Lest you think I’m being lazy…

28 03 2012

My blogging has ground to a halt, it would appear… Distressed by the fact that the fact that the front page of the blog still tells you what I created as Christmas gifts, and what I cooked for New Year, I felt the need to reassure you that my writing hasn’t curled up and died. I’ve just been writing at various other places and on slightly less frivolous matters than I tend to here.

So in case you’ve missed me (and more importantly so I can at least have something on this blog with a ‘March’ date stamp on it) here are a few things I’ve written recently which you may enjoy:

  • review of Andrew Wilson’s latest offering, If God Then What?
  • Some comments on ‘The God Issue’ of The New Scientist
  • Not strictly speaking a written piece, but my face on celluloid talking about Guinness (some writing did go into the script!)
  • And a (not very interesting) blog about a (significantly more interesting) series of Easter Week Bible studies which ChristChurch London is producing next week. So that’s the equivalent of six blog posts coming in the next week, which makes me feel a little more happy about my general prolificacy! You can check out those posts each day of next week at broadcast.christchurchlondon.org, follow ChristChurchLdn on Twitter or sign up for the emails.

Plus I’ve also completed an essay on a Christian view of immortality, and begun some research on Revelation. So who knows… maybe some of those musings might materialise in the next few weeks too. I’d also like to develop some material I taught recently on preaching, truth and beauty, and am sketching ideas for something book length – though I have many ‘ideas for something book length’ and nothing remotely near book length to show for them. So who knows?

Anyway – job done. I now have something listed under entries for March, and I can retreat to my state of thinking about writing… Until the end of April, “adieu!”

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Getting my junk together

31 08 2011

I have an annoying habit – which may well be on account of my gender – of leaving items such as keys, my wallet or loose change scattered in random parts of the house. I walk into the house, and tend to just put down the items on whatever flat space happens to be available at that part particular moment in time.

Having been irritated by this for quite some time, my wife has devised a simple but brilliant solution: a small rectangular plate, approximately 12x5cm, which resides permanently on the bookshelf. This is my space, and we have an agreement that all my random items are to be placed on this plate, and on this plate alone. Not every possession I own, of course, just those little things that I’m tempted to dump on windowsills and promptly forget about. And it works the other way round too; if I fail to put my keys there and instead place them in some unhelpful location, upon finding them, Helen relocates them to the plate. Thus my junk is confined to a 60cm² piece of porcelain.

In recent months I have been scattering thoughts in too many locations around the web – an article here, a blog post there – and I’ve tried not to duplicate material too much for fear of boring absolutely everyone at every juncture. But now even I’m losing track of what I’ve written and when, and so I think the time has come to put all my junk in one place.

So consider this blog something of a porcelain plate!

When I write articles elsewhere, I’ll link to them here as well. That way, everything I say, do and write is in one searchable location, and perhaps I’ll remember where I’ve left my thoughts, should I ever have need for them again.

And so I start with something published today… This is a talk I gave at Newday 2011 called God’s Plan to Change the World, which can be found at the Everything Conference website along with an interactive presentation, my first foray into the wonderful world of prezi.

It was a fun challenge to try to articulate something of the Everything concept to 14-18 year olds… you can be the judge of whether I succeeded! At least, if nothing else, it was amusing making everyone look as stupid as my sister did:


Enjoy!





Welcome the wife!

26 05 2011

Well, finally my wife has given into the pressure and entered the world of blogging to share some of her wisdom on all things food-related. And of course, now there’s a woman around on the blog, a tidy and spruce up was in order… so there’s a new look and feel to the blog to celebrate.

Check out her first post, a simple, but brilliant foolproof flapjack recipe. Give it a go and share your results… not photos, I want to try the real finished product!

Also, forgive my lack of regular updating. It’s a mixture of (a) having little of use to say and (b) writing things elsewhere. I’ve got a (large!) number of projects on the go at the moment, not least the odd post here and there over at whatyouthinkmatters.org Check it out. There’s some great, thought-provoking stuff there. And my posts too…





Love/Hate

28 05 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. Apart from a brief foray into the blogosphere during my student years, I’ve more or less remained a lurker; a leech – drawing from others and giving nothing back. There are a number of reasons why I hate the idea of blogging, and a few why I love it. Below are a couple of hints as to why I have hitherto resisted the urge to blog, and why I have finally succumbed.

Hate

  • There is a lot of junk in the blogosphere, from people who have a gift of expending many words on saying nothing. I tire of sifting through drivel to find something of worth. Truth be told, I quite enjoy spouting off about things here and there, or letting the world know every random thought that pops into my head (not every thought, you understand…) Hence I use Twitter. For me there is little more grating than trawling through unending pages of wasted pixels wasted telling the world what they already knew, and shedding precisely no new light on a subject. I don’t want to be that person…
  • I dislike the narcissism of the blog world – or rather, its potential. Blogging provides a great way for people to get their name known, stand on their soapboxes and massage their ego in public. I’m not claiming I will be any different – in fact, my propensity towards this form of pride is the very reason for my hesitation. I love the idea of people reading what I write. I like the sound of my own voice. And truth be told, I fear that I may succumb to very narcissism I despise. So the moment I catch myself gazing into the still waters at the reflection of my thoughts, I’m pulling the plug…
  • I dislike the gossip-inducing-down-putting-heat-magazine-Christian-equivalent that blogging so often becomes. Christians tend to think we’re above the Heat magazines of this world. We tut at the paparazzi-fuelled dross that revels in the cellulite of celebrities and cares little for the plight of famine-struck nations. It’s wrong. It’s demeaning. It’s exactly what much of our blogging amounts to:

“X disagrees with Y”. “Z has fallen into sin. Isn’t it dreadful? Let me just spell out the details clearly in case you missed it the first time round…”

Sure – I want to know news, and I am interested in theological debates between people I admire, but there must be a way of elevating them above cheap gossip? And why do I need to know the ins and outs of a leaders’ downfall in microscopic detail? Whatever happened to walking backwards to cover up your naked, wasted dad? (Gen 9:20-29)

  • I dislike the amount of time it all takes. Who has time to write, read, sift, comment, tweet etc and get their work (not to mention their family life, serving in church etc) done? Well – clearly a lot of people do! But I am slightly fearful I will end up doing none to full capacity… I know my weaknesses.

That said, there are a number of reasons I love the idea of blogging, and ultimately why I have decided to give it a go:

Love

  • I love that blogging gives a voice to the people on the ground. It’s great hearing fresh opinions from people who don’t have magazines to write for and books to sell. It feels more raw. More real, almost.
  • It is great to see people’s uncensored thoughts without having to read articles through the filters of editorial bias. You get a sense of what people genuinely think. As long as you keep a pile of salt on hand to take a pinch every now and then, and are diligent about checking sources before you disseminate the information, blogs can be a goldmine of material.
  • It’s free and instant. Some resources are well worth paying for. Some aren’t. I love that with blogs you don’t have to wait 3-5 days for shipping, only to find it wasn’t worth the £12 you’d wasted on it! I have thrown a lot of books at a lot of walls over the years. Not paying for resources should help to protect my paintwork.
  • Stephen King told me to blog. Well, not exactly… but he did say that an aspiring writer should spend 4-6 hours a day writing. 2,000 words a day, every day. That’s not going to happen… I can guarantee it. But point taken Mr King. Writing takes discipline and practice, and so if for no other reason, I will attempt to blog in order to develop as a writer.

So I Love/Hate the idea of blogging – but shall give it a go. I can’t promise to have much to say, or much of worth to say. But hey… Nothing ventured, nothing gained.