Thursday, March 29, 2007

it's in the Bible

the chosen people

It would be so wrong not to ever mention Israel
and the Jewish people when speaking about the Bible.
They truly are the apple of his eye. Deut.32:10
Even though we understand it very clearly that a person’s
Jewishness doesn’t guarantee him automatically
a place in heaven, we have to recognize that God has
chosen this nation to be his people for his own eternal
As Bible believing Christians we don’t have to agree with
everything that the Israeli politicians teach and believe,
but we know from the Word of God that God has not
abandoned the jewish nation. Rm.11:1
Their territory has been clearly defined and promised to
them by God himself. Gen.15:18-21
God raised them up to proclaim the message of One God
in a time when all nations where collecting themselves as
many gods as they possibly had imagination for. Deut.6:4
God promised a blessing for them and through them. Gen.12:1-3
The Scriptures were given to them and through them. Rm.3:1-2
All prophets were Jewish. Lk.16:29
Jesus never tried to deny the fact that he was Jewish. Mt.1:1, Is.7:4
All apostles were Jewish.
This is the only nation in the Bible that is promised a full
restoration and a national turning to Christ in the future.Rm.11:26
In Christ Jesus there is no difference between a Jew and a gentile.
All are equally lost and in need of salvation . Gal.3:28
We don’t consider any nationality more important than others,
but we have to recognize the amazing testimony that the Jewish
nation had and continues to have in the plan of God. Deut.31:6

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

thinking with God

thinking about thinking

Thinking is a very complicated activity and
some philosophers have come to a conclusion
that it’s impossible for man to understand
how can man think about his own thinking.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God and the Word
was God”. This gives an excellent meaning for
our life. We are a result of something defined,
something expressed with a purpose. We are
not just a movement, void of an origin, hoping to
connect with some, any whatsoever, purpose that
might come by the same way without an origin,
without a goal.
We are like the one who made us.
Our God is a thinking God. We also like to think.
As born-again believers we are no more common.
We are given an ability to think with God.
I Cor.2:16
This is not just an ability to think abstractly.
This is a new dimension to think beyond the
visible and audible world around us. We even
have thoughts about heaven. This is faith.
Don’t think too little about yourself.
You are not common.
Anyone who fellowships with God daily
cannot be just average.
If Satan makes an effort to accuse us day and night;
if angels observe us;
if the Old Testament prophets envied us,
how could we ever consider our life to be
ordinary. Rev.12:10, I Pet.1:12, Mt.13:17
Let’s put our shoulders back and look for
His thoughts today.

Monday, March 26, 2007

many have chosen to withdraw

the real thing

The Ephraimites were a proud tribe.
Jephthah, whom God had chosen to deliver
God’s people, had approached them for help,
but they arrogantly rejected him.
They expressed a common tendency to not
want to do a job unless they receive credit.
In Judges they got offended with Jephthah,
who just did what God had called him to do.
They were chronic complainers.
They had a chance to be bold in their faith,
but they didn’t. Then they complained
that they were not recognized.
To make their selfishness even more obvious,
they used a cheap way of trying to establish
their authority. They threatened the Gileadites.
They were used to play tricky games for their
own benefit.
This time their talented speaking could not get
them out of trouble. They were wrong and
Jephthah was right.
In Judges 12 their origin and the intentions of
their heart is revealed. They were put to a simple
test. They were asked to say the word Shibboleth.
Carelessly they would respond, not understanding
that this was the question of life and death.
They said,” Sibboleth”, and so showed their real face.
Their truth was almost true, but it wasn’t true enough
for God.
That day forty-two thousand of them were killed.
Judges 12:1-7
I John 4:1-6

