Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Catch-up: part one

on April 17, 2011

A friend asked for details of my blog the other day which prompted me to realise that it’s been months since I added anything.  I can’t say I’ve been any busier than usual so I can’t think of any excuses reasons why this should be! So here follows my attempt at filling in the gaps (in several parts for the sake of organisation!).

My reading has been varied over the last couple of months: a lot of candy-floss as usual (hope none of these people minds the term candy-floss which I don’t mean as derogatory! – Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley, Erica James – although that was a bit different and might be worth a separate post one of these days – Kate Kerrigan) but also some other stuff.  For Book Group I most recently read Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro which I really didn’t get much out of.  We discussed it in the group and, whilst I can see how perhaps he was aiming to convey a sense of disappointment or anti-climax (to mirror life?), it left me confused and feeling quite stupid, as if there were something more to be discovered in it, if only I were more intelligent/tried harder/looked deeper.

For Lent I usually take, rather than give, something up and this year I have been reading Living the Cross-Centred Life by C.J. Mahaney.  I haven’t read anything by him before (although a couple of years ago I read and enjoyed Feminine Appeal by his wife Carolyn) but it was recommended on the website of The Good Book Company so I decided to give it a try.  I haven’t finished it (I am a little behind schedule but Lent’s not over yet!) but it’s made a real impression on me and although I wasn’t sure that I was retaining much of what I’ve been reading (it’s the kind of book you need to read over and over) I’ve noticed that some of the over-arching principles, e.g. that as Christians we can’t place too much focus on the cross and that it should overshadow our whole approach to life and to our faith,  have started to colour one or two of my conversations recently.

In addition to this I have also started to use John Stott’s Through the Bible, Through the Year for my daily (hmm) devotional time.  The book contains a series of meditations on one or two verses, divided into days of the week and designed to fit in with the church calendar which means it can be started in September, January or during Passion Week.  I bought it at a recent Christian women’s conference and decided to start it in Passion Week (before it went onto my shelf and I forgot about it) so have been doing it for a week.  Not quite daily but hopefully the fact that it’s related to the calendar so you absolutely can’t get behind will be an incentive to get into more of a routine.  What I really like about it is that at the end of each day’s page there is a Bible reference for further reading, which means that the reader is taken back to the Bible and isn’t just relying on the one book and one verse for a day’s study.  The thoughts for each day are short enough and easy enough to digest that you never think “Oh, that was enough for me, I can’t manage any more reading now” but always have time and inclination to read more from the Bible (clever John Stott!)

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