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Friday, May 19, 2017

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord!

chapelonsunday.jpgDear Praying Friends and Saints:

Last weekend we had glorious weather for the monthly service at Cilfowyr Chapel. And what started out as Gladys' request to be a photo of three sisters of one of the families of the chapel became a shot of most of the active members, our pastor Gareth at the left, and our three visitors from the USA.

We especially enjoyed our very short visit with LaMer Hope and two of her daughters, Melody and Glory. They came over on the ferry from Ireland last Saturday and went back Sunday afternoon to continue their touring. Bob and LaMer lived with their children in one of the houses on The Lord's Land in Albion, Northern California, the Christian community where I was born again in 1973.

LaMer accompanied us to the chapel early for our usual time of devotion and prayer. We wound up singing a few of the old songs from scripture that were so much a part of lives in those early years as Christians. It was marvelous to be together singing those same songs again after 43 years of not seeing one another, the joy of that first love still tangible. The presence of the Lord was so precious... a taste of heaven where we are all just in Him and time disappears.

Their home became a sort of peaceful haven for me, set slightly apart from the busyness of the central part of the community. hopefamily3.jpgBob, now a joyful resident of heaven, was a wise "older brother" and as a brand new believer I had lots of questions. I remember spending time there visiting and enjoying God's love that was so evident among us all.

Then many years later Melody, in the middle here en route back to the ferry, was in Cuenca, Ecuador working in the Verbo medical mission with her husband Zac. During that time our daughter Grace went to work in the same mission and became friends with Melody and Zac, both of whom I'd known as kids in the 70's. And Cuenca had been our main shopping town when Gladys and I were living in Paute in 1978! This is such a small world of God's, and the connections and stories are all just amazing.

During my readings this week I found myself drawn to this verse in Psalms 107, entitled "Thanksgiving to the Lord for His Great Works of Deliverance" by the publishers of the NKJV. Verse 8 says, "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"

In fact, this exact phrase is repeated four times throughout the Psalm. And then it finishes with the following wonderful declarations.


35 He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
36 There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
37 And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
38 He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.
39 When they are diminished and brought low
Through oppression, affliction, and sorrow,
40 He pours contempt on princes,
And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;
41 Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction,
And makes their families like a flock.
42 The righteous see it and rejoice,
And all iniquity stops its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will observe these things,
And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.

May this be our prayer for revival, that the Lord would reveal His lovingkindness to people in the world around us, and "...that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wide open places, and embracing the world...

pencarregmtn.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

On the way home from an appointment Monday with Gladys, we stopped at this beautiful spot not far from Lampeter to enjoy our lunch and read for a while. The solitude and the expansive view here are always inspiring and peaceful.

Places like this make it seem so easy to connect with the Lord. But many such times I find myself profoundly saddened by the fact that the great majority of people here, despite living in this beautiful land, don't know a thing about God's great love for them and His gift of salvation and eternal life. It is this kind of sorrow that can really move us into prayer.

Recently I listened to a teaching I recorded last year. I was really impacted by a quote from one of the Desert Fathers who said, "When I pray, it is as if every person in the world who doesn't pray for themselves is now being prayed for." Now how's that for a challenge to our prayer lives?

treeshadingsheep.jpgAlso on Monday a friend sent me a lovely hymn I'd never heard before, written by Richard Gillard in 1977. It fits with this theme quite well, so I'd like to share it with you here.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the nighttime of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

pansy2colors.jpgI will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow,
till we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we've known together
of Christ's love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that l may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

Hebrews 10:23-25 says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

emyrathenffynnon.jpg Last Saturday our friend Emyr Mathias stopped by for a visit. You most likely remember that last September he carried this cross from St. David's Cathedral at the tip of West Wales to the top of Mt. Snowdon in the North. He has been making some local trips here and is training for another event planned for the summer in Anglesey, again in North Wales.

His ministry of carrying the cross has been a real encouragement to many people, and brought many parts of the church together to support his effort. Please keep him in your prayers, and that this silent witness touch many lives along the highways and byways of Wales.

It is great to see so many ways that God's people are being activated in creative ways in the community outside the walls of the church. There seems to be something going on!

Jesus said in Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
We wish you every blessing as you find ways to serve Him through serving others in His name.

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

To and from the nations by the winds of God's Spirit

teifi-ncemlyn.jpgDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

As we continue to watch the glories of spring unfold before our eyes, we have also been admiring other aspects of God's handiwork. Jesus says in John 3:8, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." And it is because of this that we are seeing an increase in visitors to this part of Wales.

Last Tuesday our friend and new next-door neighbor Sue hosted a small group of friends who are involved with Iris Ministries' Harvest School of Missions. Two of them, Tony and Pamela who are directors of the school, came to visit Wales en route to Mozambique; Jackie came from Scotland with her friend Sachi from the USA; and we just watch in admiration as God's wind blows people to and fro across the globe.

What is fascinating is that this all stems from a totally unrelated event four years ago when Jackie invited Sue to a mission in Mississippi. At least to us back then it seemed "totally unrelated", but you can read about this amazing connection here that see with us that only the Spirit of God could orchestrate this all. None of us would have ever thought that today we would be neighbors and co-laborers in the Lord's mysterious and wonderful plans for this land of Wales.

On Thursday morning we visited what I call the "bend me" chapel in nearby Blaenannerch, the place of Evan Roberts' empowerment by the Holy Spirit. irisfriends.jpgAnd then after lunch we all came to our Cilfowyr Chapel to spend some time in prayer. This little group represented six nations and we had a very rich and significant time of worship and prayer.

Here we were praying over prayingovercoal.jpglumps of Welsh coal that would be carried to Mozambique, Scotland and America as a prophetic act. We prayed that the power of revival that has visited Wales many times before would spread to these nations and that God's purposes there would be fulfilled. Our dear friend Elaine was with us and also prayed powerfully in the Welsh language, which is always a blessing for us and seems to make the connection more complete.

planting5foldseed.jpgAnother very special time was planting another kind of seed here. When Sue and Jackie visited us the first time four years ago, we planted some verses of scripture into the ground around the chapel. Now this time we drove an oil-anointed tent stake into the ground at the southeast corner. This was one of five stakes that had been prayed over by intercessors in Tennessee for months, and had been sent brought over to be prayerfully placed in strategic places as the group was led of the Lord.

Three were planted in the Swansea area - one at Pisgah Chapel which had been Evan Roberts' special place of prayer, one at Moriah Chapel where the 1904 Welsh Revival broke out in power, one at the Bible College of Wales. The fourth one we planted that morning at the chapel in Blaenannerch, and the fifth and final one here.

So once again we find ourselves awestruck at how the Lord is moving and preparing the ground, not just in Wales but around the world, for what is happening now and what is yet to come. We look at the amazing network of connections with so many other Christians from nations around the world who are seriously committed to prayer and to ministry, and are seeing the Kingdom of God break into our world today in many places. We know with ever growing certainty that God has Wales on his heart and that the revival so many people have been praying years for is drawing ever closer.

The beauty and the excitement we enjoy so much is the continual and Spirit guided meeting with more and more wonderful saints of God who are hearing His call and moving into action at His direction. They are counting the cost and saying "Here I am Lord, send me." In my readings this morning was stopped at Psalm 40:6 that says, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened; burnt offering and sin offering You did not require." And verse 8 says, "I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart."

May God's best blessings be with you, and may we each have our ears opened by His Spirit every day and find great delight in doing what He asks of us and empowers us to do.

Dick & Gladys


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