A Little Pocket of Heaven 

I have just completed a retreat at El Palmeral. What a privilege!   I feel like I have entered a little pocket of heaven on earth.  Snuggled away in the Spanish countryside near Alicante, Mike and Julie welcome 10 to 12 guests regularly into what is their home and is also a retreat centre. You... Continue Reading →

What are your troubles producing for you?

Grief? Hassle? Irritation? Frustration? Define 'trouble' as any sort of problem, setback, disappointment or pain and ask yourself the above question. Possibly you will only come up with these kinds of answers: sorrow/loss of earnings/loss of confidence/loss of hope in the future. For you might even say that your troubles are dividing you from friends... Continue Reading →

Faith in the Future: hope

Thinking back over the book "Stranger than we can Imagine", would I recommend it? I'm not sure I would - it's a fascinating look back over the 20th century but it doesn't leave you with any sense of hope about the 21st-century. And hope, substantial hope in something solid, is what we all really need... Continue Reading →

Why Worship Matters

"Let man's soul be a sphere and then, in this,  the intelligence that moves, devotion is" These are lines from a poem by John Donne (1573-1631), hardly contemporary but still wonderfully insightful. We have all sorts of words for worship these days: praise/adoration/contemplation but I think loves this phrase, worship or 'devotion' is 'the intelligence... Continue Reading →

Struggling towards the light

I have learnt a spiritual lesson from growing potatoes.  Just when they begin to show little green shoots just above the surface of the soil like this: you are supposed to dump another inch or two of soil on top of them! I was so excited to see these little shoots begin to appear, it... Continue Reading →

Life is not plain sailing

Life is not plain sailing and I am not a sailor. But life is like consenting to a journey in a little sailing boat. I am not keen on boats in general, little boats in particular: too vulnerable, too open to the elements. There is only room in this boat (which is my life) for... Continue Reading →

A place of ‘holy mystery’

In Luke 7 there are two stories of resurrection. Jesus raises the nearly dead, the centurion's servant, and the very dead, the son of the widow of Nain. Immediately after the young man sits up and starts talking there is a moment of stunned silence. Before the expression of noisy opinions or the blustering of... Continue Reading →

Treasure and ponder

What do you "treasure and ponder"? Most probably it is happy memories, kind things that have been said to you or moments of wonder. It is most unlikely that you "treasure and ponder" the moment a close friend told you that something terrible was going to happen. We might remember such moments, but we are... Continue Reading →

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