Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Spinning Dervishes", painting by Sitara


The expression of people's faith could be divided into
five groups depending on their attitude
towards the already existing religious structures.
The Traditionalists consider the structure uncreated,
God-given and therefore unchangeable.
The Rationalists seek to learn better the pragmatic
structures. The Radicals look for new structures without
loosing the essence of the message. The Fanatics aim
to destroy the structures with non-thinking emotionalism.
The Sufis don’t recognize any structures and despise
I consider myself radical in my faith.
Radicalism keeps my faith alive.
Information changes all the time, but the truth does not.
Radical faith keeps us on the alert of the always changing
trends and the ideological climate around us.
Dead faith keeps us repeating the same phrases unto boredom.
Today it is radical to speak about the absolute truth.
It’s radical to use words like sin, holiness and hell.
It is radical to win souls.
It is even more radical to love unselfishly and lay down
our life for others.
Unconditional love doesn’t always look so productive,
but it is always radical.
It doesn’t agree just to warm up oneself with the old
“once upon a time” victories.
It boldly faces the impossible situations of today and
continues to believe that faith will always find a way.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

seeing Him who is invisible, Heb.11:27

come, now is the time to worship

Shepherds, Wise Men and Angels,
what a strange gathering.
How could they be moved from their
work, their own country,
from their luxurious glory?
Did they know what they were looking for?
Who had invited them to this event?
It’s obvious that they didn’t understand everything,
but they were drawn to worship.
They would not miss this for anything.
Today they all are in heaven
and they continue to worship Him
who alone is worthy,
Jesus Christ,
The King of all Kings,
The Lord of all Lords,
The Judge of all Judges,
The Shepherd of our soul
in Whom all wisdom is hidden
and all glory revealed.
Let’s worship Him.
That’s Christmas.

kicking against the pricks sometimes turns to kicking against the bricks

What do you do?

How do you deal with frustration in your life?
You know that empty “getting nowhere” feeling
that is mixed with a bitter taste of disappointments.
Do you smoke?
Do you eat more or do you do that other stuff
that we don’t openly talk about in some of these
cultures that we have been emerged into?
Frustration is actually a conflict between our goals and
our means to reach them.
It’s not a passive state of mind, it’s a striving, helpless
anger. It’s an aggression that is failing to find an object.
It looks like even Jesus experienced some decree of
frustration when he sighed,” O, this unbelieving generation!
How long must I suffer you?” (Mark 9:19)
It’s clear that God’s uncompromising character
frustrates our flesh.
Fighting the will of God makes things just more
complicated and painful. Kicking against the pricks,
resisting God’s authority, will always hurt us.
Submission to the will of God is the most effective way
to deal with frustration. Putting on the divine dispositions
such as a forgiving attitude, patience and unconditional
love help us to prevail.
Often our little headaches and angry moods are just a
polite signal to stop to seek his face.
Because of Jesus God has already turned His face towards us.
That’s the reason for our rest even with the thickest
brick walls that are brought to our way.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the confusing salad

american salad

It’s so confusing.
In one place they call it American Salad,
in another shop it is marked as Russian Salad.
Yes, it’s the exact same thing, boiled vegetables
and chunks of some cheap sausage mixed with too
much mayonnaise to cover everything.
I don’t know who can claim the origins of this creation,
but I see that this is an excellent example of unavoidable
misunderstandings between people.
People call the same things by different names
even when they speak exactly the same language.
See, for some people the American Salad has always
been an American Salad. They grew up with it.
Smoking has the same effect on people disregard of how
they call it. Some call it leisure others call it poison.
There are no rules. You can call anything anything
if you so desire. Call black white and white black
systematically and soon you have started a new global
philosophy. Silence is no option.
We need words that are settled and defined in a place
where nobody can change them. Heaven is that place.
Psalm 119:89
Sometimes people have long conversations
without understanding that they actually are not
speaking about the same matter at all.
Sometimes people argue without understanding that
they actually agree. It’s the reality beyond words that
This is what it means to now see as in a mirror, dimly.
One day we will see face to face. I Cor.13:12
Distortion of words and their meanings is one of the
most sophisticated arts in the world. It’s very difficult
to lie without words.
Only by faith in the Word (John1:1) we see what
is behind the words and the clanging cymbals
that blast our atmosphere daily.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just think less about yourself and more about Him!

