Tag Archive: music


i imagine this is a much bigger post or discussion than what will fit in here but let’s get it started…

a soccer player [who was worth something like 40 million something – does it really matter when you hit 40 million whether the next word is pounds, euros or dollars?] scores a goal.

a hundred facebook statuses [stati?] read something along the lines of ‘amazing goal – so worth the money spent’

i get angry. [i know, not allowed, how absolutely elizabethan of me]

i post something about how no football player [or goal] is ever worth that amount of money. especially when hundreds of thousands [millions? does it matter once you’ve gone past hundreds?] of people are literally starving to death around the world

angry mob [but since we’re online they can’t exactly storm my castle with flaming torches, especially because of the high-tech moat system i have employed]

so discussion happens. well kinda. words are written and people [a lot of them strong christian types] strongly defend the soccer player, the club, the industry, the system.

but there is a huge disconnect. because arguments will be made [with the understood eyebrow raising condescension implied as to ‘how can you even think such a thing you stupid, you.] and perhaps scripture, or scriptural ideas will be referenced and argumentative questions will be thrown [what are you saying? he should give the money back? how much of it? how much is too much?] all in defense of how much the person is worth his wages blah blah blah

what probably won’t happen is Jesus will not be quoted or referenced, because it is very hard to believe that Jesus would support the idea of a soccer player being worth millions of currency while people [specifically ‘least of these’ type people – Jesus’ favourite type it seems] are left to starve to death or barely survive in miserable circumstances and conditions.

and what also won’t happen is the people defending overpaid soccer [and you can interchange soccer for music or entertainment or business or even church leader/speaker type – the soccer one is just a more blatant example but it is the same across the board for me] player guy won’t ever make a statement that it is okay for the poor person to suffer, starve or die. the position they take leads to that natural conclusion but they won’t ever state “i am okay with the idea that for the soccer player to get 40 million something, hundreds of people will go hungry” because i don’t believe that is a defendable argument – so play the emotion, challenge the lack of viable solution, ask the argumentative question, quote some out-of-context biblical scriptural idea, but refuse to be drawn on the fact [in my opinion] that the system is horribly wrong and broken. and disgustingly so.

the “are you suggesting?” questions are difficult because i don’t know that i have a solution – i do feel that if the player got 20 somethings instead of 40 somethings then possible the people who watch the games would be able to pay half of what they pay and so there would be a lot more money around for them to be reaching out to some of their ‘least of these’ people… but finding a solution is not my initial intention, because i believe it has to start with the acknowledgement that there is a problem. [and yes the problem is the heart of man and so on, but the one we are faced with is a problem of economic disparity that can not be denied] once we acknowledge there is a problem, that the system is broken, that it is ludicrous and shameful and wrong that the soccer player/actor/singer/politician/pastor/writer gets 40 million of something while the majority of people have to live on under 2 of something a day, then hopefully we can start working together on solutions.

at the very least, let’s stop celebrating the wrongness.

i am privileged to be friends with a lot of really talented people, especially in the area of music, and was recently inspired to write a series of blogs that showcase some of these people and their talent so that more people can hear what they are producing – this will take the form of a number of interviews with links provided so that you can go and check them out and first up is a guy i like to call nick groves (being his name and all) – i met nick thru my good buddy and tag team partner sean du toit and he has led the worship sessions on a number of camps i have spoken on…

Q:So Nick, i know you used to be in the water industry in somerset west, south africa (i know there’s a water industry in somerset west?) running your own company, but it’s been a little while so tell us where are you these days and what are you involved with?

A:In 2006 me and Beks were just married a few months, and we were invited to join our mutual friend Sean Du Toit in his youthwork “Primal” that was still in its infancy. I’d been working as a sales representative for H2o- marketing water purifiers and coolers since Dec 1999, and so the move from Muizenberg to Somerset West meant a change in work, as the travel would have been too much. Some doors opened and used the profits of the sale of my house to start up my own H2o branch- servicing Paarl and Somerset West. So since then we have been growing this baby business of ours – I suppose now it’s become a naughty teenager- full of challenges and growing pains, its a lot of fun and hard work, but what I love most is seeing it touch and enrich peoples lives.

The flip side to this coin is that I get the time to do my “real job”- writing songs, arranging music, learning more of how the recording programs work etc.

We are currently part of The Bay Community Church in Muizenberg- involved in music, and leading a small home group in Somerset West. This year my wife and I decided to pursue what we love (Beks loves photography) and so we try give our time after work to develop our skills in these areas.

Every now and then I get a chance to contribute to whats happening in New Gens youth work “Urban Liberty”- its always great to see what God is doing in other streams. They are an exciting bunch of people on a mission to make an impact.

Q: 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?

A: I had private classical guitar lessons at primary school level- it only lasted a little over a year, as we could afford it. I then discovered in grade 7 that it was actually cool to play guitar! [even more so around the girls;) ]. But it was only when I was nearing the end of high school that I took it up again, started singing and playing at home groups and youth meetings. That was the start of becoming a worship leader for me.

