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Awake My Soul!

Summer is here along with the heat and humidity. I wrote in my last post that soon I will launching a website dedicated to depression and our new upcoming book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan For Conquering Depression”. So, I dug through my previous posts and found this little story I wrote for the now defunct website, Posterous. It is set in the dead of winter, a reflection of the cold, dead feeling one can experience with depression. But, it is a story of hope!

Camellia in the snow

 

Awake My Soul

I do not move.

I am quiescent and still.

Movement for me is pain. Life is pain.

The trees outside are harsh and bare. Winter has stripped them of vigor and life. Gray fingers claw at the even grayer sky. Even the clouds do not move. The air is still. No wind. No breeze. No life.

My daughter has placed me here on the porch. I feel the sting of cold on my cheeks but I can ignore it. I have ignored all feeling for months now. Since Tom died, I have had no reason to move.

My daughter has wrapped a scarf around my neck and tucked it into the woolen sweater Tom gave me last year for Christmas. I can still smell him on it when I choose to acknowledge my sense of smell.

The air is so cold, it numbs my face. The numbed is numbed even more.

“Why is she out there on the porch?” That is my son-in-law inside the warm house.

“I’m tired of her, Richard. I can’t take this anymore.” My daughter has tears in her voice. I cannot feel them. I cannot touch them. The tears mean nothing to me.

“She’ll freeze to death.” Richard says.

“That’s the idea.”

There is a profound silence. And then, subdued sobbing; quiet, subtle.

A white flake shimmies down the still air and lands on my nose. I choose not to feel it melt. So intricate, so beautiful in its design — one of a kind — it dies on my cold skin. It dies on the already dead. For, she has left me to die out here alone; cold; still; frozen.

The sliding door opens behind me and a waft of warm air bathes the back of my head. I cannot feel it on my neck for the scarf. Richard’s shadow falls over me from the lights inside the house; lights that try in vain to chase away the gray.

“You’ll have to forgive your daughter, Mom.” He says behind me. “She is very frustrated and wants to leave you out here to die.”

“I’m already frozen.” I whisper and he leans over me. His breath touches my forehead.

“Did you say something?”

“I’m already frozen.” I said more strongly. “Let me finish dying.”

My lips pull apart and I realize they have frozen together. I feel the pain as the first real sensation I have experienced in months.

Richard squats beside my wheelchair and for a second, I choose to notice the strong profile of his face; his angular cheekbones; his gently stubbled chin; his clear eyes. He is watching the trees.

“Winter is hard for all of us, Mom. Spring is coming. I want to tell you a secret. It is a deep and abiding secret that no one can know.”

More flakes are falling now and caressing my cheeks. I choose not to feel their gently touch. One lands on my cornea and I blink involuntarily. I must not do that again. But, try as a I might to ignore his statement, the attraction is there. What secret is he talking about?

“What secret?” My voice is a bare whisper.

“Virginia is stressed out because we have chosen to take a journey. It is a long and tedious journey and we will be gone for weeks. She doesn’t know what to do with you during that time. She can’t leave you alone. And, she isn’t going to leave you out here to die.” His breath streams away from him, a living thing full of warmth and moisture and the snowflakes eddy and swirl.

“Journey?”

“Rawanda. In Africa. There is a little girl. She needs a family.” He turns his head to me and his gaze is full and hot on my face. Tears mingle with the snowflakes. “She needs to know her grandfather. She needs to know what he was like. Only you can tell her that.”

Another snowflake hits my eye and melts. The moisture runs along my eyelid and I feel a hot tear trickle down my cheek. No! I cannot let this happen! I cannot feel!

“Will you come with us to Rawanda? Will you come with us to get your granddaughter?” His eyes are full and round and wet and the snow is covering his bare head, peppering his shoulders.

I feel something deep within stir from a slumber of unforgiving anger and frustration. The black dregs of my depression begin to drift away as the warmth stokes itself in my heart. No! I want to scream. No! I want to hold onto the stillness; the inertia; the coming of winter’s death. I try to ignore Richard’s gleaming eyes and his warm breath and when I subtly avert my gaze a flash of bright red burns my retinas. A lone flower dares to challenge the grayness from my camellia bush. The snow flakes are covering it now and it wants to be seen; it wants to look upward to the hidden sun for life and warmth; it wants to live.

