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Feb 20

Score!

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

photo 1Yesterday I was playing goalie.

The score was tied.
A minute to play.

The broomball was free on the right side.

I checked my angles. I checked my distance from the goal. I felt confident I was close enough to make a play.

I raced up to the ball.

Vivian (pictured in the back row, second from the left), our best goal scorer was near their goal crease. I knew if I got to the ball and made a good pass, that Vivian could win the game for us.

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

Oct 15

Bring Healing

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

JrHiToday I’ll spend a couple of hours in a junior high school. While watching, listening and learning from these young teens I will see young masters of communication.

When we are young we learn to be skillful masters of communication: “…men and women may communicate negative relational messages such as contempt and belligerence via loud, sarcastic voices, disgusted facial gestures, frowns, scowls, glares, gaze avoidance, or distancing. These negative expressions obviously would qualify as unskillful if the objective is to create a close and loving relationship, but they would qualify as skillful if the objective is to signal one’s level of distress and dissatisfaction with a relationship.” 1

Jul 24

Fountains Heal

Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Buckingham_Fountain_in_Chicago_at_night_I grew up in Chicago.

There are many great sites in Chicago, but one of my favorite has always been “Buckingham Fountain.”

Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world.

Located at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway in Grant Park, the fountain “runs from 8 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily, typically from April to mid-October, depending on weather. Times are subject to change when large events take place in or around Grant Park.”

Jul 23

Kindness Heals

Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Peanut_Butter_TextureWhen I was a child I began my love for peanut butter sandwiches.

I at a LOT of peanut butter sandwiches.

Since we didn’t have enough fruit preserves to keep up with my voracious peanut butter sandwich consumption rate, I looked for alternatives.

Peanut Butter and maple syrup was too wet.
Peanut Butter and butter was not sweet enough.
Peanut Butter and apple sauce was yummy.
Peanut Butter and honey was my favorite.

I ate hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. The peanut butter was tasty and nutritious and the light honey coating was just sweet enough to add to the deliciousness.

Jul 22

Genuine Smiles Heal

Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

smile_6When I was a student I loved the sciences. I loved conducting experiments.

One day I decided to intentionally carry a smile on my face. I smiled at everyone I saw. I tried to present a sincerely positive affect.

What did I experience?

As I smiled, genuinely smiled, I noticed others. I found myself caring about the people I saw. My affect began to change for the better.

While some looked at me oddly and others looked away in disinterest or disdain, most people acknowledged me.

May 10

God’s Not Obligated

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

shout_let_it_all_out“We may not be directly to blame for the sufferings of others, but we cannot ignore the connections,” wrote Christopher Wright.

Wright, the author of The God I Don’t Understand challenges us to see our deep connection to the pain, suffering and impact of evil in our world.

“Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

Feb 25

Feel Like A Wreck?!?

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

auto crumblingI had some shame stirring as I woke up: rude to my wife, messy with my stuff, snoring, gingivitis, etc. God knows I can digress if I sit in my junk for long.

When I do, I felt like a wreck. I know some of you have felt the same way:

I’m not even strong enough for myself
I’m falling to pieces
Honestly don’t care about anything anymore
Can’t go on living like this
I need someone to listen. No one can help me.

Fortunately, God is listening.

On the way to work in the back of my mind was playing:

Feb 2

We Are Not Alone – Spoken Word

Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

I wrote my first Spoken Word poem today.

Some would say, “I wish he would crush me.
I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me…
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me…my cry to him reached his ears…

He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock…