Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hillsong United We Stand

"United We Stand" (Hillsong United)

Im sitting watching the bonus DVD of this great album. At first glance I love Hillsiong United stuff, as a musician I love it because they've broken away from the 3 chord pap that was churned out in the late 80's and early 90's (dont jump down my neck on that note, that was great stuff for then, but Im glad theres progression.

Hillsong United 235

My first real encounter with stuff from Hillsong was in my first year at uni. While at first I wanted to dislike this mega church hype, I was instead confronted with the fact that I could only see the good in it. Young people, ministering to other youth, songs written with gritty reality, passion and depth. From what I can see its a ministry filled with integrity and a passion to redeem culture and bring young people to Christ.....I want to fight it and find a million reasons I can snigger self righteously but Im impressed Cul 20040812 United1Hillsong has a great commitment to the local church making an impact in its community. Something I thought on for a while was, how can they pour money out on to great big lighting rigs, camera cranes and the like. Well, I guess although I can think of reasons such as poverty, hunger, and disease that it could have been spent on, but then I thought are they being good stewards of it, well Yes they are, they are fulfilling their vision and commitment and giviing it the best they can. I remember Matt Redman saying that when he came back from Hillsong Australia he was thinking that fireworks and the like were a bit over the top, but when he asked the guys at Hillsongs they said basically they were committed to Glorifying God in an extravagance that spoke of the extravagance he has poured out on us. Anyway want to buy this cd/dvd go here, want to check out united (their youth ministry) go here, want to see the Church in Sydney, and closer to home London click here

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

the cross

Sorry it seems this blog has devolved into random miscellany...apart from busyness! Tonight after ROADS the kids club in our church, we retreated to our lounge to have some nice red wine and share pages from books we liked. I read this poem about the cross by Stewart Henderson: Strange Way to watch for stormy weather, Strange Way to disprove gravity, Strange Way to go round fundraising Strange Way to sing out liberty. Strange Way to reassure your mother, Strange Way to finish you World tour, Strange Way to pose for all those paintings, Strange Way to gather the poor. Strange dissident of meekness, And nurse of tangled souls. It's so unlike the holy, To end up full of Holes.

John Calvin...Calvin and Hobbes

Something you may not be aware of is: "The character Calvin in Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes was named after John Calvin. It is thought that this reflects the young male character's belief in predestination (as justification for his behavior), while his stuffed tiger Hobbes shares Thomas Hobbes's dim view of human nature" How about that!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Background of the Week

everyday is like tuesday :)
Originally uploaded by tearapen.

everyday is like tuesday :)
Thanks to Tearpen for this one

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dave Gorman's Flickr adventure

Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Dave Gorman's Flickr adventure Very Impressed today to read that UK comedian Dave Gorman has a flickr account, as a shameless plug heres my flickr page that you can pass the time with. - mine and heres Dave Gormans (yeah I know your gonna look at this one and not mine, tuh, call yourself a friend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Actors, Politicians and Priests

I just had an interesting memory: My Grandparent were quite religious (or at least in seasons of their lives) yet there faith how ever much I try to have inclusiveness feels alien to mine. At any rate, my family considered themselves to be a good british Christian family and therefore I was baptised (not christened interestingly) in a local parish church. The Church of St Winnow in fact which is really beautiful. The guy who baptised me died while I was still young, he was some what of a local hero, especially in the eyes of my grandparents who I think were church wardens (mini deacons) anyway the guy was called Canon Miles Brown. My Grandmother, once said to me that he said. "People like me are made, and we either become Actors, Politicians or Priests" This collection of jobs seemed interesting to me, but in my time I've dabbled in the first two and ended up in the last! I certainly didnt find the last two even vaguely attractive when I was told that in my early double numbers! Thinking of it though, its slightly worrrying that Actors (people who are basically good at being ungenuine) Politicians (considered the biggest of liars) and Priests are all in the same catergory, well thats my short musing over.

