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"Immanuel: God With Us!"

Tuesday 1st December 2009

Yes, we all know what Immanuel means, and, if we have forgotten, this month we are sure to be reminded. However, how many of us are experiencing Immanuel: 'God with us'?

Not only did God come to be with us in the Incarnation of the Son, but, God has come to indwell us by the impartation of the Spirit. Now, post-Pentecost, God can be with us because He can be in us. But how much of this are we experiencing in our lives and in our churches? Paul desired that the Ephesians would be "filled with all the fullness of God" and of course he later speaks about the Fullness of the Holy Spirit. How does our experience measure up to such teaching?

Many Christians are not experiencing a sense of God with them because they have never allowed God to fill them.

When a man or woman is filled by God's Spirit, others will be heard to remark: "Truly God is with him/her". When churches are empowered by the Spirit, even unbelievers will be heard to exclaim, falling on their faces "God is truly among you" (1 Corinthians 14:25).

There is a distinct absence of a sense of the presence of God in our individual lives and in our churches. The good news is that with repentance and faith we can rediscover it again to the glory of God and our benefit.

The Revival Conferences in Dublin and Wales were both an exercise in assessing how great the need is to rediscover the presence of God with us. Also these Conferences were an exercise in discovering how deep the desire is to experience God's presence again. Both conferences were a blessing and there is a great hunger for God's presence among some people. The Conference in Loughor, Wales, however, proved to be an exceptional blessing as, in a measure, we encountered the presence of God, and felt His holy dealings in our lives. In many respects I think some of us 'turned a corner' in Wales as God truly was affirming, confirming and reaffirming many burdens in the hearts of those who long for genuine Revival. May whatever God did in our lives in Wales not be lost, but remain, and increase, bearing fruit to the glory of God and the good of mankind in future days.

We rejoice in droplets of blessing in all aspects of ministry and we always are encouraged and overjoyed when hearing of souls saved. A married couple who we requested prayer for at Ballyclare have been saved and a young woman in Lurgan trusted Christ. God is at work and yet we know He can and He wants to do more. May we experience it soon – for how the Church and our lands need Jesus.

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"A Sigh of Relief"

Monday 2nd November 2009

"We finish our years like a sigh" - Psalm 90:9b

As you approach the end of this year and maybe you think of all your plans still outstanding, or you consider the things that didn't turn out according to plan, perhaps you 'sigh'. I think for many the year often ends with a sigh, even if only one of exhaustion! For others the sigh is more tragic and despairing. The famous playwright Samuel Beckett conveyed this attitude to life in his play 'Breath'. The play lasts 30 seconds and there are no actors or conversation. The whole script is the sigh of human life from a baby's cry to a man's last breath before he dies. Such despair is everywhere today.

Isn't it wonderful to know that though we, as God's children, might know the sighs of life and death, they are all couched (as this verse is in this Psalm) in the Sovereign Providence of our Great God!: "LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God" - Psalm 90:1-3.

Faith views all our 'sighs' in the context of the character of our Good, Kind and All-Provident God.

As a family, in all matters, we continue to rejoice in, and testify to, the faithfulness of our All-Provident Father.

Lydia and Noah are settling well into their schools in Portadown and are starting to make friends. We are gradually getting our new house into 'ship-shape'.

We enjoyed a great Evangelistic Mission in Ballyclare in September and praise the Lord for His moving in the lives of both unbelievers and believers. Do continue to pray for a number of unbelievers who were counselled and are seriously considering trusting the Lord. At Ballyclare I was very encouraged and excited about the hunger that the believers had to experience reality in their Christian lives, to be more effective in their outreach and to go deeper in their relationship with the Lord. I pray they will find the "waters to swim in"!

As you can see from the itinerary, the remainder of the year is very busy with all kinds of events. I am especially looking forward to the Revival Conferences (see previous blog post) – how the British Isles needs revival and wouldn't it be wonderful if it started in the Republic of Ireland!

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"Revival Conferences"

Friday 23rd October 2009

Revival Conferences 2009There are over 10,000 conferences that happen every year. The 'Revival Conference' - hosted by the ministry of www.sermonindex.net as an inter-denominational event - is not to be just another conference but an honest, sincere, earnest plea for the desperate need of revival. There is no cost to attend the event. No materials will be sold. The conference will have the chief object to be God-glorifying. The speakers will come on their own accord trusting God for provision. There will be no emphasis on money during the event. There is no advertising or gimmicks for these events. It is all spread by word of mouth. The event will be a simple, apostolic, yearning for a genuine Biblical revival in our day. There is such a need for the body of Christ to come together under truth to seek the face of the living God.

The first of these conferences in the UK was held in November 2008, in Greenock, Scotland. The organisers this year have planned two conferences:

  • Glasnevan, Dublin (13th–14th November 2009)
  • Moriah Chapel, Loughor, Wales (17th–19th November 2009)

I will be speaking twice in both Dublin and Wales and would greatly value your prayers for this. If you would like to attend either conference, you can register for free by clicking the appropriate link above. I look forward to seeing you there!

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"Pastures New"

Tuesday 1st September 2009

"My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth...The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" - Psalm 121:2,8

We moved house on 8th July - praise God and thank you for all your prayers – we really have known the benefit of them. We are very happy in our new home and feel such relief to finally be here after so many 'ups' and 'downs' over the past year.

We spent most of July getting things in 'ship shape' around the home and we also had some time for rest over the remainder of the summer period.

Lydia's walking is improved considerably – thank you so much for praying for her. She still attends physiotherapy and has some progress yet to make. We are hoping that when she starts her new school soon and gets among the other children that it won't be long until she is running and playing about like her friends. Noah starts Nursery School soon – a big milestone in his little life – do remember him in this new chapter.

The Lord has been working very deeply in our lives teaching us many new truths and revealing Himself to us in fresh ways. The Devil, characteristically, has not been far away either – tempting and discouraging! While the Lord would build us up, Satan would pull us down but glory to God "greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world" - 1 John 4:4. It is so wonderful to constantly resort back to Calvary, where 2000 years ago our Lord Jesus defeated our three greatest enemies: Sin, the World and the Devil! Satan doesn't like being reminded of that day but we should continually remember it and draw strength from the Saviour's great victory moment by moment.

We are in a constant battle with the enemy. Praise God, he can never win ultimately and rob us of victory - but what he knows he can do is rob us of the knowledge and joy of victory.

Whatever your circumstances or, indeed, whatever your besetting sins, I hope you are living in the knowledge and joy of Christ's complete victory – don't allow Satan to steal your joy!

"When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin".

"And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" - Revelation 12:11

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"To God Be The Glory!"

Wednesday 1st July 2009

"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase" - 1 Corinthians 3:5-8

Arturo Toscanini led his orchestra in an electrifying rendition of Beethoven's symphony No.9. The audience applauded wildly. Toscanini bowed and bowed and bowed. Then he turned to his orchestra and said, "Gentlemen, I am nothing; you are nothing; Beethoven is everything, everything, everything!"

We must be careful always to give glory to the Lord for any increase He graciously gives in gospel ministry. All glory to Him for souls saved in the missions recently in Killyleagh Baptist and The Lifeboat, Moy. Truly "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes".

Do pray on that others who have fallen under Holy Spirit conviction will repent and believe. God is doing great things that we are not aware of by the eye of the flesh but that the eye of faith perceives in the unseen realm: Habakkuk 1:5, "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I am working a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you"

Please pray regarding our house move that completion will take place this week or next before the July holidays. It seems in this situation that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, but we continue to look to the Lord who is God over all and whose "purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour".

Thank you for praying for Lydia's knee. Since being out of plaster she has received a lot of physiotherapy and we hope she will know a full recovery soon.

God willing I am taking off the month of July to move house...and hopefully there will be some time for a rest as well!

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"A Confidence Boost"

Monday 1st June 2009

"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes" - Psalm 118:8-9

Whatever confidence man had in his fellowman has been dealt a near fatal blow worldwide through various catastrophes. The global financial crisis has uncovered the abhorrent greed of bankers and financiers. In the UK, Members Of Parliament have been exposed in the flagrant abuse of their expenses which are derived from the tax-payers purse. Here in Ireland society has been appalled and enraged at the latest in depth revelations concerning the endemic culture of child abuse that existed in Roman Catholic institutions for past decades.

