Wednesday, October 31, 2007

in the light

“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship
with one another…” I John 1:7
It’s not possible for a believer to walk in the light and not have any
fellowship with his brothers and sisters. It is strange for someone
who belongs to the family never to meet anyone else in the family.
It’s strange , but very common.
If all born-again believers would go to the church we would have
an amazing revival around the world.
Many don’t come. For various reasons they have chosen to believe
privately without any association with an organized religion.
Walking in the light speaks about convictions.
They don’t appear in a believer’s life automatically.
We need to learn convictions. We need to be strengthened
in them continually.
Our convictions are revealed in new, unexpected situations.
They are tested in times of uninhibited conflicts.
When you press a toothpaste tube, that what is inside comes out.
We function the same way.
A conviction is different from simply obeying the letter of the law.
It’s a strong, personal belief about something.
We don’t agree with everything.
We go the the church, not because we always like everything about it.
We go because we have a conviction about it.
We love and respect ourselves. Therefore we have convictions.
If nobody knows what our convictions are,
we are most probably not walking in the light.

what shall this man do?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


“No injustice can last forever”, said the British Prime minister
in his appealing speech.
I think that most of those who enthusiastically applauded to this
statement were fully aware of the difficulty of finding justice in
today’s world. People seem to be even more careful in defining
justice. They don’t want to be irrational nor hypocritical.
It’s obvious that it is easier to draw a plan of justice for some nations
on the other side of the globe than it is for your own family.
When things get more personal, they become more real.
All justice is based on the concept of right and wrong.
This is the dilemma of Humanism. It works in a comfortable
environment, but it is confusing in conflict situations.
People who have tried to naively solve big international problems
by their personal efforts have often found out that the world beyond
the television screen is so much more complex than what the smiling
news anchors can tell you in their limited, but well designed,
few minutes.
In the Soviet times I heard the head of the Orthodox church claim
that the Soviet Union is the Millennial Kingdom that the Bible
describes as the time of peace and justice on the earth.
There seems to be no limit to how wrong your wrong opinion can be.
If there is no accountability to the Judge of all Judges there can be no
interest in true justice.
God’s justice includes grace , too.
People reacted strongly when Jesus ministered this way to those who
had been utterly condemned by the society.
All true justice is related to Eternity.
All true justice can be understood only if we agree that all our decisions
in time have eternal consequences. Otherwise justice is just another
political term that can be thrown around endlessly without any
connection to the reality.
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”
Luke 15:7

Monday, October 29, 2007

my nephews Jusku, Mikko and Ville visiting, kiitos pojat kaynnista

Demir from Turkmenistan visiting a couple of days


Honor is a beautiful principle in human relationships.
True honor leaves no room for religious hypocrisy.
It cannot be pretended.
Honoring people brings the best out of them.
God has shown this attitude towards man despite of
our fallen history.
He honors man because of himself.
We can go even so far that we can say that he loves us
because he loves himself.
We continue being his face on the earth.
Honor means recognizing a person’s value.
All people should be honored as the masterpiece of God.
In Rom.12:10 Paul encourages the believers to compete
in honoring one another.
There is no alternative for true honor.
For many of us the church is the only place where we have
experienced this.
Honor always reveals the sacredness of life, even in the midst
of the most mundane situations.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

our Ukrainian sisters in Lviv

life in Ukraine looks romantic but tough

divine creativity

Competition and comparison are commonly encouraged
in order to attain better quality in our works and products.
Competition in a marriage, in families and in teams can be
very destructive.
Jesus discouraged this kind of competition by teaching his disciples
to learn to lay down their life for one another.
He set an inexperienced child as an example for them.
The only strength of the child is his connection with someone else.
Matthew 18:1-5
Comparison is one of the recognized principles in learning.
By seeking the contrast between things we can see them in a more
objective way.
However, comparison in relationships can be devastating,
because it doesn’t recognize man’s need for grace.
All relationships without the ingredients of grace lack spirituality.
We don’t have enough information to come up with objective
conclusions. Comparison based on subjectivity leads to unhealthy
relationships. II Cor.10:12
Pastor Stevens’ booklet “Divine Creativity vs. Constructive Criticism”
has such a profound truth about taking the time and effort to
look for spiritual solutions in challenging situations.
In stead of operating in a critical spirit we learn to trust in God’s
work in other people’s lives and recognize the vulnerability of
our fellow servants.
Isn’t that what we would like others to do with us,
to be patient with us even when we fail.
Love endures all things and always finds a way. I Cor.13:7
That is divine creativity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ukrainian brothers in Lviv

the world was here before we were born...

