When Calamity Strikes

When Calamaty StrikesI’m currently in the process of vacuuming out the flooded basement of my new old house; it’s now 3:56 am. The water began seeping through the walls and floors yesterday after the recent rains we’ve been experiencing. So much for my plans of a new and positive path for my writing; because, today I must spill my guts in dire frustrations.

These past two weeks have been nothing less than a living hell and no, I have not been diagnosed with cancer, or lost my ability to walk or speak. However, what has happened is that my divine connection with the Holy Spirit has all but vanished and my steadfast faith is dwindling day after day? What on earth has caused this travesty?

Roughly two months ago I began seeing a new psychiatrist at the Kenora District Hospital. This meeting was the result of my additions councillor recommending to my family doctor that I see a specialist about my anti-depressant medications. My doctor agreed and made the referral to see the psychiatrist.

However, during the past two weeks I have witnessed life through the lens of a broken-hearted, distraught, and hopeless man. I have experienced a brief relapse with my addictions, but what’s far worse is the fact that I have fallen into a state of sever depression and utter hopelessness!

These new drugs which I am now prescribed are not working out as planned and though I am continually meeting with my doctors and psychiatrist, this matter has escalated into a terrible crisis. This is not the first time I’ve been down this road of changing anti-depressant medications and its a very difficult task in finding just the right combinations. Its something like the little eaglet first stepping off the nest; he either soars in the clouds or falls flat on his beak!

Unfortunately, I am once again finding myself questioning why some people make it though life reasonably care free, while for others it seems to be a constant and endless struggle? I’m not simply referring to someone’s wealth and comfort in life, but more to the critical issues like our physical and mental health. Some people swim while others sink and a person’s resilience to trauma or tragedy begins to falter during their later years.

Today, I’m questioning everything from my online ministry to life itself! Why do I push myself so diligently, spending countless hours writing blogs if they do little more than receive the odd positive comment? And what’s worse is that I’ve sold only a handful of books over these past several years!

If I were to add up all the publication costs of producing my four books and then calculate my hours spent writing these books and blogs at a modest level of compensation; my investment to this cause and ministry is somewhere around a half-million dollars!

Prior to subduing to a crushed spine which resulted from an industrial accident in 2006, I was regularly earning in excess of two-hundred thousand dollars per year. I think my highest was about two-fifty. And when you add the pension plan, company vehicle, and full benefits; it’s probably closer to three-hundred thousand per year. But now I receive less than 15% of that yearly income through disability benefits. Therefore, spending all my savings and extra income on writing, when it brings little to no return and apparently influences very few people seems senseless to me at this point in time?

Truthfully speaking, I am currently at a great crossroads with my life. Why should I continue sharing my testimony if it is not being heard or shared? I pray each and every day for God’s grace to help me improve upon my writing skills so that my efforts and life experiences help inspire others who are suffering and lost. But this is not happening?

Why has everything I have ever tried to do or accomplish in life failed so miserably? This statement is not about my self-pity; because that thinking helps no-one! It’s about life and the fact that life is far from being fair! My half-million dollar homes which I used to own currently look pretty darn good compared to my eighty-year-old house, with its countless problems and deficiencies.

Definitely, I should be happy to have a roof over my head; especially when you consider the reality that more than half the world’s population does not even have a refrigerator, or running water! But that does not mean I like to live in an old scow of a house! The more we once had in life but lost, the harder it is to accept the things we no longer have; like a caring and loving wife!

Poverty, loneliness, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and anger are difficult things to wake up to every single day of one’s life. And to top it off, battling relentless and deadly addictions every moment of every day, is a compounding nightmare!

Where is the peace and joy I was promised in the Bible? I know they exist and it’s possible to achieve these precious things; because, I have experienced brief periods of these wonderful blessings in the past several years.

However, today is an entirely different story and according to God, there is a reason for all things. But I truly cannot see any logic or benefit to my sad state of mind and spirit?

One day at a time is all I can hope for these days; after all, this is all we truly have in life. Perhaps the new drugs my psychiatrist prescribes this morning will help me with my current negative outlook on life? I do hope so, because living in a dark and painful place is truly a curse with no equal! When you add in lifelong chronic and deliberating pain, with a mindset that provides no hope or joy; the outcome is quite inevitable.

At this point in my life I really can’t guarantee or promise anything to my forty committed readers. And though my writing days might be over I will keep on praying. Because I still believe in God and without him I have nothing; for only he can break me free from this yoke of bondage and discouragement.
I long for those days when I had many friends and a family who cared for me when I was sick or injured. Fortunately, my daughter Nicole still loves me; however, she has her own life to live and I want her to experience all that she can!
I thank God for my two black labs Tigi and Willow; for without them I would be lost to a world that has changed so dramatically over the past forty years that it is heartbreaking to witness. From ISIS to Gay Rights, the world is in a tail spin of all tailspin’s. What once was normal is now condemned and what once seemed impossible to believe, is now the accepted norm. It’s no wonder that my mind is coming apart at it’s seams!
If I can offer only one closing thought as insight for my readers, it would have to be; never judge a person or their motives till you’ve walked a day in their shoes.

Thank you and God bless.
Victor

Conviction vs. Condemnation

Condemnation vs. ConvictionUntold life secrets are hidden away, they are all but obscured from the human mind and a prime example of this paradox is conviction vs. condemnation. These two words are miles apart in reality, yet they may appear similar to the naked eye. The difference is that condemnation equals guilt, while conviction equals remorse and repentance. Two entirely different scenarios that can alter a person’s quality of life in countless different ways.

I lived under the burden condemnation for most of my life due to its circumstances; however, I was finally blessed with the ability to tell these two apart and this is a great revelation for one’s life. It allows the person to see and understand before acting upon impulse. In most twelve step meetings this scenario is referred to as; “playing the entire tape through”.

Once a misguided thought or feeling has been put into action it typically cannot be reversed. This holds true in most cases and no matter what we do or how hard we try; its impossible to change the outcome! It then becomes history and we must live with the results from these actions and feelings. Having the inner ability to know and understand a motive before it becomes reality is a wonderful gift and this can only come from a Power far greater than ourselves.

The gift of sound and righteous reasoning is a process that requires constant development. However, being saved and walking in faith allows for conviction to outweigh the condemnation; even after an incorrect decision has been made and the resulting consequences are not what we would like to see.

A prime example is an alcoholic who strives for excellence but falls short of God’s glory time and time again. We do not want to drink or take drugs, but something evil triggers our inner cravings and all that hard work in sobriety is cast aside. The addict is suddenly overcome by forces that cannot be explained with mere words and ultimately they become subdued by their vices.

A true believer is pardoned from the offence of sin, providing they are convicted and immediately get back up to fight again! We do not look back upon our failures as an end game, but forward to the hope of one day being empowered and capable of overcoming this evil that has once more left us powerless in it’s tracks. Sin is sin no matter how you slice it; however, forgiveness and repentance are clearly established within the word of God. But we do not use this gift as a get out of jail free card! Because we are experiencing conviction, not condemnation and in reality, this is God’s love for all people who chose to believe.

I clearly remember the wrath of condemnation ripping apart my life at its very seams! The harder I tried to overcome addictions through my own efforts, the worse my condemnation became when I would slip up. Each failure brought about a worsened state of mind which eventually led the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide.

Condemnation is not restricted to the alcoholic or addict; it is just as lethal to a defenceless child who was abused, or to a loving spouse who is betrayed through infidelity. These people are just as likely to experience the death-blow of condemnation and the only thing that removes these overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse; is one’s faith in the grace of God!

Without the amazing gift of grace, each time something terrible happens in life we blame ourselves and the noose tightens around our necks. We become lost to the condemnation and our lives loses its vibrancy; its as though a cloak of grey covers over the world as we see it!

However, conviction trumps out condemnation and allows the sinful people that we are, to move forward in our quest for righteous living. If we live in the hope of tomorrow rather than the shame of yesterday, we can then move forward in life. Without conviction this would not be possible; because, the guilt and anger keep us locked in the past. Our misfortunes become a destiny!

Our true and inner heart is the deciding factor on whether the resulting effects will be condemnation or conviction, after a poor or negative decision has been made. A person must choose their life’s direction and this is the blessed gift of free will.

We are all unique beings and each is different from another; good or bad, we shall all face our maker one day to answer for our actions during life. The only constant in the universe as we know it is God’s word; everything else has the component of opinion to one degree or another. But when we allow the Bible open up our hearts our eyes will follow and in turn, our behavior becomes more Christ like. Only then will the power of conviction surpass condemnation and its heavy yolk of guilt and shame. May your days be filled with peace.


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 ESV


 

The Curse of Suicide

The Curse of SuicideIt terribly unfortunate that in today’s society most people have been touched in some way or form by the vile and terrible “Curse of Suicide” during the course of their lives. Suicide has become a massive plague that has spread across the entire globe and appears to be gaining momentum as the years pass by. What evil can cause a person to take their own life and how do we stop what cannot be clearly understood?

Todays post on suicide is the seventh and final blog in my series on personal testimonies. I hope this finality will bring about a change in my writing style and that my past focus around negativity will now shift to a more positive experience for my readers.

In some small way a part of me is now moving onward and through this transition I truly hope a brighter and more seasoned message will come to bear fruit for those who suffer.

We all experience growth in our Christian walk of faith and I am no different from any other believer. However, my goals remain unchanged. That I may reach lost and suffering soles through believers just like you to offer my testimony as a living example of the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! For no problem is too big for our God; may my books and blogs pass along this lifesaving message. Thank you for helping share my story with those in need.


The Curse of Suicide

I believe the year was 1976 when suicide first touched my life. I was a beaten and hopeless youth who saw no other way out from my life’s situation. I tried running away previously, but that failed miserably and no matter what I did in life it only seemed to fuel the anger and rage within my father.

It happened during a weeknight in the basement of my parent’s home. Our house sat along the banks and muddy waters of the Red River in Lockport, Manitoba. Rupert Hoilett who was a close friend and experienced great abuse from his father was with me that night. We had planned this evening out before hand and Rupert had come over to spend the night at my house. As far as our parents knew we would simply catch the school bus the next morning to attend classes at the Jr. High School in our small community of St. Andrews.

This evening was originally meant to be another attempt at running away from home. Rupert had brought along some spare cloths in his school bag for the next day and I had everything ready to go on my end. We planned on stealing my father Ford Mustang and would head toward the USA. Thinking back, we probably never would have made it across the international border, if we even made it that far. However, the tragedy of our life situation was blocking out any and all sensibility.

As I walked out the doorway of our basement with my gear all packed, and the car keys in hand Rupert began trembling and crying uncontrollably. I still remember seeing his giant tears running down his colored face. Rupert was black and back in the early seventies colored people were still experiencing persecution in Canada. Even still, he was too afraid to walk through that door with me to run away and end our suffering!

I couldn’t take it any longer! I went straight to the medicine cabinet, took an entire bottle of pills, then brought them downstairs. I gave half the bottle to Rupert and I took half; gulping them down as fast as possible. He began crying even more profusely and would not swallow the pills that I handed him. So I took back his pills and choked them down too. Rupert must have called his parents at some point; because his father pulled up to the doorway. He got in and went home; not telling anyone what had just taken place.

I did not want to live one more second beneath my father’s wrath; because his physical and mental abuse had beaten me to the point of no return! He was a Jekyll and Hyde; plus, my mother did nothing to help me and she turned her head from my suffering. I asked mom before leaving home why she did not leave him and take me away from this abuse and her reply was simple; where would she go?

I don’t remember what happened later that night after taking all those pills or the anything the next day for that matter. It’s as though everything was erased from my memory? I had hoped that by writing everything down in this testimony that it would trigger my memory, but this did not happen. All I can remember is telling one of my teachers shortly thereafter what I had done and asking him why I didn’t die? His answer was that I must have gone to the bathroom and passed the pills during a bowel movement; however, today I realize that’s impossible.

Not long after this attempted suicide I bolted out that door after a big fight with my father at our summer camp in Ontario at Lock Bay. I was fifteen years old and had little more than the cloths on my back. I wasn’t the least bit hesitant about leaving home; because, my world was so messed up that in my mind nothing could be worse!

I moved back and forth from Alberta several times before reaching twenty years of age and meeting my wife to be. I then experienced twenty good years of life; getting married, raising our daughter, forging a company, traveling abroad, and needing absolutely nothing monetary. But then one day the walls caved in on me!

Within a few short years I was divorced, bankrupt, and riding along-side the Hells Angels ! Then one night ten years later while living in an RV camper in Campbell River, BC, I loaded my Remington model 700 30-06 and crawled into a brier in the middle of the night. I didn’t plan on coming out from that tangled mess of bushes; however, once more I do not remember anything past that point?

I woke up the next day with the loaded gun laying on my small kitchen table in my camper and to this day I can’t explain what happened that night? My second failed attempt at suicide stopped me in my tracks! I knew something very special had prevented me from pulling the trigger that night. The more I sought this answer the more I realized the same thing happened back when I was only twelve years old.

I now understand that God had intervened in my life and on two separate occasions thirty-five years apart. Once I realized this or better said accepted this I was saved! My life was immediately changed from the inside out and I have been walking this new and narrow pathway ever since. As soon as I believed in a power greater than myself, I was then able to slowly recover from a lifetime of sin!

It took over two full years of studying the Bible and watching Christian teachings on the internet to obtain a beginner’s level of understanding about God’s word. I began attending church and after trying several different denominations, I finial settled at Lakeside Baptist Church, in Kenora, Ontario. At some point along this new path I began sensing a call to write about my life experiences. However, what began as my prideful endeavor in writing a book about my life; has blossomed into a righteous effort and humble ministry.

