Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014
in Emotional, How To, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
Last night I sat with a group of men, young and old; a forty-year spread among them. Teens, college students and, as I like to call them, “grownups” sat together.
I told them the story of “my crossroad.” I then asked them, “When was a time when things didn’t work out the way wanted them to?”
After a moment, one brave guy replied, “When I went to college. It was much different than high school. All my friends were gone.” Another guy listened, and added, “My first day as a teacher I almost threw up. Literally I almost threw up. I was so anxious.”
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
Tomorrow is third anniversary of my second lease on life.
Tuesday March 1, 2011 I had a near-death experience.
While driving home – surprise – death came calling.
Death Came Calling
I was sitting at the intersection talking to my friend Jesse waiting to turn at the light. The green arrow lit up.
Time to go.
I started to turn left and stopped for no apparent reason.
My foot slowly rose off the gas pedal, for no apparent reason.
When I am teaching people how to teach the Bible I have had a consistent message: “Pray, pray, pray, and, while maintaining healthy boundaries, teach what God is teaching you.
When you have the choice, teach what God has taught you recently or is teaching you now. It’s fresh.
Since you are teaching what you are learning it will come from you to your audience from the perspective of a learner.”
This is important to me because I have fallen into the trap of feeling like I needed to appear to be “the expert” more than I’d like to admit.
Yesterday I was playing goalie.
The score was tied.
A minute to play.
The broomball was free on the right side.
I checked my angles. I checked my distance from the goal. I felt confident I was close enough to make a play.
I raced up to the ball.
Vivian (pictured in the back row, second from the left), our best goal scorer was near their goal crease. I knew if I got to the ball and made a good pass, that Vivian could win the game for us.
Yesterday I sat in a chair and cheered.
I sat watching the Olympics. I cheered the Olympic skiers working the half-pipe. They were defying gravity, defying discouragement and defying their previous failures.
Yesterday I also sat with several friends. I cheered them on. These friends are working through pain. Like the skiers they were defying gravity, defying discouragement and defying their previous failures.
The skiers were surrounded by fans.
My friends were surrounded by friends.
Circumstances are different but the skiers and my friends have some things in common.
They can fall.
They can fail.
They’ve done it before.
Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014
in Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
If you asked me if I struggled with anxiety, most days I would say “no.” If you asked me if I was listening to myself enough to know, I’d probably shrug my shoulders. Usually self-reflection takes a back-seat to busyness.
The Burden & Blessing of Busyness
On Wednesday TreeHouse (my employer) committed a day to “fasting and prayer.” My busyness was set aside. 1
My tendency to be a busyness-burdened workaholic comes from a mashup of my strengths and my fears. According to “Strengths Finder” my strengths (#2-5) include Activator, Learner, Ideation, and Achiever. I like to learn, think through what I’ve learned and put what I’m learning to use, but the fear of rejection cries out “You’re stupid and lazy”; it’s subtle, but it’s relentless.
Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
in Music, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
Steve and Marcus are two of the men in my life I admire.
Steve is my elder. He’s my former pastor. He’s devoted to the poor and “Jesus with skin on” for people worldwide.
Marcus is younger than me, but I look up to him. He’s passionate about God, compassionate for the lost and broken, and he has more faith than I have to see God’s powerful and unexpected work among us.
Both men had their hearts broken for the lost while working with teenagers. Steve worked with Timber Bay and then Church of the Open Door. Marcus has and does work for TreeHouse.
I’ve spent more than twenty years “Inspiring Great Relationships Every Day.” I enjoy when I can pass on something I am learning, but many times in those conversations it was me who was the learner.
Today was no different.
Today I sat down with my friends Lizzy and Bueno. We laughed. We told stories. We love gardening so we exchanged seeds. And we talked.
In a world desperate for positive role models, over the past three years Lizzy and Bueno have been role models of what a healthy relationship looks like.
Amy and I were college students the first time I met her parents, Ron and Rose. Like almost all guys I was nervous meeting “her parents.” Through our conversations and over dinner with Amy’s brother Bryan I found that they were like Amy: friendly and kind, they love to laugh and they cared deeply about God.
That was 1985.
A couple years later on June 13 those same two parents gave us their blessing as Amy were married.
So, when Ron and Rose wanted to renew their wedding vows on their fiftieth (50th!) anniversary I was blessed to be invited to officiate their ceremony.
Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas came to TreeHouse this week. I enjoyed learning more about this courageous and determined young woman.
Read # 1 Courage To Fly
Read #2 Courageous Sacrifice
Courage and Faith
Where does Gabby’s courage and faith come from?
Watch this video, Gabby’s faith in God drives her decision making. That kind of faith is sacrificial faith.
“…since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.”