From the Outside In

By July 10, 2012 Blog

What do Christians look like to the rest of the world? How do others make sense of our behaviour – and does it matter?   Here’s a snapshot, taken from the Guardian’s problem page. In it, readers advise a woman who ‘has been rejected by a man because he is an evangelical Christian’. She writes; I am a 43-year-old woman who has been friends for 10 years with a man of 40. Neither of us has been in a relationship …Read More

Man Overboard

By May 17, 2012 Blog

When we see someone drowning, our natural instinct is to dive in.  But if we’re not careful, we can end up sinking too. That’s the nature of addiction.  Like a pebble in a pond, it ripples outwards, drawing in, not just the sufferer, but all those in its path. Addicts in particular, exert a certain ‘pull’. It’s agonising to watch – and even harder to help.  But there’s a difference between caring about someone and taking responsibility for them.  You …Read More

Front Row Friendship

By April 27, 2012 Blog

Making friends is Really Hard. Not acquaintances.  Or mates.  Not people you know or wave at across the street.  Proper friends – the ones who know more about you than where you work or how many kids you’ve got. The ones who can spot when you’re about to crumble, who’ll sweep you up and stick you back together. You see, it’s relatively easy to befriend people on Facebook. To link them in or add them to your contacts list.   …Read More

Mum’s The Word. And Dad. And Grandma, and…

By April 26, 2012 Blog

Yesterday I was thinking a little about church family.  Today, I’m pondering the complicated splendour that is Family Family. And more specifically, Family Communications. Aah,  genealogy. That bloody, brilliant and brutal tapestry comprising drunken uncles and giddy aunts, skeletons in the closet (and under the floorboards), unspoken rivalries, scandal-scented moth balls, feral pets and all manner of crazy traditions, routines and general shenanigans. Not that you’d guess.  No sireee.  Aside from the occasional dark hint it’s like the rumbling of …Read More

Fighting Dirty

By April 23, 2012 Blog

What’s your argument style? I’m a rhino-ostrich.  Attack! – then retreat.  Take THAT! and that! and That!  And now… I’m going to run and hide, before you have the chance to respond. Glen on the other hand, is a terrier.  He’ll sink his teeth into the argument and shake it from every angle.  He’ll sniff it and roll it and chew it and then come back to it, until it’s eyeless and legless and quivering in a  tiny knot of …Read More

Come On In?

By April 22, 2012 Blog

Back in the days when people still had dinner parties, I used to find them somewhat testing.  It was all my own fault. For starters, I’d set myself a ridiculously complicated menu.  I’d then hunt down the ingredients and spend most of the day cooking myself into a state of hysteria. Next, I’d clean.  And I mean, CLEAN. I’d straighten the tea lights, hide the dodgy CDs, take the pants off the radiators and then melt into a puddle of …Read More

Fathers and Daughters

By April 9, 2012 Blog

When I was a little girl, there was no-one who could touch my dad.  In a confusing and threatening world, he was the still centre.  When he held me in his arms, no-one could hurt me.  Nothing could take me from him. My dad did a great job and I wouldn’t swap him for the world. But one of the hardest parts of growing up was the discovery that my dad was human – he didn’t have all the answers, …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

Happy Families

By December 28, 2011 Blog

Is it just me … or does your family also have a complex system of unwritten rules that everyone obeys, even if no-one says them aloud?  Rules about who you are and where you fit and what is and isn’t acceptable and how things are or aren’t done. In our house for example, we work as a team.  Nothing, but nothing happens, without a family summit.  Lost your socks?  Let’s huddle.  Got a rash? Let ME Take a look. Jar …Read More

Love Rats

By December 1, 2011 Blog

I read a comment recently from actress Rachel Weizs on the subject of love.  She said this: ‘You can’t help who you fall in love with.  It just happens’. I’m afraid I disagree. ‘Love’ is not a silent assassin that sneaks up beneath you, brandishes a pistol and marches you off at gunpoint. It’s not a force that sweeps you off your feet, regardless of existing commitments. Love is more like a series of little decisions, most of which start …Read More