Saturday, 29 August 2009

"Presenting Mr and Mrs John"



So yeah essentially I haven't blogged for ageeeeeeees and I'm quite sure my very small readership has probably dwindle further because of my lack of effort, but anyways

Last week was my brother's wedding, it was an absolutely amazing day and was so much more fun than I expected it to be. We went up on the friday to start the great setup followed by a rehearsal for the service. Later that night the bridesmaids and ushers were forced to learn the jive for the 2nd Dance of the reception dinner. A fantastic moment for me was at about 11pm while Dan and Zoe packed some of the ushers and bridesmaids burst into song to help aid the packing. Highlights included "Stand by Me" and something by the Venga boys... As Saturday morning dawned the excitement grew and it was a whirlwind of activity as the reception venue was readied and the groom and the bride were dressed, make up-ed, hairwaxed etc... The service itself was beautiful and I'm delighted that Christ was at the centre of it. The Dan and Zoe would leave to "Feeling Good" by Muse, an absolute brilliant choice of song! What followed was masses of photos..mingling... champagne, followed by the anticipated Hog Roast. Big thanks to Jonty and Denise and their team for doing the sides as they were amazing! The speeches came and my nerves held out to give mine. Lastly were the dances and the band followed by the goodbyes to the newly wed couple as they prepared to jet. A tiring but satisfying day, and as I said in my speech I couldn't be more proud of my brother, who has been fantastic to me. I'm overjoyed to have a new sister in my family and greatly look forward to the many gatherings to come with our new extended family...

Friday, 31 July 2009

Off to hunt a stag...




So i haven't exactly been the keenest blogger recently, not because i'm doing much just haven't been bothered to try and blog. Anyway today i shall be off to Cambridge in prep for Saturday where I shall be attending (having organised) my brother's stag do. Shall be loads of fun, especially as paint balling is involved!

P.S
RIP Bobby Robson
A legend of a guy and he will be missed!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Matt Redman's new album




Short story... Matt Redman's new album is almost out. Love the song "You alone can Rescue" hopefully will be an epic album! Quite a few albums coming out soon actually... Ben Cantelon's, Hillsong... better get saving the £s..

check it out here

http://www.kingsway.co.uk/Shop/Sections/Items/Item.aspx?item_id=128140

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Love the Church Weekend




For those who didn't get a chance to attend the brilliant Love the Church day, Bish has summarised what we went through on his blog

http://thebluefish.org/2009/06/love-church.html
http://thebluefish.org/2009/06/love-church-q.html

Was really encouraging and also challenging. If you get a chance listen to the talks which i believe will be uploaded here

http://www.readingfamilychurch.org.uk/sermonarchive.php

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

"So it's a game of pong you want..."




Unsurprisingly my blogging has become less frequent as a result of finishing exams! Anyways here are 2 things that caught my magpie-esque eyes (not cause they're shiny just in the fact i randomly find things...)

Firstly empire have listed what they think are the 100 greatest ever computer games. Being a modern child i grew up with games such as Sonic and so this is a interestingly little list (though it also reveals my dark geeky underbelly but i'm not going to worry about that...)
Quite fun to have a quick look through and potentially gasp at the different rankings..

http://www.empireonline.com/100greatestgames/

Secondly one of my favourite artists (loose term) Banksy has in secret redone the Bristol Museum. Now i understand that some people dislke/hate his work but i think the man is a genius. I may try to visit Bristol sometime soon to view this exhibit...

check out some pictures
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/bristol/hi/people_and_places/arts_and_culture/newsid_8096000/8096891.stm

I'll probably come up with something of greater interest soon, reading a brilliant book on unanswered prayer at the moment but i'll finish it before giving people the "lowdown"

Monday, 1 June 2009

Highlights from the past few weeks


Haven't had a chance to blog recently due to a rather full couple of weeks

Highlights include

1. JJ and the J's making our full debut at the Jazz club - awesome time, the boys were amazing! couldn't have asked for a better band!