When the unsearchable global issues overwhelm us
it’s time to minister to our soul with the things that
cannot be shaken.
Jesus taught his disciples not to be too worried about the
earthly success.
Don’t let your successful moments lead you astray.
Don’t let the worries of your daily life
rob your joy of the eternal victories.
Your names are already written in heaven. Luke 10:20
No man , no movement, no situation can change that eternal
truth. Rejoice in it.
Faith in Christ doesn’t just enlarge our vision for the future,
but it also causes us to limit our lives on the earth.
We are people with a great vision and strong borders.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.
All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under
the power of any.” I Cor.6:12
Without good borders our life easily becomes a swing door
with a lot of consuming traffic to and fro.
“Count your blessings, count them one by one”, is a good
encouragement to set our minds on those things that cannot
be corrupted nor stolen.
We were born again for heaven.
Life is just a short delay at the doorsteps of eternity.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

consistency is a divine characteristic

Inconsistency is one of the greatest frustrations of every man.
The history of sin in our inner man has incapacitated us in our
goals and dreams. So often we end up doing that what we don’t
want to do. We give big promises to ourselves and others fully
believing that we are able to keep them.
Time after time again we are humiliated by the fact that we did not
keep our promises, especially the ones we gave to ourselves.
This brings a lot of private pain and condemnation to our soul.
Paul nailed it down with a strong statement, “I know that in me
nothing good dwells”. Rom.8:18
Even the most disciplined people cannot master their lives perfectly.
Needing grace should not be considered a weakness.
It’s a deception to think that we need grace only as a solution
to our failures. We need grace, undeserved favor of God, in our
good times as well.
When we learn to be consistent in receiving grace, we can start
discovering how consistently God actually is on our side.
God loves to give grace.
He is not stingy, trying to keep all his best to himself.
His love is consistent and so is his plan of Redemption.
Nothing and no one will be able to stop the plan of God.
The flesh, the fallen man, has no future.
True consistency is connected with God’s eternal plan for man.

our neighborhood

Monday, October 15, 2007

Jesus never became the Son of God

The nativity scene is often interpreted as a picture
of the birth of the Son of God.
Even some Christmas songs claim that the Son of God was
born into the world on the Christmas Day.
The Son of God is his title from the Eternity past.
He has always been the Son of God, All knowing,
Everywhere present, Almighty Creator.
Jesus never became the Son of God. The Son of God
became Jesus at his earthly birth, adding a new nature
to his person. John 1:14, I Tim.3:16
This new, sinless nature is fully qualified to represent each
one of us in the presence of God.
God didn’t become a superman.
He became as ordinary as possible.
His normalcy as a human being is obvious,
so is his sinlessness. John 8:46
It’s significant that there is almost no information
about his childhood and his teenage years.
Luke says that he was subject to his
parents and increased in wisdom and stature. Luke 2:51-52
He didn’t have to prove his Deity by living a human life
without sin. His Deity was never threatened during his
earthly walk.
“He is and He was and He is to come, the Almighty.” Rev.1:8
Something that has always existed can
never be conquered by time.

yes, John is here

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

helping Central-Asians

helping Central-Asians to come

Could you help our Central-Asian brothers and sisters
to attend the conference in Istanbul?
Today all Central Asians and Iranians can come to
Turkey without a visa for at least a month.
We should really use this momentum and support the believers
who are available to minister in Turkey.
The sponsorship needed for each varies from 200-600 USD
depending on where they are coming from.
Would you prayerfully consider this opportunity?
You can donate directly through our paypal account or
through the Missions office in Baltimore with a reference to
the EAST WEST conference.

Central-Asians to Turkey

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

GGWO conference in Istanbul November 08-11


Many will come from East and West, and sit down with Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 8:11

November 08 – 11, 2007
Istanbul, Turkey

We invite all our friends to come and minister together with us in Turkey.
This year we have chosen to be right in downtown of Istanbul reaching
out to people in many different avenues.
The conference is planned around several special events,
such as a CLASSICAL concert ( trio from Finland) ,
a POTPOURRI concert ( a colorful mixture of all of us) and
an ART exhibition.
We hope to promote the events by all possible and impossible means in order
to attract the busy residents of Istanbul to a fellowship with us.
We will have meetings in the mornings and lunches will be organized together.
Istanbul is full of people. The whole world walks before our eyes daily.
Let’s connect with the lost.
Only by grace through faith can EAST MEET WEST.

