Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission2017-06-24T18:57:55-04:00

Sacred Rest

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.(Psalm 116:7) I write this from a loft in Somerset, New Jersey. I’m here playing Uber driver, concierge, and social director while my wife does some consulting work. Much of my day will be my own to do with as I choose. I’m already making lists of how many activities I can fit into a 24-hour day, leaving a little room to cram in sleep. One of the marks of bipolar disorder is a sense of restlessness. Often, I struggle a great deal with this. I pace. I sit. Then I stand up almost at once. I toss and turn in bed. There seems to be no rest for my weary soul. But the Psalmist here assures us that we can lay claim to a promised rest. It is our possession as we grow in our relationship [...]

By |September 18th, 2019|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , |0 Comments

I am ; even me.

I’m writing this on September 11, 2019. World Suicide Prevention Day. About an hour ago I read the tragic news about Pastor & Mental Health Advocate Jarrid Wilson, who died two days ago by suicide. Here is how Christianity Today described Wilson — His wife, Julianne Wilson posted a photo tribute of her husband on Instagram. The photo slideshow shows him fishing “in his happy place.” She described her husband as “loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious.”... “Tragically, Jarred took his own life,” [          ] Eaton said. ”Over the years, I have found that people speak out about what they struggle with the most.”   I did not know Jarrid Wilson, but I know his story well. His story is the story of far too many persons who try so hard to care for others yet are unable to receive care for themselves; not so much out of stubborn [...]

When Bipolar Mixed States Threaten Your Relationships

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,     your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me     and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;     the night will shine like the day,     for darkness is as light to you.  (Psalm 139)   Time will pass; this mood will pass; and I will, eventually, be myself again. But then, at some unknown time, the electrifying carnival will come back into my mind. ― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness {this is an adaptation [...]

By |September 7th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Helping in a Hurricane

Originally published on September 3, 2017 about Hurricane Harvey, just as relevant two years later with Dorian.   Lately the news has been full of stories about Hurricane Harvey and its disastrous impact. Relief efforts are extensive -- from government agencies, charitable organizations, private foundations, church groups, and individuals. People are eager to help in such horrifically harsh times, yet many are leery as they hear about instances where resources have been misused, rather than get to folks who need it. It is true our generosity can be abused. When such major needs arise, we give compulsively and, at times, compulsory. We often don't take the time to see that our gifts support the efforts that will meet the true needs of the most people. Misplaced trust can particularly happen for those of us with serious mental illness. Many want to help, as we have been helped in our lives. [...]

By |September 4th, 2019|Categories: Mission|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Work Worthy of Eating: A Labor Day Reflection

For we hear there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3:11) Some time ago, due to health reasons, I was encouraged to resign from my paid career. While I have worked at various tasks -- writing a spiritual memoir, founding a support group, creating a podcast -- nothing quite replaced working for a paycheck. 2 Thessalonians has caused me to consider the nature of what I do with my life and wonder if I can say I earn a living. If not, do I deserve a seat at the Lord's table? First, a little context about first century Thessalonica. Many Christians believed that Christ’s return was imminent. So why work? Some carried this even further to become armchair quarterbacks -- busybodies, as Paul puts it. Not only did they not work, they also criticized the work of others. As one of [...]

By |September 1st, 2019|Categories: Spiritual Reflections, Vocation|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Balance

When I am most imbalanced, I have take many dangerous and foolish risks. Like driving 90 mph on the Interstate while reading a book and writing a review. Like dodging traffic as I walked through city streets recording what I considered brilliant thoughts. Like stuffing dozens of candy corn into my mouth until I couldn't swallow or breathe. Why would I do these things? When I am manic, I reply, "Why not?" When I am manic, I take on special powers; I can topple towers, read minds, and save souls. I have a direct line to God. I am God's special child. God has ordained me to create peace, provide help for the helpless, hope for those in despair. When I am manic, I am on top of the world. Better yet, I am the top of the world. But what goes up, must come down. And often the higher I [...]

