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May 13

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

stained_glass_crossI went to a funeral last week.
I looked around.
I captured the moment.

I saw the faces that filled the spaces.

The grief was clear.
The sadness is tender.
The care was genuine.
The affection was deep.
The appreciation was sincere.

I saw regret wash over some faces.

Maybe for Vern; the dear man who passed away. Maybe, or more likely, for words never spoken to others.

It’s true, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” 1

So, on their behalf, and for each of us, here are two words of wisdom:

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:

Mar 17

Taz

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

with Taz and Josh 96This is a 1996 picture of our son Josh, our daughter Shannon and our dog Taz

Taz was a miniature schnauzer; a little dog with a big-dog personality. Taz was fun and funny.

Taz loved people. Taz would find his ball and set it into your lap. He was inviting you to play with him.

Taz loved to play fetch.
Taz learned to flip his head and open his mouth at the same time.
In doing so, he could throw his ball back to you!

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

Feb 27

My Crossroad

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AWhen I am teaching people how to teach the Bible I have had a consistent message: “Pray, pray, pray, and, while maintaining healthy boundaries, teach what God is teaching you.

When you have the choice, teach what God has taught you recently or is teaching you now. It’s fresh.

Since you are teaching what you are learning it will come from you to your audience from the perspective of a learner.

This is important to me because I have fallen into the trap of feeling like I needed to appear to be “the expert” more than I’d like to admit.

Sep 11

We ARE Loved

Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Emotional, Music, Spiritual, Values

Some people always seem to have a song running through their minds, I almost never do. This morning I woke up to this playing in my mind

He Loves Us

It’s such good news for me.

Mysilentscream had been silent for a while for two reasons:
– I’d been very busy
– I’d been very sad and angry (I’ll tell you more another day)
But, God has been cracking through the crust of my crap.
I’m blessed and grateful for it.

The words keep echoing in my mind:

Jun 10

ALL Win

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

lottery_winnerBlessed be 84-year-old Gloria C. Mackenzie who purchase a Powerball lottery ticket, the same ticket that would win her $590 million, the largest undivided lottery jackpot in history. 1

Blessed by Gloria, and against all odds, blessed be the poor, hungry, grief-stricken and terrorized. Those were the people surrounding Jesus.

Throughout history the poor, hungry and grieving have been esteemed as noble; that because of their circumstances they are blessed from God. 2

Oddly, there are also many who – like in the book of Job – look on the poor, hungry and grieving and assume their circumstances are because of their own misdeeds. “They have sinned and deserve it.”