Word for the week: TIREDNESS

At this time of year the pressures of late night lambing or spring calving can really start to get to even the strongest of us.

You don’t need a husband, wife or teenage kids to tell you that tiredness has funny effects on the way that we think and behave with people!

The trouble is, we get completely wrapped up in the job and don’t take time to stop for anything else.

And there’s where things start to really go wrong.

Physical effects

Physical effects of tiredness can include muscle aches that can make movement painful, shortness of breath while performing normal work tasks, and (oddly) the inability to fall asleep or get a good night’s sleep.

You could also find your appetite suppressed so you don’t feel like food, or anything else for that matter – and you might find it hard to concentrate or stick to the task in hand.

Mental effects

The psychological effects of tiredness often remove your ‘get up and go’, your ability to perform tasks and even your ability to get out of bed in the morning.

So WHERE can you go to get your bearings back?

Well, of course it’s always good to spend half an hour leaning on the gate to take ‘time out’.

But it’s far better to take time leaning your tired body on the gate while also leaning the things that weigh down your tired SOUL – your inner self – on the God Who made all the great stuff you’re leaning there looking at!

As a very wise old prophet once said:

“Even youths get tired and weary;

Even strong men clumsily stumble.

But those who wait for the Lord’s help

find renewed strength;

they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings,

they run without growing weary,

they walk without getting tired.”

Isaiah 40:30-31 (c. 700 BC)

So how exactly do you ‘wait for the Lord’s help’? What on EARTH is this talking about?

Make contact with us using the contact form here:

yGRWP contact form page

Click the pic.!

and we’ll happily take time to go over the practicalities of it with you.

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Materialism, Jesus … and camels

We spend all our life getting hold of ‘things’, and then find that somehow it’s things that’ve got hold of us.

Here’s an audio track on what Jesus has got to say about how He can (and can’t) help … click the pic.!

Please enjoy!
(And you know where to feed back to me, right?)

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What to MAKE of the de-churched people of Mark 9?!

Now, of course, every apparent ministry failure becomes an immediately handy stick to beat ‘the church’ with.

That’s no part of any of our intentions here, right? Quite the reverse.

It’s the opposition – the teachers of the law – that are standing all around the disciples there in Mark 9 with the crowd. And the language Mark records seems to indicate a situation of some considerable tension.

Church not delivering on what we think it’s been offering

These people thought ‘the church’ to be offering something it wasn’t Faildelivering, and we know in OUR time how powerfully disappointing that is to insiders. (Yes, INsiders … the crowd here … the outsiders and ‘hostiles’ expect this to be the situation).


The new priority of reaching the de-churched

When I set out in the ministry the big aim (or task) was believed to be reaching the unchurched. Perhaps then, it was.

Just thirty years later and the big task has changed, and the big objective must be reaching the de-churched, like  the crowd standing around in this passage here. reach

Now, there’s a sense in which ‘reaching the de-churched’ can become the new ministry growth industry, the way ‘church planting’ and a lot of stuff before that did … but just Google ‘dechurched’ when you get a minute. If a little late, some folks are starting to catch on to an idea that surely should draw some attention?

 As a taster I found this from Boyce Bowden who makes reaching de-churched folks his ministry in Oklahoma.
Here are his top 7 tips …

  1. Be faithful to the Great Commission. “Even though they have left the church and have no intention of going back, and even though they may have given up on God, de-churched people are still God’s children and God still loves them. Jesus calls to share God’s love with all people — including the de-churched. Don’t look down your nose at them.”

  2. Be trustworthy. Many de-churched people left the church because they lost trust in it. Let them see by the way you relate to them, that they can trust you.

  3. Connect with de-churched people through interests you have in common with them. Any interests you have that de-churched persons have can help you get acquainted and build relationships.

  4. Lead with love, not with judgment. When the time is right, share with them how God has transformed your life.”

  5. Develop ministries that de-churched people find relevant. Focus on their needs and interests. For example, if they don’t feel comfortable in a formal worship service held in the sanctuary on Sunday morning, offer a service somewhere else at some other time.

  6. Use social media to reach the de-churched. “If you are not using social media, you are missing one of the cheapest and most productive ways of reaching people. It spreads like crazy,” Hale says. He has about 1000 friends on Facebook —hundreds are bikers. He frequently posts down-to-earth reflections that inspire readers. Response has been enthusiastic.

  7. Don’t expect overnight miracles. “It takes time for people who have lost trust in the church to trust the church again,” Hale concludes. “Be patient. Let God work through you and leave the results in God’s hands.”

Boyce Bowden

(- See more at: http://goodnewsmag.org/2013/07/7-ways-to-reach-the-dechurched/#sthash.ZxVom9uA.dpuf)

In Mark 9 Jesus does all that except the last one here … and more … because He doesn’t just expect overnight miracles of course. He does them. On the spot.

(There’s a thought … aren’t de-churched people HELPED when we see clear answers to prayer? Then perhaps we could be PRAYING more CLEARLY?)

But I think there’s something even more interesting than that here …

De-churched people are really hungry for JESUS!

In Mark 9:14-29, in all their disappointment and disillusionmenWanted - Jesust with the disciples, the people are still hungry for Jesus.

Yes, they are FEARFUL in this context … but they WANT Him.

And that’s so often the way it seems with the de-churched.

Maybe you would say ‘Yes Jesus is great, but church isn’t?’ And instinctively I’d get defensive and ask: ‘What did you expect? Look at the crew it’s composed of!’

But there’s clearly much more to this than that.

The de-churched may be ever so disillusioned with ‘Church’, but people still want to come running to Jesus.

This is happening all over Wales

I sat in a slightly sad dairy sale in Carmarthen this week. TB and low milk prices seem to have taken their toll and some beautiful cattle were being sold off for less than my eye said they were worth … and I sat alongside a believing farmer.

The day was a bit sad because of the state of the industry, and there wasn’t much joy at the ring-side. But my friend was joyful and encouraged in his faith. As he sat and encouraged himself on that day, he turned and spoke to me (over the auctioneer) saying he sees the Kingdom of God is clearly growing, but it’s all happening outside the churches.

Now he was talking specifically of farm meetings were people gather for worship, prayer and (in the best) Bible … where anyone can speak, and where Ministers generally don’t come, but if they do their role is limited to gently contributing truth and gently, lovingly trying to steer folks away from any previously held error … with only such ‘authority’ as their words carry from God as they speak.

It’s not ‘Organised’ but ‘DISorganised religion’, and it’s something our churches don’t prepare ‘clergy’ to deal with!

Here’s the sort of thinking behind the relative success of these meetings: ‘Keep your church … but I’ll come running to Jesus!’

How on EARTH has ‘Church’ got into this mess?

What on EARTH (then) do we think we’ve been doing in ‘Church’, to have got into a situation like this?!

In the context we live in the sad truth is this: ‘Church’ has damagingly poisoned so many.

The counter-balancing ‘joy truth’ on the other hand is this: the Lord Jesus retains His appeal.

And that’s what we see in Mark 9 verse 15.When the whole crowd saw Jesus they ran at once to meet Him

In the context where the disciples’ ministry fell short of all expectations:

“When the whole crowd saw him, they were amazed and ran at once and greeted him.”

We need to learn to do the one (Jesus) INSIDE the other (this ‘thing’ we call church).

… unless YOU know some other way to figure it?!

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It’s a serious problem.

Many people ARE offended by the way ‘the church’ seems to be always ‘on the take’.

And when Paul writes to Philemon, he really does want something from Philemon.

But he’s not asking someone who isn’t passionately keen to help.

And that seems to be the point.

The trouble with asking is when ‘the church’ asks the wrong people, for the wrong thing, for the wrong reasons.

Check it out in these two short audio files from Sunday at Grace … both under twenty minutes … click on the play button for each file below.

