I’m a firm believer that it’s better to be busy than bored. I’m also a man who loves to get his teeth stuck into stuff that he’s passionate about. Which is why February is looking like being a hugely exciting month on so many fronts. Please join me in get excited and also praying to God for all of this: (more…)
As some of you may know, over the last six months or so I have been slowly but surely recording material for a new album – Lyrical Liturgy. My last few releases have been recorded with my friend Vision up in Birmingham, but this time round I’ve been working with a producer in Cardiff called Makafui Adorkorbidji (a.k.a MakMizzle). Mak is a young, creative and exciting producer who comes more from the hip-hop/RnB end of the spectrum than myself (my back ground is more grime) but the energy and excellence that he is pouring into my music has been so refreshing. (More about my new music in the near future!) Anyway, it’s impossible to spend as much time with someone like Mak and not to become friends with them. I think it’s fair to say that we’re good mates now! Consequently I always look forward to heading down to Grangetown to hang out with Mak, record tracks and enjoy good banter.
So all that said, it’s a privilege to announce that MakMizzle has just released his own new mixtape project – PnP. It’s a great little project, musically tight with raw, honest lyrics. As well as all that, it’s free to download too!
You can go get it here.
What are you waiting for…?
Tomorrow (weather permitting) I hope to be attending Peacefest – an event to show support and solidarity with Cardiff’s Eritrean community. Until recently I knew nothing about Eritrea or the trafficking horrors that many Eritreans are facing. Then I read this article by EA Wales: (more…)
So winter finally turned up in South Wales!
As I type the heaven’s are dumping tonnes of the white stuff all over the valley, not least over Trevethin. We have well over half a foot of fresh snow lying in our front garden and I fancy there will be a lot more by the time the sun comes up tomorrow morning! Normally, my dad would be out and about loving the wintry madness, but seeing as he’s currently in Canada (enjoying PROPER snow in the Canadian Rockies) I thought I’d post some of the photos I’ve taken so that he doesn’t feel like he totally missed out!
So here, in no particular order is a selection of Trevethin snow shots from the last week: (more…)
Slavery is a very real, very tragic reality for 27 million people in our world today. It is a murky, complex and truly global epidemic that has many faces and forms. This film, created by Passion, explores and exposes the modern slave trade, telling the harrowing stories of some of those who have been rescued. What I love about this film is that it is gospel-centred and therefore appropriately ends with hope.
With a running time of 37 minutes it’s not a particularly short film. However, it does capture powerfully the poignant issues surrounding human trafficking as well as the grace and hope that the church offers to those in bondage.
So put the kettle on, make yourself a brew, grab a couple of choice biscuits and watch…
I was first introduced to Don Brewster when I watched the Nefarious movie last year – a film event that has radically affected my life in many ways. While there was much in the film that was heart-wrenching and emotionally devastating, the stories of little girls being trafficked and raped in the brothels and karaoke bars of Cambodia, for me at least, was the most hard-hitting part of the film. However, while the stories of these young girls was harrowing in the extreme, the fact that they were told by Don Brewster (CEO and founder of Agape International Missions) meant that there was a real sense of hope for those girls. The tender way that he spoke of and treated the girls he was committed to rescuing deeply affected both myself and Michelle. He simply radiates the gospel love of Jesus.
I would love it if you would pray for the work of Agape International Missions and for Don, his wife and their team. Perhaps you might even be interested in supporting them financially. If so, please let me have your email address and I’ll put you in touch with the person to contact about that. I want to leave you with 2 videos that I found on YouTube that offer profound hope and joy. The first is of a trafficker whose life was transformed by the gospel. The other is the story of a girl whose was successfully rescued and whose life has now been thoroughly redeemed.
Glory to God!
My first Freedom Friday post is the announcement of the launch of an extremely exciting new initiative that my good friends at Ignite have launched this week. Here’s what it’s all about:
#NotOnMyWatch is the new initiative launched today by Ignite . This new project aims to raise the issue of people trafficking and slavery to young people, particularly those based in Wales.
It is a shocking statistic that there are more people being kept as slaves today than there was at the time of the abolution of slavery by the USA in 1865. It is estimated that over 27,000,000 people in slavery, bonded labour and being used as pawns (ie someone given held as security for a debt). That is almost the equivelent of 50% of the population of the United Kingdom.
