Did I hear you say “reeeeeeee-mix”?…

….no? – oops! Oh well I did one anyway. This months track is called “The real Jesus” or perhaps otherwise known as “Stained glass window”. Originally sung at our Jesus Army youth event called RAW back in 2007 when RAW all started for some reason this song didn’t really get much attention (I believe “someone” decided it was a bit camp) and it just faded into the history books – well we’ve brought it back…..

The more astute amongst you may have noticed that actually there’s already a live recording of this track on our Soundcloud site but this version is……well….different. To be fair the original version was a bit limp-wristed, it wasn’t really intended that way but (particularly the chorus) ended up there, so I’ve given it a bit more balls and focus.

The track was originally written to express the frustration of working out being Christian (nothing camp about that!) when we’re surround by so much stuff, opinion, ideas, ideals and imagery etc etc that have built up over centuries.  In the second verse it talks about realising that we can’t just carry on being swan like looking all serene and pretending everything’s run swimmingly (pun UN-intended) when actually we’re busy padding furiously under the water and making a mess of it all and bridge expresses a determination to find Jesus and stick with it even it “crosses” (pun intended) some of our natural apathy.

I don’t normally post the words up but since I’ve been at this one with a particularly large hammer I thought I would this time:

I want to break the stained glass window, see through the stereotypes.
I want to push past all the false Messiahs of shallow “Christian” hype
I want to get beyond my own desires of what You’ll say to me
And listen to Your real words, Jesus,
Whatever those words…..
Whatever they may be

I’m gonna find you, not gon’ be blinded
Yeah I must met the man with scars
Oh I’m wanna know you
Quittin’ all my hiding to discover who you are

I want to slam the door on my fantasies, stop lying to myself.
I’ve got to stop pretending all is well, in a life of sin by stealth.
Not going to try and make a heaven from hell, with the pleasures of this earth
Abandon all, let me follow You, Jesus,
To Discover your…
Discover Your true worth

Yeah I will carry my cross daily
And I will kiss You if You slay me
Know You as you really are

At that rather gritty stuff said I don’t think I have enjoyed doing a song as much as this one in all the time I’ve been in the studio (ok its only a year). It’s not often you listen to a song again after several days and still want to scream it at the top of your lungs (I mean lungs – your voice has well and truly gone if you sing this a few times….its a top A “don’t you know”) and are tapping your foot, nodding your head and playing air drums….I reckon if your walls are not shaking when you listen to this and Dave Evans doesn’t turn up round your house waving a db meter at you (excuse the private joke here) then you’re playing it too quiet.

On a somewhat more flippant note – Does anyone else hear “the man whiskers” whilst listening to it? – We cried laughing in the studio whilst doing this – but then it was midnight again.

Right….hit it! [audio:http://www.jesus.org.uk/gallery/albums/music/tracks/The-real-Jesus.mp3|titles=The real Jesus] as usual you can download the higher quality version here




Small man, big shoes

Recently our church ran our now annual youth event called RAW, and this year I was given the questionable but yet illustrious title of “Event Organiser”. As I grew up in our church my Dad has been event organiser for many of our main church events and I know what it takes and so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to it. When the day finally dawned I found myself obliged to post a comedic remark on facebook something to effect of

today I officially wear my fathers shoes, and frankly I don’t like the way they smell

Anyway this got me thinking….

…in fact generally RAW got me thinking, we found that apart from a core of a few stalwart type generally many of our youth are simply not (and in many case not prepared to be) involved in the practical workings of such an event because so much of what do is run by the older folk. My own team many were hard work to get working and seemed way more inspired by doing runs to the chip shop or making tea than actually getting on with the job in hand, yer OK not everyone feels doing PA is as much as ministry or part of their life as I do and perhaps I’m a little sad, but its not about that, it’s about being part of a team and if you don’t do your bit then the other members or the team have to do twice as much.

Ok so where is all this going – is it just an opportunity for me to moan publicly at various somewhat lack luster members of our church PA team….actually surprisingly no!

Being the event organiser wasn’t something I particularly wanted to do (despite a reputation for liking being in charge) actually I really didn’t want to do it but I knew I had to, there were things about me there were not going to change unless I did something like this, further more our church had a need and God had given me some personal characteristics that meant I could help.

I look at our current generation of youth and sometimes I worry, if our church is survive then we must be people that step into the big shoes our fore-fathers have left or need to leave and are only still in them cos no-one else will wear them.

Time to give those old big shoes a new lease of life!

Yer they’ll be too big for you and if you shout loud enough you might hear an echo, and yer like me you’ll wonder if you can live up to it  In fact working in this ole’ studio is another case of stepping into shoes for me and actually often (to continue this metaphor a bit further) the shoes aren’t that comfy they irritate or frustrate you and give you blisters of one kind or another, as I said to a couple of friends recently – realising your personal skill limits is a very depressing place to be!

But fill the shoes we must and God willing we’ll grow into them, this months track  (I say this months – I mean July really) is a track of penitence it recognises that our faith and fire has gone cold and that we need God to revive us and actually that’s what should drive us – not duty (or my moaning). I have no doubt that as our church was founded back in the 70’s many people did things they thought they couldn’t or didn’t want to because the fire of God burned in them and passion drove them, and sometime passion is practical as well as spiritual – there’s a good reason our book was called Fire in our hearts.

Lets face it asking forgiveness for our fire growing cold is probably going to be fairly regular thing for most of us most of the time but for our youth (or as we call them J-Gen) I think it’s something we must take on board, as the older folks around us disappear it’s no good us looking around and asking “what happens next?” because WE are what happens next our fire need to be hot now otherwise we won’t be ready.

….on with the music:

[audio:http://www.jesus.org.uk/gallery/albums/music/tracks/Forgive-us-O-Lord.mp3|titles=Forgive us oh Lord]

Download Forgive us oh Lord high quality (well higher bit rate) version