This is the post where I check in and tell you what has been going on with me.
Well, here it goes.
I know you probably didn’t notice, but I shut down my blog (inaccessible) for about a month. (I am confident there are some who wishes it would stay that way!) I did this after I had posted this facebook post on March 23rd:
“Please pray for me… depression setting in”
Thanks for everyone who did pray for me! The response really was WAY amazing! Your prayers certainly helped. In fact, the next day I had some pretty anointed concerts at the Nursing Homes.
I need your prayers!
I often say things about myself like, “I’m not a very good Christian” or “I’m barely a Christian at all” or “If it weren’t for Jesus I certainly wouldn’t be a Christian.”
I don’t think these are good affirmations. Not a good mantra. That’s where listening to Graham Cooke deliver some Scriptural truths has helped renew my mind… but, guys, I’m struggling.
That I’m struggling is something that Jesus told my mom when she was praying for me. God also told her also that I am sincere.
I agree with that. I have always been sincere.
But what is “sincere” worth? I ask. What is the value of sincerity? I mean, you could be sincerely wrong. Sincerely deceived. Or, sincerely a royal pain in the ass!
The day after my mom told me that Jesus told her I was struggling and “sincere”, I went to play a concert and a few staff came up to me and said, “Your music is amazing and you are really… sincere.” What?!?
They bought a few of my CD’s for which I was so thankful. People’s support of our music is SO amazing!
So why did I get depressed?
First and foremost the enemy was using a friend’s words of rejection and condemnation to torment me. They told me, “I cannot support you or anyone who does.”
I get the impression that this person believes that you cannot “support” someone that you don’t fully agree with. Yet Jesus does this all the time!
I ask you, do any of us “fully agree” with Jesus?
I don’t think so. I often think that Jesus and the Bible are true in ways most evangelicals cannot accept. We are often like Nicodemus about whom Jesus said:
“But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” – John 3:12
I don’t hold to the unbiblical stance that we cannot support one another if we have differences and I really enjoyed a talk by Francis Chan to that end where he spoke at the One Thing conference at IHOP (International House of Pancakes… I mean, Prayer). I believe we CAN stand with and support brothers we have disagreements with. I do ALL THE TIME and I’m happier for it!
So yea, unresolved conflict and rejection pushes all of my buttons. The demons were all too happy to oblige pushing the buttons… over… and over… and over… and over again. As you remember from an earlier post about a spiritual warfare episode, this is a mind game. Knowing this sort of helps but they have a way of wearing you down.
BTW… I just read this on facebook:
“Some people will never apologize for their actions, and it’s ok.” (with the following picture):
So, let’s be the one who forgivse, but ALSO to realize we have been the ones in need of forgiveness WAY more than the ones we need to forgive. SO true of me. (Sincerely a pain in the ass!)
Second reason for depression: I have been rebellious at times and, as we all know, when we choose sin, you are in essence chucking all revelation and spiritual clarity in the trash. You are put in “time out” in spiritual discipline. These are the times for which we wrote our song, “Enter the Silence”.
So yea, sin is a big deal and has devastating consequences. Ever read Lamentations? (Above song is based on chapter 3 of Lamentations which are instructions for when you’re in time out.)
Third reason I “got depressed” was that I had just finished and released our album “Reflect Love”. Once it was done it felt like I had lost my purpose. It was something that I had worked on for SO long and took up so much time. The real kick in the groin was how little most people seemed to care. I mean, we made this for more people than our parents, ya know? (Don’t get me wrong, there were a great deal of supportive friends and family!!! VERY grateful for all their love!)
However, I tried to reach out to most every church in Green Bay for our Cup O Joy show. I don’t think a single person came from any of those efforts. I’m convinced the body of Christ doesn’t work well together at all. Don’t they support Christian artists? Would they rather that we didn’t exist?
I got told, “Yea, we don’t promote anything that we aren’t involved in.”
Really? So why don’t you get involved and bring your youth group down to our concert? The lack of support from the Christian community is way depressing. One can see why Katy Perry left Christian music.
I had one person say, “why don’t you put your album on Noisetrade and give it away?”
We tried that already. One in a thousand people decide to actually tip the band. Unfortunately our generosity just cheapens us in the eyes and to the ears of everyone. Our album is already currently at “Name Your Price” at our bandcamp page and I can count on one hand the amount of people who have actually downloaded it.
Yea, some of our Youtube videos get thousands of views and people seem to enjoy them but hardly anyone on the internet actually buys our album. The people in internet land haven’t been kind to us.
I guess we just keep pressing on. It just tells me that my investments in the elderly in Nursing Homes is where it’s really at. Is our generation interested in what we have to offer? Maybe God will bless us someday and turn peoples hearts. Perhaps one day we will not be “starving” artists. (For the record, God has been providing for us well and though we are poor we haven’t ever worried about money since we launched into full time ministry! God gave me the Forrest Gump Promise long time ago. “One less thing to worry about.”)
So the above was a bit of a rant and, to be frank, a pity party. (Frank is always so honest isn’t he?) To be fair we have some really AMAZING friends who do support us and drove all the way from Appleton to come see us at our Cup O Joy show. It truly was an amazing concert – though not the packed house as we had hoped.
