"Rob, you haven't seen me when I get angry."

A friend of mine said this to me, recently. No, he wasn't talking about becoming The Hulk. What he was saying, however, was that although he is a seemingly tender and gentle person when in public, he is an incredibly volatile person when he's alone or just with his family.

In other words, he described, he's sometimes explosive in private. Like, when he and his wife fight. Or when his kids won't stop whining or complaining. Or when he feels like he can't make ends meet. That's when the anger in him boils over into something else.

Is anger always bad?

No. It's not.

Posted
AuthorRob Strong

My fifteen year old son asked if he could go with some buddies to get ice cream after a youth group evening a few weeks ago.

"Sure," I said.

The next day he approached me and wanted to tell me a story about something that happened the night before at the restaurant. Apparently, when they arrived, it was very busy and it took a few minutes to get seated. And it wasn't so much the inside of the restaurant that was busy, but the ice cream service window that was teeming with people and causing delays everywhere.

So they waited.

And waited.

Posted
AuthorRob Strong

(Credit given to the person who shared the 6 words first. This is my experience in trying it out. Thank you to whomever said it first)

Sometimes it's hard to watch your son or daughter play in their competitive sport. If you notice closely, most of us are doing the same thing...our eyes are trained in on our child the most. As a result, our perspective of the game runs through that vision of the game. And the weight of the game can rest upon the action or inaction of our own child.

Can you relate to that?

You want to know what's really sad? Now that I'm an older man with four kids, I suddenly think I've got the whole perspective on what should or shouldn't happen in the game. I can see the whole field from my fold-able, out-of-a-bag chair on the sideline and see with such apparent clarity what needs to happen in the game.  Meanwhile, the kids on the field are just that...on the field, usually with an opposing team running full speed straight at them.

Posted
AuthorRob Strong

Why is it that it only takes a simple negative comment from someone to make our mood sink and our confidence leave the room? Have you ever had that happen? You're talking with your mom or a friend or a coworker or someone else and in the middle of the conversation they say something that cuts you like a knife? You don't show it at the time, but when you hang up the phone or on your car ride home you feel the pain, again. And it's all you think about, right?

What do you do in a situation like that?

You could get even...

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AuthorRob Strong
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I am currently in the middle of a situation that involves a number of people who do not see eye to eye on a particular situation that has unfolded. Feelings are definitely hurt, anger has arrived and set in, distrust has supplanted trust, and there seems to be no solution in sight.

Have you ever found yourself in similar situation?

So what does one do? How does someone act when this inevitability comes to our doorstep? Every situation is unique and should be respected as such. The dynamics, the people involved, the storyline, etc.  All of these things have to be considered. But I would propose several components that can help get one through such a situation...

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AuthorRob Strong
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Working from Henri Nouwen's book, Reaching Out, (Image Publishing, 1975), I've laid out the first two movements toward a recalibrated spiritual life: First, moving from Loneliness to Solitude. And second, moving from Hostility to Hospitality.

In this final installment, the movement is from Illusion to Prayer.

Let's look a little closer at these two words. First, illusion. What is the great illusion I'm moving from? What illusion?

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AuthorRob Strong

If your spiritual life is struggling and you can't seem to connect with God right now, then read on. This is the second of a three-part series:

Henri Nouwen, a former Catholic priest and professor, wrote a score of books. One of my favorites is Reaching Out, (Image Publishing, 1975). In it, he says three things (which he calls "Movements") must take place in order for us to have a natural, living, breathing, and everlasting, growing relationship with God.

Posted
AuthorRob Strong

Not to oversimplify, but if your spiritual life is struggling and you can't seem to connect with God right now, then read on. This is the first of a 3-part series:

Henri Nouwen, a former Catholic priest and professor, wrote a score of books. One of my favorites is Reaching Out, (Image Publishing, 1975). In it, he says three things (which he calls "Movements") must take place in order for us to have a lasting, growing, and natural relationship with God.

Posted
AuthorRob Strong