The 10 books I read in 2017

Scraping in by a mere three hours, I just finished reading my tenth book of 2017, crawling over the double-figures marker exhausted, bug-eyed and ready for bed. It’s been a crazy year and, apart from anything else, being a father seems an entirely reasonable excuse for letting my reading get on the back burner.

Still, 10. And I started a bunch more, and still have a few on the go. I also made a change this year; where before I would doggedly finish a book I had started, this year I realised: who’s got time for that? Not when you’re a parent, working two jobs (sort of), and a bunch of other commitments on the side. They went on the shelf with markers in. I might come back to them later. By the way, I log all this on Goodreads if you’re interested in following my activity there.

So what were the 10 books I read this year? And what else have I got on the go or put on hold? Starting with what I read: Read More…

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Face to Face – Lyric video and song story

Last month I posted a lyric video for ‘Face to Face’ to YouTube, which you can check out below.

I started writing this song in 2013 and finished I think in 2014. I certainly remember that it was one of those I finished after I had been to a songwriter’s conference I was invited to in late 2013. The conference was thoroughly inspiring and I particularly came away with ideas about picture-painting buzzing around my head. Read More…

The Santa Myth

I don’t remember when I stopped believing in Santa Claus. In fact, I don’t remember when I ever believed. I think if I did, the penny had already dropped by the time I was maybe 7 years old and my Grandad came beaming into the room one Yuletide wearing a red dressing gown stuffed with pillows, and a fake beard pulled from goodness knows where. We played along, but I knew it was Grandad. Of course it was Grandad. Santa wasn’t real; he was just a fun story. Read More…

New song with lyric video!

I recently had fun recording a song which I originally wrote on the day our daughter turned 6 months old.

Today, she’s a rampaging 21-month old, but back then, on 21 July 2016, she turned 6 months old, and I wrote a song. I’d always wanted to write a song for her, but probably owed to the lack of sleep one gets over the first few months, I hadn’t had much chance to think about it. But on 21 July the first few words occurred to me naturally enough: ‘6 months today, and not a day has passed us by / We haven’t thought this was the best time of our lives . . . ‘ And so it goes on.

I recorded it recently because my wife Laura desperately wanted a recording of it as a gift for our anniversary, which was certainly a good enough excuse for me to have some fun with guitar, percussion, bass, keyboard and even some melodica. Oh and, some extra ‘ooh’ vocals (listen out for those). Why not, eh?

And, seeing as YouTube is all the rage, I thought I’d go all-out and film myself while recording – as much as possible anyway – and include a lyric video for the track online.

Enjoy!

Update: if you enjoy this tune, please buy it on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp or your store of choice (if you can find it there) – it helps me feed my family 🙂

The next three things

I love Tom Wright’s simple, cheerful response to the question about balancing life in the video below (at right about the 1-hour mark): “I get up very early, say my prayers, and do the next three things that have to be done.”

Which for Tom Wright happen to include putting right centuries of Pauline scholarship, revolutionizing New Testament historical contextual understanding, and challenging most modern Western thinkers’ worldviews.

Sure Tom. Just the next three things. #allinadayswork

A short update, and songwriting

It has been a while. But I’ll keep it short.

Things are shifting a bit for me. Soon, I hope to be making more time again for worship, songwriting, music in general. I have new songs. I have plans to record a new album. I’d like to launch, probably, a Kickstarter project to fund it. I hope to be running a bit more worship training too with Ichthus here in London.

I hope to be able to start telling you more about it soon. I’m very excited about some of the songs that I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to stretch myself a bit. Keep broadening the themes I write on. Read More…

Songs for Sundays – new album from Resound Worship

Some friends of mine just did a thing.

I was pleased to be one of the Kickstarter backers for Songs for Sundays, a new project from Resound Worship, and it arrived in the post today!

Headed up by Joel Payne – who I’ve known since my days as a student in York (he led the worship team at St Michael le Belfrey at that time) – Resound Worship is a collective of writers from across the UK, also comprising my friend Chris Juby. Chris is a worship leader at King’s Church, Durham, a church that is a link of ours here in London (Ichthus). He’s also famous for tweeting the Bible which once got him named one of CNN’s ‘most intriguing people of the day’.

Anyway – introductions aside – this project has had a very deliberate vision from the outset: to produce a set of worship songs written for the local church – with the very ordinary circumstances of Sunday morning parish worship services in mind. Read More…