A Greater Safety

By August 31, 2015 Blog
reach out

How would you describe yourself? Not the outside appearance: the inside.  YOU. What parts do you love? And what bits do you hate? Chances are, the bits you like least are the very parts that God can use most. The soft heart that’s easily crushed. The fears that turn you to prayer. The grief that helps you comfort. The weakness that looks to His strength.   Sparrow hearts, fluttering in our palms. The unlikely The lesser The least presentable. These things we …Read More

The Heart of Change

By August 24, 2015 Blog
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Sometimes I speak to folks in recovery from different issues.    They’ve made incredible progress – but there’s one question they often ask: “I’ve gotten over X” they say, “but now I have Y! Something else has taken its place! What’s wrong with me?  Will this ever end?” Swapping one harmful behaviour for another.  The anorexia who becomes bulimic. The bulimic who starts to self-harm. The self-harmer who turns to alcohol.  The alcoholic who starts abusing painkillers. Here’s how one blog reader puts it: …Read More

Guest Post: Can Despair Be Worship?

By August 19, 2015 Blog
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Glen here. On Sunday I preached the darkest Psalm in the Bible: Psalm 88. It’s 18 verses of unrelenting anguish and confusion and yet… the Holy Spirit authored it, Jesus prayed it and the Father hears it. In fact he has continued to hear it prayed by millions around the world for the best part of three millennia. It belongs to a whole category of Psalms – laments – which are the most common forms of prayer in the Psalter. Almost …Read More

Start Again

By August 13, 2015 Blog
reset

On bad days, my version of Christian discipleship is not the official one. It’s a ledger with four columns. The first one says, ‘how am I feeling?’ (scored from 1 (atrocious/shouldn’t have been born) to 10 (So good it HURTS) The second one asks, ‘what am I worth?’ (based on answer to no 1) The third one says ‘what did I do to deserve this score?’ And the fourth one says, ‘how can I make it better?’ It might sound complicated, but it’s comes very naturally.  Let …Read More

It’s Not Supposed To Feel Like This

By August 4, 2015 Blog
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When I became a Christian, I expected untrammelled blessings and a overwhelming sense of joy. This was not my experience. Meeting Jesus was like inviting in a JCB truck, not a friendly maiden aunt. He saved my life, but He turned it upside-down too. Instead of being easier and simpler, life became harder and more complicated. I knew God as my Father and I joined the church - but for the first time I was different to my family. I started reading the Bible - but it wasn’t like …Read More

Silence That Speaks

By July 28, 2015 Blog
shells

How do you ‘do’ pastoral care?  Is it something that requires training? A hospital placement? A degree in theology? A specific calling? These things can be helpful.  But I reckon much of it comes down to two things: curiosity – and compassion. 1. Curiosity: being interested in the person you’re with. Simple, eh? But not easy. At least, not for me.. Often, instead of listening,  I’ll be talking to someone and thinking about myself.  Waiting for the opportunity to wedge in …Read More

The Total Nazarene Diet

By July 20, 2015 Blog
bible boot camp

Summer’s here!  Your body may be Beach Ready, but is your soul Preach Ready? Scared to strip off at small group?  Sick of comparing yourself to the worship leader? Take Control and Fight the spiritual flab. It’s time to Take Back Your Temple - starting NOW. Try our NEW 40-day plan: You’ve nothing to lose, but your sins! Breakfast: Champions don’t just read their Bibles. They Do #Devotions, (now with 30% more Minor Prophets). Channel your spiritual qi by shouting “Jesus” “Preach it” each time you read …Read More

Say What You Mean (But Don’t Say It Mean)

By July 14, 2015 Blog
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I just tell it like it is. (I’m rude. I don’t care enough to think about your feelings before opening my mouth) I have to be true to myself. (I’ll do what I want and stuff the consequences) It’s just the way I am. (It suits me to be like this.  I don’t want to change and therefore I “can’t.”) Can I be honest with you? (Let’s drop the pretence of being nice) With all due respect, (which is none..) …Read More

I Can’t Decide

By July 9, 2015 Blog
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Things that make me anxious: Wasps. Small-talk. Admin. Deadlines. Phone-calls from numbers I don’t recognise, (Why are you calling me? Has somebody died?) And DECISION-MAKING. Given that each day is made up of choices, this can be a problem. Big ones (relationships, life choices, money etc).  But small ones too. Blue socks or green? Muesli or Weetabix? Ordering a coffee: Barista: HihowareyoutodaywhatcanIgetyou? E: Oh – hi. Fine, I think. Actually I’m knackered. You? Great.  Er – what did you ask me again? …Read More

Go Figure

By June 30, 2015 Blog
spill

In the last ten years, the number of under-19s receiving treatment for an eating disorder has risen by 172%. That’s quite a stat. It should be surprising, except, well, it’s not. Everyone knows someone who’s been affected. Schools and colleges expect it. Many industries endorse it. A generation of young people (predominantly girls) are starving themselves to death and it’s part of the furniture. Eating disorders are not the only issue. But they’re the default for far too many. Why? Here are some guesses: …Read More