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Monday, September 26, 2011

Breakfast of champions - God's champions!

Dear Praying Friends:

It's hard to believe we are coming to the end of our seventh summer here in Wales! Although it has apparently been the coldest summer on record, we have survived fairly well. Flowers are still blooming amid a few falling leaves and early autumn colors, but green is still the primary color everywhere.

Our drove north last week to Blaenau Ffestiniog for the monthly prayer meeting took us through some brighter fall colors in the mountains, and days are noticeably shorter now also. I always find the change to be refreshing, and it is a good reminder of deeper things.

Daniel 2:21 says, "And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding." The cycle of seasons seems to exemplify how our life in the Lord is ever-changing too. As we continue to seek Him and His wisdom and understanding for our daily lives amidst a changing world, we are renewed and strengthened by His grace.

In my last update I asked you to please pray for the Pembrokeshire Prayer Breakfast, which was held this past Saturday morning. Thank you for praying! Close to two hundred people turned out for the event, and it was a wonderfully encouraging for all present. Many people were pleasantly surprised to find out how many other believers in the region are serious about seeking God for local needs.

I got an email from a young lady I met who said,
"Being fairly
new to the area it's really encouraging to know that lots of people
around have the same vision for God's amazing plans for this
county and nation :)" And they are amazing plans indeed.

Here is another email I received last week that speaks volumes.

My name is Sarah, my father is a priest in South Wales and until very recently I have been an RE teacher in an Oxford Secondary School. However, God had different plans and called me to leave my job and to research the topic of revival in Wales, not just the revival of the past but the revival that is to come. I prayed with my family and then approached a university tutor who was excited by the idea of such a project - we got another tutor on board and after a twelve month process of leaving my job etc, I am due to begin my PHD studies in January 2012.
To be honest, right now I have no idea why I am emailing you - I have seen your website in the past and just stored it away as information to look at when my research begins, but for some reason I have found myself contacting you today.
God bless, Sarah

The past two weeks have been very full, and I hope to share more about that in another update later in the week.

Thank you again for your continued prayers for Wales and the nations,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeding on God's Faithfulness . .

Dear Friends and Praying Saints:

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
                                    2 Corinthians 4:6

A look at the world around us shows things to be dark and even stormy in places. Every day there is fresh news of terrible troubles going on somewhere. Yet in the midst of turmoil God enables us and invites us to dwell in His light. He is always there for us. What an amazing gift!

And the blessing doesn't stop there, it's just getting started. His word says in Psalm 37:3 "Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness."

These words are far more than pleasant thoughts and pretty pictures. They are the word of God describing the reality of our condition as believers. And they are a call to action, a call to do good.

Having been bought with the blood of Christ, we are no longer of this world, but are still be in it by His grace. We're just passing through. But while we're here, we are not only enabled to hang out in the Sonshine, but also are called to reflect the Sonshine so others may come and find warmth and comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Spending time in His presence is a choice we make. It is there in prayer, in His word and in times of worship that He meets with us and nourishes us. There is where we find mercy and comfort as we feed on His astounding faithfulness, and His unchanging goodness.

As one plants seeds in the ground, we must sow ourselves, our time, in His presence. There might be a few little little helpful things we can like watering and weeding, but the rest is out of our hands. But God is the one who makes anything grow.

And then when the time of harvest comes, that's when we get to share with others of the good things God has been quietly working on in us. Perhaps even without our being aware of it, others receive the comfort and care of God's love from the garden of our hearts. And that is one of the best and most joyful parts. We get to just love and encourage others because He first loved us. Simply sharing in His workings is such a wonderful privilege!

Yesterday we took part in a small prayer group in the middle of Pembrokeshire, just to pray for and bless this area of Wales. It was a great time and we were all delighted to be there enjoying Him together. One of the things we prayed for is the Pembrokeshire Prayer Breakfast on Saturday the 24th of September.

Please keep that event in your prayers as we seek to encourage and strengthen the Body of Christ here, and fuel some more meaningful and prolonged prayer for the workings of both man and God in this beautiful part of Wales, our home.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Dick & Gladys


Monday, September 05, 2011

Winds of change . . .

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Driving home from Lampeter the other day, we stopped for lunch on this little farm lane lined with beech trees. There was a gentle warm wind blowing, and the sound was wonderful. (I wished I'd had professional recording equipment, but my little Canon fits in my pocket!)

The wind rushing through the leaves brings to mind thoughts of how the Word of God can wash through our soul. Ephesians 5:26-27 says, "...that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."

Taking time to spend in meditating on the Word is a necessary and refreshing activity for us. Romans 12:2 mentions, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

That washing and renewing process happens when we invest ourselves into the scriptures. God's word can cleanse and soothe us, and give us a new perspective on things around us and within us. If you'd like, you can listen to the sound here and perhaps capture a taste of what I'm trying to say.

In the midst of turbulent times in the world today, I find it more and more important to keep the correct focus. These verses of Psalm 46 are good examples of God's renewing truths..

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
   The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
   God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
   God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

9  Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth!

A closer look at our surroundings showed lots of beechnuts fallen and drying out on the beds of moss below the trees - a foretaste of changing seasons once again. Last Wednesday morning it was 38ยบ F! It was a real shock, and we're really not ready for that yet. We are are still longing for more of a real summer, and thankfully it did warm up again that next day when took these photos.

Thank you for your interest and your prayers,

Dick & Gladys


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