A second look (Mark 8:22-26)

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I identify with the blind man healed in Mark 8:22-26. I’ve often sat in the optician’s chair as he’s moved lenses around pausing to ask “better here … or better here.” Ninety five percent of the time I find myself saying “about the same.” I used to worry that I was giving the wrong answer… Continue reading A second look (Mark 8:22-26)

Why did Jesus heal? (Mark 7:31-37)

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Mark 7 closes with another healing. Returning from Tyre and Sidon to Galilee, he is met by a man who is deaf and also unable to speak. It may well be that his muteness is a consequence of his deafness and not hearing speech. The context of the two healing miracles at the end of… Continue reading Why did Jesus heal? (Mark 7:31-37)

Something happens when people come into contact with Jesus (Mark 6:53-56)

When Jesus and his disciples cross Lake Galilee, they are greeted on the other shore by another crowd.  People recognise him and word spreads. Everywhere he goes, he is met with people who plead with him for healing. They assume that even to just brush against his clothes will bring life and healing. This is… Continue reading Something happens when people come into contact with Jesus (Mark 6:53-56)

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)

The transforming kingdom (Mark 1:16-2:13-17)

We now begin to see what it means for Jesus to preach about the Kingdom and call people to repentance with a series of examples. It means calling people to follow him and leave behind other priorities (1:16-20 and 2:13-17) It means calling evil spirits out of people.  Captives are set free (1:21-28) It means… Continue reading The transforming kingdom (Mark 1:16-2:13-17)

Towards a theology of depression

 Last year I contributed to a short book called “The Pastor with a thorn in his side.” It’s a book which tells the stories of 7 pastors who have faced depression during their ministry. Steve Kneale edited the book and as well as telling his own story provides an introduction and a conclusion. In those… Continue reading Towards a theology of depression

The pandemic – faith and emotional health

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Earlier this week, I shared the results of a survey that I had done among my twitter followers picking up on the impact of the pandemic. The survey showed that whilst quite a few people are able to talk positively about the impact on their spiritual health in terms of relationship to church family and… Continue reading The pandemic – faith and emotional health

Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression

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In his review of The pastor with a thorn in his side, Mark Pickett calls for further theological, ecclesiological and sociological reflection on the causes and consequences of depression among those in Christian service. I agree and believe that such reflection will be helpful not just for church leaders suffering with depression but as we… Continue reading Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression

Depression, spiritual warfare and calling the elders to pray

Mark Pickett has written this helpful review of “The pastor with a thorn in his side.”  In his review, Mark picks up on a number of things that he would have liked further analysis and discussion of in the book.  I agree with Mark that these are crucial areas that we need some further discussion… Continue reading Depression, spiritual warfare and calling the elders to pray