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Jan 16

Headlines You’ll Never Hear

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

TooDelighted By The Disappointing Silence Of An Absent Dad

Buoyed By The Blessings Of Being Bullied

Encouraged And Empowered By An Eating Disorder

Today if we turn to CNN, Fox News, Yahoo or Reuters, those are three headlines we will never read. And, if we did, they would only be news because of the absurd unlikeliness of the headline being true.

Last night some friends gathered and shared their stories. Our friends Kyle, Emma and Ellie stepped forward, up from the darkened rows of their seats and into the spotlight. In the glow of the stage lights surrounded by friends, fans and flawed people like them they spoke.

Jan 12

Too Many

Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

44toomanyI’ve found myself dissatisfied with my house recently. My wife and I have been watching HGTV home remodeling shows streaming on Netflix.

I usually love my house, but when I see some of the marvelous modifications the designers and artisans create I wonder, “why not me too”?

I wonder, why not me? Is it…

Time?
Money?
Talent?
Laziness?
Low priority?

And, that’s just my house.

Those same questions apply to my level of fitness, my clutter, my incomplete projects and my unfulfilled dreams. If I settle for what I have – without working for what could be – I’ll never improve on what is.

Dec 31

Construction

Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

construction-410029-m2014 has been a busy year. Sometimes it’s felt like this picture, a pile of rubble that caution-tape couldn’t hold back.

That said, I feel very blessed; #mysilentscream was again blessed by thousands of readers in more than eighty countries.

I had no idea what 2014 would contain. At the dawn of 2014 I’d never…
– heard of ISIS
– expected $2 a gallon gas prices

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 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 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 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 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”