Wednesday, June 27, 2007

young leaders in Pastor Schaller's garden

Zumrad, preparing to move to Istanbul with her husband and two children

Pastor Karl and Sue Silva from Bombay, India

tuesday was the Bible Night

greater truth

During the past two years I have been thinking a lot about truth.
For many this is a forgotten question. Who cares about the truth anyways?
Miroslav Volf in his interesting book, called ”The End of Memory”, is
asking , how can we remember right in a world where everything,
including us, is so wrong?
Remembering right is one of the two elements of truth.
Voluntary forgetting is the other element.
Truth goes beyond the facts. For the truth’s sake something has to be
forgotten. Volf is right, we don’t really know what to forget and what
to remember. It’s very possible and even probable that we forget the wrong things.
We comfort ourselves in that what God has said. He has chosen to forget about
our sin. Jer.31:34
Otherwise heaven would be a place of embarrassment.
One of the best definitions in the Bible for the truth is in Phil.3:13
“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and
reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
I can loose my memory, even my mind, but I cannot loose Jesus.
The truth is bigger than our world.
Jesus Christ is the truth. All facts compared with him will loose their
authority. The work of Christ made it possible for God to forget.
When his hands were pierced on the cross, we were inscribed in the
palm of his hands forever. Is. 49:16
That will be always remembered in heaven.
Remembering right in the wrong world is possible only in the Holy Spirit.
Yes, we are guilty, but the greater truth tells us that Christ bore our guilt.
Christ is the greater truth.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Robert from Brazil, enjoying the food at the Missions booths

Sarah and Jedidah, preparing to go to Turkey

convention fellowship

P.Joe, photographer, driver, friend

Manifa Nikolayevna from Baku greeting Pastor Stevens

pastor Scibelli together with Pastor Stevens and Barbara at the lunch rap

thinking with God

Some people don’t think that there is a big difference
between men and animals. Man is smart enough to be deceived
to call this evolution. It’s a theory that claims to come from
sincere reasoning and observation when it actually has it’s
origin in aggressive unbelief.
Sometimes it’s easy to believe that there is almost no difference
between men and animals, because many people act like animals.
People can successfully argue that animals think , but I have never
heard of anyone who can convince me that animals think about thinking.
The moral responsibility of animals is different from men.
We don’t blame animals for pollution, bad politics or selfish actions.
It’s very easy for a man to fall to the level of animals in his thinking.
Carnality means that a man who could think like God, thinks like
an animal.
A young man in the time of temptation is compared with an ox
in Proverbs 7:22 He gave up his thinking and went like an ox to be
slaughtered in a harlot’s house.
Thinking with God is the theme for this year’s convention.
That’s what faith is, thinking with God.
Without the Holy Spirit our thinking is deceitful, negative and unbelieving.
We might have the best information and technology in the world and still
behave like animals. The rich man in Luke 16 had become even worse than
an animal . The dogs that licked Lazarus’ sores had more compassion on
this poor man than his fellow human who had been deceived by his riches.
Animals have no grace in their relationships.
In order to think with grace you have to be created in the image of God.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Silverspring, with Sam and Eva from India

Silverspring, with Afroz and Farshad and their pretty daughters Olga and Esther from Iran

Silverspring, with Benjamin and Marisabella from Bolivia

the mighty men of God from Silverspring, Pastor Kim Shibley, Pastor Mike Tilton and Pastor Ron Swingle

not despising His call

Pastor Schaller spoke tonight from Hebrews 12:15-16
Esau despised that what God had given him and ended up selling
his birth right for a bowl of soup.
In II Sam.6:16 David’s wife, the daughter of Saul, despised David
who was rejoicing in the plan of God.
Despising is connected with escaping.
Jonah despised the call of God and ran away from God’s call.
If I don’t understand the value of his gift to me, I will despise
those who have been given grace.
I will even go so far that I will despise God, who has chosen
to give grace to people.
People despised the plan of God and rejected his ways of
doing things. They wanted to move faster than God and rejected
his provision of grace.
God answered by promising to wait
until they would come to the end of their own ways and be
prepared to receive from him.
This is so comforting to know.
Even if I go away and do my own things, God is waiting for me
to be gracious to me.
He knows that he has created our souls to be satisfied by him alone.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rasima from Azerbaijan and Kaija from Finland

