Overwhelm 2: The Problem Sandwich

December 2, 2018

Are you able to quiet yourself or do you need constant stimulation? Is the focus always on you? Relationships are more difficult when the goal of your conversation is agreement.  Questions from the audience on stress, shame and imagination.

Marriage class on relationships.  

1:30 Quieting  3:40 The goal of conversation. 7:35 Problem Sandwich. 11:25 Question about relational stress. 14:30 Question on Shame. 16:40 Question on False Self. 17:55 Imagination and Faith

Many insights on quieting, problem sandwich and shame adapted from talks on relational brain skills given by E. James Wilder Ph.D. His resources are available at:





Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Breathing and imagination meditations on website www.DrDLevy.com.

App store or Google Play have Dr. David Levy App which also has these resources for iPhone or Android. 


Are You Overwhelmed?

November 26, 2018

Why do we get overwhelmed? What erodes your emotional reserves? Do you know when you are approaching overwhelm and about to blow? Emotional fatigue and physical pain push us to a point where conversation becomes fruitless.  What to do when you recognize you are not connecting? Appreciation is a tool that can help you get back on track.

2:30 Overwhelm 14:30 Relational Circuits. 18:00 Anxiety is in the future. 19:00 Brain chemistry of prayer. 

Many insights on overwhelm adapted from talks on relational brain skills given by E. James Wilder Ph.D. His resources are available at:





Relational Circuits concept and checklist developed by Karl Lehman MD and detailed in his book Outsmarting Yourself. www.outsmartingyourself.org.


Geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Photo by David Levy 

Breathing and imagination meditations on website www.DrDLevy.com.

App store or Google Play have Dr. David Levy App which also has these resources for iPhone or Android. 


Burnout and Resilience

November 4, 2018

Singles Conference

My experience with burnout after surgery in Africa. What makes you susceptible to burnout? How can you build resilience? Jesus faced opposition but did he ever face burnout? How did he stay joyful in tragedy and disappointment?

00:30 Susceptibility to Burnout. 3:00 Doing difficult surgery in Africa.  09:00 Sick in San Diego. 13:00 Trying to pray when sick. Entitlement. 14:00 Those in ministry susceptible to entitlement. 17:00 Gratitude 27:00 Matthew 13 Jesus rejected at Nazareth. 31:30 Jesus tries to retreat, feeds 5000 and walks across the lake. Playful after tragedy. 37:10 Peter doesn't want to miss the fun this time. Jesus training them and us.

Burnout symptoms adapted from lecture given by Dr. J Bryan Sexton.  Introduction to Resiliency: The prevalence and Severity of Burnout. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL1FmLYOC4c

Photo by ibrahim kusuma on Unsplash


Pretending Isn’t Pretty

October 11, 2018

David and Abigail 3: David, a man with a difficult acension to the throne, marries 2 women, Abigail and Ahinoam and begins to unravel. David goes on a suicide mission into enemy camp, pushing God. Emotionally exhausted, angry with God, and trying to obtain security, he pretends allegiance to the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. This departure from God's plan causes much damage to David's soul and the atrocities perpetrated lay the foundation for the Bathsheba incident. 

I Sam. 22:2 02:40 David In Keilah, consults God. 04:00 I Sam 23:15 Ziphites. 06:10 Red Sea Salvation. God loves drama. Anti-faith desires. 08:00 I Sam 24. King Saul. David cuts his robe. 09:25 David and Abigail. God is always giving David spiritual power. 10:34 David marries 2 women, begins to come apart- bifurcate. 12:00 David begins working salvation by his own hand. 15:00 Ziphites again. 26:25 David goes to Philistines. 23:00 David makes raids against Philistines pretending to make raids against Israel. 26:20 Ziklag is burned. 28:30 Burnout caused by working for a boss or organization whose values you don't share. 30:30 Fantasy life always stops at the dopamine hit. Take it all the way to the next week! 

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Are You in a Hurry?

October 5, 2018

David and Abigail 2: David avoids assasintion attempts by King Saul (narcissist) many times. Abigail hurries and makes decisions early in her relationship that potentially set her up to become "wife number two." Why did a beautiful and discerning woman with such amazing things said about her in scripture, have little or no influence in David's life or the Kingdom of Israel?

00:00 My anti people-pleasing attempt. 1:55 1 Sam 15 King Saul is a narcissist. 3:10 Narcissism and people pleasing both try to control. 4:25 1 Sam 15:19 King Saul's character. 7:45 Healthy vs. unhealthy people pleasing. 9:20 David and Abigail. 14:52 People pleasing is saving by your own hand. 20:00 Hurry a sin? 23:02 When we allow people to treat us poorly, it does damage to us, them and the relationship. 26:25 When do I hurry? Exercise. 26:50 Relationship reflection. 

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash


One Too Many?

October 2, 2018

David and Abigail 1: After David suffers wave after wave of betrayal, injustice and loss, he shows all the signs of clinical burnout and plans a mass killing. Saved from tragedy by a wise and discerning woman, he ultimately marries her...and another, Ahinoam of Jezreel. Ahinoam is considered his first wife, and David no longer listens to Abigail who repeatedly told him not to  "save by his own hand." Ahinoam becomes the mother of Amnon, crown prince, who is not a nice man, while Abigail's son is not even considered in the running to be the next King. 

