Sunday, July 17, 2005

To my Father

Lord Jesus Christ
May i bring honour and glory to your name in all i do
May i put your will foremost in my heart
May i conform more and more to your mighty, holy image
May i be strengthened by your Holy Spirit to resist temptation.
May i find my joy in you always.
May i count it all as loss for the glory of your name
Lord Jesus. I want to be a man that proclaims you proudly where ever i go.
Forgive me Jesus for my constant rebellion against you, and thank you and praise to to the highest heights for your grace and mercy.
Here i am, Lord, send me. Please?

Edz Cutz

So, i thought in order to build up a bigger picture of myself, i'd blog reviews of some of my favourite albums: (in no particular order)

Nirvana: Nevermind. I suppose a fairly obvious choice. For me it will always be the album that changed music history, and opened up a whole new genre. 'What is grunge' as Krist Novoselic used to ponder. Well, on this album, its all about poppy hooks, brilliantly disguised in distorted guitars and a real feeling of pointless, aimless rage. Something i could relate to a lot in my teenage years. This is why kids love this album, becuase its loud and angry. I'm not as 'in' to them as i used to be, but still, what a band.
Favourite Track: Its tough. I love 'Drain You', 'Polly', 'Breed', and of course 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. If i had to choose one? Probably 'Drain You', although the haunting final track 'Something In The Way is making a late run.

Nirvana: In Utero. This has to be in any collection. Kurt proves you don't need to be a fret magician to carry along and create a brilliant album. Sparse, stripped down sounds, fuelled by Kurt's pure drive anger at the world don't always make this an easy listen, but its well worth it. More anger and less pop than Nevermind, the more you learn about its context the more you appreciate it. A lot of people will tell you this was Kurt's suicide note to the music industry. Since i'm not sure how Kurt died (for me, the evidence he killed himself is at least matched by that which says he didn't) so i'll stay clear of that.
Favourite Track: Again tough. If i had to choose i'd go for All Apologies. Or Heart Shaped Box. Or Milk it. Or Very Ape. Or Serve The Servants...

Cursive: The Storms of Early Summer:Semantics of Song. Ah yes Cursive. The finest exponents of North American post-hardcore that no ones ever heard of. This is their second of four albums, the first one not being so good, and the 3rd and 4th both being concept albums in their own way (more of which later). This is quite a bare album, not much sonic brilliance, but Tim Kashers voice makes it all worthwhile. There was a time last year when i listened to this album every day, so its gotta be in here. A gloomy, fairly pessamistic take on life, and i suppose early 21st century American life. Buy it, go on!
Favourite Track: A Career in Trancendance or The Road To Financial Stability.

Cursive: Cursive's Domestica. Album number three from Nebraska's finest. This time a concept album telling a story about the break up of a couple. So another cheerful piece of work. Nonetheless, the lyrics, slow, lazy guitars and again Tim's vocie had me falling in love with this album very quickly. Not as accesable as SOES:SOS, but so poweful to listen to. A touch short at 35 minutes, but always leave them wanting more eh?
Favourite Track: no contest this time, has to be 'A Red So Deep'

Cursive: The Ugly Organ. Number four. And surely the most daring yet. Introducing sixth member Greta to play an organ on the album was a brave move. And one that paid of greatly. Again, a sort of concept album, this time a kind of reply to 'Domestica' in which a lot of songs has Tim playing two roles, that of the Domestica guy, and the Domestica girl. A very sad album to listen to lyrically, as the guy goes through alcholism, and ends up losing his wife and his kid. There's a theme here isn't there? These albums are great, but don't tell very happy stories. Ah well!
Favourite Track: The Recluse. Or Some Red Handed Slieght of Hand.

Hundred Reasons: Ideas Above Our Station. A British band at last. Top class emo/post hardcore this. A brilliant collection of upbeat, poppy emo to while away many a sunny evening. Colins voice is top drawer, added to which, they are excellent live. An album that shines and twists and bends to an easy listening finale. If you want to get into PH, this is where to start in my opinion. Kinda grungy as well is some ways.
Favourite Track. Falter. Easy this time!

