I prefix this post by saying: The church is made up of humans who are flawed and messed up, and get lots of things wrong. And despite everything, on Sundays you will find me in church. Because even though this family is dysfunctional, it is home.Like everyone else, we Christians love success.We love the sheen of it and the triumphant music. We love the way it smells and makes us feel. We love to wave our golden ticket, while we are GETTING IT RIGHT AND TELLING YOU ABOUT IT. We want to be heroes in our neighbourhood; helping the sick and...

I recently wrote a post about freedom. This post was a starting point for re-articulating my faith. If you haven't read it you might want to check it out before reading this.The ideas contained in these posts are fresh, and like wet paint have the potential to make a mess.I am stumbling towards truth, inarticulately.I am starting to write about some new truths.Some things my younger self would probably call heresy.There is nothing safe or tidy about this.--- I am good. I spent many years believing the core of me was bad.This idea sounded plausible and reasonable because, like every other sane person on the planet,...

Today is Ash Wednesday.In churches all over the country people are gathering to repent of their sins. They are kneeling while the vicar or celebrant draws a cross of ashes on their forehead as they prepare for Lent, and after that, Easter.I like this. A stopping point, a place to be reminded.It is only recently I have understood what repentance is really about.Maybe you never mis-used or misunderstood repentance, but for a long time I did. Repentance was part of the conversation about how I was messing it up and was not able to get my shit together. It was another way to...

On the 1st December I started to write an Alternative Advent Calendar. I have been posting these 'gifts' daily on Facebook and Instagram.Christmas is busy, and expectations are high. It can become stressful and overwhelming very quickly. My Advent Calendar is an antidote to this. Each day I have been writing short thoughts about ways to manage this season, ideas about how to stay sane, maintain mental health and hopefully enjoy the festive period.I am writing to remind myself. To talk truth to myself.And to remind you. To talk truth to you.Here are the first seven daysDec 1st The Gift of...

I struggle to articulate the discoveries I have been making about my faith, in part because what I believe cannot easily be squeezed into language. It cannot be condensed and compressed into words, black and white on the page.I am only ever able to scratch the surface, if I am lucky.Even if I had all the time in the world I would still remain unable to articulate the breadth and depth and complexity, the clear and pure simplicity, of the faith I am discovering.This was not always the case.I used to find my faith far more straight forward. For every question there was an...

With regard to my faith I have spent a lot time writing about what isn't.Exploding lies.Debunking myths.That sort of thing.I write about this because it is what I have spent a lot of my time doing in my real life. Unravelling thoughts about my beliefs, chucking out systems that have become constraining.I struggled under the weight of some repressive ideas for a long time.No one forced these mindsets on me. In the way that most things happen it was a mix of my personality, my experiences, my choice, my upbringing, and my pride that combined to intoxicate me with the notion...

My therapist tells me that she believes it probably won't be long until there is a test, a blood test or something, that will tell what is chemically happening in your brain. To ascertain that something isn't right, some chemical or hormone isn't being released correctly or in the right amount (forgive me - I am no scientist).This would distinguish between mental illnesses that requires chemical intervention and those mental illnesses that can be alleviated by environmental changes and talking therapies, without the need for the pills.And although we shouldn't have to prove it, we shouldn't need that validation, it...

Before anything else.Before you can get any help, or start working your way through a tricky situation or painful experience, you have to acknowledge it exists.The universe I inhabited before my thirties was a place where it was not the done thing to express discontent.We were loved by God and had everything we needed. We were not homeless, or learning to live with a critical illness. We were not cold or hungry. We did not have to walk miles every day to collect water. We were not alone and abandoned.Anything that did go wrong, or didn't turn out how we...