L I F E E T E R N A L . . . pt.2

   Recently, the Guardian told me about the latest discovery of some astronomers. I quite dig space-stuff; ’cause it’s really, really big. So these astronomers had been trying to map out the entirety of space, & see how all those celestial bodies group together on a massive, massive scale. Basically, if you think of our cosmic address, they were looking to find out what would follow ‘galaxy’ as the next step outward. So galaxies group together into big old continent-like things called superclusters. Our little Milky Way is on the very outskirts of one supercluster that they named Laniakea. It’s Hawai’ian, probably because that’s where the observatories & research facilities are, & it means immeasurable heaven. Spacious heaven. Some of the scientific detail is beautiful too, but it just rocks me that heaven is part of our address.

   So, since I do live in such a spacious place, it’s on me to do what Jesus said. To pull limitlessness in. Promote the culture of a distant country, knowing that it’s gonna pop up like a sort of eighth-wonder garden, unfold like that cityscape in Inception, dress this dear planet up in unbreakable beauty. That it’s gonna break up the concreted ground to make a precious-metal red carpet for the feet of Jesus himself to walk on. Unshakeable.


   To promote it now, I gotta let its ‘brand identity’, its palette & architecture, shape my output. Even if i weren’t my contemporaries’ stock picture of a ‘creative type’, that’d still be my approach to speech, actions, how I love the person in front of me, etc. etc. But as I’m a musician, I’ll settle for the creation of a ***new genre***.

   Haha, I don’t know if it counts as a genre, it’s more like an umbrella concept covering anything that promotes/that sings out/that illustrates the home-of-God, & thus the character of God, the dad who is coming home to make ‘this’ place like ‘that’ place. & there’ll be stuff about it that’s really unfashionable, like the whole ‘no dying’ thing (don’t we all like a bit of brokenness to relate to?), the way it all points towards one man, Jesus, the way not everything happens quickly… & the character of God consisting only of retina-scorching virtue, well that’s not gonna seem plausible or sexy, is it?
(Oh, goodness, even worse, the fact that sex doesn’t happen in heaven might be the most unspeakable of all, the last word in idolatry against the god Eros? Ok, just let me say that heaven’s gonna be better than sex, hopefully that’ll help you out. All our deepest desires will find their satisfaction in that place. No matter onto where or whom we’ve projected those desires during this short span on earth.)

   I don’t know exactly how all this will be celebrated & sketched out in my heavencore art. I just know that I’m gonna aim for that art to be a taste-changer rather than a panderer-to-tastes. I’ll do what I can to drag melodies out of measureless heaven into the airwaves of earth, & hope that their distinctiveness from those pleasure-centre-hitting tunes already on VEVO will, um, float somebody’s boat. & better still, light a question in their nerves. Why the distinctness? What is this taste?

   God’s got a banquet. One of His distinctives over gods of other faiths is that He throws parties for us, He unfurls His mouthwatering spread for His kids. Not the other way around! He’s more capable of generosity to us than we are to ourselves, & He’s got the goods to back it up. So when I talk about being a taste-changer, & taking people’s minds off time-bound things, I don’t mean changing their taste-capacity from ‘omnivore’ to ‘narrow/ryvita-only’. I mean throwing it open even wider, until you wonder what or who can satisfy the crazy, maybe limitless scope of your longing. So if I mention something time-bound, like the whole ‘sex’ thing, it’s not so much to poop the party, as to make the proposal that your appetite is FAR too great for focusing on that.


   Heavencore should be fun. But maybe it should be the fun that pours through you from spending time with God, rather than the fun that comes from anything He’s made, or from anything He gave us the ability to make. Nothing wrong w/doing the latter… but I think it’s a matter of priorities. Heaven, when it comes, will probably be good at helping you realise what’s worth giving attention to, what’s worth loving, & what actually satisfies you! So I think heavencore artists should be taste-changers (more by ‘giving’ than by preaching, perhaps. I think the latter activity is something for heavencore preachers to do!).

