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Mar 25

Detours

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

395px-Korean_Traffic_sign_(Detour_P-Turn).svg“I don’t know why I’m telling you this…” and the story continues.

Don’t get me wrong, I love their trust. I love your trust.

I’m honored to share your joys and your sorrows. To hear the details of the journey you’re on complete with proud smiles and guilty smirks, pain-filled glances or a losing fight to hold back the tears. Or, sadly, the flat affect from being so worn down by the long list of past pains.

I just wish there weren’t so many detours.

Detours

Mar 8

Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Consequences

Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2015 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

Untitled-TrueColor-63Choices, like yours and mine, often make sense at the moment of decision, but too often impulsive decisions come with unexpected consequences. This is part-6 of the “10 for 25” series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

The Moment Of Decision

I love softball. Several years ago while playing in a softball tournament I was faced with a decision that has affected thousands of people since.

Let me explain.

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.

Jan 16

Headlines You’ll Never Hear

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

TooDelighted By The Disappointing Silence Of An Absent Dad

Buoyed By The Blessings Of Being Bullied

Encouraged And Empowered By An Eating Disorder

Today if we turn to CNN, Fox News, Yahoo or Reuters, those are three headlines we will never read. And, if we did, they would only be news because of the absurd unlikeliness of the headline being true.

Last night some friends gathered and shared their stories. Our friends Kyle, Emma and Ellie stepped forward, up from the darkened rows of their seats and into the spotlight. In the glow of the stage lights surrounded by friends, fans and flawed people like them they spoke.

Oct 28

Save Me by Staind

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual

“Just save me … from all that I am.”

“Save me” is a phrase I can relate to, both in a theological sense, but also to be saved from the consequences of misdeeds, misguided decisions, relational disappointments and circumstantial despair.

“Just save me … from all that I am” is a plea of the broken. Like a displaced broken bone that needs to be reset, repentance – as I’ve heard Ruth Haley Barton say – is a “death that needs to happen.”

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”

Oct 2

Lessons From The Top

Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

true-falseI spent hours today listening to and reading the lyrics of the current Billboard Hot 100. Every generation has it’s spokespersons. Musicians are often viewed as spokespersons of their generation. I was looking for insight and wisdom.

What I found were some very common themes.

Today I’ll share these.

Lessons From The Top

Life has no meaning.
Life is short; play and party hard.

Don’t waste time searching for meaning. Life is random and painful; get high or suffer through it.

Payback and revenge make wrongs right.
I can find meaning through fun, fame, cars, jewelry, etc.

Aug 27

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Relational

quantitative-58283_640Angry teens.
Parents in pain.
Explosive children.
Perplexed neighbors.

What can we do?

Every child I’ve met wants to be affirmed that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile.

We can start there.

12 Ways To Encourage A Child (Ages 0-118)

“You Are Lovable!”: Give attention to their character.
– Who they are has greater value than what they achieve.
– Accept mistakes; show grace.
– Bad decisions, poor choices and mistakes can be great teachers.
– Offer unconditional love. Trust can be conditional, love cannot.

“You Are Capable!”

Aug 26

Broken Mirrors

Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

broken-mirror-1128615-mShouting.
Crash.
Slam.

He could hear the yelling from the neighbors’ house every night.

Shouts of anger.
Shouts of pain.
Shouts of passion.
He wondered,
“Was there any gain?”

The Cost of Turmoil

Teens, families, friendships and all kinds of relationships suffer because of the lack of peaceful conflict resolution skills. Conflicts arise, those involved feel hurt, disappointed, afraid or frustrated, and it quickly turns into anger. Anger often erupts in retaliation or brutal honesty. Alienation increases, relationships are broken, and scars are formed.

Aug 12

Captivated by Hope

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend learning to overcome her addiction. She’s at Hazelden looking for hope and skills. Last month Robin Williams was doing the same thing.

Sadly, yesterday the news spread that he’d given up his search.

Hope-less

Without hope
…parents give up
…the tempted give in
…spouses give up
…students drop out
…employers lessen expectations
…lovers give in
…lonely people lower standards
…people give up.

Too often people
…feel all alone
…feel unheard
…feel disconnected
…feel hopeless

In my experience people feel hope-less far more often than they need to.