“Oh Death where is your sting”, Oh, there it is!

Just over a week ago a close friend of ours died far too suddenly. We cried out in prayer, and were sure God joined us in our desire for his life to be prolonged, but yet, he died.

Honestly victorious phrases like “Death where is your sting, grave where is your victory”1 seem like callous belittling of the very real pain experienced in the loss of life. Is my reaction to those phrases a worrying litmus test for the extent of my ‘eternal perspective’? I’ve wondered.
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Links for Friday | 15th May 2015

Every Friday I’m posting links to things I’ve read this week that I think you might find interesting too,

Travel

In the next week I’ll hopefully post my full review of the Tom Bihn Bag I wrote about a few weeks back, but for now feel free to check out some pictures of our current trip to India here, my photoblog is http://LIAMBYRN.ES.
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Ascension Day 2015

Today the church celebrate the ascension of Christ, I was sent this great sonnet by Malcolm Guite and his great explanation for the significance of the ascension which seems deeply under appreciated within the evaneglical community;
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Journeying through ‘With’ by Skye Jethani | Part 1

I’m re-reading Skye Jethani’s book “With” (US | UK | Anywhere else) over the next few weeks, and I like it so much I thought I’d blog through some thoughts as I do. Not quite as in depth as a review, but more a place to repeat and carry forward some ideas that it peaks for me.

In Chapter 1, Skye contends that the disillusionment that is often experienced by those seeking to follow Jesus is not due to a lack of sincerity or not trying hard enough, but that our posture towards God foundationally misled.
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“All our life is a festival. Since we are persuaded that God is present everywhere on all sides, we praise God as we till the ground, we sing hymns as we sail the sea, we feel God’s inspiration… Read More

Clement of Alexandria

Links for (Almost) Friday (Again) | 9th May 2015

Every Friday I’m posting links to things I’ve read this week that I think you might find interesting too, in a second week in a row, I missed friday!, but in my defence I was moving through some time zones! –

UK Elections

  • The turns in the recent election in the UK was unprecedented. Especially in Scotland where my vote (in absentia) was cast. It is hard to take a national pulse living so far away, but the rhetoric of UK politics seems less and less inclusive and more tribal, a worry trajectory in my opinion. Giles Fraser, made some emphatic comments in his piece in the Guardian, and I was fascinated by the following quote, as I’ve often considered the secular approach to government as quasi-religious.

The anthropologist Mukulika Banerjee suggests a fascinating answer: elections are like religious rituals, often devoid of rational purpose or efficacy for the individual participant, but full of symbolic meaning. They are the nearest thing the secular has to the sacred, presenting a moment of empowerment.
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Steve Schallert INTERVIEW | Part Two

Earlier this week I posted part one of the interview with Steve Schallert about his album “Songs of Sorrow | Songs of Hope”, be sure to read that, and my earlier review before picking up here.

LIAM: It’s clear your reflections which get expressed in your training role also found a voice in the songs, what were the cross overs and what makes song writing different to teaching/preaching/training?

STEVE:“There is indeed a lot of crossover, but there certainly are huge differences between the mediums. Songwriting (particularly when writing songs that are intended to be sung in community for the purpose of spiritual and political formation) just taps into a different part of the mind. There is much more freedom in songwriting than in teaching because I find it to be less academic… there is just less script. I still find myself teaching a lot more than song-writing these day. Fact is, however, I probably teach, preach and train more as a songwriter than I song-write as a teacher, preacher or trainer. I would call music my core instigator from which everything else flows. I mean when I’m cranking 15-20 hours worth of lectures there is just a natural rhythm and stomp that forms. I can’t help it. So I end up treating my teaching role more as a song… Which I think helps content land in interesting ways.
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Getting things done 

Even before I was working in South Africa I was working in a reasonably self-directive environment. I don’t suspect I am a naturally organised person1, but I’ve developed some skills to pull it out of the bag when I need to.
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Steve Schallert INTERVIEW | Part One

A few weeks ago I wrote a review of our friend Steve Schallert’s new album, Songs of Sorrow | Songs of Hope. As I mentioned in the review, the album has been easily one of the most played records this year for me, and so questions have been coming up as I’ve listened and I asked Steve whether he would answer some on here. He agreed, and this is the first part of that interview;

LIAM: So last time you recorded you were unmarried and had no kids, right? How do you think that dynamic impacted the song writing and your style as a musician in general?
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Links for (almost) Friday | 1st May 2015

Every Friday I’m posting links to things I’ve read this week that I think you might find interesting too, this week got a little carried away with itself, so here is the link list on Saturday! See you again monday with the long-promised Steve Schallert Interview

Miscellany

  • Here in South Africa the power grid cycles power through different areas to keep the whole system working. Every few days we lose power for a few peak hours. As someone who grew up outside of South Africa it still feels more of a novelty than a distraction. Here’s a cool video of the Cape Town city bowl which begins during the loadshedding (no power) and then it comes on, quite a jump!

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