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Monday, August 31, 2015

The Revival We Need ... fuel for prayer!

rhoshillbarley2015.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

About ten days ago Gladys and I starting reading a small book called The Revival We Need. It was written in 1933 by Oswald J. Smith, a Canadian minister, and has been reprinted not long ago.

Reading it has been both an inspiration and a challenge. Several times we've had to stop and just weep, or pray, or both. The sections on the importance and absolute necessity of prayer is confrontative, and good for us to hear.

Chapter 1 starts, "It was 1904. All of Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor. And sin abounded on every side.
Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado, The Spirit of God swept over the land. The churches were crowded so that multitudes were unable to get in..."

fallfruits.jpgThe author cites many stories that clearly show the fruits of powerful, agonizing prayer. One point that particularly struck us was the fact that preachers didn't have to beg people to respond to alter calls. Many times they never even got that far because the Spirit brought such conviction of sin on people they ran forward to find Jesus!

viewnorthtoaberystwyst.jpgHere is a quote from Chapter 5 on Conviction:
"The chapel was crowded to excess. The Word was 'quick and powerful,' numbers 'were pricked in their hearts,' and in the agony of conviction cried mightily for mercy. Midnight arrived and the penitents were still upon their knees, resolved to plead till they prevailed.

"As one and another found peace through believing and withdrew, others whose hearts were stricken filled their places. So intense was the Awakening, that though the Squire had retired, the alarmed and sorrowing people could not be induced to leave the chapel, but all night through, and all through the following day and night, the prayer meeting continued without intermission." - Memoir of Squire Brooke.

brightgarden.jpgHere is another excerpt from the same chapter describing events during the Irish Revival of 1859. "...convicted persons fall with a deep groan, ...with the intensely earnest plea, 'Lord Jesus, have mercy on my soul!' The whole frame trembles like an aspen leaf, an intolerable weight is felt upon the chest, a choking sensation is experienced and relief from this is found only in the loud, urgent prayer for deliverance.

"Usually the bodily distress and mental anguish continue till some degree of confidence in Christ is found. Then the look, the tone, the gestures, instantly change. The aspect of anguish and despair is changed for that of gratitude, and triumph, and adoration. There is no appetite for food; many will eat nothing for a number of days. They do not sleep, though many may lie down with their eyes shut."

We are finding this little book to be a great encouragment as well as an exhortation to seek a deeper place in prayer, and to see results. There are a few copies available on amazon.com (.co.uk) and abebooks.com (.co.uk).

We don't know exactly what it will look like when the revival comes, but we know it will bear wonderful fruit in countless lives and families, as well as for God's kingdom!

We hope this encourages you in prayer and causes you to press deeper into God's merciful heart for today's needy world. May the Lord bless you richly,

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, August 20, 2015

A wild goose chase...

geeseinflight.jpgDear Praying Friends:

This morning as we got out of the car and headed to the chapel we could hear a flock of Canadian geese flying somewhere nearby. After a long while they finally came over the treetops and right past the chapel, and then veered off in another direction.

They were flying around seemingly disoriented, as if knowing they needed to go somewhere but not really sure where. A while later we heard them come around again and then their honking faded off into the distance.

We had just been reading in Jeremiah 44 where he was speaking to the Jews who had fled to Egypt from Jerusalem. And in a funny but sad way these geese seemed to portray the same kind of picture - going one way and another, trying to find some illusive destination, but ignoring its whereabouts.

Jeremiah reminded the Jews that they were there in Egypt because of disobedience to God's commands, and tried to warn them of further disaster if they persisted in turning their backs on the Lord. But sadly their response in verses 16-18 was, "We will not listen to your messages from the Lord! We will do whatever we want. We will burn incense and pour out liquid offerings to the Queen of Heaven just as much as we like..."

Good_Shephard-BPlockhorst.jpgThis same attitude also struck home in regards to the people of today's world. Everyone is looking for some sense of wellbeing or happiness, but know one wants to hear about God or Jesus. They go from place to place, and one goal to another to find it. They pursue what they think will be best for them. Some find what seems to be a good place, and others find disillusionment and try something else. But in the big picture, it is all temporary, lasting perhaps a lifetime before the inevitable...

Some are openly defiant towards the moral dictates of a "supreme being somewhere" and deny His existence. Others easily say, "Oh yes, I believe in God..." but follow their own desires and never even try to learn more about Him. But many sadly don't know even know that there is a loving God, and that He is the only source of true and everlasting wellbeing.

I was out on the town in Cardigan Saturday night with the Street Pastors and it was the same scene again. Groups of mostly young people drifting from one pub to the next, or from party to club, looking for a good time and where to go next. Many wind up in bad places with a thumping headache the next morning, or worse. And so goes this world of temporary stopping places and disintegrating values. There is such a heartbreaking need for the Savior.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

If people could only see that knowing and loving God and following His ways is the only source of lasting contentment. And that carries on way beyond our final earthly breath - joy unspeakable anf full of glory. That's why the David says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him." in Psalms 34:8.

In light of the times we are living in we want to encourage you pray with us that the reviving work of the Holy Spirit empower believers to share the Good News  and bring a glorious awakening the lost and dying of this world.

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones as you pursue His will and purposes for your lives and your part in reaching other with the amazing love of God through Jesus Christ,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Harvest time is a clarion call...

barleyharvest2015.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

There are some things about harvest time that are always inspiring. The first is just this amazing testimony of God's provision for us, and all his creatures. You add some seed to a bit of dirt and air, sunshine and water, and He makes food grow right up out of the ground. That's a miracle in itself.

And it is not just a little bit - God makes enough food to feed a whole world full of people. Just this one field next to the chapel produced about 35 tons of barley this year. That's a lot of barley cakes!

The next thing that always strikes me is the picture of the incoming harvest of souls for God's kingdom. combine.jpgWatching the grain pouring from the combine harvester into the wagons is such a great picture of the coming of revival. The beautiful golden straw here has since been baled to be used for bedding for livestock, and the wagonloads of grain have been safely stored away.

This scripture in Luke 3:16-17 comes to mind. "John answered, saying to all, 'I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.'" It is  a sobering reminder of the big picture of the Lord's agenda. It's a good thing that people are responding to His invitation to serve Him with their lives.chewfamily2015.jpg

californiakids2015.jpgWe recently enjoyed a visit from this young family from Singapore. Four years ago Jeremy and Rachel stayed with us and were praying about a calling to the UK. We also prayed with them regarding their desire for a child. Joyfully bringing with them the fruit ours and many others' prayers, this time they came back with their two year-old son! They are again seeking the Lord's clear direction for their lives here. Please hold them in your prayers.

We also had a brief visit with some young people from Humbolt County in Northern California who came to serve at a Christian summer camp. It was great to spend time with these sincere young folks who have dedicated their lives to the King of kings and invested their time and money to join forces with other believers here for a short-term mission trip.

strumblelighthouse2015.jpgIt was a blessing to be able to take them to the monthly Ffald-y-Brenin prayer day, and then on to see a little of the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside at the Strumble Head lighthouse near Fishguard. You just just see the lighthouse perched on the bluff to the left and the ferry to the right heading off for the southeast coast of Ireland. We also had a nice time of prayer in the chapel, where two them had been a couple of years ago with a larger group that spent some time here.

It is very encouraging to discover more and more young people who have taken God's call seriously to serve Him in missions. We are privileged to be living in these days. They are not easy times in many parts of the world, and the need for the light of the Gospel is getting greater with each passing day.

Please join us in praying that the Lord of the harvest send more workers into His harvest. Thank you!

Dick & Gladys


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