Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PSYCH INFO: CHILD WITH NIGHTMARES NEEDS UNDERSTANDING

Q. My four year old daughter has occasional nightmares. She will wake up crying and calling for me. When I go to her it is obvious she is terrified by whatever she has dreamed. Sometimes she will tell part of her dream, that a tiger was chasing her, for example. (I tried to convince her there was no tiger there, but she wouldn't believe this.) Often she remembers the nightmare the next day and seems upset. What is the best way to handle her fearfulness? What causes nightmares?

A. Dreams are messages to us from our unconscious. They help us solve a problem. A nightmare is an urgent message about something troubling us. Although some people are rarely aware of dreaming, everyone dreams four or five times each night. Dreams help us integrate the big and little problems or feelings we face on a daily basis. They help us stay asleep - except when they are nightmares.

The dream or nightmare is a metaphor for some feeling or conflict we have experienced the previous day. It may have more than one meaning and may also refer to conflicts or traumas in the past. Children often have nightmares when they are angry with a parent or a parent is angry with them. Hence the tiger might represent angry feelings. 
    
A dream is a picture of our feelings. It is not logical or rational. It also is not direct. It teaches us in the same way a story does and is as creative as any story ever told. Some early American Indian tribes taught their children to share their dreams every day. The Senoi Indians of Malaysia also used dreams in their culture. They were nonviolent, had no crime, no major family disharmony, no mental illness and no police force, perhaps for this reason! They resolved their dream conflicts rather than acting them out.
    
When your child has a nightmare it is important to comfort her until she is calmed down.  Respect your child's fear; don't dismiss it, ridicule it or punish it. A book titled Nightmare Help by Anne Sayre Wiseman details a fascinating approach to children's nightmares. 

She would suggest that the child ask the tiger not to come any more tonight because everyone needs their sleep. The book teaches how to help children face their fears and master them. This involves having the child draw the nightmare. Drawing it is easier for some children than telling it.  Also, details may be omitted verbally but included in a picture. Either drawing or telling someone the dream helps make the inner conflict conscious. And this leads to mastery.
    
The author emphasizes respecting the child's need to feel safe and then encouraging him or her to reenter the dream and find solutions to the problem posed in the dream. "Close your eyes and see yourself getting help. What do you see?"
    
Since there may be some stress in the parent-child relationship, your child may not be willing to work on her dream with you. The problem depicted in the dream may have to do with you! Don't press her to talk about it or to draw a picture of it if she doesn't want to do so. Also do not offer meanings for her dream. Listen carefully, instead, to any meaning she suggests. If your child has frequent nightmares and the ideas in this column or in the book don't relieve them, I recommend family counseling. Many pastors are trained in counseling or could refer you to a Christian counselor.

“All your sons shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

Blessings, Dottie





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

God’s Will, Change and Letting Go of Stuff

God surprised us this year! Our life has changed dramatically. My husband and I just began a new chapter in our life. After living in family homes all our life we have moved to a retirement community. This is a surprising and unexpected decision as we’d always said we wanted to live in our home ‘til the end of our life. I wrote a book called Changing Churches published in 2012. Now I could write a book called Changing Houses! 

We had not thought of moving, yet I prayed in my journal on January 1, 2017 “Father, let me live more simply in the coming year.” Also on January 10th I wrote “Let me know what you want me to do at this point in my life. Guide me in getting rid of stuff and in leaning on you.”  Be careful what you pray for!

The decision to move had to be God inspired as we made the decision out of the blue and both of us felt good about it. (Most of the time.)

Well, if you decide to go into a retirement community you HAVE to get rid of stuff big time. So for the last four months – from April 21 to August 31st we got rid of 50% of our belongings. This is no exaggeration. It has been quite an interesting process of letting go. And it has mostly felt good.

Of course I let go of clothes that no longer fit me properly. Why do we delay this when we have lots of closet space? We weeded out every category of belonging. It never occurred to me before this that we didn’t need four or five casserole dishes, or we didn’t need to keep a set of 36 glasses we never really liked. It never occurred to me we didn’t need ten individual wooden salad bowls when we only used them when eating alone.

I was surprised to realize how much stuff we had. For example we had 15 lamps and used them all in our former house. We let go of four of these (our new house has fewer windows so we still need many lamps). We also had twelve small rugs to wipe your feet on at entries. We kept six.

