My last blogger post
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Now you can come hang out with the new me at:
This site will be closed soon...
Posted byDan at 2:19 PM
Jesus, Mission and Music
Monday, January 14, 2008
This last week I have been involved in our church's annual mission, Summerfest. It was a fantastic week and many people have indicated that they would love to hear more about Jesus. It is exciting to be on mission with Jesus. In 2 Corinthians chapter 2 Paul expresses that same joy:
'But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.'
What a God! he leads us on his mission and it is a TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION!
I have been thinking for some time about how we can be spreading the fragrance a bit more through music in our church. Our culture on the Central Coast (Sydney too) is soaked with music. I went to shows probably every second weekend of my late high school years. I don't think that I'm too unique in that. I would say on the coast that particularly outside of surf culture there is an underground music culture that many belong to. Music is important and good music is important. The Coast has had some of the country's best acts start here. We have an ear for good music.
God loves good music too.
Psalm 33:3 says 'Sing to him a new song. Play skillfully and shout for joy'
So why not use good music as an avenue for mission? In the past I think that music at mission events has been thrown together at the last minute in conversations that generally go like this..
"We are having an event tonight to people to invite their friends to. It will be informal and relaxed."
"Do we have music?"
"We could put on a CD."
"No live music is better."
"alright I'll call bob. He can play guitar."
I'm exaggerating of course but you get the drift. And this is as musch my fault as anyones. I never give time to thinking about how music can be integrated in a much better way. Adrian, our Nite church mission coordinator saw this as a problem and he and I came up with a little idea.
We have started an initiative in our music team to create a band that is skillful and well suited to doing this sort of stuff. We want to have music that is an attraction for outsiders, not an added extra and not a distraction. It will take time and practice but there already some who have committed to making good music for cafe style stuff. They are going to practice regularly and hopefully will help in creating a culture of good music at events.
My mind boggles at the endless possibilities for a group like this. They won't play 'church songs' but to start with they are doing Jazz standards and maybe in the future their own compositions. Come and hear their first efforts this Friday nite at 'Cafe del Freeo' - Bakehouse cafe, Erina. Bring your friends and they will be challenged to consider Jesus and his claims - all while listening to some sweet tunes!
Posted byDan at 9:25 PM
Radiohead play it all for free
Friday, January 04, 2008
If you missed Radiohead's album that was available for whatever you wanted to pay.. don't miss seeing them play it live on Youtube (I don't think you can miss it because it may just stay there forever).
It is an awesome album!
Posted byDan at 10:22 AM
Alright. Now we are set to go
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
This is a bit more conventional. It's probably very unprofessional to comment on my editing through posts, but the two of you who read this will have to get over that. Just to make the page look extra special, heres a photo:
Posted byDan at 10:04 AM
I know this is hard to read but it looks kind of cool. I'll be fixing it shortly
Posted byDan at 9:16 AM
Got a new look for the new year
Monday, December 31, 2007
Blue and black is the new white.
What do you think? I might change the header a bit but I really like this template. I still need to add links.
Leave a comment.
Posted byDan at 10:17 AM
Axis and Allies Christmas
Friday, December 28, 2007
I had a fantastic Christmas. I bought some friends Axis and Allies. It's a board game for nerds. Last night they played it at my house. It was awesome.
Posted byDan at 10:06 AM
Hark the Herald Angel's Bling
Monday, December 17, 2007
I wrote this for the latest J-Walk. It's not out yet so here's a sneak pic:
Some people can’t stand carols. They find the music kitschy and old fashioned. The words are hard to understand (in exlcelsius Deo anyone?). Everything about Christmas carols seems irrelevant to our culture. I can understand this argument because we want to move with the times and keep making music for people now not people three hundred years ago.
Something that turns me off carols is the packaging. I hate green and red, I hate reindeer and I hate the Wiggles. These are the things that always seem to pop up around carols at Christmas time. The reason I hate all this stuff is that it all smacks of fakeness. There is nothing more hypocritical than having a bunch of pagans get on TV and sing about the great news of Jesus. I hate the way that a nation that has spent the last twelve months breaking all kinds of commandments comes together to sing ‘Joy to the world the Lord has come’ and go back home to their lives of rebellion.
I hate it when people don’t sing genuinely. That’s why I love singing at our church and youth group. When we sing we mean what we say. The stuff we sing changes our lives and our hearts. I can see it in people’s faces when we sing together and I see it in people’s lives as they interact with each other and the world.
What about the guys who wrote the carols? Three hundred years ago were they just the rockers who were commissioned to write some songs about Jesus or were they really on about what they wrote?
Some were. Isaac Watts wrote ‘Joy to the World’. He also wrote about 1500 other hymns and songs to praise Jesus. His songs stand out as being centred on Jesus and what he has done, the same way as the Bible is. He was totally blown away by the fact that Jesus would die in his place.
‘Twas for my sins my dearest Lord
Hung on the cursed tree,
And groaned away a dying life
For thee, my soul, for thee.’
Isaac Watts was sold out, genuine, on fire for Jesus. He would shudder now to think of the many who have used his songs but have not been moved to love Christ more. For many his songs are just songs that are sung each year to keep us feeling good about ourselves rather than helping us to see our own sin and God’s grace more clearly.
Another Carol writer who was genuine was Charles Wesley. He wrote ‘Hark the Herald Angels sing’. He became a Christian while he was at uni. His brother and he were so convicted of their new faith that they gave up their careers and studies and traveled the world telling people about Jesus. Charles’ brother John would preach the sermon and Charles would write music to go with the sermons. Charles was also blown away by the grace God offered him through Jesus’ blood.
‘And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Saviour’s blood
died he for me who brought his pain
for me, who him to death pursued’
This is why I love carols. They stand for genuine joy. Joy that is seen in people’s hearts and lives changed by Jesus. Sometimes in all our newness and desire to have new music, we can lose the heart of many of the old hymn writers. They were guys and girls who stood for Christ and wrote songs that exalted him.
Some carols are rubbish. ‘Silent Night’ is a load of garbage. ‘Away in a manger’ has nothing to say and all it does is it makes me think of Jesus as being a little baby who doesn’t cry.
But there are carols that are all about the real joy that can be found at Christmas. The joy that is found in a savior who has come. Keep singing carols and sing them the way they were meant to be sung. With joy. With love. With genuine sincerity. Perhaps then we can show the world what they are missing when they sing each year.
‘Let earth receive her King.’
Posted byDan at 12:13 PM