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Welcome to the 4th Family Worship Newsletter, 26 April 1999


(With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...)

FW Site stats
Recent site additions
Coming soon
What does the word "family" mean to you?
Story behind the song
Songwriters' encouragement
Check it out...
Newsletter information

FW Site Stats

Visitors continue to visit the site at a rate of around 100 people per day.

Visitors from new countries included Estonia, South Korea, Mexico and Iceland. (Welcome!)

Newsletter subscribers now number around 300

As the site becomes more established, several search engines have listed the site (although Yahoo remains a tough nut to crack in terms of getting them to list the site - any tips??)

Some interesting searches have landed people at the website, for example "Lyrics for Celine Dion songs" and "Free MP3 songs" (MP3 is now the second most popular word in the world entered into search engines...)

Humour spot

How many flute players does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but they'll have to twist it backwards and forwards for an hour or so to make sure that it's just right.

How do you get two guitar-playing worship leaders to happily lead worship together?
Shoot one.

How do you know there's a drummer at the door?
Because he doesn't know when to come in.

How do you get a trumpeter to play quietly?
Take away their trumpet.

(Any instrumentalists upset that their particular instrument has not yet been abused in a Newsletter - please email)

Recent site additions:

The song-by-email facility has proved very popular, with around 250 songs requested to date. If you have requested a song and not received it within 4 days then please submit it again (a few requests have been received with the name or email address not completed, so one might have been yours!)

Recent songs added include "Perfect Love" (story below) and "Let Praise Break Out"

More MP3 files have been added to the Songs page

Doug Horley (writer of "We want to see Jesus lifted high", and one of the UK's best-known all-age worship leaders) has recently released a fantastic new teaching resource for children called "Warrior Kids", which comprises a book, and an accompanying compilation CD of songs from various writers. As well as featuring the song "Prayer can make a difference" (from the latest FW album - "Teach us to pray"), the CD includes tracks from Delirious, Matt Redman, World Wide Message Tribe, Noel Richards, Jim Bailey, Ishmael, and of course some great new songs from Doug.

Check out the details in our "Recommended" section

Humour spot
A Mother invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said:
Would you like to say the blessing?
I wouldn't know what to say, she replied
Just say what you hear Mummy normally say
The daughter bowed her head and said:
Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?

Coming soon

Thank you to those who responded concerning translations of the FW songs. French translations will be added in the next few weeks, and other languages will follow. If you have translated any of the songs yourself then we would be delighted to hear from you - please email.

Several requests have been made for MIDI arrangements of the songs to be made available for download from the site, and we are working on this. Again, if you have any MIDI arrangements yourself, then please let us know; we may well be interested in using them (for a small arrangement fee...!)

A number of the FW songs have dances or actions to them, and in the future, we will be adding video clips to demonstrate those, as well as progressions of still photographs with text narratives describing the actions.

Humour spot

An advertising executive for a local fast food restaurant visited a local pastor and said: "We'd like to offer you one thousand dollars to change the way you say the Lord's Prayer every Sunday from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily burger' The pastor replied that he couldn't possibly do that, but the executive persisted, offering him ten thousand, one hundred thousand, and finally one million dollars, at which point the pastor eventually agreed.

Later on the pastor called the church secretary and said: "The good news is, we've got one million dollars for church funds. The bad news is, we've lost the Pizza Hut account..."

What does the word "Family" mean to you?

I heard a story recently about a man who was emotionally cold and detached, and refused to celebrate his birthday. It turned out that on his 7th birthday, as a punishment for something he had done, his Mother had torn up all his birthday cards in a fit of rage.

In acknowledging Mother's Day recently in our church, and trying to do it in a way that was sensitive to the needs and feelings of everyone, one lady said afterwards: "You know, it doesn't matter how you try to do it, I just can't hear the word Mother without feeling pain".

Family, like Mother or Father, is one of those emotive words that can instantly provoke extreme responses. Depending on your own family history and current circumstances, it may be a positive, neutral or negative word for you. We often use the word in church: we talk about "family values" and the "family of believers" or "God's family", but sometimes we may mean one thing, but people's perceptions of the very word can mean that they hear something very different.

When we released the first Family Worship album in 1993, there were very few albums available (certainly in the UK) which fell into that genre or category. Ishmael had been pioneering for many years, and ministries from people like Doug Horley and Jim Bailey were starting to appear, but in most people's minds, "Family Worship" meant (and perhaps still does mean) "Children's Worship". Those in our churches who are single (either by choice or by circumstance), those who are separated or divorced, older parents with grown-up children, widows,  childless couples, and so on, can sometimes feel that we only really value the "nuclear family" model of Mum, Dad, and children. Now, whilst that is obviously a God-given model, and we are called to stand for all the holy values that should be part of christian families, we need to value and include every individual in every circumstance.

