On depression and grace

23 February 2012

Another week and a half, another absence from the blog.  No matter how often this happens, I never seem to get used to it.

I know I should be more consistent with this.  For one, I have plenty of things to say.  For another, people seem to like them (or at least read them).  And I know the best way to “build traffic” to a blog is to post something, anything, every day.  So I know these long absences are working against my best interests.

And yet they still occur.  The reason they still occur, while simple to state, is not so simply remedied.  Basically, I find it hard to write when I’m depressed.

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Whatever became of conviction?

9 August 2011

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.  (Proverbs 3:11-12)

Please forgive me if this turns into a sermonette, but it’s something I’ve had on my mind.

A long time back, before my accidental spring/summer break from this blog, I wrote about being convicted by a couple of songs I’d heard consecutively on my MP3 player.  In combination, God used the two tunes to show me that I wasn’t living my life quite as well as He desired me to, mostly because I was often being selfish and doing what I wanted instead of what He wanted.  It’s a moment I think about still, and it causes me to re-examine my actions periodically.

But something happened after I wrote that — I got responses about it (not replies here, but elsewhere) from people I knew.  And the gist of most of them was, “don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re not supposed to be perfect, just relax in God’s love.”

Which isn’t bad advice, per se.  But to me, it did seem to miss a key point.

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A journey from stress into Love

6 August 2009

So I’ve been pretty stressed lately.  There was already a foundation for being stressed — being unemployed, trying to find a publisher for my novel, figuring out what to do with my time, overweight, on the outside of the institutional church.  When I had a little three-week temp job for the local bus utility, they had one of those posters in the office that listed different stressful events and how many “Life Change Units” they contained; if you had 300 LCUs in the previous twelve months, you qualified as “highly stressed.”  Back then, I was at 293, just shy of the top level.

Since then (and you can read all of this in my previous entries, if you really want all the details), I’ve added some minor health troubles: bad ankles getting worse, intestinal troubles, bifocals that I’m still getting used to.  Then I began finding more about my mom’s health problems, which barring a drastic change look like they’ll be fatal in the fairly short term.  At the same time, what little relationship I have with my dad got even worse, which I would previously have said was impossible.  And it’s summer, so the Supermodel and I are both home most of the time, getting in each other’s hair and on each other’s nerves — not trying too, it’s just too much personality in too little space for too many hours.

I don’t know how many Life Change Units I’ve piled up at this point — something in the thousands, I guess.  I’m holding it together, not acting out or screaming at people … much.  I’m doing the best I can, but I desperately need a success at this stage.  So what do you figure happens next?

Try having a child falling seriously ill.  AND car trouble, too.

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Periodic Pingback: Michael Spencer on reality and the Christian life

9 April 2009

(Blogger’s note: Every so often, I come upon something in another blog — or somewhere — that I’m dying to link to here, to “pingback” in blogging terms,  because I think it deserves what little extra promotion my lowly blog can give it.  Well, no more stalling, I’m doing it!  “Periodic Pingback” will feature other voices on the World Wide Internetsway whenever I run across them and they strike me as having said something better than I ever could.   There’s no real schedule for how often I’ll post one — thus the “periodic” part.  Read and enjoy!)

Regular readers of this space will have noticed how often I reference Michael Spencer, aka “the Internet Monk.”  I even have a link to his blog over on the right.  The reason is because he has this habit that it seems too many in the American church have lost — that of really thinking about issues of the faith.  Michael’s “day job” is as the chaplain for a Southern Baptist school in eastern Kentucky.

I could probably blog for decades and never write as concise or incisively on the truth of grace as Michael does in this piece (originally posted in 2004 or so and recently re-posted).  If you are a Christian and this piece doesn’t hit you with the force of a speeding F-150 pickup truck, it’s time to check your soul — you may be dead and not know it.  Enjoy, but most of all, take it to heart.

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