Brett.Ullman

How to raise emotionally healthy boys

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 9.16.14 AM

Some great stuff here to help parents of boys.

The only tip father’s need is … be present. Michael Reist

Feminism has done a lot to pave the way for each new generation of women, but as barriers continue to be broken down for girls, are we forgetting about the boys? Michael Reist, author and teacher, thinks young males could use a bit more of our attention if they’re going to grow into emotionally healthy men.

Click here for the video.

War on Boys

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.51.47 AM

Very interesting conversation.

I began thinking of this at my daughters Grade 8 Graduation back in June. I would say that 90% of the awards went to Grade 8 girls. There were some guys who got awards for Athletics. There were (if I remember correct) 2 boys who got Academic awards. The rest of the awards went to girls. I don’t think any boys got Citizenship or Arts awards at all. Check out this video. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

What ever happened to letting “boys be boys?” Take these two cases: In one, a seven-year-old boy was sent home for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. In another, a teacher was so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy’s parents were summoned in for a conference. In short, boys in America’s schools are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains how we can change this.

 

Doing These Two Simple Activities Together Can Reduce Depression by 40% in Two Months

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.44.58 AM

I am always scared when any article says you can fix/reduce depression or anxiety by doing certain things. I began reading this article being sceptical. I ended up really liking this article. If you have seen my talk on mental health I talk about a body, mind and soul approach. We need to look at all of these areas. This article looks at meditation (breathing exercises) and exercise. Cannot go wrong with these 2 things.

The connection between our minds and our bodies is profound. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the way to strong mental health involves bringing our physical selves on board. Recent research has made this strikingly clear, showing how the symptoms of depression can be reduced by 40% with an easy mind/body activity combination.

Click here for entire article.

Former Evangelical Pastor Rethinks His Approach To Courtship

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.12.57 AM

Kissed Dating Goodbye is the #1 book people talk about when I speak my dating.for.life talk. I have seen people do well with his thoughts and I have seen people take some of his thoughts way to far. I was really pleased recently to read Joshua Harris in this interview. So rare these days to find anyone willing to critically analyze their own work.

HARRIS: I think I’m finally at a place where I’m really trying to listen to those voices. And I think it’s taken time for the consequences of the way that people applied the book and the way the book affected people to play out. And so I’m hearing these different voices saying, here’s how your book was used against me, here’s how it was forced on me, or here’s how I tried to – no one forced it on me, but I tried to apply it and it had this negative consequence in different ways.

I’m trying to go back and really evaluate, you know, where did my book contribute to that? Where was it too stringent? And where was that me and what I was writing, and where was that – the families and the church cultures and so on? So I feel like I’m on the front end of a process to help people in some way if I can apologize where needed and re-evaluate where needed.

HARRIS: Well, you’re exactly right. I believe that the Bible does give certain commandments and guidance and so on. I think, though, that it’s really easy for Christians to take truths from God’s word and principles and then in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways add extra human regulation onto it. For example, there are clear things in statements in Scripture about our sexuality being expressed within the covenant of marriage. But that doesn’t mean that dating is somehow wrong or a certain way of dating is the only way to do things.

Click here for the entire article.

What’s So Funny About Mental Illness? | Ruby Wax | TED Talks

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 8.04.56 AM

Fun talk on mental health. Note: Not a faith based perspective.

Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax — except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.

We’re in a constant state of alarm

What once made you safe now drives you insane.

Your Pets are happier than you are.

Kings Kaleidoscope – A Prayer

da76dd2266c40274d4ff7ef8f4a4e681.1000x1000x1

One of my favourite things is when someone shares a new artist or band with me. Last night at a speaking date someone asked if I had heard of Kings Kaleidoscope. I had heard their name but never listened to them. I was told that their song “A Prayer” was about the singers (Chad Gardner) struggle with anxiety. I listened to this song on repeat the entire way home last night. Powerful lyrics. Thought I would share it with you.

Side Note: There are actually 2 versions of this song. In one version the singer used his actual journals and it includes a F word in the lyrics describing his feelings. If you are going to download this song just be aware there are 2 versions. Lots of debate online about the use of the F word. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression I loved the raw honesty of the lyrics in the clean version. Personally I downloaded the clean version for use in my home. I also understand being in a dark place and his use of language is something that most of us who have struggled can connect with.

