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relationships

April 29, 2019 - 1:45pm
posted by Allison Lang in marriage, relationships.
Event Date and Time: 
May 31, 2019 - 5:30pm to 9:30pm
On Friday, May 31st, from 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Northgate Free Methodist Church will host the first Marriage Night simulcast event in partnership with RightNow Media. Marriage Night and bring together thousands of husbands, wives, and engaged couples to hear from Francis and Lisa Chan (You and Me Forever), Les and Leslie Parrott (The Good Fight), and comedian Michael Jr. 
December 19, 2018 - 2:19pm
posted by Allison Lang in support groups, grief, relationships.
Event Date and Time: 
January 22, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
GriefShare, a 13-week group designed to help and encourage those grieving the loss of a loved one due to death. The format is a weekly video presentation and discussion time that offers hope and comfort. Find more information at http://www.griefshare.org/about. Meetings will take place on Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 pm, starting January 22nd, at Northgate’s North Campus, 8160 Bank St.
December 19, 2018 - 2:14pm
posted by Allison Lang in support group, relationships.
Event Date and Time: 
January 19, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Divorce Care, a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through separation or divorce alone. Divorce Care seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You will learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. A new 13-week session begins on Saturday, January 19th, from 6 to 7:30 pm at Northgate’s North Campus.
December 1, 2015 - 11:27am
posted by Joseph Langen in family, hard work, relationships.
There is no such thing as a perfect family. Behind every door there are issues. The difference is accepting and encouraging each family member as they are, not as we would like them to be. ~Catherine Pulsifer~   Are you at peace with everyone in your family? If so, congratulations! Be thankful for your family and for your ability to listen to each other and talk about your differences. No two people are the same. Our values and perceptions are all at least a little different. It is inevitable that from time to time we will see things in a way which conflicts with the views of even those closest to us.   If you find yourself in conflict with an acquaintance, it might not trouble you. What that person feels or believes might not matter that much to you and you just go on your way. There are plenty of other people in the world. Disagreeing with a few of them is no big deal. What they think does not affect your daily life. You just let it go unless you are one of those people who think everyone must agree with you.   What about conflict with a family member? Did you grow up in a family where your parents were able to listen to each other, digest what they heard and respond lovingly? I have never met a family which approaches conflict in this way one hundred percent of the time, including my own. You might have been lucky enough to have had parents who handled most conflicts this way. If so, you most likely learned good ways to handle conflict most of the time.   You might have had parents who weren’t so good at managing conflicts. If you never saw good ways to handle difficulties as you grew up, you might find yourself at a loss for how to manage your own conflicts. There are a few ways to improve your ability to handle conflict. Here are a few suggestions you might want to try.  
  1. Find out what is important to the other person and why. Learn how he or she feels about the issue and why.
  2. Next, think about what is important to you and make sure you understand your own feelings.
  3. Look for areas of agreement. Share these with each other.
  4. Share what you love and respect about each other.
  5. Make sure you understand the other’s viewpoint.
  6. Agree to hear and respect each other’s opinion even if you don’t agree with it.   
  7. Understanding might lesson the conflict but in the end you might need to accept each other as you both are.
  Life Lab Lessons    
  • Make sure you understand your own position and feelings about areas of conflict.
  • Get some help understanding yourself if you need it.
  • Do more listening than talking.
  • Try to understand your relative’s position and feelings.
  • Look for ways to support each other regardless of your differences.
 
August 16, 2010 - 11:55am
posted by Joseph Langen in animals, teaching, people, relationships.

 

Barbary Apes

Barbary Apes

~Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem~

Benjamin Huff, The Tao of Pooh

Recently, as Carol and I drove home at dusk, we scanned the meadows along the highway where deer usually graze. None in sight, As we neared home, we swerved to avoid a faun lying in a pool of blood. struggling to arise on its two front legs which still worked. The scene left us feeling shocked and helpless. Not at all what we expected. We could only imagine what the faun was feeling.

Earlier that day we had watched Marley and Me, a movie ending with the death of a beloved family dog and felt the emotions the family experienced in letting go of their pet. Sometimes we ignore animals and take them for granted. Sometimes animals fascinate us. Sometimes they become part of our lives and we wind up loving them.

If we look closely, we can find in animals the traits we abhor in each other.  We can also find traits which endear us to each other. Killer whales toss panicked seals into the air before eating them. Chimps groom and embrace each other fondly. Many species display the tenderness and fierce protective behavior we admire in human mothers.

Animals seem to experience pure joy. Watch sea otters slide down slippery rocks into the sea.  See rabbits chase each other around a field. Listen to birds greeting each new day. We tell ourselves that all of these animal reactions are purely instinctual. But who knows? They probably wonder what we are all about as well.

