Grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus!
What a wonderful Scripture John 16:33 is"¦ so full of victory, comfort, beauty, and encouragement! Jesus said that in the world, we have trouble; this Greek word can also be translated as "˜affliction, suffering, distress, hard circumstances.’ It’s a simple truth perhaps, but one which we must keep in mind "“ there is suffering, trouble, hard circumstances, and distress in this world. Even as believers, we too shall have difficulties in life. But let us not just stop there! Jesus went on to say that we can take courage. And He not only said we can take courage "“ the Greek verb form is imperative, meaning that Jesus is speaking forth a command: Take courage! Yes, brothers and sisters, though we have affliction in this world, we must indeed take courage (another possible translation is "˜Cheer up!’) "“ for Jesus has overcome the world. Hallelu-Yah! Two interesting things about His last statement here: "˜overcome’ can also be translated as "˜conquered.’ Jesus conquered the world, a feat which countless rulers and others have tried "“ in vain - to accomplish, despite their huge armies and weapons of death. But Jesus did so, and He did so without even firing a shot. And the second thing is this: the Greek wording shows emphasis that Jesus overcame the world. We can thus also translate His sentence as, I have overcome the world. Brothers and sisters, Jesus has conquered the world, and has overcome! Do you want victory in your life "“ do you want to overcome? Then be found in The Risen Messiah, The One Who Has Conquered the world. "Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5, NASB)
Many of you may have been wondering what I’ve been up to as of late, since "“ due to both procrastination as well as genuine busyness "“ I haven’t sent an update in what seems like forever. (Although that may have been a nice break for some, too, because I know I can write quite a bit!) Well, The Lord has opened up several doors of ministry here in Pittsburgh, for which I thank and praise Him. Here are some of the current things He has blessed me to be involved with; I don’t want this to send like a brag sheet or one of those "˜See-why-our-family-is-better-than-yours-is’ Christmas newsletters, so I’ll keep this short. Above all, I’d like to give the glory to Yah for all these things, and to ask you for your prayers regarding:
Sunday Night Bible Reading at our fellowship (Calvary Chapel Pittsburgh)
Friday afternoon Bible English class for refugees here in our city
Friday evening Bible Study
Biweekly Teenage Bible Study, Saturday evenings
Monthly mercy ministry to refugees
Working on music with my brother in The Lord, Dan, for a future CD project
And writing solo music, still under the "˜Truth Proclamation’ title, preparing to record a blitz of music over this summer, God willing.
For the Truth Proclamation music especially I would ask for your prayers; The Lord "“ to His praise and glory - has blessed me to have written quite a number of songs, and I’m tired of having them just sit around here and do nothing when I believe He can use them to bring glory to His Name, introduce Himself to the lost, and encourage the remnant that remains. I’m hoping to take a good bit of time off from work over the summer so as to focus more on recording, and all the songs will be freely available to listen to, download, and burn from my website; lyrics will also be available. Admittedly, the music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but my goal and desire is to get the message out to both the lost as well as the found. There’s no need for me to sit here and type about all the bad things going on here in America"¦ there’s no doubt that the only solution for America is Jesus Christ"¦ revival within the church, and repentance among the lost. And by the grace of God, I’m asking Him for the privilege of using music as the vehicle to bring this truth to the people. Please keep me and this project in your prayers! You can check out the Truth Proclamation project, including songs, lyrics, and Bible study notes, atÃ‚Â http://www.truthproclamation.org
In Beslan news, I somewhat recently called a few friends from there "“ Madina, and Mairbek - both of whom you may recall from past ministry reports. (Madina, a college student, lost her 10-year-old brother in the terrorist attack. Mairbek, a young boy who himself survived the attack, lost his mother there.) It was so wonderful to talk with them again and hear them laugh! I encourage and implore you: please remember the people of Beslan and pray for them. Mairbek’s birthday is coming up soon (May 21st), and I believe he’ll be turning 13. If any of you would like to send him a card or gift, please let me know.
Jesus never fails,
Give thanks to YHWH, for He Is Good. His lovingkindness is everlasting!