Friday, July 31, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 31 July 2009

Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” (John 19:5)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the exhilarating gift of life that flows through our bodies because of your ingenious creative power and watchful care. As we stand from far off and behold our suffering Savior, standing innocently before a malicious mob, help us to recall all the indignities that he suffered in order to make it possible for us to stand innocent on Judgment Day. Give us courage and wisdom so that we will reject the evil path and obediently follow Christ as Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photos: Yesterday morning we finally settled on an apartment to rent for a year. We have discovered a short cut that reduces our walk from the church meeting place to the area where we will live. Now, it only takes us 20 minutes if we don't stop and shop for some fresh fruits. That is hard not to do! We met a real nice couple that recently purchased the apartment across the corridor when it came up for sale. They just spent some money putting in new flooring and wallpaper and a few other improvements. We will not have to be concerned about getting enough exercise since the flat is on the fourth floor. This is an older building in the center of the city which means no lifts - other than the ones God gave us. After we completed our transaction using a real estate agent who specializes in renting apartments, we were concerned that our young friend Sasha was waiting to take us to meet his Mom who makes and sells salads in the market. We decided that the market was directly on the way back to the "church", so we just stopped and found her table where she had been standing all day selling her Korean salads. We already learned to love this from Magadan. She explained that the product in Magadan is closer to Korea and is more spicy. She toned her's down for the local Ukrainian palate. Nevertheless, it still has that unique and tasty Korean spice. Nadya, this mother quizzed us very thoroughly on just who we were and what we are teaching her boy. She laughed when she told how Sasha came home all excited about his new American friends. She said she thought, "Oh no, who has he met now!" After our visit, she promised that she will try to be at our worship services on Sunday. She expressed this before we had even gotten around to inviting her. When we came back to our office, there was a mob of kids milling around outside the door. We had to pay them some attention, but we had so many other details to take care of that we could not allow them to stay for the study. They were begging to start the class several hours earlier. They told us they were hanging around the courtyard area of the apartment complex where the church meets on the ground floor. They said they were counting the minutes until time to start the class. Since our pro basketball player Tyrelle, is not here to chauffeur us around, we hired a taxi and went to the big Metro market and purchased some things we need for our children's class. Fourteen children ran to us from the courtyard when we pulled up and we could keep them at bay no longer. We had a great Bible study with them about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Viktor and Oxana will be with us on Monday - God willing and we will definitely appreciate their help. At 6.30, we had our usual group that come for the evening Gospel preaching services. We have not yet even had time to put out any advertisements. This morning we will be busy with moving out of the hotel by taxi. We will not miss much about the hotel, mostly the AC and the elevator. It doesn't take much to spoil us. Thank you for the many prayers and expressions of love!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 29 July 2009

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

Glorious and Powerful God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you from the depths of our heart for all that we receive from your vast treasures on this new day. We are indebted to ordinary men such as the apostles chosen by our Lord, to learn how to live contentedly in all situations. Give us wisdom and patience as we constantly attempt to live this good life as we wait for the huge surprises in store for the forgiven faithful. In Jesus name, Amen.

Preaching on the first Sunday that we arrived in Nikolaev on this series of labors for Jesus Christ that began on 24 July 2009.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 28 July 2009

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will continually praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

