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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Highlights of glory, and abundance of joy!

Amazing sunset at Blaenannerch, December, 2019 Dear Praying Friends:

This amazing sunset was the icing on the cake tonight after what has been another series of days brimming over with blessings and highlights. One of them was what we read a few mornings ago in 2 Peter 1:16-19, "...We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received glory and honor from God the Father... We ourselves heard that voice from Heaven when we were on the holy mountain. Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts."

In recent days the darkness of the world swirls around our heads with news of unrest, unrighteousness, and tragedy.  All too easily we can get caught up in the angst of the world, but Peter's exhortation is to pay close attention to God's words.

And Jesus himself said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." This makes it very clear where our heart belongs. And if our home is where our heart is, then even though the world around us seems to be shaking itself off its hinges, we are firmly planted By the living water. He is our rock and Prince of Peace, and through Him, we can reach out to those in need around us with truth and life.

BCW graduates, November, 2019

Another highlight for us was attending the graduation of the Bible College of Wales. This was the ninth batch of students to finish the 12-week course, and the joy and excitement were just wonderful to behold. They really were "ABLAZE" with the love and the empowerment of God. How thrilling to see them from such diverse places and backgrounds being back into the fields of harvest, like seeds of a dandelion carried off by the wind of the Holy Spirit

We had a special connection with this class because of times we got to spend with them at the college campus, as well as their visit to the "Bend me!" Chapel at Blaenannerch, and afterwards at our own Cilfowyr Chapel. And another extra bonus was our friend Paulina from Guatemala, here in the inset receiving her diploma from Pastor Yang, director of BCW. Her father, along with his four siblings, had been among my students there over 35 years ago.

And then Paulina's aunt, one of the those five, also came to the graduation with her husband, the pastors of the Cornerstone Church in Almeria, Spain. Also with them was the family of another young student from Spain who we connected with while she was here. One more addition to the mix was the Mexican pastor from the Spanish-speaking Cornerstone church in Long Island, NY, who we met last year. It was such a joyous time to share Singaporean friends at Gwbertstories and hear news from so many years ago, and also meet new friends in the family of God and rejoice in His love and goodness, and all in Spanish. It was a priceless and privileged time and a genuine taste of heaven on earth!

And skipping over far too much to relate here, today we finished off with a wonderful visit by another one of the graduating class and her friend of thirty years who came to help her celebrate. She also just "graduated" from her professional career, and so they are both spending time here in Wales just taking in of the Lord's goodness, and looking towards the next chapter of their lives in His service. Please pray for all these precious saints, thank you.

All we can do is rejoice at the immense goodness of the Lord and His faithfulness to bring to completion all the good works that He has started in countless lives of saints around the globe. We realize the extraordinary privilege He has given us of such wonderful connections with the family of God from so many nations of the world. Kingdom stories are multiplying across the earth today, and people are being drawn to His glory. So together we can boldly proclaim among the nations along with King David, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

May you be overjoyed and encouraged in the strength of His might and the depth of His mercy,

Dick & Gladys.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A special visitation points to a glorious habitation!

https://www.instagram.com/artbycorby/ Jump for JoyDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

The beginning of Luke's Gospel is always a delight to read through, taking us afresh into the greatest story ever told. This time was no exception, and Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth is always a highlight. This 2007 painting by Corby Eisbacher beautifully catches the joy and wonder of that prophetic moment.      (instagram.com/artbycorby)

Luke 1:41-44 tells us, "And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.'"

I was bowled over by verse 43, "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizebeth's words perfectly capture the astonishment that God's grace has come to us also! And we have a far greater privilege. Elizabeth received the mother of Jesus come under her roof, but in our days we are His roofAutumn colors in the sunlight—we are His dwelling place! Jesus himself told us this in John 14:23, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

As the magnitude of that reality sunk into my spirit, it instantly brought me to tears of thankfulness and awe at God's amazing love and mercy. And I easily joined in with David's words in Psalm 8:4, "And what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?"

As we continue in our prayers for this nation, what our souls long for is that God would grant people the privilege of knowing His love. When Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, she received direct revelation from God of what was actually happening at that very moment—she knew the King of Glory had come into her home. And so we cry out for each and every one that Christ died and rose again for, that all will receive the revelation that they can be His home for a lifetime, and that He will be their home throughout all eternity.

Last week we enjoyed a brief visit from our friend Janet Phillips who visits Wales several times a year in her work with CCommunity Bible Studies friendsommunity Bible Studies, Int'l. This time she was accompanied by Patricia, a new traveling and prayer partner. It was great to catch up on Janet's activities and get to share some of the adventures the Lord has her on, and swap testimonies of all the He is doing in each of our spheres of activity. Please pray for the rest of their time here as they seek to see more people getting established in the word of God.

It is always a joy to hear stories about God's faithfulness, and how His people around the world are being drawn into a greater desire to know Him better and to serve Him more faithfully. For example, later this week we will be attending the graduation at the Bible College in Swansea. We really look forward to seeing this new group of students being released into the fields where the Lord sends them. We admire their dedication and hard work and invite your prayers for them also for clear guidance as they dedicate their lives to His service.

We are grateful that each of us can so easily follow the instruction in Hebrews 4:16 that exhorts us, "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Dick & Gladys


Thursday, November 07, 2019

First frost - the cycles of seasons and nations, and far-reaching prayer

melting frostDear Praying Friends and Saints:

An early frost surprised us last week, bringing with it the reminder that seasons come and go like everything else, ourselves included. Changing foliage and bare branches leave us no choice but to embrace the colder days, and one another to stay warm as we go tumbling down like the leaves into the years.

What can be the harshness of incoming winter also seems to be reflected currently in the political wrangling going on in nations around the world. People are struggling for position and permanence when the only solid ground is found in Jesus. 1 John 2:17 clearly says, "And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

It is only from our position through grace as heirs of God's eternal kingdom that we can pray correctly. There is some great guidance for prayer in this exhortation in Hosea 10:12-13, "Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you."

We can't produce righteousness on our human level, it can only come from above. And inherent in prayer for revival is the expectation of fruit in our time, but the real goal is eternal. We happily continue to have people come join us in prayer, and this is the very thing we all have in common. The desire among believers in the nations is for the outpouring of God's grace and mercy to touch their lands. Of course, we all long to see justice and peace in this world, but far beyond the cycles of seasons and nations, God is populating His kingdom forever.

Our last visitors at the chapel were from South Korea, and as they came up the stairs they didn't yet know that their country's flag was right above their heads. It just landed there when we rearranged things to make room for our winter tent. One couple has lived in London for decades working with people from China, and the other couple are part of a large congregation in Seoul.

Then last weekend, we were invited to mid-Wales to a small gathering of people for an extended time of worship and whatever more the Lord might bring about through that. It was a rich time in His presence, and some powerful and prophetic prayers were made on behalf of Wales and beyond. The turbulence in the temporal sphere came into proper perspective as we focussed on God's heart for a lost world.

God the Father says to His son Jesus in Psalm 2:8, "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession." What a joy to be able to join in with  prayers such as these! Read the whole Psalm for a glorious perspective and power for your prayers, and may God richly bless you,

Dick & Gladys


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