Yet I still think I am failing to connect with people. Is this is because I am failing to really love people? Maybe that’s true. But, maybe not?
Let’s face it, depression is selfish. I withdraw to my cave where I haven’t the motivation or will to do anything. I become listless and apathetic.
I manage to eek out some semblance of existence that can’t really be describes as a life. I’m hardly awake for my own life… of course none of this is ultimately true and I have since pulled out of this tailspin but like I said… I had been struggling. Valley of the shadow of death? Fortunately God is famous for resurrections!
To top it all off, I am apparently a weirdo. An unloveable weirdo.
So back in August of 2015 I posted something about teleportation… which was something I used to be excited about (secretly I still am, but don’t tell anyone!) until I was met with a barrage of incessant rejection, suspicion, and accusations of being a false teacher or something. I was merely reporting on my investigations – rather sloppily at first. But this was just the icing on the cake of my “weirdness” apparently. I had been studying and reporting on Near Death Experiences (NDE). Something no one I have ever met is as into as I am. I find them absolutely fascinating!
One thing led to another and pretty soon I started to study Dreams and Lucid Dreams and out-of-body experiences (which are very similar to NDE’s without the death part). I found it intriguing especially as The Bible is FULL of (and encourages to an extent) dreams and visions (which often include out-of-body experiences) which are one aspect of experiencing the Spirit of God.
I read a church history book that explored many of the phenomenal experiences of saints throughout history including levitation and even flying, teleporting, walking on water, invincibility and super strength, bilocation and many other strange and unusual miracles (just like the book of Acts). Then I came to learn that there are many believers today who continue to experience these things and that they are increasing rapidly!!!
What did I get for talking about it?
Rejection from other believers. That is the sad reality of what happened. But I don’t blame “the church”. I’m still very much for the church. It is the family of God. Once you’re in, you can’t get kicked out of it anyway. It’s Christ’s “body” and “bride” and something I am definitely in favor of. Because it’s who I am! I am the church!
But I was put in time out. Told I was dangerous. I can see their point. Maybe I was getting a bit off and increasingly more irrelevant to serving the Gospel well.
I think mainly what happened was a huge misunderstanding. Kind of like the huge misunderstanding that happened between Toronto Vineyard and John Wimber. People were thinking I was saying things I wasn’t really saying. I was just encouraging people to experience God for themselves (and so become a “Christian mystic” which is a very Christian thing to be!). But there are apparently a number of people in the “church” who aren’t in favor of that.
My advice to anyone to avoid getting persecuted:
Don’t do, say, or think anything weird or out of the ordinary. You can talk incessantly and get obsessed about some guys chasing a pigskin around in a field but don’t, for God’s sake, talk about miracles! That’s weird! You can talk about movies, all the countless hours you have invested in your shows or video games – that’s acceptable, but don’t talk about a dream you had that you are convinced is from God – that’s weird!
I guess what hurt’s the most is that I am apparently a difficult person to love and honestly, I’d rather relieve you of the burden of you having to love me. I had someone tell me that when they first were getting to know me they asked themselves, “How am I going to love this guy?”
Sh*t. (Good thing I put the * there instead of a vowel or I might offend someone).
If loving me proves too difficult for you then I will gladly remove myself from your life. I encourage you to unsubcribe from my life. Block me on facebook. (I have blocked two religious bullies so far.)
The only reason I reactivated this blog and came out of my cave is because someone sent me this:
I know I can be a difficult person to love, and I often make a really crappy and selfish friend. (I honestly don’t think I’d be my friend if I wasn’t me.) But I’m actually trying and praying to get better!
I’m SO thankful that some have chosen to take me on as a friend to share life with me. I’m grateful Jesus has. He is the only way I’m going to become the kind of person you’d be happy to have for a friend anyway.
(Totally reminds me of the post “What I Learned from Ant and Pig” which I was thinking of today.)
So, this was supposed to be an update.
What am I doing with my life?
I continue to invest most of my time in loving my growing family. Just had a son named Elijah Ryan.
What a sucky time to have been wrestling with depression right?
What an amazing little boy! “Elijah Ryan” was the name of my son in a dream I had about ten years ago. That’s where his name comes from. I recently learned that “Ryan” means “little king” and is Irish in origin. THAT is WAY cool considering my absolute fascination with the story of St. Patrick (I’ve studied that in-depth) and the fact that the “Lovett” name hails from Ireland (or at least passed through Ireland). “Lovett” (which means “Wolf cub”) is French in origin and began in Britain soon after the battle of Hastings where our French ancestors came over. They moved to Ireland when the persecution of Catholics began in the 1500’s.
Elijah אליהו means “My God is YHWH” or “Strength and Power of I AM”. I am very fond of God’s Name “I AM”.
I also continue to play spiritually enriching concerts at nursing homes. In many ways it feels that I had lost my way in this and any “spiritual enrichment” that happens is just a sheer gift from the Holy Spirit who has been helping me out a great deal.
Like I said, I could use your prayers.
Stay tuned! More blogs to come. I am asking God for the courage to start to write again.