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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Racing donkeys and coracles, and the race of Life!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

Having grown up beside a small river, I remember being fascinated by coracles ever since reading Treasure Island as a child. Now here I am over half a century later living next to the Teifi River in the "coracle center" of the "land of revivals!"

Last week was Cilgerran Festive Week, with different events going on each day. Saturday was the day of the coracles races. Having missed them in previous years, I couldn't resist going down to have a good look this time around.

I haven't yet actually gotten into one of these little floating baskets, but am seriously entertaining the idea. Gladys says she will wave safely from the shore!

Another fun event was the Donkey Derby a few days before. We haven't been able to see it before either because of other activities or too much rain. I must admit I was curious to see how they actually get donkeys to run where they want them to go. I've posted a video so you can get an idea of both of these local activities.

Life goes on all around us with its temporal joys and busyness. Summer holidays here are drawing to a close, and crowded towns and extra traffic on the roads and country lanes will soon get back to normal.

But "normal" is not going to last forever. Nor can this land, along with many other nations in the western world, continue oblivious to the existence and nature of God forever either. The stirrings in the hearts of God's people for His coming move of revival are not going away!

We continue having opportunities to meet more people and hear of this growing sense of people longing for more. Throughout many facets of body of Christ people are engaging with God in prayer and calling for heaven to come close to earth again.

Jeremiah cries out in Lamentations chapter 5:19-22, "You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation. Why do You forget us forever and forsake us for so long a time? Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old, unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!" And so we along with many others join our hearts to that same cry, "Turn us back to You!"

This world with all its materialistic self-seeking and co-existent injustice is not a forever kind of thing! Only "You, O Lord, remain forever..."

Another reading that has recently blessed and encouraged us is Psalms 37:20-22.
"But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.
For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth..."

We are accompanied by an ever-increasing number of people throughout this land who are desperately seeking the Lord for Him to bless this little land Wales and the nations of the earth. Whether we realize it or not, we too are in a race. It is not just for a frivolous moment of fun or petty glory, but a wondrous and eternal prize.

Almighty God and the entire heavenly host are cheering us onwards. His is the glory and it's to Him we run!

With you through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Dick & Gladys


Friday, August 17, 2012

The power of One - Fuel for our prayers!

Dear Praying Saints:

When we set our sights on something specific in our prayers, or we receive a particular prayer assignment from the Lord, we can expect to find opposition. And especially if it is big assignment, we will most likely find greater opposition. So I just would like to share some encouragement with you we've been blessed with recently.

God's word is our source of strength, and we find such amazing promises throughout. Look at these verses in Psalm 91:1-2,7.

"1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.'

7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it [destruction] shall not come near you."

A few days ago they harvested the wheat in the field next to the chapel, and to my amazement this one stalk was left untouched. At times in our life it might seem that everything is just tumbling down around us, and that we'll surely be swept away. Yet the truth in Christ is very different.

Jesus says in John 10:28, "And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand."

Another wonderful passage in 1st Samuel chapter 2 shows how God strengthened Hannah in what must have been a very difficult time when she surrendered to God what she has most longed for years - her first child.

"1 And Hannah prayed and said: 'My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the Lord; For there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God...

9 'He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked* shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail. 10 The adversaries* of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.'
"  (* enemy tactics, opposition, mind storms)

There is always a way forward, and the Lord does and will provide the strength to surmount any and all obstacles, even when it doesn't look like it. So be encouraged today. Keep believing and pray large. We serve a mighty and awesome God we love and serve!

In Christ through whom we can do all things,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Record crowds and heat at Royal Welsh Show!

Dear Partners in Prayer:

One of the wettest summers in years was good motivation for different Christian groups and individuals involved in this year's Royal Welsh Show to pray for good weather. Amazing blue skies and real summer temperatures were the Lord's gracious response to weeks of prayer!

Because of the inclement weather some other large shows in England had been canceled, and so there were record crowds at the showground this year. Just try to imagine 241,000 visitors to a town of 3000 regular residents in just 4 days! It is quite a commendable piece of logistics.

Horse racing, sheep-shearing, log-chopping and scores of other activities and over 1000 stalls selling everything from combines to cookie cutters make this a massive event. Countless exhibitions of livestock of all sorts, handcrafts and horticulture ensure the show has something of interest for everyone young and old alike.

One of our favorite places is the large tent with flower displays. It is hard to imagine all this beauty happening just by chance! You might like to take a look for yourself at a collection of photos at this link.

With so much to see and ground to cover people are happy for a place to sit down for a while and enjoy free drinks and a little live background music. This was the fourth year that we've been part of a team that offers refreshments, friendly conversation and prayer for people that stop by our stand. There are other Christian stands around the showground and every year people's lives are touched by God's love.

Another highlight of July for us was the Celebration for the Nations. We were only able to go to the last day as it happened the same week as the Royal Welsh Show. This scene of so many young people coming forward to present themselves to the Lord for His purposes and service makes a wonderful statement. In essence they were saying, "Here I am Lord, send me." Those are words that I believe make God's heart rejoice, and make way for Him to pour into each life the power and grace to fulfill His calling.

I think this is a declaration of what we will be seeing more and more as the Holy Spirit continues to draw people into a closer walk with Himself. I look at it as sort of a down payment. This is the kind of Christianity that we should all be praying for, and what the world needs to see - not a periodic religious activity but a lifestyle of commitment and relationship.

It was a marvelous celebration of God's goodness, and the joy in the last meeting was contagious! Prayer times were powerful, and freedom of worship and dance were breaking chains of bondage in the heavenly realms. I think a few bonds of family of God were established closer to home as well! You can see a bit of that in this video, and hopefully you'll do a bit of rejoicing yourself!

May the Lord continually fill you to overflowing with His grace and love,

Dick & Gladys


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