Jam Sul & BBC Radio Cymru, April 2014

Jam Sul, BBC Radio Cymru April
Jam Sul April

I’ve written before about Jam Sul, but this month Radio Cymru came to record and interview people in Jam Sul about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It was really good to have them here.

Here is what they broadcast on the 18th April.

The Next Jam Sul is the 4th May

6 Years ago…… provincial selection……

One of my friends has time hop on Facebook which will post about what happened on a certain day in their social media past. Today this picture came up….


Provincial selection is one of the stages you have to go through when putting yourself forward for ordination. Its a 3 day event with different tasks and interviews for you to do to help the selectors discern if you are called for the diaconate or priesthood. And if you make it past this stage, you are recommended for training.

I still remember how I feel when I came out. I got a lift to the train station, and I was the only one there. I had to wait 30mins for the train to come, and I couldn’t stay still. I was on the biggest high of my life! Who needs drugs???  I was so excited, the three days hadn’t been easy, but I loved every moment of it. The interviews, the tasks (individual and group work), the worship and the socialising. I was with a great bunch of people, some of whom I went on to train with, and many of whom are today friends.

It’s funny looking back now, one of the jobs I have to do today in my end of curacy self assessment (due in the end of the month, last min again!!!! tut tut). How the time has gone quickly.

There is a saying that has been floating round me for the last few weeks ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ and I am coming to realise how true that is. How quickly things can pass us by, and how quickly things can change. And yet, when you’re in the moment, you wish the time to go quicker.

I am not the most patient of people, and when things go too slowly, I get frustrated, but thinking back on these 6 years, I realise I must try and take more time, and enjoy it. I must not wish the time away, or for things to go faster.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4.14

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3.8

Faith like Thomas, a mini-sermon John 20:19-31

Preached in Llanfair 27/04/14
Our human nature often needs the tangible, something to touch before we can believe in whatever it is. We like to be able to touch and feel items, sight, smells and tastes are important for us to be able to get experiences and to grow in believe. Even in our faith.

We heard today in our gospel passage that the risen Lord came to his disciples in that locked room, and stood among them. There was no doubt with any of them gathered that night, they had seen The Lord, he was there, real, alive, standing in front of them.

Easy for those who had been there, but for those not in the room that night, this was harder to believe.

Thomas wasn’t there. He missed out. And so when the other disciples told him they had seen The Lord, he came back with a bunch of demands.

Not only did Thomas want to see the Lord, he also demanded to touch Jesus: he wanted to put his finger into the holes made by the nails and his hand into Jesus’ side. Otherwise he refused point blank to believe.

Jesus came back for Thomas. And He invited Thomas to put his finger and his hand into the holes and into His side.

The gospel did not tell us whether Thomas actually did it.

But Thomas made the profound expression of faith when he declared before the risen Lord – My Lord and my God!

Jesus said happy are those who have not seen Him and yet believed.

But I would argue that we do see him. We are called to work in this world, to bring hope and light to those in darkness, to provide food and clothing to those in need, and freedom to those who are trapped. And Jesus also said that “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40)

We see Christ every time we help someone in need. Whenever we act with kindness and love. Whenever we fight for what is right. We meet Christ in our day to day lives. Each encounter we have can be a Christ encounter. And we are blessed by this. We are blessed when we meet and recognise The Lord.

We, like Thomas like to be able to hold something real in our faith. But if we find this lacking I our lives, or in our churches, then we have to ask ‘What are we doing?’

This is an important day for Bro Ardudwy. This afternoon the wardens, PCC members and anyone else who wants to will be meeting to look at our vision, and our mission, as individual churches and as a whole group. We join in the Church in Wales’ vision check, as we start to discern where we want to be in 2020 and what we need to do to get there.

We know some of our churches are in trouble, and if we do nothing, if we continue on the path we are on, we know many of our churches will not survive. If nothing changes, churches will have to close.

