Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through happy reading!

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News Updates
Miracles and Healing. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:19

James 5:14; “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

This morning after delivering an order to a hardware store in Tokai, I was driving toward Retreat and my eye caught a poster promoting a healing crusade for this Sunday between 10 and 11:30 a.m. At the bottom of the poster in bold capitals; “Bring all your sick … God is going to heal them!” God has given us, as Christians, the promise of divine healing. Exodus 15:26 says; “He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Now although the Bible teaches that there were miracles and healings, it is interesting to note that nowhere in the Bible do we read of anyone having a ministry devoted to “faith-healing” or a “miracle-ministry.” You see it was never God’s plan to put the focus on miracles or signs and wonders, the focus was always on Jesus Christ and on telling people how to believe. For me, and you need to believe what you feel you should believe, I do not think that we should ever announce a miracle service to be held at a certain time and place. It’s up to the Lord to choose where and when he will sovereignly do the miraculous or heal someone, his ways are not our ways, his timing is not our timing, but always perfect. From my humble perspective believers should never follow signs and wonders, rather signs and wonders should follow believers. Does God heal today? Absolutely – I have seen it happen before my very eyes, perhaps you too. Should we ask for God’s touch and healing? Yes – all the time. Does God heal everyone today? No. Sometimes God will heal, but other times he won’t. Either way we need to remember that God always has a plan and purpose in mind, and we need to trust him. Miracles and healing signal the reality that God’s kingdom has been initiated on earth, reflecting his will to restore all things, and their purpose is partly to remind us that God is the true God, and that only his power can manifest miracles. When Jesus returns, his will on earth will be completely done “as it is in heaven” and miracles remind us that this day is coming - and hopefully soon. Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in heaven. Revelation 21 reminds us that, in heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death. We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition (Romans 12:1-2). Then we can focus our hearts on heaven where we will no longer have to deal with physical problems. Revelation 21:4 describes the true healing we should all be longing for saying that: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Leadership. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Sunday, 29 June 2014 15:30

Psalm 78:72; “He (David) cared for them with a true heart (character and integrity) and led them with skillful hands (competence).”

I know that many of you who read these devotionals or news articles are either business or church leaders, so I thought I would share this with you, as it may just give you something to think about in your spheres of leadership as it did me. I have been assisting a leader of a group of churches in Tanzania, for whom I did a series of worship seminars when I lived and worked there in 2007, over the past two months or so. This is obviously difficult as our communication is by e-mail only, but we are starting to see the light! As per the norm, those who they had approached to assist them in their predicament, with all good intentions, handed them a list of books to work through in order for them and their leadership to arrive at a solution. The list of books proffered them, good books in their own right, fit perfectly into the culture, worldview, and mind-set of an affluent American community, but not into that of Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Mwanza, Arusha, and Zanzibar, where the churches operate. I must tell you, it has been a great time dealing with folk who have realised that they are stagnating, and have reached the decision that spiritual and church growth, maturity, and moving forward as Christ intends for the church, needs to be attained. Most often, in this context, we negate the fact that, a church, like a business, has a life-cycle. Think about this with me in this context. Someone feels the prompting to plant a church with his /her gifting, talents, and abilities, and will grow, and mature it to where he/she can take it. At that stage the church, like any business or institution, will plateau out and eventually start to gradually decline. Why? Well the leader has taken it as far as he/she can. The call is then for a ‘change-agent’ to come in with his/her gifting, talents, and abilities to take it on and grow it to as far as he/she can, and so it continues. The reality is that, without this being understood, realised and then actioned, the business, church, or entity will continue to decline (some more rapidly than others) and become what is known as the ‘living dead’. Alive, in operation, but simply … ‘dead’. Obviously, like the group we're dealing with, unless someone comes to the fore (a change-agent) to take it as far as he/she can take it, the 'living dead' it shall remain. But, as we understand in Tanzania, change is arguably the most painful and difficult thing to implement. Gene Wilkes who wrote "Jesus on Leadership", says this in the book; "Anyone who has tried to make a change in a church or business knows the explosion that can occur when a new plan is poured into old ways of doing things" (Wilkes - Jesus on Leadership). And you will recall Jesus using an analogy from his day to illustrate this particular point that "you cannot patch old clothes with new cloth", and "you cannot pour new wine into old wine-skins" (Matthew 9:16-17). In other words, the results of change do not belong in old containers: "If you try to fill old ways with new values, both will be lost - to no one's good" (Wilkes). And it comes down to passionate and inspired leadership. “There is something compelling about leaders who love what they do and do what they love. A leader like this has the power to ignite enthusiasm and dedication in scores of others with whom he has contact. Life is too short to be boring or mediocre. I am one who has always respected, admired, and looked up to leaders with contagious and infectious passion”(Dave Kraft – “Leaders who Last”). I don’t know about you, but for me, passion is contagious. It just is. And, when a leader is passionate about what he/she does, you can rest assured that most people, if not all, will follow him/her. David was passionate, he was honest, of good character, and, he knew how to lead his people. David, who wrote this psalm we’re touching on today, was a change-agent. And, throughout Scripture, we see how God raises up his change agents in culture as found in biblical biographies like David, Daniel, Esther, and Moses to name but a few. Here’s the deal and what most leaders miss today; God still, raises up modern-day change agents who shape culture and grow, mature, and transform the church and community of which they are a part today, and, these change-agents will perhaps even impact the church the world-over in so doing. That’s the discussion we’re having in Tanzania, and, let me tell you, it is super-exciting, I mean, they really get it, and the growth and the maturity is fast being realised! So, may we determine to understand the importance of wisdom in our churches today, and, armed with the narratives of the change-agents emblazoned throughout Scripture, use the Word of God as it was intended, and determine to make a difference in our churches and the communities in which God has placed us? Get excited church!

