Category: Personal Christian Faith

Indiscretion, Comfort and Strength

“The Lord comforts the afflicted and strengthens those in trouble.” – Psalms (paraphrased).

It has become increasingly difficult for me to perform my work here on Heart of Flesh. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should be a source of comfort and joy to all who trust in Him. If there be no comfort or consolation then we should be seeking to address that according to Biblical principles. (see St. Paul’s writings to, I believe, the Romans of ancient times.)

I have been severely indiscrete in my words, especially online, and I have made confession of this to the churches. Many have been harmed by my words, behaviours and discussions. Yet I truly believe, in Christ, that many have been comforted, though I myself am now lacking in many respects. (Often I have come to resent that, yet joy returns and now, increasingly, peace, and the love of the Spirit is growing again within me.)

Music and Magic

Many in the world now place a lot of trust in music. Music is, indeed, beautiful if used correctly. It can calm, comfort and bring relief from pain, especially the emotional sort we see in mental health problems. Yet it can also cause untold harm.

Some, such as a few from my own family and neighbourhood, have suffered enormously from loud music of an abhorrent nature. Yet those days are long past, though my connection with the distressed (both mentally, emotionally and physically) means both they and I feel great pain when the wrong music, substances or spiritualities are mixed.

A confusion can arise when words are misinterpreted. For example, in the Book of Revelation, St. John writes about repenting of “sorcery” (KJV) or “magic” (NIV). I will make little further comment on that here (that is a teaching for elsewhere) but suffice to say that these practices can cause intense hardship for many, especially the vulnerable. (And I myself have had very recent experiences of both.) Music and ungodly spiritualities, as well as violence and substance misuse, all play a part in magic and/or sorcery.

Repentance and the Church

The Church contains secrets. “The secret of the LORD belongs to the LORD.”

Not all are willing or able to be a full part of church life. I know some (very few, though) who struggle at church due to demonic possession, whether presently or in the past. As I have stated repeatedly and verbally, I know those I love in both the church, the World and amongst the mentally ill community. (And I say sorry here to those I have been unable to in person regarding any harms, temporary or permanent, caused by me.)

Many who suffer from mental illness do so due to mental turmoil (often treatable through such practices as mindfulness, meditation or medication, not all of which I agree with) yet some do, indeed, suffer from demonic possession. Thankfully, according to my belief and the belief of many others (in my experience), we are in a time of great healing.

Yet it remains true that the words of Jesus Christ the Righteous Messiah are constant, and He states that “None come to the Father except by Me.” [God is present in Three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, an Eternal Co-Existence of the Godhead, with Jesus being the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.]

Moya Brennan and Enya, formerly of Clannad. The theme of Robin of Sherwood, a favourite TV programme of mine own.

Healing and Salvation

The word of God is vital. Yet many now confuse matters by conflating healing with the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. Healing comes through Jesus Christ if it be true. Medications (such as cannabis, properly prepared, valerian, taken correctly, and certain other herbal medicines) can help, as can many spiritual practices.

Others, however, are harmful. I myself have made my repentances and keep to that which I need. Others also have their coping mechanisms. The Truth of God’s Word, the Bible, must endure, yet I personally believe that many should be allowed their own ways of coping.

Demonic Possession and Healing

There are two primary methods of healing (apart from the Teaching of the Word) in the Church: the laying on of hands (corrupted in the past into “faith healing”, an erroneous and dangerous practice carried out by spiritualists) to heal physical ailments, and the casting out of demons. I am untrained and little gifted in either, yet I have practiced “deliverance ministry” to varying degrees of success.”

May the Lord of all Creation; Father, Son and Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you this Day. – Mark H. (of a Heart of Flesh in Truth.)

Warning: Message For US Residents Only

Dear fellow mental health sufferers who dwell in the US, especially those remaining in California.

Please do read my blog but first this warning to you.

According to the ancient wisdom of the Bible where there is bitter envy and strife there is confusion and ever evil work. It also states in the Bible that Jesus Christ cast our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

The flat earth theory, whether true or not, teaches that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. London and very near to my own residence, along with my current place of both retreat and forbidden work, lies upon or near to the Greenwich Meridian.

