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Welcome to the 8th Family Worship Newsletter, 31 August, 1999


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

FW Site stats
Recent site additions
Coming soon
Story behind the song
The fastest way to humble someone
Songwriters' encouragement
Check out...
Newsletter information

FW Site Stats

Visitors continued through August at a steady rate of around 100
per day, and
new countries visiting included India, Estonia and Cyprus

Newsletter subscriptions are up to around 650 people - welcome to
new subscribers.

Over 1000 song-by-email requests have been processed, and the top
3 songs are
"Jesus, thank you for the cross", "Healing River and "Fire &

Recent site additions

Probably the most popular of all the Family Worship songs is Judy
Bailey's "I reach up high". Released in 1993, this song has been
used all round the world and features in several other recordings
and songbooks. You can now request it as a "song by email" at

Beckie and Sophie continue to work hard (well, that's their
story...) on the all-new Kids Zone, and the response from children
has been very enthusiastic. The first KidsOnly email newsletter
will be going out in a few days, so if you would like to subscribe
on behalf of a child, email
with "subscribe" in the content, or use the form at

The Prayer Zone for children is a new section where children can
post their own requests for prayer (safely and anonymously), pray
for other children round the world and post answers to pray for
encouragement. Parents have also used it to request prayer for
their own children. Check it out at

Don't forget that all the FW resources are available now for order
in the US with prices in dollars, and local delivery from the
River of Life discount bookstore. As well as the order facility at
River of Life now also have an excellent new website at

Humour spot

Do unto others...

A man was fast asleep in bed at 3am when there was a knock at the
door. Reluctantly, he got out of bed and answered the door to a
man, who said "I'm very sorry to bother you, but would you mind
giving me a push?" Irritated at being woken he said "No!", slammed
the door and went back to bed.

His wife asked him who had been at the door, and when he
explained, she was furious, and said to him: "Just think if that
had been us at 3am in the morning and our car had a flat battery -
wouldn't you appreciate it if someone was kind enough to help
you?". "Oh alright" he said, and stomped downstairs and out of the
house to see if the man was still there.

He couldn't see him so he called out "Anyone there? Do you still
need a push?", and in the distance a man called out "Yes - over
here". He followed the sound of his voice, round the corner, over
the road, and eventually into the park, where he found
him....sitting on a swing, waiting for a push!

Coming soon

During the annual Ichthus Revival camp this summer, a week-long
programme of teaching, worship and fellowship in the beautiful
grounds of Ashburnham on the south coast of England, we filmed a
number of the dances to some of the FW songs. We will shortly be
loading those on the website as video clips, in RealAudio and .avi
formats to enable "streaming" files or downloadable clips, which
can be used to teach the dances and actions.

Humour spot

Tips for an easier life:

Old telephone books make ideal personal address books.
Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don't know.

Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windscreen wipers turned to
fast  whenever you leave your car parked illegally.

No time for a bath? Wrap yourself in masking tape and remove the
dirt by simply peeling it off.

Apply red nail polish to your nails before clipping them. The red
nails will be much easier to spot on your bathroom floor. (Unless
you have a red carpet, in which case a contrasting polish
should be selected.)

Story behind the song...

This month, "When you pray"

When you pray, go into your own room
When you pray, close the door  (x2)
Pray to Father, who is unseen
And your Father, who sees what you do
He’ll reward you

When you pray, don’t use lots of long words
When you pray, as some people do
They think if their prayers go on for ages
God will hear, but that isn’t true
For your Father already knows
Yes your Father, he knows what you need
And will answer

Mike Burn
Copyright 1998 Daybreak Music

I had been asked to write a song for a children's "prayer school"
that was being planned for a weekend for children age 6 to 11 to
help them understand why and how to pray more effectively for
themselves. I had plenty of notice, but was struggling to write

Motivated by the fact that the theme was prayer, I finally worked
out that the best thing to do was to pray about what to write (I'm
slow like that!) I was in my bedroom with my guitar and bible, and
was reading Matthew 6. I read the words that come before the
Lord's Prayer, where Jesus answers the disciples' request "Lord,
teach us to pray", and I was struck by the simplicity of his
reply - "go into your room, and shut the door" - so I did just
that, and began to set the words to music, with some simple
finger-picked guitar chords.

When we first used the song with children, it was clear that they
loved the image of going into their own room (and we explained
that even if they had to share a bedroom they could try to find a
place somewhere to be alone).

I hope that the song will remind you of the encouragement, and
instruction of Jesus to find a quiet place to pray, where you can
be alone with your heavenly Father.

You can request this song by email from

and an MP3 file is now available at

Humour spot

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day.
"In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive.
In some languages though, such as Russian, a double negative is
still a negative.
However," he pointed out, "there is no language where a double
positive can form a negative"
A voice from the back of the room piped up  "Yeah, right."

The fastest way to humble someone...

It's been suggested that the quickest way to humble a christian is
to ask them about their prayer life!

The Bible has loads to say about prayer - Colossians 4:2, "Devote
yourselves to prayer";  1 Thessalonians 5:16 "Pray continually"
and so on. In the life of Jesus we have a role model where he
would get up before it was light and spend hours in prayer with
his Father before facing the day.

Having recently recorded an album of songs devoted to encouraging
children to pray, it's challenged me to look at my own prayer life
in a new way. When I compare myself to the scriptural standards,
and Jesus' example, then I realise how far short I fall. I was
therefore very encouraged recently to receive Luis Palau's weekly
email newsletter, which covered this issue in a tremendously
helpful way, and in particular, stressed that God doesn't impose
the need to pray on us as an impossible burden, but rather offers
it as the most effective way to release joy and blessing in our
own lives and the lives of others. Of course, it is also the way
that he chooses to bring in his kingdom on earth, as we pray "Your
kingdom come, your will be done".

One of the best answers I've heard to people who say they are just
too busy to pray, is that in fact they are too busy NOT to pray.
I've found for myself that if I face a day with loads of things to
get through, when I start the day with prayer then I accomplish
much more than when I struggle through on my own.

One of the things that we have encouraged children to do through
the teaching materials that accompany the "Teach us to pray" songs
is to keep a prayer journal - a simple notebook where they can
write down the things they are praying for, and answers as they
come. Luis Palau suggested the same thing in his newsletter, and
again it's challenged me, because it's something I used to do when
I first became a christian as a teenager, have encouraged children
to do, and yet don't do myself any more. I've therefore resolved
to take Luis' advice, and have copied his suggestion below for you
to consider. (Feel free to email me in 6 months to check if I've
kept it up!)

Luis writes:

"I encourage you to start a prayer notebook as a means of watching
for God's answers to your prayers. Keeping a prayer notebook
always motivates me to pray more frequently and specifically, and
it helps me to sense the reality that I'm one of God's children.

First I write my requests in a notebook, along with the date I
start making the request. If there is a deadline for a particular
answer, I record that as well. Then in the other column I note
when the Lord answers my prayers and what His answers are. It is
exciting to see how God works!

My prayer notebook is a monument of the constant faithfulness of
my heavenly Father. When I encounter difficult circumstances, I
can reflect on God's faithfulness by reviewing how He has worked
in my life in the past. Without a notebook I would soon forget
many of God's marvellous answers to my prayers.

To start your own notebook, complete the exercise in prayer
outlined below. Then rejoice as you experience God's personal
dealings in your life!

Exercise in Prayer

1. Think of one area in your life where you really need an answer
to prayer.

2. Write it down and date it. Develop a prayer notebook.

3. Study the following passages on prayer in your Bible:
     Matthew 7:7-11; 18:19-20; Mark 10:46-52; John 16:24;
     Romans   8:26-27; Ephesians 6:10-20; James 5:16-18.

