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Welcome to the 22nd Family Worship Newsletter, 30 October 2000
Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at
FW Site stats
Recent site additions - WEBMAIL
"Sing me your songs, and I'll tell you your beliefs..."
With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...
FW Site Stats
Newsletter subscribers are now up to around 1,700 - a special
welcome to new subscribers.
The site reached a milestone in October of over 1,000 visitors on
a single day; the average is around 700 a day.
The songs are selected, the choir is rehearsing, the tracks are
being arranged, and the pressure's on! This is the fun but frantic
stage of a recording as it moves from concept to reality, and we
really value your prayers. (There is a news page on the website
which is updated weekly -
The title of the album is confirmed as "Rising Generation" (for
more on the background to the title, see below). The material is
the usual eclectic mix of up-tempo praise and heartfelt worship,
with songs from established FW writers, as well as debut songs
from new writers. A number of the songs are suitable for
particular moments in a service, eg. there is a song on the theme
of giving that is ideal for using during the offering, a Communion
song, a song in response to the preach, and so on.
In addition to 10 songs produced by regular FW producer, Dave
Bankhead, 2 songs will be produced by Ian Mizen, who specialises
in youth-oriented worship arrangements, and there will also be a
cover of a fantastic new song from Judy Bailey, based in Germany,
called "Jesus in my house".
Due for release Easter 2001, sneak previews of some of the songs
will be appearing on the FW website from January, and if you can't
wait until then, then you can check out "Jesus in my house" now at
"Rising generation" - what does it mean?!
The phrase "rising generation" was something I heard Martin Smith
say a couple of years ago in a Delirious concert, and it has stuck
with me ever since, and will be the title for the next Family
Worship album (I'm waiting to see if Martin will want a royalty
fee for the phrase!)
I once heard a preacher, who had studied past revivals and moves
of God in history, who said that there had never been a revival
which increased in the next generation - there was always a
decline. Now, not wanting to get into the "theology of revival",
which is a whole contentious subject in itself, I simply want to
make the point that if the church is to fulfil the Great
Commission of Jesus, then we will need to see revivals in nations
and continents that increase into the following generation.
So, the intent behind the phrase is a call to this generation of
children and young adults to rise up to the call of God on their
lives, to be like those described in Revelation who "overcame by
the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and that
they loved not their lives unto death".
It's our prayer that the songs will be of some use in helping to
challenge and equip children to get hold of a vision and passion
for God, and for the lost, to be a generation even more radical
and effective than any that have gone before.
After his annual physical examination, a patient asked his doctor:
"Tell me, how long am I going to live?"
"Don't worry", his doctor replied, "You'll probably live to be
"But, doctor, I am eighty!"
"See, what did I tell you?"
Recent site additions
Do you use Hotmail or Yahoo web-based email? A number of people
like to use web-based email accounts to access their email when
they are not at their home PC, and these accounts can be used to
download POP3 mail from other accounts, so are very convenient.
However, I've used Yahoo myself, and my daughter uses Hotmail, and
I've been increasingly concerned by the nature of some of the
banner advertising that is carried on the pages, and also the
unsolicited "spam" emails that arrive, which can sometimes be
unsavoury in nature!
In response to this problem, Family Worship has set-up a webmail
service in association with "everyone.net" which promises much
less spam than Hotmail and Yahoo, and carries only banner ads that
are family-friendly. Emails are in the form:
email@example.com and the service is completely free,
with no commercial intent at all! There is 6mb of online storage
for emails, as well as the ability to read emails from your other
addresses online, leaving them safe on your email server to
download later to your home PC.
If you'd like to give this service a try, for yourself or perhaps
for a child (children under 13 must request a parent to set the
account up on their behalf) then check it out at
New writers have been added this month to the Showcase - check it
out at http://www.familyworship.org.uk/showcase.htm
Beckie is busy building out the Christmas pages in the KidsZone -
check it out now at
and get your children to send in their contributions
Some illuminating quotations:
"Well if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?"
"One of the most obvious facts about grown-ups to a child is that
they have forgotten what it is like to be a child."
"The world is divided into people who do things - and people who
get the credit."
"No man is ever old enough to know better."
"Old age is always 15 years older than I am."
"History is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living."
"Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even
smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill- designed for the
"Sing me your songs, and I'll tell you your beliefs..."
The theme song for FW4 that has been written around the phrase
"rising generation" has taken the form of a creed: "We believe in
God the Father, and in Christ his precious Son...." and so on.
Particularly in western culture now, there is a sense that there
is a whole generation that doesn't know WHAT it believes in, and
to fill the void that is therefore created, all sorts of
alternative creeds - materialism, self-fulfilment, hedonism,
etc. - prevail.
