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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 14

Paint By Numbers

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 in Music, Spiritual, Values

22UntitledThere I sat at the gray laminate kitchen table. It’s the only color I could envision looking good atop that table.

That was not good news.

I sat there perplexed with my Paint-by-Number painting in-complete, well actually it was un-started.

I didn’t know where to begin. This was not my work of art, it was someone else’s. I was just trying to mimic her work.

When you paint by numbers you try to create someone else’s pretty picture. Hopefully it looks good. It might even fool some people that the painting was created by a real artist.

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.” 

Jul 2

Mid-Year Freedom Minute

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Spiritual, Values

snow-69830_640Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

It’s intriguing to think about our Creator-God’s first plan: “I have one rule. Enjoy your freedom, but do things my way.” Which  included, “Don’t eat fruit from that tree.” 1

The first people-problem: People chose their own way.

God’s second plan: You want life your way? My way was easy. You’re way is harder ever-after.

In order to make the harder ever-after easier God gave people ten rules to make life easier.

1.  I am God. I am the authority. Avoid confusion, you are not God.

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 20

Stop

Posted on Friday, June 20, 2014 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

sign-stop-95477_640Our Story

It’s heartbreaking to see people in pain. It’s perplexing to hear of loved ones who hurt one another.

Most people try to help not hurt. Most people look for solutions not problems, but  too often the solutions slam one another.

“Good people” gossip.
“Kind-hearted” people talk behind backs.
“Loving” people SCREAM angrily!

Foolish, hurtful solutions to initiate change.

And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do…Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” 1

Jun 17

A Fair Question

Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Education, Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1157727_beggar_in_udaipurI’m watching a television show this week called, “An Idiot Abroad.” It’s an odd and somewhat awkward travel show “hosted” – I use that word loosely – by Karl Pilkington.

In the first three episodes Karl travels to China, India, Israel and Jordan. He visits tourist centers and rural outposts while assigned by the show’s producers to visit The 7 Wonders of the World.

Wonder

While traveling Karl comments freely on his personal inconveniences. He talks at length about his troublesome circumstances and his feelings.