Tag Archive: john ellis


I was interested to see the subject line of one of my subscriber’s blogs yesterday which was “Advice to bloggers to do a porn post sort of” which you can take a read of here, in which Jess was basically advocating a system of sneak marketing, to use words or phrases in your blog title to attract many more readers than you might possible get with a title of “The art of tidy bed-making”.

Apparently if you stick the word “porn” in your title, more people pitch up to see what you’ve got. [and leave somewhat disappointed i imagine, unless they have an additional interest in accurate sheet folding or whatever it was you actually were up to]. i told Jess i thought i had already done that, being quite sure i’d done a riff on ‘Porn Again’ but when i searched my blog it didn’t come up, so maybe it was a just a talk i did or something like that.

stoppit. this is silly

But it got me thinking because I have always been amused [and eyes-wide-open shocked at times] at some of the results in the ‘Search Terms’ section of my blog stats which tells you what search terms people entered that led them to your page.

I get some really obvious ones, but also some really interesting ones, a lot that make me smile or laugh or roll me eyes in a metaphorical sense, and other which really cause me some concern for the people who are out there. [Take their computers away! Yes, you!]

Let me give you an example – four of the 7 search terms that are on my page today range from people who have met their expectations [if not their spelling] in ‘jesus healing words’ and ‘steve wiens paster adoption’ to the funny slash interesting for whoever thought ‘making of nude sculpture’ was happening a lot at Irresistible Fish to the more bizarre and R-rated ‘one which after much deliberation i decided not even to put here but let’s just say someone was highly disappointed at not finding the subject of this search on my page [it did have the words ‘village house’ which is where Val and i stayed at the Simple Way so that was clearly the link]. But just such a complete range.

I think titles, categories and tags can play a big part in how people discover you on the internet [which is important when you are trying to build up a blog readership] but sometimes life – and the Uncle Google search bar – can just be bizarre and some strange ones slip through the cracks.

In case you’re interested in how the majority of people discover or have discovered this blog via search engines, here are the top five search terms that have landed people on Irresistibly Fish in one way or another:

TOP 5

Brett fish wordpress

never once did we ever walk alone

john ellis tree63

mature people truths

brett fish anderson

[with ‘never once did we walk alone’  and ‘john ellis christian’ as the next two, which are pretty much repeats]

The top one is pretty obvious as is number 5.

I once posted the song lyrics of a Matt Redman song I really liked [Never once did we ever walk alone] and for some reason [i’m not sure why – i have posted other song lyrics and this is not one of the biggest songs in terms of popularity i don’t think] it ended up being the most hit page on my blog for a very long time and almost daily there is a search for it, or some mixed up word order version of it.

The john ellis link is interesting – a few years ago an article came out that seemed to indicate he had moved away from Christianity and so i got hold of him and met up with him in Durban and chatted to him and posted a blog about that.  Our friendship hit an unfortunate bump at a later event that we were both at, but for some reason on a weekly basis people seem to keep asking the same question and arriving at my blog. The suggestion i made then, which is still a good one now, is that if you care so much, get hold of him and ask him.

And Mature People Truths? I have absolutely no idea about that one. I do have a series called Taboo Topics where we look at issues that are rarely spoken about openly such as losing a child, infertility, parenting small children and singleness through people who bravely share their stories on the different areas which has been hugely popular and i guess in the eyes of Uncle Google might be translated as ‘Mature People Truths’ but i can’t remember ever using the phrase and so it’s an interesting one that is summoning people towards my page.

So those are the most popular search phrases people have used over the past few years of my blog being in existence to find me and as you read down the list there are various other versions of the matt redman and john ellis ones, which would increase that number even more.

Moving on to some of the funniest or most bizarre search terms i have found in that list [every week there are some which make me smile so if you have a blog, checking out that page can be a huge source of amusement] here are some which caught my eye as i quickly scanned the list:

snake bites boob [39] although snake bites silicon got another [8] and snake bites boob and dies another [7] plus other variations – although i did run an article i found on this very incident early on in my blog writing days cos it struck me as black humouredly  amusing so this one is no great mystery.

Turns out he exists. Who knew?

Turns out he exists. Who knew?

catflapman [32] although cat flap man got another [10] – a strange encounter with a guy at our apartment complex and we dubbed him Catflapman, but unsure why people are searching for him, unless there is another actual Catflapman. anyone?

fish masturbation [30] [Just plain disturbing – my nickname is Fish and we did cover Pornography/Masturbation as one of our Taboo Topics so i guess that would be the link but seeing that as a search phrase really weirds me out a little every time.

fish pictionary [11] and pictionary fish another [7] – less weird, more amusing and just people trying to improve their game-playing skills in one particular genre of the game perhaps?

