Sunday, May 25, 2008


Been writing again, this time as a gift for my God-daughter's baptism. Thought I'd post the lyrics...

Dear child of the Father’s creation
formed in love and held in care,
see your family around you stand
to praise the One who gave,

The gift of a child,
offered now in love;
May you know the One who gave,
May you know the One who gave His life,
May you know the One who gave His life for you,
child, for you.

We thank God for life-giving water,
today, the symbol of grace;
and we pray you grow to know His love,
and to praise the One who gave...

Ruth Horton © 2008

R x

Monday, May 12, 2008

not singing...

I'm stuck! I find that there are loads of people having a whine about singing in corporate worship gatherings, but I've still yet to find a solid reason why we should NOT sing at all in said gatherings! Interestingly, I've not found anything in any book about whether or not to sing, all I have found is the usual stream of comments about the choices we make in our music, hymns vs. song etc.

So...if you have a good reason why we should NOT sing at all please tell me! I don't want to hear about the types of song that we sing congregationally, that's a matter of personal taste and can be dealt with through a better choice of material.

I want to hear about those who think that it's a culturally irrelevant thing to do...and why you think that. My bias is so ingrained that I'm finding it difficult to work out why people would want to abandon this practice.

I promise I won't go on the attack...I just want to hear the other side of the argument!

R x

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

a reassurance of calling...

Having spent the past week working with a large church in Harpenden, I have, again, though more than ever, recognised my calling into the ministry. It's been such a fabulous week, with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met! I realise that working in a church may not always be this rose tinted, and it wasn't all so...but God has shown me that there are churches who want to deepen and expand their faith and understanding who are already in the church. As much as I recognise the Christian call to evangelism in every respect, I have always known that I am called into discipling and pastoring primarily. I thank God that I have been able to experience the joy of this, especially over such a precious time of the Christian calendar.

Praise be to God and His resurrected Son.

R x

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Singing & Marmite

I've just offered the title of my next research seminar for next month and titled it..."
Congregational singing and marmite, you either love it or hate it: Anthropology, sociology and spirituality".

So, is congregational singing like marmite? Do we have polar opinions on this practise? Or, do some of us not really care either way? I'd love some opinions!

I'm just reviewing Steven Mithen's "The Singing Neanderthals". It's an excellent text on the development of music and language from an evolutionary, archaeological and anthropological perspective. Very interesting, and offers some lovely insights into the way our brain works with regard to these two topics. It also offers some intrigue as to the congregational nature of our music-making. Maybe I'll write a little more about that sometime in the future!

R x

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holocaust Memorial

I have to make a quick comment on this, simply as it was so profound.

This evening we had a Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration, led by the Centre for Jewish Christian Relations, and some other Federation students. It was a lovely 'service', with a great sensitivity to the occasion without being pointedly over emotional. My dear friend Petra, a Christian from Berlin read the 22nd Psalm, not in English nor German, but in Hebrew. (She is somewhat of a linguistic whizz!) The simplicity of this statement I found to be strikingly profound, not because I identify the atrocities of WW2 with the German people as a whole, but knowing the stigma that the few have left on the identity of a nation. Maybe I have over-egged the pudding somewhat here, but this moved me.

R x

Friday, January 11, 2008

New year, new me?

Quick! I've always been rubbish at keeping resolutions so, this year, I didn't make one, it's a daunting enough year ahead, with my entire thesis first draft to be handed in by this time next year! Despite the threat of work, I have some exciting singing prospects in the pipeline, more about those when they are confirmed.

I must confess that life hasn't been the greatest over the last few weeks. The stresses and strains of mixing research and training have taken their toll, and luckily my body has been my warning system (though excess heartbeats are a rather scary way of your body telling you you're stressed!!). So I wonder how this relates to God and me?

I've just started a term with a prayer guide. Nothing highly spiritual about it really, rather just someone to meet up with to chat about my prayer life, keeps me on my toes if nothing else! Most times when I pray during my services, especially when all ages are present, I reiterate the importance of a healthy prayer life and how it is all about relationship. I've always said something like this...
"The best friends we have are those we talk to, imagine having a
friend that you never spoke to."
I think that we too often forget that the presence of the living Christ is with us always, I know I certainly do. Sat in my room in the chair I sit in solely to read my Bible and pray, that very verse came to me, as I looked up, I saw it printed on the sheet given to me by my prayer guide:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 8:11

It's hard to comprehend of course, but as that very same spirit that raised Christ from the depths of hell dwells in me... who am I to fear. I watched Bruce Almighty again today, I love it, and I don't care what people may say about it theologically. It spoke to me of that omniscient, omnipresent God that I forget so often.

Hmm...enough ramblings,

R x

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

old gifts... new song

I think that this year has brought me closer into understanding Advent than any year previous. I wonder if that's partly because I've had to 'do' Christmas that much earlier this year. Even before the 1st December I'd been to an Advent service and Christmas meal, and a carol service (the joys of the Cambridge short terms)!I think I'll write a little more about the character that I've been focussed most on after I've preached about her on the 23rd (someone remind me I've said this!).

But I have discovered something else this last week. I had 2 conversations, with 2 completely different people on 2 different days, but both prompted me to remember that I am, singer and performer, and a passionate one at that. A while back I feared, and I guess accepted that my music was likely to be put on the back burner as I pursued my ministry in other areas, but having had these conversations, I knew that I had to do something about the fact that I so sorely miss this part of who I am. Having thought on this, I had the dreaded realisation that no longer did I want to sing other people's songs, not that I don't love them or respect them, but rather that they are already sung, and it was a new song that I needed to sing.

So...with a great deal of nervous prayer, yet sure of the Spirit's motivation in me, I sat down to write. I have never had a great deal of confidence in my songwriting abilities - mainly as all previous attempts have been...well...crap! However, I think now there is something different, and although I recognise that I am no songsmith, and this is hardly out of the ordinary, this is mine, and...well...I'll let you be the judges!

1. Take me to Your heart, and let me see what is within

Show me what it is to live Your love

Walk me through the dreams You have for this world and the next

Let me see who we were made to be


Show me love, show me grace

That I might be Your prophet in this place

Take my hand, let me walk with You

Lead me, Father, use me, Lord

2. Take me to the place, where Your heart was sacrificed

Show me what it meant to give Your child

Walk me down the path He walked, the path of my salvation

Let me see perfection's life in me

3. Take me to the people that call out with life's despair

Show me what it is to call them friend

Walk me down their streets and give a humble heart, O Lord

Let me see Your Kingdom come through me


Help me offer Heaven's door

Let me offer Heaven's open door

Ruth Horton © 2007


R x