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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Loaded prayers for desperate times...

Dear Praying Friends and Saints:

I've started reading Ezekiel over the last few days and find myself filled with a sense of grief over the calamities prophesied about God's people. But really it is not so much all the terrible things foretold, rather their hard-hearted refusal to listen to His voice. Chapter 7:23-25 says, "...the land is filled with crimes of blood, and the city is full of violence... Destruction comes; they will seek peace, but there shall be none."

Actually this all sounds much like currently events in Syria, Egypt, and many other places around today's world. And sadly, this has been our plight throughout history. Although we live in a world of natural beauty with surely enough of everything for people to survive, if not "prosper", hard-heartedness, selfishness, unrighteousness and sin continually wreak havoc among us. It is not just Israel, it is all of us!

People just don't get it! There is a righteous God to Whom everyone on earth will one day have to answer. But this "inconvenient truth" has been all to easily swept under the rug throughout history in favor of a "here and now" and politically correct outlook.

rolledbales.jpgEzekiel 7:27 finishes by saying, "Then they shall know that I am the Lord!" But it seems that we're still waiting for the coin to drop. Admittedly the wait can easily become more than a little frustrating. An objective look at the world we live in today only underscores the desperate need of humanity for the Redeemer.

So in light of all this, what is our part? What can we do about it all? We can't just ignore it all and try to just get by. A key part of our Romans 12:1 style "reasonable service" is to pray, and pray with a renewed mind. Heart-rending, heaven-reaching prayers can change far more than just ourselves. Persevering prayer in accordance with God's word will change people and circumstances around us.

Ezekiel 11:19-20 expresses a wonderful promise and can powerfully "arm" our prayers. "Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God."

This is prayer for transformation. This is prayer for revival. And as Isaiah 61:11 says, "So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."

Your prayers do make a difference!

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the Secret Place...

bunny heads for home!Dear Friends and Prayers:

I couldn't help but take this picture the other morning when I got up to the chapel. There are lots of young rabbits this time of year that go scurrying off into the hedgerow when I drive down the lane. This one stayed in the entrance of the burrow and was curious or bold enough to let me get this shot after his brother disappeared inside!

It made me think immediately of our position in the Lord. There may be situations in our lives that  intimidate us, but we have a place far more secure than an underground burrow! Psalm 91:1-2 says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.'"

Summer has been racing past and the longest stretch of warm weather in years seems to be starting to fade away. But it has given us lots of opportunities for outdoor pursuits, and our vgladsgreenbeans.jpgegetable garden has gotten far more attention than in previous years. Gladys is showing off a handful of green beans that she picked this afternoon, and are now deliciously long gone!

There is just something about eating food that you've planted yourself and watched grow and cared for. It makes us so clearly aware of God's amazing gift of life and provision. We count it a special privilege to live in a place that enables us to have our hands in the soil.

I am also glad to report that I am making good progress in recovering my strength after the  reaction I had to steroids in June. Being able to work outside again is a real joy, and still yet another reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness.

We have also been enjoying visitors again from different places. Last week friends from Singapore spent a week nearby, and we had some good times of sharing with meals and fellowship with them. It was wonderful to be able to pray for them and be prayed for by them as well. Though we be from different churches and countries, we love living life in the family of God!

Then just yesterday we met with a young English family that made contact with us through our web page. They have had a leading to pray for Wales for several years, and came to spend their holiday here and try to get sense of when and where the Lord might be leading them to come and settle. So it was a joy to get to know them and their heart for intercessory prayer.

We continue to be encouraged by so many saints that the Lord is having focus on this green little land. It is also wonderful to find that our lives here are such an encouragement to others, and we are so thankful to the Lord for the amazing privilege of the calling He's given us.

Thank you for your continued interest, prayers and support.

Dick & Gladys


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