A Prayer for Strength

There is a book titled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by author Eugene Peterson that puts into words the experiences of many who remain faithful to the Lord while their suffering continues without end. I have prayed the prayer below during such seasons and, today, this is my prayer for you. You may […]

Read More

A Valid Life

I had a long conversation recently with a man I had just met, and he had a theory about human nature. He asked me if I knew what the basic requirements of life were, and of course we soon agreed on the traditional list of water, food and shelter. “Ah, but!” says he, with a […]

Read More

There’s More to Church than Meets the Eye

“Why do we do it?” I think it’s one of the most obvious questions people should ask about church. I am surprised that more visitors don’t ask it. If a newcomer came to your church and asked you that question, what would you say? Because it makes me feel better inside? Because it’s what we […]

Read More

Still Living: Grieving after Suicide

Disclaimer: If you are thinking about hurting yourself or believe someone you know may be, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 now. When I was a teenager, one of my youth group peers committed suicide. He was about 18 years old. Later, I served in a church where two youths killed themselves. In […]

Read More

Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Every child knows that’s not true. And as we get older, the more we realise just how untrue it is. James got it spot on in chapter 3:1-12, when he described how an object as small as our tongue has such enormous […]

Read More

Turning It Around

I have had the privilege of solemnising a wedding in Scotland. What a delight! The skirl of the pipes, the crisp northern air, friendly and hospitable people, and of course, the giddy enthusiasm of newlyweds on their great day. In one of the few quiet moments that weekend I remembered watching the New Year’s TV […]

Read More

Truth with Tenderness

There’s a song by Paul Simon with a line that is worth noting. Now I don’t consider “Rhymin’ Simon” to be one of the great theologians of our time, but in this instance at least he stumbled into a trustworthy saying: you don’t have to lie to me, just give me some tenderness beneath your […]

Read More

Therefore!

I’d been a squash player for many years, though I had never had a coaching session in my life, until… ‘Steve!’ boomed the voice of George, the squash club’s professional coach, as he peered into the court half way through a game I was probably losing. ‘You’re holding that racquet wrong!’ Hmm! ‘What do you […]

Read More