1:35 1 Sam 16:10 David's family of origin? 4:00 David and Goliath. 7:00 David and Michal. 9:20 I Sam. 22 King Saul kills the priests. 10:20 I Sam. 23 Judean wilderness. 12:50 I Sam 25 Samuel dies. David and Nabal. 18:10 David shows signs of burnout. 22:05 Abigail meets David. 23:00 Don't save by your own hand. 27:50 Abigail goes home. 29:15 A (small?) decision begins an addiction and starts David making poor decisions.  

Tragic verse I Sam. 25:43. David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives.

Ahinoam is in 1st position as David's wife in 1 Sam. 27:3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish, and each man had his family with him. David had his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.

Photo by Etienne Steenkamp on Unsplash


Shame or Celebration?

September 20, 2018

After being shamed on the playground, I pass along the abuse to another. New twists in the story of the Prodigal son. Why does The Father sell his property? Why does he not argue with his son? Why does Father endure so many offenses from both of his sons? There is something very unusual about this Father that you may not have noticed.

Shame, guilt and celebration. Journey of Father and Prodigal Son. 

Sixth grade playground story. 1:50 Shame and rejection. 4:20 New friend Bill's adventure. 9:00 Luke 15 Prodigal Story. 15:20 Did the Prodigal want a party? 20:55 Can you celebrate when others shame you? 22:00 What gives joy to Father? 23:40 Who is the strange character who celebrates like a child? 

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash


Jesus Takes a Detour

September 14, 2018

James and John are offended at the Samaritan's treatment of Jesus. They ask to call down fire from heaven? Despite being surprised and inconvenienced, why does Jesus have a different attitude and rebuke the disciples? What is your attitude when you are "reprioritized" and people don't treat you as highly as you expect? 

Luke 9:51-56. 2:00 Why is there tension in the air? 06:15 Does Jesus know he will be rejected? 08:50 Why does the party assume they will be received by the Samaritans? 10:45 Why I love shortcuts. 12:50 Why James and John want to call down fire from heaven.14:10 Elijah and Ahaziah episode of commanding fire down. 2 Kings 1.    18:25 How do you respond when someone cancels on you? Man who cancelled on me irritated me. 21:00 I'm a lower priority than I think I should be. 22:00 My initial reaction is not the path to joy. Jesus shows us patience and humility brings maturity. 22:59 Listening prayer, interactive gratitude (These are part of the Immanuel Process or Immanuel journaling.  https://www.immanuelapproach.com  or https://immanueljournaling.com) 25:40 If I'm special to God I don't need for you to treat me special. 27:20 Are people prioritizing you lower than you would like? 31:30 Inconvenience of rejection. Jesus and his disciples take a detour. 32:40 Costs us more than we think it should. 33:20 Is God taking you on a detour? 36:40 Possible reasons why the Samaritans reject Jesus. 42:00 Anxiety, your imagination leaves out God with you. 45:00 Why would Father allow Jesus to be detoured? 47:45 Why do we go through testing? 51:30 Patience and Humility always required on a detour. Humble Reframe. 

Map of Jesus' last journey to Jerusalem from ESV Study Bible. Crossway Publishing, Wheaton IL 2008


Sometimes Jesus Seems Offensive

September 7, 2018

Luke 8:40-56. 03:20 The people you love change the way your brain works. 03:45 Your belief system, Who do you love? Who loves you? What do you love? 06:25 Dopamine sources. 07:25 Looking at Jesus. He was offensive for a number of reasons. Early 30's. 09:00 Jesus has no formal education. 09:40 From Nazareth. No legitimacy. 10:25 Jesus is joyful. (John 15:11). 11:00 Jesus is peaceful. (John 14:27). 11:35 Jesus left behind at Temple. 13:45 Jesus not the only child of Mary and Joseph. (Matthew 13:55-56) 15:25 A supernatural experience does not necessarily change your faith forever. 16:05 Jesus before High Priest (John 18:19-23) 17:30 Jesus breaks with tradition. 18:45 Jairus and the Centurion live in Capernaum. Centurion servant healed (Luke 7: 1-10) 20:49 Was your daughter sick yesterday? 22:15 Where is your faith? I can heal at a distance. 23:30 Jairus has 2 problems. 23:59 Widow of Nain has son raised from dead. (Luke 7:11-17) 25:40 The girl is not dead but sleeping. 26:15 If I were the Messiah and a self-promoter. 28:20 Why does he say she's sleeping? 29:50 These are not your friends. 30:09 Wealthy people have a problem. 30:30 Jesus not politically correct. 31:10 Jesus is giving people a way out. 32:49 Jesus not promoting himself using guilt or manipulation. 33:37 Nothing matters more. 34:05 Judgment against Capernaum (Matthew 11:23) 35:10 Jesus is looking for people who resonate with his goodness. 35:50 Jesus goes with Jairus into a hostile environment.36:27 Jesus is offensive, a stumbling block. 36:50 Is there someone in your life who offends you? Accused of lacking joy. 38:20 Why does Jesus clear the room before he heals the girl?
Photo of road with Redwoods by David Levy from Avenue of the Giants, Northern California.


Manipulation 3: Envy, People Pleasing and Guilt

August 24, 2018

00:50 God has no desire to control you. 01:40 What does God want? 03:00 Jesus has pressure put on him by his brothers. (John 7) 05:20 What about Jesus' brothers? (Matthew 13) and citizens of his hometown (Mark 6:3) 07:45 Unbelief  08:25 Envy.  Man with withered hand (Mark 3:5) 13:15 How did Jesus' family deal with his fame? 19:45 Story from 6th Grade playground. I became a people pleaser. 24:27 Story from 8th grade popular girl phone call. 30:28 Parents control son after paying for his education.

Photo by Phil Hodkinson on Unsplash