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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.

Jan 7

19 Proven Relationship Tips from Lizzy & Bueno

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

Lizzy and Bueno 20140107_15pI’ve spent more than twenty years “Inspiring Great Relationships Every Day.” I enjoy when I can pass on something I am learning, but many times in those conversations it was me who was the learner.

Today was no different.

Today I sat down with my friends Lizzy and Bueno. We laughed. We told stories. We love gardening so we exchanged seeds. And we talked.

In a world desperate for positive role models, over the past three years Lizzy and Bueno have been role models of what a healthy relationship looks like.

Jan 6

3 Cures For The Chills

Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1-Window

 

If you think this winter is cold, you’re right.

But, be glad you’re not in Antarctica.

NationalGeographic.com reported that on August 10, 2010 scientists “measured the most frigid temperature ever recorded … about -136°F (-93°C) — colder than dry ice.”

Chilly Relationships

Spend any time in a mall and you’ll see freezing temperatures, indoors.

You’ll see frustrated and impatient men. You’ll see angry and frustrated women. People who’d say they love one another, but kindle coldness. The heat of their romance has formed a chill.

Dec 31

5 Relationship Tips from Big Bang Theory

Posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

BBTThis Christmas my wife bought me (by my request) season 6 of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory television show.

1. Be patient. 1

Bernadette: So, you actually see you and Sheldon getting married someday?
Amy: Not just someday. In exactly four years. But don’t tell Sheldon. He’s still a flight risk.

Patient fishing catches fish. Impatient pursuit scares away many potential catches.

2. Don’t be pushy. 2

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 25

Learn Empathy

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

praying66955_640

 

People Challenges

My first year at TreeHouse was challenging. During that first year I quickly realized that despite an excellent education, wise mentors and patient supervision that I was unprepared.
– Unprepared for the pain I would see
– Unprepared for the emotions people would express
– Unprepared for the evil “loved ones” would perpetrate
– Unprepared for the diverse values, motives and philosophies of life

People, caring about people, is challenging.

Learn Empathy

Every emotionally healthy person can learn empathy. We can all develop what google.com called our “ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” 1

Jun 24

Do You Care?

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

girlsafrican-14113_640Almost every day someone asks me to help them with a relationship concern.
– What’s her problem?
– What can I do?
– What’s he thinking?
– How should I explain…

Most people are looking for a solution.

I’ve found one. I’ve found empathy improves all of my relationships.

What’s Empathy?

According to brittanica.com empathy is “the ability to imagine oneself in another’s place and understand the other’s feelings, desires, ideas, and actions.” 1

Jun 18

Peacemaker

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

0imagesDonald Miller’s post yesterday entitled, “Learning to Turn the Other Cheek (Even Though I HATE Critics)” got me thinking, “How would I respond to attacks?” I assumed I would respond defensively and with self-pity.

Jesus

Blessed are the peacemakers…Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.“1

Last night as I read Philip Yancey’s book The Jesus I Never Knew about those verses this account challenged my thinking.

Jun 6

Bless The Bully

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

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

One

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.

Apr 24

Brave by Josh Groban

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

boston-marathon-mobility-impaired-athlete-competing-his-way-hopkinton-to-massachusetts-usa-april-30448392While watching footage of the recent Boston Marathon, I, like you, felt shock and awe watching brave people run toward the scared and injured. I felt humbled by their bravery. Josh Groban wrote a wonderful song about being brave.

Josh Groban – Brave

Wake up, wake up, the sun cannot wait for long
Reach out, reach out before it fades away
You will find the warmth when you surrender
Smile into the fear and let it play