God’s gifts in suffering (8) Suffering teaches us to number our days

Life, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

You can read the previous posts in this series here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7.

flickr: Robert Couse-Baker

All our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away…
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Ps 90:9-10, 12)

When you’re young, life seems long and full of promise. A young woman told me she hopes Jesus doesn’t come back till she’s experienced career, marriage, children. I remember thinking the same when I was eighteen. Life stretched ahead, and I wanted to see and do it all. Can you recall it? Standing at the brink, ready to plunge in? (more…)

A cry of hopelessness

Life, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

What I’ve written here is not all that can be said about suffering: far from it. But I’ve published it, somewhat hesitantly, because I think suffering will drive all of us to this point sooner or later.

flickr: Pink Sherbet Photography

I sit there stony-faced, staring out the windscreen, driving in automatic, lips pressed together. I’ve had enough. I don’t want it any more: this struggle and these doubts and these unanswered prayers. I’ve had enough. It’s been a long week – a long year! – and there’s nothing left. I’ve had enough.

My 12-year-old son sits next to me. (more…)

Learning to see God’s glories in a Melbourne spring

Life, Sola Panel

flickr: Pink Sherbert Photography

A week ago it came, kicking its heels like a witless lamb. Spring. Didn’t it know it wasn’t due yet?

We’ve been locked down in cold for months. We swap war-stories of coughs and runny noses, risk suffocation under layers of bedding, and shiver in the school yard as we wait for the kids to emerge from over-heated classrooms. I listen to winter complaints but secretly love it: (more…)

Jesus and the Piranha brothers

I realize now that I should have known better. I should have remembered that when it comes to Christian discourse, all forms of dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire are to be left to the Piranha brothers.


The healthy teaching pyramid

Have you ever seen the healthy eating pyramid on the wall of your local doctor? If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, the healthy eating pyramid is a simple diagram created by nutritionists to help us achieve a balanced diet. The idea is that to maintain a good diet, you need to eat some types of food more than others. The foods to be eaten most (such as vegetables and cereals) are at the bottom of the pyramid, foods to be eaten moderately (such as meat and dairy) are in the middle, while foods to be eaten least (such as fats and sugars) are at the top. See, for example, the pyramid published by Nutrition Australia.



In November 1967, a group of young feminists met in an apartment in New York City. It became a regular meeting with the aim of discussing the ways in which they had been oppressed and taken advantage of by the men in their lives. The idea was that by hearing the other women complain about these issues, the participants’ ‘consciousness’ about the same issues would be raised, and they would begin to see their own lives in the same light.


Media to blame, says Angry Middle-Aged Man

[A news item from a parallel universe]

Prominent media outlets are denying today that their recent reporting of comments by NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale contributed significantly to her tragic strangulation at the hands of an outraged reader.


Training for frustration

January has been a somewhat hilarious month in the Grimmond household, although I use the word ‘hilarious’ loosely. It was one of those bizarre chains of events.


Some thoughts on friendship

There are many types of friends: old friends, new friends, church friends, Facebook friends, work friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and so on. The Bible has so much to say on this topic. Here are some of the contours:


Actually do it

I was tempted to call this post ‘J*st do it’, but I’m told that those three words are owned by Nike Corporation, and I am worried that their use one after the other, beginning with ‘just’ followed immediately by ‘do’ and ‘it’, in any context whatsoever and for any purpose whatsoever, might now be illegal in all jurisdictions. I am a little anxious that even the judicious use of asterisks might not protect me from prosecution, and so ‘Actually do it’ will have to do.


Atheism must advertise (Part 1)

The British Humanist Association is running a bus campaign. I had heard about it a month or so back, and was bemused; I thought the slogan they were running was a bit daft, but only a bit. But recently I saw a bus in Oxford with the advert upon it.


Surely goodness and mercy

How are you feeling about the year that’s just begun? Are you optimistic and ready for its demands? Or are you anxious and stressed, worried that you won’t be able to cope with the months ahead?