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Jul 17

The Number Is Zero

Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

360px-Earthquake_cracks_near_BexleyI have a friend who read the Bible and his conclusions broke his heart. He read about a God who didn’t fit his paradigm. He read about a God who didn’t do what he thought best. He read about a God who seemed to sit silent through tragedy. His crumbling faith and doubts rippled through him like an earthquake. The chasm led him to abandon his previous love for God.

When people face tragedy, they usually have one of three reactions. They blame God, they turn to God for help or they abandon God.

Jul 16

Predictable

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

Note: This is part 3 of the series, By The Numbers. Catch up if you need to:
1. Paint By Numbers.
2. By The Numbers.

photoIt’s 2:38 A.M.

Few people who know me well would be surprised that I’m awake. Almost everyone would be surprised that it’s 2:38 A.M. and I just woke up.

Huh?

I’m a night owl, but last night I had to go to bed early for a 4:15 A.M. wake up.

Predictably I didn’t need an alarm. Predictably, I didn’t want to startle Amy awake at 4:15 A.M. Predictably, I woke up early enough not to need an alarm.

Jul 15

By The Numbers

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Relational, Spiritual, Values

320px-F5_tornado_Elie_Manitoba_2007Recently I led our TreeHouse trip to northern Minnesota. On the way to our destination we stopped in Duluth. After some fun at Adventure Zone we were hungry for dinner.

My friend and co-worker Ash SanFilippo is a fan of the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” One of the cheapest meals in the Duluth area belongs to the “world famous” Anchor Bar in Superior, WI.

Enthusiastically I led the caravan to the Anchor Bar. As we drove over Tower Bridge I envisioned Ash’s excitement. As we maneuvered through the streets the taste of the delicious Anchor Bar burgers and fries made my hungry mouth water.

Jul 14

Paint By Numbers

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 in Music, Spiritual, Values

22UntitledThere I sat at the gray laminate kitchen table. It’s the only color I could envision looking good atop that table.

That was not good news.

I sat there perplexed with my Paint-by-Number painting in-complete, well actually it was un-started.

I didn’t know where to begin. This was not my work of art, it was someone else’s. I was just trying to mimic her work.

When you paint by numbers you try to create someone else’s pretty picture. Hopefully it looks good. It might even fool some people that the painting was created by a real artist.

Jul 4

Mid-Year Freedom Message

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, Values

fireworks1375076Today is Independence Day.

Could This Be Your Independence Day?

Excursus: This day is special for another reason, it’s Amy & Phil Hatcher’s wedding anniversary.  Congrats you two!

Independence is on my mind.

Independence for youIndependence for me.

True independence

True independence.  As my friend Jenny Dwyer said, is “Nothing missing.  Nothing broken.”

My prayers are for you who, like me, need some more independence from our baggage:

- My friends who are trapped in their time-wasters.

- My friends who are caught in the trap of coping by cutting.

Jul 3

Mid-Year Freedom Methods

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

power_of_love_3Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

And yet, true freedom includes understanding that we do not have the ultimate say, the ultimate choice or the supreme will.

“Responsibility means obligation, and obligation must mean a curtailing of freedom.” 1

Motives

“Humans love freedom like fish love water. They pretty much have to have it. Now, of course, what humans also love is having decent, clean, productive, emotionally rewarding lives. And that (curse that Adam and Eve!) means work. And work (curse that Adam and Eve!) means responsibility.” 

Jul 2

Mid-Year Freedom Minute

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Spiritual, Values

snow-69830_640Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

It’s intriguing to think about our Creator-God’s first plan: “I have one rule. Enjoy your freedom, but do things my way.” Which  included, “Don’t eat fruit from that tree.” 1

The first people-problem: People chose their own way.

God’s second plan: You want life your way? My way was easy. You’re way is harder ever-after.

In order to make the harder ever-after easier God gave people ten rules to make life easier.

1.  I am God. I am the authority. Avoid confusion, you are not God.

Jul 1

Mid-Year Freedom Memory

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in Values

AS41I was seven years old the summer I read my first comic book.

It was a hot, sunny day as I sat on the concrete porch of my parents’ house. For the first time I opened a used and somewhat worn copy of a comic book. It was Amazing Spider-Man issue 41.

Not knowing the story, the cover picturing a giant man in a rhinoceros costume charging out of the cover fascinated me.

Opponents

Aleksei-somebody (Sytsevich) was a Russian criminal who underwent treatments to transform him into a man with superhuman strength bonded to a huge, intimidating, rhino costume.

Jun 28

The Making of a Man by Tim Brown

Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2014 in How To, Relational, Reviews, Sports, Values

_225_350_Book.1202.coverMaking of a Man, by former NFL player Tim Brown, is both autobiographical as well as his perspective on “How Men and Boys Honor God and Live with Integrity.”

As Brown recounts his story he is remarkably honest. With humility and integrity he explains his successes as a professional and the mistakes he made he made in his personal life.

Each chapter either recounts a period of Tim Brown’s life or explains one of the keys he’s found to become a man who honors God with his life.

Jun 27

I Worry And I Hate It

Posted on Friday, June 27, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

Marcus_HudsonI don’t always realize how worry and anxiety affect me. In fact, if asked I would say that I don’t worry very often.

But then something happens, it happens most often in competitive settings.

I want to live a joy-filled life, but too often I have settled for wanting to be successful.

Success or Joy?

When have I chosen the pursuit of success over joy?

I complain when I think Halo or Call of Duty is being unfair to me.
I yell at myself – out loud – when I make a mistake playing tennis.
I become commanding when l am playing football. 1
I pout when my teammates make mistakes.