One of the greatest gifts besides Jesus Himself—our redeemer and
giver of eternal life—is His intercession. It has been said that
His very life was an intercession for us all. Not only for us His
children, but for all those who will be coming into His family.
Hebrews 7:25 says, "Therefore He is also able to save to the
uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives
to make intercession for them." Romans 8:26 elaborates further,
"...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we
ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
through wordless groans." And then we see in Revelation
Reading Revelations 11 one morning at the chapel, I came to where
the New King James Version says in verse 15, "Then the seventh
angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The
kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of
His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
It dawned on me that this was part of Handel's Messiah, and so I
looked for the complete lyrics. I was led to this article by
Charles Morris written in November 2023, on the HavenToday(.org)
website, and I was blown away by what I read. I think you'll find
"Back in 2015, I visited Handel’s home in London to
see the rooms where he composed. While I was there I spoke with
Dr. Ruth Smith, a Cambridge scholar on Handel. She explained that
the lyrics (the libretto) were not written by Handel himself, but
that they were simply Scripture texts arranged by Handel’s friend,
"In a time of rising secularism and humanism in England, Jennens
was a member of the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel”
and a passionate evangelical believer. He believed that putting
the gospel to music would communicate its truth, not just
intellectually, but at a deep heart level.
"This libretto was made up entirely of Old and New Testament
texts combined to present the entire Christian message in a single
piece. When it was finished he took it to his friend, the great
composer, George Handel.
"For 18 months the libretto sat on Handel’s shelf gathering dust
until one day he took it down, dusted it off, and in three intense
weeks, shut up in his flat on Brook Street, composed the oratorio
that made the words come alive. He barely ate or slept; he was
completely engulfed in the creation of this music—and he wasn’t
alone. When he got to the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found
him in tears, saying, “I think I did see heaven open, and the very
face of God.”"
As I read these words, I was immediately
transported back to a remarkable experience I had in 2007 at the
first Celebration For The Nations that took place in Llanelli,
South Wales. At a particular point during one of the prolonged
worship sessions, I was over to one side of the huge tent kneeling
with my face to the ground between two rows of empty chairs. The
presence of God was tangibly thick and I was weeping profusely.
Suddenly I found myself in front of an enormous, thick curtain
but my position was the same. I was aware of a golden light coming
through the crack at the very bottom of the curtain, and as I
shifted my position ever so slightly I was able to gaze upon two
glowing feet, like coals of fire. I knew that this was the Lord
himself as John described in Revelations 1.
I wept even more deeply, so hard it felt like my heart was going
to come out of my mouth, because of the glory of His love, and the
majesty and purity of His presence.Together with the great sobs
that wrenched my whole being was a profound longing for all the
world to see the glory and the love of God, who came into our
world and gave His life for us. Our glorious Savior is seated on
the throne in the heaven of heavens, loving and longing, calling
His children home.
Even describing this experience here now takes me
back to that very same place. "Oh, the glory! Oh, Lord Jesus, have
mercy on this world, rend the heavens, and come down. Amen."
Here are the scriptures for the final portion of Part Two,
famously known as the Hallelujah Chorus.
44. Chorus – “Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
(Revelation 19, v.6); “The kingdom of this world is become the
kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for
ever and ever.” (Revelation 11, v.15); “King of Kings, and Lord of
Lords.” (Revelation 19, v.16) “Hallelujah!”
You can watch a brilliant rendition by 600 singers from the
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs with the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra
to perform Handel's jubilant "Hallelujah!" chorus at this link. Here
are the scripture references for the complete libretto.
During this festive season, we can keep our prayers centered on
why Jesus came into the world—to save sinners. Let's cry out to
the Lord of the harvest that multitudes will come wholeheartedly
to join in the heavenly worship to our "King
of kings and Lord of lords." May we all be quickened and
empowered to talk of His saving grace to as many as we can with
love and joy!
God bless you and your loved ones,
Dick & Gladys
Saturday morning brought me great joy and tears of gratitude to
be sitting inside our winter "prayer tabernacle" on the balcony of
Cilfowyr Chapel again. After a few days of pushing through my
physical limitations, I was able to install it well enough to be
functional once again.
After not being here for what seems a very long time, it was
wonderful just to feel like I was "home" again. This is the place
where our hearts have been since we first settled here in 2005,
and even before then during our many visits to pray here before
I had just been reading in John 6 when Jesus has just fed the
multitude of five thousand. Verse 12 reads, "So
when they were filled, He said to His disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let
nothing be wasted.'" Jesus' words just jumped into my
spirit because we have had His words, God's words of eternal life,
with us for thousands of years. And yet they have tragically been
wasted. We live in a world falling apart because His words have
not only been ignored but are being methodically and viciously
attacked and expunged from our cultures
by the forces of darkness. The Christmas celebration still exists
in its ridiculous commercialized form—the love of money—even in
places where the name or the true story of Jesus is not even
known. And sadder still, that is the case in our own
However, the wonderful part of John's story is that the
disciples picked up more fragments than they had at the beginning!
