Saturday, May 31, 2008

Knowledge or Heart?

If I were to ask someone on the street, or a new Christian what they think the nature of God is; I would think they would initially say love.
If I were to ask them does God preordain people to go to hell, I would think they would say of course not.
If I asked was God ultimately behind all the evil in the world, I doubt they would say yes.
If I asked them does God make us do things and then hold us morally responsible for them, again I doubt they'd say 'why of course he does'.
If I asked them did Jesus die for the whole world or just a chosen few, I would think they would maybe think to the most popular verse in the bible and say 'For God so loved the WORLD that he gave his only begotten son'.

Anyways, perhaps you can see where I'm going with this. I've been thinking a lot lately about why people believe in the God of Calvinism (they would say the God of scripture - I disagree!). I'm often quoted Spurgeon who said "I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."
I don't think new christians believe in it, or people who have a general interest in God believe in it, so why is that after some people go to a bible college they become calvinists. What is it about these places that change peoples view of God so much. Obviously churches have a huge influence on people aswell and a lot of churches teach this theology. What is it about knowledge that can usurpe what the heart tells us? It is such a radically different way of thinking about my Father than mine and I'm trying so hard to understand why people believe in it, and I wonder does their heart follow their head, or do they block their heart to the ultimate truths of their knowledge of calvinism.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

things i love today...

I love how Jesus makes all things new.

I love how death is not the end.

I love how the Trinity sets the platform for relationship and thats what they want us to join into, relationship with them and with those around us.

I love how heaven is a real place.

I love how Paul says that if our faith and hope in Jesus isn't real, we'd be the sorriest people around!

I love how we really have no idea about heaven, or what happens straight after we die, or about the 'rapture' or about things of that nature...but when it's revealed to us, it's gonna blow our minds.

I love the verse in 2 Corinthians 5 ...away from the body at home with the Lord.

I love that death has lost it's power and sting and the enemy has been defeated.

I love that my grandad is in heaven right now, sharing in the joy of the trinity, with his own little trinity aswell....his adorable most amazing wife Mary and my big brother David who I most definitely can't wait to meet.

I love that I'll get to join them, hopefully not too soon, but someday!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John...

My Grandad passed away this morning. Our Abba Father was all over the situation and we give thanks for how he brought things to pass. Death is not from God, however I know that he helped my grandad in his last few days by keeping him from pain and making the situation quick. I was praying that death wouldn't be thrust upon him, but that an angel would come and take him. It felt like that's what happened. He had people who loved him dearly around him when he passed which is so nice. He lived a long life and I'm so glad that he no longer has to miss my granny so much, he can be with her now and perhaps tell her all the things he's wanted to say for the last 15 years. He kindof had two last words to say to me which sum him up. I think he knew it was the last time he'd see us properly and he grabbed my hand as I was leaving and said "I love you and I hope you have a long life and happy marriage together"....he then proceeded to say to Jane "make sure he gets his hair cut!'. I love him dearly and I'll miss him.

"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
...thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor: 15: 54b&57

He makes all things new...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Top 10 Rock Vocalists...

We all have our differing opinions on things like this, however my list is definitely the best you'll find on the net!!

1. Eddie Vedder - Pearl Jam

2. Shawn Smith - Brad, Satchel, Solo

3. Layne Stayley - Alice In Chains, Mad Season

4. Maynard James Keenan - Tool, A Perfect Circle

5. Scott Weiland - Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Solo

6. Jeff Buckley

7. Prince

8. Axl Rose - Guns 'n' Roses

9. Caleb Followill - Kings Of Leon

10 Glen Hansard - The Frames, Solo


Honourable mentions to Gavin Rossdale (Bush) and Kelly Jones (Stereophonics) for having the sexiest gruffest voices in rock. Robert Smith (the Cure) for having possible the most distinct voice in rock. Anthony Kiedis (RHCP) and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits, solo) for having the worst live voices in rock and James Taylor for having the crispest and cleanest voice in rock (soft rock!). And also to Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) for having the deepest voice in rock and to Bono for keeping his voice for this long. oh and I should also give respect to Scott Stapp (Creed), Bob Dylan and Dave Mustaine (Megadeath) for getting away with their rubbish voices for so long.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

I'm not a big springsteen (I refuse to call him 'the boss'!) fan, however my brother is so I figured I'd go along with him to see him as he is one of the greats and is apparently a great performer. Well, he is a great performer and he had the crowd firmly in the palm of his hand. I wasn't too familiar with a lot of the songs played, i'm more of a play your greatest hits for me Mr. Springsteen. standout tracks where lonesome day, darkness on the edge of town, mary's place, livin in the future, the river, the rising, thunder road and born to run. 2 and three quarter hours and 26 songs is a good show to me, and being a springsteen fan was a crackin show for my brother! here's the setlist...