Pastor Javid from Urumchi and Guy from Baltimore

the felloship hall was packed for the outreach meeting

our Turkey flag amongst the newest countries reached by the GGWO

our Baku Bob, working on the details for the convention

the Grace Island, Skye Zucker is the new gardener


Our worlds get so small. In a small world all innovative thinking
stagnates and relationships get stuck in a boring routine.
Conferences are an excellent medicine against a small world
Unfortunately the word conference sounds like a business term.
If you come to the Greater Grace World Outreach summer
Convention .with a desire to become a better salesman for our
“product”, you will most probably be disappointed.
Yes, the latest trends from the Evangelical movement might sometimes
pop up in one way or another, but this is not a know how conference.
We are interested in “ deep calling unto deep.” Psalm 42:7
Sometimes this deepness is expressed in great raps when people are free
to interact in the flow from the Word of God, sometimes we just
“deeply” laugh at the latest stories from the Mission field .
Nothing compares with the fellowship with the saints.
Yesterday Pastor Schaller commented on the foolishness of comparison.
He used a story of one of the prophets as an example of bad comparison.
The prophet said in his insecurity that he is no better than his fathers.
This is not needed. It has a taste of false humility in it.
We move on in God’s plan and get more occupied and fascinated
by the person of Christ. In His presence our small worlds loose their

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

we are prepared for summer balcony fellowship


Hyper spirituality is always based on comparison.
Am I doing enough?
Is he doing enough?
Does he think that I am doing less than he?
These are endless questions that lead a person to a jungle of paranoia.
Comparison is misleading.
We cannot compare ourselves with God and we should not
compare ourselves with one another.
It is not wise. II Cor.10:12
All of us are tailor-made for God.
Our gifts are different and so are our experiences with God.
Other believers’ success is never our defeat, but a blessing.
We don’t rejoice in others’ failures.
It never makes us more favored by God.
We are strong when we learn to rejoice in other people’s victories.
When we were born-again
we were given a life that is stronger than Satan and more interesting
than sin. We don’t become spiritual by the things that we do or don’t do.
We became spiritual by the new birth.
Let’s not suppress this exciting new life by religious rules and
stereotypes. They give us a religious appearance, but no true fellowship
with the living Savior.
Christ is daily interested in us.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Greater Grace team ministering in Tajikistan


Thank you all for praying for our team in Tajikistan.
A couple of days ago all our team members got their passports back from
the KGB and were able to travel back to Samarkand.
Now it's time to pray for the Samarkand church as they are experincing
a lot of pressures from outside and from within.

Friday, June 15, 2007

our first soccer night on Friday was HARIKA

don't quit!

I would love to write something about Ruth Graham, who went
home to be with the Lord yesterday. Her husband, Billy Graham, is
probably the most influential evangelist of our time.
I know very little about her, but it’s clear that God called her to a very
unusual life. I’m sure she had a lot of moments when she was tempted
to quit. She didn’t. She had chosen to continue in the footsteps of the
Lord, ministering to others, even to her own hurt. I’m sure she was familiar
with a lot of hurts. She was faithful. I Cor.4:2
I think that the opposite of quitting is faithfulness.
People quit from their faith, their marriage, their church, their call.
I’d like to mention some of the most common reasons for quitting.
1. failure, own or others’
2. unbelief, it’s very easy to loose your faith in the faithless world
3. spiritual conflict, many choose not to continue in it
4. burn-out, when people run out of their personal resources
5. personality clashes, known to be the number one reason for missionaries
6. circumstances, yes, they are challenging
7. disappointments, unfulfilled expectations
I’m sorry to say , but the list could go on and on.
“Don’t quit!” is an excellent message for all of us to remember.
Sometimes it's the only message we need to remember.

