Sunday, March 30, 2008

who can stop the morning ?

go on

The apostles were led to”give themselves continually
to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4
I’m sure their decision to continue was all the time
The world didn’t need them.
The world didn’t want an invisible Savior.
The apostles had never seen a church being born.
They could not follow the global news daily. They
had no internet. No internet, how could they even
imagine planting a church without a computer?
Nevertheless, they continued and their story brings up
thousands of pages, if you search their name
in the internet today.
There cannot be consistency in our ministry unless
we have defined goals, defined means and a defined
commitment with accountability.
It would be a mistake to settle with a mere business plan
for our church planting efforts. We need a stronger
motivation. That comes from our life of worship.
Only a genuine intimacy with God can bring the
needed quality to this process of consistency.
May our goals be set at throne in heaven and our means
be drawn from God’s invisible treasuries, but let our
commitment be tested by the dusty roads of the evil
world where sinners are constantly harassed due
to their ignorance of heaven.
Every man is lost without Jesus Christ.
That’s what church planting is all about.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

two jobs

easy ways

I didn’t even know that my name was so well-known
in Burkina Faso and Nigeria until I opened my first
e-mail account. Now I get daily letters from these amazing
people who chose me, out of the zillions of other people
around the world, to receive the inheritance of 500 million dollars
or so from the accounts of their deceased relative.
It’s so very encouraging
to receive daily inquiries to identify myself and
help to use this vast amount of leftover money.
Many of the letters start,” This might come as a surprise
to you…” To say the least, of course it is a surprise that
my secret dream finally could be fulfilled.
This kind of aggressive mailing is just one example of the
arrogant marketing where people’s deepest needs
are manipulated to deceive them into fast and,
often so irrational, decisions.
Almost everyone wants to get easy money. Almost
everyone wants to feel special and qualified.
Who doesn’t get tired of hard and slow work?
The world offers easy ways out.
Satan deceives people into quick solutions.
God’s plan doesn’t always look like the fastest or the easiest,
but it always leads us to permanent solutions.
You cannot just continue wiping all the problems under
the carpet. Sooner or later you have to face the ceiling.
“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to man,
but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

praying for Turkey


There is no glory without the cross.
Rom.3:23 says that all men fall short of the glory of God.
Man without the blessing of God is nothing more than
well organized dirt. He can speak well, work hard and
even show compassion for others, but he cannot create
a worthy purpose for his life.
When man looses his spiritual value (the blood of Christ),
his eternal purpose(to become like Christ) and his role
in this world(to be a witness), he loses his glory.
Only Christ can return man his original value.
“Christ in you , the hope of glory.” Col.1:27
Can man remain in the same time humble and still be
interested in the glory?
True humility means that one agrees with that what God has
said and done.
We seek his glory. I Cor.1:31
As we minister to others we invite them to get back their
value, purpose and role. I Thess.2:20
We were made for glory, not for failures.
We were made for heaven, not for the earth.
“The wise shall inherit glory.” Pr.3:35

Sunday, March 23, 2008

in the sunrise service in Tophane

newness of life

Now, walk in the newness of life. Rom.6:4
Something in us doesn’t like God.
It doesn’t matter how nice and religious we are, there is
something in us that doesn’t like God.
This is the sin nature.
It’s the other voice in our soul that arrogantly mocks God
and despises his goodness.
It’s the power that gladly joins the devil in a conspiracy
against faith and truthful thinking.
It is called OLD sin nature, because it resists all growth.
It is not old in time but in it’s character, old and useless.
When the old man is strengthened in a believer’s life
he becomes a strange creature.
He has the angels appearance,
but the devil’s character.
Man is either natural (unsaved without the Spirit) or
spiritual. When the spiritual man thinks and talks like the
natural man he becomes carnal. This is a strange category.
It’s confusing.
Walking in the newness of life means to live by faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.” Heb.11:1
Faith is not based on wishful thinking and fantasies.
It’s based on the Word that became flesh and overcame
the death once and for all.
We are very familiar with the oldness of life.
It doesn’t change.
Sometimes this is mistakenly called security.
God finds no pleasure in it.
God has no place for it in heaven.
His nature is new all the time.
God is not old. He is eternally new.