For accommodations we highly recommend
the following options:
Right in our neighborhood we have several 4 room and 2 room
apartments available.
They are in a nice, newly renovated building.
The apartments are fully furnished.
Each 4 room apartment has two bedrooms with a double bed,
one bedroom with a single bed
and a living room with a single bed.
Six people can comfortably live in them.
Each 2 room apartment has one bedroom with a double bed
and a living room with two single beds.
These will be booked on first come, first serve basis.

4 room 90 Euros /night / apartment ( 6x15)
2 room 60 Euros/night/apartment

For FREE private accommodation contact Pastor Joseph Marian

For those who prefer a hotel we recommend the following hotels.
They are all in the Taksim area where most of the events will take place.
You can make your own bookings online. We will be happy to assist you
with any additional questions.

1.Hotel Star B&B (close to German Embassy)
Single $50
Double $70
For reservation email to

2.Savoy Hotel B&B
Single 70 euro
Double 90 euro
For reservation email to

3.Hotel La Villa B&B
Single 55 euro
Double 85 euro
For reservation email to

4.Select Taksim Hotel B&B
Single 75 euro
Double 85 euro
For reservation email to

5.Otel Avrupa B&B
All rooms are double.
35 euro shower outside of the room
45 euro shower is in the room
65 euro suit
For reservation email to



by November 01, 2007
by sending an e-mail to
Irada Bilgen
with the following information.

Name ____________________________________________________
Country (passport) __________________________________________
Date of Arrival (flight number and time) _________________________
Date of Departure ___________________________________________
Accommodations A apartment with _________________________
B I will arrange myself _____________________

Taxi from the airport to the hotel in Taksim is around 25 USD
There are also two airport buses that take you right to the Taksim square.
Registration fee : 20 USD ( to be paid in the beginning of the conference)
Feel free to ask for help in anything. We’ll be honored to serve you.

reaching out in love

Monday, October 8, 2007

mind your mind

Set your mind on things above.” Col.3:2
The whole chapter of Colossians three describes a mind
that has been settled to glorify God.
Our mind is a great servant for our will even though the
raging emotions often don’t like it. They will constantly
conspire against the government of the Truth in our soul.
What a responsibility, to worship God with our mind!
Tons of books have been written about the complicated functions
of the human mind. I’m sure there are a lot of great
discoveries in those books. I wonder how many of them have
the understanding of the influence of sin on man’s mind.
Without a new birth man’s mind lacks revelation.
His mind serves sin even without his own efforts. Rom. 7:18
He can gain a lot of religious information even without the
new birth, but he cannot see the love of God.
Only by revelation can he know about the grace of God.
Without the free flow of this revelation there is no true Christianity.
The mind is our daily responsibility and the arena where
the devil is defeated every time when we agree with the ways
of God.
The Bible teaches us to guard, strengthen and to wash our minds
“…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in the newness of life.” Rom.6:4

true servants, Hannele and Ismo

Gizil Hanum's kingdom

Rafig, our Lezgin connection

more friends

Mahabbet found new friends at the Imailly Bazaar

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rafig's daughter, Natavan, a graduate from the Baku Bible Institute, works on the Lezgin Bible translation today

Rafig's wife, Gizel Hanum

Rafig, a graduate from the Baku Bible Institute

visiting Galachik in Azerbaijan

our promises are not forgotten

A song says , “Be ready when you give your heart to God,
for he will surely take it…and he will surely break it.”
Of course he can do that what he considers to be the best with
that what is his.
“Give to God the things that are God’s.” Matt.22:21
So many of us have promised to God many things in our
difficult times. We were ready to do anything if we only could be
given a way to escape in our time of trouble. We often forgot as fast
as we were ready to promise.
God doesn’t forget our promises. He follows them up.
Hannah gave Samuel to God, because she had promised to do so.
I Sam.1:8-28
Samuel’s whole life was a testimony of God who heard one woman
in her time of trouble. She did not change her mind when things got
better. She did not forget.
Maybe you have asked God to use you.
Could it be that the complicated , uncomfortable situation that you
are in now, is needed in order for God to use you?
What do we think when we make ourselves available to God’s plan?
What do we expect, a great reputation, obedient disciples, permanent
green lights and open doors?
In John 12:24 Jesus taught us what can be expected.
A lonely, painful death to our old life deep in the dirty ground is God’s
way of introducing us to His plan.
He knows what needs to be done and most probably He is doing it right
now in our lives.