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God at Work! (May 2016 Update)

I often get a kick whenever I see the sign “Men at Work.” That’s because, inevitably, there will be one guy working and 5-6 others standing around watching (usually giving advice too!).  I noticed the same here in Ukraine recently – one guy in a manhole and 5-6 others standing around watching him work!  I guess it’s universal!

But God is always at work bringing about His perfect plans in His perfect timing – whether we see Him or not!  This past month, we have been blessed to see many evidences of God at work in our lives and in the lives of many that we ministry to. Continue Reading »

He is Risen, Indeed! (April 2016 Update)

In Ukraine, Easter is still a month away (May 1) because Ukraine follows the Orthodox Easter.  But our friends and families in the US will be celebrating the Resurrection this Sunday! No event in human history compares to the resurrection of Jesus!  When you compare all the other major religions in the world, only Christianity has a resurrected founder.  Only Christianity has a living redeemer!  The resurrection is clearly the most unique event in all of human history!

But it is more than “unique.”  It is also the most significant event in history.  Because, without the resurrection, even the cross of Jesus is meaningless.  Why?  Because the resurrection verifies who Jesus is (Romans 1:4) and proves that He conquered both sin and death.  Let me explain.  When Jesus died on the cross, all our sins were placed on Him.  If He goes into the grave and does not rise from the dead, then He has not paid for our sins in full.  Because death is the penalty for sin.  And if our sins are not paid for in full, Jesus cannot rise from the death because there will still be sins on Him that He did not atone for.  But when he rises from the dead, it is proof that all our sins have been paid in full by the death of Jesus on the cross. And the resurrection proves they are all paid for!  This is why we celebrate the resurrection, not just once a year on Easter, but every Sunday – He is risen indeed! Continue Reading »

March: A Month of Opportunities (March 2016 Update)

As we move into March, we will be having one of our busiest months of the year.  I will be teaching 3 classes this month (I usually teach 1 each month).  So this March will be extra busy for me.  While I am still working on the papers from my February class in Lviv, I will also be preparing to teach 3 classes in March.  It will be a very busy month for me – I’m just hoping that I can find some time at the end of the month to watch some March Madness games J.  Additionally, we are facing some major decisions about our housing (see below) that could be a real blessing for us! Continue Reading »

“Go West, Young Man” (February 2016 Update)

Heading to Lviv …

Those were the words of Horace Greely encouraging young veterans of the American Civil War to go west to find a place where they can be useful.  Many did and it opened the westward expansion of the United States.  Well, I’m not a young man but I’m headed west again to teach in Lviv.  I am excited about the growth of the new seminary there and I am looking forward to teaching there again next week.

Be praying for me as I gather everything I need for the class, finish lecture preparations and try to 2016.02 Lviv class (1)get everything ready here at home so Katya and the kinds will have everything they need while I am gone.  I will be teaching Christology and Soteriology and I have not taught either for over 4 years, so I have some brushing up to do!  I’ll be traveling by train so I have about 5 hours to read and get ready for Monday morning’s class.  Thanks for praying for me as I teach!

Continue Reading »

Looking Backward, Looking Forward (January 2016 Update)

Looking Backward …

As we enter into 2016, we have many things to be thankful for.  Here are just a few (there is not time to list them all). (We have also included a few pictures from the past year too). Continue Reading »

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly?By Jim Elliff

“‘Tis the Season to be jolly?” Well, maybe.

The business of Christmas, that is, the hard and cold commercial trade of the Thanksgiving to Christmas sales win­dow, is a measure of how well America is doing. It’s the thermometer in our corporate mouths.

Needs are created through the media in order to entice the buyer into purchas­ing more this year than last. No one is to be disappointed at Christmas, after all. The manipulation is as blatant to­ward children as adults. And who can bring themselves to crush the psyche of anyone by not giving them all they want?

The end result of all of this is “happiness.” The receivers of the presents are happy and the merchandisers are happy. The media people are happy and the credit card people are happy. Everything is happy during Christmas. Continue Reading »

Room for Jesus?

Charles Spurgeon

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” — Luke 2:7

Have you room for Christ?  Have you room for Christ?  As the palace, and the forum, and the inn, have no room for Christ, and as the places of public resort have none, have you room for Christ?

“Well,” says one, “I have room for him, but I am not worthy that he should come to me.”  Ah! I did not ask about worthiness; have you room for him?  “Oh,” says one, “I have an empty void the world can never fill!”  Ah! I see you have room for him.  “Oh! but the room I have in my heart is so base!”  So was the manger.  “But it is so despicable!”  So was the manger a thing to be despised.  “Ah! but my heart is so foul!”  So, perhaps, the manger may have been.  “Oh! but I feel it is a place not at all fit for Christ!”  Nor was the manger a place fit for him, and yet there was he laid.”  Oh! but I have been such a sinner; I feel as if my heart had been a den of beasts and devils!”  Well, the manger had been a place where beasts had fed.  Have you room for him?  Never mind what the past has been; he can forget and forgive.  It matters not what even the present state may be if thou mourn it.  If thou hast but room for Christ he will come and be thy guest.  Continue Reading »

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