2. Random birthday parties - including lots of brilliant dancing...(for all different sorts of reasons)

3. Songwriting session at Reading Fam - great time to start the creative juices flowing as we try and encourage new songs from within the church

4. Finishing exams and getting my dissertation proposal done - obvious why this is a highlight

5. New song (Rescued) getting played a church - i always find it so amazing when a random song idea floating in my head gets turned into something of use, what a privilege it is to serve at such a brilliant church!

6. Front Edge at church - people got saved, people got healed, couldn't ask for more, what an awesome God!

7. Friends - i thank God for surrounding me with people who support me, challenge me, love me and generally are a blessing to me!

8. Finally getting to just sit in the sun and read my book and reflect on my life

:)

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Passion of Jesus Christ




So i finished reading John Piper's book "The Passion of Jesus Christ" awhile back and i highly recommend it. Was a short but made a large impact and i found it really useful just reading a couple of the bits during my quiet time. He essentially gives 50 reasons why Jesus came to die. An interesting test is just to see how many you can think of, off the top of your head, and then be challenged by just how small a view we often have of why Jesus came to die. So in summary it was brilliant, challenging and refreshing.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Ouchies...




http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2009/05/top-5-most-toecurling-impromtu-operations.html

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Goal.com




One of my regular morning vists on the web is to the website goal.com, not always entirely accuarate but it definitely is a fun way to waste a few minutes. One thing that always interests me is their editorials, there's usually something insightful, amsuing or a mixture of the both.

i enjoyed these 2 today

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1689/comedy/2009/05/14/1264643/goalcom-special-top-30-most-annoying-english-football-phrases

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2009/05/14/1262793/english-angle-worst-premier-league-team-of-the-season-2008-09

Sunday, 10 May 2009

J watch day 2



So yesterday we had our second practice which went very well, (partly cause we had all the music we needed). Some songs had to be dropped but we're all really happy with the songs that replaced them and the set list is shaping up really nicely. Luckily my voice held up for the entire practice which means i have hope it won't disappear on the night. The boys have been amazing and its brilliant to see the commitment to wanting to make things sound good. I think i've damaged my diaphragm which meant i couldn't sing as much at church today :S it was definitely worth it! though i did literally collapse onto my bed when i got home! only 2 more weeks to go. Just got to get through exams now..........

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Fail...

Failblog.org will always bring out a gem every now and then... (great for procrastinating)


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Send the Fire




Recently at church we've been quite focused on the Holy Spirit and how we need Him in our lives. It's been challenging and thought provoking and it's sparked me into wanting to write a song about the Holy Spirit. I've always believed in the Holy Spirit but it's been great to think what do i actually believe about Him and how he shapes my life. So I've attempted to delve into the Bible first to see what it says, but i've also tried looking at what songs we already have about the Holy Spirit. I was looking at my music folder today and found the old song "O God of Burning Cleansing flame" (though interestingly on the net it seems to have Thou Christ of burning cleansing flame which i think i might prefer as it's more triune) and i have to say i love some of the words and imagery it uses. The song was written by William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army.

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
O see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the offering now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

Lines like "to burn up every trace of sin, to bring the light and glory in" & "for power to walk the world in white" really resonate with me and make me really sit and think how badly we need the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Here's what the song sounds like though it's rather white middle class Anglican!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Coming soon!



So "JJ and the J's" have our next "gig" for a birthday party coming up and we're all massively excited! Hopefully will be having some epic songs so we're "in the studio" atm perfecting our songlist. Hopefully for those who are going you'll enjoy the fruits of our labour and definitely looking forward to the dancing that will occur! Can't wait! (though hopefully my voice won't give in randomly!)

in honour of the on going process here are 2 of my faves!



Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Now can you please read the bottom line for me...



So i went for a check up for my contact lenses (despite not actually having any as the container decided it would decimate 3 months worth of lenses in the space of 1 month!) and ended up having to leave and come back after a few hours, have an eye test, try out new prescription lenses before being told to revert back to my previous prescription. So i now have 2 pair of different brands of contact lenses for this month but can't open them til the 3rd of May so that it gives me time to try both brands out in time for my next check up on the 3rd of June. I ended up being mightily confuzzled while also wasting significant time! all i wanted was just to replace the lenses that broke but oh well.... maybe i should have just stuck to glasses....

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Arshavin Show



highlights from a simply awesome match, shame we didn't win, but Arshavin! simply wow!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Fallen star




It's always a bit sad to see someone talented throw away their career, unfortunately this is very true about a certain Joaquin Phoenix. Now anyone whose watched his performances in Walk the Line or Gladiator will most likely agree that here is a man who definitely on his day is up there with the best of actors. Mr Phoenix recently announced his retirement from his actor career to take up a career in music. Those of us who watched Walk the Line would assume that he would follow this vein of music. But ooohhhhh nooooo, he announced he would be taking up a career in rap and hip hop. Which has lead to this...



further investigation on youtube and you'll find him falling over rather spectacularly on stage after this "rap" but i thought the video above is bad enough. He would later be interviewed on the Letterman show



all i can say is i hope that this is either a big joke, or he snaps out of this soon!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Some Easter highlights



1. Spending time with my parents

2. Going to Cambridge to spend some brother time with Dan

3. Meeting up with people from home

4. Going to Denmark street (always fun)

5. Eating lots of lovely food and not having to pay for it

6. Fun times in Reading when i came back for a weekend, dinner parties are always fun :)

7. Finally getting to make apple sauce/mango chutney glazed pork chops twice!

8. Finishing (hopefully) a song I've been working on

9. A nice whole family gather for Sunday Roast

10. Most importantly, remembering what it cost my Saviour to pay for my sin and how Jesus showed that love has no bounds. I'm rescued and saved because of simply Jesus and what he's done for me.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

My Defender




One of my favourite ways to describe Jesus at the moment is "My Defender" i love an ad lib bit in Tim Hughes song when silence falls where he sings

In the lone hour of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me and sustain me
My Defender for evermore

Now some of you may now picture Jesus as a kind of Tony Adams/John Terry-esque footballer diving into tackles and maybe breaking some bones in the process. But at the moment i see him more as a protector, someone who will defend our corner when we can't. I think something always stirs in us whenever we hear about stories of people giving up their lives to protect others. I think its such a comfort to know that we don't face the trials of life on our own but have a God who protects and defends us through every bad time. He died to ensure that those who come to him will not perish but are covered by His love and grace.

Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 37:28
For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever...

Following on from that I love the phrase "Defender of this heart" found in Ben Cantelon's song Remain. It's just brilliant to think that God defends our hearts. I guess it's easy to think that God kind of protects us from trouble, though maybe from afar, but he protects our hearts too and i think that's just amazing. Just the thought of God guarding my heart from all the stuff that would seek to break it brings such a smile to my face. For everyone one who has been broken hearted or had hardships and trials that have brought you to tears, i hope it's a comfort to know that God sees it all and that he is there defending our hearts, making sure we are strong enough to rise each day. He doesn't simply surround us, he protects, sustains, and defends our fragile hearts.

I know that Rob Bell isn't everyone's cup of tea but i found this Nooma video very helpful when times are tough. It was such a fresh revelation for me that God is holding me during the storm, he's so much closer than i think and the one who's carrying me out of it, while whispering the words i need to hear.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Rescued



Though i imagine there are few actually interested, here is a song which hopefully will be complete sooooooon (well it's complete in my mind though we'll see what others say!) been working on it for a bit and it seems to have come together nicely... lets see what people think!

Working title: RESCUED

Verse 1:
When I needed a saviour
In the depth of my sin You came for me,
Lead me out of the darkness
Your arm was not too short to save
When I needed redemption
Jesus You showed that love it knows no bounds
Lavish grace now my refuge
Your arm is not too short to save

Chorus:
I’m rescued
I’m found
You paid the price that I might live
I thank You Jesus my rescuer
It’s finished
You won
Death’s conquered through Your precious blood
I thank You Jesus my rescuer

Verse 2:
On the cross You were broken
Yet Your victory was there for all to see
The Father’s plan were accomplished
You were more than enough for me
Even death could not hold You
From the grave You were raised to heaven’s throne
My triumphant redeemer
You are more than enough for me

Bridge:
All I once held dear
I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You my King,
All the world holds dear
It never could compare
To the joy of being Yours my God,

copyright Josh John

Monday, 30 March 2009

"The Prophecy fulfiller, Army of Demons Killer!"

