Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Top Ten Albums of 2010

Last year I done albums of the decade, down to albums of the year this year:
Now, this is just my opinion and maybe nobody will read this or agree but I like to put it out there.


10.Ellie Goulding- Lights

9.Paul Weller- Wake Up The Nation

8.General Fiasco- Buildings

7.The Drums- The Drums

6.Example- Won't Go Quietly

5.Take That- Progress

4.Tinie Tempah- The Disc-Overy

3.Nathan Jess- O Rescued Ones

2.Katy Perry- Teenage Dream

1.Brian Houston- The Raw Sessions

Also Checked on itunes my most played song of 2010-
Katy Perry-Teenage Dream

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Hakuna Matata

I'm a thinker. My mind is always buzzing with thoughts about work, study, God and love. I'm currently sitting with a large cup of coffee thinking about what to write, how long it's been from I've blogged, how does my hair look. I'm thinking about how much I love Christmas and how I miss Heather when she is down in Belfast and I'm in Lurgan.

God can use thinkers, often my thoughts are full of dreams and ideas of how to further the kingdom and God can really use my thoughts.

However, sometimes my thinking is a hindrance. My mind wanders backwards through mirky thoughts to messy mistakes in my past. When my mind works like this and these thoughts prevade I find myself as the prophet Bono writes 'Stuck in a moment and I can't get out of it.'

I'm sure you have moments like this, where you remember what a mess you are and how you don't measure up to what you think God wants.

I've come to believe this isn't healthy. God doesn't want us stuck in a moment, because if we are we can't move forward into what God has for us now. In this moment.

In the book of Galatians Paul addresses some legalistic Jewish Christians who point to the law that God gave Moses and they tell the new Christians that they have to follow this law in regards to what they can eat and circumcision. (ouch...)

But Paul writes to that church and addresses these guys and says no. No. No.

Paul says to them wait a minute guys, we weren't saved by obeying laws, we knew we were guilty because of the law. Jesus came and lived that life we couldn't live, then dies to take the punishment so we wouldn't have to and no through Him we are reconnected to God.- Thats the Gospel. (Now that's my own paraphrase read the letter yourself for Paul's words)

So what about our dwelling on the past? God says to leave the thoughts there. Well not just leave them there, leave them with Him at the cross. Because there they were dealt with so we could leave in freedom. He took on our failure so we could escape it. No he just wants us to love him, leave for him and tell everyone about him. And when we fail to, leave it with God and move on and thank God for the cross.

Hope this was helpful.

Mark

Friday, 17 September 2010

7 Queens Place


There are some times in you're life that change your life forever and that you will remember. I am 20 years old and have a few of these times already: My trip to Uganda this past summer, My trips I have made to London with CEF, My time in Lurgan College. However for the past year I have experienced one of those journeys that help define you. I moved out of my family home to live with Chris McCune in 7 Queens Place. Now a year on I am moving home! (Mum's are very persuasive, houses are very dear and Chris is moving back to Belfast so it was inevitable) However, The Past year has changed me, made me laugh, made me cry, help me grow as a person and I will always remember.

I hope to someday write a book aout the journey I went on from 2009-2010 but just incase that never happens I will write this blog entry.

So I moved in in september and was a different person than I am now, Even to look at. I had this strange idea that tracksuit tops were cool to wear everyday, I had strange hair and I was unaware at the time perhaps but I was quite unhappy.

Lesson 1 I learned in the house was be yourself. Chris told me that I didnt dress like me, I dressed like Liam Gallagher and that was because i was trying to be him. I remember Chris told me often how different people had influence on his thinking, humor and stuff and these people ranged from the band Creed to Austin Powers, I guess I knew that I had loads of people who I had admired and looked at and was frustrated at my own lack of self so tried to be someone else. Chris told me one night I needed to find out who i was and be him. So now look at the top pictures again thats me. Big Glasses, Shirt all buttoned up, Funny quiff, thats me that is! haha, However being yourself is more than what you look like, this year I have thought deeply into who I am, why i dream what i dream, why I think what I think and questioned is my way of thinking always right. Being too inward can kill you but if you can't look inwardly and know who you are and what you believe then you need to ask how long am i going to wander through life not even knowing myslef.
lesson number 2 I learned was look after yourself. One early night in the house I was on my own and heard my bin in my kitchen falling over- INTRUDER I thought and i rang Timmy Johnson to see if he could come in and protect me. when i went down it turned out my bin had actually just fallen over. Since then I have had to learn to do with noises. I like to think I have became more domestic this year, I still cant cook and cant clean yeah, but I know where to buy cheap waffles and finally know how to work the oven!! it is a start. One night during the summer I was in bed and Chris was downstairs with his girlfriend Helen so i knew i was in company and safe and went straight to sleep, this taught me something the ultimate way to look after yourslef is to surround yourself with people. i think thats why jesus wanted us all to love eachother, so we could all just stay together in community and sleep easy!

Lesson 3- Fall in love, Live your story! As I said before I remember one night with Chris and his girlfriend- yes GIRLFRIEND! Me and Chris were very single when we moved in and often discussed how we were the dangerous boys girls could flirt with but would never be able to commit to because they want safe boys. Now we both got the GFs! Chris taught me to go for it with girls even if you think you have no chance- Just live your story if the story is the girl laughs at you and you look a fool thats cool, roll on the next story but you never know when the girl will say yes, or you will get the job, or whatever it is you are going for just go for it! We went for it this year- girls, gigs, blogs etc!

Lesson 4- Friends are what makes life so good! I love my friends and this year they have filled my house and my heart with laughter, whether it is our X factor nights last year, our erm 'christmas party' Jordy and I organised for the 5 guests, DVD nights with everyone or whatever we have had a good time, My friend Matthew has had to stay many a night to watch me to make sure i dont have mental breakdowns in hard times and he came to comfort or celebrate with me after my driving test fail and pass i had in the house! Patrick one night was locked out of his house with no key but he knew my door would be open and he could stay!

So yeah- It has been good and the house has had a lot of guests and I loved it, So thanks to Chris for a great year and all my regular visitors Steve I, Pat, Dicky, Phil, Gareth, Jordy etc. 

I'm on a journey.....

Monday, 9 August 2010

Stop Blaming 'The Church'

Church. One word. One syllable and yet such a confusing concept. I like books, lots of books, books change my life, however I have been noticing a lot of books i like criticize 'the church' point out problems in 'the church' but this summer God has been showing me he loves the church, and the problems arent that bad because really a lot of the problems, arguments, disagrements and hurt isn't caused by the church as founded by Jesus but by some other organisation that we made up. You see Jesus said he was going to build his church, he told peter he was the rock on which he would build the church. Jesus was talking about Christians, Christ followers, believers or whatever term you want to use. But so often when we think of the church that is not what we imagine.

We are the church and when we live lives that follow God's guidelines given to us in the Bible then the church works we as part of the church are working and glory goes to God.

So when you put someone before yourself, God is pleased with his church, when we help people in need God is pleased with his church. He doesnt care about the pews, the hymn books, the flowers, the slick programmes, when we do what he cares about us. Our lives because we are the church. I believe it is good to meet up with other christians as we do on a sunday and be together as the church and I think God is grieved when individuals don't live according to God's word, but I think we need to stop blaming 'the church' for all our own shortcomings.

The church is not an institution or organisation so it is time to stop blaming 'the church' for pushing people away or being old fashooned or stubborn because we are the church, the church is God's idea and we belittle God's idea if we make it into something else.

I want you to think of 'the church' in your head...
What do you see? Old men? old buildings? miserable looking people?

This is your own misconception when God sees the church he sees al his followers. Children singing God songs they are the church, Homeless men in LA crying out to God they are the church, Women and Children who know God living in the slums in Africa unable to prevent preventable diseases becuase they weren't born in the west they are the church. The Church is bigger than your local congregation, your town, your country, your continent. God is not dissapointed n the church, and if you love God you will love the church.

Monday, 21 June 2010

31 songs 13-31

Okay only way I can finish this is do the last 18 in one post! Please take the time to listen to the songs as well as my thoughts on them!

13- Tiny Dancer by Elton John






This song is amazing! I love the scene in Almost Famous it is in. It is like the perfect pop song leading up to the spine tingling chorus of perfection. Personal memories of it- not a lot of emotional ones it just inspires me to write beautiful music and really reminds me of the above film clip. This song makes me think of togetherness :)


14. Could Well Be In by The Streets



What a song. Maybe you aren't a big fan of rap, maybe you hate british rap but watch this video. This is poetry. I love the lyrics about being out with a girl and she is playing with her hair and acording to a pop pshcology show Mr Skinner had seen on itv he reckons 'he could well be in.' I guess I love this because I love that feeling, when you do reckon you could well be in. It's happened many times. Sometimes I was in sometimes I wasn't, but evrytime this song was played.

15. Evrything by Lifehouse




I am going to be honest here I generally do not like this kind of slow music made by tryhard americans and listened to be Christians who want to look cool and think they are from California, however I cannot deny I have felt God talk to me throught this song. 'How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you' What a line in a song, and I guess thats what it makes me feel, it makes me feel Gods bigness and his presense and reminds me he is Everything.

16. Head In Your Cloud by Winter Roberts



Such a powerful song! The line 'Im walking around with my head in your cloud' is brilliant. How often I have felt like that. My sister again introduced me to this song and I loved it. Favourite line 'when you stopped the car and you staretd kissing me' And I don't know why. When i first heard this this had never happened to me but I guess it is what I wanted a love so passionate and a feeling so strong it requires you to just pull up the car and savour every minute and I guess I still hople for this and this song helps me to dream of it. enjoy it

17. Slide Away by Oasis


The above version is my favourite version and somedays when asked the impossibe question of what is my favourite song ever I would say this song. The song is about a teenage love afair Noel Gallagher has said, and why do i love it, especially this version? Well listen until he sings 'I don't know, i don't care all I know is you can take me there'
How much is that what everyone craves for? someone to help them escape? I think during the course of my 31 songs journey I have realised how much I long to escape. Thats why I love this song it makes me escape for a few minutes. plwase watch the video before reading on!

