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Life Challenges

Before You Talk to a Grieving Person…

By | Communication, Life Challenges, Ministry, Relationships | No Comments
The recent church shooting in Texas sickens my heart. I can’t understand how anyone could do such a terrible, heartless, cowardly thing. It is an example of what happens when a reckless person has pure evil in their heart.

And now, in the aftermath, Americans are reacting and reflecting. Some of this reflection is good. We need to think now about how we can support the victim’s families, and, later, what we can learn from this tragedy.

But I’m afraid some of the reaction is not helpful at all. I don’t often scan Facebook, but today I did. And I was heartbroken at some of the things people were saying. They simply weren’t helpful; and they could make life harder for those who are grieving.

So I thought I’d cobble together a quick post on a few things not to say when you talk to a grieving person. And, I’ll do my best to explain why.
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The Unruly Child in Your Pocket

By | Kids, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
John has four children. Three of them are very well-behaved. John is one of those parents who believes kids should learn good manners and be polite. Because of this, he’s taught them not to interrupt other peoples’ conversations. He’s taught them to say please when they ask for something, and thank you when they receive it. And, he’s taught them that they can not always be the center of attention.

But he’s only taught these ideas to three of his kids.
His fourth kid is a rebel.

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Is jealousy in marriage normal?

Is Jealousy in Marriage Normal – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | One Comment

Part 2

Is it normal for your spouse to feel jealous even if you haven’t done anything wrong?  How do you respond to them when they are jealous?  And how do you best respond to the jealousy that can crop up in your own heart sometimes?  In this two-part blog post, I tackle these tricky issues.

Read Part 1 of This Post

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Five Questions that Will Make You Look Like a Communication Pro

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
The best kept secret about how to communicate in a tense conversation is this: forward movement will usually happen because of something you hear, not because of something you say.

I have written in my books and on this blog about the fact that when conversations turn sharp, it usually ends in two people talking (sometimes very loudly) and no one listening.  Arguments and heated exchanges often do nothing to move the ball down the field, and do far too much to elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall stress level.  And what’s the point of that? Read More

When You and Your Spouse Disagree About Politics

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s one thing to disagree with friends and co-workers about political issues, but what do you do when your spouse is rooting for something or someone that you can’t stand?

Here are a few ways to safeguard the heart of your relationship, and avoid a November marriage meltdown. Read More

Wise, Foolish, and Evil People – How Can You Tell the Difference?

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Years ago, Dr. Henry Cloud introduced me to the idea that there are three kinds of people in this world: wise, foolish, and evil. I love that observation! It comes straight from the book of Proverbs where the Bible outlines the difference between each of these life paths. The wise person is headed for a bright and exciting future, the fool a life of hardship and frustration, and the evil person a fittingly disastrous and tragic end.

This is very important for those of us who parent, coach, lead teams, supervise, hire, fire, or are in any other type of authority role. We need to be able to quickly recognize the difference between these life patterns, because they massively impact the future of our families, teams, and organizations. Read More

The Defense Won’t Rest

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | 2 Comments
David and Stacy have a real challenge when it comes to communicating. Neither of them ever feel they are truly heard by the other. When they discuss points of conflict, they automatically default to arguing mode; they completely miss the opportunity to share their true feelings with each other. When they talk, defensiveness rules. They refuse to admit responsibility for causing their spouse pain, and instead, they place blame back on the other.

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the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More