   A big deal, now; the character of God, illustrated by heaven’s style & filling the perspective of the artist, is a lot to do with love. Without love, any art or productivity or speech or provision-for-your-family, might fall flat. You can hit a cymbal as many times as you like, it won’t sound like heaven if there’s no love in you. & again to try & be a bit of a taste-changer, just check your idea of love. Its parameters, perimeters & substance. Regarding perimeters – there need be none. God the daddy-of-all-daddies has the resources to back up His generous words; the love that emerges torrential from His heart towards humanity is indeed measureless, inexhaustible, broad. Spacious, So let it rush in. But regarding parameters – He gets to make me a better person, right, as a part of my being *His*. What a joy.  But He’s gotta change me & help me change in order for this journey-towards-Him to be a journey at all. The ungainsayable flood of affection & aspiration-on-my-behalf is too great to leave me to my own devices, leave me as I am. Love, if it is received, effects change.

   If the cultural output & conversation etc. that will be known as heavencore is to be shaped by love of comparable heat & determination, then it’ll hope for positive change in those who find it. Full of affection, it’ll have crazy-big aspirations on behalf of its listeners/viewers/recipients. It will light questions in their nerves. It may come in opposition to the other focuses of their desires. So it might appear distasteful or offensive, never mind unfashionable.

   However, it will not seek to offend. It’ll merely be distant snatches of sound, strains of merriment from a feast. The feast will be measureless & the banner over it will be love. The sound will be beautiful, but maybe all it will ever say will be, ‘you were made for so much more…’

-18th Sept 2014

pt.1 is here


L I F E E T E R N A L . . . pt.1

Anybody feeling restless out there? Sit down next to me, have a drink of what I’m drinking.
If you could heed this blogpost in real-time, you’d end up w/me in a spacious coffee shop, usually bunged but, this morning, sparse & populated only ’round the perimeter by reflective types & those transfixed by various devices. Funny place to be restless? Ok, I am super-chilled right now. But restlessness more broadly characterises my mindset, easily assailed by distraction/anxieties/halfheartedness as it is.

So, often I’ll ‘need’ a spacious, emptyish place, or an inviting swathe of nature in which to feel ‘at rest’. Call me introspective, call me picky, but that’s how it is. It’s a similar deal w/time as well as space; I’ll need a lot of it in order to feel free. The illusion of unlimitedness. So, both my mouth & my social media ting say I’m a musician, but my schedule doesn’t always bear that out; I’ll feel ‘distracted’ by obligations/more urgent things, or be anxious about money, & not feel able to invest much of myself in music/creativity. I’ll yearn for a spacious place. Now, I know artists of all types will have to fight to keep a space for their work, both in their ‘market’ and, primarily, in their schedules. I do have to count myself in for that fight. My time in this world is certainly not unlimited!

So we could regard my longing for time-unlimited as a chasing-after of a fantasy, something to be overcome for the sake of fruitfulness. True, sometimes we just have to suck it up & get on with the job in hand in less-than-ideal circumstances – but let’s examine what the presence of that longing might mean. The only reason I can think about these things, now, is that my next appointment is about to walk into the coffee shop soon. I don’t have to keep my eye on a clock, so I can act as if time is unlimited till my friend turns up. Clock-watching would totally stifle the present (just-justifiable) musing.
So why is an unsatisfiable desire in me?

Maybe I dream of throwing off limitations because limitation isn’t my home.

river isis autumn

Do you ever think like that? That unlimitedness is just there & waiting, behind other stuff that obscures it from your consciousness? Infinity is just there, past these high-walled streets & the round earth on which they’re built. Time-unlimited is just waiting, hidden behind programs, career projections, the to-do list. Either that or the universe is cruel, & my heart a little perverse, for mainly wanting what it can’t have.

If there is nothing outside of our schedules & trials, then from where did we get such a dream? Timelessness is in my desires, not just as a reflection of them but because it is part of who I am. In my operating system.

One of the things that’s weirdly both over- and under-played about faith in Jesus, I won’t speak of other faiths, is the whole ‘eternal life’ thing. Overplayed because the very phrase just hooks people into a collective image about some spotlessly-clean retirement home, an afterlife; an appendage to earthly life that happens to be perfect & offer abundant access to stringed instruments. Underplayed because the import of it reaches wider than the above imaginations ever suggest. ‘Heaven / heaven is a place / a place where nothing / nothing ever happens’, wrote David Byrne of the Talking Heads. & has the church as a whole done anything to blow that notion out of the water?

