Skip to main content

I'm not quite awake yet, do you think anyone will notice

Picked up Douglas Coupland's new book yesterday The Gum Thief. It begins as depressingly as I'd expect a Coupland novel to do. Hopefully it'll be better than jPod which was more of a concept than a novel. The character muses on the futility of their life and desire to escape early on - a poor man's attempt at Ecclesiastes. Still, three pages in is a bit early to pass verdict on it!

In a crafty combination of a book voucher and a 2 for 3 offer I got three books for eight pounds. I also got Zastrozzi by Percy Bysshe Shelley (which is an interesting short story that I read after work with a large mug of coffee) and the late Alistair Cooke's book of essays Letter from America which should make ideal bathroom reading. I ♥ books.

Work yesterday centred around finishing off a talk I'm preaching at Bath University this evening, and the Exeter Evangelical Partnership meeting about Hope08 which was a good opportunity to meet gospel partners and pray together. Encouraging to see a wide range of evangelical churches and ministries seeking to help one another be more fruitful.

It also occured to me last night, probably not for the first time, how blogs can be like bad homegroups, tabloid-soundbite sharing of ignorance. What should I do with that thought? Probably employ it in writing more thoughtful blogposts, but instead I did what bloggers do - I posted it! I suddenly feel like the media commenting on the media...

Tim Suffield asked me yesterday how I find time to blog. On the evidence of this post the answer is simple - I just click 'create' and let the drivel flow. Much like the BBC News I'm watching this morning that is trying to tell me (and tell, rather than persuade) me that the last footage of Diana is fascinating. I think I'll turn it off.


  1. oooh. new douglas coupland! i liked jpod. the only thing i am starting to find that puts me off is the deep and meaningful conversations which are often rehashes on the same themes and seem quite contrived and unnatural when i read them now, where as they didn't so much when i was a bit younger.
    when i first read ecclisiastes (i'd read coupland first) it reminded me of him!

  2. Coupland is a bit of hopeless-ecclesiastes I guess. There are points where he just seems to be trying to be profound for the sake of it... but I still enjoy reading him.

    At one point in TGT we have Coupland writing a book about a guy working at Staples who is writing a book about a guy writing a book about a guy working in Stapes. Slightly absurd and a little annoying in the same way as when film makers make films about making films. But then, I loved Adaptation.

  3. hmm. that sounds quite like an absurder version of jpod. we watched adaptation on our team day, i loved it too! mainly for the monologues. i can't be alone in thinking that opening monologue would be awesome to use in an evangelistic talk?!

  4. The Gum Thief is slightly more of a book though, jPod is just a file dump from your laptop... which is a great concept but a bit strange for a book.

    You gonna blog your wise observations a bit more frequently?

  5. haha. we'll see. it feels a bit worse than speaking in front of a large audience, though.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…