Friday, January 29, 2010

Forgiveness takes us deeper.

I was sitting next to a Turkish businessman on the flight to Helsinki.
He got interested in my person after I told him about working
as a pastor in the church in Istanbul.
He asked, ”How do you find the Turks? How is their religious life?”
I responded boldly saying, ”I find them to be very superficial in their
religious beliefs. They have often a strong emotional attachment
to their religious confession, but it’s not intellectual.
They don’t like talking about it too deep.
I say this because you asked.”
He tried to cover up of him being offended and started telling me how
disappointed he was with the Arabs and their ways of praying, “They
know nothing about it. They don’t even know how to wash themselves
before prayer, not to even mention how many times and where they
should pray.”
He went on and on complaining about these uneducated Muslim brothers.
I responded to him saying, ”I don’t really care at all about that stuff.
I’m not a religious person, but I love God.
It means nothing to me, how many times people
pray and where. It’s interesting that the Bible doesn’t actually tell us
how many times we should pray , but the Bible tells us how many times
we should forgive. This is Christianity. It’s all about the power of forgiveness.
It’s not about me praying more or better than my brother. It’s about
me forgiving more.”
We landed in Finland.
My snowy homeland looked like a fairy-tale from the air.
My new Turkish friend was fascinated by the exotic view.
Before we departed, he gave his business card to me and said,
“Please, visit me in Ankara.”

God makes all things beautiful in His time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Urgent prayer request from Samarkand!

Dear friends! Something very bad happened, so, please, pray for our
church intensively and for the situation that is happening around.
Several days ago we were informed that KGB was collecting data and
inquiring after several families from our church. We asked for pastor's
advice and decided to cancell our Wednesday meeting and
changed the time of our Sunday meeting.
So this morning we didn't have our
meeting but we had our youth meeting visited by 12(!) KGB
people. They took Pasha who is out Youth ministry leader and EVERY
other child to the Police. There were 13 years old teens. They kept
them for 5 hours there. Later we found out (we have a friend working
in the Police)that they knew where we gather and those flats were under

We have two places for gathering. They were waiting for us to gather
in the morning but we didn't come, they kept waiting and trapped our
youth. They made them to write an explanatory letter.
So we might have guests
Pray also about this, please.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What about those who have never heard?

easy come, easy go

Slow living is a reaction against the stressful tempo
of modern life.
People try to avoid supermarkets and everything that
has been artificially speeded up in order to take time
to grow their own carrots.
As spiritual people we also believe in slow living.
We are learning to “rest in the Lord” and not to
“strive in the flesh”.
It is a strange thing if someone burns out in doing the
work of God. I t looks like they actually tried to do
the work of GOD and collapsed.
There’s always a danger that the supermarket mentality
deceives us also to look for fast, impressive and
just easy results in the church. Easy come, easy go.
God took his time in creating the world.
He took time to appreciate his own creation.
Jesus took his time. In responding to the Pharisees
who warned him about Herod’s plans to kill him he said,
“Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform
cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be
perfected.” Luke 13:32
He was not in Herod’s program. He was in the will of God.
The kingdom of darkness, the cosmos, wants our blind
submission. We seek first the Kingdom of God.
With fast living people loose their sense of holiness.
Holiness cannot not be called fast.
The same happens with genuine friendships.
They take time. You cannot be faithful fast.
It takes time to love. Wisdom cannot be attained fast.
Satan knows that his time is short. Revelation12:12
He wants to paint a picture of us missing something
if we start to think. His fast track is considered to be the
only reasonable life-style. We say, ”no”.
We are busy in resting in Him.

