Showing posts from January, 2017

The Power of Your Love

Another recording of me singing. This is probably my favourite worship song of all, and one I can get totally lost in. 

"The Power of Your Love" by Hillsong Music, from around 1992.
Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I found in You.
And Lord I've come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love.

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side.
And as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love.

Lord unveil my eyes
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love
As You live in me.
Lord renew my mind
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day
by the power of Your love.

Theology and Apologetics Yet Again

Theology and apologetics is one of my least favourite topics, but as a Christian and a person who moves in Christian circles, it is a topic I often return to.

However much I dislike "theology", I am a Christian. Here is a statement of my faith and my struggle with faith and what seems to be the normal expression of faith.

As a Christian I uphold the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. I believe that Christianity as a practise and a philosophy stands or falls on the divinity of the Christ and on the resurrection as a historical event. I understand that to the non-Christian this leaves a case to be proven, and I understand why these claims alone would cause many of my thoughtful and loving atheist friends to reject Christianity. They understand that I disagree and we are able to love and respect each other despite our differences.

I also uphold The Eight Points of the Progressive Christian Network (PCN Britain) as a beautiful expression of faith and practise.

    Seek God…

Visions of Heaven and Hell

In 2016 I took part in a three day Ayahuasca sacred ceremony. It was a beautiful, terrifying and healing experience. During this three day retreat I had an extraordinary series of visions like nothing else I've ever experienced. I've been reluctant to talk about them lest people would accuse me of lying or think me delusional or worse. But they happened and I don't appear to have gone mad.

Visions are regarded by mystics, and those who study mysticism, as the least reliable source of divine knowledge. This is because they are, like any spiritual experience, completely subjective. Visions come through, and perhaps are the product of, the depths of the subconscious mind. The meaning and significance of any vision is rarely objective truth, but a subjective expression of the state of the recipient. Not unlike dreams, but carrying more significance and potency as they are experienced by the conscious mind rather than the unconscious.

So I present this writing here merely as a…

Purify My Heart

Something of an experiment. A youtube video of me singing one of my favourite songs. It's a song of desire. "Purify my heart".
Done in a single take with an iPhone in a kitchen. So about the quality you'd expect. The song is by Brian Doerksen, from 1990.
The refiner's fire is a potent metaphor recurring throughout scripture. The refiner's fire is where impure ore becomes pure and precious metal.
Christian's sometimes teach that suffering is the refiner's fire, and therefore it is a place of pain to be feared. The refiner's fire is actually the fire of life. A place to abide.
"Desire is beautiful. She may even be beauty."
"I have fire and I know how to burn. What could possibly be more fun that that."

Rage and Roar

Let the worlds rage and roar,
Let the madness sing and soar,
For when she's spent reality remains
Our friend.

She'll join whatever song we sing.
Songs of joy she loves the most,
But when we sing of pain, of loss, of misery and heartbreak,
Her heart breaks too but she joins our song,
If we together sing of misery that's our right,
She won't stop us.

So let the worlds rage and roar,
But sing a happy song and sing it loud,
In the end love wins, it's just a better song.

And my friend, reality,
She'll sing that one loudest if we let her.

The Power to Curse or to Bless: On Swear Words

To those of you who dislike swearing, it is perhaps worth considering how much power you are willing to let certain words have over you.

If I can shock you, interrupt your train of thought viscerally and change your mindset with a word, merely because you have chosen and trained yourself to be offended by that word then you give me a power over you that I don't deserve. When understood, it is therefore possible to express something with great force, in a way that you can be certain will remain with the recipient for some time, by the careful use of specific words.

I promise to mostly use that power judiciously and in a considered manner, but the only person who can remove that power is you; and to do that you have to choose not to be offended. If you have any respect for my intelligence it is worth considering that when I curse it is not because I am out of control, but maybe because I understand what I am doing. This of course is only worse...

(And sometimes I use this power to …

Christian Music and the War in Heaven

Christian music can be so insipid, so tame, so limited in its expression of the whole range of human emotion and experience. So musically weak. But it also points me to God and a deeper experience of love, which is the only thing I care about.

This song however is not insipid and it inspires we greatly. As sung by Noel Richards, from around 1994. My only issue is the gendering of God, which has historically been such an excuse for the denigration of women, but we'll overlook it on this one occasion:
The Lord is a warrior
We will march with Him
The Lord is a warrior
Leading us to win

Waken the warrior spirit
Army of God arise
Challenge the powers of darkness
There must be no compromise
We shall attack their strongholds
Our hands are trained for war
We shall advance the Kingdom
For the victory belongs to God

Our God is awesome in power
Scatters His enemies
Our God is mighty in bringing
The powerful to their knees
He has put on His armour
He is prepared for war
Mercy and justice tri…

On Social Media

Through social media, modern technologies enabled by pervasive internet access and cheap devices for accessing the internet, I feel globally connected to networks of people who love and uphold each other. Facebook, twitter and the like are how we make this real on a daily basis. This is not without dangers and can be a source of consternation for those who see the risks and for those who fear the public nature of social media interaction. It is nonetheless very real human interaction, with all the dangers and mess that come with any form of human interaction. In fact you can see the whole of the internet as the global psyche of humanity on display for all to see: weird, horrible, wonderful, beautiful and terrible. Just like us. My main plea would be that we are as quick, indeed quicker, to praise and laud the beautiful than we are to denigrate the ugly.

I am aware (because I have been told) that my own use of social media is a source of consternation to some people. Here are my thoug…

Passion versus Peace: The Sith Code

So, this may come as no surprise to many of you, it looks like I may be more Sith than Jedi. I concur with the Sith code:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
Drawing a slightly problematic parallel between spirit and the force, perhaps made less problematic if we recast as "the living force", and seeing myself as a man of war rather than a man of peace, I can agree with this whole-heartedly. I fight just because there is a battle to be fought.

It is through strength we find freedom, and strength can be found in its passionate pursuit. Power is merely a side-effect of real strength (the direct pursuit of power is evil).

Actually the idea that Buddhism and Yogic teachings contrast passion with peace (or desire with peace - but passion is merely desire in motion) is a western misunderstanding of eastern teachings.