Pittsburgh Mission Update 6 - March 31, 2010
Enoch walked with God"¦
i recently listened to a wonderful message from Pastor Eric Britt (Calvary Chapel Modesto) and was greatly blessed by it; you can listen, download, and/or watch it at: http://www.ccmodesto.com/audio/sundaymorning.php Find the message entitled "˜Walking With God,' the one given on January 1 "“ you will be blessed indeed! Eric spoke on what it means to walk with God, and that's such a beautiful concept"¦ to walk with our Creator. So many times, even as believers, we look at this person or that person "“ at this career or that career "“ and think, "˜i wanna' be like them,' or, "˜i wanna' have that job.' We can too easily get caught up in all the temporary things around us: the culture, the fashion, impressing this person or that person, and so on. And i'm guilty of doing the same. But The Lord blessed me with Eric's message and He reminded me of what is truly important and valuable in this life"¦ and that is this - to walk with God. Not much is told about Enoch in The Bible, but we have a little more info on him as we open up to Hebrews 11. It says that Enoch was pleasing to God (v.5) "“ oh, that the same might be said about us! That is the true meaning of life: to walk with The Lord, to be in close and intimate fellowship with Him, and to please Him. So often we throw all our time into our work, or our hobby, or some goal in life"¦ but are we doing that at the expense of spending time with Jesus? If so, then there's a problem. Think of it this way: how many people invest hours and hours and hours into trying to get in shape physically "“ that is, to try and preserve a body that might live to be 70 or 80 or whatever "“ but tragically, not invest much time, heart, honesty, or love into their spiritual life "“ the life which will, in one of two locations, live FOREVER? My goal in life is not to be to get this job, or that position, or to find "˜the right one,' or whatever. Those things are fine and good in their proper place. But the goal of my life ought to be this: to walk with God "“ to please God. And the issue is not simply, do others think i walk with God? The issue is this "“ does GOD think i walk with Him? Everything else is loss. How i want to stand before Him and have Him say something like the following: "˜My child, you walked faithfully with Me on earth, though you never saw Me. And now - seeing My Face - let's walk together for all eternity.'
Grace and peace to you, family! God's word is so very true when it says that The Lord's joy is our strength. As many have pointed out in the past, there is a difference between happiness and joy; joy is that which abides, and is that which we can have even in the midst of life's darkest moments because we know that our Redeemer lives. We are happy and then quickly unhappy depending on what is going on around us, but joy "“ true and abiding joy "“ comes only from The Lord. And His joy is our strength. It's the honest people in life who admit they are weak, though many like to think they possess some sort of inner strength which cannot be shaken. But for those who look at themselves honestly, we realize that we are weak indeed; but yet, the joy of The Lord is our strength. No matter what does or doesn't happen today or in the future, i can still live with true joy within; for by God's faithfulness, He has promised eternal life and forgiveness of sins to all who believe in His Son. And it doesn't stop there! He also lavishes grace upon us in this life, as well as fills our hearts with peace which no one can take away. And even more, Ephesians 2:7 says that in the ages to come, God will show the surpassing riches of His grace, in kindness toward us in The Messiah Jesus. Amazing!
God's kindness leads us to repentanceÃ‚Â Ã‚Â Romans 2:4
Grace and peace, family!
As many of you may recall, it was January of 2008 when I was denied entrance into Russia while at the airport in Moscow. Much has taken place since then, and over the past several months I've been contemplating and thinking over many things. Though it's taken two years (hey, I'm a slow learner at times!), I feel that God has placed it on my heart to begin stepping out more in missions "“ but this time, here in my own country, state, city, culture, and language. God "“ all to His glory and praise "“ has opened numerous doors of ministry here; and after seeing Him allow the door into Russia to shut, as well as not provide for another opportunity I had pursued, it seems abundantly clear that the place where He wants me for this season is right here in Pittsburgh. And in all honesty, I have great peace and contentment in this field in which He has placed me. I'm still "tent-making" here by tutoring English to foreign students, but have been feeling more and more lead to begin stepping out more in missions "“ only this time, right here in my own "˜Jerusalem.' Lord willing, I will be sending more frequent updates about the ministry here "“ if any of you would no longer like to receive these updates, or if you have other family and friends who would like to start receiving them, please just let me know.
Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus our Lord, and Happy New Year! May this new year be one in which we draw nearer to our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ, for He Is coming soon!
i just wanted to send a short update on what The Lord is blessing me to share in, as i know it's been quite sometime since the last ministry update. To His great praise, He has opened several doors of service, and so i would ask you for your prayers as i serve Him.
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
In the world, you have trouble. But take courage! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that
He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6, NASB )
Faith: something we exercise at every given time of life. I'm typing this in faith... i really cannot prove 100% that this computer will accurately save what i've written, or that the email will make it to you without fail. When i visited families this week, i had faith that the food they served wasn't laced with rat poison or any other harmful substance " “ though of course, i didn't pull out any sort of chemistry set to test the food so i could be sure. And i had faith that the food i ate would nourish and sustain my body, although i couldn't explain how my body knows how to properly break everything down and send the vitamins to the right places. Put simply, everything you do n life is done in faith. You have faith that the chair you may be sitting in at this very moment is capable of holding you up, though you probably didn't first take measurements and such before sitting in it so you could be guaranteed " “ you simply excercized faith. And so we are to trust The Lord and believe in His Character; we don't need to know all the answers " “ we just need to know Him. Come to the Lord, believing He really does exist, and that He rewards everybody who seeks Him. Though my life is far from perfect, i can testify with all my heart to the truth of that verse (not as though God needs me testimony to validate His Word!). Seek The Lord, and He will reward you " “ without fail. Let us seek His Face!
"serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the L ORD searches all hearts,
and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him;
but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever." (1 Chronicles 28:9, NASB )
'If' is a very small - yet extremely important - word.
As Scripture teaches, any one of us can find God... if we will seek Him.
Shalom all " “ He has risen!
He has risen indeed!
To God's glory and praise, He granted me the visa we were praying for! Thank you soooo much for all of your prayers. I"m very excited to return to Bsln, and judging from two calls I recently made to that town, many there are too!
September 3rd, 2004 " “ Four years ago to this very day, the three-day Beslan hostage crisis finally came to an "end." An end to their captivity" ¦ an end to their thirst" ¦ and for more than 330 and of them " “ an end to their very lives. Shortly after 1PM on September 3rd, 2004, two explosions rocked the gym and brought on the storm by the Russian forces. As previously mentioned, there is great controversy regarding who is responsible for the initial two explosions which preceded the storm. But in having lived there in Beslan for about a year and a half, having talked with the families there, and having read several articles and lots of information regarding this issue, it appears very likely that those two explosions were not caused by the terrorists. And I would say that the vast majority in Beslan is " “ to say the least " “ highly critical of the Russian government"s actions and post-siege explanations. First off, they saw Russia"s response to the theater which was seized by Chechnyan terrorists in Moscow several years back; Russia pumped in gas so as to render the terrorists unconscious, but they wound up using deadly amounts, and most of the hostages died as a result of the gas, not from the terrorists. The following site has the official list of the hostages who died as a result of that terrorist attack; 5 people were killed by the terrorists, but 125 died as a result of the Russian Special Forces" gas!
Peace I leave with you " “ My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do
I give unto you. Don"t let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.Ã‚ (John 14:27, NASB)
What a rich, rich blessing we have in Jesus Christ! Jesus gives us His peace, a peace so unlike the false " ˜peace" that this world endlessly pursues. And so we shouldn"t let our hearts be troubled, nor should we let our hearts be fearful. If you"re reading this right now and you have burdens, worries, stress, and pressure weighing heavily upon you, take a deep breath, and open up to John 14:27 and let His word minister to your soul. Actually, I recommend reading all the way through chapters 14-16" ¦ these chapters have so very many precious truths contained in them! If we read them with a heart open to His Voice, it is virtually impossible to close The Bible and not feel way better than we did before. Jesus" words are so beautiful indeed!