‘I Miss You’ – Original Music from Goose

Here is the 2nd new original song from the Live @ HPCC E.P.

The Song “I Miss You” is one of my favourites from the E.P. – It’s a song about when a loved one has gone away… and you realise just how much you miss them.

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Idolise/Demonise relationships

Let's Talk About Feelings

Let’s Talk About Feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Relationships are hard in the first place…

Remember when you first started going out with someone… you love the fact that they were so laid back… they were just so relaxed… they never seemed to have a care in the world
If we are to be honest you started to idolise them… but then what happens?
After a while his ‘relaxed’ manner seems to grate on you… “they’re not relaxed… they’re lazy” you might think… “Sitting on the couch each day playing their guitar while I’m looking after the kids and cooking the meals”

What’s happened… You’ve demonised them for the very thing that you used to idolise them for… the same things that attracted you to this person in the first place.

Or how about this…

You started going out with someone… and they like to communicate… they talk through their feelings… they blog… they write songs… they think of words or ways of saying things that you have never thought of…
And if we are honest you might even start to idolise them a bit for it… but then what happens?
After a while you’re thinking… “OMG please just shut up… enough with your feelings… just give me space.”

You’ve demonised them for the very thing that you used to idolise them for… the same things that attracted you to this person in the first place.

And I’m sure if you think back you can think of a few different situations where you started to like someone and the things that they did made you smile… or you thought was cute… or made them interesting… only to find that after a while the things they do start to get under your skin!

The problem is people change… feelings change.
That’s why it’s so important to put God at the centre of every relationship that you…

Or in other words… put God at number ONE… so there is more chance for you TWO.

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5 NLT

You see… when you put God in the centre of your relationship… you’re not seeing the other person as a ‘conquest’ or just another partner… you start to see them as someone who you really want to care for… you really want to see succeed… you really want to see thrive.

It’s not about you anymore… it’s about what you can do for the other person…

Sometimes it may be as simple as just being you… and just being there for the other person.

But however it happens when God is in the centre of your relationship there isn’t any chance to idolise or demonise… because God is bigger than that.

I read a statistic recently that said around 50% of those who got married separated…  shocking huh???

HOWEVER…

Those who prayed as part of their relationship… the stats went as low as only 20-25% separated… so there was an 80% chance of success.

Imagine if we started to do that with ALL our really close relationships??

Imagine how tight and united we would be??

Original Music from Goose… “Messy Middle”

On the 1st of September 2012 I was privileged to be able to be given the opportunity to play at HPCC at the 2012 ‘You Are Here’ Art Exhibition. I played a short acoustic set of all originals.

I chose 4 songs to play… really basic… just a guitar… a microphone… and me!

Here is the first song of the set called ‘Messy Middle’.

Messy Middle is about when life throws you a curve ball… something that you didn’t see coming and you’re thinking to yourself “God what are you doing here?… can you just call me???”

Album Review: Luke Dowler “Polarized”

Luke Dowler ‘Polorized’ – released Sept 18th

I love hearing new music so when I was given the opportunity to hear the latest offering from Montana born Luke Dowler, I jumped at the chance. In a world where music is more about the strength of your computer programs than true talent it’s refreshing to hear music again that’s  raw and passionate…

“Polarized” starts off with the grunt and drive of a stadium rock anthem with the track ‘Coming Alive’ with a stadium style chant, a great way to start of an album and it’s the perfect entree to what Luke’s about to serve up… melodic, honest music that’s not leaving anything behind… there is blood on this record.

One thing I love about this record the more I listen to it… is the fact that it’s polished to the point of quality but still raw to the point of emotional integrity… and like a chameleon Luke molds and sculpts his favourite artist and influences through the album like a tightly knitted sweater.

“I wanna soul like a kerosene cocktail” rocks Luke before he heads into the chorus of ‘Perseus’ – or “I’m not afraid to sink or swim, I’m a collider” from the track ‘collider’ you see  these are the rawest of emotions that Luke isn’t afraid to take  head on and it’s that passion that is the motor that drives this album.