I have read yesterdays newspaper reports about the rise of anxiety in Britain of those who are young and use social media. Britain uses a mix of communication methods, many Old World, Some New World (increasingly) whilst those who trust in nature resort to the Eastern philosophies and meditations. These cannot be mixed without dangerous side-effects.

Prescription medications almost invariably mix the two (east and west) through synthesising. This may or may not be safe (see previous testimonies) yet to outlaw and persecute a person for their beliefs and spirituality causes great harm.

The Bible is clear: salvation belongs to Christ alone. It cannot be bought (e.g. through sale of adulterated coffee to young teenagers in the UK) or sold (e.g. through purchasing of additives to tobacco from the east.)

Every person needs comforts and strengths. Blesséd are those who rely solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, through the gist of the Father through the sacrifice of the Son. (The Blesséd Trinity.)

Few, if any, of the mentally unwell can so access such refuge in times such as these, however. That is why I am working after a very stressful night of writing poems, making notes and stealing a little water and the available, yet to me harmful, milk.

I have made promises to return to my earthly home before the weekend yet due to the nature of my host on this short spiritual retreat promises have been made for my return earlier (note, please, that I speak in terms of a fleshly journey by car, not an appearing in heaven).

I have used forbidden knowledge, as my initial testimony shared with a psychiatric nurse confirms, to gain insight into the causes of this dangerous “healing.”

(I saw the TV yesterday. I know who is editing their speeches. I know who is protecting me. I know those who will have access to this message will in some way benefit.)

REPORT OF MY REVELATION, for the benefit of the mentally unwell who dwell in the US. The NHS is a blessed institution and private healthcare damages and destroys those who love life more than money and possessions.

Misty Moon

[This is the first of the Misty stories. Come on children, let’s make this a team effort!]

Misty was a silly cat, really. Never the mind, as Orinoco would say, we love him, for he lives with the Berry’s now. Everyone agreed, apart from Smokie. Well, Smokie, otherwise known as Great Uncle Bulgaria, often disagreed when people didn’t agree with him.

Smokie accused people, but this isn’t a story about Smokie. This is about Misty and Orinoco on a particular date. (I know, Fern, one of the treatment centre cats, often said silly things in front of children. “For their own good!” Big Nanny would say. But Greenfeather would shake his head and sit under Fern.

Well, Orinoco knew better, for he had spent the night with Misty and said with a giggle, “Sick people need treatments, what we need is a good roast dinner!” Everyone agreed. Agreed is good, but a greed is not. The Fruit Bat had told him that one, one night when they had prayed in the bedroom together with Smokie’s stuff whilst Elfin played around with the apple.

Misty had seen it all, except for the Sea of Love, which was the beginnings of The Mission. That night she was busy with the Fruit Bat as well.

Greenfeather always provided, even for himself. You see, Greenfeather was a good elf.

“He’s not a good elf!” said Smokie as he was burning the oven. And quite right he was, too.

“Let us forgive and forget!” said Elfin, but Orinoco and Misty couldn’t forget, for they had had guilty pleasures. “And a good job they did!” was Greenfeather’s response, but it was the first time any of them had seen Big Nanny cry.

“It’s okay, Nanny, I love you,” said Elfin.

“I love you too, very much!” said Big Nanny, and they all gave three big Hurrah’s to the Wise Men.

My Christmas

Christmas was very difficult for me.

I travelled down to Dorset on Christmas Eve with my Nan and uncle (who was driving) to visit my brother and family. An intense time of trial ensued, culminating in my freaking out during the evening of Christmas Day. I am not proud of that, and I now owe my brother a new door as I headbutted it intending to release my pain through self-harm (sadly the door was cheap and broke rather than giving me the desired bruising.)

The Blessings

There were many blessings, including a game of Ludo on Christmas Eve which we agreed was the best game of Ludo EVER! (I had a huge giggle fit thanks to my niece which required the first of two “halftimes” in the epic game.)

Gift giving was also a huge blessing, especially being able to bless my niece with a beautiful painting I had bought.

The Devil Was Present

I explored the garden and surrounding area a little and it is a dark place.

My brother’s rented property has a hideous graven image of the Devil by the back door. It didn’t disturb me too much but explains well the haunting my brother and his wife told me about in the house. Spiritual warfare ensued most fiercely.

