We talked on a particular day about letting faith have its work as we made the decision to come back to China for 2012…and later the same day we got a major addition to the funds we needed
It looks like we will be returning to China February 7, 2012 for two more semesters teaching Oral English and ‘Good News’ to the 700+ students.
We were approaching our deadline and talked on a particular day (Nov. 5) about “letting faith have its work” as we made the decision to come back to China for 2012…and later the same day we got a major addition to the funds we needed. Wow!
Are we surprised…not at all. That is the way He wants us to operate daily. We believe and practice: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”
Though we still have some $$ needs, the in-person contacts we will have with friends and family between December 27 and February 7 should be sufficient to finish off the need.
I have found Tony Dungy’s book to be “good reading.” Also read John Grisham’s The Litigators, in two days…hard to put it down since I had the time to read each afternoon….and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
We plan to upgrade our kindle’s soon and pass down our oldest one to Brinson and Aiden, with lots of Hardy Boys books loaded for their enjoyment.
We’re counting the days for our return to the USA for six weeks! We fly out of Wuhan on December 26 and will return on February 7. We’ll spend most of our time in San Antonio and Davie/Hollywood, Florida area with our five children and three grandsons.
Our van is no longer in working condition, so our travel to “all points in between” will wait until next year. Even if our van was working, there would be too many miles on the road for a limited amount of time. We’ll spend a lot of time on the phone with family and also use Skype often.
We had our largest group discussion of the year (20 students) this weekend and talked at length about the encouragement not to worry. Great comments and appreciation for the relevant topic!
Cold weather has returned, with the thicker blankets now out of storage and the heaters coming on more than once or twice at night. Several days recently it was warmer here than in San Antonio, so we can’t really complain…go figure?
Greetings from Terry: We have received many kind text messages from students telling us to take care with the cold weather coming. I did take care, but still got (see page three) my annual bout of laryngitis this week. The students are convinced it is because I don’t wear enough clothes. They don’t realize I wear layers and am very comfy.
The class CD that Gary and I recorded last semester came in very handy in class while not having my voice. I also used up a lot of chalk on the board.
We enjoyed the Sport Meet on our campus this past weekend. Several of our students participated while many others cheered them on. It was sunny and warm which made for a very pleasant day. We celebrated Gary’s birthday Sunday with several teachers. After our Good Life discussion we all went out to lunch. They provided the chocolate, cherry and whipped cream cake for dessert.
It was fun. We really enjoy the time we spend with them. Janice, from the Foreign Affairs Office also brought over an arrangement of flowers for his birthday. I am so thankful for every year I have to share life with Gary. — Love, Terry
Anger is a powerful emotion with intensity that ranges from mild frustration to severe fury. It can last from a few seconds to a lifetime. Anger itself is not a sin. What we do in our anger determines whether or not we sin.
Anger is best understood as a state of readiness. It is a natural response to a real or perceived injustice, and it inspires a powerful alertness that allows us to defend good or attack evil.
Anger is mentioned over 500 times in Scripture, the only emotion in the Bible more common than anger is love.
Anger can lead to healthy actions or unhealthy, sinful behavior. Careful assertiveness is a healthy response to anger that involves problem-solving and compassion. Aggression is an unhealthy, sinful response to anger that involves hurting or controlling others, revenge, or hatred.
Anger, when it is an automatic response to a situation, is considered a primary emotion. Anger can also be a secondary emotion, meaning it is felt in reaction to another feeling such as fear, hurt, or sadness.
Four Ways of Dealing with Anger
The four possible ways of dealing with anger are to repress it, suppress it, express it, or confess it. Notice first the repression of anger. This means simply to put the anger out of one’s conscious mind and to force it into the subconscious mind. This is often the easiest and most immediate way to deal with anger, yet its consequences can be severe.
Dr. Cecil G. Osborne writes: “A major cause of severe depression is repressed hostility. . . .. For instance, a mistreated or unloved child feels a mixture of hurt and anger: If he learns early in life that anger is forbidden, he acquires the habit of burying his feelings to win parental approval and avoid punishment. In repressing his natural anger, he lays the groundwork for depression. Later he may become a pleasant, self-contained, placid personality totally unaware of the repressed anger deep within himself. But his body is aware of it, and responds with depression,. or in many cases with physical symptoms. . .. Repression takes a terrible toll and is the source of some of our most troublesome physical problems.”
In the second place, suppression of anger can have bad consequences. While repression of anger is putting it from our consciousness, the suppression of anger is to consciously hold our anger inside.
The danger of this is that continual suppression ‘of anger may ultimately “boil over.” So much pressure and hostility builds up inside that when it is finally expressed it is usually so explosive that it is destructive. People who suppress their anger are often human examples of Mount St. Helens. It is also possible to continue to suppress anger indefinitely, which results in serious internal turmoil.
A third way of dealing with anger is to express it in a negative, destructive way, that is, to “blow up” or to retaliate. For many years some behavioral scientists have argued that it is unhealthy to try to control feelings of animosity.
Descriptive terminology such as “therapeutic aggression,” “catharsis,” “ventilation,” or “leveling” is often used. Encounter groups and sensitivity groups which have gained widespread popularity in the past decade often use these theories. Participants are encouraged to vent their feelings in some activity.
If you have feelings of hatred toward a person you might be told to hit a pillow repeatedly, while thinking that you are actually hitting the hated person. This may sound wonderful at first, but actually it is very misleading.
