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Welcome to the 10th Family Worship Newsletter, 30 October, 1999
Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at
With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...
FW Site stats
New Digital Audio CD's available
Recent site additions
Story behind the song
What is the hardest job in the church?
FW Site Stats
Visitors continued through October at a steady rate of around 100
per day, with peaks of up to 200 on some days.
Newsletter subscriptions are up to around 800 people - welcome to
New "Digital Audio" CD's available from mp3.com
One aim of Family Worship has always been to provide songs and
resources at the lowest possible cost. We have always been keen to
do whatever we can in a small way to take a stand against the
commercialism that can sometimes seem to affect praise and worship
resources, and we run on a non profit-making basis. We're
therefore very excited to be able to offer 2 brand new
compilations of FW songs for only USD 6.99 each (which works out
at less than GBP 5.00) which can be ordered securely online from
mp3.com, who will deliver anywhere in the world.
The great thing about these CD's is that they can not only be
played on a regular CD player, but also on a computer (in mp3
format; the CD features a built-in free mp3 player), and as well
as the music, there are full lyrics for each song which appear on
screen as the song plays. Because mp3.com manufacture and despatch
individual CD's as and when they are ordered, there are no stocks
to manufacture and maintain, hence the ability to offer the CD's
at such a low price.
If you want to get a taste of the range of FW songs available,
then either of the new compilations is the ideal way to do that,
and with Christmas fast approaching, they also make an ideal gift!
On that point, as well as the 2 compilations, there is also a
Digital Audio CD available of the new children's album, "Teach us
to pray", which includes 10 new songs, as well as backing tracks
for every song. This would make a brilliant Christmas present for
a child, age around 6 to 11. Check it out now at
http://www.mp3.com/familyworship - look for the link on the right
of the page for "CD's for sale"
(End of commercial break...!)
A six-year-old came crying to his mother because his baby sister
pulled his hair.
"Don't be angry," the mother said, "Your little sister doesn't
realise that pulling hair hurts"
A short while later, there's more crying, and the mother went to
This time the sister was bawling and her brother said, "She knows
Recent site additions
As promised, we have recently added the first video clip to the
site, and are keen for feedback as we trial the use of video clips
to illustrate a number of the FW songs that have dances or actions
to them. The clip is available in RealAudio format so do check it
out, and please send any comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org - thanks!
The first kids only newsletter was a big hit, and the second
edition is due out very shortly. (There will be another
competition to win free FW cassettes - now you don't get that in
this "grown-up" newsletter do you?) If you would like to subscribe
on behalf of a child, email
email@example.com 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
If the video clip trial goes well then we will be adding several
clips of dances and actions for a number of the songs.
Are you a worship leader, and do you ever struggle with the
difficult choice of what song to do during the offering? If so,
next month, we will be offering the perfect answer to that
A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him
to go out to the back porch and bring her the broom. The little
boy turned to his mother and said, "Mama, I don't want to
go out there. It's dark."
The mother smiled reassuringly at her son. "You don't have to be
afraid of the dark," she explained. "Jesus is out there. He'll
look after you and protect you."
The little boy looked at his mother hard and asked, "Are you sure
he's out there?"
"Yes, I'm sure. He is everywhere, and he is always ready to help
you when you need him," she said. The little boy thought about
that for a minute and then went to the back door and opened it a
little. Peering out into the darkness, he called, "Jesus? If
you're out there, would you please hand me the broom?"
Story behind the song...
This month, the song that is the most-requested from the
song-by-email facility, and is also the most downloaded FW song at
mp3.com (http://www.mp3.com/familyworship) - Jesus, thank you for
Jesus, thank you for the cross
Holding nothing back
You did all your Father asked
I'll never know just how it felt
As you died, lifted high
I know It hurt I know the pain
Was more than words could ever say
You had a choice, you chose to die
Your sacrifice has saved my life
What can I say?
Oh Jesus, you gave your life for me
So precious the blood you shed
You made a way to heaven by dying in my place
Jesus, thank you for the cross
Copyright (c) 1996 Daybreak Music
The cross is absolutely central to our worship, because it is the
reason that we are able to worship at all. Without the saving
power of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we would simply not
be able to even begin to approach the throne of God to offer our
praise and worship.
A number of years ago, I heard a missionary from Borneo talking
about the revival that they had experienced amongst some of the
tribes in that country. He had been asked about features of the
revival, and he said that one feature was that "9 out of 10 songs
that were being written there were about the cross". It struck me
that of the songs that I'd written, my ratio was somewhat lower
than that, and I resolved then to write more songs on the subject
of the cross, in an attempt to express my desire for revival in my
The second factor was a wish to try to write about the cross in a
way that a child might express it, and the line "I know it hurt"
went round in my head for weeks before the rest of the song fell
into place. It moves me very much when I hear my own daughter sing
that line, and I always hope and pray for the reality of what
Jesus did to become personal for her, and every child.
You can request this song by email from
listen to it at
and a full-CD quality MP3 file is now available at
A clergyman was walking down the street when he came upon a group
of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age.
The group surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting
the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that
dog?" One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old
neighbourhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take
him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the
biggest lie will get to keep the dog."
