Ask Me Why

By October 24, 2014 Blog
joy

We follow a suffering Saviour, which means that we too, must carry our cross. But in the midst of the hardship and the endurance, there is a deep, deep joy.  And I forget this. Ask me why I’m stressed.  Ask me why I’m struggling.  Ask me what I’m missing, what’s gone wrong, what I need. I’ll tell you, even if you don’t. But ask me why I have hope; and the words often dry up. … So I ask myself.  Who …Read More

Simple Enough for Grown-Ups

By October 23, 2014 Blog
Pre-class-Activities-007

My friend Alice has just written a stonking book about sharing Jesus with pre-schoolers. I asked her if she’d talk a bit about it - and her own relationship with God. Is her writing an expression of confident and overflowing spirituality?  Or has it been part of the process of learning to walk with Him? You might be surprised by her answer… “Christian writers are people with unshakeable faith in God, right? Well, my first book has just come out and it’s all about Jesus – …Read More

Slow Grace

By October 22, 2014 Blog
slow grace

In yesterday’s post I wrote about how God works in the small things as well as the big - especially when it comes to recovery. Today a friend emailed me with a beautiful illustration of this process.  I’m grateful to her for allowing me to share some of this with you: “Just over two years ago I was admitted to The Priory with anorexia. I was in danger of sudden death… I felt also that a Christian should be immune from mental health problems. I did not realise …Read More

The Miracle’s in the Mending

By October 21, 2014 Blog
mending

When we’re struggling with health issues, (our own or others),  it’s natural to hope for instant and dramatic change. We see it on TV and we read about it in the papers – the coma patient who suddenly wakes up; the woman who throws away her crutches; the cancer sufferer who’s pronounced miraculously healed.  These things happen: and praise God for them! But for every instant miracle, there are a hundred slow or partial recoveries.  For every leap into the light, there are years of slow and …Read More

A-Z of Christianity

By October 20, 2014 Blog
az

A is for Adam.  Married to Eve.  Our great-great-great-great-great-great-great … grandfather.  Easy on the eye, but not a lot between the ears. Figured he could do life without God – and got what he wanted. We’ve been following in his footsteps ever since. B is for ‘Bible’ – God’s love letters to us.  Also ‘Bro.’ Your get-out-of-jail-free card for when you forget someone’s name. And ‘Building Work’ (which is why we need PCC meetings and Bun Sales). C is for Church.  It’s not perfect. …Read More

Unexpected Answers

By October 17, 2014 Blog
roo

God’s time-frame is not ours. And sometimes, He answers our prayers, a little later than we expect. When I was nine or ten, I entered a competition that our primary school was running with Belfast zoo. ZOO!  ZooZooZooZooZoo. I LOVE zoos: and Belfast was the BEST. To enter, you had to write a poem about the new baby kangaroos. The winners would then get to visit them with the class, and – get this – give them kangaroo names. I felt sick just thinking about it. So, I …Read More

Why I Am A Christian

By October 16, 2014 Blog
identity print

1. Because Jesus is Lord. 2. Without Him, nothing in my life makes sense. 3. He loved me before I loved Him. 4. He sees me as I am and He doesn’t run away. 5. He forgives me and He’s working redemption through even my mistakes. 6. He tells it like it is. 7. Because I have a bond with my brothers and sisters that defies explanation. 8. Because I see Him at work in other Christians and He changes lives that nothing …Read More

The Prize to Prize

By October 15, 2014 Blog
prize

Just been with Glen at the Jerusalem Awards, where he and some mates won one of the categories (‘Best Short Media’). Hurrah! We – I – am very proud, and you can see the video that won it here. In general however, I find it hard to identify with winners, (though I’ll make an exception for Glen). My heart and sympathy is with the “losers.” The triers. The “ordinary.” Put yourself in the shoes of a finalist. You’re paused, waiting …Read More

The Rights and Wrongs of Anger

By October 14, 2014 Blog
showing-your-anger

Guest post from Glen: A traffic jam when you’re already late, A no smoking sign on your cigarette break. Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife What do these have in common? That’s right, none of them are even remotely “ironic” – merely unfortunate (please note, Alanis). But yesterday I came a little closer to a genuinely “ironic” predicament: I parked in a restricted area in order to get the permit that would allow me to park there. I …Read More

Stronger than Sympathy

By October 13, 2014 Blog
nest

What does it mean to help someone who’s depressed or in distress? Do we join them? Or keep our distance? One approach is illustrated in the cartoon pictured. Helping here means making a nest for the hurting person, withdrawing with them and keeping them company in the dark. It breaks down the wall between “sufferer” and “carer” – and that’s a good thing. It’s also a lovely picture of empathy and understanding. But is it enough? Joining the depressed person in their pit pictures part of Christ’s love - …Read More