I realise that my posting here has tailed off significantly towards the end of this year, but I did want to do one brief post summarising what I have been up to this year.
The big event for our family this year was the birth of our fifth child Annie in March. She is the reason why my blogging output dried up as I have barely had a full night’s sleep since she was born which means I no longer have my usual mental alertness in the mornings for ploughing through commentaries. Still, her incredibly cute smile more than makes up for the sleep depravation. This year I have also greatly enjoyed the fact that Ben is finally old enough to come to football matches with me, and we had a fun visit to the Emirates today to finish off the year.
As I have already admitted, I haven’t read anywhere near as many books as normal this year due to sleep depravation. The most substantial book I completed this year was Christopher Wright’s magnificent Mission of God, which I still need to get round to reviewing. Another book not reviewed on the blog as I was only proof-reading a draft is a forthcoming book from Simon Ponsonby on Justice, which is well worth looking out for when it arrives. Probably my favourite book of the year was Paul Miller’s A Praying Life.
Recently I have been reading a lot more of the Bible. Every morning I use youversion.com to read around four chapters of the new 2011 edition of the NIV as I would like to read the whole way through this new version. I find it perplexing why so many evangelicals (including some within newfrontiers) seem so critical towards this excellent translation. The committee of translators behind it includes several of my favourite Biblical scholars and I can’t see why the NIV doesn’t deserve to be treated just as seriously as the ESV as a translation for evangelicals.
Also, my son Ben reads one or two chapters from the Good News Bible to me every night, and Lily and Joel also read shorter portions from the Good News Bible. It’s not a translation I would choose to use myself, but they have done a very good job in presenting Scripture using vocabulary that my 5, 9 and 10 year olds are able to read and (mostly) understand.
Some of you will know that my job is a computer programmer, but it is also something of a hobby of mine (yes I know that makes me a geek). I am the author of a number of open source audio related projects, and some of them have gained quite a lot of popularity in recent years (including one application that now has over 1 million downloads). It has resulted in me spending quite a lot of my free time answering support requests and working on various audio related projects, some of which I have even been able to earn some money from. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about digital signal processing, but I expect most of you will be glad I haven’t been reviewing those books here. (You can follow my software blog here if you are interested in that kind of thing).
Also in my day job I have been studying and reading a lot about how to write better software and have been running lunchtime training courses at my work every fortnight. It is perhaps one small way in which I feel I may be able to make my daily work an act of worship. Programming (probably like most jobs) can sometimes feel quite “unspiritual” and detached from the Christian faith, but if God is a creative God who delights in making things good, then I want that to be the way I write software too.
This year I have again been involved in theology training at my church. Along with my good friends Mark Mould and Tom Scrivens, we taught an eight session series on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I found it hugely beneficial studying and researching in preparation for them and I regret that I never got round to blogging the notes from these talks. We have more training courses in the pipeline, and I will try to do better at blogging about what we are doing next year.
I have also very much enjoyed seeing the newfrontiers theology blog whatyouthinkmatters.org really take off this year, with a nice broad range of contributors and I’m looking forward to seeing what appears on there next year.
Regular followers of my blog know that I occasionally like to write and record my own songs, sadly without ever achieving particularly great results. However, it is something I greatly enjoy doing and have been working away on a few ideas recently, which perhaps will see their way onto this website some time next year.
Anyway, that sums up a lot of what I have been up to this year. Thanks to everyone who has taken time to read and comment here. Have a happy new year, and may 2012 be a year of knowing God more and seeing his kingdom advancing.