our first wedding in Istanbul

go on

A glass of juice fell down on the table and all the sudden
an overwhelming guilt flooded my soul.
Was it me, who caused this shame, this never before happened
Now the waiter has to work more and humble himself to this
unpleasant job of cleaning the table and all it’s surroundings,
all because of my carelessness.
I’m paralyzed by guilt and so ashamed of myself.
But, I have to decide.
Should I really let my mind be occupied with all the endless
heaps of broken glasses that are waiting for me in the future,
and look for a way to disappear under the table?
Why should a creature like me have any right to continue
harming himself and the rest of the world?
Should I really respond to the temptation to promise to never
again ever buy any juice in any restaurant anywhere?
My dilemma doesn’t last long.
I order another glass of juice and enjoy the new opportunities
that life so generously continues to offer.
The waiter decides not to include the fallen glass in my bill.
We are with him on the same page.
We have chosen to
”forget those things which are behind
and reach forward to those things which are ahead…” Phil.4:13

Thursday, March 22, 2007

what a strange way

What a strange way to conquer a fortified city!
Jericho’s walls were so high that the city was
“securely shut up”, Joshua 6:1
The Lord promised to Joshua that he will give Jericho to
his hands. However, it didn’t happen by his own military
expertise. It happened through obedience to the Lord in the
smallest details of this operation.
The Lord asked him first to march around the city for six days;
carry the ark; have the priest bear seven trumpets of ram’s
horns before the ark; the seventh day march around the city
seven times; blow the trumpet ; shout and the wall will come
He could as well have asked them to do some other irrelevant
gymnastics in their camp.
Why didn’t the Lord just flatten the walls right away?
Isn’t that often our question?
After marching around the problem for the third time we
usually start wondering, if this makes sense at all.
Why didn’t God just take Adam and Eve to heaven right after their
fall? Why did he leave his disciples, after his most amazing
victory, down on the earth to do this time consuming work
of evangelism?
Why was the process of Jesus’ crucifixion so long?
These are elements that have eternal value.
Somehow these times of marching and waiting and believing
will be an important part of our eternal fellowship in heaven.
We will not be talking about people’s sinfulness and failures
in heaven, but we will enjoy hearing all the Jericho stories
again and again.

time to rest

will problem

Someone wrote a long article about the difference between
propaganda and product placement.
They tried to prove that the latter is less evil than propaganda.
I think that the difference is just semantics, as both of them are
based on artificial exaggeration of man’s needs and their
fulfillment. Most of these needs are created by the means of
product placement.
If we didn’t see those things, continuously, we would not know
to want them.
Can Evangelism be called propaganda?
Isn’t our goal the same, trying to cause people to behave in
a certain way?
Unfortunately our methods of Evangelism sometimes become
propaganda and nothing more than propaganda.
However, I think that the greatest problem in churches today
is not their too aggressive way of evangelizing, but the total
absence of Evangelism.
Yes, true Evangelism has the element of compelling with it,
not just mere information about salvation. Lk.14:23
This desire to make our message more attractive by decorating
it by all means of modern propaganda sometimes ends up hiding
the original message.
I think we just have to learn to trust in the power of the message
itself and not be overly concerned of the abilities or inabilities of
the messenger to communicate the message.
You can have the best circumstances, best speaker, best timing
and still turn down the free gift for one simple reason: you
don’t want it.
After all it’s usually not an understanding problem.
It’s a will problem.
“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning
the doctrine, whether it is from God…” John 7:17

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

keep on looking unto Jesus


“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up…” John 3:14
Why is there such a continuing need for healing among
the believers?
Probably the main reason is that the value and the influence
of a born-again soul is so incredible.
They are the greatest enemy for the kingdom of darkness.
Without their presence in the world Satan could just happily
rule and bring the whole mankind to hell with him.
We have learned in our churches that it is no problem
to have problems.
Show me a church without problems and I’ll show you
how they have absolutely nothing left that would challenge
the darkness around them. They have just become a part of
the furniture in the world that the fallen man has created.
Most of the diseases that are hurting believers are contagious.
The enemy wants to distort the message of the church in order
to feed these sicknesses.
Guilty conscious, bitterness in heart, insecurity about one’s
salvation, fear of rejection, hyper spirituality, legalism,
ignorance, introspection, negativity…
One of the greatest pictures of healing is given in Numbers 21.
People who became sick because of unbelief were healed
instantly by looking at the one who took their place.
Let’s continue lifting up Jesus for the church to see.
He is the true “Sun of Righteousness who shall arise with
healing in his wings”. Mal.4:2

