Wednesday, November 12, 2014

People Will be Lovers of Self: Identifying Narcissistic Personality Disorder

I have decided to take a “General Psychology” course at university. If schedule permits I would like to go on to the “Abnormal Psychology” class after that. Or maybe it is “Social Psychology” I am interested in learning. I want to cover “personality disorders” like bipolar and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). I have reason to believe I have come across a few, in my life, who fall into these two categories. It would be good to know how to properly interact with them in a healthy manner. If you have ever engaged with someone with one of these disorders you will know how insanely difficult it is, especially with the NPD, to communicate with them. At times it is nearly impossible.

While reading up on the topic I have come across many informative articles on the matter. Is there a husband or wife you do not quite understand? Perhaps he or she appears to do things a particular way. By chance it is in order to try and avoid tirades by his/her spouse. Did you ever ask him/her if his/her spouse resembles this example:
(Think of the man who berates his wife when dinner isn't ready as soon as he comes home. He lashes out precisely because at that very moment, he's forced to acknowledge that he depends on his wife, something he'd rather avoid.)(“5 Early Warning Signs You're With a Narcissist: Learn how to spot the red flags for narcissism you might have missed”. Published on June 21, 2013 by Craig Malkin, Ph.D. in Romance Redux. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/romance-redux/201306/5-early-warning-signs-youre-narcissist
So, why would a woman want to be an excellent wife if her husband is going to lash out at her for caring for him and doing what she is taught to be what a good wife does?

But I am putting the cart before the horse, here. First, let us look at the “Mayo Clinic” definition of NPD.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and in other areas of their life, such as work or school.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:
• Believing that you're better than others
• Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
• Exaggerating your achievements or talents
• Expecting constant praise and admiration
• Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
• Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
• Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
• Taking advantage of others
• Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
• Being jealous of others
• Believing that others are jealous of you
• Trouble keeping healthy relationships
• Setting unrealistic goals
• Being easily hurt and rejected
• Having a fragile self-esteem
• Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional
(“Disease and Conditions: Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20025568

The tricky part comes when trying to have every day, run of the mill conversations with someone who exhibits NPD.
You will find you are always to blame and it is rare that they will be accountable for their actions due to the fact that one of the main characteristics of narcissism is an unwillingness to see symptoms as flaw; experiencing them—believe it or not—as virtues. This is in large part due to an amazing sense of denial that the narcissistic individual possesses in order to maintain their fragile self-esteem. This sense of denial makes it very difficult for them to benefit from treatment or to take criticisms constructively from a significant other.(“Should We Treat Narcissists Like Alcoholics? New use for an old method just might help break through the denial. Published on March 17, 2014 by Neil J. Lavender, Ph.D. in Impossible to Please

There is a vast amount of information out there. What does God’s word say about NPD behavior?
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9. ESV.)
Take my word for it, avoid the narcissist! He/she cannot be reasoned with or changed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Abandoned Disney Parks

I was so surprised and sad to see these two parks at Disney World have been closed. I used to go to each of them, often, when I was a child.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All Things are His Servants: God Uses Me According to His Will

I have to admit, I do check the "hit counter" for this site. I look to see how many readers have accessed it, etc. But, I remind myself regularly, God does not NEED me. This blog could be gone tomorrow and it would not affect anything. So, my thoughts do not go out into cyberspace. No biggie. God can create followers from the rocks. He does not require my help. So, why blog? Why not? And, because He also gives the "Great Commission",
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20. ESV.)
This is one of my ways of doing that. Why not use every resource possible?

The computer I am on today is not my own. Ours, as I believe I mentioned before, is having "mother board" issues. It is less than a year old so to say I am disappointed would be a HUGE understatement! My dinosaur Dell, I had before the new HP, is still kind of working (though it seems to maybe have a virus) and it is a 2005! Technology, what a blessing (and a curse).

What should be the scripture to preach to myself, today? How about,
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
(Psalm 57:7-11. ESV.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lord Gave, and the Lord Has Taken Away

Not spending each morning with God throws my day off. It is like going to battle without my armor. I feel like something is missing. I look forward to this time in His word and would love to spend every waking moment, there. I am feeling a bit out of sorts, out of focus, and chaotic. This week got a little crazy and I am having a hard time adjusting.

