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David Crowder Band: Church Music – Review

This latest album release from David Crowder pushes him further into musical genius, but further away from a more traditional view of what contemporary church music is. Whilst his earlier albums have been ground breaking in the way that we view worship, this latest piece leaves very little in the way of practical songs that could fit into a contemporary church. The overload on electronica in this record distracts from the pure worship trying to be expressed.

The songs are good. They are well constructed, and are a typical display of the honest lyrics David Crowder has become known for. The chorus lyrics do seem to repeat a lot, and maybe this can be seen as a chant; the earliest form of church music.

As a whole, I am impressed at the ability of David Crowder to push the limits and push the stereotype, but for me, it fails to meet my expectations of what I initially thought the album might be.

★★★✩✩ – 3 stars

25/10/09

Camping

25/10/09

This weekend was the traditional Labour Weekend Camp with Boys’ Brigade. We had a total of 11 boys attend, the most it has been in the last 5 years. Add to that, we had a weather pocket of summer, where all three days were solid sunshine – also a first in the last 5 years!

It was also the first camp I took my DSLR on, which allowed me to do quite a bit of photographing and playing around. My focus for this camp was looking at water and getting those cool silky smooth shots. All without a tripod! It took a while, but I was quite pleased with the outcome.

19/10/09

Piled

19/10/09

It was a night to remember.

At BB tonight, we set about trying to break world records… or BB records at least. From jumping in undies, to memorizing numbers and eating M&M’s with chopsticks; we did them all.

This one beats the cake though. We got the boys to pile into my beloved Mini, cramming them into the various nooks and crannies. We managed to get 16 boys into it.

The world record is 18. However, the world record needs to have everyone over the age of 18 and needs to be over 5 foot 6 in height. But it was a blinkin’ good effort all the same!

18/10/09

Miss

18/10/09

Nothing says “We miss you” than two dogs sitting in their bed, looking at me – their temporary house-sitter, waiting for their real mum and dad to come home.

Difference

The door creaked open.
The empty darkness enclosed by the room wait with arms wide open for the waiting stubbed toe of the strangers left foot.

Lately I have been a stranger in two completely different abodes. And although I have yet to stub my toe in either of them, it is often how I feel upon entering the strange locations; waiting for it to happen.

Last weekend I wrote bout my escapade up to Raurimu. It was a weekend spent away from it all. Up at Raurimu, time seems to stand still if not go backwards. The walls are filled with nostalgic photos of earlier pioneers, fond memories and better times. The wood style home stands amongst nature, and you get a real sense of living. Short of no electricity, this place is removed from everything that busy’s our lives.

This weekend I have been asked to house-sit at my pastor’s place. It is completely different, although possibly serves the same purpose as Raurimu, in that I am able to distance myself from the week that awaits. The place is modern, with a view over the city I love, and is kitted out with technology to boot.

It occurred to me that either of these locations, I could quite happily live in. One, with the backwards clock spinning slowly on the wall, there is time to paint, time to reflect, time to be with nature and time to be with God. In the other, I am sitting contempt in a sofa ergonomically perfect for my awkwardly lengthed limbs, typing through a wireless connection to my website and watching background DVD’s.

As I begin to get older, and start to mould my opinion of the style of living I want. Either of the two weekends I could have quite happily spent the rest of my life at. I am aware and genuinely humbled that I have been blessed with even being able to make a choice like that. Many people don’t. Many people won’t get any choice in how they live, what they live in, or the style of sofa they would get to relax in, let alone watch a DVD in the background. I will forever thank God for this.

Be thankful for what you have, worry for nothing, and let tomorrow come when it is ready.

Survivors

This week was my first week of teaching in my real class.

The nerves weren’t high, as I knew the students, having taught them earlier in the year.

But this was the real thing. This was me, in a classroom, with the kids as my responsibility. I not only had to make sure that I survived this first week, but also that they survived the first week too.

It was a week of adjustments, changes and growth. I am learning a whole new side of teaching, the day in, day out responsibility, as well as staff responsibilities like report writing and assessments. I am very lucky to have some awesome support behind me as I begin on my journey to become a teacher.

