This is podcast number four from the Ken
David Stewart show. I am presenting an introduction on the topic of major affective disorder. If you suffer from depression or know someone who does this podcast may be helpful to you or them. Thank you for listening.
I got saved when I was 27 years old. The only reason that I said the prayer of salvation was that I wanted fire insurance or in other words, I did not want to go to hell. Following my salvation experience my walk with the Lord has been very problematic to say the least. In my case, I cannot honestly state that it was a walk. It can be more accurately described as a stumble with many returns to my pre-Christian way of life. During my life I have fallen into the depths of depression and spiritual darkness. At times in my life, I felt like I have been submerged in the pit of hell.
I have often struggled with affection or any kind of liking towards my fellow man. I admit that on numerous occasions I had a strong distaste for people, both believers and unbelievers. I’ve attended many churches, this was most of the time due to the influence of my wife, Martha. She is a very strong Christian woman.
Over my life. I’ve especially had a difficult time with the Bible, the church and other Christians. All three have failed to meet my expectations on many occasions. There have been long periods of time when I have adamantly refused to attend any Christian services or Christian events. I selfishly disregarded the pain, disappointment and frustration that I caused my wife. In a very cavalier manner, I thought that I could not tolerate the hypocrisy that was being demonstrated by my fellow believers and the church.
As I am blessed to have a great deal of insight about myself, I also fully recognize that I am a hypocrite too. I thought that by avoiding contact with the church and other believers, I was at the very least, saving God’s Kingdom from one more hypocrite, namely, myself. There were times that I was either physically or emotionally too impaired to attend church. Perhaps, at these times, I had some excuse.
I have very mixed feelings about the first Baptist Church that I attended. I respected and appreciated the zeal and moral integrity of my first pastor. He would visit our home quite frequently. The Baptist pastor and I had some very serious discussions about the Christian life. The pastor and I got into many a heated argument. At the time I was employed at a job that I utterly detested and was suffering with extreme issues of low self-esteem. I told the pastor that I wanted to quit my job for the sake of my own health and sanity. The pastor sternly rebuked me for wanting to take away the financial security and economic welfare of my wife and family. I was very hurt by this rebuke.
I was quickly drafted into the role of being a leader in the 20% of any congregation that takes charge and gets things done. This is the same principle, whether in the secular world or the Christian world. 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
In this capacity I attended weekly Bible studies, served as an advisor to the Sunday school faculty and went along on local missionary drives. I was highly regarded for my abilities as both a student and as a teacher. My pastor respected my intellectual acuity and my sincere desire to play a significant role in the growth of the church.
Unfortunately, my honeymoon with the Baptist Church did not last very long. My personal lifestyle and attitudes showed little change after I became a Christian. To tell you the truth, they demonstrated no change at all. I continued to smoke tobacco, drink alcohol and listen to my favourite band, the Rolling Stones.
There were other issues as well. My family and I lived in a mobile home. We seemed to constantly be having problems with our plumbing, furnace and appliances. As I had absolutely zero aptitude for any skill set beyond the intellectual and educational, a small team of church goers volunteered or were appointed to give me some handyman assistance. I was not in the financial position to have any professionals repair my home. After a while, one of my church helpers told me that from now on I should learn how to do my own household repairs. This was well before the days of You Tube, so it was very difficult to learn any handyman skills on my own. After all, no one had taught me. I started to be infested by a strong spirit of resentment toward my fellow Christians at my first Baptist Church.
How I Was Able to be Delivered From My Hatred of the Church and Christians
Yesterday evening, my wife, Martha received a long- awaited breakthrough. Her husband, Ken David Stewart agreed to attend the spiritual gifts training session at a wonderful church in Winnipeg. I don’t feel comfortable naming the church right now because I don’t have permission from the pastor. This occasion was a powerful breakthrough for both me and my wife. Her prayers regarding my refusal to go to any Christian functions had finally been resolved.
Why did it take six years? Actually, it was more than six years of living in Egypt or in the wilderness. I suffer from long periods of clinical depression. During these painful times of my life, I sink deeper and deeper into spiritual darkness and often wish that I were dead. I go into my cave. I don’t want to be bothered by anyone. My whole life appears hopeless. I fall back into my numerous addictions while I’m in this dark spiritual state. The country singer Hank Williams wrote a classic gospel song called I Saw the Light. Hank later admitted that his problem was that he did not see the light. Mr. Williams had quite accurately assessed my spiritual state while in the darkness and bondage to demonic oppression.
While many people don’t understand my journeys into oblivion, my wife does. She knows that this pitiful horrible state is not where I want to be. During these times, I find it difficult just to get off the couch. These times, in the spiritual wilderness and darkness may last from one month to four months. Physical challenges are usually not far behind. I will often contract a bronchial infection or an exacerbation of my COPD. During my time on my white sofa, I usually do nothing more than watch true crime stories on TV, especially the programs dealing with serial killers such as Charles Manson, Ed Gein. John Wayne Gacey, Aileen Wournos and Ted Bundy. God can redeem this time in the future by giving me a prison ministry.