18. Come Undone by Robbie Williams



I love the conflictions in this song how each line contradicts the last- sometimes i feel like a big contradiction. This song is about drugs and debauchery but ulitmatley again is about using this as an escape from the fakness of the world- emo eh? haha but I think I get it. 'If i stopped lying I'd just dissapoint you' What a line. I think I love this line it too could make a good tattoo. I love how this song shows me im not alone at feeling trapped in a plastic world I guess :)

19. Twenty Four Hours by Athlete



I listen to this alot. It reminds me of when I rally mess up. I always think messing up isn;t the problem it is how you react to it, how you learn so when I am in a icke i stick this on and remind myself 'I still have 24 hours' to make things right. quite simple but I often have to do it.

20. The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot



I like how this gives a christian spin to my escapism. The line 'I dont belong here' helps me relaise why I perhaps feel isolated in this world because I am a new creation in God and this place is not my home, so i will be a letdown to the world but I feel this song helps me to want to make a difference here while I am here but dont become like evryone else, stop waiting for God to tell me what to do but discover through his word what he has already said to do and do it while I am here.

21. You Never Let Go by Matt Redman


Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

22. Fake by The Frames



'Come on the guys a fake what do you love him for?' haha how many times I have longed for women who have been with guys like this and each time I have listened to this. However now being the boyfried I wonder does anyone puut this on and think of me?

23. Someday We'll Know by New Radicals



'Someday We'll Know if love can move a mountian, someday we'll know why the sky is blue, someday we'll know why i wasn't meant for you'

Beautiful, I came into contact with this song through the movie A Walk To Remember and think it is amzing! I guess i liked it then and now as it reaffirms in my mind we don't know all the aners to lifes questions but someday we will so for now just live!

24. Not Nineteen Forever by The Courteeners



A fantastic song by an amzing band. And flip me i will be 20 next month. Anyway fell in love with this song a few years back, long story but i love the line 'never mind you'll probably never look that pretty again' kinda mkes me think we are living in the best days of our lives at the minute!

25. Kathleen by Josh Ritter



Flip what can i say 'All the other girls here are stars you are the Northern Lights' what a line. I like it because it reminds me evryone has someone they think of like that. For evryone whether its returned or not they feel something. I need that.

26. Jealous Guy by John Lennon



Honestly- I am a jelaous guy. I get really jelous. It is nice to not be alone in this! ' I was feeling insecure, you might not love me anymore' I get ya John!

27.Always On My Mind by Elvis Presley



I guess I don't always treat people right and if things go wrong I like to have a pity party and this song gets played then.. I think we should learn from this song.

28.Revive Us by Robin Mark



I fell in love with this in a prayer room in Lurgan in 2009 I guess it is my prayer for Ireland:
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying,
oh that you would bless me indeed !
and enlarge my territory.
that your hand would always be with me.
that you would keep me from evil.
that i may not cause pain.


I hear the voice of one calling,
prepare ye the way of the Lord.
And make His paths straight in the wilderness
And let your light shine in the darkness
And let your rain fall in the desert.

As sure as gold is precious
and the honey sweet,
So you love this city
and you love these streets.
Every child out playing
by their own front door
Every baby laying
on the bedroom floor.

Every dreamer dreaming
in their dead-end job
Every driver driving through
the rush hour mob
I feel it in my spirit,
feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival,
bring them all back home

I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down,
Lay your burdens down".

From the Preacher preaching
when the well is dry
To the lost soul reaching
for a higher high
From the young man working
through his hopes and fears
To the widow walking
through the veil of tears

Every man and woman,
every old and young
Every fathers daughter,
every mothers son.
I feel it in my spirit,
feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival,
bring them all back home

I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down,
Lay your burdens down".

Revive us, Revive us,
Revive us with your fire!

29. Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks



Hahahaha this song itlself means nothing to me but me and my best buddy Gareth Hanna listened to this summer 2009 on our tour of Ireland and it reminds me of good times with a good friend in a beautiful part of the world!

30. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of by U2



I saw u2 live in Dublin on my 19h birhtday and they were amazing- this reminds me of that, also thought it reminds me we are meant to live now and leave the past behind us and live in the now- if we get stuck in a moment we arent living where we shuld be and it isnt good for the soul, in times like this i have to 'get myself together' enjoy the clip.

31. Either Way by The Twang



A love song a modern fella can relate too. thats why I love it it isn't cheesy it seems real! my favourite line 'I love yahhhh...and i've gotta find my phone to tell you' haha it is so true! that is why I love it.

So thats it my 31 songs- back to normal blogging soon hope you enjoyed the journey though!

Monday, 31 May 2010

31 Songs: I Will Rise

I willl finish this 31 songs I am determined!

Ok todays song : I will rise- Chris Tomlin.

