Month: May 2009

A Beautiful Day

tap tap tapLast week I was contacted by the series editor of a range of evangelistic books called Exploring Christianity, that are published by Authentic Media. Current authors for the series include Vaughan Roberts, Graham Daniels and Krish Kandiah. To my astonishment he was emailing me to ask if I would consider writing a book for the series. 

After praying about it and chatting it through with Michelle, I have happily agreed to write a book based on a sermon I preached at Hill City last year called A Beautiful Day that unpacks the story of the healing of the lame beggar in Acts 3. I will have the blessing of an editor (which will be a massive help) and the advantage of having already done some research on the subject, as this passage has alway been one of my “In emergency – break glass” sermons.

Please do pray for this exciting project. Time is not something I have in abundance, but I really do believe that this is what God wants me to do, so I’m going to go for it all guns blazing.

Thanks and God bless.

Sundayscool

cold barn farmYesterday was cool!

Obviously not ‘cool’ in a temperature sense of the word as it was a scorching day that actually felt like we might get a summer after all! No what I mean is that it was ‘cool’ in the slang sense of the word. In church we were very low in number for various reasons, but had loads of new faces, including several youth off the estate. I wasn’t preaching yesterday so after the worship time I decided to take a step into the unknown and go out to help with Sunday School.

Oh my days I loved it!

We played some crazy games then studied the bit in the Bible about God’s promise of a baby to Abraham and Sarah, before doing some craft and colouring. Next to our table in the small area that we’ve got available was a creche mat for our smallest church members who were full of energy and fun. Outside on the picnic tables in the sunshine, two of our team were doing bible studies with the teenagers – all of whom are fresh from the streets and completely new to the whole church thing but full of questions. Over half of our congregation was under 16 yesterday!!

After the sermon (which I’m told was a corker!) everyone got their refreshments and got to socialise outside in the gorgeous sunshine, with one of the most breath-taking views that any church in Wales could have. During this time one of the ladies off the estate told me that she had got saved during the week and would I be willing to baptise her?! (Didn’t have to think long about that one!)

Buzzin!

I love Hill City Church!!

To top it all off it was Elen’s third birthday too, so we got to bless her with some pressies then head off to Cardiff to celebrate with our fantastic family who had worked their socks  off to decorate Nanny and Bampi’s house to the max. God bless them all!

All in all – a very cool Sunday!

To Thank A Thief

to catch a thiefSeveral years ago my mam bought me a book that she thought I’d enjoy in light of the ministries that I’m involved with in prisons and on the streets. The book was To Catch A Thief by Richard Taylor, and it tells the gripping story of Richard’s dramatic conversion from a life of crime and drug addiction to one of faith, hope and love. It was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down, finishing the whole thing in a few days. A cracking read!

When I heard that he was one of the speakers at this year’s Cardiff Men’s Convention I was buzzin as his is a story that will capture the attention of anyone. Anyway, he preached a blinder (or an un-blinder if we’re talking about spiritual eyes!) with many responding to the gospel appeal that day. God has clearly blessed him with a phenomenal gift in gospel proclamation. However, in speaking to him afterwards I also found him to also be incredibly down to earth and accessible, so we chatted for quite a while about my church (Hill City) in the Eastern Valley and Victory Outreach, of which he is the national director, based in the valley next door.

I caught up with Richard again on Monday evening as he was speaking at the Ignite event that I was hosting in Cardiff. Again he preached well and around 40 young people responded to the gospel. Afterwards he gave me a massive pile of his book for absolutely free, telling me to distribute them to as many ruffnecks as I could find to take them, with the promise of more if I needed! For a small church plant on a tight budget in a community like this – it was such a blessing to us! We’re more than up for the challenge of putting them in the hands of as many thirsty souls as we can find!

So I just want to say “Thanks and God bless you!” to Mr Taylor – a true trophy and ambassador of God’s amazing grace.

NB. You can keep up with Richard Taylor’s life and ministry by checking out his blog.

Hope That Doesn’t Disappoint

cardiff-cityHaving followed Cardiff City for years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows. Highs include being at Wembley last May to watch the FA Cup Final against Portsmouth, and of course Andy Campbell’s stunning strike that sunk QPR in the 2003 Div2 play-off final, earning us promtion to what is now the Championship.

However, I have rarely felt much lower as a City fan than I did on the weekend, when City somehow let it all slip and missed out on a play-off spot at the last hurdle, having been top 6 for most of the season!

To say I was gutted hardly does justice to how I felt (to add injury to insult, about 10 minutes after hearing the news I came off my mountain bike at a rate of knots and did serious damage to a part of my anatomy that I really wish I hadn’t!!)

What a good job that for those of us who have trusted Christ, our ultimate hope is not in football teams or mountain bike proficiency, but is rather a hope that will never let us down or leave us wanting:

“hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5v5)