Help, Lord.

By December 16, 2014 Blog

Hearing about the deaths of hostages in Sydney was shocking.  Especially as today, we start to get a picture of those who were killed or affected – what they look like, their families, their jobs, their character. I can’t even begin to put myself into the shoes of their loved ones; and nor do I want to. Now, I’m reading open-mouthed the news about Taliban attacks on a school in Pakistan.  At least 126 dead; most aged under 16. And …Read More

Make Do – or Mend?

By November 16, 2014 Blog

You don’t need to be Irish to believe in confession. But you do, if you’re Christian. I don’t mean incense and chanting. Just this – talking to God (and others).  Saying, “I did something wrong and I’m sorry.” I say ‘just.’  But it’s a choking word, ‘sorry.’  Spiky and tickly.  Burns in the stomach. Sticks in the throat. But nonetheless, essential. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength …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

Gone Too Far?

By September 3, 2014 Blog

Perhaps like me you’re a Christian: but you don’t always feel it. For one thing, you still have struggles – and I’m not talking substandard quiche or missing a quiet time. The Big Guns: Addiction. Despair. Porn. Self-harm.  Alcohol. Faithlessness. Doubt. Anger. Promiscuity. Stuff a church-goer shouldn’t even think about, let alone do. Things you repent of: but can’t quite get past. Old scabs that keep breaking open. And yes, you know that Jesus came for sinners.  But there’s sin and there’s Sin. Let’s say …Read More

Mental Health and Sin

By March 7, 2014 Blog

Mental health struggles are not sins.  When I was obsessively checking door handles and washing my hands and counting cracks in the walls and repeating phrases in my head – it was not because I enjoyed doing it. It was exhausting and demeaning and debilitating and painful and I did it because I felt compelled to; because in my head if I didn’t, the people I loved might get hurt. I wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. When …Read More

The Face of Evil

By July 6, 2012 Blog

What’s the face of evil: a paedophile? A murderer? Is it –   Ronnie Kray. Notorious East End killer. Peter Sutcliffe,  who murdered 13 women and attacked 7 more. Kenneth Erskine, aka,  The ‘Stockwell Strangler’. Charles Bronson – the ‘most violent man in Britain’, Robert Maudsley or ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’.   All these men have served time in Broadmoor, the highest security hospital in the world. They’re not your average patients.  But then, Dr Gwen Adshead isn’t your average GP …Read More

Why It Matters

By April 8, 2012 Blog

1. if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then He’s dangerous as well as deluded.  He’s not a nice bloke who got a bit confused.  He’s a megalomaniac and a perpetrator of lies. His followers are to be pitied as well as despised. 2. if he didn’t rise from the dead, then He’s not the Son of God.  He’s not a Saviour. And the gospel may be a ‘good’ way to live – but it’s completely ineffectual against death.  And …Read More

A Day to Celebrate

By October 31, 2011 Blog

Forget the pumpkins and Halloween Haribo.  Today in 1517, Martin Luther, wrote an (offline) post that changed the world. One of his most accessible works came 14 years later: Luther’s Galatians commentary.  It’s a total beaut – chock-ful of  gospel wisdom for those struggling with suffering and sin.   So,  in honour of Reformation day, here’s a few nuggets from Pastor Luther to steady our souls.. “.. We are not to look upon our sins as insignificant trifles. On the other hand, we …Read More

Can’t Stop – Can’t Cope (Addiction seminar)

By July 4, 2011 Blog

An Addiction Seminar for Teens Powerpoint Slides Here What does an addict look like? A drug addled rock star?  A pill-popping housewife?  A heroin-chic model? Look in the mirror!  Anything can be an addictive substance and everyone has an addictive personality. . What makes it something we should worry about? In 1 Corinthians Paul talks about the incredible freedom we have as believers.  Three times he says: “Everything is permissible.” “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything …Read More

Sticking-Plaster Morality

By June 24, 2011 Blog

How much of our ‘godly’ behaviour is actually  self-interest with a lick of paint? Frugality for example. At the local discount store I pick up 12 loo rolls for the price of six.  I think I’m rejecting consumerism but I’ve bought into the same lies – only  for slightly less money.   I feel wonderfully smug at poking one in the eye to foul Mammon .  But er –  I’m still buying Andrex. I feel like a radical, but  I’m still …Read More