The chair creaks; the ice breaks across my knees and I push, push, push up and out of the heaviness of my crypt of sorrow and I stumble to the flower. I brush away the snow with shaking hands and my tears anoint the petals with life. With life!

Awake my soul!

Awake!

I turn to my son-in-law who is standing with his mouth wide open and the snow covering his head and my daughter stumbles through the open door with her hands pressed to her tear streaked face and I feel the ice crack as I smile. “When do we leave?”

 

Don’t forget to pick up copies of “The Chronicles of Jonathan Steel” for your summer reading. You can go to the “Order” tab or check out 11thdemon.com.

A Baby Named Galley!

There is a moment in a published author’s life that is akin to seeing your unborn child for the first time by ultrasound. As a radiologist, I am fully aware of the excitement parents feel when they see that gray and white blob moving on the ultrasound screen and begin to catch glimpses of what the finished “product” will look like. They gasp when they see fingers. They laugh when they see arms and legs. And, they cry when they see the face even though it is such a poor reflection of the beautiful child they will hold in their hands in just a few months.

 

Friday, I had such an experience. A package waited for me by my front door when I got home from a long, hard day at the hospital. To say I was tired and frustrated and disillusioned by the direction health care is going is to say the least. Soon, I will weigh in on this issue because I can no longer keep my silence after the horrific events with the VA scandal. But, for today, I want to share something bright and happy and encouraging. I picked up the package and noted it was quite heavy for such a small box. When I got the thing inside and ripped off the tab, guess what I found inside?

photo

Galley proofs.

 

What? What are galley proofs, you ask? In the days before electronic media prevailed, an upcoming book was printed out on rough sheets of paper to approximate what the final product would look like. Since 2006, I’ve been involved in the publishing of five of my books and each galley proof was presented to me as a PDF. My excitement was no less at receiving these electronic documents. But, here was a throw back to old school publishing. Why? Because this book required a careful review of the actual printed appearance, not just an electronic approximation. For, this book would have illustrations and break out text boxes and Lifefilters. . .

 

What is a Lifefilter? More on that later.

 

In the summer of 2012, as I have shared in the past, God did something truly miraculous and literally dropped a book project into the laps of yours truly and my co-author and best friend (and former pastor) Mark Sutton. We wrote a book on depression in 2001 (which is still an excellent book, by the way!) But, over the intervening years, things changed and we wanted to update the book. Our publisher was not interested. But, a new team took over the editorial direction at B&H Publishing and they wanted us to write a new updated version of the book.

 

Mark and I went to work immediately in the fall of 2012 and now, before me was the galley proofs of a book we are hoping will help millions. Did you see that word? Millions! Not because we want money. No, it is because we are in the midst of an epidemic of depression unprecedented in American history since the Great Depression.

HopeAgain_04

So, I will grab a cup of coffee. I wish I could teleport myself to New Zealand and have one of those luscious “flat whites” as you can see my friend Alex drinking. Yes, that is a cup as big as a cereal bowl! They love their coffee in New Zealand. So, I will hunker down with my galley proofs and drinks lots of coffee and check this manuscript out.

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When will you be able to get your hands on “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression”? Stay connected to my site as Mark and I will be launching a new website this summer to keep you informed of the arrival of this important tool. For now, you can check out our rather static site for information on the current book here. And, don’t forget to pick up some copies of “The Chronicles of Jonathan Steel” for your summer reading!

 

Got to get to work!

Don’t Forget Friday Night!

9781490813882_COVER.inddBOOK LAUNCH — This Friday!

This Friday night from 6 to 8 PM come by the Well, the coffee shop of Brookwood Baptist Church (corner of I-49 and Bert Kouns) and have a free cup of coffee and a snack. I know that many of you have  Christmas parties and such, so the event is a come and go affair. I’ll be giving away some gift cards and I will email them to the winner so you don’t have to be present to win.