Q:when you’re not peddling water or music’ing, what other interests does mister groves have? hobbies? pastimes? sport? cooking?

A: Lately i’ve taken up running- I have successfully found the flattest route in heldervue- a 5km that always kills me. Ive also got into gym-ing a bit but my favourite is always either a game of tennis or at best a surf trip – either JBay or Elands Bay. I also enjoy cooking, but I’m not a fanatic about that.

Q:what bands or artists do you enjoy listening to?

A:Like most, I would say there is a variety depending on what Im doing, but i’d prob rank my current favourites 1-5 as follows:

1. Future of Forestry
2. DubFx
3. Vusi Mahlasela
4. Mumford & Sons
5. Radiohead

Q:In recent times you’ve been writing songs and offering them to people to listen to, what is your plan at the moment in terms of the music scene, or i guess what is your dream scenario?

A:Musicians these days live in a privileged time where you can upload a song and in an instant you can touch numbers of people. I remember when I did my first 3 track album- I sold 100 copies and I was over the moon. But nowdays people don’t have to pay to listen to you, and it doesn’t cost much to run your own home studio – so its an ideal win-win situation: Artists get to create and release their work at little cost, and can reach many people for free. Thanks facebook 🙂

I suppose the dream of any creative person is for their craft to be seen or heard- the purpose of creating for me is about sharing. My dream is to share a moment or an experience. My greatest goal in terms of writing songs is to be able to get people to feel the message of a song, instead of hearing it.

At the moment my only plan is to keep creating music that people can have for free, and see the group of people it reaches grow. Life at the moment limits me in this area – but we are looking to soon be selling our business, and who knows what life would look like after that? The dream for me is not just music though, I want to be a part of a group of creative group who’s craft affects people in a positive way – it’s amazing how a song or any other work of art has an ability to lift people. I just love seeing the creative do that.

to read the rest of this interview simply click here

we watched a multiplex (workshop session) yesterday on Christians and the media and then we had a bunch of small group discussion on the topic – as i was mc’ing the meeting and made some statements about bad christian movies there were too many heads nodding in agreement for me to think this is just my particular cynicised view

the bottom line for me is that the church has some great stories – from the bible which really has some x-rated hollywood blockbuster stuff in it [tent pegs through the head, incest, adultery followed by murder of a high-ranking general to try and cover the fact, bears being called from the forest to maul a bunch of youth for daring to call the prophet a baldhead, the fire from heaven altar challenge between elijah and the prophets of baal, stonings, crucifixion] to true life dramas [bible smuggling into china, the mother teresa story, the missionaries who were killed by the aucas in south america – which became a movie ‘the end of the spear’ which i haven’t had the chance to see but the book is amazing] to fiction [writings of ted dekker, robert liparulo, frank peretti who i would all describe as stephen king if he was a christian – some great science fiction/fantasy/horror/supernatural writing] – and so the stories are definitely there, but i think we have quite a long way to go before we can tell them well on film

i, as a Christ follower, cringe when i hear that something is a “christian movie” so i can’t imagine what an unbeliever must think and feel (maybe they’re less critical than me, who knows?) but the majority of christian films down the ages have been cringeworthy, cheese-filled and generally with bad camerawork and production, useless acting and trite storylines

the one question i posed was this – is it good enough for us as Christ followers in the media to be making bad movies, so that perhaps one day we can make good movies, or would it sometimes be better to be making no movies at all?

another question posed by the group was on the sacred/secular split – the tendency we as christians have to divide life into what we call spiritual and what we call secular when, as one guy pointed out in my group, Jesus would probably be confused if i told Him about “my spiritual life” because to Him everything was spiritual – and so can’t we as Christ followers just start making good movies – when i look at a movie like ‘the blind Side’ with Sandra Bullock in, it was a really strong movie and received critical acclaim in many quarters but was not produced as a ‘christian movie’ – we have the stories, we just need to do better at getting them across

i think personally that we do a lot better in the area of music whereas in the 80’s there were maybe the big 5 of mainstream christian musicians in amy grant, steve curtis chapman, michael w smith, carman and then if you were really hardcore maybe dc talk and they were all ‘good for a christian band’ music types [let the hating begin, ha!] but i think today Christ-following musicians and bands have gained a lot more street cred and in many cases are as good if not sometimes even better than their non-Christ-following counterparts… so there is hope

personally i don’t think it’s good enough that we create bad christian movies (or music or books) and i really wish the people making them would have better filters or just go hang out in the world a little bit to get a clue as to the kind of quality we should be producing. i imagine some people might see this post as a little harsh and unloving, but i think the reality is that when we are representing Christ, there is a strong case for us doing it well and effectively and in a way that impacts society rather than causing it to withdraw

i long for the day we can say ‘that was a great movie’ and not feel the need to simply compare it to other worse ‘christian movies’ as a means of greatifying it

%d bloggers like this: