I Missed My Son's Stop Sign

I Missed My Sons Stop Sign

Recognizing overwhelm signals (Skill 9) and staying connected during intense emotions without going over the top, known as interactive quieting (Skill 15), are two key skills we need to sustain healthy relationships. In an ideal world, we develop these skills early in life as parents, family members, teachers, coaches, etc. use these crucial skills to […]

The RARE Ingredients We All Need

On a recent a traveling trip I sat next to a young lady who had given up. Even though her life had been deeply impacted years ago by a woman counselor, she now considered herself lost and coasting with no direction, no hope, and no joy. She did not know God but she was desperately […]

Don't Worry: What You Need is a Learned Behavior

Healthy minds are full of appreciation. Appreciation creates belonging and changes stress to contentment. What are you thankful for today? What makes you smile? Pause for a moment, and reflect on something you appreciate. What do you notice? Appreciation is Joy A gift we share with others. Created from unexpected acts of kindness. Born out […]

Sendoffs and Snowdrifts Swirling In South Korea

Here’s another update on Chris Coursey’s trip to Korea. Few things are as satisfying and rewarding as watching people encounter the living God for the first time. I enjoyed training students and staff members with the skills to thrive at the YWAM base in Jeju. My time ended smoothly and for my next adventure I […]

Update from South Korea: Chris Coursey in Jeju

I just finished my first day of teaching with counseling students in the YWAM school here in Jeju, South Korea and I must say, the results are great! The class was engaged and enthused over what they were learning. Since my previous visit in Jeju, I was here last June, I can see a big […]

Insecure? Learn How to Sync Up With Others!

We all need to feel safe and secure. That’s why we teach people a skill we call “Synchronize Attachments” at Thrive. When you synchronize attachments, you can share a mutual state of mind with others that will bring you closer, as well as help you move independently. Imagine feeling free to be yourself because the world is […]

Relaxing Might Be More Important Than You Realize!

Can you identify a time in your life when you were wrought with worry and dread?  Your shallow breathing and tense body gripped you.  Something was, missing: the skill of effectively quiet our thoughts or body. When we teach this skill at Thrive we call it Skill Two, the skill of “Quieting” or “Shalom.” The ability […]

What Finnish Kindergarteners Know About Joy

As the father of 5 and 3-year old boys and a co-developer for Thrive Training, I wondered what would change in the world if every child went to school and discovered joy. “What if teachers used joy and play to educate our sons?” I then asked my wife. Jim Wilder sent me a recent article […]

What does it mean to "Share Joy"

At the core of Thrive, a week-long, immersive training experience are 19 essential relational skills. The first one you’ll learn about is called “Share Joy.” How do we know when we’re sharing joy? When Facial expressions and voice tones amplify, “We’re glad to be together!” Signs of Joy Facial expressions. Change in body language. Positive verbal […]

Drowning Relationally? There's a Lifeboat In-Between Your Ears!

Imagine you are on a ship at sea when, suddenly, piercing sirens jolt you. A blaring voice over the loud speaker announces there is an emergency. Directions ensue: Passengers must quickly reach the deck for a life-saving exit strategy. Lifeboats are available to save you from the demise of the damaged vessel. Would you want […]

5 Reasons Your Pastor Prays for You to Learn Relationship Skills

Your pastor is praying for you to learn relationship skills. At Life Model Works, we talk about 19 specific relational brain skills. Although your pastor may not use the same terminology we do, they are praying for you. Here are five of the skills they are praying God develops in you. Maturity Your pastor prays […]

What It Feels Like To Be In A Room Full Of Joy For A Week

I have enjoyed a most incredible week watching relational joy pop up at the Thrive Training event in Austin, Texas. Much like kernels transforming inside a popcorn maker, people are bursting with joy. You should see the smiles in this place! Friends, prayer partners, parents, spouses and leaders from around the country are interactively engaged […]

Immanuel Defeats The Abominable Snow Monster

Jesus overpowered a cruel, and merciless enemy. This adversary was a big, bad monster made from snow. That is what my soon to be 5-year old son Matthew James told me recently. The conversation was more like, “Daddy, Jesus protected me from a big scary snow monster!” The grin on his face told me Immanuel […]

Avoiding Unforeseen Disasters

Time after time churches, ministries and missions experience unforeseen disasters from the inside out. No one pays attention to the enemy within their gates. Well-meaning but untrained congregants and church boards place highly educated individuals into positions of authority. These men and women are likable. Their sermons are inspiring. Their personalities are alluring. These new […]

How to Have Joy at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a supposed to be a time to give thanks. For many of us, Thanksgiving feels overwhelming. Lengthy to-do lists dictate our time and drain our energy. We keep busy planning meals, shopping for food and preparing our homes to host families and friends. If you are familiar with Joy Starts Here you know […]

Train Your Brain for the Best Possible Relationships

If you’ve read the first seven articles in this series, you know how to create sustainable joy. Let’s close by turning our focus to how Life Model Works can teach you to start joy. Joy is foundational to develop resiliency and learn new relational brain skills. We designed Thrive to provide the best possible conditions […]

This is how your brain activates creativity and helps you live like Jesus

Our brain works best when synchronized. The executive system of the brain regulates our emotions and keeps us connected with other people. We calm our emotions and repair ruptures. We  focus on what is important and shift our attention as necessary. We control our cravings and quiet our impulses. We stay proactive to complete commitments […]

How storytelling holds the key to a joy-filled lifestyle

The human brain has the remarkable ability to craft coherent stories and create meaning from personal experiences. At Life Model Works, we call this skill “telling four-plus stories.” These are stories that engage all “four levels” of our brains. When engaged this way, the right hemisphere of the brain synchronizes with the left hemisphere. The left hemisphere relies […]

Want Sustained Joy? Become a better mind reader.

Are you looking for mutually satisfying relationships and sustained joy? Learn to read minds. At Life Model Works, we call this the “Level 3 of the control center.” It is what helps us synchronize energy levels with other people, read their body language, and gauge their well being on a moment-by-moment basis. The result is, we feel […]

Five Tips for Being Approachable

Sometime interactions are easy. Sometimes they are a lot of work. What’s the difference? To experience sustained joy, we need relationships that feel safe, stay open and connected. One way to describe this process is “engaging the approach system.” What exactly does that mean? Well, it helps to know a little about the brain. At Life Model […]