My latest book, “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” will be available at a low price of only $10.

In fact, I will have all four books there. My first two books in the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel and my book, “Conquering Depression” — a timely book for this time of year and for this time in history!

 

So, here is the deal.

 

Each book individually is $10.

Or, you can buy three books for $25!

Or, you can buy four books for $30!

 

If you are in a hurry, I’ll have some pre signed books so you don’t have to wait in line. Just grab the book, pay for it, and grab a snack before you leave.

 

I appreciate all of my readers and I am hoping to make this third book a real success for the Jonathan Steel series to continue. If you don’t live in the Shreveport area, I am planning on asking the local LifeWays in Shreveport, Austin, and Abilene to have a book signing. I held a book signing in Austin and Shreveport before but my son, Sean and his wife, Jenn now live in Abilene and I’d love to show up there for a book signing. You might want to mention this to your local LifeWay!

 

Also, I am planning on contacting the book store at First Baptist Church Orlando for a book signing sometime in January – February, 2014. They have been so good and faithful to let me sign books and I can’t wait to return to the area!

 

Hope to see you Friday night. Oh, and yes, the Ark of Chaos will be on the premises along with a creature from the depths of well . . . let’s just say, it’s beastly on the inside!

 

(A free tee shirt for each buying customer!)

 

 

“The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” Book Launch December 6th!

Formal Announcement:

Bruce Hennigan debuts his third book,

“The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos”

Friday evening, December 6, 2013

from 6 to 8 PM at The Well, the coffee shop of Brookwood Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Brookwood Baptist Church is at the corner of I-49 and Bert Kouns. (www.brookwoodbaptist.com)

9781490813882_COVER.indd

Hennigan_The 12th Demon 1-24C 13thdemon cdcoverNot only will the new book be featured, but the first two books and Conquering Depression will be available. Bruce will be signing all four books.

Books are $10 each at the book launch only (This is a saving of up to $5 per book).

Book Launch Special:

3 Books for $25

4 Books for $30

Sign up for free giveaways!

There will be a special announcement about a new, upcoming book!

Come and enjoy free drinks and snacks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The 11th Demon Draws Nigh!

Friday, December 6th, 2013 at the Well (coffee shop) at Brookwood Baptist Church (corner of I49 and Bert Kouns) is the OFFICIAL launch of “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos”!

Details will follow but basically I will be signing the new book and my three other books from 6 to 8 PM. I know Christmas parties will be in full swing by then so I am making this a come and go event. Come have some coffee in the Well and some Christmas snacks. I’ll be giving away some prizes (no need to wait for them — I will email them or mail them if you win!). So, make it a demony Christmas!

9781490813882_COVER.inddIt’s Beastly on the Inside!

I’m Back!

“Dad, I feel normal for the first time in years.”

This one statement drove me to tears. My daughter feels normal. My daughter acts normal!

I haven’t posted in weeks. My family has been in survival mode for so long. Life happens and it is not always good. My son and his wife made a major move to a new town and new job situation. My daughter finally agreed to have some testing performed thanks to her two best friends who agreed to accompany her. The stress level has been beyond 10 for so long I don’t know what it feels like to be normal. But, I will try and become familiar with the feeling again.

My daughter, Casey, in her long protracted battle with migraines and seizures has finally found the perfect medication combination and over the past three weeks my wife and I have watched her blossom and bloom. We have our daughter back! Sorry, but I have to keep the tears off the keyboard. I’ll be back in a moment.

Okay, so I want to thank my blog readers for their thoughts and prayers during this time. Casey is back to her normal self, something we haven’t seen in years.

Through all of this, I have continued to work on my next two books. For the readers of the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel (both books are great summer reads if you haven’t tried them!) I will have the third book available by the end of October, first of November. I am keeping my promise to you, my readers, of having a book out once a year in this story arc.

I am also finishing the final manuscript chapters for the update to “Conquering Depression” with my co-author, Mark Sutton. More on that in the near future, but I am so excited about the opportunity B&H Publishing is giving us to update this book and bring it into the 21st century!

