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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

From devastation to deliverance; and God's assurance of hope in prayer...

From "A Walk in the Clouds", 1995
https://images.app.goo.gl/xUsHAJizzF4S9emn7Dear Praying Friends and Saints:

Monday morning I found myself obliged to weep and pray by this last section of Psalm 80.
 "14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine
15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.
17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
18 Then we will not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.
19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!
"

During the last couple of months, there has been a growing burden in prayer for many serious difficulties around the world. The "vineyard" at the root level has to do with God's people and their influence on the world around us today. Many places are in a conflagration, both politically and otherwise, because God's standards of righteousness, truth, and justice have been completely rejected.

Three times in this Psalm alone comes the petition, "Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!" And that is a plea for revival. Our churches need revival, our communities need revival, and our nations and their governing bodies need revival. And in particular, the nations whose founding principles were based on Godly values need to repent and return from their abandonment of His ways.

Our garden when we moved to the house 13 years ago!Our home had been abandoned for nearly two years when we moved here in 2007, and the back "garden" was totally neglected and overgrown. When I found this old photo recently, the Lord impressed on me that this was like the condition of the church here in Wales and elsewhere. As we read through the prophets we see references to ruins and wasteland and abandonment time and time again.

And yet there is always God's promise of hope and redemption throughout times of His rebuke and discipline. For example, Malachi 3:7 says, "'Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,' says the LORD of hosts…'"

Our garden as it is today, August 2020And when I compared what our garden was like thirteen years ago to what it is now, I felt the Lord show me that things are now ready for the coming revival. A place of habitation has been being prepared, and the time is at hand for a new occupancy by people coming into His kingdom.

The church has been shifted from a focus on buildings to groups of people connected in relationships with one another, and with Him. Old nets are being mended and many new ones are being prepared for the great and amazing catch.

We are also praying for and believing there is a shift coming for towns and states and nations and their governance. As the influence of people touched by God's mercy reaches into their communities, the powers of darkness will be weakened and some level of change must come. The changes may not be big, and they may only be for a time, but we trust that through them the Lord will provide a window of opportunity for the salvation of souls.

A good stage is set for our prayers in Psalm 103, "8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy… 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust… 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, to such as keep His covenant..."  And Jesus proclaims the crowning hope in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

With grateful hearts, we stand together with you in prayer that His will may be done on earth as it is in heaven,

Dick & Gladys


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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A curious "prophetic" root and promising overnight growth—signs along the way!

A
broken bit of elm root going wild with new growth!Dear Friends and Prayers:

This photo that I took ten days ago immediately came to mind when Saturday's readings included these verses in Isaiah 11:1-2,
"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
"

The whole of Isaiah chapter 11, of course, is an amazing declaration of God's plans, and verse 9 is the heartbeat of revival. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
"

I don't need to tell you that we are living in extraordinary times. And this picture shows an unusual multiplication of sprouts coming out of what is a very damaged root. I stripped off some sod from our lower lawn a few months ago and this poor root received pretty harsh treatment as you can see. But just look at how it's growing!

Isaiah 53:5 says about Jesus, " But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities..." And yet because of God's amazing gift of selfless love, the kingdom of heaven has been filled over the centuries. Now in our times, we are beginning to see hints of multiplication of newness of life in the church. As individuals take to heart Jesus' call to discipleship in Luke 9:23, "...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me", this multiplication of His character in His Amazing growth rate of newly planted grass!followers everywhere will good fruit for eternity. This is another key aspect of the coming revival we are praying for.

The church at large has been through some pretty rough times lately, and especially now with the virus lockdowns, etc. And yet the Spirit of the Lord is bringing about a newness and vitality among the family of God that is very encouraging. We see new relationships brought into being that didn't exist before, and "online" churches receiving visitors from different nations. And just yesterday I had a friend messaged saying that in a prayer meeting they had a word that "the dam might be about to burst!"

I just re-seeded grass in the plot where I took the sod from—the top part was what it looked like Sunday afternoon, and the bottom was yesterday, Monday! Such amazing growth in such a short period of time. This is a picture of what we are praying for and beginning to see. We see young people giving their lives to the Lord and saying, "Here I am, send me." There have been baptisms at beaches and baptisms in rivers, and we know of at least one fast-growing open-air church that has started up in San Francisco.

Hen Ffynnon, our home since 2007Even last week's surprise of our housing situation is loaded with promise and portent. We want to express our thanks to so many of you who have responded with your prayer and encouraging words—a season of change, a better situation, a place of love and hospitality, etc. One word of particular significance is from Exodus 23:20-21 that says, "See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says."

We will miss the lovely and ever-changing views, but know that there is a better place just around the corner. God's grace has gone way before us and we have seen an ongoing series of exceptional developments that assure us that He is "on the case" for us. He has kept us in His wonderful peace and sense of joyful expectancy. Because of His overwhelming goodness, we look forward to each coming day.

But of course, our greatest and most joyful expectancy is that of Christ becoming the eternal dwelling place of innumerable multitudes in the coming revival. This is His unchanging promise from Isaiah 11:9, "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."

Dick & Gladys


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Monday, September 14, 2020

Two big surprises in the same day, and a special request for prayer...

Our home sweet homeDear Praying Friends:

We got a totally unexpected phone call from our landlord this afternoon and she let us know that she is planning to put our house up for sale! This wonderful place has been our home for 13 years now, and  has been a large part of our lives here. We've hosted so many precious praying saints over the years and enjoyed so much of God's love. And so, of course, we are wondering just what He is up to now.

Last week I took this picture of the lowest-lying and closest rainbow we've ever seen here. Do you suppose that maybe God was giving us a glimpse of something? One thing we know for sure is that He has always been faithful and that continues day by day. We don't need to try and figure out His plans, but only continue to grow in our dependence on Him.

We simply wanted to share this news with you and ask for your prayers that His guidance in the coming months would be clear and we would be A wonderful surprise vgisit by an old friend!sensitive and obedient. We are at peace knowing that God's ways are perfect.

We had another surprise that was of a very different nature—an unexpected visit from our very dear old friend Elinor. We've known her for over a decade and haven't seen her for several years, and so we had a very joyful few hours. We were still glowing from our time together when our landlord rang just minutes after she left. This was yet another proof that the Lord's ways and timings are perfect.

Thank you so much for your continued interest and your prayers for us, for Wales, and for the nations. It is getting exciting!
May you know God's presence and His blessings in your lives each day,

Dick & Gladys


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Monday, September 07, 2020

The mark of a praying heart, and an upcoming international prayer event for the world...

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Wept_(Jésus_pleura)_-_James_Tissot.jpg#fileDear Friends of Wales Awakening:

While reading through Ezekiel the other day, I was arrested by this part in chapter 9 which describes God's harsh judgment on Jerusalem for the idolatry and iniquity of Israel. Ezekiel 9:3-4 says, "And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.'"

This just struck a chord in me as we see so much turmoil in the world around us. At that time Israel was full of bloodshed and injustice, and today's world is filled with all that and much more. Most of the western world has turned its back on God and abandoned our Judeo-Christian moral foundation. We've outdone ancient Israel who said, "...'The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.'..." and pretend there is no God at all.

Add to this mix the tragic effects of the coronavirus pandemic with the resultant fear, confusion, lack of honesty, growing discontent, and distrust of authorities. The product is a very unstable and vulnerable world. At this critical juncture in human history, it is us, the praying and interceding believers, who sigh and cry over all the https://thereturn.orgabominations that are done within [today's world] who can be absolutely sure what we need to do—PRAY!!

 2 Chronicles 7:14 spells it out loud and clear. "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

I recently found out about a large prayer event called "The Return" which is planned for September 26th in Washington, DC. It is based on this very scripture. They are facilitating worldwide access to join in by video link. All the information is available on their website to enable massive participation: https://thereturn.org, so please pass on this information as led.

The cross before me...One of the positive fruits of the current situation is that people have been turning to prayer in unprecedented numbers and ways. And the more praying that gets done, the better it is. Of course, we are praying for the Lord's intervention in all of the obvious problems mentioned above. But the only lasting solution lies in the realm of eternal things.

Jesus came that we might have life forever after our earthly life is done, and that focus far outweighs everything else. That is the essence of the prayer for revival and should be the underlying foundation of all of our prayers. The Good News of Jesus is the heart of the whole matter. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18.

May our hearts become like His as we pray for our desperate world,

Dick & Gladys


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