Friday, 28 February 2014

Song of the week 28 February 2014

This week's song of the week requires a little bit of back story. We received a mail from this week's song of the week recipient a while back asking if we would take a listen to his music and then put him on the blog. We did just that and now we are pleased to bring you his music. Please give us feedback on your opinions.

So without further ado, and without anymore gilding the lily, this week's song of the week, or more appropriate, artist of the week goes to Jordan Riley.

If you're liking his stuff you can purchase his album here
Have a rocking week everyone

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Brilliance: The Road Recordings

Artist: The Brilliance
Record/EP: The Road Recordings
Rating: 4/5
Social Media:
Similar artists: Gungor, All Sons and Daughters
Genre: Ambient, Worship
Release Date: 1 October 2012
Length: 32:00

If ever there's an intro to an album that has got me hooked it's this one.

The sounds of an excited crowd waiting for a show to begin, joined by the band tuning their instruments, builds the listener's anticipation and sets the stage for an incredibly emotional album. The violin and piano in the opening song "Breathe" produces a beauty that cannot be given justice through words alone.

The lyrics throughout the album are heartfelt and emotional - combine this with powerful vocals and you get an album that can pierce even the hardest of hearts. They blend strings, keys, percussion and voice in such a way that makes you want to fall to your knees in prayer.

Now I must admit that this is from someone who loves slow, heartfelt worship and this may not be your "cup of tea", but I really want to urge you to go onto Noisetrade and give them a listen!

Oh, Spirit of God
Here with us now, give in us life again
Breathe, breathe on us now
Fill us with Your love
Send us with Your power
Spirit of God

Peace and Love


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Being Faithful with Little

Depending on what Bible translation you’re reading, Luke 16:10 says something along the lines of “He who is faithful with little will be faithful with much”. What does it mean to be faithful with little? We recently had a church service in which our pastor looked at Genesis 39; including Joseph working for Potiphar and resisting the seduction of Potiphar’s wife. In this chapter, Joseph is a great example of doing his small, seemingly insignificant work well in Potiphar’s home, and being blessed by God with greater work responsibilities. Joseph resisted Potiphar’s wife even though nobody would have known if he had slept with her. Because Joseph was responsible with little, God knew he would be able to comfortably thrive with greater responsibilities.

What does “being faithful with little” mean for the lives of you and I? There are many examples we can look at, but firstly let’s look at it from a leadership point of view. If you have been blessed to be in a position to lead a small team in a work environment, grab that opportunity with both hands by leading with integrity and making the glory of God your focus. If that becomes a habit, you will be more likely to lead that way when entrusted with thousands of people working below you, and when the suffocating risk of greed begins to emerge.

Speaking of greed and wealth, those are huge examples in which I believe being “faithful with little” is immensely important. Even if we are students on part time jobs, or on a meagre allowance, no amount is too small to put aside as a monthly tide to further God’s kingdom. If we can’t put aside 10% of 500, how can we expect ourselves to put aside 10% of 50 000 one day??

What about relationships? Men, if we can’t be faithful to our girlfriends now, how can we expect to be faithful to our wives when the stakes are so much higher? Sadly, for red-blooded males, the challenge of battling lust will always be there. It sucks! But we need to follow Joseph’s lead and bluntly resist-refuse-run in response to the temptation. Easier said than done, of course! But we need to start practicing now so that we can be the best possible faithful husbands one day.

I think we should look at every situation in our lives as an opportunity to nurture faithfulness *now*. I truly believe that every day, week and month we are confronted with several difficult circumstances in which our faithfulness will be put to the test, but if we can use those circumstances as a means to exercise pure God-honouring faithfulness, we will be glorifying and growing closer to God. I truly believe that the God-honouring habit of faithfulness is one of the most important aspects of our lives as Christians. As we head into the new week, let’s ask ourselves - in what areas am I being “faithful with little”? In what areas should my faithfulness improve? What are some examples in my life in which I’ve been faithful and God has given me greater opportunities as a result?

Peace amigos!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Song of the Week: 21 February 2014

This week's song comes off Switchfoot's latest album "Fading West"'s "Love Alone is Worth the Fight"....enjoy! 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Josh Garrels: The Sea In Between Soundtrack

Artist: Josh Garrels
Record/EP: The Sea In Between
Rating: 4/5
Social Media:
Similar artists: Alt-J, Peter Gabriel, Digable Planets
Genre: Indie, Ambient
Release Date: 25 January 2013
Length: 44:00

So this might be something a little different to what you're used to...

Josh Garrels is an American singer-songwriter, producer and composer. This man's music is a rich, delicious mixture of orchestral folk and a little bit of hip-hop.

His latest album, The Sea In Between, is a collection of songs that was filmed and recorded live on several magnificent locations on Mayne Island (Canada). The soundtrack was recorded with the Mason Jar Music team for their feature-length documentary film, The Sea In Between.

To me, personally, his music - and this album in particular - exemplifies the intimacy that can be found with Jesus, as well as translating this intimacy into music.

