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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The River of God

Dear Friends & Prayers:

The scripture reading for this morning's monthly service at Cilfowyr Chapel was taken from Ezekiel 47:1-12 where he describes the waters flowing from under the threshold of the temple, and how the farther away from the temple the river ran, the deeper it became. Then in verse 9 it says, "And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes."

This came as a blessed reminder of what has been and continues to be the cry of our hearts for Wales. The outpouring of these living waters that bring healing and fruitfulness is what we have earnestly been praying for. How we long to see fullness of God's presence come into the lives of the dear souls that faithfully attend the numerous chapels throughout Wales. Oh, that the direct and personal revelation of God's love might fill to overflowing the hearts of all of these people, and that the overflow would draw others into the family of God.

I was also reminded of an experience I wrote about in my update from December 15, 2005. ". . as I again stood in front of the pulpit I began to cry out loudly for God's mercy and grace to be poured out in this place. There was an accompanying conviction and surety in my spirit as I prayed. Suddenly, in the spirit I could see this great current of grace and mercy flowing out from here, and people streaming to the front to be bathed in His presence and receive His grace and mercy. This stream of people was not just those in the building, but as if time extended outwards I could see people coming in from many places in Wales and beyond."

We are still filled with expectation by our experience at the Celebration for the Nations also, where so many people were gathered together to pray for this out-flowing of the River of God. And that this scripture was the theme of this morning's sermon was a confirmation and encouragement that things are moving forward according to God's plan. Although we'd like to see massive revival start to break out today, we know that in patience our faith is being perfected. And so we press on, "that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Heb.6:12

In His abiding love,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, August 13, 2007

Family joy, and a heart to know the Lord!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

A real highlight of our summer started last Wednesday when I drove to Bristol to pick up our daughter Grace who had just spent a week in Spain with a friend from Tulane School of Public Health in New Orleans. As you might imagine, we had been counting the days, and this is a very special "dessert" after such a great week at the Celebration. We stay with her when we have been in the States, but it is a real joy to have her at home with us now in Beulah. She visited us two years ago with the younger two of her three brothers, but we were still living in temporary accommodations then. It wasn't until later that we made our seventh and final move in five months to settle here in Beulah.

We have just been enjoying hanging out together, sharing meals (and washing a few dishes too!) and doing a bit of touring around our beautiful area of West Wales. After a week of doing some intensive tourism in Spain, Grace and Kristina have been taking it very easy. and it is such a great blessing to us to have them with us, and we look forward to more of the same for the next two weeks - a nice long visit and we're loving every minute of it!

In the same way we have been so happy to have our daughter with us, I can't help but think about the Lord's family too. As we waited and longed for the day of her arrival, I know that with a far greater love the Lord waits and longs for the days when His children "come home" to Himself. What marvelous joy He must have every time there is a new birth in His family, and how He delights in spending time with each one. His priceless and sacrificial investment for our redemption pays eternal and glorious returns that rejoice His heart.

As I was praying yesterday evening in the chapel, I was reading where the Lord showed Jeremiah the baskets of figs in chapter 24. He says of the good figs in verse 7, "Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, and they shall be My people, and I shall be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole Heart." That phrase "I will give them a heart to know Me" was like an arrow that touched me profoundly and caused me to cry out in anguish that He might give the Welsh people that kind of heart. The need here is so great, and all we can do is cry out to Him to do what only He can do.

We also pray that He would maintain that kind of heart in us as well. Not only us personally, but us corporately as His children and His church. We pray that the fellowship and love we share together as God's family bring us joy and encouragement also. And we pray that prayer for you too!

In the power of His saving grace,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, August 06, 2007

Back to normal? Far from it!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

The silence of "our" little chapel is a striking contrast to the crescendos of praise and worship that arose at the Celebration during the last week. It was a real privilege to be part of such a gathering of fervent believers and join our hearts and prayers with so many that came from around the world to be here in Wales. During the eight days there were many precious and profound moments, as well as great times of fellowship and making new friends in this wonderful family of God.

Part of the way through the last meeting on Saturday morning, an announcement was made that many people were having to leave to make travel connections. There was prayer also for many that were leaving for missions to other countries. It was profoundly touching as people who a few short days before had never seen each other embraced and wept openly. As I clutched the hand of a young departing Korean, it was almost like saying goodbye to one of our own children! It was as if this whole wonderful experience in the heart of God's love and blessing were so close to heaven that nobody wanted it to end! Then I was bowled over when I realized this too was a taste of God's love and yearning for all His children, and more so for the vast multitudes that have yet to know our Savior's love and forgiveness.

One particularly poignant such moment was when we were singing, "I’m coming back to the heart of worship" by Matt Redman. It suddenly became apparent to me that we were singing our intercession for the heart of Wales, and crying out to the Lord with this powerful song. The lyrics "I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it" express repentance for letting real heart-felt worship become just "a song in itself." And this is sadly what has happened here - the Welsh love to sing for singing's sake, but are sadly distant from the Author of Life. How our hearts long for the restoration of this nation!

Partaking together of the Lord's Supper was another precious experience. I went forward with many other ministers to help with the distribution, and what a glorious expression of the body of Christ that was! There were many ethnic and national groups present, and to see them all coming forward to receive the elements was like a beautiful tapestry of the Church with its variety and unity at once. This was like a small sampling of that Day we all long for when we all sit together at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

So now we are back home, but not "back to normal." Our times of prayer at the chapel have taken on a newness and fresh significance after such a rich time of prayer with the multitudes of the saints. We are greatly encouraged, and know more vividly that we are not alone! So we rejoice at the Lord's gracious calling to stand in the gap for this nation. Thank you for standing with us for His righteousness to be openly manifested throughout the earth in our times.

In the incomparable love of Christ,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Celebration of Jesus' love & power in praise and prayer

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Words are sorely lacking to describe the experiences at Celebration for the Nations. The best is to visit their website and look at the photos and videos. Those from this morning how wonderful expressions of the prayer that is going on in this place. The expression of both the worship and power is visible in the pictures from one day the the next, and I only wish you could be here to experience it for your selves.

The worship has been with such power and surrender, it is awesome to behold and partake in.During Monday morning's session, the Lord brought me the scripture from Luke 19:40 "And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." I felt that we were to take the place of these stones and let our praise and worship during the week be a proxy for those without Christ in the nations of the world. If only they knew the glories of His wonderful love. I had the opportunity to encourage those present to do just that, and realize that the higher our worship goes, the deeper the intercessory power to remove strongholds and see the freedom of the Lord break into the realms of darkness and change things.

These ladies are part of a group who came from Misoram, in northeast India. Their tribe were a much feared group of head-hunters who were gloriously saved through the preaching of a Welsh missionary who was sent to there area by the Holy Spirit after the 1904 revival. I was so touching to hear their testimony and experience their gratitude to God for the famed Welsh outpouring. So they came to bring the revival fire back to Wales where it seems to have been extinguished. Not for much longer though!

It is a glorious privilege to be here and participate in this event, and how we wish more of you could have come!

Enthralled by His presence,

Dick & Gladys


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