Tag Archive: holland


tim hughes

i have not met Tim Hughes personally, but i was once in a room with him [and quite a large room at that]

it was on a trip to visit my sister Sue and her family in a town called Rancho Cucamonga near LA which must have been 2006 or 2008 and i organised my ticket so i could stop over in London long enough to take the bus to visit some friends in Holland before continuing on to Americaland.

when i lived in London for about 6 months in 2000 i had attended and really enjoyed a church called Holy Trinity Brompton or HTB [where i had inadvertently ended up with some screen time on the filmed for ITV Alpha Course that church and its pastor Nicky Gumbel is known for – i also helped inspire at least one third of a relationships preach with my ‘is sex better than chocolate?’ question i popped into one of their panel discussions which they decided to answer as if it was a serious question, but that’s another blog post] and so on the way back from Holland i had made a plan to go and visit a service before my flight to Americaland.

something happened with the bus or my directions and i ended up being quite late for the service and i walked in as this youngish, decent looking dude started to preach and it was a really great preach, littered with references to “my friend Matt” which i didn’t quite get until afterwards when i discovered he was Tim Hughes [a worship leader whose songs i really enjoy] and ‘my friend Matt’ was of course Matt Redman [who i have met and interviewed on radio and asked stupid questions like ‘if you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be?’ true story, i was young]. it was really cool for me that i got to hear the preach and evaluate it on its merits [as i had no idea who he was the whole time he was preaching] as opposed to listening to it through the filter of  ‘ooh, that’s Tim Hughes’ and i learnt that he is a really good preacher as well.

so yes, Tim Hughes, really enjoy his song writing and songs and this is one of my favourites [i really enjoy how real and rough and raw it is, just so honest] , but first the story of how he came to write it:

‘The song, ‘When The Tears Fall,’ was birthed out of a hard time I was going through. One evening I sat with my guitar and poured out my heart to God. I found great hope and strength being able to express my pain, and in the midst of the doubt singing, ‘I will praise You, I will praise You. When the tears fall still I will sing to You.’ Initially, I thought it wasn’t a song that could be sung in a Church context. We don’t seem to sing many songs of lament. However, as I read through the Psalms, I discovered many cries of worship that came from a place of brokenness. Life is full of pain and sorrow. Loved ones die, dreams fail, people get hurt – we are left with unanswered questions. That’s the reality of the world we line in. Yet in the midst of the pain, through the tears God is good. He is and always will be worthy of our praise.’ – Tim Hughes

WHEN THE TEARS FALL by Tim hughes

I’ve had questions, without answers
I’ve known sorrow, I have known pain
But there’s one thing, that I’ll cling to
You are faithful, Jesus You’re true

When hope is lost, I’ll call You Savior
When paid surrounds, I’ll call You healer
When silence falls, You’ll be the song within my heart

In the lone hour of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me and sustain me
My defender, forevermore

I will praise You, I will praise You
When the tears fall, still I will sing to You
I will praise You, Jesus praise You
Through the suffering still I will sing

Written by Tim Hughes. © 2003 Thankyou Music/ PRS/ Admin by worshiptogether.com Songs for the world excluding the UK and Europe which is admin by Kingsway Music

[You can listen to it here]

i have met matt redman [worship leader, song writer] on two occasions – on the first i was a chop christian radio presenter trying to be clever and yet no matter how many times i asked him if he was a vegetable what would he be and what superpower he would dig to have, all matty wanted to do was speak about Jesus…

the second time was at the Soul Survivor festival in Holland [and a third time i observed him when louis giglio, him and chris tomlin did a Q and A at Jubilee i think it was a few years back which was also inspirational] where he and a young dutch guy called antonie fountaine were taking turns leading the worship – the memory that stands out for me was the one session antonie was leading where matt redman went and sat with his feet dangling over the edge of the stage, in front of this massive stack of speakers right off to the side [pretty much out of view] and played his guitar and contributed to the worship without being the focus at all.

having come across a lot of worship leaders in my life who are so amped on the focus being on them, matt redman is such a breath of fresh air – i’m sure he is not perfect but his heart for God and “He must become bigger, I must become less” is so evident…

i came across a new song off his upcoming album and was just completely blown away by the lyrics, especially the chorus which goes like this:

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

i know that God!

the rest of the song words are below and you can get access to the song sheet for free by going to http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1846861

Verse 1
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Verse 2
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Is Your power in us

Pre-Chorus
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Chorus 1
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Repeat Verse 2
Repeat Pre-Chorus

Chorus 2
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Bridge
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Ending Chorus
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Belgium. i would say that Belgium is probably TOO FAR. Unless you’re in Holland, cos then it’s just like down the road or something…

