Dear Saints and Praying Friends:
While visiting friends last week and I discovered this cross-stitched embroidery
in a frame on the wall. It made an instant impression on me - I laughed my head
off! As I recall it was made by our friend's grandmother many years ago. And
of course I had to take a picture of it for you to enjoy as well. :o)
But after the humorous element subsides, the message grows serious and is a
good exhortation for us all. These words of Jesus from Matthew 22:14 were few,
"For many are called, but few are chosen."
But they are profoundly significant and challenging to us today.
Thankfully God's mercies are new every morning, and every new day He presents us with new opportunities to grow in our knowledge of Him and to walk in
His ways. They are not only mere opportunities, but they are responsibilities as well.
week in the chapel, my curiosity was piqued by the shadow from this ceiling lamp
in the top of the window arch to the left. Why would it be higher than
the lamp itself? The early morning sun was shining down, not up, so how could
There could only be one explanation, the sunlight had to be bouncing off of
something. So I marched outside with camera in hand to prove my 'theory' and
explore what could have such a shiny surface. I couldn't imagine a gravestone
having such a perfectly reflective finish.
my surprise and delight, I discovered that the best of man's handiwork had been embellished
by the One Who truly knows how to perfect things! The rainfall during the night
had pooled on the surface and made this brilliant effect which blinded my eyes
with light. I don't think even a glass mirror could have produced such a dazzling
While I gazed in admiration of God's doings that so surpass our abilities,
lots of things came to mind. First among them was the scripture in Ephesians
5:14 which says, "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the
dead, And Christ will give you light." Now here is something worth
getting up for. What an amazing promise!
And there are many many more. Jesus, the light of life, has called us out of
darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). And earlier in Ephesians 5,
verse 8 says, "For you were once darkness, but now
you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Do a search
on "darkness + light" and you will be greatly encouraged.
There is a price to be paid (read Romans 6 and 12:1-2) - but it is SO worth
And just as that out-of-place shadow caught my attention, so can our lives
draw the attention of the multitudes that still walk in the darkness of this
world. That is precisely what we are called to do. The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16 say
it best. "Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven"
People running to throw themselves at the foot of the cross of Christ is one
of the best ways to glorify our Heavenly Father, wouldn't you agree?
Longing for more of His light,
Dick & Gladys
The last ten days have raced by in a flurry of activities. I guess that means
summertime is racing by us too. Early one morning last week it was a chilly
46 degrees. Not bad for August, huh? We have had some beautiful warmer days
too, and are thankful for every one of them!
This is just one of the many beautiful views on our way north last week to
the monthly prayer meeting in Blaenau Ffestiniog. We were a small group, but
had a significant time in prayer. The pastor of the only evangelical church
there recently passed away, and with very few members, its future is very uncertain.
Then just today I received an update from a ministry whose concern is for planting
and strengthening churches, Waleswide,
and of their list of neediest areas in Wales, Blaenau Ffestiniog is at the top.
It seems the Lord is up to something indeed!
Last Tuesday we were visited by a group of five from Singapore that came to
stay at Ffald-y-Brenin. They were referred to us by the couple that were with
us a few weeks ago. After a time of sharing at the house we took them up to
the chapel to spend some time in prayer, and what a time it was! Almost as soon
as we were inside we began to worship in the spirit. After a while a couple
of us began to weep, and as the presence of the Lord stirred our hearts we all
were brought into a place of extreme brokenness and agonizing prayer.
For over an hour we were caught up in a desperate crying out for God's mercy
on the people of this land of Wales and elsewhere too. It was the first time
that we've experienced this depth and intensity of heart-rending intercession
with a group like this, and we didn't want to end. At one point I heard music
and looked up to see if others had come in with a CD player. There was such
a heavenly atmosphere. It seemed like this must the way that revival will break
out, and people will just be drawn together for such amazing times.
prayed for Gladys also, which was a blessing. Her tests showed that she still
has the h.pylori bacterial infection in her stomach, and now has a date to see
a new specialist in two weeks. She is doing pretty well, but the pain and discomfort
persist so we appreciate your continued prayers for her. We are believing for
complete healing and restoration of all these problems by God's grace.
We had such a good time with our new friends from Singapore, and really value
the times of fellowship and prayer that we had together. After
our trip to Blaenau, we met again in the chapel on Friday. They brought an English
couple who are missionaries in Spain, and a woman from Germany, all of whom
were staying at Ffald-y-Brenin and had overheard them talking about our prayer
time on Tuesday. So it was quite an international gathering and we had another
good but different session of prayers.
