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Judy Marshall


A SPIRITUAL APPROACH TO HOLIDAY BLUES
For most American adults, the period from Thanksgiving though New Year’s is a difficult time. We seem to be plunged into a virtual reality somewhere between a carnival and a nightmare. The streets and the malls are filled with lights, holiday melodies, and glittery ornaments. [Read more...] [En español]

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: Reality And Mystery
As people live longer, the specter of Alzheimer’s looms grimly on the horizon. A disease involving progressive brain deterioration, Alzheimer’s results in increasing deficits in mental functioning and behavior. By the middle and later stages, the individual is entirely dependent on others for protection and physical care on a round-the-clock basis. [Read more...] [En español]

COPING WITH TRAUMA
The concepts of “stress” and “trauma” are broadly understood by almost everyone in modern society. In fact, we often use the words “stressed” and “traumatic” to describe our reactions to everyday events. Generally, with “stress” and “trauma,” what we are talking about are difficult, sometimes devastating situations that occur in the course of living. [Read more...] [En español]

DEPRESSION: A Negative “Altered” State?
Depression is one of the most painful of human experiences. People who are depressed may actually hurt. When we are depressed, every aspect of our experience is affected. The world tends to look dark, foreboding, or distant. The future seems bleak. Human contact becomes aversive. [Read more...] [En español]

MENTAL ILLNESS: Stigma And Reality
As a society, we are not well informed regarding mental health and illness. This is particularly surprising because we are relatively knowledgeable regarding physical health and illness. Certainly, there is a stigma attached to mental disorder or even unhappiness, despite the politically correct and ostensibly tolerant attitudes of our times. [Read more...] [En español]

ON BEING A SENSITIVE PERSON
By the time I was seven or eight years old, I had classified myself as a sensitive person. This was neither a good nor a bad thing. In my burgeoning self-awareness in the world I was discovering, I just knew I was one of those people who seemed very soft and gentle around the edges. [Read more...] [En español]

POSITIVE STRATEGIES FOR COPING WITH HOLIDAY BLUES
The holidays are a time of obvious contradictions and marked extremes. It is a season that invokes the highest spiritual ideals, yet spawns the crassest materialism. From Thanksgiving on, there is a palpable, busy ebullience and expectation “in the air,” which engulfs all of us. [Read more...] [En español]

SPIRITUALITY & RECOVERY
As a psychologist with over twenty years of clinical experience, I believe that spirituality can transform personal psychology. After evaluating hundreds of people through the legal system, I began to notice that—no matter what the religion or country of origin—people who had faith or spirituality in their lives seemed to react similarly to trauma and challenges, but differently from those who were not spiritually involved. [Read more...] [En español]

SPIRITUALITY: Jumpstarting A Cycle Of Psychological Transformation?
There is a general consensus that spirituality is good for you. This may be the only point of agreement about spirituality these days. Traditionally associated with religion or the occult, spiritual belief and practice in the 21st century are variously and often personally defined. [Read more...] [En español]

SPIRITUALITY: Living Philosophy
In recent years, there has been a rebirth of interest in spirituality. Many people describe regular spiritual practice, which may or may not include affiliation with a traditional church or religious organization. Books and materials on spirituality have become big business. [Read more...] [En español]

THE CHALLENGE OF SENSITIVITY
Even in the simplest language, the word “sensitive” has positive and negative connotations. On the positive side, being “sensitive” implies a nice and caring person, someone who is considerate, understanding, and mindful of others. On the negative side, being “sensitive” can also mean a tendency to take things too personally, a touchiness, or tendency to overreact emotionally. [Read more...] [En español]

THE STORY OF THE OLD FARMER
There once was an old farmer who lived in a remote region of the mainland, where the terrain is rough and the villagers manage to eek out a meager existence only through hard work and the grace of God. One day someone left the gate open on the farmer’s pasture, and his only horse ran away. [Read more...] [En español]

WHAT IS SCHIZOPHRENIA?
Schizophrenia is the most disabling and serious of all mental disorders. It is what is usually associated with insanity. All societies describe some variant of schizophrenia-like “madness.” In fact, the rate of occurrence is more or less similar throughout the world. [Read more...] [En español]

ART: An Emotional Bridge?
When I was in my early teens, I tried to spend every Saturday I could at the local art museum, sneaking into the city without my parents’ permission. Smaller than the Metropolitan in New York, but still noteworthy (not that I would have known), the museum was extraordinary and wondrous to me. [Read more...]

