The Apple and The Tree, The Tree and the Orchard

Early in my education as a counselor I was taught about family patterns – the notion that we can (at minimum) gain some insight into what may be happening in our lives by looking at our family history. Disease, mental health, addiction – we all know that these things have genetic links that tie us to our parents, grandparents, and even further. However, we often overlook the fact that family pat…

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When you hit the ground make sure you bounce

I’ve worked with students, mostly teenagers, for more than a decade now, and I still remember an experience of one of my very first weeks on the job. I was a first time counselor at Pine Springs Camp in the Laurel Highlands, and I was working with a cabin of young campers – most of them something like 6 years old. One morning as we were getting ready for the day’s events, one of our campers ran full …

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Fathers Be Good to Your Daughters

Shortly after my second daughter was born I embarked on a casual, but lifelong project. It goes without saying that, having never been one myself, I have very little insight on what it means to be a daughter. That said, I now find myself with a deeply vested interest in successfully raising two. Since I’m fortunate to know many happy, healthy and well-adjusted women of all ages I decided to start a…

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Who do you think you are?

Exactly in line with Erikson’s works, I have found there to be one major “project” of teen’s high school years. That project is answering the question, “who am I?” As Jason eloquently wrote last week, this is a matter of identity formation, and is a psychological priority for teenagers. This stage is something of a nexus of development for youth ministry. Students who have navigated through the first four …

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Is your faith worth it?

Let’s play a little bit of catch-up here. For people who are working through the stages of faith, and have navigated to this point, here are some things that we have established. First, I can trust God; he is active and present in my life even when things don’t seem perfect. Second, I have learned that my choices and actions have weight and value in the Kingdom of Christ –my personality, complete with …

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