Inner Voices

By January 16, 2012 Blog

Received wisdom tells us that hearing voices is the first sign of madness.  This is nonsense.  Everyone hears voices – families, friends, exes, coaches, bullies … they all play a part in making up  our  consciousness or ‘inner voice’. You may be more or less aware of your own voice – but whether it shouts or whispers, it tells us who we are and these beliefs then determine our choices. Take a second to listen to it.  What’s its tone?  …Read More

Please Don’t Go

By January 15, 2012 Blog

Do you ever feel like you’re a child stuck in a grown-up body? On the outside maturity is happening all too fast, but inwardly you’re still thirteen. With this in mind, I’ve been fascinated by the ways in which our culture analyzes such relationships – but more on that in a sec. Glen’s been away quite a bit recently, and he’s off again this week. I’d love to say I’m cool with this: that I’m confident and independent enough to …Read More

Bulimia Self-Help

By January 14, 2012 Blog

Bulimia is an eating disorder, first recognised by the medical profession in the late 1970s. It comes from the Greek word boulimia: or ‘ravenous hunger’. Sufferers ‘binge’ on large amounts of food and are then gripped by an extreme sense of loss of control.  They then try to compensate by using behaviours such as vomiting, using laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercise or dieting. These in turn provoke a range of emotions: guilt, worthlessness, depression, anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness and despair. If this …Read More

Faith and Family

By January 12, 2012 Blog

My mum’s coming to visit tomorrow.  I’m excited – but nervous too. I love my mum. I wouldn’t change her. Except for one thing: I wish, I wish that she was a Christian. I became a Christian when I was 13.  It was a choice that placed me subtly, but firmly, outside of an uncomplicated family affinity. My parents, though sympathetic, were uncomprehending. And it changed our relationship and the way in which I viewed the world.  It called into …Read More

Approbrium for the Masses?

By January 11, 2012 Blog

What is it about being part of a stadium filled with cheering fans that arouses such intense emotions? Why do we behave one way in a group and another on our own? Why do people join cults, or devote their lives to moral or political causes? In his book: ‘The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements’  (1951), Eric Hoffer considers some of these questions. Hoffer argues that spiritual hunger causes people to cut off their old selves …Read More

Comforting the Childless

By January 10, 2012 Blog, identity

On Sunday Glen and I wrote a post on childlessness. Thank- you to everyone who’s been so supportive and for those who have shared some of their own experiences too: it means a lot. I’ve been asked to write a bit more on how churches can help those who are struggling with this issue. This is tricky, for a number of reasons. Every person’s struggle is unique: there can be hundreds of reasons why a couple cannot conceive – many …Read More

Childnessness + the Gospel (joint post)

By January 8, 2012 Blog, identity

Glen preached on 1 Samuel 1 this morning, which includes the story of Hannah’s longing to conceive.  This is something of a live issue for us, as we’d love to have kids – but it may not be possible. I’ve been recovered from anorexia for a good few years now, but this may be an area where the damage can’t be reversed. If you’re struggling with some of these issues, this is a great incentive to seek help early on. …Read More

Ping-Pong Praise

By January 6, 2012 Blog

In yesterday’s post I was reflecting on the ways in which we lie to each other: both upwards (‘hey, everybody! Come see how great I am’) and downwards (‘I’m a woorm, it was nothing, this ole’ thing? I just threw it on’ etcetc). Without wanting to make gender assumptions, in my experience women are more likely to lie ‘down’ and men to lie ‘up’.  (For a great analysis of this, see Kirsten’s comments). But when I consider the typical church …Read More

Bigging Up and Doing Down

By January 5, 2012 Blog, identity

Sitting in a cafe earlier, I was ear-wigging on two conversations to my right and left. (Research, I tell you, not nosiness). On my right were three business-men. In their pinstriped glory they exuded testosterone: from the shiny abundance of lego-man hair, to the palpable emissions of Manly Scent.  Man A necked a triple espresso as Man B gesticulated wildly at a pie-chart on his laptop.  Man C tapped notes into his glossy I-phone, punctuating B’s sales pitch with guffaws …Read More

I’ll Take Failure, Ta

By January 4, 2012 Blog

January seems to have triggered an existential CRISIS. A whole hoopla-diddley of ‘what’sitallabout-itis’. Except that January’s a month, not an evil assassin. And I  can’t really play the blame game with a calendar.  Which leaves two stooges – me or God. So who’s the bad guy? I’m loathe to publicly blame God for anything (although privately and unconsciously, this is something I do all too often).Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that Jesus is still seated on the throne and upholding …Read More