What do I know?

A while ago, I came across this little tune called “This Little Light of Mine” by Manchester based LZ7…

I have to admit I thought it was some cheesy tune which I kinda hoped would go away.

It was then released as single… I pushed my head in the sand, smiled politely when people mentioned it at church,  and generally hoped it would go away.

I’m not sure what I was thinking, I cant remember my thought processes  as I downloaded the video onto the laptop I take to youth club… but it was there. The video was still there the other evening when one of the guys at youth club was exploring the “videos” folder… before I knew it, he was dancing to the tune, talking to me about break dancing, and wanting it to be played again later that evening.

What do I know about what’s cool?  Obviously not much.

What have you found uncomfortable or felt to be rubbish, but your youth club has seemed to love?

How do you make sure you’re in tune with “whats in” with your young people?

Have you also noticed how much the lead singer dude looks like a young Gordon Ramsay?

Weekly Round Up: The Will It Blend Edition

Bit of a mixed bag this week, its a bit of a blended mix if you will:

A while ago, a number of bloggers were watching with their head in their hands as the SPCK chain of bookshops were sold to St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust. This move led to a number of tragic tales coming from the former chain of book stores. “The Watcher” has provided a handy reminder that the saga isnt over yet. In the interests of fair play, please feel free to check out the St Stephen The Great homepage.

Did you hear the joke about the guy that said he was going to blow up Robin Hood airport? The joke itself wasn’t funny, but the punchline is actually quite serious. Crimperman asks if Twitter is now a place where humour should be avoided?

BMS World Mission have announced their new website, it looks pretty but could the blogs were updated more often?

And finally… (for the Doctor Who fans out there)… Can a Dalek blend?

Problems with sung worship?

Thanks to Vicky Beeching for inspiration for this post from her questions on twitter this week.

Many people will say that they aren’t a fan of the singing part of church. I have to say I quite like it, being a musician and worship leader that bit of church is right up my street, it’s just the rest of it I don’t like. Quite often it’s men that I hear grumbling about the content of worship in our churches. A university friend of mine told me that he couldn’t engage in sung worship in church, partly because he isn’t much of a singer and he finds it a bit uncomfortable but also he finds that the words are hard for him to engage with. And I can see where he’s coming from.

Often the songs we sing in church aren’t particularly ‘manly’. And men also have a bit of a habit of running away from anything with the word ‘love’ in it. So it would be easy to say that songs that go like ‘Jesus I am so in love with you’ should be thrown away. But doing so would get rid of one of the fundamental parts of being a follower of Christ – God loved us so that we can love.

And if we look at it more subjectively across the broader spectrum of worship songs there does seem to be a much more ‘manly’ focus as well. For example songs like ‘Yesterday, today and forever’ by Vicky Beeching, ‘Happy day’ by Tim Hughes and ‘Strength will rise’ by Brenton Brown are all songs that don’t have that focus on love.

I believe that as we worship a God who is bigger than anything we can possibly know, and has at least as many emotions and characteristics as us – then our worship should reflect that. We should look at the Psalms as an example. The breadth of emotions are huge, they range from fear to joy, from love to abandonment.  However they all cling to the truth that God is there,  bigger than we can know,  in control, stronger than we could imagine, and He loves us so that we can love. And so so so much more!

A challenge to worship leaders is to incorporate the whole of God not just one aspect of him. Maybe not in every worship time in church but we need to make sure we experience and recognise all of God not just one bit.

And a challenge to men…Man up and share the love that God has given, first with Him and second with everyone else!

Thoughts?

We shall remember them…

From Doctor Who: The Family of Blood

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon

A public commission for churches?

To understand the following rant, please take a moment and read this article on “Comment is Free

I was just going to call it rubbish on Twitter and be done with it, but figured I wanted to expand on it a little more then simply saying “rubbish”. I’d mostly just like to ask a few questions, based on what this dude has said:

Leaders passionately inform children and teens of their conviction that evangelical doctrines, all of which are of course highly questionable when considered soberly, are absolutely true.

