Blog April 15th Pastor Patrick of Risen Christ Central Chapel

It is with deep sadness that I write of the sudden death of Pastor Patrick Okoi. Pastor Patrick was a dear friend who ran the church that Mustard Seed Songs’ built in Southern Nigeria- a church they named after our musical – “The Risen Christ Central Chapel” (R.C.C.C.) Pastor Patrick died of a stroke on Easter Sunday. He leaves a widow, Elizabeth and two adopted children. Elizabeth, who is also a Pastor, will continue the R.C.C.C, ministry.
As part of Pastor Patrick’s legacy, Mustard Seed Songs would like to provide water for the R.C.C.C. At present, even to flush the toilets we built, water has to be brought from the town in buckets. Our vision is for a borehole to be drilled and then a tank installed with piping leading to the R.C.C.C. and adjoining toilets.
If you would like to support us in this vision, please visit
https://justgiving.com/campaign/MustardseedsongsPastorPatrick
Here you can also read Pastor Patrick’s story in full.
Many thanks indeed
Quote of the week
All you need is a mustard seed of faith and nothing is impossible
Taken from Matthew 17:20

Blog April 8th Theophilus The Musical

Last blog I said “Mustard Seed Songs’ first musical was “His Story,” the second “Risen! The Musical” and we are working on our third musical right now- it was originally titled “Acts The Musical” but has recently been retitled “Theophilus-The Musical”…. but more of that next week.”

So here we are this week introducing “Theophilus The Musical” aka “Acts -The Musical.” This musical has been over 5 years in the making – of course fully supported by the amazing skills of our MD, Joffy Girling.

My old mate Darren Bovis-Coulter had designed the fantastic logo and so we are now definitely “Theophilus The Musical” rather than “Acts the Musical” – this is very important as the musical is not just a re-enactment of the Acts of the Apostles but also a journey of faith of Theophilus, with whom we have taken poetic licence, portraying him as symbolic of members of the audience, themselves on journeys of faith.

“Amazing Love,” one of the songs from “Theophilus The Musical,” is featured today, beautifully sung by West End and Broadway actor, Edward Baker- Duly, performing  the part of Luke.

Quote of the week

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.

Abraham Lincoln

 

Blog April 2nd Easter 2021

Mustard Seed Songs’ first musical was “His Story,” the second “Risen! The Musical” and we are working on our third musical right now- it was originally titled “Acts The Musical” but has recently been retitled “Theophilus- The Musical”…. but more of that next week.
This Easter I would like to share three Mustard Seed songs from these musicals. Next blog will be a track from “Theophilus- The Musical” but this week it is “The Triumphal Entry featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from “His Story” and it can be found at 31 mins and 30 secs on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8BY_j3gQvE The tune to this song was written by Chris Wickland, who was a member of the Band and who is now Pastor at the Living Word Church (see blog January 30th 2020.) Chris kindly allowed me to “borrow” his tune for the lyrics which portray Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on what is now called “Palm Sunday.”
“One Day A Crown” is taken from “Risen! The Musical.” It is the second of our videos and has been chosen for Good Friday. The song was originally called “A Crown Today A Cross Tomorrow” and a beautiful performance by Lucy Stimpson- Maynard and Lucy Jane Rutherford can be seen at 39 mins 09 secs, again on the “His Story” YouTube link above
The song “Risen” is the third video and is again from “Risen! The Musical.” It is, of course, to celebrate Easter Sunday.
Quote of the week
Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart.
Anonymous

Blog March 25th Footprints in the Sand


There’s More Than One Way Of Saying I Love You featuring Lucy Stimpson Maynard from the album “Uplifted” recorded and produced by Bob Ross

Regular readers of this blog will know that I read “Word For Today” every day. Here is another extract from March 23rd – this time focused on the wonderful poem “Footprints in the Sand” I share the whole devotion below:
Consider these timeless words by Margaret Fishback Powers: ‘One night I dreamed…I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set…I realised that this was at the lowest…times of my life. This always bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma. “Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk…with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I need You most, You leave me.” He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you!”’
And if you need more reassurance, read these two Scriptures: ‘The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 KJV). ‘For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me’ (Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV). The word for today is – God is with you.
Quote of the week
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows but today of its strengths.
Charles Spurgeon
q

