Month: March 2012


This last week has been a tough time for me personally. The reason is largely down to the burden of being a pastor – caring about people, carrying their cares and devastated by the thought of some shipwrecking their faith. I wouldn’t say I’ve been depressed (I know many people who have been clinically depressed and my experience has been nothing like as a tough as theirs) but I have been feeling the strain. It all came to a head yesterday when I recognised that if I was to experience the joy that I know is rightfully mine in Christ, I was going to have to fight for it.

So I started fighting.

What followed was an avalanche of thoughts, truths and gospel nuggets that lifted my spirit and put a spring back in my step. If you follow me on Twitter you will no doubt have been bombarded by them yesterday. If not, I’ve included them below.

If you’re battling for joy right now, I hope they help.

May the God of all joy encourage your hearts!


Feel totally battered, bamboozled + overwhelmed right now, but I refuse to be defeated or destroyed. #ichoosejoy

#ichoosejoy because despite what my circumstances tell me, my God is with me and He is for me.

#ichoosejoy because despite what my emotions tell me, I know that God loves me unconditionally forever. The cross proves this!!

#ichoosejoy because the blood of Christ has covered all my sin, all my chains have been broken, my past is dealt with + my future is secure!

#ichoosejoy because I was once dead but now I’m alive. The empty grave of Jesus confirms this!

#ichoosejoy because I have been commissioned by the King of kings to be part of His divine salvation master plan for the world. That’s epic!

#ichoosejoy because to suffer with Christ is infinitely better than to prosper without Him!

#ichoosejoy because this sick + sin-scarred world is not my home, my citizenship is in heaven!

#ichoosejoy because I know that God is in control, He alone knows what’s best and He only ever does what is good, right and just.

#ichoosejoy because this light momentary affliction is preparing for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison! 2Cor4:17 #BANG!!

#ichoosejoy because the things that seek to distract me to despair are shallow + temporary, while the root of my joy is eternally deep!

#ichoosejoy because my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

#ichoosejoy because, by God’s grace, I can!

#ichoosejoy because my identity, security + acceptance are not based on my performance as a Christian, but on the finished work of Christ!

#ichoosejoy because though I’m rejected by men I will NEVER be forsaken by my God!!

#ichoosejoy because I have a Great High Priest who loves me, who sympathises with my weakness + who has more than enough grace to help me!

#ichoosejoy because my weakness is the perfect platform for God to put His power on display.

Pure Passion 2012

Several years ago I was chatting to my good friend, Tim Bannister, and we both agreed that the cross of Jesus is epic! We also agreed that Good Friday is a day that demands both sober meditation, but also joy-filled celebration as we consider all that Jesus did on our behalf on Calvary. Thus Pure Passion was born.

For the last few years we have run Pure Passon – a Good Friday event that is 100% about making much of Jesus and rejoicing in the grace of His cross. The format is simple – we sing worship, I preach the gospel, we take communion. Every year loads come and meet with God and it’s always a phenomenal time of grace.

Pure Passion this year is once again being held 7pm at Woodville Christian Centre, Cathays, Cardiff. It’s completely free and open to all.

We’d love to see you there!


Inclusive Exclusivism: Christ for all Contexts

Really excited about the forthcoming Acts 29 Western Europe Boot Camp, taking place in London 24th-25th April.

The theme for the 2 day conference is ‘Inclusive Exclusivism: Christ for all Contexts’ and has as it’s main speakers J D Greear (Lead Pastor at The Summit Church, North Carolina), Mike Cosper (Pastor of Worship & Arts, Sojourn, Louisville) and my good friend Steve Timmis (Director of Acts29 Western Europe). I’m excited to learn from these godly men about church planting in challenging contexts such as those we are confronted with in Western Europe. I’m also privileged to be part of the assessment process for men who are looking to pursue church planting with Acts 29 Western Europe.

However, I’m hoping that I’m not going to be the only Welshman in attendance as I’d love to organise a road-trip from South Wales for any young men with a passion for planting churches in our blessed land! It might well involve sleeping on floors, but it’ll also involve quality gospel chanter, crate-loads of banter and hopefully a curry too – doesn’t get much better than that!!

If you’re interested, check out the Boot Camp bookings page for more info and hit me up if the road trip appeals to you!



RTU 2012

Reaching the Unreached is a gathering of like-minded men and women who are passionate about seeing the gospel take root in some of the toughest communities in the UK. I have been involved with them for some time now, attending their conference in Liverpool last year and also hooking up periodically to chat/discuss/chew over some of the issues faced as we seek to reach the unreached with the gospel.

There is another conference in Liverpool again this year on May 18th-19th. If you’re burdened for the ‘unreached’ I highly recommend you attend.

Check out the trailer, courtesy of none other than 2V Design:

[vimeo 37947589]

(You can find further information here.)