I can finally look into a mirror and honestly say that I’ll be okay today, even though I still suffer. I can’t change my past and I certainly cannot predict tomorrows events; however, I will do my best to make today a good day. The only way I can do this is by seeking God each day and then doing my best to help others. I must remove the focus from my life and personal situation to place it on the Lord.
I owe everything I have to God’s saving grace and without his mercy I would be gone from this world long ago. I now realize that when my time does come and I leave this place, I’ll receive God’s gift of eternal life; knowing deep within my heart that I did my very best before my name was called.

There is nothing good about suicide!

 


 

Addictions

Addictions

While my previous five posts dealt with cause; today’s essay will address the first of two effects which come from a troubled life. More times than not; a person who experiences abuse, divorce, bankruptcy, pain, and trauma will find themselves knee-deep in addictions before they even realize what has happened?

 

The disease of addiction can be just as terminal as cancer; it devastates a person’s life leaving them totally helpless against it’s evil wrath. Plus, the diagnosis of this infliction is often just as sudden and unexpected as other terminal conditions.

I did not realize that the drugs and alcohol were ruining my life till I was forty-five years of age and by then this vile oppression had me hook, line, and sinker! I was completely helpless and unable to stop or control my addictions. They had taken control of my life and the more I tried to rid myself from this plague, the stronger my cravings became.

I started drinking at eight or nine and began experimenting with drugs around fifteen. I was buying beer at vendor’s and drinking regularly in bar’s at sixteen with an older friends expired Manitoba Drivers Licence. I remember watching strippers in the Petersfield Hotel on my sixteenth birthday. I had just started to drive legally that very day and this pub with the exotic dancers was 30 miles from home.

Back then, being caught for drinking and driving was only six demerit points if you were even legally charged. I remember having over thirty demerits at one point in my life, but none of these tickets were for impaired driving. I lost my driver’s licence on countless occasions and most times I would simply get an out of province licence to keep behind the wheel.

In my mind this was all normal behavior; I did not realize that my addiction to alcohol was already in place or that it was growing year after year. Life kept on happening and my crazy behavior was something I became fully accustomed too. After marrying Darlene at twenty-three I started seeking wealth and my addictions went into remission during weekdays. However, drinking beer or whisky and taking various drugs was the status quo for all weekends.

Twenty years later things had all changed and my life was in utter chaos! What began as a coping mechanism for someone who’d experienced the misfortunes of life that were mentioned in paragraph one, had turned into a death sentence! It was glaringly obvious to look around me and see the aftermath of a life fueled by drug and alcohol addictions.

By forty-eight I was messed up mentally and enduring a physical handicap from a very hard life. I lost my wife, fortune, and nearly everything else that was dear to my heart along the way. Addictions took away everything good leaving behind a wake of desolation just as the Bible reads in vs. 13:4 from the book of Revelation;

And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

Coming to the realization, confessing my addictions openly, and seeking the way out from my existence of anarchy was the reality that led me to this very day. I sought many forms of help for this oppression for several years, but failed time and time again. It wasn’t until my life had reached its breaking point of hopelessness and suicide when God opened my eyes and heart.

Suddenly, a new path was revealed and a second chance at life had opened its door to me. I openly stepped over that glorious threshold and accepted the Lord’s grace into my wretched life, and was saved! Not only from a life of addiction, but from countless other character defects which I had adopted over the years as normal behavior. My ship had finally arrived and I now look forward to each new day with the opportunities it may bring.

If needed, may you also seek the Lord of hosts and the possibilities of better days. It’s never to late and please understand that no one has gone too far for God’s grace and mercy to penetrate their hard-core exterior. If he can save a lost soul like me, then he can truly save anyone; may you find him today.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.

John 3:16 ESV


 

Hopelessness

Hoplesness

Today’s blog is the fifth in a series of seven special posts that were entitled: The Seven Signs of Secularism. These seven posts focus on my testimony and I truly hope they close the doorway on negativity, as they open a threshold to hope, peace, love, and inspiration. Once the final blog of this series is posted I will try to evolve my writing with the Spirit’s promptings and guidance. I pray the past five years have prepared me for this upcoming challenge.

I believe hopelessness to be the final stage in our mental health deterioration and that this level of oppression can be terminal without divine intervention. Hopelessness has two different paths of self-destruction when left unchecked; the slow and painful death through addiction (which includes incarceration) or the quick and sudden death through suicide. Both avenues offer finality in the war between good and evil in this plane of existence.

Hopelessness means exactly what it says. That a total loss of hope has befallen an unfortunate soul’s existence, and that Satan’s vile has once again ensured another life will accompany him into the eternal lake of fire!

Hopelessness is set apart from anxiety, depression, self-pity, and fear; because it has no known cure. Only a supernatural event can save the truly hopeless from their inevitable fate. I realize this may sound absurd or harsh to some, but I was once that hopeless person and I fully understand the extent of this condition.

I have also borne witness to untold others who lived with the same state of hopelessness as I and few remain alive today. While those who do live on have given up on any chances for change; they accept their fate openly and will follow that path into oblivion.

Prior to God’s mercy and grace penetrating my heart I was doomed to the finality of hopelessness. Nothing worked for me in life and everything was coming to a terrible climax. My paranoia had me in a dark place where I asked myself; do I pull that trigger or do I try praying just one more day? Thank goodness God intervened right then and there. I don’t even remember coming out from the bushes I had crawled into some time prior, but I did not quit on life and I am still here today.

Once God’s presence entered my life there was no way in hell that drugs and booze were taking me out. Not after everything else had failed to silence my light; I wasn’t giving up without kicking and screaming! God only knows the loss and misfortunes I experienced, and whether these atrocities were pre-ordained or not it does not matter; because, I was not giving in to my addictions!

The problem with hopelessness is that you do not care if you live or die! Life has pummeled you to a depth beyond explanation and the resilience to get back up has long since faded. The desire to love or hate is also long gone and nothing remains but an empty shell. I remember thinking to myself that I was good for nothing and everything that I had ever touched in life was all messed up. Before God’s intervention; in my eyes the world would be a better place without me!

This is the mindset of a hopeless soul! As you can plainly see there is nothing good remaining and it is only a matter of time until Satan’s lies and a fallen world has erased your name from the book of life. Hopelessness is the state of reality that makes each day another burden to endure.

Many things can lead a person down this terrible and horrendous path; divorce, addictions, poor health, and bankruptcy are all prime examples of the triggers which cause people to give up on their lives. It can also be the lifetime accumulation of trauma and loss reaching its boiling point, as it was in my case. However, the cause is not nearly as important as the cure.

It’s crystal clear in my mind that only a power which is far greater, stronger, and wiser can free us from the grips of hopelessness. Having the revelation to pray for just one more day certainly did not come from my messed up thinking; it came from God! And ever since that day he has moved me slowly forward; providing all that I need and I am eternally grateful. This is the power that God’s love carries and once we seek this supernatural gift, it comes to grow within a true believer.

I have been and done many things throughout my lifetime, but none felt as though they were natural or righteous. This thing I now do feels like it was meant to be and I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I owe this all to God’s grace and the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all sinners.

Hopelessness can be overcome; however, we must seek this second chance in life with all we have and it will come to those who are true to their heart; for God is all about hope.


When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them
out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:17-20 ESV


CTV Morning News


book-of-seven-new800-x-1200-194x300the sacred secretHR

Last week I was blessed to receive a call from CTV News in Winnipeg, Manitoba and they wanted me to do a live interview on their morning newscast. The segment was taken on Tuesday May 31st at 8:15 am. in their studio. I have provided the link for anyone wanting to watch my interview.

 

….Watch Interview….

 

 


 

Depression

 

Depression

 

The word depression has become an all too common phrase in today’s society and is probably spoken in every known dialect. Its destructive talons grasp far and wide as it overcomes people from every culture, society, and nationality.

 

Depression displays no boundaries between the young and old, nor does it respect wealth or earthly wisdom. This evil condition can be pure hell and there is no easier way to describe it!

Of all the topics I write about depression is likely the most common and that’s because everyone has experienced this oppression to one extent or another. Simply being sad is often diagnosed as mild depression and that is why the word is so common in today’s world.

We live in times where life can be hard and demanding, it moves along so quickly that tragic events can leave a person’s head spinning while they try to understand what has happened?

Over a few short years I lost basically everything tangible in my life and before I knew it I was overcome with severe depression and great anger. How could life have spun me around and spewed me back out to where I was at sixteen? I was back at my beginning; living out of a tent and back in Alberta, but this time I was up north in Fort McMurry looking for work and not in the Bow Valley learning how to become a Millwright.

Depression is often hard to accept and I believe this is due to the reality that we are basing our lives around personal feelings when we should be centering our attentions toward God and others less fortunate. Whenever we put ourselves first in life the probability for sadness, self-pity, and depression are greatly magnified.

In recent years, simply pondering the lives of those who lost the ability to walk or function normally in society brings my ego back down to earth and I am suddenly very grateful for what I do have!

Depression can also be overwhelming to a point where suicide seems the only remaining option and I know this raw form of evil all too well. A person’s feelings are terribly powerful and the mind of someone in a depressed state operates in ways that seem off the scales of normality.

Without faith a depressive state flourishes in misconceptions; whenever something goes the wrong way in life these evil lies become kindled and we believe the world is terribly unfair. But this is simply not true; because life is a gift and our experience is what we make of it. The only way to beat the beast is to take away his powers of deceit and that means trusting in a power that is greater than ourselves!

I was unable to overcome my depression through all the normal avenues in today’s world and though I still take medications, it was almost impossible to smile a true smile until I was born again. Once this supernatural transformation took place I suddenly realized that I was not the only person who had problems in life, and that many had far worse circumstances to face than I ever did. Actually, my life started looking pretty darn good even though my wealth, health, and popularity were nothing like they used to be. I had discovered that money, power, and pleasure were not the great end all at all!

Today, my life has new meaning and a different purpose, but this couldn’t happen until I gave everything to the Lord. God took away my depression and he gave me humility.

It now seems insane to think back and remember that I once wanted to give up on life altogether. How could I have been so selfish to think life was all about me; after all what about my family, or the people I might positively influence during my remaining years?

The truth to this matter is that life is a gift and the sooner we grasp this reality the quicker we can walk away from depression. I’m not saying that your life’s problems will suddenly disappear, because you will likely experience some new one’s. But these difficulties will become manageable and you will live out life knowing that one-day you’ll experience an afterlife; one without the tears, pain, and suffering of this lifetime.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Matthew 24:35 ESV


Wow, buying an eighty-year-old house that mice and squirrels once called home is a huge undertaking and that’s an understatement! However, they have now been evicted and I am presently the sole owner; along with my two Black Labs Tigi and Willow. Thank you for your patience over these past few weeks and I hope to be writing more consistently very soon.

I was asked by CTV News in Winnipeg, Manitoba to do a live interview on their morning newscast, Tuesday May 31st at 8:15 am. If you have a chance to watch this segment then please join us, as we discuss my books and online ministry.


Self-Pity

self-pity 2My two previous blog-posts went into depth about the fears and anxiety which I faced from childhood through adulthood. Therefore, I will now try describing the unwanted and negative results from these evil oppressors, which is often referred to as “self-pity”. Summarizing this oppressed state of mind would be; a person living in remorse over their unfortunate experiences and circumstances in life, be it past or present.

I believe that true self-pity is something that evolves over a longer period of time; because, younger individuals retain the gift of resilience and this offers them a sense of hope. I still remember hoping and praying the next day would bring about something positive and that one day I would take control over my life. Changing its circumstances by leaving home just as soon as I was old enough.

Self-pity is an overwhelming state of mind to find oneself living in and it’s certainly not something that we had expected or prepared ourselves for. A constant attitude of doom and gloom will eventually bring forth the reality of self-pity! Once infected by this negative mindset changing our outlook becomes impossible through our own devices and the longer we stew in our own remorse, the worse our situation becomes.

I first remember self-pity entering the picture following the loss of my welding business and not long thereafter the separation from my wife. Both events were devastating and would prove to have life-long implications. Over the next few years everything I had worked so long and hard to achieve was taken away. My business, marriage, home, and lifelong possessions were all gone! Even my health was stolen away during a serious workplace accident in 2006.

My life became a nightmare and the only way I could solve this puzzle was to drink and do drugs! Whenever I became intoxicated I would blame the world for my misfortunes; even if these problems were the result of my own reckless mistakes. Substances made life bearable; because, in this impaired state of mind it was not my fault that all of these hardships had struck me down. After all, I was a victim and needed something to comfort me.

Addictions are the all too common result from overwhelming self-pity. We need to comfort ourselves so we over indulge with eating and drinking, or we abuse illicit drugs and prescription medications just to cope. Sometimes the only alternative we can see is to give up on life altogether? It’s tragic how some people suffering from severe self-pity make this choice their reality and commit suicide. Self-pity can kill and this is an eye-opening fact; what begins in misfortune ends in tragedy.

Before coming to know the Lord my entire existence revolved around self-pity. It was self-pity that destroyed my life-like a row of dominoes and the worse my life became, the more I would feel sorry for myself. My addictions thrived in this state of existence and I was helpless against this evil oppression. I sought help from doctors, counselors, twelve step groups, and even a psychiatrist, but no one could help me to stop feeling sorry for myself. In my mind I was doomed and could not look into a mirror for very long; I came to hate myself for allowing these terrible things to happen!

Over these past four years I came to realize that countless others have stories similar to my own and many experienced far worse, but this is the reason behind my writing. I feel a need to reach out and share my testimony with those who have lost nearly everything in life. I remember feeling alone in my struggles and that was simply not the case, because God was always with me! As long as you’re still breathing you have an opportunity for redemption and a second chance in life.

God eventually opened my eyes to the reality’s of self-pity and this state of mind is not at all beneficial. It is a destructive shortcoming and a snare of the enemy. We believe the lie as it steals away our entire life and that’s exactly what Satan’s agenda is! To confuse, lie, steal, cheat, oppress, and destroy all that is good. But without this veil of deceit being torn down we cannot see the trees for the forest.

