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Jun 26

Enemies of Empathy

Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1064361_golf_ball “Fore!”

Golfers yell “fore” when he or she hits a shot that might strike another golfer on the course. In fact, it is every golfer’s responsibility to watch carefully after hitting a shot to make sure another golfer is not in danger.

“Fore!”

Unfortunately, I’ve had to shout “Fore!” more than once.
Sometimes it’s just a warning.
Other times it’s imminent danger.

To me and you: “Fore!” “My friends, watch out!” 1

Watch Out?

I’ve spent the last year thinking through myself. I am trying to notice, to watch:
– What am I doing?
– Why am I doing it?
– Who’s watching?
– Am I living and acting like someone I would admire?

Jun 5

Address It

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

a_studying_for_a_test_1Today some friends and I will be addressing, printing, folding, stuffing, sealing and stamping letters and envelopes. As much as we might want the letter to arrive if one of those steps gets missed the letters will not likely reach their destination.

Of course we could be sincere, earnest, dependable and determined. but…
… if the address is wrong it won’t reach the intended readers
… if the print is illegible the readers can’t read it
… if the folds are in the wrong places the letters won’t fit
… if the letters are stuffed in a haphazard way they won’t seal
… if the “seal” on the envelope doesn’t seal the letter may fall out
… if the stamp is not affixed the letter will not be delivered

May 10

God’s Not Obligated

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

shout_let_it_all_out“We may not be directly to blame for the sufferings of others, but we cannot ignore the connections,” wrote Christopher Wright.

Wright, the author of The God I Don’t Understand challenges us to see our deep connection to the pain, suffering and impact of evil in our world.

“Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

Jan 16

Need A Jump-Start? Try Forgiveness.

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Need a jump-start for your character?

Try forgiveness.

Forgive Yourself and Forgive Others.

There are three common possibilities after conflict occurs:
– Conflict escalates
– Conflict goes underground
– Conflict is resolved constructively

So often when we screw up we respond one of three ways:
– Defend
– Deflect or Deny
– Deal with it

Fortunately, our perspective does not limit God’s perspective.

May 17

Hope For Lonely Lovers

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

When we feel alone we look for relationships.
When we build relationships we look for connection.
When we recognize connection we hope for intimacy.
When we embrace intimacy…

… sometimes our hopes are dashed.

Our girlfriend is too manic.
Our boyfriend is too needy.
Our wife is too wounded.
Our husband is too self-centered.

And, it all comes crumbling down.

You can’t make her happy!
You can’t make him happy!
You feel so alone.

Left unchecked angry and loneliness are the ingredients for rage.

I hate this! Nothing makes sense.
I know I’m not good enough! And…
I know I will never be!

May 16

Ever Feel Alone?

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

You tried, and tried, and tried, and failed.
You tried to make him happy and didn’t.
You tried to make her happy and didn’t.

You tried, and tried, and tried, and failed.

And Now…

You feel frustrated because life sucks, and your daydream begins to feel like a nightmare.  “My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken.” 1 

And people find out what happened.  They start talking about what they think happened.  They start guessing what you did, or what you could have or should have done.  Then they start gossiping, “Their insults have broken my heart…If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me.” 2

May 15

You Can’t Make Her Happy!

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social

Too often we feel responsible for someone else’s happiness.

The Lie

We believe the lie that “I can make someone happy,” and “I can make someone unhappy.”

Because we embrace those lies when relationships fall apart so do we.

She believes, “I wasn’t a good enough girlfriend, so he left me.”
He believes, “I was not there for her when she needed me most, so she left me.”
She believes, “I’m a failure, so he left me.”
He believes, “I unconsciously drove her away, so she left me.”
They believe, “I wasn’t good enough to stop this from happening, so … my heart breaks.”

May 14

You Can’t Make Him Happy!

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Sports, Values

In major league baseball the unwritten rules are known as “the code.”  Yesterday I reviewed the book The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca.

In baseball, as in life, there are the written rules and the unwritten rules, but baseball is a piece of cake compared to “the code” we try to decode when we’re in relationships.

Code – “It’s not working out…”

She seemed so sweet.  We’d text one another all day, every day.  Now nothing.  I guess I didn’t make her happy.

May 9

Living Afraid. “They Will All…”

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social

May 3rd I quoted Randy Alcorn, “You are a special creation of a good and all powerful God. You are the climax of his creation, the magnum opus of the greatest artist in the universe. You are created in His image, with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree, but in kind.

Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind. God has masterminded the exact combination of DNA and chromosomes that constitute your genetic code, making you as different from all others as every snowflake differs from the rest.”