I’m not really sure what the purpose of this post is…
…I guess it’s to ask you to pray for us!
I am writing this on Wednesday morning after an INSANE Tuesday that has left me both exhilarated and exhausted. I’ve written about it largely as a means of trying to process it and get my head around it myself. However, it might also help to give you an insight into the madness which is my life.
Clean pants: So we’ll start with my pants! This might not sound like the most appropriate place to start, but seeing as our washing machine has been broken for over 3 weeks now the fact that I had a clean pair of bundies on was, as far as I’m concerned, evidence of grace!
I love clean pants!
Elders meeting: Tuesday mornings mean meeting with my incredible co-pastors. Yesterday was a particularly heavy morning as we wrestled with the realities and requirements of a young, growing church. I can’t lie – after 4 hours of intensity – my head was in a shed! However, I am so aware that there are many churches across South Wales who would love the ‘problems’ that we have. God is at work at Hill City and it’s exciting. And He has blessed me with passionate, godly men and women to serve alongside.
I love my church and my co-pastors.
Porterbrook: In the middle of the morning I received a phone call asking if I’d be willing to be involved in the re-writing of the ‘Engaging with the Urban Poor’ module for Porterbrook. I was humbled and honoured to be asked to be involved as this is something very close to my heart. I said yes.
I love gospel partnership.
Car crash: Having just spent £500 getting our car through its MOT, it seems that our gearbox has given up the ghost! A friend advised me take it to a gearbox specialist, so after the elders meeting I did just that…and en route I drove straight into the back of another car! My second crash of the year, this time completely my fault! Thankfully the woman and her baby seemed fine, but as you can imagine – I felt terrible!
I love that I can take my burdens to God.
Looooong Journey home (pt1): The gearbox garage was in Maesteg of all places, so after dropping the car off I had to catch a train to Cardiff, and then a train to Pontypool. I had my lap top with me and was able to thrash out the new Hill City Sundays rota for the first part of next year. Yeah, that’s right – a rota! Those who know me know that I’m allergic to admin and therefore know that this is an incredible achievement! Glory to God!
I love redeeming time.
Sharing Christ with a gang of drugged up youth: So I got on the train and was informed by the digital display board that the train would NOT be stopping at Pontypool, so I had to get off in Cwmbran. This was frustrating. Then I missed the bus to Pontypool by literally 10 seconds. This was REALLY frustrating…until I realised that God was up to something. As the bus pulled off I bumped into 2 teenage lads, one of whom I’ve known for years. They had been smoking copious amounts of weed and were both as high as kites. They had said they were on their way to a church group but didn’t want to go smelling of cannabis so asked if they could hang out with me instead!! I sat on the bench with them and we were soon joined by another lad and a young girl who were also high. I spent the next half an hour or so hearing their tragic, painful stories and sharing Christ with them. It was raw, messy, unpredictable and exciting evangelism – the kind that really gets my gospel pulse racing, and I felt honoured to have that opportunity. As they disappeared into the night I wondered if my gearbox, crash and missed bus episode were all about that chance meeting. Eternity will tell. Please pray for them, and for the broken youth of this region.
I love my valley.
Looooong Journey home (pt2): So I finally caught my bus back to Pontypool and it dropped me off right outside the library, so I popped in to get a book for Ezra that he’s been wanting for ages (Norman the Slug with a Silly Shell, in case you were wondering!) However, I got to the next bus stop and realised that I’d missed the 6:11 bus to Trevethin by a good 6 minutes. Rather then wait half an hour for the next one, I opted to walk the hill back to Trevethin (and those who know the area can testify that after a long, difficult day – that’s not a pleasant proposition). I was about 200 yards up Penygarn hill when the (clearly delayed) Trevethin bus shot past me! NOOOOO!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I spent the rest of my walk up the hill trying to get my head around the madness of the day and resting (I think) in the divine sovereignty of God.
I love the security of knowing that God’s in control.
Family: I got home to my beautful family and managed to get snuggles and cwtches in with them before helping Michelle put them to bed. I love my family so much and I sincerely thank God that after the madness of ministry and the pressures of pastoral care, my beautiful bride and my nutty little posse of rug rats are always there to bless me with giggles and help me keep my perspective. I am such a blessed man!
I love my family.
EVP (Epic Video Party): So once the kids were down and the pots were washed it was on to a Google Video Party call (cos Skype wasn’t working) with a beautiful family who God has put in our lives and placed on our hearts. One of my passions is listening, loving and helping to lead others who have the same heart for the same kind of ministry with the same kind of people in the same kind of areas as I do – namely council estates and inner city neighbourhoods. It was a precious chat and one that, I believe, will be the beginning of a wonderful gospel partnership with these guys.
I love getting to serve with my friends.
Late night gospel encounter: To finish the day off it must have been around 11pm that I was out with the dog and got chatting to an amazing guy I’ve got to know off the estate recently. It all started a few weeks ago when I was out walking the dog at around 1am when the Holy Spirit literally told me that I had to share the gospel with him. So I got chatting to Him. Incredibly, in the last week he’s gone from being an atheist, to reading scripture on his own, to starting to believe, to asking if he can come to church, to wanting to get baptised! I’ve just been standing back and watching God work and it’s MIND-BLOWING! Please pray for him.
I love the gospel.
So that was yesterday.
Exhilerating, yet exhausting!
Life is never dull, but neither is it straight forward. I am acutely aware of my limitations, my weaknesses and my challenges right now. Please pray for me, my family, our church and our community.