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Apr 30

Protect Yourself from Blind Spots

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

heart-beachLast night I was reading a book called, “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome.”  Not because I had any inclinations to have an affair – I don’t – but because there is “grass” and I don’t want to ever think that it’s “greener.” So reading about how her marriage is overcoming her affair and “How to Grow Affair-Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage” appeals to me.

“Blind Spots” led to her affair. “Blind Spots” led to the breakdown of their marriage.

We all have blind spots in our life; misguided thinking, bad decisions and the like. Often times other people can see our blind spots but we either ignore, deny, or dismiss them.

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!

Jan 3

58 Years and Counting

Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

IMG_0025Amy and I were college students the first time I met her parents, Ron and Rose. Like almost all guys I was nervous meeting “her parents.” Through our conversations and over dinner with Amy’s brother Bryan I found that they were like Amy: friendly and kind, they love to laugh and they cared deeply about God.

That was 1985.

A couple years later on June 13 those same two parents gave us their blessing as Amy were married.

So, when Ron and Rose wanted to renew their wedding vows on their fiftieth (50th!) anniversary I was blessed to be invited to officiate their ceremony.

Feb 20

Rebuilding After Relationship-Rot

Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

crumbling_brickworkBad foundations in relationships lead to relationship-rot.

A bad start to a relationship does not have to be a deal-breaker, but it usually is.

Why does it happen that way?

Because broken people break people, and hurting people hurt people.

– When people assume others will abandon them, they choose not to invest.
– When people assume others are suspicious, they choose not to trust.
– When people assume others will take rather than give, they selfishly protect.
– When people assume others are means to an end: “Greed meets a need.”

That sounds so fatalistic, but it’s not.

Feb 12

Off Limits – Flirting With The Taken

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

You know what I’m talking about here, but let’s go there.

He’s a friendly guy, but when he’s dating someone he seems extra friendly.

The truth is he’s feeling safe and self-confident because his current relationship is boosting his self-esteem, but he doesn’t know that, he just feels like “every girl likes him.”

And, you’re one of them.

It starts with a smile. Another.
A longer look.

He gets your number.
You had his # for a while, but never texted him: Off Limits

He texted: Hey! (Guys can be so bold, hah!)
You reply.
Back and forth, just the news, and then:

Feb 7

Loving Friends

Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

I’m reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.  It’s been a hard book to read; lots of pain.

“If you hear in my voice — I don’t know that it is so, but I hope it is — if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, weep for it!

If you touch, in touching my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free, weep for it, weep for it!

Jan 29

Lessons from Lachers – Max

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 in Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values


Our recent trip to California was amazing. The weather was beautiful – not the ten inches of snow beautiful that fell here last night – but mountains of green, hearts of kindness and Max.

Max, you say?

We were visiting our friends Jill and Eric Lacher. They have a dog, a Rottweiler, named Max. Here’s pictured with Jill.

I had met Max one time briefly when he was young. Jill was at our house for a roofing project, and Eric and Max stopped over. Eric held Max on leash. It was a brief acknowledgement of one another, but I was busy.

Jul 23

Steady As We Go

Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

This weekend I finished the fifth of five of wonderful marriage celebrations in the last couple of months.

Ashley and Jesse Stinson got married
Nate and Manna Towler got married
Jonnie and Courtney Towler got married
Luke and Jessica Skelly got married, and,
Amy and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony.

Faithfulness

Yesterday, I reviewed Stu Weber’s book Tender Warrior in his book he challenges us as men to be finishers.  And to you my male readers — newly-married, or not — let’s honor the women in our lives by being “finishers.”

May 22

Breaking News: Cubs Fan Says Something Good About A Cardinals Player

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 in Relational, Spiritual, Sports

With my dad’s influence I grew up a baseball fan.  We played catch on the sidewalks.  We played wiffle ball in the front yard.  We listened to games in the car.  We watched games in the living room.  I still have some baseball cards from 1970 the first season I bought my own baseball cards.

The Chicago Cubs were then and still are my favorite team.  My dad had been a Cubs fan and Milwaukee Braves fan growing up.

Apr 19

What’s a Best Friend to Do?

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Taxes are due this week.  Tax preparers prepare tax returns, but what’s a best friend to do with a drunk best friend?

Let me explain. 1

Desean loved his friends.  He’s got several friends.  Not all of his friends get along together.

One night, a Wednesday night, Desean and Chris stayed out late.  Chris had been with Desean and some of his other friends, but when they started talking about getting drunk Chris “remembered” homework he wanted to get done.  He left hoping Desean would join him.  He didn’t.

Desean’s mom and sister trusted Desean; and they trusted Chris.