In Summation

I intend on visiting my brother again, mainly because I want to have Christian input into my niece. She suffers from mental health issues including demonic oppression.

I do not think, however, that I can celebrate Christmas with my family anymore. The majority of them pay either no regard or are openly hostile towards Christ.




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)

People and Hiding

People and Hiding
Sometimes moments alone are needed.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/man-solitude-tree-leaning-resting-1156543/

He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:5

“Don’t hide away!” “Get out and about more, it’s not good to be alone!”


How many times have you heard this? Should we, as people with mental health disorders, listen?

Well, I may not be saying this in the same way as many of my fellow Christians, but though I agree with them in mind and spirit, I would put it differently to some of them and say that no, we should not always listen.

Being Part of the Community

Yes! When people tell you that it is not good to be alone or that hiding yourself away is not a good idea, then by and large they are correct. For a man or a woman to be constantly secluded in their own little world is dangerous, not only for those with mental issues but for anyone. 

One can head off into undesirable thoughts and watch and do undesirable, even sinful, things. A person, in this day and age, may watch a lot of TV or spend a lot of time on social media – and bear in mind that watching TV and even talking with people on social media is still being alone in some deep sense even if communication is maintained.

I myself love music. I started listening to music as a child – The Wombles of Wimbledon Song and such like! – and in my teenage years took to music greatly. I would spend hours listening to music alone (and, in the early 90s it was rather de rigueur to smoke cannabis whilst doing this) until I started hearing messages in the music. And then? My first hospital admission came when I was 20 years old. No, hiding away is not good.

Being Part of the Body

Even as I grew to know Christ I would still hide away a lot. I would still spend hours alone in my room, listening to music – though for a time much of this music was Christian or semi-Christian – and I would stay away from church for many a week, sometimes for lengthy periods.

Being alone away from the Body is not good. Even the monastic life – which I do approve of in many respects – was one of community. (Personally I prefer the Celtic Church form where, I believe, monasteries were retreats and mission centres for evangelism and ministry carried out by the monks in the world rather than the monks being taken totally out of the world.) And even the ancient way of the hermits was often done not with a total retreat from society but as a purifying experience after long years of a monastic life and often were still attached to a monastery from which monks would often come to the hermit.

Yet a monastic life and especially a hermitic life is for very few and most of us are called to be part of the church in the context of still being in the world (the community around us). Note the following from Psalm 27:

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me.

Psalm 27:4-5.

Here we see the words “in the house of the Lord,” “inquire in His temple,” and, “He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me.

I am reliably counselled that the safest interpretation of this verse in these times of the Church is that these terms I have emphasised in bold refer to the Body of Christ; His Church, and specifically for us, a local church.

To be a member of a local church and to engage in regular fellowship, especially but not limited to the Lord’s Day, is a vital part of being a follower of Jesus Christ. It is, after all, His ordained means of protecting and nurturing believers and a faithful minister of a church will do those things through his preaching and shepherding and through the mature saints who are also members. (Private prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures are also vital means.)

When we distance ourselves from the assembling of ourselves together we become vulnerable to the wiles of the devil, as I myself can painfully testify, and this assembling cannot be replaced by phone calls, emails or social media.

When we need time alone

Sometimes, though, time needs to be spent by oneself. Sometimes this may be unavoidable – I live in a flat by myself and oftentimes I am forced to be alone. In such times we need to remember that the Lord is still with us; He watches us when we are in company and when we are alone, when we are awake and when we are asleep: his care and love for us does not waver if we have given ourselves to Jesus.

Other times it may well be beneficial for us and others for us to retreat to a quiet place. This can be especially true for some of us with a history of mental health problems. 

If we are prone to anger we would do well to retreat if we feel our anger will spill out at another person unrighteously. “The wrath of man does not produce righteousness.” A few moments or even longer away from a potentially explosive situation is not wrong and is actually a very good policy.

At other times we may feel a panic attack coming on and a few moments alone in prayer and reflection may help calm us down. 

At other times we may find a social situation overwhelming and at such times retreat into a room by oneself or out into the garden may help. This may even be true of a church service, though if one is able it is good to remain in a church throughout a service. Sometimes I have found that staying in church for the whole service becomes so difficult for me that it is best to step outside for a little while before returning into the service.

