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Showing posts from January, 2018

God You don't need me, but somehow You want me - Tenth Avenue North, “Control”

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I sent the below message to my teaching colleagues in school this evening, braced as we are for the arrival of “those-who-shall-not-be-named” (i.e. OFSTED, national school inspectors) sometime between now and Easter. For those of you who live outside of Britain their job is to monitor and ensure high standards in all schools… the problem is that they keep moving the goalposts. Anyway, enough of that. Here’s what I said:
I think that the attached video teaching is for us right now, to help us not lose sight of who we are and why we are here in a Catholic school. It's too late for the weekend just gone, but try to take on board its message of "wasting time for God" over the coming weeks, despite the pressures that we are all under.

Even if you are not a believer yourself, give yourself some time alone with your thoughts, if you can… even just a few minutes. 
The video teaching is by one of my favourite bands, Tenth Avenue North, and it accompanies a song of theirs that ha…

Bowie, authenticity in the creative act and leaving your comfort zone

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Have just seen this thanks to Bowie's film-maker son Duncan Jones' Twitter feed.


He practically quotes what I have always said about the moment I realised I needed to/was meant to/was being called to study Music further, i.e. at university. The feeling was very sudden and very compelling. I was 15 yrs. old, sitting on my bed with my grade 5 clarinet certificate in my hands. "There is something inside of me that one day I will find a way to express through music and I HAVE to find it." There were no two ways about it. I had to do this.

I'm still searching for that perfect expression of what's inside of me, but there are moments... when I'm leading the music (singing + guitar) with our staff worship band in a school Mass, for example, (most often during communion) or playing clarinet during communion in a Mass in a large church in France... when I forget where I am and the song or piece becomes an extension of myself, of my faith and love of God, of my than…

You Do All Things Well

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Here's a wonderful devotional from Mike Donehey, lead singer of Tenth Avenue North. It's a very moving account of a real incident that involved a personal revelation for the singer as regards supplicatory prayer to God.
The following passage, in particular, struck me :
"I was suddenly struck with the thought, Father, you can heal him now, or heal him by taking him home, but whatever you decide to do, you do all things well. So I feebly picked up my guitar and began to clumsily strum and sing that simple thought. "You do all things, you do all things, you do all things well." And out of the corner of my eye, I see Travis' mom stand to her feet, lift her hands up in the air, up above her tear stained cheeks, up above the despair crushing down on her heart, and impossibly begin to sing those words with me."
The devotional also reminded me of the video to Aaron Shust's wonderful "My Hope Is In You ". I'll add this video at the end of the p…

Lord, lead me

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O Lord, I pray that this year I will let you lead me by the belt and take me where I would rather not go. Help me to discern your path for me and to have the courage to follow it, step by step, even though I won't see in advance where it will lead me...
In the below photo (taken yesterday at Montreuil-sur-mer - what link with "Les Misérables"?), for example, are friends that I made thanks to a series of "chance" encounters on the Camino de Santiago in N. Spain in 2006.

A few years afterwards I discovered from Christian (next to me) and Marie-Brigitte (far right) that they'd had a son who died when he was 16. Like me, he was born in 1968. He died on Oct. 10th 1984. My birthday is Oct. 9th. Christian's surname is Frère. His name therefore means "Christian Brother". Factor in the laugh out loud coincidences that led to us meeting 6 times in the space of 7 days and we're left with an example of what I mean by the Lord leading me by the belt. B…