Call Back the Past - Top 50 Songs of 2003! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 07:48

Someone sent me a mail having apparently Googled my name and came up with this link which features 'Time to Change' off the album Diversity slotting in at number 31 of the Top 50 Songs of 2003! Well ... I never! Catch the list on the following link; You can listen to the song on this page and probably download it somewhere on the net! He also found this piece dated sometime in December 2003 - ten and a half years ago - gosh, I feel old!

GRANT NUSS’ ‘DIVERSITY’ GOING STRONG! "Cape Town singer-songwriter Grant Nuss has been receiving a lot of interest (and downloads!) for his album, ‘Diversity’, and the single, ‘Time To Change’. In a recent review in the Cape Argus, Paul Blom wrote;

“Notwithstanding the album title, Grant Nuss does not stray very far from his set parameters. Having grown up on Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, Nuss thankfully does not try to emulate these icons. He finds himself in that Robin Auld-Steve Louw acoustic pop-rock realm. The easy listening, almost adult contemporary, commercial sound may seem middle-of the road to many, but it does fit into the broader spectrum. The Cape Town Street Level sound is prominent (half of it was recorded there and the rest at another Cape Town stalwart, Paris Studios). Nuss obviously keeps good company. The Usual's James Stewart assists with some backing vocals, with co-engineer (and Tait frontman) Chris Tait co-producing. While married and a father of three, Grant is holding on to his youth, letting it flow through his music." Grant Nuss will be performing at Artscape’s ‘Red Wine & Roses’ evenings, at Nino's [Alteatro] on Sunday evenings in December (7th,14th 15th December). The Show starts at 19h00 and ends at 21h00, and features Grant Nuss alongside Gary G and Derek Peter, and a few contemporary Artscape vocalists. Grant Nuss will be the only artist performing original material which will include three numbers taken from his album." The cost of ticket [R60 per head] includes dinner, a complimentary glass of wine."

Bright Blue to perform at Anthems of Democracy. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 09 May 2014 14:36

The Citizen – 22 APRIL 2014
Bright Blue to perform at Anthems Of Democracy
Bruce Dennill

Bright Blue guitarist and singer Tom Fox is now based in Auckland, New Zealand. He’ll be in South Africa to perform with his old band as part of Joburg Theatre’s Anthems Of Democracy from April 24 to 27, as part of a line-up that includes Joan Armatrading, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Jennifer Ferguson, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Victor Masondo, Mzwakhe Mbuli and others.

