Why I Write in Less than 500 Words

I was a pastor for almost 20 years.  A big part of my job was to take the sacred Word and inspire people to do good things.  To do this, I did a lot of writing (over 500 sermons,  300 e-devotions, 200 newsletter articles, countless pastoral letters). Then I left pastoral ministry. Why? For many reasons, some of which I'm still sorting out. Essentially, God had another ministry in mind. For the past decade I have served an author with A Way with Words publishing, an outreach of Delight in Disorder Ministries. People ask me, "Do you write exclusively about faith and God?”  My answer is “Yes and no.”  Yes, because I believe all good writing carries with it sacred a sacred duty to "speak the truth in love." Since we are created in the image of God and creation reflects God’s good order, when we write faithfully about any [...]

Why I Write in Less than 500 Words2021-02-06T07:39:23-05:00

Was He Only Dreaming? MLK Day Today

In the fall of 1975, I opened my fresh new Language Arts textbook and found that some pages had been cut out.  I walked up to my teacher’s desk and his response was,  ”I did that.  It was a story about that King fellow.  I don’t want you reading about some nigger who went around stirring up trouble.” Yesterday, I was talking with an elderly woman who didn’t realize today was a holiday. “What holiday is it?” “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday,” I replied. “I swear.  What do you have to do to get a day named after you?  He didn’t do nothing.” This morning, I was talking to a man in his 70s about King’s legacy. “I know he preached non-violence,” he said, “but as soon as he’d finish his speeches, blacks would go around breaking into stores and stealing stuff.  I don’t care what the history books say.  I saw [...]

Was He Only Dreaming? MLK Day Today2021-01-18T09:29:58-05:00

From Mental Illness to MBA by John Witcher

Living with a mental illness is very challenging and can be very frustrating.  In 1994, when I was diagnosed, the culture surrounding mental illness was much different.  Many of the support groups were not as easy to access, due to technology limitations.  The internet was not as user friendly, if you had it at all.  When you were the person in the room with a mental illness, you typically kept it to yourself, and it was suggested that you do not disclose. With the help of organizations like NAMI, SARDAA, APSE, Vocational Rehabilitation, KEY and many others, mental health is becoming something that is easier to discuss, when in the past, it was not.  In 2017, I received an MBA with honors, from IndianaTech.  I remember, in the 1990’s, when I was considering going back to college, I got a great deal of pushback.  I heard countless times, that it was a crazy thought.  Then, I approached my [...]

From Mental Illness to MBA by John Witcher2021-01-06T07:32:34-05:00

What comes after When Despair Meets Delight? — Next Steps.

I’m been on quasi-sabbatical, letting go of some of my busyness to make room for God’s business in my life and ministry. For over a year now, my time has been consumed by my When Despair Meets Delight book and, while there are still things to do to “get it out there,” my mind can now mostly pivot to my next book, my next project, my next dream to pursue. It has been said of writers that there is nothing more terrifying than a blank page. Starting over is daunting for anyone, particularly when it seems we are starting from scratch. We can fool ourselves into believing we have to magically discover the one right thing to do out of an infinite number of wrong choices. This is the Enemy’s convincing lie designed to paralyze us from faithful action. I am devoting this season of transition to discerning prayer. I’m [...]

What comes after When Despair Meets Delight? — Next Steps.2020-10-18T22:04:10-04:00

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

Perfect Humility: A Quietness of Heart

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)   Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing [...]

Perfect Humility: A Quietness of Heart2020-08-30T10:51:17-04:00

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 Goes to Press

The time is at hand. After five years of gestation, and over a year of hard labor (with a week of major complications), I have been assured that When Despair Meets Delight will go to the printers today. From there, it should take two weeks to prepare a review copy. When I am satisfied that all looks good, I will bring boxes of books home. Then comes the delightfully arduous task of mailing out advance orders -- now over 100. On September 3, the print and e-book will be released on Amazon and the audio version on Audible. This has been an incredibly busy week. I contracted with a man from Uganda to design memes for social media. I hired a sound engineer to create a commercial for iHeart radio. I have been reaching out to podcasters, blog authors, pastors, and others to get the message out. I am both [...]

When Despair Meets Delight Goes to Press2020-07-19T07:06:48-04:00

Hope For Troubled Minds?

We saw a production of "The Diary of Anne Frank." It portrays two Jewish families and a dentist hiding in a Secret Annex to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany. If you haven't read the book, for God's sake, do so. In it young Anne (13 years old when her family moved to the Annex) details life in hiding with the ever present fear that they will be discovered and deported to a work camp. Or worse. Yet, Anne's diary is not at all a woeful depiction of man's humanity to man. It is a testimony to hope in the midst of terror. She particularly finds hope in writing --   “Unless you write yourself, you can’t know how wonderful it is; I always used to bemoan the fact that I couldn’t draw, but now I’m overjoyed that at least I can write. And if I don’t have the talent [...]

Hope For Troubled Minds?2020-02-16T20:50:43-05:00
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