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A God of many chances

As a child I was definitely not a girly girl. I was very much a tomboy, preferring my brothers Action Man over my Sindy doll, hating dresses and generally thinking life was so unfair that I was a girl. I first became aware of my same-sex attractions during puberty, when I was confused about my sexuality and identity. It was not a subject that I could talk about, as the other girls in my form were daydreaming over the new male boys PE teacher whilst I preferred the girls female PE teacher!

Review: "Christ and the Culture Wars” by Ben Chang

Ben Chang’s latest book is an astute and wisely prophetic look at the evolving social movements competing with traditional Christian positions today. When I began reading the book, I was expecting an overview of the conflicts themselves, alongside proposals for how to mitigate the damages done by them, according to some enlightened scheme. What I found was a book that is roughly equal parts backstory and treatment plan. The backstory is a modern history of four loosely interrelated social movements: feminism, racial justice, gay pride and trans(sexual) rights.

Designed for Happiness

Happiness begins and ends in Jesus Christ. That’s it. Full stop. Surely it can’t be as simple as that? We all have friends and family who will encourage us to think something quite different. The argument is often that happiness can only truly be found in the arms of another person, in a sexual union of some sort. We hear voices saying that having Jesus is all well and good, but in this life, you can’t just rely on Him. You need something or someone else that is more tangible and immediate.

Receiving God’s refreshment

I shouldn’t feel like this. I’m a Christian.” “I feel so guilty.” “Do you think I am possessed?” Many times I have heard these, or similar statements, from those experiencing some form of mental or emotional distress or dis-ease. Sometimes this has been fuelled by a person’s engagement with scripture, the teaching they have received or the implicit ethos of the faith group they belong to. 

Cultivating Christian resilience

I was sitting in the public gallery of Church House on 15th November last year. As the afternoon session closed, bringing another cycle of LLF(Living in Life and Faith) debates to an end, I caught the eye of the lady sitting to my right. We silently shook our heads at each other in polite and pained disappointment at what had happened. Giving a look around the circular hall, she said, “I can’t feel Jesus here anywhere. I just don’t know where He is.”

Review: "Naked Truth project"

The Naked Truth Project,, is a UK charity “committed to changing minds and changing lives through awareness, education and recovery programmes.” The website opens with a video of a powerful poem; this  beautifully depicts their goal to teach about the harmfulness of porn and provide a vision for life, human flourishing and restoration. Toward that end, they offer a variety of resources to help parents, spouses, teachers, schools and churches understand and address issues of pornography.

The porn pandemic

One of the recent open day lectures run by Oak Hill Theological College, was on the theme of pornography. This was given by Robin Barfield, a children’s and youth worker. 

The works of the Spirit

I grew up in a Christian home. My Mum is a Spirit-filled, born-again believer of Christ, and brought up my sister and I to attend church and Sunday school. My Dad left my Mum under quite heart-breaking circumstances when I was just 2 and moved about 30 miles away. We usually saw him at the weekend. He and Mum had been elders at a local Church of England, but upon his sudden departure, Mum felt unable to return to church.

My battle for freedom from porn

I have been battling with porn for most of my life. My first encounter with hard core porn came between the ages of 11 and 12. I never thought at the time how much this would destroy me. Years passed and I would regularly watch videos or look at magazine images. At the age of 18, I made a commitment of faith, but, sadly, not very much changed in my behaviour. A week before my 21st birthday, my life with Jesus took a big step forward. I began getting help with my alcohol dependency, but my issue with porn remained unaddressed.