Friday, March 21, 2008

God does not cheat

Did God really deceive the whole mankind by making them
believe that Jesus died on the cross, when he actually didn’t?
If we can find God acting deceitfully in one situation, what
guarantee could we have that he would not compromise
with his truthful character in other times, too?
If he did, He would not be the absolute truth anymore.
If He is not the absolute truth, then who is?
People try to reason against the crucifixion by talking about
the almighty character of God. “God cannot die.”
How could God say to himself ,” why have you forsaken me?”
Christians believe that God became like us so that we could
become like Him.
The same way as the incarnation was an amazing event in
man’s history, the death and resurrection of Christ is even
more amazing.
God did not ask for man’s permission to do this.
Man’s opinion could not have stopped him from saving man.
It’s obvious that if any of us were god, no people would
be saved. We would be so offended and hard on everybody,
including ourselves. Praise God I am not god.
The perfect humanity of God is the perfect solution for man.
Without it we would have lost our connection with heaven forever.
In Christ we are in again.
“For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ
Is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
I Cor. 15:16-17

"He was wounded for our transgressions." Is.53:5

no alternative for love

Could there not be an easier way to learn how to minister
to people? It seems like the way of the servant of the Lord
is full of obstacles and pain.
Paul says that he is learning to receive comfort in his
times of trials in order to pass the same comfort to those
who face similar problems. II Cor.1:3-4
We don’t need to become alcoholics in order to understand
their problems, but we need to agree to glorify God in all
Maybe this dilemma started in heaven,
when the plan of incarnation was made known to the angels.
I can hear them asking, is there no other way?
Could God not save the mankind with a less painful effort?
He did not. He could not?
No life comes forth without dying.
God’s way leads us daily to a place of death
in order for the new life to be born in others.
No wonder so few are interested in following him.
“For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’
sake , that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our
mortal flesh.” II Cor.4:11

Thursday, March 20, 2008

take courage my soul


“Giving gifts is not just pleasant, it’s profitable.”
This statement surprised me in a Russian advertisement.
Somehow the hypocrisy of it really irritated me.
It’s a play with words, but behind it is a more serious
game where everything is allowed as long as you can
profit from it. Giving gifts, one of the most beautiful
expressions in human relationships, is reduced to a
dirty trick. Giving has become a method of cheating.
It has turned to a cold calculation for selfish gain.
The term “Indian giving”, when a person takes back the
gift he has previously given, could as well be called
human giving. It happens in all cultures. It brings
disappointments to all kinds of people around the world.
It is one of the numerous techniques in the game of giving.
God wants us to give.
He wants us to learn giving from him.
Give, without expecting anything in return. Luke 6:30
Give, even when you will loose it from yourself. I John 3:16
Give, simply because you have received. I Cor.4:7
God gave because of himself, in an unselfish selfish way.
It all reflects his uncompromising character.
Obviously he doesn’t need anything in return.
Of course, he has no danger of loosing himself,
but certain things he will not have, unless we give them
to him.
This brings us to a place of worship, where we give
him ourselves and gladly submit our will to his.
He doesn’t desire a sacrifice, but he finds great pleasure
in our obedience. I Sam.15:22

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to Yeshilkoy!

meeting in Yeshilkoy

TONIGHT, March 19
Our Wednesday Night meeting
will be in The Catholic Church
in Yeshilkoy
at 7 p.m.


for more information call 0537 2036055

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"The joy of the Lord is your strength!" Neh.8:10


So small things can make us happy again.
Maybe it’s a letter with two sentences, maybe just a warm
tap on our shoulder. Maybe we just heard an encouraging
word from a stranger; ate a cake; maybe the sun was shining.
Even though happiness is not the main goal in life,
it definitely is a very rewarding feeling.
When Jonah had experienced the painful experiences of
running from God, he still was very emotional and
short-sighted in his judgments. He was trying to justify
his disobedience. He was angry at God.
God made him a plant to cover him in the heat of the day.
Jonah was so happy. The next day God prepared a worm
to eat up the plant. Then Jonah was angry and miserable again.
These were small things. God taught Jonah not to miss the big
things by depending on the small things for happiness.
The small things might be there or might not.
We enjoy them and minister to others with them.
A cancer patient is happy with the flowers you brought her,
but if she doesn’t have any deeper hope in her life, the
flower happiness will not last for a long time.
When small things connect with the love of God, they
are an incessant source for joy and motivation in our life.
“Happy is the man who doesn’t condemn himself in what
he approves.” Rom.14:22
He has found the bigger picture.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

