Blog February 20th St Peter Part One


St Peter


Gasp in Wonder featuring Lucy Stimpson – Maynard from the album “The Season of Singing” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

As I have previously explained Mustard Seed Songs are, at present, recording the sequel to Risen! The Musical. It is based on the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles and has a working title of Acts- The Musical. Recently Joffy Girling, our Musical Director and West End actor, Alex Knox finished recording the guide vocals to part two of the musical.
Writing the script for part one was relatively simple as so much happens in the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, including the Holy Spirt coming on the Day of Pentecost, the martyrdom of Stephen and the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. The later chapters focus on the missionary journeys of Saul (now called Paul) which took me some time to work out how to summarise.
If the main character in the second half of the Acts of the Apostles is Paul then it is Peter who is the main character of the first half.
Here are some interesting facts on St Peter:
Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida (John 1:44). He was named Simon, son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter’s mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum (Matthew 8:14–17, Mark 1:29–31, Luke 4:38); this passage clearly depicts Peter as being married. 1 Corinthians 9:5 has also been taken to imply that he was married
In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter (then Simon) was a fisherman along with his brother, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John. The Gospel of John also depicts Peter fishing, even after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18–19, Mark 1:16–17).
In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:3). Jesus then amazes Simon and his companions James and John (Andrew is not mentioned) by telling them to lower their nets, whereupon they catch a huge number of fish. Immediately after this, they follow him (Luke 5:4–11). The Gospel of John gives a comparable account of “The First Disciples” (John 1:35–42). In John, the readers are told that it was two disciples of John the Baptist (Andrew and an unnamed disciple) who heard John the Baptist announce Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and then followed Jesus. Andrew then went to his brother Simon, saying, “We have found the Messiah”, and then brought Simon to Jesus.
Three of the four gospels – Matthew, Mark and John – recount the story of Jesus walking on water. Matthew additionally describes Peter walking on water for a moment but beginning to sink when his faith wavers (Matthew 14:28–31).
At the beginning of the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Peter initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus threatened him with: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”, Peter replied: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:2–11). The washing of feet is often repeated in the service of worship on Maundy Thursday by some Christian denominations.
The three Synoptic Gospels all mention that, when Jesus was arrested, one of his companions cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest of Israel (Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50). The Gospel of John also includes this event and names Peter as the swordsman and Malchus as the victim (John 18:10). Luke adds that Jesus touched the ear and miraculously healed it (Luke 22:49–51). This healing of the servant’s ear is the last of the 37 miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible.
More next week ….
Quote of the week
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom

Blog February 13th St Valentine


Love is the Way featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album Love is the Way recorded and produced by Bob Ross

As tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day I thought I would do a bit of research and discovered from “History.com” that:

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
As well as being the patron saint of lovers St Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy,
Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day. The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.
Quote of the week
A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another
Jesus of Nazareth

Blog February 6th – A Mustard Seed of Faith

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I know I have previously posted this video of the Portsmouth Gospel Choir singing “A Mustard Seed of Faith” however there are a few reasons why I have decided to post it again.
First because “A Mustard Seed of Faith” is the favourite song of my dear friend Patrick Okoi who is the Pastor of the “Risen Christ Central Chapel “ (RCCC) in Southern Nigeria, the construction of which for the past three years Mustard Seed Songs has been funding. At the end of the video you can see how the Chapel build has gradually progressed. One of the two featured photos shows how lovely the inside is now looking – and it will look even better when the painting, which is taking place right now, is finished. The other photo shows the soak away that has been built ready to install toilets when we raise the money through our Just Giving campaign https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Mustardseedsongs-RisenChristCentralChapel
Second yesterday our MD, Joffy Girling and West End actor, Alex Knox completed the guide vocals to “Acts The Musical” which is our sequel to “Risen! The Musical.” One method I have used to write, what is another two hour musical, is to incorporate new songs with those God had earlier inspired me to write – some previously recorded and some previously recorded but now re worked – as is the case with “A Mustard Seed of Faith.”
In “Acts- The Musical” Theophilus asks Luke if he believed Paul when he said all on board the ship bound for Rome would survive a shipwreck, landing safely on the island of Malta. Here is the relevant extract:

Luke: spoken

So the ship hits a sand bank and runs aground. Julius the Centurion orders those who can swim to jump overboard and get to land. The rest are to make it there on planks or pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reaches land safely. We find that the island is called Malta. The islanders show us unusual kindness. The chief official welcomes us into his home and Paul heals his father of dysentery. Afterwards the rest of the sick come and are cured. They honour us in many ways and we stay for three wonderfully blessed months before putting out to sea again for Rome.
Theophilus: spoken
Forgive me for asking Luke but …
Theophilus: Sung

When you were caught in that raging storm,
Tossed and turned by the waves,
Did you believe that you,
And all on board would be saved?

