It’s Love That Wins The Blind Prodigal Back

It's Love That Wins The Blind Prodigal Back

They were so caught up in themselves and their selfish desires that they got lost to the concerns of others. Without recognising the wealth of love around them, they were the prodigal, a child of abundance squandering it away.  What drew them back was a memory of love, faint and small, when the soul hit rock bottom.

We all at times suffer levels of naivety and ignorance. We don’t know what we don’t know. In our prodigal pride, we wander away until we remember that allure of love and we wake up.

We can be so blind that we miss the obvious. Everyone around can see what is happening, but we blindly go on. Warnings given and dismissed.

‘I don’t have a problem; it’s you that has the problem’ Continue reading “It’s Love That Wins The Blind Prodigal Back”

There is None so Blind as Those that Will Not See

There is None so Blind as Those that Will Not See

I once was blind but now I see. Only when we begin to realize that we have been chasing after false promises will our sight return. We see that we have been conned and we are now in a prison of our own making.

One spring afternoon I was driving in the countryside with my parents. The farmland looked green, lush and inviting. I commented on how good the farms looked.

My father, who was a farmer, responded ‘Never buy a farm when you’ve looked at in the late afternoon’.  Continue reading “There is None so Blind as Those that Will Not See”

Revealing the Dark World of Covert Male Depression

Revealing the Dark World of Covert Male Depression

It’s the covert way that male depression hides that makes it scary. The blind spot that men can get taken out by. Men need listening friends where they feel safe enough to tell their stories.

It was like a fog was being lifted off around my brain. I was able to think clearer. It was so weird. It was like waking up in a new land. All because I started to take medication for my depression.

I then felt kind of sad and slightly angry that I had not looked into this earlier. Perhaps if I have would have done things would be different.

I also wondered why some of those close to me didn’t suggest I get some help for my melancholic moods. Continue reading “Revealing the Dark World of Covert Male Depression”

Is it possible to Recover and get back to Normal from a Mental Illness?

Is it possible to Recover and get back to Normal from a Mental Illness?

Life would never be the same again, but whose life is after struggling with an illness. Perhaps we have to redefine recovery and discover that there is no one ‘You-er than you’.

Nathan had plans of becoming a doctor. But his parents separated when he was aged 15 and his world was suddenly thrown into chaos. The stress fractured the thin layer of wellness and he began to hear voices and became paranoid. He began the journey of recovery, but what is recovery? Continue reading “Is it possible to Recover and get back to Normal from a Mental Illness?”

3 Ingredients of a Safe Church for your Mental Health

Three Mental Health Mind Shifts Needed for a Safe Church

‘Am I doing ok?’ was the question I was most frequently asked when I was a pastor/chaplain. ‘Is this Church safe’ was another. Keeping pace were other limping souls …

  • ‘Am I welcome here’
  • ‘Does God really love me?’
  • ‘I can’t seem to get it right’
  • ‘… keeps telling me that I need to do … if I am going to be ok and be part of this church’
  • ‘I keep going back to my addiction, I feel so guilty, God is angry’

At this point nice gentle Pastor Barry feels like getting a whip, going to certain churches and people, overturning pews, casting out tithing bags and shouting…

‘Stop laying heavy burdens on broken backs’

Continue reading “3 Ingredients of a Safe Church for your Mental Health”

Black Moods of Depression Lose Their Power When YOU Turn The Light On

Black Moods of Depression Lose Their Power When YOU Turn The Light On

It was only a small little torch but when I flicked the switch and pointed the beam of light at the ceiling the whole room filled with light. It doesn’t take much light to chase the darkness away. Moods can change when we flick the switch.

 The brain takes the shape of whatever the mind rests upon. Dr. Rick Hanson 

When depressed, a dark mood can become like a swamp holding you in its grip.  You want to break free of the suction but you are held firm.

You need to get up. You’ve got things to do, commitments, relationships that rely on you but the gloom of a dark shadow grips you.

Then someone says Continue reading “Black Moods of Depression Lose Their Power When YOU Turn The Light On”

Does God use a Mental Illness to Slow Us Down?

Does God use a Mental Illness to Slow You Down?

Do you think mental illness is God’s way of forcing us to slow down and change our behaviour or is it the Devil messing with our minds?

I recently received this question from one of the readers via the anonymous question survey.

It’s an interesting question and one that I think has many questions under the question. It also demonstrates a type of belief about God and Gods relationship with us.

So here is my answer. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this question.  Continue reading “Does God use a Mental Illness to Slow Us Down?”

Smelling the Roses Grows a Healthy Brain

Smell the Roses and Grow a Healthy Brain ~ Turning the Page Empowering your Mental Health

Just outside my window, I can see a beautiful yellow rose. 

It wasn’t there last week, well actually it was but it was just tightly bound up under its green calyx.

A lot can happen in a week, in a day, in a moment.

I can see the beauty but to deeply experience it I must stoop, smell and breath in its beauty.  Slowly, gently, letting my brain cells savour the moment.

Do you take time to smell the roses?

You don’t need roses

Continue reading “Smelling the Roses Grows a Healthy Brain”

7 Steps to Regroove Your Thinking Patterns

7 Steps to Regroove Your Thinking Patterns

Around the hillside of the sheep farm where I was raised were grooves worn into the soil by hundreds of sheep following each other. It was the easiest route.

I also have routes in my thinking patterns that have become ruts. Familiar paths that have been worn deep into my thinking.

A thought gets triggered then another one and another one. Then within a few milliseconds, you are down in that old familiar cesspool of negativity. Continue reading “7 Steps to Regroove Your Thinking Patterns”

Becoming the You God Sees: Guest Post by Kristen Kansiewicz

Becoming the You God Sees: Guest Post by Kristen Kansiewicz

She walked into my office in a long, flowing skirt. She always had loved long, flowing skirts. But she blamed them and herself for both of her rapes. “Maybe if I hadn’t worn a skirt,” she thought.

And she hated herself.

The man read from his journal. Almost 20 pages detailing every abuse he had ever experienced. His anger had turned from others onto himself. He thought of himself as nothing. Worthless.

And he hated himself.

I could write pages and pages of stories just like these. People I have known and sat with for hours, listening to their pain. Some call it low self-esteem, some prefer other words.

The semantics of self-hatred doesn’t really matter.

In the end, it comes down to a pain that seems impossible to bear and even more impossible to be rid of.

Living in this broken world breaks us. Continue reading “Becoming the You God Sees: Guest Post by Kristen Kansiewicz”