Some adaptation is required with any change and especially when you move to a new home. Usually a new place is arranged differently. Well, I discovered the new place has only two drawers in the kitchen. My former kitchen has eleven drawers!! So…I’ve had to adapt. I made sewing kit out of a very sturdy box and things fit in their perfectly! Similarly, I made First Aid kit to hold band aids, gause, ointments,and so forth using a sturdy I-Pad box.  

I enjoyed giving away things that we could not take with us. I had friends over for lunch and gave away several vases and two pitchers. Another friend is now enjoying my Precious Moments figures. We provided some furniture for our grandchildren’s college apartments, and for our daughter and a missionary couple. And a neighbor loved a pair of my pajamas and my ivy plants growing in water. It felt great to have someone else enjoy the use of these items. Good Will also received many items from us!

We no longer need so much stuff, nor do we need such a big space. We have used our house to entertain and to help a few people over the years – using all the finished basement space for wedding party guests twice and for storing missionary furniture. We are so glad we could do this.

God led us to our last house and blessed us with it. I’m convinced he led us to our current home and we already feel blessed to be here. It is especially freeing to me as the detail person in the family. I have so much less to take care of now. I can be more relaxed and more involved with others. I believe that’s what God wants for now.

Blessings, Dottie

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21 NIV


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Psalm 119 Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God

This is the seventh section of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter and the longest Psalm in the Bible. There are 8 different terms referring to Scripture used through out. These are: law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word and ordinances. I continue to meditate and journal on this amazing Psalm.

Zayin. 

49 Remember the word to Your servant,
In which You have made me hope.

Dear Father, Remember your promise to me, I’ve been rejoicing in You for many years – your word gives me hope and joy.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
That Your word has revived me.

Father, You are my comfort in every trial and affliction, big and small,
When I’m down Your Word lifts me up and fills me with your Spirit.

51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.

Father, the arrogant world derides my belief in you and love for you,
But I hold fast to my belief in your word, law and promises.

52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord,
And comfort myself.

Father, I do remember your ordinances from of old. But do I really think about them much? The Ten Commandments are sure needed in our culture where killing and sexual acting out is rampant and people have NO God. It’s sad, Lord. I do know and study your commandments. Help me grow in living these and especially when I fail to keep them. Your Word is a comfort to me. Your Word is Truth.

53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,
Who forsake Your law.

Dear Father, I am very upset about the wickedness in our culture and around the world in many places. My country used to know your law. Now they have forsaken it and forsaken you.

54 Your statutes are my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage.

Dear Father, Your statutes are my songs – I love to think of this. Trust and obey – When we walk in the light. We sing songs from your Word in my church, my house of pilgrimage.

55 O Lord, I remember Your name in the night,
And keep Your law.

Dear Father, My Lord and Savior, I recall your name at night as well as during the day,
And I cherish and keep your Word.

56 This has become mine,
That I observe Your precepts.

Father, your Word has become my inspiration,
I follow your precepts. Keep me close.

Blessings, Dottie



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

REASONS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS

4. REASONS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS

This is the fourth of a series of Reasons to Believe blog posts with my sister, Betty Haynie. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who don’t believe in God as well as others. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes.
                                                                                 
WHY I BELIEVE IN JESUS
By Betty Haynie

People have spent centuries trying to make Jesus go away so they won’t have to deal with the question of His status as God. If Jesus is NOT God then He becomes acceptable to everyone. The Koran honors Him as a prophet and teacher. Jesus the man is acceptable to most religions. Nicodemus recognized Him as a rabbi and prophet. (John 3:1) The problem is Jesus said He was the Son of God.

It’s the divinity of Jesus that sets him apart. I believe He was 100% human and 100% God. There are many examples but his human and divine attributes come together in the following story. Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, sleeping in the stern when a storm came up. The disciples, full of fear, woke Him up. With a wave of His hand and an admonition about the limits of their faith, He quieted the storm. Now, obviously He was mortal - He needed sleep; but He was also capable of stopping a storm - hardly a human ability!! (Matthew 8:23-26, Mark 4:36-30, Luke 8:22-25).

I believe Jesus is the second person of the trinity. God gave us His Word in the Bible and He gave us His Word made flesh. Jesus was the Word made flesh. John writes that Jesus existed even before the beginning of time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”  John 1:1-3 NIV

My Bible commentary says that “In the beginning” meant not the beginning of time, but before time was. John used the phrase in an absolute sense to refer to the beginning of time, prior to the world and the universe. Thus, Jesus, the second person of the trinity always existed, he always was.

It is difficult for us mere humans to understand God’s Word so He made the Word into a form we can understand. We can identify with another human because we are human. We are not gods (no matter what some religions believe). Jesus came as God’s expression of Himself - to give us a God we could relate to.

