Design Your Home

When you purchase a new home, that is the time to sort through what gets left behind, recycled or brought with you.  many times people bring junk, that has serious sentimental value.  Many times we are upgrading the size of our home and we think we need to bring everything, because we need to fill up the home.  The problem is that we tend to bring the clutter.  Sometimes all the clutter gets shoved into the 2 car garage so the house can present as clean.  The problem is that now you have no place to put your cars.

I was having a conversation with my Pastor and he took me on an interesting journey.  Imagine that your brain is your home.  What does the front door look like.  He reminds me that right now there is nothing.  So whatever we put in there, we do so purposefully.

The passage that my Pastor was illustrating was Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So seeing everything as brand new was exciting.  I do not have to lug garbage into my new home.  I do not have to design my home like someone else says I should. I can start from a clean slate and add those accents that shine light on the most important thing or person in that room.  What does that room need to reflect.  For me, it represents a rebirth and an opportunity to build something that is worthy of the carpenter that paid dearly to give this room to me.

Continue reading “Design Your Home”

Hard work to think half full

Half Full

So how do we get those negative thoughts out of our head.  These are the notes from Alison Ledgerwood on TEDX.  Alison explained that we have two frames one that is negative or one that is positive.  If we see a glass as half full we are happy. If see a glass is half-empty not so happy.  We look at the good and bad in a day and tend to really remember the bad.

Alison explained that if she had a positive experience at work, she would be happy, but then quickly snap back to her baseline.  If something negative happened then she would have negative feelings.  What was interesting is that she would not swing back as quickly to the baseline.  The tendency is to linger in the negative and not let it go.  As a Psychologist she wanted to understand why we tended to stay there.  Then she questioned can people change their frame.

The study had two groups that they shared the same data with, but presented it in two different ways.  What was being explained to group one was that there was a medical procedure that had a 70% success rate.  Group one was positive about that.  Then group two was told that the procedure had a 30% failure rate.  Group two then had a negative reaction to the procedure.  They then went back to group one to share that the procedure had a 30% failure rate. Now group one has a negative take on the procedure even after first being told that there was a 70% success rate.  Meaning that once the mind turns negative, it tends to stay there.  Group 2 was told that the procedure had a 70% success rate and they still were negative on the procedure.

Alison spoke of another study and it was explaining to two groups that a governor was running for re-election and that with the current budget cuts they expected 10,000 jobs to be effected.  Group 1 was told that the governor was able to save 40% of the jobs.  Group 1 liked that.  Group two was told that 60% of the jobs were lost. group 2 did not like that.  When Group one was told that 60% of the jobs were lost, now there opinion swung negative. Group was told 40% of the jobs were saved and Group 2 stayed negative.  What this showed is that once we turn negative it takes a lot of hard work to move back to positive.


To try and quantify this, Alison explained again using two groups.  the statement is that 600 lives are at stake.  Group one was asked “If 100 lives are saved, how many will be lost.  The answer is 600- 100 = 500.  that took group 7 seconds to respond to.  Then group two was asked If 100 lives are lost, how many will be saved. Again the answer is 600 – 100 = 500.  However, it took this group 11 seconds to respond.  Showing that it is harder to find the positive or bright side.  that we go more naturally to the negative and indeed it is harder work to see the same problem in the positive.

Alison explained that were things we can do to train our mind so that we do not get stuck in the negatives.  She suggested writing about all the good things that happened to you today. Even on a bad day, if you start remembering the good things your attitude starts to turn positive you start to smile and then come to the conclusion that maybe the day was not so bad.

From my perspective I think that is why Christians giving thanks for the many blessings that we have is the little secret sauce for happiness.  The reality is that discipline of giving thanks, or remembering blessings is a healthy discipline that can lead to joy and happiness.


Hello world!

Welcome to my new website.  Please check back often as we talk about taking out the trash.  You know the thing that we train our boys to do when they are early o life, but years into adulthood, we realized that the never really mastered the science of it. We will unpack how the young male adult still is challenged t understand what he means to take out the trash in a physical sense and also in an emotional sense.  Guys tend not to pay attention to those obvious signals staring us right in the face.  I remember when I was first married, my wife would put a bag of trash at the top of the steps of the basement.  We typically had to take the trash down through the basement and outside where we kept the trash can.  My wife thought I was deliberately avoid my chore.  I argued that I never saw the trash.  She screamed back, that you stepped right over it to get to the basement.  my response was, I thought something was there. I could not figure out why my wife would place obstacles in my way.  Well we are guys and Debbie is going to help clear our minds so we can start to see those obstacles in our life and help us to move on to grand things.