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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Darren Mullan sings 'Forever Friend'

My latest song has now been released on CD Baby, and it will shortly be available on iTunes and Amazon as well.

Forever Friend is a great Country song and Darren Mullan, who recorded the song in Adelaide, Australia, dose a great job with it.

Why not check it out at CD Baby and download it onto your iPod today.

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (King James Version)
          Pastor Cleavant Derricks wrote one of my favorite songs “Just a Little Talk With Jesus”. “I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears. But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night. I go to him in prayer, He knows my every care and just a little talk with Jesus makes it right”.
          The next time you are feeling lonely or you are discouraged tell it to Jesus. These words in the song are so true. “He knows my every care and just a little talk with Jesus makes it right”. There have been many times when I have had to cry out to Jesus because of disappointments, discouragement and rejection.
          Jesus is so faithful. As soon as I cry out to Him from the depths of my heart, He lifts me up in His protective arms and wipes the tears from my heart and eyes with His tender compassionate kisses. What a Saviour! What a friend, this Jesus of Nazareth! Nobody loves us like He loves us.
          There are times when we need somebody to pray for us. When is the last time that you spent the night in prayer for a loved one? Why is it that we can stay awake to watch television but we can’t stay awake to pray? How that must hurt our precious Saviour.
          Heavenly Father, help us to cry out to Jesus from the depths of our hearts when we are hurting instead of putting on a mask. So often, Father, we don’t want people to know that we are hurting so we put on a mask. Please help us to be honest with Jesus. Thank You, Jesus, for making everything right. Amen.
Joanne Lowe

Poem for Today

I Think I saw an Angel
One day, when I was walking,
When all the sky was blue,
And all the world was bustling,
So many things to do,
I saw a choir of angels
Passing overhead;
Or was it just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead?

I’m sure I heard a whirring,
The sound of angel wings;
I’m sure I heard the chorus
An angelic choir brings.
I’m sure I saw a shadow,
Passing overhead;
Or was it just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead?

I’ll never know for certain
What happened on that day;
And I’ll never know for sure
If an angel came my way.
If it was an angel’s wings
Passing overhead;
Or only just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead.
© 2003 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Meditation on 2 Peter 3:9

I found this beautiful and inspiring photograph, and wanted to share it with you, dear reader. My thanks to the person who was inspired to take it. 

A link through the ages ...

I managed to obtain the sheet music for the worship song that I've posted today by putting out an appeal via Facebook, to which several of my FB friends responded. The tune was composed by William Batchelder Bradbury (1816–1868), and the thought occurred to me as I walked the dog yesterday evening, (in the freezing cold, I might add), that although William Bradbury passed from this life just over 140 years ago, nevertheless he lives on through his music composition, and all these years later I am now linked to him through the tune Montclair which I have just used. More than that, everyone who sings my worship song is linked by the action of singing, both to William Bradbury and myself. What a pleasant, yet also sobering, thought that is.

So who was William Bradbury, apart from the man who had the unusual middle name of 'Batchelder'?  Well, according to the website of 'Wholesome Words': "he was an American composer of Gospel songs and hymns. He wrote the music for such familiar hymns as "He Leadeth Me," Holy Bible, Book Divine," "Jesus Loves Me," "Just As I Am," Saviour Like a Shepherd Lead Us," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," and "The Solid Rock." Buried in Bloomfield Cemetery, Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA."

Many of you will have sung to any one of his 900 or so tunes, I'm sure, especially hymns such as Jesus loves me; Just as I am and My hope is built on nothing less. What a treasury this one man has left behind for subsequent generations to enjoy and appreciate, and, even more importantly, to use in their worship of God. If you want to learn more about this composer then just follow the link above to find the link to a short biography and more information about his work.

A Hymn for Christmas: 'So We Gather'

So We Gather 8787 88 87
TUNE: Montclair
Here in our land, made by God’s hand,
We must worship Christ the King.
Each December light the ember,
To His feet our tributes bring.
So we gather all together,
Never mind the wintry weather,
We will worship Christ the Saviour,
Facing heaven our praises ring.

He has come to give us new life,
Giving sight to those in need;
He’ll revive our fainting spirit,
When His precious words we heed.
So we gather all together,
Glorifying God for ever,
We will worship Christ the Saviour,
Facing heaven our praises ring.

Let us sing our praises to Him,
Let us fall on bended knee.
Let His glory tell the story,
How He came to set us free.
So we gather all together,
In our Lord we’ll live forever;
We will worship Christ the Saviour,
Facing heaven our praises ring.
© 2010 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque seeking tax dollars!

The “bridge builders” behind the Ground Zero Mosque have elevated their insensitivity to the point of sticking their thumb in the eyes of the 9/11 families and the 70% of Americans who oppose building a mosque at Ground Zero.

According to the CNN story which you can find on their website by clicking on the following link, “…the developer behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque…has requested federal funding…”

For years St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed on 9/11, has been trying without success to rebuild. According to various news stories the church has been stymied by New York City bureaucrats. This is a travesty.

It’s bad enough that St. Nicholas continues to struggle to rebuild and that Imam Rauf and his backers continue to push their mosque on an unwilling America. But for the Ground Zero Mosque developer to seek an estimated $5,000,000 from us taxpayers to build it—that’s just over the top.

Here are the highlights from the report, but do follow the link to read the full report:

Islamic community center developer seeks federal funding
By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent
New York (CNN) -- The developer behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque planned for Lower Manhattan has requested federal funding through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to support the project known as Park51.

The funding would come from money the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated to help rebuild the neighborhood after the 9/11 attacks.

"Park51 has applied for a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant," said Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of SOHO Properties, the developer behind the Islamic center. In a statement, El-Gamal said the money would "in part fund social service programs such as domestic violence programs, Arabic and other foreign language classes, programs and services for homeless veterans, two multi-cultural art exhibits and immigration services."

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation received more than 265 applications seeking more than $175 million for community and cultural programs, though the LMDC has only $17 million of federal funding to allocate.

"We are now turning to the challenging but important task of sorting through the applications to identify those that address long-standing community and cultural needs," said Avi Schick, chairman of LMDC.

The grants will range from $100,000 to $1 million, according to Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1 and a member of the LMDC board. Among the criteria used to judge applications, Menin said, are financial viability, job creation, revitalizing the community and a track record of service in Lower Manhattan.

"We have funded museums, public schools, programs to help small businesses hurt after 9/11," said Menin.

An online report said Park51 had requested $5 million, but neither the developer nor LMDC board members would confirm that amount.

The LMDC plans to decide how to allocate the $17 million "towards the end of the first quarter of next year," said Menin.

Park51 has yet to raise significant funds for the community center located two blocks north of Ground Zero, a project that could cost $100-million.

"Park51 has not launched a formal fundraising program and is currently in the process of expanding its Board of Directors to plan, manage and oversee such efforts," said El-Gamal, adding that the project has not yet applied for federal tax-exempt status, but plans to do so "in the coming weeks."

It's that time of year when you need to watch your weight!

As the Christmas Season gets under way we need to focus our minds on a different sort of weigh, otherwise we'll be facing the sort of problems we really would rather not in a few weeks time!

Poem for Today

Have You?
Sometimes it makes me wonder
about the people whom I meet;
those I find in a quiet church,
or on a busy street;
hurrying and scurrying,
being kind and doing good,
the way that well we know,
God has ordained we should.
Yet, sometimes, we meet someone
with a special word to say,
And when they do we wonder,
did an angel come our way?
We see no angelic wings,
and hear no heavenly choir;
yet something in the way they look,
— familiar, not odd —
Leaves us with a sense
Of having briefly met with God.
©  2004 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

How popular is God?

A Hymn for Christmas: 'That Night'

That Night DSM
TUNE: Leominster
The starlit sky is clear,
the snow is crisp and white:
no stable can be seen, and yet
my thoughts are of that night.

That night so long ago;
that land so far away;
where one star shone so brightly then,
‘bove where the Saviour lay.

A manger crude and bare,
was where He lay His head;
no swansdown soft for Him to lay,
but fresh, sweet hay instead.

The shepherds came to praise,
and kings with gifts so rare;
then all who saw the infant Christ
gave Him full worship there.

‘Twas there amongst the beasts,
the star above shone bright,
God came to earth as tiny babe,
an infant child, that night.

