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Nov 12

Victory

Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 in Relational, Sports, Values

IMG_5736.JPGWithout patriots, peace, prayer and politicians who chose wisely – in the United States and in the former Soviet Union – I would have never worn this jersey of one of my favorite hockey goalies, Russian Vladislav Tretiak.

Thank you Anna for delivering it. It’s still one of my favorite jerseys and symbols of hope.

Oct 23

Anchored By Amy Grant

Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

WOH_AmyGrantToday TreeHouse is thrilled to welcome six time Grammy winner, Amy Grant, as our Women Of Hope keynote speaker and musical guest. (Sorry, it’s sold out)

In 1984 seventeen year old Amy Fayas and twenty-one year old Scott Volltrauer were both at an Amy Grant concert. We didn’t know one another then, and wouldn’t meet for a couple more years but our hearts were both connected to the same sweet songs of Amy Grant.

It’s been years since I was a regular listener, but Amy Grant’s songs helped anchor my young faith. Here are a few examples of lessons her songs taught me.

Oct 22

Three Phrases

Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

file7551283339240Here are three phrases I’m thinking about. Maybe you have answers for me.

If “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8), what fails in so many previously loving relationships?

The Bible says, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:8), but then how come – like my friend Mandy says – “Satan gets in my head and screws with me like it’s his full-time job”?

If you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned” (James 4:17). Based on my procrastination alone, how long would the lists be of those sins?

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 15

By The Numbers

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Relational, Spiritual, Values

320px-F5_tornado_Elie_Manitoba_2007Recently I led our TreeHouse trip to northern Minnesota. On the way to our destination we stopped in Duluth. After some fun at Adventure Zone we were hungry for dinner.

My friend and co-worker Ash SanFilippo is a fan of the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” One of the cheapest meals in the Duluth area belongs to the “world famous” Anchor Bar in Superior, WI.

Enthusiastically I led the caravan to the Anchor Bar. As we drove over Tower Bridge I envisioned Ash’s excitement. As we maneuvered through the streets the taste of the delicious Anchor Bar burgers and fries made my hungry mouth water.

Jul 14

Paint By Numbers

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 in Music, Spiritual, Values

22UntitledThere I sat at the gray laminate kitchen table. It’s the only color I could envision looking good atop that table.

That was not good news.

I sat there perplexed with my Paint-by-Number painting in-complete, well actually it was un-started.

I didn’t know where to begin. This was not my work of art, it was someone else’s. I was just trying to mimic her work.

When you paint by numbers you try to create someone else’s pretty picture. Hopefully it looks good. It might even fool some people that the painting was created by a real artist.

Jun 14

God Is Just Not Fair by Jennifer Rothschild

Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Reviews, Spiritual

God is Just coverWhen I read the title to Jennifer Rothschild’s recent release, God Is Just Not Fair, I was excited to read it.

Shortly into her book I read: “If you feel weighed down and burdened, look to Jesus and his cross — focus on the generous love it represents. When you’re really hurting, think about what you really deserved and thank him for what you got instead. You got grace; you got peace; and you got unconditional love that will carry you through any sorrow. And both you and I got the best gift of all — fairest Lord Jesus.”

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.

Apr 11

Just Jesus by Walter Wink

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

JustJesusAs a well-read person I knew embarrassingly little about Walter Wink before I read this book. He’s a fascinating man. I wish that I had known him personally.

Reading “Just Jesus”, the final book by Walter Wink, was an introduction to a fascinating man who made public his joys and sorrows, successes and “my struggle to become human.” This book is a quick read. There are stories and discourses in short chapters, poems, and prayers.

I loved reading several chapters; my favorites were: