Tag Archives: message mondays

Message Mondays- Why Christian Music & Mainstream Music Do Not Have To Be At Odds, & how God can use Both to further His kingdom at the same time.

I reckon this year, the year of 2017, is the year where I have branched out the most in terms of listening to mainstream music. Just like how I think 10 years ago in 2007 was the year where I branched out in listening to Christian music (as prior to that I only listened to Carman and Delirious?…yep, call me old fashioned, or sheltered, or both!), this is the year where I have sat up, and taken notice of many of today’s current pop songs. Not that I wasn’t that much in the know before (I knew several mainstream artists, like One Republic, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, and others, but I wasn’t following them religiously- I didn’t go out of my way to purchase an album of theirs!), but it was this year where my eyes and ears were opened to the realities of the type of music people listen to these days. Partly from exposure to Cimorelli’s covers (of which you can check out on iTunes here!)- and then  from there I wanted to see how the original sounded- and also partly because some of the neighbouring stores surrounding our café played pop music very loudly every single day; but whatever the case, I was exposed to more and more mainstream music each and every day this year, with some songs being inspiring, and others on the other end of the spectrum and quite disturbing.

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Message Mondays: Just Follow the Headlights, and Know that Nothing Is Wasted When We Realise that God is God and We are Not!

There’s always a beauty and a tension in life. In the moments when you make a plan about how you want your life to look like and go. And then in the end, 99% of the time, it doesn’t end up that way. Rarely when you do make plans, does it do go to plan. Usually we are left with hindsight and looking back, and realising that where you are right now is far from where you wanted to be, either good or bad. And it is in that moment when we realise that there’s always a tension, from wanting to just follow the plan, to accepting that not only is the plan going to change, but rather, we’re going to end up in a place far from what we have initially expected. How do we reconcile these thoughts? How do we come to a peaceful place of being at a restful state, accepting that yes, I do have plans, but I have to be content that my plan will change? Because frankly, we are a controlling bunch of humans, aren’t we? We love to plan things and line it all up in a nice neat row. Never once do we realise that to follow a path, especially the one that we know God has laid out for us, is far more rewarding than we can ever fathom. But what happens when we can’t see what’s in front of us? When God doesn’t make it clear? When our plan goes out the window, and the Lord encourages us to follow Him- into the unknown, the places where we travel with only faith and trust as our guides, into the places where plans and maps are of no use? What then?

Continue reading Message Mondays: Just Follow the Headlights, and Know that Nothing Is Wasted When We Realise that God is God and We are Not!

Message Mondays: The Power and Need of Rest

To rest in today’s culture almost seems foreign to practically everyone. There I said it. We as a human race do not know how to just be still and have a rest. We’re always constantly on the go. Whether it is moving from one task to the next, having multiple jobs, being parents, thinking about work at home on your days off…whatever the case, to carve out that time for intentional rest when all we’re doing is just thinking about nothing and just enjoying life for just what God intended for us to do, we almost need to be intentional about the rest we so desperately ache for, need and is a necessity for us to survive this crazy thing called life. Because without rest and without times where we enjoy life just because, we’d go crazy. This life is busy enough as it is. The pressure of performance, the pressure of keeping up with the joneses, the pressure in keeping up with fashions and trends, of being up to date on social media and making sure that everyone in the household is taken care of…you get the picture. If we just don’t take a step back and just assess our lives and think about what needs to be changed and what needs to be altered for us to have a happier and healthier lifestyle, then we’re just going to continue along the path towards the erosion of family values, relationships and sanity, all at the betterment of increased economic productivity in mainstream society.

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Message Mondays: In the flood or the fire, You’re with me and You won’t let go (Tenth Avenue North – I Have This Hope [Ailo Remix])

Reunion Records

Release Date: June 9th 2017

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Tenth Avenue North– I Have This Hope Ailo Remix (Single) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

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Message Mondays (Living the Christian Life):

Sometimes I wonder and imagine what life would’ve been like if I didn’t grow up here in Australia. If my parents were different, or if they were the same, but lived somewhere else. If I wasn’t in the first world, or if I didn’t even have the same values that I currently have now. Would I still be me? And therefore, in effect, I am faced with the ever-haunting question- what makes me, well…me? Is it my surroundings, my environment, the culture of people I surround myself with, or even my parent’s influence? Or will I still be me, despite all the change I have just aforementioned?

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Message Mondays – Fear and Trust, and How We Need to Trade One For the Other

Maybe it’s time to confess- often I tend to worry and obsess more about situations more than I should. As my parents have often said to me, there’s 365 times that the Lord says in the bible for us not to fear and worry- therefore, one for us to reflect upon each day. That that is entirely true. Because when we look at it from an objective standpoint, we are indeed a fearful bunch. Afraid of politics, afraid of religion, afraid of people of other races, creeds, different kinds of faith, different sexual orientations…the list goes on. And then there’s things that people are afraid of that are on a personal level- heights, spiders, snakes, bombs, volcanoes, flashing lights, noises, crowds, war movies, metal music, tomatoes, eating healthy, the gym…you get the picture. Why are we so afraid? Sometimes I wish that Adam and Eve never took that apple- but that doesn’t change that the fact that it indeed happened, and because of sin, there are things in our lives that we want to change. One of the biggest things I’m sure people want to eradicate in their lives is fear, but sometimes I think- maybe we all are afraid because we’re not fully confident in what has been promised to us and given freely by the One who created us in the first place.

