Monday, September 29, 2008


Dear Friends

Some of you know the story of the two boys, Barish and Mehmet,
who were electrocuted this summer after touching a high voltage
electric wire.
After my call to Grace Hour some people have sent help for the family.
We have received a little bit over one thousand dollars from our
friends from America and Europe.
The boys are now both out of the hospital after their limbs were
amputated. The sudden pain has started a painful journey with
a lot of uncertainties and obstacles.
These two families live in a remote area in Eastern Turkey and
it’s clear that they will not be able to get the medical assistance
for the boys in their village.
Ilhan, Barish’s father and his brother are the only two who have
been working , providing for these two families with eight children
altogether. For almost three months they have not been working
as they have tried to manage the details of this tragedy.
I strongly feel, that we all should do our best to help these two families.
The least we can do for them is to help them to move to Istanbul.
We are looking for support to help the family to move,
to rent two apartments in the outskirts of Istanbul,
get all children to the school and turn a new
page in this painful journey. This doesn’t include the support that
is needed for their medical assistance and rehabilitation.
In the midst of all these trials we strongly believe that God’s grace
is sufficient and this all can turn to a great victory for God’s glory.
Please, pray for Ilhan and his family and for us as we seek for help
from our Christian family around the world.
All support goes directly to the family with us overseeing the
spending of the support.
Your gifts can be sent to the Greater Grace Church , Missions
Office in Baltimore with the reference “Barish”.

Greater Grace World Outreach
6025 Moravia Park Drive
Baltimore, MD
Tel: 410.483.3700

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall
be no more death, nor sorrow , nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Serving others as we have been served,
P.Matti Sirvio
Greater Grace Church
Istanbul, Turkey

Ilhan and Barish

Thursday, September 25, 2008

impressions to walk upon

our works matter

Sometimes it looks like there is no place for a human
achievement in God’s plan.
Man comes to this conclusion, if he thinks that he is
called to compete with God.
Pulling ourselves to more independent life from the
Creator will never get His blessing.
We end up kicking against the goads. Acts 9:5
The harder we try, the more painful it becomes.
Saul was very active and sincere in his efforts, but he
was wrong. Sincerity is no guarantee of truthfulness.
Jonah was struggling with this question.
He disagreed with God in frustration.
“What’s the point of me doing anything when God is
going to fix it anyways?”
Jonah was no match for God to compete with him,
but he was a very important player in God’s plan to
save the entire city of Nineveh.
God told him not be angry.
Jonah argued saying that he has all the reason to be angry
and disobedient. Jonah 4
He could not see the value of his own part in God’s
vast plan.
However, God had chosen to depend on Jonah’s obedience
for Nineveh’s salvation.
Jonah had so much power when he agreed with God
and so much frustration when he didn’t.
Ephesians 2:10 speaks about the “good works, which God
prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Without our agreement those works will never happen.
If that is not an acknowledgment of man’s achievement,
then, what is?

Cogratulations, Roger and Liz Robbins!

it takes time to learn patience

Isn’t it grace, not to give man what he wants, but give him
what he needs.
How many parents can recall teaching their children this lesson
over and over again, till their kids finally grew up to teach the
same lesson to their own children.
Ask and it shall be given to you.
Yes, but too often we ask for a serpent without even knowing it.
In asking we learn patience.
Most probably patience was never seen in God’s character
before the birth of man.
In His relationship with man God chose to wait.
Love is patient. I Cor.13:4
Waiting is in God’s plan.
It takes time to learn patience.
Nobody has a natural gift for it.
Pastor Scibelli pointed out in the Grace Hour that the Hebrew
word for waiting has the thought of serving while you are
waiting. Isn’t that what we are doing today?
Engaging ourselves in useful activities while waiting for
the return of our Savior.
We all love heroes, but the Bible teaches that patient men
are more useful than heroes. Proverbs 16:32
It takes patience to be faithful.

Welcome! KEZIA AUTUMN TANGUAY, born September 20, to Jediah and Sarah Tanguay

Jediah and Kezia

Sarah and Kezia

Sunday, September 21, 2008

FEAR NOT, opening reception

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the opening of my Art Exhibition titled

The opening reception will be on Tuesday, September 23, 7 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served.

Matti Sirvio

FEAR NOT , paintings by Matti Sirvio, September 23-30, Istanbul Ymmo Gallery, Istiklal St. 146

lost under His supervison

After 175 amazing verses on God’s Word and it’s
transforming power the psalmist still admitted that
he “has gone astray like a lost sheep”. Psalm 119:176
He knew that the Word of God had the answers.
He knew that his soul would return back to the dust
without the quickening power of the Word.
He knew that he needed to hide the Word in his heart
that he might not sin against God.
He was so well educated, yet so vulnerable and weak.
We can often identify with his cry for help:
“Seek your servant!”
We get so easily lost in the world,
lost in our circumstances, lost in our own soul.
Our emotions continue confusing us with their mixed
signals. Our past claims it’s right to be remembered
and the god of this world makes sure that we get our daily
invitations to his banqueting tables.
“I do not pray that you should take them out of the world,
but that you should keep them from the evil one.”
John 17:14
It looks like God is very familiar with the situations
that we have been placed in.
He will be glorified as he continues keeping us through
the daily ends of the world.

Friday, September 12, 2008

morning in Amasiya

no limit

I imagined a conversation with the Lord.
Struggling believer, “Lord, how many times may I fail?”
Loving Savior, “There is no limit to it.”
Condemned believer, “But I’m afraid to believe that.”
Faithful Savior, “ There is no fear in love.”