There in that stable crude,
by that dim, flick’ring light,
He came to earth to save mankind;
our Saviour born that night.
© 2010 :Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday in Advent

A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent

You know the signs. There's a growing excitement and some anxiety; the house is scrubbed clean and decorated to look special: someone's coming.

You know the signs: a faint, light headed-feeling, the swelling of hands and feet, changes in appetite, odd cravings, and nausea, especially in the morning. You know the signs: It's advent and we're pregnant again.

Someone's coming -- a whole new person to be part of our lives. The birth of a child changes everything. Radical change: Surprise. Earth shaking, all consuming. Nothing is the same . . . Are you willing to change that much?

When God decided to tell us what it's like to have God come into our life, we are not told a story of a conquering king. God tells a story of birth. Birth is what it is like for God's kingdom to come -- hard work & tears; fear & hope. Are you willing to change that much to have God come into your life?

When we read lessons like today's about Christ's Second Coming, we do so already knowing the surprise method God chose the first time Christ came into the world. Everything changes for Joseph and Mary. Everything changes for the whole of the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. The kingdom of God is near - Are you willing to change that much?

Perhaps that is the change suggested in the bumper sticker I saw recently: "Jesus is Coming--look busy!" No one wants to get caught goofing off. Would you be ready if Jesus and all his saints were to show up right here, right now?

Looking busy probably isn't much help. Again and again Scripture reminds us that nothing we do can save us. We are told to hope in God's promises, not in ourselves. Salvation is God's work, not ours.

So when we see the signs are we to sit back and let God do God's thing? Our job then would be to wait for salvation, to wait to be delivered from our distress, to wait to be loved and given life. A bit like winning the lottery -- that's where most people look for their redemption -- to have everything paid off and all their problems solved. (That's literally what "redemption" means--being 'bought back.') We just wait and trust that our "redemption is drawing near." Just remember that we are to hope in God's promises, not in ourselves. Let God do all the work.

But we are Christians -- having been baptized, we are "in Christ." God's promises are for us AND in us.

The signs point to a new heaven and a new earth -- to a place of both justice and peace. And the signs point also to us -- to our judgment and our redemption. Perhaps the signs point not only to our redemption but also to our becoming Christ-like -- that sort of "Christ-likeness" that accounts for the joy that Paul feels because of the Thessalonians. This too is a sign that the kingdom of God is near: The world becoming Christ-like.

That’s our calling -- to become more and more like Christ. So, rather than expecting to be the passive recipients of salvation we are expected to be like Christ, like the one who saves us.

We're not going to win the lottery - we're asked to give it all away. In the coming of God's kingdom we are not so much to be rescued and loved, as to be rescuers and lovers. In this pregnancy we are not the much-loved and protected babies, being given life. We are the workers, the labourers who give birth.

Notice that today's gospel does not say that when we see the signs we are to relax. Jesus tells us instead: "Now when these things begin to take place, STAND UP and RAISE YOUR HEADS because your redemption is drawing near."

Birth is what it’s like for God's kingdom to come -- hard work, tears, fear & hope: New life that changes everything. Are you willing to change that much?

The signs say we're already pregnant. That's God's gift. We did nothing to deserve it. We can do nothing to avoid God's being born -- God's coming in this world and into our lives whenever God chooses. But we can work for it -- labour and delivery is our calling.

We can't make salvation happen. We can prepare ourselves for it. Get ready for the birth -- do what expectant mothers do: Eat healthy: Strengthening spiritual food is served here every Sunday. Get in shape: Try some spiritual exercises - like regular prayer. Listen to stories of experienced birth givers: Who brought Christ into your life?

In your own life, in the life of this church, and in the life of the world, we're pregnant. Are you ready to bring Christ to birth in the world?

You know the signs - Jesus is coming. "Stand up and raise your heads ---redemption is near"

Winter is here early!

Here's a great photograph of winter frost, taken by Juhani Kyyrö  in Nummela, Finland, on his site which features lots of pictures for you to download as wallpaper on your PC or laptop. You can find more photographs like this and on many other subjects by following this link.

