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

To End All Wars

By November 5, 2014 Blog

Here’s Glen’s new spoken word video. Share it around!   Share…

Thank You.

By November 2, 2014 Blog

Yesterday I had the privilege of winning ‘Blogger of the year’ at the Christian New Media Awards. It’s a shocker and a real honour and I’m dealing with it in my usual gracious manner, (so far a messy combination of denial, painting the cupboards green at 4,30 am this morning and then having a little weep in Sainsburys). Awards are funny things (see this post) and I know, as you do, that there are hundreds of blogs out there that could and should get the same …Read More

Running in the Right Direction

By October 26, 2014 Blog

There are times when I feel more forgiven than others. Days when my selfishness plunks itself dead centre in my eyeline and relationships. Days when  little lies trip off my tongue, lies about things that don’t even matter, lies I tell to cover myself, to make me look and feel better . Days when I fret about things I’m too embarrassed to write.  Days when I’m tired and grouchy and mean and don’t care about anything but me and can’t be bothered with life. I really dislike …Read More

Slow Grace

By October 22, 2014 Blog

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

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

Unexpected Answers

By October 17, 2014 Blog

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