That’s all for now. I’ll be blogging again very soon. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. God is so good!

 

Just a teaser:

The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos

 Just when Jonathan Steel thought he would get a break, he discovers that his mentor, Cephas Lawrence has purchased the house once owned by the evil Robert Ketrick, once in league with the thirteenth demon. And, trapped within the walls of the house’s basement is a dark secret that threatens their existence. When Vivian Darbonne Ketrick arrives in Shreveport to locate the Ark of the Demon Rose, a new evil organization appears to rival the Council of Darkness. Soon, Jonathan, Josh Knight, Cephas, and Theophilus King find themselves involved in government conspiracies, evil powers, and in the clutches of not one, but two powerful demons! What is in the Ark of the Demon Rose? Why is Vivian looking for it? And, who are the mysterious white eyed minions of evil who make Vivian look like a Girl Scout? Find out in the latest installment of the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel in “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos”. Available this fall.

Stranded in the Sargasso Sea!

In 1964, a cartoon premiered on Friday NIGHT called Jonny Quest. I was only 9 years old but I was instantly hooked. I can still recall sitting on our green Naugahyde* couch with a glass of chocolate milk and a miracle whip and mustard sandwich, eyes wide open watching a boy not too much older than me fighting lizard men in the middle of the haunted Sargasso Sea. Those images of rotting hulks of lost and abandoned ships covered with mold and sargassum seaweed still haunt my memories. Here is what Wikipedia says about this area:

The Sargasso Sea is a region in the gyre in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. This system of ocean currents forms the North Atlantic Gyre. All the currents deposit the marine plants and refuse they carry into this sea.

Sargasso_sea

A gyre of refuse and rotting hulks; the ultimate graveyard of ships unwarily trapped in the doldrums; ships and sailors who drifted into the Sargasso Sea and were trapped forever! Here is a perfect description of a maelstrom of misery; a whirlpool of weariness; a prison for those who lose their wind; let their sails luff helplessly, rudderless — lost forever!

 

Well, I have been trapped in the Sargasso Sea for months now. And, there is no laser wielding boy scientist and his father on the horizon to save me. “What do you do when you have writer’s block?” I have been asked. Always, I have been able to answer this question by claiming that writer’s block has NEVER been my problem. But, what about life block? What happens when everything grinds to a halt and you can’t seem to get anywhere? What happens when crisis after crisis throws roadblocks and speed bumps before you? Life happens. Writer’s block is a symptom far down the line from a life that has been drawn slowly, inexorably into the Sargasso Sea!

It is no coincidence that in the midst of this time in my life, I am trying to finish a new manuscript on depression. I can officially announce that Mark Sutton and I have signed a new contract for an update to our depression book, “Conquering Depression”. Our hope is to launch a new website by July 1 showcasing our current book and helping those who are deep in the doldrums of depression. I guess I need to read my own book!

But, where I am right now is far more complex than depression. I once thought idealistically that there was a point in my adult life when my children would be grown up and on their own and my wife and I would have time for all of that traveling together; golden years of maturity and joy as a reward for a lifetime lived well and fully. I thought of this “golden” time as the years before retirement when we would still have the health and the energy to do whatever we wanted and the freedom to pursue decades of postponed dreams.

Instead, life has grown increasingly more demanding and complex. Aging parents demand more attention than our young children every did! Our grown children face challenges of their own my wife and I never had to deal with at that age. Life continues to happen, unrolling before us as a road with potholes and unexpected detours and roadblocks. How naive I was to think that life would ever be truly uncomplicated and simple. Life is not.

Here is why. Life is change. Life is growth. Life is pain. Life is joy. Life is NOT static. Life is dynamic. The only time when there will be no change; no growth; no pain is when we are dead. This is a startling revelation for me. To live is to face pain AND joy. The two cannot be separated. For, it is in the triumph over these challenges that we find the sweetest joy; the greatest contentment.

