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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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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    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.