Friday, 31 August 2007

Music 3 Soul

' As soon as I wake up, put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you' Aretha Franklin
Good bit of advice really, the first thought in the morning, get in touch with God, although I don't wear make up. I'm on my next musical journey, SOUL, says it all really, but seriously, the best thing about soul, is there is a lot of love going on, and it is very easy to see God, when you are talking love songs, take Gladys Knight's You're the best thing 'you'll be there between each line of pain and glory/Cause you're the best thing that ever happened to me' or Marvin Gaye's Ain't nothing like the real thing 'I need the shelter of your arms to comfort me/ No other sound is quite the same as your name.'
There is a real calling out for love in these songs, the longing of the soul, which is why it links true to our relationship with God, just in the titles of songs by Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come, and the whole of the Otis Reading song Thats How Strong My Love Is, you can see and hear God.
A bit of Stevie Wonder to finish, from I Believe, 'God surely answered my prayer/ God surely answered my prayer/You know God surely answered my prayer/ You know God surely answered my prayer/God always will answer your prayers/Belive in One who will answer my prayer.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

windscreen wipers

Last Wednesday, on my way home from work, my windscreen wipers stopped working, quite a big problem in the rain I was driving in, they just gave up. I was doing a social with the lads from my group that night and dropped the guy who was helping me off afterwards, and i could hardly see where I was going. I had a go at fixing them Friday, was back at work Saturday and Sunday, went from work to my mother in laws for a few days, came home Tuesday, kept trying these windscreen wipers to no avail. Haven't got time or money for these wipers, so am at a loss. Anyway going to work Tuesday afternoon, I see the rain clouds coming, and I start to pray, please God, help it not to rain on me. It starts to rain. So I said very simply to God, 'Well you can at least make the windscreen wipers work' and I tried them, and they worked.

I am sure there are those that have a practical solution to this, well so do I, God fixed my windscreen wipers, and I phoned Tanya straight away, to tell her just that.

For me, this is one of those wonderful demonstrations of God's love, He created everything, everything, He knows all, He can do anything and is in charge of all things, He still wants to fix my windscreen wipers.

God is so big, so infinitely bigger than what my mind can even start to imagine of Him, He has quite a bit on His plate.

I am small, not that clever, undeserving, silly, disobedient, lazy...............

He cares about me, God loves me. He sent His Son for me, and even through all I am and do, He still loves me and cares that my windscreen wipers were not working, He fixed them for me and He continues to fix me, but thats gonna take a lifetime.

Thursday, 23 August 2007


I have a new photo on my profile, this for me is a big thing, mostly because as you can see from the top photos, I am one of the least photogenic people in the world. So yesterday Tanya, who has been moaning about my profile pic, for ages, spent some time trying to take an alright photo of me. Directly above is the result, about as good as it gets for me, so I'm quite pleased. I am fortunate though, Tanya and the kids look great in photos, so I just have to remember to be the one taking them.

Friday, 17 August 2007


I knew I would have to interupt music. I need time to write those blogs, plus a bit of research. Then somethng happens in my life and I want to share it. I actually thought this the other day when I saw a billboard, advertising that whoever it is 'works while you sleep', just like God.
Anyway, had a chance yesterday to speak about Jesus to one of the guys at work. It occurred to me, what Paul said about only boasting about Jesus.
I can talk about me all day, but one chance to talk about Jesus, its like winning the pools, or the lottery. I got to speak about Him, I feel victorious, to promote Jesus. That is what I live for. I am never going to walk away from a conversation and say, I told him about me and it changed that persons life. But one chance to tell anyone about Jesus, may mean eternal life for someone who was lost.
I pray for more oppurtunities.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Music 2 Rock and Roll

Hopefully you'll get where I am going with this a bit more with this post. I think words are important, music is important, and they can touch and inspire me, and help me in my walk.

