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Grace upon Grace … (May 2017 Update)

John 1:16 says, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” This is a difficult passage to translate.  It literally means something like “grace in place of grace.”  It emphasizes one grace coming in succession after another.  The idea is that through Jesus, we receive grace after grace after grace.  In other words, an endless supply of grace!  I like to translate this as “grace piled upon grace!”

In a sermon on this passage, John Piper hits the nail on the head in his exposition: “He could have said we received “truth upon truth.” But he said, “grace upon grace.” In fact, after this verse the word grace will never turn up again in this Gospel, but the word truth or true or truly will occur 55 times. In other words, there is no minimizing of “truth” in this Gospel. Truth is the way grace works: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). But here, at the outset, the emphasis falls on grace.”

We can never minimize the importance of truth in the gospel.  Without truth, we have no gospel.  Without truth, we have no confidence in that gospel.  But without grace, we miss the whole point of the gospel.  It is good news, not simply because it is truth but because it is grace – grace piled upon grace!  That’s what we have in Jesus!

Last month (April), I had a break from teaching but not from working.  I spent the entire month working on the house, building furniture and moving us into our new house.  As we watched the building process week by week this last year, we were continually reminded of God’s grace upon grace for us.  Now that we are living here, we can see His grace piled upon grace. This month, we will tell you more about our new home, but first a few ministry updates … (more…)

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It Won’t Be Long! … (April 2017 Update)

For some reason, a number of Andre Crouch songs have been floating around in my head this month.  My favorite is “Jesus is the Answer”.  I love the words and the melody.  “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him there’s no other, ‘cause Jesus is the way. That song expresses why we are doing this work and this ministry.  There is no other answer for the people of the world today! Another song has also captured my mind – “It Won’t Be Long.”  In the process of building a house and even doing ministry in Ukraine, it is a good reminder of where our focus needs to be: “It won’t be long, till we’ll be leaving here….”  (more…)

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Just around the Corner! … (March 2017 Update)

A lot of things are happening for us this this month and next so we have a lot coming “around the corner.  We have ministry opportunities with English clubs and also with teaching at KTS.  Additionally, we are trying to get everything ready for moving into our house, hopefully at the beginning of April.  So we have a lot coming around the corner this month.  (more…)

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside! … (February 2017 Update)

Yes, I’m still fixed on Christmas songs!  It takes a while for me to get Christmas out of my system.  But it really is cold outside!  Last week, we returned from the warm weather of Arkansas to the arctic cold of Ukraine.  At times, we have had temperature down to -18 C (0 F) and it really is cold.  But fortunately, we have a warm home to stay in when the temperatures drop like this.  We also faced more than just the challenge of the weather when we returned – most of all, lots to do and very little time to do it.



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Exceedingly, Abundantly … (January 2017 Update)

As I look back on 2016, Ephesians 3:21 constantly comes to mind: “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”  What stands out to me is that God has repeatedly blessed us with far more than we ever thought possible in all areas of our lives this past year!  And for that, we are exceedingly grateful! (more…)

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Redeeming the Time … (November 2016 Update)

“Time is man’s opportunity to accomplish the work for which he is living.” So says Richard Baxter in his A Christian Directory.  Through the years, people have often asked me what I needed the most prayer for and I have often responded, “time.”  Time goes by so quickly and there is so much to be done for the Lord.  We need to “redeem the time” so that we can do the most for the Kingdom while we are here.

Time is my greatest need this month too!  Or at least the wisdom to use the time wisely that the Lord gives me.  November will be my busiest month this year with teaching 3 classes, getting ready to return to the states for Christmas, and trying to get everything arranged and set up for the workers so work can continue on the house while we are gone. (more…)

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This past month, I began my 21st year teaching in Ukraine!  It is still difficult to believe that I have been teaching here this long.  But in September, as classes resumed, I realized that we still have much ministry ahead.  Here are some of the ministry opportunities we have coming up. (more…)

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