Luke:
Yes it’s true I had lost all strength,
But I just clung onto this,
The power that hung the stars in place,
Is in God’s fingertips.

I remembered all He had done,
All the trials He’d carried me through,
And hand on heart yes I did believe,
The Angel’s promise to Paul was true.

I believe with a mustard seed of faith,
A mustard seed, just a mustard seed of faith,
I believe with a mustard seed of faith,
Mountains can be thrown into the sea

When the road you’re walking down,
Leads to a mountain high,
Far too high to climb over,
Too wide for you to pass by,

And that road is your walk with God,
That mountain some adversity,
Remember you can overcome
Go toss that mountain into the sea,

All you need is a mustard seed of faith,
A mustard seed, just a mustard seed of faith,
All you need all you need is a mustard seed of faith,
Then nothing is impossible.
Ensemble:

All you need is a mustard seed of faith,
A mustard seed, just a mustard seed of faith,
All you need all you need is a mustard seed of faith,
Then nothing is impossible.

Quote of the week
Stop worrying about what you aren’t and start being happy about who you are.
John Hagee

Blog January 30th Christopher Wickland Part Two


His story featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band recorded and produced by Ross Gill

Back on December 12th of last year I wrote in this blog that Chris Wickland, the Senior Pastor at The Living Word Church, Fareham had been resuscitated after having been clinically dead for 15 minutes. I explained that Chris is a very good friend and a highly talented musician who played guitar in the “Mustard Seed Soul Band” which performed in Mustard Seeds’ first musical- “His Story” at the Kings Theatre, Southsea and Central Hall, Westminster London. (Title song is today’s featured track)
So it would appear that my blog initiated nationwide interest with articles following that described the event as a miracle- articles first in the Premier News, then national newspapers and more recently BBC’s South Today (I wonder if I should expect a fee ?) Only joking but it is great that the BBC were prepared to broadcast the true Christian faith of Chris and his family with the word “miracle” used on more than one occasion.
So it’s a brief blog text this week – so as to give you time to watch the video.
Quote of the week
I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
Jesus of Nazareth

Blog January 23rd Roberta Firmino


It’s From The Lord featuring Jassica Castillo – Burley and the Mustard Soul Band from the album ” Heart and Soul” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

As regular readers of this blog will probably know I am a Manchester United fan and have been ever since the Munich air disaster. Liverpool are traditionally Man U’s greatest rivals, however since Man City have come to the fore they, for me have now taken over that coveted position. Liverpool, in fact I quite admire – Jurgen Klopp is not only a great manager but he is also humorous and a practising Christian to boot (excuse the pun) I was therefore delighted to read the below which appeared on one of our webmaster’s Facebook posts. It comes from an article in Premier Christian News.
Footballer Roberto Firmino was baptised on Wednesday. The Liverpool forward shared a video of the ceremony on his Instagram page. While standing in a swimming pool, he said: “Jesus is love. There is no explanation. Just believe it. Just believe and feel the Holy Spirit.”
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Firmino’s wife Lari and Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker were also in the pool and hugged him after his head was raised from the water. In the caption of the video Firmino said: “I gave you my failures and the victories I will give you too. My greatest title is Your Love Jesus!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, new things have come!”
Fellow teammate Fabinho was also in the audience watching.
Quote of the week
Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.
Francis Chan

Blog Jan 17th Gareth Malone


Heart and Soul featuring Mike Backhouse and the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album Heart and Soul recorded and produced by Ross Gill

Music is so emotive, indeed transformative- I watched an example of this last week. It was a two episode television broadcast of Gareth Malone attempting to produce a choir in a young offender’s prison. It was extremely moving and I can wholeheartedly recommend you watch both episodes on catch up tv.
I have taken an extract from the Guardian newspaper’s review of The Choir: Aylesbury Prison.

