Saturday, 6 April 2013

Cassette Recordings and iPod Downloads

I can remember when I was about 10 years old and went to church every week, there was a very old man who used to regularly tape the services using a very modern cassette recorder. Now, nearly 30 years on (I'm definately not 40 yet!) services in the church I go to and churches all over the world are recorded and available via the internet. I know, who'd have thought in the future I'd still be going to church!

As a child I went to Church every week, 3 times a Sunday with my family. This wasn't a grand Church of England church with stained glass windows, pews and carved memorials in the walls, that might have entertained my wandering mind. 

It was a purpose built, for want of a better word 'hut'. And it wasn't called a Church, it was a Gospel Hall, and we didn't go to 'church' we went to 'the meeting'. So when I refer to going to church, I'm actually talking about a small group of about 30-40 people who all met on a Sunday, at the same times and sat in the same seats to hear the same story, which to me at the time seemed pointless.

I used to look up at the tiles on the ceiling, they were polystyrene with an indented pattern and depending on how I squinted I could make the cubes jump in or out, and if I got particularly bored of that, I would count them and multiply them - I really should be a lot better at maths than I am, given the amount of 'revision' I put in on a Sunday!

But it was the regular recording of the service by Uncle Percy, (who was almost 100 at the time) that I have been thinking about a lot lately. As far as I was concerned, we were sitting through excruciating boredom first time around, why would anyone record this to listen to it again?! His stubby old man fingers, carefully waiting to press record and play simultaneously as the speaker began his message just baffled me, nowadays such recordings are a matter of course, and available for download by whoever wants them.

So nearly 30 years on, I often wonder what surprises me more, that I now regularly go to a church and very much enjoy it, or that I scour the internet looking for services I might've missed, or think I'll find interesting to download to my iPod!

Boy do I wish the internet and iPods had been invented when I was a kid, there was just no discreet way of smuggling a bright red Sony Walkman into a meeting to listen to Thin Lizzy instead of the boring speaker! And if you'd got caught there was no excuse, no quick touch of a screen and 'look, I'm not on facebook, it's my online Bible app! What did you think it would be?'


I'm sure Uncle Percy and the likes of that time would be overwhelmed with the resources available to us today through which to hear Gods word spoken and taught! Here are some of my favourite links:

Unbelievable Radio Show Each week this show pits a believer against a non-believer to discuss topical issues and occasionally has two believers coming from differing angles, always a good show!

Liquid Church An American Church, most sermons by Tim Lucas. Upbeat preaching but always with an excellent message!

Tim Keller is a Theologian who has done some thoughtful series on believing in God and how it makes sense to us.

Reasonable Faith Dr Willaim Lane Craig answers the apologetics questions of the time.

Thornbury Baptist Church Better plug my own Church! Paul Ferguson does most of the services but other favourites to look out for are Dave Day and David Lawrence!

I've been thinking about this because as I said, I love to look online for Bible sermons or commentaries that interest me, if I miss a service at the church I attend and it's a speaker I enjoy, I know I can go onto the website and download the talk, and almost every time I put my earphones in and slide my finger across the screen of my phone, I think of old Uncle Percy and his cassette recordings...........


  1. Hello Naomi.
    I am sending this reply to you as I didn't publish your comment on my site. Wasn't sure if it was for public consumption. It was your post that I had read but my post was not intended as a dig - just the opposite. I do understand where you are coming from - I have been there. I suppose that is why I found it so disturbing. I know that the thing that people say will come across as platitudes and it feels like it is the last thing you need. However, I have also come to believe that, if God doesn't answer prayer, then we are lost. Years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. Doctors didn't give me much hope. Christians weren't much better. But one friend said 'no' and he resolved to chase God down on this. He told me that he would be the last man standing in prayer for my family. God answered him and I am still here but it was really hard for all of us. Things weren't resolved the way that we expected. Life is messy (especially mine) but for me I have to believe that God still intervenes. Anything else dilutes him.But it's flippin hard when nothing is happening I know. Feel free to ignore and delete this if you want to or if you want me to pray and add a voice (without any details) I am happy to do that too. That way we can complain that God is ignoring loads of us! xx

  2. Thanks, no I didn't take it as a dig, concerned if I end up bringing people down though! Thanks for your honesty and I am so pleased for you that you had a faithful friend whose prayers were answered for you!
    Thanks for your input.
    God bless

  3. Hello, this page is very inspiring. I would like to offer myself in creating a free church website.