Halfway through my month of holiday here are a few of the highlights:
- Lunch at Microsoft. A Reading University graduate works there and we met for lunch at the start of August. The place is very plush and "campus" is a quite appropriate label. It was great to sit and chat about the issues of life and work with Fletch in the in-house starbucks facility. Delighted to hear that he's engaged to be married in 2007.
- A week in Devon. Particularly walking the gorges at Lydford and Castle Drogo. Its great to get away from the busyness of South East life from time to time. Everything slows down and conversation is easier. Paul and Rebekkah's hospitality in letting us stay with them was a real blessing. Going to Dave & Rach' wedding was also good.
- Overnight in the Forest of Dean. We caught up with Iain and Hannah and Issy. Iain was my accountability partner when I came to Reading to do Relay in 2000-2002. We'd not seen them for a while but it was great to walk and chat and watch the river flow by at Symonds Yat.
- My little sister got married / I have a brother-in-law. I was an Usher for this and that meant I was on the door as my Dad and sister walked in, and as she walked out with her husband. Special moments.
- Coffee with the Barclays. Four and a half years ago the second Relay conference was held in Leicester. Rich and myself were hosted by Oliver & Daisy. Since then they've partnered in the work I do with UCCF in Reading. They're aged 88 & 89 and are people I loved to listen to. They have such wisdom and insight, and an unstoppable concern for us and the evangelical world today. There are some living legends in the British evangelical world today and I am so honoured to know two of them.
- Reading books. So far I've worked my way through some odd translated European fiction, James Sire's Why good arguments often fail; John Piper's Contending for our all; John Piper's Future Grace; Josh Moody's The God-centered life; I've also started reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones' Spiritual Depression and been wallowing once again in the outrageous and utterly unstoppable sovereign grace of God as told in the book of Jonah. Grace so scandalous that Jonah couldn't handle it, grace so reaching that it could save the prophet, the pagans and all the people of Nineveh.
- Rewatching 24. Classic TV.
- John Newton. Em sang the Amazing Grace at my sister's wedding (with Newton's sixth verse), and yesterday with Rich, we walked, talked about ChildrenDesiringGod and ended up in Olney where we took a look at John Newton's grave. ...saints of old, still line the way... retelling triumphs of his grace!