Sunday, December 24, 2006


Is it me or is the whole concept of Santa a tad strange. Most babies and small kids I know are scared of him. And rightly so.

Who is Santa?

  • A fat old man with a beard who breaks into your house and eats your food.

  • Us teachers teach kids about 'stranger danger', yet at Christmas little ones are forced by their parents to go into a dark room and sit on this fat strangers knee!

  • Santa is the only concept whereby it is universally accepted for mummies and daddies to lie to their kids.

  • SANTA is an anagram of SATAN. Could he be the devil's way of getting parents to lie to their kids and helping everybody to forget about Jesus?

Anyway, Merry Christmas! Forget Santa, remember the reason. Tell someone the truth.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas music anyone?

If you thought that all music released at Christmas time is crap then think again. Here are two recommendations:

Your first buy should be Foy Vance's single 'Gabrial and the Vagabond' released today.
'Songs For Christmas' by Sufjan Stevens
I purchased Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens a few months ago and was blown away. He has had critics drooling at his genius (he plays all the instruments in his recordings) and Christians poring over his lyrics (yes he is).

On hearing he has released a Christmas album I promptly headed down to HMV and snapped it up. It is a box-set of 5 cds. Great value for money. A mixture of old carols and his own Christmas songs. Classy stuff throughout. I especially love his version of 'Come thou fount of every blessing'. a beautiful words perfectly re-composed for 2006.

O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I hope my last post didn't come across as me being cynical towards the church. This is something I have been fighting. For as long as I can remember I have had a deep-seated cynicism that rises up inside me for much of what I see in Christianity and Christians around the world.

This may have come initially from from reading non-christian books, travelling to non-christian places, listening to non-christian music, having non-Christian friends, tv evangelists etc... I dont know but I know it has been a part of me that I have battled with.

I think to a certain extent this attitude was of benefit in working out my salvation for myself. However I am convinced that a cynical spirit in itself is destructive and a downward spiral. Oscar Wilde wrote:

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing"

I don't want to end up as an old man with a chip on my shoulder slagging everything around me and grumbling about people's intentions. I pray the soul will overcome the cynic.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I was speaking to the young people at RIOT last week about Africa. I was encouraging them simply to think 'what can we give?' rather than 'what can we get?'. This is how the Kingdom of God differs from the world.

Ironically I am becoming even more aware of how often in churchlife we are focused on what we can get. I've never been a great fan of contemporary Christian 'worship' music for this very reason. I love the stuff that echoes the saints of the ages...singing 'How great is our God' or 'Holy. Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty'. When we focus on God it takes our eyes off ourselves.
So why then are so many worship songs focused on us.....'I'm hungry', 'I'm thirsty', 'Here I am waiting' etc etc. Take the song 'True Intimacy' (A modern favourite that has always grated with me):

'Here I stand, Waiting Lord,
Touch me now like never before'.......

Come on! How can we truly give worship when we're so focused on trying to get something??
Anyway I'm trying to defeat my cynical side so I'll stop now...