Category Archives: Spiritual Formation

The 100% Perfect Gift for an Approval Junkie

The 100% Perfect Gift for an Approval Junkie

She was so hungry for approval that some people called her a Klingon.

She would cling on to your every word and do just about anything for you. She wanted to know that she had worth, value and that she was good.

Then there was this guy who read the Bible wanting desperately to make sure he was in the right with God. He wanted to know that he mattered, that others liked him. That he had an approval tick from God.

They both believed that if they were “good,” then they would be loved, get their needs met, and live a problem-free life. That God and others would smile on them, treat them well, and everything in life would go well.

Underneath this facade of supposed ‘goodness’ was a lot of anxiety. Continue reading

Cleanliness-Godliness-body-hygiene-mental-health-body

True or False? Cleanliness is next to Godliness

That little phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ is not actually in the Bible. In fact, Jesus had a rant about those who equated having the body externally clean with being close to God.

In Jesus words they were like ‘manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh’

And yet I have a body, created by God, for a purpose and I believe how I treat my body does have an intimate connection to my wellness.

I’ve seen the extremes. Continue reading

Mental-Health-Grows-When-we-Have-a-Routine-Spiritual-formation

Mental Health Grows When we Have a Routine

It was my routine that I had built up over the years that got me through the dark morning. Do you have a routine?

Ever had one of those mornings where you just don’t want to face the day. You’re sort of glued to the bed. It’s a safe, warm and secure place, and you just want to go back to sleep if possible because well it’s better than listening to the depressing or anxious thoughts trawling through your mind. The black dog of depression is cuddled up beside you and you don’t want to face the day. It’s a routine that can so easily become a rut. Continue reading

Mental-Health-Grows-Through-Little-By-Little-Dance-Steps

Mental Health Grows Through Little By Little Dance Steps

Spiritual Formation that changes our Mental Health is found through ‘Little by little’ dance steps with God.

‘Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem.’

With these words, Richard foster begins chapter one of his classic best-selling book ‘Celebration of Discipline’.

I remember reading this classic 37 years ago. That superficiality, that desire for instant satisfaction is still with us and is still a primary spiritual problem.

Are you ok with going deep?

I remember as a child watching my parents have daily devotions together. They would read a portion of The Reaper, a daily devotional put together by various lecturers of a local Bible college, then I imagine they prayed together. Continue reading

A 'But' Can Make a Big Differance In Your Mental Health

A ‘But’ Can Make a Big Difference in Your Mental Health

You need a ‘but’ to enter your narrative of ‘and’s’.

The large leather strap slammed down on my primary school desk and made my 7-year-old body freeze with terror.

Mrs G was the one teacher every child in Wellsford Primary School did not want to have. I had been quietly writing some sentences out when the tyrant crept up behind me, strap in hand. She looked over my work and asked me ‘What’s the margin doing there?’ to which I innocently replied ‘It’s always been there’.

That strap came down so hard on my little desk that I think the whole class shook. I wasn’t being smart or cheeky, I was being honest.

I wonder now if that was my first experience of being shamed. Continue reading

Mental Health Reality is Not Wishing on a Star

Has Walt Cast a Spell on You?

Avoid wishing on a star at all costs. Instead, embrace the reality of a real life on a dangerous road.

As a kid, I always watched the ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’.

Sunday nights we would gather as a family and we would be swept away to some faraway magical place where there was always a happy ending. Then that memorable tune would creep into our lounge like a

Then that memorable tune would creep into our lounge like a warm cuddly blanket. Continue reading

"Christians should not get depressed."

“Christians Should Not Get Depressed”

“Christians should not get depressed.”

I’m pleased to share a guest post from Richard H H Johnston of Christian Mindfulness.


“Be strong in the Lord.”
“You are an overcomer and more than a conqueror in Christ.”
“You have the victory in Christ.”
“No weapon that’s formed against you shall stand.”

These are all great truths from Scripture, but if you are a Christian struggling with depression, the words may seem to ring hollow and leave you feeling more guilty and worthless than you did before.   Continue reading

Beginning to Become through Contemplative Practices

I’m pleased to share a guest post from Laura Cavanaugh of Sacred Pilgrim. I discovered Laura through her daily Lectio Divina podcast. Such a beautiful podcast that I highly recommend to you.


The first time I tried centering prayer, I cried.  I mean cried.  

Sobbed, really.  

I was finishing up my seminary degree, burned out and disillusioned, consumed with self-doubt and the uncertainty over that nebulous next step in my life.  My spiritual director sat quietly with me in her office that early autumn afternoon, wordlessly handing me a second box of tissues.   Continue reading