Articles 

Four words

As I approached my 40th birthday in 2015 I began to think through what I wanted and needed to focus on in the next season of my life. I wondered what were the themes of my life that I should give myself to and that in some way described who I was? It wasn’t quite so much tasks or goals, it was more personal, more essential to who I am. These weren’t quite areas of responsibility as much as they were the defining characteristics. I boiled it down to just…

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Articles 

Abortion: re-engaging with the issue

Growing up in a Christian family and having spent the majority of my life in the church, it has not been hard for me to accept that abortion is wrong. However, the numbers of moments when I have ever taken a stand against and actually done something about it could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Because, in the UK, the opportunities to win ground and fight this cause were few and far between I was rarely if ever called upon to stand up and be counted on this issue.…

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Christian Living 

Life can be hard

At the start of this year a number of people in our church found life pretty tough going: battles with immigration, unemployment, temporary homelessness, illness, stress and uncertainty all hit hard. It’s at points like those that the challenge to be a genuine family is tested. How will you love those who need a place to sleep if not by finding them room in your house? How will you love those who have no money other than by sharing what you have so that you can help them pay the…

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Technology 

Evaluating my use of social media

Social media is a voracious animal, always hungry, always moving, always devouring. What it mostly devours is my time and focus. I constantly fight against distraction and social media is my favoured form of procrastination. I can somehow feel that I am doing something (keeping up with friends or supporters) while actually doing nothing which is keeping me from doing anything satisfying. This is not a new struggle for me (having first mentioned it back in 2010 and again in 2011) but the New Year, as with many other things,…

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2013 in the rearview mirror

As far as this blog goes 2013 was a low-point. In fact, I wondered if I’d lost the will to carry it on and perhaps I would just leave it to slowly decay in the blogosphere. Obviously I decided against that. Life on the other hand has not been dull and there are many things worth noting about the year passed. Here are a handful of personal highlights: Skiing on snow for the first time in my life. Terrifying, daunting and then slowly exhilarating. Building my first igloo and walking…

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Sweden 

10 things that are a little strange about life in Sweden

It’s only fair after having pointed out 10 things that I’ve found to be a little better about life in Sweden, to think about the reverse. Switching cultures and countries you spot things that stand out; sometimes because they’re better and sometimes because they’re not. Here’s my 10 in no particular order: This one is a particular bug-bear of mine, but the Swedes don’t appear to know the proper use of car indicators. It’s a bit like the use of the horn in places like Pakistan, where the horn can…

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Articles 

10 little things that are better in Sweden

We’ve been living in Sweden for just over two years now and we’re starting to notice a few things about life here compared to life in the UK. These are in no particular order of importance. Money back on your bottles. I seem to remember this in the UK in the dim and distant past but it lives on here in Sweden. Recycle your plastic, can or glass bottle and get a little bit of money back. Nice. Parks and playgrounds. There are swings, climbing frames and playgrounds everywhere. Each…

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Articles 

Is Stockholm burning?

It’s world news that Stockholm has been troubled by five nights of unrest. It’s also mostly taken place, if you’ll excuse the phrase, within a stone’s throw of where we live. As I began to write this post I could see from my study window, in the near distance the smoke from another burning car. It’s not happening somewhere else, it’s happening here. Last night I joined a group of parents and residents who spent their night hanging out around the local nurseries and schools, doing their bit to ensure…

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