Spirituality

The Courage of Christmas

Courage is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to thinking about Christmas. It is such a feel good time of year, along with a sense of unreality compared to the rest of life. We look forward to the holidays and putting aside the usual worries and concerns. Everyone seems so relaxed and everything for a few days appears to slow down. All over the world, children enact nativity scenes and Father Christmas comes to jolly everyone with presents and good cheer. So what does
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Podcast #024: Making sense of time

Time. Such an important part of our lives and yet so hard to get a grasp of! We all have the same amount – 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week or 86, 400 seconds a day. But we all struggle and wrestle with it. On top of that time is such a strange concept to grasp. What do we exactly mean by time and why does it seem to go at such a varying pace during different periods of our life? As someone once said: If you want to
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Is it work-life balance or integration?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally a flawed concept.  The problem with balance is that it implies giving an equal amount of time and attention to every area of my life – and that is simply just not possible. It’s not possible to give in equal measure each week the same same amount of time to, say work; the same amount to family; the same amount to exercise or to friends or to other meaningful activities.(I’ve explained more on this in a previous post).   Perhaps
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We’re all materialists now!

We live in a culture which is dominated by one particular worldview…. Stop, Andy! What do you mean by ‘worldview’? Everyone has a worldview. It’s all about the assumptions we make about people, the world, the universe and all that is. Because they are assumptions, they usually operate at a subconscious level. They are like specs that we wear all the time, colouring our view of everything. They are so pervasive that we don’t even notice we’re wearing them! No one can live without a worldview. Worldview questions sound a
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Podcast #022: The stories we tell ourselves

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are part of what make us human. But I am not talking about the novels and classics many of us love to read. There is already a story going on in each of our minds. It is those stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us that can have huge implications for our lives. How do those stories come from the way we see the world? Do come and join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss: The see-do-get model
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When it feels as if you will never get there

Its that proverbial chant of little children on a long journey from the back seat of the car, “Are we there yet?” They are getting bored and fidgety about reaching the destination they are travelling with their parents to. Every 5 minutes that same question comes. And yet in many ways we never grow out of it. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all live with a sense of wanting to find deep and lasting fulfilment. Some of us are better at articulating that than others. One of my
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How to develop a deeply resilient life

I first picked up the book, ‘A Resilient Life’ by Gordon MacDonald when I was just turning 40. That was a very long time ago! Even so I still remember the profound impact it had on me then (and still continues to have). At the time I was entering into mid-life with all the associated questioning and self-doubt as to what had I achieved or, perhaps more accurately, not achieved in my life. It seemed to me so many others had done so much more, were further along the road
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Should a God of love get angry?

The media is full of stories of terrible atrocities and injustice everywhere. They are brutal reminders of the violent world that we live in. How can we make sense of a loving God when so many terrible tragedies happen? Can there be a God and if there is how can He be loving by allowing such things to happen? Such questions a friend recently asked me following the news of a horrific terrorist atrocity. Her premise was that we need to focus on simply being more loving and understanding. A loving
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Midlife – Crisis or Chrysalis?

“Is this all I am ever going to do?” Have you ever had this thought? If so, you might be approaching midlife, or maybe you already got there. Where is that exactly? Well it keeps moving because people live longer and healthier, but for most of us it starts anywhere from your forties through to sixty-something. Of course the idea that there might be something new to do isn’t limited to middle-age but it is often a feature of middle-age. Some people call this time of re-thinking and longing a
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Podcast #019: Baroness Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox is a remarkable lady. 6 July 2016 is her 79th Birthday. She is mother to 2 sons and a daughter as well as grandmother to 10 children. But she is no ordinary grandmother who likes to sit at home knitting, baking cakes and watching television. She has been accused by some of being a secret agent because of her ability to enter countries whose oppressive governments are intent on keeping her out. Her work in protecting the rights of Muslim women from oppression through Sharia courts in the UK has bizarrely
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How can I find hope in my darkest days?

Hope is a complex word. And yet it is so vital to human existence. As someone once said: “Human beings can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.” We’ve previously looked at hope from a psychological and psychiatric perspective. But hope is so central to human existence that any understanding is incomplete without reference to our spiritual identity. Why? Because where else can we ultimately find hope in our darkest days? In the world of
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Podcast #018: Spiritual Maturity

When many people think of those who are religious, it seems to me they go to one of two extremes. Either  they think of someone who is arrogant and opinionated in their beliefs (especially to those who believe or think differently) or someone who is so nebulous and abstract in their thinking about God that they appear to accept anything and everything. On this podcast interview my co-host Andrew Horton and I attempt to go beyond these stereotypes to something we call spiritual maturity. We discuss what does a spiritually
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Podcast #017: The last taboo subject?

Death may well be the last taboo subject in modern Western society. The comedian Woody Allen is humorously quoted as saying, “I’m not afraid of dying. I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” And yet while we try to put the topic out of our minds, a clear understanding of our mortality is so important in bringing clarity to our complex and at times challenging lives. As Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, said two years before he died, “Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most
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Podcast #016: Harry Potter and the Hindu Priest

They say truth is stranger than fiction. In many ways the life story of Rahil Patel illustrates that. To read about it in a novel would sound implausible, even fantastically impossible. And yet here is his life story with such surprising and unexpected twists and turns. But what has this to do with Harry Potter? You will have to keep reading and listening! Rahil is of East African Kenyan Gujarati origin. He was brought up in North West London from the age of 5. At the age of 16 he
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Why understanding Easter brings hope

Hope is a funny word in the English language. When we use it in everyday conversation we tend to speak in terms of a vague possibility that may or may not come to pass. So we say, for example, “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” It may or may not rain tomorrow and I am not entirely sure what the actual outcome will be. So I use the word hope to describe my uncertainty. But hope is a much richer and deeper word than that. In the dictionary, hope is “an
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.