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Jul 28

Chalkboard

Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

chalkboardMost Simpsons television episodes begin with an opening sequence of several short clips including Bart Simpson satisfying a consequence by writing a phrase on the classroom chalkboard.

Known as the chalkboard gag, “the chalkboard gag is a running visual joke that occurs during the opening credits of many episodes. In this gag, Bart Simpson is writing a unique phrase on the chalkboard repeatedly; when the school bell rings, he immediately stops writing and runs out of the classroom.” 1

This week we’ll look at a few chalkboards and how they may or may not be written on the chalkboard of our lives.

Jul 23

Inspire

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, TreeHouse

BiancaRamirezandfriendTo paraphrase a great quote: “Good people inspire themselves; great people inspire others.” 

I love that my life is filled with people like my friend Bianca. Her courage, determination and resolve inspires me to be better at what I do.

Thanks to Bianca, and all the rest of you who don’t settle and want more

You can read more about Bianca’s courage and TreeHouse’s contribution to her life here.

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 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.” 

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.

Jun 23

I SCREAMED

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Sports, Values

tennis-time-2-1181224-mI SCREAMED on Father’s Day.

I screamed.
More than once.
Honestly, it was shocking to me.
And, I was the screamer.

We we having fun as a fam playing tennis.
I know how I play tennis.
But, I haven’t played in a while.
My knowledge and my skills didn’t jive.

One miss-hit led to another and another.
Anger built.
Anger boiled.
I SCREAMED!

I’m screamed at myself, because…