Hand Model of the Brain [Dan Siegel]

Learning about the basics of the brain has propelled my relational wisdom and knowledge. Dan Siegel has been one of my main teachers via books, seminars, videos and articles.  He has some videos on YouTube that have proven tremendously helpful.  This short video describing some basic functions of the brain and how we “flip our lid” and can do something about it to calm ourselves down.  Watch this short video and share how you can imagine this being helpful to you in your relationships.  (FYI – Sungshim and I have taught this to our children when they were 4 years old.  If they can learn it so can you.  🙂



I encourage people to reflect on a few questions.

  • What stands out to you?
  • What do you think will be helpful in your relationships?
  • How can you imagine this would help you grow spiritually?

Shalom My Body

 I have taught people about the importance of slowing down and calming yourself down when you notice that you are upset.  I ask people to brainstorm ways that help them to calm their bodies down.  And, I think many people come up with good ideas.  Some come up with not-so-good ideas.  This process call Shalom My Body was something put together by Jim Wilder greatly influenced by Karl Lehman.  I have found this process truly helpful in creating a shift from some form of “upset” to a much more calm state in a fairly brief amount of time.  Much quicker than other options I’ve tried.

I have found that when people are willing to try something new transformation can more readily flow.  Especially if the “new thing” comes recommended by someone you trust and they report positive results.  Of course, I also believe that you should test these things for yourself.  Do not just take my word for it, try it out for a period of time and check the results.

Jim Wilder demonstrating “Shalom My Body”

I welcome your thoughts and actually I appreciate them.  You help me make this a better place and provide me valuable information through your sharing.


Feeling Appreciation Daily – Worksheet

z1 + z2 at fountain

Learning what is necessary for any person to place themselves in a state of mind (brain) to perceive others, including God, relationally is vital to experience peace and love (growth too).  This simple worksheet helps to prime our brains so that we can be in a state of mind to perceive God’s presence as well as other people as relational resources.

Download the worksheet here.

Feeling Appreciation Daily (Appreciation + Interactive seats) [Marriage Retreat 2014]


From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

We can train ourselves to focus our hearts and minds.  Would you like to learn how to pay attention in such a way that builds up your marriage, family and friends?

God’s Principles and Presence

Gods Principles and Presence

Lake Mountain snow

For most of my life of following Christ I have learned the principles of God.   And I am very grateful for this.  I remember in high school my small group leader encouraged us to read Proverbs and Psalms.  That was a very meaningful and powerful experience that set the stage for my desire for wisdom.  During this portion of my life I was drawn to knowing and understanding God’s principles from His word.

In the last number of years I have grown in venture into God’s presence.   This desire to become more aware of and acquainted with God’s presence was always there.   I did not realize or recognize that his presence could actually guide me and leave me and shape me and give me concrete wisdom in the details of my life.

I have known and believe to this day that the Lord is my shepherd and I have everything I need (Psalm 23).  In recent days I have been actually acting as if that was true in my present reality.  That I could follow the lead of His spirit and he would provide for me and guide me like the shepherd He is.

As I become aware of God’s presence I see how his Spirit highlights or holds up different principles in his kingdom at different times in different ways.  It is in the standing before Him in His community with open hands and an open heart that I have begun to trust in each moment that I can learn how to follow the lead of the Spirit.

It is becoming clearer to me that I want to spend the rest of my life with people who want to follow the presence of God wherever He leads.   And, I really want to grow in this way of trusting the shepherd to lead me each moment so that I become the kind of person who does this naturally.  And, to do this so that my children grow up seeing their parents trusting and following the lead of the Spirit so that it becomes second nature to them.  It is my desire to bless them to live in such a way.

* (Note: This was written late Sunday night.  I sensed the Spirit desired for me to write it and post it as it is rather than doing my “better get it perfect before I post it” type of thing.  I am learning to act, reflect, and learn.)

Ash Wednesday

Tonight I went to a church close by my home, Montrose Church, for their Ash Wednesday service.   My family and I attended a few Sundays there during my sabbatical this past summer (2013).  The really wonderful thing was that we already knew a few people that attend the church.  Love how God brings people together.  I thought the pastor did a great job of articulating the meaning and purpose of Ash Wednesday and helping us establish the fast.  Thank you Pastor Dave Roberts.

I came home to prepare a one page “guide” for myself to create or deepen a few practices to turn from my sin and towards Jesus during these 40 days of Lent (minus the Sundays) before the resurrection of Jesus.

I found this short and insightful (fun too) 2 min video on Ash Wednesday.

Even though I have known the basics about Ash Wednesday this short video was helpful.