Friday, October 8, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
My current spiritual practice is to read the Revised Common Lectionary Scriptures for the day, plus a few words from The Word is Out(Chris Glaser's daily meditations), Mornings With Thomas Merton, and a saint from All Saints. All this while sitting in front of my light box consuming my only cup of coffee. Afterward I meditate for twenty minutes to half an hour, closing with prayers for various people.
When I'm feeling up to it (and I haven't been lately) I go on the treadmill for two half hour sessions. The reason I haven't been up to it lately is that I've been having problems resulting from my prostate cancer. However, I hope to resume my treadmill sessions soon.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," Hebrews 11 teaches us. And "though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me," assures Psalm 23. These two passages formed the basis for Pastor Jeff's sermon at MCC Philadelphia this week. It was a message that spoke to me very directly.
I have bipolar disorder. I had my eleventh hospitalization for depression last week. Although I have been deeper in that dark valley, I was a long ways down the ledge when I went in the hospital. Suicidal thoughts were plaguing me relentlessly. But I knew I would not act on those thoughts. I am sure that God will protect me from the Evil One when these thoughts come. There was a time when my faith was not as strong as it is now, and there may be times in the future when it will not be as strong as it is now. But I am sure, by faith and faith alone, that God will always protect me when I end up in that dark valley. That protection might require that I check myself into the hospital to be sure that there is no chance that I can hurt myself – and if that's what's necessary, that's what I'll do. But it isn't by any strength that I have that I am protected. It is only by faith. Even the power of faith comes from God. Faith isn't something I developed on my own; God gave it to me.
I must tell you that I am not very happy with God right now. I am glad that I got through this experience, but I'm tired of cycling through depressions and mania and just want to lead a productive life not filled with this sort of drama. But I know that God is big enough to take my unhappiness, and I have faith that somehow I will be shown a way out of the valley.