Saturday, September 19, 2009


O my soul:

Not much anxiety. Not much depression. Even though activity is swirling around me. I visited my pastor earlier this week and then a good friend.

It is a blessing to confess aloud sin rather than confess anxiety or depression about this sin. It is a greater blessing to be absolved of that sin. Thanks pastor.

And then a little laughter with a friend. I am aware how much I am beginning to feel again and a good laugh with a friend is priceless. Thanks friend.

But overall I've become quiet. I've been praying Matins quite regularly for awhile now. Mostly at home but starting last Tuesday three days a week at the church with the doors open to the public (and announced to the congregation).

I'm beginning to listen to Christ more and myself less. The medication helps but something more is happening. The more I listen, the more I'm able to feel, the more I'm able to pray, the more I'm able to go about my vocations as son, husband, father, pastor, and neighbor.

And let me tell you, the events taking place in my God given vocations are highly emotional. Just this week, my wife was deeply hurt by a congregational survey the elders wanted to conduct and I, in grave error, left it in a place she could read. The first elder's meeting went well but still tense. A teenager, who just buried his father earlier this summer, rolled his (dad's restored) car and is hospitalized with his three friends. I am part of a great group of pastors that make up a Circuit of pastors within our District of pastors. We like and get along with each other very well even while we are not well liked within our district (which became clearer at a meeting this past week.) What else? Shut-ins, hospice calls, cohabitation with newborn child, a male rape victim whose cutting himself, confirmation classes, Bible studies, etc. Not even in my dreams would I imagine some of this stuff.

But...I'm calm, content, in Christ. It is a miracle beyond the meds. I entrusted this week, morning by morning, to Christ and I have been able to serve Him in my vocations without being crushed. Not much anxiety. Not much depression.

Lord, continue to have mercy upon me, my wife, children, and congregation.

And thanks to our Savior, Jesus the Christ!


Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 and Reliving Trauma

O My Soul:

Here is an article from Psychology Today entitled 911: Never Forget, but is it helpful to always remember?

We Christians have this twisted notion that we must forgive and forget.

Well, yes, in Christ I can forgive someone who has hurt me. I can recognize the injury, the sin, for what it is. I can be healed. I can definitely be healed from the trauma.

However, I almost always remember the injury and I think most people do to. The act of forgetting is wishful thinking.

I feel sorry for those who have to relive images of a loved ones death year after year. Televised. Reported. Discussed. Again, and again. Year after year.

If I had a loved one who passed away in New York on September 11, 2001, I would turn off the media and read Holy Scripture aloud and receive healing from Christ.

I don't have such a loved one, but I think I will still read Holy Scripture and pray on their behalf.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Abba Agathon

O My Soul:

I have never gone to sleep with a grievance against anyone. And, as far as I could, I have never let anyone go to sleep with a grievance against me.
- Abba Agathon, 4th to 5th Century, Egyptian monk

Abba Agathon said, “I consider no other labor as difficult as prayer. When we are ready to pray, our spiritual enemies interfere. They understand it is only by making it difficult for us to pray that they can harm us. Other things will meet with success if we keep at it, but laboring at prayer is a war that will continue until we die.”
- Abba Agathon, 4th to 5th Century, Egyptian monk


Friday, September 4, 2009

Dreams Once Dreamed...It's Wonderful

O My Soul:

I've never been one to remember my dreams but lately I have been remembering more of my dreams. And they are good dreams.

I've been feeling a little different, too. I'm having good days and bad days but I am simply feeling much more than I can remember. Not painful feelings, mind you. No, feeling good feelings.

I remember seeing a Diana Krall concert in 2002. Good concert in the midst of a bad time for me personally.

I asked my wife how things have been going lately. She smiled and said that just about anything is better than the constant rage of last year.

Did I say she smiled. Well, ya know...I be totally honest...hey...ya know...dat...der...kinda like, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Like...can't blame me for feeling amorous, ya know - maybe?? Now I've said too much. Gotta go. And God bless.