Friends and Prayers:
When Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples, He told them in Luke
10:2, "...The harvest is
plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest,
therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending
you out like lambs among wolves."
In my last update, I wrote about sharing God's light in the
darkness. And so what a joy to find out about TheSend that took place
last Saturday in Orlando, Florida. The central theme of the event was,
"The War on Inaction has Begun!"
They had called for 60,000 people and I've heard estimates of
attendance both above and below that goal. Their focus was on "5
Mission Fields", and I've understood that about 4000 made commitments
to take the Gospel into America's high
schools, 2500 to universities, 2000 into their neighborhoods, 600 into
foreign nations, and others made a commitment, either now or in the
future, to adopt children living as orphans in America and elsewhere.
Also among those present there were over 15,000 commitments to
fast for the America and nations of the world. Praise God for so many
young people taking to heart Jesus' call to send workers into the
harvest. What an encouragement to see body of Christ coming into a
season of engagement with the world around them as happened to so many
of us in the 1970s. There are several videos from the event online
at this link if you are on Facebook, or you can find others on
is an amazing prophetic description of how the Spirit of God can equip
and empower us when we say "Yes" to His call. We find it in an
apparently unlikely book of the Bible–Job! Chapter 29 is a short read
and excellent fuel for prayer for all of Christ's church in the needy
world around us.
"Job further continued his
discourse, and said: 'Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days
when God watched over me; When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by
His light I walked through darkness; Just as I was in the days of my
prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; When the
Almighty was yet with me, When my children were around me; When my
steps were bathed with cream, And the rock poured out rivers of oil for
'When I went out to the gate by the city, When I took my seat in the
open square, The young men saw me and hid, And the aged arose and
stood; The princes refrained from talking, And put their hand on their
mouth; The voice of nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to the
roof of their mouth. When the ear heard, then it blessed me, And when
the eye saw, then it approved me; Because I delivered the poor who
cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper. The blessing
of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow's heart to sing
for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like
a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, And I was feet to the
lame. I was a father to the poor, And I searched out the case that I
did not know. I broke the fangs of the wicked, And plucked the victim
from his teeth.
'Then I said, "I shall die in my
nest, And multiply my days as the sand. My root is spread out to the
waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch. My glory is fresh
within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand."
'Men listened to me and waited, And kept silence for my counsel. After
my words they did not speak again, And my speech settled on them as dew. They waited for me as for the rain,
And they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain. If I mocked at
them, they did not believe it, And
the light of my countenance they did not cast down. I chose the way for
them, and sat as chief; So I dwelt as a king in the army, As one who
We have been blessed this past week with several visits by people
with extraordinary hearts for the Lord, for the nations, and for
prayer. It is marvelous to hear the fervent prayers of other
intercessors ring out in the chapel, and so join in with the precious
incense mentioned in Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4, "...And the smoke of the incense, with
the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand."
Thank you for your continued interest in and prayers for Wales and
the nations. And as each of us press onwards into God's purposes, may
we be seasoned by the words of 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be
brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love."
Praying Friends and Saints:
One of our readings this morning was the beginning of Luke's gospel when
Zacharias' speech is restored and he prophesies over his infant son John
(the Baptist). Luke 1:77-79 says, "To give knowledge of salvation to His
by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God,
with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to
those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
The Holy Spirit was apparently drawing in part from Isaiah 9:2, "The
people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of
death, Upon them a light has shined." These verses just highlighted the
contract of the light overcoming the darkness in the world around us.
Two conversations this week impacted both Gladys and I. Monday we
spoke with a couple of nurses, both middle-aged and very nice and
attentive. They asked the inevitable question, "What brought you here
to Wales?" Haha, such a loaded question and people are always surprise
by the answer. Then the next morning two 20-something
telephone/internet technicians came to the house and asked the same
question. We love it because the absolute answer is the message of the
What is so surprising is that these four, and most unsaved people we
talk to, have no idea that they are living in darkness and the shadow of death.
fact, when we tell about Jesus bringing us the gift of forgiveness of
sin, and living forever in his heavenly Kingdom with our loved ones,
it's like we come from a different planet and speak a different
language! They can't seem even relate to such a marvellous hope.