Of course, the clergyman was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be
having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched
into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys
know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your
age, I never told a lie."
There was dead silence for a minute. Just as the reverend was
beginning to think he'd got through to them, the smallest boy gave
a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."
What is the hardest job in the church?
It's only a personal view, but I've believed for a long time that
the two toughest jobs in the church are to be: 1. A small-group
(or cell group, or home-group) leader and 2. A children's leader.
If you are one of those, then I'm sure you might agree, and if
not, then you're definitely in the right place, and please pass on
your secrets! I wanted to look briefly this month at the role of
"Out of sight, out of mind" can be a saying that is often
unfortunately all too true for the children's ministry in many
churches. By the very nature of the job, those adults who work
with the children can miss out on many aspects of church life that
others are able to enjoy. There is a tremendous element of
sacrifice in serving the needs of children, and we need the
perspective that Jesus had in his earthly ministry to make sure
that the sacrifice of those who do work with children is not
mis-understood or taken for granted. Or, to put it another way, we
need NOT to be like the disciples who tried to stop the children
coming to Jesus to be blessed.
Jesus had plenty to say about the place of children in the kingdom
of heaven - indeed, he said that it actually belongs to them.
Sometimes we talk about children as "the church of tomorrow". I
much prefer the way that Ishmael (a well-known UK children's
leader) puts it when he says that they are in fact "today's
church, tomorrow's leaders". It's perhaps for that reason that the
enemy will do everything he can to ensure that the children's work
in our churches struggles, because the very future of the next
generation in the church depends on it.
Therefore, those adults who are called to work with children (and
it's been well-described as a high calling) will always be
vulnerable to pressure, and will need every support and assistance
that the rest of the church can give. It doesn't matter if the
adult services are fantastic, with great worship and wonderful
teaching. If the children's groups in the room down the hall are
struggling, then the reality is that the whole church is
struggling. Children are part of the body, and if one part
suffers, the whole body suffers. On the other hand, when the
children's work is vibrant and exciting, it will benefit the whole
of the church. (Certainly the parents will benefit from the
spiritual growth that good teaching and ministry will release in
their children, and on that point, there should always be a strong
partnership between parents and children's leaders).
If you are a children's leader, then do share your feelings
regularly with a friend or leader who you can trust, and make sure
that you don't allow feelings of isolation or frustration to
hinder your own spiritual well-being. If you are a parent, pastor,
or in some other role in the church, then take the time to
regularly encourage those who work with children. Pray for them,
serve them in any way you can, and share the responsibility for
blessing the children in the church by being a friend to as many
of them yourself as you can. In that way, the whole church will
grow, and you will be investing in the future of the kingdom,
which after all, does belong to the children, and to those who are
childlike at heart.
An old lady and a very small boy were seated side by side in the
pew at church. As the collection plate was being passed the little
boy noticed that the lady was fumbling in her purse. Leaning
towards here he whispered, "here, you take my coin. I can hide
under the seat..."
A number of people have emailed recently to ask whether they can
send songs in for review and consideration for future Family
Worship recordings, and the answer is always "Yes!" Having only
started to write songs myself because of the strong encouragement
from a good friend, I've made a point of always trying to
encourage others to write. There is a creative strength within
every person, and whilst it may not necessarily find its
expression through songs, I'm sure that there are many many people
not yet writing, or writing but not yet sharing their songs, for
whom it is the way that God wants to release their creative
potential. (To paraphrase the saying: "He's a poet and he don't
know it", how about "You're a songwriter but you've gotta try
it-a"...or perhaps not...!)
I love way that C.S. Lewis portrays the birth of the land of
Narnia in "The Magician's Nephew" when he describes how Aslan
starts to sing in the darkness, and in response to the song,
creation itself springs up. Why not see what aspects of life and
creative power could be released for others to enjoy through your
songs, or poems, or paintings, or dances, or whatever it is that
God has given you to express.
A four year old girl was at the paediatrician for a check up. As
the doctor looked down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, "Do
you think I'll find Big Bird in here?" The little girl stayed
silent. Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down
her throat. He asked, "Do you think I'll find the Cookie Monster
down there?" Again, the little girl was silent. Then the doctor
put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heart beat,
he asked, "Do you think I'll hear Barney in there?" "Oh, no!" the
little girl replied. "Jesus is in my heart. Barney's on my
We were thrilled to hear recently about a singing group called
"Whitewings" based in the Isle of Man, who will be making a tour
of Russia in January 2000, and will be singing a couple of songs
from the latest Family Worship album, "Teach us to pray", at an
international festival there. Do check out their website at
They are looking to complete the fundraising necessary for this
trip, so if you have a moment to pray, or a heart to give, then go
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
Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as loads of other "grass
roots level" ministries are featured in the christian sections of
mp3.com - http://www.mp3.com/familyworship
If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future
newsletters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Humour spot (last one...)
At a church meeting a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of
those present about his Christian faith. "I'm a millionaire," he
said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my
life. I remember that turning point in my faith. I had just earned
my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The
speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I
only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God's work
or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole
dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that
is why I am a rich man today."
He finished and there was an awed silence at his testimony as he
moved toward his seat. As he sat down a little old lady sitting in
the same pew leaned over and said to him: "I dare you to do it
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
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