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Being a spiritual father is not a simple matter.
It’s a high call.
In Philippians 2:1-4 Paul shows his father’s heart
when he is thinking about his people. His number one
desire is that they would be likeminded.
He encourages them to look for even the smallest reasons
to appreciate and to find spiritual qualities in situations
and in people.” If there is any consolation in Christ,
if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit,
if any affection and mercy…” Can you find any?
In the midst of all the failures and disappointments,
can’t you think of even one little victory?
I think that all fathers, biological as well as spiritual,
would agree with me that they don’t always feel like
being good fathers.
Let’s not be too hard on ourselves.
Let’s not judge fathers too hard.
They are just fathers, yet more than conquerors.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

ancient words


Solomon had been given a gift from God to hear beyond people’s words.
He saw further than the eyes could see.
The two women, who came to him with their problem in I Kings 3:16-28,
both spoke. Their words meant very little until the sword was brought
into the situation. Now the truthfulness of their stories would be tested.
The real mother expressed her love for her son. The other woman just
continued her play with words.
Solomon used her style. He said things that didn’t really connect with
reality. He was not planning to divide the baby in two.
Words without the truth are a dead end street.
Words mean very little without a lasting value. If the words continue to
have the same meaning, they have power.
God has a long term plan. Doesn’t he?
It’s amazing that today we use the same words as Solomon, David and
Abraham did.
We use the same words, even though we speak in a different language.
With these words we can plant churches. We can have lasting fruit.
We don’t plant churches for the statistics on the earth, but in heaven.
Even when heaven and earth will pass away, these words will remain.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Thank you for praying for our Hungarian missionary in Tajikistan, Reka.
She is fine, back in Dushanbe, scheduled to fly back to Hungary tonight.

dangerous sleep

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Paul’s nephew was an active young man.
He was fully aware of things around him.
In Acts 23 God is able to use him to save Paul’s life and
ensure the continuation of Paul’s pioneering ministry.
He took a stand that he didn’t have to take.
He could as well have said,” Well, what can I do? Paul
is in trouble. This must be the will of God for him to die.”
No, he didn’t accept all the circumstances as the will of
God. He initiated a change.
This is why we still are in the world. We think with God
and look for a change. We either influence or are influenced.
God never sleeps. Psalm 121:4
A believer is called to rest continuously, but he cannot afford to
sleep. The moment our spiritual mind falls asleep we give the
enemy a chance to sow evil in our lives
and in our ministry. Mt.13:25
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do,
but let us watch and be sober.” I Thess.5:6

Bibi, Pastor Tahir Hudaikuliyev, Manifa Nikolayevna and Sveta

Bibi Hanum

Greater Grace visitors from Turkmenistan

Bibi hanum, together with Sveta Tolmatcheva visited us from Turkmenistan.
Bibi is from the city of Mary, where Pastor Volodya Tolmachev has been
ministering for several years. Her son first came to the Lord as Pastor
Volodya met him in the park where he was reading the Koran. After receiving
the New Testament in Turkmen he understood that Jesus is his Savior.
He brought all his family to the church and so did his mother after a
strong experience of Jesus' saving power in her life.
Today she is working as a taxi driver and serving the Gospel to her clients
with great wisdom.
Remember these faces as you pray for Turkmenistan.
The country is going through positive changes and we pray and believe that it would
once again open for the free preaching of the Gospel.

