Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission2017-06-24T18:57:55-05:00

A Season’s Sabbatical

Scripture (Philippians 3): 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Reflection: I have been walking in darkness as I write From Despair to Delight. I haven't taken hold of delight yet, but I press on, strengthened by the prayers and encouraging words of all God's children. God is with me each step of the way and in God's own time, I will finish the race set before me, for the glory of [...]

By |November 6th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , |0 Comments

Writing From Despair to Delight

I'm feeling empty inside. Just empty. I have no reason to feel this way. My loving wife is working at her desk beside me. If I said the word, she would turn to me and smile, hold my hand, give me a hug. My faithful companion Briley is lounging in the room next to us. If I got up, she would come bounding to my feet with a look of sheer affection in her eyes, panting in adoration. I have shelter, my favorite travel mug filled with coffee, a top-notch computer. John Prine is singing over my Bose speakers. Life is good. So why do I feel so lousy? No reason, really. None but that the chemicals in my brain are attacking my mind and body, convincing them that I have done irreparable damage to people in my relationships, that my work is worthless, that I am a lazy slug, [...]

By |November 4th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Thank God for Pills and Prayer by Paul Monson

Every day I like to say, “Thank God for drugs!”  I don’t mean the kind that make you high or get you stoned. I’m referring to the medical kind that make you well.  You see, I suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and I take drugs every day. They help control my shaking, enable me to speak and to swallow, and type the words you now read.  Without them, I couldn’t function well enough to hold down a job. I’d be collecting disability. With them, I continue to work in full time ministry. This isn’t theory or conjecture for me.  I know from personal experience how medications directly impact my quality of life, so I thank God for them.    This is also why I see the need for the mentally ill to take medication.  If a medication helps control a bipolar person’s severe mood swings or keeps a schizophrenic in touch [...]

By |October 30th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Psychotropics and Pregnancy: The Costs and Benefits

Some time ago I met a woman who was deeply distraught. She had been diagnosed with major depression and sometime ago was prescribed anti-depressants. They worked very well and she came to enjoy a period of relative stability. Then she and her husband decided to start a family. Leery of the impact of psychotropics on her developing child, she spoke with her psychiatrist who agreed to wean her off her meds. At first she felt good as she launched into the journey toward motherhood. Then months past. A year. Two years. No baby. And the demon of depression returned with a vengeance. She found it difficult to work, to enjoy time with her husband, even to concentrate on simple household tasks. She had made room in her heart for a child and now it was filled with sorrow. What can she do? I asked this to some friends and one [...]

By |October 20th, 2019|Categories: Family, Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Where My Money Goes: A Heart Exam

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6.21)   “But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.”  ~Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness.   I did a financial review today. I do these frequently. Mostly when I'm manic. Instead of spending extravagantly, God has blessed me with an obsession to track my expenses down to the penny. This time I discovered that I pay $0.99/month for an iTune subscription I wasn't aware of. It may take several months, but I'll track it down so I can spend that $12/year on something more gratifying. Like a 12-piece Chik Fil A nugget meal. Many folks with bipolar have exorbitant episodes of spending when they are [...]

By |October 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

From Despair to Delight: Inspiration

In his seminal book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King tells this story -- A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. "James, what’s wrong?" the friend asked. "Is it the work?" Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? "How many words did you get today?" the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): "Seven." "Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you." "Yes," Joyce said, finally looking up. "I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!"   In March of 2014, I published Delight in Disorder, a devotional memoir about my life as a pastor with bipolar disorder. It was nearly 5 years [...]

By |October 13th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Vocation|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A Season’s Sabbatical

Scripture (Philippians 3): 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Reflection: I have been walking in darkness as I write From Despair to Delight. I haven't taken hold of delight yet, but I press on, strengthened by the prayers and encouraging words of all God's children. God is with me each step of the way and in God's own time, I will finish the race set before me, for the glory of [...]

By |November 6th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , |0 Comments

Writing From Despair to Delight

I'm feeling empty inside. Just empty. I have no reason to feel this way. My loving wife is working at her desk beside me. If I said the word, she would turn to me and smile, hold my hand, give me a hug. My faithful companion Briley is lounging in the room next to us. If I got up, she would come bounding to my feet with a look of sheer affection in her eyes, panting in adoration. I have shelter, my favorite travel mug filled with coffee, a top-notch computer. John Prine is singing over my Bose speakers. Life is good. So why do I feel so lousy? No reason, really. None but that the chemicals in my brain are attacking my mind and body, convincing them that I have done irreparable damage to people in my relationships, that my work is worthless, that I am a lazy slug, [...]

By |November 4th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Thank God for Pills and Prayer by Paul Monson

Every day I like to say, “Thank God for drugs!”  I don’t mean the kind that make you high or get you stoned. I’m referring to the medical kind that make you well.  You see, I suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and I take drugs every day. They help control my shaking, enable me to speak and to swallow, and type the words you now read.  Without them, I couldn’t function well enough to hold down a job. I’d be collecting disability. With them, I continue to work in full time ministry. This isn’t theory or conjecture for me.  I know from personal experience how medications directly impact my quality of life, so I thank God for them.    This is also why I see the need for the mentally ill to take medication.  If a medication helps control a bipolar person’s severe mood swings or keeps a schizophrenic in touch [...]

By |October 30th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Psychotropics and Pregnancy: The Costs and Benefits

Some time ago I met a woman who was deeply distraught. She had been diagnosed with major depression and sometime ago was prescribed anti-depressants. They worked very well and she came to enjoy a period of relative stability. Then she and her husband decided to start a family. Leery of the impact of psychotropics on her developing child, she spoke with her psychiatrist who agreed to wean her off her meds. At first she felt good as she launched into the journey toward motherhood. Then months past. A year. Two years. No baby. And the demon of depression returned with a vengeance. She found it difficult to work, to enjoy time with her husband, even to concentrate on simple household tasks. She had made room in her heart for a child and now it was filled with sorrow. What can she do? I asked this to some friends and one [...]

By |October 20th, 2019|Categories: Family, Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Where My Money Goes: A Heart Exam

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6.21)   “But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.”  ~Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness.   I did a financial review today. I do these frequently. Mostly when I'm manic. Instead of spending extravagantly, God has blessed me with an obsession to track my expenses down to the penny. This time I discovered that I pay $0.99/month for an iTune subscription I wasn't aware of. It may take several months, but I'll track it down so I can spend that $12/year on something more gratifying. Like a 12-piece Chik Fil A nugget meal. Many folks with bipolar have exorbitant episodes of spending when they are [...]

By |October 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

From Despair to Delight: Inspiration

In his seminal book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King tells this story -- A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. "James, what’s wrong?" the friend asked. "Is it the work?" Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? "How many words did you get today?" the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): "Seven." "Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you." "Yes," Joyce said, finally looking up. "I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!"   In March of 2014, I published Delight in Disorder, a devotional memoir about my life as a pastor with bipolar disorder. It was nearly 5 years [...]

By |October 13th, 2019|Categories: From Despair to Delight, Vocation|Tags: , , , |0 Comments