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Jun 19


Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

1375943_fireworks_9Yesterday my friend LeAndra posted on Facebook, “I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year…because of all the fireworks. I don’t know of I should hit the floor or look out the window at all the pretty colors…it all sounds like gun shots.”

She’s heard gun shots.
She’s heard fireworks.

Will the sound be followed by the beauty of celebration or the horror of violence?

The threat can be real; “hit the floor“.

Hit The Floor

LeAndra’s insightful comment reminded me of growing up bullied.

Jun 6

Bless The Bully

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

284860_winning_boxer_2Two teens on two Tuesdays.
They made opposite decisions.
They experienced different outcomes.


A feared gang leader sauntered into the room.
He looked nervous, but none of the teens in the room saw it.
They saw “him.”
They froze.

TreeHouse is an incredibly safe place.
Suddenly, for them, it felt unsafe.

I knew the reaction.
I didn’t know him.

He was required to be there.
He stayed ten minutes and left.
I followed, hoping we could have a conversation another day.
He didn’t stop.
He didn’t speak.
I never saw him again.
Sadly, he was killed in a gang-related incident within a year.

Aug 17

What Now?

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

If you’re like me, this has been a thought-provoking week.

The reader-response to this week’s had me thinking long and hard about the depth of our drama, the taste of our of trauma, and the deep pit in which some of our hidden pain resides.

Next week we’ll take a look at how to deal with our anger.

As this week concludes this ancient song — known as Psalm 51 — continues to echo through my mind as a prayer to God for help. 1

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.

Aug 16

Warning: Anger Can Become Toxic

Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Monday I began this dialogue with Olympics: Judge & Jury, and continued it yesterday with “Caution – We don’t know the whole story.

One gracious reader read and replied, “I was raped by a guy when I was 22 I would judge him and say he needs help…because he did. (He victimized) 5 other women…but he is and was aware of what he was doing so I wouldn’t feel sympathy.”

As someone who has never experienced a rape I cannot begin to grasp the depth of how that would affect a victim, all I can say is “Wow, thank you you for your humble willingness to add your perspective to our dialogue.”

Jan 26


Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Excuse me, is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?”

Charlie Bales has an unusually large nose and is an easy target for Insults and putdowns. 1

Confronted by an adversary who calls him “Big Nose” Bales diminishes the power of the insult by creating twenty insults of his own, including:

Personal: Well, here we are, just the three of us.
Punctual: All right…your nose was on time but YOU were fifteen minutes late.
Humorous: Laugh & the world laughs with you. Sneeze, and it’s goodbye, Seattle!
Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides?
Aromatic: It must wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the coffee…in Brazil. 2

Jun 3

Jerks & Bullies Are Near. Embrace Your Need To Be Heard.

Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

I hated swimming in gym class.

It wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t like swimming, but the school pool had more chlorine in it than a toxic waste dump.

I’m certain that I would win a substantial lawsuit if I videotaped the other humiliations projected upon me by the gym teachers, but my least favorite part of swimming was when the teacher was out of the room.

One day two upperclassmen held me under the water in the deep end so long that I ABSOLUTELY PANICKED.