft für das neue Jahr tanken.

Die Ruhe zieht das Leben an - Kraft für das neue Jahr tanken.“

Bis 22. November sind noch Anmeldungen für die 2. Atempause möglich - beschenke Dich als Frau selbst und/oder eine andere wertvolle Frau in Deinem Leben (Letzteres gilt für Frau und Mann :-)

Melde Dich/euch am besten heute noch über ATEMPAUSE an.

In Vorfreude auf unser Kennenlernen/Wiedersehen grüßt

Kerstin mit Rainer.

Calmness attracts life - recharging for the new year.“

Registration until the 22nd of November for the 2nd respite - give yourself as a woman and/ or another valuable woman in your life (the latter applies to women and men :-)

Sign up today via ATEMPAUSE.

Looking forward to our reunion or to getting to know you,

Kerstin with Rainer.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Ja, ich darf... | Yes, I may...

Liebe/r Leser/in,

in der aktuellen Ausgabe der unsererseits geliebten Zeitschrift 'Lydia' (, siehe aktuelles Titelblatt unten), die ausschließlich im absolut empfehlenswerten (Jahres-) Abonnement, das nicht gekündigt werden muß, erhältlich ist, ist aktuell der folgende Artikel veröffentlicht worden:

Wir hoffen, Du genießt ihn so sehr wie wir es tun...oder gönnst Dir bzw. Deiner Frau sogar 
das Abo als Geschenk zum nächsten Anlass?!

Kerstin mit Rainer

Dear reader,

in the current issue of our beloved magazine 'Lydia' (, see picture below), which is available only in the absolutely recommendable (annual) subscription, which does not have to 
be canceled, the following article has been published:

Have your read below the following picture showing the magazine's cover page.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and maybe even order the subscription for yourself or for your wife according to the upcoming cause?!

Kerstin mit Rainer

Yes, I may!
Living with my godly needs

"In every way we try to save time and make life easier. Why are we so stressed anyway?

In our home is a food processor, which can also cook and thus wonderfully healthy food prepared without me long in the kitchen. I can use the saved time for washing clothes or for other household chores. The wireless vacuum cleaner helps to suck the whole house without wasting time with annoying cable plugging. As a family we have two cars, so I can drive wherever I want, and not have to wait for the car to be available to me. Our washing machine with short cycle and our dryer are ready when it needs to go faster. Oh yes, and then there's the pressure cooker, with which I can quickly prepare soft potatoes that our daughter loves so much.
How grateful I am for all those everyday supporters who help me gain so much time!

Where is the problem?
But why do I still feel stressed, under pressure and sometimes I feel like I'm never good enough? With all this technical support, I was supposed to have gained time for my neighbors, for leisure, Bible reading, and for writing a loving letter to my recently ill granny! What am I doing wrong?

Always at the turn of the year, I ask God for a word that will shape my next year. My word for the past year was "Selah". This means as much as "taking a break" and "musically resting in God". I realized how difficult it is for me to actually take advantage of this rest. It is not just there in my life phase with small children. I have to fight it hard. It is important to take my needs seriously.

I know many people who are constantly ignoring their needs, ignoring them or not taking them seriously enough. The number of mental and physical illnesses is increasing. Even in my personal environment, it affects more and more people. This condition shocks me and makes me very sad.

It was important to me to find out how to protect myself emotionally and physically and keep me healthy, so that I cannot just run a "life sprint", but a "life marathon". That's why I looked at how Jesus dealt with his temporal challenges.

Learning from Jesus
What does the Word of God teach us about the Old and the New Testament on the topic of rest?

- God himself has rested one day after his work of creation (Genesis 2: 2-3). He who has all the power and power of the world. Why do we assume that we have power all seven days a week?

-    Biblically, the Sabbath is a holy day of rest (Exodus 20: 8-11). The hamster wheel and all other cogs should be resting for a day. Which day is our Sabbath day of the week?

- Jesus withdrew to recharge his father's strength (Mark 1: 35-39). Where do we create our "God oases" in daily life?

- Once Jesus instructed his disciples to rest, but then had mercy on the many people and yet became active (Mark 6,30-45). Then a great miracle happened. But what did he do after serving? He withdrew and rested. Are we ready to interrupt scheduled breaks from God and postpone them? And then catch up later?

Small self-check

If we are able to sense and name our needs, we are already a big step closer to a healthy lifestyle. Everybody has the following needs. If we answer yes to several of the questions, that is a warning signal.

