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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My choice for the 'Hymn for Today' : 'Love and Mercy'

Love and Mercy   8787  D
TUNE: Here is Love
In the garden Christ is praying
To the Father up above.
By the sweat that falls in red drops,
His obedience proves His love.
On the cross our Lord is dying
For the sins of all mankind;
Soon His body will be lying
Still and silent, deaf and blind.

Through His death we find redemption,
By His life we’re freed from sin;
He will grant us all salvation,
If our hearts will let Him in.
Love and mercy, grace abounding,
God is reaching from above;
He is pouring out His mercy,
He is pouring out His love.
© 2011 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

What Did You Mean - Lauralei

Watch out for more wonderful music from the amazingly talented Lauralei. She'll be in the Studio over the next couple of weeks recording new songs.
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful song and share it with your friends.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zimbabwe's Presidential Elections, 2013

The Dissonances of a Three-Part Zimbabwe Election
‘There is nothing that can be done to make this election free and fair.’ (Rejoice Ngwenya, political analyst, quoted in The Zimbabwean, Vol.9/No.27, July 2013).

The violence that followed the first round of elections in 2008 still looms large in voters’ minds, but that is not the only reason these elections are likely to be a poor example of a democratic process. The voters roll is incomplete and flawed and the registration process was found wanting, electoral institutions and political parties are not ready for an election and the money is not available and no one is prepared to foot the bill. Although some independent election observers are now in place, their numbers are insufficient and their arrival too late.
Violence may have decreased (though not ceased) since 2008, but as the saying goes ‘If you burn down someone’s house, next time all you need is to rattle the matchbox’. Credible reports of intimidation abound. The process of ‘special voting’ for members of the armed forces two weeks ago (14-15 July) was described by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as ‘chaotic’ and casts doubt on whether or not the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is sufficiently prepared to handle the forthcoming elections. This leaves voting in the main round of elections on 31 July extremely vulnerable to manipulation.
Before an election is held, some activists in civil society believe the electoral roll should be inspected to give the South African Development Community (SADC) confidence that they can ensure and observe a free and fair election. Some civil society organisations have already examined the roll and found gross inadequacies. The recent report by the Zimbabwean NGO Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) (whose launch was forbidden by the High Court of Zimbabwe) illustrates severe discrepancies which cast doubts over the credibility of the election result.
The report shows for example how 63 of the 210 constituencies had more registered voters than inhabitants (as indicated by the 2012 census). Furthermore, an unlikely number of over 116.000 people aged over 100 are still on the roll. Besides these discrepancies the nearly 2 million voters aged under 30 that are not registered are a further indication that the Voters Roll is not up to date.
The dissolution of the Inclusive Government means that Mugabe is, in practical terms, able to determine policy unilaterally, evinced by the recent appointment of judges. This worries many in civil society. Harassment of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and supporters of the former opposition have already been detailed in reports issued by Amnesty International. Marked partiality by security forces continues despite the recent constitution forbidding this. The same constitution also guarantees free and fair elections. There are new claims of possible violence, intimidation and voter rigging being made. Allegedly the number of military personnel listed exceeds the actual number of those employed.
Such concerns of continued violence and intimidation contradict the rhetorical commitments to peace. ZANU-PF have said that they will restrict accreditation of international observers to their allies, acting as though they were the sole occupant of government, instead of one candidate for office. Security forces have declared their allegiance to ZANU-PF and have repeatedly announced that they are not prepared to serve under any other President than President Robert Mugabe. This raises fears of violence in the event that any other party than ZANU-PF wins the elections.
To summarise, despite improvements in Zimbabwe's political and economic situation and the implementation of some reforms, crucial steps have not been taken. This has resulted in a realisation that free and fair elections are not likely in the current Zimbabwe, which in turn has led many to call (and hope) for 'credible' elections. The international community is focusing on what patterns emerge from local, regional, diplomatic and media observations and will make their own assessments on how free and fair the elections have been. Nonetheless, they have stated they will be relying on SADC’s judgement to make the final call on the credibility of the elections.
It remains a concern that the international community in its wish to see Zimbabwe reintegrated into their ranks seems eager to label the elections credible. Although as stated, the government has been dissolved, many analysts expect some similar post-electoral arrangement – a result that SADC and the international community would probably welcome in terms of national and regional stability, but which may not reflect the aspirations and actual experience of Zimbabwe citizens and would-be voters.

In our consultations with civil society in Zimbabwe, calls were made for the following:
· for Zimbabweans to have the right to vote freely for whom they wish without fear or
          favour (without external interference or internal intimidation),
· an accurate and up to date voter roll,
· fair access to and coverage by state controlled media,
· impartiality by institutions of the state,
· domestic election observers and truly independent external election observer
          missions in place well before the election.

