Category: Comfort and Encouragement

A Few Verses for the Troubled

Many will refer the mentally troubled to the Book of Job for comfort. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you don’t mistakenly think that Job himself was mentally unwell, yet I want to share with you a few bold statements of David from the Book of Psalms.

Psalm 108 (Gideon’s NIV)

Save us and help us with Your right hand! That those you love may be delivered. (v.6)

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. (v.12)

With God we shall gain the victory, and He shall trample down our enemies. (v.13)

The Parsley Report – Armistice Edition

The Parsley Report is a light-hearted look at mental health through a series of fictional characters, intended primarily for children.

PARSLEY: How you doing, Freddie?

FREDDIE: I’m depressed.

FERN: Oh no!

PARSLEY: Better depressed than a raging beast! Cheer up, Freddie, Christmas soon!

FRUIT BAT: Have you forgotten me?

FERN: No, Fruit Bat, not at all. It’s just that we’ve been calming Freddie.

PARSLEY: Of course, even Freddie cares for the children, but it’s hard for him, with his condition.

FERN: Yes, Parsley, quite right. Anyone seen the others?

FRUIT BAT: I saw Smokie slink off to the flea market.

FREDDIE: Keep Smokie away from me. He gets me blind.

PROFESSOR PLUM: Interesting. I may research that relationship, Freddie, with your signature?

FERN: Not so fast, Prof. Freddie needs space.

PARSLEY: Quite right, Fern. Now, let’s calm down with tea and cake.

My Testimony of Confusion – Part 2

[This is Part 2 of a two-part series of testimonies on my confusions and the sources of my delusions – Part One can be read here – and in this post I cover the source of my hope: Jesus Christ.]

My journey since recommitting my life to Christ as my Saviour has been a very difficult and strange one. Reluctant to truly follow Jesus Christ as my Lord even though I accepted Him as my Saviour I did, as I look back, end up a wayward lamb increasingly taken in by and deceived by the world.
In many ways I did accept Jesus as my Lord. I knew He is Lord. I now know He is Lord to a whole new depth. What I didn’t do before was act like Jesus was my Lord in the little things. I could make big declarations, big statements of faith, major vows etc. But to actually love my neighbour? To actually deny myself? That seemed too much.

Into Mystery Babylon

I am going to use some Biblical terms in this post. Please, please be aware that I am not making any theological statements as to these terms. I am using these terms as I have understood them as I have journeyed, and am still journeying, out of the deception into which I so grievously fell. I am using the terms as they play a part in my “delusions” and not as a Biblical teaching.

One of the terms I will use is that of Babylon, mentioned in the Revelation of St. John the Divine. It has seemed to me that I have been lost in this labyrinth of Mystery. The music, philosophies, drugs (which I now believe were sorceries) and the worshipping of angels and false gods, have taken their toll and had left me in a perilous state.

Yet Jesus is faithful and I truly believe that He has remembered me; has left the ninety-nine and come to find me and bring me back into the fold. I have been unfaithful, but He remains faithful.

The music has been haunting me – literally! The rap lyrics and other music words have resurfaced in my mind and played on my worst fears. Eminem made me scared to eat spaghetti, my Mum’s favourite meal. The Levellers confused me about apples and Snow White. (I now eat apples again, which I stopped doing due to a “word” I thought I had received, but I honestly don’t like spaghetti so will only eat it if its given to me.)

The sexual sins haunt me. I am tempted to commit filthiness now and again. I feel like a man who has been trapped by a seductress. Yet I resist and am usually victorious in that by the grace of God.

In recent years I have enquired into subjects I had no business enquiring into. Matters of the Illuminati, matters of the world religions, matters of the so-called Pleiadians and Annunaki, matters of the Gnostic religion.

Confusion took hold until I doubted the truth of the Bible. Yet somehow Jesus kept me believing in Him and in His Father, God Himself. Sometimes I have thought of myself as a false prophet teaching error.

The alcohol and drugs have ravaged me mentally, emotionally and physically. I now sincerely believe the synthetic drugs – and all the works of pharmaceutica – to be sorcery. Please note what I said previously: I am not teaching this as Biblical truth. I am giving my testimony of my delusions and confusions. But what I do know is that for me to willingly seek out medication would be against my conscience and against my faith and thus, for me, it would be sin and I would condemn myself even more. I take the agreed dose and do not seek to increase it. I am slowly intending on reducing it and eventually stopping the medication altogether in the Lord’s timing.

I have few comforts the world likes to indulge in; secular music is a no-go area for me. I don’t watch TV or YouTube videos. I don’t listen to radio. Pubs, clubs and shopping centres usually give me the creeps. I don’t drink any alcohol now. Drugs, whether prescribed or illegal, are against my faith.

Marriage is something I don’t need and so choose not to seek and certainly a relationship with a woman with no view to marriage would be sinful to me. Even such things as chocolate I am wary of due to my addictive personality.

So? What’s left? I have Jesus, and He should be sufficient, yet I also must be honest and say I smoke tobacco. I do not regard it as sinful. It is a plant. I like plants – I have two houseplants at home. I drink tea and coffee. No, I do not object to plants. The world tells me smoking is dangerous and yes, I cough. The medication actually makes my cough worse and of the two (tobacco and medication) I prefer to cease the medication before dealing with the tobacco.