1. Need for relaxation
The Sabbath is a divine principle. Often we only know tension, but we need the opposite pole as well.
Am I often sick?
Do I often feel overworked?
Do I feel permanently stressed, dull and exhausted?
Am I struggling to come to rest at all?
Do I have difficulty sleeping?

2. Need for pleasure
Enjoying God's good gifts is a breeding ground for joy.
Cannot I remember the last moment of enjoyment?
Do I think I do not enjoy anything?
Do I only have a few nice moments?
Does my life feel dreary, gray and meaningless?
Does the word "enjoyment" give me a guilty conscience?

3. Need for closeness
We are created for community.
Do I often feel isolated and lonely?
Is my last appointment months ago?
Do I envy friends and couples watching on the street?
Do not I want to celebrate my birthday because I suspect that nobody would come anyway?

4. Need for support
We are brothers and sisters in God's family.
Do I mostly want to do everything on my own?
Do I feel the requests for support as weakness?
Do I have the feeling of being alone?

5. Need for self-realization
God has given each one of us gifts and talents whose use gives us fulfillment.
Do I rarely have time for myself?
Do not I know anymore what I like to do?
Do not I have any hobbies or interests that I follow?
Am I rarely undisturbed?
Do not I have my own projects, but mostly invest in the projects of others?

Find a good balance

If we answer yes to several of the previous questions, that is a warning signal. We live in a very fast time with endless possibilities. No generation before us had to struggle with so many influences and possibilities. Our culture is characterized by performance thinking. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will reach our limits and overload ourselves.

Take five minutes to think about a need that you are currently paying little attention to.
We cannot and should not tip over from one extreme to the other. If I have not yet noticed my own needs and did not care for myself, that does not mean that from now on it should only be about me, because then I would become a Develop egoists. Try to start with a certain thing and find a good balance.

Now think about how you can make room for this particular need in the next seven days. I encourage you to live your life more self-determined and take care of yourself. Because you are worth it. God loves you - without any consideration. Rest in his presence and enjoy the gifts he has for you.

Time holes that become a blessing

My life now looks like we have a weekly Sabbath day as a family. Here all the machines stay off and we spend time as a family without smartphones. I have identified time-wasters - some digital media and perfection in the household - and do not allow them to rob me of precious lifetimes. I regularly check what God wants from me and say no to many great offers and opportunities so as not to overload me. Once a week, I overcome my inner bastard and do intensive strength and endurance training. My weekly schedule is usually Swiss cheese - many time-outs that God can use for the unforeseen. I would like to be a Christian, who not only theoretically but also practically wants to be available to Jesus. God has created wonderful situations from my time holes in the last few months, and I have become a blessing to others.

With hard years of work, with the help of my husband, the wisdom of good friends and a lot of discipline I have managed to live more consciously - and you can do it! Presumably a good friend can help you with this and you can be a blessing to each other."

Kerstin Knaack lives with her family on Lake Constance and is an independent consultant in the field of personnel and organizational development. Together with her husband, she educates and strengthens marriages, families, relationships and singles: 
This article appeared in LYDIA 3/2019.

Monday, August 19, 2019

VerEHEnderung. | Change in relationships.

Liebe/r Leser/in,

diese Videoaufzeichnung gibt Dir einen kleinen Einblick, wie wir mit Ehen, Familien, Beziehungen und nachfolgende Generationen präventiv stärken und unsere Gesellschaft zum Positiven verändern.

Genieße es und fange an, die Prinzipien am besten gleich in Deinem Leben umzusetzen.

Rainer & Kerstin

Dear reader,

this video clip allows a glimpse of how we invest in families, marriages, relationships and future generations with to strengthen our society and change the world for the better.

Enjoy and start implementing in your own life,

Rainer & Kerstin

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Optimismus. | Optimism.

Optimismus ist in seinem Wesen keine Ansicht über die

gegenwärtige Situation, sondern er ist eine Lebenskraft,

eine Kraft der Hoffnung, wo andere resignierten, eine Kraft,
den Kopf hochzuhalten, wenn alles fehlzuschlagen scheint, eine
Kraft, Rückschläge zu ertragen, eine Kraft, die die Zukunft niemals
dem Gegner läßt, sondern sie für sich in Anspruch nimmt.

