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

Mixing Ministry with Mental Illness

How could I serve in ministry with a serious mental illness? How could someone riding manic highs dipping to deadly lows promote stable growth for a congregation? How could I faithfully hear God's voice in the midst of competing voices within and around me? These questions stir my mind and stab my heart.   My mind says yes -- I served as a minister with bipolar for almost two decades, a good dozen of which were quite fruitful. My heart grieves that my illness progressed such that, in 2009, I stepped away from pastoral ministry for health reasons. The story I want to share here is not what led to my decline but what, by the grace of God and with the help of the church, has allowed me to serve in ministry with a serious mental illness.   Persistent Prayer Partners I fell into the pit of psychological despair [...]

Mixing Ministry with Mental Illness2019-03-10T21:18:29-04:00

The Physician Inside: 3 Steps to Better Self-Care

Note: This was first published in the Spring of 2017. Much has changed. I have more reason than ever to maintain my well-being. My solitary self is now in a shared union with another. What God has joined together is our job to care for.   Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corinthians 6:19) As a competitive athlete, I diligently trained my body and "played through the pain," dismissing wounds I still face. As a student, I fiercely focused my mind on questions and concepts that helped me better understand who I am, but fell short of understanding how I fit in the world. As a pastor, I offered my best (and sometimes more) to meet people's needs, and became so obsessed with this, I ignored my own. Now, 54, launching new vocational [...]

The Physician Inside: 3 Steps to Better Self-Care2019-01-23T18:31:51-05:00