Forwards!

By January 1, 2017 Blog

I’m a creature of habit.  I find solace in routine; and I’m frightened by change. But like it or not, change is here to stay.  And in the Lord’s providence, change is good – especially when it’s scary. Adam and Eve wanted to go back to the trees but no… they’re driven out east of Eden. The wilderness wanderers wanted to go back to Egypt but no… on through the desert to Canaan. The Israelites wanted to cling onto their old ways but no… exiled to …Read More

Dear Me

By March 7, 2016 Blog

What do you do with the past?  The ways you’ve been broken?  The things that you broke? What do you do with the voices?  The accusations?  The lies? Jesus died.  But not for me. Jesus died. But not for this. No. There is no sin that the cross does not cover.  There is no pain that Christ cannot heal. Listen to this.  A letter that a dear friend has written to her younger self.  A letter that shows what it means …Read More

Wrongful Conviction

By January 25, 2016 Blog

The accuser versus the Comforter;   One condemns, the other convicts. One paralyses, the other empowers. One leads to self-hatred, the other to Jesus. One is soft and cruel, the other is gentle but firm. One says look to yourself, the other says look to Him. One says “you can’t make it better – so give up and despair.” The other says “you can’t make it better – and this is your hope.” One says “everything is bad and you cannot escape.” The other …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

True Detective

By November 16, 2015 Blog

I’ve always loved detective dramas – but not just for the tweed. You start with lots of questions. (Why is the heiress so secretive? Who took the candlesticks? What caused the fire in the library?) Frankly, it’s a bit of mess. So, you call in an expert.  Poirot, Marple or Morse. Then, you watch them work out the answers. Conflicts are resolved, wounds are healed and patterns emerge from chaos. A confession and a solution – all in 60 minutes.   That’s the …Read More

Stuck?

By October 19, 2015 Blog

1. sometimes you’ll feel angry or sad or overwhelmed or unsafe or crazy.  These feelings are not the truth. They are feelings and they will pass. 2. your circumstances will change. Suffering has a ‘used by’ date. Only Jesus’ future is forever. There is hope. You will feel better. 3. when everyday tasks feel overwhelming, breathe and remind yourself to go a step at a time.  Try to keep to routines; but don’t beat yourself up when you can’t. 4. you may feel alone …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

Worth It

By January 26, 2015 Blog

“Horrific.” “Excruciating.” “Unbelievable.” “Horrendous.” “Total exhaustion.” “I didn’t think I could go on.” “Why did no-one tell me?”   These were the descriptions of child-birth at our ante-natal class reunion last Saturday. The scars, of all kinds, were still very fresh and one horror story  quickly snowballed into the next. Our teacher said, “I didn’t tell you about the more gory details, because sometimes you can know too much. And for lots of people it’s a really beautiful experience.” There was murder in her …Read More

Bloody Nativity

By December 24, 2014 Blog

This time 2000-odd years ago, where were Mary and Joseph? Nesting, I’m sure. Clearing a space for their newborn between the animals and the filthy hay. Getting the manger just so. Top quality straw from Mothercare.  Harrod’s finest flock. Or perhaps they were still on the road, looking forward to a nice warm inn and a cup of tea. ‘Not long now, sweetheart – hang in there. Nice Travel lodge, just around the corner, I can feel it…’ The truth is, they didn’t follow …Read More

Christmas in the Valley

By December 10, 2014 Blog

Christmas is the time to be merry. Count your blessings. Sing carols, eat pies and banish darkness. But what if you’re not feeling it?  What if you’re depressed?  Or lonely? Overwhelmed by the prospect of another week, let alone year? What if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or coming to terms with sickness? Dreading the prospect of time with family? Or far from those you long to have near? What does Christmas say to these people?  What does Christmas …Read More