Month: November 2010

Hill City Baptisms 2010

Just a very quick post at the end of a very exciting day.

Basically, some things are worth ranting about (as the title of this blog suggests!) This evening’s baptism service is definitely one of them!! 5pm on Saturday 27th November 2010 is a date that will live long in my memory for all the right reasons! It’s the day on which I baptised 4 very special people in the swimming pool at Pontypool Active Living Centre.

One of the things that I love about being the pastor of a small, community church like Hill City is that we are a family. I can genuinely say, hand-on-heart, that I love every one of the guys I ‘dunked’ tonight. Each one is a person I’ve laughed with, wept with, prayed for, suffered with and loved through so much. It’s an honour to share life with people on that kind of level, and an even greater honour to baptise them!

We’ll be producing a little video in the coming days and putting the audio of the testimonies up on the Hill City Church website too, but in the meantime, here’s just a few things that made the evening so special.

Allan’s story: Possibly the most well-known and recognisable character on the estate and one of the first people I met in the street after moving up here, it took Allan a couple of years before he finally came to Hill City, but once he did found a spiritual home, a loving family and above all – a wonderful Saviour in Jesus! Allan loves Hill City. Hill City loves Allan. It was such a joy to baptise him tonight.

The story of the Davies Girls: It was Christmas 2008 that we first met the Davies ladies! 3 generations of the same family attended our Christmas outreach event together and they’ve been part of the Hill City family ever since. In that time God has been powerfully at work and it was fantastic to hear their stories of God’s grace tonight.

Margaret testified that since joining Hill City she had moved from a religious belief in God to a beautiful relationship with Him. After her testimony she led the church in a wonderful worship song that she’d written. Her daughter, Donna, then testified to how God has redeemed her from a life that had been damaged by a legacy of domestic abuse, and there was hardly a dry eye in the house when her 11 year old daughter Nicole spoke of how that abuse had affected her and how she had cried out to God to save her in the middle of it all!

So powerful!

We then proceeded to the pool where along with my co-pastor, James, I had the honour of baptising Mr.Trevethin, followed by 3 generations of one of my favourite families!

Such an awesome privilege.

I loved it.

They loved it.

The church loved it.

Above all, I’m convinced that God loved it too!

Glory to His Name!!

Off To Donny To Get Ignited

At 7:46am tomorrow (23rd) I’m jumping on a train to go to Doncaster for Ignition. Ignition is a gathering of European church planters that has been organised by Acts29WE. It will feature teaching from Steve Timmis and Richard Coekin and is essentially the formation of a core group of planters who together will be spearheading Acts 29’s strategic mission to plant churches across Western Europe…

…and I’m the Wales guy!

It’s phenomenally humbling to even be considered, let alone invited to be part of this group of guys. I’m going to be with them in Doncaster until Thursday and can’t wait to fellowship, learn and glean as much as I can from this crew of experienced planters and gospel practitioners.

I’d value your prayers for my time at Ignition as I don’t want to go and just make up the numbers. I’m going because I genuinely believe that Ignition is timely and immensely significant for what we’re doing with New Breed/Acts 29 and the planting of gospel proclaiming churches in Wales. I’d also value your prayers for my family as it’s the first time I’ll have left them overnight since the twins were born. Praise God for Shel’s mum who’s staying with them, and thank God for the saints of Hill City who are cooking meals for them all while I’m away!

May God use Ignition to ignite fresh passion and a purpose in my heart for His glory here in Wales.

Taking No Man’s Land

Those who follow me on Twitter or check-in on the New Breed blog will know why I’m incredibly excited about tomorrow (Saturday 20th November). In a nut-shell, New Breed are in Cardiff hosting Taking No Man’s Land – our biggest and best Welsh church planting conference to date, and we are delighted to have our friend Steve Timmis as our speaker for the day. Steve helps to lead the Crowded House in Sheffield, serves as the Director of Acts29 Western Europe and is generally a legend! I’m also personally looking forward to teaching a seminar on the subject of The Noble Art of Unleashing Gospel Ruckus.

We’re anticipating a really good turn out and it’s our prayer that many of the young men and women who attend will be encouraged, equipped and compelled to plant light-giving churches in the darkest corners of Wales! Most of the event info is on the flyer below, though you can also check out the events page of the New Breed website.

If you’re passionate about seeing gospel-wielding churches planted in Wales, then please do come along – it’d be great to see you. Otherwise, please pray for the event and for all who attend and contribute.

Thanks.

Acapella Gospel Goodness

Nothing like a bit of acapella gospel rap action to bless you on a Thursday, so here goes. Nuff respect to Shai Linne for being a faith-fuelled, grace-giving, truth-talking, Scripture-spitting lyrical legend! It’s just such good, solid, encouraging stuff!

Hope you enjoy…

Banksy Wednesday 17thNov2k10

More than ever I’m persuaded that Jesus Christ is the only hope for this hopeless generation. He is the only One who can give us a future to believe in, to live for and to cling to!

This poignant piece of street art is such a tragically accurate portrayal of where so many kids are at today and, as such, it breaks my heart. However, at the same time it makes me so grateful to Jesus for the power of His saving grace – “No future” is not an emotion I’m ever going to have to endure, because of the gospel that saved me:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
(1Peter 1v3-5)


Coming For Me

I’m really appreciating this new music video that addresses the suffering endured by the saints of the persecuted church!

‘Coming for Me’ is a Preacher Boy Music/Open Doors Youth collabo, performed by The Frontline (a.k.a – Armor, Guvna B, E Tizz, New Direction Crew, McGladius, Jahaziel and S.O.) Frankly, it’s a phenomenal, albeit emotionally-charged track, that confronts us with the savage reality of what it costs to be a follower of Jesus in many parts of the world today. It’s gritty, but not gratuitous; hard-hitting but hope-giving.

Here’s the official line on what it’s all about:

We wanted to do something authentic, that we hope will represent the severe circumstances that Christians under persecution face on a daily basis.

The video contains mulitple clips of true accounts of Christians suffering and living in fear. These strong images represent the countless victims who are assaulted, maimed and even martyred because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Open Doors alongside the artists sharing are lending their voices to the struggle with the hope to give a voice to the voiceless.

We ask that you would do the same.

For more information and to see what you can do for the Persecuted Church please visit: www.opendoorsuk.org

“We rarely view the truth of it all, because the news only bring us what they choose to report.” – Jahaziel

Let’s prayerfully do all we can to bring about change.

If you’re feeling this track, or even just the message behind it, why not download it from iTunes and support the cause? Even better download it, then spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, whatever…

Let’s stand with our suffering brothers and sisters.