RW Blog

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Gospel Centered Relationships

By |April 24th, 2016|

Corlette and I spent the last four days in Seattle teaching relational wisdom and peacemaking at Highlands Community Church. One of the high points of the weekend was delivering a sermon on Gospel Centered Relationships. This is one of my [...]

CCEF: Emotions-Engaging the Expressions of Our Hearts

By |April 17th, 2016|

This October I will have the privilege of presenting a Discovering Relational Wisdom Seminar at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundations’ 2016 National Conference. The theme of the event is “Emotions: Engaging the Expressions of Our Heart.” I have the [...]

Reputation vs Character

By |April 10th, 2016|

Jeff’s reputation was being trashed by people in his own church. He was respected throughout the city for his outstanding Sunday school classes, which had drawn hundreds of people to his church. But then he got caught in the middle [...]

Blind Optimism Can Be Dangerous

By |April 3rd, 2016|

Churches and ministries (as well as married couples) could learn a vital lesson from the U.S. State Department. Chip Zimmer, our ministry’s Vice President, worked for the State Department from 1990-2001, serving in diplomatic posts in Africa and Latin America. [...]

Gracious Eyes

By |March 27th, 2016|

Years ago I completed a particularly sad divorce mediation. The husband had tried for years to meet his wife’s expectations, but she was adept at finding fault with everything he did. Shortly after our final meeting, I read an article [...]

Good Cop, Great Cop

By |March 20th, 2016|

Deputy Matt Holman saved the life of a homeless man staggering toward destruction. His name was Robert Morris. He’d lost his family, become an addict, and was living in a tent in the woods … until it was washed away [...]

Three Pennies a Week

By |March 13th, 2016|

Every relationship has a limited amount of social capital. Among other things, this means that you need to exercise wisdom in how often you initiate uncomfortable conversations with those around you, whether in your family, church or workplace. Think of [...]

Springing from Adversity to Worship

By |March 7th, 2016|

Adversity tends to pull us down. It hurts when others sin against us, take us for granted, fail to stand up for us, or break their commitments to us. Such treatment can easily cause us to feel discouraged, bitter or depressed. [...]

Shooting My Car

By |February 29th, 2016|

I almost shot my car after one of our Montana blizzards. A foot of wet snow had fallen in just a few hours and the roads were impossible. I’d been out earlier in the day in my son’s Honda, and [...]

Asking Parents to Give Up Their Keys

By |February 21st, 2016|

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to ask my mother and my mother-in-law to give up their car keys. Doing it with each of them on the same day (since they both lived with us) was especially [...]

How to Test a Confession

By |February 15th, 2016|

There is a simple way to test the sincerity of a confession … whether yours or someone else’s. How detailed is your plan for repentance? “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret (turning from sin, growing [...]

Habit Change Is a Team Project

By |February 8th, 2016|

Habits exert enormous influence in our lives. For better or worse, they guide most of our daily activities, guiding us automatically through routine behaviors (like brushing our teeth), which frees our minds to focus on issues that require deliberate thinking [...]

Immersed in Technology

By |February 4th, 2016|

As you may have noticed, I missed last week’s blog post … the first one in 160 weeks! Why? Because I’ve been immersed in all of the new electronic equipment and software that we’re bringing online in order to produce [...]

Idolatrous Habits

By |January 20th, 2016|

Many of our habits are spiritually neutral, such as the way we brush our teeth or the route we drive to work. Other life patterns clearly violate spiritual values, such as being addicted to drugs, alcohol or pornography, or reacting [...]

Conquering M&M’s (and Premature Advice)

By |January 11th, 2016|

My wife seemed to be testing my resolve. A month ago I decided that it was time to do battle with my love for candy. That meant not slipping into the pantry two or three times a day to raid [...]

Seven Principles of Habit Change

By |January 4th, 2016|

I was sitting on the patio of an expensive restaurant in Beirut. Six young Lebanese were sitting at the table next to us, glued to their smart phones. Not a word of conversation between them for minutes on end, a [...]

Do You Want to Change Your Habits?

By |December 28th, 2015|

A five year-old child was sitting alone in a room with a marshmallow placed a few inches in front of her. She was told that she could eat it immediately, but if she waited just fifteen minutes, she would be [...]

RW Pastor of the Year

By |December 20th, 2015|

I’d like to introduce you to David Mason, our 2015 RW Pastor of the Year. This award goes to a pastor who has shown exceptional energy, creativity and effectiveness in teaching and practicing relational wisdom in his community. David is [...]

Can You Read Faces?

By |December 13th, 2015|

My first job out of law school was to clerk for a federal judge. He served on appellate courts around the country, so we often traveled together. One week I left early so I could attend a Christian Legal Society [...]

Building Momentum

By |December 6th, 2015|

By God’s grace, we have built marvelous momentum this year on multiple fronts … and we need your help to keep it going. Corlette and I delivered 25 seminars and presentations in the last three months alone (see our entire [...]

Never Give Up

By |November 29th, 2015|

One of the greatest heartbreaks a parent can experience is to be estranged from an adult child … which usually means losing contact with beloved grandchildren as well. That’s what happened to Karen when she offended her daughter, Debra, with [...]

33 Ways to Enjoy Highly Relational Holidays

By |November 22nd, 2015|

If you're like most people, the coming holiday season will be either the best time of the year or the worst time of the year ... and it will probably depend on the quality of your relationships. To help you [...]

If Your Enemy Is Hungry …

By |November 15th, 2015|

When I graduated from college, I was hired by a medical R&D company that was developing an advanced kidney dialysis machine. Within one year I was promoted to serve as the project manager. That’s when the trouble started … Within [...]

Papa, Clean Me!

By |November 8th, 2015|

When he was two-and-half-years-old, my grandson, Andrew, came across a fresh pile of dog poo in the yard. Having been told repeatedly to stay away from dog piles, he of course felt an irresistible desire to step on it and [...]

Falsely Accused

By |November 1st, 2015|

I often warn people that when they start studying relational wisdom, God is likely to give them homework. That’s what happened last week to a young woman I’ll call “Susan” (all names changed), who just shared this story with me. [...]

Bridge of Spies

By |October 25th, 2015|

Bridge of Spies is one of the most inspirational movies I’ve seen in years. It reminds me why I went to law school -- I had a love for justice, a respect for the biblical roots of the U.S. legal [...]

Are You Teachable?

By |October 18th, 2015|

I’ve been in the middle of hundreds of conflicts. Divorces, custody battles, business lawsuits, forced pastoral exits, church splits, nonprofit disintegrations … you name it, I’ve seen Christians fight over it. After many long and difficult mediations, I learned that [...]

The Two Treasures

By |October 11th, 2015|

My mother-in-law lived with our family for twenty years. For six of those years, my mother also lived with us. Corlette and I called them “the Two Treasures.” Lois (my mother) and Thelma In all the years they [...]

My Wife’s Punch List Was Driving Our Son Crazy

By |October 4th, 2015|

During the last months of my son’s senior year in high school, Jeff had a lot of conflict with his mother. As a result I was doing more mediation at home than I was through my conciliation ministry. Night after [...]

Magnificent Compassion at McDonalds

By |September 27th, 2015|

Last week a young McDonald's fast-food worker named Kenny provided a magnificent example of compassion. His selfless act was described by Destiny Carreno, whose report has been viewed over 2.3 million times on Facebook and other social media. Here is [...]