About Me

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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Prayer that speaks into my situation

A new friend posted this prayer on her blog some time back. I was struck by how much it mirrors where I am in my journey right now. I hope it brings you encouragement or perhaps challenge....

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

-From Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going Underground

Much to my disappointment, but for entirely understandable reasons, I've been advised to be very careful what I say online at this present time.
Those who know me well will know why this is, but to those who don't, let's just say that I am in the midst of a big fight right now.
I find it sad that you really cannot be sure just who is reading postings these days and what their motives might be for doing so. Maybe I am being naive and it has always been like this, but whatever, I have been advised to keep pretty quiet and so that is what I am going to do.
Another reason for my disappointment is that I really enjoy blogging, but I think I'm on fairly safe ground if I talk for the time being about probably my favourite TV show.
I don't know what it is you look for in the ideal TV show, but I have always seen good TV as that which entertains and informs. Sadly these days those kind of programmes are few and far between, since the lowest common denominator that pleases the masses now consists mainly of sex, scandal, the supernatural and endless reality shows.
"Who Do You Think You Are?" is reality TV alright, but reality TV of an utterly compelling nature.
You get to follow a variety of celebrities as they take a journey back in time to investigate long forgotten or simply unknown branches of their family tree. In the process their journeys often take the most unexpected of turns.
The show started life in the UK some 6-7 years ago and has been brought to the US by a team that includes actress Lisa Kudrow, who was the subject of one of the shows. Season one follows Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker (and later in the series, husband Matthew Broderick) movie director Spike Lee, actresses Brooke Shields and Susan Sarandon, and Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith.
All are fascinating in their own way, and as such, well worth seeing, but apart from the lack of unsavoury elements you see in so much TV nowadays, WDYTYA inspires viewers to get involved themselves in delving into their past. I and several other people I know have already been doing this, and I can trace my family line back to the 1600s in England. My friend Jenna -- clearly descended from Viking stock -- can trace hers back to the 11th century, while my friend Krystle has made exciting discoveries about her forbears here in the US. It's a lot of fun on ancestry.com
Check out Who Do You Think You Are (a second season has been commissioned), and then have a look at your own family history. You may just get a few surprises, and learn a little more about what makes you the way you are.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pear Blossomation

For those who are unaware of the significance of Pear Blossom, it really marks the start of Spring in the Rogue Valley.
The day starts with early morning runs/walks and then at 11am, the main parade through Medford's downtown.
For the last 2 years I've been a part of theDove's float, but this year we had started talking at the Naz about whether we could get the band on a float for Pear Blossom. After batting it around, we found that the personnel were available, and thanks to the genius of Joe Bettis and a crew of technical marvels, we found ourselves at a local lock-up on Friday  night, soundchecking for the parade, which would serve as the first real advertising we have done for Saturday nights at Naz.
As you can see from the pictures, the technical marvels had also rigged up a really neat gazebo thing which was chiefly designed to protect from any rain, but which also came in useful as a sun shield, as it turned out. Final touches were added to the float at 7.30am Saturday, just as Pastor Trevor was coming 4th in in the run for his age bracket - and first among Central Point runners in that bracket, so in my book, he's a winner. His sister-in-law came 20th out of around 400 girls, which is probably not a huge surprise to those of us who know her!
By 8.30am, the float was parked up in place in the holding area with a band consisting of keyboards, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums and bass, along with 5 vocalists, complete with our own on-board sound engineer. It wasn't as cold as forecast, but still very brisk, especially for guitar strings etc. so plenty of retuning was needed. We ran through a few songs as we waited for the off, which would be well after 11am as we were right at the back of the parade. By the time we pulled away at around noon, we'd played quite a bit and the conditions were warmer, with some sporadic sun.
As we got under way and started to encounter the people lining the route, the reaction seemed very positive. As far as we were aware, we were possibly the only live band apart from the various marching bands, and people seemed really into the music,  and not just those we saw from our church. A surprising number of people we saw seemed to know the words of the songs we were doing.
The setlist was kept upbeat, with what outside of worship would be called "crowd pleasers". Lincoln Brewster's "Everybody Praise The Lord", "All To You" and "Give Him Praise", New Life Church's "Mighty King Of Love", Chris Tomlin's "Sing Sing Sing", Jesus Culture Redding's "Your Love Never Fails" and Tim Hughes' "Happy Day". I think we probably played some of those songs six or seven times by the time we had finished, so we had the arrangements pretty much down.
Judging by the reactions, I think it was a very successful thing to do, and well worth all the effort. At our 6pm service later, Pastor Grinder reported that 8 or 9 people had come after seeing the band playing in the Pear Blossom.
One final story to report. A guy who was marshaling floats in the holding area came up to us after we'd been running through some songs. He was interested in where the church was and talked about maybe coming to check out a service. His comment was "We're gonna have to pull you out of the parade......cuz you're too AWESOME!!".

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reflections on Prayer Day

As expected, yesterday's Dove Day of Prayer was hectic from start to finish with well over 300 emails and phone calls taken between 6am and 6pm.

It is strange how draining something as seemingly simple as prayer can be, but the truth is that you are making an emotional and spiritual connection with God every time, and especially when praying on the air, we have to be so careful not to give out any names, or to give away too much about a particular situation that someone is able to guess who it involves.

That said, I was moved by how - after having prayed with people over the phone - it really sounded in their voices as if a huge weight had been lifted. Maybe I ought to pray more for those I know and love, since it costs me nothing but can be such a massive encouragement, just to know someone cares and is trying to understand.

It was encouraging to be joined in the studio yesterday by two great men of prayer, Pastor David Grinder from First Church of the Nazarene here in Medford - my home church - and Pastor Ron Timen from Rivergate in Ashland (who, as it turns out, is a huge fan of the Motown backing band, the Funk Brothers, and like me, a big fan of the legendary James Jamerson, so we had plenty to talk about in down moments).

Now comes the excitement of awaiting news of how God has been answering all those prayers, because he is and he will, in his own time.  I look forward to sharing encouraging news of answered prayer. In the meantime, don't forget the National Day of Prayer on May 6th.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Prayer Day

So tomorrow is a big day for my workplace, theDove. It's our annual Prayer Day, when we get to pray for the needs of our listeners, and it's the only time we get to ask them to call in with no agenda of our own, other than to pray for THEM.

This is important because usually if we're asking people to call in, we're asking for something -- usually money! The last few times we have had days like this, the response has been almost overwhelming and it is really humbling and also rather sad to know that SO MANY people listening to the station have such a depth and breadth of problems and life issues. It certainly helps put life in perspective.

Last year when we had a Prayer Day the phones were pretty much white hot from 6am through to day's end at 6pm, and tomorrow -- if initial email response is anything to go by -- is going to be just as busy.

So can we pray for you? If so, go to www.thedove.us and click on the praying hands, and tomorrow you can call us from 6am through 6pm with your prayer needs.