All has been quiet on the blogging front – again. No loss of interest, but just life being full and a lack of conviction that I have anything useful to say about anything. I might have commented on Mark Thompson's appointment in the USA or developments in Syria or the usual preoccupations of the Church of England or Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United or Bruce Cockburn's gig coming up in Selby on 6 September or several other matters. Even the post-Olympics funny stuff might have got a look in if I could have been bothered. I thought of reviewing a book I was sent over a year ago, but, having read it, a review would have been unkind, so I decided not to do it.

Feeble-hearted, I know.

But, then, last weekend our house got burgled and the culprit (who has been very clearly caught on CCTV) nicked my computer and my car. So far neither have been found. So, the first week of holiday has been taken up with police and the sheer hassle of trying to recover data. I'll come back later to the conundrum that really takes the pip.

Anyway, the burglary and it's associated inconveniences account for the 'loss' element of the title. The local newspaper did a piece in which I apparently 'condemned' as 'sick' the burglar. Just for the record: I didn't condemn anyone; I only said I 'felt sick' when I saw what had happened. But, the paper does a good job exposing such crimes.

So, before leaving home today for a break away (in a place where I am assured there is very poor mobile reception and no Internet connection… a bit like a planet without air), I noticed Samira Ahmed's Guardian article about the learning of German in the light of yesterday's A Level results. She highlights the very concerns I have been banging on about here for the last few years – that language learning (not 'teaching' – that's a different matter) in England is so poor and given such a low priority that our young people will eventually find themselves culturally impoverished, professionally disadvantaged and intellectually weakened by their monolingualism. As Ahmed points out, we Brits are missing a trick with German and Germany – but we will only really notice the cost in twenty or thirty years time.

So, here I am. In Liverpool watching our two year old grandson grow before my eyes. He and his mum are coming on holiday with us. And when we get back at the end of next week we will see Liverpool hammer Manchester City at Anfield before heading home. The new season begins, my fantasy league team is ready, optimism is high. And holiday will see me get stuck into four Patrick Gale novels before I tackle Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies.

And my query? My iPad was synced to my computer. The computer has been stolen. If I now try to sync my iPad to my new computer, it will only do it by erasing anything on the iPad that isn't on iCloud or wasn't bought from iTunes. Is it possible to sync what I have on my iPad onto my new computer (iMac) – so that I won't lose my apps, downloaded music and everything in iBooks? Or am I stuffed?

1. Why my voice disappeared under yet another bug. Did I become soft during a decade in the south?

2. Why my iPad gets the wifi signal, but won’t connect with the internet upstairs in my house when every other computer does.

3. How the Church of England can best respond to events in a single cathedral in one diocese when the story has an impact on all the other 43 dioceses – and the Church’s reputation.

4. What is causing the iPhone 4S battery life to be dodgy. Apparently, Apple engineers are working on it. No problem with my HTC.

5. How other bishops manage to read so many books and write intelligent stuff.

6. Why people subject themselves to the public humiliation that is X Factor.

7. What it means for Britain to be ‘European’ – wanting the benefits on our own terms, but without having decided what ‘belonging’ might mean.

8. Whether Nicolas Sarkozy was really narked with David Cameron – or just tired from sleepless nights caused by the new baby.

9. However justified the concerns of the ‘occupy’ campers, what their considered alternatives are.

10. How long the latest Chelsea manager will have a job before he heads ‘back to Europe’.

Off to Peterhouse, Cambridge, tomorrow to preach on ‘Bad Dreams’ in the college chapel at 6.30pm. Maybe I’ll have got some answers by then. You never know…

Sad news that Apple founder and inspiration Steve Jobs has died. It will also be interesting to see how Apple adapts to a world without him.

The Guardian has published an address Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005. At one point he says this about the ‘mercy’ of being fired from the company he had founded:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have the luxury of doing what they would like to do in life and the need to do work, earn some money and keep the family together and the kids fed and clothed drives them from one day to the next. Those facing the uncertainty of job insecurity, financial embarrassment and relationship breakdown might envy Steve Jobs’ optimistic sense of adventure. I guess his departure from Apple didn’t leave him destitute.

It’s a bit like millionaire politicians claiming to know what it is like for ordinary people facing the threats of recession.

But, Steve Jobs went on to speak about death. And that’s where the earlier comments find a coherent context.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Heidegger called us ‘beings towards death’ and he wasn’t being miserable either. The fundamental truth of human life is that we shall one day die. Mortality lies at the heart of who we are, how we are and why we are. Coming to terms with our mortality is the beginning of human freedom – the knowledge that we shall one day die sets us free to live. Which, of course, is why Jesus said that “the truth shall set you free”. And, of course, the truth he would go on to demonstrate is that death is not the ultimate threat – not the end of life.

There is a claim that Christian faith is a form of escapism for people who are emotionally incapable of living in the real world. In fact, the opposite is true. In his death Jesus looked the awful and glorious reality of life in the eye and hung on to and through dying and death. Being raised shone a new light on human experience and damned the claim that violence, destruction and death have the final word: God does… and that word is ‘resurrection’.

Steve Jobs clearly made the most of the creative gifts and opportunities he had. He brought beauty and style to the functional. He changed the world with products that have made computing and communication not only efficient, but pleasurable. He learned that life becomes worth living only when we have known loss and confronted the imminent reality of death. He hit on something powerful here – I’d love to know what he made of it spiritually.