The Right Perspective By: Alison Loyd

The Right Perspective By: Alison Loyd

People all over the country debate politics, religion, and morality. My friends?  We debate over the location of a bathroom.

Four years ago, two friends and I were at the Rose and Crown Tavern when one asked the other where the bathroom was. The other friend said, “It’s in the back corner.”  The one came back from the bathroom and insisted that the bathroom was NOT in the corner.  This was debated for the rest of the meal.

Four years to the day later (thanks to Facebook’s on this day feature), the three of us returned to the Rose and Crown, or as we know it, the place where the bathroom is or is not in the corner. We were seated at a table with a straight view to the bathroom. Perfect!

Despite the noise of a tavern, on a Thursday night with Karaoke, the debate produced a healthy discourse. One of my friends said something that I thought was “being right is your perspective.” What she actually said was, “reality is your perspective.”  Either way, WOW! Now the bathroom issue is getting somewhere.

Much of our reality, how we experience the world, is viewed only from our own personal perspective.  One person may go to a corner bathroom. Another person may go to that same bathroom, but see the hallway that’s 6 feet from the corner as a part of the bathroom, and therefore, it’s not in the corner.

I’m going to go THERE and bring up politics – a very relevant experience of perspective.

You and I could watch the same channel playing the same speech, but our convictions, views, and experiences lead us to very different perspectives. Our reality of that speech can be very different.

“Being right is about your perspective.” Part of what made the bathroom debate last 4 years is the need to be right. Sometimes, we feel like we just have to be right about something and we just can’t allow ourselves to believe that what the other person is saying can possibly be right. We turn simple discussions into competitions where there has to be a winner. That means someone also has to be a loser. Is that really what we want?

In The Journey Training, participants learn to change their “I’m right!” perspective to “I acknowledge your position. This is my position…” This language and perspective change fosters healthy communication with active listening.


What was my position on the bathroom issue you ask? I see BOTH perspectives. The restroom hallway is not in the corner, but the door to the ladies room is in the corner! Just call me Switzerland!



It’s too much! I’m overwhelmed! He or she won’t leave me alone. They’re really overwhelming me.  I have to plan, cook, clean, take care of the kids, and insert 5 other obligations! I’m so overwhelmed! It’s all too much!

Any of these sound familiar? We use the word overwhelmed to describe a significant degree of intense emotion. It can be used positively (overwhelmed by support, for example), but is often used in a negative manner.

According to Merriam-Webster, overwhelmed can mean 1. To affect someone or something very strongly, 2. To cause someone to have too much to deal with, and 3. To defeat someone completely.

In my experience, overwhelmed is OVERWHELMINGLY associated with Definition 2, to cause someone to have too much to deal with. I have been changing my perspective to define it as the first, to affect someone very strongly.

Big Daddy Weave has a song, “Overwhelmed”. It’s a beautiful song for worship, with lyrics like, “I delight myself in  You, captivated by Your beauty.  I’m overwhelmed by You.”  Captivated by God, now isn’t that much better than having too much to deal with?

In the next month from the time this is written, I will be moving and will begin a school year as a full-time Special Education teacher. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed already, in that I have too much to do. I’m choosing to keep the perspective, not of too much to do, but being captivated by all that I GET to do! I have a new home AND a new job! How awesome! I’m captivated by this next chapter of my life!

In The Journey Training, participants are equipped with tools to deal with their feelings and perspectives! Sign up for the next Threshold class and you will be overwhelmed by the love and support you receive…and you don’t have to cook or clean a thing!


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Top 20 Epic Valentine’s Day FAILS!

Top 20 Epic Valentine’s Day FAILS!

She said “Don’t get me anything for Valentine’s Day,” so I didn’t. Wrong move! After a conference I went up to one of the speakers and asked him, “What has made you so successful?” He looked toward me and after pausing for a moment said, “Two words: Good Judgement.” I was puzzled – I mean, how do I get this? So I asked him, “How do you get the wisdom to make good judgement?” He smiled and replied, “Bad judgement!”

The Journey Training is a program that excels in providing tools for people to look in the mirror of their life, evaluate their responses, and then take steps in the direction they truly want to go. Though we are not a seminar focused solely on marriage and relationships, we’ve found that when someone focuses on themselves and begins to make improvements, it always has a positive impact on their spouse or significant other.

We polled several alumni from The Journey Training classes to help create the best Valentine’s Day yet. No. It’s not a “Top Ten Best Restaurants” or even the “Top Five Best Gifts,” it’s even better than that!

Here are the top 20 things NOT do in a relationship on Valentine’s Day… according to our real-life responses on Facebook for their most epic Valentine’s Day fail!