Life simply happens; we will never understand all the reasons behind our life’s circumstances. We can however, choose to focus on today, while hoping for a great tomorrow. Yesterday has come and gone; it has already passed away and the more time we spend worrying about our past, the more tomorrow’s we will lose!

Everyone is given their own piece of life and the only way to evolve our past performances into a more positive and fruitful future, is to believe in a power greater than ourselves.

Chose life; it is by far the more productive and righteous existence! Christianity is a way of life where self-pity rarely enters into the picture. I could not forgive others or release myself from the pain and suffering of my past until I allowed God to remove this heavy yoke. Then everything became possible and my past misfortunes became far off memory’s which seldom come to mind.

I pray that you too may find this wonderful enlightenment and experience God’s grace. Where all things are made possible through the name above all names, in that of Jesus Christ.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle
and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety is a close companion to fear, you might even say that it’s the little brother. However, it appears the way in which today’s medical society treats and associates mental disorders; fear becomes secondary to anxiety? For some reason anxiety seems to be considered the more treatable diagnosis, while ingrained fear is far less likely to be overcome. But this thinking is flawed; for both fear and anxiety can be wiped away clean through the loving grace of God.

I focused primarily upon my younger years in the previous blog; describing the onset of fear in my life. However, anxiety is more often an adult condition and in reality, this is the sequence which I encountered this life altering experience. The strife and suffering brought forth through this shortcoming was immense, and it changed my life forever.

I believe the difference between fear and anxiety can be summed up in just one word; “worry”. Relentless worry can drain a person’s joy and self-confidence, it can cause them to isolate and be withdrawn, or it can become an impending life and death crisis. Anxiety takes on many shapes and forms, but it continually grows from within until it is treated with medication, or controlled through counselling.

Anxiety was triggered in my life by the overwhelming realization of responsibility; both through my marriage and the birth of our daughter. I suddenly realized that I had to become accountable to somebody else! While this may seem normal for most people, coming from a dysfunctional background such as my own, this was an all-encompassing experience.

I was twenty-four years old and living in the small rural town of Plumas Manitoba. I had just opened my first welding shop and had saved enough money through working in the far north for several years as a millwright/welder. Most recently, I had been maintaining supply ships and ice breakers offshore on the Beaufort Sea, where I would be gone for months at a time.

This new business venture was a huge risk; stepping out on my own with only a grade nine education and no prior experience in management. I was scared stupid that I wouldn’t be able to provide for my new daughter and provide the life that she deserved. It was always in the back of my mind to avoid being anything like my father was and to give my daughter a wonderful life that would not resemble my own tragic past!

This constant worry grew inside my mind until things started to unravel. I began experiencing chest pains and heart palpitations whenever I was overexerting myself at work, or found myself in some stressful situation. This overwhelming sensation began to wake me during the night and I would find myself watching TV for hours, trying to calm myself down.

Eventually my life started falling apart. On several occasions I needed my wife Darlene to rush me into the nearest hospital in Neepawa and at all hours of the night. Sometimes the doctors would be contacted at their homes after midnight and each time the same thing would happen. They would hook up a bunch of wires and machines to me, and then after receiving an injection I would be released after a few hours?

I saw doctor after doctor, but they all told me the same thing; that everything was in my head and there was nothing wrong with me! This couldn’t be true, but there were no doctors left in the rural community. I also believed that a larger center was needed if my business was ever to sustain my family, so we packed everything up and moved to Kenora Ontario in 2009.

Low and behold I barely made the move to Kenora in one piece! My heart attack and stroke symptoms continued to worsen as time went by and I could recognize the strain this disease was putting on my marriage. Finally; after another year or so of suffering my family doctor referred me to a psychiatrist and he immediately diagnosed my condition as severe anxiety attacks!

Back then the phrase “panic attacks” was relatively new terminology; however, the doctor prescribed me a drug called clonazepam and the results were amazing! That was twenty-seven years ago and after only the one appointment, I have yet to experience another panic attack episode to this very day.

I cannot adequately describe for you the terrible experience of facing one’s death over and over. Each episode was worse than the last and every time I truly believed that I would be dead within hours. It was a grueling period of life for me and I can’t begin to count the number of times I prayed for God to save my very life, and he did!

After all of those sever panic episodes and my continual miraculous healings, I still did not know how to believe in God? However; I now believe that he had a much different plan. One where I was to experience a great deal of loss, tragedy, trauma, and suffering prior to my salvation!