The amazing fact is that what seems to have been drained out of
Jesus' nativity and wasted has actually brought eternal life to
MILLIONS OF SOULS down through the centuries! His disciples and
followers have taken his words to heart and "Let nothing be wasted."
This is our responsibility and privilege today, especially in
this Christmas and holiday season. Just as Simon Peter responded
to Jesus when He asked the disciples if they wanted to leave also
because of His hard words, he said in John 6:68-69, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are
the Holy One of God." And so it is with us as we redeem
the time. I recorded a 4-minute video Saturday morning explaining
these thoughts in a little more detail. You're welcome to watch it
here now or at this link.
One of the
greatest treasures that God has given us is His word. Jesus IS the
Word made flesh, and dwells among us whom He made. So another
glorious privilege we have is described by David in Psalm 27:4, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will
I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the
days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
enquire in his temple."
When John describes the
glory of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:22 he
says, "But I saw no temple in
it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple."
So when we, through the Holy Spirit, enquire in the Temple, we are
immersing ourselves in Him. Does it get any better than this?
So we would like to encourage you to make all the inquiries you
can at every moment possible, not just during this busy time of
year but always! And finally, may you and your loved ones have a
very blessed and Presence-filled Christmas and a blessed and
glory-filled New Year,
Dick & Gladys
Dear Friends and Praying Saints:
An overnight trip to Swansea late last week gave us the
opportunity to visit the nearby Gower Peninsula. This became one
of our favorite places to visit when we stayed a month at the
Bible College while waiting to move into our new home in Betws
Ifan, incredibly now over two years ago.
The difference in
temperature from July to December, however, was quite the
contrast. Rather than the sweltering summer humidity was the
welcome cold and clear of an early winter's day. Afternoon
sun reflected on puddles still frozen hard and the landscape
took on a whole new set of colors and hues. From this vantage
point, one can look south towards England or north into the
heart of Wales. It has been classified as an "Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty" for good reason.
After the past two Thanksgiving Days with family, which
were a real gift from the Lord, this year's fare was very
non-traditional as you can see. But that did nothing to dampen
our sense of thankfulness for God's goodness and faithfulness
throughout this year. We remembered all of our travels and the
many loved ones we visited in so many places and were quite
overwhelmed by it all. It even still seems hard to believe that
we've enjoyed such adventures, along with a few accompanying
challenges as well.
These words from
Lamentations 3:22-24 are a source of strength and fuel for
gratitude. "Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are
new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself,
'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'"
Then add this portion from Micah 6:8, "He
has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord
require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with your God?"
One recent highlight for us was the privilege of
spending some time with the students from Bible College of Wales.
They came to visit the Blaenannerch Chapel where Evan Roberts was
empowered by the Holy Spirit and used by God to initiate the
1904/05 Welsh Revival, which I wrote about in my last update.
Extra blessings for us were a couple of students from Guatemala,
one of whose father had been a student when I was director of the
Verbo Christian School over 40 years ago!
The time of worship and prayer with them was
amazing, marked by many tears and a profound longing for the
revelation of who Jesus is to the nations. As many of the students
prayed one by one, there was a remarkable and deep crying out for
people in this world to know the love and the mercy of God. It was
a very special and precious time for us that will stay with us.
Sadly we weren't able to attend the graduation,
but heard wonderful reports. We'd like to encourage anyone of
any age, yourselves or someone you know, to consider
investing three months into this extraordinary Bible College
experience. Complete information is available at this link.
As we head into this last month of the year, we are
all aware of the times we are living in—there seems to be an
increasing and unprecedented level of turmoil on almost every
front. English-born Thomas Paine, one of the American founding
fathers, once wrote in 1776, "These are the times that try men's
souls..." With clear and obvious reasons for his own days, how
much more is going now in ours?
In such a time as this, how then should we live? Ephesians 5:15-16
makes it very clear. “See that you walk
circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time,
because the days are evil
.” One of the best ways, if not
the best way, to redeem the time is through prayer. We can join the
millions of other believers around the world who are actively
crying out for the people of this world to know the love and the
mercy of God in the person of Jesus Christ. This is what the Lord
also desires as we read in 2 Peter 3:9, "The
Lord is... not willing that any should perish but that all should
come to repentance.
May the Lord bless and keep you as we press in
together for His coming harvest,
Dick & Gladys