finding Paul , by P.Christian Moore

"Might you know of where to find one Saul here in town, Saul of Tarsus?". A young street entrepreneur looked up and away from his prized linen he was preparing to sell and saw a decently dressed Jewish Cypriot; "you mean the tent maker?" he quipped. "Yes" eagerly the Cypriot replied, "I have traveled from Antioch and have been seeking out this Saul for a few days now, it's important I find him". After the young seller of linen gave the directions, Jose, nicknamed Barnabas, quickly made his way down a route of a myriad of small streets and alleys through Tarsus until he came to a door of a small, simple but neat dwelling typical of a pharisee. After a moment of knocking on the door heartily, it opened and a man dressed in his work clothes appeared at the door. "Brother Saul…", Barnabas said quietly with a joyous smile on his face, “let’s talk…”

It is said that one of the greatest verses of the New Testament is Acts 11:25 “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul”. The missing ingredient in many people’s lives that would take them to the place God has called them into is encouragement. Barnabas was a finder – builder, he found Saul in Tarsus and John Mark in Jerusalem (Acts 12.25) because he saw the invisible value & potential in a person that has a call on their lives. Jesus had this as he moved through Galilee seeing the unseen in these fishermen’s lives and called them into discipleship. A wise pastor anointed for his ministry will have the wisdom from God to discern a discouraged saint’s gift and direct them into their place on the team, staff or church by investment, teaching, instruction and at times exhortation. This is what we see Barnabas do in Antioch Acts 11:26 where the new disciples are first called “Christians.”

The solution often times to many problems on the team in a church planting work is just encouragement. Encouragement is speaking from divine perspective God’s mind about a person in faith – calling those things that are not as though they were. Encouragement is enabling. Discouragement’s affect is disabling so as to cause passivity, that people go back to their Tarsus. Encouragement costs our self life and requires; travel, effort, consistency and much faith-love. It requires seeing the invisible New Man in a person – seeing the potential, the treasure of their value and not quitting until we get them to Antioch – their place in the Body of Christ. Let’s find Saul of Tarsus!

by P.Christian Moore (published without copyrights,fully trusting in P.Chris' friendship and Barnabas spirit)

Umid and Gulshoda, serving together in Istanbul

eternal, immortal, invisible

God is eternal, immortal and invisible. I Ti.1:18
Man cannot control time.
He only can measure it and pretend that he is organizing it.
Man cannot stop death.
He only can slow it down in it’s cruel and arrogant triumph.
Man cannot make himself invisible.
He can hide and change his appearance,
amid his endless efforts he hasn’t been able to
make himself invisible.
These three attributes belong exclusively to God.
Jesus boldly demonstrated his deity by showing that
time is not controlling him.
“Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58
He shocked the disciples with his sudden appearances and
“Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst,
and said, ” Peace to you !” John 20:26
The greatest evidence of his deity is his resurrection.
Death could not hold him.
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” I Cor.15:54
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
I Cor.15:57-58

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

clouds come and go

same sky, different clouds

“Don’t watch the sun, observe the wind”,
was the advice I was given after moving to
Baku .
Ever since those days all kinds of winds have
blown in my life. They have left their marks
and their colors in my soul.
The ancient truth still stands,
“There is nothing new under the sun.”
It’s the same sky for all of us,
just the clouds vary from day to day.
Like a blind photographer I have viewed the
invisible, those things that cannot be
manipulated nor controlled my man,
the life beyond the clouds.
As someone said, “The tragedy in life is not
what we suffer, but what we miss.”
Don’t miss Eternity.
It will remain after all winds have blown and
the sun has been removed.
Everything else falls short when compared
with it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

v etom gorode


Many seemingly impressive success stories have
been found to be frauds. Borrowed money painted
a beautiful picture that kept hanging up there till
the bill arrived.
That’s what I used to say after the fall of the Soviet Union.
All the seventy years they kept arrogantly putting stuff
under the carpet. When you do that for a long time you
will sooner or later have to face the ceiling. The bill came.
Life’s success is not in how much you can get and achieve,
but in how much you can lay down and give.
The more you give, the more you’ll have.
“Give, and it will be given to you,” is the advice of the
giver of life in Luke 6:38.
This is one of the most fascinating principles in spiritual life.
Loose your life and you will find it!
Die and you shall live!
Forgive and you will win!
Serve and you will rule!
The world doesn’t need more heroes.
The world needs servants.
“Christ did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to GIVE His life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:28
Isn’t that what Christianity is on it’s best,
Christ likeness?