Tag Archives: Christianity

Episode 4 – Letting Others Help You

I Trust When Dark My Road – Episode 4 – Letting Others Help You

The easiest way for you to hear and get these consistently is to subscribe in iTunes.  Try this link from iTunes.

I am trying to send this one out in MP3 format. Let’s see if this is a little more generally accessible.

Again, I would appreciate any comments on the quality, accessibility, etc., of getting this audio.  Thanks very much!


Episode #3 – Selfcare

I Trust When Dark My Road – Episode #3 – Selfcare

The easiest way for you to hear and get these consistently is to subscribe in iTunes.  Try this link from iTunes.

Here’s the Luther quotation:

“The Christian takes care of his own body in order that, through its health, he is able to work and to acquire and preserve property in order to help those who are in need.” Martin Luther, “How to Live a Christian Life,” p. 68.

Again, I would appreciate any comments on the quality, accessibility, etc., of getting this audio.  Thanks very much!


Why Pastors Hide Their Depression


I’ve had a lot of conversations this week with the release of the book. They have been online, telephone, email, wherever. The contacts have been from pastors, teachers, spouses, friends from college, and pretty much across the board. I’ll comment on some of those at another time.

One theme that resonates through so many of the conversations is that pastors don’t want to reveal that they are depressed. This is also true generally, and especially in other service fields. But it seems particularly true with pastors. They mask their illness.

I know I did. I worked my tail off to put on a happy face, a “game face” with my congregation and family. It took incredible amounts of energy, and really made things worse.

But if possible what is even sadder than our self-inflicted super-pastor mindset, is that we are afraid of reprisals. I am afraid that I might lose my job, be kicked out of my congregation, that my district president won’t support me. So the very people who can and should and generally would try to help, are the ones who are kept in the dark.

Why? Why do we hide? And what will happen if we reveal to our families (Who probably already know), our congregation, and our brother pastors what is going on?

aka Todd Peperkorn

Why the Church Drives Away the Mentally Ill


In the last few years I have had the opportunity to speak or correspond with many people who struggle with depression or other mental illnesses. Pastors, teachers, DCEs, laity, each story is different, yet there are common themes.

One of those themes is how often the church, either at the congregational level or at the district/synod level, has failed these people. In all too many cases, their faith has been shaken to the point of disappearing. Now I don’t believe that there is any malice on the part of congregations or our church body. Far from it. But the sad reality is that we are driving people away from Christ by how we approach the mentally ill.


I have several theories about this. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Because we so often equate clinical depression (or any mental illness) with some sort of character flaw, it is viewed basically as a sin. I think people instinctively know that this isn’t quite right, but they don’t have any other categories in which to place mental illness.

2. Everyone has weaknesses, and we work very hard to hide them. For many, depression unmasked is too close to home. It forces us to view our own struggles and failings, and that may just be too painful.

3. If we view the church as a place for the spiritually strong to work out, and not a hospital for the sick, then the mentally ill have no place.

4. The fundamental notion of “depression is in your head, get over it!” is so strong that we can’t help but judge others whose weaknesses are in public view.

5. Lutherans just aren’t very good at areas which aren’t “spiritual” in nature. If it isn’t about justification, then we just don’t get it. Hence, we try to place depression and mental illness simply into the “spiritual” box, and it doesn’t fit there.

Those are off the top of my head. What’s on your list?

Meditation, Depression and Christianity


A reader recently asked me to comment on the relationship between meditation and depression. I’ve already posted on this once, but it seems a worthy topic.  Before we can begin in earnest we need to define a few things:

What is meditation?

The ever-reliable Wikipedia describes meditation like this: Continue reading Meditation, Depression and Christianity