Thursday, September 6, 2012

How can a loser ever win?

Hi, I am going to be fifty-seven years old very soon.  When I was in college I thought that I was going to be a great preacher, rather famous. I even spoke at our school's Senior Chapel.  I married a beautiful and wonderful woman, Robyn Leeser on October 28,1978.  I hinted to her that I might be a great preacher.  After we were married about six years,  she gave me a little magnet that said on  it, you are a legend in your own mind. 

I told her that we were going to go to Scotland as missionaries and she said she would go.  It had been my dream since college.  I had gone there in 1976 and was part of a team of missionary apprentices who were the first to help Rev. William Carmichael start a new ministry.  Eventually, a church was planted and still exists on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland.
We never made it to Scotland.. I could not understand God's providence but submitted to Him.

In 1981, Robyn and I decided to start a church in Palm Springs, Florida. We witnessed to hundreds of people and saw a number of converts who demonstrated having the fruit of the Spirit.  But our group dissolved because of members leaving for mega churches in West Palm Beach. I  felt that I was a failure and a loser.
After an exciting internship and ordination; I had my first episode of what then was called Major Depression.  The psychiatrist told me to consider it a medical internship of sorts, and I did just that.
I knew depression inside out. I continued to preach but my diagnosis was a problem for any dreams of a pastorate.  And the stigma of  being a patient in a psychiatric hospital burned deep into my reputation, though I had done nothing wrong.
I want everyone to know this, that being a Christian who has bipolar disorder, or depression, or schizophrenia or panic or obsessive compulsive disorder is nothing of which needs to be repented.
It is not a sin, not something nutty, or perverse or whimsical.  It is a horrible disease.
We at Heartfelt Counseling Ministries want you to know that we will pray for you and do anything within our means to help you.  Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

They say you should quote someone who can get across an idea better than you can.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.


If you wish to know more about our story of
God's grace and help given, please go to the link below.