18 Insights to Heal the Shame of an Attempted Suicide

18 INSIGHTS TO HEAL THE SHAME OF AN ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

The shame of an attempt at suicide can cling onto you like the odour of some dirty old socks.

You would do anything to get rid of that stench. Is that a good description of shame? That feeling of embarrassment at what you have done. You want to hide, run, cover it up, but it’s still there. Those smelly old socks still stink.

Recently I was asked a question by one of the readers of Turning the Page about how to help someone who had recently attempted suicide. In the midst of their crisis, they had posted their intentions out on Social Media. Now they had a deep sense of shame and embarrassment. They feared that people would treat them differently.

So how would you help someone like this? Continue reading “18 Insights to Heal the Shame of an Attempted Suicide”

When God has left the building, turning up the volume won’t help: Toxic Faith pt. 5

When God has left the building, turning up the volume won’t help.

At the school where I grow vegetables, it can be very noisy. I have a group of children that love to help and to get my attention they will often speak louder, and wave hands like windmills. It can all be a bit overwhelming.

The other day the noise was particularly loud. I happened to look to my left and here was this young boy quietly getting on and picking up some old leaves that we had discarded. Quietly without anyone noticing he did the work.

We think that if we do more we will get more. If we turn up the volume, literally and figuratively, of the worship God’s ears will be pleased. Continue reading “When God has left the building, turning up the volume won’t help: Toxic Faith pt. 5”

To Heal You Just Need to ‘Forget What Lies Behind’: Toxic Faith pt. 4

To Heal You Just Need to 'Forget What Lies Behind'

Life has a tragic way of repeating itself. It seems at times that we just go round an endless loop of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Then someone says ‘forget what lies behind’.

One of my favourite classic movies is Groundhog day with a very young Bill Murray.

Weatherman Phil Connors is sent to cover the first day of spring in a small town called  Punxsutawney.  At night he goes to bed and then wakes to the alarm going off at 6 am.

It’s not 6 am the next day, but weirdly 6 am of the same day. He gets the opportunity to live the same day over and over and over again until he gets it right.  Continue reading “To Heal You Just Need to ‘Forget What Lies Behind’: Toxic Faith pt. 4”

The Danger of Turning a Sinner into a ‘Saviour’: Toxic Faith Pt. 3

THE DANGER OF TURNING A SINNER INTO A ‘SAVIOUR’: TOXIC FAITH PT. 3

It’s always dangerous when we subconsciously create a ‘saviour’ out of a sinner. If you stand too close to the pedestal, of a venerated statue, you’ll get damaged by the cracks.

I always cringed when someone would call me ‘Pastor Barry’. If possible I would always ask them to never do this again. I would say ‘My name is Barry, and part of who I am, is I am a pastor’.

I don’t want to be considered as more special, pastoral or have a certain status than anyone else. We are all priests. Sure I may specific gifts and training that helped me to pastor, but in the end, Christ won’t welcome ‘Pastor Barry’ home, instead, it will simply be ‘Welcome Barry, good and faithful servant’.

I also know that this small step of veneration is a little step towards a slippery slope of them making me into a sub-conscious ‘saviour’. It can also fuel pride in myself, and who needs that.

We see it politics, sports, entertainment, business and the church. The extolling of someone to the heights of a type of worship.

It’s kind of like a teenage crush.

Continue reading “The Danger of Turning a Sinner into a ‘Saviour’: Toxic Faith Pt. 3”

Just waiting for an ‘Anointing’ to wash my problems away: Toxic Faith pt 2

Just waiting for an 'Anointing' to wash my problems away

We are all like druggies, wanting that quick fix to kill the pain.

Be it a drug, some porn, a sale, a comfort food, an altar call, a dose of the ghost (Holy Spirit), or a faith formula to get what we want. Anything, just anything to avoid going deep, facing our sinfulness, repenting and making the change.

Maybe they had seen too many telly Evangelists. They told me they had been to multiple healing services and now they had come to me and wanted me to ‘pray the demons out of them’. When I said that I would like to know more about them, they stormed out of the room and asked the passing caretaker to pray for them. He looked kind of shocked and puzzled. Continue reading “Just waiting for an ‘Anointing’ to wash my problems away: Toxic Faith pt 2”

What if we are doing the best that we can – Tash McGill

What if we are doing the best that we can Tash McGill

What if this is not the worst-case scenario? What if it is the best-case scenario? How
would your view of your current circumstances change?

What if every person you encounter is simply doing the best they can with what they
have? What if every person who misunderstands you and causes you hurt or
frustration is trying as hard as they possibly can to do their best to understand you
and meet what you need of them?

We tend to view the world through a filter colored by our emotions, judgments and
experiences – we’re self-centered that way. Continue reading “What if we are doing the best that we can – Tash McGill”

Woo Woo + La La Land = Spiritual Abdication

Woo Woo + La La Land = Spiritual Abdication

Do you like some ‘Woo woo’ in your life? ‘Woo woo’ refers to something that is ‘dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific’. Miriam Webster

What about a side dish of  ‘La La Land’? Now I’m not referring to the movie, more so a ‘euphoric dreamlike mental state detached from the harsher realities of life’. Miriam Webster

I have been involved in churches where there was a lot of  ‘Woo Woo’ and ‘La La’.

A ‘Woo woo’ and ‘La La Land’ culture empowers a spiritual abdication.

Spiritual Abdication??

Continue reading “Woo Woo + La La Land = Spiritual Abdication”

What is the Bible? Book Review by Cheryl Chastain

What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way you Think and Feel about Everything by Rob Bell.

What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way you Think and Feel about Everything by Rob Bell. Book review by Cheryl Chastain

I love books with a question as the title. In fact, I prefer the question books over the answer books every time. The question books are open and brave and expansive, and that certainly describes Rob Bell’s new book.

The Question as the Way

Bell urges us from the beginning to read the Bible by asking a lot of questions. By asking questions, Continue reading “What is the Bible? Book Review by Cheryl Chastain”

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 “The 100% Perfect Gift for an Approval Junkie”

How do you Know Whether You’re Mentally Ill or Not?

How do you Know whether You're Mentally I'll or Not?

You don’t know what you don’t know, and if you’re mentally unwell, this unawareness can be huge.

Well, that is kind of obvious, but actually, there are times when you look back over your life and wish that you knew then what you know now. Now I’m not talking about simply making some wrong decisions and regretting them later. It’s more about uninformed ignorance.

I remember when I first started taking some anti-depressants. It wasn’t a miraculous cure but over the weeks that followed it was like a misty cloud being lifted off my thinking and thought processes. It was like the world just appeared more colourful. I wished I had been advised to go to my G.P. earlier.

You see what had happened was that I had become accustomed to how I viewed the world. Continue reading “How do you Know Whether You’re Mentally Ill or Not?”