Without experiencing and living through the past quarter century I could never properly or truthfully write about the things that I do. I strongly believe this was God’s plan for me all along! In that I was to survive all of this and then tell my story to others, so they too might witness the healing powers of God’s mercy and grace. The Lord did for me what he does for anyone who seeks his open arms with a pure heart; anxiety is no match for true faith!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Fear

Fear

I remember only bits and pieces of my childhood and I attribute this period of missing lifetime to my fear. My father was at one point in his lifetime a very angry man; he struggled with chronic pain just as I do, but whether this was the cause for his terrible anger I do not know? Unfortunately, the period of time where his anger was at its worst, fell smack dab in the middle of my childhood!

I also grew up with a step-brother; we had the same father but different mothers and I still remember falling short of his performance in life. Perhaps this favoritism was due to my brother’s primary residence being that with his natural mother? All I know is that whenever my dad was home, I was in constant fear of doing or saying things the wrong way.

My punishments varied from being sent to my room, to getting yelled and screamed at, to being whipped with a leather horse rein which had been fashioned into a dog’s lead. Sometimes I was whipped on my backside, but other times on the upper body, and even the face. But I no longer see my scars in a mirror as the years of difficult life have long since aged my physical appearance.

Of all the whippings, beatings, and abuse which I endured I can still vividly recount the event of having my right leg driven over, by our family’s Ford station wagon, But this is probably due to the fact that I had to walk on crutches for many weeks afterward. According to my father this incident was entirely my fault and this fact was made evident whenever someone would ask what happened. I literally hated my fathers guts at this point in life; however, my fear overpowered the anger and I was too young to fight back!

The worst years fell between eight and thirteen. I say this because I remember absolutely nothing before eight years of age and by the time I reached thirteen, I was starting to earn my punishments due to my damaged personality.

Eventually, I began stealing beer and wine from my parent’s constant storehouse and started drinking alcohol by the time I was ten or eleven years of age. I liked the alcohol because it took away all my fears, but life continually worsened and my father’s anger raged onward.

The fear of my father and the utter disgust toward my life eventually broke me. Then one evening I swallowed an entire bottle of pills hoping I would never wake up, but I did wake up?                           (I will explain this event with more detail in the seventh posting entitled; “Suicide”)

By the time I reached grade nine I was a very angry youth who was starting to be known to the Selkirk RCMP. Vandalism and mischief seemed to be my niche. I graduated grade nine from a small rural school and then began grade ten in a large secondary school. It was here that my worst fears overcame me. I would have endless courage when drunk, but then feared for my life every day at school while sober. This crazy fear or fight mentality was causing me major life problems and I was becoming a victim of my own life’s circumstances.

In my mind I had no other choice but to move far away and start a new life on my own at fifteen. However, my fears followed me wherever I went; just as it would for the next thirty-five years!

Fear was ingrained into my very nature by the time I was twenty. It caused me to be insecure in relationships, powerless during important business negotiations, and spineless whenever it came to confronting a difficult life situation. My only escape was through alcohol and drugs; however, the choices and decisions that I made while impaired, were normally all-wrong.

Fear was also the major factor which caused me to lose a rapidly expanding, machining and metal fabricating corporation. This huge loss shattered any good that was left inside of me and I became insanely angry with the entire world! However, I was still too afraid to stand up for myself whenever sober?

My addictions kicked into high gear after losing Willow Creek Industries. The recent discovery and immediate obsession to the drug cocaine overtook me to a point where I was seldom sober. Shortly thereafter my beautiful wife walked out.

It was fear that inevitably led me to riding with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club for ten long years. I was too afraid to say no to my association and friendships, but I was also too afraid to join their organization? I became a form of lone-wolf and as long as I stayed drunk or stoned, I could manage the fear of my involvement and surroundings. My ongoing association with the bikers ultimately destroyed my marriage, it damaged my health, and it brought me front and center to a constant police presence. Nearly all the people I once knew and associated with were either too afraid or angry to be near me, and my fears had actually become their fear also

I hold no resentments toward anyone during this period of my life and everything that I did was of my own free will. If it wasn’t for these newfound friendship I would probably be dead long ago from my addictions and depression.

Fear tried sucking the very life out of me! It messed up my existence so badly that I cannot explain the suffering and destruction in this short blog. Fear is totally encompassing and an all-consuming foe; it has no rules or boundaries and it destroys countless lives every single day!

I was lost in my fears for roughly thirty-eight years, but something amazing and fantastic happened when I discovered God. He took away all my fear and I can honestly say to you that I fear nothing today except God, but this is a fear of reverence. I now realize the worst thing that can ever happen is death; however, I now have the hope and promise of eternal life. So I no longer fear my death nor anything in life; because, God is in control of every situation that I may face.

Only God could do for me what I could not do on my own and he can do the very same thing for anyone else who struggles and suffers under the wrath of fear. Fear can only be defeated by dying to our old former selves; then accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and redeemer. One step of faith can change everything in life; may you find him now and replace your fear with hope.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4 ESV