MAKING ART: A Spiritual Opening?
I never could draw well. But as a child, that never stopped me. My passion to make art was undaunted. I particularly loved color, especially all the different shades of reds and blues. For hours I would line up the crayons from my 64 superbox with great care, as though each was a cherished doll and had its own place and personality. [Read more...]

PROOF VERSUS FAITH (A Perspective)
As someone who is more intuitive than logical by nature, I’ve never had a real need for proof. That being said, for many years into my adult life, I didn’t have a real need for God, either. I was more than happy to credit my intuitions to my sensitive nature and a kind of agnostic assumption that there were energies “out there” and between human beings that no one could clearly define. [Read more...]



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Brian Aird


WINDSHIELD BEGINNINGS
There are many profound quotes that pertain to the beginnings of momentous journeys. For example, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” [Read more...]

RECHARGING OUR FAITH
Serendipity is such a lovely word. Dictionary.com defines serendipity as, “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.” This website further defines serendipity as, “good fortune; luck.” [Read more...]

THE GREATEST POWER
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).” (I Corinthians 13:13) As was our custom, our Christian fellowship group met in the chapel on the 2nd deck of the USS Okinawa LPH-3. [Read more...]

CHECKOUT LANE NUMBER FOUR: It Is In Giving That We Get
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,” and in Galatians 6:9 we find, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” [Read more...]

VOLUNTEER MISSIONARIES
A Russian writer by the name of Gurdjieff is quoted as saying, “If you help others, you will be helped, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in one hundred years, but you will be helped. Nature must pay off the debt. It is a mathematical law and all life is mathematics.” [Read more...]

EVERYONE HAS A NAME
Recently the story was told about a Salvation Army officer traveling on errand with an employee by the name of Mike. Mike was a trophy of grace. He was a man of the streets, who through so many winding, pit-saturated and rocky roads of experience found himself bruised, broken and bereft of life. [Read more...]

THE STILL SMALL VOICE
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (I Kings 19:12) The ministry was going well for the newly ordained pastor. Church attendance was increasing, the flock was being loved and nourished, new families were attending, and Sunday school attendance was skyrocketing. [Read more...]

SET SAIL INTO THE STORM
“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. [Read more...]

DRY DOCK
“Now hear this, now hear this.” The 1MC crackled to life and soon the familiar voice of the Captain of the USS Okinawa LPH-3 was heard addressing his crew. “Men,” he said, “We've come a long way, but we've got a long way to go.” [Read more...]

THANK GOD FOR THE PAIN
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:3-5) [Read more...]



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Daniela Anéis


OVERCOMING LOSS: Grieving and Mourning
Since the dawn of time, Man has tried to explain the most puzzling phenomenon of our existence: death. Why do we need to die? Where do we go after we’re gone? Modern day medicine has been giving us the false hope that we can defeat death and extend our life on Earth. [Read more...] [En español]

LIVING WITH PAIN
Living in constant pain unfortunately is a reality for 1.5 billion people around the world, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. From a mild pain to severe pain, having pain as your companion every day, throughout your day is not an easy reality to cope with. [Read more...] [En español]

DEALING WITH A POTENTIALLY TERMINAL ILLNESS
Last year, one of my great friends suffered from and conquered breast cancer. She was diagnosed at 36 and it was a great shock. For her and all of those around her. On a personal note, I work mostly with the elderly and sometimes it’s easy to forget younger people can die as well. [Read more...] [En español]

FLOURISHING
We all seek our own form of happiness although most of the time, we can’t exactly describe or know what it means to be happy. Is it a constant state of happiness? Is it the little things and the little happy moments we live? [Read more...]

HOW TO DEAL WITH SUFFERING
Suffering is something we can’t escape although some of us try really hard. You can even claim that suffering is as much part of life as happiness is. Yin and yang, two sides of the same coin. [Read more...]

THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION IN YOUR DAILY LIFE
Meditation has entered the psychological jargon and techniques as a useful tool for concentration, relaxation, lowering high levels of anxiety and most importantly, as a way to think clearly and listen to your inner voice. [Read more...]

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY: Resilience
Resilience is a concept often used to describe one’s ability to solve problems, cope with challenging situations, and one’s resistance to events that cause stress and suffering. [Read more...]