It has been 14 years since Gareth Malone first appeared on our screens. In that time he has coaxed a number of unlikely groups not just to sing, but to perform: teenage boys, residents of the South Oxhey housing estate, some military wives. Now, in The Choir: Aylesbury Prison (BBC Two), he is back to do the same with young offenders.
One might, at this stage, take it as read that he will succeed. Malone, still boyish but now greying and – if you can believe it – 44, has a reputation for not failing at this sort of thing. The formula is reliable and repeatable. But Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institute Aylesbury is a very particular case.
The 400 inmates, aged between 18 and 21, are doing time for various offences, including drug crimes, robbery, GBH, manslaughter and murder. About a sixth are serving life sentences. Forty per cent are “dealing with some form of mental health problem”. Three months before Malone arrived in June 2019, Aylesbury was placed under special measures owing to high levels of self-harm and violence. Half the prisoners were moved out, and three wings were shut down.
The governor, Laura Sapwell, wants him to start a choir, or something. “I can’t fully see what this will be,” she tells him. But whatever it is, he’s got nine weeks to do it.
The programme quickly becomes an exercise in limiting expectations. Enthusiasm among the residents registers somewhere between low and none. “The mandem don’t tango like that,” says one. Nobody wants to sing, and their musical world is a bit monocultural: everybody listens to drill.
Even when Malone finds interested parties, the logistics of ferrying prisoners around a high security facility makes any kind of assembly next to impossible. Gang rivals are housed in different wings; association across the whole prison is difficult. Malone’s inaugural choir practice is limited to five guys from D-wing. Only three turn up.
Malone, if he feels daunted by all this, hardly shows it. It’s difficult to imagine anyone else wandering through the general population of a prison saying: “Hi! Are you into music at all?” over and over again, as if it is his first day at art school.
And he does, eventually, find people to work with. Rehearsing in small groups or individually, Malone concentrates on song writing, something most of his charges find strangely easy. Dwayne, doing six years for robbery, is particularly talented. “He’s just a bit more open-minded,” said Malone. “He sang. We made music.”
All incarnations of The Choir have some low moments, which serve to make the ending more uplifting. Prison, however, is not designed for uplift; every story is heart breaking. Everybody inside is frightened, depressed and potentially dangerous. One on one, however, they are soft-spoken, insightful and incredibly polite.
The frustrations of working inside are a constant barrier to progress. Malone’s pupils break rules or get into fights and are prevented from meeting him. The prison has some kind of violent incident about once a day – at which point officers just lock Malone behind the nearest door and run off to deal with the situation.
At the point when you would expect things to start finally going right, they get worse. While Malone awaits Dwayne for a rehearsal, Dwayne is badly assaulted and sent to hospital. He’s OK, but he’s done with music, and tired of being told to walk away from fights. “Where is there to walk to?” he says. “I don’t have keys.”
Lewis appears in cell 210, a new arrival. He can – and will – sing, but his mental health is frail. He takes medication for depression and a personality disorder. More often than not he is unable to rehearse. For the first time in the history of The Choir, I am preparing myself for failure.
There is, of course, a reason these things are done in two parts. I don’t think it will spoil the second half if I tell you that Malone perseveres. But on this occasion the success of the choirmaster and his pupils is set against a larger backdrop of failure, of lives wasted, of a system unfit for the task at hand, of a bunch of young men – boys really – with serious mental health issues, confined together, at risk and getting sicker.
In other words: you will cry just like always, but for different reasons. It’s not enough to bite your nails and think: how will Lewis cope with singing in front of an audience in prison? You also have to think: how did someone like Lewis end up in prison?
This is an excellent review and I do I have to admit to finding a tear falling down my face at the finale in part two. One stereotype that the two programmes smashed for me was the belief that young offenders come from bad homes – if you do decide to watch then you will see that this is most definitely not the case and is the main reason for my tear.

Quote of the week.
Don’t worry what others are doing. Do you!
Russell Simmons

Blog January 9th St Barnabas Part Four


Joffy Girling and Alex Knox recording guide vocals for Acts – The Musical


Unsung Heroes featuring Katy Summer from the album For Unsung Heroes recorded and produced by Ross Gill

As promised today I am sharing a song from Acts – The Musical in which Barnabas confronts Paul for not wishing to take John Mark with him on Paul’s second missionary journey. (Acts: 15: 36 -41) This is one of the songs that on Sunday Alex Knox and Joffy Girling recorded as guide vocals for our forthcoming musical based on the Acts of the Apostles.
Paul:
I know he is your cousin
And yes that means a lot
But there’s a certain something you may have forgot
He left us to return home and he could do the same
I’m sorry but I can’t trust John Mark again

Barnabas
Yes he is my cousin and yes that means a lot
And no that certain something I have not forgot
Yes I know he left us – but that’s all in the past
So surely we should give him one more chance?

