Thursday, May 31, 2007

CD Solo Adventures

Well, as the month comes to a close I thought I’d slap on a little something to indicate the kinda stuff that keeps me away from the criminal activity that got me on Crimewatch. (OK I’ve never been on Crimewatch but many would argue that with the jokes I’ve been cracking over the years perhaps some time behind bars would be appropriate.)

Obviously there’s more to my life than bungling as a father of three and a wife of one (and thank God it’s just the one, heaven knows I could cope with no more and He obviously knew what He was doing with monogamy). My work at the YMCA is proving to be the kind of challenging environment that stretches me to give my best and depend on God for the rest. Being a CSD worker (Christian Spiritual Development don’t you know?) carries some baggage with it that I’m happy to unload with the aforementioned bad jokes – if anything reveals my humanity it be that. Looking to get people to thing about spiritual things is not straightforward but developing relationships with people and just being there to hear people out is a wonder privilege that the job provides. If I’m on the ball I pick up the necessary things that I can at least use these as prayer points at the right time. We are al in need of great healing and being around people who have come to a point where the brokenness is too explicit brings home this need for healing all the more.

Which brings me to this image of the right. Back in April I was really buzzing in taking photographs of things that struck me as interesting visual points for discussion. I came across this advert and was bemused by it. One of the things about these adverts is that they sell more than a product, but some subliminal messages of the way of life. What do you make of this one?

Just want to make a clear opening response to my mate Lloyd’s extended review of Spiderman 3 (it’s a long one so brace yourself …) I caught it the other day and was taken by the themes it looked to address. I thought it was worthwhile watching, maybe not living up to the hype but no one’s done that since the Messiah. It obviously crammed in too much in one film which is a pity, but it was cool seeing Spidey do his Superman 3 thing of going all bad then snapping out of it to have to pay for the wrongs he’s done. If you’re a Spidey geed obviously you’d have a bit to say about some liberties taken in the story, but I’m getting to be a bit more even-handed when it comes to these things. At the end of the day there’s more of a duty to balance being faithful to source material and being creative in bringing the character to the big screens. I was not offended by the liberties taken and I’m a big Spiderman fan (alright at 6 foot and 14 stones I’m more a Spidey with a fair presence rather than big). So I’d recommend watching it when it comes on DVD or whatever and just enjoy.

In the meantime remember there’s more to life than meets the eye as we’ll find out when the Transformers movie comes out.

For His Name’s Sake
da man cd

Chaka Khan -- We Can Work It Out

On the pop playlist that I've got on me account I've got three tracks from this concert. The hombre who ut this on should put more from the concert because Chaka is really on top form. It's a tight band, sorted backing vocals and Ms Khan evidently enjoying herself.

Maybe tonight, maybe over some nights or whatever, I'l be putting on the other two from the concerts, because this is just ace.

I recognise the guitarist in white as someone who would go on to do some stuff with Paul McCartney so it's good to know he's got good taste!

Enjoy this one

James Taylor - Your Smiling Face

I went through a really tough patch round the time my first child came on the scene. As we recover from the aftermath of my second daughter's first birthday I'm just posting a track that did wonders for me during that hard time.

Apparently Mr. Taylor knows a bit about hard times, so I'm glad he wrote this song to celebrate the birth of his loved one.

If Abigail never knew it before this track will let her know that Daddy loves her with her smiling face!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

John P. Kee/Vanessa Bell armstrong -We Walk By Faith

I'm glad I've got this YouTube link thing sorted with the blog making it easier to do entries. As you may remember from a year back I'm a bit of a YouTube freak taking any opportunity to develop my collection of the varied stuff that the good people look to share.

That means now I can share with y'all some of the stuff that I access on this web-site.

I've set up a number of playlists on me account varying from Stevie Wonder and Pop Music to Christian Material and Gospel Music. So it's with this hat on that I share this track which has a lot of meaning in my life. Before I even started taking the Bible seriously I was enjoying tracks like this not knowing that it was actually singing God's Word!

John P Kee has been a particular favourite of mine for ages regardless of the grief he gets in some quarters. Vanessa Bell Armstrong is one of the few female artists that I rate highly and she's on form in this video.

The main thing about this though is to enjoy it visually - after all it's a video. It's good stuff catching up with the 'rock this way' days. Brings back memories of the days before adult responsibilities when life was all about being in a choir and singing 'Ye Must'.

Deborah my two year-old joy has got that part of the song down to a pat, with the slight alteration of 'Ye Must' to 'Je-sus' but it's all good!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Family Fortunes - Abigail Special

There are five members of our household who all share the surname Dryden. The oldest member of the family is Authrine – the mother of the brood and my wife. Age wise I come next on the list and God in His wisdom has placed me as the head of the home, father-figure and husband. I’m still getting used to the responsibility and have plenty to learn particularly in the area of servant leadership and consistently tending to the needs of the dear ones that God in His wisdom has allowed me to have stewardship. Still, that’s life and as the Dryden Motto declares I must Get Over It.

The first child is Kevaughn who will be fourteen in July. Due to a number of factors revolving his upbringing Kev has not had a straightforward start to life and at the age he’s at now he’s grappling with moving from childhood to adulthood slowly, oh so slowly, but he’s a great child really and just working through teenage angst.

From 14 we jump al the way to 2 years of age where we find the first daughter Deborah. She is at the stage of life where she can string a fair few sentences together and is more than alert to what’s going on around her. She has her fussy Dryden ways when it comes to people and things, but she wouldn’t be a daughter of mine unless she displayed those qualities so we wait and pray to see her bring these in line with a more pleasant persona. She is undoubtedly a source of great joy to me and I often find myself praying that God will allow me to truly nurture her to appreciate the presence of God and fulfil herself in it.