Economically, politically and religiously people are losing whatever confidence they had left in fellowman. May God give us the grace and power to urgently and yet sensitively point people to the LORD who is worthy of our confidence and who will never let us down. The LORD who has revealed Himself to us in the only perfect man, His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

What a blessing to know that when the things that can be shaken are shaken our feet are on the unshakable Rock: "On Christ the solid Rock we stand, All other ground is sinking sand!"

Friday, 22nd May saw our first anniversary having left the Iron Hall to launch into our present ministry. We can truly say the LORD has been our helper. He has faithfully provided for our every need and we are overwhelmed by His abounding grace and goodness to us: "This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes" - Psalm 118:23. We have known His protection in travel and blessing in ministry. We are very excited about the wonderful opportunities He has for us in His will.

The last year has been somewhat of a 'roller coaster' regarding our house sale (as those of you following this blog will know). However we have learned a lot through this experience and continue to learn patience as we still await the signing of contracts and the confirmation of a moving date. Please pray that all this will be forth coming soon in His will.

Our daughter, Lydia, is due to get her plaster removed having broken her knee on Easter Monday. She will have been in plaster for seven weeks so her leg will be very stiff and weakened. Please pray that she will not take long to get her mobility back.

Please continue to pray for fruit from the Killyleagh Mission which continued an extra third week and do remember the up and coming Mission in the Lifeboat, Moy (our home church). We are expecting great blessing as God's people have been moved extraordinarily to pray and prepare for this event. I believe that when God is going to do something great He always sets His people praying. Pray with us that the longed for blessing of awakening and revival will come soon.

Oh for the floods on a thirsty land,
Oh for a mighty revival,
Oh for a sanctified, fearless band
Ready to hail its arrival.

P.S. You can now access fresh regular prayer information and other items of interest by following us on Twitter or looking to the top right of this blog page.

Yours for Him,

David, Barbara, Lydia and Noah Legge - Galatians 6:14

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"The Faithfulness Of God In Affliction"

Friday 1st May 2009

"I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me" - Psalm 119:75

Everyone of us would agree that our God is faithful to us in our afflictions, but who of us ever consider that He is faithful to us in giving us affliction! Now, we must be careful not to charge the Lord with causing evil, but surely this verse clearly indicates that at times our All Wise and Loving Father permits certain afflictions to enter our lives for His purposes and our good.

"What possible good could there be in affliction?" we might be forgiven in asking. The Psalmist answers us:

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes" - Psalm 119:71
"Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word" - Psalm 119:67

We as children of God are at times chastened by afflictions that are permitted to enter our lives. His purpose in this is not to destroy or to distress us but to develop us. However, the success of this process is largely down to our attitude. Do we get more frustrated and aggravated in our afflictions or do we patiently wait on God, believing that He is doing something good for us and in us?

I think this may be the lesson the Lord is teaching us at this time. We have no choice but to wait on God, but do we wait on Him in a state of agitation and tension or do we wait 'patiently'? The Oxford English Dictionary definition for 'patience': 'calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay...The capacity for calm self-possessed waiting.' Surely patience is the partner of true faith.

So our Father is faithful in afflicting us. He is conforming us to the image of His Beloved Son; which is always His ultimate purpose for us. He desires that we should not go 'astray' but learn His 'statutes' and keep His 'word'.

In short He faithfully afflicts us to produce faithfulness in us.

Faithful ever is our Father
Faithful always to the end,
In the trial and in the trying,
Ever does His love extend.

As our Father He would chasten,
Proving what is in our hearts.
In affliction He would hasten,
Faithfulness in every part.

Give me patience, calm reliance,
In delay or in the flood.
Give me grace to show endurance,
Overcoming by the blood.

Faithful ever is our Father
Faithful always to the end,
In the trial and in the trying,
Ever does His love extend.

On Easter Monday our daughter, Lydia, broke her knee, so she is in plaster and attending the Ulster Hospital Fracture Unit - which may be one reason why we have had to stay in our present location which is very near to the hospital. Though she incurred a bad injury her healing appears to be progressing well.

Please continue to pray for the house situation. We have had a bit more interest but nothing definite yet.

Please remember especially the up-and-coming Evangelistic Missions (in His will).

