“The Angriest…”

When a fan of “Big Bang Theory” comes across a YouTube video of Chuck Lorre talking about its heartbreaking end, you watch it.


In the interview by CBS Sunday Morning, Lorre’s past as being labeled as “the angriest man in television” surfaced. Lorre had this to say:

I’m trying…I’m trying to have more perspective…but fear for me exhibits as anger because I’m not going to show you fear; I’m going to show you anger because that’s just how I grew up and that’s what you present in the world and that maybe is what becomes your reputation.

Thanks for your transparency and helpful insight, Lorre.

Is it possible that you aren’t angry as much as you are afraid? Is it possible your boss isn’t really mad at your feedback but fearful of something completely unrelated to your conversation? Is it possible that all anger is mostly a smokescreen for fear?

Before you let the sun go down on your or someone else’s anger, consider what role fear has. That attempt at more perspective could change your label and improve your reputation. 

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What Are You Telling Yourself?

2 Kings 5 tells the entertaining and interesting story of Naaman. Naaman was a commander in the Syrian army who also happened to be a leper. His wife’s handmaid, a young Israelite, encouraged him to go see Elisha, the prophet in Samaria that she believed could heal him. After gathering what he thought he needed for the trip and arriving at Elisha’s front door, he found out things were not going to play out as he thought.

Elisha sent out a messenger to tell him to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman didn’t think this was acceptable.

Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet. (MSG)

“I thought…I said to myself…I told myself.” 

Naaman had told himself what to expect based on his position and on his limited understanding of God’s prophets and their ways. When his expectations were not realized, his initial reaction was anger. His expectations were not realized because he had only talked with himself. 

You been there? I have. Built expectations on just what I thought, what I had told myself. No one else was in the conversation. No one. And it didn’t end well.

Not knowing the God of Israel, it’s understandable that Naaman would have to experience something like this to believe, to see his thoughts in a new light. Naaman had to learn that a life lived with only one conversation with yourself is limited and potentially hopeless. A better life, the one God desires for you, is found when you invite God and others into the conversation. When Naaman humbled himself, released his expectations and listened to someone else, then God was able to heal him.

What are you telling yourself? What if you always welcomed God into the conversation? I grow weary of telling myself anything. I’d rather God tell me everything, be in charge, and meet his expectations.

Fruity Fridays: Slow, Soft, Seeing Gentleness

(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)

post by Eric Vorhies 

When I think of gentleness, the first image that comes to mind is a new parent holding their child. Or maybe, gentleness is the appropriate amount of pressure to a car’s gas pedal when a teen is behind the wheel. It’s the spy in the movie handling the bomb, it’s a team of nurses in the hospital transferring a patient from a stretcher to a bed, and it’s the way one picks up the pieces of broken glass. Gentleness is slow in the way it moves. It understands the importance of a situation and is aware of the consequences of hurriedness. Gentleness is soft in the way it touches. It is reserved for handling the most delicate and fragile of all items. Gentleness sees in the way eyes cannot. Gentleness is guided, not by the present situation, but by the possibilities of many situations that are yet to come. 

Everyone understands the consequences of not being gentle when holding a baby. You could drop them… which apparently isn’t funny to even joke about. But what about the consequences of handling a relationship? Like luggage at an airport — most of the damage is on the inside and goes unseen by the person who handled it poorly. How messed up will someone be on the inside if they are not handled with gentleness? 

I need you to understand something — I haven’t been able to write this post because I have been distracted with life. Work has been unpleasantly slow, and I have been primarily a stay-at-home parent (which I am not good at) of three boys under 5yo (who I love dearly) that are, by default, very dependent on me. Then today, I learned that some very expensive equipment of mine can’t be fixed, I ordered the wrong rental to use this weekend in place of my broken equipment, and everything was frustratingly avoidable. I haven’t wanted to write this because gentleness has been absent from my life. 

And it makes me think…

The level of gentleness that God must possess…It seems unfathomable. Think about it — I am broken with sin, you are broken with sin…everyone is broken. We are metaphorically like fractured and cracked pieces of glass or jars of clay, and God is carrying us to our destination, slowly, softly, and seeing everything that could go wrong. My eyes well up thinking about how differently He has Fathered me than I would have fathered myself. 

The thing that has been weighing heavily on me is the thought that I might somehow be contributing to the brokenness of those around me because I am not being gentle. Is my sin damaging the fragile parts of the people I care most about? I have been short when I should have been patient. I have projected frustration when I should have projected insightfulness. I have been rash when I should have been calming. I have shaken the relational foundations with others to cope with my own feelings.

Maybe you are like me in some way…not applying gentleness to situations that resemble a bomb that is about to explode or to relationships that so are damaged they need to be treated like an ER patient.

Well, that’s why James writes, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

Be Slow when you react to people. It will give you time to find the right words to say, if anything needs to be said at all.

Be Soft in the way you deal with them. It is not about the amount of pressure that is applied, but how and where and when that pressure is applied that can break something…or someone.

And See the potential consequences of how not being gentle will play out. Because deep down, we are vulnerable and susceptible to being damaged because of the baggage we carry.

3 Keys to Distinguishing Yourself

In a world where everyone and everything is readily accessible, the idea of making a mark, of being memorable, of branding well is high on the priority list. Believe it or not, there’s a guy in the Bible whose storyline gives insights into distinguishing yourself. You find him in Daniel 6.

“Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to set him over the whole realm. The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.” ‭‭Daniel‬ ‭6:3-4‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Daniel was a foreigner, in exile. Yet he respected God’s purposes enough to distinguish himself, not for himself but for God. Verse 3 says he had an extraordinary spirit; verse 4 says he was trustworthy and without corruption. How did these three keys set him apart?

Extraordinary Spirit

When you’re forced to be somewhere not of your choosing, your first inclination is not to be extraordinary. Most would be tempted with bitterness or anger. For the person who truly believes like Daniel that God sees and knows all things, those temptations can easily be overcome. Whatever challenge you face-job situation, financial struggles, family tension, unexpected loss-you have access to the God who is working for you who can give you an extraordinary spirit. That’s distinguishing. 

Trustworthy 

Nurturing and cultivating trust in all relationships is worth any amount of time and effort. Think about the people you most trust. How did that trust get built? What character traits do they manifest that distinguished them to foster your willingness to trust them? Daniel had saved lives by his dream interpretation skills. That’s trustbuilding. But even more cultivating was he didn’t take credit. He acknowledged his power source was his God. Daniel built trust by doing his job selflessly and humbly giving proper credit. That’s distinguishing. 

Without Corruption

Position brings power. Power attracts opportunities. Opportunities can be the enemy’s minefield. The storyline of Daniel 6 illustrates the opposing responses to power and opportunity and their results. Daniel remained incorrupt by staying closer to his God daily and avoiding the enemy’s lure into his minefield. Even the threat of death lost its power. That’s distinguishing. 

Should we wonder why God found Daniel innocent  (verse 22)? Just like Daniel, we can be distinguished. Our spirit can be extraordinary. We don’t have to allow bitterness or anger to lead us into mistrust or corruption. Daniel accomplished this by maintaining his routine of communicating with God. His location, occupation, and feelings were not allowed to sway him from being who God wanted him to be. That’s distinguishing. 

31 Proverbs Highlights: #30-Bloody Noses

(A simple series highlighting verses from each chapter of the book of Proverbs)

If you have been foolish by exalting yourself or if you’ve been scheming, put your hand over your mouth. For the churning of milk produces butter, and twisting a nose draws blood, and stirring up anger produces strife. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭32-33‬ HCSB)

A bloody nose doesn’t come because you said, “Good Morning. Have a nice day!

It’s usually the result of something like a crazy sports fan who doesn’t know how to enjoy the game and stirs it up with their comments. Their tongue led to bloodletting.

I’ve never literally had a bloody nose. But I have stirred it up with my tongue. Words may not draw literal blood, but they surely can create strife. Apparently Solomon knew this. That’s why the verse reads, “...put your hand over your mouth.”  Maybe another way of saying it is, “Stop the bleeding. Keep your mouth shut.

Bed Stillness

“Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:3-4‬ ‭HCSB‬

Often people tell me they aren’t getting good sleep. Just yesterday two people talked to me about their sleep. One of them “couldn’t sleep” the night before. The other one said they used to have to take pills to sleep, but since they’ve started addressing things in their life they are at more peace and don’t rely on pills anymore to sleep.

Learning to be still with God in the darkness of night or the early hours of morning is a sign of the faithful. These verses give three things that should keep one from needing drugs to sleep:

1) Know who the Lord honors and values, know he hears when you call on Him.

2) Be angry but don’t sin. It’s normal to have anger. It’s also human to sin. Sleep is lost when anger is allowed to harbor sin, not confess it, or keep you enslaved to it.

3) Reflect in your heart and be still. Recently when I’ve woken up either from a dream or earlier than the alarm, I’ve practiced being still and talking with God about whatever He’s bringing to my mind. Sleep, peace and rest are the result of bed stillness.

The Listening Life (Book Review)


I’ve taken a month to read this book. No, it wasn’t laboriously or begrudgingly. I’m a “read-every-word” kind of reader, and this book demands that every word be chewed on and not just skimmed. If that already turns your head, then you probably don’t need to rush to buy it. On the other hand, maybe you do.

Why? Read the subtitle. See why now?

If you agree attentiveness is hard work these days because of our ever increasing distracting world, then Adam McHugh is talking your language.

“…the fact that we pay millions of dollars annually for people to listen to us indicates our poverty in this arena.”

 “The voices we want to hear are not always the same as the voices we need to hear.” (Chapter 1)

McHugh does an excellent in the first five chapters establishing that this attentive life is grounded in our relationship with God, his Word, and Creation.

“God has absolutely no obligation to pay attention to anyone or anything…The Lord astonishes us and completely flips power on its ear by entering into listening relationships with people.”

“It seems that God’s ear is inclined toward those who themselves are listeners.”

“The Bible should never close us to hearing God’s voice in other venues; rather it ought to open us to recognize it wherever we hear it.”

In the final four chapters McHugh addresses the listening life between humans, those in pain, and listening to your life.

“Trying to fix, judge, rescue or change others are all subtle ways of exerting power over other people.”

“Good listening starts with the scandalous premise that this conversation is not about you.”

“How many conflicts and disagreements start because we think we already understand each other?”

“Listening experts say that only 7% of a person’s meaning is conveyed in the actual words they speak.”

“AHEN: Anger comes from a Hurt, which comes from an Expectation, which comes from a Need”

As a person who has been told many times over the years that I listen well, this book revealed many areas where I need growth. If you know you do also, take the time to read every word in this book. You and everyone in your life will thank you. I’m guessing even God will thank you. Well, most likely you’ll thank him. 

Enjoy your growth.