Great Quotes on the subject of Prayer

"A man can not lead others where he is not willing to go himself. Therefore, beware of the prayerless church leader who no longer readily admits his own need for more of the person and power of Jesus Christ. Only a seeking, praying heart can truly encourage spiritual HUNGER in others!" 
David Smithers

Poem for Today

My Bible is my atlas,
It shows me where to go,
It teaches me the places
That the Lord would have me know.

The chapters are the tracks
Along which I should travel;
The verses are the signposts,
That wait to be unravelled.

Reading through the pages,
The guides that I may use,
Live on through the ages,
His words, through them, I choose.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Acts and Romans, every one
Friends and teachers to my soul,
Used by God to make me whole.

Take care upon the path of life,
The signposts you must heed:
Use your Bible as your atlas,
Following on the Saviour’s lead.
© 1995 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

A Hymn for Christmas: 'Glory to God!'

Glory to God 98 98
TUNE: Spiritus Vitae
This Advent time ring out your praises,
Glory to God, in manger lay!
Bring to the child your gifts and tributes;
Come worship Him this holy day!

The infant King is sent to save us;
He is the Father’s only Son.
Bow down on bended knee before Him;
Glory to God, the Three in One!

To Christ the King direct your praises,
Like the wise men who travelled far.
Let bells ring out their pealing anthem;
Follow the light of guiding star.

Praise Him with sounds of bells and voices,
Glory to Christ upon this day;
The infant King deserves our worship,
Glory to Him in manger lay!
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Emyn Cymraeg : 'MAE O YN FY YMYL'

Ysbryd Duw sy’n symud yn fy enaid i,
Cefais fywyd newydd drwy aberth Calfarî.
Ysbryd Duw sy’n symud yn fy enaid i
Drwy aberth Calfarî.
Mae o yn fy ymyl,
Pob eiliad o bob dydd,
Mae o yn fy ymyl,
Yn fy nysgu’n ffordd y ffydd.
Yn fy ymyl, yn fy ymyl,
Yn fy ymyl bob dydd.

Fe ddaw Crist i’m harwain ar bob cam o’r daith.
Wrth i’m dystio iddo mewn gweddi ac mewn gwaith.
Fe ddaw Crist i’m harwain ar bob cam o’r daith,
Mewn gweddi ac mewn gwaith.
Cytgan: Mae o yn fy ymyl . . .

Iddo beunydd tystiaf a’i wasnaethu’n daer,
Addo wnaf bob amser i fyw yn ôl ei Air
Iddo beunydd tystiaf a’i wasnaethu’n daer
A byw yn ôl ei Air.
Cytgan: Mae o yn fy ymyl . . .
Colin Gordon-Farleigh © 2007
Cyf. Eirlys Gruffydd © 2009

Anniversary Serenade

Here's something a little different today. I rarely post one of my secular songs on this Blog, but I thought I would share this one with you today. It's a great song to sing for any anniversary occasion. I hope you like it! 

Anniversary Serenade
I remember the day when you walked down the aisle,
and you turned and looked up to my face;
when the look in your eyes was written with love,
I knew that time could never erase.
Now the years have gone by,
and the dream is still there,
in my heart as it always has been.
You are the love of my life,
you are the sun to my moon,
and every bright star in between.

We have walked side by side through the years in between,
We have laughed, we have sorrowed and sighed.
Hand in hand we have faced our trials and joys,
And we’ve shared the few times that we cried.
Now the years have gone by,
and the dream is still there,
in my heart as it always has been.
You are the love of my life,
you are the sun to my moon;
and every bright star in between.

All the silver and gold, all the bright shining stones,
could not purchase one ounce of your love.
When you gave me your heart on our special day,
‘twas a gift that you shared from above.
Now the years have gone by,
and the dream is still there,
in my heart as it always has been.
You are the love of my life,
you are the sun to my moon,
and every bright star in between.
© 2008 :  Colin Gordon-Farleigh
Be Still
From Psalm 48:10

In the bustle of the day,
When stress and tiredness is your load:
Stop and rest, and hear Me say,
Be still, and know that I am God.

