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Apr 22

Blind Spots

Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Relational

Blindspot_three_cars_illus“BEEEEEP!” screamed someone’s car horn.
“Was that directed at me?” I asked myself.
It happened again last week.
I had done nothing wrong.
I hate when someone honks their horn at me rudely.

On the other hand, sometimes I’m in the wrong.

More than once, despite my best intentions I try to drive my car into an open traffic lane only to have someone wisely interrupt me with a well-deserved warning, “BEEEEEP!”

I was the rude one. I did not properly consider the possibility of a blind spot.

Blind Spots

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

Apr 16

You Are Always …

Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

DollarAs my friend Mandy reminded us yesterday, like a dollar that’s seen better days, you’re value never changes.

Though this dollar has been folded and crumpled up, stomped down, torn off and snotted-on, it’s still just as valuable; it’s a dollar.

Even though you may have been unplanned, felt unwanted, been abused or discarded, felt unprotected or abandoned, misrepresented or misunderstood, you’re still just as valuable; you’re a unique, irreplaceable, invaluable, never-gonna-be-repeated human being.

No one could ever offer your unique perspective, you’re unique history, your unique combination of gifts and talents; you are absolutely irreplaceable.

Apr 8

Josh and Mya

Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in Relational, Social, Values

Josh and Mya This is Mya and Josh.

If you don’t know Josh, he’s my son and I’m honored to be his dad. If you don’t know Mya, she’s Josh’s dog. (We might look alike, but Mya and I aren’t related.)

Mya

On the fourth anniversary of Taz’s passing, Mya joined our household. The significance of the timing was unintentional; but certainly noteworthy and ironic.

Mya had been homeless.
Mya was placed in foster care.
Mya was posted on Craigslist for adoption.

Apr 1

NOT AN April Fool Story!

Posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

800px-Thamnophis_sirtalis_(Common_Garter_Snake)_I told this story a couple years ago, but I’d like to tell it again. If you get one of the eyewitnesses to tell it it’s even better told in person. That said, this is NOT an April Fools story!

For almost thirty years TreeHouse trips have been wonderful times to great fun and building relationships. We listen and talk. We challenge our thinking, and inspire one another to new ways of living.

On one autumn trip we also saw the inexplicable.

Mar 26

Her Journey, Our Journey

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

We all make decisions; some wise, some not. Each new decision we make cuts a path through the unknown.  As we continue to choose similar choices the path to repeated decisions becomes easier. A difficult fresh-cut path now becomes a leisurely stroll through familiar territory.

Eventually once we continue walking the same path over and over and it becomes well-worn path, a road and eventually a four-lane highway with speedy travel to the same destination.

All that sounds fine, unless our path is destructive.

Mar 17

Taz

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

with Taz and Josh 96This is a 1996 picture of our son Josh, our daughter Shannon and our dog Taz

Taz was a miniature schnauzer; a little dog with a big-dog personality. Taz was fun and funny.

Taz loved people. Taz would find his ball and set it into your lap. He was inviting you to play with him.

Taz loved to play fetch.
Taz learned to flip his head and open his mouth at the same time.
In doing so, he could throw his ball back to you!

Mar 13

Wrestling

Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Relational, TreeHouse

012_12When I was just beginning to move from loner to leader I read these words:

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” 1

They have helped me to remember not to choose as selfishly as I am inclined to be.

I attached the picture on purpose. Bad pictures remind us to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

I’m thinking a lot about my role as a leader.

Mar 11

Lent?

Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Spiritual, Values

CopFlashingLightsI’ve heard police sirens ringing throughout my neighborhood most of the night and into the morning. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m concerned.

Sirens and flashing lights are intended:
– To get our attention
– To shift our focus
– To warn of fast-moving emergency vehicles
– To notify that there is danger ahead
– That there are delays ahead
– That there are unusual circumstances ahead
– To alert us to a change
– To create an others-awareness

Sirens and flashing lights go off in my head sometimes.

Sirens and Lights

Mar 5

Listen Before Speaking

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Sucking toads“Sometimes I just wanna choke somebody,” he said.

Exasperated with his friend, he was beside himself. “Why does he do such stupid things?” he asked no one. “What’s he thinking?” he continued.

I imagine the friends of this young man may have thought the same thing.

Somethings just don’t seem to make sense but all we wanna hear is something that does make sense. Unfortunately, too often we’re not really listening.

Listening Before Speaking