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Sacred Rest

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.(Psalm 116:7) I write this from a loft in Somerset, New Jersey. I’m here playing Uber driver, concierge, and social director while my wife does some consulting work. Much of my day will be my own to do with as I choose. I’m already making lists of how many activities I can fit into a 24-hour day, leaving a little room to cram in sleep. One of the marks of bipolar disorder is a sense of restlessness. Often, I struggle a great deal with this. I pace. I sit. Then I stand up almost at once. I toss and turn in bed. There seems to be no rest for my weary soul. But the Psalmist here assures us that we can lay claim to a promised rest. It is our possession as we grow in our relationship [...]

By |September 18th, 2019|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , |0 Comments

I am ; even me.

I’m writing this on September 11, 2019. World Suicide Prevention Day. About an hour ago I read the tragic news about Pastor & Mental Health Advocate Jarrid Wilson, who died two days ago by suicide. Here is how Christianity Today described Wilson — His wife, Julianne Wilson posted a photo tribute of her husband on Instagram. The photo slideshow shows him fishing “in his happy place.” She described her husband as “loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious.”... “Tragically, Jarred took his own life,” [          ] Eaton said. ”Over the years, I have found that people speak out about what they struggle with the most.”   I did not know Jarrid Wilson, but I know his story well. His story is the story of far too many persons who try so hard to care for others yet are unable to receive care for themselves; not so much out of stubborn [...]

When Bipolar Mixed States Threaten Your Relationships

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,     your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me     and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;     the night will shine like the day,     for darkness is as light to you.  (Psalm 139)   Time will pass; this mood will pass; and I will, eventually, be myself again. But then, at some unknown time, the electrifying carnival will come back into my mind. ― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness {this is an adaptation [...]

By |September 7th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Helping in a Hurricane

Originally published on September 3, 2017 about Hurricane Harvey, just as relevant two years later with Dorian.   Lately the news has been full of stories about Hurricane Harvey and its disastrous impact. Relief efforts are extensive -- from government agencies, charitable organizations, private foundations, church groups, and individuals. People are eager to help in such horrifically harsh times, yet many are leery as they hear about instances where resources have been misused, rather than get to folks who need it. It is true our generosity can be abused. When such major needs arise, we give compulsively and, at times, compulsory. We often don't take the time to see that our gifts support the efforts that will meet the true needs of the most people. Misplaced trust can particularly happen for those of us with serious mental illness. Many want to help, as we have been helped in our lives. [...]

By |September 4th, 2019|Categories: Mission|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Work Worthy of Eating: A Labor Day Reflection

For we hear there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3:11) Some time ago, due to health reasons, I was encouraged to resign from my paid career. While I have worked at various tasks -- writing a spiritual memoir, founding a support group, creating a podcast -- nothing quite replaced working for a paycheck. 2 Thessalonians has caused me to consider the nature of what I do with my life and wonder if I can say I earn a living. If not, do I deserve a seat at the Lord's table? First, a little context about first century Thessalonica. Many Christians believed that Christ’s return was imminent. So why work? Some carried this even further to become armchair quarterbacks -- busybodies, as Paul puts it. Not only did they not work, they also criticized the work of others. As one of [...]

By |September 1st, 2019|Categories: Spiritual Reflections, Vocation|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Balance

When I am most imbalanced, I have take many dangerous and foolish risks. Like driving 90 mph on the Interstate while reading a book and writing a review. Like dodging traffic as I walked through city streets recording what I considered brilliant thoughts. Like stuffing dozens of candy corn into my mouth until I couldn't swallow or breathe. Why would I do these things? When I am manic, I reply, "Why not?" When I am manic, I take on special powers; I can topple towers, read minds, and save souls. I have a direct line to God. I am God's special child. God has ordained me to create peace, provide help for the helpless, hope for those in despair. When I am manic, I am on top of the world. Better yet, I am the top of the world. But what goes up, must come down. And often the higher I [...]

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments