In May, 2007, just over a week after the mental health service I sat down to start putting together a Living Room manual. But it took some courage getting started. “Help me, Lord, please, to get the juices flowing.”

That morning, I was reading in Exodus about how Moses felt when God told him to free his people. He said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11)

That’s just like what I had put in an email to a friend the night before. “Who do I think I am?”

But God told Moses that he would be with him. And I know that God will be with me too if I trust in him. Through God, anything is possible. But I need to trust. I need to believe. I need to have hope.

“So I ask you, Lord, to be with me—to work through me—as I begin to write this manual. Let my words be your words. I thank you for helping me find a life of significance. I thank you for giving me such an adventurous way to serve you.”

I ended up writing two manuals: Creating Living Room and Facilitating Living Room. How much better it would have been if I had combined the two into one document!

The first manual was for church leaders and people with mood disorders who wanted to know how to set up a group. It gave a description of the Living Room concept. The second was a facilitator’s guide, for which I leaned much on the MDA (Mood Disorder Association of BC) manual for guidance.

Before I started putting together the facilitators’ manual, I did a thorough search through their manual, a big binder full of material. I pulled out the most important items I found there that were applicable to our group to include in our manual.

At first I thought that all we could afford was to put the manuals in a report cover. But when I showed it to my psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Long—a big supporter in this effort—his response was, “Is this all it’s going to be? You need to have it printed properly.”  And he got his check book out and wrote a check to cover the cost of printing. Dr. Long’s response to Living Room was that what we were doing was similar to how Alcoholics Anonymous got its start. He felt it had great promise.

Steve Thiessen of Communitas, another enthusiast, offered to send 100 – 150 copies of the Creating Living Room manuals to pastors, along with a covering letter from him. How wonderful!

We now had funding to complete the printing.

September 7, was the big day when the copies of the manuals arrived from the printer. The two manuals sat in open boxes in our hallway for the first day or two so I could look at them as I passed by, feeling good about it all. I had received a lot of interest from people who wanted copies. “How gratifying!  And when I think of how much good this could end up doing…!”

The booklets were made available online and gave interested people the tools to set up their own Living Room groups.

The next step—a most pressing need—was to create booklets of sample interactive devotionals for group use. I needed to help new groups that formed understand what they could do at their meetings and to assure that Christian principles would be taught and adhered to. Living Room participants needed to be assured of Christ’s great love and how he could transform their lives.

The devotionals, along with the manuals, were eventually published on the Living Room website as free downloadable pdf files. Living Room’s work could go on, even if I weren’t available to carry on in the way I was.

Those devotionals are still available, even now, as well as 230 devotionals for personal use. They can be downloaded from