Part 8 of my story

January 25, 2024


The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

John 21:17

This morning, when I told a good friend about my recurring pain he responded, “Be like Jesus and push past the pain.” After a while I realized that I must indeed do what Jesus did so long ago after the crucifixion.

The following was not something I had intended to tell but realize I must if you’re going to understand who I am and what motivates me. I have to take you back a bit.

From around 2000 to 2015 I gave my all to spread the news of God’s love for people with struggles like mine and how my faith in him had helped me. I spoke and wrote widely to Christians and their churches trying to correct their misconceptions of mental illness being a spiritual problem. Mental illness is not caused by spiritual problems, but spiritual support can help us cope with mental illness. Faith is one of the most important ingredients in helping us deal with mental health challenges.

News spread, especially with the help of the faith-based peer support ministry called Living Room I founded. I was featured on 100 Huntley Street and that, together with many writings and speaking engagements, as well as making the ministry’s presence felt at a couple of major conferences, resulted in the formation of sixteen groups across Canada and one in the U.S. Understanding had increased in a big way.

I facilitated the founding Living Room group for nine years, giving spiritual support to the many who came. In 2013, I started writing Reflections on God’s Word which are still ongoing. They are currently being emailed twice a week to 218 followers—read by around 90 each time. In addition, the mailings are frequently forwarded to friends who might have a need. Both directly and indirectly, my ministry is, and has been, spiritually feeding hundreds—all kinds of people, not only those dealing with mental health challenges.

When my health failed in 2015, I retired from my Living Room work. At that point, for reasons that were not made known to me, I suddenly started being treated badly. It started with one, but many joined in. I ended up ostracized by my church and was hurt beyond measure. It took many years to recover.

But despite my suffering, Jesus stayed by my side as I continued throughout those years sending encouraging emails about his love for us. The words I wrote were not from me alone—but from the God I was obeying.

In the years following, I tried to be a voice for people like me. But I wasn’t heard in the way I once was. In the Church, I fear that the message I once passed along about the importance of faith to mental health is being lost. The Living Room ministry, through which spiritual support reached the people who needed it, has dwindled to only two or three small groups.

This morning, the pain of these experiences came to mind again, as it often does. I’ve written much about Christ’s suffering because I can understand what he must have gone through. I’m not Jesus, but my story runs somewhat parallel to his. He was good, giving his all for us, but was treated as though he was evil. I can identify.

My friend told me to be like Jesus and push past the pain. What did Jesus do to push past the pain of the crucifixion?

Three times the resurrected Christ called for Peter to “feed my sheep.”

And now, at the age of 77, I’m calling for the same. I need to make sure that my work of giving spiritual support to people with mental health needs will carry on when I no longer can.

I ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to hear the call I’ve been sending out to feed those who need spiritual support—especially those who are being rejected because of stigma. I need to ensure that they, and the many others who need reminders of what Jesus did for them, continue to be nourished by the Word.

The tools needed to address the pain of rejection and to receive guidance on spiritually feeding those who deal with such pain are contained in Healing the Effects of Stigma. This 48-page booklet can be purchased from online bookstores or from my website at The link to the PDF is also available there to download free of charge.

If you have been helped and now want to help others, you are encouraged to open it and have a look at the clear guidance presented there.