Leonard Berkowitz, the famed psychologist, comments, “Experimental psychologists, by and large, are skeptical of the, energy theory that underlies ventilation therapies . . .depending upon the circumstances, a person’s inhibitions , might be lowered or his aggressive behavior might be reinforced, increasing the chances that the person will act aggressively outside the therapy situation.” He goes on to say, “I do not think it is necessary to act out one’s hostility. . . . We can talk about our feelings and describe our emotional reactions without attacking others verbally or physically, directly or in fantasy.” Research has shown that ventilation can increase aggressive behavior.
Expressions of Anger
Anger always finds an expression. People handle anger by:
1. Internalization – Some people repress anger and deny anger’s presence. This is unhealthy because even though it may not be observable, the anger is still present-turned inward upon the person. Repressed anger can lead to numerous emotional and physical problems including depression, anxiety, hypertension, and ulcers.
Others may suppress the anger, meaning they acknowledge anger and then stuff it. In this approach to coping, they redirect anger-driven energy into unrelated activity. Their efforts may seem productive, but they neglect to address the root causes of anger. One risk is that people who suppress may become cynical or passive-aggressive-an indirect form of revenge manifesting as sarcasm, lack of cooperation, gossip, etc.
2. Ventilation – Healthy expression entails non-aggressive, gently assertive actions that promote the respect of self and others. This addresses problems in a constructive manner. Unhealthy/sinful expression involves acting in an aggressive way that hurts others. Whether you yell, use violence, or withdraw, the motivation is revenge or “payback:’ People expressing anger this way might say, “At least you know where I’m coming from!” however, they refuse to acknowledge the destructive force of their expression.
Physical symptoms include headaches, ulcers, stomach cramps, high blood pressure, colitis, heart conditions, and a host of other stress-related problems.
Emotional symptoms include depression, criticism, sarcasm, gossip, meanness, impatience, being demanding, withholding love, refusing to forgive, and the compulsion to use anger to control others.
Levels of Anger
• Irritation-a feeling of discomfort.
• Indignation-a feeling that something must be answered; something wrong must be corrected.
• Wrath-a strong desire to avenge.
• Fury-the partial loss of emotional control.
• Rage-a loss of control involving aggression or an act of violence.
• Hostility-a persistent form of anger; enmity toward others that becomes rooted in the person’s personality affecting the outlook on the world and life
Causes of Anger
External causes – Anger can be a response to harm someone has inflicted (a physical attack, insult, abandonment) or to a circumstance where there is no person at fault (100-degree days, physical illness, highway traffic). Anger is often a response to a perceived injustice.
Internal causes – Anger is sometimes caused exclusively by an individual’s misperceptions of reality or destructive thinking about normal life issues (“I should not have to pay taxes!”). Also, memories of traumatic events past can be an example of an internal cause of anger, as can biologically-rooted causes from medication, caffeine or other stimulants, and health issues such as diabetes or dialysis treatments.
Conclusions—The goal is not to be “anger free.” Instead, it is to teach the person how to control his response to present feelings of anger, both the emotional and biological arousals that anger may cause.
1. See It — Focus on the source of the anger. List the triggers (in your conversation with the person and as homework). Until the person can control anger, avoid the triggers as much as possible.
Learn to identify anger before it is out of control. Have the person identify how he feels physically when experiencing anger.
Identify angry feelings while they are still minor, State out loud, “I’m feeling angry right now:’
Be aware of the first warning signs of anger, which may be changes in the body. Anger promotes a sympathetic nervous system response (a physical state of readiness) and biological changes, such as rising heart rate and blood pressure, amplified alertness, tensed muscles, dilated pupils, lowered digestion, clenched fists, flared nostrils, bulged veins.
Identify the injustice the person feels has occurred. This is an important step to determine the source and legitimacy of the anger.
2. Delay It — “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
Brainstorm ways to delay the expression of anger. Take a “time out” -if possible, temporarily disengage from the situation (20-minute minimum).
Perform light exercise until the intensity of anger is manageable. “Write, don’t fight” -jot down troubling thoughts. This exercise is personal and writings should be kept private, and possibly destroyed, not sent.
Talk with a trusted friend who is unrelated to the anger-provoking situation: Don’t just vent-ask for constructive advice.
Pray about the anger, asking Him to give you insight.
Learn the value of calming. (A person in a state of fury is not equipped to deal with an anger-provoking situation in a healthy way. Calming will help him let some of his angry feelings subside before expressing anger. Note: Ruminating is the opposite of calming, and makes anger worse by repeating destructive thoughts about an anger-producing event)
3. Control It — Brainstorm some ways for the person to express his anger in a healthy way. Respond (rational action), don’t react (emotional reaction) Maintain a healthy distance until you can speak. Constructively. Confront to restore, not to destroy.
Empathize (yelling is a failure to empathize). Speak slowly and quietly (makes yelling difficult). Surrender the right for revenge by putting people in His hands. If anger begins to escalate to wrath or fury, it is not the time to engage in interactions with others. Instead, the person should temporarily redirect his energy to solo activities to re-establish calm before confronting others.
4. Settle It — A plan should be made for follow up, perhaps: Finding an accountability partner. Obtaining individual counseling. Joining an anger management group. Considering medication. The person should actively continue spiritual growth to effectively manage anger. The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Borrowed)