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I was asked by a friend in the States for a song her congregation might sing throughout Lent. I didn't think I had anything, until I remembered one Lent over a decade ago when I went without shoes for 6 weeks. It was an amazing experience, feeling the different textures of the earth under my feet, textures I was so often oblivious to and ignorant of. I realised how insulated I was from the world...

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I just had an enquiry from Canada about this song of mine, Sweetest Mystery. It is one of my favourites from my 2013 album, 'Into the Deep.' For some reason it hasn't seemed to have caught on with others as much as it has caught on with me. I have been under its spell since I wrote it. In many ways this song that I created has been recreating me ever since. I wrote it...

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We had our graduation last night for our 2nd year ministry interns. They've been with us for a two year journey of discernment and formation, following on from theological study and plenty more discernment. To mark the end of this chapter, I wrote a simple liturgy. It wove in themes we had been working through and thinking over during the block course: trinitarian theology, language for God that goes beyond the masculine and the personal, as...

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I once heard William Willimon lecture at Otago University. He told a story of some students he had taken on a mission trip to Haiti during their summer break. During one of the final evenings of the trip, the students sat around a camp fire and shared their favourite passages of scripture with one another: John 10:10, “I come that you shall have life in the full” was one; Romans 8:28, “Nothing can separates us from...

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Eugene Peterson represents something of a conundrum in our world. When you hear him speak, he is gentle. But when you read his works, he brings a prophetic edge. His words have been provocative and fearless, often wounding in the moment, in the hope of healing in the long run. But those words are hard to marry up with this soft spoken introvert. He is a mystery in that he displayed humility and audacity side by...

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Until a little more than a week ago,I was involved in a production of Les Miserables. It has been a bit of a life goal. Without a doubt it is my favourite musical, for its gritty story of grace and its anthemic music. Over the last four months I have immersed myself in the character of Marius, the young man who falls in love, loses his love, risks his life for a revolution, and then...

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For over a year now I've been working in the studio with friend and producer Matt Caradus. Before we started working on this project, the last time I had seen Matt was when he moved to Tauranga just as I was leaving for a new job in Auckland. That was 3 years ago. So when I got in touch with Matt last year to collaborate, I thought he was still in Tauranga, and he thought...

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Psalm 137:1-6 I grew up on a sheep farm 40 minutes south of Dunedin. Just north of a little place called Milton. My grandparents, Jean and Andy, my Dad’s folks, owned the farm before us. They lived two paddocks away, in the house Dad had grown up in. They lived two paddocks away and sat one pew in front of us at church. Every Sunday. Most school holidays my cousin Andy came up from Kelso in...

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So I've been working on a collection of songs for small churches for the last few months. In my work with congregations around NZ (and indeed in Australia and Scotland) I've noticed that while most of our contemporary worship music is written by large churches with amazing musical resources, when small churches with more limited musical resources try to recreate them they struggle. The songs tend to rely on their arrangements, thundering rhythm sections, or...

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