Are You Normal? Take the Test

By June 30, 2014 Blog

How do you relate to other people? 1. I’m comfortable relying on others and having them rely on me.   I have a wide range of friends and find it easy to get to know others. 2.  I want to get close to people very quickly and I need their approval; but I find it hard to step back and others tend to find me very intense.  I get hurt quickly and can’t understand why others don’t want me to …Read More

Reasons to Be Hopeful

By June 29, 2014 Blog

1.  Jesus is in the business of resurrection.  So whatever it is that feels dead: your dreams, your marriage, your self-worth, your hope – He can work life where there is none.  He can bring something from what is not. 2. The best is yet to come.  You are not past your prime, nor doomed to spend life looking backwards and mired in regret. Jesus is coming back and He will make all things new: you won’t recognise yourself in …Read More

Coping with a Scary Diagnosis

By June 26, 2014 Blog

1.Give yourself time to adjust: take time to talk it through with a partner, a close friend or someone from church. 2. Get a second opinion and make sure that you’ve got a GP or consultant that you feel comfortable with.  If you don’t, ask if you can see someone else. 3. Do some research: but from reputable books or websites. Do Not Google. This is not the time for random message boards or (scary) misinformation. If you’re trying different things, …Read More

Summer Sadness

By June 25, 2014 Blog

From today’s Guardian: “Summer. The time of year for barbecues, music festivals, denim hotpants, side-boob, and salt-spritzed hair. All hazy good fun and young flesh on display; magazines yelling for us civilians to get ready for “bikini season”; and everyone doing their best to look like those women gracing magazine covers. Excuse me if I sound bitter, it’s just because I am – I hate it. Summer can be the most difficult three months of the year if you’re like …Read More

Talking in Circles

By June 24, 2014 Blog

I love my family.  They are brilliant. But like everyone else, we have our little quirks.  For one thing; no one actually talks to each other. Well, that’s not quite true.  We do talk – a lot – but (and this is crucial), not directly.  Instead we’ve evolved a brilliant system where news is transmitted at the speed of light, to make sure everyone knows what’s going on, but in reverse order.  So, let’s say person A has something to …Read More

Father Talk

By June 22, 2014 Blog

Thanks to J for showing me this: A letter from your Dad: You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways.Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 I knew …Read More

When ‘Yes’ is Best

By June 19, 2014 Blog

In yesterday’s post we thought about the times when it’s right to say ‘no’.  But if like me you get scared easily and hate the thought of change then maybe you have the opposite tendency. Maybe it’s time to start saying ‘yes’. Here’s some reasons why we might need to rethink our ‘Nos’: When No is a way of avoiding relationship When No is a cover for selfishness or fear When No stops you using your gifts to serve God’s …Read More

When It’s Right To Say ‘No’

By June 18, 2014 Blog

When it comes to personal boundaries, most of us lean in one of two directions.  The first is this: we wall ourselves in and keep others at arm’s length, (maybe using sarcasm or busyness or  deflecting questions back). Or we have no boundaries at all.  We say ‘yes’ to everything, we’re terrified of causing offense and we’re over-committed and exhausted. Tea rota? Check.  Baby-sitting? Check. 24/7 Emergency helpline for friends and family? Check. Neither of these are good options but …Read More

Brave Is

By June 17, 2014 Blog

asking for help when you really don’t want to being still when you’re used to being busy gently challenging someone who lashes out, but refusing to back down prayerfully putting your loved ones in God’s hands, instead of carrying them anxiously telling a friend how much they mean to you talking about Jesus and not just God saying no to some things so you can say a proper yes to others asking a stranger for coffee/getting to know someone new …Read More

Self-hatred Is Not Humility

By June 16, 2014 Blog

Jesus calls us to deny ourselves.  But He doesn’t call us to destroy and demean ourselves.  Taking up your cross is not about embracing self-hatred. Telling yourself you’re rubbish is not humility.  Actually these examples of emotional self-harm can be strategies we use to avoid the gospel. This has come as something of a revelation to me over the years.  I always assumed that the worst thing in the world was to “have a big head”. Therefore it was probably really …Read More