Day 30 toasting marshmallows 

The last day of our 30 days wild challenge was a wash out as the rain continued to hammer down. 

But we still wanted to celebrate what has been a wonderful time with nature, so we got the fire pit out and toasted marshmallows in the rain. The kids loved it!


“When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.‭‭” John‬ ‭21:9-13‬ ‭

Dealing with change – thoughts on BREXIT

BREXIT1

It is best to keep politics out of the pulpit, I do not want to alienate anyone from the Gospel because of my opinion, especially when such concerns have little significance in the light of eternity.

For these reasons I have remained dutifully silent throughout the EU referendum.

As events begin to unfold it is fair to say that we are all going through an interesting time in our nation’s history.

We have no idea who our Prime Minister will be in October, the governing party has split within itself, the opposition is in utter chaos and Scotland and Northern Island are now threatening to leave the Union.The global markets are going into cardiac arrest and to top it all off Iceland have knocked England out of Euro 2016!

The world is on its head and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.

We are certainly in exciting times!

Change seems to be the only constant!

This erratic change is not simply limited to the world of politics but in all spheres of life.

It might be a sign of my age, but fashion trends seem to have a shorter shelf life today than what they once did? We do not have the teenage cult movements of the past. If the Mod’s and Rockers existed today, they would have evolved into another craze before reaching Brighton for a good old punch up!

Business is changing faster than ever before in the digital economy. Life expectancy of an S&P500 company has now decreased from 67 years to just 15 years. Huge organisations that once offered “a job for life” are simply not secure anymore.

Humanity is facing uncharted territory, we are in a hyper connected globalized world where we can speak face to face with anyone wherever they are, geography has no bounds, we can trade whenever we want and have drones deliver it for us. We can download what we want, when we want it.

Fast change is now normal and expected, however grievous or unnatural it is at this current pace.

Change is nothing new to the church

I am particularly proud of our reformed heritage that embraces changed.

When the world was locked under Popish rule, great men such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Knox and Wycliff lead the Great Reformation and Europe was changed forever.

When the world was content to have an illiterate working class, the church fought for change, our very own Griffiths Jones drove the movement of educating the masses and Thomas Charles followed his work by distributing the Bible to them. When the world festered under the evil of slavery, it was the Church that again spearheaded change!

For two millennia the Church has been the counter culture against a stagnant world. By God’s Grace it is the church that has historically fought against the perceived norms and has been a driving force of social reform and change for the common good.

But in a world that is now forever changing, how can the church continue to be the counter-culture it is called to be? How can we be salt and light?

I believe the answer is by being a voice of consistency and stability, an ark where people can escape the torrent.

The Vanity of Life

I pray that this ordeal that our country is going through will open people’s eyes to the vanity of life. As they witness the collapse (for good or ill) of human institutions that they have put their faith into, when they battle with their anxiety and pressure forced upon them under a forever changing and fallen world, my prayer is that they will seek a stability that can only be offered by the church.

Jesus said “that everyone who comes to me and hears my word and puts them into practice are like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built” (Luke 6:47-48)

Jesus is God, He is sovereign, He is the Alpha and Omega, He is unshaken and unchanging, He is eternal, He is our anchor (Hebrews 6:19) and He is what the people of a ever changing world need.

Whichever way the EU referendum vote went, last week proves nothing other than at best, all the world can offer you is uncertainty. The things of this world that you put your trust in is “the house built without a foundation that collapsed the moment the torrent struck” (Luke 6:49)

Total peace

The world seems to be in absolute chaos, we seem to be changing faster than ever before, faster than what humanity has ever been used to, and arguably faster than we can possibly cope with, but despite all of this pressure, I can say that as a Christian I am at total peace.

When I see the despair in politics, or the aggressive fluctuations in the financial markets, I can smile, knowing that by God’s Grace I will be meeting my brothers and sisters in Christ on Wednesday morning at Noddfa to pray about it all.

A day is a long time in politics, whatever unfolds over the rest of this week, I will be in church Sunday (God willing) with the people that I love. What a blessing!

Dealing with change

The best way to deal with change is to belong to an unchanging Kingdom lead by Jesus Christ “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) who said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”(Hebrews 13:5).

He told us that He “will build (His) church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”(Matthew 16:18).

In a changing, fallen world of instability and uncertainty, I know that I am part of an unchanging Kingdom that is governed by Love, Mercy and Grace, a Kingdom that is welcoming to every single human being, a Kingdom that does not judge you for your past but embraces your future Glory, a Kingdom whose King took nothing from me (bar my sin) and gave me everything in love, even His own life!

If you are struggling with anxiety because of our changing fallen world, if you are worried about what tomorrow holds, or simply need to escape, embrace the church of Jesus Christ!

God willing this Sunday I will be declaring the same Gospel truth that has been preached for two millennia, the same Gospel that has outlived every political movement, empire and critic during this time, the same Gospel that has the power to bring you to our unchanging God, so that whatever happens in this world, you will know peace.

It is a glorious thing to have! I hope to see you!

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood, Support me in the whelming flood;

When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found,

Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

 

Day 28 wellie wanging

It’s a rainy day in our little Valley, so the kids got dressed up in their waterproofs and played a game of welly wanging! The rules are simple, the winner is who can chuck the boot the furthest. Not exactly wild, but it got them outside.

“Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭60:8‬ ‭

Day 27 make a butterfly feeder

Today for our 30 day wild challenge we picked up an empty bottle, made my namesake (a funnel) to put sand into the bottle and weigh it down. We then soaked cotton wool in sugar water and popped it into the top and decorated with a flower. 

One butterfly feeder 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ 


Day 26 walking with giants

Today the congregation at Noddfa had a well earned break from me. I went to the neighbouring Valley to preach morning and evening at a sister church, Blaina Evangelical. We had a wonderful day together and on the way back stopped off at Six Bells Abertillery for our 30 day wild challenge. I told the boys we were going to walk with a giant! 

We walked through Parc Arael Griffen to the magnificent Guardian statue. The Parc also features rivers, ponds and grasses, with spectacular views, much was fenced off for a conservation project to encourage lizards to the area.

The Guardian is a memorial for the local colliery disaster that killed 45 men in 1960. It is an impressive figure staring down the valley. It reminded me of Ezekiels vision.

“high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”‭‭ Ezekiel‬ ‭1:26-28‬ ‭




Day 25 watching the clouds

Today we have had a lazy day, Oscar’s favourite type of day!

We sat in the garden and watched the clouds tumble over the valley broken by blue sky and the sun.

“He said to the crowd: ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, “It’s going to rain,” and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, “It’s going to be hot,” and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” Luke‬ ‭12:54-56‬ ‭

Day 24 evening song

Our 30 days wild challenge was left until late as we spent some time in the garden listening to evening bird song.

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25-26‬ ‭

Day 23 bug drawing and invisible prints

Today the boys school was closed as it was being used for a polling station at the EU referendum, so we went up to the church and painted some wildlife pics, including a bug!

We then checked the footprint trackers, all the bate was gone….but not one print!
“When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭9:11‬ 



No prints, no bread, not fair!