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Open Hands Open Heart – Ifor Williams

Rob James reviews a book from a Welsh farmer and pastor all about living – and giving – generously ...

Open Hands Open Heart – Ifor Williams
Heart of Stewardship Price £7.99 216pp ISBN 978-1999729202

We get to know people in all sorts of ways – by reputation, via social media or even by old fashioned telephone for example. But the best way is to meet the person concerned; spending time with them listening to “what makes them tick” and the hopes and dreams they entertain for the future.
 
If you want to get to know Ifor Williams however you need do no more than to read his deeply personal yet powerfully challenging book Open Hands Open Heart. It’s Ifor’s first real plunge in the world of print media, and it has to be said that he has set himself a very high standard if he intends producing anything else in the future.
 
Ben Davies Senior Pastor of Bracknell Baptist/Baptist Family/Kerith Community Church puts it well when he writes “This book is a must read; the personal story of Ifor Williams who led a Baptist Church which became increasingly generous through a journey of faithful obedience over 20 years. Brimming with Bible passages interspersed with amazing anecdotes, the book reads like a modern day Acts of the Apostles.

"The book’s message – if received with faith and applied – will prove to be a thrilling life-changer. What God did for Ifor, his family and the church he led, can be done in us. God has no favourites.”
 
Keith Tondeur OBE, former President of Christian money education charity Credit Action, says something similar when he writes “When Ifor wrote to me and asked me to look at his book I did not expect to be completely ‘blown away’ – nor to read it through in one go!

Ifor, a former dairyman turned Baptist minister, and currently Rural Missioner for the Baptist Union of Wales, says: “This book is about letting go and learning to give generously from the heart – letting go of whatever or whoever is more important in your life than Jesus.”

God, he explains, with abundant Biblical evidence is a generous God who wants “to take our clenched fist and gently open our fingers one by one, helping us to let go so that we ultimately achieve His goal of making us like Himself”.
 
In a very readable yet profoundly challenging way, Ifor takes the reader on a journey signposted so that we are reminded of the God who gives; the God who miraculously gave him a house; our innate tendency to want to hang on to what we have; and the sobering truth that authentic Christian worship always involves sacrifice.

This book has arisen from two basic convictions: the Bible reveals the heart of God, and we discover His goodness and faithfulness when we step out in faith to do His will. Ifor makes this abundantly clear in the most personal way and his challenge deserves to be widely embraced. I hope and pray that will prove the case.
 
Rob James, Church and Media Consultant, Evangelical Alliance Wales

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