Do yourself a huge favour and give it a listen!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Called Aside

So there I was…walking to class, head down in a book, bumping into everyone and everything. Voices echoed in my wake…“Watch it!”, “Dude!?” and other things I will not repeat! I was running a bit late so I was reading my daily devotional on my way to an “exciting” Urban Design lecture. I don’t know why it was, but God really met with me on that fifteen minute walk and I’d like to take this moment to share that devotional with you. John Ruskin shares an interesting viewpoint and urges us to be patient and wait on God. 
He withdrew to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13)

There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music. In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests. During those rests, we foolishly believe we have come to the end of the song. God sends us times of forced leisure by allowing sickness, disappointed plans, and frustrated efforts. He brings a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent. We grieve that our part is missing in the music that continually rises to the ear of our Creator. Yet how does a musician read the rest? He counts the break with unwavering precision and plays his next note with confidence, as if no pause were ever there.

God does not write the music of our lives without a plan. Our part is to learn the tune and not be discouraged during the rests. They are not to be slurred over or omitted, nor used to destroy the melody or to change the key. If we will only look up, God Himself will count the time for us. With our eyes on Him, our next note will be full and clear. If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, “There is no music in a rest,” let us not forget that the rest is part of the making of music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson!
John Ruskin

Called aside –
From the glad working of your busy life ,
From the world’s ceaseless stir of care and strife,
Into the shade and stillness by your Heavenly Guide
For a brief time you have been called aside.

Never lose heart brothers and sisters. God is always with us…He is always in control!

Peace and Love


Friday, 14 February 2014

Song of the Week: 14 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day to you all! Here's a song to remind you of the One who IS Love....

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Look at Rend Collective Experiment

Hand's down one of my favourite bands of all time! These friends from Northern Ireland started out with the common goal of wanting to grow deeper and deeper in love with Christ. They started out by meeting and praying - the group grew to over 100 people! A few years later the core 5 of the collective felt called to reach more people. Long story short, this group is now an international sensation with major tours all over the world!

One of the members describes the group as "a collective of people like a family and not just a band. We want our music to be what we call organic worship, an honest and natural connection with God, something which is authentic and not artificial. We want to create an environment for people to have genuine encounters with Him and to find themselves singing to Him in ways that they find real.

Homemade Worship by Handmade People - a truly raw and powerful counter to the usual over-produced music we are faced with everyday. Their lyrics overflow the blessing and love of God and I truly urge you to start listening to them if you haven't already!

Below are a few of their songs...keep a eye out for their latest album which will be released on the 17th of March 2014. Pre-order it here!


Sunday, 9 February 2014

My God year

 Hey everyone! It’s great to be back blogging! I trust that this year has started well for everyone – I find it hard to believe that we’re well into February already. In the spirit of this, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a little of my story with you which might have seemed more appropriate in January but let’s not worry about that ;)

I have always considered myself a Christian but there have definitely been some back sliding seasons and one of the biggest faith changers for me was my year in South Korea. I found myself questioning everything to do with my faith and although I never renounced it completely – it’s safe to say my walk with Christ was pretty much non-existent. Coming home last February I had no idea what I was walking into…I was lost. I felt that I had no friends and no real plan for my year. But let me tell you something; when God pursues you, you had better hold on. He started by walking me straight into a Hillsong Concert courtesy of a ticket from my brother and although I was less than excited to go, that is where God literally enveloped me in the biggest bear hug ever. From there, 2013 can only be described as my God year. He placed me in a church where I have never felt more at home and surrounded me with people to love me and people to love in return. I found work to keep me busy and began the process of applying for Masters. This is where my biggest lesson came; learning about peace. As I struggled to find which course to apply for, I just had such a restlessness. I thought it was just me procrastinating but in hindsight I see it was definitely God withholding His peace until I found the right path. A chance coffee with a friend saw me learning that the course I really wanted to do does exist and I managed to apply just in time. If God’s hand wasn’t in that then paint me purple and call me Barney.

From there everything just fell into place and has been falling into place ever since. I’m enrolled in my Master’s course, I’ve found a job that allows me to study fulltime and I never cease to see His Hand in my everyday life. I have learnt to trust completely in Christ. Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a verse that I hang onto but never before has it been so obvious in my life. And let me tell you, this journey has been tough sometimes. I’ve had to cut things off, I’ve had to learn to be self-disciplined. Coming back from the interview I got a few weeks ago I was just thanking God for all He’s done but I felt Him say to me “I expect big things from you”. I cried a bit. God wants big things from ME? Time to put my big girl panties on and get going. 2013 was about Him getting me back on track but this year is all about making the most of what I’ve been given and running this race for Him.

