Archive | September, 2009

We Don’t Own Anything

29 Sep

bankaccount“We don’t own anything. God owns everything and we are His managers… You probably believe that in theory already, but your giving will be a reflection of how much you genuinely believe it. God has specifically said that He owns not just the things we possess, but even the money under our name in the bank and the currency in our wallets. He said in Haggai 2:8, “‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” So the question is not, “How much of my money should I give to God?” but rather, How much of God’s money should I keep for myself?””

 Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

The Resistance Review

26 Sep
Guest writer Alistair Rolleston returns with another great album review. This time it is Muse’s latest offering under the spotlight.

I struggle to find a word to sum up the music that is unique to Muse. Their 50% classical, 50% rock, 50% brit pop style gives them a sound that is 150% pure Awesome. “Origin of Symmetry”, Muse’s second album, considered their defining work to date and one of my personal favourite albums, combined heavy, uniquely bass-driven tracks overlaid with stellar guitar solos, stratospheric vocals, and Rachmaninov-inspired piano motifs. Building upon this was their 2003 album “Absolution”, which upped the ante with heavy, guitar-lead passages which many have tried to replicate but none have been able to copy. With “Black Holes and Revelations” in 2006, Muse cemented themselves as one of the all-time great British bands and one of the best live acts in the world, with hits such as “Supermassive Black Hole” and the Epic “Knights of Cydonia”.

And so, with a sad song here and a sad song there, we arrive at Muse’s fifth studio album, “The Resistance”. Needless to say, it’s a rather drab affair.

No, drab’s not the word I’m looking for, it’s… utterly breathtaking.

The album is such a mix of old and new, of traditional and modern, of classical and rock, that’s it’s hard to believe it all would work. Yet somehow, amazingly, it does. The songs are constantly changing pace and tone inside of themselves, and holding them all together is no mean feat.

The album starts straight in with the lead single, “Uprising”, the video of which seems to imply that the world has been taken over by giant teddy bears… but anyway. Bass driven, anyone who finds the likes of Supermassive Black Hole entertaining should get a kick out of it. Following this, we’re out of the first uprising and into the “Resistance” itself, and then onwards into “Undisclosed desires”. It is here that the more classical elements of the album become apparent, with the string section being used heavily throughout the song in various electronic disguises. These classical elements are further alluded to in “United States of Eurasia” and its piano outro, “Collateral Damage”. Eurasia begins as a soft piano led melody, before morphing into something completely unique, mixing elements of Japanese music style with more traditional sounds, which have a distinct feel of Queen about them. Collateral Damage is a romantic styled piano piece, which flows effortlessly into the next song, “Guiding Light”. Thumping on the drums before moving again into the strings and the guitar, the tune has a definite feel of victory about it, and again the guitar solo in the middle of the tune sounds like something right out of the pages of Brian May’s notebook.

“Unnatural Selection” starts off on the Organ, but it’s intro is deceptive. It quickly builds into something not unlike Newborn, before pulling right back, halving the tempo, and moving into a slow groove, with a jazzy guitar solo before moving off again into “MK Ultra”, quite possibly my favourite song on the album. A Plug in baby-esque intro and riff serve to power the song along at a great pace and chromatic vocals give the song depth and mystery. Next comes “My Heart Belongs to you”, and the song’s French sound and lyrics give rise to it’s other title, “Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix”. The song’s ending is particularly impressive and endearing, with a vaudivillian clarinet outro, and the lyrics work beautifully throughout. Again, pace and momentum change halfway through the song with the language, giving greater feel to the music.

So, after 8 songs of rock, what way to end? Muse show that they are not ones to conform to the sterotypes, and thus begins something rather unique. As we reach the climax of the album, we enter a three part classical symphony: The Exogenesis.  Describing it would take a review in itself, suffice to say, it’s a fantastic, fantastic way to end this album, something so completely different it fits perfectly.  The piano in the third movement requires special mention. Utterly fantastic.

And so the album draws to a close, delivering all I’d expected it to and then some. Maybe not as defining as Origin of Symmetry, but none the less shows that Muse still have a lot of song left in them.

The Resistance is here.

Guest writer: Alistair Rolleston

World Pete Day

24 Sep

Peter Fallows is 18 today.

More than just Sun, Sea and Sand

22 Sep

Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

Have you got an interest in mission work? Do you feel that God may be calling you to go abroad in His name in the future? In Lisburn RPC this Friday night I will be sharing about what God is doing in a little Mediterranean Island called Cyprus….

