What’s Up? November 2019 Edition by Ken David Stewart
As a Christian one thing is very apparent to me. When you really start pressing in or basically step up your game for Jesus, the devil will retaliate. This form of retribution appears to be in direct proportion to the degree one attempts to know Jesus intimately and tries to follow his example and teachings. If you are active to any degree in a ministry, it’s like Satan has put a target on your back. The key is not to let him defeat you. If one gets serious about his walk with Jesus expect backlash.
For the last few years my life has followed a pattern that I want to break. My life has been a series of extreme mountains and valleys. From August to the beginning of November 2019, I felt greatly blessed and highly favoured. I just recovered from a two month period of being so depressed that I could barely function. I was not quite bedridden, but I was definitely couch ridden. About the only time I vacated the couch was to go upstairs to use the bathroom. Now that’s what you call clinical depression. During June and July all I could do was watch television. For the Christian who suffers from depression the battle is also one of intense spiritual nature. The devil loves using major affective disorder or clinical depression as of mighty and effective tool in his arsenal. He wants to keep the Christian down. Once he has you functionally out of commission, you can no longer do him any damage. When I am stranded on the couch, my spiritual life dies. I no longer read the Word, spend time with Jesus, pray for myself, my family and others. In other words, my ministry and spiritual life has been halted dead in its tracks.
Looking back on it, I think I may know part of the reason I fell into such miserable state. But what I’m not sure of is what brought me back to the land of the living once again. Certainly it was nothing that I did because I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything. One day I simply woke up and started to feel a bit better. Within a couple of days, I could feel my depression start to break and I actually felt like doing a few small things. Within a week or two, I was finally back on my feet. What I was not expecting were such great compassion from the Lord. I’m a part-time substitute teacher and I experienced the best season I had ever had up until the beginning of November 2019. I was being very well received by the students and was asked by several teachers if they could request me to substitute in their classrooms. Although I’m still experiencing some pain in my left knee it was manageable and allowed me to keep working.
After many years I found a church that I enjoyed attending. This was quite an experience for me as most of my life I didn’t like attending church. I would only go to a church service on rare occasions.
Overall, I was enjoying every day of my life during this three month period of God’s extreme favour. During this whole time, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was feeling uncomfortable. This felt too good to last much longer. I almost felt high every day for three months.
During this season I was really pressing in with my spiritual life. I started to pray for people in the church that I was now attending.
Aout the second week of November I felt that my overall mood was starting to decline and even get a bit low. I was very afraid that I was starting to go down into another depressive cycle. During this time, I caught a bacterial infection that was very severe. As of this writing, I’m still not fully recovered from it. To make matters worse, the pain in my left leg and the was becoming intense. It seemed that every time I got up and moved around, even a little bit, the pain would start to escalate. How was I going to go to work when I was in constant pain?
During this time I continued to keep up with writing my blogs, and working on my fiction writing and podcasts. During periods of clinical depression,I am usually unable to write all. My writing was going very well for a while until I started running into many technical challenges. My computer was on its last legs and was not functioning properly. I purchased some new video equipment as I was interested in starting up a YouTube video series again. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t seem to get my new camcorder working.
I am now fully aware that I was under spiritual attack. I decided to take some actions. I told myself that I was not going to sink into another severe depression this time. The vicious cycle would need to be broken, once and for all. I began to decree this in Jesus name. I started to read my God’s promises books on my Samsung tablet. I also started listening to my God’s promises audiobooks. I have started to speak the promises out loud and include them in my podcasts. I put God in remembrance of his promises. I made a decision to remain optimistic during this time of spiritual attack.
Whisper by Ken David Stewart
It was back, Big Time. Harold Peyton found himself in the clutches of the most devastating episode of clinical depression that he had ever experienced in his sixty-five years. He was used to this. Harold suffered from the type of depression that was episodic in nature. He was not depressed all the time, but large chunks of his life had been lost. During these times, Harold would succumb to the vast darkness of depression. What Winston Churchill described as his ‘black dog’.
Harold just wanted to shut down and block out the whole world. He sat in a broken down office chair adorned with torn upholstery. Harold was a published author and was working on a new mystery novel. The problem was that he couldn’t get his muse turned on. Every time he tried to think of a new idea to move his plot along, his mind went blank.
Harold just stared at the blank word document on his computer screen. Everything that he attempted was hard. Harold was grateful that he had a month’s holiday left from his part time job as a substitute teacher. To do a job like that you have to be able to get yourself pumped up and be able to think very sharply. Right now, Harold could do neither.
Harold Peyton was exceptionally fit and healthy for a sixty-five year- old male. He was once a heavy smoker but overcame his addiction to cigarettes twenty years ago. Harold made his physical fitness regimen a top priority in his life. He rode his prized black and white Giant Mountain bike every day, even during inclement weather. On alternate days Harold would go to Shapes gym for a forty-five minute resistance training workout. Although he was still a bit pudgy, he carried his excess weight well and was still a physically attractive man. Harold looked at least ten years younger than his chronological age.
Harold lived in a modest home in the suburb of River Heights in the windy city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He loved animals and was presently the proud owner of two dogs and two cats.
Following the frustration of fifteen minutes of totally unproductive writing, Harold got out of his office chair and walked over to the burgundy colored drapes of his picture window. He tugged on the cord that opened the curtains and gazed upon the outside world. The city of Winnipeg experienced an early bitter winter during November 2013. The picture window was covered with intermittent patches of frost and ice. Snow was now falling very heavily.
Harold honestly enjoyed the winter season especially fresh snow falls. He loved the way the tree branches looked when they were covered by shiny, white, snowflakes.
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But today the beauty of the winter season had little effect upon Harold’s somber mood. When he was trapped in this mental state, he was unable to bring himself to experience joy in things and activities that had once brought him pleasure. It was as if his happy button had been turned to the off position.
Harold thought of his ex-wife Clarissa. They had been divorced nearly five years now. Harold missed Clarissa, but he did not blame her for leaving him. What woman could live with the frequent
intense darkness of his moods. During these times Harold would totally ignore her as he closed himself off from the entire world. After staring out his picture window for about two minutes, Harold could hear his dogs barking loudly and sharply. He soon realized what was upsetting them.
A white Ford 150 truck was parked directly across the street from Harold’s house. He could see the black hair of a large burly man in the driver’s seat. He was very angry at a young female who looked to be in her early twenties
Harold watched as the man pushed his female passenger out of his truck and onto the ice packed snow covering the road. He tossed a large orange and turquoise colored duffle bag onto the street. It almost hit the young woman who was lying prostate on the street. The angry male yelled a few vile obscenities at his female victim and then drove away in his Ford 15 Harold watched the young woman slowly and painfully rise to her feet. She was wearing only a grey hoodie sweatshirt, black, sweat pants with a tear in one knee and a pair of well worn red Converse running shoes. She was now standing in the street shivering on this cold day in March. A black Honda Accord honked loudly at her as he came close to colliding with the girl who now had tears streaming down her cheeks causing her mascara to run.
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.