My first android post…

the android logo


It never ceases to amaze me how great technology has come… And i wonder how far it will go, it would seem that the possibilities are endless.
Currently I’m away from my computer typing this blog… From my phone… My Phone!
15 years ago phones could only just start to text and the phones were large… But these days there isn’t much you can’t do from your phone… Photos, videos, searching the web… Downloading music.
So here’s to technology… Keep us close together…

But I wonder however if to much technology will be at the expense of relationship?


Screaming Goose Wordle

I love doing wordles…

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.

The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

Here is a Wordle for ‘Turn the Dial’ for the past couple of months!

Album Review: Phil Joel Presents – Deliberate Kids 2 ‘The Adventure you were born for’

So many Christian kids albums are so one dimensional, with some watered down lyrics over a hip-hop beat. On top of it all if you have kids that are older they hate the childish lyrics and music… but if the music and lyrics are too easy, then you’re only playing upbeat nursery rhymes… which is great for younger kids, but then you only have the CD for a short time.

So what do you do?

You get Deliberate Kids 2 “The adventure you were born for” album.

Kiwi musician & former ‘Newsboys’ bassist Phil Joel has released an album full of road tested kids songs that are not only fun & filled with real instruments but are based on biblical truth.

Where DK2 really sets itself apart from other kids albums is that Joel has left the album for room for your kids to grow with the songs. The album aims for kids 8 through 12 but the scope is certainly much wider than that…  before you know it you will find yourself singing along to  verses that are straight from the Bible and ooohhhing and aaahhhhing to choruses that are so catchy that they will sit in your mind all day… not only that but they’ll help cement the truth in easy to remember phrases like “the Adventure you we’re born for… You talking to God and God talking to you”… or the Psalm 78 inspired “Don’t forget to remember” featuring the SKA band The Supertones, with all their energy and blasting horn section.

All songs come tagged in the CD booklet (and iTunes booklet) with the Bible verse that inspired the song… this is great because if your child asks what something means you can both grab the closest Bible and discover for yourselves… it’s important that parents are interactive in children’s growth and awesome that this gives that extra resource .

The music on the album sits somewhere in the ‘pop rock’ realm bridging from everything from 80’s Rock (Armour of God) to SKA (Don’t forget to remember)… but there is a real Newsboys thread that seems to run through the whole album (which is fair enough Joel was part of the group for 12 years). Former Newsboys front-man and mate Peter Furler appears on 2 of the tracks.

DK2 is a great little album… as parents you want your kids to know Biblical truth… and you want them to have that truth deep in their hearts… what better way to remember than through the power of song but if you’re gonna do it… make it something that everyone can enjoy.

The Adventure You were Born for… help your children to learn the truth that being courageous and being strong is something that comes from knowing that when you are on Gods side then the adventure you were born for could make Indiana Jones movies look… kinda boring!


Things I have 100 or more of…

Compact Discs

Image by sickmouthy via Flickr

  1. CD’s

  2. sheet music

  3. books

Even with the short list of things I have more than 100 of I’m not sure I’m that attached to them.

Let me explain… If someone came into my house and stole (or borrowed) a book… I’m not sure I would notice… at least for a long time.

If someone borrowed a CD without me knowing… I’m pretty sure I would never know until I was in need of a certain song… but that could be months later.

But in Luke 15 Jesus told a story about a man who had 100 sheep… and when one of the sheep went missing, the shepherd went after the lost sheep and brought it back.

This is how much God cares for all those who have strayed away from God… he wants you back where you are safe under his care. He’s noticed that you are missing.

I have 5 kids, if I had 100 kids I’m not sure I would miss one for at least a day or so (unless I did a family role check every day!) – I’m sure I would love them all…

I have to admit I’ve lost one of my 5 kids… I was in a store and my wife went one way and he follow her while the other kids followed me…

Lets just say I panicked… well just a bit… but that was one of 5 kids… would I be the same if it was one of 100?

Yet Jesus has notice that you have gone missing…



Giving Back…

#pray for Japan (SamSoul originals)

My good friends at SamSoul are AWESOME and have their finger on the humanity pulse. With so many people in the world affected by the earthquakes in Christchurch & now Japan the SamSoul team have come up with some great designs that will not only let you look cool… but have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making an impact in what could seem a pretty daunting task ahead.

Here is what my mate had to say about the range at her blog site Here to Eternity (which is worth checking out too by the way):

There are ways to help even if you’re far away: the Red Cross in NZ has launched a Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and the Red Cross in Canada and World Vision worldwide have appeals going for Japan. Money will go towards rebuilding, rehoming and feeding people as well as helping organise people on the ground.

If you happen to like getting a little with your giving, SamSoul has just launched it’s t-shirt line and they are running “Rebuild Christchurch” and “#prayforjapan” campaigns. 20% of profits from each sale will go towards Red Cross and World Vision efforts here in Christchurch and over in Japan. Plus all the shirts are fair trade and made by Freeset – an organisation that helps prostitutes in India learn sewing skills and hence gets them off the street and earning a decent wage.”

