Category Archives: Spiritual Formation

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

Medication, God and Christians. What is helpful? Part 1

He told me that he didn’t want to take the medication ‘Because, well, I know God can heal me so I am just waiting, praying and hoping. Isn’t that what we are meant to do?’

I have heard the sad story of God and medication too many times.

People getting all messed up with their thinking about God and illness and where medication fits in the whole scheme. They may be fine taking some medication for a chest infection or a headache but to take a medication for a mental illness?

Well, that just shows a complete lack of faith. Or does it? Continue reading

To Be Someone or To Do Something? That Really Is The Question

There are some people that I struggle to like, let alone love.

They are those that preen.

Those who seem so full of their own self importance, strut around like peacocks, and who want everyone to notice them.

You can see it so obviously with some, whilst with others it’s more like a hidden agenda that they aren’t even consciously aware of.

Enter into my reading zone is the book Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.

There is a story in it that I have been pondering over.  Continue reading

For This Pastor Depression Felt Like A Bulldozer Was Driven Over Him

I’m amazed how prevalent depression is today.

As a church minister I’ve sat with people trying to find a way through the haze, and I’m astounded at how it can affect the very young, the very successful and the very healthy, alongside those in whom we’d more likely expect it.

Depression is a killer. It can also sometimes be a teacher.

When my mind is idle, it can flash back to incidents in my past that make me wince. Continue reading

Is Taking A Spiritual Bypass Harming Your Mental Health?

It always happened.

After a relapse he would always say ‘I’ll never do that again, I’m trusting in Jesus to help me’.

Charged up by some sort of white knuckled determination and singing a few Jesus songs off he would go. Sure enough though his grit would grind out and he would crash back into the old behaviours.

You see he delighted in the feelings that flowed when in that place of escape.

Name your poison. Continue reading

52 Days to Better Mental Health

The change was barely noticeable unless you knew them well enough to know that this was significant. It was a small change in their behaviour, a problem that had plagued them for most of their life, but now it was gone.

They wanted a miracle, like the over night delivery of a new brain, but this was actually kind of better. Small yes, significant YES.

It was always sad for me when people would come to me and project their anger on to me about God not healing them in miraculous fashion of their addiction, personality disorder, anxiety, depression etc.. Continue reading