Human trafficking is the 2nd fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This involves people moving others, often against their will to other countries for profit. We would naive to assume this does not happen into Wales. Indeed reports have suggested that there could be 600+ woman who have been smuggled into Wales who are now acting as sex workers. Evidence is very difficult to obtain as understandably not only the industry very secretive but victims themselves are reluctant to report their conditions as they fear not only their “masters” but also the authorities as they are most likely in the UK illegally.
#NotOnMyWatch seeks to engage young people with the issue so not only will they be informed but also so that they can become modern day abolistionists ensuring the Wales becomes a “traffic free” zone. This is not just a human rights issue it is a key discipleship issue.
Lots more information will follow……
(Excerpt from the blog of Gary Smith, CEO Ignite)
#NotOnMyWatch will be officially launched at an event in Cardiff in February, which I am privileged to preaching at. More details about that event will be released soon. I love the name #NotOnMyWatch to the extent that I have written and recorded an anti-trafficking track of the same name, that will feature on my new album (released soon!) Please pray for Ignite and this courageous initiative, and especially for the youth of South Wales who we trust will rise up against the injustice of modern day slavery.
Many of will no doubt be aware that human trafficking is an issue that both myself and my wife, Michelle, have been increasingly burdened for over the last 6 months or so. It’s becoming a significant part of what we’re about and what we’re focussed on.
As we step into the 2013 I have been seeking God about how I can more effectively raise awareness of the horrors of human trafficking and be a more vocal advocate for the abolition of slavery. There are several things in the pipeline, but one of the things that I am committed to doing is dedicating each Friday this year on my blog as FREEDOM FRIDAY. Freedom Friday will profile ministries, testimonies, videos and events that I hope will challenge, provoke, encourage and mobilise people regarding the modern slave trade.
It all kicks off tomorrow.
Just a super quick post to wish all my readers Happy New Year. Whatever 2013 holds for you, I pray that you’ll know an abundance of God’s all-sufficient grace. As we glance over your shoulder at the past year and look forward to the year ahead, here’s 3 things for us to consider:
1. Consider Your Ways
“thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1 v 5)
Take a long hard look at yourself and be brutally honest – where are you REALLY at? In your relationships, your vocation, your habits, your thought life, your devotional life, your church, your community? What about your dreams, your standards, your aspirations, your failures, your regrets, your triumphs, your tragedies? What went well for you this year? What do you need to tweak, fix, overhaul or get rid of? What prayers has God answered for you? What has God done for you? What have you done for God?
If we fail to consider our ways we will never change and are doomed to continue on the same trajectory – making the same mistakes, stumbling over the same obstacles, defined by the same besetting sins. That doesn’t appeal to me and it shouldn’t appeal to you! I want more of God. More of His grace. More of His purpose. I want to know the pleasure of His smile over my life. This year I want my “ways” to be more holy and a greater witness to the glory of God than they were last year!
What about you?
2. Consider One Another
“let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10 v 24
It’s very easy at New Year’s to take a good look at oneself but not to look much further. As we begin a new year can I encourage you to consider how you can be a blessing to others. How you can stir up, provoke and inspire your brothers and sisters to grow in grace and excel in service and maximise their role in the great adventure of Christian faith. Who can you come alongside as a Barnabus? Who can you disciple like a Timothy? Who are the Pauls (godly leaders and role models) you can honour and support?
Make 2013 a year of gospel provocation!
3. Consider Him
“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12 v 3)
Finally, both of those previous considerations will matter little if you don’t ultimately consider the One who it’s all about! Whether you’re stepping into this new year exhausted, with a wounded spirit and a heavy heart, or exhilarated with a fist-full of faith and spring in your step, you would do well to keep Christ crucified at the heart of all you do! The cross is our example of sacrificial service and the source of our forgiveness and healing. Furthermore, it reminds us that we have a Great High Priest who has felt our pain, who can sympathise with our weaknesses and therefore whatever we will face this year – He has more than enough grace available for us. A cross-shaped, Christ-centred life will guard us against burn out and also commend the gospel to the a graceless world.
Consider your ways.
Happy new year guys!