Eternal God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ We lift up our hearts and voices in adoration on this new day even as we ponder over the many uncertainties of this life. Help us to be constantly aware of your abiding presence in our affairs. Give us courage to face up to the greatest opponents of all that is good. Refresh our spirits as we recall that even the darkest hour has a good ending if we will remain strong and not waver in our faith. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: A view from our plane window as we land in Lyubyana, Slovenia - a beautiful city surrounded by many mountains and well kept farms.
Yesterday was a day of making fresh starts in our work. We had many details to take care of. In the morning, we met with people in the building where the church meets and worked out some details on when and where we will be conducting various activities for the next several months. The place where the church meets is on the ground floor of an apartment building. Thanks to Nikolai, we have three rooms that we can use for our various meetings. One is an office where we can do our work and meet with people. There is no Internet connection there, so we must do that in the hotel. We hope to move out of this hotel as soon as we find time to locate an apartment. (Can you imagine the apostle Paul grumbling about not having a wireless hookup for his notebook Well, I sort of can picture him wanting a place to broadcast the Word.) Our schedule that we have already committed to for this week and for however long people keep coming is, Sunday: Bible study - 10.00, Worship - 11.00; Monday - Friday: Children's Bible Hour - 2.00, Gospel preaching with Q & A following - 6.30; Saturday: Children's Bible Hour - 2.00.
Yesterday we had many people coming into the facility after the barber shop closed. Yes, the first room near the door is occupied by a hair salon. The lady that runs it gives haircuts to people who cannot afford to pay regular market prices. We began to realize that many of the people who dropped by were really interested in meeting us and checking us out. We told one "grandmother" about our plans to have a children's class, and about an hour later, we heard a couple of boys rustling around outside the door. We went out and spoke with Vitalik and Stasik and invited them to our classes that we planned to begin next week. In a short while, three more boys appeared - Sasha, Sasha and Pasha along with three girls - Maya, . They are all very excited about our plans to have a Bible class along with some other activities. In fact, they could not wait until next week, so we will begin our sessions today at 2.00. (Galina says, like we don't have anything else to do) Galina overheard the kids talking about how they will even come to our classes in the afternoons when they get home from school in the Fall. They have shifts here and they were talking about how they could take morning shift at school so they could be with us in the afternoon. We will see how all that kid talk works out. In any case, we already have a good group of 9, 10 and 11 year olds to participate in our Bible study program. We told them all to ask their parents permission to attend the Bible classes. One girl answered, "I know it is OK, because we are not doing anything anyway - just riding our bikes and walking around."
Please join us in our prayer that this will lead to many parents coming to our church services!
In the evening yesterday, we started our study at 6.30 and answered questions for several hours. We realized that we had not had time to eat anything since our free breakfast at the hotel, and ate a bite at a small cafe on the way back to the hotel. It was way too late for us and we will try not to repeat that tonight - unless the questions keep coming.
Viktor Semikoz and his wife Oksana, along with their two sons, are supposed to arrive next Monday and help us with the children's activities. Viktor will also be doing some preaching and teaching. He preaches at the church in Svyatogorsk, and teaches some classes at the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Gorlovka. We will be very happy for the help of this talented couple and their boys, for all of next week and possibly we can convince them to stay a little longer.
We sent out an urgent appeal to Olga in Magadan to use some of her vacation time and come here and help us with all the kids. She is incredibly gifted to teach Bible stories, children songs and do crafts, etc. We hope something can work out for her to be with us for a couple of weeks. She is also good at teaching women's Bible studies.
Anatoly our dear friend and co-worker, labors for the Lord in the Udmurtia region of Russia. He does much good work among the orphan homes there and in the public schools. He asked me yesterday by e-mail what can he do to help us here in Nikolaev.
It was not my intention to write a book this morning, but the exhilaration sweeps over us as we think and talk about the great prospects for the Lord's church here in the city of Nikolaev.
We hope that our dear brother and friend Nikolai will be back home from a business trip next week. Even when he is not here, he is on the phone taking with us and offering encouragement. Thanks to all of you for the prayers and kind words of encouragement!

Monday, July 27, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 26 July 2009

He is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of our purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:14)

