Different and yet the same

Firstly hello to everyone. For some time now I’ve been running the Pigsty Studio blog but recently we’ve decided to pool our resources so I’m now starting to write here instead. At some point in the not too distant future we’ll move all the old posts from there to here too.

For those of you that have read my stuff before you can safely assume that the change won’t affect my usual “tell it as it is” style including my various heretical deliberations, so lets start as we mean to go on then…

The last couple of tracks have dovetailed really nicely for me…”What the?” How does that work” I hear you ask – “One is an emotive song all passionate and moody about throwing everything away for God and being completely abandoned to him and the other is happy, bouncy and all “whoo whoo whooa!” about flowers and stuff!”

Now then I say this not in any way to knock the song we produced last month nor its author or even for that matter the content – it’s a very admirable sentiment/vision. I’ve never really been one for dramatic abandonment and some might say I’m poorer for it, but I’ve seen too many people do it and not come out the other side and so this month’s track is more my style.

IMG_20130305_090100It talks about the fact that we go up, we go down, have inspiration and then it all seems crap BUT through it all God is constant. Our call is to be constant, not blown this way or that. It’s great when God does amazing powerful works. I’ve been in church meetings where everyone that goes to the front seems to end up flat on their backs or when people wriggle across the floor like snakes getting deliverance but for whatever reason it’s not always like that and excuse my apparent pessimism, but I don’t think its going to be.

You’ll always get people with rose-tinted glasses who talk about “back in the day” (although if you ask my mother she’ll tell you it wasn’t that pretty back in the day either) but I liken following God to being a bit like falling in love; the first few weeks are awesome you’re over the moon, you get butterflies in your stomach at that first kiss (I do have a sloppy side too you know) and everything just looks wonderful, but then you start spending more time together and you realise that it’s not quite that simple.

You’ve got to work it out, you’ve got to put one foot in front of the other and make it work. It’s not that there’s no love or no passion any more – on the contrary love should hopefully grow over the years into a more stable foundation but somehow that fact that your spouse has left his breakfast dishes on the work surface instead of putting them in the dishwasher, and there are breadcrumbs everywhere near the toaster for the fourth time this week, and he did it all last week too is still annoying even though you love him.

So as the song says: Flowers fade, but your word remains. God calls us to follow him not just in the good time when everything is rosy and inspiring but when its hard and doesn’t make any sense and everything has faded too.

I titled this post “different but the same”….and there was method in my madness. Having said these songs are different you know what – they’re not. One might be through slightly rose-tinted glasses – “it used to be good years ago” type stuff and the other more practical “I’ll put one foot in front of the other” but I think actually behind their various phrasing they both simply say: “God I wanna make my life count.”

Enjoy….meanwhile I shall return to my burrow to try to work out how on earth I apply this my life!

P.S. Thanks to those folks who gave me some of their time to help with this track. You’re now all officially rock reggae stars.

Oooooh look – a squirrel!!!

Some people find seem to find it simple to focus on God, they have quiet times and go on pray walks. When the list with 1 hour slots for a 24 hour prayer session goes up on the board you can guarantee you’ll find their name on there and probably for 2 slots in row at 4am in the morning, then they come back with beautiful tales of God’s awesomeness and the sun rise…….blaa de bla de blah!….well erm I’m not one of them!

Everything seems out to distract you

Hard as you might find it to believe (well maybe not if you read this blog enough) but I find God pretty hard to remember. In fact to be honest what with work, setting up for meetings, having meetings, packing up from meetings, DIY and sleeping I’m bad enough at remembering my family and friends who I can see let alone remembering someone who I can’t see and lets face it I rarely see much physical evidence of in this world.

Now I know faith is the evidence of things not seen and all that shenanigans. I’ve heard that since I was little boy and could understand that drawing on walls was not cool (sorry mum), but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. In today’s world we are more focussed than ever on immediate stimulation we are fed it from every angle, you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get my daughter away from the telly to do some drawing instead or go on the trampoline.

Life is pretty hectic everyone wants your attention, the Tassimo machine makes “fresh” coffee so you don’t have to wait, Facebook and Twitter allow you interact with friends (or worse your family) without ever leaving your computer and actually speak them, the problem is that God has neither Facebook or Twitter and from what I can tell checks his email even less frequently than my wife!

God longs for a relationship and that takes time if like me (if I’m honest) you try to dip in and out of your relationship with God when you’ve got time then it doesn’t work, so like me you end up hoping the 24 hour prayer hours are all filled up by the time you get round to looking at the list because you don’t really want to sit there what feels like yourself for an hour.

Where does all this lead me? I think I’m coming to the conclusion that yes it can be hard to find time to meet with God when unlike everything else that surrounds you he’s not instantly there and on tap (well it doesn’t seem like it for me anyway), and it can be frustrating when unlike the physical world we are surrounded by he’s not really something you can touch or smell or audibly hear, but that’s an excuse rather a note to say we’ve gotta work at this one cos actually there isn’t anyone who understands us more than the person that made us.

If we are ready to put in the effort we’ll learn to hear and recognise the voice of the Shepherd and then who know maybe one day suddenly you’ll find that you’re one of those “people” on prayer walks, and lets face it we’re all pretty jealous of those people we just don’t want to admit it. We can all experience spiritual life but like any other kind of life you have plant the seeds, water and care for them for it to grow.

This months track is an expression of this battle we face on a daily basis

In need of a saviour

For those of you who have not watched any of the recent series of Dr Who of the last few years then the homepage introduction to septembers track will have been lost on you but never mind thanks to the mis-information provided by Wikipedia you can always brush up. So this last month really was quite a scary time for us in the studio and before you go listening to the track I do think I should tell you the story of how it all came about…. So there we were 24 channels later after hours of setting up the studio having your average wednesday night recording session. Typically scheduled to start at 8pm we finally rolled into action some time after 9pm, although secretly I was rather relieved as I’d only just get everything working and even then a certain young bass players headphones still weren’t working quite right, but I thought that would do him some good some how 🙂 We’d got a few takes down pretty cleanly and a fairly sensible what could probably be classed as “new metal” track was coming along: [audio:http://https://colourfulchurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Blog-version.mp3|titles=In need of a saviour – studio version] As you can hear all bar some clothing hitches it was going fine……and that when it happened, what happened? you say – THE DALEKS CAME! – That’s what happened. Oh my life I’ve never been so scared, fortunately most of us managed to get away but there really was nothing we could do to protect poor Jonny Haynes. They swooped in lights flashing and their mono-tone voices barking towards him. One minute he was there and the next thing we knew both him and his little white laptop vanished. As I say where is the psychic paper when you need it – no-one really knows how to contact The Doctor but we all know the Daleks fear him and somehow he knows when you need him so clinging to that hope we packed up and went home trusting that somehow, some day we’d hear from our good friend again. Only a few days laters however several of us got an odd call on our phones which I managed to save: [audio:http://https://colourfulchurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Dalek-version.mp3|titles=The Daleks attack Jonny] Whilst we were glad to hear that he was still alive and with us in this world clearly he was in some pain, I mean you can hear the Daleks in the background whooping and screeching. However obviously he was doing his best to block the torture out by continuing to work on the track, you have to admire the tenacity of the man! With this in mind you can imagine how pleased and relieved I was when I walked into the studio the following week to find Jonny sat in the control room. No-one really knows how he got back, whether he escaped or The Doctor came to his aid and he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it yet so we’ve not asked to many questions , we’re just glad to have him with us again alive and well (have you noticed that his hand seems to be better now – its amazing what these aliens can do). Unfortunately it seemed that he needed to work out some of the anguish of his capture through this months track. We tried to stop him but it was clearly something he felt he needed to do. He calls this music “dub and step” or something like that – I’m guessing maybe that was the names of two of his captors,  as I’ve said he doesn’t seem to like to talk about it but you can quite clearly hear two different  voices through-out the track however I must confess I can’t really work out which one is Dub and which one is Step. I’ve done some research and from what I can tell this is clearly something that’s happened to other people. This poor fella even seems to have taken a Dalek name, lets hope he gets well again soon. So do bear these people on your minds and as you go about your daily lives and be grateful for what you have. Now that you know what happened I think you are ready to hear the track: [HTML1]

DISCLAIMER: The content of this blog entry in no-way represents the true opinion of the Pigsty studio engineer who would like to publicly admit that to his country rock shame he found himself in appropriately nodding his head to the beat during the creation of this track and even singing the chorus when he got home. He would also like to acknowledge the vast proportion/majority of the production work done by others on this track and would like to congratulate them on/thank them for that and apologise for any apparent grumpiness during the process.

As you might have noticed I’m as little devoid of great spiritual inspiration right now and mainly consumed by rather ridiculous humour, but then if I was always full of spiritual inspiration I wouldn’t need a saviour would I? I guess thats the point really! P.S. When I get a video of the drama that featured with this song at our recent Sheffield event I’ll put it up for you here.