SADC additionally asked for:
· media reform,
· equal access to Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) – the monitoring board on implementation of the GPA run by the three main parties,
· upholding of the rule of law,
· deployment of SADC observers and for the election to be delayed until such reforms could be initiated.

Given that none of this now appears likely either (apart from the presence of SADC observers) the credibility of the forthcoming elections is questionable. The following recommendations and actions by SADC and the international community are vital in pushing for credible elections in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Europe Network recommends that:
· The Zimbabwe government and SADC as guarantor of the GPA ensure that the Government of Zimbabwe respects the rights to freedom of assembly, speech, and opinion as outlined in the constitution, and international and regional conventions such as the SADC electoral protocol that the government has signed.
· The Zimbabwe government should ensure strict and unhindered monitoring and observation of  the electoral process.
· The Zimbabwe government and SADC as guarantor of the GPA ensure the timely announcement of election results (unlike 2008) as called for in the constitution – five days is the time allowed.
· The international community, including the EU and member states, play their part in holding to account/ persuading SADC in ensuring this is as free and fair election as is possible in the context outlined, including systematic reporting of any irregularities and intimidation.
· Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to respond appropriately and promptly to any violation of electoral law or human rights.
· Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to act with impartiality and to protect all from political violence and investigate impartially all alleged violations, and the judiciary to adhere to the constitution and the (electoral) law.
Zimbabwe Europe Network recommends the following to regional and international observers:
· Report all violations to the relevant authorities and be aware that violations occurring outside polling stations should also be included in any reports. Given that levels of outright violence may well be diminished, there is need to follow up reported incidents of intimidation that could result in a non-free and fair election.
· Observe rural and other hard to reach constituencies, where the most extreme election results and irregularities occurred in 2008.
· Liaise with local independent Church and civil society observers to get as wide a picture as possible and for direct observation of all infringements.

Finally in the wider context we believe that the inclusion of more pro-poor policies by the parties running for office, along with serious plans for implementation, should be high on the agenda in order to contribute to broader transformation in the lives of Zimbabweans. Restoring and consolidating the rule of law, judicial institutions and human rights as well as initiating sustainable economic policies and enterprises are crucial for a democratic state and sustainable, pro-poor economic development to take root.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Dreaming" : Sung by Byron J Bryce

     Here's a song which just fits a lazy summer day, a day when you can laze on the beach or in the garden simply "Dreaming."
     Produced at Song City Studios in Nashville by Dave Demay, the lyrics are by Colin Gordon-Farleigh and the music is by Colin Gordon-Farleigh and Greg Scheer.
     The track id available to purchase and download from iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.

Lauralei sings "What Did You Mean?"

     Put a fabulous singer like Lauralei together with a beautiful song and this is what you get. Already moving up the Reverbnation Charts and in the Top 40, this is a singer who is going to go a long way. Watch out for her new singles over the next couple of months.
     You can purchase and download the song from iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby, so why not do it today and listen to the song whenever you want to.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dan Curtis & Colin Gordon-Farleigh working well together

Over the past two days I have been in Caerphilly, South Wales, working with Dan Curtis on a new anthem called "This is Wales." We are moving into the final stages now and the song should be ready in the next week to start sorting out the recording.

What a pleasure it is working with both Dan and Laura Curtis! It's made easy because they are both not only very talented but also very nice people. Whilst I was there on Wednesday, although our time together was somewhat limited due to other commitments, nevertheless Dan and I managed to put another song together as well, which was a bonus!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Maddie Kae : "Being Me"

Keep a close watch on Maddie Kae. This young singer most definitely has her star in the ascendancy! Managed by Taylor Morrison, this is a young lady who is going places fast.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quotation on True Love

"How can someone say that they love you if they keep you locked in the vault of their heart, shackled and unable to be a free spirit ever again? True love remains strongest when it is captivating without being captured, fascinating and yet free, interesting without isolation.
Love is as delicate as a butterfly that alights on the palm of your hand. It must be free to stay by choice alone. To imprison it will crush it for ever. the only thing that can make it stay is love itself." - Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Sunday, July 14, 2013

'Hymn for Today' : "There Will Come A Time"