Equality: I liked this

"In a letter to a church in a region called Galatia, one of the first Christians, Paul, claimed that 'in Christ'- the phrase Christians used to describe this new reality- there was 'neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.' He is calling the entire culture into question, insisting that through this risen-from-the-dead Jesus, the whole world is being reorganized. And in this new reality, every person is equal. Everybody. Paul is the first person in the history of world literature to argue that all human beings are equal." -Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis thanks to bob hyatt

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Snowboarding in Scotland

Snowboarding in France, Whistler, Switzerland, SCOTLAND!! On Saturday I went Snowboarding for the first time, seeing as we had all this snow I thought it must be criminal not to put it to good use. John (my flat mate and general mover of transport for any such expeditions) was up for it after seriously catching the bug over in france a few weeks ago (also having all his own stuff meant it was a bit cheaper for him). Glenshee Ski Centre Shot Anyway the moral of the story is that we got up at 4am and drove to Glenshee Ski Centre. After a crazy journey we turned up to a sweet car paring spot and hired some stuff. John was jet setting in his own personal snow board gear: john Anyway after dressing up to look the part we headed for the beginner slope to see how to do it. The First obstacle unfortunatly for most of us who hadn't been before the crazy poma lifts. Basically a pole with a small disc that kind of pulls you up. Now all these left things are designed for skiiers, Skiing I was not, snowboarders have adapted ways to use the lifts but needless to say its some hassle. To add onto all of that for anyone who snowboard, skates or surf's im goofy so it was twice the problem! Up the Mountain Anyway after just about getting the lifts thing going, we decided to progress onto some blue runs, but the only problem was that it was the busiest day of the season so far so lifts were breaking down and queue's were huge! So we would wait 30 mins for a lift just for it to break down and us to go somewhere else and the whole thing repeat itself again. liftq Anyway we got some cool spills and thrills including John front flip (no joke) it was an accident that paid off well. The views were awesome. Glenshee valley Im definatly gonna try and get out before the end of this season.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Independent Woman - played by kittens

Independent Woman - played by kittens - Joel Veitch, music by Elbow I dont normally blog crazy student like rubbish on the net, but this is good for a laugh kittens in flat caps playing destiny's child songs. Anyway now Ive helped you waste your day...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Historical Insight on Calvin's Predestination

CalvinToday Ive been reading some stuff on the European reformation for Uni, which again Im not at because of the snow. Ive been reading on John Calvin's time in Geneva [for the sake of reference Ive been reading The European Reformations" (Carter Lindberg)]. If you want an in depth explanation of Calvin's double predestination is then check out the wiki definition here Firstly predestination in Calvins first few editions of his famous "institutes" work was in no way the foremost doctrine but sat with the rest in a document intended to be an evangelical training document for training pastors etc. Calvins theology of pre-destination first came into public question during his time in geneva by a reformed friar called Jerome Bolsec who would travel into Geneva and argue theology with the pastors in the Genevan academy. In October 1551 he publicly attacked Calvin's understanding of predestination. It had been questioned before, but what gave this attack more weight was that Bolsec argued the doctrine from scripture which for Calvin and the reformed tradition of the time was the highest authority. Bolsec argued against Calvin's predestination with he Verse 1 Timothy 2:4 which states God desires all to be saved, though he was then imprisoned, tried, publicly condemned and then banished for life this attack aroused more interest in this doctrine than any other theological debate of the time.Calvin This then made Calvin give it a much more prominent position within his later editions of the Institutes of Christian religion, he hammered out an extreme position on it due to the consideration that the reformation in geneva was based on popular support, if that support was eroded by Bolsec's counter argument then he feared his life's work and advancement of the kingdom through him would all fade away. This extreme position then has become the position taken by his later followers known as Calvinists. Though Calvin makes many theological claims, in modern theology and christian culture, the name Calvin and calvinist is almost always used in relation to the doctrine of predestination. Predestination is not a central doctrine that all other doctrines in Calvin, and the reformation periods flow from, but the central doctrine for the reformation is "Salvation by Grace Alone". This is taken from Paul's letters and particularly Johns Gospel 15:16 when Christ states to his disciples "You did not choose me but I chose you". The Doctrine of Predestination basically means that salvation is rescue and not achievement. On a personal level it is the proclamation that salvation is God's gift and choice of the person in spite of his or her doubts, unbelief, and external circumstances. To step this up into a corporate or ecclesiastical level it is the proclamation that despite all circumstances, God's Church will prevail. This doctrine for the reformed or early protestant church was crucially important as they were sufferning persecution for their reformed theology. calvin addressed his doctrine of predestination specifically to these, in order to comfort them. This is the point that Bolsec and many calvinists to this day overlook; that Calvinist predestination in doctrinal terms unconditional election is another way of saying unconditional Grace! If God's elect cannot be lost then those in persecution (especially in France for Calvin) could be assured of their salvation. God then, for Calvin, is a loving parent who Calvin describes in images of a mother who cannot forget her nursing child. Predestination for Calvin supposed would be the final guarantee of humility towards God and security for God's people in their salvation. The Later History of Calvinism unfortunately says that it guaranteed neither. In Conclusion, Calvin hoped that his extreme position on the doctrine of Predestination would ensure a humility and an assuredness towards salvation, instead it was turned into a doctrine against Grace. Listening to: "Reasonable Doubt" (Jay-Z)

