Dear Friends and Praying
The three weeks since I last wrote have seemed totally unreal.
It's like the dial is stuck on a horror channel on the TV and no
matter which way we turn it. The inhumane Russian war against
Ukraine is nothing less than insanity. The wanton destruction and
callous disregard for millions of human lives are heartbreaking
proof positive that the "developed" modern world is in more
desperate need of Jesus than ever before.
As we've continued and intensified our prayers during this
distressing turbulence, something in Psalm 23 has grown
significantly pertiment. I'd like to highlight that here to help
focus our prayers.
A Psalm of
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I
shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of
righteousness for His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence
of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
In the first three verses David is talking about
the goodness of the Lord. But in verse 4 his circumstances change
drastically when he comes into danger, and he begins to speaks directly to
Him. This is a profound and significant shift. David's outlook on
everything changes because his very life is on the line. What a
beautiful picture of trust and confidence to run to the Father and
know he is loved and cared for without measure.
As millions flee for their lives and their world has been turned
upside down, we can pray that they find this direct and very
personal relationship with the living God. May their lives be
changed forever as they are translated into the kingdom of God
through the precious blood of Jesus.
Jesus says in John 8:12, "...I am the light
of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life." Our prayer is that
thousands upon thousands respond to His invitation and experience
the transcendant power of faith in our Heavenly Father.
Dick & Gladys
Dear Praying Saints and
In the early hours of Saturday morning, I had a
beautiful dream that repeated itself over and over. Somehow I
found myself suspended above Ukraine and my arms were extended
around most of the country from east to west, and I was embracing
it as if somehow we were a father and child. It was all farmland
with rolling green fields and wooded areas and there was such an
amazing sense of warmth and peace in the embrace that I did not
want to let go.
Each repetition of the dream brought a new
viewpoint, and what I saw of the landscape and the people in my
arms I would embrace, and again cradle everything to myself, to my
heart. There was a satisfying sense of providing safety and
security to the whole of the countryside. There was not even a
hint of anything out of order in spite of the things that are
going on in the physical realm.
Ukraine is home to the most fertile and productive
farmland in Europe, and its beauty added to the joy of the
dream—safe in God's arms of love. Jesus said in John 16:33, "'These things I have spoken to you, that in Me
you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but
be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'"
As we opened the Scriptures this morning, these
verses in Exodus 19:3-6 painted the same picture. "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to
him from the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house
of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I
did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and
brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My
voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure
to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation...'"
As we prayed into this, I remembered another vivid dream I had very
early this morning. Once again I was looking down on the Ukrainian
countryside from above and I saw vast numbers of sheep. For some
reason, the number of 9 million sheep came to mind. They were
divided into 10 huge flocks and were roaming around in an expansive
area of prairie and desert and mountains. Each of these huge flocks
was apparently on their own as if in open range with no one looking
Then I saw a massive yet gentle hand reach down from above and
settle in among the hills, and with the other hand, the Lord gently
steered each one of the flocks towards his open palm. One by one
they were herded closer to his hand though at the same time, here a
little and there a little, until they all were gathered into the
palm of God's hand. Somehow that vast number didn't even cover his
hand. What stood out to me was the love and the tenderness that
poured out of the heart of the Good Shepherd as he brought his flock
to safety, cradled into the hollow of his hand. (Psalm 95:7)
This most overwhelming fact and glorious hope is encapsulated in the
words of King David in Psalms 8:4, "What is
man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit
" And these words of Jesus in Luke are even closer to
the heart, "How often I wanted to gather your
children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but
you were not willing!
I wanted to share these dreams to encourage and empower your prayers
for Ukraine in this painfully crucial time. And to take it two steps
further, James 4:5-6 says, "Or do you think
that the Scripture says in vain, "He yearns jealously over the
spirit that He made dwell in us? But He gives more. Therefore He
says, 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
And 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slack
concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is
longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but
that all should come to repentance.
As we join our prayers with hundreds of millions around the globe
for consolation and salvation, no matter which side of "the fence"
they're on, or even if they don't know there is
fence, let's remember that every person's eternity is in the
balance. That's what Jesus came for.
Dick & Gladys