P.S. UPDATE 2nd May: "Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD" - Ezekiel 12:28

"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" - Isaiah 43:18-19

Our house was sold (again!) yesterday (1st May) and we were enabled to get agreement (again!) on the same house in Portadown.

Thank you so much for your prayers and please do continue to pray that this time the process will proceed smoothly to completion and that we will have the calm patience to believe God to see it through. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

"Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name" - Psalm 33:18-21

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"The Trying Of Our Faith"

Saturday 11th April 2009

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" - James 1:2-4

We were disappointed to learn the news on Thursday 9th April that the Bank had refused a mortgage to the purchasers of our house. This has meant that we are no longer in a position to buy the new house in Portadown and we have had to put our own property back on the market again. This is now the second time this has happened to us in 9 months.

It is always instinctive to ask "What is going on?", and to attempt to interpret what God is doing. Cowper wisely advises: "Judge not the Lord by feeble sense but trust Him for His grace, behind a frowning providence there hides a smiling face." Truly, O God, "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known" (Psalm 77:19). The truth is, we don't understand why this has happened now when everything seemed to be progressing so well, but one thing we are absolutely sure of is that our Heavenly Father knows and He is in absolute control. We don't have to know why, we only need to trust that Father knows best.

We always look for a miracle - for God to do the seeming impossible or at least the improbable, and why not - it is Resurrection Time!

Whatever is going on we believe our faith is being tested - 'do we really believe God?' and 'will we hang in there even when the mountains are carried into the sea?'

On Friday 10th I was spoken to and encouraged by Isaiah 64:4: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."

G. Campbell Morgan comments: "'Waiting' here has pictorial affinity...with a word that means 'to entrench'. We do no violence to the real thought of the text if we read it in that way: God worketh for him that entrenches himself in Him. The idea is of digging ourselves in to God...Waiting for God means that I adjust my life to Him rather than on the wit and the cleverness of men."

I was struck by these further words of Campbell Morgan's: "God Works For Men That Wait For Him."

We intend in these circumstance to 'entrench' ourselves, 'dig' ourselves into God and His good faithfulness, waiting on Him, as He works for us. He may indeed do "things which we looked not for" (Isaiah 64:3). He is full of surprises for He is the God of the New and the Unexpected. We are happy, as long as we are in His hands.

"It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good" - 1 Samuel 3:18

We value all your prayers at this time.

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"How Great Is Our God!"

Wednesday 1st April 2009

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah" - Psalms 68:19

On the day of my last blog entry we received the news that the offer we had made on a house in Portadown had been accepted! Again we praise the Lord for His abundant faithfulness to us and we thank you for your continued prayers that all the arrangements for our house move will, God willing, reach completion soon.

Around this time last year the Lord somewhat unexpectedly directed us to a fellowship of believers in the Lifeboat Mission, Moy. Bertie Johnston, who leads the work there, and these dear people of God have so welcomed us and been such a prayer support that we now cannot wait to relocate to our new domestic and spiritual homes ASAP! How great is our God!

Also we are encouraged to report to you that the Lord has been blessing in ministry. We are experiencing the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and knowing His blessing in the preaching. At the evangelistic meetings in Kilrea and Shankill there were a good number of needy people gathered in and a definite sense of the power of the Lord at work. We believe that the Lord has saved at these meetings and restored those who once walked with Him. Do pray that all those who professed the Lord Christ will continue on for Him.

One recent highlight for us and Andrew Watkins was the visit of Australian evangelist Fraser Young. Fraser had come to know preachtheword.com having been given some CDs by his brother-in-law. He is currently engaged in a round the world ministry trip and kindly dropped by to see us. Fellowship with Fraser was a real blessing and an encouragement to Andrew and all at Preach The Word.

Do remember especially the up-and-coming missions at Killyleagh and Moy - that God's great cloud of blessing would burst upon us and that we may know heavenly showers of Holy Ghost blessing.

O for the floods on a thirsty land,
O for a mighty revival,
O for a sanctified, fearless band,
Ready to hail its arrival!

P.S. Do feel free to use this blog and the diary dates for distribution as prayer information. All prayer is greatly needed and appreciated.