Each Monday I create a schedule for myself based on university assignments to complete, my family's activities, my volunteer time at the school my children attend, church stuff, etc. I keep telling myself, "Next week is going to be better." But I have to admit, I am lacking motivation. Not to mention this past Thursday, our home laptop stopped working. It is less than a year old! It looks like a "mother board" issue, I am told. Then, Friday, hubs was bringing home his work laptop for me to use and someone smashed out the back window of his work truck and stole it. Next, I attempted to use my old (2005 dinosaur) laptop and my iPad 1 to get some college work done. Well, the iPad cannot access some stuff because it does not have "flash" capabilities and the dino laptop powered up but would not go on the Internet. I was told it might have a virus. So, I have currently missed one deadline so far (in one class) and I have 11 hours to finish an assignment and test in my Macroeconomics class. Further, I have another deadline this evening for my Instructional Technology course.

But, most importantly, my family and loved ones are healthy! Sure, I am having technical difficulties that are messing with my grade point average (GPA) but those who are dear to me are doing well. For what more could I ask? I need to get refocused and make sure I am keeping the main thing (Jesus) the main thing!

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philippians 4:11-14, 19, 20, 23 ESV)

And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21 ESV)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Echoes of My Sin Long Ago Are Loud and Relentless

Have you ever had to live with the aftermath of sin? Have you ever sinned and found yourself reaping the consequences many years later? I really feel for adolescents and young adults. I remember those times in my life. I thought I was more knowledgeable and invincible than I was, realistically. I made several mistakes, gave into temptation, and was downright foolish. I look back on some of the things and can see God’s protection over me because I sure am amazed I am still here.

It has been a rough morning. The echoes of my sin long ago are loud and relentless. I pray earnestly but what is there to say? “I knew better, still I did what I should not have done. Fix it, Lord!” Why should He? Then, there is the ugly side of me that says, “I’m already serving time, why not just keep on sinning?” What is that quote? “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Or some such thing. I keep myself very busy. Not the being under satan’s yoke type but always engaged…in God’s word, studying, reading, completing bachelor degree projects, working with my children, volunteering at their school or church, blogging, extra-curricular activities, etc. I do not like finding myself in “the devil’s workshop”.

Someone asked me, last week, why I think I have anxiety. Where do I believe it is rooted? In my heart of hearts I know where. Some nights, I wake up in a cold sweat with an elevated heart rate. Or the stress gives me bad headaches. But, there is nothing I can do about it. I have done everything short of bribing God and trying to bargain with Him to take away the “thorn in my flesh”. Yet, it seems He has no intention of doing so. I find comfort in what Paul says about his,
…a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9. ESV.)
I have “pleaded with the Lord” far more than “three times”. I suppose it is a reminder, residue, of my sin from so long ago.

A well-meaning believer once told me, when I was saved my sin was forgiven and I will harvest good. She/he did not understand why “if” I am, indeed, “saved” do I still have ramifications for my sin. If I am being honest, I will tell you the “thorn in my flesh” hurts. Some days I want to cry. But, a lot of times my pride stops me. So, why do I blog about all of this? Because,
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20. ESV.)
And, blogging is how I tell people, from all walks of life, about Jesus! Maybe you know me, personally. Perhaps, we have never met. You may even have to have this translated to read it. If you take nothing else from this blog, please hold in your heart,
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17. ESV.)
Despite whatever mess I have made of my life, Jesus died so I can have a wonderful relationship with God. I can (and do) approach His mercy seat whenever (and where ever) I want. So can you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Technology in the Classroom: Blended Learning

I found this video to be very exciting, inspiring, and motivational! Let's bridge the gap of diverse learning in the classroom.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The High Mountains are for the Wild Goats: 50 Things I am Going to Miss About California (#43-42)

In celebration of our move from California to Texas, I am listing 50 things I am going to miss about this state. So far, I covered:
50. Earthquakes
49. Traffic

