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Archive for September, 2005

As this is pt one – here’s two albums you should own right now. Music will provide the light you cannot resist as REM have clearly stated, and music provides the backdrop to my life. So here’s a couple of albums that have been in my head this week.

First up the gorgeous Laura Veirs, with Years of Meteors, new to me this week. She writes beautiful poetry and does amazing things with words. If you adore beautfiul music, that is occasionally achingly sad, go buy.

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Second up a classic that has followed me around this month, mainly due to the lovely Sam who I work with. We’ve played it very loudly several times on road trips, and if you don’t own it, well it’s your loss, but you are missing out. Lots. Paul Simon is a genius and that is nevermore demonstrated than on Graceland.

Every song works and does magic things. The bass solo on “You can call me Al” makes me take my hands off the steering wheel and play air bass. “Under African Skies” sends shivers up my spine and “Graceland” makes me want to cry. I’ve listened to this album for the last 14 or so years and it remains fresh and alive. Own it. Now.

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Tiredness?

Well, it’s Friday night and I’m sitting in my friends house on baby sitting duties. Time for a little reflection on life and some much needed space at the end of a long week. Tiredness is something that is rarely recognised as an serious point of disscussion, after all most of the time we are tired and most of the time there is little we can do about it. Seemingly. I’ve had a few months of not being tired and I forgot the numbing affect of tiredness on my brain. Everything seems much worse than it actually is when I am tired. Tiredness seeps through every thought, every pore of my being and leads me down paths I would rather not take.

Tiredness makes me cry, makes me see this job in negative terms, changes situations that should bring joy into chores, turns trust in God into unbelief and doubt, turns people into projects to groan about and, well, you get the picture. Partly the battle is won through acknowledging that tiredness is the cause of the negative emotions, the struggles to believe and to respond by going to bed. But over time tiredness builds up until I don’t recognise it as such anymore. Then the reality around me takes a darker tinge as I sink into doubt, rebellion and forgetfulness. Is there a solution?

I think the answer lies in the one who invented rest, who gave us a Sabbath to remind us of who is really in control in this universe. Who enables me to recognise this haze of tiredness for what it is. I am tempted into rubbising God, wishing he was a magician who could solve my every need and in whining to Him. But I can chose whether to believe that version of events, or to line myself up with the truth, however distant and hazy it may seem. Hard to do. But I want to do it. I don’t want to head back down the road of rebellion. I want to lift my head up to the one who sings a sweeter song than anything else in this world. To rest my head on His shoulders and let him sing me to sleep.

He knows the groanings of our souls and he has strength to guide us home. This work is draining and tiring, but there is a fountain of life out there. I want to learn to tap into that. And to know that it’s ok just to sit and groan in His arms. He understands that language. Elijah needed a long sleep, some food and water after his epic experience with the prophets of Baal, and an encounter with the living God. I like the practical nature of the maker of the universe. He knows what we need and he knows how to look after us.

I guess we just all need help in recoginising which emotions are as a result of long hard days listening to people, helping out with situations, caring about people and driving (!) and know when to just go to bed. There are many other things that make me depressed, rebellious and strange, but tiredness is something I can do something about. Remind myself of the God who loves me and go to sleep in His arms.

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Beautiful song

slain by your zirconium smile
I was slain by your olivine eyes
slain, I was lying in piles
hoping shovels would cast me
furnaces burn everlasting
black tattoos of you onto me
furnacres burn everlasting
black tattoos of you onto me

burn, brand my memory
black a tattoo of you
wash me with your mouth
brackish bright water from your eyes
I’ll homing pigeon fly
to hover by your window white and shy
homing pigeon fly
to hover by

spill my ashes to the wind
ghosts can gather what they’ve found
now we can struggle in the web
we can struggle
with white spider stars coming down
and night blowing black from the ground
with white spider stars coming down
and night blowing black from the ground

From the lovely
Laura Viers new Album- Year of Meteors
Buy it now.

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Returning to posting…

Well it’s been a while, being away from a computer will do that for you, and then there was freshers week and tiredness and I could go on. But tonight I am feeling slightly inspired again. I’ve just been prayed for by a student who thought I could do with the encouragement. And I could. It’s been strange settling back into term life, the routines laid down 4 months ago in exchange for fun and sunshine. Now the nights are getting darker, I’m back in my car driving up and down the South Coast and attempting to remember more of the God who has started a good work and will not give it up. But this week He has been showing me His work, His work which is lived and breathed by foolish messy people. I like that. I like that He’s not a God of strategy, well not strategy like we think it should be. His strategy seems a bit silly.

“This maker of the world has never worked through outwardly impressive things. He has never succumbed to our desire for things to look big and cool. Look at the Bible, He works in the lives of the inept, the foolish, the barren women, the old men, the drunken fools, the people hiding in wine presses, the sinful, the ones who said no, the unpopular, the overlooked, the broken, the poor in spirit. And look at Jesus, the ultimate in foolishness, born to a Virgin, a carpenters son, a baby, a man rejected by his own family, a man who hung out with the serious losers in society, the despised, the tax collectors, and who died on a cross. Seriously foolish.” (is quoting yourself a little strange!?)

But as His ways are not my ways, and thoughts not my thoughts I think I’ll go with things his way. They seem to work. Well in the long term eternal nature of things. And so I’ll give trusting him another go and seek to rest in the assurances of a God who is at work, who never gives up working and who has promised to bring it all to completion.

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Off again.

One of the reasons for posting stuff on this blog is to bring whoever may pass this way in touch with stuff they otherwise might not have seen. I’m off again this week, work stuff calling me to Reading and London, in the meantime, enjoy these songs. The Rich Mullins one is one of the many songs that can reduce me to tears in one sitting (he has a knack for that) and the Costal Dune one just makes me smile.

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Gratified

A cup of tea, and a bath
A little boy’s infectious laugh
Rekindling friendships that have lapsed
A difficult concept now I’ve grasped
A cat that’s purring up at me
A baby smiling up at me
After war- there’s peace, I write a poem that brings release.

When your football teams at the top of the league
A teachers handwriting you can read
When the doctor says there’s nothing wrong
When I’m singing out this song
An aired jumper that’s soft and warm
When you’re tucked up in bed and you can hear the storm
Tomorrow better than today- A God that loves you anyway.

Using all seven letters in a scrabble game
Someone important who knows your name
An encouraging word that someone’s said
When you’re really tired and it’s time for bed.
When you’re in the shower, when you’ve been for a run
Direction and purpose in the days to come
The very essence of being gratified
Is when you heart, soul and body are satisfied.
(Costal Dune)

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If I stand

“There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun
More that shines in the night, than just the moon
There’s more than just this fire here to keep me warm
In a shelter than is larger than this room
There’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiment
A music higher than the songs that I can sing
The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the giver of all good things

So if I stand, let me stand on the promise
That you will bring me through
And if I can’t let me fall on the Grace
That first bought me to you
And if I sing, let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
But if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home…”
(Rich Mullins)

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