1. Okay, the worst present I ever got Holly was about 10 years ago. I got her a “gift certificate” to a nail salon. I was in a hurry that day so I printed it on the home printer – all official with the logo of the salon and I wrapped it. However, in my rush I actually forgot to “buy” the gift certificate at the salon. Not good – not good at all. She later took the fake certificate to the salon, proceeded to argue with the employee for almost an hour, demanding she redeem it for her Mani-Pedi. Really…not good at all.

2. I was given a nose hair trimmer, if that was not gross enough, I later found out he bought it for $1 at a garage sale.

3. My ex bought me a laser hair removal package for a gift once. I guess he thought he was married to a Sasquatch! It was extremely painful to redeem!

4. We had been married TEN years when my husband gave me pierced diamond earrings for Valentine’s Day. But my ears aren’t even pierced. We have now been married 40 years & he will always be the love of my life. He tries very hard to please me.

5. I once got Jeanette a strawberry margarita… in a can… from a gas station! She said it tasted like gasoline mixed with alcoholic Kool-Aid. I really thought I was winning when I bought it. I most definitely did not win.

6. Seriously, my brother-in-law got my sister a scale! Yes, you heard it right. He said, “Well I knew you wanted to lose weight, so I thought it might help.”

7. I got here a shotgun so “we” could go duck hunting. We’ve never been duck hunting together and the shotgun still hasn’t been fired. It was my gift to her on our 2nd wedding anniversary.

8. A Rice Steamer! Should have seen the look on her face.

9. Speaker stands for MY surround sound system, and a set of pots and pans.

10. A cordless lawn trimmer.

11. I bought her an elliptical machine. “Thanks… wait. What are you trying to say?”

12. I got her a box of Cascade and a $20 bill! Still not sure why she didn’t like it.

13. An ex-boyfriend gave me a picture of himself. No frame. Not even a nice picture. Just a photo printed from Walgreens.

14. We are always throwing out food from the refrigerator that had set too long without eating, SOOO… I thought, wah-lah! “A food preserver.” Yeah she’ll love it!! Vacuum sealed freshness. HA! We have never used the dang thing. Still have it though!

15. I am hoping this gives some guys some wisdom! I mixed up the Christmas presents once and took the wrong gift to my in-laws. You should have seen the look on my mother-in-law’s face when she received edible panties & hand cuffs from me!

16. I got nothing but a card and it was terrible, not even romantic at all and I told my husband I hated it. He gave me the EXACT same card 2 years later. What an insult!

17. A few years back, I was so busy at work that I worked right through Valentine’s Day… and on the 15th I gave my wife a card, flowers, and candy and was planning dinner thinking it was Valentine day.

18. My husband has always been a poor gift giver, even after I have told him “I would really like such-n-such,” he still gives me nothing. Zilch, nada, nothin! So when I came home to find a gift on his side of the dresser, I was excited to think that my man finally got me my first Valentine’s gift after 6 years of marriage! It was a beautiful, super soft, plush white Teddy Bear with a red bow. I was in love thinking about how much he loves me. I carried that bear around all day admiring it and thinking about him and searching the house for the chocolate I knew he had probably gotten me. He came home that evening, sees me holding the bear, smiles, and says, “Do you like what I got my mom for her birthday?” AGH! Her birthday is on the 16th and I can officially say 23 years going strong and still no Valentine’s Day gifts. So now I buy myself flowers, hand him the receipt, and say thank you.

19. My worst Valentine’s gift was… A box of chocolates… YES! My husband knew I was on a diet/no sugar and he ended up eating them. I’ve always wondered if he bought them for himself to enjoy.

20. One year I waited until the last minute, and I knew my wife loves coffee, so I went and bought her a coffee cup with her favorite saying on it. The gift looks sort of plain so I bought chocolates and candy to fill it up. One problem: I bought her all of the candy that I like, not that she likes. And then I ate the candy myself! (Well, it was just sitting there staring at me!) The second problem is every time she drank coffee in the morning she was reminded of that horrible gift I gave her…and ate myself.”

So what are the common threads? Guys want to purchase our gals things that WE want, not things that SHE wants. I know that we want to look cool – like we have it all together. The bottom line is if you don’t know what to get her, ASK her. Sometimes I am afraid of the reaction that says, “You should know me well enough that you don’t need to ask!” If that is what you’re afraid of, then I need to ask this. Is it worth your epic fail being on this page? ASK!!  If you are looking for a group of guys to keep you out of the Doghouse, try one of our Guys Nights!


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Praising and Cursing

Praising and Cursing

I’ve been thinking and praying for several days about how to share my thoughts on what I’ve been witnessing on Facebook. I love it when God sends the perfect message to help me focus my thoughts and get things started. I received this today, found in James3:9-10.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” NIV (New International Version)

Unfortunately, what I’m seeing the most on Facebook these days is more cursing than praising. Many people are joining in what I’ll call the “virtual riot” of the moment about abusive police officers, racist white people, protesting black people, our president, republicans, democrats, Muslims, Christians, etc. People are commenting on and sharing things based on anger and hatred that are only meant to humiliate, denigrate, demean, or condemn another person, race, or religion.