Even though we muse about how well animals understand what we say, we certainly seem to communicate with them on an emotional level. Animals can arouse our interest, curiosity, affection, concern, fear and anger. We seem to draw the same emotions from a variety of animals as well. When a puppy or kitten cuddles up with us, it is hard to know whether the animal or human feels more cozy.

While we see many parallels between human and animal lives, what can we learn from them? On the whole animals seem to be better at staying focused on what is imp0rtant. They do what is necessary for survival, their own and that of their offspring.

They eat what is healthy for them when at all possible. They don’t succumb to addictions, They don’t worry about who has more or better possessions or look down on less fortunate or merely different creatures. They don’t hold grudges, I am not suggesting that animals are any better than we are. I just think we can learn from the simplicity of their lives in contrast to the complexity with which we often surround ourselves.

Live Lab Lessons

  • Do you know what is truly important in your life?
  • Do Your daily choices reflect your values?
  • Do you put the essentials first?
  • Do you complicate your life with toys and gadgets?
  • Could you benefit from watching how animals live?

 

August 16, 2010 - 11:54am
posted by Joseph Langen in animals, teaching, people, relationships.

 

Barbary Apes

Barbary Apes

~Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem~

Benjamin Huff, The Tao of Pooh

Recently, as Carol and I drove home at dusk, we scanned the meadows along the highway where deer usually graze. None in sight, As we neared home, we swerved to avoid a faun lying in a pool of blood. struggling to arise on its two front legs which still worked. The scene left us feeling shocked and helpless. Not at all what we expected. We could only imagine what the faun was feeling.

Earlier that day we had watched Marley and Me, a movie ending with the death of a beloved family dog and felt the emotions the family experienced in letting go of their pet. Sometimes we ignore animals and take them for granted. Sometimes animals fascinate us. Sometimes they become part of our lives and we wind up loving them.

If we look closely, we can find in animals the traits we abhor in each other.  We can also find traits which endear us to teach other. Killer whales toss panicked seals into the air before eating them. Chimps groom and embrace each other fondly. Many species display the tenderness and fierce protective behavior we admire in human mothers.

Animals seem to experience pure joy. Watch sea otters slide down slippery rocks into the sea.  See rabbits chase each other around a field. Listen to birds greeting each new day. We tell ourselves that all of these animal reactions are purely instinctual. But who knows? They probably wonder what we are all about as well.

Even though we muse about how well animals understand what we say, we certainly seem to communicate with them on an emotional level. Animals can arouse our interest, curiosity, affection, concern, fear and anger. We seem to draw the same emotions from a variety of animals as well. When a puppy or kitten cuddles up with us, it is hard to know whether the animal or human feels more cozy.

While we see many parallels between human and animal lives, what can we learn from them? On the whole animals seem to be better at staying focused on what is imp0rtant. They do what is necessary for survival, their own and that of their offspring.

They eat what is healthy for them when at all possible. They don’t succumb to addictions, They don’t worry about who has more or better possessions or look down on less fortunate or merely different creatures. They don’t hold grudges, I am not suggesting that animals are any better than we are. I just think we can learn from the simplicity of their lives in contrast to the complexity with which we often surround ourselves.

Live Lab Lessons

  • Do you know what is truly important in your life?
  • Do Your daily choices reflect your values?
  • Do you put the essentials first?
  • Do you complicate your life with toys and gadgets?
  • Could you benefit from watching how animals live?

 

July 19, 2010 - 10:25am
posted by Joseph Langen in stories, relationships, culture.

 

Broadway Street Sculpture

~People are hungry for stories.  It’s part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another~ Studs Terkel

Recently I tended a table at the Batavia Ramble, a local music festival. My job was to encourage people to add their two cents worth to a story began by Joanne Beck. Easy enough, I thought. For quite a while no one was willing to write a single word. I added a line and then a few others continued with their own. Even with the pump primed, very few risked adding their input.

We all have a story to tell.  From early childhood we heard tales of relatives we would never meet and others we knew well. We also heard stories of our childhood doings we might prefer to forget.

In social conversion, we seldom spout facts. Instead, we take turns telling the stories of our experience or stories we have heard from and about others. Sometimes it is all we can do to wait our turn until others finish their stories or reach the point where we can insert our own. We are disappointed when the conversation takes a hopeless turn and it becomes clear that our story will just not fit the conversation. But then we find an opportunity to share our story and we feel better, knowing we have finally been heard.

Each of us has a collection of stories which define us and lets others know what we cherish, what we enjoy and how we view life.  My favorite story is one my father told me about Joseph Stickystickystambo nosorambo hadybodybosco ickynonnynoonynony conironitando. Ask me sometime and I’ll share it with you.