Does Fox have any issues, after a decade in New Zealand and nearly 30 years after the release of Weeping, with that song still being the focal point of nearly all matters Bright Blue-related?
“Not at all,” he smiles.
“The song has a momentum of its own. It was recorded as a B-side. But it’s done amazing things for us, so the marketing is right – it is the high point of what we did and it’s fantastic to have so many people identify with it.”
Did the burden of maintaining the song’s political significance (it was written as a protest against conscription and the apartheid regime in general) contribute to Bright Blue’s disbanding in 1990?
“We had just run our course,” says Fox.
“Bright Blue was a very intimate environment, and we had said all we had to say. We didn’t ever feel any political pressure. It had more to do with the intensity of being in the band.”
So being part of an event called Anthems Of Democracy – that is, a context in which the band’s political input is again highlighted – is not a problem?
“No,” says Fox.
“It’s humbling to be a part of the history and the landscape. And wonderful to be playing with the people we’ll be sharing the stage with.”
Fox’s other musical projects when he was in SA were very varied, from the radio-friendly pop-rock of The Usual to the gritty Swamp Funk Quartet and the contemporary Christian music of Grant Nuss. Fox is not the cocky, strutting frontman type, and in all of the above acts, he was a sideman. Is he happiest there?
“It’s where I prefer to be,” he concurs. “I don’t have the personality to be up front. I like to listen to what others are doing and fill in the groove.”
Fox has found a niche in Auckland that suits him perfectly.
“I have a company called The Soundroom,” he says.
“I met my business partner about a year after I arrived in New Zealand in 2004 and started writing songs and doing bits of work with him. I had to start all over again in a new place, but I’m earning a good living now.”
Bright Blue made their name performing protest music. Is writing such material something of a lost art now?
“It’s been through a period of plasiticity,” Fox muses, “but it’s coming back as the world’s problems develop in interesting ways. And hip hop has always had it. With folk and indie music, it’s more about songwriter’s opinions than real protest music. I hope we’ll go back to it.”
Does creating protest music place more responsibility on the writer to behave and think in a certain way than a straight pop song?
“The older you get, the less you care about potentially making a fool of yourself,” Fox grins.
“I do a lot of commercial stuff all day, so when I sit and write for myself, it’s about relaxing, not trying to make a point. And if something comes out of that and it’s a good song – something like Weeping, which Dan Heymann wrote; I was just pushed into singing it – it’ll last.”

When deep calls to deep. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:56

Nothing touches hearts more than, after solid up-tempo praise, being led into a time of quiet, meaningful, reflective, and deep worship. “If a worship song is going to have any deep and lasting impact in someone's life, and even have the ability to endure as a song, it must be soaked in the wonders and mysteries of our amazing God. Good music alone just won't cut it – we need deep songs that help us breathe in the revelation of God” (Matt Redman). That’s what happens. We breathe in the revelation of God and who he is. Probably one of my favourite Redman worship songs is “When can I go (Deep calls to deep)” written in 1996. It says; “When can I go and meet with God, my soul is weak my body tired?Can it be here? Can it be now? I need to find that place again. Where deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls you're calling me with the force of your love. Let your waves sweep over all the dry places Lord, usher me in to the depths of your heart”. A question posed recently by one of the worship-leaders I have mentored over the past six years was; “I long for an authentic experience of worship, one where I have a truly deep encounter with God, and can lead our church into that place with him too, but how?” A genuine encounter with God is, from my humble perspective, one that is characterised by depth and substance. God longs for us to experience him in a deep and intimate way. He does. In fact Scripture tells us that he wants you and me to have ‘face-to-face’ worship with him. How come? Well the veil has been removed, we can now go into the very throne-room of God and experience him in that way. We see God’s desire for intimacy with us even in the Old Testament, where he allowed men such as Moses and David to experience him in a very intimate and personal way, face to face. The more we know God’s love, the more we will want to worship him. The essence of fellowship is the continual flow of love that we receive from God and the continual flow of worship that God receives from us. The key here is for worship-leaders to allow God to lead his people through them into experiencing his love in this deeply personal and intimate way by giving the folk they are leading space and time for God to move. Too often we tend to negate doing this by singing and playing over every opportunity that God opens up. Secondly, I have found, being both in the congregation and up-front looking out, that churches tend toward keeping the lights on continuously throughout the service which tends to hinder people expressing themselves fully in worship. You may wish to try and turn the lights down (leave the stage lights on for the worship team to see what they're doing), if not for the entire time of praise and worship, then just during worship. I hope that helps!