As my family journeys forward into the unknowable future, we have to cling to the concept that the Sargasso Sea can trap us, but there is a Navigator, a Pilot, a Captain who can lead us out of the doldrums. His breath is our wind; filling our sails with life and movement and joy.

 sails_wind

I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like trapped in the Sargasso Sea on a rotting hulk of a broken life totally alone without God. In the deepest, darkest moments of despair, God is still there. I may not be able to see Him but the defect is mine, not His. My glasses are clouded by the smears of angrily swiped tears. My eyes are closed against the pain I see in my life. But, if I open them; if I dare to look UP and away from the maelstrom of misery around me, I will see my Redemption is drawing nigh. My sails, though tattered and torn, can still fill with the breath of life and my ship can move out of the dead water into the living Water of life.

ingodslight032711

As my wife tells me, “Breathe!”. Yes, breathe; inspire; pause and let the breath of God renew you. Today, right now, this moment stilled and frozen in time — reach up with open hands, open arms, open heart to God. His warmth, His breath, His life will renew you as it renews me with each drawn breath.

Today, I choose to sail my broken, scarred ship out of the Sargasso Sea; out of the rotting hulks of depression and despair and defeat. I set my sight on a far shore with a fair sunrise and a promise of unconditional love! Join me and leave the Sargasso Sea behind!

 

*A marketing campaign of the 1960s and 1970s asserted that Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a “Nauga”. The campaign emphasized that, unlike other animals, which must typically be slaughtered to obtain their hides, Naugas can shed their skin without harm to themselves. Naugahyde also was known as plastic leather or “pleather”.

 

For fun, check out this ‘redo’ of the intro to Jonny Quest in stop motion animation:

Good to be Alive!

I am in Orlando, Florida meeting with my co-author, Mark Sutton. We are working on building a platform to promote our book, “Conquering Depression”. While I am supposed to be excited, I am also somewhat sad because my wife could not be with me. She is staying at home to take care of her mother. And so, I sit alone in a hotel room looking out over the grounds of the Disney resort, Port Orleans: Riverside. I have been her for four days now and the loneliness is telling at night. During the day, I have had the opportunity to spend time with Mark and his wife, Donna. But, now, I face another lonely evening with just me and my laptop.

Odd that I should feel this way when working on a book about depression. For depression is the beast that hounds me, that breaths down my neck, that perches on my shoulders with steely claws waiting to dig into my muscles. If you suffer from depression, you know exactly what I mean!

But, just now, I listened to one of my favorite songs by Jason Gray, “Good to Be Alive”.

 

Hold on, Is this really the life I am living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take you’ve given
So, Right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love, like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
Yea, yea

Hold on, If the life that we’ve been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I’m singing out

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love, like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love, like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
Yea,

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived to say, “thank you”

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love, like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be, it’s good to be alive

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love, like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived to say, “thank you”

 

In September, 2012 my son, Sean and I attended Hutchmoot 2012. During one of the most moving breakout sessions, Jason Gray shared his struggled with a depression so deep and so profound, he considered ending his life. His friend and colleague, Eric Peters also shared his struggle with depression. We were sitting in a room with about 35 people most of whom were in their 20s and I was shocked at how many of these young adults with their entire life ahead of them echoed these two singers’ struggles with depression.

Right now, I should be on top of the world. I am on the verge of a new contract for a new book series. But, at the same time, I have been released from a five book contract and I don’t know what the future holds for my fiction. It is a time of difficulty decisions and uncertainty while I wait patiently for my agent to give me advice regarding the future of these books and my career. It is so easy to forget the positive and dwell on the negative.

But, I must continue to remind myself the reason I write. Not only is it cathartic, but it is revelatory. God speaks to me as I write and the words that show up on this page are a reflection of God’s working in my life. They are an echo of the work that God has for me to do. In that respect, it is “good to be alive”. Because I want to live like there’s no tomorrow. I want to love like I’m on borrowed time. I won’t take my life for granted another second. I will not waste these moments that God has given me. I will wait upon the Lord for He knows the plans for my life. And, I am grateful that God has given me a tiny piece of His Story to write!

 

Live today for God!

