Richard Mansel

Writer, Preacher, Historian and Bookworm

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Painting a Picture of Depression


In my previous posts I discussed the reality of depression.

Robin Williams and Depression

Christians and Mental Illness

In the article about Robin Williams we looked at an important quote that helped address the need to distinguish depression from sadness.

Today, I have come across a powerful piece about the realities of depression.  Read more…

Preparing to Teach God’s Word


Teaching requires that we yield a part of ourselves and step away from our comfort zones. Teaching is a fearful thing for many people and they dread it. Nevertheless, Christianity is a taught religion (Matthew 28:18-20) and requires a significant sacrifice.

Naturally, our minds, ever quick to rationalize, will look for an avenue of escape. James appears to provide one:

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1, NKJV).

However, before we sprint into the shadows, let us see what James meant. Would the Lord’s own brother betray the Great Commission and the mission of his Lord? Read more…

Robin Williams and Depression


Millions are mourning the loss of one of the most beloved actors and comedians in our lifetimes.

Robin Williams died of an apparent suicide at the age of 63 as a result of a prolonged battle with deep depression. He had an Academy Award, wealth, fame, millions of dollars and a family. So, why was he depressed? Why couldn’t he just get over it?

Things are far more complicated than many realize. Depression is very real and we cannot Biblically say that it is a lack of faith in every case because there are more factors than we can know.

The English language fails us because we lump everything under one word. Therefore, we dismiss the entire lot without a thought. What a tragedy. Read more…

Reading the Bible


Bradley Cobb has a good short article on the necessity of preachers reading the Bible. Of course, it is essential for every Christian (2 Timothy 3:16-17) but he chose preachers to make a specific point.

Cobb writes:

Many times, preachers kinda know what they want to preach on, or what text they want to bring to light, and then they dig into that text.  They spend so much time doing that, that they trick themselves into thinking that they’ve done enough Bible reading for the week.

Read more…

I Am Weak, but Thou Art Strong


Marty Broome preaches at the Darien Church of Christ on the South Georgia coast. He does an excellent job and he recently shared this inspiring story.

“I am weak, but Thou are strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long…As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.”

Just the words to a favorite hymn, but sometimes a song can say more than we can ever verbalize. Everyone that knows me, knows that I’m a positive person…or at least I try to be.

But, if I’m honest, working in the mission field can be a little discouraging from time to time. I was going through one of those times just a couple of weeks ago when Sunday morning rolled around.

My lessons were prepared for Sunday and Bible class began.  Our numbers were down…way down and as I walked into the pulpit to begin the sermon a total of 5 people (including myself) were in the auditorium. We usually have around 25-30. I kept thinking more folks would come in. Maybe they were running late. But at least we did have a visitor from the community.

But I must confess; at that moment I was weak. Have you ever felt that way? You start to question yourself and your message. I think that if we are honest, we have all been there. Read more…

Preaching and Ministry Articles


After nineteen years of preaching and advanced degrees from Freed-Hardeman and Southern Christian universities, I am completely  in debt to the Lord. I would have nothing without Him. Special thanks to all my professors, teachers, fellow preachers and friends who have taught and influenced me through these years. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for what you have done to help me. Of course, my wife and daughters are an extraordinary blessing in my life.

My Book on the Plan of Salvation

My Philosophy of Preaching

Why I Love the Bible Read more…

Book Review of Trapped Under The Sea

Trapped Sea

I received this eBook in lieu of an honest review from Blogging for Books.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m doing research for a book dealing with the sea. So I thought I might find this interesting. Neil Swidey was obviously very devoted to this project and the people involved. His respect and passion were obvious throughout the story.

Read more…

Review of K.M. Weiland’s Annotated Jane Eyre


“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” (Stephen King).

We cannot be effective writers unless we are fueled by powerful words. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of filling our minds with quality writing. Learning from the best accelerates our own growth as a writer.

When we read the best, we accomplish several things.

  1. We’re edified by reading.
  2. We’re elevated intellectually by the story.
  3. We’re enriched by the writer’s craft. Read more…

The Walk


[Editor's Note: My friend, David, showed me this article and I knew I had to share it with my readers. Not only does it provide a good Biblical message, but it's a heartwarming story of a time long forgotten. It's easy to idealize the past and forget about the hard times. Meanwhile, others abhor the past on principle, which is a miserable way to be. Instead, we should examine the times for what they are, as a historian. In the olden days, things weren't perfect by any means. There were societal injustices that cannot be denied. Yet, there were also people of goodness and kindness with a vigorous sense of community, which is desperately needed in our cold, modern world.] 

by David Ferguson

I was just three years old when we began living in the tiny country town of Bruce, Illinois back in 1964. We lived there for almost three years and in many ways it was very much like the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina [from the Andy Griffith television series].  Read more…

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