RSS Feed
Nov 25

Thanksgiving Drama Defense

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

angry-girl-1098247-mAlmost every week I hear someone say, “she made me…” or “he made me…” as if they could.

Without a doubt we influence one another, but far too often we justify bad attitudes and hurtful responses because of the attitudes and decisions of others.

This week when tempers flare during your holiday gatherings here are three strategies to drop the drama:

1. Choose to use a soft voice.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.“ 1

Regardless what the other person chooses you can chose a soft and kind tone in your voice.

Nov 20

Poetic Art

Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

pinkThis coming weekend I will be on a retreat. The images I’m featuring on #mysilentscream this week will be from works of “art” I created on various TreeHouse staff retreats.

I might struggle with painting and drawing, aesthetics and having an eye, but since I was in high school poetic words came more easily.

I learned to put words on paper
That reached deep into my creative soul

Within the frame of eternity
The poet wrote the verse
A gift to one and another
Revealed but thought perverse
Broken, bleeding, stripped, exposed
Our God hung humiliated
Unbound, unburied, freed from pain of death
Heaven’s poet stretched and celebrated

Nov 19

Mercy and Justice

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

micahThis coming weekend I will be on a retreat. The images I’m featuring on #mysilentscream this week will be from works of “art” I created on various TreeHouse staff retreats.

When my friend Jill Lacher first challenged us to do art I laughed. “I am not artistic. I got Ds in art class, and I earned them.”

In time I learned that I had an artistic eye, but not like in art studios, museums or hanging on walls.

I learned to put words on paper that reached deep into my creative soul.

Nov 11

Happy Birthday Every Year

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

IMG_5725I have several daily disciplines. Some come and some go. Some are intentionally for a season, and some fade through failure.

Though I have had many reading plans, none has been as sustaining as “The One Minute Bible.”

At first when I heard of “The One Minute Bible” I dismissed it as insignificant, but for more twenty years this copy (and now digital copies) has led me through important passages of Scripture that I might have missed without a guide.

Happy Birthday Every Year

Today is November 10th, my birthday.

Nov 5

Stormy Night

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

treebranchessky-74600_640Gender bashing
Culture clashing

Voices
Cascading
Even louder
Like crashing symbols

Yelling
Screaming
Stammering
Clawing for attention

No!
You’re wrong!
That’s $%^&&*&* up!

Listen!
Point made
Counterpoint

Last night I had the hardest support group I’ve led in more than ten years. Teens yelling, screaming, not listening to one another nearly enough.

At TreeHouse teens learn that they are not alone in dealing with any issue. There is always someone who can relate to what is going on in another group member’s life. Teens learn how to support someone else in need. They are reminded that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile. TreeHouse support groups become a place where youth know that they will always be listened to and that what they say matters to others.

Oct 30

Vertigo

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Uncategorized

214591_sad_eggAs fun as yesterday was, today I’ve been laid up with vertigo.

I’ve had vertigo several times. Vertigo, also known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), is disconcerting.

I haven’t been drunk in many years, but I casually explain that vertigo feels like being drunk without any of “the fun” someone might have hoped for.

Usually when I’ve had vertigo symptoms once I do the Epley Maneuver the spins and the nausea caused by vertigo go away within a few hours. This time, no.

Oct 29

10k Wedding-Day Anniversary

Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Music, Relational, Social, Values

10kWeddingDayJune 13, 1987, that’s our wedding day.

My wife and I have a monthly tradition to celebrate all “13th” of the month.

Like most couples we celebrate our anniversary each year.

Today we’re adding another tradition I hope happens again.

We’re now celebrating every 10,000 days too. =)

Today is our 10k-wedding-day anniversary!

10K ?

When I was a kid I hated math homework, but, over the years I’ve learned that I love math. Now, my favorite part of following sports is the analytics. 1

Oct 28

Save Me by Staind

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual

“Just save me … from all that I am.”

“Save me” is a phrase I can relate to, both in a theological sense, but also to be saved from the consequences of misdeeds, misguided decisions, relational disappointments and circumstantial despair.

“Just save me … from all that I am” is a plea of the broken. Like a displaced broken bone that needs to be reset, repentance – as I’ve heard Ruth Haley Barton say – is a “death that needs to happen.”

Oct 27

Forgive Me For Asking by Propaganda

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

51JN-GAHbTL._SL500_AA280_No one would accuse me of being a huge hip-hop fan. On the other hand, I admire people who can make me think.

Propaganda is one of those people.

After listening to his latest release “Crimson Cord” I returned to his previous called “Excellence.” They both are!

This link connects to an artful typography video of Forgive Me For Asking. Listen up. Think deep.

Ask with me, “How do I settle for ignorance?”

Forgive Me For Asking

Question: this is embarrassing
You ever been scared you had no idea what you were talking about?
Yeah, me too
Honesty perplexed
I’ve lied and so have you
Christians
Lying

Oct 23

Anchored By Amy Grant

Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

WOH_AmyGrantToday TreeHouse is thrilled to welcome six time Grammy winner, Amy Grant, as our Women Of Hope keynote speaker and musical guest. (Sorry, it’s sold out)

In 1984 seventeen year old Amy Fayas and twenty-one year old Scott Volltrauer were both at an Amy Grant concert. We didn’t know one another then, and wouldn’t meet for a couple more years but our hearts were both connected to the same sweet songs of Amy Grant.

It’s been years since I was a regular listener, but Amy Grant’s songs helped anchor my young faith. Here are a few examples of lessons her songs taught me.