Nine spiritual ‘truths’ that aren’t really

By September 18, 2018 Blog

“I’m not the person I want to be.” Yes… sometimes we live out a lie, but the truth is, we are in Christ. Right now. And forevermore.   “I’m too sinful to draw near to God.” We are sinful… but Jesus said he has only come for sinners. If you come as ‘righteous’ you’re turned away. The only people who can come are sinners!   “I’ve drifted from God.” Yes, it can feel like it, but in the deepest sense a Christian can’t drift from …Read More

10 ways to help a child fight fear

By September 10, 2018 Blog

Back to school – for some, it’s great.  But for others, (parents/carers and kids), it’s a nightmare. So what can you do to help an anxious child? Recognise that fear takes different forms.  For one child it’s an obsession with getting everything ‘right’ … for another, indifference and refusal to try. As adults, we can take a step back.  What is the child communicating with their behaviour?  Are they trying to get attention because they need reassurance?  Are they opting …Read More

To whom else would we go? Guest post

By September 4, 2018 Blog

Another stunning guest post, from Lizzie, who is training to be a curate. Thank you, my friend.   “How many kids do you have?” Until recently, I’d have thought this was a pretty easy question.  Mr 7 and Little Miss 1 have, after all, spent the day bouncing around like lunatics – you’d almost think it was nearly time for the 7 year old to go back to school – very much here, very much present. The truth is, for …Read More

The Church and Severe Mental Illness (Part 2)

By August 29, 2018 Blog

Part 2 of Sharon’s wonderful guest post. (Read part 1 here) The Church and Severe Mental Illness When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he referred to it as the ‘body of Christ’, which had ‘many parts’ (1 Corinthians 12:27,12). He emphasised that every part – or person – in the church body was important: “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable …Read More

Guest Post: Severe Mental Illness (Part 1)

By August 28, 2018 Blog

I’m hugely grateful to Sharon Hastings for this brilliant 2-part guest post on severe mental illness. Sharon graduated as a medical doctor before becoming ill with schizoaffective disorder but has found therapy in writing and is working on a book about her experience of finding God’s peace in psychosis. She lives in Northern Ireland with her husband Rob and two golden retrievers.   In today’s post Sharon looks at severe mental illness…and in part 2, she considers how as churches, we …Read More

My Miracle, My Way

By August 22, 2018 Blog

I’ve always thought that there are two sorts of people; those who believe in miracles, and those who don’t. But reading 2 Kings 5, I’m starting to think it’s a little more complicated. Maybe there’s those who believe in their kind of miracle; and those who believe in God’s kind of miracle. As the story of Naaman shows us, there’s quite a difference. Naaman is an accomplished professional but suffering the most devastating affliction: leprosy. We get a sense of what a …Read More

What Mercy Sounds Like

By August 13, 2018 Blog

Guest post from Glen. In ‘Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense’, Francis Spufford describes the beginning of his conversion. It started with an argument with his wife. A huge, all-night argument that left them bruised and broken: “When daylight came, the whole world seemed worn out. We got up and she went to work. I went to a café… and nursed my misery along with a cappuccino.” In the cafe, Spufford surveys the scene: “I could …Read More

Girls and self-harm

By August 9, 2018 Blog

In the news this week: the number of teenage girls who self-harm have almost doubled in the past 20 years•. Here’s an excerpt from an email I received several years ago, from someone who was struggling: “…I go to a private school and self-harm is not spoken about enough.  I’ve recently been isolating myself a lot more after I was told I had to wear a cardigan under my blazer because I have scars on my wrist. I also have …Read More

Doubt your doubts

By August 3, 2018 Blog

We’re on holiday this week, so here’s one from the archives…   One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it’s there. Like inviting a flood; if I don’t believe this, then what about this and this and this?  Does God hear my prayers? Does He care?  Is He even there? It’s all well and good if you’re a self-proclaimed atheist.  In this situation, the only way is up.  But what if you’re the leader of a home group? …Read More

Tragedy – or Comedy?

By July 24, 2018 Blog

Guest post from Glen What is life: tragedy or comedy? I’m not asking whether life is a barrel of laughs (newsflash: it’s not!), I’m asking a more technical question. In literature, comedy and tragedy are not about the laughs-to-calamities ratio, it’s about the shape of the story. In particular it’s about the ending. A tragedy is shaped like a frown: it travels up to the heights then tumbles down to the depths. A comedy is a smile: down into danger …Read More