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Friday, August 29, 2008

Prayers in North Wales!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

We leave in a few minutes for a prayer conference in North Wales, where we look forward to discovering more of God's praying saints scattered across this land. Please join us in seeking the Lord to release a personal invitation into deeper prayer and intercession to everyone in attendance.

When Moses was out tending his sheep in the mountains, the Lord provoked him with curiosity and wonder at His appearance in the burning bush. And because he said to himself, "I will turn aside and see this great sight", his life and the course of history changed forever.

So we pray for each you, along with the rest of the bride of Christ and ourselves, that we be drawn by the wonder of how Jesus' own life was not consumed by the cross, and bridged the gap between earth and heaven through His eternal victory!

In awe of His saving grace,

Dick & Gladys


Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunshine at last!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

Yesterday was glorious in west Wales! It was the first whole day of sunshine we've had in a month, and this morning it looks like another one is in the making. And like I said last week, it seems close to heaven on earth! I'm sure everyone that could possibly be outdoors yesterday took advantage of the wonderful change in the weather.

Due to the heavy rains we've had, the surface water drains at the entrance to the chapel drive have been blocked up forming a large and treacherous puddle. I had been eyeing the situation, and this was the chance to try my hand. So equipped with my wellies (rubber boots) and a shovel I headed up there to play in the water!

With help from our friend the caretaker, after no small effort, we had excavated a prodigious amount of gravel from the drainage box after we dug out enough to expose the grate. Even after hitting the bottom, an apparently endless supply of gravel kept coming up through the muddy water. When finally the shovel came up empty, we stopped to let the silt settle to the bottom so we could see both inlet and outlet pipes, but the water wasn't going anywhere.

I lowered the shovel slowly into the water so as not to stir up the mud again, more in wishful thinking than trying to do something. We just looked and scratched our heads as if to admit defeat. Then suddenly a dull "clunk" sounded from somewhere down the pipe, and as if some invisible hand had dislodged the last resisting blockage from its place, the water began to flow down in a wonderfully satisfying rush, and before long the puddle was gone, unlike our joy at success!

Reflecting on the morning's activity, I realized how much we can become like this at times ourselves. Through the many circumstances and busyness of our lives, we too can become blocked up with an accumulation of miscellaneous debris which detains the flow of God's life through us. And when we realize that something is amiss, try as we may on our own strength, nothing seems to getting the juices flowing again.

As we seek the Lord about it, we may see things that need adjustment - perhaps a change of attitude towards someone or something, an area of sin to be dealt with, a return to reading the Word regularly, or spending quality time with Him in prayer. And though we do what we know we need to, still things don't seem to change. But as we persist, suddenly, in a spontaneous move of God's wonderful grace, things begin to happen! The living water begins to flow again! The sun begins to shine through the clouds into our lives again, and we can celebrate His unfailing goodness and love!

Paul exhorts in his letter to the Ephesians, 6:13, "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." We must be diligent to do our part, but oh, the glorious freedom to know that it doesn't depend on us, but upon Him alone. And when heaven does draw close to earth, things do change! Some plant, others water, but it is God that gives the increase.

And so we press on towards the goal here in our prayers with great anticipation. Knowing what is in God's own heart for Wales and the nations, we do what we can, and stand firm in our hope. We know that is His good time we will see that great invisible hand move away the blockage, and those rivers of living water will pour out on a dry and thirsty land with salvation and great glory indeed!

On Christ the solid rock we stand,

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Set your heart and soul to seek the Lord"

Dear Friends & Prayers:

This is our fourth summer here in Wales, the wettest one yet, and umbrellas are "in." Even the squirrels that come and share at our "bird table" are equipped and ready to deploy theirs in this very wet weather!

In spite of morning temperatures in the lower 50's the last few days, local beaches sport quite a variety of "holiday makers." Some brave souls actually venture into the cold water, and we see barefoot children digging in the sand with winter parkas to fend off the cold wind, while some parents are bundled up to the nose and hide behind wind barriers.

But still, when the sun does shine even for a few minutes at a time, the lush greens of woodlands, fields and hills seem to make it all worthwhile. A few hours of sunshine and blue skies make it downright glorious to behold. And days of clear weather almost bring heaven down to earth!

Having this abundance of rain causes us reflect on the spiritual climate here. As we continue to pray here on our own and with others, we know we are helping to soak this land in prayer. And the longer we are here, the more we realize the amount of prayer actually going on. And just like the rain keeps coming down and produces glorious fruit, so the cumulative prayer of so many saints continues to knock at heaven's door and God's heart until we shall see Him rend the heavens and come down.

In reading through 2 Chronicles recently, a portion really struck a chord in my spirit. In chapter 22 David is giving the charge to Solomon about building the temple, and then commands all the leaders of Israel to help him. And in verse 19 he tells them, "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God..."

This "setting" of our heart and our soul must paramount in our lives. The fact that David mentions both heart and soul signifies that it is not a casual or a partial commitment, but it requires all of our attention and effort. Although we have to deal with the practical logistics of everyday life, providing for our families, etc., our course must be set to seek the Lord and His ways.

I thought about how when a sailing ship sets a course, and it steers one way and another according to the direction of the wind. Although it may not be pointing in the direction it needs to go, the combined result of its maneuvers drives it toward its goal. The helmsman is constantly referring to the compass and adjusting rudder and sails accordingly.

In the same way, we must keep our hearts and souls firmly and actively set, and our spiritual eyes constantly "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." For us there need be one primary focus - that the name of Jesus be lifted up and His glory cover the earth.

Looking to Jesus with glorious hope,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, August 04, 2008

Summer Prayer Requests . . . and a gift for you!

Dear Friends & Prayers:

These are busy weeks in Wales. It is now official "holiday season" and there are many activities going on in Christian circles here. New Wine, a large charismatic conference that runs all week, is one of the largest gatherings. Some of the larger groups of churches have summer retreats and youth events, as well as ministers' conferences. So we are praying that the Lord move with grace and power in all these different gatherings. Pray that He would continue to draw people into a more intimate relationship with Himself, and continue to "prime the pump" of the church for things to come!

There are a few health related matters I'd like to ask you to pray about with us. First, starting last August, Gladys had a few incidents of shortness of breath for no identifiable reason. She was seen by a specialist back in February and told she had the heart of a 25-year-old, which of course was nice to hear, but it shed no light on the situation which started to show up again a few weeks back. She's been better lately, but please pray the Lord heal her once and for all.

Also we have some good friends we pray with on a weekly basis, and he was told last week that he has cancer and will need surgery as soon as possible. They believe that it is early enough to catch it before it can spread, but please help us pray for Tony. He received prayer today at the New Wine conference, and so lets pray that during the night tonight his healing be completed, and when he goes in for scans and tests tomorrow, the doctors find that God has intervened in a miraculous way!

I want to thank you again for your prayers for our daughter Grace. Today was her first day at work with World Vision in Washington, D.C. and she told me everyone is really nice. She already has two meetings scheduled tomorrow and is "feeling official!" :o) She will be helping to design and implement a program in North Korea, and is looking forward to the experience.

Now here is a little something for you that we hope you'll enjoy. A friend of mine has made me a Welsh Screensaver desktop program from a selection of my photos from different places here in Wales. You can have a look at the pictures and download it here if you like what you see. It is a free gift and I hope it blesses you. We also hope it reminds you to please pray for Wales and our unique calling here.

Standing in the gap by His grace,

Dick & Gladys


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