We give thanks to God today for our faith, for all those changes we have to meet Jesus in each other and in our community. We give thanks for this place, and all that takes place here.

But we also pray that the Holy Spirit will come and guide us through these changes that we need to make, so that those Thomas’ who need to meet Christ physically, will be able to come to us and find him here. We pray for our faith, and our vision, and our future in this place. Amen.

Kayne West – Jesus Walks

Kanye West is an American rap artist and has been producing records since 2001. Like many similar artist, he has a chequered past, and present. He’s been in the news recently for getting into a fight with a photographer.

This is a song from his first solo album, and it talks very strongly about his faith. This song was so important to him that he made three videos to go with it.

I’ve picked one of them for us,

The video follows three people who are down and out, an alcoholic living on the street, a prostitute, and a drug dealer. All of whom find someone to help rescue them, the alcoholic is protected from the traffic by an angel in a wheelchair, the prostitute is protected from a lecherous driver by two children who help her over a fence. And the man who is caught up in a life of dealing drugs flees for his life, but is pursued and knocked to the ground, he is helped up by a bearded angel.

These protectors are persecuted themselves by people from the street, and each of them transform into doves and flies off.

Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism
And most of all, we at war wit ourselves
(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the Devil’s trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me)

You know what the Midwest is?
Young &Restless
Where restless might snatch yo’ necklace
And next these might jack yo’ Lexus
Somebody tell these who Kanye West is

I walk through the valley of the Chi of death is
Top floor, the view alone will leave you breathless
Try to catch it
It’s kinda hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method

They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying, “We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast”
Huh? Ya’ll eat pieces of shit? What’s the basis?
We ain’t going nowhere but got suits and cases

A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis
My momma used to say, Only Jesus can save us
Well momma, I know I act a fool
But I’ll be gone till November, I got packs to move, I hope

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus walk)

And I don’t think there’s nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
(Jesus walk with me)
I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long

God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long
So long, so long
(Jesus walk with me)

To the hustlas, killas, murderas, drug dealas, even the scrippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)

Now hear ye, hear ye, want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
‘Cuz we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers as role models, we rap we don’t think

I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus

So here go my single dawg radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tape
But if I talk about God my record won’t get played, huh?

Well if this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then hope it take away from my sins
And bring the day that I dream about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screamin’ out

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now


People are constantly at war with their environment and with others, the root of all conflict lies internally.
Life is not easy, especially in the city, so many bad things go on.
‘I walk through the Chi of death is, Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless’ – play on psalm 23, Chi = Chicago. Double play – top floor, top of a sky scraper or heaven?

‘God show me the way because the Devil trying to break my down’ calling on God for help!
Welfare reference – free money but given a sub standard living condition.

‘You say you can rap about anything except for Jesus’ because that would just be weird. Interesting psychology going on. By calling out the record industry and challenging them to play a song about Jesus, the record got played a lot in the USA.

‘Then I hope this take away from my sins’ – atonement

Jesus Walks, Jesus Walks with them, Jesus Walks with me – John 14:6-9 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Just getting round to putting my Mothers Union songs up. I’m including the lyrics, video, and the note I made from my reflections and their reflections. Hope they make sense and will help you.


Linkin Park are an American band who formed in 1996. The song we’re going to listen to is called ‘What I’ve Done’ which was released in 2007. It was also used as the main theme for the Transformers film. Ironies of humanity, and the ill effects we have on the world are the focus of the video. It juxtaposes various pieces of footage, for example a large well fed man eating fast food,  a woman measuring her waist and a man who is so malnourished that his rib cage is visible.

One of the band say the song is about “admitting to your faults of the past and kind of accepting it and moving on and trying to become something better”.

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For All I’ve done
I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
What I’ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
Forgiving what I`ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na)


Mercy, reconciliation, politics, sin, repentance, regret.

‘So let mercy come, and wash away’ – baptism reference?

Question over title, ‘What I’ve Done’ is it talking about us individually or the whole of humanity?

God’s forgiveness – our need to move beyond our guilt.
Needing to face issues before we can move beyond them.

Bible – 1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us argue it out says The Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.


Beaches of Bro Ardudwy

Dyfed Wyn Roberts thinks he has one of the best beaches, Llanddwyn. But I would like to argue that. In the Ministry Area of Bro Ardudwy we have arguably some of the best beaches in North Wales. Looking through my photos I’ve decided I need to take more pictures during the day, and not just at our stunning sunrises and settings. We have pebbled beaches, and sandy beaches, beaches with amusement arcades and rides near by, and beaches where you can be all alone. (More photos to follow).



Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10)

Do not be afraid! Death will never have the last word. Jesus is alive. Alleluia!

Bishop of Bangor – Easter Message

This Easter seems to be one for firsts. My bishop this morning has released two different Easter messages (one first), one written and the other a video (another first).

The video is filmed in various locations around the diocese, (Bangor Cathedral, St. Seiriol’s Well, and Penmon beach), and ‘it follows the story of Jesus’ death, resurrection and appearances after his resurrection and examines the meaning of these events’.

Great to see even more advancements into the 21st century and the diocese using new methods of communicating the good news of the Gospel.

Mothers’ Union talk – finding the sacred in secular music

MU_LOGO-rgb-1A few weeks back I did an afternoon for the Mothers’ Union. It was meant to be a ‘Quiet Afternoon’ for three local groups coming together, but I failed on the quiet point. It was my first event for the Mothers’ Union, the group in the parish always meets on a Friday which is usually my day off, and my previous incumbent was an active member as well as our lay reader, so there was little need for me to get involved.

I struggled to come up with a theme for the afternoon, the woman in charge of my local group told me, We don’t like silence, but we don’t like too much taking or discussion. People have done things where we have to move around, and we don’t like that…..but…we don’t like saying still on those hard chairs.’ Another member asked me ‘please…just do something different’.

So after much thought and prayer I decided to stick with something I know about, music. So I got videos for 4 pieces of music that all been popular in the last few years. I also tried to pick different genres so there might be something they all like….???

The most popular comment I got at the end was that they were ‘shaken’. I have to admit, I have never been more proud of feedback in my life. I SHOOK the Mothers’ Union.

I’ll need to do this in different parts because WordPress will only allow me to include one video per post.


This afternoon we will be looking at images of Christ in the secular world, in particular God in popular music which either talks about the artists faith, or could be used in worship but have also been huge hits.

We often despair with the younger generations we see around us, their values and priorities often seem so alien and to many it seems like they even speak a foreign language.

The church is (as we all know) very good at childrens work, but when they get to teenagers and young adults, they seem to drift away and disappear. We are in the 2nd, 3rd or sometimes 4th generation who have not been involved in church.

But not is all lost!!

There are still many places where Christ can be found. Christ is still present in many places where the church is not.

If we can be aware of where Christ is speaking, then we have a greater opportunity of meeting people where they are.

so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.” Titus 2.10

And maybe these can inspire us in our own faith, and in passing it on from generations to generation…

Song 1 – Linkin Park ‘What I’ve Done’ (2007)

Post can be found here.


Themes- repentance, confession, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, baptism, politics, environment, regret



kanyejesuswalksSong 2 – Kayne West ‘Jesus Walks’ (2004)


Post can be found here

Themes – personal faith, difficulties in life, pleading to God, Jesus is with us all – regardless of what we do.




Song 3 – Mumford & Sons ‘Below my Feet’ (2012)babel mumford

Click for video with lyrics (there is no official video for this song)

Themes – death, loss, hope, finding comfort, remaining grounded, keeping on track





Swedish-House-Mafia-hd-wallpaper-studio-shot-portrait1Song 4 – Swedish House Mafia ‘Don’t you worry child’

Post can be found here

Themes – do not worry, plans of God.