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Welcome to the 5th Family Worship Newsletter, 30 May, 1999



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

FW Site stats
Recent site additions
Coming soon
Story behind the song
The enthusiasm of youth
Songwriters' encouragement
Check it out...
Newsletter information

FW Site Stats

Visitor numbers have suddenly doubled in May to around 200 people per day.
(Mind you, in web terms that's still very modest - I saw an article about a
new genealogy site designed to help people to trace their family tree which
crashed after 500 people per SECOND tried to access it...)

Thanks for visiting, and a special welcome to visitors from new countries
including Brazil, India and Vietnam.

A number of sites are now linking to the FW site, including Graham
Kendrick's new site
(If you haven't yet heard of Graham's new project - "The Millennium
Chorus" - then visit his site and follow the link for details)

where after 4 months we are still delighted to be "link of the week"

Humour spot

An email worship discussion form recently ran a discussion thread on amusing
worship leading experiences. One of my favourites was a worship leader who
was leading a powerful time of intimate worship, when something went wrong
with the foldback speaker at his feet. He knelt down to adjust the controls,
and stood up a moment later, only to discover that the entire congregation
had interpreted his act of kneeling as an invitation to follow, and had all
fallen to their knees in worship!!

Recent site additions:
4 new songs have just been added to the "Song by email" facility, including
a powerful new setting of the Lord's Prayer, and the title track from FW3 -
"Fire and Rain" - see story beind the song below... (talking of which, a
number of people arrive at the website from search engines looking for the
song by John Denver of the same name!)

The Lord's Prayer and "Fire and Rain" have also been added as MP3 files to
the Songs page

We are featuring a link to a great new site from Graeme Young, one of the
original FW writers, now based in Scotland, who has a fantastic range of
teaching materials and resources for children and children's workers at very
reasonable prices. Do visit this site, maintained by Graeme's son, Ben, at

Humour spot

A burglar broke into a house one night. As he was shining his flashlight
around checking out the place, he heard a voice come from the darkness that
said "Jesus is watching you..."

He looked around nervously, wondering where the voice came from. He heard it
again - "Jesus is watching you..." finally he caught a parrot in the beam of
his flashlight....the parrot kept repeating, "Jesus is watching you...."

Trying to get the parrot to say something else, the burglar struck up a
conversation with him and asked him his name. The parrot replied "My name is

The Burglar asked "Now what kind of people would name their parrot Moses?!"

The parrot replied, "The same people that named their Rottweiler 'Jesus'."

Coming soon

A number of orders for resources have been received from the USA, and we are
looking at setting up a local distribution agent to process these, providing
local mailing and pricing in dollars. In the meanwhile, don't forget that
you can easily and safely order resources to be shipped from the UK to any
country worldwide

Following a surge in interest after their excellent worship leading (well,
at least that's what they thought) at Spring Harvest (the UK's biggest
annual christian event) we will shortly be featuring albums from Brown Bear
Music for online ordering - bookmark
where details will appear in a week or two...

Humour spot

One little word...

A reviewer was trying to extol the virtues of a particular worship
instrumentalist and published the following paragraph. While he later
published an explanation that the word "not" had been
inadvertently omitted, it left me wondering whether he was right the first

He wrote:

"While his skill on the keyboards is magnificent, he does flaunt it to
sacrifice the attention of the worshiper from being captivated with Jesus"

Story behind the song...

This month, "Fire and Rain", from FW3

Remember  the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? Of
course you do (1 Kings 18, I hear you cry), but briefly:

Elijah challenged the prophets to a duel - two altars were to be built, and
they would call on their respective gods, and the one that answered by fire,
well, he would be God.

Despite the frantic efforts of the prophets of Baal, their sacrifice
remained untouched. Elijah's sacrifice however, despite being soaked in
water, was consumed after he called out to God to "answer by fire". Shortly
afterwards, the drought that had been in the nation for over 3 years was

The prophetic vision behind the song is in the phrase "Fire on the church,
rain on the nation", which takes the parallel from the story that we should
cry out for the fire of God to fall on his church, that the rain the Spirit
might fall on the nations.

These are not new, nor original concepts - there have been prophetic words
and songs concerning the powerful images of fire and of rain, the world
over, but I was struck by the linking of the two images in this passage of
scripture. I was also very struck by the idea that we should pray for the
refreshing rain of the Spirit to fall not on the church, but on the nations.
Sometimes, perhaps, we can become introverted, and even self-indulgent, in
seeking the refreshing spiritual rain for ourselves, rather than for those
outside of the church. I know for myself, it comes far more naturally to ask
for God's rain rather than his fire, but the challenge is there for us -
will we let him refine and purify us, painful though that may be, for the
sake of the gospel to reach to the ends of the earth, and for the rains of
revival to fall on our own nation?