I’m presently 67 years old and I really don’t want to pass on anytime soon. Some may say that sounds like a horrible thing to say. Sure, I’d rather be with Jesus but right now I’m, enjoying myself. Life is just too good now since my recent breakthrough. The Lord has revived me enough to start engaging in lay community ministry. My left knee is still hampering me from leaving my house on many occasions. A recent x-ray has confirmed that I have severe arthritis in my left knee. I can now only walk a short distance without the assistance with the assistance of an off -loader knee brace and a cane. I will be consulting with my surgeon, Dr. Balageorge, in order to explore my treatment options.
In the meantime, I will continue to praise Jesus. Thank you Jesus for healing my knee 2000 years ago. As I struggle upstairs using my arms and hands for leverage, I keep repeating, aloud, I am healed. There is nothing wrong with my knee, by His stripes I am healed. In His own time, the Lord will give me the manifestation of my healing. I do not doubt this.
My apologies for going down another rabbit hole. This is my tendency when I am writing my blog or doing a podcast.
As my clinical episode of depression gradually faded away, I slowly began to enjoy a few things in life. How do I get out of this horrible debilitating depression? I don’t know. It was nothing that I did or didn’t do. My theory is that I had some very strong prayer warriors out there took my case to the courts of heaven. Jesus declared me not guilty and told me that I was once again a free man.
On Thursday, September 19, 2019. Martha and I attended training session on using the spiritual gifts. The training was led by a very anointed pastor. As the pastor was trying to start the evening’s program, the church’s audio system was having serious sound issues. I, and three other people volunteered to see what we can do to solve the audio system problem. We all tried different fixes without success. I then decided to ask the Holy Spirit to help. Within a minute or two, one of the volunteers found a way to get the sound system functioning. I often use this technique at home. If I tried fixing something and have exhausted my supply of practical knowledge, I will ask the Holy Spirit to solve the problem and He usually comes through. We watched a video by Shawn Boltz. After a short break, the pastor broke us up into small groups. During our first session, a lady gave me a powerful word of knowledge concerning how I am perceived by strangers. It was a hard word, but I told her that the word was very accurate. This lady was saying that I showed a very hard exterior to most people. She also said that I did not appear to like people. I told her that this was very true. My small group then prayed for me. As I was walking towards the foyer of the church, a different lady offered to pray for me. She prayed for my arthritic knee. Her prayer was much appreciated.
Next I looked towards the back of the sanctuary and saw the pastor and another lady having a conversation. I was led to ask for a powerful Holy Spirit prayer. Fortunately for me they agreed. I disclosed to them not only my obvious arthritic pain, but also for a change of attitude. A real attitude adjustment towards the church and other brothers and sisters took place. The irony is that I am a believer, myself. I am saved, spirit filled, talk in tongues, receive words of knowledge and visions from the Lord. The whole nine yards.
I never thought that I would write a Christian book,
as I never had any desire to write a book whose genre would be either Christian
or religious. I’m certain that I own over forty different
translations of the Bible. Over the
years I’ve likely read around fifty Christian books by well respected
authors. Some of these books are very
well written and have taught me much important information about the Christian
life. Most likely, my greatest obstacle
to writing about God and the Christian belief system was that I just didn’t
feel that I was a good enough Christian to write anything on the topic of
living the Christian lifestyle.
Throughout my life I had a very performance related
concept of what living an authentic Christian walk was all about. The great difficulty and roadblock I faced
was that I felt that my relationship with God was nothing to write home
about. Although I’ve enjoyed some good
success in my life, my attitude and feelings concerning God and the church were
I started to dwell on my numerous failures in my
life. Several other Christians have been
very critical of my walk with the Lord, and I have to admit that I supplied my
fellow Christians with some ammunition that would cause them to doubt my
sincerity in my walk with Jesus. I found
this personal criticism to be very hurtful, and consequently my attendance at
church and other Christian meetings has been very sporadic. I have told some of my Christian friends that
if I hear one more sermon that tells me why God won’t listen to me and answer
my prayers, I will walk out of the service.
I really don’t need some self-righteous believer who is more than ready
to point out my many shortcomings.
Believe me, I don’t need them pointing out the sins in my life. I know my shortcomings all too well.
During my sixty-seven years on this earth, I have
suffered from many painful, debilitating episodes of clinical depression. There is no way to fully describe the
numerous and various ways my frequent episodic bouts of depression have
derailed my Christian walk. In another
chapter I will likely provide more detail about the devastating effects of
clinical depression upon my life and my walk with the Lord. This disease has
stolen countless years of productivity from my life.
Many of you may find my writing style hard to
understand. My approach to writing most
resembles the methodology known as stream of consciousness writing that was first
introduced to the world of literature by the famous writer James Joyce who
wrote the classic novel, A Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man. Stream of
consciousness writing often presents as one stream of thought intuitively
flowing into another. In other words, it
appears to lack structure as it is very free-flowing style of writing.
The alternative unconventional fiction writing of Ken David Stewart now includes A Christian With an Attitude podcasts