Just when you think that Luke is only a rocker… he breaks out a track like “Gun” that talks about how everyone wants to be King… everyone wants to rule the world “but you can’t change the world with a Gun”… it’s all temporary, it has to start with love.
And then to make sure he’s got you fooled he breaks out a great little pop ditty like “Umbrella” a fun song with a deeper layered lyric.

This is a great album, that has tracks on here that some bigger known artists would have loved to have on their own albums… it’s great to be able to listen to music that you know have been thought through and patiently worked on… crafted.

Luke talks about the things that are not only on his mind… but on the minds of those around him… Suicide, divorce, war on terror… even church and politics gets a look in. As Luke continues to grow in his craft it’s plain to see that this is an artist to keep an eye on, this is good… however I have a feeling there is something better stored up inside this rising star.
Watch this space!

Cheating myself out of you…

Blue question mark

What (or Who) defines… YOU?

One of my best friends ‘Ren’ last week got me thinking about if I was ‘normal’ or not… in fact she actually asked the question “So what is ‘normal’?”
As it turns out I’m not ‘normal’ (which really wasn’t a surprise to anyone really!)… however being weird is the normal God designed us to be… so as Christians being ‘normal’ isn’t really an option.

But it got me thinking a bit more about what defines me?… and maybe more importantly how do we see ourselves?

In a way only God can plan, as I was thinking about this another good friend and mentor of mine Hamish spoke about “What defines us…” at our church today… sometimes God doesn’t let you off the hook that easily!

Something that really stood out for me was the main things define us and it was a simple list of 4 topics:

  • Others
  • Events
  • Self
  • God

Now I had known this for a while… however it was really hammered home when I realised that 3 of the 4 things in the list are changeable…

So What are the forces that shape us as people?
What should shape us?

When we let others shape us… we’re in danger of seeing things through not only our broken ‘life lens’ but theirs also.
You see often we don’t see things as they are… we see things as WE are.
Often others have their own agenda’s and own reasons for feeling a particular way…
How fickle are the opinion of others?
It really highlights how important it is that we have people who we really trust to speak into our lives…
Who have you got that you really trust to speak into your life?
Do you have anyone?

There are plenty of events in our lives we can look at that maybe have really been hard… separation/loss of job/scandal/natural disasters you could probably add your own ‘events’to this list…
Coming from Christchurch New Zealand I know how fast a major event can change things… but the question is are we going to let these events DEFINE who we are?
One of my earliest memories of seeing someone who refused to let an event define them was when I saw a friends Mum at a funeral… the funeral of her son and a friend of mine who had died in a major outdoor accident. Only a year before this tragic event this amazing lady was saying goodbye to her husband who died of cancer… she stood up and spoke of the pain she was feeling of such loss… it was heart wrenching… however she spoke of her faith in God… and I knew that this event although it was painful and would be hard to erase, wasn’t going to be the one thing in life that would define this woman… she knew who she was.

Then we come to ourselves… sometimes we’re our harshest critics aren’t we, we have low self esteem because we don’t value ourselves or we’re always comparing ourselves unfairly to others or we dwell on our past… but here is the thing… Moods change… people change… feelings change…
So why are we putting so much pressure on ourselves?

You see these three things… Others, Events and Self are all things that change… in a heart beat… they’re not consistent… so isn’t it funny that we have put so much time and effort into letting these things be the main things that mold us into who we are… the main things that we let define us???

But God… the creator of the world… is forever unchanging… he made you to be who you are!
And it never matters about our past… “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (NLT)
You see… while we were still sinners… it wasn’t about the fittest or the best or the most popular… it was because you… are YOU… and God LOVED you that much!

You see we know how much God loves us… so why are we striving to let others define us?

Sometimes it’s almost like we’re trying to cheat God and do things our own way…
When we’re not cheating God… we’re cheating ourselves out of what HE has for US…
We’re just cheating ourselves!

Who are we kidding?

Lastly… Hamish came to this wonderful conclusion… maybe… just maybe our list of who defines us should look more like this?

  • God
  • Self
  • Others
  • Events

You see when you’re putting your trust in God, you have to die to yourself… you have to deny yourself.
But here is the great thing about that… when you put God at your number one… it frees us from ALL the other stuff… there is no need to ‘perform’ we can relax and let God define us… and he calls us his ‘masterpiece’… he calls us ‘very good’… he calls us ‘sons and daughters’… he calls us ‘heirs’

So what  (or who) defines you?

