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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Seeing Advent from the Father's Perspective ...

Dear Friends:

A old friend posted these thoughts from his even older friend called Pastor Bob. I thought it presents a very good perspective not only just for this season Christmas season but all the year long. And so I just want to share the blessing with you here.

"From our human, earthly perspective we speak of 'Advent' - the coming of the Son of God to us. "Emmanuel" is the word of celebration sung by all of us who once 'sat in darkness longing to see the great Light' of Eternal Life coming down to us.

"But from the heavenly perspective, in the Holy Spirit we may ponder the 'goings of God.' What is 'Advent' for us, is a season in time in which, to our human understanding of heavenly realities, 'the Beloved Son is away from home.' The Angels, giving 'Glory to God in the Highest,' followed their Lord in His 'descent' to the edges of our human experience, as His infant form was held in the hands of a humble carpenter and his virgin spouse.

"Because God transcends the categorical borders of time and space of the human mind, there was no sadness in heaven at the event of our Lord's 'coming' to us. That coming was a glorious manifestation of the 'going' of God - reaching out to bring His wandering creation winterwind.jpgback into the Eternal Purpose of Unfailing Love.

"At the season, let us 'fix our thoughts' upon Jesus, and behold His coming as 'The One Sent from the Father.' In receiving the Son who is sent to us, we are embraced by the Father in His 'going forth.' For, though, to our view, the Son of God left heaven to come to us, all heaven eternally beholds their Lord, manifest in mortal flesh as the 'Son of Man' who is always in Heaven [cf, Jn. 3:13 margin] The Son is always with the Father, and in Him we see the Father! Ponder the mystery of our caroling confession: 'Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity!'

"Let us prayerfully stand by faith with the Angels and 'Saints in the Kingdom of Light' and join the praise of heaven for 'the goings of God.' This is the fullness of 'Advent.' "
                           Written by Pastor Bob Y.

We pray the Lord bless you and your loved ones this Christmas, and also may the number of those loved ones grow because of 'the goings of God' through you!

Dick & Gladys

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Blessing from Guatemala to Wales, one generation on ...

guatemalaprayers.jpgDear Praying Friends:

Last Sunday we said goodbye to our daughter Grace, and then on Tuesday picked up another young friend, Magdaly and her husband Sergio, from Quetzaltenango in highlands of Guatemala. We lived there for five years helping to establish a Verbo church, and her parents part of our group and special friends from the early days. Grace knew her older sister and her from the Sunday school and visits to play, so it would have been nice for them to see each other after 30 years!

What a special blessing for us to get to know both her and her husband now as grown professionals and, more importantly, followers of Jesus! It was such a joy to experience, in person and real time, the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:58 that says, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Little could we have imagined so many years ago in Guatemala that we would ever be missionaries in Wales. And less would it have occurred to us that one day, in the then distant future, someone from there would come to visit us all the way over here. And even less likely still would we have imagined that one the precious children of our congregation would even remember us or come for a visit.

xela-escuela1989.jpgBut, of course, God is true to his word and always has unexpected ways of surprising and blessing us as we follow his leadings. This photo was taken in 1989 of the school that we started in Xela, the indigenous name for Quetzaltenango. Magdaly is on the far right, perhaps distracted by thoughts of future and faraway places. So you can imagine the delight of having her and her husband with us for a few days at the end of their tour to Paris and London.

It was wonderful to take them up to the chapel and spend some time in prayer there. It was then that the fruit of God's faithfulness from one generation to the next came into such a sweet focus as we blended hearts and voices to call on heaven's mercies to pour down on this land once again.

We also had the privilege of showing them around some of the extremely beautiful places in our area. They even got to see a few hours of sunshine in the midst of a typical wet Welsh winter! One place that was particularly impressive was the Strumble Head Lighthouse near Fishguard. The wild winds shook the car and the great waves crashed time and time again into the cliffs, sending masses of white splash and spray skywards in stark contrast to the black rocks and dark grey clouds. It made a great picture of our prayers for God's kingdom to wash over this nation with His light and power.

oldfriendsandnew.jpgOn Sergio and Magdaly's third and last night, we were invited to our friends Stan and Sue's house for a delicious supper, with worship and prayer following. With two other couples who we've become friends with over the years, there was a fair bit of translation going on, but we had a fabulous evening together. And an extra surprise for our dear visitors from Guatemala was a powerful time of prayer and prophecy over them that blessed and touched them deeply. 

It is such an amazing gift that we so frequently find ourselves enjoying the company of God's saints. And to have this special taste of old times and new blended together into the fold of the moment was heartwarming and glorious. And it is precisely this kind of experiencing the Body of Christ in action as "family" that demonstrates God's love and can welcome the lost and lonely into the newness and fullness of life we have in Jesus.

As the world grows darker around us in our times, we can clearly see God preparing the nets across nations and generations to draw people into the eternal welcome of His grace and salvation.

May God bless you in your fellowship and your prayers as we seek Him together for the coming visitation and revival both in Wales and the world,

Dick & Gladys


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