Thursday 6 March 2014

A Year in Books - Mark for Everyone

Years ago - before Mr Coffee and I were married - we were sitting in the home of some friends drinking rather a lot of beer. Someone said something sarcastic and pious; our host lit a cigarette, blew out smoke and said, wryly, "It's about this time of night that we like to talk to people about Jesus". It was a joke; of course it was a joke. The awful hilarity of the idea- that you'd suddenly find yourself trapped in a previously incredibly comfortable chair, surrounded by evangelists.

And so it is that I introduce my new book for March.

It's a blow-by-blow guide to Mark's Gospel, bought for us by my mother for two reasons: because she likes Tom Wright's work, and because Mark's Gospel is really, really short.

It's Lent. It's a good time to schedule in some Bible-bashing, to think on a more daily basis about why on earth I go to church and to concentrate a little harder than I can during a sermon whilst trying to placate bored children or ensure that no-one sets themselves alight on the votive candles.

And the shortness of the task is important - because I have other things on my Lentern to-do list. I'm giving nothing up; instead I'm trying to look out. I'm writing letters I'd been forgetting to write; practising my mandolin instead of slumping in front of the television; trying to get enough sleep instead of sneaking another half glass of wine and fiddling around on the Internet. In short, I'm trying to climb out of that hole so many of us often find ourselves in, where our attempts to relax start to turn into self-sabotage. But I'm being gentle with myself too - if I slip back into the hole a little, it isn't the end of the world.


  1. Sounds like a very wise Lenten choice. I've given up sweet things and dairy, and I'm still waiting for sugar levels to settle down. Mandolin? Do tell more.

  2. No 3 wanted to give up school. Or at least homework. We settled on crisps. No 1 said he was fine. No 2 said he was giving up 'commenting' on people. So far he's failing big time. I said I was giving up chocolate but actually... I'm mainly doing it to lose a little weight... so I don't think that counts at all towards my eternal salvation.

    How's that book? I'm about to throw my kindle out of the window if Ms Tartt doesn't wrap up the Goldfinch soon. What a load of *&$%^...

    Ooops. It's lent. We should all be nicer.

    I'll go back to climbing out of my hole.... toodles.

  3. oh. I was looking forward to spending the weekend in my hole drinking wine with my trashy fiction about a frozen body in a lake. I refuse to feel guilty about this.

  4. Sounds like a very interesting read. Nearly Easter now, too, so you can indulge in TV and vino again soon.

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

  6. I like your post very much...

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

  7. It's such a deep hole though, and very steep-sided. I am trying to cut down on those lost evening hours and trying to do something more meaningful/productive instead. And here I am on my laptop. Hmm.
    My eldest gave up chocolate for Lent and has done very well so far. When I asked Middle what he was doing, he told me he had resolved to do his 'exercise' (apparently he has a regime of press ups and star jumps) before asking to go on the wii, which I find frankly hilarious.


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