Re-blogged 5+ Facts about male Suicide — Mental health from the other side

Suicide definition Based on the National Statistics definition; Suicide includes all deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 and over, and deaths caused by injury or poisoning where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 and over. Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death ( Some Risk factors Mental health disorders, […]

via 5+ Facts about male Suicide — Mental health from the other side

What I Know and Don’t Know!


I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci

For the past several days I have been pondering about which is the better; learned knowledge, or experiential knowledge.  Or could it be a mixture of both, I am just not certain.

There is a pattern in all the blogs I have read thus far of people trying to cope with some form of  mental health issue/s.

All the situations I have observed are unique, just as our fingerprints are unique to only one person.  Another observation I have made is that all remedies to each of the issues also vary from person to person.  These are things I do know!

What I don’t know are these: 

  • The situation/s leading up to the point in each individual’s crisis in mental health.   
  • The life experience of each unique individual.
  • Other challenges that the individual is having along side the mental health challenge.

One more thing I know and that is, I cannot assume I have any answers for a person.  I can only speak to the things I have experienced in my own battle with mental health.

So, I can have empathy, sympathy for the person I am listening to, for all I can do is be a pillar of support for him or her.

The Ministry – Small Beginnings

I actually grew up playing the piano in the church and was deeply involved in music ministry. T. D. Jakes

myself winter 2006 with frame
Taken in 2006

I can recall telling my mother that I was going to be an evangelist.  I barely knew what an evangelist was, did, etc.,

My music was the key to opening doors for me.  If my music was accepted I knew that I would be accepted in my preaching.

I did not start travelling for several years.  The pastor of my home church would allow me five or ten minutes to speak.  Those were the training wheels of my ministry. I didn’t have a clue on how to stitch together a sermon.(Some would argue “I still don’t”).

I am no Billy Graham or Billy Sunday, yet I feel adequate in my speaking skills, skills that I developed as the years passed by.  I did not mimic another preacher for I needed to be realistic, just to be me.

I was sixteen and was invited to a Minister’s Convention. I accepted, attended the convention. It was held in a tent.  It was in a little town outside of Ottawa, the Town of Spencervile.  One thing led to another, I became the main piano player, then they asked me to take and minister in some morning and afternoon.  The result of that time was I received ordination.  As far as I knew I was the youngest ever.

I eventually found my way back to my home area, moved into a small apartment above a bank.  Began work in an orchard, after work travel to an evangelistic meetings near by.  That led the way for that evangelist asked me to travel with him to be part of his music team.  I accepted and began travelling with him in July 1980. I was seventeen years of age.  With that I entered a crazy period of my life.

To be continued – The Travel Years

Logic: Before Depression


No, no, you’re not thinking; you’re just being logical. Niels Boh

For several days now I have been trying to bring forward moments pre-depression/bi-polar that were truly organic happiness.  I cannot seem to recall many of those type of moments during my childhood.  Maybe, it is just because negativity has crowded them out, or maybe logic would conclude, there just were not any moments.

Logic would at least think “holidays” were moments of joy, I cannot recall any “holiday” that stands out in my memory has being the epitome of happiness.

Logic at this moment, at the moment I am writing this post, that it is the medication suppressing the times of gleefulness before this thing called depression showed up on the doorsteps of my mind.

The irrational thought tells me that I am making it bigger than it really is, that no one else has these feelings.

So, there must have been a time before depression that I was happy, that is the logical way to think!

The Music- Part Two

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Myself – Grade 8

Now, the girl I was seeing told me that her family would be moving to Alymer, Ontario.  I was broken hearted over it.

There was a silver lining to that dark cloud they gave me their old upright piano.  It to me was like winning a jackpot. My parents could never had the means to buying one.

Well, I was working part time doing different jobs, I started saving my money eventually saving enough to have the piano tuned.

I sat and practised on that piano every chance I had.  I worked hard trying to play imitating piano players that I wanted to sound like.

It wasn’t long that I was playing half decent.  I became the defacto musician in the home church, well, for the services that I could make it to. 

As I became more proficient I started having my sister join me in singing duets.  We practised songs until she knew without saying a word the song that we were singing next.  We sang at youth rallies, home church, and then we were invited to sing on a Gospel T.V. Talk Show in Detroit, Michigan.

Around the beginning of the year nineteen-eighty I was able to buy my first car, a Ford Pinto Station Wagon. 

I started going into Detroit to revival meetings held in the very studio where I sang with my sister.  Every time I was there the evangelist spotted me and had me take over on the piano.  He didn’t even know my name, but for some unknown reason he seemed to like me.  That summer he asked me to travel full time with him and others, I would be his organist.  That became a new challenge for me.

I learned how to play what is called a B3 Hammond 
B3 HammondOrgan. I had to develop a style that was totally different than the Piano. Two hands were not the problem. Now I had to learn to use my left foot on the bass pedals, plus, all of the draw bars to created different moods on it.

I soon learned that my style on piano and that on the organ were not inter-changeable.  In Canada it was the piano that was accepted. In the States it was the Organ sound that people seemed to enjoy better.

As the years have went by I have become more proficient on the organ, not the Hammond, but on an Organ for my home.  My dream would be to have both the Piano and the Organ both in my home.

I have never regretted taking that step of travelling that developed my style of music both here in Canada and the United States.

The Music – Part One

myself playing piano at WCFS convention in Sasatoon
Playing and Singing at a Fair Convention in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, approx. mid 2000’s

In the early seventies my Mom had me start lessons to play the Accordion.  I believe I made it to the second year. We were living in London, Ontario. My parents decided to move back to the Windsor, Ontario area, so, the Accordion lessons ceased.

I have been in involved in Gospel Music in one form or another.  It started with my maternal Grandfather who played the guitar.  We listened to Bluegrass Gospel, and Southern Gospel Music.  He had some of the Grandchildren learn some Gospel Music songs to sing in Church. We were not allowed to have the words in front of us, thus, memorization came to play.

My music revolved totally around my Grandfather.  In nineteen-seventy-five he suffered a major heart attack while at work.  He died immediately.

Needless to say I was totally devastated, it felt like my world came to an end.  That year the region was hit with a major snow storm and Grandpa’s funeral was held back for a week.  That was the toughest week of my life at that time.  It was my first time coming to face to face with a close loved one’s death.

As a young teenager I couldn’t understand why this was allowed to happen for Grandpa was only fifty-seven.  I became bitter, stopped playing the Accordion and basically quit everything associated with Gospel Music.

We moved back to the city of Windsor, Ontario, I entered my first year of High School. I started seeing a girl that I met, she was a friend of my oldest sister.  Her family had a piano which when I was there I would try to play it.

Now, my Home Church no longer had a musician, they encouraged me to try and play for the song service.  The old piano sat to the right of the Pulpit, it was out of tune, Grandpa didn’t like anyone trying to play it.  He always said emphatically that “it is out of tune”.

To be continued…

Holidays, Holy Days?

I decided for this post not to include a quote or picture.

Mostly everyone knows the term “Merry Christmas” and they know what it is about, meaning.

Ask yourself do you know anything about those who do not celebrate Christmas? How about the Menorah, or what our Islamic neighbors observe   Ramadan .

There are many other Holy Days of different religions that I would love to learn about.

I have an Islamic doctor.  My first visit to see him I sensed that he was hesitant, not sure what I would think of him.  As I looked around the room I saw a picture of Mecca.  So, I asked him, “have you made the pilgrimage yet?”.  His face changed countenance, he lit up  and asked how I knew about Mecca.  I told him I was studying about it.  Since that day we have a friendly visit during my checkup.

So, my question is this; How do you celebrate or not the Holidays, or Holy Days?  I would love to hear about Chanukah, and any Islamic blogger what Ramadan is about.

For those who celebrate Christmas, let’s hear from you about how you celebrate, traditions.

So many that I talk with have pre-conceived ideas about other faiths. Some are totally erroneous. 

Please be respectful in your comments for I would like for this to be a learning moment. I welcome all who read this to participate and enjoy learning about your neighbors, even your co-workers.


Life At Home

Mom, myself, Keith, Sandy, Tracy - Elm Street -early 1980's
My Mother, Brother, Two Sisters, Oldest Daughter not available

I was born and raised in and around Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

In my opinion we were the basic family at that time.  Both of my parents worked.  For that reason a sister of my mother lived in with us to take care of us.

As we grew older Mom taught us to do chores, I was responsible for the sidewalk in the winter, the lawn in the summer.  My sisters were taught how to start supper so that when Mom arrived home she just had to do the finish touches.  We were expected to be there unless we had permission to be away.  At that time there were no cell phones, computers, just a landline phone.  All our friends knew not to call during the time of our eating supper.

