The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker, Aged 45 3/4
The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker, Aged 453/4Copyright 1996 by Adrian PlassIllustrations copyright 1996 by Dan DonovanFirst published in Great Britain in 1996 by HarperCollinsPublishers.This edition published in 2005 by Zondervan.Requests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand...
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The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker, Aged 453/4Copyright 1996 by Adrian PlassIllustrations copyright 1996 by Dan DonovanFirst published in Great Britain in 1996 by HarperCollinsPublishers.This edition published in 2005 by Zondervan.Requests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530Adrian Plass and Dan Donovan assert the moral right to be identified as the authorand illustrator of this work.ISBN-10: 0-310-26913-XISBN-13: 978-0-310-26913-7A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical,photocopy, recording, or any other - except for brief quotations in printedreviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Nancy WilsonPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Monday 31 JanGot a bit distracted in church during the message yesterday.Very clever visiting speaker. So clever that I hadn''t got the faintestidea what he was talking about.Suddenly said very loudly near the beginning of his talk, ''Whowill stand and declare the Lord''s displeasure with churches thatare unrepentantly cleistogamic?''Richard Cook, who was sitting next to me, leapt to his feet andsaid, ''Indeed, Lord, we rebuke and we stand against those cleistogamictendencies that exist in our church!''When he sat down I leaned over and whispered in his ear,''What does cleistogamic mean?''He whispered back, ''I don''t know.''Honestly!Decided, as the talk droned on, to start up a diary again, justfor a while, so that I can record some of my experiences connectedwith being a Christian speaker. Lots of invitations for thenext three months, and as I have to use up oceans of leave beforethe end of the financial year, I''ll be able to do quite a lot of them.Unbelievable the way it''s all taken off. Started with beinginvited by local churches to read bits from what I''d written, butover the last couple of years I''ve been all over the country. I dospeak a bit as well as doing the readings now. Anne says it soundsall right when the things I say are true, but that when they''re notI sound like a pompous git - I think that''s the expression she used.Her ministry of encouragement is subtle and special.Diary - A. PlassSeems hardly possible that my three books about people inour church have been read by so many people. Glad Gerald persuadedme to send my first diary off to a publisher, although itwas a bit of a shock to find what was supposed to be a serious,helpful account of daily Christian living, being described by criticsas a ''searing satire on the modern church''. Slightly gallingalso to find some of my important personal spiritual insightsbeing labelled as ''ludicrous modern religious attitudes, hilariouslycaricatured''.Still, if they say it''s searing satire I suppose it might be. At leastI''ve mastered the process now - all I have to do is write seriouslyand everyone laughs their heads off. Really hope this book willend up being used as a sort of serious textbook for Christianspeakers, but after seeing what happened to the first one Iwouldn''t be surprised if it became regarded as a major influencein the field of begonia culture.We shall see . . .Must look up ''cleistogamic'' in the dictionary.Tuesday 1 FebDecided this morning that I ought to have one of those supportgroups that lots of other Christian speakers have. The moreI pictured it the more I liked it. I would be God''s chosen vehicle,powerful and mantled with authority in public, yet restrained andfull of grace in private, opening myself up in humble submissionto the ministrations, advice and criticism of a little group of folkwho would feel privileged and proud to be part of what God wasdoing through me.Mentioned the idea to Anne and Gerald over breakfast.''The thing is,'' I said, ''that I''d submit myself to their advice
Adrian Plass lovers got their initial baptism of laughter through his bestseller, The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass (aged 37 3/4). The author's account of 'serious spiritual experiences' naturally made him in demand as a public speaker -- so of course another diary was inevitable. The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker (aged 45 3/4) continues the misadventures of Adrian's fictional alter-ego. As Plass gathers regularly with his support group, we meet old friends, including his longsuffering wife, Anne; son Gerald, now grown but no less irrepressible; loony and loveable Leonard Thynn; Edwin, the wise church elder; and Richard and Doreen Cook, who are just as religious as ever. We also meet some new characters, such as Stephanie Widgeon, who only seems to have one thing to say, ever. . . and who knows, we might even find out why Leonard Thynn borrowed Adrian's cat all those years ago. And finally -- what is a banner ripping seminar?
Adrian Plass has written over thirty books in the last twenty years, full of his uniquely wry observations about church and Christianity. As well as his biographical books, he has written novels, short stories, and collections of poems and sketches. His live presentations are often hilarious, often poignant, with a combination of humour, poetry and storytelling, but always warm and welcoming. He also leads BRF Quiet Days with his wife Bridget.
