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Mar 11

Care Is A Verb

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

IMG_4778As you may know, when I was younger one of my best friends said to me, “common sense is not common to you,” and he was right. He didn’t know the whole story, I was young and even more reckless than he realized

These days I’m learning not to do stupid things. I knew I was supposed to do good things, but I didn’t really think about why I should.

Then, years ago I read in my Bible, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” 1

Mar 6

Over My Head

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AnnMariePookieI took a left turn into an unfamiliar parking lot. I pulled into an open parking spot. With some uncertainty I stepped out of our car.

I walked around the landscaped wall. Turning right I entered what appeared to be the backyard with a very well designed wood deck positioned to my left. Seeing a door into the building I turned the corner.

Smiling in front of me was fourteen year old AnnMarie. (Pictured on the left next to Rachel)

AnnMarie  walked directly up to me and asked, “Hi! Who the @#$% are you?” That was my introduction to TreeHouse.

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.

May 21

Life’s NOT fair. What are they doing about it?

Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Education, Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

CryingIt was Easter Sunday. It’s was probably a gorgeous sunny day.

Picture it.

Sunshine and sun dresses. Pretty hats and ironed clothes. Easter Sunday brings out the people who might have set church aside for a time. It’s a time to celebrate. It’s a time to remember the greatest event in human history. It’s a time for spiritual renewal and remembrance. Families reunite. Friends renew friendships. Songs fill their mouths. Joy fills their hearts. Smiles fill the air. Souls sail.


Jun 11

Power Players

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Emotional, Financial, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Blessed be Barack Obama. the President of the United States.
Blessed be Angela Merckel, the Chancellor of Germany.
Blessed be Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Blessed be Bill Gates, billionaire co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Blessed be Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.


And, blessed be Gloria C. Mackenzie, lottery winner.


Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 2

Blessed are the meek – the humble, gentle and lowly – for the whole earth will belong to them. 3

Jun 10


Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

lottery_winnerBlessed be 84-year-old Gloria C. Mackenzie who purchase a Powerball lottery ticket, the same ticket that would win her $590 million, the largest undivided lottery jackpot in history. 1

Blessed by Gloria, and against all odds, blessed be the poor, hungry, grief-stricken and terrorized. Those were the people surrounding Jesus.

Throughout history the poor, hungry and grieving have been esteemed as noble; that because of their circumstances they are blessed from God. 2

Oddly, there are also many who – like in the book of Job – look on the poor, hungry and grieving and assume their circumstances are because of their own misdeeds. “They have sinned and deserve it.”

Dec 3

What Shapes Your Life?

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

For months my son Josh would invite me to join him at the gym he works out at.  Sometimes I went, sometimes I didn’t.

More often than not I had an excuse not to; I was too tired or busy (or lazy).

When I was young and fit, fitness seemed to take so much less work.

Energy-Shaped Life

When I was “little” I was full of energy.  I’d play all day only stopping when I had to go back home.

I’d annoy my parents by getting up too early.

Nov 18

Wild Grace by Max Lucado and James Lund

Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

The text of Wild Grace was adapted from Max Lucado’s book Grace. Gray boxes behind the text indicate places where new words and stories were added by James Lund specifically for our teen readers. 

If you read my review of Grace you know I enjoyed it.  I was interested in finding out how Lund adapted Lucado’s book for teens.

I Liked

Lund expands on Lucado adding, “One dictionary definition of “grace” is “unmerited divine assistance.” Sounds simple enough— God giving us something we don’t deserve. But do we really get grace? And even if we do, does it have anything to do with our lives?”

Nov 17

Grace by Max Lucado

Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2012 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

I follow Max Lucado on Twitter. 

When I read tweets like these I began to be excited to read his most recent book Grace.

“To discover grace is to discover God’s utter devotion to you, his stubborn resolve to give you a cleansing, healing love”

“Your identity is not in possessions, talents or accomplishments. Nor are you defined by divorce, debt or dumb choices.”

“Mercy pardons us. Grace empowers us.”

I love what I read in the tweets.
I assumed that they were quotes.
I assumed wrong.

Despite that, I love the book.

Sep 7

Mercy! Count the Cost!

Posted on Friday, September 7, 2012 in Education, Emotional, Financial, How To, Intellectual, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

This week I’m responding to Ken Davis’ call to be “fully alive.” Fully alive people are characterized by many things including meaningful friendships, courageously overcoming fear, and a determination to course corrections when they fail.

We all fail.  Failure is painful.

Pain is part of the price of living.
– Love is painful.
– Relationships are painful.
– Failing is painful.

If we choose to move forward in our quest to live fully alive, we will fall, it will hurt . . . and it will be worth it.

Be prepared to pay the price. Change costs.  Progress can be painful.