Tag Archive: matt redman


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’.]

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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’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

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

my interview with local-born muso nick groves continues…

Q:In the one track i listened to i’m pretty sure i heard some white-man-rap? guest artist or mister nick groves branching out? and where’d that come from? [i was secretly pretty impressed]

A: 🙂 …I’ve always enjoyed poetry – mostly at high school – song writing flows out of that but rap is the modern day poem. (After all – it an abbreviation for Rhythm And Poetry). What got me exited about rap recently was that it allows you the ability to express and explore an issue or theme in a deeper way than songwriting, I think the rhyme and the space gives the hearer a feeling like he is going on a journey, and thats why I think its one of the most popular genres out there, and it doesn’t have to be all “GANGSTA” to be rap. Think of Eminem’s “lose yourself” or some Lily Allen, JayZ, Linkin Park- it really allows you to feel whats being said- its almost like a good preach that has the ability to transport you to a new emotion or thought.

The song you have in mind is probably the track “Rise”- I got into a rap groove as I had a week earlier done my first rap song for fun, and that song just came out of me.

For me that song was really personal – I’ve been going through a really difficult time lately- probably the worst time of my life. My dad is currently lying in Hospice, in the last stages of bone cancer; I tried to help out a dude who was in need and got burnt; and I decided to look at the perseverance of Jesus for some inspiration. I might do some more sometime- the song gave me a good way to get everything off my chest. It’s my first shot at it, watch this space.

Q:what are your thoughts/feelings when it comes to worship music? quite a general question but i imagine when someone hears ‘worship music’ they think ‘ah the 30 minute music time in the church’ – do you think it’s bigger than that at all? what makes music worship-full?

A: Well I think its fair to equate “worship music” with church music, but it is bigger than that and like you say – the big question is: “Is this worship-full?” I think generally worship music will always help us in the cause of making God bigger and ourselves smaller in our hearts and minds – the whole John the Baptist thing “He must increase, I must decrease”. The call of scripture is “O magnify the Lord”. So I would say real “worship-full” worship music always will help us aim in this direction. The biggest factor for me is the work of The Holy Spirit – He enables us to worship God, He loves to help us exalt Jesus. The bible says “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by The Spirit”- we need to depend on Him to help us to make our worship to God authentic and powerful, enabling us to get caught up with who God is, no matter what situation we are in.

Q:And when it comes to your music, what would you say is the groven factor? what sets your music apart from other peoples – ie why should people listen to yours? or what aspect of it do you think or hope will appeal to people?

A: At the moment, Im still jumping around into different genres- from the worship stuff to the rap and more recently the instrumentals. So in that regard, I haven’t really stuck into one type of style yet, and I’m far from doing my best work. But I hope my “X factor” its will be that what I create influences people in a positive way, and at best – brings people into a fresh perspective of who God is. I hope that what I create will always be honest about life and God’s involvement in it. Someone said once that a friend is made when you end up saying, “what, you too? I thought I was the only one!” and sometimes, when musicians are honest in their work, that kind of connection can be made with the listener.

Q:two more questions, one music related, who or what would you say your influences are when it comes to writing a new song? other bands or experiences?

A: I would say its more important as a musician to write from experience simply because its always going to make your art more “younique” and thats what people want to hear- but at the same time, I always get inspiration from what guys are doing – from the creativity of a 3 piece band like “Future of Forestry” to the musical genius of “MuteMath”. I always look for something honest and excellent that leaves you feeling what the artist is saying.

In a church setting, the creativity and expression of a guy like Matt Redman has been massive on my life. He is still one of my greatest heros. Lyrically a guy like Matt Kearney is huge, Mute Math are also great lyrically.
But the real beauty is releasing something beautiful through a personal experience. Nothing can top that. We are all originals and limited editions. Thats where the real creativity lies.

Q:and then lastly, what is your understanding of the church? and where do you see the role of music as a part of that, if at all?

A: Friedrich Nietzsche, a pioneer of atheism was quoted saying: “They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer”— Its always stuck with me.

I think the church (when I say this, I mean something bigger than a Sunday gathering) has yet to come into a place of prominence in creativity in the world where people can peer in and see amazing creativity reflecting who God is- the most creative being in the world. We’ve seen it here and ther (a lot of American christian artists like Kari Jobe/Jesus Culture are now topping even secular charts!) Guys like Phil Keaggy have been pointed to as the the greatest guitarist in the world. There must be more on the way.

Its sad to think that Nietzsche wrote off Christianity based on the lack of creativity he saw. Imagine what the world would have been like if he saw something different.

And when it comes to Sundays: if the lyrics and music doesn’t point to the excellence and wonder of God, then its time to gather all the creative people and ask God to revive us again that we might reflect the beauty of the one who made everything, and loves everyone.

[thankx so much Nick – to hear the music behind the man head over to www.facebook.com/pages/nick-groves/28272426239 and please pass the link on]

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