Most Kind and Loving God, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that sparkles with blessings and opportunities that fall upon us like a soft and abundant rain. Help people around the world who have a keen understanding of all types of financial instruments, and yet cannot grasp the greatness of our eternal salvation that was purchased in full by Christ along with the indwelling presence of your Holy Spirit to all who will hear, believe and obey the Truth. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday morning worship in Nikolaev - 26 July 2009. We later had lunch together with these young men who are studying to be merchant marine officers. Today we begin our search for an apartment and make arrangements for some advertising of our various meetings that will include classes during the day for the many children in the neighborhood where the church meets. We begin our daily evangelistic meetings tonight at 6.30. We are hopeful that some who live nearby will see our activity and come in.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 26 July 2009 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14 NIV)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the exhilarating gift of life on this new Lord's Day that brings new challenges and blessings. Give us the necessary wisdom we need as we study your perfect Word, so that we will be able to properly present the truth to those whom we encounter. Help us to show proper love and respect for the Lord Jesus Christ who rules over the kingdom - his church that he purchased with the blood he shed on the cross. Give us strength to do everything we can while we have life to expand this great and wonderful kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Galina will punish me for displaying this picture, but it shows how exhausted and travel worn we were upon our arrival in Nikolaev, Saturday morning. A caption for this picture might read, "This is the last time I am lugging all these bags around the world!" On the overnight bus ride from Kiev, we were awakened suddenly by water pouring on top of Galina's head and all over her new bag she had recently purchased at her favorite Ross's. We were at the back of the bus where the A/C is located and the condensation built up and had no place else to go. At the bus station in Nikolaev, we had to negotiate a while with some people to use their car to take us to our temporary home - the same hotel where we stayed in May. We plan to be there until we find an apartment that we can rent. We hope to begin this process on Monday. After we got to the hotel, we collapsed for a few hours, then we had to venture out to the city and see how things were without us. We went down to the place where the church met before and everything was just as we left it. Then we walked around town for a while seeing who we might encounter. The temperature was sizzling somewhere in the high 90's with high humidity, so we began to quickly lose our energy and headed back to the hotel. Later at night, our dear friend and brother Nikolai, who invited us returned our call. He is out of town on business, so we spoke about our arrangements for a place to meet and conduct our evangelistic activities. He agreed that we can stay in the same place where we were the last time. This was such good news! We do not have to look for a place for the church to meet since this has a good place for worship and a separate room for conducting children's Bible studies. Around midnight last night, we decided to go and send out the WORD message that I had prepared while we were in Kiev, but had no opportunity to send it. Just as we got a place set up in the hotel lobby which is the only place where we have a wireless connection, we received a very nice surprise phone from our brother and friend Charles Campbell of the Dalraida congregation. Tomorrow, I will be sort of back on schedule and get up early in the morning and send out the WORD.
Today as we prepared for worship, we had the Lord's Table set up with our new communion trays that were donated by the Dalraida church. We looked out the window and saw not only Afolabi and Akinrinde, but they were coming with three of their friends from their maritime university. So, we had seven for worship and one lady who just wanted to listen in the hallway from outside the door. We later had a nice visit with Nina who lives upstairs in the same building where the church meets. We then took all five of these students from Nigeria to have lunch together and restore our friendship and become acquainted with the new men. They are all very bright and eager to learn more about Christ and his church. Some of them promised to be at our nightly Bible study meetings that begin tomorrow evening at 6.30. On the way home today after worship, we spoke on the phone with Viktor and Oksana and their two boys. They plan to arrive next week on Monday and stay for at least one week in helping us conduct our children's Bible study. Viktor preaches at the church in Svyatogorsk and we have known them almost as our children for several years.
Thank you for the many prayers for our travel mercies. We enjoyed God's care and help all the way here and now we rejoice at the way our work begins with big challenges.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 23 July 2009

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this another glorious day because of the knowledge of your abiding presence among your people. Revive our full measure of faith in this message of Good News that contains more revolutionary good than all the systems of world order that are devised by humanity. Grant your travel mercies to those servants who travel across continents, seas, and islands on behalf of our precious Lord who showed us what it means to love one another. In Jesus name, Amen.

October 2008 – We are stranded in a remote area outside of Moscow while we waited to learn if we would be able to catch a flight to Magadan. Sometimes, going means sitting on your bags while someone is working out contracts with financially troubled airlines.
We leave Montgomery in a few hours when our ride to the Atlanta airport picks us up. We are busy with last minute things and praying for a safe journey to Nikolaev, Ukraine and later to Magadan, Russia. We are hopeful that at least one soul in each city will hear, believe and obey the teachings of Christ. Thank you for the many prayers and words of encouragement.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 22 July 2009

With complete humility and gentleness, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2)

Glorious and Mighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for granting us life along with provisions on this another day. As we study and obey the teachings of Christ, give us wisdom so that we will be filled with your Spirit of peace and proceed to do everything possible to ensure unity among those who follow Christ as Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Magadan Christians having tea with a few visitors following one evening of preaching in Magadan 2008. After our work with the new church planting in Nikolaev, we plan to be in Magadan toward the end of October. A group of three brothers from the Northern Lights Church of Christ in Fairbanks, Alaska has been in Magadan for about 2 weeks and have brought much encouragement to the congregation, especially the young people. This church in Fairbanks has been unwavering in their support of the work in Magadan through their regular help with the rent for the meeting place. It has been several years since anyone was there from Fairbanks, and we hope they will be able to return more frequently. We pray for their safety as they make that long journey home.