The Shadows of Depression Falling, Falling, . . .

The days are growing shorter and night flies across the world in record time. These are the dark days; the cold days as winter and its death grip tightens across the land. As wonderful as the holiday season can be, for some of us, the lengthening shadows bring the cold, hard press of depression to our souls. In a time when we should be thankful and happy, sadness tinges our every thought.

I understand. I have been there and I battle the teasing touch of depression every day. But, I have developed a plan that helps me battle depression on a daily basis. This plan was born out of my two years of counseling and with the help of my Lord. Today, I spoke at length with Armstong Williams on the coming epidemic of depression that is sweeping our land, particularly our young adults. How do you combat this depression?

Let me share some thoughts.

First, invest some time and effort into a creative endeavor. Write a song. Sing a song even if the only person in the audience is the shower nozzle. Write a poem, a letter, a blog post. Pick up some crayons and a coloring book. Find a way to give a special gift of your own making to that loved one this Christmas. Creativity utilizes a totally different part of our brain than that part which is more cognitive and intuitive. Exercising creativity brings a balance to brain chemistry. And, its fun. When you are depressed, you seldom do anything that is fun. Now is the time to indulge yourself. Even if it is to make a cool, colorful ice cream sundae with lots of colorful sprinkles!

Second, take a technology fast. Turn off the cell phone and tuck away the ipad. Don’t message any one for an hour. Go outside and take a walk in the cold sunshine or read a real book. Better yet, try a REAL interaction with someone instead of a virtual interaction. We are becoming increasingly isolated from real contact due to Facebook and Twitter and texting. But, we need to touch and talk to and listen to real people in real time in person. Scary, but I suggest you try it before you forget what it is like to sit at a table with your best buddy and talk over coffee.

Third, invest your time and energy in something that transcends your life. Find a cause that helps others. Serving others can be the best diversion from depression. And, when you invest in a cause that is greater than yourself; that will have lasting impact beyond your life; it gives you perspective. You will find others that may be worse off than you and a smile and a helping hand is what you are looking for so give that to them. Find someone who is suffering from depression and help them out by sharing and talking to them. They might have good advice that will help you. And, vice versa. Turn your “tragedy” into “triumph”. Redeem your depression!

Finally, turn loose of that grudge or that unforgiving attitude. In my book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” the character of Raven is an assassin who started out as a little girl in love with God. Because of some tragedy in her life, she moved into a life of crime, killing for a living. In the process, because she could not forgive, she died inside. Like the vampires in my book, she is the walking dead; dead inside; dead spiritually; dead emotionally. Until she meets up with Jonathan Steel, a man from her past who reminds her that there is a Love that transcends hurt and death and evil. Being unforgiven has left her numb and depressed. Can she ever find forgiveness? Is there some deed so horrific; so heinous that God cannot forgive? Can you ever find peace?

Like Raven, this question is true for all of us. There are always those in our life we should forgive. And, there are always those in our life who should forgive us. Think about that and if you can find it in your heart, forgive. If you can find the strength, ask for forgiveness. You will find the sudden rush of holy wind that floods your soul will rejuvenate your dying spirit; it will fill you with new life; it will blow away the dregs of depression and leave you healed and restored.

Don’t spend another day as the walking dead. Start conquering depression right now!

 

This holiday season, check out “Conquering Depression: A 30 Day Plan for Finding Happiness” available in all bookstores and through all ereaders. If you’re looking for a good fiction book for someone, check out my first book, “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye” and the newest book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”.

 

Final Post on Hutchmoot 2012 — Conquer Depression!

I have seen the hand of God this summer in ways I have never seen before in my life. He reached out to me from the utter blue and totally changed my direction. I am the co-author of “Conquering Depression” published by B&H Publishing way back in February 2001. We had given up on producing a new book and I had decided to move on to my fiction. But, God started stirring things up.