The fifth and final member of the family is Abigail. I don’t reckon there’ll be any additions to this lot. I just reckon that will be all in terms of family members birthed to be a part of who we are. That means that Abigail is the youngest member of the household and although she’s the youngest she is by no means the least. As her sister brings me great joy so Abigail brings great delight to her father.

It’s still odd being 29 and being a father who looks at two beautiful girls who look up to me and say daddy. Apparently at her age Deborah was already making tentative steps forward. Abigail can do a fair few steps with assistance but has yet to be bold enough to take some steps by herself. That’s about all that she’s not bold enough for. Still she will be celebrating her first birthday in the morrow and so it’s a time to be amazed at the fact that wow it’s already a year since I was mugging for the camera outside the hospital in the morning as this Daddy’s Delight emerged on the scene from the sanctuary of her mother’s womb.

I cannot find the words to convey gratitude to God for Abigail, with the many challenges I’ve had to endure in the past year it has been truly amazing to see her grow and come to grips with the world around her. It’s been different with her than it was with Deborah as I’ve more or less been around for all of her first year and seen her go from being helpless and loud to being loud and helpless with four teeth – fascinating journey. So as this bundle of Daddy’s Delight moves into her second year of existence it’s my heart desire that she remains healthy and experiences all the love that four loving people can give to her as well as what God’s love feels like in every day expressions of grace. I recognised a while ago that I’m not perfect (boy, what a shock that was … they’ll be letting me know that I’m not omniscient as well soon, but I’m sure they’ll ease me into that realisation) but I will endeavour to do my best by my family to grow and mature into being the best Christopher Dryden I can be – serving and caring for them in a way that would please my Father so that should Daddy’s Delight go on for another year and start talking she’ll be delightfully sharing the joys of having a dad like me.

For His Name’s Sake
da man cd

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Yes sir, this is what REAL life is all about - when we're looking to experience the Shalom of God - it's all about Holnes

Saturday, May 26, 2007

If Ever I Fall - Marvin Winans

This is a great trip down memory lane that I hope you will enjoy from back in the day.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's Good To Pray - YMCA Style

I enjoy opportunities to encounter God and learn more about Him and hear from Him and experience Him in a variety of ways. On Thursdays here at work we have an organisational prayer meeting open to anyone to attend. Numbers vary from week to week but it’s good to see a contingent of people of various spiritual levels and journeys popping in.

From week to week I’m never too sure who’ll be ‘leading’ it. There’s the Godfather Jim Ford who usually comes in on Thursdays sometimes takes it. Then there’s the boss Danny Flynn who when he’s available pops in and shares something. In the absence of these fellows and on the rare occasion even when they are there muggins takes the session. They usually last about 15 to 20 minutes and involve a brief thought and opportunity for quiet contemplation and/or verbal expression of prayer.

Today’s was good. It’s usually good. The boss popped in and read Psalm 23 from the Message in the context of us living too busy lives and sometimes just needing to spend time in peace with God, knowing that he actually wants to spend time with us. As he read it my heart was stirred to rejoice again in the Lord who gives us rest. Such is the description of this shepherd that I was happy to take those moments of quiet contemplation. Well, as quiet as you can get with the tickly cough that I’m enduring. Now Danny had to nip off to another appointment and so left the session. People’s attention then reverted to me and yet I was more than happy to maintain the quiet contemplation aspect. So with eyes closed I mischievously said nothing literally hoping that the good shepherd would lead. And so he did as people just naturally drifted off into their work routine with no need for instruction … well, no need for much instruction, there were a few who took the initiative in my absence to suggest that if you want to go back to work you can.

The scenario got me thinking of two things. Firstly how much are we lead by the Spirit of God working within us and how much do people actually need to be lead by Spirit-led people? As I discover more and more about the call of God in my life I find myself believing more and more that as God acts He places us in positions to sow and water His Word in people’s lives that will lead them to experience Him and be lead by Him, however that comes about. Sometimes people do need to be lead, but even there the type of leading is sensitively done so people recognise God, not the vessel. The real challenge is to know how the Shepherd leads in various ways through various means, but also clearly – so there’s no need for doubt as He leads.

The second thing that I think of is how reading Psalm 23 always leads me to consider the Good Shepherd monologue of John 10 particularly verses 11-18 where the character of the Shepherd God loves is laid out to its sacrificial ends. So even if I am lead to lead others through teaching, praying, relating and encouraging the manner in which it’s done has to reflect the obedient, compassionate, sacrificial nature of the Good Shepherd.

No pressure, then.

For His Name’s Sake
da man cd

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Daily Thoughts - I Know A Man Who Can

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:24)

It’s easy to say forgive people and even pray for your enemies, but it’s harder to do it. Many of us have suffered because our inhumanity to each other – abuse, neglect, prejudice, and discrimination to various degrees makes it hard for us to love, let alone forgive. Jesus however is in the prime position to promote forgiveness, because He experienced all of these and more even to the point of death by the cruellest method possible. Yet even as he suffered in agony, His concern was to express this amazing grace to those who put Him through such misery. So as we learn to forgive and go through the process of forgiveness, in all its difficulty we’re given an opportunity to do it because, like those AA adverts, we know a Man who can. Like the motor vehicle service, when we breakdown due to hurts, betrayal and abuse He is able to take it on for us and allow us to recover so we can make progress in life without carrying the heavy weight of unforgiveness in our hearts.

For His Name’s Sake
da man cd