Our amazing summer weather is just going on and on, thank you Jesus!
So today we took a break from working in the garden and went to the
Cardigan Show in a farmer's field just a few miles from home. We hadn't
been for several years and it was fun to check out just a part of it
always enjoy seeing such a variety of creatures that share this planet
with us, and marvel at God's creativity. Besides all the normal
livestock there were lots of special breeds of poultry, cattle, sheep,
pigs and goats. Add to that the horses and ponies for show and
competitions, and one could easily spend an entire day there!
My reading Monday morning
included Jeremiah's vision of the two baskets of figs in chapter 24,
and verses 6-7 stood out to me particularly. "6 For I will set My eyes on them for
good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and
not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 Then I will give them a heart to know Me,
that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their
God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."
Just like in those times, there are two sorts of people on this
earth today: those who reverence God for who he is, and those who do
not. And it seems in our times that the contrast between them is
getting greater. Although here in wholesome rural Wales everyone seems
warm and polite, how does God, who knows their hearts, see them?
Every one of the people on this earth, no
matter what their circumstances, need to know Jesus as their Lord and
Savior. It doesn't matter how "nice" they may be or act, or how
terrible for that matter, without Jesus they are all without an eternal
hope. And it seems clearer and clearer that unless the Lord gives them
this heart to know Him, they are just as doomed as Jeremiah's bad figs.
Acts 16:14 describes how "a
certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the
city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The
Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul."
And from there she made the right choices.
And so may our prayer be that God will do that work of opening the
hearts of the people around us and around the nations, and that they
hear His invitation and choose to ride in the right direction.
Trusting in the abundance of God's mercy,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
It is always a delight to discover the
jewels in God's word, and this morning was no exception. While reading
through the story of Peter's visit to Cornelius in Acts chapter 10, we
both moved by the events and the ending of this awesome account.
It says in verses 44-45, "While Peter was still speaking these
words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And
those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came
with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on
the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify
This became the focus our prayer for
the community of members and believers in so many churches and chapels
throughout this land. They know the elements of the gospel just like
"those of the circumcision", but many lack the personal experience of
the power of the Holy Spirit. Only He can transform our (years of)
acquired head-knowledge into a revelatory, life-changing,
new-every-morning experience that impacts not only ourselves but others
around us. Like the hundreds of tiny dewdrops on this spiderweb,
and kindnesses towards us are infinite! (Click the image for a bigger
and I were treated by friends to a week's get-away in their travel
trailer which they set up for us in another friend's field in the
middle of Pembrokeshire. We had perfect weather most of the time, and
the few rainy days in the middle of our stay we came home and slept
very well in our own full-length beds.
This kind of "camping" is a whole
different experience than when our kids were little and we slept in
tents on the ground. (Not so kind on aging bones!) And hot and cold
running water, shower and even small
stove and fridge sure beat the old times smoke-in-your-eyes cooking and
washing in an ice-cold mountain stream!
It was a good time to just relax and
rest up a little bit after what somehow had
become a busy time for us. Taking walks, time for reading, and doing a
little more in-depth exploring around this area only 20 miles from our
home was a real delight. It also served as a reminder of just how much
of our beautiful adopted homeland is dedicated to farming, and how
great is the need for these hard working people to not only know about
Jesus, but to know Him first hand.
It's amazing how we so easily grow
adapted to a place and then just live there and carry on with our own
lives and busyness. But when we take the time to dig a little deeper
into an area, there can be so many fascinating things and places to
discover, history to uncover and people to meet.
It is not unlike our walk with Jesus.
We know what we know, and can easily just "make ourselves at home and
busy" and not continue explore beyond the necessary. One of my favorite
verses is in Acts 17:27-28, "so
that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for
Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him
we live and move and have our being..."
May we all be moved daily to seek Him diligently, and discover the
treasures of the amazing breadth and depth and width of His love for us
and all humanity!
Dick & Gladys
Praying Friends and Saints:
Another week has sped past and here we are already in mid-summer. We
have enjoyed a special visit of three young friends from Singapore who
stayed with us from Sunday until this morning. More good weather has
been a real blessing for them, although it's quite chilly for them by
It is always interesting to hear people's impressions of Wales when
they visit from other places. The three of them agreed that they could
sense a much greater spiritual freedom and openness here than their own
country, and it was even more noticeable when they crossed the Severn Bridge
We frequently take people to visit the nearby chapel in Blaenannerch
where Evan Roberts received his "baptism of fire" in 1904. One by one
they spent time in what I like to call "the hot seat" where he was
empowered and commissioned. The plaque says,
"In this bench Evan Roberts was seated on
Thursday, September 29, 1904, when he cried out, 'Bend me, oh Lord'
while the Reverend Seth Joshua was praying, and through that came to be
the central figure of the 1904 Revival."