Meanwhile other disappointed people might be the person looking for the ‘greek for tall’, the person researching ‘steri stumpie history’, someone in desperate need of some ‘fish cleaning ladies’ or an answer to the lingering question of ‘braai meat weird’ who should have perhaps chatted with the guy seeking a good ‘meataphor’ and whoever was wanting training methods for ‘poisoning fish by silicon’ [who must have been quite serious about it cos when i googled it to see, i was right at the bottom of page 2 of the search results]

So be careful what you wish for or something is the moral of this story. And apologies to anyone who came here looking for masturbation fish. But stick around and browse the page cos there is a lot of fun and serious and life-giving stuff here [mostly which doesn’t appear in this post as relationship-related posts seem to be the most popoular, but i think people find those through shares and Facebook/Twitter links.

And if you have a blog, i would LOVE to hear the kind of search terms people have entered that have led them to your blog, so go to your stats page and find the funnest/most bizarre/interesting one for today and the top two from the all-time list and please share them below. In what strange ways have people ended up at your blog? Unless you just have a weird and bizarre blog and then maybe keep that to yourself…

So what did people type into Uncle Google to find you?

[Oh and Psst! if you’re still here, the answer you were looking for is “ψηλός”… that is the Greek for ‘tall’.]

so i have been trying to connect with john ellis for quite a while now via Facebook and email and his website [which looks like it hasn’t been updated for half a year] and so just wondering what has happened to him? any of his friends have a contact detail for me to try hook up? any news? i still get a couple of hits a day on the john ellis blogs which i did a couple of years ago, without fail people are still entering his name in search engines and it is leading them to my blog…

so figured out someone out there would know and could you please send him a “hey!” from me – be good to reconnect…

i’ve been blogging for a little over two years now and i enjoy having a space to write my thorts or share my actions or be seriously silly or intriguingly insightful and a whole host of other stuff in between…

and in that time it is the stuff i’ve written on relationships that has been the most widely read… so from ‘How to Love Your Woman Better’ to keys to ‘having a good marriage [ideas submitted by friends i know who are married well]’ to the ‘i kissed dating series’. Then, recently, the first of the Taboo Topics series i have started [trying to look at issues that a lot of people have but rarely discuss] was really successful and hopefully assisting a lot of people who have struggled with losing a baby. A few brave people sharing their stories in the hope that it will bring encouragement, inspiration and hope to others going through the same thing.

so those are the blog topics that have really got a lot of attention… but there have been two other topics/themes/people that have popped up in my “TOP SEARCHES” spot on my blog, and, would you know it, as i go to find out what it is called, it proves my point… so before i announce the point, let me share with you today’s top searches which led people to my blog:

brett fish anderson, john ellis christian, brent fishes blog, never once did we walk alone, john ellis tree63

ha ha, when i go to check yesterday’s to see if they match up, someone reached my page by asking the question, “why did matt redman leave soul survivor?” i fear that will be a question that is never truly answered to my satisfaction…

and so that is the answer – from week to week to week, the two things that keep popping up in searches for my blog are ‘John Ellis’ who i blogged about possibly two years ago [and more specifically, ‘is John Ellis a christian?’], here and also here… and matt redman and more specifically the words to his song ‘never once did we walk alone’ which i posted a while back over here…

i am not really sure why those two topics have been the ones that continue to lure people to my writing [which feels like it happened so long ago – why is no-one searching for ‘somewhat funny bad afrikaans accent instructional warning-of-potential-danger you tube videos’ because surely that is something people are struggling to sleep at night for?] but i thort it would be interesting to pose the question in the subject line, because i already know the answer.

i have met both matt redman [interviewed him on CCFM radio many years ago, connected with him briefly at Soul Survivor Holland and was an attendee at a Matt Redman/Chris Tomlin/Louis Giglio panel discussion held for a bunch of worship and church leaders a couple of years ago at Jubilee church in Cape Town] and john ellis [mc’d for the band when they were still called Tree and i was a dj at CCFM, emailed a few times and had coffee with him in KZN two years ago, hung out with him when he gigged in Stellenbosch and mc’d a gig where he performed as himself at Arisefest in KZN in 2010].

and so when you take the question, ‘who would win a fight between matt redman [never once did we walk alone] and john ellis [formerly of tree63]?’ the answer is definitively that john would win. no doubt. because matt redman would not fight!

