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Oct 22

Three Phrases

Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

file7551283339240Here are three phrases I’m thinking about. Maybe you have answers for me.

If “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8), what fails in so many previously loving relationships?

The Bible says, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:8), but then how come – like my friend Mandy says – “Satan gets in my head and screws with me like it’s his full-time job”?

If you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned” (James 4:17). Based on my procrastination alone, how long would the lists be of those sins?

Oct 3

Lessons From The Top pt 2

Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 in Music, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

music-869106-mI spent hours this week listening to and reading the lyrics of the current Billboard Hot 100. Musicians are often viewed as spokespersons of their generation.

For the cynics among us, it’s not all bad news.

At TreeHouse every week we remind our teens that “you’re not alone” because so many people – young and old – feel like they are the only one dealing with those feelings and thoughts. So it’s good news that two of the most popular songs have self-affirming messages.

Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”

Oct 2

Lessons From The Top

Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

true-falseI spent hours today listening to and reading the lyrics of the current Billboard Hot 100. Every generation has it’s spokespersons. Musicians are often viewed as spokespersons of their generation. I was looking for insight and wisdom.

What I found were some very common themes.

Today I’ll share these.

Lessons From The Top

Life has no meaning.
Life is short; play and party hard.

Don’t waste time searching for meaning. Life is random and painful; get high or suffer through it.

Payback and revenge make wrongs right.
I can find meaning through fun, fame, cars, jewelry, etc.

Aug 28

Church Chat

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

church_yard_2I know a lot of people disappointed with “the church.”

I don’t know of a perfect church out there; ours included.

There is always a point – or sermon – I disagree with, music that I don’t like, people that I don’t know, looks that feel judging, practices that confuse me, etc., etc.

They probably feel the same way about me! And you.

Church Clutter

I’ve attended many churches of several denominations. In fact, I was in a church today with some things I fully agreed with and some teachings that … uhm, no!

Aug 27

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Relational

quantitative-58283_640Angry teens.
Parents in pain.
Explosive children.
Perplexed neighbors.

What can we do?

Every child I’ve met wants to be affirmed that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile.

We can start there.

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

“You Are Lovable!”: Give attention to their character.
– Who they are has greater value than what they achieve.
– Accept mistakes; show grace.
– Bad decisions, poor choices and mistakes can be great teachers.
– Offer unconditional love. Trust can be conditional, love cannot.

“You Are Capable!”

Aug 26

Broken Mirrors

Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

broken-mirror-1128615-mShouting.
Crash.
Slam.

He could hear the yelling from the neighbors’ house every night.

Shouts of anger.
Shouts of pain.
Shouts of passion.
He wondered,
“Was there any gain?”

The Cost of Turmoil

Teens, families, friendships and all kinds of relationships suffer because of the lack of peaceful conflict resolution skills. Conflicts arise, those involved feel hurt, disappointed, afraid or frustrated, and it quickly turns into anger. Anger often erupts in retaliation or brutal honesty. Alienation increases, relationships are broken, and scars are formed.

Aug 25

Mirror Clash

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

mirror-56762-mIf every time you looked in the mirror you saw someone different looking at you at would add to your stress too.

Mirror

The process of adolescence is complex and unpredictable. The young person experiences physical changes that catapult their childish frame into that of an adult. The intellect intensifies to form logical patterns of thinking and begins to formulate future plans. The teen also struggles to form an identity separate from that of a child or a mature adult. Meanwhile, the teen is faced with issues of morality and must make critical decisions about sex, drugs, and other social behaviors.

Aug 20

Good, Fine and Flies

Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in How To, Relational, Social, Values

2fliesWe have a small bucket outside our garage door. When we don’t want to walk to the back corner of our backyard to the compost pile we toss compostable kitchen scraps into the bucket.

Yesterday as I threw some scraps into the bucket dozens of flies instantly and unexpectedly flew out of the bucket.

Flies

Al Andrews wrote a humble and insightful post entitled, What To Say When Everything Is Not “Fine”.

It made me think of our bucket of flies.

Aug 14

Captivate by Interdependence

Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

heartsmanyYesterday was our 326-month wedding anniversary.
It’s also just a start.

Asking someone out is a start.
Dating is a shared-journey.
A wedding is a transitional celebration.
A marriage is an interdependent challenge.

Interdependence

I’m naturally introverted.
Therefore, community doesn’t come naturally.
Romance wasn’t in my born-with skill sets.
Interdependence seemed like weakness.

On the other hand, I wanted a long and happy marriage.

Interdependent Marriage

Aug 12

Captivated by Hope

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend learning to overcome her addiction. She’s at Hazelden looking for hope and skills. Last month Robin Williams was doing the same thing.

Sadly, yesterday the news spread that he’d given up his search.

Hope-less

Without hope
…parents give up
…the tempted give in
…spouses give up
…students drop out
…employers lessen expectations
…lovers give in
…lonely people lower standards
…people give up.

Too often people
…feel all alone
…feel unheard
…feel disconnected
…feel hopeless

In my experience people feel hope-less far more often than they need to.