‘Eternal’ means everlasting, endless, not necessarily something outside of time, but something so full of it that the content becomes, well, outmoded. I’ve viewed time as a bit of a nemesis really, but it’s a well-designed concept. It does the job. I once saw time as a grid artificially imposed onto us, that’ll one day be erased or broken off. Now it’s more like an au pair posted here to keep us right until dad comes home.

& when he does…

I think there’ll be plenty to do. Mostly majorly dig on the fact that he’s here. Appreciate him forever (& that’s a mighty long time). & the au pair might still be around. But as it’s no longer being told to impose restrictions, y’might not notice it’s there.

Because limitation isn’t my home.

My home is somewhere w/a family, expressing love to God, tuning in to a chorus of captivation that’s been going on since the ‘other end’ of time. ‘Cause the most beautiful sight ever will be right in front of our faces. Wow.

Lomogram_2014-10-02_10-11-48-PM (1)

It might be like the time at that festival where I arrived &, seeing everyone throwing themselves into the dancing & decibels, I grimaced & just had to take myself for a walk around the camp until I was ready to have that much fun…

“Ok, don’t know if my mind/any organs of perception can quite take in this much beauty yet. Retina-scorching when I was turned towards it; burning my back like a too-close flame when I bent away. Let’s take a walk around the camp. Maybe when I get accustomed to the architecture, the urban planning, the assault on my ill-exercised senses presented by all this unruly light, I’ll be ready to at least bury my face in the ground in front of the source.

“He’s worth it.”

This ‘heaven’ business. Over- & under-played. I know people don’t exclusively grab their theology from cartoons, but I can’t think of many popular depictions of heaven where God is actually present. Just big ol’ comfy kaftans & music-practice. So God’ll be there, I’ll be there. The whole thing kicking off doesn’t depend on when I go, but when He comes. ‘Cause heaven is real now, it’s where dad (I mean, God) is; & its very scenery that now surrounds Him, will be brought down with Him & set up on this old earth. It’s around ‘now’ but waiting to burst out, completely. It turns up ‘now’ in, um, something like memories that come before the event; it is indeed showing up, but it won’t be fully unveiled, filled-out & verdant until he comes here fully.

Heaven is just showing up everywhere though, kinda bolstering my desires for unlimitedness &, in a more big-picture way, expressing the character of the one who lives there.  As any well-chosen décor should. Jesus definitely said that would happen; “heaven is inside you“. He suggested that we pray that things happen ‘down here’ as they do ‘in heaven’, thereby pulling reality out of a perfect place to flush out the current reality of an (oft-ravishing but fairly decrepit & limited) arena. ‘Show up here, home-of-God, so that his limitation-disregarding desires can come to fruition.’

His home is my destination. & that destination is right here, but an awesome lot of transformation’s gotta happen to it first.

pt.2 to follow


A Reminder.

Alarm clock chirps. Shower, percolator, check notifications. There are pressures coming in the day ahead. There is weight in the similarity of today to the previous however-many-days. Before it begins, remind yourself of who you are. And why.

I am many things; can I come up w/some definitions that don’t depend on activity or productivity? Nationality or social status? The answers are relational. The answers are in the heart. Believer, the answers are in the heavens. Remind yourself of being a son or daughter, through the obedient self-sacrifice of a Son – & say ‘welcome’ to the torrential influx of love. It’s good stuff. It’s from God, who intentionally made you & has decided that you’re worth His full attention & passion.

There’s a little perspective-glimpse. Now the day begins.


the glitch

Maybe i’ve led a sheltered life, but i’d never heard of a white peacock before i saw one t’other week at the zoo. My thoughts were as follows:

-has Lady Gaga sprayed these white for a video? that’s not ok.
-bird goes to its school pageant dressed as The Big Bang.
-get the camera get the camera

Phenomenally beautiful, yep. & i went ’round telling friends i’d seen an albino one – only it’s not, apparently. This guy has a different genetic defect.
Call it an abnormality instead of a defect, if you like – & that’s kinda the point. A defect caused this creature to be unique and beautiful amongst its gloriously plumed fellows…

I’m basically saying that the unexpected, even the undesired, can yield amazing results. In creativity, why not (there’s a field in which i have some experience). I guess this is why i incorporate improvised elements into all my songs, & like to keep the ‘rogue’ brush-stroke in a painting. Sometimes it’s the most thoughtlessly applied streak of colour that sets the tone for an entire landscape.

what if the glitch saves your life?

I wrote a song called ‘the glitch’ when i was, say, 15 (i think i was listening to The Flaming Lips a lot at the time), about convincing a perfectionist to loosen up because some flaw they were petrified of allowing was actually going to save their entire project. Very ‘Lips. Which sounds like a storyline from any soap/teen drama ever, in which

girl has very set idea of her ideal dude,
girl’s best friend is a dude who doesn’t meet the criteria,
best friend is clearly the right choice. duh.

This idea hit me upside the head the other day when i read the bible. It’s odd what you skim past when you think you know what to expect, but this time i noticed the religious folks of the day. 2 milliennia ago. I saw that they had such a specific grid for what constituted ‘right behaviour’ that it excluded charity; such a specific grid for what God’s representative would look like that they only went & bloody missed him.

The man in the story is all about charity and wise teaching, but he says quite presumptious things, like “i’m divine”. Which an incarnated god would say, as it’d be true. Basically he’s so sure of himself being God’s son, so unexpected in all his fair dealings, counter-cultural in his speech, so disruptively miraculous, that they have to publicly execute the guy. He did not fit the grid.

Somehow, in that body that was draped unprettily from a tree, lay a cure for hopelessness. In the very fact of being marred, scarred, spoilt, it offered hope for any who found themselves marred, scarred, spoilt.

Perceived defects caused this human to be unique and beautiful amongst his strong & gloriously dressed fellows. So, what if the glitch could save their lives?


so then. LIFE.


Happy July! Hope y’all get to enjoy it.

Question: is life something you just have or you don’t? A discrete variable (correct me if I’m wrong, science types)? We talk plenty about quality of life, so let’s agree that it can be assessed in some qualitative terms as well as in its presence/absence.

What about how much life you have? Is that even a thing? Do some people have it more than others? Jesus left heaven to live a life on earth, & here’s another of His stated motives-

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly!

He’s talking about anyone who expresses faith in Him. That there is a TO-THE-MAXIMUM thing that He came to give. Thriving, fulness, spilling out over the brim. It’s His intention and promise. But He doesn’t promise a lack of opposition…

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

Watch out for those whose intention is to deceive – & the spiritual forces which are against God. Friends, in the past week, the enemy has stolen my joy, fed me the lie that my hope & confidence are dead, & left me saying that, in my emotions, I am destroyed. In other words, I’ve been a bit low.

But God is on hand to fight on our behalf when we recognise the battles that are going on in & around us. He speaks truth all the time, so there’s something to counteract & replace lies with. Pray for me to be aware of this area of conflict! I’ve just made a record about joy, & shouldn’t be made to feel unqualified to have done so.
Plan for this week – have a lot of fun. Pray all tha time. Learn. Expand my ambitions. Play at a carnival.
Jesus should get what He came for.

What d’you think? What does this full-to-the-brim life look like? Is there something you can start doing or stop doing, in order to take part in it?
Do you notice lies you’ve accepted about yourself? w/what truth can you counteract & replace them?


For the what-now?



So I’ve made my first album! How cool is that! 

If you don’t know me, I’m a musician w/the conviction that, if I dedicate my highest skill & passion to talking about Jesus, the world will be different as a result. I also like Italian food, long walks in the country, yada yada…

Glorious thing about blogging is that now you’re on the journey w/me. So you can give me a virtual high-five, tell me I’m deluded, or we can share influences. I can also explain the album title. ‘For the Joy’. 

Jesus was publicly executed in order to become the focus of God’s anger (which had been mounting up for a while, considering all the lying, cheating & indifference-to-Him that had been going on throughout history). Righteous anger thus spent, none was left for people who believed Jesus. 

Did Jesus do this under duress? To gain a reputation? Nope, the letter to the Hebrews says He did it confidently expecting some other kind of reward afterwards. ‘For the Joy’. Was this the reward of going to heaven so He could relax forever? Heaven’s a part of it, but it’s not the spotless retirement home I used to imagine. The joy that Jesus concentrated on, while in intense pain, was that of a rich community of people, now reconciled to God, now constituting His extended family, joining Jesus just the way they were meant to.

Joy is a big deal to God. It’s a motivation of His. It’s something worth ardently seeking, even worth dying for. I’m making a record about that. It will be new & amazing, ‘cause He’s worth it.

He changes everything – what is He changing in your life? What skill/passion of yours will change the world by celebrating Jesus?