Funeral For A Friend: Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation. I can never make my mind up about this album. Yes, they are very talented, and good to listen to, falling into the louder end of the post hardcore genre, (some would call it screamo, or even extreamemo. I ask you!) but you have to admit that they changed their sound dramatically from their two EP's to their debut album. I mean, look at 1045 Amsterdam Coversations on the 'Between Order and Model' EP. A proper Hardcore song, and nothing like anything on the album. Or even Juno (the original) and Juneax (the far more commercial album version) that said it is a good album when it stands alone, and will always remind me of being a fresher at Reading. So i guess thats good enough! Their second album 'Hours' is pretty good too!
Favourite Track. Red is the New Black, or Bullet Theory.

Biffy Clyro: Blackend Sky/The Vertigo of Bliss/Infinity Land. Yes, i know its a cop out having all three there, but its my blog, so i can do what i like. This three piece, scottish prog rock outfit were unknown to me at the turn of the year. Having bought all three albums in quick, chronological order, i can now count them amongst my favourite bands. From the Nirvana like debut Blackened Sky, through the prog dreamland that is The Vertigo of Bliss, to the noise and sonics of Inifinity Land, these guys pull if off time and again. There most recent two albums are fairly hard to get into, but its well worth the effort.
Favourite Track. One off each album, 27, Bodies in Flight, Some Kind of Wizard.

My Chemical Romance: Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. The second album from the New Jersey quintet, advertises itself as 'the story of a man, a woman, and 1000 zombies'. Can't put it much better than that! Very emo, very shouty. Very good. These guys aren't much older than me. Its lyrics and sound are unique, and pretty good fun in one way and another. Despite the pitch, this is a happy sounding album!
Favourite Track: I'm Not Ok.

Thursday: War All The Time. A close call between this one and their second release, but this one just edges it. Very intelligent lyrics make this an enjoyable, if challenging listen. Highly recomended to anyone who likes anything from Morrisey to Soundgarden.
Favourite Track: This Song Bought To You By A Falling Bomb.

Sparta: Wiretap Scars. Formed by the half of At The Drive In, who didn't become The Mars Volta, this is a beautiful bare debut. Very chilled out to listen to and an album thats well worth the risk. Not really emo or Post Hardcore, but a rarity in that it falls nicely between the tow.
Favourite Track: Cut Your Ribbon, or Air.

The Mars Volta: De-loused in The Crematorium. The other half of At The Drive in. This album defies review, if you've got it, you'll know what i mean!. Just go and buy it. Treat yourself.
Favourite Track: Inertiatic ESP (see what i mean, it defies review!)

Well thats it. Most of these albums will be available via Interpunk apart from maybe Biffy and Hundred Reasons, who'll be on Amazon (10 years old today!)


Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Cornhill Summer School

So, as you will have gathered, this last week i have spent attending the Cornhill Summer School, in Southwark, London. Now, i'm not one who thinks that the words 'school' and 'summer' should really go together, but this week has definately changed my mind!
Man, how good was it to be in God's perfect and infallible word for five hours a hours a day. How inspirational to sit under the teaching of Christopher Ash, Doug Johnson, David Jackman and Dick Lucas. How excited am i now to have a clearer understading of God's soverign plan as explained in the bible!
Let me take you through a normal day:
At 0930 Doug Johnson would kick us off with a 5 part Old testament overview. Roots and Fruits, A People of Promise, From Conquest to Kings, Into Exile and Hope Renewed told us the story of the Old Testament in five hours. It was really great for me to sit and listen to Doug teach, as my knowledge of the OT, and especially its chronology is shocking. I've got a much clearer idea now. I mean, i'll forget it soon, but lets enjoy it whilst it lasts hey? Itss great to be able to open up the OT and know whats going on, and will help with my reading and understanding of it so so much! I'd just finished reading 1&2 Samual when i started the week, so now hopefully i'll be off into Kings, although i really want to read Lamentations as well. Thats along with Luke 9-19, for next years Cell, Romans 5-8 for Houseparty and Galatians for the RUCU training meetings. Along with the collection of Jonathan Edwards sermons i've just bought, and, soon i fear, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. Phew! Anyway, i digress...
At 1030 Christopher Ash would show us how to handle a particular genre of the bible, mainly according to context and content. This was very helpful, and i really feel, again, a deeper and better understanding of the way the Bible fits together as a book now, as well as feeling more confident on how to open up the Bible itself. Although, i still have a long way to go on this one! These sessions were 2 hours long, with 30 minutes for coffee in the middle.
Lunch was from 1315-1400, and we then split off into our 'Gobbet Group' workshops. These were an oppotunity for each member of the group to presnt an exposition on a designated passage from the Bible, and then receive feedback on it. My passage was 1 Kings 10:1-13, which may one day appear on these pages!
At 1530, David Jackman lead us through the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians. Excellent stuff. Never try and build on Christ with things of this world, never rely on your own strength. Why are you worrying about the world? Christ has overcome it! The only problem with this part of the day, was the combination of a long day, a hot room, and David's very soothing voice. But nonetheless, excellent stuff!

Its my intention sometime before Thursday to blog the four Corinthian expositions, Psalm 16 by Dick Lucas, and perhaps even my own take on the passage from 1 Kings, but we'll see.

Overall, the CSS was a great week. And well worth it at £80, lunch provided. I'd highly recomend it to anyone who wants to meet some very cool people, (i spent most of the week with a 26 year old CofW Youth worker, a 19 year old full time evangelist, and two guys of 17 and 18 who had just left school, one bound for uni the other perhaps for the police), spend a great deal of time in the Word, sit under some great teaching and learn more and more about the Lord Jesus Christ. Do it guys!

Congratulations Ros!!

Ros Ottley, now i suppose Ros Cox, got married today at West Hill baptist church in East Putney. It was a bit weird seeing one of my friends get married, but great all the same. And such a happy occasion on such a beautiful day. Praise the Lord!!
Despite a brief argument with the District Line, me, Fern and Tim managed to get there just about on time. Really good to spend some time with these guys too.
All in all, a top day!

Well Done Chiltern Railways

I must just blog quickly to congratulate Chiltern Railways for getting to and from London in a decent fashion all week. Nothing remarkable in this itself, of course, but it becomes a better story when you consider Tesco's latest attempt at on-line shopping which left the main line from Risboro' to London blocked. So, they rerouted the trains thought Aylesbury, and, despite the extra 20-30 minutes on my joureny time, all went smoothly. So well done guys, my faith in you is now restored...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fear not oh legion of fans

Just a brief update of my week thus far to keep the many 'Floyd watchers' out there happy. Cornhill is really good. Great to be in the word be 6 hours a day, great to spend time with fellow believers, great to be sitting under some top class teaching. Sometime over the weekend i'll try and write up some of the expositions that have been done over the course, (Psalm 16, 1 Corinthians 1-4) and share some of what i've been learing from the very excellent Old Testament overviews.
God spoke to me a lot today, reconvincting me of how my faith is about HIM and not me, that it all rests on HIS wisdom and power, not mine. Praise the Lord for His pateince and grace!

I must grab a shower.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Going Public

So, thanks to The Bish and His eagle eye, i have been outed.

Paul Huxley, if you're reading this, sorry for ripping off your blog name pal!

God Bless

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Child of God?

So after my two early starts to get to Silverstone on friday and saturday, i managed not to wake up till gone 10 this morning, and in the process managed to miss church.
Nevertheless, God challenged me on some major points in my Christian life while i was reading 1 John:2. The issue of habitual sin came up, that is, being stuck in a repetitive sin. And how if we are then we are 'children of the devil'. I sin all the time, and indeed 1 John:1 tells us that if we pretend that we don't sin, we are liars. I hate the fact that i still stuggle with the things i stuggled with on day one of my Christian life. Am i stuck in habitual sin? Probably yes. This being different from the sin spoken about in 1 John:1:10. What does this mean? That i show attributes of being a child of the devil, when i am in fact a child of God? I think so. I don't want to any more, i want to be like Jesus, i want to serve and honour Him in every way that i can.
I pray that the end of my habitual sin starts today. And i thank God that he loved and cared for me enough to show me and convict me of this.