These posts have nothing to do with actual solutions. They only add fuel to the fire and encourage others to join in the virtual riot. That place where anyone can sit safely behind a little screen and never actually participate in a real discussion with those that they are so bravely cursing at. And when others join in, it justifies their feelings and comments and makes them feel so right!

I’m a very proud American citizen! I believe in our right to free speech and I served in our military for 20 years to protect it. I’m not saying that we don’t have the right to speak what’s on our minds. I’m asking us all to make the choice to really think about what we say before we say it! Is what we have to say constructive or destructive? Would God want us to post and share these things?

I know in my heart that we can all do better on this!

In The Journey Training we believe EVERY person is a child of God who has value beyond measure and deserves to be loved as God loves them.

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Jesus gives all Christians these words as part of the great commandment. He does not say “please do this”, or “please think about this”. He commands us to do this!

The easiest thing to do is to follow the crowd, join the anger and hatred, and go along with the rioting mob. The hardest thing to do is something different from the crowd – to choose to love someone, as a person created in the image of God – even if that person has done something that we think is wrong or hurtful.

Loving our neighbor doesn’t mean they get a free pass to do whatever they want. Loving our neighbor means that we are willing to help them see when they are not being who they were created to be and that there is another choice or choices they could make.

Loving them means we do this with honesty and grace, without humiliating them, condemning them, or crushing their spirit. It means we do the hard work to build them up to be the man or woman that God created them to be, not what the world has told them to be or told them that they are. Loving them means we do this with dignity and respect while we may disagree.

As we head into 2015, I challenge all of us to make the CHOICE to look at things from another PERSPECTIVE and do something DIFFERENT!

Stop doing the easy thing by participating in the virtual riots that are based in anger and hatred!

Make the harder choice. Have the courage to live your life from a foundation of LOVE. Look for ways to build people up to be the best they can be instead of tearing them down.

If you can’t imagine how to do this or you don’t think it’s possible, check out The Journey Training. Come join us in 2015!

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Create Memories that Last Forever

Create Memories that Last Forever

“Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God’s perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive this gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year.” ~ Joel Osteen

Memories that last forever are the ones where something significant happened. When I was growing up, many Christmases were the same; get up early, run into the other room, look for presents under the tree (on the years we had one) and rip into the presents! I also remember a bowl of nuts – not normal ones – but some that were weird looking. I recognized the peanuts, walnuts, and some weird shaped triangular ones that I always used the metal nutcracker we had to open them up. If you follow my blogs you know that I am a slow learner, so I ate them every year and thought, “Yuck, why are these out?” Still there they were, every year. In fact they may have been the same nuts over and over! Then at night Mom would get drunk and what had started as an amazing day usually ended with yelling and tears.

My incredible wife Noell and I decided to make new memories. One of the things we started doing that has since caught on is giving gifts. Not just presents, but gifts. These gifts are given more infrequently than most other gifts, but are free and unlimited! And they can literally change someone’s day and make a memory that will last forever.

You don’t have to be strong to do this; just a little brave. And you have to take off the mask you usually wear, which is something many first learn how to do in The Journey Training. 

Just sit down with someone you love, hold their hand and look them in the eyes, and tell them the gifts you see in them. For example, I would do this: I hold my wife’s hand, look her in the eyes, and tell her, “The gifts I see in you are an INCREDIBLE wife, one that knows when I hurt and won’t show it, one that gently nudges me to put the phone away and pay attention to the kids. You are the mother of my kids that I prayed for all my life. Your love for others is one that is unparalleled.” Then I hug her and tell her I love her.

Then I’ll move on to my kids; I do this individually with each of them in the same way. I would share with them how proud I am of their leadership (Connor), how their optimism and smile helps motivate me daily (Casey), how they amaze me with their musical talent (Chase), how their heart for giving and to help others makes me want to do more for others (Cameron), how I love watching them take care of others around them, and that I can’t last a single day without a hug from her (Savy), and how she has the gift of tenacity and pushes through until she gets what she wants (Sydney), and how it inspires me. I do this one by one; looking each of them in the eye and making sure each of them know how much I love them.

Sure, they can open a toy that they may forget about later, but they won’t forget when time stood still, and I as the man of the house I showed them my love, and at the same time I showed them how to love others.

Try it this Christmas. I know you (and they) won’t be disappointed. You’ll give a gift that will never grow old, be forgotten, or be something they didn’t want!

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what The Journey Training is all about, this pretty much sums it up. We just show God’s love in a new and different way.

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