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Mar 10

H.A.L.T.

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

2008 - 103295-R1-028-12AMy parents have taught dog obedience training classes for forty years. They are well-respected for their expertise throughout Chicagoland.

When they are teaching their students (human and canine) they say “halt” whenever they want progress stopped. At that point the human stops and the canine stops and sits.

Halt as you know, means to stop or pause.  H.A.L.T. is also an acronym that relates to an important decision-making principle.

This is part-8 of the “10 for 25″ series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

H.A.L.T.

Mar 9

Life Is Short

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

001_1This is a picture of my friends Tiffany and Barry. I’ll see Barry next month. I last saw Tif in 1991.

Tiffany, Kris, Jenny, Eric, Rajjon, Adam, John, Beng, and Tyler, all TreeHouse teens. All gone. Way too soon.

Life Is Short

This is post is part of a series entitled “10 for 25.” It’s about ten lessons – most of them hard lessons to learn – that I’ve learned over my twenty-five years at TreeHouse.

Life is short. Our time with loved ones is never guaranteed.

Mar 6

Over My Head

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AnnMariePookieI took a left turn into an unfamiliar parking lot. I pulled into an open parking spot. With some uncertainty I stepped out of our car.

I walked around the landscaped wall. Turning right I entered what appeared to be the backyard with a very well designed wood deck positioned to my left. Seeing a door into the building I turned the corner.

Smiling in front of me was fourteen year old AnnMarie. (Pictured on the left next to Rachel)

AnnMarie  walked directly up to me and asked, “Hi! Who the @#$% are you?” That was my introduction to TreeHouse.

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.

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

Aug 27

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Relational

quantitative-58283_640Angry teens.
Parents in pain.
Explosive children.
Perplexed neighbors.

What can we do?

Every child I’ve met wants to be affirmed that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile.

We can start there.

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

“You Are Lovable!”: Give attention to their character.
– Who they are has greater value than what they achieve.
– Accept mistakes; show grace.
– Bad decisions, poor choices and mistakes can be great teachers.
– Offer unconditional love. Trust can be conditional, love cannot.

“You Are Capable!”

Aug 26

Broken Mirrors

Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

broken-mirror-1128615-mShouting.
Crash.
Slam.

He could hear the yelling from the neighbors’ house every night.

Shouts of anger.
Shouts of pain.
Shouts of passion.
He wondered,
“Was there any gain?”

The Cost of Turmoil

Teens, families, friendships and all kinds of relationships suffer because of the lack of peaceful conflict resolution skills. Conflicts arise, those involved feel hurt, disappointed, afraid or frustrated, and it quickly turns into anger. Anger often erupts in retaliation or brutal honesty. Alienation increases, relationships are broken, and scars are formed.

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 23

I SCREAMED

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Sports, Values

tennis-time-2-1181224-mI SCREAMED on Father’s Day.

I screamed.
More than once.
Honestly, it was shocking to me.
And, I was the screamer.

We we having fun as a fam playing tennis.
I know how I play tennis.
But, I haven’t played in a while.
My knowledge and my skills didn’t jive.

One miss-hit led to another and another.
Anger built.
Anger boiled.
I SCREAMED!

I’m screamed at myself, because…