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Showing posts from September, 2012

Driving Under the Influence of Marriage

By Brian Murray and Christine Hammond
On the way to a county wedding out of town, he is driving because she took too long to get ready and now they are running late.
Her.[Great, he’s lost again for the hundredth time.He won’t stop and ask for directions and now I’m going to miss the processional after all that hard work on the flowers.See he doesn’t really care about what I do.Oh no, what is he wearing?He doesn’t really think that tie matches, does he?]Honey, I don’t recognize this way.”
Him.[Gosh why can’t she just shut up, I’m tired of being talked to like a two year old.] “I’m going the way the GPS told me to go.”
Her. [Stupid GPS, doesn’t he know by now that it can’t be trusted?Why can’t he just use some common sense for a change and follow the directions my Aunt gave us.She went out of her way on a very busy day to send us special directions and now I’ll have to tell her that she wasted her time.] “I don’t think this is the way my Aunt recommended.”
Him. [Your Aunt, whatever, I got t…

Anxiety in Christianity

By: Brian M Murray, MS, IMH
Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Learning to let go of things that cause anxiety is not always an easy task. God calls us forward to present those things to Him through prayer and petition as found in the Philippians scripture. Learning how to manage anxiety is nothing new and there are many references regarding it throughout the Bible. Anxiety is a natural feeling and serves a purpose to protect ourselves from the threat of harm and danger. This is often exhibited commonly as fight or flight. However, if the threat is not real and only a perception of harm and danger it can lead to unwarranted feelings of distress.
Anxiety often is the result of worry and fear about a situation that creates feelings of uneasiness often found in the pit of the stomach. It’s the relentless worrying about something that is not within our control. Very often in our everyday…

Embracing Grief When You Have Lost a Loved One

By Chris Hammond
Out of the blue, you receive a message that someone you loved has passed away.Perhaps it is a sibling, a longtime friend, or close co-worker, he/she is close to you but not one of your immediate family.Whatever the nature of your relationship, the timing of their death is so unexpected that you can hardly believe what you are hearing.And yet you know intellectually that it is true.Yet your emotions do not catch up to the reality quick enough so your response is distorted by a numbness of disbelief.You are left hanging, not knowing what to do or how to respond.Your relationship with the immediate family is close so you feel this pull to be with them but are unsure of how to act, what to say or who to speak with during this time.
The climate of our present culture is one that has lost touch with the art of maintaining intimate relationships. Media influences such as Facebook, texting, and video gaming all of which do more to disconnect relationships rather connect serve i…

4 Tips on Getting Out of the Blahs, or Recovering Motivation

You know, the blahs. It’s that stage of life when you feel heavy and sluggish and low on energy, even when you got a good night’s sleep. In fact, you often feel like you want to take a nap. You job doesn’t hold a lot of excitement, or worse, your friends are either annoying, or trite, or maybe kind but yet can’t seem to understand, and you don’t feel you have anything to look forward to. Maybe it’s money troubles, or maybe you’ve experienced a setback of some kind. And you can’t just ‘snap out of it’. I’d like to offer four ideas on how to move successfully through the blahs to get back to your “old” self. 1.Eat Your Peas ·You know how, when you were a kid, there were those foods you had to eat to “grow big and strong”. But they happened to be foods that were yucky. My mom was always trying to get me to eat green vegetables, and I was always trying to get out of it. Usually she encouraged me to just try some and eventually had to settle for me eating the minimum that I could get away w…

Understanding Anxiety

By: Brian M Murray, MS, IMH
Understanding what a person is feeling can sometimes be a little confusing. There are times when maladaptive understanding of emotions leads to a response that questions people of what they are truly feeling. If the feelings are misunderstood then often an inappropriate reaction leads to further stress and confusion. An example of two often confused emotions is anxiety and anger. Both are considered negative emotions that share common characteristics.
Both anger and anxiety promote an adrenaline response in the body. Adrenaline is like rocket fuel to the body getting ready for action. Often a person can tell they are getting tense, adrenaline is flowing, and there may be some queasiness in the stomach, shaky hands, heart rate increases along with increased breathing oxygenating the muscles. So if anxiety and anger are producing both of these emotions are creating a somatic response in the body, then how do you know which one it is?
One of the main differ…

How to Talk to a Narcissist

By Chris Hammond
After years of speculation, you have finally come to the realization that your boss is a narcissist.Since this is not the type of economy where you can just leave your job and expect to get another one quickly, you find yourself stuck and miserable in a job that normally you would like except for your narcissistic boss.In the beginning everything was great.Your boss seemed to like you and you liked him/her despite the previous dozen or so former employees who left rather abruptly.Then one day everything changed, as if a switch just flicked without your knowledge and you went from the best employee ever to the most incompetent human alive.
But you are stuck and despite the numerous attempts to flick the switch back the other way, it’s not budging.Every day now begins with several duck and cover attempts as you dodge the verbal bullets assaults of your boss until one day when you have no option but to confront.Finally, the issues on your desk have built up to an unbearabl…

