This morning as soon as I walked inside the chapel, this phrase from
an old song sprung out of my mouth,
"... opens prison doors, sets the captives free, I've got
a river of life flowing out of me."
What a great and fresh way to start the day! Thank you Lord for
reminding us time and again of your wonderful truths that continually
set us free!
When Moses begins his dealings with Pharaoh and things start going
wrong, God gives him these instructions in Exodus 6:6. "Say, therefore, to the sons of
Israel, 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens
of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will
also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.'"
The Israelites needed to hold on to God's promise through some tough
times - their first breakthrough came when they finally crossed over
the Red Sea and saw the Egyptian army engulfed by the water behind
them. But that was just the beginning.
In recent days I've found myself taking notice of political events
taking place in the USA and growing concerned about what I see. The
election process is never a pretty sight, and the battle is just
beginning. On top of that, the untimely loss of Justice Scalia is
disconcerting as he provided a very important conservative balance to
the Supreme Court.
And here in Great Britain we are starting to hear much more now
about the upcoming referendum on its membership of the European Union
now that a date has been set for the nation to vote this coming June
23rd. This is a very important matter and will have a huge effect on
all four nations in UK. Many people are deeply concerned and sides are
being taken. It will become more and more publicized as time goes on,
and campaigning on both sides will intensify as well.
Then I noticed I was starting to let my attention get drawn into
these things more than I should, and decided to get it all back in
perspective. All the many issues are important and will indeed affect
our lives, but the decisions of mere men don't hold any lasting solutions. The
Lord alone has the answer to our plight.
As these momentous choices draw closer to both nations, people
easily get more concerned about them. Take a look at this example in 2
Peter 2:7-8. "But God also
rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of
the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a
righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw
and heard day after day."
we watch the rising currents of ungodliness and turmoil, we can
constantly refresh ourselves and our hopes with the most wonderful
recourse of all. Jesus is the Prince of Peace! The Lord is our
shepherd! And we can ask Him to help us turn what can easily become
"torment in our soul" into powerful fuel for prayer.
I am convinced that the most important key for the times we're
living in right now is stated very clearly in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. "Therefore I exhort first of all that
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for
all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a
quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is
good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men
to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
May the Lord Jesus bless us with His peace and power and grace
towards all men,
Dick & Gladys
Friends and Prayers:
Towards the end of Genesis is one of my all-time favorite stories
about Joseph and his "adventures" in Egypt. This time I found myself
strongly affected by what happened to Jacob when his brothers returned
from their second trip to Egypt for grain and have discovered that the
Joseph governs the whole country.
Genesis 45:25-26 says, "Then
they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob
their father. And they told him, saying, 'Joseph is still alive, and he
is governor over all the land of Egypt.' And Jacob's heart stood still, because he
did not believe them."
Other versions say, "he was stunned", "he went numb" and "his heart
fainted." But then verse 27 continues, "But when they told him all the words
which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph
had sent to carry him, the spirit of
Jacob their father revived."
By most accounts Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold into
slavery, and Jacob had been convinced he was dead for more than 23
years. And now this news was just too much for him. Then at last after
hearing the story from his sons, and seeing the carts and supplies that
Joseph had sent to bring him to Egypt, he finally accepts the fact and
says in the next verse, "And
Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my
son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die."
think what affects me so deeply was that Jacob simply could not believe
the news. It was just too good to be true! For several days after
reading this I kept getting drawn back to this portion again and again.
There is something about Jacob's inability to accept the wonderful but
"impossible" truth that Joseph was still alive that strikes a chord of
profound sorrow somewhere deep within me. And perhaps I am not the only
As I agonized about this and prayed about it, I began to understand
that this place of unbelief is a common part of the Christian
experience. How many times have I had to deal with my own bouts of
unbelief? Or taking it a step further in terms of the church at large
and throughout history, how many times have individuals and families
and whole congregations gone through prolonged times of doubt?
Knowing the fullness and beauty of God's promises, have God's people
seen them come to fruition in and around them throughout the ages? Have
the lives of most Christians been mostly filled with joy and hope and
strength, or have clouds of sorrow, hardships and unbelief been their
portion, with occasional seasons of faith and joy and victory? What
"fragrance" do we, as the church, show to those around us?
In Matthew 9:23-24, "Jesus
said to him, 'If you can
believe, all things are possible to him who believes.' Immediately the father of the child
cried out and said with tears, 'Lord,
I believe; help my unbelief." His was not an uncommon
experience. And in the same manner, it is our portion to continually
cry out to the Lord to help us in our moments of unbelievings and
We don't know how long Jacob's moments of unbelief lasted, but at
the end he said, " It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive..."
Now in our case, how much greater a hope have we been given? And on top
of that, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. And
Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is
no law." He is more than enough
for us! So we can hang on to hope and keep praying with solid
confidence. And let's pray for people's hearts to be constantly revived
by God's amazing grace!
Dick & Gladys
The first Tuesday of each month is the
Ffald-y-Brenin prayer day at the Jabez Chapel vestry in the Gwaun
Valley. After a stirring time of worship, the director Roy Godwin
shared some of the wonderful things that the Lord is doing both here in
Wales and other nations.
Among the things he
shared was that there is a sound or a song that is present here in this
nation and is somehow rooted to the land itself. This "sound" has been
noted by many people in several places over the years, and is connected
to the deep wells of revival here. And Roy said there have been words
to the effect that "this year is the year for Wales."
In the afternoon session we heard briefly
from an old friend Steve, who was asked to share a impression he
received with those of
us present. He said that once or twice while praying when they lived
here in Wales, he had felt that
song and felt very much connected to the land.
"In my mind's eye I saw the land of Wales being broken open. It was
coming from the coast and it was coming across from west
to east, and the land was breaking open. And as I saw this picture, it
was like I saw through when Roy said earlier, "this is the year for
And what I saw was a very big angel blowing like a trumpet. He was
blowing a small ram’s horn with sharp blasts, with short blasts. And
also what happened is I saw this word, the word was "intercession". And
what I felt
was simply that God was saying, that there is an imminent move of God
going to break out in Wales. It was just so real that God is going to
release something this year, but He needs intercession.
"I don't know what intercession is, I used to think I knew what
intercession meant, like I used know what I thought revival was.
Actually I don't know, but the word is revival in Wales. I believe it
is connected to the land, and there is the song that’s being released.
"But God is requiring people in intercession. And I know that there
are people here who have been brought here to Wales. We know some
people... But it's like now is the
time. And when Roy shared that this
morning I just thought, "Wow, wow, wow!" It's so exciting. God is going
to do something!"
What an awesome encouragement. And what an awesome challenge and
responsibility too. I think that as more and more of us come to grips
with the seriousness of the call to intercessory prayer, whatever
particular area the Lord has assigned us to, we will see fruit because
of God's amazing faithfulness. If you are not sure what your area is,
just ask Him!
"Then He came to the
disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, 'What! Could you not watch with Me one
How will we answer this call? As members of the Body of Christ, each
of us have been granted power through the Holy Spirit. So then, yes, we
can watch and pray and intercede with Him!
Dick and Gladys