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

Humour spot

What's the difference between a musician and a fixed-term investment?
One eventually matures and earns some money.

How many guitarists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Three. One to do it and two to criticize his technique.

How many sound men does it take to change a light bulb?
(Take your pick from the following:)
"One, two, one, two, testing, one two..."
"Hey man, I just do sound."
"Light bulbs? Why bother, they don't make any noise..."

The opportunity of youth

How long have you been a christian? Maybe you were born into a christian
family, and have kept the family faith all through your childhood, and made
it your own. Maybe you were converted later in life, perhaps in your
thirty's or forty's. Most likely, however, statistically speaking, is that
you became a christian sometime between your childhood years and early
twenties. For the vast majority of converts (surveys suggest 80% plus), they
made the decision to follow Christ in these incredibly formative years.

Often for children in christian families, they came back to the Lord
sometime in their youth, after a period of rebellion or wandering (which is
why it's crucial to teach and train our children - Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says
"These commandments that I give you today...Impress them on your about you walk along the road...when you
lie down and get up" - if we do this, then even if they rebel, they will
have a foundation built in their lives that can be returned to and built

Sometimes in the church we wonder if adolescence was perhaps a mistake!
Surely God didn't really intend the hormonally-induced turmoil that
teenagers go through to be the normal route to maturity. Wouldn't it be so
much easier if those sweet little children that we so love in our churches
transformed overnight into mature, young adults, without the messy bit

This is a question that I turn over in my mind often, not least because my
eldest daughter is now approaching her teenage years, and I'm desperate to
learn from parents who've managed to "hold it together" and see a wonderful
adult emerge the other side! It's my belief that as we are made in God's
image, then the very process of adolescence is part of his plan, and we
should thank him for it. We need to ask for wisdom as parents and as the
church family for ways to get the maximum blessing for, and from, this

I became a christian myself when I was 15, and remember the passion and zeal
that I had to follow hard after Jesus, and see the world saved in a year. I
want to re-discover that passion, and am convinced that one of the ways that
God wants to use this rising generation of children and youth is to stir up
the older generations to gladly work together and "pass the baton" to see an
increase in the advance of the kingdom of heaven.

The historical accounts of past revivals in church history across the world
reveal one sad fact: there has never been a revival which has increased into
the following generation; they have always diminished or tailed-off. The
challenge for the current church is to be like Elijah passing on the
anointing to Elishah and allowing him to inherit a double portion, rather
than jealously guarding what we have, and begrudging it to the younger

It's interesting to note that the period that Elijah and Elishah worked
together was actually several years, (even though it only occupies a few of
chapters between 1 Kings 19 and 2 Kings 2) and there is a pattern of
partnering between the generations that we would do well to model in the
church today. Whatever you have in the way of gifting, knowledge and wisdom,
pass it on gladly to younger people in the church. Take time to befriend
them and train them, and most importantly, pray continually for them, to see
them rise up and fulfil the calling of God on their lives.

Humour spot

A mother called her son one Sunday morning, to get out of bed and get ready
for Church.

He replied "I'm not going"

His mother said "Yes you are going, so get out of that bed"

He replied "Give me ONE good reason why I should go"

She replied, "I'll give you THREE good reasons....
1. I'm your mother, and I say you're going.
2. You're 40 years old, so you should know better.
3. You're the Pastor!"

Songwriter's encouragement

A question was posed on a secular songwriting website recently: What is the
difference between a poem and a song? To my mind, the obvious answer is the
right one: a song has music, and a poem doesn't!

It set me thinking, though, about the power that music has to take words and
somehow communicate them at a deeper level than speech alone. With
scripture, there is a quality and depth to the words which can be felt
whether they are read or sung. Think of Psalm 23 - beautiful poetry, and
also a beautiful song. One of the great benefits of setting scripture to
music is that the words are more easliy remembered.

So, even if you don't consider yourself to be a songwriter, then why not
have a go at setting some scriptures to music? Even if just for your
personal use, perhaps during your quiet time, try singing a couple of verses
to help you remember them. If it works well, then dare to try it out on a
few people, and you never know, it may lead to the start of a whole new

Humour spot

Why are violins smaller than violas?
They're not.. It's an optical illusions because violinists heads are bigger.

The doorbell rang and the owner found a man at the door.
"Madam," he announced, "I'm the piano tuner"
The lady exclaimed, "But I didn't send for a piano tuner"
The man replied, "I know you didn't, but your neighbours did!"

Check out...

Don't forget to check out Young Resources, especially if you are a parent or
a children's worker:

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

Humour spot (last one - shame)

Signs seen...

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
"Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar."

In a German airline ticket office:
"We take your bags and send them in all directions."

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
"You are welcome to come in and have a fit upstairs."

In a Rome laundry:
"Leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."

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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