But in our recent history or being asked to speak or lead workshops on relationships, THE ONE QUESTION that the beautiful val and i GET ASKED WITHOUT FAIL is this one: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

And the answer is very simple. ASK A BETTER QUESTION! Because with ‘How far is too far?’ WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SAYING is:

“I know there’s a line, there’s a cliff. But i want to know HOW CLOSE TO THE EDGE of the cliff can i get without actually being over it?”

or another way:

“How close to being bad can i actually get WITHOUT HAVING TO FEEL GUILTY?

or something like that… and because you are asking THE WRONG QUESTION, you will never get a satisfying answer.

and if there is a line or a cliff and you spend all your time hanging out right on the edge of it, then THERE WILL COME A MOMENT when you are not strong enough to resist temptation and it is just a step away from A LONG AND PAINFUL PLUMMET from which it is not possible to come back without some scratches and bruises.

Well then WHAT QUESTION SHOULD I BE ASKING? Well it starts with my premise that all dating is done with the possibility of this person being the one that i end up married to. With that in mind – and remembering everything that was said about good break-ups in the last blog [when you realise you are not a good match] – there is always the probability that if things do not work out for me and this girl, that she will one day be SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE.

With me so far? If things don’t work out with me and present girlfriend at some stage she will be someone else’s wife. Now be that person and work backwards from there: If you are dating someone who is one day going to be my wife, what do you think i would be happy to allow the two of you to do? And the answer is probably NOTHING!! i would not want you to do anything – in the physically intimate sense – with the girl who will one day be my wife.

Now DO NOT PANIC!!!, I AM NOT SAYING DO NOTHING. What i am saying, is that if we are able to view our relationship with this person as someone else’s potential life-long mate, it MAY HELP US TO MORE EASILY AND THOUGHTFULLY DEFINE what those boundaries are.

Because i am NOT SURE THE SPECIFICS ARE THE SAME for everyone. And i am not going to give you a list of THINGS YOU CAN DO and PLACES YOU CANNOT TOUCH [altho reproductive organs and baby-feeding appendages are probably great non-negotiable areas to completely avoid] because i think there are some KEY PRINCIPLES that if you put them in place, will make the living-out-of-it’ness a lot easier.

So THE QUESTION you frame will sound a lot more like this – HOW CAN I LOVE AND RESPECT THIS PERSON i am in a relationship with to the extent that if the dating relationship ever ends, he/she does not walk away with A WHOLE LOT OF BAGGAGE [physically, emotionally…] and HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE OF MYSELF AND KEEP SPECIAL for the person who i am going to end up marrying?

[to be continued… by clicking here…]

do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

i really struggle to ‘get’ how people have such issues with Jesus-following when the basics of what it is all about is gems like that – love God, love people, look after orphans and widows, forgive those who wrong you, look after the land you’ve been given, share this love message…

i do sadly understand how people can have issues with christians and a lot of the things they have done in the name of religion or Jesus or the church, but the message itself – reminds me of the statement kleinfrans made – the God i believe in is not the God you don’t believe in – if more people just read the bible and understood the basics of Jesus-following instead of reading christians it might be a completely different story

but i love that verse – it comes from romans 12.21 and was one of the verses that was really meaningful to me when i was doing my dts (discipleship training school) in holland and then outreach in malawi in 2000 – we reduced it to a 1221 code between three of us in the team so that if someone was being dumb or christian (as opposed to Christ-following, oh that there wasn’t a difference!) one of us would mention it or subtly write it into the ground with a stick and the other person would see it and be reminded – fight evil by gooding it to death

i love the concept, but it is one of my biggest struggles to live out consistently – my inherent sense of ‘justice’ (and it’s a warped sinful idea of justice that is fed heavily by pride) makes me want to return evil for evil – tit for tat, eye for eye, tooth for tooth

but as gandhi said ‘an eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind’ and it’s true – revenge feeds revenge – there is no natural end to it – and so when someone pushes into the line of traffic i’ve been sitting in for twenty minutes, or a unicorn player hacks one of my friends in a hockey match, or or or… my response needs to be good

then, in the same passage, just for me i think, paul sets it out like this, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ (12.20)

i have often offered to skip the first two steps and go directly to pouring the burning coals on the person’s head, but God has never taken me up on it – it was Jesus’ revolutionary love that disarmed people – when most of us would be shouting curses as the crowd nailed us literally or metaphorically to the cross, Jesus responds with ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

this is powerful, powerful stuff. i firmly believe that if Christ-followers in south africa could really start living the 1221 we could transform this country cos it would catch on. i also firmly believe that if all christians in South Africa could become Christ-followers… south africa would be unrecognisable in months!

how about it? pick it up for just this week for starters and see how it goes – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!

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