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Have you ever noticed that to re-create is also to recreate (recreation)? Think about it... How awesome would 2020 be if you could reinvent yourself to the ideal you and ENJOY 2020 like no other year before? Recently we celebrated Jesus' birth, but think about this: Jesus was re-created when he came to earth in Human form. We may celebrate Jesus' birth on Christmas day, but he has been here since the beginning of time. I love this photo because it makes me think of God (large hand) holding Jesus (small hand) when God transformed Jesus to human form so we could have a relationship with him. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things we

Hand Me Down

Do you feel like you are treated like a child and this makes you mad because you are 30 and want to be treated like an adult? Are you sick of getting your parent's "hand-me-downs?" Are you still living under your parent's control, under their roof, their rules, with their problems? Are you living dependent on them for income for your needs? Well, maybe the problem is your parents still treat you as a child because you are so dependent on them. Ouch! Wait, I get it. The cost of renting an apartment is through the roof. You need a savings of about $4,000 just to be able to pay the first months rent and security deposit. Then you have to furnish it and turn on the utilities, which can cost anot

Time Less

Technology is killing relationships. Look at this statue called Absorbed by Light created for the Amsterdam Light Festival by a brand design agency. If I had named it, I would have called it Distracted from living. I know this is only a statue, but if you walk down any street, or look at a group of drivers on a busy road, stand in line at the grocery store, or look at parents at the park with their children, everyone is looking at their cell phone. Just look at the couple in this statue: There is beauty in the backdrop of the river and buildings that they are missing. They are missing the opportunity to share conversation with each other. Those moments of time lost and consequently, the bond

Aramaic Wonderings

Have you ever noticed how everything is beautiful when you are in love? The sky is bluer, the waters are clearer, the breeze has just a hint of Jasmine, and everything falls into place as if Mary Poppins herself snapped her fingers and “It’s done.” Ah, yes, life is wonderful when you are in love. But what happens to us when that dream relationship ends? We spiral out of control like Dorothy and Toto in the eye of the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. We feel like every turn is the wrong turn, every decision is leading us away from where we truly want to go and we have no idea how to turn our life around to get back “on track.” Sometimes we feel like the only way to find balance again is to find “

Christ in Christmas

The Christmas that wasn't. There was no Christmas tree. There were no ribbons or ornaments. There were no lights over the entry. There was no wreath hung on the door. There was no music heard that day. There was no joy in the air. There was no one to give love. There was no one to receive it. There was no celebration of the birth. There was no hope for tomorrow. There was only silence. Some would say this person has made a choice to live this way. But consider... How many homeless people woke up to a wet Christmas morning, cold, without family, without money, living on the streets and under bridges? How many of our military woke up Christmas morning to the sound of gunfire, bombs, and death?

Born To Us

Mary and David were alone. The walk to Bethlehem was not an easy one. Young Mary was expecting a baby any minute. She rode on the back of a donkey because her labor pains had already begun. Have you ever considered the anxious thoughts that might have been going through Mary's exhausted mind and the remembrance of the Angel who visited her and told her of this day. Did she worry about raising this child whom the Angel called Jesus the Messiah? Did she consider the dangers of raising this baby and how Jesus might change her and David's lives forever? Did she fear the pains of childbirth? Did she fear she would not be a worthy mother for Jesus or a good wife to David? Or did she have peace? Wa

Stary Stary Night

Astrology and star gazing have been around for centuries and is recorded in books, tablets, and even in cave drawings. Wisdom was said to have been "found in the stars" and for centuries men have been looking into the heavens for answers to life's questions. Is it no wonder that the foretelling of the Messiah would be found in the stars, or actually just ONE star, a new star that had never been seen before the night Jesus was born. Wise men who were star gazers and had the knowledge of the heavens all noticed a new star. I imagine it was a big deal that a new star had appeared from seemingly nowhere. What would it mean? How would it change their beliefs whatever they were at the time? Or was

Shepherd's Pie

The life of a Shepherd was not an easy one. Men and boys would walk for miles each day in search of grass for their flocks to feed upon. They would walk behind their herd as they drove them forward with their staff in hand, guiding them and keeping them in a group. The dust must have been unbearable to breath in the hot desert sun. As they covered their faces and their eyes with their scarves, the smell must have been pretty pungent as the animals soiled the ground at the shepherd's feet. Sweat mixed with feces and dirt must have caked their bare feet and legs as they pressed the herd to their desired destination. Exhausted and hungry, the shepherds would sit near a fire as dusk settled into