Chuck Berry is not a man known for his closeness to God, known more nowadays for his putting video cameras in ladies toilets, unfortunately. But he was one of the first real rock and rollers, and he wrote the song Downbound Train, a story of a drunk falling asleep in a bar, and having a dream of being on a train driven by satan on its way to hell, it ends with these lines as the drunk awakes ' He fell on his knees on the bar room floor/ and prayed a prayer like never before/ And the prayers and vows were not in vain/ for he never rode that downbound train.' This is very obvious lyrics, almost in parable form, most of the time it is one liners that can just grab your attention, like in Buddy Holly's Word of Love, ' Words of Love/You whisper soft and true, or Elvis with 'Take my hand/ Take my whole life too.' from I can't help falling in love with you. I know Elvis did not write his songs, I am just looking at the well known lyrics, the music, and putting God in it, or maybe Getting something of God from it, I mean you could use The Wonder of You as a hymn, or take a lot of the lines from Love Me Tender ( 'You have made my life complete, Take me to your heart/For its there that I belong) and really praise God.

I have to mention the Beatles, after all, All we Need is Love and we should be coming together over Him!!!!!! I love Eleanor Rigby, it, to me is like a question, a challenge. 'All the lonely people/ Where do they all come from? All the lonely people/ Where do they all belong.' I actually used this while speaking, challenging the youth to reach out, knowing Jesus knows where they are from and where they belong.

I'm moving on to soul, I'll finish with a line from the Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue 'I'll be your Saviour, steadfast and true.'

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Music 1

I am now going to start at least, my little musical foray. This is not a history of music, just a chance for me to look and see God in different places, and His spirit moving through history in a different light.
A lot of our popular music today has its origins from music that was born out of slavery, in fact both jazz and blues originated with the call and response shouts of emotion that slaves would express while working in the fields, this mixed with a european harmonic structure, led to the beginnings of these musical genres, while gospel music, is born from the African American churches themselves.
Blues had many famous christian singers, such as Blind Willy Johnson and the Rev. Gary Davies, but as with Gospel, I know their music was intended to be about or for God, I find it more interesting to see God at work, right in the middle of where you don't expect Him, for instance, one of the most famous blues songs ever, is the Crossroad Blues , which many believe is about Robert Johnson ( the writer of the song), selling his soul to the devil. But the song starts, ' I went to the crossroads/fell down on my knees/ asked the Lord above, have mercy/now save poor Bob if you please.'
That is what I am talking about looking at, those lyrics, from the soul, from God, to God, written in a place, where you did not expect it.
2 last points, before I start looking at stuff about rock and roll and soul.
first, Jazz, the word is said to come from an old slang word, jasm, meaning, spirit, energy and vigor.
And second, as I head for rock and roll and try to dwell more on lyrics, than origins, the first time rock and roll was used in a song together, was in 1912, in camp meeting jubilee, the lyrics 'Rocking and rolling in your arms/Rocking and rolling in your arms/in the arms of Moses.

Friday, 10 August 2007


I had my birthday yesterday, I drank alot, I think I can drink loads, I am stupid. This morning my body reminded me that I am stupid. I wanted to throw up.

Now this is going to sound a bit weird, but as I got back into bed after my visit to the toilet, I was thinking of my experience in very spiritual terms, bear with me.

Now think how you feel when you want to throw up, especially when it is just about to happen, you are in bed, the toilet is miles away, and you run, and you panic and you have to get there, and you manage to get there, and you cling to that bog, desperately, you may still not have been sick, you are at the toilet, its safe at the toilet, if anything is going to happen now, its ok, you are in the safe place, you stare into a place where only bad stuff goes, where your face should not be, and it is ok, and you hold on, burp, saliva, burp, and you empty yourself, via mouth and nose, into the toilet, and its not fun, and you can't breath, and it burns, and its in your hair, and the taste, is well....sick, and your eyes are wet, and we feel so much better, relieved, the room is not spinning, free, to sleep, to dream, to live and do it again tomorrow. Thanks toilet.

I am not trying to be funny or rude. I just felt a certain way this morning ( I wasn't actually sick for a start, just had a few burps, a bit of indigestion), I was not at home, but I felt safe in the loo, and I started thinking about all of the above.

I feel safe with Jesus, when I had reached out for Him, in my desperation, He was there, to take all the bad stuff, and sometimes it has been bad going through all the rubbish, but He is there with me, and He will be there when I screw up again.

It may be a naff analogy, but I am not apologising for it, because anything that keeps me focusing on Him, is cool.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007


I'm tired. Tanya (my wife) has a Polish friend who says ti red, now she says it all the time, anyway, music.....

I'm not going to start that today, I had expectations of me on this little break with my family, popping off for a couple of hours, doing some research, chilling about things, then writing this cool post. My family has other ideas. I'm writing this at 8:15, haven't stopped, still got things to do. Had a good day though.