So Thomas has researched all doctrines. Good start.

With the benefit of this research Thomas then rips into a few of the talks he’s watched on god.tv:

Children at Soul Survivor meetings have, for instance, been told that their generation can help bring Jesus back to Earth within their lifetimes. The “conversions” of children on the basis of such techniques is exploitative and can cause emotional pain when, in later life, it is discovered that such beliefs simply do not bear rational scrutiny. Other lessons preached at these camps are even more potentially damaging to children. At recent Soul Survivor meetings that have been featured on God TV, leaders have told young people they will be judged by God on the content of their thoughts when they die, that witch doctors can stunt the mental and physical capacities of children by cursing them, and thatJesus can heal children of medical ailments.

Now I’ve heard rumours about witch doctors, and I’m fairly sure that everything else he takes exception to is fairly basic Christian stuff…

At an Audacious event, a boy about 13 years old described how he had been healed while at a meeting of the organisation.

So…. Is he saying that the kid wasn’t healed? If so why would the kid say it? What’s really being suggested here?

Oh and just for the record, I’ve been to Soul Survivor for two years, and attended a local Christian camp for a couple of years, but I really dont think I have any emotional damage as a result.I’m also really not sure what physical damage I would have got from going along, which wouldn’t have ended up happening in some shape or form anyway.  In fact the only “damage” that has possibly been done to me is that I disagree with the writer of this article.

Besides teenagers really can make up their own minds about stuff. This guy needs to visit the youth club I help with at somepoint to see what I mean.

Thomas then ends his rant with:

The proposal that I would like to make thus falls far short of this. I believe a public commission should be established that issues non-legally binding guidelines on the forms of doctrines that it is desirable that children are taught. The preaching of hellfire or of divine faith healings to children could form part of such guidelines. Non-compliers could be “named and shamed” by such a commission.

So only what has been passed as ‘ok’ can be taught by churches? Would this apply to other religious groups as well? And who says what could be taught? I’m sorry but this sounds more like a dictatorship then a liberal society to me.

For someone who doesn’t like right wing Christians… He sounding quite right wing himself…

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

Saw this on Phil Cooke’s blog, and thought it was a good way to start the week:

Filmmaker and comedian Woody Allen famously said that “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” While we laugh at it, the statement is pretty accurate. “Showing up” means putting yourself in position for something to happen. I heard of a musician who bumped into a record producer in an elevator. They started talking, and when the producer asked if the musician had recorded anything, the musician whipped out his iPhone and played him a couple of cuts. The producer was impressed enough that they scheduled a meeting and eventually worked out a record deal. That musician “showed up.” He was ready and in position for something good to happen.

Far too many of us dream of big things, but don’t actually write that book, plan that project, or develop that relationship. We dream about losing weight, but never show up at the gym.

The truth is, Woody’s right. A huge part of success in any field is showing up ready to accomplish something significant. And showing up comes from the discipline to do everything you can to get yourself in position. I like how Benjamin Franklin put it: “You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”

What is it that you need to show up for this week?

Happy Monday everyone…

Weekly Round Up

I have to admit, I did try to think of a more amusing title… I’m presuming that due to the mild case of creative fail that seems to be happening at the moment, the above was the best I could come up with…

Do you read the Bible on your phone? I have to the admit, the YouVersion Bible app for the iPhone does make Sunday mornings a lot easier by not having to balance a Bible on my lap throughout the service. It also kinda amuses my housegroup by reading from my phone instead of a traditional Bible. According to The Underground, I’m not the only one who finds smartphones the way forward in Bible reading.

On the subject of smartphones and stuff, the Alpha Course have released an iPhone app… It may interest if you happen to be an Alpha fan…

Are you a Simpsons fan? Do you remember that episode where Maude Flanders dies? Remember when Bart tries to cheers Rod and Todd by playing a “Christian” computer game with them? You may want go to the Simpsons Character Page,  select F-H, click on “Flanders, Rod”, and from there you can play “Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster”.

Enjoy 🙂