Our God He Reigns - Simon Brading & 29th Chapter at Newday 2008



Brilliant! just love it!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Let it brew...




So i'm sitting on campus after finishing perhaps one of the most pointless exercises so far of my degree - a quantification exercise. Don't ask me why the university thought a maths exercise would benefit our degrees but oh well wasn't too bad. Anyways what i really came to discuss was an interesting article i found on the metro. Now the metro isn't the source of all knowledge but it can chuck up an interesting story every now and then.

Headline: Leave your tea 4mins 'or face higher cancer risk'

Supposedly we should let our tea cool down before drinking otherwise it will increase the risk of cancer by eightfold. Scientists claim we should let our tea brew or stand for at least 4 mins as the hotter it is the greater the risk of developing cancer. The findings emereged in the British Medical Journal after research in northern Iran which has the highest oesophageal cancer rates.
Hmmm well i'm always a bit skeptical of such research, but i guess i shouldnt gulp down my tea...

here's a video of some famous tea lovers (they probably would have got cancer)... don't ask why, i just typed in tea into youtube...

Thursday, 26 March 2009

one man band...

some people are just talented... this guy is pretty amazing



cheers to joe for the introduction

and just cause my blog wouldnt be complete without some more talking animals...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

"Wasn't Jesus just a good moral teacher?"




Upon my arrival home i realised i had never rummaged properly through my parents vast book collection, so i decided to look! I found various books which have now been added to my "to read" list, but i managed to read one of them already (it's only like a small booklet) It's called For Your Joy by John Piper and it was a good little read. It was the intro that struck me the most as it addresses that common phrase people say when they're asked who they thought Jesus was i.e. "oh wasn't he just a good moral teacher." Piper quotes a C.S Lewis who deals with the issue rather bluntly.

I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

I guess all that you can ask after reading that is, who do i say Jesus was if he can't simply be a 'good moral teacher'

Friday, 20 March 2009

How much is that Kinkajou in the windooowww....



This is copied from a magazine but those who know me, know i can't resist a good random animal... these are some of the exotic pets you can legally own! so maybe coming to a pet shop near you! (you definitely can't say God isn't creative)


1. Kinkajou - Also known as the Honey Bear(see picture above), it uses its five-inch tongue to harvest nectar from flowers. Nuff said i want one!


2. Squirrel Monkey - These Central South American Monkeys have the largest brain, proportionately. Must say they look pretty fun


3. Emu - Natives of Australia, they are the world's second largest bird and can sprint for extended periods at 31mph... emu flap for the door sounds interesting...


4. Raccoon - One of my personal favourites! They have extremely sensitive front paws and studies show they can remember solutions to problems 3 years on!


5. North American Porcupine - The 2nd largest rodent in US and Canada after the beaver. Antibiotics are naturally present in their skin as they often fall out of trees and prick themselves!


6. Woolly lemur - these Madagascan Primates need long naps to digest their meals... sounds familiar...


7. Aldabra Tortoise - these Seychelles natives have a the long neck that means that they can eat branches 1 metre from the ground


8. African Praying mantis - They drink through their skin and only require a light misting of water to survive. If lacking in food they have no qualms in eating each other! yikes!


9. Common musk turtle - Also call 'stinkpot' it emits a nasty odour to deter predators...


10. Brazilian Wolf spider - My least favourite from this list... their prey includes dogs and its bite can cause the premature death of cells which has proven to be fatal... maybe don't leave the lid off too long...

Monday, 16 March 2009

Welcomed home




Have you ever been been gone from home for a really long time? Maybe one of your parents has been gone for awhile and you've had to have that wait at the airport where the clock goes by really slowly. Can you remember the feeling as they come round the corner and the excitement just bubbles over and you run into their arms?

I was thinking about what it will be like when we're reunited with Jesus and running into his arms. It was all sparked off by listening to the song "How long" by Al Gordon. The lines "Jesus you will wipe these tears away when the morning comes" and "Jesus we will hear the victory roar when this race is run" just made me stand back and think how amazing it'll be. All pain and suffering just wiped away as he welcomes us home and into his arms. There's still the race to run but to hear the words "Well done good and faithful servant" and know that "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7) will make everything worthwhile. The victory roar when all the saved join in the celebration that death is finally finished and we're finally with our saviour, man how amazing will that be.