Just before Easter 2009 my friends Pat, Jordy, Timmy and myself went away to sleep in a tent on a beach. While there we prayed, laughed and talked about how we felt God calling us to something deeper. We then began to have a thing called BoB (band of brothers) where we would pray for eachother and stuff. It came out of this trip. It eventually withered and died and I think never fulfilled its potential. But on that trip I felt God calling me to something deeper. And While we sat ariund a fire with music on this is the song that played. And it will forever remind me God has called me for more. And when I hear it I will always pray for the BoB.




Thursday, 20 May 2010

31 Songs: River

Bluetree-River







My second Bluetree song that I am writing about. I first heard this at gLo in easter 2008 and Have loved the song since then. The chorus especially brings me hope:

Death to the past it's gone
and heres to a new beginning
Our God's not finished yet with us





Tuesday, 18 May 2010

31 Songs: Samson



Sorry It's been so long, lets get regular again! I will try for everyday but let me off over weekends OK? haha

Ok this song is beautiful- listen to it please :)

I fell in love with it a few years ago becuase basically its great. I think this song really is about Regina finding a man who was willing to be weak and open to her. After all, Samson knew all his strength came from his hair. The image of him loving a woman so much that he let her cut his hair is powerful because he would be so vunerable. I think many women wish that men would more often let down their machismo guards and reveal themselves...

anyway thats not why it is on this list.

It isa here because my sister grace introduced me to the song and it reminds me that I have a great sister. i don't normally say this and she doesn't normally introduce me to cool music but once she did. and I'm greatful. ashe had it on a CD in her car I think, and she used to drive me around all the time and for that I'm greatful.
So listen to the beautiful song, feel whatever you want to feel. But also listen to some other song someone in your family introduced you to, or one that reminds you of someone in your family and be thankful for them, and if you are really brave- tell them.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

31 Songs: God Of This City

Okay, todays song is Christian and it is like the christian cliched anthem of the past few years so I am aware many peoples lives have been touched by this song... anyway first watch the video...



So here is the story. In the summer of 2008 I went on a small team to East London and done kids bible clubs with CEF and fell in love with the place. I felt a real strong connection with the place straight away, the streets, the people, the smell of the air- everything. I prayed all year after for that City and went back with a larger group with CEF in Summer 2009 to do the same thing. However, God never does the same thing does he, he always wants to do more and more. The greater things are always yet to come with him. So last Summer again God broke my heart for the city and its children, God made me weep for the people in London and made me fall in love with the church there. this song became my prayer for that city.

Listen to it, reflect upon it, and may it be your prayer for your town, city or situation too.

today is May the 5th, an important day in politics, governments may change, and you should all go vote to have your say, but remember real change for your town will come with prayer and will not come from a man in a suit but when we fall down on our knees at the cross.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

31 Songs: Save Tonight

I never really though of myself as much of a singer when I was younger, however I wanted to play guitar so I learned to do that. Then when I learned that I would spend ages in my room singing and writing songs.

When I was in third year me and two of my friends spent a lot of time singing and playing guitar in the music rooms in Lurgan Junior High, it was here I was encouraged to sing and told I had a good voice. Now I love playing gigs, writing songs and singing for anyone!

The song I remember singing most in Junior High music rooms was save tonight by eagle eye cherry.. so here it is :)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

31 Songs: Don't Go Away

Song 7 is Don't Go Away by Oasis. Oasis are my favourite band so it is probably no suprise to anyone that they have made it in here!





This song is truly beautiful. It has always been a favourite song of mine, however, it was this Easter just over 4 weeks ago that this song gained a new special resonance with me. This Easter I had to do the hard task of asking a girl out (don't worry she said yes) but although I am Mr. Confidence most of the time (much like the Gallagher's) I am terrified at doing things like that when I genuinely like someone. And for days (OK weeks) I kept leaving the girl home knowing I had to talk about everything and day after day I got too scared. But every day then I would drive off round the corner, lift my iPod in my car and put this song on.

So dont go away, say what you say
Say that you'll stay, forever and a day
In the time of my life
Cos I need more time,
yes I need more time just to make things right

Those words just always seemed to sum up everything I was feeling. Also the second verse I could relate to:

Damn my situation
and the games I have to play
With all the things caught in my mind
Damn my education
I can't find the words to say
With all the things caught in my mind

I remember going to the Holy Week meetings held in Lurgan and walking about after with this bit stuck in my head:

Me and you whats going on?
All we seem to know is how to show
the feelings that are wrong

This is very much how I was feeling. I knew something was meant to happen and was going to but I over think and freak out and just get really scared so the 'me and you what's going on.' line was always in my head!

Good news is she gave me more time to make things right and it all worked out, good times, great song. Make sure you actually click on the wee links to the songs and enjoy them everyday. Also thinking of making a few CD's with my 31 songs on them when I've done all 31 blogs. Anyone want one contact me :)

Monday, 26 April 2010

31 Songs: Rootless Tree

Ok, I just want to say I don't think it is a great idea for Christians to swear or use profanites all the time. I am a christian and have however picked a song with a chorus mainly made up of the f-word...

Rootless Tree by Damien Rice is a haunting and beautiful piece of music that I got obsessed with when I was in Upper 6th. It is a painful song that i listened to again and again. I don't have any specific story about the song, however anytime i was annoyed at women in my life I stuck it on.

