Mental Illness and Other Stuff

I haven’t written much lately. We didn’t have internet access at our house for about a month. I went to a local Starbucks to read my email and do necessary stuff. I didn’t feel like staying longer to blog.

Without the internet, and also since we dropped our cable, which did not return when we reinstated the internet, I started reading more books. Some were worthwhile. Some not so much.

I will spare you a recap of all of the books.  I am fast forwarding to what I am enjoying lately.

My current books are Minimalism – live a meaningful life by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemua, Furiously Happy – A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson, and Colossians and Philemon from the NavPress Life Change Series.

mnimalismI first encountered Minimalism in a Netflix special by the same name. I was intrigued enough by what they had to say that I ordered the book , used, of course, you know me. Since it is fairly in demand, I had to be patient. Thank you, Thrift Books.

Minimalism explores the transformation of the lives of two men who left their six figures corporate lives to pursue meaningful lives by discovering minimalism which allowed them to eliminate life’s excess and focus on the essential aspects of life. I stole those words from the book jacket because they are concise and to the point. The book is a lot better than that. You will have to trust me when I say that it is worth reading. If you have caught the show on Netflix, it is much different than the show which chronicles their lives. The books examines the five general areas of a person’s life which can be changed and improved with minimalism. Minimalism is kind of trendy right now, i.e. Leo Baubata of Zen Habits, and the kazillion books out on having less stuff like Marie Kondo. I think the reason it is trendy is that we are all sick of all of our stuff.

furiously happyMoving on. The next book I am reading, usually at night right before I fall off to sleep is Furiously Happy. This is a book written by a woman who is mentally ill. It is one of the funniest books which I have ever, ever read. Warning: it is profanely funny. I decided to overlook that and read it anyway because it is one of the only books that my psych patients have ever recommended to me that cheered them up. I am not going to ruin the book by telling you anything else about it. I will say that if you have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with mental illness and hospitalized that I would recommend that you visit them and take a copy of this book with you. I can’t give it a higher recommendation than that.

colossiansNumber three. Colossians and Philemon has been one of the best Christian books which I have read and studied in a while. I took it with me on a recent trip to Portland and spent a lot of my free time studying it there at the Rain or Shine Coffee Shop. The best thing I can say about the book is that it has stirred up a hunger in me to study the Word of God in a more intense way. Of course, that could be God working in my life and He just happened to use this book, but then again, maybe the book is really good also. No matter. I feel more alive and focused spiritually than I have been in a while. The best thing I can say about the Rain or Shine Coffee Shop is everything. Great coffee, great aesthetics, great service.

Lately I have been called upon in different venues to explain why human life has value. When I am asked this, I give an illustration about Jesus and real estate.

Many years ago, I was called to jury duty in a civil case. Our job was to decide the value of a condemned building which had been destroyed previous to the trial.

A building is worth, in simplest terms, what someone will pay for it.

If someone will pay only $10,000, then that is what it is worth. If they pay $1,000,000 for a shack on the side of a hill which might fall into the ocean, then that is what it is worth.

When Jesus died on Calvary, the value of human life was determined. Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, was of infinite value and worth. He gave his life for yours, for mine, for each of us.

Your value as a human being was decided at Calvary. Once and done. He decided your value.

That is why you can go on living when every person or circumstance in your life is telling you that you are worthless. In the eyes of God, you are a person of worth and value. No experience or encounter or assessment will ever change that. It is not based on your accomplishments or achievements or your lack of the same. It is the same for each human being, Christian or not. Jesus died for all.

Infinite value.  Grace decides.

That is all.



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2 Responses to “Mental Illness and Other Stuff”

  1. Apple Hill Cottage Says:

    Glad you’re back.

    Maybe we’re sick of all our stuff because enough people have realized that stuff doesn’t make you happy?

  2. thegreatfish Says:

    Exactly. In fact, it seemed to make them unhappy. The book is about the five priorities in life that matter to have a meaningful life. Well written. I forgot to say that.

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