It’s Easter and if you’re not already stuffed on chocolate I suggest you stop reading and get to it. What other time in the year will you be able to indulge, guilt free.
It’s an interesting idea isn’t it? At Christmas and Halloween we know we’re going to eat a lot of candy but it’s not until after when we hit the scales and the self disgust kicks in. But at Easter, a time when we are supposed to remember the ridiculous, non sensical gift of Grace, we give ourselves permission to indulge. Continue reading →
Shame and guilt are one of the ways that many people have been put down and controlled by others and sometimes by themselves. We’re told constantly that as a Christian you can let go of guilt and shame. For some people this is extremely difficult to do. I mess up and it’s there greeting me with a snarky smug smile. Almost in a strange inevitable way I knew it would be there. Continue reading →
I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago that received more shares and more comments almost as much as all my other blog posts had together. Some loved it, some really didn’t. Which is ok because you know after all, we’re not part of the community of Jesus followers because we all agree. Continue reading →
A couple of days I wrote a blog that kind of went crazy. In it I questioned the manner that John Piper spoke about porn in a sermon.
Needless to say I got a lot of flack from some people. Yet I also received a lot of comments from people who had been hurt by similar styles of talking about sin in Church. I didn’t write it for John Piper fans. I wrote it for those very people whose voice has been lost because the church has piled on more and more shame.
Reading and responding to the comments it became quickly apparent that this had become something bigger than just about a view of porn addiction. Continue reading →
Several years ago I read an article by a Pastor I had never heard of but which transformed the way I thought about sin and addiction and their consequences. I had been a porn addict for a few years already and John Piper’s words filled me with hope and peace and strength. I still come back to this article even now and if you are struggling with porn or any sin for that matter I really, really can’t recommend it enough. Continue reading →
If you strip it down to its core essence, essentially all addiction is about worshiping an idol.
Now I realize that the term idol has a lot of religious connotations which will put off many people, but I think that the word idol fits well here. Especially if we rethink what it means.
So let me come up with a definition of an idol that hopefully will resonate with anyone struggling with an addiction, regardless of belief. Here goes. Continue reading →
There is an idea among many Christians that once we die we will grow some wings, this old sinful broken world will be destroyed in a massive fire and we will all float up to the gates of Heaven, give St. Peter a high five and pick up the keys to our swanky new mansion. This is a nice idea except for the fact for the first Christians that it’s not the way they thought about the afterlife. It’s not how they talked about Heaven.
Actually what’s more likely is that this world, the one we are on now will be joined with Heaven and restored in a new and incredible way.
So if we think of the future in this way, what does this mean for the present? Continue reading →
If you saw Les Miserables at the cinema or on the West End or Broadway you will know that a major scene occurs when the main protagonist Jean Valjean steals some bread to feed his starving family.
If you go into any Sunday School in the world and ask the kids to name a few sins I am pretty sure that stealing would be up there on the list.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the greatest theologians to have ever lived and his work is agreed by many as having a hugely positive and lasting effect on Christian thinking today. There is also evidence that he was involved with a plot to kill Adolf Hitler.
If you read that list of sins over again, I am sure that murder would be most kids’ top choice of sins.
So is stealing a sin or not? Continue reading →
Romans 3v 23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Do you know what is the most horrible experience you go through when you are a kid?
Finding out that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist?
Finding out that Mum and Dad have consistently lied to you for years every Christmas?
No. (Which by the way explains why they were always so keen on leaving treats out for Santa; I always doubted his ability to fly a sleigh after a glass of mulled wine or three) Continue reading →
The times you pray to God can tell a lot about a person I think.
Take for example the person who needs something and uses God more as a genie that they can go to when they need money or when they need help in a certain situation.
90% of the time they don’t try and look for God in their life, except when they need something.
Or take the other person; the one I can more readily associate with. The person who spends their whole day not looking for God but then when they mess up come running for forgiveness. The person who needs affirmation of their place with God every time they sin. Continue reading →