So don't watch this clip if swearing offends you. However do watch if you love beautiful raw pieces of music.


Saturday, 24 April 2010

31 Songs: Scared Of Falling

LINK TO SONG

Okay, there is no youtube link for this song, but if you follow my above link you should be able to listen to it, if that fails go to brian Houstons myspace and its on the wee music player there:)

Anyway- Song 5 is Scared of Falling by Brian Houston.

Anyone who knows me well will probably have been expecting him to show up on this blog soon! I love Brian Houston and his music has influenced my own to a great extent. (http://www,myspace.com/markknox) But thi song has to be my favourite and it is one that evokes certain feelings each time I listen to it.

The song is about a relationship where the romance seems to be dying and the song is about being scared of falling out of love with someone and being scared they are falling out of love with you. There is no soppy love story I am going to tell ypou now about how I have experienced this. I just vivisly remember going to see Brian at Emmanuel Church in Lurgan in 2007 and him singing this song. It a perfect piece of music that I hold dear in my heart just for being beautiful.

The lines that get me each time:

Were you distracted by the facts of life?
While our romance was being sacrificed
like when we agreed to not send eachother valentines again cos it's a waste
and one turned up for you....

Oh my that gets me every time even as I type that I get goospebumps.
Such a simple line in a song but it reminds us not to get too busy with with life and take for granted the people we love.

Quite a simple one today... but seriously give it a listen.. it'll come back to you sometime and remind you to love...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

31 Songs: In The Sun

Okay, first thing I want to do is explain that I have all my 31 songs picked. I have been talking to some people about this blog and don't want people thinking I sit down and think what other song could I write about. Also they are in no particular order. They aren't even necessarily my favourite 31 songs just 31 that have impacted or soundtracked mylife. anyway...number 4!




Joseph Arthur- In The Sun. THis song helped me in late 2009/ January 2010 as i had a kind of crisis of faith. The song isn't a Christian song. Joseph Arthur as far as I know isn't a Christian, but I first heard this song when I was watching the film Saved! a film about a christian school and it was played at a part of the film where the pupils had nop faith left in the school. Or God. I never stopped believing in God. However, there was a patch where my mind was full of doubts. Was God the Christian God? Was he listening to me? Where my prayers just stopping at the ceiling as i lay on the floor crying to God? I couldn't feel God like a good Christian should. I lay in bed after downloading Joseph Arthurs whole back catalogue listening to this song... and I cried. Not to God as I didn't know if he was listening or not. But He was.

"I pictured you in the sun wondering what went wrong And falling down on your knees asking for sympathy And being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen And trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in..."

The song begins like that. Thats how i felt I was on my knees just asking for sympathy. I didn't want forgiven, just to know God was there, that he cared. I was caught between what I wanted to believe about God and what i saw.. which was that He didn't care. I know now that he did and he was there through it all but I just felt so alone. The line that stuck out the most to me was the next one. It seemed i was just trying to find anything i could feel that I could believe in. It hurt when he sang that. It was like I was begging God to reveal himslef to me because I wanted to believe in him but felt I couldn't. That whole opening verse revealed the tension in my heart. The Chorus though changes the tone:

May God's love be with you Always... May God's love be with you Always... May God's love be with you Always... May God's love be with you

When Joseph arthur sang those lines through my earphones I felt a comfort. I felt I knew God was there. He loved me. Maybe not the fairytale God I had perhaps created in my own mind whose purpose was to please me, fulfill my wants and needs, but a father God, whose name is love and whose plans and purposes are greater than mine. It shook me up, but in the end brought comfort. It eased the tensions in my heart that the verse revelaed.

I know i would apologize if i could see your eyes 'Cause when you showed me myself, you know, i became someone else

I knew this was true, I knew when God shown me himself I would want to change and become who he wanted me to.

'Cause if i find If i find my own way How much will i find If i find If i find my own way How much will i find If i find If i find my own way How much will i find You... You... I'll find you You... I don't know anymore What it's for I'm not even sure If there is anyone who is in the sun Will you help me to understand 'Cause i been caught in between all I wish for and all I need Maybe you're not even sure what it's for Any more than me

These lines where exactly how i felt. I was scared if i searched for God that I wouldn't like what I'd find. That he wouln't be someone i'd like. I was so scared that he wasn't there, and needed help understanding.

