Friends and Prayers:
Last week we had the pleasure of traveling on the "Heart of Wales"
train line to visit friends in Shrewsbury, about ten miles across the border
into England. With the changing colors it was a spectacular ride through hills
and valleys, forests and farmlands, towns and villages.
We haven't been through this "heart-land" of Wales before, and as
the train (one self-propelled coach!) rolled through the beautiful countryside
it provided us views that we would never see by car. It also provided an opportunity
to see more of this land for which we are praying. You
can see a short video here.
Statistics of these rural areas show minimal church attendance where once the
Gospel flourished, and so it was with longing eyes and hearts that we passed
through these places, claiming all that we could see for the Kingdom and glory
of Jesus our Lord! It seems that the more we see of Wales, the more we realize
we must rely on God alone to do what is impossible for man.
It is this challenge of impossibility that propels us onwards! We continue
to hear more prophetic words about a coming move of God in Wales. And we also
hear of more men and women who are being
called by the Lord into new places and ministries that are stepping out of the
traditional way of "doing church."
In the time that we've been here we can see how God has been carefully "stacking
the deck." He strategically is moving people into place in preparation
for times to come, and stirring their hearts with deeper desire to know Him
more and also to see Him come visit this land again and transform the people
of Wales through the workings of the Holy Spirit.
Trusting in His grace alone,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
This morning as I began to read Psalm 8, I was struck by the words in the first verse,
"O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth . . . "
I got stuck right there and couldn't get past those first two lines for several
minutes. It seemed like that was the prayer for today.
The first thing that got to me is that it is such an amazing privilege to know
Him by name and call Him my friend. My eyes overflowed with tears of wonder
and gratitude as I reflected on this marvelous truth. The second part that hit
me was the fact that the majority of people in this world haven't got a clue
of His love and compassion for every one of them. That is just unbearable at
The psalm goes on to say in verses 3 and 4,
"When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?"
Is it not amazing that He actually visits us? He actually delights in visiting
Sometimes He just seems to drop in uninvited. That was how He got Moses' attention
one day in the mountains. But most of the time He waits for us to extend an
invitation - to give Him a time and place to visit. He is so gracious!
However when we pray for revival, I feel like we are really praying for an
uninvited visitation. We are inviting Him to visit us, but it is really an invitation
to visit everyone else whether they want or expect it or not! It's kind of like
inviting someone to somebody else's house for dinner, but in this case He brings
the banquet with Him. In fact, He IS the banquet!
I've been reading some more accounts recently of some of the revivals here
in Wales, and time after time God just showed up and people were visited unexpectedly.
In 1831 in Blaenau Ffestiniog the Lord showed up at a routine weekly meeting
where the opening prayer turned into an all night prayer meeting! The Holy Spirit
rent their hearts throughout the night for their unsaved companions, and when
they got to work at the slate mines at 6 in the morning, they were surprised
to find many men on their knees trying to find peace with God!
That is the kind of visitation we long for and are praying for - a surprise
visit by the Most High! Let's start by making sure our door is open to Him day
or night, and welcome whatever "surprises" He brings to us. And then
let's pray for a mighty visitation where He comes and convicts the world of
sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement. Then they too will know how excellent
is His name in all the earth!
In awe of His splendor and majesty,
Dick & Gladys
Friends & Prayers:
The farmers here don't waste time, so the field above the chapel is already
planted again with winter wheat. And as I looked on in admiration at God's handiwork,
I thought about how His mercies spring up fresh every day just like this!
How countless are the mercies of God? And how many do each of us need every
day? When I lifted my eyes and looked over this whole field covered with the
light green blush of millions of new little plants, I was overwhelmed by His
goodness and faithfulness and was filled with joy!
Then when I went inside the chapel I was reminded of the song taken from Lamentations
by Edith McNeil, "The steadfast love of the Lord
never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning,
New every morning, Great is Thy faithfulness, oh Lord, Great is Thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-24 also says, "Through the Lord's
mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not."
and "'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, "Therefore
I hope in Him!"
And so rightly we can rejoice in the hope we have in Jesus with each new day!
There are enough of His mercies and compassions for everyone - that means for
you, for Gladys and I, and for everyone else on this whole earth. When we blow
it somehow each day - maybe lose our patience or struggle with matters of faith
- His mercies are more than enough to cover us and keep us on course. Now, that
is amazing grace!
at this fresh example of how God continually provides food for the world is
such a declaration - such a physical proof - of His faithfulness! Remember just
a few week ago it was a field of golden grain? And now here comes a whole new
crop starting of fresh and clean, just like His mercies. It also brings to mind
the words of Jesus when Mark 4:26-27 says, "...a
man scatters seed on the ground .. and it sprouts and grows, and he himself
does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then
the head, after that the full grain in the head."
This is such a great statement here - that the man doesn't really know how
it all works. He knows enough to plant the seed because it does work, but that's
about it. The earth and all of nature, God's gift to us, then works "by
itself." Perhaps in our modern world, agricultural science knows a lot
more about how it works, but it can't really explain why. But that's
where God's mercy comes in. HE is the reason why it works!
It is His steadfast love that keeps on providing for us, keeps on sustaining
life, and He too does it with hope. He is hoping that mankind will finally understand
that He loves us so much that Jesus came to give His life as a ransom for many.
He is longing for the day when individuals will turn to Him and find forgiveness
and eternal life, and offer Him their worship and service with grateful hearts.
This is the greatest thing that mankind can ever know. And when we discover
this, when we know Him and enjoy a relationship with Him, then and only then
we can understand why things really grow. Then we can understand how
His mercies and lovingkindness are what keep us all going. And what joy there
is in the knowing!
