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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Locked down to trust in God's promises, and the joy of discovering The Chosen!

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

Last Friday at 6 pm, Wales went into a new "Firebreak Lockdown" to try and break the climbing rate of COVID-19 cases here. So we made the most of our last chance to get out and about for the next few weeks. Our route took us by one of our favorite places to stop for lunch and enjoy the glorious views over this beautiful land.

A new motivation for the drive around our area was to check out some properties currently on the market. As you no doubt recall, we are on the lookout for a new place to live. So our day was reminiscent of our explorations 13 years ago when we needed to find a new rental property. The difference this time is that we get to choose the place through God's amazing provision!

Because of His provision, we know there is a place somewhere, but it is proving to be a bit of a challenge. As I mentioned earlier, we need to be relatively close to the chapel, which is the hub of our activities, and in an area where we can have some space to ourselves and our guests, so your continued prayers on that front are very much appreciated. By faith we are holding fast to the word given to us 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."

A few months ago I started noticing some of our friends on Facebook were posting very positive TheChosen.tv, a wonderful portrayal of Jesus' life and
ministry,reviews of The Chosen. Having watched the first eight episodes, now we understand why. There are several powerful scenes that are profoundly touching and bring back my first revelations of who Jesus is when I got so radically saved 47 years ago on that September 23rd.

This first-ever multi-season series based on the biblical stories of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a typical Hollywood style production but it the product of applied faith. Through crowd-funding it has been made to freely give away, and has now been viewed by nearly 50 million people in 180 countries and translated into over 50 languages. You can watch the whole first season free of charge here at: www.thechosen.tv.

Besides the main episodes, the backstories of their journey of faith in producing the series is very interesting and encouraging. And the testimonies of the actors and other crew involved are really faith-fuilding as well.

As each of us apply ourselves to the particular tasks assigned to us by the Lord, we are in good company around the world. Paul's prayer in Phillipians 1:9-11 comes to mind. "For...that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The mystery of the Good Seed for such a time as this...

How does it grow?Dear Praying Friends:

I was invited to share the devotional thought and prayer with "The Church across Pembrokeshire" Facebook group this morning. These are short daily videos from different people speaking into the context of today's crazy world. So when I awoke with Jesus' words in my heart about the mystery of how plants grow, I had the text for what I would share this morning.

In Mark 4:26-29 Jesus taught, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.
For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.

We have been in the COVID-19 crisis for seven months now, and this whole time God has been doing things that we can't see or really understand. I mean of course there are things that we do see and appreciate, but just how they have actually come to pass remains sort of a mystery.

I think the application covers much more than just the virus situation, and much more than just Wales. With all that is Sharing with the Church across Pembrokeshire FB groupgoing on around us and throughout the world, our faith in God's sovereignty not only will see us through, but it is extending to many others. You can watch part or all of the 7-minute video at this link.

As we target our prayers this week, let's keep in mind the words of Jesus in verse 29, "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." The turbulence in the world around us is like a plow turning over the soil for planting the unseen seed. This is the time to earnestly pray for the incoming harvest. Every day people are coming to faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Be encouraged, each one of us were born for such a time as this,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A prayer perspective for the upcoming election in America...

Hezekiah prays -Dear Friends of Wales Awakening:

Several weeks ago the Lord impressed on my heart the need to set aside time to pray specifically for America. The election is now only three weeks away, and the political heat is turned up as never before. And the current selection of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court adds more fuel to the already raging fire.

In the midst of all the noise, the words of a favorite old Bill & Gloria Gaither song have consistently come to mind...
     "Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
         But there's something about that name."

On Saturday we were reading about the time when the Assyrian king Sennacherib was threatening Judah and Jerusalem in 2 Kings 18-19. The taunts and shouting described therein have a familiar contemporary ring to them with two sides fighting against one another.

When Sennacherib sent a letter to Judah's king, 2 Kings 19:14-15,19 says, "And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: 'O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth... Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.' "

Psalm 95:7 Sheep of his handWhatever be the outcome of this election and its implications for the near future, there is a far more important matter at hand. And this is where Hezekiah's prayer absolutely nails it. "...that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone."

All the kingdoms of the earth, be they political parties, ideologies, or actual nations, will all pass away. And it is the same for our brief physical existence on earth. Only God's eternal Kingdom will remain forever, and all those elect Him to be our King and Lord and Savior.

 Psalm 95:7 says, "For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice…" Our prayer is that people will indeed wake up to this reality and live accordingly. That is the only election that really matters in the long term.

Trusting in His abundant grace for our lives and yours,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

A stunning healing miracle — and a more-than-extraordinary answer to your prayers!

A & E at Withybush Hospital, HaverfordwestDear Friends in Prayer:

A dearly beloved friend had her nine grandchildren playing outside the farmhouse one evening last week when she suddenly got the news that there had been an accident. While romping around, two little heads had slammed together extremely hard and, somehow, six-year-old William's front teeth had split his tongue open from top to bottom and right up the middle towards the back more than an inch.

A frantic visit to the nearby accident and emergency department of the nearby hospital wasn’t enough. Three doctors determined that William would need a pediatric surgeon to repair the severe damage, and the outlook wasn’t very promising. The surgeon wasn’t able to see him until 7 o’clock the next morning in Swansea, two hours away.

At 4 o’clock in the morning our friend was awake praying when she got this word from the Lord in Jeremiah 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" The next morning in Swansea, William’s mother had to deliver her little boy unaccompanied through the doors to the hospital staff due to COVID-19 restrictions.

After an anguished wait of only a half an hour, the surgeon himself marched William out the door to announce to an astonished mum that “somehow” his tongue grown together by itself and needed only minor care till completely healed. Overwhelming joy and thankfulness to God would be an understatement.

Glorious sunsetWhat an awesome loving God is our heavenly father, stepping into the life of this child and his family and showing His compassion and tender mercies with power and glory. Hearing this testimony of a real-life miracle directly from both mother and grandmother can't help but strengthen our faith. And it will surely encourage yours as well.

And we ourselves have also been the direct recipients of what we consider a miraculous blessing. You probably remember our September 15th update when we told about the surprise of our house being put up for sale. We asked for your prayers, and our amazing God responded in an astonishing way, bringing to mind Psalm 86:10 that says, "For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God."

The very next morning, we got a phone call from some long time friends who had just read our email and felt the Lord directing them to buy the house and to rent it to us! It's a good thing we were sitting down because we both would probably have fallen over at the shock of joy and wonder at God's goodness and their substantial faith and generosity.

A house somewhere here?During a subsequent visit to look the house over carefully, they realized that there were serious physical problems with it. SO, after some time of discussing the prospects and praying together, they have asked us to locate a suitable property in this area around Cilfowyr Chapel and they will purchase it and rent that one to us instead.

We are still reeling at the magnitude of God's great faithfulness to us. And today when we received the formal notice of the end of our tenancy here, we were once again humbled by the astounding provision the Lord has provided for us, and yet another confirmation of His plans for Wales and our intercessory role here.

Fortunately, there are six months before we need to vacate, and we have already started looking for properties and hope to move before then. We know that if the Lord has made the provision, He knows exactly where it is, but we don't. So we would like to seriously engage your prayers to this end. We need to be relatively close to the chapel, which is the hub of our activities, and in a rural area with enough space to host guests without being a nuisance to neighbors. It's like finding a needle in a massive green haystack, but He is "...El Roi, the God-Who-Sees;" (Genesis 13:16), and we know we can trust Him implicitly

Thank you once again for your continued interest and prayers for us and for Wales. And meanwhile, we can say together with David in Psalm 89:1,
"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations."

Dick & Gladys


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