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Nov 19

Mercy and Justice

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

micahThis coming weekend I will be on a retreat. The images I’m featuring on #mysilentscream this week will be from works of “art” I created on various TreeHouse staff retreats.

When my friend Jill Lacher first challenged us to do art I laughed. “I am not artistic. I got Ds in art class, and I earned them.”

In time I learned that I had an artistic eye, but not like in art studios, museums or hanging on walls.

I learned to put words on paper that reached deep into my creative soul.

Jun 29

Batman’s The Black Mirror

Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Reviews

BlackMirror_p37_65pIn “The Black Mirror,” a series of brutal murders have occurred in Gotham City, Batman’s home town.

The Black Mirror – written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock and Francisco Francavilla – was originally a story arc in Detective Comics 871-881. The artwork is very good, the writing is even better.

Like Scott Snyder’s story arc The Court Of Owls (which I’m reading now), Snyder’s Gotham City somehow corrupts its inhabitants. It’s an interesting perspective. It’s as-if the city literally has the power to corrupt in and of itself.

Jun 23

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in Reviews

BatmantheManWhoLaughsIn 1987 Frank Miller rewrote the origin of the Batman in Batman: Year One.

In The Man Who Laughs – written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Doug Mahnke and David Baron – they re-wrote the origin of The Joker and the Joker’s first encounter with Batman.

Brubacker’s Joker is violent and sadistic from the first page forward. Captain James Gordon and other officers are investigating a building filled with mutilated corpses. The Joker follows that with a trip to the Williams Medical Center. After killing the security guards, he arms the inmates and releases them on the streets. Batman must stop them. Stop him, and bring the sociopathic Joker to justice.

Aug 3

Worry Wraps Us Up

Posted on Friday, August 3, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

This the final entry in a three-part series on chains that lock us down.

To review, “Gotta Be My Way” people and “Drama Draggers” need gentleness; the gentleness God provides will certainly be sufficient.

When we’re chained to self-pity, we “Something I Can Never Have” envious people, need to rest in gratitude and contentment for what they have.

These chains:
Shackle us to selfishness
Clamp our compassion
Fasten our desire to offer forgiveness
Latch us to loneliness
And padlock our potential

There is another chain that anchors us to our past.

Jul 6

Remember Me, I Want Revenge (Justice).

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2012 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Remember me, I want revenge.

I had many revenge fantasies when I was in junior high:
– Revenge against the guy who would flip my school books out of my hand.
– Revenge against the guy who would push me down the stairs.
– Revenge against the guy who sat on my chest and pummeled my face.
– Revenge against the guy who stuffed me upside down in the lunchroom trash can.
– Revenge…revenge…revenge…the stories would go on.

I had never been strong, powerful, popular or courageous, so my revenge fantasies were just that.  No way to get back.  No way to gather forces.  And, no, I never told anyone in authority. I should have.

Mar 23

Tragedy Amid Beauty

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 in Emotional, Financial, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Amy and I saw incredible beauty and riches in Hawaii, and we saw signs of tragedy and injustice.

Challenges

“How many steps does it take to become homeless? It depends.

Remember the owl in the old tootsie pop commercial? He would ask how many licks to get to the center of the pop; take a few and then chomp down on it. Task accomplished.

So needless to say it doesn’t take all that much to hit the streets for survival.

Mar 2

Unloving Loved Ones

Posted on Friday, March 2, 2012 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

While healthy parents reflect the love of God, unhealthy shame-filled, uncaring, unloving parents can do just the opposite; especially those who call themselves “Christian.”

God disciplines us like loving parents.  God wants us to experience a healthy sense of “for your own good” fear.

The greatest challenge most people face is their unwillingness to live in and under the love of God. They either don’t know how to experience God’s love, run away from God’s love (as I have) or outright reject God’s love. There are, of course, many reasons for these reactions. Most of which traces back to poor human role modeling by “loved ones.”

Nov 9

5 Stop Signs that will help life GO better

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 in Emotional, How To, Social, Values

5 Stop Signs

1. Stop believing the lie: Life isn’t always fair. Accept what you must, and change what you can.

2. Stop before you regret it: Think before you act. A moment today may cause pain for years.

3. Stop & notice:  See the beauty in people, in nature, and in yourself.

4. Stop to appreciate what you have: Family & friends, talents, opportunities & useful stuff.

5. Stop & have fun: Hanging out, talking, laughing and playing and makes some of the best memories.

Oct 7

Shame Marginalizes

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2011 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Shame minimizes one’s true self.

Healthy communities promote genuineness and humanity.

Amy and I are blessed.  We live in Brooklyn Park, MN and have great neighbors on either side of us.  Tyko, Anika, Kamroon and Tia live to the North. Melissa and Steve to our South. 

Ignorantly, both families could be marginalized by segments of our society.

Shame Marginalizes Through Blindness

Tyko, Anika, Kamroon and Tia look different and sound different than their neighbors.  At a glance they are different.  On the other hand, their differences from Amy and I might surprise you. 

Sep 30

Joy Despite Troubles

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2011 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual

Tomorrow night my wife Amy and I will be attending Sara Groves’ CD release concert. As I wrote yesterday I have been a fan since my friend Dan Adler first played us her song Generations.

I am excited to hear her in person, and I’m also anticipating her new album. 

Sara’s last album — Fireflies & Songs — was widely acclaimed, and even won as 2009 album of the year.  Commendably the reviewer added, “Already known for her transparent songwriting, Sara Groves gets even more piercingly honest on this, her ninth album. Whether her relationship with God, marital tension, or a private battle with anxiety, it’s poetically spilled forth…” 1