And PLEASE feel free to use the contact form beneath it, or to like, comment or share as appropriate!

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I THINK it was a genuine question.

I THINK it came from a genuine sense of frustrated puzzlement.

I KNOW what the answer is … because the antidote to the problem is found in the Bible. To be specific, it’s found in the early verses of Paul’s very short letter to Philemon.

If young people, old people … ANY people … are going to be attracted to turning up at church, then the church needs to ACTUALLY be what it’s SUPPOSED to be.

What’s it supposed to be?

Check the audio files page on this website!

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Towns are full of people.

Towns offer work.

They offer services and amenities and have resources available to plant and build churches.

In towns people live reasonably closely together and transport isn’t half the problem it can be in rural areas.

These are just a few of the reasons rural Christianity OFTEN STRUGGLES.

So is it a lost cause or is there (Biblically) a way to get over all this?

The book of Philemon seems to offer a way ahead … and this twenty eight minute sermon video from Grace, Llandeilo last week tries to take the lid off the pot.

Click the pic. below …

Philemon 1-3 pic

Please let us know what you think of it, and if you’d like to be part of actually DOING this, please get in touch!



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Habakkuk 2:6-20

Who’d have thought there’d be taunting in the Bible? More than that … a taunt SONG?!

We’d expect that on the football terraces, but there it is – sitting there as bold as brass – right in the middle of the Book of Habakkuk.

Click the images below for the archived mp3 audio file and the video that’s now available on our YouTube channel.

And if you’d like to see the slides that went with it, they’re on Slideshare … the image for that below will get you there.

As ever, please let us know how you get on with it!



Slideshare Habakkuk 2 vv 6-20


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Turning … and seeing where you have been

It’s been a great late autumn for the forage harvest this year … the mowers and balers have been flat out throughout the first week of September laying up extra stores of grass to feed cattle and sheep through the winter. But WHAT happens between cutting and baling? 2013-09-05 08.54.32 That’ll be the low profile and under-appreciated task of turning. Glamorous it ain’t, but it’s a job that is crucial to a successful harvest and that has got to be done right to get the stock through the hard times that lie ahead in winter.

Managing change

The process of making silage is actually a process of managing change, and funnily enough, like any successful management of change, it’s a boring old job that calls for care and thorough attention to detail. And there’s an important lesson in it about leadership and successful change management. 2013-09-05 08.55.46 When the grass is first cut it is pretty bright green. As you first spread it out with the rake or the hay-bob and initiate the change in the forage as it gets exposed to the sun, it is easy to see where you’ve been. At this point it is easy to steer inside the turned grass to turn over the next row that needs drying. But as it dries and is turned the second and third times … as the job nears successful completion … the colour of the grass lying underneath comes closer and closer to the grass that’s been drying on top in the sunlight.

Harder to see where you’ve been

And as that happens it gets harder and harder to see where you’ve been. Successful management of change in the church is like that. As the process nears completion it gets harder and harder to see where YOU’ve been, because the successful Christian leader of change finds his finger prints less and less on the process as it is increasingly owned by everyone else in the body of Christ. And mebbe that’s an idea that could profitably catch on elsewhere? 2013-09-05 08.57.46 So here comes the prayer for today: God grant us the security in Him (not our work) to allow us to retreat from stamping ourselves all over the leadership we exercise in His Name, so that it becomes increasingly difficult to see where we’ve been and more and more evident that it’s His harvest that has actually matured.

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Here are the slides of today’s ministry on Psalm 34

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/WelshRev/psalm-34-song-of-victory-song-of-faith&#8221; title=”Psalm 34 song of victory, song of faith” target=”_blank”>Psalm 34 song of victory, song of faith</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/WelshRev&#8221; target=”_blank”>Grace Christian Community Llandeilo</a></strong> </div>

The audio is here:


The video is available here:

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Slides from this Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 29

Slides from this Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 29

Here are the slides from Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 29:


 … the video is available here:

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