19 Feb

Life in Nigeria

crossLife in Nigeria is complex.  We struggle to decide how much trouble is enough trouble that we should leave vs the need for the Gospel to prevail and vitality of ministry out here.  How ever sometimes things happen that get attention and so our office have released this statement that we feel might be helpful to you.

Many of you will be aware of the kidnapping that took place over this past weekend (16-17 February 2013) in northern Bauchi State, Nigeria.  Seven foreign construction workers were taken from their company’s camp and a security guard was killed.  The nationalities of those taken are still to be confirmed, but apparently includes at least one Italian, one Greek, two Lebanese, and possibly some British.

 This situation is the latest in a series of incidents that have been taking place in northern Nigeria.  Kidnappings of expatriates are on the rise in the north of the country as a strategy of terrorists and militant groups.  The most serious events have been in the far north of the country—quite a long way from Jos, where most of our staff live.  In light of our assessment of the situation, the Nigeria Group Director Team has put in place a travel restriction to places north of Jos for our expatriate staff.  We continue to monitor trends and events across the country and will make adjustments as the situation changes.

 We appreciate your prayers for us all as we seek to honor God and advance Bible translation in Nigeria.  Please do contact us if you have questions or concerns.

04 Nov

Ministry Oppertunity

I have the chance to go play a couple songs, as a ‘ministration’ at a church last Sunday morning.  I managed to coble together a video and eventually get it up on youtube.  It honestly sounded far better than this video does!  Someone said there was 1000 people there, it was a ‘prophetic power praise morning’ – lots of load praise so much prophecy – maybe I had wrong expectations.    I’ve also been asked if i can go and help work on their PA – maybe run a workshop for them, which would be cool because the band were INCREDIBLE the pa not so much.

10 Aug

WYnet Camp 09

I have spent this week at WYnet’s annual summer camp, it is actually thier 14th Annual summer camp.  It could also be my last, having been to 13 out of those 14, I have been to more WYnet UK events than any other person in the world.  Which is kind of cool an odd at the same time.  This week i have been catering for the campers, but also

I am currently sat at the WYnet laptop in the main meeting hall, the same hall we have met for the last 6 years and I am in awe of all the things God has done in here with our group over those years.   As I have sat at the back during the week I have had a HUGE grin on my face for so much of the time.

Had to write the rest of this form home …

I have been constantly amazed and priveledged this week, to have been involved in such an amazing ministry for so long.  Seeing Andy King sing his heart out like never before, it was awesome to see him sing wtih freedom, and passion and hti soem great notes and twiddles, it ROCKED!   It was aweseom seeing Ian Gray 10 minutes itno his talk, make everyone stand and pray for each other for what ever needed healing.   It was UNBELEIVEABLE to see Ruth Buie deliver her first WYnet talk, something I admit I never thought I would see.  She was awesome, an even later on, when she off her own back, without the need for promting went off to pray with on of the girls.  BRILLIANT.

It has also been very emotional, as the group prayered for me on Wednesday after handing over teo steve, catching glipses of people sharing thiers desires for Me before God.  Humbling, and teenagers pray that you will “have no hesitation in doing what God wants you to, with all the passion he has given to you”, now that was a prayer!

I have laughed a LOT.  as people have shared stories about past events, and things that i have done to people, or even times when i have got stroppy about something unbeleivebly insignificant.

I have also cried a lot.  During rehursals when andy king did THAT SONG and let rip for the first time, it totally reduced me to tears.  I sy God at work in Andy, I saw that God had used me and my ministry to help people take the next step.  I felt pride for the team of peopel that I have passed on to Steve.  Hearing that one of the now leaders first felt that she heard the voice of God at a WYnet meeting whilst singing a song I had written.  That was 6 years ago, and i never knew that.  Humbling.   I guess i have been humbled quite a few times during this week!

I have been very blessed to have been involved in such an amazing ministry.

Andy was kind enough to let me play drums for the worship set on the last evening, to be honest, quite an emotional evening for me.  We had done the offical hand on wednesday night, we had done an un-offical had over back in march when i moved out the office!  But Friday just as we were stodd praying about to begin the session, I was totally overwhelmed about this being the last night of what could possibliy be my last camp.  We got cracking had an AWESOME evening, good music, great worship, great spontanious monemts, great moments of pouring out out hearts to God, and even great jumping for dancing generation our last song.   There has always been something special about worship during WYnet events, and that night was no exception.   When we were wdone, I gave Andy a big hung, and started to sink into my “this is the end” lull.  I coiled cables moved speakers, eventually i headed over to the dining hall and got a cup of and just pondered for a while how awesome God is and simply how much I am going to miss all those amazing times with the WYnet peeps.

I am goingg to totally miss those amazing amazing leaders that have grown soo much, and changed soo much, and honestly and openly shared thier lives with people, and stepped up to the plate every time they have needed to.  They are unique people and will always be very special to me.

As for the rest of the WYnetters, I will always be eager to hear about how God has used the to impact the lives of others.  I am excited to see what God will do in thier lives.  And just to clarify to the campers, I will NOT, EVER EVER ride the pony 😉

23 Jun

Israel Houghton

Israel was also at the Big Church Day Out in May, i finally edited his press conference video. His testamony was AWESOME.

13 Jun

Michael W Smith Big Church Day Out Press conference.

I had the immense priviledge of attending some of the press conferences at The Big Church Day Out, and get involved in interviewing a few people.