fill your mind

Prayer without meditation becomes ritualistic and impersonal.
The Bible encourages us to meditate on God’s Word all the
time, day and night. Psalm 1:2
Doesn’t that sound a bit extreme?
Does God really want us to forget about our daily responsibilities
and escape to some kind of hyper spiritual cloud?
Of course not, he is more realistic than any of us. He is
the maker of our mind.
Our mind was created to think with him.
“Don’t think, pray” is a bad advice.
You cannot pray without thinking.
One of the differences between thinking and meditation is that
thinking can be impersonal, meditation cannot.
In meditation we actually talk to ourselves and let God talk to us.
Christian meditation is the opposite of the kind of oriental meditation
where your aim is to empty your mind. The Bible encourages
us to fill our minds. Eph. 5:18, Col. 3:16
An empty mind is an open invitation to
all kinds of demon activity and influence.
Meditation takes time. Nobody has that time. You have to take it.
You cannot meditate fast.
Meditation will direct your inner life and your inner life will
direct your steps. Often we are taken to unexpected situations.
There will be no time to study the matter, no opportunity to go
through a process of evaluation. We must respond fast.
Meditation prepares us for life’s surprises.
Our goal in meditation is obedience and a deeper dependency
on God. II Cor.10:5
Push it into your schedule and you will find so much more
light on your daily path. Psalm 119:105

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hallelujah, He is risen!

"for God so loved the world"


Saturday / March 22
7 p.m.
Concert and Fellowship
Onay Sanat Art Café
Istiklal Street 186, 2 floor

Sunday / March 23

6.30 a.m.
Sunrise Service and Breakfast
Sanatkarlar Park, Tophane

11 a.m.
Easter Service in Gumushuyu
Greater Grace church

8 p.m.
Concert at Santa Maria Church
Istiklal Street 429


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Samarkand Timur visiting on his way from Budapest to Baku

it's worth it

Asking people about their values and convictions can bring
an interesting flavor to an otherwise harmless small talk
chatting. It is shocking to hear what people consider to
be the most important things in their life, things that they
could not even imagine not having.
The best values in life cannot be bought by money.
They cannot be learned, cultivated nor achieved by man’s
own efforts. They are given as a gift, just like the Garden
of Eden. Man did not plant it. Man did not design it.
Man ruined it.
Ever since it’s been natural for man to feel worthless in
the fast roller coaster of life.
It seems like so many things don’t depend on us at all.
The more man feels that he cannot change nor control
something, the more excuses he has to give up.
Big cities, like Istanbul, are full of people who have given up.
Maybe a disappointment was the first step towards their
lost dignity.
In the time of disappointment it’s easy to excuse your
carelessness. Sometimes the giving up one’s priorities and
convictions can be a quiet, but fatal, revenge toward those
who we were disappointed with.
If man deliberately closes his eyes to the truth, he ends up
opposing everything that reminds him of the truth.
Avoiding people is probably the most difficult part of this
kind of a denial. The planet might be lonely, but it’s very tight.
When a believer escapes his values, he ends up in
a strange place. It’s a place of dishonesty and stress.
It’s definitely not the green pasture that Psalm 23 speaks about.
Values are easily lost.
If you once had them, it’s easy to get them back.
The first step is the biggest. It’s a long, humble step that
only you can take.
The principle of restoration in the Bible is all about recovering
lost values. Let it be opportunities, doctrines, people, most
of them can be recovered. This is the beauty of grace.
You can get your life back.
Values are not just a set of numbers and rules in our head.
They are gardens and vineyards that God has planted in our soul.
We are asked to guard and to care for them.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Istanbul waters

more than enough

Not just enough new life, but abundantly.
This is God’s gift for those who dare to believe. John 10:10
God’s resources are very real. You don’t need to use your
fantasy in order to enjoy them. If you have been born again
these benefits are at your disposal daily.
His word is the water that has filled the river of life. Psalm 65:9
You have what it takes to rejoice in the Lord always.
In John 7:38 Jesus calls our life a flow of rivers of living water.
David found this spiritual source in the midst of great
disappointments and trials.
He says,” My cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5
We cannot limit God. We cannot put him into a box.
It would be like a child who is taught by his parents how
to tie his shoe strings. Once he learns how to do it, it would be
so strange for him to think that the parents don’t know how
to do it. The child grew up and learned a new thing, but he
didn’t stop being the child of his parents.
We continue being God’s children forever.
Only the rebellious live in a dry land. Psalm 68:6
God’s river is full of water. Psalm 65:9

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Galata tower in Istanbul, this is where the letter of Galatians was written, just kidding...