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Dawn Ferrara


WHEN YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE CHILD
“He’s so touchy.” “She’s just high-strung.” “What a quirky kid.” If your child could be described this way, you might be the parent of a sensitive child. Some kids are just a little different, marching to their own drummer and a little more sensitive to what goes on around them. [Read more...]

WHAT IS LIFE COACHING?
Life coaching… you’ve probably heard the term quite a bit lately and maybe even know some friends who have tried coaching of some type. Coaching is becoming one of the most sought after ways to tackle some of life’s challenges using strategies that nurture self-confidence, motivation, and personal fulfillment. [Read more...]

SELF-CONFIDENCE: What It Is and How to Get It
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” (Denis Waitley) This quote sums up the role of self-confidence in our ability to pursue our goals. Being confident in our decisions and actions is the foundation of moving through life purposefully and positively. [Read more...]

TALKING TO YOUR TEEN: Open The Door
There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “When opportunity knocks, answer the door.” Never has that been as true as when trying to talk to a teen. [Read more...]

COMMON RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS: And What To Do About Them
Your eyes meet and your heart melts. You get butterflies when you hear that voice. You like the same things. This is the person you want to spend your time with… and maybe forever. You’re in a relationship! [Read more...]



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Manuel Ferrer


FAITH SENT OUT ALWAYS BRINGS WHAT IS VITAL
Fight the good fight of faith! There is a fight; it is good. But what is the norm in such a fight? The oft-repeated sarcasm is, “You brought a knife to a gunfight?” The quick-witted retort is, “Knives don’t run out of bullets.” [Read more...]

OH, TO HAVE INTIMACY FREE OF FAMILIARITY!
To be intimate without being familiar remains an enigma. To be familiar is to put self on a family footing. To be part of a family is to suffer familiarity. Family members tend to despise each other. Close friends likewise do the same. [Read more...]

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
In a prayer meeting, the pastor sauntered over to the parishioner seemingly locked deep in communion with God. The shepherd gently asked the sheep, “What is your petition?” Surprised, the member sheepishly answered, “Nothing much.” [Read more...]



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Cleveland McLeish


FACING OFF WITH A GIANT CALLED FEAR
In 2012, I was sitting at home watching a Halloween episode of NCIS, one of my favorite television shows, when suddenly I had a sensation as if I was unable to breathe. This was a very frightening experience, and I was home alone. [Read more...]

THE DAY MY FATHER DIED
We all have bad days during our lifetime, and when you think about it a bad day is unavoidable. There is this saying circulating globally that the surest thing in life is death. We will all face this seemingly divine appointment at some point in our lives. [Read more...]

THE POWER OF GOD’S LOVE
I heard a story recently of a single woman living alone, who woke up one night to see someone in her bedroom. She was beaten, and left to die. According to her account of the story, she did die. [Read more...]



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Lilla Dale McManis


WHAT MAKES A GOOD PARENT?
Few endeavors in life come with both the potential for such tremendous joy and such intimidating challenge as parenting. The stakes are justifiably high. After all, as parents we have the responsibility for the pressing needs of our children in the here and now and the concern about how our daily decisions come together to determine their functioning and happiness in adulthood. [Read more...]

UNDERSTANDING AND FOSTERING CHILDREN’S MORALITY
Raising children to understand and practice morality is a fundamental concern for parents and societies. In many ways we are more aware of morality than past generations because never before have we had such vast and intimate media access to people’s actions. [Read more...]

PARENTING CHALLENGES IN TODAY’S PLUGGED-IN WORLD
Technology is widely, deeply, and tightly woven into our everyday lives. Our children are considered ‘digital natives’ because they have never known a world without digital technology. A striking difference between past and present generations is our children no longer use less sophisticated or toy versions of technology tools and devices, but the same ones as adults. [Read more...]



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Melissa Porrey


THE NEED FOR TRAUMA TREATMENT
I’m often asked how trauma can be treated. Should it be talked about? Ignored? Pushed aside through distraction? Or should it be faced head on? What is it about trauma that can make healing so difficult? [Read more...]

SECONDARY TRAUMATIC STRESS
Consider the following scenarios: A car crash unfolds before your eyes. You feel lucky to not have been involved, but you see injured passengers being hauled off in ambulances and smoke and metal scattered all around you. [Read more...]

SOMATIC REACTIONS TO TRAUMA
We all experience traumatic events in our lives—the death of a loved one, an unexpected hospitalization, sexual or physical assault. Traumatic reactions are natural and serve a biological purpose. [Read more...]



