Two Books to Get, that Get It: Companions in the Darkness & Unravel.

Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window. ― William Faulkner One of the perks of being a writer is fellow authors send me their books. This week I've been blessed to read two books that have helped me expand my literary companionships. Diana Gruver and Greg Ralls "get" the experience of living with mental health challenges and their stories depict this so well.   Companions in the Darkness: Seven Saints Who Struggled with Depression and Doubt by Diana Gruver, Chuck DeGroat (Foreword) The church's relationship with depression has been fraught: for centuries, depression was assumed to be evidence of personal sin or even demonic influence. The depressed [...]

Two Books to Get, that Get It: Companions in the Darkness & Unravel.2021-02-24T19:28:00-05:00

When 100% is 100% Too Much, Less Becomes Much Better

It's been two weeks now since I returned home from an inpatient stay at the local psychiatric hospital. I can't say I feel 100%, but my improvement is really quite remarkable. In fact, it may be best that I'm not 100% the way I was before going in because that 100% was about 100% too much. I wasn't living well within my limits. I was trying to be everyone for everybody, including myself. In one 15 day stretch, I slept a total of 30 hours. Thank God I had so many people praying for me and ready to intervene when I was willing to ask for help. Being on a psych unit at any time can be a bit unnerving. Being on one during a pandemic is downright frightening. At least it was for me. But the staff did a tremendous job allaying my fears. More than anything, they modeled [...]

When 100% is 100% Too Much, Less Becomes Much Better2021-02-18T20:22:21-05:00

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday

Most pastors would be shocked to know how many people in their church family live with or are directly impacted by mental illness. Stigma continues to keep mental illness silent in the church. Parents who sit in church pews week after week feel completely alone in bearing the pain of their son’s or daughter’s mental illness because they are embarrassed or afraid to say anything. The person sitting next to them may be carrying the same burden but who would know. And they will continue to carry these burdens alone until the church is willing to talk about it. -- Mark Teike, Pastor; St. Peter's Lutheran LCMS (Columbus, IN), from the Foreword of When Despair Meets Delight. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. This year it lands on February 17 -- this week! Lent is a season to take spiritual inventory of our relationship with God, others, and self. [...]

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday2021-02-16T17:17:32-05:00

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet

Paul Dazet is Senior Pastor of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cincinnati, a Master’s degree in ministry from Golden State School of Theology, and is ordained in the Church of the Nazarene. Paul and his wife Stacy have been married since 1992 and have three children: Rebecca (and Jacob), Jake, and Micah. Paul loves coffee, books, and conversations. This past year was crazy for everyone.  For my family, we are dealing with the loss of our first grandchild, God calling us to a new church in a new denomination in a new city, and now we are providing care for a close family member who is in a fight against cancer.  And personally, I struggle with depression and anxiety.  It was 2020, enough said.  I’m sure you have your own stories of suffering and hardship during [...]

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet2021-02-09T13:33:43-05:00

Anxiety and Love by Anais Nin

“Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” ― Anaïs Nin; The Diary of Anais Nin vol. 4 (1944–7).

Anxiety and Love by Anais Nin2021-01-16T09:39:39-05:00

How Our Thorns Make Us Better, Revisited by Lamar Hardwick

The following post was first posted on September 2, 2020. I am republishing now because there has been a significant development in the life of the author. Lamar has been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. He is taking an indefinite sabbatical to pursue treatment. This will no doubt change his life in many ways, but he is facing it with the same courage for which he is known. Lamar has been posting prayers for strength to rally his "fight club" as he faces this battle. This one is from yesterday -- Good morning fight club. It’s another great day to fight! Pray this with me “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but [...]

How Our Thorns Make Us Better, Revisited by Lamar Hardwick2020-10-12T03:39:40-04:00

When Despair Meets Delight on Amazon

When your market value is over $1 trillion, you enjoy certain privileges. One of these privileges is getting what you want, when you want it, for as cheap as you want it. This is the story of Amazon. This week, the Kindle version of When Despair Meets Delight came out on Amazon. Next week, they will be releasing my print book. On the one hand, this is cause for celebration. Amazon can reach readers far greater than I can. With their help, I can better cultivate hope for those impacted by brain illnesses is advanced. This is proving to be the case, as my book has shot up to #1 in Bipolar Disorder, above Carrie Fisher's book. I am grateful for this and pray that lives are changed as a result of Amazon's service. At the same time, I am conflicted. I have loyal and faithful supporters who invested in [...]

When Despair Meets Delight on Amazon2020-08-23T20:53:53-04:00

When Despair Meets Delight Launches

If you've ever ridden a roller coaster, you know the anticipatory thrill mixed with dread fear as you come to the top of the tracks, just before you descend at full speed, plunging downward, downward, downward, until just before you hit the group, the car comes to a rest and you do it again. It's been a long time since I've ridden on a roller coaster, at least in a theme park. I ride an emotional one each day. Sometimes each hour. As I approach the September 1 public release of my book, I'm feeling the thrill of being at the top of the roller coaster. Now is the time to check my belt to see that it is secure. Today I went over my schedule with my wife, mapped out a projected course, and have been recruiting partners to share the load. While I want my book release to [...]

When Despair Meets Delight Launches2020-08-09T20:35:19-04:00

When Despair Meets Delight: Growing Closer Each Day

Things are speeding up as I progress toward the publication of When Despair Meets Delight. This week I have: Messaged prospective buyers about advance orders. Conducted an interview with a local reporter for an feature article. Met with a librarian about an upcoming virtual book launch. Spoke with a Christian radio station about appearing on one of their programs. Scheduled appearances on two Facebook live podcasts. All this while attending to my dying father and coordinating his funeral service. Am I manic? Perhaps. Should I slow down? Maybe. What happens if/when I crash? I don't know. One thing I'm sure of is I'm not manufacturing my mania. I am getting plenty of sleep. I'm taking my prescribed medication on time. I have a relatively good rhythm of work and rest. There are certainly improvements I could make in such areas as diet and exercise, but I'm doing my best. I'm [...]

When Despair Meets Delight: Growing Closer Each Day2020-08-07T15:28:38-04:00
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