I can get back to being random then, and as I am sitting here, I am thinking of expectations, how many times we expect things to turn out a certain way, they don't, and I(or we) react, I might be disappointed, I might be surprised or angry, sad,.......

I do this quite often, I react badly when my expectations are not met, I feel disappointed when people let me down or do not reach the pedestal, I have put them on, I have high hopes, and low points.

At the moment in my life, I have felt God in what I am doing, and then it gets confusing, this way or that, open doors, shut doors, and then I'm left unsure, I don't feel let down, more of I don't know. I have to put it all into Gods hands, He will never let me down, he is higher than my hopes, beyond expectation. People and situations will never truly live up to everthing we feel they should be, God will always be so far beyond that.

I really need to listen clearly to God, discernment, I really pray for the gift of discernment. I'll get back to working on my music series now.

Monday, 6 August 2007


I can't do photos at the moment, so I am going to be impressive with words, haha. I am going to do a series, which is quite a big thing for me, as what I put down here is usually how I feel, and I just let it flow, now I want to write some stuff on music, I'm going to do research and try over the next week to be daily!!!!

The reason I want to write about music, is about seeing or in this case hearing God in everything, I love all sorts of music, and it strikes me more and more, God is there, it does not seem to matter what genre, love songs that can be sung to God, dance tracks that sound like worship, the who does not seem to matter ( not the band), God is in the one liners, or epic masterpieces.

I can see that alot of popular music was born out of blues/jazz/soul/gospel, and there is a lot to be said of this musics birth being closely linked to the freedom gained from slavery and a people ready to express openly their feelings for God, and popular music has borrowed from these genres so often, that maybe God has stuck to these new interpretations. I am going to have a look.

I also want to talk about the dark side to this, TV has things on that should not be watched, the internet has so much good, and yet so much not so good. Is music the same, I think so, maybe it is more personal with music, am I being paranid or over critical. We will see.

I have some work to do.

Friday, 3 August 2007

new people

Didn't know what to have as a pic, so I didn't have one. I was out last night at a youth cafe in town. This is a town based project to try and provide something for the young people in town.

This started last week, but the only people that went were children of those that were organising it, last night there were young people there that had no need for a youth cafe, the point was meant to be to get the young people who are hanging around in town, those that may be the cause of so called anti social behaviour, those who have nothing to do, those whose parents tell them to get out of the house and stay out till x time. I went in to town and got some, but there is so much more to do.

The point of this post is not actually the youth project, there are loads of people involved, lots of encouragement and I think it can move forward.

I was just standing outside waiting to lock up, and I started thinking about churches that are full, or even are getting fuller, and do we ever ask the question who are we getting in, is it just people from other churches, is it christians moving into the area, is it old christians coming back.

These are all nice ways of saying things are going well, I mean it looks good, it has to be great to have a full church, and there must be some great things going on if christians from other churches want to come along, but...........

Are the right people being reached. Its not enough to have a full church, the church needs to be reaching out, or don't we end up like the 99 sheep, its great we have 99 sheep, but if I remember correctly, the Shepherd was more worried about the lost 1.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Mission

I've used this picture before, writing about missionary work. Now I want to write about the film. I rewatched it last night. Love it, how many posts could be written. The wonderful examples of forgiveness, the release of the burden, stepping out there for God, showing God's love in a real way, to a real world, without judgement or condemnation, how man corrupts, etc...
I was most struck by the realisation that a lot of new ideas, books, projects and interpretations of God's word that I see today, are not new. I believe some people think, that these things happened in the bible, and we are rediscovering them today for the first time.
There is an arrogance in this generation, presuming we are the first to have to deal with so much. What utter rubbish.
The Holy Spirit has been forever leading, guiding, and there have been people listening and obeying. Men who climbed waterfalls and mountains, crossed seas, went into jungles and deserts, God said do it, so they did, thats a challenge on its own.
When they got to these places, without language, they showed God's love, without judgement or condemnation.
So much has been twisted by time and man, God is still guiding, people are still listening.
There are so many still out there ready to condemn and judge and act on behalf of God without ever listening to God, or even slightly following his will.
There is a great line in the above film where an indian says to a priest, 'I don't believe you speak for God, you speak for the Portugeuse.' I want to be led by God, not man. I pray that I will obey.