When commenting on the parable of the householder and his vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46) the great English Anglican Bishop J C Ryle wrote ‘The fruit that the Lord receives from His vineyard in this land is disgracefully small compared with what it ought to be. We should note what an awful reckoning God sometimes makes with nations and churches… A time came when the long-suffering of God towards the Jews had an end. Forty years after our Lord’s death…they received a heavy chastisement for their sins in the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple… And will the same things ever happen to us? Will the judgments of God come down upon this nation… Only God knows. But history tells us that judgments have come on many churches and nations. Where are all the early African and Eastern churches? They are run over by Islam and destroyed…Nothing offends God so much as the neglect of privileges. Much has been given to us and much will be required’. Truly remarkable and in many ways ‘prophetic’ words seeing that they were first published in 1856. Margaret and I thank you all for another year of encouragement and support and wish you His rich blessing in 2009 [DV].
With my last newsletter I enclosed a short note giving details of new funding arrangements which were being considered in relation to my involvement with a sister ministry known as Breda Centre. The new arrangements were agreed and as most on my UK mailing list know via a letter that I sent to them towards the end of January there was a substantial reduction in support from this sister ministry with effect from 1st March. This was perfectly correct as over recent years the “Take Heed” workload has increasingly outstripped my duties with Breda Centre. The letter sent at the end of January invited recipients to consider support by means of an annual bankers order payment with effect from 1st March. I have just been overwhelmed by the response to this letter – not only from individuals [either through standing order arrangements and/or gifts] but also from a number of Church fellowships. I hope all will understand why I have been unable to acknowledge each individual response but I want now to say to everyone “THANK YOU”
I can confirm that God through His people has once more proved His faithfulness and this need that arose has been fully met. [Psalm 118:23]