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Mar 26

Her Journey, Our Journey

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

We all make decisions; some wise, some not. Each new decision we make cuts a path through the unknown.  As we continue to choose similar choices the path to repeated decisions becomes easier. A difficult fresh-cut path now becomes a leisurely stroll through familiar territory.

Eventually once we continue walking the same path over and over and it becomes well-worn path, a road and eventually a four-lane highway with speedy travel to the same destination.

All that sounds fine, unless our path is destructive.

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.

Jan 24

4 Answers 2 Anxiety

Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014 in Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

alone-96856_640If you asked me if I struggled with anxiety, most days I would say “no.” If you asked me if I was listening to myself enough to know, I’d probably shrug my shoulders. Usually self-reflection takes a back-seat to busyness.

The Burden & Blessing of Busyness

On Wednesday TreeHouse (my employer) committed a day to “fasting and prayer.” My busyness was set aside. 1

My tendency to be a busyness-burdened workaholic comes from a mashup of my strengths and my fears. According to “Strengths Finder” my strengths (#2-5) include Activator, Learner, Ideation, and Achiever. I like to learn, think through what I’ve learned and put what I’m learning to use, but the fear of rejection cries out “You’re stupid and lazy”; it’s subtle, but it’s relentless.

Jan 14

Deep Desire

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

prayer file5131258260195“Desire is not merely a simple wish; it is a deep seated craving; an intense longing … it’s so important that one might say, almost, that desire is an absolute essential of prayer.” 1

Desire precedes prayer, accompanies it, and is followed by it. Desire goes before prayer, and by it, it’s created and intensified.

Prayer is the expression of desire.

Prayer comes out into the open.
Desire is silent.
Prayer is heard; desire, unheard.

Prayer – listening to, learning from and expressing our longings to God – is throughout the Scriptures.

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.

Nov 8

Life’s Tests

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

tired_lost_sportmanClear shot at an eight-point buck, missed.
Perfect moment for a first kiss, interrupted.
Business plan, rejected.
Cleaned the house, not good enough.
Sincere proposal, denied.
Studied hard, failed.
Doctor’s report, bad news.
Ran your best race, lost.

Life is filled with disappointments.
Life is filled with happiness-crushing hassles.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Despite our circumstances and doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mysteries like, “great pain can become great possibilities and you can “pray your pain out.”

Nov 7

Pray Your Pain Out

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

LightningWe’re all looking for happiness, and despite our doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mystery like, “Great pain can become great possibilities.”

Pray Your Pain Out

There are many reasons I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, but one of the nearest and dearest reasons is that despite my sins, shortcomings, and slanderous rants God has not blown me up with a bolt of lightning. Not that God ever threatened to do so, but you know sometimes I just think I deserved it.

Nov 6

The Reverse Game

Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

half empty half full -141361_640We’re all looking for happiness. Fortunately, as I explained Monday, Happiness IS possible for all of us.

Sometimes, we discussed yesterday, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction.

The life of a man named Joseph was certainly challenging. He was someone whose life, heart and soul was challenged at every turn.

Great Pain Can Become Great Possibilities

Joseph, the eleventh of twelve brothers, was disliked by his older brothers. He lacked tact. He lacked humility. Despite his flaws, as God has done many times, God uses the unlikely to do the extraordinary. 

Aug 8

Hope: What You Want

Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2013 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Values

Evanescence_What_You_Want_single_coverartAs you begin reading today, give Evanescence’s song “What You Want” a listen.

I asked some friends at TreeHouse, “What line stands out? Why that one?”

My friends Erin, Gabe, and Kelly liked:

Do what you, what you want
If you have a dream for better

Erin and Gabe agreed, “I like doing what I want.” Kelly added, “If you want to do something, don’t let people hold you back from doing something good.”

Chris liked:

Stand and face the unknown (got to remember who you really are)

Aug 3

Watch Your Words Diligently

Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 in Relational

JesusCallingA few years ago my wife introduced me to Sarah Young’s writing. In 2004 Thomas Nelson published Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling is a book of daily inspiration written from the perspective of Jesus Christ speaking to the reader. My wife likes it so much she has given away several copies.

Eventually her enthusiasm led me to download a copy.

I’m not a daily Jesus Calling reader, but I’m almost never disappointed when I take the time to read Sarah’s writing. Today in particular her words challenged me and my sense of humor.

Watch Your Words Diligently