If you find that this has helped you in the past try to do so without causing disturbance or offence to another if possible; I try to pick a convenient moment to hold off until, rather than missing a sermon or a Scripture reading and I now tend to sit towards the back and toward the end of a pew if I am able as this enables me to go outside briefly before returning. Sometimes that would not be possible and if I am invited to sit with a brother I will tend to do so rather than unnecessarily excuse myself from sitting next to him, yet I am still able to give myself permission to go outside if needed.

Returning to Being with People

Whatever the situation, unless it is one where you are being severely tempted by the surroundings and need to leave permanently it is best not to stay alone for too long before returning; just long enough but no more (especially true of a church service.) 

It is better to do this personal, temporary retreating than end up having an extremely distressing time which may cause you to be fearful of attending such events again. 

And, as time goes on you may find that such times of excusing yourself get less frequent and of shorter timespans. One important thing whatever necessitates your retreating to be alone is to remember the Apostle Paul’s words to “pray without ceasing.” When retreating to be by yourself do not get lost in your own flights of fancies or worryings but rather pray quietly to the Lord, even silently if that is most convenient such as if you are in a public place such as a front porch or outside the church. That can be difficult sometimes, I know, but try to build that practice of prayer into your everyday life in every place and time.

To conclude

In most things in life it is good to have balance. To be constantly or predominantly alone can be harmful and to be constantly seeking to be with people can be harmful, especially if we end up seeking out the company of ungodly people in pubs and in clubs, for example.

As people who have suffered much from mental disorders we can find it hard to be wise and discerning in these matters, but most of the time seeking a healthy balance is a good way forward.

When Being Alone is The Only Option

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed? So distressed, so fearful? You try to reach out but no-one seems to be there. You are alone and you want to depend on God, but then it seems like you are being judged by God rather than comforted? You yearn for even the comforters which Job had rather than be alone with the burden of your failings and your sins.

Scripture reading and prayer are vital, especially when forced solitude is upon us.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dawn-dusk-fog-landscape-man-mist-1868418/

Family and Friends

I have been feeling like that. Family has become distant. In many cases this has been my fault. I have pushed many of my family members away. Others so want to help but do not know how to and so offer to receive a call I cannot make. My uncle said this very thing and said he didn’t know how to help. My reply? “I don’t know how you can help, either.”

Friends have proved themselves not to be friends in need or I have pushed them away, too. Many of my “friends” took drugs or engaged in filthy talk and I no longer want anything to do with that, so I have pushed them away or they have chosen themselves to become distant. My judgementalism hasn’t helped here, even though I am glad to no longer be seeing those who have led me astray (and vice versa!)

Those friends in church I have become close to so want to help but every Christian has struggles and responsibilities and often it can seem as if they are otherwise engaged in peforming some very vital tasks or ministries – tasks and ministries which I have not wanted to get in the way of.

What, then, to do?

There can be no option in times like this. We must seek God. We may feel the heavy weight of His hand yet we need to cling to the promises which are ours in Christ. Reach out to God through prayer. I am reading about Simple Prayer (note 1) right now: prayer without any pretentiousness or any attempt to be perfect; just my fears, burdens and even my terribleness, and thus drawing near to the Holy God through His Son who died for us.

Scripture can be an immense help and has been for me. Sometimes, though, even the Scriptures can appear to be condemning us. I have recently read 1 Corinthians 13 a number of times and the verses on the nature of love have left me feeling as if I do not know love at all. Psalm 23 is a wonderfully comforting Psalm, yet recently as I’ve read of lying down in green pastures I can think of none which are currently thought of as a blessing in a godly way, and when I’ve read of goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life I have wondered where this goodness and mercy has gone to.

Yet perservere! Now I am finding that both of those passgaes are coming to life again and I am finding that comfort I thought I might have lost forever.

Church

In times like these I have found church to be vital. Though I have battled hard – very hard – to keep up church attendance and have, at times, felt only intermittent comfort from those weekly times, I am now finding such a comfort and encouragement from those attendances and they are such a good reminder that God’s people are still here, they still welcome me and they still love me, and you!

(Note 1: Prayer by Richard Foster, published by Clays Ltd, St. Ives, 1992)