48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living

46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports


Which brings me to the next two:

43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
When one of our kiddos was about six months old, hubs suggested we drive to Anaheim, California (CA) and take the children to Disneyland (which I will cover later at #26) and California Adventure. So, why is California Adventure at #43 instead of closer to #1? It is NOT because I did not like the park. I did. It was a lot of fun! But, to be honest, I have only been there once in the sixteen (16) years I have lived in CA. And, it is not nearly as sentimental to me as Disneyland (or Disney World). I am sure there are many who have never been to a Disney theme park. Truly, I am grateful for the opportunity. Yet, in the scheme of this countdown, I am placing California Adventure at #43. I am certain the kids had a delightful time and my hope is they remember at least a little bit of it. (They were quite young.) Would it be enjoyable to hit it one last time on our way out of dodge? Yes, but I will not be disappointed if we do not. (I highly doubt we will.) But still, I give it two thumbs up.

42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo
Back in April 2014, a friend of mine asked if I was interested in hiking Yosemite Half Dome (which I have listed at #16 of my 50). Not knowing anything about Half Dome (or hiking for that matter) I accepted her challenge. We had until June 15, 2014 to prepare. As a training method it was suggested to me, by another friend, to practice hiking to the summit of Mt. Diablo. Our first trek at Mt. Diablo was May 10, 2014 and I wanted to complete it four times before heading to Half Dome…which I did. It may seem a bit over the top but I am so glad I took that advice! Half Dome was a beast! And, so it Mt. Diablo. They call it “devil” for a reason. The terrain is rocky and “slippery”. My first trip to the summit I was wearing the WRONG shoes! I quickly fixed that for the next time. Any recommendation I would give to those who desire to mosey to the summit of Mt. Diablo is to BRING PLENTY OF WATER! Especially, during drought time in CA because the water fountains will be off and there are no rivers or streams along the way! Also, if your body begins to tell you to stop and go back down, heed the warning! A lot of people get stuck because they do not listen to their body…they get dehydrated, heat exhaustion or sunstroke, etc. All in all, Mt. Diablo is definitely an experience on which I am glad I did not miss out.

14He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
15And wine which makes man's heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man's heart.
16The trees of the LORD drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.
18The high mountains are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.
19He made the moon for the seasons;
The sun knows the place of its setting.
20You appoint darkness and it becomes night,
In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.
21The young lions roar after their prey
And seek their food from God.
22When the sun rises they withdraw
And lie down in their dens.
(Psalms 104:14-22. NASB.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

He Will Give His Angels Charge Concerning You [And Me]

There is a flurry of activity around here, recently, which has me feeling a little…conflicted (I guess would be the best description). Without going into detail, I am not sure how to explain it. I have so much university work to complete yet, my mind takes off in other directions. Perhaps it is my typical, “I’d rather be cleaning when I should be studying and I’d opt to be studying when I ought to be cleaning.” Both have to get done and yet, here I am…blogging at the present.

Where am I struggling? I am walking the path before me but God can hear me grumbling. What scripture is good for me to be preaching to myself, today?
11For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
(Psalm 91:11-12. NASB.)
My dissatisfaction is surely grieving the Holy Spirit.
30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:30-31. NASB.)

I answer to You, oh God…and the authorities you have placed in this world. I get annoyed with those who not answer to anyone, not even You. I despise those who terrorize and speak lies.
28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28. NASB.)
The thorn in my flesh is irritating. I wish I could just remove it, myself! How long must I wait, Lord, for you to do it?
9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10. NASB.)
I am counting the days, Lord. Forgive me for my discontentment.

But it shall not approach you.
8You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
9For you have made the LORD, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
(Psalm 91:7-10. NASB.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Steadfast of Mind You Will Keep in Perfect Peace

Whew, my goodness, last week was…packed! I helped out at the school, where my youngest children attend, three out of the five weekdays which caused a huge pile up with my university work for the week! And, I believe the school staff would like my assistance with the Christmas pageant, again, this year so that is going to take the place of my morning studying two days a week, soon. (Last year I served as their stage manager for the performance and I was asked to be director this year, but I honestly cannot commit the time it deserves…so I have asked to keep the part of stage manager…with a couple of added duties, like choreographer.)

