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If you don't know about my wife's wonderful blog and ministry - check it out now.

Here's the opening to her latest article for the Church of England newspaper:

If you’d met me seven years ago, here’s what you’d have seen:  a ‘successful’ Christian, newly married to a vicar in training. Leader of a thriving children’s ministry. A talented student with a bright future ahead. Someone who seemed to have it all together.

But there’s one part you might have missed: a young woman gripped by an eating disorder that would nearly take her life...

Read the whole article here

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Nothing very profound, but Emma and I write about childlessness here after thinking about my sermon on Hannah here. Basically some more thoughts on 1 Samuel 1.

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Shame and Strength by Emma

Do you ever feel ashamed?

Not embarrassed.  Not ‘oh dear, that was awkward’.  Not discomfort. Shame.  The sort of word you lift out of the vocab box with kid gloves.   The real deal.  That deep, burning in the pit of your stomach, I want to turn myself inside-out and climb into the wardrobe and cover myself in coats and put my hands on my head and then screw my eyes tightly closed and shrink a bit more.

Shame is one of those feelings that can’t possibly apply to anyone but you. It stalks the weak and the weird.  Normal people can shake it off with the raindrops. But for those with something to hide, it sticks and it grows and it whispers and bit by bit it eats your strength until you’re too tired to fight it and you lie down and say, yes.  You’re right.  That’s me.  I am that thing.... read more

 

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Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Justifying Our Lives Away by David Zahl

...Self-justification, therefore, is not only about protecting high self-esteem; it’s also about protecting low self-esteem if that is how a person sees himself.

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Emma's got a great post up contrasting Amy Winehouse and Anders Breivik:

One person couldn't cope with fame.  The other couldn't cope with ignominy.  One person's life was out of control.  The other was extremely disciplined.  One was full of self-doubt.  The other was certain he was right.  One revealed her problems to the world ("I told you I was trouble!").  The other kept it all inside.  One took it out on herself.  The other took it out on everyone else.

Is it too far to suggest that these two (obviously extreme cases) represent the apogee of female and male anger?

And if not, what kind of pathologies develop when an angry man (i.e. a man) marries an angry woman (i.e. a woman)?

 

When you go shopping do you see it?

Intense, bowed young women, pacing the lanes. Picking up lettuce and putting it down. Desperately scanning the shelves, searching the labels like fortune tellers reading tea-leaves. The furtive, sudden movements. Emaciated arms, hugging the empty basket.

If you know what to look for you'll see it everywhere.

Read the whole of Emma's painful descriptions.

If as a church, we don’t respond to brokenness and mess, then here’s what we’re preaching:

‘Our God is too small.  And your problems are too big’.

So begins one of Emma's best posts...

One of Emma's finest angry comic confessionals...

The reality looks more like this.  A gradual, painful retreat,  from friends, loved ones and perhaps from your own growing sense that this is getting out of control. You see, that eating disorder doesn’t want to share.  She wants all of you.

Read the whole thing

One of Emma's finest angry comic confessionals...

The reality looks more like this.  A gradual, painful retreat,  from friends, loved ones and perhaps from your own growing sense that this is getting out of control. You see, that eating disorder doesn’t want to share.  She wants all of you.

Read the whole thing

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