Everything listed under: Personal Growth

  • The Good Samaritan and the Better Samaritan (Who's Actually a Jew)

      When I think back to my early days of Sunday School, what I remember most vividly are the stories.  Each week biblical scenes came to life through flannel graph depictions and dramatic readings.  My favorites were always the ones with animals: Noah’s Ark, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Jonah and the Whale.

  • Dangerous Hope: The Confessions of a Man with Too Many Christmas Lights

    I own entirely too many Christmas lights for a man of my age and each November I waste about 24 man hours installing the 18,108 mini lights I own (Yes.  In 2008, I counted them).  Lest you worry that perhaps this may be too many lights for a residential home, please know that I am cautious; after blowing any given breaker, I always remove one strand from the offending line before I flip the breaker back on and then secure a new outlet for the subsequent battery of lights.  I have ...

  • Of Sheep and Wolfs

        Katherine Wolf, a sheep at heart, trusts her Shepherd. At 31, she recently shared, (www.hopeheals.com) that she is facing her 11th surgery since her AVM rupture in April of 2008. She says this second aneurism hiding in the recesses of her brain, feels like a ticking time bomb...

  • A Sadness That Speaks of Something More

     The waves of the Salish Sea caress the side of the kayak as my wife and I watch the sun drift across and below the horizon.  The snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountain range preside over the landscape.  Like gods, they expose my frail and transient existence...

  • Razorback

      This photo of Schynige Platte is courtesy of TripAdvisor We were hiking a ridge with 1000 ft drop off on one side. Staggering, heart stopping views of Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Switzerland, with just one valley between us far below. Rewind this hike to a couple hours before when we had come to a crossroads...

  • Storm Stories

         Storm Stories. We all have them. The intensity and duration with resulting devastation and destruction or only mild disruption to our lives and days is a variable, more dependent on the circumstances of our birth, geography, race, gender, identity, history and personal resources...

  • I Don’t Think I Should Still Be This Insecure

    Last week was a tough week.  I had an awkward conversation with some friends and said some things that I ruminated over for days afterward. I had to confront a difficult issue with someone who was out-of-control and made them angry.  Although I had no regrets over the confrontation, I was troubled by the interaction and couldn’t put it out of my head.  While relaxing with my wife later that evening, I perceived her to be distant and distracted....

  • Are you listening?

    The only thing I find more disappointing than bumping into a slow driver in the left lane on I-75, is trying to share something important with someone who doesn't listen well.  They'll both take the wind right out of your sails and deflate an otherwise exhilarating opportunity...

  • The Rule of Complementarity

     Some would say that opposites attract, but I would argue that opposites form.  There is a certain rule – let’s call it the rule of complementarity – that influences marital relationships.  As relationships evolve, people tend to move toward opposite poles to maintain balance in a relationship.....

  • Self-Confidence

    I enjoyed a beautiful ride on the mountain bike the other day.  The afternoon sun heightened the color of the leaves as I biked through the wooded ridges of my favorite trail system.  It was one of those rides that made me feel strong, good about myself and good about my life...

  • Courage in the Face of Fear

    Courage to face difficult circumstances in life does not come without fear.  Even for those you see as very courageous.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage assumes fear.  When I was younger a group of friends and I went boating out on a local lake.&...

  • Thirty-five degrees and raining…

                    Not exactly my idea of a fun run but I had an emergency yesterday that knocked out my long run for the week, so I thought I’d try and make up for it today. Surprisingly the trail was not as empty as I would have thought. I would guess that most of those out had some form of cabin fever…In any case, there we all were, cold and crazy, enjoying a little fresh air.

  • Sailing Close to Shore

    As we kick off the year 2013, please allow me to share with you one of my favorite prayers by Sir Frances Drake:  “Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little...

  • What’s Going On Under the Hood?

    I have been dealing with some emotions over the past week and a half that have not plagued me in quite some time.   I have been extremely agitated, short-fused, lacking in joy, and downright ticked off.  Anger has reared its ugly head...

  • Living with Joy

     Imagine the TV show, “19 kids and counting” and this would give you some idea what the Elliotts experienced when our family of five brought into our home, seven more girls at Big Oak Ranch. Those days were rich with blessing, spilling over with activity...

  • Why People Seek Counseling – Love, Joy, & Peace

    There are many reasons people seek therapy, including feeling stuck, not feeling good, being unhappy, loss of a relationship or loved one, etc. I contend that the majority of the multitude of reasons people seek out the services of a professional counselor can be categorized into three broad areas...

  • There’s No Place like Home

    Several years ago my son had a job assignment that took him to Western Siberia. It sounds like a joke but it’s really true! There was a tent city that had been built to accommodate the workers who came from across the country or around the world to build this facility...