scenes from Yasham

scenes from Yasham

scenes from Yasham

scenes from Yasham

scenes from Yasham

scenes from Yasham

in preparation for our performance "Yasham" we found out

that it's not

so easy

to create

a world

Friday, March 9, 2007

urgent prayer request from our team in Tajikistan

Reka Suto, our Hungarian missionary in Dushanbe, was supposed to go to Hungary and then come back at the end of March. She bought a ticket through Orenburg (Russia) and Moscow to Kiev. She was told by the travel agency, that she doesn't need any tranzit visa. This night she flew and was stopped in Orenburg for not having a tranzit visa.Tomorrow night she'll be flying back to Dushanbe, but she will not be allowed to come out from the airport - no Tajik visa. She has no money with her. Please, pray that God would resolve the situation.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

performance YASHAM

yasham / performance


at the Greater Grace Church in Findikli.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
8 p.m.

You don't want to miss it.
Only one performance.
Great theatre, good fellowship,excellent food.
Free entrance.

God loves women

women's day, international...

Do we need an International Women’s Day?
Do women need it?
Maybe the estimated 8 million illiterate women
in Turkey would need more a Local Women’s Day?
Maybe the 640 000 Turkish girls who don’t go to school
have never even heard the word International.
In the Turkish Parliament they just had a “hat versus
headscarf ” protest. Women wearing hats were not allowed
to participate in a special session in Parliament without
taking off their hats. They complained that there were
women in the audience wearing headscarves.
This is a good example of women on their behalf
expressing deeper problems in the society.
Hats and scarves have become symbols of two political,
philosophical and religious movements.
Women often bear the invisible burden of their men’s
success. In many cases though it is not just a humble,
praying mother, who is in the background.
Sometimes she is a master manipulator with ambitious
schemes and limitless strength to push their male figure
higher in the steps of productivity and fame.
I have a Turkish friend whose mother started crying
when he just mentioned that he had visited the church
a couple of times. He was terrified.
He said he only could imagine what would happen ,
if he told her that he had become a Christian.
This mother’s manipulation was a strong enough reason
for him not to accept Christ.
Her ignorance prevailed over all his education and experience.
Do we need an International Women’s Day?
Yes, I think we need an International Women’s Revival.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

broken connection


Sorry everybody for not being able to respond to your
sms messages. I forgot my phone in Moldova and will be connected
with that number again only after the Budapest conference.
You can reach me at the church number +90 212 252 75 55

P.Matti Sirvio

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

more light, less surprises

peace beyond understanding

God made peace with us through his blood. Col.1:20
This is the great peace that passes understanding. Phil.4:7
It cannot be explained psychologically. It’s a description
of a spiritual relationship.
This peace is not a feeling. It’s God’s final choice.
Because of this great peace we can experience peace
in our inner man and in our relationship with others.
This peace should rule in our hearts always in every place.
II Thess. 3:16, Col.3:15
It’s compared with a river, always bringing life to wherever
it goes.
Without the testimony of this peace in our hearts every moment
in life would be another threat of a final failure.
Our message is the Gospel of Peace. Eph.6:15

Monday, March 5, 2007

we all have a message, even if we don't understand it

impossible neutrality

How can anybody be nobody!
This was my question to a friend who claimed to be neutral
in the matters of faith. This is one of the impossible facilities to man.
He cannot just disappear and stop existing.
When God is without partiality, neutral, it is because of his
greatness. When human terms are not enough to explain him,
we simply have to accept that God is God.
His neutrality never compromises with the truth.
A good example of man’s inability to be neutral is Pilate
who to the end tried to avoid the truth.
First he claimed to be culturally neutral.
He said to the Jews,” This is your problem. Am I a Jew?”
John 18:33-35
Then he claimed philosophical neutrality with his famous
agnostic question:” What is truth?” John 18:38
He was trying to be an observer only. This is a privilege
not given to any man. John 19:5
All his superficial acrobatics let him to a compromise.
He gave Jesus over to be crucified. Mt.27:24-26
At the end he was still claiming personal neutrality by
ritualistically washing his hands.
He said, “I’m innocent to this man’s blood.”
Yes, as a professional Roman officer, but not as
a representative of humanity.
We are all here, even if we never liked it.