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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 11

Just Jesus by Walter Wink

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

JustJesusAs a well-read person I knew embarrassingly little about Walter Wink before I read this book. He’s a fascinating man. I wish that I had known him personally.

Reading “Just Jesus”, the final book by Walter Wink, was an introduction to a fascinating man who made public his joys and sorrows, successes and “my struggle to become human.” This book is a quick read. There are stories and discourses in short chapters, poems, and prayers.

I loved reading several chapters; my favorites were:

Apr 9

Pray for Punka

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Emotional, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

ShannonMysilentscream is here for you most days. Today #mysilentscream is for YOU to help me.

Today my daughter leaves for the Philippines. By the time many of you read this Shannon will be half a planet away.  I’m blessed, thrilled and a little jealous of her. I’m also Shannon’s (“Punka’s”) anxious, unsettled, and already-lonely-for-her dad.

If you’re a praying person please pray for Shannon, her colleagues and her parents who were both just teary-eyed in the living room.

I’ll let Shannon explain more via her supportshannon.com website.

Hello my name is Shannon Volltrauer.

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 30

How High Will You Climb? by John Maxwell

Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2014 in How To, Reviews, Values

Book.1162.cover“Christ gives us a perfect example to follow. His high standard was not given to frustrate us but to reveal areas in our lives that need improvement. Whenever I study Philippians 2:3–8, I am reminded of the healthy attitude qualities that Jesus possessed.”

He was selfless, secure and submissive, and author John Maxwell challenges us to assess and examine our attitude and the impact of our attitude. Subtitled, “Determine Your Success By Cultivating the Right Attitude” this book challenges readers to become more insightful and incisive leaders.

Mar 29

Love Does DVD by Bob Goff

Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2014 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

Book.1050.coverLove Does, subtitled “Discover A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World,” is based on Bob Goff’s New York Times best-selling book, Love Does.

“Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those ‘we’ll go there next time’ … The sad thing is, for many there is no ‘next time’… love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”

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!