We can stop speaking to people.
We can put them on probation.
We can put more rules and regulations into their lives
and we can stop them from coming to the church,
but we cannot stop God from giving grace to them.
His grace was not in the first place a reaction to something
that man did or didn’t do.
God was gracious far before the fall of man.
If that is not true, then God is diminished to a reactionary
man like boss, difficult to avoid and hard to please.

Don’t let sin discourage you.
Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners,
from the greatest to the smallest. I Tim. 1:15
Don’t let your or other people’s failure stop you from
ministering this wonderful message of salvation.
It is everybody’s only hope.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

listen and wait

Jesus didn’t call his followers leaders, he called them disciples.
If I learn to listen and to wait, I will see a lot of changes in my life.
Isn’t that the foundation for all learning.
In order to learn disciples have to forsake something and forget
about it.
Disciples are not victims who are trapped in somebody’s program.
They are healthy individuals who have learned to trust.
It’s all about agreeing about God’s right to these speedily passing
moments that connect the past with the future.
This is the moment when time touches eternity.
I obey now, not waiting for a more convenient moment.
Human intellect with all it’s complications and incredible
abilities is not capable to deal with the spiritual conflict
that man has been placed in.
Faith and sharing our faith, disregard of the support and acceptance
of our environment and circumstances, are far better tools
to deal with all these mobs of demons that continue
hanging around believers and churches.
“And though this world,
with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.”
( A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Martin Luther)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

too much Lapsha hanging

Puns, jingles and verbal fireworks, some people are tired
of it, others still believe in those strong emotions that
pamper one’s soul when you listen to a good speaker.
Once an elderly lady said to me after the service:
“Pastor, that was funny. You are a good actor.”
I felt like a total failure.
Is that what pastoring means, good rhetoric spiced up with
entertaining delivery?
A good speaker can easily draw people’s attention from the content
of his message by simply hanging Lapsha (long macarony)
on the listener’s ears, as the Russian idiom says it.
Hanging macaroni on somebody’s ears doesn’t make sense at all,
neither does decorative speaking without any content in it.
They should never substitute for the message of grace and truth.
“Good message, Pastor!”
“Thank you, what was it about?”
Was it really the Word of God that will not return to God void,
but shall accomplish that what He pleases? Is.55:11
I thought about the old field preachers. They had no flashing lights,
no screens, microphones, air-conditions, just the truth connecting
with believing hearts. I Cor.2:1
They read their sermons. People were crying and repenting with
tears in their eyes.
We have a call to speak words that not only tickle the surface of
people’s soul, but stay with them even in the darkest trials of their life.
Lord, give us more of those words!

heavens declare

lack of words

When a person cannot find right words to express his will
or feelings he ends up using wrong words or
just a strange behavior.
Inability to communicate in acceptable ways sometimes
leads people to unsocial, hermit like behavior.
Who wants to be publicly embarrassed again and again?
The lack of right words is a very common reason for
personality clashes and relationship problems.
It’s sad when a child is not taught to converse, but just to
obey blindly or is taught by computers to react to everything
with pang, uh and …
We should be on the alert when we see people’s vocabulary
being reduced to some kind of international cartoon language,
no sentence structures, no meaningful dialogs, just animalistic
noise that is written down with a couple of bold letters.
If we don’t use words we start loosing them.
We forget their meaning.
The lack of words leads to deeper darkness.
People in darkness don’t want to talk.
The most important missing word in this world is the word “Savior”.
Missing that word is more serious than forgetting your own name.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

this way !


Lies lead us to fight wrong battles.
We cannot loose our salvation , but we can easily loose
our concentration and our vision.
Yes, people are busy. It’s often considered as a sure sign
of productivity and importance.
What are people so busy with?
I looked at the companies around us.
One of them is in advertising business, working long hours
with the goal of reaching people with “whatsoever” messages.
Another company is selling insurances, making money from
people’s fears and insecurities.
Then there is a dancing school, soccer association and
the innocent looking old lady at the street corner selling
flowers, cheating busy people with tripled,
every day changing prices.
Yes, people are busy.
This battle is all about attention.
He who gets our attention, gets our time.
The battle for time is real.
If we ignore this battle saying that there is no conflict,
we have believed a lie.
If we think that we can fight this battle in our own strength,
we live in a lie. Acts 3:12
If we end up fighting people, especially other believers,
we have believed a lie. Eph.6:12
God has filled our history with opportunities to glorify him.
Every second is another invitation to give our attention to
those things that really matter.
Time is for Eternity.

Congratulations! Pastor Jozsef Szabo and Asel in Kyrgyzstan

Monday, September 1, 2008

traveling to the Borabay lake in Amasiya

God's attraction love

It’s not difficult to believe that God loves us with
a pity love. We are wretched and miserable.
Could it be , that God would also love us with an
attraction love? If that is true, it changes everything
in our attitude towards him.
The Psalmist seems to be inclined to think this way
when he marvels about the creation of man.
“Who is man, that you are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4
In other words, “what makes man so attractive to you,
that you continue loving him disregard of the endless
times that he has disappointed you.”
Are we after all God’s best creation?
We have all the reason to believe so.
Why would he otherwise continue teaching and hearing and
caring for the fallen man? Doesn’t he see that we are
Hopeless as we might appear,
we were still made for God’s glory and it looks like he
doesn’t appreciate it more in anything else but in us.
He looks at man and He sees himself in him.
He looks beyond our faults and sees our indisputable value.
He receives a strike from us and he turns his other cheek.
His compassion love kept him on the cross.
His attraction love will bring him back.