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Kris Wolfe


SELF-ESTEEM BEFORE AND AFTER CHRIST
I used to think I had great self-esteem. But I used to confuse self-esteem and confidence. I had confidence, to a degree. Self-esteem? Maybe not so much. Neighbors told me I had pretty hair and nice eyes; so I had confidence in my appearance. My teachers told me that I was smart; so I had confidence in my intellect. [Read more...] [En español]

FROM FAITH COMES LIFE
Six positive pregnancy tests, each with weeks filled with elation and big plans; each followed with certain loss and bouts of grief, all in a span of five years. While this may seem like pure tragedy, senseless suffering, there is so much more to comprehend in this story than grief and loss. [Read more...] [En español]

THE TRUE POWER OF LOVE
Love. It’s a word that seems like it should be written in bubble letters, colored in cotton candy pink and surrounded by a dozen puffy hearts stabbed with arrows. But there is no more powerful word in our language. [Read more...] [En español]

ON BECOMING A CHRISTIAN FAMILY LATER: 13 Tangible Tips
I didn’t really grow up in the church, but I didn’t really have an anti-church experience either. In fact, I would say my family had one foot firmly planted on both paths. Imagine how hard it was for us to get anywhere like that. [Read more...] [En español]

SECULAR INFLUENCES THAT CONCERN THIS CHRISTIAN MOM
I cringe thinking about “secular influences” on my children, not just because they can be bad, but also because I don’t want my children developing a “holier-than-thou” attitude. I want them to be firmly planted in Christ and derive their strength and identity from Him. [Read more...] [En español]

TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO “LET IT GO”
It’s more than a song; it’s a mysterious way of living. Letting go our suffering and forgiveness are a cornerstone of Christian living, but it’s a concept that brings shivers to the strongest of Christians. It has been said that forgiveness is not for the weak. [Read more...] [En español]

TEACHING YOUR KIDS COMPASSION
Ask any parent what they hope for in their children and almost all of them will mention happiness. We all desire happiness for our children and ourselves. We can even worship our own happiness at times, chasing down impossible standards of perfect happiness found only in a children’s book. [Read more...] [En español]

HELPING YOUR KIDS FEEL LIKE THEY “BELONG”
If you are a tough love kind of parent, you might not even care if your kids feel a sense of belonging, so long as they have a motivation to perform and behave. But do you remember what it was like to be twelve or fifteen? Did belonging matter to you? Of course it did! [Read more...] [En español]

WHEN YOUR CHRISTIAN CHILDREN DON’T ACT LIKE CHRISTIANS
You may have heard the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). A young man demands his share of the family estate in advance from his father. His father obliges, yet the son runs off and squanders his fortune. Near starvation, he eventually returns home and his father welcomes him immediately and even throws a feast for him. All is well that ends well, right? [Read more...] [En español]

WORK FOR PASSION
Work. It’s a labor of love. Or is it? People say, “Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life,” implying of course that if you follow your passion, then it won’t feel like work. But is this really true? [Read more...] [En español]

THE FAMILY VACAY: The Good, The Bad & The Memorable
So I just got back from a weeklong cruise with two t/w/een minions. They are twelve and fifteen. You know the emoji with the big unblinking freaked out eyes? That was me—just trying to imagine the craziness that would ensue on our trip with these two. In other words, I wouldn’t call my boys easy. [Read more...] [En español]

CHOOSING TO LOVE YOUR LOT (When Happiness is a Choice)
There is nothing more aggravating than seeing someone you care about settling for less than they deserve; except perhaps watching them miss out on happiness because they aren’t willing to be happy with their “lot.” [Read more...]

THE POWER IN VULNERABILITY
My husband and I took the trip of a lifetime. Ten days in Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice. It was everything you would expect. But there is always the realm of the unexpected. We had just eaten dinner with strangers from all over the world while overlooking the city of Florence at sunset. [Read more...]

10 GOOD THINGS WE UNKNOWINGLY “WORSHIP”
A healthy life involves well-articulated priorities. But who should set our priorities? It seems pretty obvious, right? My life: my priorities. But is this biblical? Better yet, is this even sinful? [Read more...]

CODEPENDENCY VS. FORGIVENESS: When Forgiveness Becomes Destructive
Forgiveness is life-giving, relationship-healing and freeing beyond measure. But sometimes when we think we are forgiving someone, we can actually unknowingly be giving him or her permission to keep hurting us. How do we know the difference? [Read more...]



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