the first time i met matt i was a precocious know-it-all radio dj for a christian radio station and yet, as much as i asked him if he was a vegetable which one would he be? and other lame questions like that, all he wanted to do was talk about Jesus.

the second time i was around him he was one of two co-worship leaders at the Holland version of Soul Survivor [2001 i think] and i remember the one time the other worship leader antonie fountaine was leading a few thousand young people in worship and matt moved over to the side of the stage and sat with his legs dangling over the edge of the stage, playing his guitar and just really being out of the way of it all. just screamed ‘humility’ at me and any time i have been near or around me i have never seen anything to suggest otherwise.

and then there is john ellis, who has a song called “come out fighting” which i enjoy, as i do most of his first solo album. and having spent a bit of time with him and watched him do one or two gigs is quite a fitting description of the kind of head space he is in at the moment [or was, a year ago]. i really enjoyed my one on one coffee date i had with john two years ago – we have a similar sense of humour and have been inspired by some of the same books. he has an incredible gift in terms of writing and playing and singing, there is no doubt about that, and when he uses that for Jesus he is a force for the kingdom of heaven, that the gates of hell will not stand against…

but then we had an unfortunate incident at the gig i was mc’ing that he played at, and it’s not important to go into details, but the bottom line was that we went from being friends and him buying me a coffee before he went on stage and then cutting all contact off with me a few days later when he reacted to my blogged response of the incident. more than a year later and i have tried on a number of occasions to make contact and see if we can discuss what happened or move on, and i even emailed him during the writing of this blog [which is now into its third day] to let him know i was writing something and offering to send it to him before i posted it in case he wanted to approve/comment and am still to hear from him…

i don’t know if this is the right space or way but i have tried a lot of ways to connect with him and at the moment anyone who does a search for john ellis and ends up on my blog, gets the early stuff i wrote which was about giving him a chance and the benefit of the doubt and having a conversation with him… i figure there are a few people who read this who know john and so maybe you can pass on the message… some stuff happened, a long time ago now, and it’s beyond time to make up and talk it out if necessary or just move on… how about it john?

someone once said [and it has been repeated by a lot of someones since then] “Preach the gospel always. When necessary use words.” and for me, that statement has always felt more like an excuse from those who don’t want to say the name ‘Jesus’ than an encouragement to live out what you believe. because the reality is that it has to be both… if you only ever speak the good news and it is not lived out, then it will have no meaning, relevance or authenticity to those hearing it… and if you only ever live the gospel but never speak the name Jesus as the author and reason behind why we do what we do, then there is going to be a lot of good done, but no or little opportunity for life-transforming life change.

so the phrase i am working on looks something like this – “Preach the gospel in what you say and how you live. When necessary, refrain from words.”

Up to your cross I crawl
Now I am standing ten feet tall
Jesus my savior look what you’ve done for me

Free at last I’m free
I owe you my life completely
Yahweh Yahweh look what you’ve done for me

time for a new local muso to interview and for those of you who have never crossed his path you are missing it – let’s get to know Ashton Gardner:

so Ashton, i don’t even know where i know you from – possibly meadowridge links? – but you are one of those guys it feels like i’ve always kinda known but not really – tell us, where are you these days and what are you involved with?

You know Brett I’m not sure I even know where I know myself from, so I understand your confusion, really.

-These days I’m doing what I’ve been doing most days, composing and producing music, running a little recording studio and performing live. I’m also working at a friend’s new music store, Marshall.

i’ve known you for a decent amount of time and generally in the context of music – where do you think your interest of music comes from and how did you get started in playing and singing?

-I found I had a natural ability, as is usually the case with musically inclined people, and an unforced enthusiasm for it has continued my journey along a songwriting path. I began on the piano at about 5yrs old started on guitar later on at about 17yrs old.

when you’re not peddling water or music’ing, what other interests does mister gardner have? hobbies? pasttimes? sport? cooking? gardner’ing?

-Well, not only peddling but paddling water is something I do too, when I’m out in the surf. I’ve surfed for many years. I’m looking at getting into gardening as my interest for being disconnected from the grid at large increases. Human relationships and social dynamics interest me a lot too, I like to understand and explore the energy of relationships, how and why they work or don’t and am always intrigued by the powerful influence media is able to have upon it all. With music perhaps I can inject something into the media too that is worth having there.

what bands or artists do you enjoy listening to?

-Crowded House is a profoundly good band with songwriting of the highest calibre. Sting,U2, Delirious (know them?), John Ellis. There are many, but often I spend more time writing music than listening to it to be honest. And when I listen it’s often to glean something technically or creatively from it. I find silence to be very musical actually. And the music of creation – birds, wind, thunder, waves etc is unsurpassed in my estimation. I’d like to be around it more.

i know you play a lot of gigs in a lot of different places and i saw the other day that you have a new music video out which i will check out as soon as i am near a good inet connection – what is your plan at the moment in terms of the music scene, or i guess what is your dream scenario?

