Sunday, July 27, 2008

superman, lost in the crowd, picture by Niyazi B.

failing fathers

People train for so many years to become doctors,
lawyers and engineers.
In most of the countries they are not allowed
to practice these professions without a legal certificate.
I haven’t heard of any country where you need a training
of many years to become a father. Anyone can do it.
To become a father is very simple,
but to be a father is a life-long challenge.
Many parents fail. They have never seen good
mothers and fathers. Their parents failed, too.
Sometimes people just get tired of trying to do that
what they never were trained to do.
Two pitfalls of un-professionalism are the waste of
time and money.
Measuring the losses in relationships is more difficult.
The damage done by un-professional parents can be
As a result of this corporate failure the world is filled
with lonely people who have chosen not to belong.
Psalm 68:6 says, that God sets the lonely in families.
The church is this family where people can be healed
from broken relationships. The church is a family
for families, too.
The best thing you can do as a failing parent is to
bring your family to the church.
Nobody needs professional parents anyways,
but everyone can be blessed by a spirit-filled family
member like you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

perfect shot of Ilhan's baptism

the invisible me

John called himself just a voice in the wilderness.
He didn’t dare to compare himself with the prophets.
He made it clear that he is not worthy to even loose
the sandal strap of Jesus. John 1:23-27
Did he have an inferiority complex, a poor self-image?
Paul called himself the chief of sinners and
less than the least of all the saints.
Ephesians 3:8, I Ti.1:15
They both had found their spiritual identity in Christ.
They had stopped trusting their strong personality.
Spiritual identity means the absence of the self-life.
That’s the only way how man can be used by God.
The church is filled with different kinds of people
whose chemistry doesn’t even need to match in order
for them to function together.
God’s anointing, His ability in us, is released when
believers agree to be so well hidden in Christ that they
themselves become invisible,
unnoticed and offense-immune.
Isn’t that what John meant when he said,
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"nevertheless I am continually with you", Psalm 73:23


Levites were called to minister in the tabernacle.
Maybe they were sometimes dreaming of being like everyone else.
Other Jewish tribes were busy with their business and their land.
Levites were the only tribe that didn’t have any possession of the land.
“God is their possession…” Joshua 13:33
It seems like they were the true guardians of the prosperity of the nation.
Everything was connected to them,
but they were free from all earthly duties.
As they were not given a designated slot in the land they were permitted
to be scattered among the other tribes. They received cities from others,
among these were the six cities of refuge.
Levites were the ones who moved the tabernacle from place to place.
They all camped around the tabernacle.
They were the only tribe that was not numbered.
Asaph was a Levite.
He had been appointed by King David as worship leader.
In Psalm 73 he discloses his moments of discouragement.
He could not reconcile the fact that “the wicked” seemed to be blessed,
while he himself seemed to have nothing but troubles.
“Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure…”
He questioned God’s justice until he came into the sanctuary of God.
“God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
Later prophet Habakkuk had the same kind of experience.
It ended with even greater commitment and desire to be in God’s presence.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herds in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17
A nation without Levites will not survive.

Monday, July 21, 2008

from my window, at 3 a.m.

receive first

God has not promised to take away the thorn, whatever it might be,
but He has promised to give more grace. II Corinthians 12:7-10
Do we know better?
It seems like we all are inclined to believe that eliminating all this
pain ad suffering in our lives would be far more beneficial for us.
We are wrong. Temptations, trials and sufferings actually
are stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks on our way to heaven.
We are learning to rejoice in sufferings, because we have found
something that is so much bigger than us.
We have found grace and it is better (bigger) than life. Psalm 63:3
Worshipping idols is frustrating because a man-made god is his own size.
An idol can never be bigger than the mind of it’s creator.
The living God gives grace, a continuing relationship with Him.
This grace includes a greater capacity, longer lasting patience
and a deeper understanding and peer into His character.
God leads his people to a place where they learn to receive.
We cannot grow without receiving.
We cannot give without receiving.
What do we have that we haven’t first received? Nothing.
I Corinthians 4:7
God is a rich giver.
It’s impossible to walk with Him without receiving from Him

Friday, July 18, 2008

father and son, picture by Niyazi B.

Pater Noster

In the most famous Christian prayer, the Lord’s Prayer,
there are a couple of moments that are difficult to understand.
In Matthew 6:13 Jesus is teaching us to pray that God would
“not lead us into temptation”.
Several things are obvious in the light of other passages from
the Bible.
God doesn’t tempt anyone. James 1:13
Jesus said that temptations must come. Matthew 18:7
The Spirit leads us to the place of temptation. Matthew 4
Temptations are a part of our training in godliness.
So , are we asking the impossible by praying that God
would not lead us into temptations?
Greek scholars point out that there is a difference between
leading into temptations and unto temptations.
They point out that the double use of the preposition
communicates the deeper meaning of this verse.
It’s a request to help us to resist temptation, not to give in to it.
The same way as entering into the Kingdom of God means
to become a part of it, to be led into temptation means that
we respond to it and let it bring forth sin.
This should be our daily prayer.
Lord, let us pass today’s temptations without giving even
a second to them.
It’s a joy to be able to resist temptations by simply falling
in love with God over and over again.

Monday, July 14, 2008


A selection of daily thoughts and pictures from our blog has been published in a book called


It is being sold for $16.
You can send us your mailing address to
and the payment by Paypal
and we will mail it to you.


Friday, July 11, 2008



Monday , AUG 11 – Thursday, AUG 14


Bible teaching about Evangelism beyond Evangelism
Raps around the camp fire
Great food, Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner
Lots of forest around us
Bosphorus view
Facilities for Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis
Opportunity for a Hotel accommodation for those
who don’t like tents
cost $100 total for three days
discounts, scholarships available, talk to us!
There will be a lot of opportunities for Evangelism and
Tourism in Istanbul before and after the camp.
The camp site is around 45 min. from Taksim by bus.
sing up by sending an e-mail to

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

in God we trust

Salam, Shalom!

making friends

Niyazi's Brighton Beach immigrant look

Pastor Javid and Rasima gave a beautiful concert in the Gallery

a call from Siberia

with friends from Azerbaijan and Finland


Jesus spoke to Peter about Satan’s desire to sift him like wheat.
Luke 22:31
If we step out of God’s order we become candidates for
Satan’s sifting.
Four days ago a Russian top model jumped from her ninth floor
Manhattan apartment to a sad death.
The newspapers concluded that New York City is a dangerous
place for young girls. Of course it is.
The whole world is, for all of us.
This model from Almaty had started her modeling career
in the age of fifteen against her mother’s objections.
Her success brought her to the world that was all about her.
She was a little Barbie doll, lost in the big world.
A couple of months prior her suicide she had written in her
site, ”will I ever find myself in this city?”
Finding ourselves is actually the worst that can happen to us.
Maybe she finally found herself and understood the empty
corruption of human heart.
In the West people often abhor the oppressed role of Muslim women.
Women have no rights for individual decision making, not to even
mention their restrictions in moving in and out from their house without
a male escort, husband, brother, uncle.
Even though this demand of man’s presence looks like a role of
a prison guard, it has the thought of covering in it.
Without the proper understanding of coverings this becomes
a crazy manifestation of power. It was meant for good,
but ended up as something evil.
Spiritual covering is the highest form of caring.
It’s a biblical principle that many have rejected due to the fact that
others are abusing it.
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you
shall take refuge: His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
Psalm 91:4