Es gibt gewiß auch einen dummen, feigen Optimismus, der
verpönt werden muß. Aber den Optimismus als Willen zur
Zukunft soll niemand verächtlich machen, auch wenn er hundertmal
irrt. Er ist die Gesundheit des Lebens, die der Kranke
nicht anstecken soll. Es gibt Menschen, die es für unernst,
Christen, die es für unfromm halten, auf eine bessere irdische
Zukunft zu hoffen und sich auf sie vorzubereiten. Sie glauben
an das Chaos, die Unordnung, die Katastrophe als den Sinn des
gegenwärtigen Geschehens und entziehen sich in Resignation
oder frommer Weltflucht der Verantwortung für das Weiterleben
für den neuen Aufbau, für die kommenden Geschlechter.
Mag sein, dass der Jüngste Tag morgen anbricht, dann wollen
wir gern die Arbeit für eine bessere Zukunft aus der Hand
legen, vorher aber nicht.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Quelle/Source: Widerstand und Ergebung, DBW Band 8, Seite 36

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Titelfrau. | Cover Girl.

Rückblick. Einblick. Ausblick. |
Review. Insight. Outlook.

„What is Lydia titular Kerstin Knaack doing today? 

In the edition of LYDIA 2/2015, Kerstin Knaack told her moving story in the title interview: 
After several miscarriages and a stillbirth, her relationship with God was in a deep crisis - until she made a courageous decision that changed her life. And God had some surprises in store: 

Today, Kerstin Knaack has two lively children with her husband Rainer and uses her painful experiences to encourage others. For February and October 2019, she has completely redesigned two breathing-room seminars, in which women of all generations can recharge their batteries and focus on God. The theme for 2019 is: „Between hamster wheel and deck chair - find my balance“.
The past weekend was: 14th - 16th February 2019 and the next weekend is going to be 11th -13th October 2019. 
All details are available on Tel. +49 7771 6390043 or 

As a mentor, Kerstin Knaack accompanies individuals; together with her husband Rainer she accompanies couples who want to grow in their relationship through hard times. 
Twice a year, the Knaack couple also
offers a ‚marriage mentor training‘ for a maximum of four couples. 
The next dates are: 29. - 30. March 2019 (part 1) and 5.-6.April 2019 (part 2). 
More information can be found at “

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Schädigung durch Handy und soziale Medien. | Danger of smart phones & social media.

Liebe/r Leser/in,
leider nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar, aber wirklich lohnenswert und sehr wertvoll.
Gut gemeinte Grüße von
Rainer mit Kerstin


