May 29, 2020
“Reflections of The Stress Bubble Past”
Footballs and Tree Tops
I was sitting on an Adirondack chair on my front porch moments after finishing a bike ride when I heard it. Springtime in Oregon involves green fields, blooming trees, and chirping birds. The sound came from the direction of our Morning Blaze Maple, and I knew instantly what it was—a football.
Circa 2008 Colton punted a green Nike football into the treetop while we played in the yard. It remained there from the time he was 10 until now that he’s 22. Two weeks later it’s still there. I tear up every time I walk by it, a gross mnemonic device that my boys are now men. I should be excited, but I find myself mourning the loss of their childhood. Why am I unwilling to accept what I thought adjusted to years ago?
Time was at a standstill while they were boys, when life was filled with the chaos of the Stress Bubble. But the house is much quieter now and time races by.
May 22, 2020
Learn from Great Lovers
Last week we had the privilege of interviewing Gary Chapman, author of many books including, 5 Love Languages, that has sold over 13 million English copies (not to mention the millions in other languages). At 82 years old, Gary is vibrant, engaged and articulate. This will be his 50 Year Anniversary of marriage to his lovely wife Carolyn. I’d say that qualifies his as a great lover of one, not to mention the millions he’s helped thorough his writing.
Gary has a passion for helping people form lasting relationships. He is known around the world as a marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars. His nationally syndicated radio programs air nationally on Moody Radio Network and over 400 affiliate stations.
Gary wrote the 5 Love Languages after noticing some common themes in his counseling sessions with married couples. Loving each other wasn’t enough. He discovered it was how one spouse loved the other, and also that certain ways of loving were more effective than others. He discovered that each person expresses love in his or her own way. Learning your partner's and your own primary love language will help create a stronger bond in your relationship.
May 15, 2020
A Better Question
This is a question most often asked by men aspiring to summit the mountain of manhood. But it’s not the best question. If it was the best question it wouldn’t involve getting “better”. “Better” implies that a man is sick, broken or wounded, which may be the case for many. I prefer to ignore the obvious and focus on men becoming their best version in spite of their shortcomings. In fact, how to become your best version is the question our Men in the Arena team spent 50-weeks answering with our five-book Man Card Series: The Trailhead, Climb, Summit, Descent, and The Trail’s End.
May 8, 2020
About Contributing Writer Chris Jackson: Chris is an insurance agency owner and an avid outdoorsman who lives in Andalusia, Alabama, with his wife Shannon. They love to road trip and chase adventures all over the country.
I am Not Afraid
I’m not sure why, but I love Star Wars! Maybe, I love Star Wars because I went to see Empire Strikes Back at 9 years old with my dad? Maybe I love Star Wars because I wanted to rescue a Princess, like Leia? Or, maybe it is because I always longed for an OB1 to tell me I was made for more and to pull me up into a larger story?
One scene in Empire Strikes Back that has always struck me is when Luke is trying to convince Yoda to train him. Luke, with a firm set jaw, tells Yoda, “I won’t fail you, I am not afraid.” Amused, Yoda wisely informs Luke, “You will be…you will be!”
Yoda knew for Luke to mature into a Jedi, he would have to experience fear.
May 1, 2020
CREATIVE ACTIVITIES DURING COVID-19
Back Bay Blues
Have you ever stepped on “ground without a foundation?” I’ve never experienced a muddier platform than the silt covered bottom in the back of Morro Bay. The notorious “Back Bay” has left many boats and kayaks high and dry after being caught on the outgoing tide before getting to one of the few known channels
The tides have no prejudice—victimizing hunters, kayakers and sand dune explorers alike. Missing the tide means either waiting for hours until the tides begin to rise or wading through waist deep mud while pushing the boat to the nearest channel.
I’ve been caught, more times than I’d like to admit, up to my chest in the quagmire of the Back Bay because I refused to accept the looming outgoing tides. One humiliating time in particular was when two Audubon Society-looking people pointed and laughed as my dad and I pushed our duck boat through the muddy “channel” to the boat ramp!