Dear Friends of Wales
We trust you have had a joyous and meaningful
Christmas. As we all know, the real significance of Jesus' birth
is far greater than the seasonal festivities that soon pass away.
He was born from eternity into time that we might be born from
time into eternity. The increasing instability in the world around
us makes the matter of His coming all the more important. His
mercies are new every morning, and thousands each day discover
this truth and invite Him to take up residence in them, His
eternal kingdom increases day by day.
Haggai 2:6-9 brings things into focus. "For
thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I
will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will
shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All
Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the Lord of
hosts. 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the Lord
of hosts. 'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than
the former,' says the Lord of hosts. 'And in this place I will
give peace,' says the Lord of hosts.
On Friday we received a card from friends in
Virginia with great illustrations and a wonderful poem/prayer that
I'd like to include here to bless and encourage you and help
empower your prayers with joy!
O Prince of Peace,
My ecstasy and bliss!
Who but You could lead me beside still waters
and into lush green pastures
Who but You could restore my soul
Who but You could climb with me up mountains of splendor to see
Who but You could prepare a feast for me in the presence of my
make me laugh at their threats and pray blessings upon their heads
Who but You could show me the path of everlasting life
Who but You could clothe me with a a royal robe of righteousness
And turn the blood red stain of my sin as white as snow
Who could dance with me to the house of wine
intoxicating me with unspeakable joy
Who could Father me with perfect love and care
drying every tear and healing every disease
Who could pen the loveliest love songs ever written and never stop
them to me
Who could paint my days with an endless hunger for the
colors of heaven
Who could never abandon me in my time of need always forgiving and
overwhelming me with His "amazing grace"
Who is closer than a brother and more romantic than any human
Who alone saturates me with a peace that passes all understanding
And loves me with a love beyond knowledge
O Jesus, Jesus!
Desire of every nation
Lover of every soul
Son of God
Son of man
Our Sabbath Rest
Our Wonderful Counselor
Our Song of Songs
The Glory and the Lifter of our heads
Alive from the dead forevermore
Always dancing over us with overcoming joy
Not just a great idea, abstract and untouchable,
Not too lofty to touch defiled humanity and the leper's skin
But the incarnation of God the Father
Who walked, ate, laughed, wept among us
And loved us unto death
Giving us a new life for the old
Freedom from the tormenting chains of guilt and shame
Loving us into obedience
The oil of joy for ashes
Turning our mourning into dancing
Despair Into hope
O joy, joy, joy!
Joy to the world!
O Immanuel, God with us,
King of kings and Lord of all.
Pour out your living wine upon this world once again
Bringing laughter and abandoned dancing into the streets of our
Help us bring Your heaven to earth
And may earth fully receive her King!
"Let heaven and nature sing" together forever
Until the transcendent love of God rules in every heart!
(Written and illustrated by Mary Lee,
entitled, "God's Global Strategy", based on Joel 2:28.)
We pray the Lord bless you in the coming New Year
with more of Himself to share with those around you,
Dick & Gladys Funnell
Having some of our family here with us for
the week of Thanksgiving was like the sweetest of dreams
ever. And it was one of those dreams that you just don't want
wake up from! The days seemed to melt together and
had an unforgettable time.
The Lord graciously gave us perfect weather for the days we were out and about. Their first
morning here we took them to two local beaches, and then
found us at Strumble Head Lighthouse near Fishguard and
then St. David's. It was such a joy to relax and enjoy one
another's company in such beautiful surroundings. Neither
Richard's wife nor Gladys' niece had been here
and it was fun to take them on such adventures.
It wasn't all fun and games though. One afternoon everyone
joined forces to working outside in the garden,
and we got a lot
of work done with so many welcome helping hands. And there was
plenty of working feeding this crew as well. After supper we
shared talk and games around the
table and it was great just being family at home here with
With many great cooks we had a real banquet for our
Thanksgiving Dinner, and there was much more to be thankful
than all the delicious food.
And then—like a dream—everything
changed. Friday morning Richard and Emily headed off to
and we followed them Saturday afternoon with Grace and Maly to
be tourists on Sunday. That evening we met up for a last meal
together in Covent Garden and then said our goodbyes, and they
flew home the next morning.
In the afterglow of our wonderful visit and
the "sweet sorrow" of parting, the Lord brought to mind His
for family. All the love and warmth that we can feel with
our own families is really just a foretaste of God's forever
family. Saying goodbye can be hard even if it's only till the
next time we see each other. And it is far more difficult when
death takes a loved one from us. BUT, that is where the
power of the Gospel and Jesus' resurrection CHANGES
family is all about eternal life. There will be no
more goodbyes ever again! 1 John 5:11 says, "And this is the
testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life
in His son." So when a person embraces
simple but transcendent truth of God's plan for
through faith in His son, a whole new story begins. This
of when the prodigal son "comes to himself" and returns to his
father's forgiving embrace is a marvellous portrayal of
fulfilled—salvation and rest for our souls.
The greatest reason for true Thanksgiving is
invitation in John 7:37, "On the last day, that great day of the
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him
come to Me and drink.'" And this is the
heart of prayer for revival—that all would come to Him and "...with joy draw water from the wells of
salvation." Isaiah 12:3
May God bless and keep you, and your loved ones, during the
Dick & Gladys