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Monday, September 24, 2007

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED - Goodbye to Beulah?

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Yesterday our landlord told us, with much regret, that we will have to find another place to live. A family situation that has come up for them, and they will need this house, which has been our home now for two years. As you might well imagine, this came as quite a surprise. We have until the end of November, so it gives us a fair chance to find another place, but it is a huge challenge as affordable rented housing is very difficult to find around here.

We'd like to request your prayers for a couple of things:
First, please pray for our landlord's family. They are very nice people, have been great with us, and they need a real touch from the Lord. A change in their situation could possibly permit us to stay here.
Second, please ask the Lord on our behalf that He us favor in finding another place, with the same amenities as this house, and if not in Beulah, then closer to the chapel. We love it here, we have good neighbors and friends close by, and it will be hard to leave it all behind.

However, we know in Whose hands we lovingly held, and look forward to another adventure of faith in His wonderful faithfulness! Thank you for standing with us in prayer in this time of need.

Thankful that in Him we live and move and have our being,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Lord, for Your name's sake!"

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Two weeks have slipped by, and we seem to be getting settled down again after the events of summer, which has now gone, if in fact it ever really came at all. I was working outside Saturday, and the cooling breeze carried the distinct smell of autumn! Days are growing shorter now, and yesterday was colder than it has been in spite of some nice sunshine. And quite suddenly October is less than two weeks away!

Since our daughter left, we've had some more visitors staying, and have been delighted to take some of them with us to the chapel to pray. That is always a great encouragement to us. There have also been some small local events that were a blessing, including a quarterly joint meeting of folks from several churches in the area on Monday night. Next week our Welsh classes start up again after a summer break, and so we get back into learning mode again. (Please pray for us concerning this. Learning this language has been a significantly more difficult challenge than learning Spanish was for me.)

Sitting here in the chapel this afternoon, I was reading in Ezekiel chapter 20. His message to the house of Israel expresses His anger towards them and intention to "pour out My fury on them" three times! Yet each time He stops short and "acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned among the gentiles." I found myself deeply stirred by this, and wept and cried out with longing for the name of the Lord to be rightly recognized and honored.

So many of the problems we see around us are a direct result of the Lord's name being "profaned" in the world of today. The rampant immorality, the flaunting of so many harmful and ungodly trends, the pointlessness and waste that pervades current youth culture and countless more issues could be resolved if the Name of the Lord were given its due place.

And so this is more fuel for our prayers for revival. This is a good focal point for serious prayer, and I realized that we can incorporate this very sentiment as we ask the Lord to "act for His name's sake." This was, in fact, a key point of many of Evan Roberts' agonizing prayers 100 years ago, which bore wonderful fruit! And so we'd like to encourage you to give this scripture a read, and ask the Lord to open your eyes to what He may show you also.

Ezekiel 18:31 says, "Cast away from you the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?" With declarations like this in the scriptures, there is great hope in our darkened world, and we can pray with renewed hope in Jesus Christ our Savior!

Running the race with patience, empowered by His love,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Good grief . . .

Dear Friends & Prayers:

It has been a busy time since our daughter was with us. We really had a wonderful time just being together and doing some sightseeing in the area. She and her friend got a taste of one of the coldest and wettest Welsh summers in quite a while, and we are grateful for a few sunny days we did have. One morning a couple weeks ago it was only 47 degrees!

After visiting this stunningly situated old Carreg Cennen Castle, there was another place in particular that Gladys and I had only driven past before but has intrigued me since. It was the ruins of the old Talley Abbey, about an hour to the south of us. So this time we stopped in and spent a little bit of time there. A plaque near the entrance tells how the abbey had been established late in the twelfth century in this secluded and peaceful countryside, and that it was a self-sustaining agricultural community. The motto of this order was, "Devotion, scholarship and service."

After walking around a bit, I sat for a while and gazed at the massive stonework, whose imposing remains still tower 85 feet tall. After a few minutes' reflection, I could image how busy this place must have been, with all the industrious work of such a community - producing and preparing food for its members, keeping up with a schedule of prayer, religious services and study, and serving others in the area.

Then suddenly in the midst of my historical reverie I was overwhelmed with grief as I realized that all this devotion had come to naught through the course of time. It was as if the cause of Christ itself had lost its usefulness in a developing world, and the work was abandoned. And then I was brought to the present, and could see the self-same condition in Wales today. People just plough ahead with the busy-ness of life, and don't seem to recognize their dependence on a Loving God, or the importance of recognizing their need for Him in the eternal scheme of things. Although there is indeed a gradually awakening church in Wales, people are as oblivious to it as they are of their very Creator.

Since our visit, I have been reminded of this impression several times while praying at the chapel and elsewhere. And then just the other morning I read in Lamentations 3:32, "Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies." And so this is the "good grief" that helps to empower our prayers here of late. And just before this verse is the well-known portion starting in verses 21-23, "This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." (NKJV)

Praying with great hope in His compassion for Wales and the world,

Dick & Gladys


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