I’m not telling you this to blow my own horn and tell you how well my life is going; I’m trying to do the exact opposite and give all glory to the One in charge. I also hope I can encourage those of you who are maybe feeling a little lost yourselves. Dedicate yourself to prayer. Talk to Him about it. Commit the issues, your life, your will to Him and He WILL come through for you. Trust in that peace. Trust in the little things; sometimes we wait for this big booming answer but don’t for a minute take for granted the opportunities and doors opened for you every day. Our Pastor explained hearing God so well during a recent sermon. He said that sometimes it’s in the looking back that we see how all the little things line up to bring you to where you are. As someone who has always struggled to ‘hear’ God, my past year has taught me so much and I believe that everything presented to me is there for a reason, to help me find the right path. We’re given the freedom of choice by our Saviour; He forces nothing on us and can only try help show us the way IF we allow Him to.

Be encouraged friends. He is training us, He wants the best for us. He loves us more than we can ever comprehend and more than we could ever deserve. I hope it’s okay that I shared this with you and hope I have managed to encourage. In closing I think I want to leave Hebrews 12:1-11 with you; I know its long but go and read the whole chapter. It is so life-giving.

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he ploughed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; its training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God”.

Till next time. Let go and let God.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Nine Lashes: From Water to War

Artist: Nine Lashes
Record/EP: From Water to War
Rating: 4.5/5
Social Media:

Similar artists: Sent By Ravens, Ashes Remain, 7eventh Time Down, We As Human
Genre: Christian Metal
Release Date: 21 January 2014
Length: 35:09
Label: Tooth & Nail

It is very apparent that Nine Lashes have pushed themselves to add a new flavour to their already existing sound with this new record From Water to War. The record boasts a new digital, techno-ish which is definitely an expansion from their last album. The question is however, has it worked to their advantage?

Honestly I think that what this record provides is a welcomed break from the general monotony to be found in this genre of music. I know that this is not what a lot of listeners would have expected, and some fans may find it to be a disappointment rather than satisfying, fans with a broader taste in music and an open mind will find this record to be surprisingly good. I honestly think that it is always refreshing for music to catch you off guard, in a good way.

The record is ten tracks long and was relatively short to listen to, but in a good way, if you catch my drift? You see, when the record finishes, it leaves you wanting to listen to it over and over again. It isn’t because the record is so short that you feel unfulfilled, instead it is just so enjoyable that you would be content to listen to it for much, much longer than it goes on for.

Lyrically you won't be disappointed either, which is great because half of the reason we like a song generally comes down to if we like the sound and if we can fall in love with the lyrics. This record expands upon its alternative rock experimentation with electronic enhancement; and in addition Nine Lashes' songwriting captures intense spiritual growth, which is sure to resonate with any fans seeking a feeling sincerity.

Nine Lashes have created something very genuine and interesting with this new record. I like that they seem to have made an album containing what they want and not what society and the music industry demands and expects from them. The step outside the norm is what really gives this record character and makes it a truly awesome addition to their repertoire. I am excited to see which side of the band's music will dominate heir future releases.

Stay wild child

Rating: 4.5/5


Sunday, 2 February 2014

I Dare You to Move

“Welcome to the planet. Welcome to existence. Everyone’s here, everyone’s here. Everybody’s watching you now. Everybody waits for you now. What happens next? What happens next...?”

This is a song by possibly my favourite band, Switchfoot. The song is called “Dare you to move” and as the title states it is a challenge to us. I find this to be quite an interesting challenge, because it implies that we know where we should move to, or what we should be doing.  I think a lot of us feel like we’re being held back by something. Like a dog on a chain outside a grocery store, we can’t go anywhere because we feel held back. What is your chain? What’s holding you back? Is it a person? Could that person be you...? Do you fear the disapproval of others? Perhaps you fear not being able to achieve goals, so you never set any. Or maybe you’re like me and you fear failure.

I found quite a cool Bible verse that encourages me to overcome any fears I have about my future. It’s from Mark 11:22, "I have faith that God is living out a divine plan through me. Have faith in God." This encourages me to move, to take the steps that scare me the most. God is living out an incredible plan, he has something special in store for me, and he has something uniquely awesome lined up for you as well. Just like adrenaline enables people to lift cars off babies, God gives us courage to do amazing feats as well.

What makes this song so interesting is that it consistently dares us to do something extraordinary. More importantly, it dares us to be who we were meant to be. Even though things aren’t as they should be, we shouldn’t let that hold us back. The song almost challenges us to try and make the world a better place. Each and every one of us has so much potential to do great things, we only need to dare to do it.
I believe this song is a call to people to do something out of their comfort zone. To become extraordinary. For some people that may be going to do mission work in a third world country. For others this may be a challenge to mend bridges between friends or family. The dare is personal and it’s something only you can answer. Jon Foreman simply sings “I dare you to move.” I think if we really search our hearts we will know what to move to.
We weren’t made to be ordinary. We have been made extraordinary beings. We are capable of changing our destiny. Our greatest discovery is not in some invention, but the fact that we can alter our destiny just by changing the way we think. It’s time to break whatever chains are holding you back. It’s time to set your course and do something spectacular with your life. It’s time to move. I dare you to.

Stay awesome everyone.