Lessons from the hard times

By October 3, 2017 Blog

I can’t change or control the world around me.  But through Christ, I have a choice about how I respond when things are hard. I can choose to remind myself who I am in Him; or I can choose to try to manage life myself. I live in a broken world and I am broken.  Doing the ‘right thing’ doesn’t make the bad things stop. Ordering things on the outside – my body, my house, my diary, my finances – …Read More

(No) Excuses for Relapse

By October 10, 2016 Blog

1. I’ve been working really hard and I deserve a break.  (Sorry, but no. Good on you for working hard; but the thing you want a break from is a life-dominating whirlpool of addiction that will suck you down if you dip your toe in). 2. I can handle it. (You can’t.  It’s bigger than you – which is why you need Jesus and other people and all the support you can get). 3. I’ve learned from my mistakes.  (Great! So don’t …Read More

Yes He Can

By January 22, 2016 Blog

I can’t do it. That thing. The habit I need to break. The phone call I keep putting off. The book I want to write. The truth I need to face. I can’t clean the oven. I can’t give up the smokes. I can’t take charge of my finances. I can’t care for my elderly parents. I can’t love my difficult child.  I can’t get out of bed. I can’t say it’s over.  I can’t give it another chance.   I can’t do it …Read More

Helping Someone With OCD

By November 30, 2015 Blog

Encourage sufferers to seek help: the earlier they receive it, the better their chances of recovery. Watch out for warning signs: e.g. seeking reassurance, doing things over and over, irritability/indecisiveness, extreme reactions to minor things, spending a long time doing activities/being late, taking longer than usual over small tasks. If they’ve been prescribed medication, encourage them to keep taking it. Don’t support them in their rituals (e.g; washing towels or keeping things in a certain order). It’s natural to want to …Read More

The Heart of Change

By August 24, 2015 Blog

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

The God who Gives

By November 27, 2014 Blog

Hands up out there if you’re a Hoarder. You know what I’m talking about. Hanging onto things (sometimes everythings) a little too long. Buying more of exactly the same stuff (in case the world runs out).  Stockpiling – dvds or nappies or toilet rolls or the stinky cheese from Poundland that always gets snapped up. It’s definitely in me. I’m better than I was, (Exhibit A: mountains of unworn Oxfam clothes, now bagged up and repatriated). But only slightly. Pull open the cupboards and you’ll see …Read More

Responding to Relapse

By November 12, 2014 Blog

1. Don’t panic.  Relapse is not the same as tumbling back into that pit. This moment – right now – is where you stop sliding and start climbing. 2. Don’t pretend it’s okay.  It’s not. We both know where these patterns lead. We both know that it’s bigger than you.  And we both know there’s a window when you can seek help and make decisions; a window that may close if you leave it much longer. 3. It will never be easier to …Read More

The Problem with Porn

By November 9, 2014 Blog

1.Nearly two-thirds of Christian men view porn on a monthly basis (source) 2. One in ten Christian women view porn on a monthly basis. Broken down by age group, women between the ages of 31 and 49 were revealed to be the most active pornography viewers with 42 percent, or four out of 10, watching at least monthly (source) 3. 90% of 8-16 year olds have watched porn online.  The average age for first viewing is 11 (source: Gail Dines-  see end of …Read More

Don’t Drown Together

By November 3, 2014 Blog

What do you do if someone you love is caught up in an addiction? They want help – but the help they want is not the kind they need. They want to be rescued, or just left alone – but you can’t do either. They’re trapped and unable to get out – but every day they make decisions which mire them deeper in the mess. So. You can be hard.  I can’t help you.  I won’t.  Sort yourself out and come back …Read More

Gone Too Far?

By September 3, 2014 Blog

Perhaps like me you’re a Christian: but you don’t always feel it. For one thing, you still have struggles – and I’m not talking substandard quiche or missing a quiet time. The Big Guns: Addiction. Despair. Porn. Self-harm.  Alcohol. Faithlessness. Doubt. Anger. Promiscuity. Stuff a church-goer shouldn’t even think about, let alone do. Things you repent of: but can’t quite get past. Old scabs that keep breaking open. And yes, you know that Jesus came for sinners.  But there’s sin and there’s Sin. Let’s say …Read More