music

music, Music and Song

Are You Saved?


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A couple of weeks ago, my friend Gareth Hides released his album Rescue as his third music project in recent years, following on from a couple of shorter EPs and a debut album in 2014.

I’ve met Gareth a couple of times in person and been Facebook friends for the last five years so I know that he is a man after God’s heart. This is why I wanted to get his album straight away now plug the heck out of it.

This blog is not a review of the album in any way but I will say two things: if you a) like Keith Green and b) want to be refreshed by the backstory, lyrical directness and production quality of an album, this will cap your weekend with joy and you should go and buy it immediately!

I met with Gareth last week and asked him a few questions: (more…)

music, Music and Song, Worship, Worship, Music and Song

Lion and the Lamb (Leeland//Bethel Cover)


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I’ve found this song so helpful to sing that I thought I’d record a rough office cover version! [WARNING] I’m about 6bpm too fast 😉

Leeland and Bethel have brought together a simple but very beautiful blend of melody, lyric and confession that simply blows me away.

“For who can stop the Lord Almighty?”

Leeland’s new album “Invisible” is available in the link in the YouTube description box.

music

Citadel


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Citadel

G’day one and all. It’s summer so I hope you’re either reading this blog with a fresh cold drink on a glorious day off in the sun, or recovering with your iPhone in a cosy pub somewhere with a Ploughmans after a climb up a high, high mountain – a happy day.

It was a happy day much like one of these that I remember this instinct to write turning into focus in my head for one day after I got back from holiday. Well, this one day happens to be today – thank you for reading.

Citadel Festival

We’d been stood for literally 5 hours waiting for Sigur Rós to emerge from behind the scaffolding and smoke as we dwelt in London’s Victoria Park to see one of the best bands in the world. Crisp cider in hand and a rucksack-full of fresh fruit, we shouted, clapped and screamed through a couple of bands (including the very cool Caribou) before the Icelandic legends struck their first open chord. It was such a great day: Sigur Rós were more amazing than I’d expected (and I expected), Caribou were coolness personified as sundown came and went and the incomprable Nathaniel Rateliff just made everyone very happy.

Then it struck me – this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Sure, there were a couple of wollies who wanted to bypass festival etiquette by trying to barge to the front, yes there was a heady smell of weed everywhere and yes a few people fainted and had to be thrown over the security fence like a mannequin to receive first aid. But by and large everyone was loving it – the sun was shining, immense bands were playing 6ft away and everyone was treating everyone else respectfully and having a whole load of fun.

Numb

But as the beats per minute looped on and on, there was another world not very far away:

Terrorism, greedy banks, dividing countries, Dictators, sex scandals, wars, rumours of wars, crumbling economies…I think we’re all a little numb from not only the accelerating pace of the atrocities and stresses that seem to punctuate our days, but the peculiar numbness that comes from the constancy of dysfunction of society’s fraying – something’s not right and we know it somewhere deep inside, wondering, as we all do, if it will ever come to stare us in the face more closely to home.

It’s called fear.

This momenatry oasis of Citadel’s summer festival was respbite from the evil that is far too dominant in all of our worlds. But it was more than a mirage.

Maybe most folk weren’t thinking about the countires under attack from terrorism as Sigur Rós played another G#m and lit up the sky. But isn’t there a tiredness in all of us with evil and murder and atrocity? A kind of internal fatigue that comes when we hear of yet more carnage and flagrant disregard for the sanctity of life and yet we don’t know what to say…so normally we don’t – we just sigh and hold our nearest and dearest a little tighter. Or perhaps we drink too much so as not to think about it. Or end up taking drugs and fainting and being thrown over a metal blocade like a rag doll.

Neighbours

We all have to deal with the outrage and the fear and we’ll all deal with it in different ways. But there is one consequence of the accumulation of these sad days that should be the same for all of us blessed with rational sanity: we should all be learning to love the sanctity of life that we’ve been given, the peace in cohabiting respectfully together and the grace to be thankful for every tiniest blessing along the way.

Humanity isn’t created for guns and race wars and genocide and atrocious greed; humainity is created to dwell together in unity and to revel in the unity found only there.

When the Pharisee tested Jesus with a question about the law, the Messiah replied

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (See Matthew 22:37-38).

As I wrap up these musings about the struggle of good and evil in our days, and the small glimpses of how things are supposed to be despite them, perhaps these freedom words about loving God and loving each other as we should could be more of a comfort than we might have ever thought.

(more…)

Hosea, Marriage, Theology

We Are Gomer


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This is the seventh and final post that I’m going to do on the book of Hosea. But seventh in the series though it may be, I want to treat it as though it is the first and the last.

Layered over the timeless theology of this minor Prophet’s book, and this series, has been a certain amount of poetic thought. I hope it’s been clear; I hope it’s been helpful.

But, in just a few paragraphs, what is the message of Hosea? (more…)

Jesus

Be Born In Me


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Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Especially if your experience of life going into Christmas (*Festival of the Christ*) this year is one of ‘manger mess’ be encouraged by this supreme song.

With love & blessings

Nick & Mairi

“Be Born In Me”

Everything inside me cries for order, everything inside me wants to hide
Is this shadow of an angel or a warrior? If God is pleased with me, why am I so terrified?

Someone tell me I am only dreaming, somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes

And before my head agrees, my heart is on its knees…

Holy is He; blessed am I.

Be born in me, be born in me

Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me

I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me

All this time we’ve waited for the promise, all this time You’ve waited for my arms

Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected, so we might know that Love would go that far?

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me

I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me

I am not brave
I’ll never be

The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy

I’m just a girl

Nothing more

But I am willing, I am Yours

Be born in me, be born in me
I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me