First, I did the RIGHT thing back in May. I said, “God, I am giving up on any future with a new depression book. It is in your hands. Show me the work you want me to do. I will no longer worry about this book. Instead, I will focus on my fiction books.” The next day, an email arrived from our agent telling us we should write a brand new book on depression. Well, I wasn’t completely convinced. I was working on the prep for my fiction books with another publisher. But, I reached out to my co-author, Mark Sutton. Turns out he was in the worst depression he had in years! The last thing he wanted to do was write a new book on depression. He just wanted to see the sun rise again!

I won’t belabor the details, because I can’t really go into them but in July, we were offered an opportunity to do a new book and possibly an entire series! Out of the blue! With no input or planning on our part. Literally, an editor walked up to me at a publisher’s meeting room and recognized me and asked to meet regarding a new book on depression. I mentioned it earlier in my previous post that I felt at that time God might be telling me depression was my top priority instead of fiction. And, that came to pass while I was at Hutchmoot!

Now, here is what I want to share. I don’t know what each person took away from Hutchmoot. I am convinced it was totally different and totally unique for each of us. God told us exactly what we needed. And, I would bet that it wasn’t exactly what we WANTED! I needed to hear that a new depression book was essential! That it was needed! I had decided that only older people suffered from depression. Imagine my shock to learn that many of the under 35 crowd (the majority of Hutchmoot attendees) are churned under by depression. In fact, I would say we are on the cusp of an epidemic. God showed me this as I have said in the previous posts.

God told me in no uncertain terms, “Bruce, get with the program. Don’t just do a halfway job on updating a depression book. Give it everything you’ve got. Now! Today!” I heard God speaking.

And so, I met with my co-author yesterday. We spent six hours going over the tentative plan for the book. But, I showed him some really important things. I told him about Eric Peters and Jason Gray’s “Recovery Through Song” session. I had made copious notes and now several phrases that both men used will become brand new chapters in the depression book. I played Eric’s “Voices” for him. He wept and we will be doing a chapter on the voices that can lie to us. I played him some of “Light for the Lost Boy” and we talked about a mutual acquaintance of my son that Mark Sutton knows well who has lost his faith. We talked about all the “lost boys and girls” who are alienated by our culture. So, we will have a chapter on that! We will be building a website as a platform for this book and we are VERY excited about it.

And here is what I want everyone who attended Hutchmoot 2012 and everyone who planned and worked at Hutchmoot to know. God used this simple gathering for a huge purpose. I walked with God into that meeting and, as Phil Vischer said, God showed me the work He wanted me to do. I could NEVER have seen this without Hutchmoot. So, Pete and Andrew and Eric and Jason and all of you wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ, one day someone will send us an email and say, “Your depression book saved my life.” and you must understand that you had a hand in that. Your love and compassion and devotion to God will play out in ways we can never know. People will come to find hope and peace and joy again because of the influence of Hutchmoot.

So, here is what I’d like to offer. We want to begin to build a database, if you will, of testimonies regarding depression. When we launch our new book in the summer of 2014 (tentative plans) and open our website, I’d like to have as many video, audio, or written testimonials as possible to put on the website. So, here’s the deal. If you would like to be a part of the “Conquer Depression” project, simply let me know. Drop me an email through the form below. I will send you a link to my Dropbox account and you can put anything in there you want — a video, an audio recording, or simply something in writing. And, I have about 50 of the current “Conquering Depression” books as promotions. They are hard to find, but you can order them online and book stores will order them for you. But, I’d like to offer you a copy FREE of charge. Now, this is the current book and the new book will be ten times better thanks to Hutchmoot! But, if I send you a book, and it helps you, we would love a follow up testimonial for the website.

Mark Sutton and I struggle daily with depression. Remember I said he was in the deepest depression in years? Once the ball dropped in July and we were offered a possible new book deal, he changed totally. Turns out his current episode was due to chronic illness, a simmering infection. Once treated, he was different man and now his on fire to write this book! Satan is already after us and attacking both of us. Satan is the father of lies and his biggest lies are the ones that discourage us and send us into his darkness. Help us fight that! Join us in “Conquering Depression”.

 

In the form below, note it is NOT FOR COMMENTS. Simple fill it out and send me your email and I will get back to you with more information.

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