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Apr 16

You Are Always …

Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

DollarAs my friend Mandy reminded us yesterday, like a dollar that’s seen better days, you’re value never changes.

Though this dollar has been folded and crumpled up, stomped down, torn off and snotted-on, it’s still just as valuable; it’s a dollar.

Even though you may have been unplanned, felt unwanted, been abused or discarded, felt unprotected or abandoned, misrepresented or misunderstood, you’re still just as valuable; you’re a unique, irreplaceable, invaluable, never-gonna-be-repeated human being.

No one could ever offer your unique perspective, you’re unique history, your unique combination of gifts and talents; you are absolutely irreplaceable.

Apr 9

Pray for Punka

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Emotional, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

ShannonMysilentscream is here for you most days. Today #mysilentscream is for YOU to help me.

Today my daughter leaves for the Philippines. By the time many of you read this Shannon will be half a planet away.  I’m blessed, thrilled and a little jealous of her. I’m also Shannon’s (“Punka’s”) anxious, unsettled, and already-lonely-for-her dad.

If you’re a praying person please pray for Shannon, her colleagues and her parents who were both just teary-eyed in the living room.

I’ll let Shannon explain more via her supportshannon.com website.

Hello my name is Shannon Volltrauer.

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!

Feb 28

Death Came Calling

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

A-Tombstone.svgTomorrow is third anniversary of my second lease on life.

Tuesday March 1, 2011 I had a near-death experience.

While driving home – surprise – death came calling.

Death Came Calling

I was sitting at the intersection talking to my friend Jesse waiting to turn at the light. The green arrow lit up.

Time to go.

I started to turn left and stopped for no apparent reason.

My foot slowly rose off the gas pedal, for no apparent reason.

Suddenly…ZOOOOM!!!

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.

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.

Jan 14

Deep Desire

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

prayer file5131258260195“Desire is not merely a simple wish; it is a deep seated craving; an intense longing … it’s so important that one might say, almost, that desire is an absolute essential of prayer.” 1

Desire precedes prayer, accompanies it, and is followed by it. Desire goes before prayer, and by it, it’s created and intensified.

Prayer is the expression of desire.

Prayer comes out into the open.
Desire is silent.
Prayer is heard; desire, unheard.

Prayer – listening to, learning from and expressing our longings to God – is throughout the Scriptures.

Nov 29

3 Black Friday Recovery Tips

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Stressed? Shaking?
Angry? Frustrated?
Disappointed?

Millions of shoppers drive recklessly, hunt hopefully, relate rudely, and waiting impatiently. For shoppers, shop-owners and employees alike Black Friday is day we need recovery.

3 Black Friday Recovery Tips

StopBlack Friday Recovery Tip #1 – Stop: Stop believing a gift will make you more lovable. Stop hoping. Stop trying. You are always a lovable person. Our Creator knows what we truly need, all efforts to define ourself that exclude our Creator are doomed to fail. Stop.

Dan Adler’s song All I Need is You is a wonderful reminder of what’s really going to bring us hope and satisfaction in life.

Nov 27

Black Friday? Don’t Add Debt! The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition By Dave Ramsey

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 in Financial, How To, Reviews, Values

A-Ramsey“A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.” Those words attract me, but also make me ask, “Really?”

In his Introduction Dave Ramsey explains, “Over all these years, The Total Money Makeover has given HOPE to millions of families. This book has given them hope to win, and that hope has caused them to take action and claim ultimate victory over their financial struggles and worries—and to actually win!”

Nov 8

Life’s Tests

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

tired_lost_sportmanClear shot at an eight-point buck, missed.
Perfect moment for a first kiss, interrupted.
Business plan, rejected.
Cleaned the house, not good enough.
Sincere proposal, denied.
Studied hard, failed.
Doctor’s report, bad news.
Ran your best race, lost.

Life is filled with disappointments.
Life is filled with happiness-crushing hassles.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Despite our circumstances and doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mysteries like, “great pain can become great possibilities and you can “pray your pain out.”