Christmas Tactics

By December 18, 2015 Blog

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But if it’s not – 1. Get some quality time in with the Lord. I say this, because it’s an area where I struggle. And it’s His birthday. 2. Have an escape plan. If there’s an event coming and you really can’t face it, work out an excuse for leaving early and your route home. 3. Delegate. Sometimes people like to feel involved. (Sometimes they don’t, but that’s just too bad). 4. Ban …Read More

Guest Post: Can Despair Be Worship?

By August 19, 2015 Blog

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

It’s Not Supposed To Feel Like This

By August 4, 2015 Blog

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

Twelve Years a (Love) Slave

By May 23, 2015 Blog

Twelve years ago tomorrow, Glen and I tied the knot. It was a glorious day, filled with laughter and love. The honeymoon was just as I’d dreamed – and after our return, it only got better. The longer we spent in each other’s company, the more we fell in love. It was so effortless; like two pieces slotting into a whole. In Glen’s arms, I found myself and finally blossomed into the woman I’d always longed to be. Living together was a total joy and felt like second …Read More

Real Love?

By February 2, 2015 Blog

My marriage is in trouble. I know we’ve had our wobbles in the past.  But this week, I realised that the situation is far worse than I’d imagined. This week, I read an article entitled, “Love – How to know it’s the Real Deal”. And – if what it says is true – then Glen and I don’t love each other. And maybe we never did. Exhibit 1: “The moment we met, I knew. I saw him and tingled from head to …Read More

Bleeding Love

By January 20, 2015 Blog

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, a learning curve, a journey and a million other cliches that try – and fail to capture the reality. Nappies, stitches and sleepless nights, I was prepared for.  What I hadn’t anticipated was the heart surgery. The fierce and painful emotion that courses, hot, through every vein. Love, I suppose.  But not like I love my cats or I love books or I love mashed potatoes. Something else – primitive and frightening.  I’d die …Read More

Dear Shame

By December 17, 2014 Blog

Dear Shame It’s me, Emma. You’ve been telling me who I am for a long time now. But I thought it was time I said something back. Feels like we’ve known each other – well, forever.  But tell me,when were we first introduced?  Was it at infant school, when I wet myself during story time? Or when my next-door-neighbour caught me stealing strawberries from her garden? Was it when my body started changing?  When my boyfriend broke up with me? Or …have …Read More

Blessed are the Flexible

By November 18, 2014 Blog

How do you feel about change? I’m not a fan.  In fact, I hate it. I hate change. But it loves me. I can’t avoid it.  Though believe me, I’ve tried. I tried it with anorexia – trying to stop time.  I tried it with OCD – trying to control my environment. I tried it with academia – sentences like fences, walling me in.  Safety in books. But loneliness too. So I tried it with relationships – the loved ones who swore they’d …Read More

Making Church ‘Safe’

By September 30, 2014 Blog

Following on from yesterday’s post, some thoughts on making church less scary:  Expect that folks in your pews will struggle.  Model weakness and beware of a leadership model that says that ‘proper’ Christians have to be strong and together.  Talk about mental health issues – even in sermons: and not as something ‘unusual’ or ‘weak’. Avoid using loaded words e.g. ‘mad’, ‘crazy’ – especially from the pulpit. Invite speakers in to talk about specific issues, including testimonies from …Read More

When the Safe Place is Scary

By September 29, 2014 Blog

Recently I was talking with a friend, when she started to cry.  ‘I’m sorry,’ she said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  It’s just that sometimes I find everything so hard.   I don’t have any confidence in myself. I look at other people and no-one else seems to struggle the same way. Silly things – like just going to church – make me really anxious.’ Later the same day, I received this email from someone else. “I don’t want a life without Jesus, or …Read More