So we too are planting our "winter wheat" in the spiritual fields
of Wales. Although autumn progresses and most of the trees will soon look bare
and lifeless, many fields like this are just now filling with green and showing
wonderful signs of lively growth. And along with many other praying saints here,
we rejoice in seeing signs of life in the spirit here also. There are abundant
signs of God's moving over this land, and there is a definite stirring in the
hearts of believers here. There is a calling to prayerful longing for God's
presence, and a growing sense of expectancy as hope lights up hearts like these
tender shoots from the good earth God gives us.
With thanksgiving for His tender mercies each day,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
My camera couldn't capture the beauty of the sun pouring through the clouds
behind Blaenau Ffestiniog just moments after we arrived last Thursday, so just
let your imagination do the rest. I couldn't help but see it as picture of what
I believe the Lord wants to do in this place!
Our desire is to pursue the Lord's heart about His plans for this place, and
it was a real blessing to be able to go there again with our friends Leroy and
Cindy and spend some time praying together there. It was also good to hear a
perspective from some praying saints from outside
of Wales. Cindy had a very distinct feeling that she shares here in a
brief video, which really blessed us and gave more substance to our prayers.
This was the third time we have gone back to pray there since I had the very
strong encounter with God's presence hovering over this village back in June.
Besides the meeting with a pastor and his wife that I mentioned in last Friday's
update, we also had the opportunity with the Metzgers to hike up into the hills
Saturday morning and pray again with our friend Ken.
We had a good and intense time of prayer together overlooking the village,
and were invigorated by strong gusts of wind. (Once again, a portent of things
to come.) He said that when he had prayed with us there in July, it had been
a good thing to do but it was just prayer. But this time he said he really felt
in his spirit that
something was stirring, and we were all greatly encouraged and our prayers got
some extra mileage there too!
I've been reading a small book called The Revival in Wales, by S.B. Shaw (1905),
a collection of reports and articles from the time during the revival. Here
is an excerpt from an article by a Rev.T.F Hulme. "Evan Roberts told me
that prayer became so passionate and mighty at Caerphilly that at midnight a
number of men formed themselves into a praying "Get-them-out-of-bed brigade,"
and in an hour two or three of the sinners prayed for became so miserable in
bed that they dressed hurriedly and came on to the service and yielded to Christ
there and then."
There are wonderful descriptions of the mighty outpouring of God's Spirit
in those days in Wales. And once again, it all seems to boil down to prayer!
It doesn't matter what kind of barriers the enemy throws up to keep men separate
from God, when there is prevailing prayer, people will even be gotten up in
the middle of the night and driven to seek the Lord!
So with renewed strength and determination through God's strength, we pursue
the calling to prayer, and pour out our hearts for His heart of mercy and loving
kindness to once again be seen and felt in this nation, and see all men drawn
to Jesus our Lord and Savior. We so much appreciate your interest and your prayers,
and would ask that you specifically pray that men and women of prayer would
be raised up and empowered in the North to see the glory of God manifested in
revival fires again in Blaenau Ffestiniog and all of Wales!
By the grace of God's endless love for the world,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
The waves that roll in from the sea are a continual reminder of the God's steadfast
love that is poured day by day into our hearts and lives. They also remind us
of his constant calling to the hearts of men to come to Him for redemption and
acceptance in the Beloved. Furthermore, they can show us the rhythm of prayer
without ceasing - wave after endless wave, washing and splashing, smoothing
and cleansing in this evening sky.
We could never be as constant in prayer as this could we? Yet we are challenged
to do exactly this in scriptures many times! Jesus says in Luke 21:36, "Watch
therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these
things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
By ourselves, we can only try. But Jesus also says several times in the Gospels
that even though things are impossible for men, "with
God all things are possible."
So we are exhorted by many things around us to keep on going for it in prayer.
And we are also encouraged more and more to keep on pressing in for His Kingdom
to come. The Lord keeps sending us people to pray with recently, and we are
just enjoying it so much - it is wonderful!
It was 105 years ago on Tuesday that Evan Roberts cried out "bend me.."
at the chapel in Blaenannerch, and a friend of mine called to say he was going
there to pray. I joined him for a wonderful time together in God's presence,
and then some others friends passing by recognized my car, and came in and joined
us also. So aspontaneous meeting brought us all a special time as we cried out
that we too may be continually "bent" by the Spirit to be conformed
to His character and will.
our next big treat came later that night when I picked up of old time friends
Leroy and Cindy Metzger who were part of the community where I was saved in
1973! After pastoring for many years in Hawaii, they have spent the last for
years in Malawi in Africa, Living with, praying with and loving on some the
poorest and neediest children and people in the world. Their hearts of service
and love have found a place where they can pour out Christ in them into a
sea of need without measure.
They will be with us for a week, and we have been having a marvelous time.
So many shared memories, and many more experiences and testimonies of God's
unending supply of love and His amazing plans for this world we live in. Yesterday
we drove up again to Blaenau Ffestiniog, and are spending time praying here
for what is in the Lord's heart for this town and area. We've been praying up
in the hills and walking through the town, and are just wanting to hear God's
heart for this place.
Also this morning met with a Welsh pastor and his wife from a town about an
hour away who have also been connected into this town "for some reason."
There are many pieces to this "puzzle" that we don't understand at
all, but had a blessed time just sharing hearts, and praying about what might
be next. So please remember to keep this Blaenau Ffestiniog in your prayers.
We head home again tomorrow and look forward to more very precious times of
prayer and intercession with Leroy and Cindy. Meanwhile our internet connection
has been down for a few days, and so I want to get this mailed out from our
friends' home tonight where we're having supper, so please excuse any typos!
As always, thank you for your prayers, and your love for Jesus and those He
loves. May God bless you richly!
Dick & Gladys
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