So here you have it… look stylish and give to a great cause. There are a lot of people out there who are hurting… pray for them, but you can also help the Red Cross by simply buying a T-shirt from SamSoul.

Album Review: Passion – Here For You

Passion: Here For You

There is something I really like about the music that comes out of the Passion conferences -fresh – timely – real… and 2011 is no different…. and all your favourites are back, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder Band & Kristian Stanfill.

‘Here For You’ was built on the thought ‘Worship & Justice’… and as you wander through the songs there seems to be a sense that through the power of God we can be a real force for good in the world. As I listen to the tracks I am reminded of the types of songs David wrote in the Psalms, he wrote about defeating the enemy through his utter dependance on God – knowing he couldn’t do it on his own. There seems to be this real sense of worship become less about the music and more about the living… and the knowledge we have the power of God within us to do it – without fear.

And so the Album begins with Chris Tomlin singing the title track ‘Here for You’ sounding out “Let our praise be your welcome”… To be honest Chris Tomlin spends a lot of time on this album leading the songs, and those fans of his style would love that… I’m not so sure  – I personally wonder if the amount of time Chris is leading (almost half the songs) creates a predictability that past Passion albums never had… or maybe Passion is just growing up, in saying that Passion is always going to through some curves at you.

One of the biggest curves is Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae cutting loose on David Crowder Bands ‘Shadows’ and then again to close the album off… it adds a much needed kick to the middle of the album.

There is heaps of songs from this album that are ripe for a church setting and there will be no doubt many being played in churches around the world as you read this, and it follows the tradition of other Passion conferences sending songs around the world… one of the main reason(I believe) is because of the active role that Matt Redman played in the songwriting process on this album, Matt has this real gift of taking hard ideas and put them in a really simple scripture based song… Every generation needs a Charles Wesley maybe Matt is ours?

In the middle of the album David Crowder adds a vulnerable  moment singing…

When we’ve given up
Let Your healing come
When there’s nothing left
Let Your healing come
‘Til we’re rising up
Let Your healing come
Where You go, we will follow
Where You go, we will follow

It’s moments like this that make Passion so popular… because most people have been there, they have been to the place where they have given up… and it’s reassuring to know that others have been there too… and more importantly they can tell our God about it –

I think the world needs to know that we aren’t perfect… but our God is.

God we are HERE FOR YOU

– use US! –




Album Review: Know Hope Collective

Know + Hope Collective

I love the IDEA of concept albums… and sometimes it really works  (Jars of Clay presents: the Shelter is a great example of this… ) but sometimes the concept IDEA can over power the music so it’s a fine balance, between the thought and the music behind it. So I started listening to this album with skepticism, and I was left pleasantly surprised.

Basically the concept of this album is ‘HOPE’ or as another commentator put it “the feeling that events will turn out for the best”

I found this album while searching for songs that would provide a soundtrack to those living in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. I was searching for songs of hope… not the kind of hope that people ‘just know’ – the head knowledge… I was hunting for songs that were about hope from people who have experienced hopelessness… and discovered the grace that comes in these times.

Lead singer Mark Stuart and bassist Will McGinnis both from Audio Adrenaline, formed the group after talking to people around a camp fire and discovering that their stories of hope through turmoil were being echoed from others also – and the more they talked to other people the more they discovered that others had similar stories.

And so from that spark Know Hope Collective was born.

Now lets get down to the actual album itself… It was publicized as a “this ground-breaking initiative combining worship music with stories of hope and inspiration” personally I’m not sure of that description- I just think that it’s a really great idea. To often there are ‘worship’ albums with church in mind… or ‘secular’ focused albums with the lost in mind… An album that combines what we do in church and what happens in our lives (both good and bad) is what makes an album ‘real’… and I guess makes it more of a ‘worship’ album in doing so.

Almost half the albums you may have heard before… “Ocean Floor”, “The Good Life” and “Hands and Feet” were previously released on Audio Adrenaline albums, but these are new fresh cut back versions… the same treatment has been given to “Build us back” that was a song co-written by Mark Stuart and ended up on the latest Newsboys album ‘Born again’. All of these remade songs are tastefully done… however I wonder with so many of them already known are they a distraction from the flow of the album… Do they fit with the theme? Yes… Do they enhance the story process? I’m still not sure… but they are great songs (Especially ‘Build us back’ a personal favourite of mine in light of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand)

The album is a real, back to basics album… almost acoustic in feel… almost live… it’s music that draws you in. It’s like coming to sit at the feet of an old story teller who draws you close and whispers “there is hope even in brokenness… and this is how I know”.

Drawing from Psalm 23 the first single ‘Attention’ Mark begins the album with these words…

“You call me here from all the things I’m chasing. You bring me to this place to lie down. You pull me from the wars I’ve been waging and remind me there’s a table set for us. Exhale, shut my eyes, let me slow down and be still. Speak. You have my attention, Lord.”

If you’re in the middle of turmoil in your life… if you’re not sure of your future… then listen to this album… listen to the stories of others who have been were you are… but more importantly find out why they KNOW that there is hope.