Sarcasm & the Stealth of Anger

By: Brian M Murray, MS, IMH
A little tiff breaks out between two friends and suddenly one of them has enough and blurts out a common saying “whatever” and stops talking. While this seems meaningless and benign in nature sarcasm unseen intention is often a defensive move. Anger is a natural and common emotion and what we do with it makes a big difference. The use of sarcasm with phrases such as “whatever” or “just saying” is a withdrawal defense mechanism intended to defend and protect true feelings. It is a pulling back by being passive and becoming emotionally uninvolved.
What happens over time is the person using these types of phrases keeps stuffing their feelings down inside. If someone stuffs their feelings unconsciously the defense mechanism is known as repression. Over time the continual stuffing of these feelings begins to build up leading to self destruction. It is at this point the anger, being stealthy, morphs into another defense mechanism known as displacement. Displace…

Men, Why Are You SO Angry?

By: Brian M Murray, MS, IMH
Okay men, how many times have you been accused of being angry? How many times has a person you respect such as your wife or good friend become hurt after an impulsive outburst only to feel guilty later for the outburst and come back apologizing? While anger is a natural emotion, how we handle it makes a big difference. This isn’t about long term anger problems; this is about sudden onset and short term anger that has come on in the past few months or so. I’ll address the long term stuff toward the end.
Men when expressing their emotions often show them in a different ways than women. Anger in men can often be characterized as silent and distant until provoked followed by an outburst. Men when growing up often culturally learn their way in the world is to be tough and to “buck up.” Unfortunately what often happens is as an adult nothing much has changed. Men continue to “buck up” and feelings get stuffed down and suppressed without being expressed. This hap…

The Force of Favor is a Gift -- Do You Know how to Receive it?

By Dr. Dave Martin

I believe that favor is the greatest reward a person could ever receive from the Lord. Favor is better than money. While money cannot buy you favor, favor can definitely bring you money. Favor is better than fame. While fame cannot bring you God’s favor, the favor of God can absolutely bring you respect from key individuals and cause you to stand out within large groups. Favor is better than life. In fact, King David wrote, “Thy loving kindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3, KJV).

Favor will determine the level of your income. Favor will deepen your important relationships and the friendships you forge as you associate with the right people. Favor will flood your life with joy, with happiness, with passion, and with a sense of purpose and significance. Favor will intensify your worship and enhance your intimacy with the Lord. Favor also will ward off the enemy and neutralize his relentless attacks against you. Favor will cause you to regain in a day wha…

5 Tips for Parenting Adolescents: Part 5

By: Matt Sandford
In part four of the series, we discussed ways to balance between short and long term goals in our parenting. In this last section we will examine the issue of our children’s development towards autonomy and ways we can effectively nurture this process.
5.Foster autonomy
·In the teen years it becomes more readily apparent that your kids are not going to be under your roof forever. Some of you are excited about this, and some are broken up about it. But either way, it has been what you have been actually working towards all along: to see your kids grow up.
·Autonomy is a big part of maturity. Autonomy means to be self governing, self directed. Not in the childish sense of – I want my way! But the maturity to make decisions about what is best based on sound principles. Autonomy goes best when paired with responsibility and wisdom.
·But, here’s the rub for most parents. I want my child to mature and become autonomous, but at the same time I am scared – scared they will mak…

Does Someone You Know Have an Addiction?

Brian M Murray, IMH

"I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about." - Chuck Palahniuk

Do you know someone who struggles with addiction? Sometimes watching a friend or a loved one struggle in life can be difficult. The first inclination is to help the person only to be met with guarded behavior, anger and defensiveness. Questions often begin to arise after seeing a pattern of behavior developing in someone we care about wondering if there is something deeper going on. Understanding the nature of addiction and looking for some subtle red flags or signs can help what to watch out for if you believe that someone you know is struggling with an addiction.
Addiction is often misunderstood and perceived as a bad disease that is “fixable” if the addicted person would exercise some personal willpower to stop. Sounds …

9/11/01 : A Day to Remember

By: Chris Hammond, MS, IMH
For most people, remembering 9/11/01 is about remembering where they were when they first heard the news.It is easy to recall it since it was such a shocking day filled with tragedy after tragedy and while most felt numb that day, recall of the event now includes emotions of great sadness, grief, despair, and anger.The many days of confusion that followed 9/11/01 are more of fog compared to the moment in which you first heard the news.That moment is imbedded into your memory as if it was yesterday, stirring up a mixture of both old and new emotions.With each passing year, the memory refuses to fade as new memories are implanted into your head; instead it remains a solidly fixed and sober event.
But remembering 9/11/01 should not be so selfish.It should not be about remembering where you were or who you were with or how you felt.The people who committed the acts of terrorism on 9/11/01 were the selfish ones thinking only of their beliefs, their cause, their fee…