A Hymn for Christmas: 'The Heavenly Choir'

The Heavenly Choir 8887 8787

There’s a sound of heav’nly singing
from the angelic choir above;
happy, joyful sounds are ringing
out the news of Jesus’ love.
That great love which, all embracing,
brings us joy and sets us free:
perfect love of Christ the Saviour,
there for all the world to see.

He came down to bring the message
of God’s overwhelming love;
of the power of forgiveness
coming down from up above.
He speaks of the Holy Spirit
who can set our hearts on fire;
and the news of God in heaven,
sung by His angelic choir.
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Friday, November 26, 2010

Brrr!!! Winter is coming with a vengeance

          In the UK at present, the experts are speaking of the worst snowfalls in November for seventeen years, as cold winds from Siberia blow icy blasts across the nation, bringing snowfall to many areas. I'm thankful that the area where I live is not currently one of them, although it's certainly exceptionally cold.
          The bitter cold turns my thoughts to the folk who live in the open, sleeping under cardboard and newspaper, in doorways and under bridges. If we feel the cold in our centrally-heated homes and heated cars, spare a thought for those folk who often don't even have much in the way of warm clothing, let alone a bed to sleep in. 
           Jesus said that "the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20).
           If we really want to be the hands, feet and voice of Christ in the world today then we should ensure as much as possible that our fellow man does have somewhere to lay his head, whatever it costs us.

A Hymn for Christmas: 'There's a Story'

There’s a Story 9898
TUNE: Spiritus Vitae
There is a story told to children,
that tells us of the Saviour’s love;
that tells us how they gathered round Him,
to hear Him tell of God above.

It tells how He came down from heaven,
to live with man upon the earth;
it tells of star, and hay-filled manger
that God chose for His humble birth.

The angel stood before the shepherds,
who heard all that he had to say,
they saw the star that shone so brightly,
and went to where the infant lay.

They worshipped Him there in that stable,
that perfect child, born from God’s love;
they praised Him and knelt to His glory,
then raised their thanks to heav’n above.
© 2010 Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Poem for Today

Outstretched Arms
A message from the Cross
When I see you hurting
so much that you
don’t know which way
to turn;

I want you to see My arms
reaching down, outstretched,
to enfold you and hold you
in love.

I need you to understand
that I came here for you;
to be there for you
in this moment.

I’m always here waiting
for you to come to Me,
and in the silence
know that I care.

When I see you hurting
I want you to see my arms,
I need you to understand
I’m always here waiting.
© 1997 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

The need to repent . . .

"How often God visited the Jewish Church with judgments because they would not repent and be revived at the call of His prophets! How often have we seen Churches, and even whole denominations, cursed with a curse, because they would not wake up and seek the Lord, and pray: 
'Wilt Thou not revive us again, that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?'"
Charles Finney

Darren Mullan sings 'Forever Friend'

Sheer Joy Music have just released a great new Country single, Forever Friend, featuring the warm tones of Australian singer, Darren Mullan

With some great music by my talented Michigan (USA) based musical partner, Greg Scheer, Darren Mullan breathes life into this song with every note. I wrote the lyrics back in May 2008, and it's great to hear the completed version of the song. The steel guitar that runs throughout adds to the authentic 'Country' feel over-all. To give you a taster, dear reader, I'm reproducing the lyrics below so that you can sing along with the track once you've downloaded it from CDBaby where it will be available from in about 24 hours time.  It will shortly be available from all the major digital download sites as well. All that's left for me to say is that I hope you enjoy it!

Your Forever Friend
I can catch you when you’re falling,
I can hold you when you cry,
I can be your friend for ever,
Though I could not tell you why.
I can wipe away the teardrops
as they tumble down your cheek;
and I will be there each new morning,
every day in each new week.

For I am your forever friend,
I will love you until the end;
until the seas have all run dry,
and no more stars light up the sky,
I’ll be your forever friend.

Yes, I’ll still be there to love you
till the moon has gone away;
I will be your friend forever,
when forever comes to stay.

I can wipe away the teardrops
as they tumble down your cheek;
and I’ll be there each new morning,
every day in each new week.
For I am your forever friend,
I will love you until the end;
until the seas have all run dry,
and no more stars light up the sky,
I’ll be your forever friend.

... until the seas have all run dry,
and no more stars light up the sky,
I’ll be your forever friend.
© 2008 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh