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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.”

Mar 5

Listen Before Speaking

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Sucking toads“Sometimes I just wanna choke somebody,” he said.

Exasperated with his friend, he was beside himself. “Why does he do such stupid things?” he asked no one. “What’s he thinking?” he continued.

I imagine the friends of this young man may have thought the same thing.

Somethings just don’t seem to make sense but all we wanna hear is something that does make sense. Unfortunately, too often we’re not really listening.

Listening Before Speaking

Mar 4

Listen For Their Cries

Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

alone-61043_640Yesterday I introduced you to the woman who cried alone.

She wept alone.
She didn’t choose to be alone.
She simply was alone.

The grocery store was full of alone people. Most did not choose to be alone. Some did.

Some were not alone; they were with family, friends, co-workers and colleagues.
They were with people in person.
And “with” people on their phones.

But that woman cried alone.
Until people stopped being alone.
And they started being together.

Together, No Longer Alone

Mar 3

She Wept Alone

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

sad-eyes-966603-mShe wept alone.

She cried.
Quietly.
Her cries muffled.
Muffled, but not muted.
Restricted, but not restrained.

She Wept Alone

There between the snack crackers and the cookies, she wept.

I heard her.
She heard her.
And, she heard her too.

A guy looked back and walked on.
Another woman peered over her shoulder. She barely hesitated.

Countless people in the grocery aisles, on their phones, passed by – without a glance – as she wept. Maybe they couldn’t hear? Maybe they couldn’t stop? Maybe they couldn’t care!

She Wept, Alone

Jan 28

Frigid Temps Gracious Hearts

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1392583_car_tracks_in_snowTwo stories.
Car related.

My friend Lois posted on Facebook, “we slid off the road, over a curb, and got stuck in a snowbank on a sidewalk.”

Here’s the “Good stuff…passengers fine, car fine.” That’s real good news.

With health and safety not an issue Lois continued with what she called “awesome stuff.”

Frigid Temps Gracious Hearts

Once they assessed their circumstances they called their neighbor with a “monster truck.” These are the days everyone wished they knew a neighbor with a monster truck.

Better yet, Monster-truck Neighbor has a good heart. He said he’d “be right over.”

Jan 27

Frigid Temps Frozen Hearts

Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

frozen_heart_by_ttojA tank of gas
A charged battery
Approaching the car
With a silent plea

A capable driver
Determined as could be
Key in the ignition
Cranked one-two-three

A pause to regather
A second attempt
A hope and a prayer
Discouragement tempt

Barely a flicker
Not even a purr
The car didn’t start
A frozen heart.

Frozen Heart

I have TWO hearts!
One warmed by love.
One frozen in the freezer.

Too often the frozen heart has been more obvious.
I’m so busy caring about my wants, I forget to care about their needs.

Jan 2

Mouths Speak, Eyes Talk

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 in Relational, Social, Values

eye-close-up-1386149-mI worked with Cheryl, and Wes is a close friend to our family, but I’d only met Amber (Cheryl’s daughter) a couple times.

When Amber first spoke to me about her relationship with Paul and invited me to officiate their wedding I had a blend of feelings. The list was long and enmeshed, but my feelings could best be summarized with these three questions:
Do they know what “love” is?
– Do they share the same definition?
– Do they love one another with that love?

Nov 2

Dirty God by Johnnie Moore

Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 in Reviews, Social, Spiritual, Values

Book.750.coverJohnnie Moore’s book Dirty God is sub-titled, “Jesus in the Trenches” because it’s a book introducing us to the dirt-level life of Jesus Christ and his challenge to be a dirt-level Jesus follower.

In one of my favorite stories in the book the author explains that dirt-level Jesus following is not always easy, enjoyable or even appealing.

Oct 18

6 Reasons To Check Your Tongue

Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

sign-donotcrushWe’ve all done it.
We’ve lashed out.
Defended ourselves.
Attacked the other.
We justified our choices.
We felt our self-pity.

That might have “worked” in the past.
There is another way.
The time is now to model a new strategy.

The Truth

You’ve been hurt. You’ve left the wounds. You’ve felt the hurtful words and you’ve thrown the verbal jabs and painful punches.

It’s counter-cultural, but I’d really like to encourage you to take to heart the value of humility.

Oct 16

Joy Heals

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Rather than wound others, we can bring healing.

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” 1

1387838_melon-loving_girlWhen we respect both ourselves and the other person by choosing not to call anyone names, use putdowns, or attack with insults we make the world a better place.

Why?

Because name-calling hurts, “being called a name won’t admit you to a hospital, but words that shame wound deeply and can still hurt years later. After all, broken bones can be fixed, but hurtful words and taunts can cause pain for a lifetime. Insults, like name-calling, can create self-doubt that doesn’t go away. It’s even worse if a parent hurls verbal abuse.” 2