Dear Friends and Prayers:
At this particular time of the year, the words of Jesus in John 8:12 have special significance. "...I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." However, these profound words go far beyond just this time of year. They carry us into a whole new dimension of living. It is way different than unwrapping a one-time gift. Day by day throughout the year we can discover things in His light that we've never seen before.
God's greatest gift to us, besides Jesus Himself, is His word. This is the key to discovery, the doorway of revelation. Through the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit we are transformed by Jesus' words of life. Just like He says in John 8:31-32, "...If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." In this amazing freedom Christ gives, we are constantly unwrapping and unpacking His truth and being changed, not only in our understanding but who we are and how we behave.
We have a clear exhortation in Romans 12:2 that says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." During this Christmas season the world around us is pushing very strongly in the direction of commercial consumption with the giving of presents, etc. And this is a marvelous opportunity to let the light of life shine though us with words of truth and hope in a word full of passing fancies and short-lived pleasures of presents of effervecsent "newness".
We arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Tuesday night for a holiday family visit! We will be here with our middle son Mike and his wife Lauren until Christmas Day. Then we fly out to San Jose, California, to join our youngest son Richard and his wife Emily, and daughter Grace who arrives from New York the day before. We will then join our oldest son Peter and his wife Allie at her parents home to the north of Sacramento. So, as you can well imagine, we are really looking forward to seeing all of our children again, although not all in the same place.
After so many years now in Wales, these visits become dearer and dearer to our hearts, and we are very thankful to the Lord for His goodness. We are also grateful for different weather and scenery too. Although its looks a lots like home here today with grey skies and a constant drizzle, we've already seen more sunshine since Tuesday that we have seen in weeks!
We pray and trust that you have a warm, joyous, and meaningful Christmas with your loved ones, and pray that the Light of Life shine brightly through you and around you with fullnes and grace.
Dick & Gladys
UPDATE: Conservatives win UK election in landslide victory!
This is a quick note to ask you to please pray for the general
election tomorrow, December 12th, here in the United Kingdom. It
is not at all united just now, and the political and media storm
is running overtime as they come down to the wire tomorrow morning
when polling stations are open from 7 AM - 10 PM (GMT) here.
There are some valid arguments on all sides of the political
arena among Christians and non-Christians alike. And any personal
inclinations aside, we are asking for your sincere prayers that
the Lord's will be done and that whatever way things go, that
there will be effective doors opened for the spreading of the
gospel and the furtherance of His kingdom.
We can all be pretty good at giving God our counsel, but we also
know how that winds up too! A good theme for this situation can be
found in Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,'
says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than yours
The situation here in the UK is not
limited just to here. Around the world, we see unrest, strife, and
physical warfare. But the political instability and confusion here
are a daunting challenge. It is all part of the same long-standing
battle that has been going on between two kingdoms ever since the
garden of Eden.
John 1:1-5 says it all. "In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through
Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was
life, and the life was the light of men. And the light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [overcome]
Last week I shared a glimpse of this same sunset. Then the next day
a friend to the north of here sent me this! Such a great picture of
the fulfillment of God's promises. We see in part, but then we will
see in full.
Obviously, just one election in this nation is not going to override
God's ways. But we want to encourage you to please pray with us for
the people of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. May
they respond to the subtle leadings of God in spite of the fact many
don't even believe he exists, nor much less understand anything
about what His ways are.
And so we simply pray with faith the words of Jesus, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as
it is in heaven." Thank you,
Dick & Gladys