Do I have permission to lament?

This month, I have asked my wife, Rite, to write on the topic of lament.  During our Europe/Africa meetings, Jonny Clark spoke about lamenting and in our current global pandemic, it is an important subject. During my Lent readings, I was meditating on John 11:33-35 from the passion translation: “When Jesus looked at Mary and saw her weeping at His feet, and all her friends who were grieving, He shuddered with emotion and was deeply Read more about Do I have permission to lament?[…]

What changes are we to embrace as we continue in this crisis?

How are you doing now that we have reached the 6 month marker into this pandemic? Most of the people I talk to are doing ok considering what has happened. The challenge is that under the surface is an insecurity about the future, an inability to plan anything for sure, a sadness at the many losses of lives, loss of businesses and jobs, a struggle financially, pressure with kids at home and a level of Read more about What changes are we to embrace as we continue in this crisis?[…]

Are we stuck in our thinking?

Our worldview has an incredible effect on what we think, feel and act. On the news the other night, there was an interview with an African lady who was fighting for freedom regarding the 200 million women undergoing female genital mutilation.  The WHO has been actively seeking to stop the practice for many years but it’s part of the ritual of 30 countries from Africa, Middle East and Asia.  There are no benefits only harm, Read more about Are we stuck in our thinking?[…]

How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?

When you have a forced isolation, or lockdown like we have in Spain and other nations right now, what do we do with our time?  Even when the world isn’t involved in a pandemic, we have issues of sickness, accident, hospitalisation, burn out, imprisonment, cancellation of events and suchlike, that cause us to rethink our rhythms and activities.   What do we do with free space when it comes?  Fill the space with something as soon Read more about How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?[…]

Can you read the room?

I loved the title in one of Dan Reiland’s posts – ‘If you can’t read the room, you can’t lead the room.’  Our lives are full of relationships with others and with meetings of one kind and another and whether we are talking with our wives, our kids, teaching a group of students or having a conversation with someone, it is vital that we learn to read the room. Generally, the more relational you are, Read more about Can you read the room?[…]

113. Am I indifferent?

The dictionary definition of the word ‘indifferent’ is ‘lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.’  For example: “she shrugged, feigning indifference”.  But this isn’t the kind of indifference I want to talk about.  St Ignatius, the Spanish monk who began the Jesuits, developed many spiritual exercises, one of which was called ‘indifference.’ Let me tell you a simple story to illustrate.  Years ago, while living in Scotland, we had moved into a new home with a Read more about 113. Am I indifferent?[…]

112. How is my confession?

When I think of confession, I am immediately reminded of the verse I memorised in my early discipleship: 1 John 1:9 ‘But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.’  I was taught that confession was a personal practice between me and God.  Yet when we read the famous story of the prodigal son, we see that his confession Read more about 112. How is my confession?[…]

96. Do you have a seat at the table?

As a young child, I was brought up to always eat my meals around the table and on Sundays and special occasions I would often help in setting the table. I have always enjoyed the aesthetics of a beautifully ordained table, almost as much as eating the flavourful food on it. But tables are more than just food servers, tables are all about expressing love. John Ortberg in his new book, ‘I’d like you more Read more about 96. Do you have a seat at the table?[…]

95. What’s your rule of life?

There is a rediscovery going on in recent times, where we have come to recognise that over the centuries there have been some very godly men and women who have had a lot of wonderful things to share.  This revelation makes us realise that we are missing out on some gold nuggets of truth if we don’t pay attention. 1500 years ago St. Benedict wrote his ‘rule’.  Friends of St. Benedict write  – Although written Read more about 95. What’s your rule of life?[…]

92. Are you lonely as a leader?

I was caring for my 94 year old mother in Wales at the end of last year for a month.  My Dad died some thirteen years ago and since that time, I have often heard my mum say that she is ‘lonely’.  After 55 years of marriage with hardly any separation during all those years, you get used to having a companion with you all the time. So becoming a widow brought loneliness into her Read more about 92. Are you lonely as a leader?[…]

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