We have a great God, capable of doing more than we could ever think or imagine and He calls us to be active in our Christian walk, following His leading and guiding without counting the cost. God is at work in Cyprus, come and hear about how you could get involved, what you can be praying for and get a burden for a country that is lost in so many ways with little evangelical witness around. If you have nothing better to be doing on Friday night get down to Lisburn RPC at 8pm…. The Kingdom is coming….and we have a mighty calling.

Cross on a Rock

Vocational Bible School

Vacational Bible School

‘But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?’ Romans 10:14-15

With thanks, hope to see you there, Lorna McCollum

This Hand….

21 Sep

I recently came across a very challenging and hugely humbling video a few weeks ago and thought i’d share it with you Another King followers.

I want you all right now to look down at your hands…..(do it!!!!)………..right ok, now hopefully you should be seeing 10 fingers 8 fingers and 2 thumbs. These are fantastic features of our bodies that God has graciously given us to perform every sort of task.

Take a few minutes now to reflect on all the things you’ve done with your hands over the last week. To give you a few examples, i’ve cut the grass, washed the car, texted on my phone, wrote with a pen, played Rugby…… get the point, now get thinking!

Now, take a look at this video, and see what our hands have really been doing….

Church Plants and Money

19 Sep


“You know the stats: 80% of church plants fail. Of course I hope your church isn’t one of them. But in your budgeting decisions, you should act as though it could be. If you had to shut things down, would you feel okay about how you’d spent the Lord’s money?” Bob Thune

Read Full Article

Young Adults’ Weekend 2009

16 Sep


Murlough Bay, Sunday afternoon

The weekend started with the devasting news that Andy Mo would not be able to make it to Annalong due to Swine Flu but despite this catastrophic set-back the over 18’s staying in the newly-revamped Mullartown House still had a great time. Tom and I arrived early for our YAW debuts so we took the liberty of getting sweets in Newcastle and testing out the playpark before the first talk. Simon Sweeney introduced proceedings with remarks such as “We aren’t big into activities” whilst also pointing out the Book “Stall” before EP minister Andrew Lucas came to speak on Ruth chapter 1. He preached through the book in a series of four addresses during the weekend and I found his second talk on Saturday morning particularly challenging as he spoke of Ruth’s faith as she stepped out into the unknown. Saturday also saw two seminars as Rev. Barry Galbraith provided a robust defence of infant baptism and Rev. Nigel Agnew spoke on how we ought to see Christ when reading the Old Testament showing how we often read passages looking for ourselves (e.g. How am I like David/ Ruth/ Samson/ Elijah etc in this passage?) when we should really be seeking Christ and learning more about Him who was the perfect King and ultamite Kinsman Redeemer.


A good place to start


Not me and Tom


Real Quote “I wish I’d brought my guitar”


Heather and Tom trying to ignore Mary-Lynn


Tom having a bright idea?


Waiting for the first talk


One of the Quiz teams


One of The Clarifier’s signs

I have to confess I don’t really know what others did on Saturday afternoon though I heard rumours of climbing a mountain but the option of football was always going to win my choosing. Newcastle’s Mauds was invaded in almost CYSC-Morrellies style proportions on Saturday night as I discovered the joys of some sort of Strawberry-Shortbread icecream concoction. On Sabbath we worshipped at Rathlin Island  Rathfriland and afterwards we headed to the beautiful Murlough Bay for a walk as we continued to enjoy probably the best weather of the summer.


 Newcastle, I think?


 Barry G about to start


 Armed and dangerous


Sweeney likes internet retail


Hezza being camera-shy 


 The new Morellies?


 Emmaline and Alison


Kathryn and Ruth


Happy Ben


I wonder from the expression on Tim’s face has someone just shouted “Go On Tim!”
Brain freeze
Heads turn as the lads arrive
Icecream and playpark but not the Summer Conference
Rob just about to fall out
A helping hand from Ben
On top of the world
Organising the distribution of July’s Messengers


Rathfriland RPC


Note the impressive roll up screen


Lunchtime in the Hall


Ironically Rathfriland’s had firestation burnt down because it didn’t have a smoke alarm


Finn McCool once played golf here


Off to the beach
I’d make a Chariots of Fire joke only it was on Sabbath
I’m plotting splashing the girls
Enjoying the sunshine
Erin and Tom have seen the light
Chilling with Dr.McCollum



Trying to avoid a repeat of any confusion surrounding a vote of thanks I’d like to say thanks should go to those responsible for organising the weekend and the cooks who gave up their time to provide food for us. I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and being one of the younger “young adults” present I appreciate having the time to learn from the more mature Christians there. I regard some of those attending as real heroes in the faith and it was a privilege to spend the weekend with them. It’s always challenging and encouragin to attend Covenanter Youth events as I see the calibre of other believers from whom I have much to learn whilst also reminding me of God’s goodness and that the future of the church is bright as we seek to take the Gospel to the ends of this island and the ends of the earth.