On a brighter note, i'll be making my first of six journeys to Cornhill in a bit. Looking forward to spending time with other believers, and hoping to hear God speak from His w0rd. It should be good...

The Judge

Went to see the Wycombe High School production of Carousel tonight, as my little sister is the second lead female. Good story, good production, but one that posed an unexpected question.
What happens when you die?
Our (anti) hero, whose name already escapes me, kills himself rather than face year in prison for armed robbery. Shortly before the robbery, as his accomplice and he discuss their plans, he wonders what will happen to him when he gets 'up there' to face the judge. His friend assures him that only the rich face the 'judge' the poor like him will face no more than a magistrate, just like on earth.
When our hero dies, he is told he hasn't done enough good to get into heaven, 'not even through the back gates'. He is also allowed to visit his daughter, after his death.
And here's the point. When we die, we will all face the same righteous, holy, glorious, just judge, who will hold our eternity in His hands. How can we ever be good enough for such a judge? How can we ever live up to His laws? Here's the great news, literally, the Good News, the Gospel. You and I don't have to. We have someone who has been judged in our place, who lived and died instead of us, and in His death took the whole weight on God's punishment for our sins on His shoulders.
Thank you Jesus. Thank you that its about you, your life, your righteousness, and not mine. Thank you Lord that you loved me enough to send your son to die in my place. Thank you Jesus, help Lord please to follow you, and to live my life as a testament to your unfailing love... I will get there. I long to be holy, to glorify the Lord in all i do. I'm nowhere near there yet, and i will never, never by my own work be good enough in the Lord's eyes. But thanks to Jesus i don't have to. Thank you Jesus, for your salvation.
This is it. Life, death, judgement. No more, no less. After that comes heaven or hell. No more, no less. There are no other choices. Choose God and follow Him, or you consciously reject Him. Who cares about what the world thinks of you? Don't worry about them. God has to be just, He cannot bear to look on those who rebel against Him. OH help me Lord that I may point people towards you. That i may find my happiness in your glory. Help me to be like you Jesus.

There are two ways to live, one choice to make. Whats it to be?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Starting out (its just an ego trip really)

Man, where do you begin a blog? First of all, hello! If you've found me well done, because as far as i know i'm not going to be making this public knowledge for a while. Although i'm sure at some stage my ego will beat my modesty.
So why a blog? Well, i often get frustrated by the feeling that my spiritual life goes around in circles, i find a problem, beat it and move on, only find myself at the same point a while later, and not being able to remember how i beat it the first time. So perhaps a blog will help me with that, and give me somewhere to document my thoughts, stuggles and solutions.
So, happy reader, what will this blog be about? And more to the point, why am i asking you?! Well, as you might have guessed, i'm a Christian, and so i intend that most of my blog will be about my life in Jesus. Things i have discovered, problems i have and have solved, a place for me to vent my frustrations, and maybe in some small way, one day, to point people towards the Lord. No dount my other interests in life will creep in at some point, sport and football in general, Wycombe Wanderers in particular (Chairboys On The Net), films maybe occasionally and maybe even news from my course (very unlikely).

So what am i up to this week? Well tomorrow i start a week at the Cornhill Summer School, which i am very excited and scared about, and then i'm off to Bulgaria for a fortnight with The University and Colleges Christian Fellowship
So i've got quite a lot going on, and that only takes me to the beggining of August, this could well by my busiest, most exciting, most challenging summer ever. I certainly hope so.

Anyway, thats probably it for the time being, i'll probably update this during the week sometime, hopefully with exciting news from Cornhill...