Our relationships tend to break down when we become so intent on conveying our story that we forget to listen to someone else’s story. Their story is just as important to them as ours is to us. Stories are not just important to individuals. Whole cultures and civilizations make sense when we encounter the fabric of their stories woven over many generations.

We trace the story of our culture through the Last of the Mohicans, The Scarlet Letter, Tom Sawyer, Gone with the Wind, The Old Man and the Sea, The Enemy Below, Hawaii and many others which tell us and those we encounter who we are as a society.

So why was it so hard to get people to write at the Ramble? Perhaps it is because we want to tell our own stories rather than be part of someone else’s story. Of course, all of us serve as characters in the life stories of those we meet. Maybe we just need to remember that we are minor characters in others’ stories as well as the main character in our own story.

Life Lab Lessons

  • If you want to know people, listen to their story.
  • Hear them  out without interrupting.
  • If you don’t understand their story, ask for help.
  • Find common bonds in your stories.
  • Seek friendship in our common bonds.
May 22, 2010 - 9:57am
posted by Joseph Langen in relationships, integrity.

 

 

Joe and Pete as Dinosaurs

Joe and Pete as Dinosaurs

~Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic to living our life with integrity~

W. Clement Stone

These days a variety of media bombard us with what we should buy, how we should act, what we should think and what we should believe. Our homogenized news is quite similar from one news outlet to the next with relatively few differing viewpoints represented.

Thinking for ourselves seems almost superfluous. All we have to do is follow the crowd and moo once in a while as all good herd members do. Several years ago on a trip to London I passed the famed Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. Here there is never a lack of viewpoints to consider. Maybe we should establish such corners in every community.

Politics, fashion, entertainment and religion group us into herds following one trend or another. We become more comfortable interacting with others once we know where they stand in these categories. I remember college gatherings when I talked until the wee hours with my colleagues. Most of us strove to hone our beliefs so we could finally decide who we were and what we stood for. Everyone sought ways to make better sense of life and what possibilities awaited us. While it can feel reassuring to follow the crowd, it also diminishes who we are as individuals and what we uniquely contribute to society.

Affirming our beliefs and life standards can at times make us unpopular with others, sometimes with people we want to accept us. So can refusing to compromise on what is most important to us. At such times we face the painful choice between acceptance by others and our integrity. Sometimes being true to ourselves means disappointing others. Such choices are never easy.

How can we maintain our integrity without further fracturing our relationships? First we must know and articulate the values we hold dear to ourselves and to those whom we care about. Next we must understand what is important to those with whom we associate. If our values match those of others, the rest is easy. If not, our challenge is to enjoy our areas of agreement and learn to respect each other’s differences.

Maintaining our sense of perspective is also important. As entrenched as we might become in our personal beliefs, we should remember that as long as we live, we have more to learn each day. While remaining true to our values, we should always remain open to reconsidering and adjusting how we apply our principles based on what we learn from our experiences.

Life Lab Lessons

  • State out loud or write down what is important to you.
  • How hard is it to share your values with others?
  • Take the same care in understanding others’ values.
  • Realize that your way may not be the only right one.
  • Share the respect you would like from others.

 

March 26, 2010 - 7:45am
posted by Bea McManis in relationships, songs.

Sentence I never thought I'd hear: "She's the love of my life. How many times do I have to kill her??" - Bobby Singer (Supernatural)

Know someone who must be singing this song constantly right now.  lol.

 

March 26, 2009 - 8:56am
posted by Joseph Langen in history, writing, relationships.

 (Fishing Boat- Antigua)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still wading through my time line. I just finished writing about my early twenties.
CALLIOPE: Any new discoveries?
JOE: I think my realization about not having close high school friends influenced my relationships after leaving the seminary.
CALLIOPE: How so?
JOE: I was lonely and desperate to have a girl friend. Since I had no experience in relationships with girls as most boys do in high school, I was like a fish out of water.
CALLIOPE: How did it end up?
JOE: Not very well. My first date was set up by a friend who also left the seminary. She turned out to speak no English and my Polish was nonexistent.
CALLIOPE: Did it get better?
JOE: I met a nutty girl and one who turned out to be mentally ill.
CALLIOPE: No one in their right mind?
JOE: One, but for only for a single date. She was a lovely girl, and we resonated well. Unfortunately she lived in the country, I had no car and could not get to her on my own. The person we relied on for a ride had no sense of what we both wanted and liked to tell jokes and drink in bars. It just didn't work.
CALLIOPE: Sorry to hear that. Do you think these experiences influenced your writing?
JOE: I think so but that's another story. Talk with you tomorrow.

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