In a culture where reading is less and less important, and
immediate visual imagery - television, video, computers - is
all-pervasive, songs can be still one way of fixing truth in the
minds of children and youth. It's been said, "sing me your songs,
and I'll tell you your beliefs" - that applies in the church, and
also in the world - listen to the top 40, and see what that tells
you about society's beliefs.
An interesting exercise for worship leaders and pastors can be to
examine the lyrics of the songs and hymns that are used regularly
in a church, to see what they teach, as well as how effectively
they facilitate worship. Many of the classic hymns from the 18th &
19th centuries have stood the test of time because of their
theological depth and integrity, as well as poetic beauty.
It's crucial that we have songs that contain the gospel, express
biblical truth, and teach theology, as well as songs that
facilitate worship. One interesting difference between modern
worship songs and older hymns is that, typically, modern songs are
written by musicians and worship leaders, whereas older hymns were
written by theologically trained clergy. Perhaps there is a case
for at least more co-writes between the pastor and worship leader
in today's context.
A good examples of such a co-writes is "Behold the Lord" by Noel
Richards and Gerald Coates, and on the album from David Lyle
Morris that we have plugged in the past couple of newsletters,
"Jesus, King of the Ages" the title track was a co-write with
Faith Forster, a well-respected teacher and theologian.
"Jesus King of the Ages" can be found at
and if you're appetite to check out a few older hymns has been
whetted, then the online CyberHymnal at
http://tch.simplenet.com/ - it has over 2,500, including lyrics,
MIDI files, and stories behind some of the hymns and writers
Did you hear the joke about the humble worship leader?
No, me neither!
(Now, those of you who are worship leaders and are reacting
defensively to the above should be reminded of the saying that
truly humble people are those who don't mind if others think them
proud. Fortunately, I'm the most humble person I know...)
Criticism - does it crush you or encourage you?
Often the word "criticism" implies something negative. In fact,
one dictionary definition is: "The act of judging on the merit of
a performance or work; remark on beauties and faults; critical
observation, verbal or written"
I like the balance in the phrase "beauties and faults", which can
especially apply to song critiques - lyrical or musical. Elton
John was speaking in a recent interview of his quest for "the
perfect song" - he agreed that such a quest was realistically
impossible, and "Yesterday" by the Beatles was probably the
nearest thing in contemporary pop music history.
If the perfect song is unattainable, an improved song is most
definitely not. It is always possible to take an average song and
make it good, or a good song and make it excellent. One way to
achieve this is for the writer to continue working on it
themselves, and another way is to play it to someone else and let
them criticise it - saying what's good, and suggesting
Some writers can be so crushed by anything which can be perceived
as negative being said about their song that they never try this,
or only try it once! If you're a writer, then don't let negative
criticism put you off - make sure that you ask people who will
also emphasise the positive and will be honest but kind with you,
but do share your songs when they are in the draft stages - it can
only help, and if there are no improvements suggested, then
perhaps you already have that all-elusive perfect song...
Joe's wife bought a new line of expensive cosmetics guaranteed to
make her look years younger. After a lengthy session in front of
the mirror applying the "miracle" products, she asked, "Darling,
honestly, what age would you say I look now?"
Looking over her carefully, Joe replied, "Judging from your skin,
twenty; your hair, eighteen; and your figure, twenty five."
"Oh, you flatterer!" she gushed.
"Hey, wait a minute!" Joe interrupted. "I haven't added them up
SOLIDROCK - new UK Christian portal and Internet Service Provider
If you are based in the UK and would like to try a new Christian
ISP that provides fast, free, reliable local-rate dial-up access
to the Internet, and donates a proportion of the call charges
(that you pay as usual to BT) to churches and charities including
Tear Fund, then check out http://www.solidrock.uk.net
It's simple and risk-free to sign-up online, and the process does
not affect any existing dialup arrangements or email accounts that
you have already. Especially if you are with AOL or Freeserve,
then Solidrock claim that their first time connection rate is
exceptionally reliable, so the frustrating engaged tone should be
a thing of the past.
SING LULLABIES - a lovely new album of "relaxing spiritual songs
for children", by Jenny Legg & David Lyle Morris. This really is
an excellent album, featuring two Family Worship songs ("When you
pray" & "Jesus, you're the morning star") as well as a number of
traditional, well-loved children's songs like "Jesus loves me this
I know". Check the songs out at http://www.mp3.com/singlullaby and
order online at http://www.singlullaby.com - the ideal Christmas
present for a small child, or sleep-starved parent!
If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future
newsletters, please email
River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for
the Family Worship resources are online with a great site
featuring an ever-increasing range of worship recordings,
songbooks, etc. Check it out at
Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as loads of other "grass
roots level" ministries is featured in the Christian sections of
Check out the new, free FW Webmail - firstname.lastname@example.org -
This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family
Worship Resources, part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, London,
UK Copyright 2000, 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
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