The days have been hot this week but I know old man winter is lurking about, waiting to pounce and drive me crazy! I desire more time in God’s word. I would also like to go back to reading Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem but I have so much other reading between university classes and the three books on which I am working: Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick, The Talks by Barrett Johnson, and The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace. I feel like the days slip by without me getting much accomplished. Do you ever have that feeling?

My thinking is scattered. I am distracted and cannot seem to stay focused. My thoughts swirl about in a tornado of musing. I wish I liked tea. I could have a nice, hot cup of it, decaffeinated. I do have wine. Maybe I’ll have a glass, in a little bit. I talk to God, often. He hears my thoughts (as ugly as they are, sometimes) and I’m sure some people must think I am talking to myself, at times. But, I assure you, I am speaking to God. I believe a lot of the time is spent on me asking, “Why?” What would be some good scripture for me, right now?

There is
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7. NASB.)
Or,
3"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3. NASB.)
And,
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15. NASB.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October: Bass Festival

As I have mentioned a few times before, we are moving to Texas (TX) in June 2015! This, for me, is a wonderful thing as I will be closer to family and will get to visit with them more often! On the opposite side of the coin, we are a little sentimental about all of the things we are doing for the “last time”, this year. October is a pretty big one…(which I will cover more extensively in my “50 Things I am Going to Miss About California” countdown).

For the past 12 years we have attended a local event called “Bass Derby” or “Bass Festival”. It is always in October and, for us, includes venders, a car show, a soap box derby, fire engine rides, carnival rides, and fireworks. For fishermen, it involves the adult and kids Bass fishing derby. Each of our kiddos loves Bass Festival and the younger ones cannot remember a time when we did not go. We have even talked about making the trip back to California (CA), each year, for this event. Yep, we find it that much fun!

Anyway, with autumn comes this fair, and pumpkin patches, harvest festivities, and soon trips to the snow. Hopefully, we will find something similar to these in TX or perhaps the state will have all new fun stuff for us to do! One other thing I would like to do before we leave CA sprang to mind, yesterday. I would love to attend John MacArthur’s church and catch one of his messages, in person. I already got to see John Piper a few years ago, at one of his conventions. So, John MacArthur is next on my list. Then, there is a “cowboy church” in Colorado I would like to visit, too. Church home of “The Worst Preacher’s Wife Ever”. Yes ma’am, Ms. Christie, I am still planning to head your way first chance I get!

It's autumn. In fact, it's early autumn. It's October. It's Feast of Tabernacles week when He goes. The harvest operations are all over. The people can take a week off. The tints of gold have just begun to streak the leaves and Jesus moves to Jerusalem. Strangers are there, countrymen from Judea, strangers from Peraea, Galilee, other places mingling in the streets of Jerusalem at the feast time. And they are mingling in the ever-present shadow of the great sanctuary, the temple. Its glorious marble, its cedar wood, its gold, it sits up there high on Mount Moriah and casts its shadow over the whole of Jerusalem, and its shadow is all the more indelible because the Feast of Tabernacles concentrates on it in particular.

And Jesus is also there and He walks in Jerusalem, not so much under the shadow of the temple as under the shadow of a wooden rugged cross soon to be erected high on a different hill, Mount Calvary. And starting with John chapter 7, Jesus begins to walk in the relentless lurking shadow of the cross. He has come to Jerusalem because it is time to come to Jerusalem. He does everything when it is time to do it. He delayed because His time was not yet come. His time has come and thus He has arrived in Jerusalem. He comes to Jerusalem knowing He will die. He comes to Jerusalem knowing He will be hated and persecuted. But He comes anyway because He had to present His truth, and secondly, His death will mean redemption. And so He comes. And from now on, from chapter 7 to the end of this gospel, we are in the shadow of the cross.
(By John MacArthur. ©2014 Grace to You. Website: gty.org. http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1517/the-divine-citizenship-of-jesus.)
33Therefore Jesus said, "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come." (John 7:33-34. NASB.)

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