Month: June 2009

Big Words

BibleToday’s a bit of a crazy day because I get to sign my contract with Authentic Media for my book A Beautiful Day. Contracts freak me out at the best of times because they always have massive words in them that – and this contract is no exception! I’ve got 7 pages of ‘libelous’, ‘defamity’, ‘indemnified’, ’embellishments’, ‘solicitation’, ‘prejudicial’ and ‘purporting’ to get my aching noggin around! As I flicked through this contract it got me thinking about the Bible…

On Sunday one of the girls off the estate who has just become a Christian approached me after the service and asked me to explain to her a passage in the Bible that had been confusing her because of all the big words in it. It started me wondering if all the big words in the Bible might actually scare, or even intimidate people. The thing is I’m not arguing for simplistic translations of the Scriptures (I’m ESV all the way) as these are always fluffy in key areas. I’m all for accessible truth, but propitiation means propitiation and expiation means expiation! I guess what I’m saying is that we need to make sure that we help those who haven’t been raised with a Bible in their hands to understand the big words that they will encounter as they read it. Those with the gift of teaching have a massive responsibility in this area.

The thing is I signed this contract today without understanding all of the jargon and all of the implications in it! (Raz! I might have just signed away all the family silver!) The truth is that if I waited until I understood every last word I’d never sign it!

So why did I sign?

The reason that I signed was that I trust Jonathan my editor. I don’t know him super well, I just know that he’s a good Christian, an honourable bloke and that he wouldn’t encourage me to sign something illegal or unhelpful. Similarly, I think that we need to get to that place with the Bible too! We may not understand everything that’s written in it straight away, but we can know enough about the author (God the Holy Spirit) to know that we can trust every word and that we can subscribe to it with confidence!

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”  (Proverbs 30v5)

Trevolution: Signing-Off For The Summer

trevolutionTonight is the last Trevolution before the summer holidays. We’ve had to finish a few weeks early as many of our team are students who have now gone home for the summer holidays. So tonight we hope to go out with a bang with a Truemcee gig and CD giveaway. Please do pray for tonight – that it’ll be an awesome night in which the love of Jesus is expressed clearly through word and deed and that gospel seeds will take root. Please also remember to pray for our youth over the summer period because the summer holidays are often a bit crazy on council estates.

Here’s my Top 10 highlights from the last 5 months of Trevolution:

  • 59 youth in on the first night – an absolutely bonkers night that will live long in the memory!
  • The passion, enthusiasm and improvement in one of the more notorious young people for DJ-ing. He’s become a whole lot more respectful too.
  • The deepening of relationships between the young people and the Trevolution team that has seen us move from being strangers in their eyes, to valuable friends. (It’s nuts how many young people I know around here now – happy days!)
  • The incredible unity, love and growth in the Trevolution team itself.
  • The wisdom, courage and growth in Pete’s leadership of Trevolution.
  • The creative flair of many of the Trevolution team (especially the girls!) to put on activities for the youth that were fun and innovative.
  • The quadding trip that we put on for the youth who were too old for Trevolution and the respect that has developed as a consequence.
  • The change in the young peoples’ attittudes from shouting down Pete as he tried to do a gospel talk on the first night, to 2 separate groups of boys and girls sat around discussing the Bible, asking for prayer and gripped by the message, just a few months later.
  • The scores of teenagers who have taken Bibles and Mark’s gospels home with them (I even got asked in by one of the mums a few weeks ago to explain a passage to the family!)
  • The teenagers who have started coming to church with their Bibles on Sunday mornings to do a Christianity Explored Course on the picnic tables outside.

Truemcee E.P

ep cd iconThe studio session went really well on Saturday and all 3 tracks were successfully recorded. Therefore, I’m absolutely buzzin to announce the official launch of my first rap E.P for 10 years on our own independent label Overflow Recordings.

Truemcee E.P is now available here (download option will be available very soon). I’m making it available for free to all who want it (though trust me – it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea) as the vision behind the E.P is for it to be an accessible and unashamed musical tract for young people, young offenders etc.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Does the picture on the front of the CD look at all familiar to you?!)

truemcee EP cd inlay

God Is Moving In The Valleys

sgcmAs I’ve often referred to in previous posts, it’s so easy to look at the situation in the South Wales Valleys and focus on the poverty, the crime, the depression, the suicide etc. and lose sight of the hope that we have in the gospel. Well today I had the privilege of a visit from my new friend Gareth Lloyd who travelled all the way from Merthyr Tydfil to Trevethin for a coffee, a chat and a prayer.

Gareth is the pastor of Sovereign Grace Church Merthyr and also a really good bloke! Anyway it was just so encouraging to hear stories of how God is blessing the work in that large valleys town and how people are getting saved, convicted of sin, amazed by grace, and passionate about mission. It was great to hear about a church in the valleys that’s actually growing and that has the gospel right at the heart (to state the obvious – that’s why it is growing!)

