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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 30

Lessons from Lachers – Eric

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

Amy, Jill, Eric and I were driving back toward San Jose when Eric pulled the car into a parking lot facing the ocean.

Eric knew that we would love to watch the sun set over the ocean.

While we we admiring the setting, Eric got up without a word and walked over to a pile of sticks. At least that’s what I saw. Jill saw a wood pile that had been gathered and positioned for the evening fire. Eric saw something else.

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 26

Parents, Lovers and Friends, Ask Questions!

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Values

Monday I warned you about 9 Consequences Of Not Listening.

Yesterday I introduced you to 8 Benefits Of Asking Questions Instead Of Demanding To Be Heard.

Today let me expand on those 8 benefits for parents, lovers and friends.

Note – While I color-coded for parents, lovers and friends, the suggestions are not exclusively for those groups.

Questions help us understand the problem from another perspective.
Parents – You’ll take a step back from your worry-place.
Lovers – You’ll maintain your commitment to togetherness.
Friends – You’ll contribute to the brainstorming.

Apr 13

Winning Runs – Coaching Problem Players

Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Sports, Values

Jim Thome signed with the MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies this off season.  I felt sad.  When he played with my local team, the Minnesota Twins, he was my favorite player.

Why?  Let me explain.

When Thome signed with the Twins before the 2010 season, the phone of (then) Twins general manager Bill Smith rang.

Smith recalled, “I got a call from someone with Philadelphia, telling me what a great guy we were getting…And then I got calls from the White Sox. And the Dodgers, even though he hadn’t been there a long time. And from Cleveland. They’d all say the same thing, about what a good guy he is.” 1

Feb 2

Pro Bowl Friendships Need Fresh Gameplans

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s version of an all-star game. Pro Bowl players are selected by votes from the coaches, players and fans, each of which count for a third of the votes. 

Choosing the best possible players doesn’t guarantee success.  Each player still has the responsibility to perform at his highest level in concert with his fellow teammates.

Game Planning

If you could choose a roster of friends would you have chosen someone like yourself? If you could game plan how you relate to your friends would you make the same choices that you have? If you could game plan how your friends related to you would you make the same choices that they do?

Jan 11

Broomball & Blizzards

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Social, Values

Broomball In A Blizzard

The snow fell relentlessly. By the end of the game the ice on the rink was covered by inches of snow.

My friend Matt Benson, pictured here, was playing goalie during this Spring storm. He lay in goal on a comfy layer of fresh snow.

He’s safe but more than once while playing broomball I’ve been bruised and bloodied, but on this particular day I felt nearly invincible.

Snow fell while we raced across the ice. The falling snow made falling on the ice a far safer venture than usual.

Jan 10

Broomball & Breakaways

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

Breakaways & Broken Spirits

A beautiful February day filled with sunshine, laughter and friends.  It was a TreeHouse staff retreat and we had the morning and afternoon off.  A group of us headed to a local hockey rink for some broomball.

Since many players enjoying scoring goals more than stopping them I volunteered to play goalie for our team.  I also knew that most if not all the players were more athletic and better broomball players that I was. I also assumed that the differences in our abilities would be less evident with me in goal.

Jan 3

Beware Where You Walk In 2012

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

Taz, our dog, usually ran into his “dog run” to take care of “his business.” 1

In his last months, despite his best intentions he didn’t always make it. That’s inconvenient, but it’s not a problem when it’s outside, someone notices what’s going on and she or he responds promptly.

On-the-other-hand, it can become a big problem if:
– Inside, not outside, well, hopefully he made it into the kitchen.
– Someone fails to notice, and there is now an unforeseen minefield awaiting.
– Someone fails to respond, and now there the minefield is caused by neglect too.

Oct 10

Shame Solution – Awareness

Posted on Monday, October 10, 2011 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Last week I wrote about shame.  You can resume that series on shame we had some fun with it, defined it, and practically explained how culturally bound and complicated shame-filled groups can become.

We choose to use shame because it seems to work.

Sadly, shame is insidious, it destroys its loyal supporters. Fortunately, shame but does not have the final word.

Shame can be defeated.  This week I will offer some solutions which may help you and your loved one overcome shame.

Awareness of Needs

Addressing legitimate needs with genuine solutions is one key solution.