Wednesday, March 23, 2005

More Songs

I've been in the studio again this week. I finally got around to writing the backing track for a song that I wrote at least 5 years ago. Plus I've done a trip hop (ish) remix of abide with me. You know how the verses go...but we've added the following rap segments between them.
Live with me Lord in my heartbreak and my pain.
When I need a good friend
Hold me close and keep me sane
When the lights have gone out
And there’s darkness all around
Come step into my life
I’m so lost, help me get found.
Yes there’s change and decay
And the leaves fall off the trees
And the dreams that I had
Seem to all get up and leave.
And the young all get old
And the old get sick and die
And I miss how things were
And sometimes it makes me cry.
What occurs to me now
As I’ve seen too many graves
Is that death’s done quite well
In the great plans that You made
But I hold to the hope
And the promise that You gave
That we will live again
And we will rise from the grave.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The other Visions team did the service on Sunday, and I was pretty impressed by their prayer idea.
The theme was the raising of Lazarus, When the other team planned the service they said they felt Jesus had been misunderstood as he waited rather than going straight to his friend. We were invited to write hidden things that we didn't always want to reveal for fear of being misunderstood (or more global misunderstandings ie political situations) on a sticker and hide it under a stone. But the instruction was given that later everyone would get to see these things, even if they ended up being fairly anonymous. Later - "no stone was left unturned' as we randomly chose a stone and prayed for the situation or person who had written something under that stone, and when we replaced the stone, we had it turned upwards. The stones ended up being pretty profound and revealing! Definitely a very cool way of praying for each other!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Ages ago someone sent me a link to a textures site with high resolution images that are free to download. I finally got around to looking at them yesterday. There are some really good ones on there! I really liked the cloudscapes and the doors. Anyway here's the link if you want to check them out for yourself.

The 80's revisited

On Sunday I dug up and old tune that I hadn't used for years, Tower of Strength by the Mission. I realised that the main reason I hadn't used it for years was because in the mid 90s it sounded so dated, yet now, with the goth revival it
sounds surprisingly fresh once more. The other reason I hadn't used it though, was because I'd never got round to buying
it myself. Then I found it up on the iTunes site. That's the best thing about that site. If you want one song for a worship service you don't have to go to the hassle of buying a whole album! Another 80s classic I bought recently from iTunes (remixed this time) was the Timo Maas instrumental mix of Enjoy the Silence. Nice stuff. I'm sure we could do some liturgy or a reading or something over it!

I leave you with the first verse of Tower of Strength. (just to show you why I like it!)

You raise me up
When I'm on the floor
You see me through
When I'm lonely and scared
And I'm feeling true to the written word
And you're true to me.
But still I need more.
It would tear me apart
To feel noone ever cared
For me for me for me.
You are a tower of strength to me.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Praxis Day

Yesterday I went to a Praxis day on alternative worship and emerging church, which was conveniently held at St Cuthbert's.
It was great to catch up with Jonny Baker and Paul Roberts there, and to meet Nick Mercer. His presentation on postmodernism was great with a compelling mix of quotes on the screen, music by Leftfield and some profound insights into what is going on culturally. Malc, Sophs and I did a half hour worship slot, as part of the day at lunchtime, and I did a meditation on the temptations in the desert as part of this, linking it to where we are at as a church in these changing times.

This Desert Planet.

Voice 1 - In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
Voice 2 - A desert planet....
Once we stood by the clear waters, knowing who we were, who the church was and where we were going.... we’re in the desert....
...uncharted territory.
...severe and bleak.
...but full of Eastern promise.
...the rules are different.
The old ways don’t work. is a lonely place,
and dangerous.
There are snakes and scorpions.
Alien creatures.
we have been stripped of our illusions
of growth...
of plenty...
and we are in the desert.
for God to speak.
Voice 1 - Turn these stones into bread.
Voice 2 - the instant solution.
the quick fix. If we just..if we just...
change our chairs, change our prayers, fix the roof.
Then everything will be lovely.
Won’t it?
Voice 1 - The tempter said. Go on. Turn these stones into bread
Voice 2 - bread. like the bread used to be, in the old days...
in a warm hearth in Nazareth.
It was so good then. I can almost smell the yeast.
A quick-fix and they’ll all come back.
Voice 1 - But it is written. You can’t live by bread alone.
Voice 2 - We need more than that. In this desert planet.
Voice 1 - Every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Living God, we need you here, to tell us what to do.
Feed us with your words, we are hungry!
Show us the next step. How to be your church in this
undiscovered world.
As we sit in the sand and try to hear you.
Voice 1 - And the tempter said. Look. Here are all the kingdoms of the world. I’ll give you all of this. If you just worship me.
Voice 2 - Yes. Maybe that would be easier.
Maybe we should give up. And join the others.
Worship at (insert name of shop) , religiously.
Or (insert musician), or (insert computer giant), or (insert bank),
I believe in the Holy Catalog Church.
Voice 1 - You can have it all. Worship me.
Voice 2 - Everything we’ve ever wanted.
At a price. But that price would be too high.
Voice 1 - Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.
Voice 2 - Who else can we turn to.
You’re the one who gives us life.
And though we may we walking in the wilderness.
You are here with us.
Let us glimpse a burning bush somewhere on the way.
This is a lonely planet.
Voice 1 - He will command his angels. They’ll protect you. You needn’t even stub your toes.
Voice 2 - Our attendance is plummeting but we needn’t fear
the angels will catch us.
Someone else will fix it. We’ll leave it up to them.
An evangelist with a funny name, or the parish next-door.
This desert is too difficult. So maybe I’ll just sleep.
Voice 1 - Jesus answered the tempter. Do not put the Lord your God to the test.
Voice 2 - Jesus Help us.
Its hard to find the energy. When the sand pushes against us.
When we stumble in the wilderness. When we can’t see the way.
When the old signposts have disappeared
And all we have are sand-dunes.
But we know...
We can’t do a quick-fix
We can’t give up
We can’t leave it to someone else.
Voice 1 - Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit returned.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
Because he has anointed me.
To bring good news to the poor.
Voice 2 - Good news came from out of the desert.
There is good news.
God has brought us here to hear it.
And God will lead us
To the Promised Land.