However, I think it’s fair to say that as I recounted all that God’s been doing through Hill City up here in Trevethin over recent months (salvation, grace, mission, church growth etc…) the encouragement was mutual (I started to get excited myself!) It was awesome to just reflect on the very real evidence of the power of the gospel that is at work in the valleys even today. Both of us would say we’re hungry for more. Both of us would say that we don’t want to ever get complacent. And both of us would gladly give all the honour and glory to Jesus for the good stuff that’s been going on.

But this post is simply celebrating the fact that God is at work in the valleys!

And that’s fantastic!

Back In The Studio

studio picOn Saturday I’m travelling up to Birmingham to record a couple of new rap tracks with my mate Vision in his studio. The first is going to be a grimey little number called ‘9 Bars’ that’s all about my refusal to shut-up about Jesus, and my intention to flood the streets with the gospel.

The second will be an accapella track (that I haven’t written yet!) but it’s the third track that I’m most excited about. It’s a track called ‘Another Day’ that’s all about the value of life and how cheaply so many throw it away. The reason I’m so excited about it is that Michelle (my wife) is going to come up and sing the chorus for it. I’ve still got 3 bars of lyrics to write for this one, so your prayers for inspiration between now and Saturday would be greatly appreciated.

Once the tracks are done I’ll have a 5 track EP to give out as a free evangelistic tool to youths, inmates etc. and it’ll also be available as a free downlad from the Hill City website.

Watch this space…

Sanctified Rant – Top Posts

top-of-the-popsI’ve just noticed that this blog passed the 5,000 hits mark today (that doesn’t include my own visits) which incredibly works out at close to 1,000 hits per month. Buzzin! So I just wanted to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who reads, comments and enjoys the Sanctified Rant. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who take an interest in what I’m up to and like to tune in to my rambled thoughts.

Anyway, I thought I’d post up the top 8 posts from the last 5 months, just in case you were interested:

  1. About Dai – Quite why my profile is the top post I’ve got no idea, but the stats don’t lie!
  2. Trevolution Successfully Launched – The incarnation of our bangin’ new youth outreach event rolls in at number 2.
  3. Bible Overview – What Happened To The Tattoo – One of my earliest and most controversial posts that questioned why the bloke on the cover of my copy of Steve Levy’s book had a tattoo air-brushed off.
  4. The Sanctified Rant – The official announcement that I had joined the Blog Squad.
  5. Please Pray For Trevolution – A post requesting urgent prayer after a particularly rough night at Trevolution.
  6. What Are The Valleys? – A bit of informal research that sought to understand the ways in which different people perceive the South Wales Valleys.
  7. Multiple Deprivation = Missional Obligation – A impassioned post that highlighted the poverty of the Valleys and the urgent need for the church to respond.
  8. New Breed Church Planting – A post that annoucned the official birth of the New Breed church planting network that I run with my very good friend Peyton Jones.

So there we have it guys – the top 8 posts of the Sanctified Rant so far ( I would have done Top 10 but WordPress only provide stats for the top 8!)

Hope to share plenty more with you in the future.

God bless you.


Heading WEST

WESTThis week (Tuesday-Friday) I’m attending a series of talks and seminars at Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST).  The theme is church planting and the sessions will be led by Steve Timmis of the ACTS 29 network, along with a little help from his friends. While I am very excited about gleaning from Steve’s considerable experience in the arena of church planting, I’m also just looking forward to hanging out with some of my very good friends who are going to be there, as well as hopefully meeting new ones too.

It’s going to be a long and busy week with a lot of early mornings and late nights and obviously when I get home (about 6:30ish) my family will be getting all my attention until bedtime cos I miss them heaps when I don’t see them. I’ll do my best to post a couple of bits and pieces during the week (Lessons I’ve Learned part 5 is very almost finished) so please keep checking back.

Please pray for Steve Timmis and the other session leaders this week – that God will give them clarity and a prophetic edge to the things that they share. Please also pray for the impact of this week – that it will be both significant and  strategic for the advance of the gospel in the nation of Wales.

Hill City Down But Not Out!

hackedJust in case any of you out there had tried accessing the Hill City Church website in the last few days and found that it had disappeared without trace, I can now confirm that the data centre in which our server is situated has been quite severely hacked, erasing an abundance of files and back-ups for all sorts of websites and companies. We are still unsure as to how much Hill City has lost (if any), but are looking at a new server set-up which should have us up and running again in the next 24 hours.

In the meantime please do bear with us and offer up a prayer for all of those businesses and individuals who will have lost valuable trade and customer data as a result of this.

God bless…