Then on Saturday we had a wonderful time with two sisters who grew up here
in Pembrokeshire but are both missionairies now, one in France and the other
in the Czech Republic. One has been receiving
our emails for a couple years, and we met briefly earlier this month and arranged
to get together. They were very interested in how we've come here as missionaries
and the Lord has sent them elsewhere! We enjoyed hearing each other's stories
and discovering how God is building up relationships throughout His one church.
They are both musicians so we spent some time in spontaneous worship too, what
a joyful time we had.
As we continue to meet more and more people whose hearts are set to seek after
the Lord and His plans for the nations, we discover the truth and power of his
word in Psalm 133. It says, "Behold, how good and
how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! ... For there the
LORD commanded the blessing - Life forevermore."
It is the amazing blessing of the presence of God that changes hearts amd lives,
and nations. So we may weep in those deep places of heaven-moving prayer, but
joy comes right along with the stirring of God's love in our hearts.
We send you blessings of His presence and power in your prayers in Jesus' name,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Praying Saints:
The recent violence and rioting in London and other UK cities have caused shock
and dismay both here and abroad. But they have also provoked another reaction
which I found quite remarkable and admirable. The London residents pictured
here hold their brooms aloft in a show of solidarity as they started their massive
clean-up operation - a defiant 'broom army' preparing to clean up the streets
in their Clapham neighborhood.
Last week I talked about how we, as the church, need to get out of our comfort
zones to make a difference in our world. I think this picture is a great illustration
of exactly that - personal involvement to improve our communities. However, this is on
the temporal plane, and their efforts will be short-lived at best.
But we are called to a longer lasting clean-up! The wreckage of violence done against
the kingdom of God by sin throughout the ages has left its mark. But the redeeming
blood of Jesus washes us clean for eternity.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25,
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all
run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And
everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do
it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown."
Be encouraged as we press on together to show God's grace to a needy world,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
I've heard from a few sources that today, Saturday, has been set aside as a
day for prayer and fasting for the United States by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
It is nothing new that our country is in trouble economically, morally and spiritually.
Nor is this the first or last time that there has been or will be such a call
for nationwide prayer.
But it IS today, and I'd like to invite you to turn your hearts heavenward
and ask for God's mercy, not only for the America, but for the nations of the
world. We are the church, the body of Christ, and our prayers are required to
make a difference in our world. And not only our prayers are called for, but
our very lives and lifestyles too.
It is all too easy to be conformed to the traditions of religion. Even born-again
spirit-filled "religion" can easily keep us sheltered and emprisoned,
rendering us ineffective in influencing our world. Jesus frequently spoke to
the scribes and Pharisees about this matter.
In Mark 7:8 He says, "For laying aside the commandment
of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups,
and many other such things you do." And in Luke 11:42 he adds, "But
woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and
pass by justice and the love of God."
Today is a good day to start asking God not only for our nations. It is only
through "justice and the love of God" that we can have change. And
it is also a good day ask Him for the strength to step outside our own comfort
zone and seek to get ourselves closer to Him! We need to get out of the boat,
whatever that may be for each of us, and walk with determination towards Jesus.
We have to allow Him to draw us closer and change our own hearts.
are a couple of good reminders in Psalms that can help establish a correct context
for our prayers:
Psalm 9:20, "Put them in fear, O LORD,That the nations
may know themselves to be but men."And Psalm 135:15 "The
idols of the nations are silver and gold,The work of men’s hands."
What are the things that we as a nation have set up as idols? How can we pray
about these things? And now the questions come a little closer - how about in
our own lives?
If we as individuals make the right decisions and take the right steps in reaching
out to the Lord and walking in His ways, then we have hope for ourselves, our
loved ones, and the lands and nations we call home. This part of Psalm 7 says
it better than I ever could.
7 So the congregation of the peoples shall surround
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
8 The LORD shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.
9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
10 My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
As this day unfolds and thousands gather in Texas to ask for God's mercy on
America today, we join our prayers to yours and theirs with the sincere desire
that God will have mercy, forgive our sins, and heal our land. And may we also
make this day the first of a life re-dedicated to seek first His kingdom and
His righteousness every day. Revival starts with us, one heart at a time.
help us to pursue You at any cost, because You are all there really is."
Thank you, and God bless you in your prayers,
Dick & Gladys