This song is a real turning point in worship music to me. The honesty of this amazing song is something i really feel that every follower of Christ needs to hear. A lot of worship seems to be all about the good, while forgetting that, we are bound to struggle in our imperfect, human lives. And there are going to be times where we feel like God will forget about us, or suddenly decide that we are no longer worth his time. Now this isn’t a shot at any other worship, and i hope this is taken as such, but it’s extremely rare that we hear something so honest get put out there, and we really need more songs like this. Songs that remind us even in the hardest times, Jesus will never leave us, because he loves us.So please, if you have the time, give this song a listen and share the word of God’s unfailing love.

Why a Prayer by Kings Kaleidoscope is a turning point for worship

Video and lyrics are below. (clean version for both)

Will I fall or will I misstep?
Will I fall or will I misstep?
Will I call you with my last breathe?
Will you be there for me after?
Will I waste inside the silence
Where the fear is vicious violent?
Wicked sinner thrown to lions
With no hope on the horizon
Will I fall or will I misstep?If I fall or if I misstep
If I fall or if I misstep
If I call you with my last breath
Will you be there for me after?
Cause I’m wasting in this silence
And my fear is vicious violent
I’m a child thrown to lions
Is there hope on the horizon?
If I fall or if I misstep

Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Jesus, where are You?

I’m right beside you! I feel what you feel!
And I’m here to hold you when death is too real!
You know, I died, too! I was terrified!
I gave myself for you! I was crucified
Because I love you! I love you, child!
I love you!

What do you think about this song?

My favourite Graduation Poems

DSC_0214

Last night was one of those special “moments” in life as I got to watch my daughter Zoe and a ton of her friends graduate from Grade 8.

There are 3 graduation poems that I have always loved. Thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!

  1. Dr Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go

2. Baz Luhrman: Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. On some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Saying, don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Never mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Everybody see it oh yeah yeah

Everybody see it oh yeah
He want you to feel good!

3. Robert Fulghum: Everything I learned I learned in Kindergarten

Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 8.47.37 AM

First off: I completely dislike this title but I think the article has some great value to it. The question is about what we say to people who are struggling. What people usually take from a title like this is that they are calling the people saying the phrases stupid and then we argue about that statement instead of the content. For some people these statements are all you know and you say them with a heart that is trying to help. What people struggling would like you to know is that for the most part these statements are more hurtful then helpful.  Lets look at how we can better support people struggling.

They suggest changing this from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to “Let me come over and help you do some laundry.” This strikes me as even more theologically correct.

They have some great thoughts on a framework for how to respond.

The first is the emergent or resuscitative stage. At this stage priority is given to removing the person from the source of the burn and stopping the burning process. The big things to think about are fluid replacement, nutrition, and pain management. Translated into crisis care, this means we’ll bring meals, coffee money, and pick up children from day care.

The second stage is the acute or wound healing stage. At this stage, the body is trying to reach a state of balance, while remaining free from infection. During this stage, patients can become withdrawn, combative, or agitated. This stage can be a lengthy and unpredictable stage. Burn victims, like people in crisis, often lash out at those closest to them. Translate this into listening, listening, and listening some more.

The final stage is the rehabilitative or restorative stage. The goal at this stage is for a patient to resume a functional role within their family and community. Reconstruction surgery may be needed. Encouragement and reassurance are critical to the person at this stage. This would translate into going on walks with the person, taking them out to a movie or dinner, having them over for coffee or a meal.

Click here for the entire article

The Unexpected Gift of Burnout

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 9.31.10 AM

Some great thoughts here. I am seeing burnout everywhere I travel.

I prefer saying in burnout—present tense. It is a season in the valley of shadows, but the journey is far from ending. There is no defeat here, only a period of spiritual exile, where the exhaustion runs more deeply than simply being tired. Hope lies on the horizon.

Burnout is an overwhelming and all-encompassing exhaustion due to prolonged stress. It is pervasive, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of a person. In its wake lies depression, low energy, lack of immune system defenses, emotional numbness, and a sense of spiritual discouragement or defeat. The deep cynicism, the lack of desire to be around anyone, the brooding frustration and anger—this wasn’t what I signed up for when I got into youth ministry.

Click here for the entire article.