About tonyroberts

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

Praying When You Can’t Pray

A few weeks back, I surveyed my subscribers to ask what topics you would like to me address. I received this response from a woman I'll call "Miriam" --   Maybe could you write about tips for maintaining a prayer life and connection with God in the midst of a severe depression when all spiritual consciousness feels absent and motivation is non-existent due to the disorder.   Oh my, Miriam, we've been to some of the same miserable places. I suspect many of you reading this have as well. They say misery loves company. I say there is no better company for misery than a fellowship of faith. I'm typically not one to give advice, or tips. But I can share some stories from my experience and the experience of others I've known that might be an encouragement. When we have fallen into a pit of despair, sometimes it helps [...]

Praying When You Can’t Pray2021-08-25T18:48:46-04:00

Karma vs. Grace: A Psycho-Spiritual Analysis

Karma means action and action motivated by compassion is good. To complain that what happens to you is just the result of your karma is lazy. Instead, confidently recalling the advice that, "You are your own master," you can change what happens by taking action. ~ Dalai Lama.   If you want God's grace, all you need is need, all you need is nothing. But that kind of spiritual humility is hard to muster. We come to God saying, "Look at all I've done," or maybe "Look at all I've suffered." God, however, wants us to look to him... ~ Timothy Keller.   I have a good friend (I'll call her Trish) who practices Buddhism. Trish says she likes having a teacher tell her what to do to gain spiritual enlightenment. She claims this is just what Jesus did with his disciples. He showed them the right things to do, and [...]

Karma vs. Grace: A Psycho-Spiritual Analysis2021-08-22T18:34:04-04:00

The Bittersweet Blessing of Bipolar

“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum. ― Vincent van Gogh; The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh Now that the human genome project can draw the DNA map of our bodies, gene therapy becomes an ever increasing reality. We can restructure our bodies and minds such that debilitating conditions could disappear. The question we now face is what goes and what stays? And, who decides? One of the persons who serves on the human genome project is Kay Redfield Jamison. Jamison has both a professional interest and a personal perspective in genetic mapping. First, she is a psychiatric researcher. She is certainly concerned about the tools medical science can use to alleviate unnecessary suffering. [...]

The Bittersweet Blessing of Bipolar2021-08-19T22:46:15-04:00

Higher Power Healing

I have been dabbling in twelve step programs through much of my adult life. Recently I have been led to fully immerse myself in "working the steps" and thus far it has been a cleansing experience. There is something about surrendering our wills to God that gives us a huge measure of wisdom, courage, and serenity. I don't know where this journey is leading me, but I am committed to taking it one step at a time. This does not mean I have somehow replaced my faith in Christ with faith in a nebulous "Higher Power." I believe this would not only be foolish but dangerous to do. Christ has an exclusive claim on my life and the lives of many others. But is this Truth for all? I can only say, as a Christian who is also in a twelve step program that Christ is the only Way I [...]

Higher Power Healing2021-08-08T21:50:38-04:00

A Wondrous Lifestyle Change

I have now admitted that I am powerless over my compulsive eating -- that my life has become unmanageable. But this is not the full truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is not the Gospel truth. The Gospel says this: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3) I have all I need to stay clean from sugar and eat well not on my own, but through all the many means God gives me. My intellect and desire. Food labels and the money to purchase healthy food. My sponsor and friends in recovery. My wife and family encouraging me. Prayer and reflection on Scripture and other spiritual readings. I am blessed by God with so many things to keep me on track. So how does this relate to my mental illness? One key component toward mental [...]

A Wondrous Lifestyle Change2021-08-03T17:34:40-04:00

A Commitment to Life: or, a funny thing happened on the way to the refrigerator.