Editor’s NoteThe following article was originally published by the Washington Free Beacon and has been reprinted here with permission. 
Should Congress ban kids from owning smartphones? According to a recent monologue by television firebrand Tucker Carlson, the answer is yes. In his nightly speech, the Fox News host inveighed against the effect smartphones are having on adolescents, arguing that "smartphone use makes your kids sadder, slower, and more isolated, and over time can kill them." Carlson called on Congress to regulate smartphone usage in the same way that it has regulated cigarettes, keeping them out of the hands of vulnerable youths with minds still moldable by exposure to not as-of-yet understood technology.
With his monologue, Carlson has brought to mainstream attention an ongoing academic debate over how smartphones and social media are affecting America's teens. The conclusions of that debate are by no means as unequivocal as Carlson was. But it is clear from research that something bad is happening to American adolescents, and that smartphone use has spread much faster than our understanding of its long-run impact on developing brains.
There is almost certainly something wrong with America's teens. Data show that young people are increasingly at risk for depressionmental illness, and suicide.  A survey of pediatric hospitals found that hospitalizations of 5- to 17-year-olds for suicidal ideation or attempts doubled between 2008 and 2015; the CDC's research indicates that suicide has increased especially among teenage girls.
These increases go hand-in-hand with a decline in teen socialization. Forty-five percent of 12th graders now say that they never go on dates, compared to 14 percent as recently as the early 1990s. Teens are having less sex, a trend likely linked to rock-bottom teen abortion rates, but also indicating that teens spend less time on romance. Teens are even working less frequently than before, according to the Pew Research Center.
W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia who has written on the social implications of smartphones and screen time, told me that the teen mental health crisis may be linked to the rise of smartphones.
"There's clearly a link between changes in depression, suicide, shifts in socializing. You have to ask yourself, what's happening in the social environment that's different from a decade and a half ago?" Wilcox said. "One of the obvious candidates here is the introduction of smartphones, social media, and the screen culture more generally."
There is clear evidence that kids do indeed spend a lot of time on devices and on line. A frequently-cited survey from Common Sense Media showed 13- to 18-year-olds spend an average of nine hours a day "using media for their enjoyment"; kids eight to 12 spend about six hours a day on average. A 2018 Pew study found that 54 percent of teens say they "spend too much time on their cellphone," and another that 45 percent say they are online "almost constantly."
The same phenomenon is clear for teen social media use. Essentially every teen uses one or more social media sites, according to a 2018 survey from Pew, with YouTube being the most popular (85 percent using), followed by Instagram (72 percent) and Snapchat (69 percent). These figures, in general, represent an increase over the 2015 rendition of the same survey.
Still, it is apparent that teens are depressed and disconnected, and also hooked on their phones and social media. The question is does one cause the other?
That question is the source of much of the debate. Social phenomena like teen suicide are invariably complicated and multi-factorial, and sometimes have counter-intuitive explanations (for example, the increase in 2004 was almost certainly caused by a change in the FDA's required labeling on anti-depressants).
What is more, there is an open question of the direction of the relationship—social media and smartphone use might encourage depression and suicidal ideation, but the latter might also induce more of the former; or another factor might determine both. Research, cited by Carlson, links social media us to depression and abstinence to its alleviation. Other research, however, finds this claimed link wanting, and connects social media use to increased life satisfaction—suggesting that social media's emotional impact may be contingent on a number of other associated factors.
Unsurprisingly, there is copious analysis on both sides of this question. Much of the most popular work has been done by Dr. Jean M. Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University known for her work on intergenerational trends. In a much-read 2017 Atlantic article, Twenge argued that the current generation of teens are hooked on phone use, leaving them trapped in their rooms and exposing them to the toxic effects of social media.
In her scholarly work, Twenge has connected data from the nationally representative Monitoring the Future and Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Surveys to paint a picture of the relationship between screen time, depression, and suicidal ideation.
"The results show a clear pattern linking screen activities with higher levels of depressive symptoms/suicide-related outcomes and nonscreen activities with lower levels," Twenge and her coauthors write.
[A]dolescents using electronic devices 3 or more hours a day were 34 percent more likely to have at least one suicide-related outcome than those using devices 2 or fewer hours a day, and adolescents using social media sites every day were 13% more likely to report high levels of depressive symptoms than those using social media less often.
Twenge has used the same datasets to link increased screen time to less sleep among teens. Other research finds related effects: a 2016 meta-analysis found a connection between "problematic" smartphone usage and depression severity and anxiety, and a 2018 study found digital media use was associated with subsequent ADHD symptoms in teens.
But such a controversial topic will invariably see disagreement. For example, a recently released longitudinal analysis, which explicitly responded to Twenge's work, surveyed 600 adolescents and 1,100 college students for two and six years respectively. Its authors found that "among both samples, social-media use did not predict depressive symptoms over time" for either boys or girls. In fact, the study found a link in the opposite direction, i.e. that symptoms of depression predicted higher social media use among teenage girls.
Causal direction is just one issue for researchers; another is the question of effect size. Remember that social pathologies like teen suicide are basically always multi-causal. Just being able to say that screen time or social media use is related to increased suicide risk does not tell us how much of an effect (the magnitude) one has on the other—it is possible for a relationship to pass the test of statistical significance while not having a very big impact in terms of magnitude.
This insight underlies an analysis from two University of Oxford professors, who used three very large data sets (two from the United States, one from Great Britain) to exhaustively examine the relationship between screen time and well-being among adolescents. They found a statistically significant relationship between the two—but also that increased screen time explained at most 0.4 percent of the variation in well-being when with other variables. In other words, statistically significant—but also very small in absolute impact.
"In fact, regularly eating potatoes was almost as negatively associated with well-being as was technology use," Nature noted in summarizing the paper, "and the negative association between wearing glasses and well-being was greater."
If all of this back-and-forth has you confused, you are not alone. Perhaps the most responsible conclusion is that the science is simply not settled, one way or the other, on how smartphones and social media affect teens, especially in relation to the myriad other variables that might explain the surge in adolescent depression. Neuroimaging research on the topic (which Carlson cited) is still in its infancy—while a major NIH study suggests a connection between social media use and adverse effects on developing brain, the scientists working on it emphasize that their work will need another decade to come to fruition.
Still, a lack of scientific consensus does not mean that no action is merited. That we do not understand the effect of smartphones on developing brains might recommend more caution—where 95 percent of teens having a smartphone suggests a lack of appropriate restraint.
What is more, there are vital differences between some screen time and a lot of screen time. Research suggests that there is some linkage between excessive screen use—around four hours per day—and worse mental health outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents explicitly limit the times and types of media use their kids engage in, including designating "media-free" times together.
Wilcox suggested that while the case for a federal prohibition is not yet strong enough, government and private actors both could do more to empower parents to limits their kids' smartphone usage. This could include phone service providers making it easier for parents to shut off kids' access after certain hours, or app designers introducing more effective parental controls. As the internet becomes more centralized in a few major sites—Facebook and Instagram, for example—constraining kids' use becomes substantially easier.