The Christmas story is one that takes us into a world of mystery. Virgin birth, singing angels and puzzled parents. It also offers us a glimpse into a party going on with surprises created to delight. Continue reading
Life can be hard, and maybe even harsh at times, but in the end, something beautiful and good can emerge from the struggle. Love is like that.
It was an old climbing rose that hadn’t been well cared for.
When I started to do some gardening work on an old farming property, out of the 120 roses, this old girl was the one that grabbed my attention. With the main trunk as thick as my arm, she stretched out for 4 metres until at the very end were some leaves and a few roses.
The next winter I took drastic action. Continue reading
When going through Mental Health struggles, you have to give yourself permission to receive, especially from God.
Every Tuesday morning I travel to a garden in a small rural area called Clevedon. I leave early to beat rush hour traffic but also to get a few moments on the top of a hill overlooking the valley.
This is what I saw this morning. Continue reading
The grind is real. Life for many can be just one continual experience of being ground out by the daily grind.
I have a little questionnaire. Now and then someone (anonymous) leaves some answers to my three simple questions.
I read them all and always my heart is touched. I send up some prayers and ask God to help me write content that might be of help to this person.
You see I know that whatever is written here by one probably represents 1000’s of others
One such pain point can be summarised up in these words.
‘How do I keep going while I am doing intensive therapy.’
To heal, we need to humbly accept the truth of our human fragility.
There is a soap opera here in New Zealand called Shortland Street. In the very first episode, a nurse tells a doctor a simple sentence that has become, believe it or not, part of New Zealand pop culture.
“You’re not in Guatemala now Dr Ropata.”
In the scene, a mother is about to deliver a baby, but there is no obstetrician available. There is, however, a new doctor fresh from working in Guatemala. He wants to help, but the nurse is determined to stay within the boundaries of hospital policy. So she uttered those memorable words.
Sometimes I want to tell people these words.
“You’re not in the Garden anymore.” Continue reading
“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
It is one of those memories that is special to me. I was very unwell as a child with eczema and asthma. My parents asked if our pastor and a few others could come and pray for me.
They were following the advice we find in James 5:14. We had communion together and then they put some oil on my forehead and asked God to heal my illnesses.
Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. James 5:14
I wouldn’t say there was any miraculous instantaneous healing. No thunderous change took place, but I knew that I was not alone and that some godly men and women loved me and prayed for me.
Over time those illnesses left me. Continue reading
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.
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
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
There are times that my thoughts and feelings seem to swing like monkeys in a tree.
My mind just seems to go everywhere. It swings into depression, anxiety and then back into depression.
My mind seems to have a mind of its own. Continue reading