Friday, 28 August 2009

Books I've read

People seem to have an interest in what I read. I'm hesitant to publish my reading because most of what I say is other peoples thoughts. You may discover all my secrets!

I set a goal in Jan 2009 to read a book a week this year, ranging from study to top ten novels. I'm up to around 50 so far. The list on the blog brings you up to speed on what I've read on our summer hols.

I'll keep adding to it, & for those who are interested, make some recommendations.

I have to say, for summer reading, I really enjoyed the Twilight & New Moon novels by Stephanie Meyer. I know I'm not a teenage girl (never have been) but they seem to speak for the whole post modern pick & mix generation. A real culture lesson. At the heart of it, these books are good old fashioned romance, albeit with a few vampires & werewolves thrown in. Don't knock it till you've tried it though, & the strong redemptive themes make them a great launch pad for communicating real truth with post moderns.

Apart from that, my top 3 were probably -
1/ Reformation, Dairmaid MacCulloch (an 800 page rattle through reformation history from a warmly secular standpoint)
2/ Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin (surprised myself by really enjoying it. Lots of this will come out in my preaching!)
3/ Child 44, Tom Rob Smith (a crime novel, shoe horned into an historical & ethical review of the bleakest days of Stalin's Soviet Union)

Falling with style

It was a defining moment in the movie Toy Story. Buzz & Woody, former enemies, now teaming together, & swooping high above the removal lorry they are chasing whilst strapped to a firework....(stay with me, it's a true story!)

Woody knows that so much of Buzz's identity has been defined by his belief that he really is from Gamma Quadrant Sector 4. He really is Buzz, the Space Ranger, not just one of the toys. He really believes His special powers work, and most importantly - He really believes he can fly.

This particular claim is met with such scepticism by Woody early on in the film that it leads to their estrangement & the great put down retort from Buzz, 'You sad, strange little man.''

As with all movie plot twists, they find themselves in our opening scenario, now understanding each other & their own identity like never before. Back to the story....Woody shouts to Buzz as they shoot up on the rocket, 'Buzz, you're flying!'. Here comes the line....'This isn't flying, this is falling with style!'

What a moment of self realisation. I have been meaning to enter the blog world belatedly for a long time. However, I've wanted to make sure that I have something to say, something occasionally even of significance. Also, being a bit 'old school', I don't want to clog things up & slow down t'internet with my ramblings.

It may be that I'm the only one who is interested in the identity turmoil between Buzz & Woody, it maybe that this becomes a self help forum for me alone. I guess ultimately, as someone who earns a living by having other people listen to me, I'm looking for a fresh way of expressing some of the things I often try to say incoherently!

Falling with style sums it all up really. I still pinch myself when I look at my life, my family, my calling, what I get to do & who I get to do it with. I seem to have muddled through life looking like I know what I'm doing & somehow landing on my feet. It might look like flying to you, but I know it really has just been falling with style.

I'm intending to post weekly on here with thoughts, rants, things I'm reading that move me, my own selective & revised views of history, & some of the 101 ideas for changing the world that I have before breakfast most days. As they say in the small print - the views expressed are my own & may not reflect the church I have the privilege of representing. However, any fellow Space Rangers will know that the stuff which stirs me about the church will find it's way here too!

So, you are welcome to come along for the ride.

Speak soon, Steve