11/10/09

Sundaily

11/10/09

Looking into the morning sun, across the lush, empty field towards the still bush and distant hills. The magnificence of God’s own creation astounded my complex mind. How could there be any other explanation for all this other than divine inspiration?

But my thoughts paused there for only a second before pulling out an old, rustic guitar with three nylon and three steel strings and singing song in praise and in simple yet complete worship.

As I meditated on this situation, it struck me as to what I needed to write about this week.

Worship can happen anywhere. At the time, I was sitting on the deck of an old wooden lodge. Any other weekend I would be found at my local church in a row of seats, or on the stage adding my part to the worship mix.
But there is no way I could pass on this opportunity to stagger in amazement at the glamourous beauty of the nature around me.
What was stopping me? Nothing. There was no reason that I couldn’t worship my God that morning. Even without a semi-nylon, semi-steel guitar on hand, worship can still occur. You just need to have the right heart and the right attitude.

Don’t rely on church to “do worship”. Worship should be part of your daily life, your daily walk with God. Not just “Sundaily”.

10/10/09

Shake

10/10/09

Nicola going for the miracle pull from our Jenga game up at Raurimu.

8/10/09

Unshaven

8/10/09

James 1 vs 22-25.
“But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

We all know that females are the fairer sex. And because of that, they need to spend many more hours in front of the mirror than guys do.
But there we were, a bunch of blokes at homegroup, discussing and looking at this passage.

I’d say that all of us sitting around that table take pride in our facial appearance, naturally however to varying levels of depth and regularity.

Looking in the mirror, you can see if you need a shave. The stubble poking through, allowing you to smooth out many pieces of wood in the meantime should you be short of sandpaper.
Normally you’d shave there and then whilst you have the opportunity. Sometimes however, we go and have breakfast, with the full intention of ‘saving face’ later. Thus often leads to memory loss and so begins a pretty rough day.

As St James says, we need to shave regularly. God points out to us through His Word things in our lives that need chopping out or smoothing out. We must do it straight away or else we will forget. Once you forget, it’s easy to slip back into how things were, and not be a doer of what God is asking you to do.

What it looks like if we don’t practice what we preach? What if we’re all talk, but no walk?

A beard.

A big shaggy beard. That’s what happens. The forgotten sandpaper has become a monster, making us look shabby, untrustworthy, unemployed, and living under a bridge.
We can put on our Sunday best suit to try and make it look like we care about appearances, but everyone can see the truth. We still look a mess.

Don’t become just a preacher. But activley seek God and shave the things He shows you that you need to work on. Become a doer, not just Simone who is practicing his speech in front of the mirror.

Keep seeking God.

Keep shaving.

Jigsaw

The day started in an empty classroom. Alarm bells not ringing because of the earlier disengagement, the chairs and desks stacked tidily in the corner.

As I began to place the desks around the room, I began to realise the sheer number of cuts and toggles that made up this jigsaw.

  • taller desks had to go together.
  • position of desks had to allow for students to face the whiteboard.
  • students who didn’t get on with other students couldn’t be placed near each other.
  • mischief makers needed to be facing teachers desk and near the end of a desk group.
  • students who struggle academically and socially need to have some stronger students for support.
  • talkers from last term needed to not be near each other, but also needed to have some friends so they are not completely dispondent.
  • students who like to lean on chairs could not sit in a location that allowed them to do this.
  • reward students who can work well to sit in groups that they will enjoy working in.
  • a mix of girls only groups, boys only, and balancing the mixed groups so that there’s not one girl or boy within that ‘mixed’ group.
  • allowing enough room between deskgroups to maneuvor through during the course of teaching.

All these pieces (and probably more) needed to be identified and used to put together the jigsaw. Even then, I don’t think one could ever get the perfect set up for a class. There are so many variables, so many relationships, that it would be too good to be true to get all of these pieces to interlock together.
Our jigsaw is one where every piece is the same and can all fit together. However, the final picture is on the other side of the jigsaw.