Blog March 17th St Patrick


The Gospel of Christ featuring Lucy Jane Rutherford from the album Where Would I Be Without You? recorded and produced by Ross Gill

We have recently had St David’s Day – March 1st, St Georges Day is 23rd April, St Andrew’s Day 30th November and yesterday, March 17th was St Patrick’s Day. I may be wrong, but it does seem to me that it is St Patrick’s Day which is the most enthusiastically celebrated. So, who was St Patrick? Well from the internet I discovered:
St. Patrick was born in Britain—not Ireland—to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family.
At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.)
During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)
After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years.
After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.) Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honouring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross
Legend has it that Patrick stood on an Irish hillside and delivered a sermon that drove the island’s serpents into the sea. While it’s true that the Emerald Isle is mercifully snake-free, chances are that’s been the case throughout human history. Water has surrounded Ireland since the end of the last glacial period, preventing snakes from slithering over; before that, it was blanketed in ice and too chilly for the cold-blooded creatures. Scholars believe the snake story is an allegory for St. Patrick’s eradication of pagan ideology.
Another legend credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. The shamrock has since become a central symbol for Saint Patrick’s Day.
Quote of the week
You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read.
John MacArthur

Blog March 11th Chet Hanks’ Testimony


“Put Your Hand In The Hand Of God” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

I received a random email last week from Christian Premier News and was attracted to this story of Tom Hank’s son, Chet. I thought I would share it with you:
Actor and musician Chet Hanks, the son of multi-award-winning actor Tom Hanks, has recalled having a powerful encounter with God which he said changed the entire direction of his life.
Speaking on the “Impaulsive” podcast, Hanks described how at 17-years-old, he spent 12 weeks at a remote camp in Utah. At the time, he was angry, confused and a sworn atheist. Then, as he hiked into the wilderness one day, Hanks said he encountered “the hand of God” and was profoundly impacted.
“I went off and sat on the edge of this cliff and was just looking out at the view,” he explained. “As I was looking out at that view and I was looking at where I had been from an elevated perspective — because I’d been stuck in this desert for 12 weeks and it just looked ugly and boring, and there’s nothing to look at. But now I’m looking at it from an elevated perspective of the top of this mountain.”
Hanks said that there wasn’t a “speck of humanity” in sight when God suddenly met with him.
“So, I’m looking around, and I’m so overcome by emotion,” he recalled. “It felt like I was touched by the hand of God. It was at that moment God revealed Himself to me. All that anger, and that hate, and that resentment flipped. It inverted to just infinite hope, gratitude, peace, love.”
He added: “It just flipped on a dime, like that. And I was so overcome by emotion, I just sat at the edge of that cliff and I wept. I wept for an hour, uncontrollable weeping for like an hour. It did not cease, but tears of joy. Tears of everything, feeling every emotion at once, all the pain and all the joy.”
In a follow-up clip on Instagram, Hanks, who has been open about his struggles with substance abuse, said that “nothing exists outside of God”.
He continued: “Everything that you’ve ever experienced, everything within you…all of it is a part of God…the joy and the pain, the good times and the bad times….the light and the dark…all of it exists within God.
“If I bring a candle into a pitch black room, does the darkness put out the candle, or does the candle illuminate the darkness?
“Everything that is happening comes from the one infinite source of all life, which is God.”

Quote of the week

Refuse to let the ideas that don’t work prevent you from coming up with the ones that do.

Word for Today

Blog March 4th “A Truth of Creation”


You are the Maker featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album His Story recorded and produced by Ross Gill.