New Album - Concert - Beside me? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Monday, 21 April 2014 10:21

Since having moved back to Cape Town it is interesting how the SMS's, WhatsApps, and E-Mails have increased. Thank you, it is always good to hear from you guys! There are three particular questions that seem to be the most-asked, and they are; (1) "When can we expect another album from you, and more songs on radio?" (2) "Are you still going to perform in the concert in Ghana?" (3) "Could we please have the chords and lyrics to your new song "Beside me?" Firstly, I have the material ready for the next album, most of which I have played in churches over the past three years or so. The songs are pretty 'rocky' contemporary praise, and really deep worship anthems. I guess once the album is released, new material will find its way onto radio. Importantly, the recording of the album is solely dependent on funding, so, if you feel led to sponsor it, give me a shout! Secondly, the concert in West Africa is/was going to feature a well-known international worship artist who is not in good health at present so unable to appear until such time as she is well. Will keep you updated on that one. It will be cool to head back to Ghana, even if only for a concert and some ministry - great place! Finally, 'Beside me' is one of those worship songs that just seem to take one into the throne-room of God. For me, it is a heart-to-heart prayer to God, right from the core of who we are, and just lends itself to individual time in worship of Jesus. Herewith the lyrics and chords of the first verse and chorus!


Intro: D  Bm7  G2  A2  D ( same chords throughout verse)

Jesus you're right here, kneeling beside me, here in your presence I'm filled with your love, flow like the flood, saturate this place. As your glory falls, heaven comes down, capture my heart with your love all around, you captivate me, you have my heart (x2)

Chorus: (chords - A2  G2  D  A2  G2  D)

Fill me, fill me, with your love. Fill me, fill me, with your love (x2)

Super-easy, concentration on light picking on guitar, second acoustic guitar single-strums on all chords in verse, with rhythmic strumming in chorus. Use keyboard pads intermittently. Most important is the space given in this song, as should be the case in all worship songs, for free worship. If you are going to play this song in your worship-set do not crowd it with too much vocal and repetition!

Enjoy! See you on the flip-side of this!

Decision-Making. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 14:42

Colossians 3:15; “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

After work today Sally and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. Some days it’s great just to walk and ‘shoot the breeze’. Today though, is one of those days where in-depth discussion was needed. My wife and I always tend to put our heads together when it comes to making a decision. Our process is normally to pray into the circumstance, and read the Word of God for solution. Greg Laurie wrote this about two years ago on the subject of ‘decision-making’ which I saved on my laptop back then. He says that; "While God speaks to us first and foremost through his Word, God also can speak to us through circumstances. Having said that, I also want to say that I don't base my decisions on circumstances alone. We talk figuratively about doors being opened, but God is not the only one who can open doors. When Jonah disobeyed God, he bought a fare on a boat that was going in the opposite direction. The devil opened all the doors for Jonah's disobedience. So just because things are coming together circumstantially, don't base your decision on that. First, what you are considering needs to be scriptural. It shouldn't violate any clear biblical principles. Then, I believe that if it is God's will, he will confirm it circumstantially. So you need to trust the Lord to direct you. The apostle Paul was stopped by both shipwreck and sickness. So there will be times when God will close a door. The car won't start, so our plans change. But we also want to be very careful. We should never make a decision on a circumstance like that. Secondly, it is important to have the peace of God in your heart. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts." There have been times when I am about to do something that I don't have peace about. Circumstantially it looks good. I can't see it violating any Scriptural principles. But there is a sense that I should not do it. I have learned to listen to that. Finally, sometimes it is as simple as the timing. Just as important as the will of God is the timing of God. So as you seek God's will, if the request is right and the timing is right and you are right, then God will say go.” So may you seek and get the whole counsel of God. Do not make the same mistake that I, and many others like me have made in the past, and be swayed by man. Rather, open the Word of God. Spend time in the Word of God. Trust in the Word of God, and you will have the will of God revealed to you.

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