Thanks to Carla and Amy for their pictures.

Summer Loving, Status Updates and Snakes and Ladders

14 Sep

This post has been a long time coming, it has been a random collection of thoughts in my mind for quite some time so I thought I would collaborate them all into one blog post.

Summer Loving

No, before you start singing along, this is not a post about Grease! As you may know, Tom, Andy Mo, James and I all headed off in a packed Caravelle to the wilds of Donegal for 4 days over the Summer, it was a fantastic holiday, relaxing, enjoyable, every thing that we look for in a holiday. I couldn’t ask for much more.

Andy and the Map

Andy and the Map

Tom still had to get used to parking the Caravelle...

Tom still had to get used to parking the Caravelle...

Romantic Beach Evenings were a regular practise

Romantic beach evenings were a regular practise

However, I was severely challenged even before we had even left Derry. We were getting the essential supplies for our trip in Tescos before we headed to the border. And as we were leaving the store, I stopped and noticed two young boys who had just walked in and recognised them from the Holiday Bible Club at Faughan about 2 weeks before that at the end of June. They then turned around and recognised me and waved, it was all very heart warming.

But soon after I felt a sinking feeling in me, how much had I been praying for those young boys and the work of Faughan RPC  in general after that team? I wondered how much they remembered from the Club, where they heard of the ‘Greatest Doctor Ever’, Jesus, and all His powerful healing wonders, and how he heals our most deadly disease, sin.

So I encourage you now to continue to remember the teams you were on this summer, across the province, think of the literature given out, doors knocked on, kids talked too and played with, congregational members encouraged, cars washed, Bible studies listened too, all these ministries are things we should be remembering now. We work for a week, but the Lord works long after that. So Pray for all these things.

Status Updates

I’ve heard a lot about Facebook this summer, how it can be bad for us, how it can be obsessive, how it can lead us down bad roads. However, I think a lot of it is about time management, keep a safe time limit on the amount you are using it whenever you do decided to log on. But i’m not going to start nagging on about that.

What I do want to share with you is how to use Facebook for good, rather than just sitting there wasting time. Now i’ve seen some pretty woeful and kinda unecessary Status Updates in my time, who cares what you just had for lunch!?!

Why not use this chance we have to send a message to all the ‘Friends’ we have about what we are currently rejoicing in, or thinking about, why not stick in your verse of the day, post up your encouragements and discouragements, we as Christian young people need to be talking about all these things so we know what others are going through, and maybe this small step of a simple message on the Internet will get the ball rolling in your life. So please, next time you’re trying to think up a terribly witty status update, why not use the chance to glorify God and encourage/challenge your friends.

Snakes and Ladders

I recently read a very interesting bit of background information about this childhood game that i’m sure many of you didn’t know either. Apparently the origin of Snakes and Ladders can be found way back in 16th Century India. “It existed as a game of ‘religious instruction’, it was a symbolic journey towards ultimate perfection, the snakes represent wrongs and the ladders represent virtues, the western world had currently lost the true meaning of this game.” I’m not too sure about all that, but it did get me thinking about all the Snakes and Ladders that we can experience in our own Christian lives.

Snakes & LaddersOver the summer, we have experienced many ladders or spiritual highs, such as Camps, Teams etc. Opportunities that we get to spend with other believers, learn from God’s word and be built up in our faith. These are times we should cherish and cling on to, however, it is so tough after times like those to remain on that high, and we can slip back down a ladder to the old ways we have and quickly forget about the things we learnt, talked about, etc.

I would encourage you now that as we all head back to school, university, college and work, that we may not slip down these same old ladders that we stumble on after these times of spiritual highs, remember the things God taught you during these times and remember how they changed you for the better, pray for strength against the Devil’s attacks that we may continue down that path of righteousness and serve Christ in all aspects of our lives, rather than continually slipping down these ladders.

Learn to Love Correction

11 Sep

I’ll go so far as to describe this video as potentially life changing. It is only as we realise the truth Josh Harris is talking about that we can truly become as iron sharpening iron and putting this message into practice will radically change all our relationships with other people.

“If we wait for perfect people to show up to point our errors and our flaws, we’ll die as fools”

(HT: Take your Vitamin Z) Learning To Love Correction from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.

John Blanchard and Famous People

9 Sep

John Blanchard spoke to a packed auditorium on the subject of Has Science Disproved God? He answered questions from the floor during his address and was happy to pose for photos with fans after.


Why James May was also there is a mystery.