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“Ministers are to cultivate gifts of preaching and prayer through study and diligence; they ought also to cultivate the capacity of composing spiritual songs and exercise it along with the other parts of the worship, preaching and prayer”.

So says the great hymn writer Isaac Watts.

I don’t really want to say much more than that, except that I’m going to try and write a lot more congregational songs in 2012 (keep up to date with them here). Will other gospel ministers join me?

It’s not complicated. If you’re daunted by the idea, find a familiar hymn tune, and a bible passage you’re going to be preaching on and start writing… Perhaps use your sermon points as themes for each verse, with a chorus that has the overall point as its content. If you want any help/input please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Here’s a song I wrote about the very difficult issue of abortion. It will hopefully go on the new album I’m recording next year (to support click here).

And here’s the blurb I’ve put on youtube.

As a songwriter you always want to tell a story, give a message. But sometimes its tempting to run away from the messages closest to your heart because of the controversy it might cause. 

I’ve tried not to run away in this song. 

This is about a very difficult, complicated and painful issue – abortion. No one song can tell the whole story, and I do not attempt to. I’m only telling one side, one story – but I think it’s an important one to tell, because the story is of those who have literally no voice.

This song is not meant to condemn anyone – condemnation is inappropriate and unhelpful in this whole area.

But I do hope this song provokes discussion – discussion that is so desperately needed in this country, but is so often avoided.

So – only 10 days left to pledge, and we only need to raise £400… so if my maths are correct if 5 people each day pledge £8 (for which you will receive the album once its completed) then we will have enough money to record!

Please click here and help us over this last hurdle.

If this is the first you’re reading about the album you can find out more here.

The album will feature BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominee Katriona Gilmore on fiddle and mandolin, hammond-organ and piano extraordinaire John Ellis, the Incredible Washboard Pete II and Geth Griffiths who has played alongside the likes of James Morrison and Kathryn Jenkins. Also involved will be legendary producer Bill Leader who has worked with the Dubliners, Mike Harding, Ewan MacColl and many more.

Apparently me and my family live below the poverty line. So when you hear stats about x amount living in poverty… that’s us! We own a house, car, enjoy meals with friends, a holiday, dvds… but apparently we still live in poverty.

Don’t worry – this isn’t leading up to the launch of an appeal to ‘save the tinker children’. In fact I think these stats say a lot more about materialism and what our society thinks are basic living standards and rights than it does true poverty.

Sure, we don’t have two cars, we don’t watch tv, eat out much or go to the cinema. But I don’t feel like this is poverty. I hope that’s in part to God gradually teaching me the secret of contentment – Jesus. He is enough – and by that I mean he is everything I need – really enough.

By no means have I fully learned this, but maybe all this talk of poverty is an opportunity to ponder the one who entered poverty so we could be rich.

Oh, and if you really want to help those in poverty, go here.

Quick update on the new club that’s kicking off on Sunday 25th September in Sheffield at the Lounge, Montgomery Road.

Advance tickets are now just £6. Bargain really given the door price is £10…

Ring 01142554363 to book to see BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalist Lucy Ward.

Check out samples at http://www.michaeljtinker.com/folkclub

Nothing particularly spiritual about this one, but hope you enjoy it!

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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