My Mom was quite amazing, her Mother, my Grandmother thought some things were too liberal.  You see, Mom allowed us to speak our opinion but it had to be spoken with respect, no attitude.

My paternal Grandmother was Roman Catholic.  My mother told me when it came time for us kids to start attending school that she and my Roman Catholic Grandmother had a knock downed argument.  Grandma thought we should be attending a Catholic school, Mom thought different.  Needless to say Mom won.

The children were not baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, thus, we were considered bastards in the eyes of the Church.  I cannot recall ever going to anything within the Roman Catholic Church when we were growing up.

Archie Bunker gif
Archie Bunker –

Now my father was a case all of his own. I call him Archie Bunker ll.  I cannot recall one time growing up that he said he loved us, proud of us. If I brought home an A on an assignment, his response was “can’t you do better”.

As I grew older I became his punching bag.  He had a hair trigger temper that would erupt over the slightest issue.  It kept us sitting on pins and needles.  He disliked the High School I chose because it was not a trade teaching school. I chose an Academic High School, choosing all business related courses.  Courses like accounting, typing, computers, etc.,. If I did what he thought I would be a backyard mechanic.

 When I entered High School Mom did not set a curfew for me, she knew I would always come home at a proper time.  I went to school in the dark, and came home in the dark when I knew my father was asleep in bed.  The only rule, come in the house quietly without disturbing my Mother”s sleep.

I dropped out of High School in the middle of Grade Eleven and quickly left home. I began to do some itinerant speaking and Gospel Music.

That was the long beginning of having the opportunity of travelling with another Evangelist throughout Canada and the United States.

Seasons Of Life


I think that life is difficult. People have challenges. Family members get sick, people get older, you don’t always get the job or the promotion that you want. You have conflicts in your life. And really, life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude. Jennifer Hyman

November 21, 2019

Today’s Reading:

Ecclesiastes 3:  [MSG]
1  There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2  A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap,
3  A right time to kill and another to heal, A right time to destroy and another to construct,
4  A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer,
5  A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to part,
6  A right time to search and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go,
7  A right time to rip out and another to mend, A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
8  A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

Living life has it’s highs and it’s lows.  I prefer the highs of life, the lows not so much.

It is easy to allow myself to wallow in self-pity. To cry out that the whole world is against me.

Just as the seasons of the year passes from spring to weather so is the seasons of our life.

So, here I am again having to remind myself about the portion of Scripture that tells me to expect this roller coaster of seasons.

My Home Church

Several months ago I had a phone conversation with a dear relative of mine. My relative and I were reminiscing about things from our home church.  It was mentioned that they pined for those days again.

Lori & myself at the Gospel Way Church-Leamington Ontario
My Sister Lori, myself at our Home Church, The Gospel Way Church, Leamington, Ontario, Canada

You see, the place I considered my home church sat on a country lot with tall poplar trees lined the edge of the property. It was not fancy for most of my childhood they was no running water within the walls.  At maximum it would seat maybe sixty or a little less. On the front left of the sanctuary sat an old upright piano, out of tune and was only played when a guest would visit that knew how to play, much to the grumblings of my grandfather about it.  Grandpa was the only musician, a self taught guitar player for the small and unassuming congregation.

We considered ourselves to be “Pentecostal” in doctrine but with no one umbrella that were our over-seers.  We went through many different variations of preachers and teachers over the years. Until a man became a constant with us and he was picked to be the pastor of a congregation with limited means.

Yes, we were those “Pentecostals” that you hear much about, but, not to be mistaken for those who claim power over “snakes”.  Talking in tongues, prophecy, and all manifestations of the “gifts of the spirit”.  These were all I knew growing up and throughout my teenage life.


Come Sunday night everyone would dress for church.  No, the ladies did not bring out of their closets mink coats, or wear diamonds around their neck, but yet you knew these were not their every day wear.  The same with the men, the pastor wore a suit and the men that had one.  We always had respect for those who would step behind the pulpit, sometimes we would call the “brother” so and so, or “pastor”, but never once did we think of using their first name.

Then There Was the Music

For awhile my family moved quite a bit and sometimes my mom and dad would take us to different churches when we lived a distance from the home church.  In all those years we learned the tried and tested “hymns” of the church,  mix in some choruses, and of course the Anointing of the Spirit of God.