Since this crisis of faith I have spent many nights lisening to this song and seeking that God. And yeah i guess some things i thought about God had to change. My view of God had to widen. But life is a journey and God has brought me to a place where I can be in the sun seeking and finding him but fully knowing he loves me, cares for me and is ALWAYS there.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

31 Songs: What If His People Prayed

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14



I am not a huge fan of Casting Crowns or Christian music in general but the Casting Crowns song What If His People Prayed is my third of my 31 songs. In the run up to easter 2009 and the following few weeks (6 I think) after Lurgan had a prayer room up the town. It was a place that on the run up to easter and during the week of gLo (a Lurgan street reachy type thing..but better) the room was always full of young people praying. However after gLo despite all the young peoples promises of praying for te town and their insistance that the prayer room stayed open the prayer room began to have less young people in it. I'm not pointing the finger at those young people and saying their promises to their town were half-hearted, they could have been praying at home. However me and my good friend Timmy continuied to visit the prayer room. All day. Every day. We had a lot of useless conversations and silly ideas while in there. However we also prayed. A lot. And now over a year on I can definitiely look back at that time in my life when I seemed to be praying for the sake of it and I can say that in that room God gave me dreams, my relationship and understanding of him deepened and it was a pivitol point in my life. It's funny how I went to that room crying out for God to help change the town, to make the church awken to what God wanted to do and God changed me and awakened dremas and love within me that I hadn't experienced before. During my long sits in the prayer room I would often sit in the top right hand corner on the floor and look at a beautiful painting of my town and pray with my iPod on. Perhaps What If Hisp People Prayed was a cliched song to listen to. But I did. And now every time I hear it I rememebr I am called to pray, to seek God and reminded of what he stirred up in my heart before and that he has more stirring to do. Here's the full lyrics:

What if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captive free
And not let satan have one more
What if the Church, for heaven's sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took a stand upon God's promise
And stormed hell's rusty gates

Chorus I:What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His faith, yeah
And turn from their old ways

And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day
What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to JesusS
topped asking Oprah what to do

Chorus I:What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face yeah
And turn from their own way

Chorus II:He said that He would hear
His promise has been made
He'll answer loud and clear, yeah
If only we would pray

Bridge:If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray

Choruses:What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face, yeah
And turn from their old ways
He said that He would hear
His promise has been made
He'll answer loud and clear yeaah
If only we would pray

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

31 Songs: You Could Be Happy

Ok, my second of my 31 songs is you could be happy by snow patrol. I again was not overly impressed by this song upon first listen. However I love the television show Gavin and Stacey and this song was in an episode where it all began to make sense. The song is directed to an ex or in Gavin and Stacey a distant partner. The songs is full of regret and heartache. However the song tells of how the ex made you happier than you'd been by far. It is a beautiful song. Shortly after I fell in love with it on Gavin and Stacey in 2008 I remember hurting someone pretty bad. I din't want them to hurt, I didn't want to be the cause of hurt. I remember walking down Lurgan Main street with my iPod in shortly after leaving this person sitting in a coffee shop and the iPod sang:

You could be happy and I won't Know, But You Weren't happy the day I watched You go..

I remember walking down the road and my heart echoed every word of the song.

Then I kind of forgot about it.

Until recently I began to rewatch every episode of Gavin and Stacey. Then when that episode came on again and the song started. I remembered the old emotional ressonace the song had with me. However as I listened and relistend to the song again and again recently it has become a song that doesn't remind me of anything bad, anything painful. It just reminds me of sitting on my couch with Gavin and Stacey on and everything in the world falling into place as it has been recently...

Monday, 19 April 2010

31 Songs

Ok, so today I was talking to two people about music and what music I like and what they like. I think It reveals alot about you. However as i told them I was a fan of Atomic Kitten and Kym Marsh it sometimes leads people to believe you just have no taste. And Maybe I don't. However, the author Nick Hornby once wrote a book called 31 songs. It was a collection of essays about favourite songs of his, why he liked them and what emotional ressonance they had with him. I am going to very much steal his idea. For the next 31 days i will post a new blog about one of my 31 songs which i have carefully picked as 31 songs that have in some way shaped, directed or soundtracked my life. Some will be christian songs, others won't. anyway let's get started...

1. One Hundred Hours- Love Rescue Me



So why this song? I knew the band one hundred hours were coming to a gig held by Megalife in 2008 so i decided to download their albums. I had a little listen to them and thought they were Ok. However between downloading them and seeing the band perform I didn't listen to them again. Their songs didn't really seem to resonate with me at all. However a few months later that October I was having quite a hard time ( in retrospect I wasn't really I was having a pity party for myself after making my own silly mistakes,) and I had my iPod on shuffle one night in my bed and the lyrics started up:

'When I need someone to quiet my fears
Till the whispers inside me all disappear
And when I need someone to dry all my tears
I’ll wait for You yes I’ll wait for You..'

All of a sudden I felt a sort of comfort. The song spoke in depth to my heart that no matter what happens I have someone who cares for me, A love that rescues me and that love is God.

I remember i replayed and replayed the song again and again in my bed that night and felt a relief as i burried my head in my pillow and cried out to God. told him I needed his love to rescue me.

I have since sang the song many times when leading worship and like to think I introduced that song to a lot of people. Today I still often have to put it on, sit back and close my eyes and let the words wash over me. It is the most played song on my iPod, I don't have any tattoos but if I was to get one I think I would want it to be Love Rescue Me.

That is why it is one of my 31 songs.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Am I A Christian?

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 25:41-46

So theres a quote. It's not by Bono, Ghandi or Mandella. It's from Jesus. So I can't ignore it, discard it, forget it or not count it as being a way to live my life.
But I do. Daily.

