Remember Who You Are…

Child 1

Remember who you are…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what sort of knowledge I would like to impart to our Children…

What sort of Legacy will I leave?

I could play football with them, I could sing and play guitar with them, I could act crazy and have a lot of laughs with them… and it seems to me that all that is good… in fact it’s very good, and I would love to spend more time doing that.

But it still leaves me with the question…
What sort of Legacy will I leave?

The guy who has been considered the wisest guy who ever lived said this:

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
– Proverbs 22:6 New Living Translation

And it got me thinking… I could teach them all sorts of cool stuff.
I could teach them music and about rugby and the Bible… HOWEVER…
I had this sudden prompting, that all that stuff (yes including reading the Bible) means nothing unless my kids know who they are.

It’s about application…

And it has many layers…

As a Goose-kid: (part of OUR family)
We don’t steal, we don’t hit, we respect each other, we don’t swear, we are polite, we invite people into our play rather than exclude… etc

As a Christian: (part of God’s family)
We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, We believe that Jesus died for us and paid the price for our sin on the cross… etc

Of Course I could add to the list for days…

but the more we start to unpack all these things the more our children start to have as sense of not only what they are… but who they are… and they understand why some of the things that we do are different to what the rest of the world does.

It’s not because the rest of the world is wrong… but because we (our team) play by a different play book… a different set of rules.

The plan is that as we grow up we develop an understanding so that as our children venture out into the world… we can stand… and not give the standard lecture that we were all given as we head into the unknown…

But we can say…

“Hey REMEMBER who you are…”

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
Deuteronomy 6:6 NLT


Losing our Leverage…

Logo der Fernsehserie Leverage

Reading in Acts we see the start of the church… it was a movement, it was something that started off so small… but it grew into something that would change the World.

So where did it all go wrong?

Where did we lose our  leverage in the World?

We went from something that people wanted to be part of… to something that people are now turned off by.

We went from something that we lived… to something that we had to say to prove who we were.

So what happened?

Looking historically you would have to say it was when we got power.

In Acts people from all walks of life were drawn to what the new believers were doing because they lived differently… they loved one another… they supported one another… and it was different… it was new and it was something that drew people in.

But then people in power became Christians and we started to use our power… our influence to  force people to start to look to Christ… but it doesn’t work like that. You see it’s not power or influence that makes us different to the rest of the world it’s something different. In fact when we do look to those things we lose our leverage.

Now I’m not saying that if we are in a position of influence we shouldn’t use it to help others and use it for good… but the thing that made people take notice wasn’t power or position.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” – John 13:35 NLT

People knew the Christians were different because they loved one another.

It wasn’t about judging others… it wasn’t about politics… it wasn’t about position… it was about showing LOVE.

You see sometimes I think we believe that it’s about forming political groups… or about online petitions…. but all these are just short term. They phase out… they die… they turn into something else.

But love is something we need to relearn… because it’s the thing that will draw others to us…

Because pretending that we have it all together’s not working!


Album Review: Ben Cantelon ‘Everything is Colour’

Everything is Colour

You would except church music to be positive… and for the most part it is, however there seems to be a political edge that is creeping in to some of the church music, and while I think there is a need for those songs to be heard I’m not sure posturing them as ‘church songs’ is healthy.

And then there is the brand new album from Canadian Ben Cantelon. Ben who rose to recognition as a worship leader through Soul Survivor, and continued the English connection working with Tim Hughes as part of Worship central.

This is a positive album… from the first track Ben sings “no more black and white, because I’ve seen the light, everything I see is in Colour” and while that may sound a bit on the cheesy side, it sets up the rest of the album in that light, and leads nicely to the lead single of the album ‘New Day’.

For me the pick of the songs is ‘Guardian’… and it’s great. Not only is it a nice play on the shepard picture painted in Psalm 23, but it is catchy and it’s different to a lot of the other stuff that is out there for Church music… it all starts to sound a bit ‘Hillsongy’… or ‘Matt Redmany’… and while that’s fine… I think people are looking for something different, not the same as other great artists.

If you have been on the ‘Spirit Break Out’ album from Worship Central you would have already heard the song ‘Savior of the World’ which is a great song and a bit of a rocker.

After the first four songs the album fall into a familiar worship album rut. Now I’m not saying that they are bad… in fact they are anything but bad… they are very very good… There just doesn’t seem to be very many surprises.

I honestly believe that church music should be the most creative… since we have the most creative thing to sing about. I just think the first songs are so good… they make the other songs seem less spectular.

I wonder if it may have better to spread these track over the course of the album (since there is no real side A or side B anymore!)

I was disappointed to hear Ben’s ‘Love came down’ again on an album… it’s the third album I’ve heard it on so far (two studio album and one live album)… however even David Crowder recorded ‘All Creatures’ a number of times and look where that band ended up?

This is a solid worship album… I just would have loved to see Ben push the boundaries more…

There is definitely going to be churches singing this music over the next couple of years!


Album Review: Switchfoot ‘Vice Re-Verses’

Vice Re-Verses

Now I have to admit I was in two minds when I heard that Switchfoot was going to be bringing out an album of remixes from their latest full album ‘Vice Verses’. For some reason I was picturing an album that somewhere between U2’s Actung Baby and Discotheque… to be honest I was glad I was wrong.

Vice Verse was easily one of the best albums lyrically and musically that has been produced by any Christian artist in the past couple of years… it was an album that was honest without being cheesy and spiritual without being all ‘mumbo jumbo… plus it just sounded good.

So a remix album?

How will that add to what already was a great album?

The answer is it doesn’t… it seems like it was a great way for the band play with some different sounds and let some of their friends have fun with their sounds at the same time… the plus side of it all was that the fans get to listen to a new side of a group that feels like it’s just finding it’s own sound now, with Hello Hurricane and Vice Verses having what seems to have settled as the ‘Switchfoot sound’.

The remixes are actually REALLY well done… and they really should have been as they were already good songs but the people who remixed them are really good to… Adam Young (Owl City), Darren King (MuteMath), JT Daly (Paper Route)… not to mention the very reliable and often unsung sounds of Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas from Switchfoot themselves.

I really like how the remixes add a new dimension to the songs rather than detracting from them… and there were times I think “wow I hadn’t noticed that in the song before”… and so for me the remixes have been very much a compliment, I don’t think the songs themselves are as good as the original however there are a few that get pretty close.

I really like the honesty that is kept in the songs like ‘Blinding Lights’ and ‘Vice Verses’ as it would have been really easy to take them and add a ‘oonce oonce’… and turn it into a club thrasher that looses the soul and heart of what the song intended to be from the very beginning.

The more banging tracks like ‘Afterlife’ and the ‘Original’ are great bookends to this album and really bring out the fun side of the album.

The track that surprised me the most was ‘War inside’ – this song already had a great groove to it and was really interesting to see how it was going to be worked… and it surprised me and I love it. I would have been easy to lay a phat beat over the top and crunch out a winner… however what Drew and Jerome did was make a song that was a stand out track… and it was the most remixed of the albums… the others were versions of the original… this was a remix…

This album is worth having a listen to… and it works in all settings… It’s a sophisticated remix album, it’s not your usual and that’s good.