Personalised Moleskine… this looks great!

11 Feb

Other than the odd spoken word video created by the Dai Wool/Andy Toovey dream team I don’t often post links to things around the web. If you really want to find something you’ll find it without my help.

BUT! I was searching for images of moleskines last week and I found this site that sells bespoke moleskines, embossed by Linotype machines. It looks fantastic! moleskinepress.co.uk

I don’t get any commission…but if you want to get me one as a gift I wouldn’t say no.

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I Know God’s Will for my Life!!!

7 Feb

Sounds great doesn’t it!? To know God’s will for your life, what could be better? We all want to find direction; direction from the almighty is the ultimate. But I think the reality is probably less appealing than the concept.

Jonah and the Whale

Last week I started preaching Jonah in church. Straight from the off we get God giving Jonah His will for Jonah’s life. If I may paraphrase God says, “Jonah boy, I want you to be a prophet to Nineveh, teach them about me.” For a believer this should probably be an encouraging call, especially as Jonah was already used to life as a prophet to God’s own people in Israel. Yet God’s will for Jonah’s life contradicted Jonah’s own will for his life.

Instead of grasping this wonderful revelation with both hands he legs it, literally he tries to flee from God. God’s will is that Jonah would be a part of saving the city of Nineveh  Israel’s enemies. Jonah’s will for his life is that he’d build up, encourage and protect his own people, not those outside.

I imagine the same is true for you, it certainly is for me. The idea of knowing God’s will for our lives is very appealing, yet it’s likely that His will might call us somewhere we don’t want to go, to stand up for something we don’t want to stand up for, to pay a price we are unwilling to pay.

Our church’s verse for the year comes from Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And in a sense that is God’s will for all our lives, that we would be His witnesses. In the remainder of the book of Acts we see the great cost this comes at. Jail time, stonings, executions. Not a path we’d choose for ourselves.

Yet in that verse there’s a promise too, that God would equip, that God would go with us.

For Jonah, going to Nineveh, as unappealing as that sounded, was a call to go where God was going. Likewise our call, God’s will for all of our lives, is to go with Him. Sometimes it may be unappealing but ultimately it is as great as it sounds! To go with God, on His mission, what a privilege. To be part of Christ’s church as He Himself builds it. What a joy!

Jonah continued to struggle with the call and that’s okay. God’s mercy was far vaster than Jonah’s rebellion. And we may still struggle to go with God as He leads us to be witnesses to the lost, but the Grace we have in Jesus is so much more than that too.

We’ll go, in His strength not our own.

Learning lessons from teaching kids

5 Feb

Last week I enjoyed the dubious privilege of standing in for Jonathan to lead a fortnightly club he runs in the local comprehensive school.  I say dubious because perhaps my greatest struggles in ministry are a) picking games to play with kids and b) remaining enthusiastic during games. I say privilege because undoubtedly the opportunity to go and spend time with these kids and explain something of the gospel is too good to pass up.

Anyway, to my point. I decided I’d play hangman with them. Nice and easy, no accessories needed that a classroom doesn’t already offer…but what could I teach them? Something that’s been knocking around my brain for a long time now is how lucky we are that God doesn’t leave us to speculate about Him but reveals Himself to us through Scripture and ultimately through Christ.

So here’s what I did. I started off giving the kids no hints. Not even the usual dashes that give clues as to the length of words. They just had to guess with no help at all. Then as the game progressed I gave more and more away. Dashes to represent letters, clues revealing themes and buy the end more than half of the letters filled in already. The lesson is that when we aren’t told anything about God our own speculation can and does lead us anywhere we want. But God has revealed Himself, most brilliantly in His Son Jesus Christ.

…This then got me thinking about Christians, those who have had their blind eyes opened, and how we continue to speculate about God. How ridiculous! It’s worrying if you ever hear someone say, “I think God…” How precious is the revelation that we have in Jesus Christ. God has revealed Himself yet we default into speculation.

I need to remember that God isn’t who I make Him, He is who Christ reveals Him to be. Remind me of that if you get the chance.

Striking a [Christmas] Chord

12 Nov

They say a cord of three strands is the strongest…so here’s a 3 pronged attack on why this is the best Christmas video you’ll get to use this year:

wisemen from the east - Dai Woolridge1) Dai Woolridge, as ever, brings some absolutely epic rhyme and rhythm to a masterfully constructed retelling of the Christmas Story. [one question though Dai…why aren’t you wearing a crimbo jumper and scarf combo???]

2) And Toovey is the best thing to happen to video post production since Adobe’s After Effects. The visuals are tremendous, simple as. Shot beautifully, edited creatively, illustrated incredibly. 2V Design for an Oscar. [But does he know what a Gsus chord looks like?]

3) Christmas is all about Christ…and so is this video. While all the trimmings are there, shepherds, angels, mangers etc. The video takes you to the heart of the story, king of kings come to save from sin.

I think that’s enough reasons for you to ill your stockings with ‘The Christmas C[h]ord.’ But really the only way you’ll be as convinced as me is to watch it yourself. Da iawn boys.

Proper Excited about this…

16 Aug

CrossHandsChurch.com

Have a look.

“Living Word Church, Carmarthen” gets an update

11 Jun

I love wordpress, I wont hide that. And I think it’s a great solution for people who want easy websites with lots of functionality as well (As long as you aren’t too fussy over every aspect of the design). So I’m chuffed to bits whenever I can convince someone to ‘convert’.

Living Word Church, CarmarthenMy latest disciple, the good folks at Living Word Church in Carmarthen.*

It’s great to see they have a new site up and running, that looks have tidy and should make keeping things up to date an awful lot easier that fiddling with code.

Have a look.

*Other churches in Carmarthen are available

Guitar for Church Pt 4 (Concluding thoughts and Resources)

28 May
Here are a few thoughts to conclude on playing guitar in church:
Listen well. Listen to everyone else. You are not alone. How we interact with everyone else (including the congregation) is of vital importance.
Don’t distract through overplaying. Overplaying shifts attention from Him to us and is not helpful in the slightest.
Don’t distract through underplaying. If we bore people then we can equally distract from the One whom we are singing about.
Pray. While we work hard to serve others and to make the most of the gifts God has given us, we should always recognise our need for Him, even in playing guitar in church.
A few resources:
Worthily Magnify – a blog that mixes the theological with the practical. Written by Jamie Brown, a worship pastor, there’s an entire back catalogue of advice (and videos!) to help you and your whole music team.
Worship Matters – a blog by Bob Kauflin that again brings a great blend of theological and practical. Of special interest are seminars and lectures he gives that he then posts links too. Also very good for pointing to oteh web resources for musicians.
Worship Central – I recommend mainly for the video resources which help show some techniques etc. in lots of different areas, not just playing guitar.