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"It Is The Lord's Doing"

Monday 2nd March 2009

The blog entry dated Monday 25th August 2008 read: "Psalm 107:7, 'And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.'...Please pray especially for our house situation. In July we put our house up for sale and there has been some interest since but nothing definite as yet. We believe the Lord has told us to move, and indeed where to move to - so please pray with us that He will soon 'bring it to pass'."

Thank you for your prayers regarding this. Seven months later we are delighted to report to you that our house is currently 'Sale Agreed' and we are now prayerfully pursuing our new home. Truly 'it is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes'!

We know that so many of you have been praying concerning this issue and we are so grateful for your tireless love toward us in intercession. Please do continue to ask our Father that we will not make a wrong choice in our new house but will be continually guided with His eye upon us.

The next few months are busy as you can see - now potentially there will be a house move in the midst of it all! Please pray for us as a family in the next exciting and turbulent weeks.

Isn't it wonderful to know that we have a faithful prayer answering God! Even in the most difficult of circumstances He can cause us to overcome.

"O fear the LORD you His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing" - Psalm 34:9-10.

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"Spiritual Resolutions"

Monday 2nd February 2009

Fifty percent of Americans keep their New Year's resolutions – for one month! Forty percent for six months, and nineteen percent for two years. How are you doing now that we have entered February?

Most of our New Year's resolutions revolve around the spheres of dieting and breaking bad habits. Their goal is to make the New Year a healthier and happier one.

I wonder have we kept any of the spiritual resolutions we made for this New Year? If you still haven't made any, it's never too late. Here are a few I read recently and I pray we will all take them to heart:

"I will:

  • Like Enoch – walk in daily fellowship with my Heavenly Father.
  • Like Abraham – trust implicitly in my God.
  • Like Job – be patient under all circumstances.
  • Like Joseph – turn my back on all seductive advances.
  • Like Moses – choose to suffer rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.
  • Like Caleb and Joshua – refuse to be discouraged because of numbers.
  • Like Gideon – advance, even though my friends are few.
  • Like David – lift up my eyes to the hills from which comes my help.
  • Like Jehoshaphat – prepare my heart to seek the Lord.
  • Like Daniel – commune with God at all times and in all places.
  • Like Andrew – strive to lead others to Christ.
  • Like Stephen – manifest a forgiving spirit toward all who seek my hurt.
  • Like Paul – forget those things that are behind and press forward".

May our prayer be...

"Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all my days".

It's never too late in the year to make new spiritual resolutions – why not start now!

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"New Year Thoughts"

Thursday 1st January 2009

On one occasion, a student tacked her New Year Calendar to the wall, and was heard to say, "It is going to be a beautiful year!" "How do you know?" asked her roommate. "Well", she replied, "a day isn't a long time, and I know it is going to be beautiful because I am going to take a day at a time and make it so. I will see that every one of those 365 days gets at least one beautiful thing into it through my efforts." Her New Year motto might be, in the words of David, "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

Attitude means a lot in the Christian life, not least when we consider the unknown future. We are to have the attitude of Christ Jesus in all things (Philippians 2:5), and He said regarding the future "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34). In other words, take a day at a time and make that day matter.

Will you make every day count this coming year? Some are sceptical when it comes to New Year's resolutions because often "they come in one year and out the other!" However if our attitude is right, New Year is as good a time as any to put things right.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) made five resolutions in his youth:

  1. Live with all my might while I do live (he died at 55).
  2. Never lose one moment of time, but improve it in the most profitable way possible.
  3. Never do anything I should despise or think meanly of in another.
  4. Never do anything out of revenge.
  5. Never do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

What would your personal five be for this year? Would they include, reading the Bible through, witnessing to more friends, praying more regularly, fellowshipping with God's people through the week as well as on Sunday, or controlling your tongue?

Whatever they are, let this year be a year given over to God. Start with today, and from here on take up your cross every day and follow Him.

Dear Master, for this coming year
Just one request I bring:
I do not pray for happiness,
Or any earthly thing -
I do not ask to understand
The way Thou leadest me,
But this I ask: Teach me to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.
I want to know Thy guiding voice,
To walk with Thee each day.
Dear Master, make me swift to hear
And ready to obey.
And thus the year I now begin
A happy year will be -
If I am seeking just to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.

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