Remember you’re unique just like everyone else!

Weird Fish Art

Weird Fish Art (Photo credit: pfly)

I said to a good friend of mine the other day… “you have to understand that I’m just not normal…” as a bit of a joke…
However she turned around and said to me “So what’s normal???”

Drat… I hate it when people ask a question that actually makes sense!!

However… That got me thinking… what IS normal?
It’s kind of like “Remember you’re unique just like everyone else!” isn’t it?

Are we really that unique… or are we all just different flavoured versions of each other?

after thinking about it for a while… I’ve come up with the answer to “what is normal?“… the answer is “Yes”

Goose I think you may have miss understood the question… but I say… I think I understand it perfectly… You see even King Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun” meaning that the problems, the trails, the victories, the things that we experience in life are just variations of a theme… they’re mainly the same thing replayed by a slightly different cast.
So are we all the same in the things that we experience… I would say “Yes”

However when you look at people who are Christians and some of the teachings that are in The Bible are totally different to the way everyone else sees things…

Here’s a couple of classics:

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…” Luke 6:27 …

Doesn’t normal in our world want to do the opposite?
Doesn’t the world encourage backstabbing… if someone mistreats you, you are snarky to them back???
We could most likely say that that would be the ‘normal’ response… but you see as Christians we don’t play that way… we march to the beat of a different drum.

We’re called to LOVE… regardless… that’s just not normal!

How about Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Do you see that… Many are on the road to destruction… that’s ‘the norm’…
‘The Few’ – the weird ones… the freaks… those that don’t act like everyone else… in this case those who follow Jesus rather than their own desires or what the world calls ‘normal’.

You see I believe God made you the way you are for a reason… you’ve been through some tough stuff in life… to gain the experiences in life that make you ‘weird’… to be different from everyone else.

So why are you trying so hard to fit in… because you don’t!

And if you’re trying to become more ‘normal’ (whatever that is) to make yourself more comfortable you’re just lying to yourself… especially if you claim to be a Christian… you are God’s masterpiece… you were created the way you are for a reason… so why hide the fact?
You see as Christians we’re different… our weirdness is what sets us apart… it’s the thing that means we shouldn’t  worry like others do, we should treat people differently to how others do, we should treat our possessions differently to how others do, we should look at relationships differently to what others do…

Lets face it…

WE’RE NOT NORMAL

Craig Groeschel from Lifechurch.tv said it best when he said “Weird because normal isn’t working”

Thunderbolt and Lightning…

A return stroke, cloud-to-ground lightning strike.

A return stroke, cloud-to-ground lightning strike. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is currently a huge thunder and lightning storm outside my window at the moment… but that’s ok… because apparently there is approximately 2000 thunderstorms somewhere on Earth at any given time… add that to the 100 lightning strikes per second… or 8.64 million lightning strike per day… that’s a lot of light and boomin’ isn’t it???

Isn’t it odd that we stand in awe and amazement at thunderstorms and lightning strikes than we do God?

We’ve become so arrogant at thinking we understand everything that we have lost our sense of AWE at the God who made it all… Don’t you think it strange that we stand in awe of lightning… the smile on the little baby’s face or a child’s laugh… or that giggle from your partner or wife things that always bring a smile to your face… The stars and moon lighting up the ground on a clear night… The red and amber tones on the trees in Autumn… Yet we don’t stop in awe at the one who made all of it??

The creator?

In the Psalms it says that even the angels stop and shout “Encore”

Psalm 29 (the message)

1-2 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!
3 God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.
4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.
5 God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.
6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.
9 God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”
10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

I heard the story of one of the worlds top inventors Nikola Tesla, the guy who invented alternating current (the AC in AC/DC) the reason we have power in our homes.
Anyway the reason I mentioned him was he used to sit in a couch near a window ad every time lightning struck or thunder clapped he would rise to his feet and applaud God.
As Mark Batterson once put it “It was one genius (lowercase ‘g’ ) giving a standing ovation to another Genius (capital ‘G’)”*

When was the last time you stood in wide-eyed wonder like a child?

 

*Taken from ‘Primal’ by Mark Batterson -Multnomah Books