Christianity

Camping in the slow lane

The girls' team winning the tug of warThere's something about young people that fills me with optimism.  Perhaps it's their all-encompassing world view.  Maybe it's their insatiable love for life.  Or possibly even just because I remember being a young person myself and how crucial it was in my development.  Whatever the reason, I've discovered I all to easily agree to help kids in all sorts of ways, keen to teach them something new, point them in the right direction, prod them into thinking about things in a new way, and then shove them off a cliff to see how far they fly.I guess it's partly with that in mind that I and my wife are leaders each year on a Christian youth camp.  I say 'partly' because the other half of the reason I go is that Ellie asked me to, and since we were engaged at the time (the first year we went) I felt I ought to say yes.  Since that first year we've both made ourselves quite indispensible, doing lots of stuff, leading lots of things, running hither and thither to help out wherever we can.This year was slightly different for both of us, for different reasons.  The main difference for me, as you may have read, is that I've had a hernia.  I was under doctor's orders not to lift anything heavier than a kettle, and not to do too much walking around either.  Ellie's time was also eaten into by the attention of our baby Samuel, who had his first experience of exuberant teenagers this year.  Camp this year was tough on all of us - physically and mentally.(more…)

By Matthew, ago
Christianity

Come holy fire

Here is a downloadable score for 'Come holy fire', a song I wrote fairly recently.  It was used for the first time at a Christian youth camp I was at last week (more on that later), and seemed to go down well, so I'm making it available for people to use at their home churches.  At the moment I hold the copyright and everything, and it's likely to stay that way until a music publisher comes my way!It's a gathering song, speaking of our unity in Christ, so would go well at the beginning of a service.  I particularly like the end of the second verse, which says "trusting not in our own strength but in your power, saved by grace and not by what we've done".  It helps us recognise how awesome God's grace is, how he allows us into his presence despite our many failings, and the chorus invites God to "set our hearts ablaze with passion" to do his work.(more…)

By Matthew, ago