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

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 [...]

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 [...]

By |March 8th, 2020|Categories: Hope for Troubled Minds|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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 [...]

By |March 1st, 2020|Categories: Family, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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 [...]

By |February 26th, 2020|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Readers Respond: How did you first react to your mental health diagnosis?

If you have a mental illness or you love someone who does, what was your first reaction when you received the diagnosis? Denise J: That is a complicated question.....there were many, many feelings and thoughts..... Mariah R: Things finally made sense in my world. Joseph M:  Silence. But, before the diagnosis, we heard that our parenting skills were the problem—we were either too strict or too lax, depending on the day and person talking to us. No apologies after the diagnosis. Cindy G: Heartbroken. Kristi M: Denial followed by anger,frustration,and bewilderment. Robin F: I was glad to finally find out what my son was going through. I felt with the diagnosis that his drug abuse was more self medicating as he had never done drugs before. He no longer did drugs once coming home. He was in denial but soon realized this was his life to be. I grieved a [...]

By |February 23rd, 2020|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Naming and Claiming: Thoughts on the Word-of-Faith Movement

by Katie R. Dale Bipolar Brave My heart is guarded against the Word-of-Faith Movement, an evangelical Christian movement “which teaches that Christians can access the power of faith or fear through speech.” (wikipedia.org) Here are a few paragraphs from Wikipedia that explain the Word-of-Faith movement in more context: “Distinctive Word of Faith teachings include physical, emotional, financial, relational, and spiritual healing or prosperity for those who skillfully manage their covenant with God. The movement urges believers to speak what they desire, in agreement with the promises and provisions of the Bible, as an affirmation of God’s plans and purposes. They believe this is what Jesus meant when he said in Mark 11:22–24 that believers shall have whatsoever they say and pray with faith. The term word of faith itself is derived from Romans 10:8 which speaks of the word of faith that we preach. Healing The Word of Faith teaches that complete [...]

By |February 19th, 2020|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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 [...]

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 [...]

By |March 8th, 2020|Categories: Hope for Troubled Minds|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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 [...]

By |March 1st, 2020|Categories: Family, Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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 [...]

By |February 26th, 2020|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Readers Respond: How did you first react to your mental health diagnosis?

If you have a mental illness or you love someone who does, what was your first reaction when you received the diagnosis? Denise J: That is a complicated question.....there were many, many feelings and thoughts..... Mariah R: Things finally made sense in my world. Joseph M:  Silence. But, before the diagnosis, we heard that our parenting skills were the problem—we were either too strict or too lax, depending on the day and person talking to us. No apologies after the diagnosis. Cindy G: Heartbroken. Kristi M: Denial followed by anger,frustration,and bewilderment. Robin F: I was glad to finally find out what my son was going through. I felt with the diagnosis that his drug abuse was more self medicating as he had never done drugs before. He no longer did drugs once coming home. He was in denial but soon realized this was his life to be. I grieved a [...]

By |February 23rd, 2020|Categories: Mental Illness|Tags: , |0 Comments

Naming and Claiming: Thoughts on the Word-of-Faith Movement

by Katie R. Dale Bipolar Brave My heart is guarded against the Word-of-Faith Movement, an evangelical Christian movement “which teaches that Christians can access the power of faith or fear through speech.” (wikipedia.org) Here are a few paragraphs from Wikipedia that explain the Word-of-Faith movement in more context: “Distinctive Word of Faith teachings include physical, emotional, financial, relational, and spiritual healing or prosperity for those who skillfully manage their covenant with God. The movement urges believers to speak what they desire, in agreement with the promises and provisions of the Bible, as an affirmation of God’s plans and purposes. They believe this is what Jesus meant when he said in Mark 11:22–24 that believers shall have whatsoever they say and pray with faith. The term word of faith itself is derived from Romans 10:8 which speaks of the word of faith that we preach. Healing The Word of Faith teaches that complete [...]

By |February 19th, 2020|Categories: Spiritual Reflections|Tags: , , , |0 Comments