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Message Mondays and Worship Wednesdays – Slowing Down To Realise that God Has Been With Us All Along!

What we fail to realise is that we were not made to do everything. I know that sounds like I’ve said the deadliest thing ever, but really, we weren’t made to do everything. Think about that. Really. When have we as a human race tried to fit whatever we can, within a 24 hour day? Because honestly, just because we see superhero shows like Batman, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, X-Men or Ironman on TV, that doesn’t mean we can emulate them in every aspect of our lives. Because if you end up doing everything that you’d like, you won’t do anything well. That is our crime as a human race. We are rushing around and undertaking whatever we can, in fear that our days are numbered, therefore, what we do with them ought to matter. But then in not slowing down, we often miss out on what the Lord is trying to speak to us through the circumstances and scenarios we find ourselves in. I know in my life there’s been moments when I’ve had to catch myself, consciously slowing down because I’ll know that if I don’t, I’ll run myself to the ground. What about you?

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MESSAGE MONDAYS & THROWBACK TUESDAYS – The Light Meets The Dark

Yes, as you can see from the title, I am a very much avid fan of CCM band Tenth Avenue North. Or rather, a fan of Mike Donehey’s devotional youtube messages about his songs that he has released on the internet throughout the years. In fact, Tenth Avenue North has to be one of the best bands that CCM offers to us at the moment- starting their career way back in 2008 when they signed to Reunion Records, the band delivered chart topping albums like Over and Underneath, The Light Meets the Dark, The Struggle, Cathedrals and more recently Followers. To say that Mike the lead singer has a way with words in how he imparts heartfelt and poignant truths to listeners is very much an understatement. And while I know that their latest album Followers can arguably be the quintet’s most emotive and encouraging yet, I can’t ignore where it all started. It was in 2009/10 when I started listening to the band and their music on a regular basis- safe to say that The Light Meets the Dark is a momentous album for me- with songs like “Healing Begins”, “You Are More”, “Strong Enough to Save”…it was then when I realised that Tenth Avenue North and their music was something special.

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Message Mondays – Comfortableness: The Enemy of Conversation

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be of service to someone else’s needs. To look beyond what I believe to be what I need at that certain moment, and to see what the other person is longing and yearning for. To lay what I want to happen in my own life down, and to ask the question- so what is going on with you? To earnestly ask, and see what we can do in someone else’s life, without any expectation that they will return the favour, because 99% of the time, we know they probably won’t. Because honestly, if we want to be real, no one really, really likes to ask the other person what is going on with them. Because once that happens, all bets are off. Everything we have planned for the entire day, well kiss that goodbye, because the person you are talking to may just pour their heart out to you, and you will have to listen, whether or not you even want to hear it. You have to genuinely care enough to say, ‘yes, I know what I want in my life today, but I am willing to shelve all that to one side for the sake of the person I am in conversation with’. Are we indeed willing enough to offer a shed of encouragement, from the deepest parts of our hearts (yes, indeed we may have to delve there, but I’m sure it’ll be very much worth it), as we service the needs of whomever we are in connection with, at that moment of the day?

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MESSAGE MONDAYS – FOLLOWERS

Quite arguably one of the best bands that CCM has to offer, Tenth Avenue North started their career on Reunion Records way back in 2008 with their chart topping album Over and Underneath. Now 8 years and another 4 albums later, we see the quintet release one of their most emotive and encouraging albums to date, Followers. One of the most underrated and heartfelt bands over the last 5 years, Mike Donehey, lead singer, has always had something great to communicate across to us all through video devotionals about the band’s songs over the years. And while their most recent 2014 album Cathedrals only spawned 2 devotional videos (of their singles “No Man is an Island” and “Stars in the Night”), as opposed to the 5 from The Struggle (“Losing”, “Where Life Would Never Die”, “The Struggle”, “You Do All Things Well” and “Worn”), we are nevertheless blessed with what the band have to say for these two tracks. “No Man Is an Island” was a reminder to always live in community with one another, as we remember that we were never meant to live our lives outside of fellowship and relationship with our fellow man- we were meant for community just as God Himself is a community (of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit); while “Stars in the Night” was also a comfort- that as we focus our eyes on Jesus and remind ourselves that in the darkest of nights; it is the stars, or rather, the One who created the stars, that will lead us on, from despair into hope, from uncertainty into moments of clarity, from indecisiveness to direction and focus.

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