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Danny Gokey's American Idol Audition

While finding live song's to play for Tuesday's live music countdown, I fell down a total rabbit hole of Danny Gokey: watching videos of him singing and sharing his testimony. A firm favourite on the Life FM playlist for many years, I feel like Danny Gokey has to be one of the best live singers I've ever heard. He auditioned for American Idol back in 2008, and even though this looks like it was filmed on a potato, his vocals are breathtaking:


Taylor Swift, Pop Culture & Vengeance

It seems like pop culture is obsessed with revenge right now. It might be a theme that's been floating around for a while, but it really came to a head at the VMA's the other day. Girl group Fifth Harmony – down to four members after Camila Cabello exited for a solo career – began their performance by throwing a fifth member off a water tank. Taylor Swift released the video for 'Look What You Made Me Do', which is thought to be about Swift and Katy Perry's long-running feud – and perhaps about her beef with Kanye West too. Perry herself has put out a revenge-themed single: 'Swish Swish'.

"So what?" You might be asking. "It's just entertainment. Who cares?" Yes ... and no. Pop music holds up a mirror to what is happening in our society. It reflects what is considered to be ok and not ok. If everyone who ever feels wronged for whatever reason starts lashing out, as a wise man once said: "an eye for an eye and the whole world is blind."

'Look What You Made Me Do' is a poisonous narrative. It normalises blaming other people for our actions. As Christians, we can make a conscious effort to be better than this. There is so much bitterness and hate out there – and holding onto it might feel easier than letting it go. Forgiveness, though, is what sets us free.


How You Can Help Victims Of Tragedies

Let's talk about the flooding in Houston, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. More than 16 million people are affected and more than a thousand have died. It's hard to watch on the news and even harder to know what we can do about it in little old New Zealand. Here are some of my tips for how to respond in the face of tragedy: