From Legalistic Prison to Gracious Freedom

I believe that legalism was the primary problem in our home when I was growing up.  My parents had grown up in legalistic churches and then received their college education in a school where legalism reigned supreme.  My Father’s preaching reflected this blight and my Mother was his willing helper in filling our home with legalistic strictures.  I see the major cause of the psychological disorders that plagued both my sister Georgianna and my brother Jim to this legalism that was so strong in our home. Continue reading

From Family Snake Pit to Kingdom Joy

The death of my brother Jim when he was only 19 was the worst sorrow my family had ever experienced.  Having been diagnosed with “schizophrenia” a few months before, he had been confined to a mental institution.  The medical professionals had been treating him with “insulin shock” to relieve  his depression, but he was then diagnosed with “juvenile diabetes” and died within 36 hours.  We never expressed our suspicions to his treatment team, but we were quite convinced that the “insulin shock” treatments were what killed him – especially since none of our family on either side had ever had diabetes. Continue reading

Up from The Snake Pit into RESURRECTION Wonder

I grew up in a home of mixed joys and sorrows.  It was the sorrow in our home which caused the spiritual crisis in my own life, leading to my call to the ministry.  But first I want to speak of the joy that was in our home.

That joy flowed from my dear parents who genuinely loved the Lord and nourished us in the love of God.  Our family life was built around habitual family worship with reading of scripture, prayer and hymn singing.  We never missed Sunday worship, morning and evening.  Both of my parents were “pastor-preachers” in the Methodist tradition.  My Father was the main preacher but my Mother would, on occasion, preach for one small congregation in our rural setting while my Father preached in another.  There was a genuine joy evident in their ministries as well as in our family. Continue reading