Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Uniform' by Bloc Party

The new Bloc Party album has a more thought provoking approach to it. For some that's taken the fun out of the band, but it get a thumbs up from me.

Yesterday, I was rambling on about a desire to stand out. I guess everyone wants that to some extent, but it's something that's very easy to write but much harder to actually do. This is the heart of track 5 on Bloc Party's new album. Is it possible? Or are we just deluding oursleves?

This is called Uniform.

'There was a sense of disappointment as we left the mall
All the young people looked the same
Wearing their masks of cool and indifference
Commerce dressed up as rebellion.

Drink to forget your blues at the weekend
Think about more things to buy
The TV taught me how to sulk and love nothing
And how to grow my hair long.

Well I was brave and unique
Intelligent, a snowflake
I could have been a hero
No-one can be trusted over the age of 14
Tattoo our arms
Converse shoes
Cynical
But we still do it
We tell ourselves we're different

We're finding it hard to break the mould
We're finding it hard to be alone
We're finding it hard to have time by ourselves
We have nothing at all to say
Uniform

Monday, March 26, 2007

Some thoughts for Freedom Day


So yesterday was marked as 'Freedom Day' to remember the abolition of 200 years ago. From all the recent media coverage the aspect that's stood out for me is how much Wilberforce had to carry this vision and persist with it. As he tackled a social norm of his time Wilberforce unsurprisingly started off with hardly any support. But he chose to stand out, make sacrifices and be different. It took a very long time for his dream to come to fruition and he must have experienced many times when he thought it would never actually happen. But through the doubts and frustrations he chose not to give up hope.

As Liverpool Football Club would put it Wilberforce 'walked on through the wind and the rain'. I guess that's the example we should follow. As studenty types we probably haven't experienced much of this. In fact we've probably had it easy. But if we want to make a difference like Wilberforce, in whatever way, then we've got to be prepared for it to get tough. But we've also got to be prepared to not give up hope.

That'll do for today.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Abolition



I saw this new film last night.
And I'd like to recommend it to you.

It's not an action epic.
It's not a thrill a minute.
It does require concentration.
But it is worth the effort.
Cos it is inspiring.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

STOP THE TRAFFIK


This weekend marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. This was brought about thanks to the influence of a Cambridge student, William Wilberforce.

The worldwide problem today is still massive, even in the UK.

YOU have the same potential to make a difference as Wilberforce did. Sign the petition at stopthetraffik.org. Do it. Right here right now. Add your voice to today's cry to prevent modern day slavery.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DOES GOD CHANGE HIS MIND?

Come with me on a journey back to Mount Sinai about 3500 years ago. God has just given out his commandments and guidelines for how to live, having rescued His people from Egyptian slavery. And in return His people have made a promise to keep the law.
The first commandment was, 'You must not have any other gods except me,' and yet with these words still ringing in their ears and the ink still wet on their contract, God's people have made themselves a golden calf to be their gods. But the worst is yet to come : they then exclaim, 'Israel these are your gods who brought you out of Egypt.'
Not only is God being ignored but something else is getting the credit for the amazing things He's done! How would that make you feel? How does it make the creator of the universe feel?
God is unsurprisingly upset and angry! So angry in fact that He tells Moses, 'I am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants a great nation.' This is a big moment in the story of God. A showdown moment if you like. This statement echoes back to the destruction that Noah witnessed and the promises given to Abraham. Is God really prepared to rewind back to those points in his story? Is he prepared to wipe out the progress made since then?
But Moses steps in and pleads with his leader and rescuer, crying out don't give up on us! Remember how far we've come!
And then it is recorded, 'So the LORD changed His mind and did not destroy the people as he said He might.' He was not giving up on his people despite the pain they'd caused Him!
Does God change His mind? This suggests so. For me this is amazing that the ultimate being allows Himself to be influenced by the needs, the actions and the pleading of His creation. We are not puppets on strings that are controlled to tell God's story. We have influence and involvement within it, as Moses showed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lessons from Harold's Tuba

I expect over the years I've learnt a lot of life lessons from watching Neighbours ... although I doubt most of them have been very beneficial. However one Bible verse I found the other day does kinda link in with a regular storyline. It's from Ecclesiastes 11:4 which says, 'If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.' This reminds me of big secrets in Neighbours which do eventually come out into the open. Then it normally goes something like,
'Why didn't you just say something earlier?'
'Well, I was just waiting for the right time.'

Apologies for another random post there. I worry about my thought processes sometimes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

'Hope, Belief and Solidarity' - A short story by Steven Gerrard


'Outside, that huge electronic scoreboard that read 'Maldini 1, Crespo 39, 44' stared at our fans. Proof of Liverpool's terrible performace was written large up there. ... Yet against all the odds, against all the evidence of Milan's solidarity, our fans were singing loud and proud. 'Listen' I said to the players. 'Listen to that.' The singing of 40,000 Liverpool supporters floated down the tunnel, into the dressing roomand into our hearts.
Unbelievable. Liverpool were 3-0 down, being thrashed by Kaka and Crespo, and our fans were singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'All the players looked at each other in amazement, and pride. 'They haven't given up on us,' I shouted 'so we can't give up either.' By singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone', the fans sent a message to eleven shattered men in the dressing-room: the fans will be with you, through the wind and the rain, through times of adversity like this. No matter how much the players hurt, we'd never walk alone. Our fans were with us. Together. Their message was to play for some respect, play for pride in the shirt. 'The fans are with us,' I said. 'Let's give them something to sing about. They've spent loads of money. They're singing our name and we are getting stuffed 3-0. If we get one, they'll get behind us even more. That will help put another one in for us. Come on, let's have a go!'

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend away!

I've just got back from a great weekend away in Leicestershire with City Life Church. It was a much needed relaxing time where I could completely forget about pressures of studying. Highlights included playing lots of footy and dancing away into the early hours. Just fun, fun, fun with great people.
But we also had the privelege of the company of Pete Greig to inspire us, alongside helping us grapple with important topics such as 'prayer and suffering.' On that subject, I took the opportunity to get hold of Pete's new book, 'God on Mute', which I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into.
Just one more week of term left and then I can actually find some time to do just that!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Building up to Live Earth

Outrage at United victory. We was robbed. Roll on Tuesday.

Today I simply want to point you in the direction of a post by Sir Windo. He strongly recommends you watching the docu-film, 'An Inconvenient Truth.' Have you heard about the upcoming Live Earth concerts yet? I've not seen the film but I feel now is the time to see it. The rumblings for the need for change in caring for our planet are beginning to really reach a crescendo. This is going to be big and if we want to be involved in the heart of a collective movement then we also need to carry the heart of it.

Windo suggests that this documentary film will do just that. Here's the link to his post: paulwindo.blogspot.com/2007/03/inconvenient-challenge.html

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Cry From The Heart


Last night I whipped out my gap year study on a prophecy by Amos to add to a discussion on poverty and the need for justice.

Out of this study, 2 verses (1 not from Amos, sorry) jumped out afresh and hit me between the eyes. They are loaded with emotion right from God's heart and these 2 sentences (just 14 words) could even sum up his cry throughout the whole of history:

'How did I make you tired of me?' (Micah 6:3)

'Come back to me and live' (Amos 5:4)