Pray for Norbert and John, our faithful Congolese friends.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

what a great conflict , Col.2:1


Grace equips us in the spiritual conflict that we have been placed in.
It’s not a weak element. II Tim.2:1
Grace is never a B plan. God didn’t say, if
the law will not work I will give them grace. God’s thoughts were
gracious even before the foundation of the world.
This morning I watched the news from Gaza. The CNN report was titled
“Anatomy of conflict”. The more the reporter was explaining the different
elements of this conflict between Fatah and Hamas, the more messy it got.
I’m sure that at the end of the report most of the viewers were just as
puzzled as I was. I didn’t understand anything.
I think that we often experience the same in the spiritual warfare.
There are so many dimensions there, that logical thinking is not enough.
We need a child-like faith in order to keep our position in this battle.
It would be a drastic mistake to ignore that there is a conflict.
I think the Romans had learned this in their politics. They offered
“bread and circuses” in order to pacify the citizens. People’s basic
needs were met to the exclusion of weightier matters such as truth.
Satan doesn’t want people to know that there is a conflict.
Another mistake would be to try to fight the spiritual battle in our flesh
by being overly occupied with the visible conflicts.
That would keep us busy and maybe even seemingly successful, but
it would again just distract us from the real issues. Eph. 6:12
The real issue is faith.
Every expression of faith in the living Savior embarrasses and humiliates
the invisible accuser, who really is nothing more than a dying enemy,
trying to do as much damage as possible before his final collapse.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Australian sisters Anna and Gina came right from the airport to our Sunday night service, here with Mambo.

fellowship in the Light

Sin is stronger than man.
Even though man chooses to sin , he cannot manage
sin perfectly by the power of his will.
Have you ever promised never to sin again?
Yes, we all have.
Satan also is stronger than man. He outsmarts all of us.
Spiritual fellowship “ koinonia” is God’s answer in our
struggle. There is a lot of light in the fellowship of the saints.
The more you fellowship with God’s people,
the less will sin be supported in your life.
I don’t believe that believers should be in the church
all the time, but I do believe that we should have spiritual
fellowship all the time.
In Acts 2:42 says that they continued “proskartereo”
daily in fellowship. The word has an idea that they insisted
in doing it. They were strong in it.

the latest fashion from Istanbul, the caps will be for sale at the International Convention in Baltimore

Thursday, June 7, 2007

PICKNIC on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., call the office for more information!

Our first Kazak graduate in Baku, Tsingis, will be returning to Almaty in two weeks.Congratulations!

Pastor Roman, who together with his wife Elmira is ministering in Vladikavkaz, Northern Caucasus, hopes to come to the Baltimore convention.

the old city of Baku

Pray for our church in Tajikistan!

2 Timothy 3:12 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Today KGB surprised our team and confiscated all our literature that was in our office in Panjekent Tajikistan, hundreds of Bibles in Russian, Tajik and Uzbek. They are getting desperate, or the devil wants to tell us about the importance of this work, that is why we are getting hit.

Tomorrow morning team members have to appear at the central KGB station, pray for wisdom and answers that can solve this situation.

Tajikistan is still claiming to be an advocate of religious freedoms.

Love you all!


Greater Grace in Baku, together with Elchin and Sevil

the mystery of Godliness

It’s possible that someone who is not familiar with the Christian faith,
meets with someone who is praying to icons and calls himself a Christian.
This person finds it strange and wrong and therefore rejects Christian
faith. He doesn’t do it for the right reason, but according to the word of
God he will not be excused at the last judgment.
Other people’s bad testimony or inability to communicate the message
doesn’t justify anybody’s unbelief.
God claims in the Word of God, that his handwriting is clear to every man.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19:1-3
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power
and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…” Rm.1:20
God became man, this is the mystery of Godliness. I Tim.3:16
In all those confusing situations when people brought evil reports about him,
Jesus didn’t try to correct all the false accusations. He didn’t defend himself.
They ended up nailing him in the cross. Was this the greatest misunderstanding
in the history of the mankind?
Jesus didn’t go to the cross, because people voted against him.
He didn’t go to the cross, because he failed to explain to people the real
purpose of God. It was not a mistake, it was the plan of God.
We cannot correct all the disinformation in the world today,
but we can worship Jesus in all places, in all times and spread the
knowledge of this wonderful grace all around us.