Coming off psychiatric medication and dealing with the issues I deal with I cannot face quitting smoking right now, and so, though I have prayed for an end to my smoking at some point, for me right now it is not sinful. I do, however, seek to walk in love and not smoke in front of those who are offended by it, meaning if I have visitors at my flat I go outside or if I am at church I take myself off the church grounds.

The Hope Which Endures

In 1 Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul states:

Now abide these three: faith, hope, love. And the greatest of these is love.

I am in many ways deranged, unstable and trapped by a number of delusions. Yet all that is changing. The verse I have just shared has been a comfort to me. I have clung on to hope. I have kept faith when I have not been able to see my faith. I have done my best to love even when so confused I can’t always demonstrate it.

And where does this faith, this hope, this love come from? None come from me. Of myself I am incapable of having faith, incapable of hoping against hope; incapable of loving. Faith, hope and love abide in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour. And so, when everything seems lost I cling to Him.

I am still here on this journey. Will I come through and out the other side? I do not know. The odds are stacked against me. “But if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b) And so I shall continue to trust in my Lord who loved me so much He gave Himself upon the cross and bore all of my sin and iniquity there. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

So whatever happens, my life is in the hands of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, and I shall endeavour to my utmost to deny myself and follow Him as I bear this cross of my many delusions, fears and mental turmoils which have come through my life.

[NOTES: This was written many months ago. Some things have now changed. Notably I listen to certain secular music again for the purposes of healing, knowledge and demon-fighting. Also, I now drink moderate amounts of alcohol. My faith has broadened. My hope become more sure, and my love more profound.]

Parsley Report 13th May 2019.

[Note: The Parsley Report initially appeared on Twitter. It has been transferred to here due to my distrust of the Twitter platform.]

PARSLEY THE LION: Herb research re-engaged!
FERN: Beware Freddie, Parsley!
PARSLEY: Sent him packing.
GREENFEATHER: Nasty brute! A man called his child “Merciless” just after Freddie killed a man in The Ship! He said he was drinking and partying with women when a man had possibly jumped off Beachy Head.
FERN: So Freddie was right to rebuke!
PARSLEY: But he forgot! “Always protect the little children.” Rule number one for us, Fern.
GREENFEATHER: Quite correct, Parsley, and beware the Giants too!

Spiritual Attack or Godly Discipline?

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/sea-sailing-vessel-ocean-sunset-1101168/

The Apostle Paul speaks in his letters about coming under spiritual attack. He speaks in Ephesians about taking on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. (ref: Ephesians 6:13-17)

Sometimes our trials and tribulations come from this. And yes, we should do battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual wickedness. At other times our distresses come from a discipline for our own sins or weaknesses which need correction, as the Apostle Peter relates in one of his own letters. (I was told on the journey back from evening fellowship/teaching/prayer that this is likely 2 Peter.)

How do we discern between the two? I suspect that the truth is that they both run alongside each other. Every rod of discipline can be taken too far and received beyond its intended measure. This is an attack from the enemy. Not from people – though the wicked shall love to persecute the believers, especially those who are weak and isolated.

If at all possible seek fellowship at these times. Face to face is by far best, though sometimes a phone call or text is sufficient. If worst comes to worst then online communication is still a recourse of action for those with internet access.

Seek out the brethren, seek God in prayer, however faltering your own prayer life may be, seek to read Scripture, even if you are far from an expert in theological matter and Bible study. It can be quite astounding where help comes from if we prayerfully wait for it and remember the words of Jesus and the saints, especially the words of the Apostles recorded in the New Testament.

(Written on the afternoon of the First Sunday of February, edited during the night the first day and the second day.)

Comfort When the World’s Against Us

[This was written in the early hours of this morning, before it was light.]

Comfort and Joy

I have had a hard night. A very brief time of sleep before fully awaking around 3 o’clock in the night. I knew sleep would be akin to a sleep of death for me so with my mind and heart thus troubled settling down to rest in slumber was not an option. And so I have been awake; drinking tea, coffee and smoking rollies. And praying.

I have prayed much the past night. Many prayers of desperation, many prayers of joy. And the musicians of Maranatha! Music have been a great blessing to me as I’ve praised the Lord whilst playing one of their albums.

I have just turned to the Bible as dawn is now approaching and, although I couldn’t find the Psalm I thought I wanted to read, I did read three and it was the final one which has really comforted me and inspired me and I wanted to share it with you. It is Psalm 13.

How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

A Comfort for Those With Mental Disorders

I wanted to share how this Psalm is an especial comfort to those of us with mental health disorders.

If we are going through a period of intense depression, anxiety or a psychotic episode it can seem like all are our enemies. Though some may try to understand and help we find that they cannot and their deeds and words only bring us more pain. So many people want to get us to listen to them and comply with their plans of action, making ready for us to be so desperate that we go grovelling to them for their offers of help.

Yet this Psalm comforts and strengthens us, as believers in the Lord Jesus with mental health issues, to take our comfort and our strength from him. Sometimes he does offer help through others, yes, but often that help exacts a heavy price in our loyalty to Christ. We must be firm, comforted and encouraged to stand for the Lord, in love, both in private and in public, even when our distresses are seemingly overwhelming.

In the words of Jesus:

In this world you shall have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!

John 16:33 (NIV)