Archive for July, 2008


Read this review of the Shack. I loved the book, but recognise that it provoked a whole lot more questions and a whole lot of wondering and desire to seek out the God of the Bible. This review seems to recognise the good and the bad and be fairly unrabid about the whole thing, which you know, is helpful from time to time.


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Today marks my return to the world after being in exile in the Lakes for the last 2 weeks. It’s been a good couple of weeks hanging out with family, friends and the mountains. Week 1 involved lots of rain, a small cottage in the Southern Lakes with Mum and Dad. In week 2 I headed up to Keswick to a larger cottage, which involved lots of sun, and some sitting in a tent on the UCCF stall for the convention.

Highlights in no particular order:

1. Amount of books read. Here’s the list. 

Bit of a Blur- Alex James

The Shack- William Young (yes I loved it, no it’s not perfect or the Bible, get over it…)

Touching the Void – Some mad mountaineers 

Liberating ministry from the success syndrome- Kent and Babs Hughes. (better than the WA incident)

The Outcast – Sadie Jones (random novel, not really sure I’d recommend it…)

Utopian Dreams- Tobias Jones (Read this now. Go on.)

2. Mountains climbed, looked at, walked past. Top 3 walks in no particular order:

Traipsing up a mountain pass with Dad through the middle of the Lakes, finding hidden valleys, the rain finally stopping and the strange figure who looked a bit like a character from Hound of the Baskervilles sweeping round the mountains. 

Climbing up Catbells on the one blue sky day. Having it all to myself due to the early hour and seeing all my favourite sights on the drive home. 

Climbing Great Gable with my brother, singing stupid songs, the moment the mist went to give genius views across the fells, the Lord of the Rings referencing and the general joy of coming home after a good day in the hills. 

3. Moments that made sitting on the stall more fun:

Actually, there is only one of these but it kept us amused for the entire week. We were sat opposite the stand for an organisation educating people about drugs and alcohol abuse. They had some genius goggles to simulate vision whilst hammered. Cue hours of endless fun as time and time again people tried to walk in a straight line, shake someone’s hand, high five and catch balls. Most of the time they failed to our great amusement. You have to understand, it was a very quiet week on the stall…

4. The Birthday surprises of Roz, Mark, Jo and Tudor turning up in my favourite place in the world. Nice one. And discovering turning 30 really isn’t so bad, but it may warrant a blog post all of itself… 

5. The general hanging out with lush people: Mum, Dad, Mark, Roz, Karen, Emma and others.

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Yes, once again I am ‘borrowing’ the internet from my old house, it’s very kind of them. And once again I feel the need to write something on this screen. Mainly to vent a few thoughts I’ve had in the last couple of days. These thoughts fall neatly into one sentence: Heaven had better be real. It affects everything. If there is no resurrection, if there is no world better than this one, if there is no reason to live beyond myself then all the decisions I and my mates are making right now are stupid ones. It makes no sense for my brother to head half way around the world, it makes no sense for one of my best mates to be in Ethiopia, it makes no sense for me to have left a brilliant place and lovely people and have moved out. And there is more, it makes no sense for me to have spent all my 20s doing jobs that pay little money in the belief that eternity matters more than right now. It makes no sense for me to have not spent time seeking to build perfection here (alright I have spent lots of time trying to do that but it hasn’t really worked out…), it makes no sense for me to be moving in with 3 other people, 2 of which I don’t know all that well and trying to be family with them.

If Christ has not been raised we are to be pitied more than all people. Why? Because these decisions are utterly foolish if there isn’t more to this world than all we can see, taste, hear, smell and touch.

7And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Phew. And so we carry on. I’ll carry on waiting for the dust to settle on my emotions and my random headspace right now. We’ll carry on working through the hard sorting out stuff of moving and trust that Someone else has schemes and plans that we can only wonder about. We are just creatures in the hands of One who really does know better than us. Mere dreaming? Or the result of an empty tomb 2000 years ago…?

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