Happy July! Grab some chocolate and settle in for a read. Here’s what to expect:
- A Thomas Clarkson update
- My review of Upright – an Australian drama
- 1st week back at Bible College
- What I’ve been reading lately
Prayer + Thomas Clarkson
I feel I have walked through several valleys and over several hills with Mr. Thomas Clarkson since I last wrote. I sent a proposal to a publisher; I returned to the 21st century for a week; and then I drafted the rest of the biography. I wrote an article on what I’ve learnt from his life; I fielded several emails regarding potential publication; – and I’ve prayed, and prayed and prayed.
Prayed for words and wisdom to write. Prayed for honesty and truth in my sentences. Prayed that the story would bless many, for the hearts of future readers. Prayed against my own ego. Prayed for publication. Evening and morning I’ve handed the story over to God: it is Yours, it is Yours, it is Yours!
An answer will come soon, and so I wait and pray. It is Yours.
Upright (8 episodes of 25 mins)
‘Because sometimes… Sometimes when you make mistakes, you make something accidentally beautiful… Sometimes.’
Upright is the story of how a man and a girl brought a piano from Sydney to Perth and saved each other in the process.
It’s the tale of two broken, selfish people whose eventual happy ending is a pure gift of grace. It’s set in a world of colourful, but believable characters, where every single morally grey or black decision comes with consequences and mistakes don’t come with cheap forgiveness.
Throw in a camel, a brown-snake, a lost race-horse, an illegal boxing ring and a stolen prescription, and you only have a quarter of the shenanigans!
Lucky is (apparently) an out of luck (pun intended) musician in his 40s with a dying mother, determined to return her piano before she passes.
Meg is (apparently) a sixteen year old on her way to reunite with her mum after her parents’ divorce.
The thing is, neither man nor girl are who they seem, nor even who they are trying to be. Keep that in mind as you bear with Meg’s frankly appalling decision-making skills and the recurring video clip of Lucky’s mother.
Both Tim Minchin and Millie Alcock are brilliant and I’m a sucker for ‘unlikely duo learn to trust each other and become sort-of friends’. They are equally hilarious and devastating, and really sold the story to me.
Is this a comedy? Sort of. But it’s also deep and quirky and coming-of-age. The humour is somewhat… dry? dark? realistic? Aussie? – I’m not sure, but I personally laughed out-loud several times.
Local alcoholic: My soul’s dying!
Fed-up nurse: That’s ya liver, Paul!
There is a lot of bad language, particularly in the first few episodes. I opted to overlook that (which I rarely do) because:
a) at 3.5 hours it’s less likely to get in my head;
b) it seemed realistic for the characters;
c) it’s not accompanied (as it so often is) by characters getting away with immoral actions.
Where to watch
Foxtel – I got a free ten day trial, and watched it twice (When I like something… I really like something. And I really liked this!)
First week back at Bible College
So initially I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of studying online. Now we’re exactly one week into the term however, I have to report that Zoom tutorials are a lot less exhausting than I expected them to be, and I am in love with my reading list.
I think this is what is carrying me through, really. Most of the time I feel like I am genuinely just reading for fun! I think that everyone has a ‘style’ as well as a genre of literature which they prefer, and I am super grateful because so far most of my books are written in my preferred style (literary, musingly-philosophical reflections).
It’s interesting returning to study after six months off. For a variety of reasons I am quite different to the person who was at college at the end of last year, and for the better. Still, as I study I am trying to continue to examine my heart daily – how easy it is for me to work hard for the wrong reasons.
As I continue into this semester my prayer is that my study will change my heart and grow me in Christ-likeness, that I might love Him better and bless those around me.
Ahh, so many books! I feel so blessed.
Our Greatest Gift: A meditation on dying and caring – Henri Nouwen
^ Written in 3 weeks this is an interesting Christian reflection on how acknowledging that dying is a community act (both human and spiritual communities) can lighten the awfulness.
Death & the Caring Community – Richards & Johnson
^ While somewhat American and dated, this is a practical book full of helpful tips on caring and loving someone who is dying (and their family) as a Christian
The Vertical Self – Mark Sayers
^ A book combining western sociology and a Christian belief in holiness, this is a book which I appreciated more post-discussion with my reading buddy (you know who you are!) I think the primary problem for me was that I found some of his reflections a bit parochial and vague/absolute.
Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
^ Yeah… this is not my type of book. I’m really not about about the romance/sex… and this book is. It was a very easy read, however.
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
^ Whoo! I finished. I’ve been reading BH since February, and being the length of 5 standard novels, it’s taken some reading. I found the 1st half slow going, but the 2nd half was an honour. Dickens’ utter delight in the English language is a thing of beauty.
The Contemplative Pastor – Eugene Peterson
^ Memoir-like reflections on his years as a pastor, if this book is about anything, it’s about living a quiet, reflective life in the presence of God. Definitely ‘my kind’ of writing style, and while there were some parts I didn’t love, I’d like to re-read and continue to ponder over it in the future.
// What have you guys been up to? Read/watched anything interesting lately?
Image courtesty of chortle.co.uk