-The plan right now is to introduce music into the market that people can respond well too without me having to jump desperately on a rather sad music bandwagon that often tends to cater to the lowest common musical denominator, especially in our South African context. It’s a balancing act. But as with fast food, sometimes it might be that we need to take an objective look at our musical tastes and ask ‘do I actually like this, or did the marketers cunningly get me to think I did? Could it be that it’s actually killing me?’ I want to be there with music for people who are independent enough to make their own decision that they like it.

how would you describe your music style to someone who has never heard of you before?

-Adult alternative contemporary acoustic melodic pop rock. Or something profoundly similar to that.

click here to read the rest of the interview

read this post by john of ellis this morning which my beautiful wife val alerted me too saying it was rather good and the message there is exactly spot on. the book ‘unlearning’ is written by my friend sean tucker and his blog is definitely worth checking out as well

take a read here

or find sean’s blog over here – i don’t always agree with everything he says – and i generally enjoy his blog more than i did the book – but i more than often do and he definitely has a lot to say that the church needs to hear with the title of his book ‘Unlearning’ being one of the biggest lessons perhaps…

so it seems like people continue to have an interest in the john ellis… um i’m not sure it’s a saga, i think you need three movies for that, but new direction-taking-focus-ment?

anyways i said to john, “hey john, people have questions” and john said to me “ask me those questions” so i said “Okay, but i just don’t have them yet” and so this is where you come in…

if you have a question for john of ellis about life and God and tree63 and world domination and Americaland and Jesus and why he refuses to write a real song about No_bob the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin but keeps pretending he has but when i look there’s nothing there and it was probably just a ploy to get me to buy his new album which i haven’t yet but only because i haven’t seen it yet and keep forgetting to look when i’m out sorry John, and church and blackadder and how they get the chocolate inside the smarties, then post it here or email me at brettfish@hotmail.com and i will get it to john

i can’t promise he will answer all the questions – i personally doubt he knows the answer to that smartie one – and i can’t even promise he will answer any of them (he’s in a different province from me – my powers of physical persuasion don’t stretch that far) and he will more than likely dodge the No_bob one (and probly continue to refer to him as a fish, the punk) [john’s a punk not No_bob] but i can highly guarantee that he will look at them and consider answering them and if any of them are interesting enuff then who knows, he might give it a go

so if you could ask john ellis, formerly of the band tree63, any question in the world, what would it be?

‎one of my weekly thort for the week reader friends wrote me an email containing this line:

‘It doesn’t matter how much doctrine I know, if I don’t reflect the God I serve in my daily life, it’s pointless.’

which in essence is a paraphrase of James 2 – faith without works is dead – and James 1.22 don’t just read it, do it.

and it was part of an email from a guy who was part of a local church, struggling with a bunch of questions and being told not to question or leave – don’t ask why we do this, just do this

brainless christianity must be one of the most dangerous things there is and i think is one of the huge things a lot of atheists – or maybe non-believers in general – hold against christianity – because so many people are told to “just believe” or “have faith” in such a way that it sounds very much like switching your brain off and just coasting on this fluffy pillow of ‘faith’

i think this is the issue both anne rice and john ellis are wrestling with – and i am there completely – so sick and tired of religion and rules and posturings – do you reflect God?

hating gay people is not a reflection of the God i serve (who desires that all will be saved) and neither is distancing ourself from a young teenage girl who falls pregnant, especially if she has an abortion; responding in anger or hatred or dismissal to those who speak against us or have different opinions or just want to understand the opinions we hold does not sound like Jesus who said love your enemies and bless those who persecute you; hiding ourselves in the bubble of christian gatherings and literature and bad movies does not seem to fall in line with the command of go and make disciples of all nations, be salt, be light, be my ambassadors, live such good lives among the pagans that…

risk it, come on, dare, be prepared to be kicked out or asked to keep quiet or go somewhere else… reach up and switch your brain back on… i think that is quite possibly what the Jesus i follow and the God i serve designed it for, to be used or something

‘It doesn’t matter how much doctrine I know, if I don’t reflect the God I serve in my daily life, it’s pointless.’

all i am asking is are you reflecting God? if not, go back to begin, do not pass go, do not collect 200 pharisee points, right back to the beginning, to the love God with all your heart, love people square, and roll the dice again…

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