I haven't been writing as much lately. I'm grateful to those who have been filling in for me. By sharing your stories, you have been a blessing to me and many others. Often when I have a lapse in writing it is because I am struggling with depression. This time I've had some of that. But it runs deeper. It is more that I've had the need to hibernate so I can come out more refreshed. During this season of hibernation I have been pruning excessive activities, increasing therapy, attending to some health issues, and getting rest. Grand and glorious rest. Perhaps the biggest decision I've made during this sabbath season is to lose weight. My particular program involves both a food plan and a fellowship component. It requires much discipline and I have found that I have little self-discipline. Two weeks in, though, I am responding well to the [...]

A Commitment to Life: or, a funny thing happened on the way to the refrigerator.2021-08-01T23:15:08-04:00

When the Waves of Trauma Come Crashing In by Laura Moseley

Laura Moseley is a single mother of three children, who survived 23+ years of sexual and domestic abuse. I formally work as a customer service rep for a social service organization, as I love helping people. DV advocate, in my "spare" time. I am a blogger, future podcaster, public speaker, and community activist. https://www.facebook.com/dvwalkingwounded https://dvwalkingwounded.wordpress.com/ I, after 23+ years of abuse within my life, would consider myself to have an “unofficial” doctorate in trauma, as I’ve used myself as a bizarre test subject for years -- but not intentionally. It’s more like sitting with my own pain and analyzing, now that I am no longer in active abuse.    Trauma, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is “a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.” It derives from the Greek word for “wound,” which initially signified a physical wound, but can now be [...]

When the Waves of Trauma Come Crashing In by Laura Moseley2021-07-13T17:38:44-04:00

“I’m not depressed, but…” by Kathryn Pesyna

In the beginning, when the world grinded to a halt and everyone stayed home, I received a huge dose of validation as a stay-at-home mom.  Suddenly people were realizing exactly what I do every day, and how demanding it is.  After several weeks, we all settled into a new routine and got used to the new norm.  The good feelings of validation wore off, and I started to feel the struggle. But I’m a stay-at-home mom.  It’s literally in the name.  I’m supposed to have the stay-at-home thing down. DOWNWARD SPIRAL Initially, it wasn’t too different from our day-to-day.  The biggest change was we were no longer going out.  We were no longer having play-dates.  We were no longer doing our activities.  You see, “stay-at-home” is a misnomer.  We actually go out a lot.  So we, like everyone else, were stuck at home and feeling the struggle.  However, now I had the guilt [...]

“I’m not depressed, but…” by Kathryn Pesyna2021-07-07T18:43:59-04:00

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt

So many of my friends and family are facing death these days. Our reactions vary widely based on what we experience in life, what beliefs we hold, and how willing we are to walk through the valley. This is a poem a friend of mine wrote as her mother was dying. It is one of the best expressions of going through stages of grief that I have ever read. Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt We all hated it that mom had a closet full of clothes with the tags still on shoes never worn a set of wedding China unused in the cupboards a diamond tennis bracelet worn approximately once a home built for entertaining never filled with guests drawers of blank stationery that never got the chance to deliver her hopes or wishes into the lives of those she called friends— and I [...]

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt2021-06-30T18:19:59-04:00

The Longing of William Cowper in “Heal Us, Emmanuel”

“Heal Us, Emmanuel” by Will­iam Cow­per from Ol­ney Hymns   Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are We wait to feel Thy touch; Deep wounded souls to Thee repair, And Savior, we are such. Our faith is feeble, we confess We faintly trust Thy Word; But wilt Thou pity us the less? Be that far from Thee, Lord! Remember him who once applied With trembling for relief “Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried; “O help my unbelief!” She, too, who touched Thee in the press And healing virtue stole, Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace; Thy faith has made thee whole.” Concealed amid the gathering throng, She would have shunned Thy view; And if her faith was firm and strong, Had strong misgivings too. Like her, with hopes and fears we come To touch Thee if we may; O send us not despairing home; Send none unhealed away. Poet and hymn writer [...]

The Longing of William Cowper in “Heal Us, Emmanuel”2021-06-26T17:12:10-04:00
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