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Stocki
Belfast
I am the minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, N. Ireland, author of Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2, and blog on where my faith and culture meets...
Interests: Jesus, where art and faith inter connect, music, social justice, sport...
Recent Activity
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I love Canada and Canadian music... Here is my favourite artists doing great songs to celebrate Canada Day! Joni Mitchell - A Case Of You from Blue Daniel Lanois - Shine from Shine Neil Young - Powderfinger from Rust Never... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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10. BOO HEWERDINE - OPEN I remember my mate and I saying after the umpteenth brilliant 12” by The Bible that they never release a bad track. Their b-sides were always superb. So, twenty five years later Boo Hewerdine releases... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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“I can't say that I love Jesus that would be a hollow claim. He did make some observations and I'm quoting them today. "Judge not lest ye be judged." what a beautiful refrain” This lyric from REM’s song New Test... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Let me confess that I liked The Civil Wars but didn’t grow to love them. I had also liked them for some months before I caught on that Joy Williams was one of them. I had met Joy at a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I remember the arch going up. My grandfather put it up. Right there in the middle of Galgorm village, right outside my Grandparents thatched cottage. It was a moment in the year. I loved seeing the village landscape change and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Tonight Christy Moore headlines the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury. A repeat blog in honour of that... The coming together of Christy Moore and U2; that is an imaginative thought in itself. When they finally got to write together a song... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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A few years ago I was asked to speak at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast about my favourite protest song. I have so many but the one I chose was one that I can look back and realise... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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An old blog but still as vital as when it was written... I can see my former students all smile... he's at it again... "In your old life you had nothing to live for. Now you do. You have nothing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Solas is a small festival (1000 folks), held on the Blied estate in the beautiful Perthshire countryside. It has a distinctly Scottish flavour. It grew out of the Greenbelt Festival (I remember being at a very early meeting to discuss... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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As the Festivals season gets under way... I wrote this about 20 years ago but thought of it this weekend at Solas... Solas review to follow... Festivals Fun Celebration And freedom from The rest of our time Spent striving Surviving... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Paul McCartney is never seen as the most political or spiritual of Beatles. He has certainly never written anything lyrical to challenge Imagine by Beatle John or My Sweet Lord by Beatle George. However, a couple of years ago, as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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While on sabbatical at Regent College, Vancouver in 2005 I spent a lot of time listening to Darrell Johnston on preaching. As well as the skills that I hope I learned Darrell left me phrases and theology to ponder and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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After my Playlist of best Van Morrison songs to celebrate his knighthood I thought I would put a covers package together too. The songs are chosen as a radio show cycle. You might see a few themes and those I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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The Troubles rarely touched my hometown, Ballymena. Where we were impacted was in the fact that I rarely travelled the thirty miles to Belfast AND… that few rock bands came to Belfast in the 70s. One man was always dependable... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME - THE BEST OF N. IRISH MUSIC LIVE Remember The First Time. It was a might of old memories remembered and brand new never to forget new ones. It was the great idea of my old... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy I will be taking us onward in the Long Obedience In The Same Direction. That is the book title of Eugene Peterson's commentary on the Psalms Of Ascent - Psalms 120-134. Tomorrow's Psalm is 131... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Last night’s news! Van Morrison has a knighthood. Sir Van The Man! How wonderful! How well deserved. Heads up today East Belfast. Be proud. From your streets came an icon of modern music with his take on blues, jazz, folk... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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I launched my TWO new poetry books (see below) on May 31st and many have been asking how they might get copies. So here is the deal. We are self publishing in order to maximise profits. All proceeds go to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Songs For Social and Spiritual Transformation was my Masters dissertation back in 2007. I have had a belief since I was in my teens that music could change things, shape things, educate people and be an inspiration and fuel to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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I recently did a half hour interview with Alan Meban for his Alan In Belfast series on local Belfast TV channel NvTv. An interview is only as good as the interviewer sets it up and Alan did a wonderful job.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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There are occasions when I am reading something or watching something, and I go, "Ah there is where Bono got that line or that idea.” Niall Stokes, in his book Into The Heart about all the U2 songs, points out... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy I will be asking "Is Laughter Carbonated Holiness?" That is an idea of my wife's guru Anne Lamott and we also be hearing about my regular gurus U2 and what Church leader Rick Warren shared... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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Sinn Fein’s Booklet Uncomfortable Conversations is now available to the public. I recommend it to everyone, not only because Fr Martin Magill and I have a piece in it. The TWO words of the title are vital for our wee... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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“Who can imagine the scale of the forces That pushed this old mountain range up in the sky? Tectonic creation, erosion, mutation; Somethin' to pleasure God's eye. The world is a wonder of lightnin' and thunder, And green of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE
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As a student I took the train home every Friday night, right past the DeLorean factory. Line after line of Belfast built futuristic cars. A few short years later and Michael J Fox is jumping into one before finding the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at SOUL SURMISE