In a not completely unrelated diversion, as i was looking for photos i came across the Team Hoyt. Now this is one of those rare moments where i'm moved to man tears. If you have a few minutes just watch these 2 videos (you'll be glad you did!) and think of how we have such a loving Father whos love knows no boundaries to give us life.



Thursday, 12 March 2009

Desert Song

This song has been really been speaking to me recently! really encouraging to keep remembering that God is our victory through everything and in everything... (i love the lines My God is the God who provides and also I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ! some brilliant song writing)

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

VERSE 2:
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

CHORUS:
I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

VERSE 3:
This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

BRIDGE:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

VERSE 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow



p.s. well done to the Arsenal!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Girls and Guitars



i've posted this on Fb before but still it's funny and maybe has a slight element of truth in it...

Monday, 9 March 2009

Spotify this...



I was introduced into the wonderful world of Spotify last week. It's an ingenious little application which essentially gives you free music and is paid for by advertising. It has a pretty large selection of music (though if you're into 18th century Czech violinists you may be disappointed) and all that you may have to bear every couple of songs is a 30sec advert break for some other band. To me thats a price definitely worth paying for listening to all the music i've always wanted to and sadly lack the necessary funds to buy the albums! Essentially brilliant

pick it up here - http://www.spotify.com/en/

not much else has happened... good fun day on sunday. Another excellent talk to do with Jesus money and me by Sean. Been really challenged by it all seeing as i've been the type of person that buys first and thinks later.
(http://www.readingfamilychurch.org.uk/sermonarchive.php)

Church was followed by our cell descending on the Greens house which was brilliant fun and culminated in a very competitive session of washing machine throwing and melon bashing (wii game for those who may be slightly worried by the thought of us chucking washing machines around) and Betts didnt manage to beat any of my scores! how satisfying! :P the day was rounded off by watching Last King of Scotland which was great apart from some interesting scenes (meat hooks at the end :S those who've seen it know what im talking bout...)

Verse of the day that speaks to me: Isaiah 43:18-19, brilliant!

Riteo, it's off to work i go!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Arsenal 3 - West Brom 1



For those who may not know i'm a pretty large Arsenal fan.. and yesterday they finally got back on the winning track. Even better news is that Aston Villa lost to Man City which now means we're only 3 points away from that crucial Champions league place! After reading the reports it seems we played alot better than before and Bendtner decided that he would actually start to do what he is paid to do i.e. play football and score goals... Arshavin once again looks like he'll do well for us (well done wenger for spending wisely) though i must agree with arseblog (http://www.oleole.com/blogs/arseblog) he does look like an owl... All in all a good result though bigger matches coming up so i hope they keep it up!

until next time...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Who would win between...



4 words i loved to hear as a child. It all probably began from buying top trumps but comparing is most definitely fun. One of my favourite ones was being asked at school, "Josh how do you think would win in a fight between Scooby Doo and Bagpuss" Now i think there are a large amount of factors involved e.g. has Scooby Doo had a scooby snack as that affects his performance, or do they both have their entourages?... anyways i guess thats up for debate at a later date...

What sparked off this thought pattern was reading a description of Richard I (i.e. the Lionheart) during my reading for my essay

Tall in stature, graceful in figure, King Richard has long straight limbs, his father's red-gold hair and startling blue-grey eyes. He is a fine horseman and swordsman, holding a commanding appearance. Bold, daring and dashing, he shines in war, loves pageantry and dressing-up in fine magnificent clothes.

This reminded me of a description of another King...

Rev 1 12-18
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades

hmm.. if we factor in achievements i guess reconquering Acre seems rather small in comparison to defeating death itself... yikes old Lionheart never had a chance... i know who wins in my mind...

here's a video of some talking dogs just cause it amuses me so much (esp the last one)

So it starts?

Umm i don't really have much important to say... until i do...



JJ and the Js... good times...