You see when I go for a walk down the town and I see people with wee boxes clollecting money and I look at the ground. I see homeless people on the streets and I cross the road. I get annoyed when someone has the arrogance to ask me for my money or my time. I'm not rich you know.

Rob Bell in his Nooma video Rich states some interesting facts:
Only 8% of the world has a car.
Do you I have a car?
I do.
We to 92% of the world are rich.

Nearly 1 billion people still don't have access to clean drinking water. I have taps in my house that give me that. I am rich.

But if I have these things. If I in the worlds eyes am rich, in light of what Jesus says must ask another question:
Am I really a Christian?

Tony Campolo was speaking in a sleepy american church when he said:

I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

Maybe you don't like that quote. If its made you feel uncomfortable then don't re-read the Jesus quote at the top. Could make you feel a lot more uncomfortable. it did to me.

Friday, 5 March 2010

The Last Kiss pt.2

Ok, here is my second blog about the wonderful film The Last Kiss.

There is a quote in the movie said by Jenna's dad to his cheating son-in-law:

Stop talking about love. Every asshole in the world says he loves somebody. It means nothing. It still doesn't mean anything. What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts.

So true.

So true to me aswell maybe.

I walk about my life and tell people things. Tell them I feel things, Promise them things. at the end of the day its all just empty words isn't it?

and empty words don't mean anyhing to anyone apart from you.

I think it's time to stop just saying we feel things but act on them. Like in The Notebook. Noah didn't just write Alie a letter a day for a year he built her the house she wanted totally unaware if she would ever come back to him. Thats what its all about.

Maybe sometimes to God we make empty promises?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Last Kiss

I Love films! I really like them girly romantic ones. One of my favourite films is The Last Kiss. It has so many great lines and scenes i could just write about on here forever. So I'm gonna do two blogs about it. here's the first! ok so in the last scene Michael is desperate to get his girlfriend back and will do anything to prove what he feels. So he waits outside her house for a few days until she speaks to him again. he doesn't leave. Day and night, rain or shine. Thats dedication. Thats love.

How many times do we tell people we love them when we don't? Or promise people we will do something and don't? or say we will do something and don't? promise ourselves something and don't see it through?
believe God tells us to do somehing and ignore him?

Lets be consistent, persistent and chase after the things we want. A bit more like michael. Need some inspiration? watch him!

Monday, 1 March 2010

When My Heart Runs Dry

My housemate Chris says I should keep blogging, even when I can't find words to say just do a rubbish one! keep going, This may be one of the rubbish ones. You see I love God, love to write about him and my thoughts about things but I guess I've messed up this week.

I mess up every week but sometimes it takes a big fall to see that you've been on a downward spiral.

Sometimes I say I don't like worship music. I say this because I wanna sound cool. I do like worship music. So today I just want to share the lyrics from a Matt Redman song. It sums up how I'm feeling, What I am now going to do. Onwards and upwards now guys...

When my heart runs dry
And there's no song to sing
No holy melody
No words of love within
I recall the height from which
This fragile heart has slipped...

And I'll remember You
I will turn back and do
The things I used to do
for the love of You
Lord, I'll remember You
I will turn back and do
The things I used to do
for the love of You

You are my soul's desire
You are the hope within
You bring my heart to life
You make my spirit sing
I recall the height from which
This fragile heart has slipped...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Why We Should Flash At Girls...


I was at my great uncles funeral the other week, and something was said that really made me think. See he was pretty old, and when he was young they didn't have mobile phones, msn, skype, facebook and all the other great ways we have nowadays to stop ourselves from having to talk to people face to face. Don't worry though I'm not going to tell you what a great orrator he was and how we should all man up and talk to hot chicks face to face more ( cos i'm as awkward and scared as everyone else.) So yeah he had to find a way of communicating with my great auntie when they were in their seperate houses while they were courting ( whatever happened that word?) so as they lived across the road from eachother they used to flash their bedroom lights on and off at eachother and somehow communicated that way... now this got me thinking...

If i was flashing my bedroom light at some chick I think my friends would tell me I was a right weirdo. I'm pretty sure they would tell me it was no way to talk to a girl and I should man up. They would laugh and say I could 'rip myself out' if people found out.. I don't know if my Uncle Leslies friends said that to him, because it doesn't matter if they did. He got the girl, they fell in love, got married, had kids, grandkids etc... because he flashed his light at her!

I think in our generation ( i hate that phrase, very pretentious sounding like I think I'm Ghandi or Mandella or One of So Solid Crew representing the people) people have this real fear of embarrising themselves. i know i do. We live in fear of being 'ripped out,' 'burnt,' 'scundered,' or whatever your circle of friends call it. And I don't think that's how God wants us to live our lives. I think we as Mr Springsteen says were 'born to run.'

In the Bible in the David and Golaith story we see David ran at him, took him on. He didn't think oh dear I could get ripped out (or ripped apart!) he just done it, as he knew God was with him. God had plans for him, God wanted him to live his story. (Thanks to Chris McCune's sermon for that Bible part...)