Last week I had a blood test, and the nurses and another much
older patient asked the same question. When I told them, with they
said, "Nobody believes in that stuff any more!" When I asked what they
thought about eternity, one of the
young techs said, "I'll just take my chances." So even though people
physical death, "the inevitable", comes to everyone, the possibility of
something more to life seems to be of zero
interest or concern to them. So this shadow of death is
invisible to them, when it should be more frightening than having an
Sunday after our monthly chapel service we went to a lunch organized
for the members to celebrate our pastor's 80th birthday! I think the
youngest ones are in their late 40s or early 50s, and the rest of us
toward the upper end of the spectrum here. We may not be a very
charismatic group in that all we talk about is Jesus. However there is
an unspoken understanding that we all embrace the same wonderful faith
in Him. That in itself is priceless in comparison to the other
conversations mentioned above.
Jesus teaches about the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8,
saying, "And when He has come, He
will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I
go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler
of this world is judged."
This stark reality of darkness versus God's amazing Light is one of
the many reasons why we pray. And in Jesus' own words we see the
importance of asking Him to send the Holy Spirit to "convict the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment."
May God grant us diligence and passion in praying and sharing the
Good News with His help and strength,
Dick & Gladys
Yesterday afternoon I took advantage of some sunshine to go for a
walk beside the Teifi River that runs in the gorge below our house. Not
far upstream is the old ferryman's cottage, long since abandoned after
a much longer history back into the 1800s or earlier. The old walls
were capped years ago to prevent further deterioration.
This place has always fascinated us, and yesterday was no different.
But as I gazed at it I began to see it as a picture of the Lord's
house. We build houses with a good roof to protect us from the
elements. But the Lord makes His house for us to be open to the
heavens! He himself is our shelter and doesn't want us putting up any
I believe the Lord has a specific "house" for each one of His
children—a secret place where we can meet together alone. Psalm 91:1
says, "He who dwells in the
secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the
Almighty." So who needs a roof when we are in His shadow? And we are
invited to, "... come boldly to
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in
time of need" in Hebrews 4:16. That means come without pretext,
without excuses, but just as we are, into His presence.
Jesus also talks about this plainly in Matthew 6:6, "But
you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your
door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you openly." He has a
place for each one of us—it is in His presence. It can be in a
a wood, on a train or bus, or even just closing our eyes, anywhere,
anytime. (Here are a few more words about that place!)
A little farther upstream I sat for a while in another favorite spot
where there is a sense of perfect peace and stillness.
It's very similar to a place by the river where I grew up and wandered
frequently as a boy. I could just sit and be enveloped in silence and
wonder at God's creation—another one of those secret places. At a
prayer meeting this morning I heard the Lord say, "Speak to Me in the
secret place. Seek Me in the secret place. Give me your cares in the
secret place, and just rest with Me." He... is our hiding place. And
we... are His secret
Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with
him." John 14:23
is in this secret place where we can pray for the things that are on
our hearts, but more importantly, where we can listen and pray with Him
for the things that are on His heart! He longs for the world to
know His love and mercy. And there is a great chorus of prayer and
longing surrounding us in nature itself. All of creation is crying out
with us and for us!
The portion in Romans 8:19-27 paints an extraordinary picture. "For the earnest expectation of the
creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God...
Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God... We
do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit
Himself... who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the
Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to
the will of God."
So it is God's good will and pleasure that we abide in the
secret place of communion and prayer in His presence. It can be as easy
and as natural as breathing. After all, this is what we were made for
since the beginning!
As Paul reminds us in Ephesians 1;1-6, "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in
the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the
foundation of the world, ...according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted
in the Beloved."
May we all be empowered by the fulness of joy in His presence as
together we pray for revival in Wales and the nations.