Istanbul view

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We are not the only ones who are reaching the ends of the earth.In the picture a Soviet truck and Coca-Cola in a remote area of Turkmenistan.

power to follow

It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the death.
Romans 8:11
God wants us to cheat less and depend on Him more.
His divine “dunamis” (ability, capability) has given
us all that we need for godly living in this dark world.
II Pet.1:3
When he sent his disciples he promised that this “dunamis”
would enable them to go to the ends of the earth to
preach the Gospel. It’s God’s supernatural power
exposing the supernatural blindness that keeps people in darkness.
This is the power that can be revealed through our weakness.
II Cor.12:9
It’s God himself manifested in the flesh.
Jesus also gave his followers “exhousia” (authority, permission)
to be called his children. John 1:12
His power is available to all those who believe,
not for us to use, but for us to be used by it.
God became man.
He didn’t just sent a book or a brochure. John 1:14
God doesn’t expect us to be angels or super humans,
but people who follow with Him in His footsteps.
His footprints are not in the clouds.
They are in the dust of our planet.
He walks today in Haiti. He reaches the most remote mountains
of Afghanistan.He is not lost in New York city.
He is in us and He is not quiet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"for in Him we live and move and have our being..." Acts 17:28

angry ?

Have you ever been so angry at yourself that you have
enough negative emotions to be angry at the rest of the world,
your relatives, neighbors, government, church, yes, even God?
You cannot really blame anyone else.
That adds to the frustration.
You are just not happy with yourself.
What to do?
To me it’s a clear signal that my need for grace has not ended.
God’s plan seems to consistently bring us to this place of helplessness.
It’s understandable that we cannot stop the earth from spinning.
It should be as obvious that we cannot perfectly conquer our fallen nature.
We cannot fellowship with God outside of grace.
Every attempt to reach Him without grace, even for a moment,
will end up with a useless manmade religion and superficiality.
We cannot live happily in any country , in any circumstances without
this revelation of grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect
in weakness.” II Cor.12:10
I’m sure God knows what he is talking about. Do we?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's the latest?

stubborn faith

The natural man doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t
know what he is doing. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Not so with the spiritual man.
Man who is born again is given a clear identity in Christ.
There’s no reason for him to continue in confusion.
God wants us to go after him.
The queen of Sheba was honored by God because she made an effort
to find God’s wisdom.
We will not grow without our own efforts.
We will not grow without a stubborn faith.
Jacob wrestled with God because he knew
that God had something more to give.
“I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Gen.32:26
Elisha expressed the same kind of faith when he followed Elijah.
He didn’t take no for an answer.
He wanted it all.
Elijah recommended him to stay behind when he left for Betel.
No way, Elisha is not going to miss Betel, nor Jericho, nor Jordan.
He wants it all and after receiving it in full he wants a double portion of it.
That’s stubborn faith. II Kings 2:1-14
Ruth had the same spirit when she refused to return back to Moab.
She knew what she wanted. She followed Naomi all the way. Ruth 1:14-17
These people lived an amazing life because they had seen the glory of God.
Nothing else satisfied them after that.
In I Kings 17:12 we see a sad picture of a life that lacks God’s order,
a life without glory. A widow is gathering sticks for a fire in order
to bake her last loaf of bread and then die.
Outside of God’s plan we have nothing else to do, but to die.
Elijah brings God’s blessing to her life.
What a ministry! What a privilege to show the glory of God to people.
Once people see it their life is no more the same.
They become stubborn in their walk of faith.

We need a pianist!!! Let us know if you know of any who is not afraid to follow the call of God.

Monday, January 11, 2010

trees were made for us!


Answers, are they important?
When personal challenges get overwhelming and
failures persecute us daily, it’s easy to give up.
People get used to living without answers.
Agnosticism is a claim not to be able to find answers.
In reality it just gives man another excuse not to believe
and not to trust God. Disobedience gets justified.
Christianity is not afraid of questions.
Believers are encouraged to get to know God and to know
him more. Asking questions is a clear evidence of a living
and dynamic faith.
In prayer we ask from God. We look for answers.
Isaiah said that in the future there will be a time on earth
when God answers us even before we ask. Is. 65:24
That time has not come , yet.
Yes, he knows what we need and what we ask even before
we pray.
However , he invites us to fellowship with him daily.
In prayer we receive answers.
The purpose of prayer is not to get God to do our will,
but for us to know him.
If you are not ready for your life to change, don’t pray.
We cannot pray to the living God and expect to continue
in our compromised life-style. Is.59:1-2
Prayer is not a one-way street. It’s a light from heaven in
the midst of the worst possible traffic jam on this earth.