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Apr 17

Two Sources of Self-Esteem: Secular & Christian

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Education, Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Spiritual, Values

broken_mirror_4When I think of self esteem I tend to lean one of three ways; three paths my thoughts follow.

1. I focus on my own self-interests, because I am selfish.

2. I focus on the my self-reliance, because I see myself in the mirror.

3. I focus on the tension I feel between my secular education and my spiritual life.

The following essay by Randy Alcorn effectively sets my paths straight.

Two Sources of Self-Esteem: Secular & Christian

Feb 27

My Crossroad

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AWhen I am teaching people how to teach the Bible I have had a consistent message: “Pray, pray, pray, and, while maintaining healthy boundaries, teach what God is teaching you.

When you have the choice, teach what God has taught you recently or is teaching you now. It’s fresh.

Since you are teaching what you are learning it will come from you to your audience from the perspective of a learner.

This is important to me because I have fallen into the trap of feeling like I needed to appear to be “the expert” more than I’d like to admit.

Feb 18

See Yourself

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Spiritual, Values

eye-114015_640For as long as I can recall I have struggled with the fear of rejection and the fear of failure. Though I’ve made progress, the battle continues.

Maybe you struggle with those fears too.

There are many things I try to elevate up my sense of self worth including personal happiness, hearty laughter at home, healthy friendships and professional success, but nothing seems to have lasting impact.

I have loving family members, caring friends, wise mentors, learned teachers, honorable leaders, truth-telling pastors, life-coaches and counselors, and a pile of good books, but it’s still not enough.

Jan 24

4 Answers 2 Anxiety

Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014 in Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

alone-96856_640If you asked me if I struggled with anxiety, most days I would say “no.” If you asked me if I was listening to myself enough to know, I’d probably shrug my shoulders. Usually self-reflection takes a back-seat to busyness.

The Burden & Blessing of Busyness

On Wednesday TreeHouse (my employer) committed a day to “fasting and prayer.” My busyness was set aside. 1

My tendency to be a busyness-burdened workaholic comes from a mashup of my strengths and my fears. According to “Strengths Finder” my strengths (#2-5) include Activator, Learner, Ideation, and Achiever. I like to learn, think through what I’ve learned and put what I’m learning to use, but the fear of rejection cries out “You’re stupid and lazy”; it’s subtle, but it’s relentless.

Jan 10

Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity

Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Spiritual, Sports, Values

BreesDrew Brees had been unemployed, experienced a career-threatening injury, and was filled with self-doubt. Sundays he’s an NFL football player. Here are the insights he gained. 1


“From my perspective, it’s when the rug gets pulled out from under you that you really find your calling in life. Those defining moments don’t have to be tragedies. When they’re viewed through the lens of God’s plans, they can be ‘points of purpose’ in your life.”

Dec 18

On The Couch With Sherlock Holmes

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 in Emotional, Intellectual, Values


Growing up in Chicago on Sunday afternoons I was introduced to the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films.

– I loved their compassion.
– I loved their pursuit of justice.
– I loved their witty banter.
– I loved their moral high-ground.
– I loved their community involvement.
– I loved they solved challenging mysteries.
– I loved their intellect and deductive analysis.
– I loved Holmes patience with Watson his intelligent but intellectually inferior partner.
– I loved the humanity Watson brought the to the too-often cerebral Holmes.
– I loved that Holmes knew and admitted he needed his friend Watson to ground him.

Nov 25

10 Quick Finals-Week Tips

Posted on Monday, November 25, 2013 in Education, Intellectual, Values

feeling face  set-36363_640DO schedule your studying times.

Do NOT neglect some playtime.

DO schedule phone-free times.

Do NOT blow off your sleep-time.

DO ask people with good study skills what helps them.

Do NOT neglect some time with family and friends.

DO drink plenty of water.

Do NOT rely on caffeine and energy drinks for energy.

DO eat healthy foods.

Do NOT rely on cramming if you can choose not to. It’s unreliable.

Disclosure: I didn’t always follow these tips, but I’ve learned these lessons from my poor choices, my good choices and the wisdom of others.

Aug 21

Comic Book Foe

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Values

Some people like “bad guys.” I might admire their intellect, courage, determination, creativity or leadership, but I never liked “bad guys.” So when people tell me that they love a “bad guy” I’m a little perplexed. One of the favorite “bad guys” is the sociopath adversary “The Joker.”IMG_0292

This series of pages from Batman: The Killing Joke. This comic was written by Alan Moore with art by Brian Bolland and John Higgins. Batman: The Killing Joke, illustrates why I love heroes instead of villains.IMG_0293

Though The Joker was a murdering killer Batman still saw some virtue in him.

May 6

My Ignorance Appalls Me

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013 in Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Spiritual, Values

disaster-strikes-daily-newspaper-headline-thumb26031290I’m re-reading Christopher Wright’s book, The God I Don’t Understand.

It’s a deep book about evil, suffering, and other complex subjects.

Wright explains, “we cannot and must not go on to assume or affirm is that the actual people who suffer the effects of natural events like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods, and so on … are worse sinners, and therefore stand more under God’s judgment, than those who are fortunate enough to live somewhere else than where the disaster struck.

Apr 29

Human Trafficking and The Prayer by Josh Groban

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 in Education, Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

The other night my wife, my daughter and I watched the movie “The Help.” As the movie ended the tears continued. My heart was breaking for men, women and children entrenched in overt and covert human trafficking.

I remembered why I pray: Because I am desperate for a power greater than my own to do that which I cannot.

Josh Groban’s song The Prayer is one such prayer. He begins: 1

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know