There Will Come a Time      DSM
TUNE: Diademata
There’ll come a time one day,
When all the world finds peace;
When lion lays down with the lamb,
And every war will cease.
Then Christ will rule as King;
Rule over all the earth;
Then man will bow before their Lord,
And live the second birth!
Then on that glorious day,
We’ll stand in God’s own light;
There’ll be no pain or sickness there,
There’ll be no day and night.
Then Christ will rule as King;
Rule over all the earth;
Then man will bow before their Lord,
And live the second birth!
We’ll join in heaven’s choir,
Our voices lift in praise;
We’ll glorify our Lord and king,
Through our eternal days!
Then Christ will rule as King;
Rule over all the earth;
Then man will bow before their Lord,
And live the second birth!
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Elena House sings "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"The Armour of the Lord" sung by Chuck Longmayne

The great sound of Country Gospel as Chuck Longmayne sings 
this foot-tapping number based on Ephesians 6, verses 10-18. 
Written by Colin Gordon-Farleigh and Greg Scheer, 
and released on the SJM label by Sheer Joy Music.

"One Saint at a Time" sung by Chuck Longmayne

"Anthems of Joy" : My choice of 'Hymn for Today'

Anthems of Joy 7676 D
 TUNE: Aurelia
Our hearts with joy are ringing,
Voices and hands we raise;
Angelic choirs are singing,
In worship and in praise.
      Glory to God the Father,
      To Jesus Christ, the Son,
Praise to the Holy Spirit,
Worship the Three-in-One.
We worship our God’s glory,
Anthems of joy now raise;
We sing our songs of worship,
Of glory and of praise.
All glory to God the Father,
To Jesus Christ, the Son,
Give praise to the Holy Spirit,
Worship the Three-in-One.
 © 2011 :  Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Beautiful Places to be

Evening at Camlough Lake, Ireland
A forest walk in Hereforshire, UK
Lac Saint Andre, Savoie, France
The Stone Mirror, Antalya, Turkey

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Amazing Love' : My choice for the 'Hymn for Today'

Here is a new hymn for you to share with your friends, sing along to and use in your Worship Service or School Assembly. Just praise God through it! 

Amazing Love
TUNE: Abridge

Lord, such amazing love You pour
Upon our hapless race;
Though undeserving as we are,
You bless us by Your grace.

When I pass through the veil of death,
To stand before Your throne,
I would that You could speak for me
To claim me as Your own.

If I have served You as You asked,
And earned my crown on earth,
Then all I ask is that You grant
The joy of second birth.

O Saviour mine, I praise Your name,
My sins have been forgiv’n;
Lord, may the radiance of your face
Light up my place in heav’n.
© 2011 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beautiful Hideaways!

With the onset of a hot summer it's good to find the perfect hideaway to go to for a few days or even a few weeks, and just chill out, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

My choice of 'Hymn for Today' : "Come, Lord Jesus, Come!"

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!   8787 556
 TUNE: Kilburn
I am ready and waiting Lord,
Watching the heavens aglow;
Watching and waiting and serving,
Serving You down here below.
      I’m spending my days
      In worship and praise;
O come, Lord Jesus, come!
I am spreading Your gospel Lord,
Telling the world of Your love;
Watching and serving and waiting,
Waiting to join You above.
I’m spending my days
In worship and praise;
O come, Lord Jesus, come!
In heav’n I’ll join You forever,
Then for eternity praise;
Waiting and serving and watching,
Watching You then face to face.
I’m spending my days
In worship and praise;
O come, Lord Jesus, come!
 © 1996 :  Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Christian Quotes by Smith Wigglesworth

"I want to help you decide that, by the power of God, you will not be ordinary."

"God wants His people to be ablaze with Holy Ghost activity."

"If it is in the Bible, it is so. It's not even to be prayed about. It's to be received and acted upon. Inactivity is a robber which steals blessings. Increase comes by action, by using what we have and know. Your life must be one of going on from faith to faith."

"Before a man can bind the enemy, he must know there is nothing binding him."

"Purity is vital to faith."

"Shout, 'Get thee behind me, Satan,,,' and you will have the best time on earth. Whisper it, and you won't."

"On reading Romans 8, 'you will be sin-proof and devil proof'."

"I am on the plan of daring, acting in the Holy Ghost."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July 4th America!

I wish all my American friends and readers, a very Happy Independence Day today! May the achievements of the past be reflected in the achievements of the present, and may God be glorified in  and through them all.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lauralei sings "What Did You Mean?"

Check out the new video of Lauralei singing "What Did You Mean?"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Free download of Lauralei singing "What Did You Mean?"

Recently, Sheer Joy Music released a new song on the SJM label which is the first of many planned for the amazing Lauralei. Her smooth Jazz style is reminiscent of Norah Jones and Katie Melua. Check it out by listening to the track on Reverbnation. You can even get a free download via the following link.
Click for a free download of "What Did You Mean?":