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Aug 28

Church Chat

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

church_yard_2I know a lot of people disappointed with “the church.”

I don’t know of a perfect church out there; ours included.

There is always a point – or sermon – I disagree with, music that I don’t like, people that I don’t know, looks that feel judging, practices that confuse me, etc., etc.

They probably feel the same way about me! And you.

Church Clutter

I’ve attended many churches of several denominations. In fact, I was in a church today with some things I fully agreed with and some teachings that … uhm, no!

Aug 20

Good, Fine and Flies

Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in How To, Relational, Social, Values

2fliesWe have a small bucket outside our garage door. When we don’t want to walk to the back corner of our backyard to the compost pile we toss compostable kitchen scraps into the bucket.

Yesterday as I threw some scraps into the bucket dozens of flies instantly and unexpectedly flew out of the bucket.

Flies

Al Andrews wrote a humble and insightful post entitled, What To Say When Everything Is Not “Fine”.

It made me think of our bucket of flies.

Aug 14

Captivate by Interdependence

Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

heartsmanyYesterday was our 326-month wedding anniversary.
It’s also just a start.

Asking someone out is a start.
Dating is a shared-journey.
A wedding is a transitional celebration.
A marriage is an interdependent challenge.

Interdependence

I’m naturally introverted.
Therefore, community doesn’t come naturally.
Romance wasn’t in my born-with skill sets.
Interdependence seemed like weakness.

On the other hand, I wanted a long and happy marriage.

Interdependent Marriage

Aug 12

Captivated by Hope

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend learning to overcome her addiction. She’s at Hazelden looking for hope and skills. Last month Robin Williams was doing the same thing.

Sadly, yesterday the news spread that he’d given up his search.

Hope-less

Without hope
…parents give up
…the tempted give in
…spouses give up
…students drop out
…employers lessen expectations
…lovers give in
…lonely people lower standards
…people give up.

Too often people
…feel all alone
…feel unheard
…feel disconnected
…feel hopeless

In my experience people feel hope-less far more often than they need to.

Jul 17

The Number Is Zero

Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

360px-Earthquake_cracks_near_BexleyI have a friend who read the Bible and his conclusions broke his heart. He read about a God who didn’t fit his paradigm. He read about a God who didn’t do what he thought best. He read about a God who seemed to sit silent through tragedy. His crumbling faith and doubts rippled through him like an earthquake. The chasm led him to abandon his previous love for God.

When people face tragedy, they usually have one of three reactions. They blame God, they turn to God for help or they abandon God.

Jul 16

Predictable

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

Note: This is part 3 of the series, By The Numbers. Catch up if you need to:
1. Paint By Numbers.
2. By The Numbers.

photoIt’s 2:38 A.M.

Few people who know me well would be surprised that I’m awake. Almost everyone would be surprised that it’s 2:38 A.M. and I just woke up.

Huh?

I’m a night owl, but last night I had to go to bed early for a 4:15 A.M. wake up.

Predictably I didn’t need an alarm. Predictably, I didn’t want to startle Amy awake at 4:15 A.M. Predictably, I woke up early enough not to need an alarm.

Jul 3

Mid-Year Freedom Methods

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

power_of_love_3Freedom is on my mind. In my opinion, freedom is one of our highest values.

And yet, true freedom includes understanding that we do not have the ultimate say, the ultimate choice or the supreme will.

“Responsibility means obligation, and obligation must mean a curtailing of freedom.” 1

Motives

“Humans love freedom like fish love water. They pretty much have to have it. Now, of course, what humans also love is having decent, clean, productive, emotionally rewarding lives. And that (curse that Adam and Eve!) means work. And work (curse that Adam and Eve!) means responsibility.” 

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 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

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.