About tonyroberts

I am a man with an unquiet mind who delights in the One who delights in me.

Hosanna in the Highest: Palm Sunday Perspectives

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion,     ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey,     and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went [...]

Hosanna in the Highest: Palm Sunday Perspectives2020-04-04T17:19:48-04:00

Coping with Coronavirus

I am a retired pastor and missionary. I am 65 and have bad Asthma. If I catch Corona Virus survival is poor. Doctors are choosing who lives and dies for we very short on respirators. I wonder if I should minister to sick and call it a day. I am seriously contemplating it. As death rates increase I will go back out. I am a hospice pastor and involved with Homeland. I am a widower and family gone. I, of few, can do it. ~ B.R. I'm ok, thanks. I'm pretty much an introvert, so life isn't too much different so far. Mostly I'm just concerned about all the economic impact to so many people we know. Trying to help out as much as possible with gift cards for food, funds and whatnot. I'm hoping it will be over fairly soon. ~ J.W. I had an ankle replacement 2 weeks [...]

Coping with Coronavirus2020-04-01T03:07:44-04:00

Coping with the Covid-19 Crisis (part one)

This week, I've been contacting Facebook friends to see how they are doing coping with this Covid-19 crisis.  The responses I've received show a resilient spirit even in the face of uncertain times. Here are some examples of this:   I’m doing good and practicing self-quarantine. My food supply is staying safe and in plenty. I’m definitely not going hungry. My only major concern, I have no income since this all started. I’m going to sign up for unemployment today. So, I’ll see if I qualify and maybe have a little bit coming in. Thank you for asking. I hope you are doing well too. ~ M.C.   Pretty good, although I work at an "essential" store where hoards of people are ignoring the lockdown and come in for retail therapy, exposing us and other shoppers to the virus. They just don't care and it's frustrating. Gotta go, thanks for [...]

Coping with the Covid-19 Crisis (part one)2020-03-29T18:03:17-04:00

How Are You Weathering This Virus Crisis? One Grieving Woman’s Response.

This week I've been sending messages to my Facebook friends with the question, "How are you weathering this virus crisis?" I've gotten a wide range of responses. A few just respond, "Fine. You?" Some share concerns over loved ones on the front-lines of healthcare, food delivery, law enforcement. Others mention the loneliness they feel separated from friends and family. Many express gratitude that I reached out and find the connection with a virtual stranger turned friend, to have healing qualities. One particular connection moved me in a powerful way.   Me: Hi P, just checking in with friends and loved ones. How are you weathering the virus crisis? P: My mother died this morning at age 92. We can't hold a funeral because of the lock down. Me: Oh my, I'm so sorry. P: My church is closed. I feel so disoriented. Me: How awful! P: What a strange world. [...]

How Are You Weathering This Virus Crisis? One Grieving Woman’s Response.2020-03-26T20:45:03-04:00

A Pandemic Prayer Journal

March 20, 9 a.m. Me: Hey V., how are you weathering this virus crisis?" V:  We are doing ok. A little more depressed. That is normal. It is affecting almost everyone. Worried about seeing our retirement being wiped out. I have a back up plan. If things get to the point I cannot handle it , I will end my life. That is my back up plan for anything that is totally overwhelmingly. I cannot control it. I know I am not the only senior this is happening to. I know what it is like to barely have what I need. I am grateful for what have had and what I have, but I am at the point in my life there is no way of replenishing my savings and no one to be there for us. We do not have family. I do have a brother , but even [...]

A Pandemic Prayer Journal2020-03-23T16:56:59-04:00

An Epistle from the Epidemic by Rev. Leslie D. Rust

In this age of anxiety about the virus crisis, some spread scare tactics that produce panic. Others point to hope in the midst of despair, faith in the face of fear, peace where worry abounds. Les Rust is one of the latter. I've known Les since our grad school days at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. We were in some classes together and were part of a small weekly prayer group. Les has a non-anxious presence well-worn in his short bearded stature. His sweet Appalachian drawl conveyed the thoughtful well-read Southern intelligence often discounted by ignorant Yankees as hillbilly nonsense. A graduate of Berea College, Les has a wood worker's hands and a pastor's heart. I'm blessed to call him a friend, my brother in Christ. Of all the arrows in his quiver, I appreciate his gift for writing the most. I am thrilled he is putting this to good use in [...]

An Epistle from the Epidemic by Rev. Leslie D. Rust2020-03-18T09:00:16-04:00

When Darkness Meets Delight — Diagnosing the Problem (part one)

Rev. Roberts, you have bipolar disorder. What? I was in a medication-induced stupor. My mind was in a haze. Was I dreaming? Bipolar? I had heard of it, but I couldn’t connect with it. What did it mean for me? I couldn’t take it in, so I turned over and went back to sleep. Maybe dreams would take this dreadful diagnosis away or at least infuse the hope I needed to handle this new reality. Rest wouldn’t come as I tossed in a hyper-vigilant wakefulness, staring beyond the walls. I got up and walked to the central nurse’s station. The nurse on duty wore a gentle and kind expression. She had a glow about her and seemed to float above her rotating chair.  She asked what I was looking for. I told her the diagnosis I was given and that I wanted to understand what it meant. Suddenly, her expression [...]

When Darkness Meets Delight — Diagnosing the Problem (part one)2020-03-15T13:17:57-04:00

Your Help With Hope For Troubled Minds

Loved ones of those struggling with serious mental illness (SMI) are often reluctant to express the emotions of their heart with God or others. They hide in the darkness of doubt, fearful God has abandoned them and that the faith community doesn’t understand. Hope for Troubled Minds: God’s Love for Those Loving Someone with a Serious Mental Illness shows how these persons can find support, strength, and stamina to faithfully walk alongside their loved ones within the body of Christ. This is the overview of my book proposal I sent to Moody Publishers. So far, I've gotten a warm reception.  So, I'm off to a good start. Almost. Sort of. But I'm not there yet. The book I'm aiming to write does not match the target audience, which is: My primary audience is loved ones of those diagnosed with bipolar of other serious mental illnesses (SMIs). They have faith in [...]

Your Help With Hope For Troubled Minds2020-03-08T20:39:41-04:00

Bipolar Relationships: Hope for Wounded Healing

I had coffee last week with a friend who is also a Christian living with a mental illness. She was sharing with me her struggle to break free of unhealthy relationships that were leading her to unholy living. She was not caring for herself by receiving God's care or the care of others. We discussed how what has come to be called co-dependent relationships are really another form of idolatry. When we believe another person needs us (and only us) to save them from ruin. I said it is like when a person we care about is in quicksand. The last thing they need is for us to jump into the quicksand and sink with them. They need us to stay on solid ground and get something they can hold onto to get out. A Savior who is not us. Those of us with a mental illness, as well as [...]

Bipolar Relationships: Hope for Wounded Healing2020-03-01T22:06:36-05:00

What Friendship Means to Me and My Friends

A friend is... ... the boy who plays you in 1-on-1 until you lose track at one million to one million. ... the girl who teaches you to do cartwheels with no hands. ... the guy who takes you cruising while you listen to "Running with the Devil," on volume 11. ... the '67 Belvedere that gets you where you need to go even when it won't shift into reverse. ... the roommate who stays up all night with you every time a girl turns you down. ... the guitar player who sings John Prine songs with you every night after dinner. ... the one who goes with you to Waffle House at 3 am to to finish your term paper. ... the man who visits you on the psych unit and makes it seem like you are sitting at your kitchen table. ... the woman who messages you about [...]

What Friendship Means to Me and My Friends2020-02-26T17:09:02-05:00