Did Jesus claim to be God? Yes, he did. In the following verses Jesus is clearly claiming that He and the Father are one.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus replied, Phillip, don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” John 14:8-10 NLT

Further, Jesus claimed that He existed before Abraham was born. “Jesus said to them, ‘’Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.’" John 8:58 NASB

Jesus also asked his disciples who they thought he was: Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of John for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17 NASB

C. S. Lewis, a Cambridge University professor and former atheist wrote about Jesus in Mere Christianity:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher... Either this man was, and is, the Son of God - or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool; you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

No one in history is like Jesus. He alone deserves our trust and He alone is the path to God. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT through Jesus!

Blessings, Betty

WHY I BELIEVE IN JESUS
By Dottie Parish

Betty said it very well, Jesus is our only path to God. I didn't believe this when I walked into Main Street Church in 1990 after decades away from God and church. I thought of God as a force. That first Sunday, while singing a hymn about Jesus, I choked up and my soul found God in person. What a difference! When God is just a force we are in charge of how we want to live. When God is personal we bow to him in awe and wonder. We listen to him. We follow him. He does not force himself on us. He is gentle, loving and kind. And change comes gradually following our initial surrender.

Jesus is now my Lord and Savior. Jesus is God. Jesus lived on this earth – fully man and fully God. He performed miracles, healings, stopped storms, held children on his lap and taught 12 men profound things about who God is and what he wants from us. Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins. Because God is Holy, no one unholy can be in his presence. If we accept Jesus as our Savior his blood covers our sins and we can enjoy his loving presence and guidance here and now and we will be with him in heaven. 

Remember, Jesus is alive! After his resurection He was seen by the twelve disciples and by two men on the road to Emmaus and by 500 people. His followers were told to spread the Good News about Him and they did. Our faith is built on historical facts as well as the evidence of missions, ministries, hospitals and churches all over the world with followers of Jesus.

What if this is true? Don’t wait and be left behind. Seek God and he will embrace you. Jesus lived in history and is still alive in glory with the Father. Who do you say Jesus is?

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.” John 14:6

“It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and in everyone.” Ephesians 1:11 The Message

Blessings, Dottie

Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT in late September by Betty and Dottie








Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Psych Info: DREAMS ARE SIGNIFICANT

Q. A group of my friends were discussing dreams recently and we disagreed over how often we dream, why we dream and what dreams mean. Could you write a post on dreams?

A. Everyone dreams every night; usually four to seven times. Often we don’t remember our dreams. We dream during the phase of sleep known as REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. During REM sleep our eyes move rapidly as though we were watching a tennis match. The REM phase of sleep occurs when we are having vivid dream images.

Studying your dreams can put you more in touch with your inner self. Dreams can point to and can even heal repressed conflicts that control the way we think and behave in our daily life. Dream books found in super markets will not help you understand your dreams and they may hinder you. Instead, consider yourself the best authority on what your dreams mean. They mean whatever you think they mean as they were created by you.

Carl Jung, pioneering psychiatrist and colleague of Freud, said: “I have no theory about dreams. I do not know how dreams arise. On the other hand, I know that if we meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly - if we take it about with us and turn it over and over - something almost always comes of it.”

Dreams come to help us. Even nightmares can show us something we weren’t aware of about our inner conflicts. Dreams also can lead to breakthroughs, pointing to solutions to problems or showing us possibilities we’ve never considered. A number of inventors and scientists have attributed their discoveries to a dream. 

Dreams are Significant                                                                           
Similarly, dreams can help us make decisions when consciously we feel stuck. They also can help us take risks and move beyond our routine ways of being. We can discover in dreams parts of ourselves we’ve denied or rejected. When we study our dreams we can heal inner splits in our personality.

Dreams can also serve as practice for future achievements. Pregnant women who dream frequently of childbirth spend less time in labor. Similarly, dreams that rehearse a perfect golf swing or an upcoming business presentation can enhance our performance.

To study your dreams you will first have to remember them. This will require determination on your part and you will need to do the following:

1. As you’re falling asleep ask God to help you remember your dreams.

2. Have paper and pencil handy so you can write down your dreams when you first wake up.

3. If possible, let yourself wake up without an alarm clock, as the noise may jar you into forgetting your dreams.

4. Write down your dreams immediately or they will fade and you won’t be able to remember them. Names or phrases in the dream can be especially revealing. Write down whatever you remember even if it’s only a very brief fragment of a dream.

5. Keep your dreams in a journal and later write down any associations you have to each dream. What does the scene in the dream remind you of?

6. During the day play around with the images in your dream. Remember it is visual and symbolic. Don’t try to understand it rationally.

7. Tell your dream to someone you trust. Just ask them to listen to it without comment.  Sharing your dreams will help you discover additional meanings to them.

The Bible is full of dreams from God to specific people. Think of the boy Samuel, the many dreams of Joseph, and Daniel. God can speak to you through your dreams if you pay attention to them. God also today is speaking to many Muslims in their dreams. For more on this see book review on Dreams and Visions here.

“I trust in you, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15

Blessings, Dottie






Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Two Excellent Books on Finding a Great Job

How to Get Any Job                                        
(Or how to avoid living in your parent’s basement)
Life Launch and Re-launch for Everyone Under 30

By Donald Asher

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius.

This is an excellent book with much wisdom, knowledge and advice about how to find just the right job for you. The book details a plan to help you discover your interests and talents. Implementing this plan will take time and thought on the part of the student/young person but will save you from many mistakes and from landing in a dead end job that doesn’t fit you.



Part 1 will teach you to examine employment interests and develop a plan for your life.

Part 2 takes this further in helping you explore your interests in “the real world.”

Part 3 will teach you how to get a job.

Throughout the book there are case studies that flesh out the issues being taught. These are very helpful. Any student who is uncertain about his/her career direction should study this book and follow every suggestion in order to discover the type of career that will best suit you. Do the homework first and you will be able to find what you want and will be ready to do well in job interviews.

In the last chapter on the job Interview Asher explains much about the hidden job market – how many jobs are filled from within or from a friend of a friend. And many jobs are filled with a persistent job searcher who doesn’t take no for answer.

To whet your appetite a bit here are some interesting thoughts from the book:
  • Prior generations needed to find 9 jobs between college and retirement. Asher believes the current generation will need to find 20-30 jobs!  Pg 4
  • 40-60% of CEOs are liberal arts majors. pg 7
  • Don’t compound a poor choice of major with a poor career choice. Pg 8
  • You will be fired through no fault of your own. Pg 14 
A little failure is part of every successful life. Walt Disney’s first cartoon production company went bankrupt. Elvis Presley got a C in high school music, and his teacher told him he couldn’t sing. Edgar Allen Poe was expelled from college. Einstein dropped out of school without finishing his degree.” 133

I highly recommend this book.

What Color is My Parachute? 
A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers

By Richard Bolles

What Color is My Parachute is another excellent  book for job seekers. It is updated frequently so the information will fit today’s job market.The author, Richard Bolles, asks what is your purpose in life? Most of us think we’ll be happy at work if we make good money and are valued for what we do. 

Bolles says that’s not enough. He says that the happiest people at work are those who have discovered their mission in life. They have found a way to use their skills and abilities to earn a living and to also make a difference in some small part of the world. He will tell you how to find your mission and thus how to find a job that will do more than just give you financial support. While we think we’re in control of our lives, we never really are - but God is.  Pray for guidance about his plan for you.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

Blessings, Dottie



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Psalm 119 Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God  

This is the sixth section of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter and the longest Psalm in the Bible. There are 8 different terms referring to Scripture used through out. These are: law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word and ordinances. A pastor suggested reading this Psalm verse by verse, meditating on it and journaling on each verse.

Vav. 

41 May Your loving kindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;

Father, I know Your loving kindnesses and they come to me daily. Thank you, O Lord,
Especially for your salvation told of in your Word.

42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

Father, I do have an answer for anyone who disputes my beliefs or taunts me for them, (as some of my relatives have). For I know your Word is true.

43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.

Father, Do not take your word of truth out of my mouth or out of my mind. Guard me from false words which abound in our culture. Help me remember your Word and hide it deep in my heart. For I need to feed on your Word.

44 So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.

Father, As I feed on your Word - then I keep your commandments – both continually,
Forever and ever – I hope.

45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.

Father, I walk with you, free and at peace,
Because I seek you and your Word. Keep me in Christ and in the Word.

46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.

Father, I will witness to anyone, even presidents; help me share your Truth, your testimonies and not avoid this. I will not be fearful or ashamed to speak up. I hope this is true. Guide me when to speak and when no to do so.
 
47 I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.

Father, I rejoice in your commandments.
I love them!

48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

Dear Father, I lift my hands in loving praise for your commandments,
I meditate on your commandments, laws, word and statutes! You are the Word made flesh. I abide in You.

Blessings, Dottie