BBC Radio

The Real Reason Beauty Leaves Us Breathless

photo by Dan Musat

The human heart craves beauty. It’s why we visit art galleries, gaze at photographs, seek out the window seat, give flowers to the sick. And it’s why I was so deeply overwhelmed one memorable day in the lagoon on Lord Howe Island… Natural beauty restores, refreshes, inspires. Here’s the reason. More…

Need More Friendships? Here Are Four Things That Make Them Rich

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw www.frsphoto.co

‘Who can you call in the middle of the night when everything has gone wrong?” When I first heard this question some years ago it shook me to the core. I didn’t have an answer. Even recently, I’ve found myself in need of deeper friendships. So I did some thinking and came up with a few keys to building friendships that really, really count… More…

When Looking in the Mirror Isn’t Pretty

girl looking in a mirror

We’ve all had days we’d rather not see our reflection in life’s big metaphorical mirror. Catching a glimpse of our true selves can sometimes leave us unimpressed. I had one of those moments one day at a ‘driver survivor’ rest stop in Australia. I’d rather not tell you, but I’ve already shared it on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, so it’s out now—and sharing can be good for the soul… More…

Hate Will Not Have the Final Say. A Note of Hope in a Tragic Week

British MP Jo Cox’s murder yesterday sent the nation into shock, halted the EU referendum campaign, and sparked spontaneous vigils last night. It came just days after another history-making tragedy, the Orlando shooting. The loss of a young wife, mother, politician and humanitarian, applauded by all as a woman of astounding compassion, and those lost or injured in Orlando, can leave us questioning the existence of a good and loving God. Here is the message I shared on BBC Radio 2 this morning. In the end, hate will not have the final say. More…

Can You Be Born Again Through a Pair of Jeans? Plenty Of Us Think So

Stack of jeans in store

I saw an ad the other day. The headline read, ‘Be born again.’ It was for a plastic surgeon. It’s not the first time advertisers have promised eternal life. Levi’s jeans once did the same. And yet, science has proven what Jesus taught centuries ago: material things will never satisfy spiritual needs… More…

To Help a Friend with Depression, Here’s the Best Thing You Can Do

When I was asked to speak on mental health for BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought segment, I consulted my brilliant Facebook community. They shared deeply and with insight on just how we can be more accepting of those who suffer this way. The starting point? See people as bigger than their illness… More…

In Praise of Serendipity, God’s Sneaky Surprises

You know those happy coincidences or unexpected discoveries that take us by surprise? We call it serendipity. Not all serendipity is chance, accident or coincidence. A good deal of it is in fact divine. Like my miraculous little encounter as I stood, with aching legs and blistered feet, among the back pillars of Durham Cathedral… More…

Everything in This Cafe is Free—Just Like God’s Gifts

Two people having coffee

Imagine walking into a cafe, ordering a flat white and a piece of cake, sitting down at a table while they’re brought to you, and then, after enjoying your morning tea, you go to pay the bil… and discover there isn’t one. The coffee and cake is free—a gift to you from the cafe owners. And it will be free again tomorrow, and the next day. Such a place exists, and it reminds me of the very Easter message itself. More…

Guilty Pleasures: Should I Or Shouldn’t I?

When BBC Radio 2 asked me to talk about guilty pleasures, it wasn’t my obsession with 80s soul and funk music, or my tendency to eat Nutella from the jar, or the sneaky flavours I sometimes add to my coffee, that was my deepest concern. It was my habit of sitting in coffee shops for hours with journal & pen. Read on to find out why, and to explore with me those things that weigh on our conscience… as well as the things that really shouldn’t make us feel guilty at all. More…

What Would You Do With an Extra Day? Your Answer Matters

Hourglass

How often do you find yourself saying, “if only I could have an extra day?” Well, since 2016 is a leap year, we get one! But imagine I waved a magic wand and gave you an extra day, every week? How would you use it? Your answer will probably uncover what you most need or value. When the producers of BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought segment asked me that very question, I wasn’t happy with my honest answer—but a better alternative soon revealed itself… More…