This week I have another devotion to share from the “Word for Today”
God said in creation, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind.’ And ‘when God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God…When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness’ (Genesis 5:1,3 NIV). In other words, man isn’t just another animal in the evolutionary chain. ‘Microevolution’ teaches variations within species. For example, there are different types of dogs, etc. But there is no scientific evidence to support ‘macroevolution’ – one species evolving into another species. In reference to creation, Dr Derek Prince wrote: ‘I am simple-minded enough to believe that it happened the way the Bible described it. I have been a professor at Britain’s largest university [Cambridge] for nine years. I hold various degrees and academic distinctions, and I feel in many ways I am quite sophisticated intellectually, but I don’t feel in any way intellectually inferior when I say that I believe the Bible record of creation. Prior to believing the Bible I have studied many other attempts to explain man’s origin and found them all unsatisfying and, in many cases self-contradictory. I turned to study the Bible as a professional philosopher – not as a believer – and I commented to myself, “At least it can’t be any sillier than some of the other things I’ve heard,” and to my astonishment, I discovered it had the answer.’
Quote of the week
If God is your partner make your plans BIG!
D.L. Moody

Blog February 25th Prayer


Bathe Me In Your Light featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album I Look Up To The Heavens recorded and produced by John Hodginson

Last week I shared something that I had first read in the “Word for Today” and here is another extract from this daily devotional, written by Bob and Debby Gass and published UCB.
I have put one piece in bold as I thought it particularly helpful- a wonderful, inspiring but simple definition of prayer:
God hasn’t made prayer difficult or complicated, but really simple. The truth is, many of us pray more often than we know. And we have a more effective and successful prayer life than we realise. The trouble is, we don’t always recognise when we’re praying. That’s because we’ve got the wrong idea about it. We’ve been taught that prayer requires a specific environment like church, or a prescribed posture like kneeling, or a particular form of words like ‘Thee’ and ‘Thou’, and that we must strictly adhere to certain religious rituals. No, prayer is simply talking to God, then being still and allowing Him to talk to you. You can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything, by just directing your thoughts, spoken and unspoken, towards God. Paul writes, ‘We fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.’ Imagine that all of God’s blessings and benefits are stored in a giant warehouse in the invisible realm; things like forgiveness, strength, wisdom, guidance, favour, and resources. Through prayer you enter God’s warehouse of blessings, and by faith you receive them and bring them back into your life. The Bible says you have not because you ask not (see James 4:2). So whatever you need today, pray and ask God for it – believing that He will give it to you. Jesus said, ‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted’ (John 15:7 NLT).
Taken from the Word for Today Nov 2020
Quote of the week
Let go of yesterday’s mistakes in order to grasp today’s blessings
Word for Today

Blog February 18th “Slow Down”


“When You Walk With God” featuring Harun Kotch from the album “The Season of Singing” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

At a metro station in Washington D.C on a cold January morning, a young violinist played several classical compositions as people rushed by. After three minutes, a middle -aged man slowed briefly, then hurried away. Thirty seconds later the young man received his first dollar: a woman threw it in his case without stopping. Six minutes later a man leaned against a wall to listen for a few minutes then looked at his watch and walked on. After ten minutes a little boy stopped but his mum hurried him along. Other kids did the same, but every parent without exception, rushed them on.
The young musician played for forty five minutes. During that time seven people stopped and listened for a while and twenty gave money as they walked past. He collected a total of $32 about £25 and when he stopped playing nobody noticed or applauded. What is remarkable is this: the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the world’s greatest musicians and he played some of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million (about £2.8 million) Two days before he sold out a Boston Theatre where tickets averaged $100 ((£80.00) to listen to him play the same music as he had played at the Metro station that morning where only one person recognised him.
So, here’s the question: if you’ve no time to stop and listen to one of the world’s best musicians playing the finest music ever written on one of the most beautiful instruments ever made “what else are you missing as your barrel though life?”
Note Joshua Bell played incognito as part of a social experiment conducted by The Washington Post
Taken from the Word for Today Nov 2020

Quote of the week
One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions
Winston Churchill

Blog February 11th “Not everything is locked down.”

There have been many inspirational songs, videos and messages that have been created relating specifically to the Co-Vid lockdown. The featured video is one I thought I would share.

My dear old mate Darren and his lovely daughter Jaz created the other wonderful video which is of the classic song “Down To The River to Pray.” Just had to share it with you as well!

Quote of the week
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill