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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can these bones live?

Dear Friends & Prayers:

When the Lord asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?”, his reply was, “O Lord GOD, You know.” I'm sure you're familiar with this powerful vision that Ezekiel received from the Lord in chapter 37. These words came to me this morning as I was praying by the chapel. And as surely as Ezekiel saw those dry bones come to life, we know the eternal hope we have in Christ is rock solid truth. Through Jesus' sacrifice the countless believers throughout the ages will live forever with Him after the resurrection.

These gravestones are a reminder of this wonderful and Living Hope we have. And just as amazing as this reality is, so is the seemingly overwhelming objective of our intercessory prayer here for revival. God's words in Joel 2:28, “ And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;" speak life into a dry and barren land, and fuel us onwards in the strength of His many awesome promises.

A few months after I originally received the call to come and pray in Wales in the spring of 2002, I returned by myself to pray here at the chapel and seek more confirmation. I spent considerable time then praying both inside and outside. One day I was praying out in the cemetery, and went over to a large gravestone that had lots of writing on it, and it was in English!

I tried hard to see the letters but could only make out enough to see that they were scriptures. I struggled to read them because they had weathered so much since the mid 1800’s. While I was trying to piece the legible words together, suddenly the sunlight fell across them from behind a cloud and filled each letter with shadow, and I could suddenly read them quite clearly!

These are the verses that were revealed:
“Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
“Behold this day I am going the way of all the earth.” Joshua 23:14

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15

These scriptures contain the message of the gospel in succinct clarity, and just tell it like it is. I've come to call this message the "Tombstone Sermon". I expect this will be a central component of revival preaching when the time comes. And it is coming! Our prayer is, “Lord may You quicken Your words to your people in this very way with the light of Your countenance!"

On another note, please continue your prayers for Gladys' health. We have decided to postpone our trip to the U.S. until the spring, and are trusting the Lord for her total recovery of strength and vitality. Thankfully her symptoms are gradually improving, but a diagnosis of any treatable disease still remains to be found, and tests are ongoing. A heartfelt thanks for your prayers and notes of encouragement!

Love and blessings to all, and may your Thanksgiving be filled with God's love and presence,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, November 17, 2008

A full house and then some . .

Dear Friends & Prayers:

The last six days have been a flurry of activity accompanied by much joy and fellowship. We had three guests at first and even five one night, and we were delighted to see the rooms of our home filled with people! We were able to furnish our second guest room just in time, and "Hen Ffynnon", the Welsh name of our house meaning Ancient Well, was overflowing with people whose hearts long to see the earth filled with the glory of the Lord.

It was a special blessing to see how the Lord brought people together from different places. The three men that came from the U.S. and Canada en route to the conference in Scotland shared in some of the local churches in the area. And besides them, for the "revival tour" that I mentioned last week, some other friends of ours "happened" to show up at just the right time. Our friend Pastor Steve Evans by a "chance encounter" also brought along another two people, and so we were a good sized group.

To the left is the chapel at New Quay where young Florie Evans cried out, "I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart", in a young people's meeting in early 1904 led by Seth Joshua. Many hearts were touched and confronted by the presence of the Lord and this was the early beginning of what become the great Welsh Revival of 1904-05.

Another highlight of our trip was a visit to the chapel in Llangeitho, where there were several periods of revival during the 1700's. Daniel Rowland was one of the men that God used in an extraordinary way to bring thousands upon thousands of souls into the Kingdom. As a result of Rowland's annointed preaching, one writer describes how on one occasion, "The whole chapel seemed as if it was filled with some supernatural element, and the whole assembly was seized with extraordinary emotions; hundreds of them, with tears streaming down their faces, some evidently from excess of sorrow, others from the overflowing of joy; some broken and contrite with penitence, and others rejoicing with the hope of glory." - Isn't that a wonderful description? Won't you join us in praying for this in our times?

Outside the chapel where Rowland preached is this statue to commemorate his life and ministry. I was particularly touched by a quote in Welsh inscribed on the monument. In English it says,

Oh Heaven, Heaven, Heaven!
All your lovely places would be
sadly empty unless Zion bear you
up children from here on the earth

This seemed to reflect what I shared last week about Jesus "bringing many sons to glory." Just being in a place where this longing of God's own heart was so fervently and effectively preached and so many souls were borne from earth to heaven was envigorating and challenging to us all.

We are so very blessed to be here in Wales for a time such as this. It is a great privilege for us to be connected to so many wonderful saints, and a joy to help make connections among others whose hearts beat with the same longing for an outpouring of grace and revival in this land and the nations of the world.

Thank you for your interest, your love and your prayers,

Dick & Gladys


Sunday, November 09, 2008

A bit of this and that . . .

Dear Friends and Prayers:

This is just a brief update on some things that are going on recently. As you can see in the picture we have put our "prayer booth" up again for the coming winter. We are able to heat this small space when we're there and it makes a big difference from the forty something degrees inside the chapel!

I have started on Welsh classes again for the school year. It is a challenge and also makes me wonder if this dog is too old to learn new tricks. I just hope that it eventually will sink in and actually be of some use. Because everyone speaks English so well, it is very difficult to make much progress because efficient communication always seems to take precedence over practicing Welsh. Your prayers are appreciated in this respect.

This week we will be hosting some friends from America that will be participating in a Revival Conference in Scotland later this month. A local pastor friend offered to organize a tour of key revival spots in Cardiganshire - places you may have read about - Blaennanerch Chapel of Evan Roberts' fire baptism, the chapel in New Quay where the first evidence of revival started in early 1904, and other sites of important movings of God from the previous centuries as well. We are looking forward to what will surely be an educational and inspirational time for all involved!

Just a quick comment about the election results: a lot of people are happy about the result, and a lot of people are not. But one thing is clear - we need to pray seriously for President-Elect Obama and the U.S.A. I heard him profess his faith on a recording of the Saddleback Church Forum, and heard him quote Micah 6:8, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" So I think that is a good prayer to say for him. And we should pray that as the weight of the responsibility mounts on him, that he be inexhorably drawn to the Word of God for counsel. As as Paul prays at the end of Galations, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with his spirit.

Thank you very much for your continued prayers for Gladys. Although we still have no answers from the medical practicioners here, she is beginning to show signs of improvement. There are still days when she is experiencing tiredness and other things, but some of the uncomfortable symptoms are not as frequent or long lasting, so that is good news, and raises hopes of our being able to travel in early December to visit family over the Christmas holidays. We are really looking forward to seeing our children and friends, so please do keep your prayers going heavenward.

Yesterday morning in the chapel the Lord showed the beauty and power of this scripture in Hebrews 2:9-10, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." It struck home to me that this is the essence of our cry for revival in the nations, that our heavenly father indeed bring many sons (and daughters) to glory!

Our strength is renewed in His love,

Dick & Gladys


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