• The Doghouse

    Short-Term What, Long-Term What? Choose Well.

    Of all the wisdom and insight I learned in a three-year lay counseling training, one really stands out. I think of this little chart as “the doghouse.” Decision-making often involves choosing between short-term pleasure or short-term pain. (Usually it’s more like short-term inconvenience.) Short-term pleasure often leads to long-term pain, and short-term pain often leads to long-term pleasure. What doesn’t work, and is a horribly unrealistic expectation for life, is short-term pleasure leading to long-term pleasure! (Wouldn’t THAT be nice?!) Maturity and wisdom is displayed by the choices we make, especially when we exercise patience and self-control, not insisting on the instant-gratification jolt of “I want it NOW!!!” Many of…

  • Engage

    The Tyranny of the Expected Response… What lies beneath?

    A farmer sits on his front porch. Just inside the screen door the phone rings. And rings. His neighbor asks, “Aren’t you going to get that?”   The farmer spits and leans back, “I bought that phone for my convenience. And right now…it’s not convenient.”   Not so long ago…if someone phoned you and you didn’t answer…they just called you back.  Then, If someone emailed you…you responded within a day or two. All was well. Then came instant messenger and Facebook messaging. We see you are logged in on Facebook so we kind of expect you to respond… Then came a river of  tweets rushing by…I know you’re always checking…

  • Engage

    The Dark Side of Creativity: Procrastination

    Is your brain like a German autobahn with lots of slick, European sports-car thoughts…zooming in out of nowhere…inspiring…creating…(distracting)? Creativity is a joy to give away–writing, cooking, festive table settings, gardening, crafts, ministry projects, lesson preps—all these rich gifts God has given us. But there’s a downside too. Research links creativity to impulsivity. James 1:14-15 for Creatives might read, “…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own impulses. Then impulsivity when it has conceived gives birth to loss of self-control, and loss of self-control, when it is fully grown brings forth procrastination, missed deadlines and unfinished work.” And the guilty, diminished feeling that goes with them.…