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
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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……..you 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

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“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

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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.

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A good place to start

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Not me and Tom

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

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Heather and Tom trying to ignore Mary-Lynn

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Tom having a bright idea?

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Waiting for the first talk

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One of the Quiz teams

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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.

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 Newcastle, I think?

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 Barry G about to start

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 Armed and dangerous

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Sweeney likes internet retail

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Hezza being camera-shy 

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 The new Morellies?

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 Emmaline and Alison

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Kathryn and Ruth

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Happy Ben

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

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Rathfriland RPC

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Note the impressive roll up screen

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Lunchtime in the Hall

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

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Finn McCool once played golf here

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

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Legends

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.

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Thanks to Carla and Amy for their pictures.