Richard Mansel

Writer, Preacher, Historian and Bookworm

Author Archive

Offering Hope for Broken People


When we take the gospel to the world, we will encounter broken people. They are everywhere and they need help. It would certainly be easier to only deal with happy, positive people. But by doing so, we would betray God’s mission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Award-winning writer Joyce Carol Oates has been busy on her Twitter account discussing depression, war, police brutality and the horrors people face in this cruel world. More of us need to start being aware and alert to those who are suffering. Oates writes in a series of tweets:
Read more…

Review of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


As an avid reader of history and literature, I increasingly combine them by turning to international fiction. I’ve lived in the United States all of my life. So why not learn about other cultures?

One day I can stroll the parched lands of Africa and the next, be whisked off  to the snowy streets of Norway. Without leaving my favorite reading spot, I can wander all over the world learning new cultures. It’s like being an amateur anthropologist without leaving the couch. Read more…

Protected: Resume and Beliefs

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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…

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