It was so refreshing to spend
time with these young people and delight in their enthusiasm, energy
and a similar disposition of asking the Lord to bend them to His will.
They are serious about their commitment, they are all lawyers and
understand such things well, and their prayers were profound and
moving. At the same time their youthful joyfulness was contagious, and
not even a few turns at washing dishes seemed able to dampen their
We had a wonderful time
yesterday when we went to the Tuesday prayer meeting at the Bible
College of Wales in Swansea. There we met our friend Manique from near
Zurich, Switzerland for the first time. She got in touch with us last
year when the Holy Spirit visited Cwmbran in South Wales, and was there
for her second visit for a ladies conference. So we made arrangements
to meet with the help of other friends, regulars at the BCW meetings,
that live in that direction.
From there we went to Moriah Chapel, and were joined by still other
friends from South Korea, so wound up with quite an international
group. We had an amazing time of prayer in the old school room where
the 1904 revival broke out and the presence of God was just awesome.
Our friend Huw Priday sang and Aija Kim played the piano and when they
were done we all just sat there bathed in His love, and so it was hard to
leave such a precious time.
We finished our day after supper at home with a
spectacular sunset over the Teifi Valley. It was like God's way of
finishing off such a marvelous day with an extra touch of glory! I
found it reminding me of the times we are living in. As the darkness
grows more rampant in the world around us - the latest being Israel
being plunged into a new flareup with Hamas in Gaza - we believe that
the glory of God is going to get brighter and brighter according to His
Isaiah 60:1-3 says, "Arise,
shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon
you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness
the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be
seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the
brightness of your rising." If we, His people, will also cry out
from the heart "Bend us, oh Lord" and place ourselves totally under His
headship and guidance, there is no telling what God will do next, or
when. May it be soon!
May the Lord make us like soft clay in His hands,
Dick & Gladys
Dear Friends of Wales
"What's that we see in the
distance, a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky?
...It's ships from the distant islands, the famous Tarshish
ships, returning your children from faraway places, loaded with riches,
with silver and gold, and backed by the name of your God, The Holy One
of Israel, showering you with splendor." Isaiah 60:8-9
My own interpretive paraphrased version says, " ..It's the waves of
revival, the longed-for and sought-after revival, bringing home the
children of God from faraway places, filled with His Spirit and
brimming over with His gifts and Words of Salvation, showing forth the
Kingdom of God in the power of Jesus' name."
There's something about the hills around here on these awesome clear
draws us out and up from the river valley where we live just below
here. Sunday was so clear that we could plainly see Mt. Snowdon in
North Wales, over one hundred miles away! It is not often that we get
such a clear view into the distance like this, and it is a great and
clear reminder of what we are doing here in the first place.
the middle of the regular activities of our day-to-day living, it is so
important to remember just where we are heading. And when we don't
consciously remember, the Lord graciously reminds us in ways that only
He can. And how we need that sometimes!
It is so important to keep our focus on the target, to stay on track
and not get distracted or discouraged by the details. The Big Picture
is the goal we're heading towards. Take a few moments, or more if you
can invest them, and give a read to the whole of Isaiah 60 to refresh
your memory! We could ask the Lord to imprint that on the back of our
eyelids so every time we blink we are reminded!
Paul exhorts us in Philipians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I do not count myself to
have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press
toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
The word of God is such a precious gift and resource for us. This
shaft of a foxglove tucked away among these hedgerow trees is a picture
of it - each colorful blossom like a little trumpet proclaiming His
truth. Every part of the Word is a road marker for us, pointing us
along the way.
We are also reminded in Hebrews 12:1-2, "...and let us run with endurance the
race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher
of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the
cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the
throne of God."
By God's grace, what amazing joy we have set before us also! So as
we run on ahead, through thick and thin, remember where we're going.
And remember that we run together in good company with the Body of
Christ. For many of our brothers and sisters in these days the going is
pretty tough, so please let us remember and strengthen each other with
Dick & Gladys
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