flagging faith

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The Exhausting Elephant

Susan Calman’s book, Cheer up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate, is an excellent book on so many levels, not least because it is written from the ‘inside’. As someone who is still trying to live moderately well with depression in its various guises, I tend to indulge in bibliotherapy every six months or so. That usually entails reading yet another self-help book about perfectionism, imposter syndrome or the various medical and therapeutic interventions now on the market. I am a sucker for a bit of of self-improvement, maybe because I still struggle to really and truly like what I see in the mirror. Susan Calman’s often hilarious descriptions of the ‘madness within’ helped

A Christian Guide to Brexit - Anger

26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,27and do not make room for the devil. 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God

Conscious Incompetence

I came across this phrase recently in a workshop run by the Susanna Wesley Foundation in Birmingham. It’s a curious phrase that describes how I feel a good deal of the time in ministry. It’s a term borrowed from psychology and first coined in the 1970s as part of a model of learning. In any new and unfamiliar environment, we, in the infamous words of Donald Rumsfeld, are confronted with a series of ‘unknown unknowns’ and well as some ‘known unknowns’. In other words, we do not yet know what we do not know, by and large, and only know some of what we do not know. Clear?! Despite twenty years of experience, I still face conscious incompetence in ministry all the time. And my inner perfectionis

A Christian Guide to Brexit - Truth

33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ 34Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ 35Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ 36Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ 37Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Ev

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