A Village of Love

You've heard it said that to raise a child, "It takes a village" and at Home Front @ Camp Anza that is exactly what is happening. Home Front @ Camp Anza is a Veteran permanent housing facility located in Riverside, California. It was a WWII staging facility for soldiers being shipped overseas. After the war it sat vacant for many years. Mercy House, a Nonprofit organization that is addressing the homeless problem, repurposed the barracks and Officer's Club and now it provides affordable housing for veterans and their families who otherwise would be living on the streets. Today, Jian Tan APCC and I were honored to represent Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers as we served up encourageme

2019 Best of Riverside Award

I am honored that Encouragers was nominated and has received this award presented by the Riverside Award Program. The following is their press release December 11, 2019: Encouragers Counseling & Training Center, Inc Receives 2019 Best of Riverside Award Riverside Award Program Honors the Achievement Encouragers Counseling & Training Center, Inc has been selected for the 2019 Best of Riverside Award in the Non-Profit Organization category by the Riverside Award Program. Each year, the Riverside Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image

Still Swinging

Who says? I mean really, when it comes to being "too old," who says what that age that is? Eric Erickson, who took his clues from Sigmund Freud, documented in his 8 stages of growth that as we turn 55 and 65 we become stagnant, self-absorbed, and live a life of despair. Author Henry David Thoreau observed, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." This morning I went for my usual walk in the hills near my home. As I passed a park I noticed five women playing softball. Closer examination showed these were not young women, in fact their average age was over 65. I watched in amazement for a moment and smiled to myself as I walked on. About 300 y

Imagine That

Where did our imagination go? Laying on the grass looking up at puffy clouds in the sky trying to find animals, people, or things we could give names to, "It looks like a dinosaur taking a nap" or "I see a huge butterfly doing backflips," or "I see a tree full of monkeys." We would then laugh at our mental meanderings. These were the days of wonderment when children were allowed to consider and contemplate the possibilities. Where did those days go? We have stopped imagining the "what if's" in exchanged for the "what is." All too often, what is isn't pleasant or desirable and can be discouraging and difficult. What if we could use our imagination to have a better outcome in life? Sometimes o

Roar your truth

Are you a mouse or a lion? I remember growing up and hearing someone ask me that question during a time when I was being bullied. Of course I couldn't answer the question because I felt like a mouse, but knew I was supposed to act like a lion. So I could only look up into the older person's face blankly with tears in my eyes. Instinctually, I knew if I could learn to be a lion I wouldn't be bullied anymore. Of course, the person did not tell me HOW to act like a lion, so I only walked away from the experience more confused and full of shame for not knowing how be a lion. A few years later, I was standing at attention in a new police uniform surrounded by my superiors who were all simultaneou

Never Forget

My dad was 17 years old and newly enlisted in the Navy when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was unharmed except for when he was assigned to recover bodies from the ocean wearing a divers suit. It had led in the shoes which allowed him to be dropped overboard and the weight would pull him to the floor of the ocean. On his head was a heavy spaceship type helmet that had a hose that ran to the ship where air could be pumped down all owing him to breath under water. He had no experience as a diver when they ordered him into the suit. He told me he was terrified of drowning but what he saw was even more horrific. He would see hundreds of bodies floating around him. Their eyes were open sta

You Deserve Better

A new revelation can come in a moment of clarity over circumstances that have been haranguing ones life for months, years, heck, even decades. One person, or even the memory of one mistake, can keep us beating ourselves up and tearing ourselves down. We end up living a life that is less-than what we deserve, and what we deserve is better. I love when my clients turn the proverbial corner in their thinking and come to realize they deserve better. One client, who has been suffering for years at the hands of others, shared with me her new mantra, "I deserve better than you" based on a song she heard by Meghan Trainor (attached). “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so

Holiday Survival Groups

The season of joy is upon us. The shopping has begun, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the Christmas carols are in full swing on the airways, and Starbucks Peppermint Mochas and Pumpkin Spice are the rave. But what about the ones who don't find happiness in any of these traditions? The holidays are not always Holly or Jolly. For many, it can mark a negative experience of the past, it can be an anniversary of a marriage that ended in divorce. It can be a time of loss and pain. It can be the exclamation point to the pain of missing someone who has passed away. For many, there is no tree, no holly, no decorations, no cookies, and no holiday cheer is in their hearts. For some, the hol

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