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Nov 5

Stormy Night

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

treebranchessky-74600_640Gender bashing
Culture clashing

Voices
Cascading
Even louder
Like crashing symbols

Yelling
Screaming
Stammering
Clawing for attention

No!
You’re wrong!
That’s $%^&&*&* up!

Listen!
Point made
Counterpoint

Last night I had the hardest support group I’ve led in more than ten years. Teens yelling, screaming, not listening to one another nearly enough.

At TreeHouse teens learn that they are not alone in dealing with any issue. There is always someone who can relate to what is going on in another group member’s life. Teens learn how to support someone else in need. They are reminded that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile. TreeHouse support groups become a place where youth know that they will always be listened to and that what they say matters to others.

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 25

Mirror Clash

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

mirror-56762-mIf every time you looked in the mirror you saw someone different looking at you at would add to your stress too.

Mirror

The process of adolescence is complex and unpredictable. The young person experiences physical changes that catapult their childish frame into that of an adult. The intellect intensifies to form logical patterns of thinking and begins to formulate future plans. The teen also struggles to form an identity separate from that of a child or a mature adult. Meanwhile, the teen is faced with issues of morality and must make critical decisions about sex, drugs, and other social behaviors.

Jun 20

Stop

Posted on Friday, June 20, 2014 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

sign-stop-95477_640Our Story

It’s heartbreaking to see people in pain. It’s perplexing to hear of loved ones who hurt one another.

Most people try to help not hurt. Most people look for solutions not problems, but  too often the solutions slam one another.

“Good people” gossip.
“Kind-hearted” people talk behind backs.
“Loving” people SCREAM angrily!

Foolish, hurtful solutions to initiate change.

And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do…Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” 1

Jun 17

A Fair Question

Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Education, Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1157727_beggar_in_udaipurI’m watching a television show this week called, “An Idiot Abroad.” It’s an odd and somewhat awkward travel show “hosted” – I use that word loosely – by Karl Pilkington.

In the first three episodes Karl travels to China, India, Israel and Jordan. He visits tourist centers and rural outposts while assigned by the show’s producers to visit The 7 Wonders of the World.

Wonder

While traveling Karl comments freely on his personal inconveniences. He talks at length about his troublesome circumstances and his feelings.

Jun 13

(Mostly) Happlily Ever After

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Amy & ME“Love you gorgeous, I’ll be in there in ten minutes.”

It’s 2:00 A.M.  I just said that as Amy woke from her late night nap and staggered off to bed. I’ve said similar things hundreds of times.

Quirks

Schedules: Since we were married 27 years ago today I have gone to sleep second 98% of the time. Often times I am last to sleep and first one awake. We have almost always had different schedules.

Jun 9

Go Team!

Posted on Monday, June 9, 2014 in How To, Relational, Social, Values

Go Team“Spring Cleaning.”

What came to mind when you saw those words?

A celebration of the end of winter, a chore you dread, attacking chaos, creating order, an invitation to newness or a time to prep for a garage sale, or something else?

Maybe spring cleaning was just something other people did.

Bringing spring cleaning into our family culture is one of my wife’s wonderful contributions to our “team.” As Amy describes it, spring cleaning goes beyond the daily and weekly routines to deep clean.

Spring Cleaning

Jun 3

Chosen For A Reason

Posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in Relational

photo(2)I’m sitting in my car on a beautiful morning. No, I’m not writing and driving.

The sun is bright. The sky is cloud-free. The temperature is perfect. The breeze is a pleasant cool whisper.

I’m listening to music and thinking.

I’m thinking about what it’s like to be awarded and rewarded; the joy of being chosen.

Chosen on Merit

I’m thinking about what it must have been like to be among the minimized and marginalized and then surprise! You’re chosen and prized.

Last week our friend Bill was chosen. He was recognized. He was rewarded and awarded.

Apr 30

Protect Yourself from Blind Spots

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

heart-beachLast night I was reading a book called, “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome.”  Not because I had any inclinations to have an affair – I don’t – but because there is “grass” and I don’t want to ever think that it’s “greener.” So reading about how her marriage is overcoming her affair and “How to Grow Affair-Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage” appeals to me.

“Blind Spots” led to her affair. “Blind Spots” led to the breakdown of their marriage.

We all have blind spots in our life; misguided thinking, bad decisions and the like. Often times other people can see our blind spots but we either ignore, deny, or dismiss them.

Mar 6

Listening is NOT a waste of time!

Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

listen file9991303336088Last 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.”