Ditching The Invisible Mask

A puppet wearing a blue surgical mask

Over the last couple of years, we have all got used to seeing and wearing masks as we go about our daily lives. It’s been part of our routine to pick up a mask as we leave the house and put one on as we enter a supermarket or get on a bus. However, many people, including myself, have worn a mask for a lot longer than the last couple of years. These masks are usually invisible…..until the mask starts to slip!

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“You Just Need To Trust God More!”

A blue hardback New Testament Bible with a box of medication on top

This past week has been ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’. Since the pandemic began, people have become much more aware of their mental health. Mental health has also been talked about more on television and in newspapers and magazines, with experts giving advice on how to improve your mental health. However, there are still some people who dismiss others who have mental health issues, implying that they’re making it up or that they need to “get a grip”. Sadly, this type of reaction can happen in churches too.

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“Everyone Gets Nervous!” – A Look at Anxiety

A few years ago, I was preparing to speak to members of the Thames Valley District (a group of local Baptist churches) about additional needs inclusion within a church setting. A member of the church I was at at the time asked how I was feeling. When I replied that I was feeling really anxious, they replied with the words in the title of this blog post. It actually made me feel that I was wrong to be feeling the way I was and did nothing to help my anxiety. So what is anxiety and can you learn to live with it?

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When The Going Gets Tough…..

Today is the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. As well as having physical health, we all have mental health too. Some people have good mental health, others have poor mental health and then there are people, like myself, who yo-yo between the two. My mental health is currently pretty good and I pray that it stays like that for the foreseeable future. It hasn’t always been like that though.

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When It’s Time to Get Out Of The Boat

One of my favourite characters in the Bible is Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter often did and said things before he’d properly thought about what might happen as a result. One of these times was just after Jesus had fed the 5,000 people. Jesus had sent the people away and had told the disciples to head over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he went off to pray. The Bible tells us that their boat was a long way from land and being pounded by the waves. The disciples then see a figure walking across the water and assume that it was a ghost. It was, of course, Jesus and he tells them that it’s him and not to be afraid. This is where Peter speaks, I assume without thinking too much. He says: “If it is you, tell me to come out to you on the water!”. When Jesus says “Come!”, I imagine Peter giving one almighty gulp, knowing that he’d have to do it or risk embarrassment in front of his friends. Peter does, of course, do it and, although he starts to sink when his attention is taken away from Jesus, I reckon he still felt pretty chuffed that he took the risk of getting out of the boat. Peter literally stepped out of his comfort zone!

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