Paul:
No, no, no,
Barnabas:
Yes, yes, yes
Paul:
No, no, no,
Barnabas:
Yes, yes, yes
Paul:
No, no, no I’ve said….. NO!
Quote of the week
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
Abraham Lincoln

Blog January 2nd St Barnabas Part Three


Living it Up featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album Heart and Soul recorded and produced by Ross Gill

So here is some more information about St Barnabas (taken from an editorial in the Barnabas Aid Magazine.) Barnabas features in the Book of The Acts of the Apostles on which our next musical is based.
Barnabas had the wonderful gift of always thinking the best of others and seeing the best in them. He had the kind of love described in I Corinthians 13:5-7 and no doubt this is how he earnt his nickname (Barnabas means Son of Encouragement) He was the first in Jerusalem to believe that Saul the persecutor was truly converted (Acts 9: 26-27) and he acted on that belief, taking Saul to the apostles and commended him to them as his sponsor or guarantor. Later Barnabas sought out Saul and brought him to Antioch to minister alongside him to the new Christians there. He saw the potential of John Mark and championed him, determined to give him another opportunity after he failed (Acts 15: 35-41)
His reputation as an encourager and bridge builder is also seen when the Jewish Church in Jerusalem chose him to go to Antioch to minister to the believers there who included, not only Jews but also Gentiles. This might have caused some Jewish Christians to hold back but not Barnabas. “When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. (Acts 11-19-23)
It was not just Antioch where the “Son of Encouragement” cared tenderly for new believers. We see his pastoral heart, his desire to protect and strengthen in many other places for example Derbe (Acts 14:20-23)
He was bold and brave, repeatedly enduring hardship and persecution for the sake of the Gospel (for example Acts 13-50-51) He went on when John Mark gave up (Acts 13: 13-14) He spoke up for what he believed was right. His determination to restore John Mark was so great that he even fell out with Paul about it. He also confronted fellow Christians on the issue of Gentile believers (Acts 15: 1-12)
Next week I’ll share with you a song from Acts – The Musical in which Barnabas confronts Paul for not wishing to take John Mark on his second missionary journey
Quote of the week
God is more interested in our character than our comfort, so when we pray for lighter burdens He gives us stronger backs.
The Word for Today

Blog December 26th St Barnabas Part Two


In The Beginning Was The Word- featuring the Lord is Truth Gospel Singers from the album His Story live (not released) recorded and produced by Ross Gill

I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day.
So I promised today that I would share with you some information about St Barnabas- who features in the Book of The Acts of the Apostles on which our next musical is based.
According to tradition in 61AD in the city of Salamis in Cyprus, Barnabas was dragged out of a synagogue where he was preaching the Gospel, by Jews who were infuriated by the success of his ministry, and was stoned to death. He had preached with St Paul in the same synagogue at the beginning of their first missionary journey together (Acts 13: 2-5) Barnabas’ death reflects what Jesus said would happen to His followers “They will put you out of the synagogue, in fact the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” (John 16:2)
Barnabas was a nickname given to him by the apostles. It was a nickname that reflected his character and that essential goodness and integrity that shaped it. His real name was Joseph, in itself symbolic of the man he was. As Joseph in the Old Testament suffered much and became a leader of his people by virtue of his character, so too Joseph the Levite from Cyprus became Barnabas meaning “Son of Encouragement .“ We know few details of the personal life of Barnabas but know much of his character and his good works.
Barnabas served the Lord as prophet and teacher (Acts 13: 1) one through whom God worked miracles (Acts 15:12) and is even called an apostle in Acts 14:14 (chosen by Jesus to be one of the Seventy; according to early Church tradition)
A beautiful summary tells us that that Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (Acts 11:24.)To this we can add many more specific details. The first that we hear of him is that he sold a field and brought the money to the apostles (Acts 4:36-37) There is no indication of a large and pressing financial need in the early Church at this point rather Barnabas’ action “sparkles with spontaneity and joy.” It shows generosity and at the same time humility as he acknowledges the apostles’ authority and submits to it, giving his gift without strings attached for them to use as they think best. It is little wonder that later when someone was needed to carry a financial gift from the Church in Antioch to the famine afflicted believers in Jerusalem, Barnabas was one of those considered trustworthy (Acts 11:27-30) We are also told he earnt his living so as not to be a financial burden to the congregations he was serving (I Corinthians 9:6)
Barnabas retained the humility he showed in those early days, even when years later he was acclaimed by adoring crowds, passionately urging them to worship God instead. (Acts 14:12-18)
I’ll share with you more of Barnabas next week.
Quote of the week
I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.
Norman Vincent Peale

