What Mercy Sounds Like

By August 13, 2018 Blog

Guest post from Glen. In ‘Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense’, Francis Spufford describes the beginning of his conversion. It started with an argument with his wife. A huge, all-night argument that left them bruised and broken: “When daylight came, the whole world seemed worn out. We got up and she went to work. I went to a café… and nursed my misery along with a cappuccino.” In the cafe, Spufford surveys the scene: “I could …Read More

Girls and self-harm

By August 9, 2018 Blog

In the news this week: the number of teenage girls who self-harm have almost doubled in the past 20 years•. Here’s an excerpt from an email I received several years ago, from someone who was struggling: “…I go to a private school and self-harm is not spoken about enough.  I’ve recently been isolating myself a lot more after I was told I had to wear a cardigan under my blazer because I have scars on my wrist. I also have …Read More

Doubt your doubts

By August 3, 2018 Blog

We’re on holiday this week, so here’s one from the archives…   One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it’s there. Like inviting a flood; if I don’t believe this, then what about this and this and this?  Does God hear my prayers? Does He care?  Is He even there? It’s all well and good if you’re a self-proclaimed atheist.  In this situation, the only way is up.  But what if you’re the leader of a home group? …Read More

Tragedy – or Comedy?

By July 24, 2018 Blog

Guest post from Glen What is life: tragedy or comedy? I’m not asking whether life is a barrel of laughs (newsflash: it’s not!), I’m asking a more technical question. In literature, comedy and tragedy are not about the laughs-to-calamities ratio, it’s about the shape of the story. In particular it’s about the ending. A tragedy is shaped like a frown: it travels up to the heights then tumbles down to the depths. A comedy is a smile: down into danger …Read More

Switched on to hope

By July 17, 2018 Blog

Cynicism is the new rock n roll. It tells the world: ‘I’ve been around the block a few times, I won’t be taken in, I’m savvy, street smart and most of all, experienced.’ It seems wise – but it’s completely anti-gospel. In Jesus, I’m called to the very opposite: faith, hope and love. Faith means embracing what cannot be humanly learned. It means receiving what cannot be humanly earned. I’m called to trust when the world, the flesh and the …Read More

Seeing is believing

By July 8, 2018 Blog

How do you feel when times are tough? Like a tiny cork, bobbing on the waves? Alone and overwhelmed?  Outnumbered and defeated? Don’t judge by what you see. In 2 Kings 6, the people of God seem to be outflanked and outnumbered by their enemies. Elisha’s servant runs in terror to his master and says, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answers, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Notice what …Read More

Truths about faith and mental health

By July 2, 2018 Blog

  Having faith’ doesn’t mean going it alone.  Yes, you need prayer, community and the bible.  But you can also use medication, counselling and therapy. If we can use doctors for our bodies, we can use doctors for our brains. When Saul was stressed, David played him soothing music.  When Elijah was close to breakdown, God told him to sleep and eat. So let’s not be ashamed of using the resources we have been given. It’s not true that if …Read More

What to do instead of freaking out

By June 21, 2018 Blog

  Acknowledge your feelings but remind them that you’re in charge. Think of them as a two year-old who needs reassurance and a bit of loving firmness. Remember, you have felt like this before; and it was all ok. If in doubt, stick to your usual plan/routine.  (The one you made before your brain was flooded with adrenalin). But Don’t try to do too much. It’s tempting to over schedule when you’re stressed, but you need downtime too. Work out …Read More

Play to your weaknesses

By June 15, 2018 Blog

Years ago, I remember praying with Glen. (We have prayed together since then but this one stands out). We were relatively new Christians and and he said something like, ‘Lord if suffering will bring us closer to you, then let your will be done’.  ‘What?’ I hissed – ‘Are you asking for suffering?’ ‘Not exactly,’ he began… Elbowing him, I cleared my throat and in my prayer voice (louder), continued, “Sorry Lord, can we stop right there.  I would like …Read More

Begin Again Land: Guest Post

By June 7, 2018 Blog

I love this post from Glen… The frown, the pout, the head cocked, the bottom lip thrust out… who teaches toddlers how to sulk? It’s not a look we’ve tried to inculcate. It must be some kind of primeval muscle memory. Down the generations, identical whinges have emerged from three year olds, like secret lemon juice messages becoming visible under the iron. Children are marked with the sulking signature. When the heat is on, out it comes. Sometimes, if it’s …Read More