Shaped by your Brother’s Discipline

Shaped by your Brother’s Discipline

Our youngest son, Mitchell, spent a week with his oldest brother in Los Angeles recently.  I think they had a great time.  But then the important day arrived.  Mitchell’s flight to China was scheduled to leave at 1:00 in the morning.  He will spend a year there teaching young children English. Mitchell let me know early that day that Randall would be taking him to LAX to see him off. My first thought was one of appreciation. I was grateful…

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Emotional Shelves in Your Heart!

Emotional Shelves in Your Heart!

I am a visual learner. If you can paint a picture for me, I will actually learn something.  Several months ago, I was troubled by a unique experience I had encountered. I ended up seeking out the counsel of a trusted friend.  After sharing what I had encountered, my friend said: “You don’t have a shelf in your heart to put that particular experience on.”   I liked that image!  I could do something with that.  It was helpful.  And, I…

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Coming Home to An Empty Refrigerator

Coming Home to An Empty Refrigerator

I came home earlier this week expecting to have leftovers for dinner.  But, the leftovers were gone.  In fact, the entire refrigerator had been raided.  The homemade Chex mix Jan had made a few days earlier had been devoured. I was hoping the bread and peanut butter had somehow been spared. The guilty parties were sprawled out in the living room watching an NBA game.  I ate my peanut butter sandwich without complaint, because I knew the empty refrigerator and…

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Children are to be Heard as Well as Seen…

Children are to be Heard as Well as Seen…

Children are to be seen and not heard…. My parents were of the old school, and so consequently they subscribed to that very philosophy.  My dad told me more than once that I was “talking when I should be listening.”   That’s not bad counsel…  But, I learned this past week that that limits should be placed on such a philosophy of communication. If you listen carefully to what your child is saying to you, you can learn a lot.  This…

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Where Do You Feel Safe?

Where Do You Feel Safe?

Every Monday “Mama Holly”, as we affectionately call her, prepares a home-cooked meal for the police officers working the 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. nightshift.  Her nickname stems from the fact that her son is the patrol sergeant, who supervises that particular shift.  Her home is one of the safest places I have ever been.  And, the relative safety I enjoy there has nothing to do with the fact that most of the dinner guests are well-armed. Mama Holly and her…

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The Wish List of An Angry Teenager

The Wish List of An Angry Teenager

41 years-ago today I said goodbye to my father.  He was home recovering from surgery when another medical emergency arose on a Saturday afternoon.  As my mother prepared to rush him to the emergency room, he told me goodbye. And, that was the last time I spoke to my father. He died the next day.  People were kind to our family in the immediate aftermath of such an unexpected event.  My father’s colleagues from all over the country flew into…

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Fostering Confidence in Children

Fostering Confidence in Children

Sometime next month my youngest will embark on a new life adventure overseas. He is committed to teaching English in China for one year.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University in December, so this will be his first “big-boy job” to use his terminology. Getting on a plane and relocating to China for a year was not on my radar when I was his age.  Of course, I have to remember that I was married by that…

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All You Need is MY Love!

All You Need is MY Love!

All you need is love.  That sounds like the lyrics of a song from the ‘60’s.  All you need is love… I am a “Two” on the Enneagram.  Those of us that are “Two’s are sometimes referred to as the helpers.   Two’s are empathetic and kind.  They are personable and self-sacrificing.  They  often choose to love under any and all circumstances. What beautiful traits.  But, underneath the beauty of such a caring spirit, are some false assumptions. As a Two,…

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Mopping up the Embers of Anger

Mopping up the Embers of Anger

When I think of anger, I think intensity.   A person is boiling mad! They are fired up!  Voices are raised, and blood pressure levels are elevated.  Doors are slammed and hateful words are spoken.  I grew up with a father who was known to have fits of rage periodically.  He was never physically abusive, but he showed several of the above mentioned outward expressions of anger. Those are not fond childhood memories. A good friend of mine is married to…

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What is Hidden Behind the Curtain of a Quiet Spirit?

What is Hidden Behind the Curtain of a Quiet Spirit?

The real treasures in your life are often hidden behind the curtain of a quiet spirit. That is true of every group, and even church is no exception.  Churches have treasures that remain undiscovered until they surface unexpectedly.  My family moved to Granbury in July of 2004.  We chose to paint the interior of our new home before the chaos of having three young boys in a new house ensued.  And there were other menial chores around the house that…

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