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Snow, Snow, Snow

highstreetleft.jpgWell I keep mentioning it in my posts, how Im not going to Uni because of the snow, how the snow is still coming. Well its started snowing a few hours ago pretty heavily and hasnt stopped yet, so this is "good dump" as the snow yuppies call it we were told was coming. On Saturday John and I are setting off to the slopes in Scotland to do some snowboarding. John spent a week in France recently and got the bug and so this will be my first attempt at it. outofthewindow.jpg Anyway here are a few photos for you from the last few days of snow. nothing spectacular just a few snaps. garden.jpg This was our Garden this morning, and it hasnt stopped snowing yet so its getting fuller. johnafterlunch.jpg Yesterday I met John out of work and went and has lunch, there was a freak snow storm and he didnt have a coat, heres the result!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Gadget of the Week

Just got my phone bill through from UK 3G Video phone Network through and theres a little promotional flyer for the new gadget for 3G Pupillo which is my opinion seems pretty cool: Pupillo1This little beauty is the worlds first mobile video eye and it's only from 3.You can charge it up, move it about (it's wireless) and set it up pretty much anywhere. Simply call up the 'Pupillo' using your 3 video mobile so you can see & hear what's going on when you're not there. It can see in the dark too!
  • World's first 3G mobile video camera
  • Totally wireless & simple to set up
  • Full colour video & built-in microphone
  • Sleek sculpted design
  • Simple: Just a videocall from a videophone
  • Discrete: Attached to ceilings & walls
  • Privacy: Access limit of 20 video mobile numbers (non simultaneously)
  • Security: Viewing access through entering a PIN
  • Night Mode: Infra red night vision
Check it out here

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Creative Sacrificial Self Discipline

Today is a new day, a chance to make a change, I WILL BE DISCIPLINED - why am I blogging this? well If I fail want to fail publicly and if this helps be stick at it any some more then its done its job. I would love to say that I want to follow Jesus so passionately that when I go to sleep Im excited to get up just to spend time with him and read the bible but the truth is the first thing I think about is how little hours I got and whether theres enough milk for some frosted flakes.Quiettime But Yesterday I decided to make a change, Quiet time etc etc is something Ive always struggled with and recently just ha a realization that Im not breaking a commandment not to do it, as we can so often feel like not doing this is a sin due to the pressure of Christian culture, and I was quite happy to take a 'new' mindset towards it all in the rebellion of the most hated Christian Culture. But in my act of defiance towards constantine I somewhat swung like a pendulem, because I didnt consider quiet time or whatever you want to call it a religious duty then I decided to be free from it more and more often until I just forgot that I ever did do it. I spent time with God a few times a week, but it wasnt really set aside time and I think my heart values time with God do much more than giving the relationship the odd 10 minuites here. So While Im not going to beat myself if I wake up late one day and dont do it at a regimented time of 5:30 or whatever I am definatly going to be intentional about it. WilsonlogoYesterday I wasnt in Uni in Aberdeen because of the snow and while I did bits here and there I really didnt get a whole lot done, and a pet hate of mine is complete unproductivity due to time wasting, ebay watching, dvd extra watching, guitar playing, snow ball making etc etc. In the afternoon I normally do an Old Testament survey with other people at the church lead by a guy called Graeme Young but this week we've had some guys over from Metro Ministries in New York who are kind of linked to our church, you can check out the great stuff they do here, anyway they were over and instead of the OT survey we had a bit of Q&A where they told us some stuff and we asked questions. Still freshly bugged from my complete lack of productivity and knowing the time craziness of their week (100hr weeks etc) I said "Have you got any practical tips for effective time management" They shared a few things that I think Ill just share with you as I plan to put some if not al of them into practice in different way in committing to be a better user of my time. - Firstly Discipline is really a byword for sacrifice, often to really achieve things and to be successful at something you have to do things that you dont want to do - To be use creativity in your time management, ensuring everything is done and this approach is much liklier to be sucessful than creating regiment which you almost always break and even when it works it is very constricting. When involved in ministry a plus is to be able to imporovise and be flexible so having regiment is limiting in that sense I actually just compressed a page of stuff inot those two sentences so there you have it, creative time management, these man made formulas though inevitably have to have a spiritual under belly that Im trying to cultivate in really LIVING life as worship, doing everything as if it was for the Lord.

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