2013 was a good year on this blog with significant growth after relaunching in October. Thanks for reading. It’s always interesting to see what gets the most clicks…
10 Most Viewed Blogposts from 2013
- SAM ROBSON // ACAPELLA HYMNS – This post has gone gangbusters! It’s the most popular post of all time on my blog. I’ve had a number of emails from people thinking I was Sam Robson and many others trying to contact him through me. Search for his name in google and my site is one of the first hits. I think there is a cricketer with the same name… but don’t worry no plans for talking about cricket on this blog. If you haven’t listened to Sam’s a cappella tunes… give them a listen!
- SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS, KEVIN RUDD and HOW TO READ THE BIBLE – this is obviously a controversial topic. I think I was able to be loving in the way I wrote the post. I had some good conversations with lots of people about the content.
- LALAH HATHAWAY // YES, SHE SINGS CHORDS – Lalah is amazing! Watch this video. It’s nuts!
- REDEEMING SOCIAL MEDIA // INTERVIEW WITH NATHAN W. BINGHAM @NWBingham – I did a series of blogposts leading up to the National Youth Ministry Convention. This one was pure gold from Bingham. It also got linked by Tim Challies in North America – increased the read count.
- KYCK 2013. THIS IS LOVE // PROMO VID – KYCK was a large youth conference I spoke at in April. Cool vid. God did an amazing work through the conference.
- THE BIBLE ON CHANNEL 9 – I thought this was a good series. I also had a resource page that got decent hits after the series.
- I HAVE MASTERED SINGING CHORDS LIKE @LALAHHATHAWAY #SOUL – See #3 above for context. Lalah Hathaway actually retweeted this one and left a comment on Instagram! I will keep practising.
- UNCLE JED // BROTHER – To be honest, this was a social media experiment to see if I could pick up hits during Australia’s Got Talent. It didn’t go gangbusters like #1 above, but it obviously did okay to make the top 10!
- THROUGH THE BIBLE // THROUGH THE YEAR // WITH JOHN STOTT #BibleStott – this series of daily devotionals has been such a wonderful refreshment for my soul. Stott was a sharp guy at explaining scripture with precision.
- 5 THINGS CHURCH LEADERS CAN LEARN FROM APPLE KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS – this post was a fleshed out speech (rant) I gave at our staff meeting on the day of the Apple Keynote. I think it helped give our vision night in October better shape.
3 Posts Always Worth Reading
- JESUS // THE MAN – who is Jesus?
- JESUS // THE MISSION – why did Jesus come?
- JESUS // THE MOVEMENT – what does it mean to follow Jesus?
2 Posts I’d have liked seeing in the Top 10 Most Viewed
- KYCK SEES 900 YOUTH COMMIT TO CHRIST – this really was an incredible privilege to be part of! Praying now for the 900 who responded to the good news of Jesus.
- COMPASSION IN INDONESIA (feat. Colin Buchanan) @CompassionAU – I went to Indonesia with Compassion in April/May 2013. You could read the 25 blog posts from the trip or watch this video produced afterwards.
1 Honourable Mention
- How do you spell the colloquially shortened form of breakfast? – This was a super-short post from 2007 that constantly ranks well in google. The original post didn’t even give an answer. So in 2013 I expanded the post with an answer.
Thanks again for reading in 2013. Peace.
IMAGE CREDIT: Joel Coleman. Used by permission.
Did you know that Mariah Carey receives $873,000 every year in royalties from her Christmas tune “All I want for Christmas is you”. Don’t get me wrong, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album is great! But a little cheesy. It’s time for another edition of 5 Christmas Albums that don’t suck! You can see volume 1 here.
The criteria for inclusion in this list? Obviously not sucking is essential. It also needs to have been released during the last four years (since the last list). Finally the bulk of the songs need to be Jesus songs… i.e. not the lame Santa songs. (Tangent: who would win in a cafe fight between Jesus and Santa? Check this). Here goes…
1. JOY HAS DAWNED by Kings Kaleidoscope //
This EP was released last Christmas and I haven’t stopped playing it for the 12 months since! I blogged on it three times… here and here and here. I also based the Christmas preaching series at St Faith’s on the title track. Why so much attention? Kings Kaleidoscope are one of my favourite bands and this EP is packed with energy and joy through its 5 tracks.
2. THE OH HELLO’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS ALBUM by The Oh Hellos //
I’ve had this one on repeat for the last 24 hours. It’s amazing! This folk rock EP walks through the story of Jesus in 4 movements with a pastiche of different Christmas Carols. It feels like it could be the score to a short film on the birth of Christ. Don’t shuffle the tracks, listen to them in order.
3. REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY by Citizens //
Citizens released this EP last month and it was being regularly played in our car until our 2.5 year old put a 10 cent coin in the CD player. Another energetic offering from Mars Hill Church.
4. CHRISTMAS SONGS COLLECTION VOL. 1-5 by Folk Angel //
42 tracks of Jesus-centred Christmas song goodness! Excellent arrangements. Keep an eye out for the great artists they’ve collaborated with on some of the tracks.
5. SILVER & GOLD by Sufjan Stevens //
This is quirkiest of the list. But Sufjan has cool stuff. I’ve particularly enjoyed using one of his tracks as the title track for a radio station on Pandora: it pulls out lots of great modern artists as well as old school stuff like Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Cash.
Got any others you can suggest? Leave any recommendations in the comments.
See below for 4 of the 5 albums embedded to play on this site
Watch Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies‘ first Christmas message below. The Archbishop of the Sydney Anglican Diocese shares his thoughts on “selfies”, being in the image of God and the relationship of Christmas to Easter. An excellent message.
How are you tracking with your Christmas shopping? Started? Finished? Almost finished? Perhaps you’ve only got those people left to buy gifts for. You know the ones… those that are hard to buy for. They’re picky or they’ve already got everything! Good luck with that. What about Jesus? How would you go if you had to buy a gift for him? He’s the creator of all things – how do you give to the Creator something that doesn’t already belong to him?!??
In this sermon in our Joy Has Dawned series I explore the 3 gifts given by the Magi to baby Jesus. Traditionally these gifts have been seen to symbolise something about the identity and mission of Jesus. This was first suggested by Origen in the 3rd Century. Is this a good reading of the text? Have a listen below to hear what my thoughts.
In the Summer of 2009/2010 readers of this blog raised $1741 for a clean water project in Rwanda. Then in 2010/2011 we helped to raise $2835 for a clean water project in India. It was really exciting to see the way that $4500 could be raised via social media.
IT’S TIME TO DO IT AGAIN!
Earlier this year I was able to see firsthand the incredible way that Compassion are doing Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based work in Indonesia. You can see a summary of my blog coverage on this post.
THE PLAN THIS SUMMER? BUILD A TOILET BLOCK AND WATER TANKS AND MORE!!
What would it look like if Jesus were born tonight? In our time? In our context? UNTO US Films is a series of 3 short films exploring the Christmas story from this perspective.
Mary & Joseph were just a normal everyday young couple who had their whole life ahead of them.
The Shepherds were just normal down to Earth guys… working hard for their families… getting on with everyday life, they probably didn’t see themselves as the religious type.
The Magi were like special advisors… the senior scientists, politicians or professors of their day, who counselled their national leaders.
See the 3 short films below:
For the last 6 years I have been gradually building a digital library of Bible tools and other Christian books using Logos Bible Software. The thing I love above Logos is having access to my library anywhere and anytime. I use Logos on my mobile phone, tablet device and laptop. It has now become part of my regular preparation for preaching and personal reading.
I’m excited to announce a partnership with Logos. The basic platform is free to download, but it is worthwhile purchasing one of the base packages to really start to accessing the powerful tools. CLICK HERE to receive 15% off the base package.
For the next 2 weeks you can also enter to win THE WORKS OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD. Whitefield was an English Anglican Evangelist who saw incredible fruit while preaching Christ in the 1700s. I’ve read biographies of Whitefield before and am fascinated by the man and the way that God used him to save many. This collection includes biographies, sermons and other writings/correspondence.
See below to enter…
Last week I began a series on finishing school. I was hoping to have more posts online by now, but my writing flow was interrupted by an exhausting and encouraging week away with a group of 15 SOULIES crew who have just graduated from school. Stay tuned for more in the finishing school series and see soulies instragram for some pics from the schoolies trip.
In the meantime, I thought it was worthwhile highlighting one of the current sponsors of this blog…
Perhaps you’ve just finished school. You should consider being part of Year 13!
What’s Year 13? Here’s a blurb from their website…
Garage Hymnal have recently released a new album, Lowly. “Come One and All” is a lovely song with a really well-made animation on the film clip. Music by Garage Hymnal, words by Alanna Rodgers with adaptations from Christoph Von Schmid’s German Folk Song, “Oh Come Little Children”. Animation by Taste Media.