learning to speak

October 31, 2008


Every day, I get an email from a website called the Very Short List. This group sends random emails that include interesting discoveries, pop-culture topics, and interactive media links. I like it. It is legitimate enough that there are sometimes daily posts that are relevant to things happening in the world, like that “black hole” experiment in Geneva. But it’s usually random enough that the topics are obscure, strange, and even a bit silly. Today is fun. 

Today’s post is called Speaking In Tongues. VSL have found a website that lists 104,429 words in 190 languages. Pretty cool…but the really cool part is that you can click on the pronunciation to hear the word in it’s spoken language or dialect! Or if there’s a word you want to add, you can sign in to the site and record YOUR voice! Amazing! But don’t take my word for it…try it yourself! 

Love Song

October 29, 2008


Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles

Sometime last week, I rediscovered a song that came out sometime earlier this year. Sara Bareilles is a singer|songwriter from San Francisco who wrote Love Song, a song that has been growing increasingly more popular in the  top 40 hits. Yesterday, as I was youtubing her songs to listen to them, I found one interview that told the story behind Love Song. This was to be her first big song. Her producers were putting an immense pressure on her to produce a popular, BIG hit! It had to be something trendy…maybe some cute lines like other popular songs have…and love songs! Love songs ALWAYS sell big! So she was under pressure to perform. 


And she tried. Really hard. She kept bringing more and more songs to her producers and continued to be turned down as expectations and demands grew. And Sara had a choice to make. Instead of allowing herself to become discouraged, she became frustrated! She became frustrated with herself for trying to conform to what other people thought she should be. To sing songs that other people wanted to hear, not what she wanted to sing. So she wrote Love Song.

In the song, she refuses to bend under the pressure to be like everyone else. She put her frustrations into a song about the pressures of making a hit. And strangely enough, it became a hit!

There’s this thing in all of us to want to do well, to fit in, to be accepted and make a difference. But as long as we try to mimic other people’s lives, we will never live our own. God has created each of us with different gifts and plans for life, and how often to we get distracted by what others are doing? Like Sara, when we stop listening to other people’s voices, and be true to who we really are, who God really wants us to be, we will be satisfied with the life that God has created for us. Let God’s voice be the loudest in your life.

Coming soon….

October 28, 2008

Soon we’ll be talking about peer pressure, being an influence and being influenced. And it’s really hard! I don’t think there’s anyone I’ve ever met who hasn’t felt the effects of others’ opinions, views, and preferences about the choices we as individuals make. And not everyone is malicious in their pressure. I mean, most people don’t think, ‘Do what I want you to do because I want to see you mess up! I love it when you get in trouble and screw things up!’ Clearly that is NOT a friend. 

But pressure comes at us from all angles all the time. There are expectations, both positive and negative, that are placed on us from those in our lives that we have relationships with. Our parents and guardians have expectations for us to be the best we can, and so they expect us to act a certain way, or speak a certain way, or respond to things maybe like they would… But that doesn’t always happen, does it?
Or maybe you’ve got friends and they don’t want to be the only one to do something, go somewhere, say something and so invite you to join them too… It is so hard to say no, isn’t it? 

God has made all of us with this amazing ability to affect other people and allow other people to affect us. We have all heard about Alan Graham’s work in Zimbabwe. How many of us are now involved to help? And Jonny Holmes and Emma Flanagan met some people in Mozambique…their stories had an affect on Jonny and Emma’s lives. And now they’ve put their lives on hold to give three months to affect others’ lives…the way they were affected. And Street Pastors started because underage drinking and drug abuse had an effect on our city. So Street Pastors was created to affect an effect. Make sense? 

There are constant triggers in life that have an influence on us, and we, in turn, can have an influence. We all have an opportunity to let things affect us, either bad things or good. And we all have the ability to have a either a positive or negative influence on others. Which will you choose? 

Look here and tell us what you think: 
Romans 12:2 
1 corinthians 10:13
2 corinthians 5:17-20

Tonight is engage’s monthly fun night….we will be hanging out at the calgach centre watching Stardust [Stardust Trailer: YouTube] and eating until it hurts. Stardust is a really good film with the usual battle between good and evil, but it is spiced with magic and fantasy with a soundtrack only Connie could love. 

Engage has been going on for a month now and I absolutely LOVE it! We have a really diverse mix of people, and I was afraid at the start that it wouldn’t work out, but I think that we all realise that we are mature enough to get along with each other and are willing to do life together. I am excited to see what God is going to do in and through us this year!

This blog will be a place for discussion, debate, questions, encouragement, and randomness for engage as well as anyone else who would like to journey with us on this online forum. So read, watch, listen, respond, and engage with us, others, and God.