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 21 July 2009

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:24-26 NIV)
Almighty God, our Most Kind Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the joy and comfort we experience on this new day as we do our best to walk in the steps of Christ our Savior. Help us to follow the example of Christ and go out of the way and speak to people who are hungry for knowledge of salvation. Encourage those who are new in the faith to do as this woman did, and tell others the truth and win them to our Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: November 2008. Magadan, Russia - Stepan went down into the water to be baptized. This young man remains faithful to Christ the Lord as he attends worship services and studies the Bible and tries hard to live the good life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 20 July 2009

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3 ESV)

Most Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for showering us with blessings and challenges again on this new day. Help us to communicate to all people of the world the plain teaching about baptism that we find in the scripture. Give those who teach the Word the courage and wisdom not to tamper with the words of Christ and his apostles. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: On one of my first visits back to Magadan, Russia in 2006 when I was first allowed to get a visa. I went without Galina because we did not know for sure if I would be allowed to enter Russia after those 6 years of being denied a visa. It was a time of great joy for myself and the church to get to be together and study the Word. I was handicapped without my best helper, but somehow stumbled along and we had several baptisms with people that heard the Word. In just three days, we leave for Nikolaev, Ukraine. We will be there until October, and then we go out to Magadan. Your fervent prayers are very valuable to us. Galina is fighting a bad cold and we are hoping that this will go away before our flight on Thursday. Thank you for your constant encouragement for this work that is devoted to souls in Russia and Ukraine. The Russian language is one of the world's great languages and millions of people can now read their Bibles and learn God's will in their native tongue. We must act now while we have time and opportunity.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 19 July 2009

Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him, the help of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

Most Holy and Merciful God, our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new Lord's Day as we recall how wonderful it is to be in the presence of other Christians. Help us to find peace, love, and joy through steadfast obedience to Christ our Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Magadan, Russia. Ivan, joyfully shows off the Russian language web site that he spends much time working on in addition to preaching, teaching and other duties with the church.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 18 July 2009

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:11 NIV)

Almighty God, our Eternal and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for life and pleasant surprises along with the numerous challenges of this new day. Grant us courage and wisdom to do right in every situation. Give us a clean conscience in our innermost being as we strive to live in accordance with your revealed Divine will for all humanity. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: We are deeply grateful for some very pleasant and valuable time spent with family while in the States. Adelaide issues some stern warnings about her brother Daniel with the water gun, while innocent brother William looks on from the distance.

Friday, July 17, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 17 July 2009

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)

Most Holy and Wise God, our Father in Heaven ~ As we consider the wonders of this created world that we have been given for a time, Help us to dig deeper into your inspired word that will lead us to the secret of eternal life - if we will only believe and obey. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: A Saturday morning breakfast at the Dalraida Church of Christ. Men in the congregation, that are my associates in a Tuesday morning Bible study prepared and served me and Galina a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, grits and a few other goodies. They did this to encourage us before we left on our last journey that took us to Nikolaev for the first time. Soon, we leave on another trip to continue what we started in that city of Ukraine.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 15 July 2009 from Manassas

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7 NIV)

Almighty God, our Kind and Holy Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for another day that dawns with superb blessings and even more yet unseen incidences when we will be aware of how much you constantly listen to our pleas. As we study, believe and obey your supreme word, help us to pause in the midst of all the rush and consider that all good things come from your kindness. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Misha reads a poem he wrote about God's love to the church following the morning worship. He and his younger brother Ilya are growing up in the church at Magadan, Russia.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 14 July 2009

And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Most Holy God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the gift of life on another exceptional day. Help us to be patient, kind and quick to forgive others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Victor, DB, Tyrelle, Moses. May 2009. A Bible study group one evening in Nikolaev, Ukraine. Our plans are to be back in Nikolaev July 26 - God willing. We have tickets and other necessary documents. There is much work to do to reach out to the Ukrainian people to hear and believe the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 13 July 2009

While he was still speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and a voice from the cloud, which said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, listen to him." (Matthew 17:5)

Almighty God, our Righteous and Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the radiant splendor of this new day and the opportunity to realize how blessed we are to be your children. Help us to faithfully follow our Prophet, Priest and King - the Lord Jesus Christ whom you have appointed over us. Grant us wisdom as we study and obey your infallible word. Help us not to be deceived by the many past and present false prophets who attempt to persuade people to follow them. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Kiev, Ukraine in April when we arrived on the last trip that led us to Nikolaev - thanks to a suggestion from Sergey at the Obolon Church of Christ. Soon, we plan to return to Ukraine to continue the work at Nikolaev that we started in May. We pray for more workers to join us in this great effort to plant a new congregation in that great city near the Black Sea.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 12 July 2009

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all rulers of the earth, young men and maidens; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:11-13)

All Glorious and Excellent God, our Heavenly Father ~ Bless all believers on this new Lord's Day who gather in pleasant communion to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Christ our Lord. Help the leaders of all the nations to be humble before your mighty presence and to acknowledge your purpose for all mankind. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Before we left for Ukraine in April, we enjoyed some family time. Here we are waiting on our famous Chris's hot dogs in Montgomery.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 11 July 2009

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

All Powerful and Merciful God, our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the dawn of a new day and the mysterious gift of life that we see pulsing from every direction we look. This is no dead planet because it was your purpose to place life here! Strengthen us as we follow Christ especially during times that we feel like we are the only people that must experience certain temptations. Help us to choose the good path that you provide out of each temptation. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Galina with Vitaly and Ivan. She made several trips to Magadan during those six years that I could not visit Russia. She provided much encouragement to the church by her presence and wise counsel. Now we are in the final stages of our preparation for our upcoming trip that will include visits with our brothers and sisters as well as teaching the Gospel to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Friday, July 10, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 10 July 2009

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life through his name. (John 20:30-31)

Most Awesome, Righteous, and Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day that sparkles with the bounty of your blessings and challenges. Help us to widely promote the reading and study of the trustworthy Bible; the written Word handed down to us through your providential care. Give us stronger faith in its promises and warnings so that we will not be lost. Be with us as we help other people to become acquainted with its wonderful words of eternal life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: A couple enjoys a chariot ride through the historic district of Nikolaev, Ukraine. We finalize our new trip plans today. We plan to leave on 23 July with the desire and plan to be in Nikolaev, Inta, and Magadan and back to Nikolaev before returning on 19 January.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 09 July 2009

The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty to save, he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Almighty God, our Eternal, Strong and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for granting us another day here upon this earth that you created for us to inhabit and rule over. Help us to realize the full extent or your loving care over all your creatures. You know when the tiniest sparrow falls, and you know our routine struggles. Grant us your wisdom and strength as we resolve to follow our Lord Jesus Christ more completely. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: One spring day in Nikolaev, Ukraine near the center of the city. We were walking around the town meeting new people and learning our way around. We plan to be there soon to resume our work of planting a new church of Christ. We have almost completed our arrangements for visiting Ukraine and Russia.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 08 July 2009

But God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity on the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:7)

Most Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the breath of life and the opportunity to acknowledge your Sovereignty over all creation on this new day. We are deeply grateful for the good example of Joseph who did not lose hope in your ability to save him and his people from any calamity. Help us to trust in Christ our Lord with a farsighted view of your good and perfect will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Nikolaev, Ukraine. May 1, 2009 many people enjoy the spring day walking along Sovietskaya Boulevard that is closed to automobile traffic. Galina and I worked on the busy streets each day passing out advertisements to our nightly meetings.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 07 July 2009

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the wondrous gift of life that springs from your loving heart. Give us some measure of the blessings of your One and Only Son as we endeavor to walk in the Way that He laid out for us. We are almost overwhelmed by your love that was shown on the Cross when the Son became our sacrificial Lamb. Our sins are so many that we feel inadequate to be in your presence. But, Christ made it possible for us to be adopted as your children and call you - Father. Help us to explain and demonstrate this love to others who are struggling for salvation from sin and eternal life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: January, 2009 - Inta, Russia. Christians gather for worship in the church owned apartment. db, Olga, Natalya, Andre.
Mission update: We have been praying and waiting for Galina's visa to go to Russia. Initially, mine was approved and her application was rejected. We appealed this injustice. Yesterday evening we received an e-mail message that her US Passport is on its way back to us with her Russian visa pasted inside. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Now, we can commence with our mission trip plans. We are tentatively planning to leave the USA on July 22nd bound for Magadan and Inta, Russia. We have the same limitations on our visas as before. Even though we have one-year, multi-entry visas, we are not permitted to remain in the country more than 90 days during each 180 day period. This makes our planning sort of complicated given the great distances that we must travel. However, we have done it before and know that our Lord Jesus Christ is will be with us all the way. Thank you for the many prayers!

David Binkley, Sr., evangelistRUSSIA UKRAINE GOSPEL MISSION

Sponsoring church:DALRAIDA CHURCH OF CHRIST3740 Atlanta Highway P.O. Box 3085Montgomery, AL 36109

Monday, July 6, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 06 July 2009

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for our very existence on this new day that arrives with all the help we need from your extreme generosity. As we make and implement plans to help spread the Gospel, renew our strength with the recollection that we are never alone. In Jesus name, Amen.

Nikolaev, Ukraine 2009. A group of educators held a reception for us and listened attentively as I answered their questions about New Testament Christianity. This was on a Saturday when they had the day off.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 05 July 2009

Praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
(Psalm 148:1-5 NIV)

Almighty God, our Most Holy and Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this fresh Lord's Day that dawns around the world with numerous blessings and opportunities for Christians to assemble with hearts bursting with praise and adoration. Fill us with your Spirit as we surrender our will to your revealed will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Early one Sunday morning in Cedar Key, Florida - a time of prayer before worship.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - 04 July 2009

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34 NIV)

Most Holy God of our fathers ~ We exalt you and praise you as we lift you to the highest place in our thoughts and deeds. Help the leaders of nations and the people feel shame instead of honor whenever a nation forgets your perfect law. Restore within your people a love for truth and righteousness. Give us courage and wisdom so that we will talk openly about Christ our Savior and Lord in all countries of this earth. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Magadan, July 2007. Children who are "growing up in the church" pause for chai (tea) following a evening Bible study. Nations can be saved from disgrace when families bring the kids up to love God's word. Let us pray that the children and grandchildren of Christians will learn to love the Lord and have a burning desire to serve Christ.
UPDATE: Yesterday the Post Office worker delivered my Passport that has a new Russian Visa pasted on a blank page! We are very thankful for another one-year, multi-entry religious work visa. Now, we must wait until the 10th of July to know about Galina's visa. This makes it hard for us to proceed with ordering our tickets, but our patience is always tried in these circumstances of preparing for a lengthy mission journey. It is all a miniscule inconvenience when we consider all that our Savior gave up when He left Heaven to come to this sinful world as a sacrifice for our sins. We have such a wonderful salvation because we have a wonderful Savior - Jesus Christ!

Friday, July 3, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - 03 July 2009

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV)

Most Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for blessing us with life on this new day dawning. As we do our best to follow the perfect examples of Christ our Lord, give us strength to stand against all the various forms of evil that may hinder us from accomplishing good things. Protect us by your mighty power so that we may be seen as good servants. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: July 2008. Inta, Russia in the Komi, Republic near the polar circle. Lenin's statue is behind me and the city administration building where we first met to proclaim the Gospel to hundreds of hungry souls in 1992.

We ask for your fervent prayers as we work through the bureaucratic red tape to get our visas so that we will be able to travel to Russia soon. Strange, my visa was approved, but Galina's was initially denied. We are now awaiting for the results of our second attempt. We have been told that we should hear by the 10th of July. We have all documents in order to travel to Ukraine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - 01 July 2009

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world and its desires are passing away, but the man who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Most Holy God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the sparkling gift of life on this new day that dawns with evidence of the vastness of your creation. Help us to love things that are truly good and worthy of our best efforts. Give us wisdom as we study and live in obedience to Christ our King. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: November 2008. Ilya (grandson of Ivan and Nadya) enjoys a tasty banana, a rare treat in Magadan. He and his brother Mikhail rarely miss meetings of the church and often run fast in the cold to be with their beloved church.