This is the Michael W Smith session, i REALLY need a better quality camera to do stuff like this 🙁

06 Aug

Glory fills the earth

Don’t get me wrong I love hearing and finding new worship songs. The thing is, sometimes I wonder how much is spent on finding nice words that fit the melody vs words that are scripturally sound and appropriate.

for example, listening to a CD from a popular youth orientate church meeting, and 1 lyric “The train of his robe fills the temple” now to you or i who are aware of the monarchy and what that might look like it is fine. The the less educated / foreign, trying to relate the 1036 to Bristol into worshiping our lord Jesus could be a bit harder.

“Washed by the blood of the lamb”. NOT knowing the full context of that statement does conjure up some rather disgusting images akin to gladiator or blade …

I was in a meeting yesterday busy singing a newer song that i actually quite like, but then i can across a line in the chorus …

Holy is the lord God almighty
The earth is filled with his glory
Holy is the lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with his glory

It stopped me in my tracks. YES the lord is holy. Can’t argue with that, great lyrics for a sound about lifting him him and glorifying him. BUT is the earth really filled with his glory? When i think of the word filled i think about every opening, nook cranny and crevice is filled. there is no gaps, no space, no extra bit can squeeze in. And to be honest i don’t think the earth is filled like that. Having just come back form Africa with a team visiting a translation project, we were constantly faced with needs. Poverty was everywhere, illness, death, dark spirituality. How is is possible for me to stand and try to declare to the world that the Lord’ God Almighty’s Glory is filling the earth?

20 Jun

Corporate Silence

Praise and worship are interesting things. Everyone has their own preferences as to style, instruments, volume, lyrics and even settings. I of course also have my own preferences. However as a worship leader in church and various youth events and even occasionally at work people like to voice their preferences to me.

Now let me just add, I am just exploring this issue, I don’t have all the answers, God loves us all no matter what our preferences (unless it involves organs!) that was a joke;).

We have a meeting at work 1 hour every Tuesday, some call it Tuesday fellowship, some centre fellowship, it is a nice time to get together, worship the one true living God, hear about what he is doing over the world and in the office and stuff. The struggle is that our organisation is made up of people all different backgrounds and denominations all with their own preferences and procedures and of late instead of enjoying the variety of what different people bring, one or two have been dropping in and out for the bits they like, or if they enjoy the style of the person leading the meeting they don’t turn up at all (I have been guilty in the past).

Where am I going with this? Corporate silence. One such suggestion made to me of late was

“there should be more corporate silence in said meetings especially during out worship times, after all worship is just about singing is it!”

Ouch. Fortunately I hadn’t been leading the meeting jstu before this email had arrived.

I guess the place to start is why do we do corporate praise and worship?
Is it to wake us up at the start of a meeting?
Get some practice in for heaven? Rev 7

Or is it so that we can collectively agree that our God is awesome and worthy of our praise, to edify one another, and the church, to be encouraged by each other’s praise.

Praise and worship are different things. Praise is all about giving God glory, recognising who he is, declaring to the world his attributes and all he has done for us. Worship is about sacrifice, it is about us laying our lives down for him, giving up our own plans, intentions desires to be filled by him. Romans 12 Sacrifice has to cost us, otherwise it is no sacrifice at all. 1 Chronicles 21 but of course applied in the context of Romans 12!

So i had an email asking me to turn the volume down for these meetings and requesting more times of silence as part of the worship time. In themselves perfectly normal requests except i can’t get my head around corporate silence. If the purpose of getting together to do these things, then surely we need to stay together whilst we do them? There is a time and place. After a sermon for example, “lets take a couple minutes to reflect on when God has been saying to us.” Even at the start of the service, I am not happy about but ” Lets take a moment to be still and get ready to meet with God” As though we don’t meet with him at any other time of the day or week for that matter, how we must calm ourselves before the storm of the next 30 minutes of song singing. I understand peoples lives are busy, takes time to get into ‘it’ on a Sunday morning… but I don’t understand singing a couple songs then having a time of silence, great for the individuals not so great for the corporate, unless something comes out of it, like a word a prophecy, a vision, a testimony a scripture (the theology of those can be debated at another time!). If you want silence, use your personal devotional time.

HEARING from God is also a thought, we have to be silence to listen properly, true, but listen for the sake of it, do it on your own time, in the car, doing the washing up or the hovering. If we are going to be together lets be together and do stuff together.

“Everybody pray in silence”
Also and interesting concept, how can i agree with my brother if I haven’t heard what they have said? Yes God can hear that prayer, but none of the rest of the church nor the rest of the spiritual realm have heard it!

God delights in unity Psalm 133:1 and commands a blessing. How can I stand in unity with my brother if I have no idea what he just prayed?

Let alone the theology of God is in you head he can hear your prayer, my response is shame no-one /nothing else can, including the Devil who you might be praying against at the time.

“Worship is not only about singing”
But God created music to draw us into his presence. It is also handy for warding away evil spirits. 1 Samuel 16
Art is wonderful, dance is wonderful, drama can be wonderful, but singing is something that we do from pre-toddler stage, we all connect with music hear it all the time, and it is I think probably one of the easiest ways for a bunch of people to do to glorify God.

It is an interesting world we live in!
I have also stopped leading said meeting if I can get away with it, I can’t be doing with the questionings and abuse!

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