The Day I Picked Up An Escaped Convict That Helped me Find my True Self

When I was on a 6-hour road trip back to university I picked up a hitchhiker.

It was cold and wintery as I turned a corner on the Desert road and I saw a young man with his thumb stuck out. Thin, short hair and poorly clothed for the winter, I felt concern for him.

I pulled my little Mini over and offered him a ride.

I asked where he was going off we went. He didn’t say much but eventually, we arrived at my student flat.

After dinner, I then offered him a bed for the night which was gratefully received. In the morning he was off and I let him have my jersey.

I thought nothing of it, then things started to fall into place, Continue reading “The Day I Picked Up An Escaped Convict That Helped me Find my True Self”

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”

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”

Confession, A Step Towards Harmony


Confession can take the pressure off ourselves and give an opportunity for harmony to come into our relationships.

Six things we need to learn about confession for our Mental Health.

‘I need help with my husband, wife, child, friend.’

I have an anonymous survey here on Turning the Page where people can share with me what they are struggling with. I don’t share what people write, but I do take notice and look for topics to write about. One of the most interesting trends I am seeing is the stress that comes about from the relationships we have. Continue reading “Confession, A Step Towards Harmony”

I’ll Get Strong With A Little Help From My Friends


Meeting with others on a regular basis builds strength and resilience in our Mental Health. Friends build each other up to be strong.

I wasn’t expecting any great life changing moments happening in this small group of three people. As they talked I could see that they were increasingly feeling comfortable with each other. They all had similar backgrounds and struggles and as they shared, the privacy walls dropped and they started to talk deep.

One of the quieter ones felt safe enough to ask a question, and then another. Soon others felt safe enough to ask ‘silly questions’. There were huge moments of life changing discovery. Continue reading “I’ll Get Strong With A Little Help From My Friends”

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 “True or False? Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

Do You Have a ‘Time sensitive’ Gut?

Do You Have a 'Time sensitive' Gut? compassion mental health

Compassion moved my gut, then my heart, and then I received a notification from my mind.

Not every story creates gut moving compassion.

But as I listened it wrenched open my heart, soul and stomach till I was totally gutted and laid bare by what had happened to my friend. Being vulnerable to others can do this in you.

They open a door to what is really going on in their soul. They feel safe enough to share and then they vomit out tightly held stories of pain.

Compassion, the suffering together with someone, asks you to get in the ditch with the struggle. Messy as it is.

There is always that moment of decision. Will I listen deeply and groan, or be antiseptically clean and Teflon it away. Continue reading “Do You Have a ‘Time sensitive’ Gut?”

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

A 'But' Can Make a Big Differance 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 “A ‘But’ Can Make a Big Difference in Your Mental Health”


Robbed who are the real robbers mental health

We’ve been robbed in more ways than we know.

It wasn’t the usual snatch and grab. This was more a subtle insidious taking of life.

In the early stages of their depressive illness, they had been put on the new wonder drug Valium. With strong tranquillizing effects, life was muted.

Then after 30 years, Continue reading “Robbed”