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Oct 3

Lessons From The Top pt 2

Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 in Music, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

music-869106-mI spent hours this week listening to and reading the lyrics of the current Billboard Hot 100. Musicians are often viewed as spokespersons of their generation.

For the cynics among us, it’s not all bad news.

At TreeHouse every week we remind our teens that “you’re not alone” because so many people – young and old – feel like they are the only one dealing with those feelings and thoughts. So it’s good news that two of the most popular songs have self-affirming messages.

Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”

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.

Feb 26

Crossroads

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

Crossroad_in_winterLast week a snowfall dumped ten inches of snow in our yard, driveway and on our streets. Many mysilentscream readers need no explanation, but allow me to explain for the rest. 1

When snow falls in urban areas, especially when snow falls in large amounts during weekdays, life continues. It may continue at a crawl, but people need to get home from school or work. They take the bus home, commute home, or drive home; they need to get home.

And, last week cars, buses, and trucks did what they do; they transported. They also compacted the freshly-fallen snow.

Aug 9

A Poem of Hope by Chris Whitford

Posted on Friday, August 9, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

IMG_8858

We’re gonna finish this week on mysilentscream with an insightful poem by Chris Whitford.

Hope licked its salty lips
And hung close as we both kissed

The lovely hearts of the amazing people

The hearts I keep close to me
In case the hope goes right through me

The hope of TreeHouse is an amazing thing
So don’t give up hope, no, don’t give up heart
Don’t leave this love in shards
Because the hate will eat you alive

But together we can strive
And be the best we can be
They even see the best in me

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…

Jan 9

Our Dream for TreeHouse Support Groups

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

While it’s true that love can happen anywhere, there are standards and expectations that provide an environment in which a healthy community grows.

As I wrote yesterday, “every week as I sit in our TreeHouse support groups I am in awe. Teens find hope amid their hurt, faith amid their fears, and love despite their pangs of loneliness…I wish everyone had a community like that.”

I Wish We Did Too

As my friend Hudson pointed out tonight, the following list is a wish list — Imagine If… — based on hopes and dreams. While some of them are possible, and others are measurable, there are on the list that are almost fantasies; but, still we reach and stretch for more.