How the loss of a dear friend has challenged me to live intentionally

It is amazing how time rushes by. 17 March 2015 marks the 2 year anniversary of the sudden death of a dear friend of mine, Abhishek Banerjee. The memory of his friendship along with the suddenness and circumstances of his passing away has had a profound impact on my own life. (For more on that see the post A Tribute To My Dear Friend and the post In Memory of Abhishek Banerjee (Bunty)) One of the striking experiences of bereavement is that after the initial shock and disbelief, the shedding
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What does a spiritually mature person look like?

Religion tends to get a bad press in popular culture. Intolerance, bigotry, pride and a judgemental attitude while certainly not exclusive to religious people is often presented as a characteristic of religious faith. But it need not necessarily be the case. Gordon Macdonald is a writer and speaker who I have been following and learning from for about 30 years. I recently had the privilege of meeting him at a conference. One of the questions Gordon addressed at this conference was the issue of spiritual maturity. What is spiritual maturity
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Podcast #014 Filthy Rich

Manoj Raithatha is a man who does not live life in small measures. He has been an English teacher, a BAFTA award winning and Emmy-nominated TV writer and a successful property entrepreneur – so successful in fact that his business at its height in 2007 was turning over £70 million a year and in 2005 he was able to buy 220 off plan appartments for £30 million. However, his life changed dramatically after the financial crisis of 2008. Also in that same year his 2 year old son became critically
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How do I deal with my ego?

We talk of someone having an ‘ego’. When we say it we are not just stating a fact and we’re certainly not offering them a compliment! The truth is, however, we all have an ego. But what do we mean by the word ego and why can it cause such great problems in our own lives and the lives of others? Is there such a thing as a healthy amount of ego? William Law back in the 18th century put it well when he said: “Every good thought that we have, and every
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It’s the most peculiar time of year

December is different If you are reading this you are probably over 7 years old. I read somewhere that 7 is the average age at which boys and girls stop believing in Santa. More interestingly some studies show that although children have positive feelings on learning the truth about Santa, parents are predominantly sad and even feel a sense of loss when their child discovers that Santa isn’t really coming (…and worse, was never going to come). Traditions are important to us – they bring a feel-good factor — traditions
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Can You Afford To Miss This Christmas Gift?

In the busyness, hustle and bustle of Christmas it is so easy to miss what really matters. It is incredibly easy to get distracted (not to mention stressed out!) by the food and festivities, as well as gatherings with family and friends – good and enjoyable as those things can be. We give and receive all sorts of gifts, but can so easily forget about the greatest gift of all that Christmas is pointing to. The familiarity 0f Christmas, the cute baby, the manger and nativity scene seem so commonplace and
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Podcast #012: On turning 50!

2015 was the year I turned 50. On this podcast discussion with my co-host Andrew Horton we think about ageing in a world and culture that tends to celebrate youth and ignore wisdom. Having said that getting older per see is not the issue. Its not experience alone that counts, but rather evaluated experience. Or as someone has eloquently put it, “There is a world of difference between 50 years of experience and 1 year of experience repeated 50 times!”   As we explore these life lessons, we have been able to
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A prayer to encourage you at work

I am not a good singer. In fact when I am in church with my children they can at times tell me to not sing too loudly as its embarrassing and might put others off! However, the following song is a prayer I have found so helpful to meditate and reflect upon in the morning before going to work. I share it to encourage you in whatever challenges you may be facing in your work situation. The words are from a song by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I have found
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Podcast #011 Money

How do we make sense of money? How much money do we actually need? Don’t worry I am not trying to sell you anything! They say money can’t buy happiness – and there are many examples of that. But are there ways money can actually buy happiness? In this podcast with my co-host Andrew Horton we explore the fascinating and complex subject of money. I’m afraid I don’t think we can solve your money worries and problems, but we do explore ways that our attitude to money can lead to a healthy
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Discovering silence and solitude

It is surprisingly difficult for us to handle silence. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) the brilliant French mathematician and philosopher famously wrote, “All the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, they cannot stay quietly in their own room.” I find that amazingly profound. It is even more true today in our frenetic fast paced technology driven world than it was in the 17th century when he first made that observation. The reason why we so much struggle to sit quietly on our own, Pascal continues is the “natural poverty of
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Podcast #010 Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Richards Covey (24 October 1932 – 16 July 2012) was an American educator, author, business man and keynote speaker. His most popular book was “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” that sold 25 million copies and was translated into 28 languages. His Covey Leadership Centre has 3/4 of  Fortune 500 companies as clients. The 5 minute video below gives a small glimpse of his wisdom, personality and genuine warmth: ›‹› On this podcast I have the privilege of interviewing Stephen Hutchins Covey the 4th grandchild of this remarkable
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25 Years of Marriage

Today marks 25 years since Sally and I committed ourselves to a lifetime of marriage together. The years have certainly flown by! In that time (as you can see!) I have lost even more hair, gone grey, put on weight and given up my contact lenses.  However, I remain grateful for God’s goodness to me in the soulmate and life partner He has blessed me with.   So with that in mind here is a public tribute to God’s goodness to me and the rich blessing He has provided me
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Podcast #007 Religion

Religious thinking. What exactly is it? Is it something we need more of or less of in our world? It often comes as a surprise when I say that I struggle with religious thinking. A clue is in the bell-shaped curve below:   Do come and join the podcast discussion with my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss: What do we exactly mean by religious thinking? The problem that this creates some semi-humourous examples that illustrate this. religious thinking and mental health The alternative to religious thinking The implications
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3 more life lessons on turning 50

Thank you for your messages, texts, calls and kind words this last week as I turned 50. I was truly blown away by them. Armed with that encouragement I feel inspired to add a few more life lessons! So please bear with one further indulgence this week. I am continuing to reflect on the implications of turning 50 with the hope that it may help some as well as at least provide some guidance away from mistakes I have made. While there is a world of difference between 50 years
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Podcast #006 Rediscovering Joy

Joy. Its a great subject, but why is it important and so fundamental to your life and my life? In this podcast we try to make sense of joy and distinguish it from happiness.   Do join my cohost Andrew Horton and myself as we discuss the following: How as a psychiatrist practically all my training has been on the negative rather than the positive in life. The dangers of the “if only…..” mindset Why personal circumstances only account for 10% of your overall level of happiness. The importance of
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