About Me

I graduated from Melbourne School of Ministries Bible College in 1988. I have been a Sunday School teacher and church pianist for over twenty years, and have been known to preach on the odd occasion.

I am blessed with an international marriage and two beautiful children.

I suffered from severe depression in the early 1990s and share my route to recovery on this blog, with practical advice and words of comfort to depression sufferers, in the hope of helping them to cope with and recover from depression too. I have also collated the articles from this blog into a free ebook on depression, 'When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong,' which can be downloaded from here

I also suffer from epilepsy, otosclerosis (going deaf), and in 2010 was diagnosed with major depressive disorder again, after sixteen years remission - but I have a grateful and thankful heart, because I knows that all things are within Jesus’ capable hands.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

My Testimony

I was blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. The first words spoken to me when I was born were by my mother, who said, "Daddy loves you, Mummy loves you, brother loves you, but most of all, Jesus loves you."

And from my youngest years, she always pointed my attention to Jesus, encouraging me to go and spend time with Him in prayer when I was troubled or feeling down. I spent much of my early years quite sick, and spent those days and weeks when I was bedridden chatting to Jesus, my constant, loving companion.

My father lead the family through regular weekly Bible devotional times, teaching us God's Word and the principles of His kingdom. When I was seven I understood that the Bible taught we needed to make a personal commitment to Christ, and so I accepted and confessed Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
'That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.' Romans 10:9

I was baptised in water when I was twelve-years-old.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matthew 28:19 

During my early high school years I was the victim of bullying, and during that time I learned to rely even more upon Christ and His strength.
'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' Philippians 4:13 NKJV
 

Throughout my teenage years I continued to seek Him and draw closer to Him, reading the Bible and praying.
'Come near to God and he will come near to you.' James 4:8

When I was 19, I had an intimate encounter with Jesus that changed my life completely, when He baptized me in the Holy Spirit. As His Spirit filled me, I felt Jesus wonderful Presence so powerfully that I could not stand, the Holy Spirit also gave me a revelation of Jesus' love for me specifically; and He set me free from years of stored anger and resentment, which were washed away in cleansing tears. Furthermore, instead of being shy in regards to sharing the Gospel, I could not help but share the Good News from that moment.
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Matthew 3:11
"For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:5,8 
 
When I was 20 I studied Bible College by correspondence for a year, and then attended a brick-and-mortar Bible College for 18 months, and graduated with a Certificate of Christian Ministry. During that time I ministered with a church planting team as the assistant pastor, for it was my goal to be a missionary in Asia. But in 1989, depression clawed its way into my life and caused an emotional and mental collapse at the end of the year. That was followed by eight months of living hell, followed by another four years of gradual recovery. My story of learning to cope with, and recover from depression, is recorded in detail on this blog.

In 1995 I married a Japanese lady, and for much of the next fifteen years, we ministered together in a local Japanese-speaking Presbyterian church. I played the piano, taught Sunday school, and even preached on a few occasions.

My wife lost our first baby due to an ectopic pregnancy, and we were crushed when the hospital told us if we tried to have any more children, it was almost sure to happen again - in order words, we could not have children. But after being encouraged by a dear friend through God's Word through scriptures such as Joshua 1:9, my wife and I came before Jesus, and asked that He bless us with a child by His miraculous provision, and not by IVF or such. Within a month, she was pregnant with our daughter. Seven years later, the Lord blessed us with another miracle baby, a son.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

When I was 30 I suddenly started having complex-partial epileptic seizures, but unfortunately, I did not know what they were, so suffered dozens of seizures over the next five years, until my wife and I, for the first time in our life watched a medical drama, which just happen to feature a person with epilepsy. I saw my doctor the next day, and it was confirmed. I now take anti-convulsants three times a day.

I started going deaf from otosclerosis when I was 18yrs old, but it took until I was 39 for my left ear to become stone deaf. A year later I had a major operation, in which the bones in my middle ear were replaced with a stapes titanium implant. About two-thirds hearing was restored to that ear. My right ear is only marginally better. Accompanying the otosclerosis is chronic tinnitus, which includes a deep hum, low rumbling and hissing. I am looking forward to going to heaven and getting my resurrected perfect body from Jesus, so that I can experience what silence is like again. (Unless He heals me before then...) Throughout this ordeal I have been conscious of the Lord's comfort and strength.

In 2008 the Lord Jesus lead me to start a blog about dealing with depression and anxiety, using my diary entries and poems from 1989-1994 as the basis of the blog posts. 

In 2010, depression slowly returned to my life, and had developed into full blown major depressive disorder by September. It continued to worsen until February 2011, where I suffered an emotional and mental collapse. After finding a medication that helped (it took three tries) I have been experiencing slow and gradual improvements, with a varied mix of good days and bad days, though the number of good days I am having now, in May 2013, are outnumbering the bad days 3 to 1.
On the whole, although this second major depressive episode has been very bad, it has not been as bad as was the first time, due to putting into practice from the illness's outset the techniques I learned from "Self Help for Your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes.

At the moment, each morning I fix my eyes upon Jesus, remind myself that He is holding my hand and leading through that day, and I press on, relying completely and utterly upon Him.