Blog December 19th St Barnabas


St Barnabas Church, Gillingham Kent

St Francis Church, Hilsea, Portsmouth


If I Say I Love You Jesus featuring Lucy Stimpson_Maynard from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

I have explained that we are, at present, working on the sequel to Risen! The Musical, which has a working title of Acts- The Musical. Phase One is completed and in early January Joffy Girling, our musical Director, and actor Alex Knox will be recording the guide vocals to Phase Two which will, in fact complete the whole show.
In the first phase of Acts- The Musical the main character is Peter – with other characters also featuring such as Simon the Sorcerer, Stephen the first martyr and Philip the Evangelist. In the second phase the main character is Paul (previously called Saul) Another important character is Barnabas which reminded me that it was St Barnabas Church in Gillingham, Kent where I grew up that gave me my first experience of “church.” What actually happened was that two of my school friends, Edward and Keith Glover persuaded me to have a “trial” at the church to become a choir boy – the incentive was that if you got selected you got paid! I remember my trial so well – I suppose I was about 8-9 years old and after walking the 20 mins to the church I met the church organist. My “trial” was that he played a note on the organ and then asked me to sing the appropriate note – I did not have a clue – I just hit a note out of my head which was probably so far out in pitch that it was embarrassing but in those days I looked quite cute so I somehow passed my “trial” and got fitted out with a blue choristers’ gown and white ruffle collar. I was supposed to go regularly to choir practices but did not – I was supposed to go regularly to the church services but did not – so when it got to the time when the “money” was handed out I think I got about six pence. I also did not really understand what the Vicar was on about when he said from his pulpit that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. I also did not understand, because I did not attend many choir practices, how to sing the Magnificat or Benedictus- I just made it up as I went along or quite often simply mimed. I remember the services lasting what seemed like eternity, however I did enjoy joining the Boy Scout Cubs which was attached to the church – it was there that I learnt the difference between a reef knot and a granny knot (most useful as one ties securely and the other doesn’t *) Fortunately I was saved from it all when my dad moved work to Portsmouth which is where I found a much less formal church in St Francis where I also became a Boy Scout Cub. It was also from St Francis that I eventually went to confirmation classes and was confirmed by the Bishop at St Marys Church, Fratton.
Anyway next week (Boxing Day) I will share with you some information about St Barnabas- but one thing I can tell you now is that Barnabas means Son of Encouragement and in Acts -The Musical there is a scene in which Barnabas encourages the disciples to not fear Saul who, although having persecuted them is now a changed man after meeting the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus.
Here is the song- I have used the melody from today’s featured song “If I Say I Love You Jesus.”
If Saul Comes To Meet Us

If Saul comes to meet us,
Will you still fear his name?
Will you ask how dare he show his face
How can he feel no shame?

And if he promises he loves Jesus,
Will you say how can this be?
He’s the one who threw our friends in jail,
We are his sworn enemy.

And if he insists he has seen Jesus,
Will you stare in disbelief?
Will you laugh – spit in his face.
Put it down as pure conceit?

And if he says he is now Christ’s servant.
He is now Christ’s very own.
Will you accuse him of blasphemy?
Who will throw the first stone?

I know his change,
Seems so very strange,
But I know it’s true,
The change is for the good,
No passing phase, but for good,
One foe lost – won by the cross

So please trust and accept him,
As your dear brother in Christ,
He is God’s chosen instrument,
And on this I stake my life

And if I may say one more thing
Jesus died for us all
My friends that means you and I
And that means … even Saul…

Quote of the week
In prosperity our friends know us- in adversity we know our friends
John Churton Collins

*
The reef knot is commonly taught as left over right, tuck under then right over left, tuck under. The granny knot is the first step repeated twice, left over right, tuck under then left over right again.