Managing Desires

By February 14, 2011 Blog

Just thinking again about how we manage our desires.  It seems to me that we’ve got a number of options.  We can; 1.       Repress them. But this means they come back stronger or seep out in unhealthy ways.  So, at university when I tried to give up caffeine, I ended by cracking in the middle of the night and eating coffee with a spoon.  Or maybe I decide to economise.  I buy Poundland toilet roll but end up splurging on …Read More

Stick Another Tinny In The Ute, Sheila

By February 12, 2011 Blog

I love Aussies.  That’s hardly surprising, given that I married one.  But recently, listening to the straight-talking Aussie media, I’ve been reminded why. Where in the UK, we have beautifully photographed and haunting warnings about say the dangers of speeding or drink driving, in Australia the tag runs more like this: ‘if you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot’. Effective, yes. Subtle, no. Or how about this advertisement from an otherwise conservative Pet’s Magazine: Piss Off! – A Terrible …Read More

Hungry?

By February 11, 2011 Blog, identity

Why is food so often the focus of our feelings – especially for women?  Why can’t a plate of pasta or a slice of cake be enjoyed as a simple physiological experience? Instead it often seems like the answer to our problems – whether as poison or panacea. But is this a modern preoccupation? And as Christians, what are we to make of it? Writing on ‘The Psychology of Food’, ( Harper’s Bazaar Jan/Feb 2011), Stephen Garratt gives this explanation …Read More

When Everything Seems Broken

By February 10, 2011 Blog

I was talking recently with a friend who described her life, through tears, with these words – ‘everything is broken’. She’s having an especially hard time at the moment, but she’s not alone. For most of us, there are at least parts of our lives we’d like to undo, or erase completely. So what do we do with our mistakes? I’m not talking here about little blips.  Forgetting an anniversary –  or Valentine’s Day. (Glen, I’m giving you a heads …Read More

‘Others Have It Worse’

By February 9, 2011 Blog

Have you ever been asked how you’re doing?  Sometimes, the honest answer is ‘terrible’ .But before you start to articulate the truth, an urgent message pops into your brain box. Here’s what it says – ‘other people have it much worse. How dare you moan about your life?’ So you clamp down on your real feelings and say, ‘fine’.  Or perhaps you hint at a bit of tiredness.  But you certainly don’t voice what’s really going on. What’s going on …Read More

The ‘Shallow’ Sickness

By February 8, 2011 Blog

Despite the prevalence of mental illness, as a church, (at least in my experience),we don’t talk about it enough. I’m not advocating we always spill our guts over coffee or put ‘greater sexual intimacy’ on the PCC agenda. Not necessarily.  But as the body of Christ, we don’t need to hide or cover our weaknesses.  On the contrary – we’re to share them and to support one another. I think we’re getting better at discussing depression, but there’s still a …Read More

Happy Meal?

By February 7, 2011 Blog

In recent posts we’ve been thinking a little about the confusion of appetite (for physical food), with hunger (for emotional wants or needs).  So, let’s say I’ve had a really rotten day.  I’m in a foul mood.  Glen or a friend tries to engage me in conversation, to find out what’s wrong.  But I don’t want to talk. I’m emotionally constipated – there’s a whole barrage of competing feelings coursing through my veins, but they’re in a big, amorphous and …Read More

Something for the Ladies?

By February 6, 2011 Blog, identity

Is there such a thing as a ‘women’s genre?’  Whether in film, theatre, art or literature –  is there a particular kind of creative expression that appeals uniquely to the feminine psyche? Let me declare my hand from the outset.  Men and women are different. Our gender is not interchangeable.  When we act like it is, we run into huge problems.  However, it’s a fallacy to argue that difference implies inequality.  Just consider the Trinity.  Different persons, different roles, total …Read More

Man Wars

By February 5, 2011 Blog

According to a survey carried out by Harper’s Bazaar (Jan/Feb 2011), 72 per cent of us are more likely to lose weight to avoid being judged by women, than to impress a man. We also eat fewer calories when with a man, but when we eat with women we can double our intake, spurred on by ‘I will if you will’ collective behaviour. Scientists say that what’s at work is an ‘adaptive evolutionary mechanism’.  Women are biologically programmed to measure …Read More

Obliged to Be Happy

By February 4, 2011 Blog

I’m sure you’re familiar with the modern idea that happiness – or at least its pursuit, is a human right. In the UK, David Cameron recently announced plans to construct a ‘happiness index’,  measuring the country’s well-being. Even in Brazil, (promoted as ‘land of the party’), a bill enshrining the pursuit of happiness is expected to gain Senate approval. It seems pretty obvious that to claim the ‘right’ to happiness is absurd. As Lewis argues, asserting the “right” to happiness …Read More