Another word for a vision is definition.
We need definition for everything, relationships, sicknesses,
jobs, schedules, past, future…
Without definition we are frustrated, disoriented and lost.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 speaks about a vision that should be written down.
That’s definition.
If you don’t know what you are doing or what you are supposed
to do, write your options on a piece of paper. Little pieces of paper
have changed history. It’s almost like sending a letter to yourself.
It meets, at least to some extent, our need for a more objective view.
We need a job description, ministry description, being in Istanbul
description, yes, a life description.
In hell people will have a feeling of falling in darkness.
This is extreme insecurity, you are falling without any
understanding or information about your future.
This is the ultimate lack of definition.
God speaks clearly today.
You cannot find anything more defined
than the person of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes there is no more definition than a call to follow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

spring still comes

more about grace

“We always have grace.”
This sounds so comforting, but in reality it’s a confession
of a defeat. It’s an unfortunate misunderstanding of the
most important word for our lives.
It’s so superficial to think that if nothing else works,
it becomes a grace issue.
This kind of “grace” is humiliating and undesirable.
It doesn’t make anyone great. (Psalm 18:35)
The better understanding of grace is that it is our first
and most reasonable choice.
We don’t need to go through millions of failures in
order to learn grace. That would be almost like believing
in reincarnation and the law of Karma that teaches that
man has to be cleansed by millions of births in order to
be qualified to enter Nirvana.
Grace always works.
It’s not the last option. It’s a priority.
We need to look for it with an uncompromising zeal.
We have to study it, know it and guarantee it as a personal
right for all those around us.
Grow in Grace. II Pet. 3:18
Let your heart be established by Grace. Heb.13:9
Impart Grace to all those who hear you. Eph.4:29

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Open Hearts, Open Doors

Pastor Schaller’s opening message last night was so encouraging.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Open Hearts, Open Doors”.
This happened to Lydia in Acts 16:14.
One day this happened to me, the Lord opened my heart.
This has happened with everybody who was ever used by God,
Abraham, Moses, you and me…
When God opens our heart, we start to see things that we never
saw before.
People look for the value in self help books, but God has something
so much greater for us.
“Hey, Peter, I would like to give you a self help book.
Sorry, but I’m walking on the water right now…”
Sometimes we are too smart, too skillful, too independent to
need God. We are filled with our own ways. We might even
oppose God like the Pharaoh did saying, “Who is the Lord,
that I should obey him?”
Peter said to Ananias and Sapphira, “Why has Satan filled your
This danger brings a godly fear into our hearts.
If we don’t hear from heaven, we will hear from somewhere else.
If God will not fill ( meaning there is no room for something else)
our hearts, other “important” things will steal His place without
any effort from us.

The European Conference, E8, has started in Budapest, here Margot, Husein and Guven

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We can do very little without Umid and Niyazi. Pray for them.


We plan on moving our Wednesday night services to Yeshilkoy.
The first service in Yeshilkoy will be on March 19, 2008, at 7 p.m.
We'll keep you posted for the details.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1

just let me sit at the feet of Jesus

David had one fear in his heart.
He was afraid of loosing his right to be in the presence of God.
After his failure he asked God not to take away His Spirit
from Him. Psalm 51:11
We have learned that this is not the prayer of a New Testament
believer as the Holy Spirit indwells us permanently.
He is the guarantee of our salvation.
What an awful thing it would be to see a failure detector at the
entrance of the church.
People would not be allowed to the church if any failure
was found in them. The churches would remain empty and
a lot of people left out with a condemned heart.
We have a song that says,” God loves you, God loves you.,
where ever you have been, what ever you have done, God
loves you.”
Isn’t that the greatest desire of our hearts, to stay in the
presence of God disregard of everything that happens
inside or outside of us.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek :
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

Sunday, March 2, 2008

celebrating P.Schaller's birthday, Vahid, P.Mushfig, Guven and Umid


I think that the worst poverty is man’s inability to recognize
his personal value and purpose.
Viktor Franklin, a holocaust survivor, went through a hell
on earth with the help of right thinking.
He was happy to survive and teach others about his
discoveries. His parents and his wife we killed in the
concentration camp.
His theory “Logo therapy” emphasizes that “everybody
should recognize the meaning of his personal life.”
He said that the key issue in mental health is the awareness
of one’s purpose. He went on to say, that man doesn’t create
his purpose, but discovers it.
We have an old saying in Finnish,
“You don’t carry water to the well.”
This applies so well in the theme of a purpose.
All artificially created roles, values and purposes don’t last
very long. Artificially produced results may impress first,
but disappoint later.
The cross is the greatest symbol of our purpose.
The vertical speaks about our connection with God.
The horizontal stands for our relationships with people.
If a man doesn’t recognize these two, he continues to be out
of his place, busy but useless, active but empty.
Seeing God’s eternal purpose in every detail of our life
is the greatest adventure we could ever have on this earth.
It’s worth pursuing, suffering and laboring.
All other purposes will one day pass away unless they are
included in God’s plan for us.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose
under heaven…” Eccl.3:1