Showing posts from December, 2015

Excellent Worship Songwriting Tips

I came across this blog post the other day by We Are Worship and written by Simon Hawkins called 'Top-10 Worship Writing Tips'.

It begins to dig beneath the surface a little as to how to write a great worship song and looks as some elements that are not often covered such as prosody, syllable stresses and rhyme scheme.

Here is a little taste:
"5. Write your best (substantial) ideas - I believe you can write pretty much any title. But not every title makes a great song. It needs a substantial idea behind the title. When you find a substantial idea, if it’s been written already, look for a new approach to it and use your own voice to articulate it.  6. Beware of words and phrases that have lost their power - They are still beautiful concepts but their impact has been weakened by overuse. There will always be a better, fresher line out there somewhere."
I know it is one that I will be coming back to from time to time so I thought I would share it with you.

Check out the…

#AdventChallenge Day 9

Theme: Wish you were here . . .
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. My Challenge: Get in touch with an old school friend  Well I think it fair to say that Christmas has caught up with me over this past week. Things have been very busy. I have still been completing a few Advent Challenges but not had the time to update my blog - sorry. But I'm back on the keyboard now (just before doing some Christmas shopping).

When I was at high school I had a best friend, We did pretty much everything together. They were good days. However, as life has happened in the years since school, we have not had much contact. Yes we can view each other…

#AdventChallenge Day 8

Theme: Grubs Up!
Leviticus 19:9-10 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.' My Challenge: Provide Food To Your Local Foodbank Today I accepted the challenge to donate some food to my local Fooodbank which is the Wisbech Foodbank. It is quite handy that my wife is the secretary there so I was able to ask her which particular food items they were in most need of. So I bought some cans of tuna and a steak pie (in a tin!) and dropped them off at one of the collection points in town, which is inside the Oasis Bookshop on Norfolk Street.

If you would like to donate some non-perishable food items to the Wisbech Foodbank this advent, do check out the Foodbank website for information, shopping list ideas etc.

What I Learnt: A small gesture can make a big d…

#AdventChallenge Day 7

Theme: Big Up! Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones My Challenge:
Compliment as many people as you can today Not being one to dish out many compliments I braced myself for the challenge ahead. The biggest challenge was remembering to do it - having the presence of mind to be nice! (terrible, I know). Although it must be said that I do try to be nice everyday, just not by giving compliments - being a primary school teacher requires one to form a face and nerves of steel! Anyway, I did my best and complimented a few people today. It was not many and I don'e expect to enter any record books due to my efforts - but it certainly beat my daily average of zero!
What I Learnt: Kind words really do build others up and open up conversations.

It's not too late - you can still join in with #AdventChallenge 2015

#AdventChallenge Day 5

Theme: Sticks and Stones . . . Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. My Challenge:
Write a note to someone you rarely see Today's theme encourages us to think about how what we say can affect the lives of others. Of the three options, I chose to 'write a note to someone I rarely see', however, the more I thought about it and the more I considered who that person would be, a friend of mine came to mind. He is always the one making contact with me - phoning me up to see how I am getting on and to have a chat. So I decided it was about time that I returned the favour. Instead of writing him a note, I phoned him.
He was surprised (as I never phone him) but very glad. We had a good chat and have arranged to meet up in the New Year.
In other news - 2 out of the 3 neighbours I gave a Christmas Card to on Day 2 have reciprocated!
What I L…

#AdventChallenge Day 4

Theme: Baby Steps John 6:9-14
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the signJesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” My Challenge: Hold the door open for someone I thought this challenge would take time to fulfill but I didn't have to wait long. Yesterday my wife and I were enjoying a trip to London and we were just coming out of Selfr…

#AdventChallenge Day 2

Theme: My Local Community
Leviticus 19:18 "Love your neighbours as yourself"
My Challenge: Send Christmas cards to the neighbours you don't know
So today I wrote 3 Christmas cards to post through the letter boxes of my neighbours houses. I also included a Bible verse sticker about part of the Christmas Story that The Bible Society gives away to help my random act of kindness to have some Biblical impact too.

The first I gave to my immediate neighbour. We hardly speak, only when she needs to hold her dog so I can get past with my bin. The second I gave to a neighbour just over the street. She stops and says hello in town and we have awkward chats, but I don't know her name and I don't know what her husband looks like. The third I gave to another neighbour just over the street. I have no idea who they are or even if they speak English.

If I do get any responses, or if one of these cards start a conversation I will let you know in the comment section below.

Thanks for…

#AdventChallenge Day 1

Today is 1st December and Advent has begun. A couple of weeks ago I signed up to the Bible Society's #AdventChallenge 2016. Today I opened the first virtual window of my advent calendar online and in it I found three challenges to choose from for me to do today.

Theme: giving and generosity Acts 20:35 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' "   My Challenge: Take some flowers to a nursing home I am pleased to say that I managed it! Quite nervous when ringing the doorbell, but the nurse I spoke to was very pleasant, However, when asked if there was any particular reason why I was doing this I was unsure if I should tell them about the Advent Challenge as they may feel I 'had' to do this rather than it being a random act of kindness so I didn't. However my wife thinks I should have - what do you think I should …