If I can just get close enough (Mark 5:21-43)

Perhaps one of the most moving accounts in the Gospels is the story of the woman who had suffered for many years with an illness that caused frequent discharge of blood. It’s wrapped around by the healing of Jairus’ daughter. This helps us to see a few things. First, we see Jesus’ willingness to be… Continue reading If I can just get close enough (Mark 5:21-43)

Food from around the Worldwide web

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With the horror of this week’s shooting in Texas there have been some confused and at times abhorrent responses to this. I respond to one particularly unhelpful one here whilst Steve Kneale writes here in response to Franklin Graham’s repeat of a frequent trope that the problem isn’t the guns it’s the people here. There’s… Continue reading Food from around the Worldwide web

Who needs a doctor? (Mark 2:13-17)

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We now begin to see why sharp divisions were growing between Jesus and the Pharisees.  There was a clear line drawn between “us and them”. That line was between those who were considered to be faithful or at least trying to be faithful to YHWH by keeping Torah, by seeking to be pure, clean, hol… Continue reading Who needs a doctor? (Mark 2:13-17)

Healthy Biblical Counselling

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In previous articles I’ve shared my concerns regarding some aspects of Biblical Counselling. Some approaches lead you towards what risks being harsh and legalistic counselling. This arises out of an assumption that we can resolve a problem by identifying and stopping the sin that caused it. This leads, in my opinion to a shallow engagement… Continue reading Healthy Biblical Counselling

An intentional detour of grace

In John 4:3-6 we read: 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was… Continue reading An intentional detour of grace

What did you expect?

The release of Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe from prison in Iran is wonderful news.  It has been a terrible injustice that she has effectively held hostage for these past six years and deprived of those years with her husband and her young daughter.  It has been so moving to see them re-united. At the press-conference following her… Continue reading What did you expect?

Depression, sin and trust issues

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I just wanted to pick up on something I’ve seen suggested a few times namely that depression is intrinsically sinful because it involves a lack or loss of trust in the Lord.   I’ve seen this suggested in the context of medication -that you should be depending on God to heal you but I’ve also seen… Continue reading Depression, sin and trust issues

The advanced training every pastor needs

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I’ve just been on a training course for three days up in Manchester. It’s quite a bit of a sacrifice for a proud Yorkshireman to be that side of the Pennines but also to be spending time away from home. The course was to do with providing coaching for church planters. So, on the one… Continue reading The advanced training every pastor needs

Christmas Eve

You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? This is that picture. Eve who with her husband brought death into the world became the mother of life. She was brought under the crushing curse of sin and death but her descendent the promised seed crushed the serpent’s head. Here in… Continue reading Christmas Eve