Archive for the ‘My Faith’ Category

Running through the rain

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I don’t send on these Internet “chain letters”, as in general I don’t think people want to get generic forwarded and forwarded e-mails from me, they would probably prefer me just to e-mail them to ask them a question, favor or just to say hello. I do like this one though, it has a fair point and it makes it well. I have removed what I suppose would be described as the postamble from the bottom, as it doesn’t work for blog  posts.

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Checkers. (For those that do not know Checkers is a Supermarket store in S.A.) She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of Checkers.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said. “Let’s run through the rain!” She repeated. “No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” “We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said. “No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm. “This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”

“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!” The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories… So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I think it was the penultimate paragraph that made me think the most, all Christians have had that “saving” experience, but we need washing clean every morning because our acts and experiences don’t match up with God’s expectations.

EasyWorship

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

I am not in the habit of writing product reviews on my blog, however this review was prompted by being asked for the n’th time what software I use at church to display words, videos and scripture on the projector. The short answer is to say that we use EasyWorship 2007.

The reasoning behind using it is not that good really, as it was chosen before my time and as far as I know no one really did any major research into it. However since using it I have had the opportunity to really try and get into it and to see if there are any good alternatives to do the job.

First of all we have three basic requirements, the first and most important was to be able to organise and display words during worship, the second is as a multimedia presentation platform (i.e. the ability to play sound, display video and PowerPoints) the third is to be able to display scripture during a sermon.

Second there are the alternatives two of which I have tried in a “live” situation and two I have seen used very proficiency:

  • Words of Worship- For the past three years running I have seen this in use each at Spring Harvest, from what I can gather it was chosen because it could display lyrics for songs on screen, other functionality can be provided by video mixing and chroma keying.
  • OpenSong – For a while it looked like EasyWorship was not going to be suitable for our needs, this is the first of two products we used while we were sorting out our problems, it had the capability to display lyrics and scripture on screen. Although as far as I saw media presentation was not within its abilities. In addition it is free.
  • MediaShout – This was the second application we tried in lieu of EasyWorship, the features seem almost boundless as it is extensible with plug-ins, however the user interface is very cluttered and is not the easiest program to drop into, that said MediaShout do provide extensive training as do several third parties.
  • SongPro – I have seen this used in several Anglican churches and I must say it does its job properly, I have not however ever seen it play audio or video.

Finally back to EasyWorship. In the end it turned out that we were entitled to continue using EasyWorship as it was so we did not need to look into a different product, that said we had planned to purchase it again for the following reasons:

  • It requires little or no training for the operator.
  • It allows us to display lyrics, scripture, audio. video and PowerPoint.
  • It has a convenient mechanism for searching songs (by title or by first line of verse/chorus)

There are other features that I like about EasyWorship that we are yet to utilize:

  • Video Feeds – this could be really cool having a feed from a DV Camera on the screen, particularly if it was a big or unusually shaped room.
  • Scheduling of all items - EasyWorship can add anything to a schedule it seems, currently we only add songs and PowerPoint presentations. With sufficient planning scripture and media could also be added. You could even go as far as adding music to be played at the start and end of the service.

Well that is the rather sketchy review, if I come up with anything else over time I will be sure to post back. If you have any of your own experiences please feel free to drop a comment.

Lakeland Revival

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Catherine and I have been watching the GOD channel over the past three days, there has been and still is a great outpouring of the holy spirit in Lakeland, Florida, and the GOD channel have been broadcasting it to the world (well most of it).

I don’t know what God is going to do, but I am sure that he is changing lives there in Florida and all over the world through the ministries of the leaders there. It is not without criticism, I don’t know enough about everyone involved to make up my mind, chances are I will never know till I get to meet my Lord face to face.

Quantifying Ourselves

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Some friends on a forum I frequent have spotted a web application called The Political Compass the premise is you answer 6 pages of questions that gauge your political views. The result is two numbers which can be plotted as X and Y axis onto a graph that represent your political views.

My result was Economic Left/Right: -3.25 and Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.15.

Political Compass for Richard Slater

This is a result I don’t disagree with, however I don’t think it is as clean cut as this. Peoples views change over time, moral choices are affected by different influences to economic or financial issues, those influences can change regularly. When it comes down to it a decision needs to be made at the moment it is required to make, if I am presented with an problem be it moral, social, financial, technical, etc. I make a decision based upon experiences, morality, knowledge and in my case and more importantly for me prayer.

Academics and interested parties come up with these scales and measures to enable them to categorize people, this has been seen everywhere from Business (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) to online gaming (Bartle Test). For their purpose they serve their purpose and serve it very well.

They are however a hash function of an aspect of our personality at a specific point in time. I may be a INTJ in Myers-Briggs parlance or ESAK in Bartle Test parlance but that does not mean that all people who get INTJ in Myers-Briggs and ESAK in the Bartle Test are the same as me.

Our Purpose?

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Today I start a course of sunday meetings, weekly house groups and daily readings centered arround God’s purpose for our lives, Rick Warren wrote it, God designed it.

Todays topic is It all starts with God, and the point of todays reading was it’s not about me, I would say that this could also be read as It’s all about God which reminds me of a song by Delerious called The Heart Of Worship, google the Lyrics they are quite something.

At the end of each days reading Rick asks us to think upon a question, today this question is In spite of all the advertising arround me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God not myself?

- Turn to God in everything, not just when you are thankful or when you are in need.
- Say hello to God in the morning, say good night before you go to sleep. You would say hello to your husband or wife in the morning, isn’t God there more often than they are?
- Read God’s word… more importantly understand it!

Todays memory verse is “Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him” Colossians 1:16b (Msg)

- “all things were created by him and for him.” (NIV)
- “all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.” (AMP)