The Promised Land
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
Out in the Street
Gypsy Biker
Magic
Reason to Believe
Candy's Room
Prove It All Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Because the Night
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
Mary's Place
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The River
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands
* * *
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Bobby Jean
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
American Land

Thursday, May 22, 2008

worship songs continued...

Obsession - Delirious? / David Crowder Band

Either version is good with me. Although Martin Smiths "I need you Jesus" on the Live in The Can album gets me everytime. A wonderful song.

From The Inside Out - Hillsong United

I only discovered these guys less than a year ago and some of their stuff is amazing. This is an incredible worship song. I'm always challenged about living from the inside out - that the overflow of my heart will be all things Jesus and that I'll be radically honest with those close to me about who I am. It can be far too easy to do the outside in thing and pretend everything is ok on the outside in the hope that it'll change whats on the inside. that never works. we can't do anything to change the inside except trust and believe what Jesus says about us and what he was done for us.

God of Hope - Charlie Hall

Another very simple song from Mr. Hall. My wifes favourite. Set this hope in me, That I may be pure and holy, that I may be like You only, that I may be completely free.

Let Your Name Be Glorified - Eoghan Heaslip

I love this guy. He's from here in Dublin, although undfortunately he doesn't live here anymore. His albums are incredible and his lyrics wonderful. this song is basically taken from 1 Chronicles 29:10-13. I love singing Let Your Name Be Glorifed over and over at the top of my lungs!

Our God Reigns - Delirious?

The verses I don't think are particularly suited to a congregational setting, however the chorus is enough to send me over the edge. you can't sing Our God Reigns enough.

When The Tears Fall - Tim Hughes

A raw, honest lament that is incredible. I've had questions without answers - we've all had them. to finish the song with "still I will praise you JESUS". wonderful.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Worship Songs...

Inspired by Bryan L at his blog I've decided to write down some of my favourite worship tunes.
I'll define worship another time cause I know that if the pastor at my church was reading this he'd be disappointed to see me refer to music in the church as worship! we have interesting discussions!!

Thank You For Saving Me - Delirious?

I love Martin Smith. His heart for Jesus is pretty tangible and if anyone has the new album you'll see by the inlay card that they are all about Jesus and his kingdom which is so refreshing, the music doesn't particularly match up but thats a different matter.
I just love how pure and simple this song is. "Great is the Lord" - never a truer word said.

Better Is One Day - Matt Redman

This song is a staple of mine in worship. It contains one of my favourite verses in the bible - from Psalm 27 One thing I ask, and I would seek, to see Your beauty. I love that line. A lot of people keep telling me (especially in blogoshpere), including the leaders at the church I attend that everything is about the word. word, word, word is all I hear. I respect that, but what about just purely spending time with Jesus? simple as that. gazing upon his beauty. enjoying his company. cataphatic prayer. it's wonderful to bask in his presence. no pen, no paper, no music, no people, no bible - just me and him. I understand the value of the word, I really do, as does the psalmist elsewhere, however I'd love to see more emphasis on a relationship with Jesus. (oh, I should add that I'm aware that the Psamist is talking about God the Father!!)

Holy Holy God Almighty - Brenton Browne

Cracking tune, straight from revelation. I love it. Just declaring who he is. All is his.

Psalm 40 - King David / Bono & the Edge

I Will sing a new song. I adore this tune. Especially Charlie Halls version of it. I do sometimes refrain from shouting "How long to sing this song" cause sometimes I really feel that I'm singing that song in my heart already to Jesus because I've so much to be thankful for. Bryan can you show me how to post songs here so I can put a link to it incase people aren't familiar with it? thanks dude.

Prepare The Way - Charlie Hall

I think Charlie Hall is my favourite worship leader. I love his stuff. This song is wonderful. so simple and such an anthem. While I was facilitating worship for the program leadership team at Teen Street this was especially poignant. wanting everything to be about him. we were there the week before singing this all the time. prepare the way.....and saying and declaring the name of Jesus all over the site of the conference. It was an amazing time.

I'll finish this later as I have to go visit my grandad who's pretty sick...

A quick one.

Arrived back today from my Honeymoon which was incredible. Definitely the most relaxing two weeks I've ever had. Food, Sleep, Sun, Beach, Sea, Books, Music, Wife all combined and obviously not in order make for an awesome time and Jesus in the midst of it. I loved it. We had so much fun together. Anyways, I'm back and I'm determined to blog more - I checked a couple of blogs today - one I always enjoy (Bryan L) and one which always frustrates me (Denny Burke) so I've decided to stop looking at the one that annoys me for a while and to use that time posting myself. I'm beyond tired so I'm off to sleep now...