Austin Fischer: Depression

Church leader Austin Fischer writes:

In recalling this limbo experience, only one word seems adequate:  depression.  Parker Palmer calls depression a survival mechanism of the soul.  It is the soul digging in its heels and refusing to go any further down an unsustainable path.  It is the soul warning you that self-destruction awaits if you don’t turn around.  And for anyone who has experienced depression in any measure, this has more than a ring of truth to it.

Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed, Austin Fischer


Francine Rivers: The author of Redeeming Love reveals what drives her work

Francine Rivers is one of our generation’s most successful writers of Christian fiction. In this rare interview with my friend Claire Musters in Premier Christianity magazine, she explains how she moved from writing steamy romance novels to faith-based titles. She writes:

The California-based author Francine Rivers doesn’t travel for speaking engagements as much as she used to, and interview opportunities with the 71-year-old are also increasingly rare.

So upon discovering she was in the UK for a few days to attend the Wimbledon Christian Book Fair, I jumped at the chance to sit down with the woman responsible for writing Redeeming Love – one of the all-time bestselling works of Christian fiction.

Last Sunday’s Explore

We’ve had tremendous feedback from Sunday’s Freedom in Christ service about Handling Emotions Well.  It was one of those times that Explore does so well, everyone learning from one another.

Here’s the post that Colin referred to but didn’t read, from Lisa Olivera Therapy.

Tomorrow at Explore

The sixth session in our Freedom in Christ series considers handling our emotions well.  Colin will host, Steve will be with us to lead us in Communion.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.  There’ll be a bring and share lunch after the service, for those who’d like to stay.

How studying Hawking’s Big Bang led me to God

Astrophysicist Dr Hugh Ross shares his testimony with Premier Christianity magazine.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian environment. I was born, raised and educated in Canada, which is a largely secular country. My parents were moral, but we only attended church a few times. I got into astronomy when I was aged seven, trying to figure out why the stars are hot, and from the age of eight onwards I knew astrophysics would be my future career.

I’d study a particular discipline every year in some depth. Aged 16 I looked at cosmology – the emergence and structure of the universe – and that’s when I realised the evidence was heavily favouring ‘Big Bang’ cosmology, in which the universe has a beginning; therefore there must be a beginner.

So from the age of 16 onwards I did not doubt the existence of God, but I was still sceptical. If there was a God that created this vast universe, would it communicate to these beings on a small speck we call Planet Earth? But, for the sake of intellectual honesty, I went through the holy books of religions of the world. Continue reading “How studying Hawking’s Big Bang led me to God”

1 John 4: Loved us way before we loved Him

This is how God’s love has appeared among us: God sent his only son into the world, so that we should live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the sacrifice that would atone for our sins. Beloved, if that’s how God loved us, we ought to love one another in the same way.

1 John 4:9-11, New Testament for Everyone

The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.

Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then ‘loving one another’ should be our way of life!

1 John 4:9-11 The Passion Translation