Monday 31 Jan Got a bit distracted in church during the message yesterday. Very clever visiting speaker. So clever that I hadn't got the faintest idea what he was talking about. Suddenly said very loudly near the beginning of his talk, 'Who will stand and declare the Lord's displeasure with churches that are unrepentantly cleistogamic?' Richard Cook, who was sitting next to me, leapt to his feet and said, 'Indeed, Lord, we rebuke and we stand against those cleistogamic tendencies that exist in our church!' When he sat down I leaned over and whispered in his ear, 'What does cleistogamic mean?' He whispered back, 'I don't know.' Honestly! Decided, as the talk droned on, to start up a diary again, just for a while, so that I can record some of my experiences connected with being a Christian speaker. Lots of invitations for the next three months, and as I have to use up oceans of leave before the end of the financial year, I'll be able to do quite a lot of them. Unbelievable the way it's all taken off. Started with being invited by local churches to read bits from what I'd written, but over the last couple of years I've been all over the country. I do speak a bit as well as doing the readings now. Anne says it sounds all right when the things I say are true, but that when they're not I sound like a pompous git -- I think that's the expression she used. Her ministry of encouragement is subtle and special. Diary -- A. Plass Seems hardly possible that my three books about people in our church have been read by so many people. Glad Gerald persuaded me to send my first diary off to a publisher, although it was a bit of a shock to find what was supposed to be a serious, helpful account of daily Christian living, being described by critics as a 'searing satire on the modern church'. Slightly galling also to find some of my important personal spiritual insights being labelled as 'ludicrous modern religious attitudes, hilariously caricatured'. Still, if they say it's searing satire I suppose it might be. At least I've mastered the process now -- all I have to do is write seriously and everyone laughs their heads off. Really hope this book will end up being used as a sort of serious textbook for Christian speakers, but after seeing what happened to the first one I wouldn't be surprised if it became regarded as a major influence in the field of begonia culture. We shall see . . . Must look up 'cleistogamic' in the dictionary. Tuesday 1 Feb Decided this morning that I ought to have one of those support groups that lots of other Christian speakers have. The more I pictured it the more I liked it. I would be God's chosen vehicle, powerful and mantled with authority in public, yet restrained and full of grace in private, opening myself up in humble submission to the ministrations, advice and criticism of a little group of folk who would feel privileged and proud to be part of what God was doing through me. Mentioned the idea to Anne and Gerald over breakfast. 'The thing is,' I said, 'that I'd submit myself to their advice and criticism and be sort of accountable to them, and er . . . that sort of thing.' Anne stopped in mid-toast-buttering, did a little laugh, and said, 'But you absolutely hate criticism, darling. You always have done. You get very cross indeed when anyone says anything remotely critical -- doesn't he, Gerald?' 'Mum's right, Dad,' said Gerald, 'criticism's one of the things that makes little bits of spit appear at the corners of your mouth.' Absolutely appalled by this response to my idea. 'I do not hate criticism, Anne -- I've never heard such rubbish in my life! How can you possibly say that? I have been given the heart of a servant.' Gerald said, 'I don't think the transplant's taken, Dad.' Ignored him. 'And I do not get 'very cross'. You make me sound like -- like a toddler who's been told he can't have another sweet. I'll have you know that God has done a mighty work of building in me as far as the whole area of criticism's concerned. Frankly, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried.' Both burst into laughter at this point, for reasons that totally escape me. Gerald so busy cackling he didn't realize the end of his hair had flopped into the marmalade. I was slightly consoled by this. When she'd recovered, Anne said, 'I'm sorry, Adrian, I'm sure God has done a mighty work of building in you, it's just that --' 'It hasn't been unveiled yet.' 'No, Gerald, don't -- that's not what I was going to say. What I was going to say,' Anne continued in her sensible voice, 'was that you have changed. You're quite right. You are much more aware of problems and faults in yourself that, in the past, you never even noticed. But, let's be honest, darling, you're still not very good at -- well, hearing about them from other people, are you? There's something useful and rather splendid about telling big halls full of people that you're not a very good person, but you're completely in charge of what people are allowed to know about you in that sort of situation, aren't you? In fact, they think all the more of you for being so honest about your shortcomings, so, in a sense, you win all ways, don't you? And that's great, as long as you can also take a bit of criticism from people like us, who are close to you and aren't going to be quite so easily impressed.' She reached over and took my hand. 'I'm sorry, darling. Gerald and I shouldn't have laughed at you like that just then. It was just so funny that you got very cross indeed when I criticized the fact that you get very cross indeed whenever you're criticized.Well, you did, didn't you? Adrian, you do see what I'm getting at, don't you?' Paralysed temporarily by the battle raging inside me. Didn't want to appear sulky or angry because both were bound to be interpreted as failure to accept criticism, but didn't want to speak, knowing it would come out sounding sulky or angry because that's how I actually felt. Managed a sort of glassy-eyed, wooden nodding movement. 'If it's any use to you, Dad,' said Gerald, who'd been scribbling on the back of an envelope, 'here's a little verse on the subject: 'Freely I confess my sins, For God has poured his Grace in, But when another lists my faults, I want to smash his face in. 'Does that more or less sum it up?' Couldn't help laughing. Anne made more coffee. I said, 'So you don't think the support group idea is a good one?' 'Oh, yes,' said Anne, 'I think it's an excellent idea, as long as you're going to be genuinely vulnerable, and not just use it as a means of -- well, emphasizing and relishing your 'stardom'. That's not what you want, is it?' Made me sound like Liberace. 'Oh, no . . . no, that would be awful. I'd hate that . . .' 'You don't want to waste their time either, do you? Tell you what -- why don't you ask Edwin to choose a group and set the whole thing up for you? He'll know the best people to ask.' 'Oh,' I said, 'I was rather thinking that I might choose who comes.' 'Exactly,' said Anne and Gerald in chorus. Reluctantly but sincerely thanked God for my family before going to bed tonight. Wonder if Norma Twill will be in my support group. Not for any particular reason really. Just wonder if she will because -- well, because she's very er . . . very nice.