I’m sitting in the middle of Plymouth weather. Ok, that’s not strictly true – I’m not outside or anything. I’m just trying to add a bit of atmosphere. Suit yourselves.
Anyway – it’s all so stereotypically early Januaryish at the moment. Fruit of Womb One has returned to York University taking his complicated politics essays with him. Fruit of Womb Two is back at school and agonising over The Crucible, medical discoveries of the eighteenth century and creating a garment from a paper pattern – not necessarily in that order. I am showing my ignorance I know but I had never read the Crucible before. There’s not a lot of laughs in it are there? Head of House and I are back at work and I can only just fasten my pants. How New Yearish is all that?
Went to church this morning for first time since Christmas. The speaker was Jonathan Edwards – General Secretary of the Baptist Union. (Not to some of the youth’s disappointment the laser-eyed, triple-jumping, athletics commentator. I suspect this feeling of bringing constant disappointment to people is something the Baptist Union Secretary is used to) Anyway. I thought he was rather good. Seemed very normal and nice. Didn’t once threaten to raise a chicken from the dead to prove God’s power, which I always feel is a plus point in any speaker’s favour. Although he wasn’t exactly packed to the drawstrings with good news. The financial situation in the country extends to the church apparently and these will be difficult times for us all. This probably explains the decision to close the Baptist Times which I read about this week. Apparently readership numbers are well down and they can’t afford to subsidise it any more. I agree that they have to be sensible but I find this a bit depressing. Why isn’t anyone reading any more? I know that the Internet has had an effect on everything but speaking like an old Christian woman that you have found in the woods – it seems like people just don’t seem to read Christian books the same as we did. When I was a young luscious thing, we were all reading something. It was sort of expected that you would be lugging some sort of Christian paperback around in your handbag. Some were better than others obviously but there was so much out there and you just read loads. If you had a leader or a mentor they would always ask – “What are you reading at the moment?” It doesn’t seem to be like that now. I love a bit of shallowness as much as the next person (witness my Strictly obsession before Christmas) but surely if something is as important as a Christian faith then it’s worth going into a little more deeply than a Tweet? Is it me? Plus, to drag the tone down a bit. Reading is hot. As a teenager, I couldn’t fancy someone who didn’t read. Dangerously self obsessed those people are – trust me.
One problem is undoubtedly our busyness. I came across this idea though the Kindred of the Quiet Way blog. The idea of having a “landing strip” where you park everything as you come in so it is all ready for you to pick it up and carry on the next day is pure genius I think. I also think it might help me in my Bible reading. Too often, I read something then close the book. I come to it next day with a limited amount of time – can’t remember where I was so open it randomly at a particularly depressing bit in Jeremiah which I read out of context and then, in a fit of helplessness, try to trap my head in the door. Maybe, if when I put the Bible and notebook down, I do so in a way that is ready for me to pick it up and continue next time (Notebook, notes and pen ready, open at new page etc.) it will be helpful. You are probably already doing this. I’m going to give it a try. New Year and all that.
Finally, some friends came round for a meal last night. One of them is quite frightened of little dogs so thought she would use the visit to help her. How could anyone be afraid of these two lovely things, ready to greet people on the door? Well yes they are growling a bit – I’ll give you that. Not sure the evening helped with dog terrors much but a good time had by all otherwise.