Yet today when we suggest anything 'radical' like going for a walk in the rain and people suggest that it is an awful idea we slide down in our chair and grunt back about how we didn't want to really go anyway. We are scared to live, to be, to dream, to do anything that people don't agree with en masse.

But that is not how we should do it! No way! I'm tired of doing it that way! Lets walk in the park in the rain! lets have a beer with breakfast! Lets turn up at the girl of our dreams house at 3am and sing her a song in her garden with a full band and not be embarrased! lets do it!! that is the life I wanna live.. lets do it eh?

so hey lets live the story and flash at girls :)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Saved!


Okay I have watched the film Saved! two days running and I think i love it. If any of you haven't seen it heres the basic plot:

Good girl Mary (Jena Malone) can’t believe it when she gets pregnant by her newly-gay boyfriend. She also can’t believe the actions of her popular, relentlessly devout best friend, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), who's looking after her wheelchair-bound brother Roland (Macaulay Culkin), attempting to convert adamantly Jewish Cassandra (Eva Amurri), and trying to snag cute newcomer Patrick (Patrick Fugit), a hip skateboarding missionary. By the time Mary’s secret is revealed, Hilary Faye has gone to extremes to get the outsiders expelled from school, with spectacular results, and Mary is forced to decide what’s worth believing in the first place.

and yes I copied and pasted that....

Ok so some christians ridiculed the film for being blashphemous and wrong and giving Christianity a bad image... but I found the film to be a beautiful film which satirically pointed out problems with mainstream christianity today. If the film disgusts many Christians they should see their lives.

The characters go around doing things that have became all to familliar in our society. Trying to get people 'saved' by saying a quick prayer. Getting them 'in'. They guilt trip eachother using Jesus' name and they use prayer meetings and prayer points for an oppurtunity to gossip.

I felt one of the most heatbreaking parts of the film as a christian was when mary after she discovered she was pregnant shouted at a large picture of the cross 'Goddam' with tears in her eyes. The people she had been surrounded by had put her off the one she would have needed to surround her.

I thought it was a message we all needed to hear when Mary told Hilary ( a girl trying to be some perfect christian) that she didn't know the first thing about love and that the Bible is not a weapon.

The other line that broke my heart a bit was when she said:

'So everything that doesn't fit into some stupid idea of what you think God wants you just hide or fix or get rid of?'

Ouch.

My housemate Chris McCune has been talking to me a lot about living out our stories. he has a few blogs about it too. Chris is the kinda guy that makes you think.. and him and this film combined are maing me think..

Do I as a christian in my story try and hide or fix things that don't fit into my idea of what God wants?

Do I in my story use the Bible as a weapon?

Do we as Christians know the first thing about love?

Have you ever read a story from another time or culture and some bits have gone over your head?

I wonder if my idea of getting 'saved' is like that? Do I talk about it and people haven't a clue what it means cos I just through it out there??
Saved! was a great film.

A moving story.

But the Christianity I saw in it was ugly. But not unfamiliar. However great saved was I don't want that to be my story.

However one of the last lines of the film I love.

It could be the start of a new story:

Life is too amazing to be this random and meaningless consequence of the universe. There had to be a God or something out there. Something outside. You Just have to feel it...

Life is a journey, a story, a poem or a song and I think I'm ready to live it...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Lust of the Libertines


The Libertines are one of my favourite bands. They are a band that I would say would feature on my lifes soundtrack to the past decade. However I've been thinking a lot about the heroes I have and thinking why are they my heroes what is it I love about these people?
I Love Pete Doherty of the aforementioned Libertines. I love Russell Brand. I Love Liam Gallagher.

I was thinking what is it that corralates with my heroes? I thought I had it- Dark hair.
Then i began to think a little more about it. They are all people who have managed to muck up majorly. In the public eye. tabloids have their tag-lines for them. Pete Doherty is described as 'Junkie Poet,' like that is an official job title. Like you can go on recruit NI and apply to be a Junkie Poet.

Pete's first big band where called The Libertines. The dictionary defines a libertine as:
One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.

I'm attracted to that.

His current band are called Babyshambles. A name that suggests frailty and shambolicness.. if that is a word. I'm attracted to that.

so why am i so attracted to reckless abondon? to majorly mucking up in front of everyone and then sneer at them like liam gallagher, and declare to them as Russell Brand would This is Me.

I think I'm attracted to it because it is easy. Mess up in front of the world. Give in to my wants. Show the world I'm a walking talking mental breakdown and then thats how i will be tagged with no responsibility.

Jesus doesn't want to stop us listening to great music. I don't think Jesus is upset if we wear fred perry shirts and have a good haircut. But Jesus doesn't want us to sell ourselves short. To be a walking talking shamble. He wants us to be the light of the world. He wants us to have life to the full. he wants us to live in his glorious light and rescue us from the darkness. he sees us in our mess and doesn't want us to stay there he wants to lift us out.

But it isn't easy. Being a libertine is.

Rockstar Alice Cooper became a christian and said this:
“Drinking bear is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion.”

To quote a band a lot less cooler than the libertines (coldplay)

'Nobody said it was easy..'

MK