4. Simply and specifically tell the Lord your request.

5. Thank the Lord that He is going to answer your prayer
     (Philippians 4:6).

6. Record the answer when it comes, and praise God for it
    (Colossians 4:2).

7. Repeat!

How is your prayer life? You don't need to give a sorrowful
confession. Instead, offer your requests with expectancy and
thankfulness. Use a prayer notebook to help you. Then share your
blessings with other people. Be a living testimony that God still
answers prayer!

To Ponder

Imagine the phone rings and someone conducting a national
opinion poll asks, "Do you believe God still answers prayer today?
If so, do you believe that (a) somewhat? (b) sincerely? or (c)

What would you say, and why? "

The above is re-printed from Luis Palau's "Healthy Habits" email
newsletter, and
if want to subscribe, free of charge, simply send an e-mail
message to with the words "subscribe habits" only in
the body of the e-mail.  Or, use the  subscription form at .

Incidentally, seeing how effectively Luis Palau and his
organisation have used the Internet as a communication tool for
evangelism and for encouraging christians all over the world was
one of the main inspirations for me in setting up the Family
Worship website. I've always had a tremendous respect for Luis and
the integrity of his ministry. When he conducted a mission in
London in 1985, I was a young, enthusiastic new christian, and
attended every night for 6 weeks,
took loads of friends, and sang in the choir! Check out his site

Humour spot

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it
follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted,
cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked and dry
cleaners depressed?

Dogs are so inconsistent - if you blow in a dog's face he gets mad
at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the

Songwriter's encouragement

The best-selling single of all time is Elton John's re-work of
Candle in the Wind, recorded following the death of Diana,
Princess of Wales, two years ago. (Prior to that it had been Bing
Crosby's timeless White Christmas!) Whilst the lyrics for Candle
in the Wind could hardly be described as a spiritual classic (and
it has cruelly been suggested that had Elton released a version of
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star dedicated to Diana then it would still
have sold millions!), they clearly resonated with a public
desperate for a way of expressing the emotion that her tragic,
untimely death provoked.

Whilst you or I may never write a song that spans the globe in the
way that Elton's has, you could certainly write a song or poem
that might hold the key to help maybe just one person come to
terms with a situation, or understand something of the heart and
character of God. I knew a young girl whose grandmother died, and
she spontaneously wrote a poem about her, which was one of the
most helpful things for her grandfather at the time to help him in
his grief. One of my own songs, "A time to mourn and a time to
dance", written following the untimely death of a friend, has been
used at a number of funerals of babies and young children, and
whilst I never envisaged that when I was writing, I did pray that
it would be a song that was used to released healing.

It needn't be for tragic circumstances that you write: it might be
for the birth of a child, or the wedding of a friend, or to
celebrate Christmas or a special birthday. The Psalms cover the
whole spectrum of human experience and emotion, and through all of
them runs the constant theme of a God who is with us in all that
life brings. I long to see loads more christians writing poems and
songs which have a Godly perspective, to bring some balance to the
endless stream of songs that the world pours out. We need plenty
more modern-day psalmists - are you called to be one?

Humour spot

"Mother, I can't marry him," moaned the love-stricken girl, "Last
night he told me he was an atheist and he doesn't believe in hell"
"Now you go right ahead and marry him," replied the mother, "and
between the two of us we'll show him how wrong he is"

Check out...

Brown Bear Music have recently set up their own website - check it
out at

River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for
the Family Worship resources are now online with a site featuring
a great range of worship recordings, songbooks, etc. Check it out

Jonathon Brewer, a UK-based worship writer, has just released his
debut album, a great collection of worship songs entitled
"Immersed in Love"
If you would like details, email him at

If you have a website that you would like us to feature in
future newsletters, please email

Last humour spot
A man called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
The tech asked her if she was running it under Windows. The man
responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that's a good
point. The guy sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a
window, and his is working fine!

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
imply full endorsement of the contents. The newsletter may be
or reproduced in full or in part providing that the source is

To subscribe, send an e-mail to with
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Send comments or queries, or suggested articles or links for
inclusion in future newsletters to

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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