Thursday, February 10, 2011

Into the Mouth of Madness

This honestly has been one of those times where I could easily pack it in with this blog and quit for good.  It has been a very difficult week for us as a family.  We had a friend whom we’ve known for some time descend deeper and deeper into terrible mental illness.  I’m not at liberty to discuss all the details but let me say it has been deeply disturbing and a shock.  I have dealt with such things before as a minister but seeing someone this close go so far into madness has been a terrible blow to us all.  Neither we nor trained therapists and psychologists have yet been able to pierce the dark world our friend is in now but we continue to hold out our faith and pray.  Some of you may know that we are planning many trips this year.  This has also been a really challenge and stretching for our faith.  We will be leaving soon to Chicago for some meetings in a Ghanaian church and we intend to go back to Ireland in April.  My daughter will begin driving lessons this summer and by next fall we intend to head back to the Philippines. Follow the news and you know this is a very dangerous place these days and our family will be there for two months…one month we will prepare for a missionary team to follow by securing housing and setting up banking etc.  Lovely and I have done this before but this time things have gotten worse and we will bring Gabby for her first time there.  All of this we bring before God…we have no intention of quitting but admittedly I sometimes wonder if it’s worth putting it here…I guess for now I’ll remain.  I have been very annoyed that the file hosting site I normally use is screwed up so I can’t put my own music here.  I have no idea if they’ll fix it so for now it’s a mix of things I could find and that’s how it will stay for the time being.


Until I get through my pictures from Ghana I’ll keep plugging away.  The bitter cold and snow here returned with a vengeance and it does nothing to inspire me to take pictures…at least not just yet.  You know what I miss?  Green…grass, trees and of course the heat that accompanies green!  One thing that I love about living here in Montana is we can walk still…no fear of the crimes that stalk much of the world today…and no tall fences with their intimidating gates.  Ghana may have the high walls and gates but they also have such beautiful flowers and trees with exotic bark on their trunks.  It’s hard to walk anywhere without seeing a wonderful blossoming tree or bush…this I miss very much.  By God’s grace we’ll return to Ghana next January…then I can put even my dear friends in California to shame while they brag of sixty degree weather I’ll be in my shorts on a beach!  Ghana always has interesting things to see and things that I love to try.  You can always see someone selling their fare…this man had a lot of luggage for sale…he didn’t have enough hands to carry it all so he found a way.  This is dear Hans who is the youth pastor in my African brother’s church.  He worked tirelessly to capture Gabby’s favor.  We love him so very much.  We look forward to the time when we can return…not just for the weather and flowers you see!  There are times when I wish I were a botanist instead of one more failed gardener with a black thumb.  I often wonder if I could actually make something grow in counties like this.  If I could have a garden I think I’d include everything I couldn’t grow hereand that would include the majestic palms that may not have fruit but look so very amazing.  For now I can only dream of such things but you never know.  Stepping out your door can be a very dangerous thing because once your feet start walking down that path only God can tell where you’re going to end up!




  1. Joe, I felt the turmoil that you are dealing with concerning your friend and the trips, etc. I am praying with you that your friend will begin to see the light of day again and in turn your world will be brighter.
    Prayers for you all.

  2. Don't you DARE pack it in. For sure I';m standing by you and I know others will as well. We'll hold you up as a family.

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend Joe and will keep him in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you for all you and your family does Joe and be with you while you do His work.

  4. Blessings on you and your family, Joe. Remember, some mental problems are demonic, and must be fought in prayer, etc. Praying extra protection over you and your family, since this is so close to you. Don't give up your blog... how else would we keep up with you???
    hugs to you and the fam..

  5. Sorry about your friend had problems that I understana how you feeling about him and plus all other problems Joe, it is not easire for you and your family.
    Although I can understand that you feel under mine for the blog though I sometime thinking about your situation that how you find time for are very busy man...

    I know you loved trip to Ghana ( you had left your hearts in there)but you need to go to the other place from you jobs.
    Without that todays life is not easy to lived for everybody.

    Hope everything go with your way,God be with you always.
    Please don't give up your blog so many friends are waiting your new post.
    Take care,

  6. This is my command- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT.

    Joe, I am sorry to hear concerning your friend. These things are so hard to understand, and heartbreaking, especially when it is someone you know, and love. I pray that the Lord would somehow bring healing, restoration, and deliverance to your friend, and God's Hand would be on His Life. I pray that The Lord would give you Wisdom in each situation, and circumstance you are facing , and dealing with,and the challenges you will face in the up and coming months ahead. May God Bless you and your family, and direct your paths.
    Thank you Jesus. Amen

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Joe

    Love in Christ Jesus
    Dianne :)

  7. True we don't always know where the path leads in this life only that God will make sure ones for this earthly journey we travel as we tune in to his will, then the ultimate path. Wonderful scenery would like to grow the fruit like that here! I've had a lull with my blogging too which will pass I'm sure, even though there is lots of greenery here I long for the colors of Spring always inspires me. May the Lord's power be at work with your friend Joe when it seems we've done what we can there's still prayer, good music, positive friends sharing faithful words to keep with and hang on to - peace & a happy Friday to you all.

  8. I know the turmoil you're dealing with, as well Joe. I also know you're putting it in God's hands and he will carry you through. hang in there, brother; we're all pulling for you.

  9. Life has it's experiences, and you my friend have had many. It is tragic your friend is in the dark place. I pray for your friend.
    You are a very responsible man and take on all the worries of the project at hand. God has chosen you, have faith. Many people have trust and faith in you.
    I do hope you stay here. I don't want to lose touch with you. You have been a light in my life. Be well, be happy and God bless.
    Till the next time you post....;-)

  10. Oh Joe I could just feel your sadness over your friend. I am so sorry for him and how the people closest to him are also suffering. There's nothing worse than feeling you are of no help or aid to someone suffering. We all know how that is your platform in this life. Sometimes situations are not given for us to heal but for us to learn. Sadly those that we love teach us in their suffering. I don't understand why that has to be but know you have the faith, compassion and love to get through it. ((hugs)) to you and your family Joe and today Happy Birtday.

  11. Keeping your friend in my prayers Joe, and you and your family always with some of the places you travel too as well as in your daily lives here.

  12. Happy Birthday, Joe. I can see you have a heavy heart and I wish God's blessings for you and your family. I hope in some way that your friend's darkness is totally removed by God's Healing Light. Only God can work it out.

  13. A Happy Birthday to you Joe! hope everything
    going easy for you.
    I'm here to prayers your close friend of her and best hope are being sent your way.

  14. Joe be strong for urself and every one around u
    Dealing with a friend going down is very hard.
    what can u do??? be there for him Just be there. So much things going on in ur life.and indeed the philipines are not safe. But Joe
    when i read ur entry here I feel so much Cries for help. U cant take everything alone on ur shoulders Joe
    I know how it is Joe..Belief me Its hard for ur friend and for the ppl that live around him.
    A prayer is all i can do..and Joe..
    Keep ur head up u hear!!!

  15. Happy Birthday Joe....
    Depression can hit hard Joe, I'm sure your friend will find his way out of the darkness with the help of good friends like yourself.....
    They need there friends beside them to help that's the main thing that they are on there own during there hours of need,..
    Hope you have a lovely day
    Lady J

  16. Now you see how many came running? Darn right! Joe, I can't tell how devastated SO many would be if you threw in the towel on blogging. For one, we'd miss you terribly, and 2, we'd worry when we didn't hear that all of you were ok, and 3, it's a great outlet for you to vent AND rejoice. And then there's the travelogue of Africa and soon to be Phillipines! So see? You can't quit. You're in too deep to all of us now :D
    Yes, sometimes we all feel like quitting and especially when something happens to someone we love and there's nothing we can do about it. Worst feeling in the world watching another suffer. But we must stand tall, and we must move on and upward because there are others that need us as well.
    I will keep your friend in my prayers right along side of you and your family who are always in my prayers. Love to you all, Joe :)

  17. I'm so glad you two had an evening together! ♥

  18. My dear friend... I am sorry I'm only reading this now.
    First, the madness of your friend is so very difficult, I know. I have an Uncle who is a Paranoid Schizophrenic and the decent into madness is a terrifying one for the people not going thru it but watching it.

    Your Gabby is turning into quite the little beauty. I know you're so very proud of her and I feel, as I know you do, that she is destine for great things.

    I know that you will do the right thing, however I admit that I will worry about you and your family in the dangerous places. I know that those are the places that needs God the most, so it seems natural that you would want to be there, where the voice of God may have been forgotten. Just be weary, which I know you will.

  19. Hi Joe
    i want to see how ur doing now? bit better?
    life aint easy i know we have bubbly roads sometimes.
    God bless u and ur family and ur friends
    Be well

  20. Hi Joe,
    Thank you for your visits and leaving your nice comments.
    I know you have a worried about your friends,
    I will keep her and yours and the family in my prayers.
    Please take care,

  21. Stopped by this rainy night to say a prayer for the broken down vehicle and your frustration.
    Hugs to you my friend.

  22. Just stopping by to check on y'all and trusting that all is well.
    Y'all have snow and we are expecting bad storms tonight, closet probably for Kassey and me.
    Blessings to all.

  23. been so long since i was here! i have missed much!
    im so sorry for your friend ;( such a thing is hard to witness ... but God is bigger than the madness. i pray he accepts the solution to the problem that drove him there.
    these are trying times, the devil is freaking out.

  24. Thank you for visits and leaving your kind comments appreciates very much.
    No photos anymore in here....
    Have a great day,