Perhaps that's one reason why "all-age worship" is a slightly better, or at least more neutral way, of describing the vision behind what many churches are increasingly seeking to do: worship together as the true family of God. As christians, we all are adopted into his family, and all have equal status in his eyes. Age is just one of the ways that the enemy will try to split us up and bring discord and division; others include class (or wealth), race, gender, nationality, and so on. The world divides along those lines; we are called in the Kingdom of Heaven to bring healing, reconciliation and peace.

If family is a hard word for you to accept, for whatever reason, then I pray that God will heal painful memories and any current divisions, and will give us all the grace to love and live together, and to learn how to truly worship together.

Humour spot
After the church service, a little boy told the pastor: "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money."
"Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?"
"Because my Dad says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."

Story behind the song...

This month, "Perfect Love(You accept me as I am)", from FW2

In 1993, the church congregation that I was part of in Ichthus Christian Fellowship was planning to plant a new congregation into the centre of Downham - a town on the edge of South London, bordering the county of Kent, and also bridging the London boroughs of Lewisham and Bromley. When Downham was first built in the 1930's on what had been fields and farmland, it became the largest (by area) council estate (ie. Government-provided housing) in Europe. Many people were moved in to the new houses from areas such as Bermondsey and Southwark, and other parts of the inner-city areas of London, especially along the River Thames, and talking to older people around the estate, we discovered that there was a high degree of resentment among many who were moved, and a feeling of rejection from where they had moved from, and isolation in where they had moved to.

In praying around the estate before planting the church, one of the strong senses we had was that there was still a feeling of rejection and isolation, perhaps stemming from the historical roots of the origins of the estate, but also something that is symptomatic of countless city-dwellers the world over: the feeling that, despite being surrounded by millions of people, they are alone.

Initially written for the launch of our new church, I wanted to write a song that expressed the love of Father God for every individual, and to express that no matter what the past, present or future holds, nothing can separate us from his perfect love. In him we find acceptance, and a true sense of community and belonging.

The second verse is a straight paraphrase of Romans 8 - scriptures that have been a tremendous blessing to countless believers through the centuries. As we approach a new millennium, it's a solid fact, and great comfort, that God's love towards us never changes.

You can request this song by email from
and an MP3 file is now available at

Humour spot
A Woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.
"What Denomination?" Asked the clerk.
"Oh dear! Has is come to this?" said the woman. "Well give me 50 Baptist
and 50 Pentecostal..."

Songwriters’ encouragement

Having featured Doug Horley's new CD and book (Warrior Kids) this month reminded me of a story that I heard about his best-known song: "We want to see Jesus lifted high". Doug has played lead guitar as part of Noel Richard's band for several years, and having written the song, he nagged Noel over a period of several months to use the song in their worship concerts. Noel finally, reluctantly, agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history...

So, (to add balance to the advice in the Feb. newsletter that God will always bring a song to the fore if he wants to use it, and therefore as writers, we don't need to strive) sometimes there might be a place for determined persistence. (Now knowing when to nag and when to keep quiet is another thing altogether...!)

By the way, have you noticed how well the FW song "Dance on the streets" medleys perfectly with "We want to see Jesus lifted high"? You haven't? Well, give it a try! Now, where's Noel Richard's 'phone number....

Humour spot
A man walking along a cliff suddenly slipped and fell over the edge. Fortunately, he was able to grab onto a branch on the way down, but now he was in a situation where he couldn’t get back up and was still high above the ground. He looked up and cried:

Is anybody up there?
Yes, I’m up here
Who are you?
I’m God. I can help you if you just trust me
Sure, what do you want me to do?
Just let go of the branch and everything will be O.K.
There was a pause. The man looked down. He looked up again. Finally he said:
Is there anybody else up there?

Check out...

The joke above came from a great-looking resource website for children's workers including a "Teaching Tip of the Week" provided by Berean Bible Ministries - check it out at Also contains the wonderful "Wordless Book" which tells the gospel using colours.

Humour spot
A girl had brought her fiancee home for dinner. After dinner, the fiancee and the girl's father went into the study for a man to man talk.

"So, what are you doing right now?" asked the father.
"I'm a theology scholar," replied the fiancee
"Do you have any plans for employment?"
"I will study and God will provide"
"What about children?"
"God will provide"
"And your house and car?"
"Again, God will provide," said the fiancee

After the talk, the girl's mother asked the father, "So what did you two talk about?"

The man replied, "He has no plans for employment, but on the other hand, he thinks I'm God..."

Newsletter information

This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family Worship
Resources, part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, London, UK . Copyright
1999, Mike Burn. Inclusion of links and quotations does not imply full
endorsement of the contents. The newsletter may be forwarded or reproduced
in full or in part providing that the source is acknowledged.

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Thanks for reading, and if you've made it this far, or even if you just
skipped to the end before hitting delete, blessings to you in Jesus' name


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