Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 31 March 2010

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:4-5 NIV)

Я прославил Тебя на земле, совершил дело, которое Ты поручил Мне исполнить. И ныне прославь Меня Ты, Отче, у Тебя Самого славою, которую Я имел у Тебя прежде бытия мира. (От Иоанна 17:4-5 Russian)

Я прославив Тебе на землі, довершив Я те діло, що Ти дав Мені виконати. І тепер прослав, Отче, Мене Сам у Себе тією славою, яку в Тебе Я мав, поки світ не постав. (Йоан 17:4-5 Ukrainian)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for granting us the precious breath of life on this new day in which we look forward to experiencing even more tremendous blessings from your grace. Give us a portion of the wisdom of Christ so that we will have the stamina to joyfully complete each task that will bring glory to our Lord and to your astounding power. Help us to take full advantage of the opportunities we may encounter today to sincerely share our faith. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Our brother Nikolai Tkhor arranged for us to go out to a peninsula on the mighty Southern Bug river yesterday to the place where the institute for wayward boys he co-founded many years ago. He and our brother Nikolai Gagarkin made a visit there recently to tell the director about the church and our interest in doing good deeds for this home for delinquent boys. It is difficult to get there, and the taxi driver would not even go across the bridge that takes us out to the large 'island' that is more or less a peninsula. The place offers a different view of Nikolaev than we have seen before. We met with the director and proposed to him that I would teach a class on Becoming People of Good Character using the Bible. At first his reaction was to go into an explanation of separation of church and state and that this plan might not be approved. God was with us in this trip, and later in the meeting he began to see the benefits for the boys, and agreed with enthusiasm. Of course it helped to have our influential Nikolai with us. The director Vladimir called in two of the teachers, and explained our plan, and they embraced in with joyful anticipation. The boys who will be in our first class are ages 14 to 17. Our first session will be this coming Saturday morning at 10.00. The boys in this special school are orphans due to the fact that they are truly orphaned or their parents have been denied parental rights. One boy that we talked with yesterday was very special and talented. His teacher explained that he was from a far away village, not even in the near vicinity of the city of Nikolaev. He was starving and was caught taking food from a shop. Even though he is serving a juvenile offender "sentence", he is better off where he can have food and education for a couple of years. Moreover, I believe it is God's will that we are here at this time to offer some spiritual training and bring the Good News about Jesus Christ to this place. Due to the distance and difficulty of transportation in the remote area, we were a bit late returning for our daily Bible study. But, Lyuda and Stepan were there as usual waiting for us. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 30 March 2010

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Господь--свет мой и спасение мое: кого мне бояться? Господь крепость жизни моей: ко1го мне страшиться? (Псалтирь 27:1 = 26-1 Russian)

Господь моє світло й спасіння моє, кого буду боятись? Господь то твердиня мого життя, кого буду лякатись? (Псалми 27:1 Ukrainian)

O LORD our God, the constant hiding place for our soul as we obediently follow Christ whom you have appointed over us. Thank you for this new day that comes with dangers and the blessings of your constant care for those who abide in the Light. Have mercy on the families suffering in Moscow as a result of the deliberate act of evil against unsuspecting people. Strengthen the faith of believers as we must go to work and take care of other affairs using public transportation that is often the target of evil minded people. Help us not to become bitter and vengeful as we think about the people behind acts of terrorism. Be with those officials who must carry out your justice. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Monday afternoon we had our daily Bible study, and it was wonderful that our usual three pensioners were in attendance even though they must all travel a great distance on public transportation and foot. Moreover, our brother Nikolai Gagarkin had to leave for a business trip to Kiev just 2 hours from the time we ended the study, but he wanted to be with the "saints" before he left. We had a wonderful time studying God's word and witnessing the spiritual growth of these dear members of God's family. We talked about the terrorists act in Moscow's subway. We shared with them that we heard from our daughter Maya and she was safely at work. Everyone at the office was very concerned that it would not be safe to ride the subways, but they do not have alternatives, other than to walk great distances. We were also comforted when we heard from our "son" Vladimir from Magadan who lives and works in Moscow. He drives his car to work, but nearly all people in Moscow use the Metro at one time or another. The government already ordered many more buses into service, but citizens know that these terrorists target them also. It is a difficult time for people in all the major cities as they hope that this will terrible act of violence will not be repeated. Today we are preparing for our visit with the director of a children's home that was co-founded by our brother Nikolai Tkhor. We hope that this will lead to an opportunity for regular visits that will include some Bible teaching. Thank you for the prayers.

Monday, March 29, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 29 March 2010

"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." (Ephesians 6:2-3 NIV)

Почитай отца твоего и мать, это первая заповедь с обетованием: да будет тебе благо, и будешь долголетен на земле. (К Ефесянам 6:2-3 Russian)

Шануй свого батька та матір це перша заповідь з обітницею, щоб добре велося тобі, і щоб ти був на землі довголітній! (Ефесяни 6:2-3 Ukrainian)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the gift of life on this new day that pulses with more solid evidence of your watchful presence in our daily affairs. Give us wisdom as we teach young children to grow up with proper respect for their parents who make great sacrifices for them. Help those children who are living without loving parents to know that Jesus loves them. Give us courage to act on the opportunities that arise to do good for orphans. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photos: Yesterday was a wonderful day known to many people as Palm Sunday. It was our first Lord's Day to be back in Nikolaev. In the morning and later in the evening, as we walked around town, we saw many people carrying sprigs from trees with buds on them. This was in place of the palm branches. This reminded me of my first Lord's Day service in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk in 1993. Several hundred people attended our service that day and most of them brought these branches and laid them on the stage of the place where we conducted that first Lord's Supper in Khabarovsk 17 years ago. The couple who came to Nikolaev to adopt one boy and are now working to adopt two more children were with us during worship and remained for our period of fellowship. Curt and Stephanie are members of a Christian Church near Indianapolis, Indiana. We will enjoy their company for another week as they wait on more paperwork to be completed so they can take their new children home to join the rest of their family. One of the students from Nigeria was with us and the other sent me a message of apology that he had forgotten to change his clocks for Daylight Savings time that went into effect here in Ukraine and across Europe yesterday. Following our worship, we had a period of fellowship and just went around the table and became better acquainted. Following the time of fellowship, all the members stayed around for an important meeting. After all these activities, we dismissed and Galina and I walked to back to the center of town near where we live. Nikolai Thor told us earlier that March 28 is a very important day in Nikolaev because of something that happened 66 years ago. So, we walked up to the high bluff that overlooks the bay and one of the large harbor areas of the city. There is a beautiful monument with an "eternal flame" that memorializes the heroic deeds of 56 Naval Commandos who volunteered to create a diversion with great explosions and drew the occupying Nazi forces to engage them in battle. They held out for a few days, but ultimately the majority of them gave their lives so that the Soviet forces could come back into the city on March 28, 1944 and free the people from the Nazi occupying forces. All men received the highest medal of the Soviet Union. When we were there it was already late in the day, and many people had already left flowers and wreaths, but they were still coming. We watched two elderly women lay a wreath and stand there and weep for the heroes of this city. A young school girl laid a flower with tears in her eyes. Now, when we walk up to this beautiful part of the city we have a greater appreciation for what it means. My message yesterday was about the death of Jesus upon the cross and why he died. All that had a positive impact upon our spiritual emotions as we ended the day. Thank you for your prayers as we work to spread the Gospel of Christ in this important city of Ukraine.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 28 March 2010

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

Возлюбленные! если так возлюбил нас Бог, то и мы должны любить друг друга. (1-e Иоанна 4:11 Russian)

Улюблені, коли Бог полюбив нас отак, то повинні любити і ми один одного!
(1 Йоаново 4:11 Ukrainian)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new Lord’s Day and the opportunity for Christians to assemble in a loving spirit to honor Christ our Lord. Give us wisdom so that we will not merely study and talk about love, but will overcome all the long-lasting scars of hatred by sincerely loving one another. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Saturday we went to some of our old hangouts looking for some people to invite to worship service today. I contacted a couple of students from Nigeria at the Maritime University and received a couple of confirmations that they will be with us today. We spent some time at our meeting place and learned that our dear friend Feodorovna, who works in the building and sends her grandson Igor to our children's meetings, had a stroke and is in the hospital. We pray for her recovery and asked her daughter if we could visit, but they are not allowing visitors at this time. While we were in the church's meeting room, we cleaned things up. Galina hardly allows me to do anything other than cleaning and polishing our communion set that was donated by the Dalraida church in Montgomery, AL. We bought her a new bucket and she mopped the floors two times to make sure the old linoleum sparkled. She also wiped down all surfaces so that everyone who attends today will have a positive experience. This she does in addition to translating my lessons from English to Russian. I honor all preachers’ wives, especially the wives of missionaries who do so much and seldom receive any word of thanks. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for this work of sowing seeds of the Kingdom here in Ukraine.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 27 March 2010

Therefore let us come near the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Посему да приступаем с дерзновением к престолу благодати, чтобы получить милость и обрести благодать для благовременной помощи. (К Евреям 4:16 Russian)

Отож, приступаймо з відвагою до престолу благодаті, щоб прийняти милість та для своєчасної допомоги знайти благодать. (Евреи 4:16 Ukrainian)

Glorious LORD our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day on which we have bright hopes for tomorrow because of our Great High Priest – your One and Only Son who lived among us and suffered as a mere man so that we can be called your children by faith in Him. Give us your grace and help so that we will find our way through the labyrinth of this dark world with so many distractions. Help us to remain focused upon the perfect Way laid out by our Savior. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Photo: It was wonderful to be singing praises to God in Russian or Ukrainian language again now that we are back here in Nikolaev with this new congregation. Thank you for your prayers as we consider various new opportunities for conducting Bible classes for children in this area. After speaking with Sergey and Vlad, our two WEI English students expressed their interest to resume our studies next week. Yesterday evening, we decided to have a date at one of our favorite hangouts - McDonalds and overheard an American couple from Indiana placing their order in the line in front of us. We introduced ourselves, and they found a table where we could sit and visit. They are wonderful people who are here on their final phase of adopting children from a local orphanage. It is a long and arduous process, but they continue to go through all the hassles because of their love for these children. They were also very happy to learn about our work here and promised to be at worship services tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers of faith and words of encouragement.

Friday, March 26, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 26 March 2010

Then you will know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the LORD your God, and there is no other; and my people will never be put to shame. (Joel 2:27)

И узнаете, что Я посреди Израиля, и Я--Господь Бог ваш, и нет другого, и Мой народ не посрамится вовеки. (Иоиль 2:27 Russian)

І пізнаєте ви, що Я серед Ізраїля, і що Я Господь, Бог ваш, і немає вже іншого, і посоромлений більше не буде народ Мій навіки! (Йоил 2:27 Ukrainian)

Dear God, our Most Holy Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the sunshine of your love on this new day that reminds us of how wealthy we are in comparison with others who do not know Jesus our Messiah. Give us a greater understanding of the worldwide and eternal nature of the church over which Christ rules. Help us as we work to invite others to become citizens through obeying the Gospel of Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: At the request of our three most loyal members, our Thursday night Bible study was actually held in the afternoon at 3:00. It is more difficult for them to navigate around the city after dark. Nikolai, Stepan and Lyuda all come from rather far distances to be at the meetings. Each of them loves God's word and enjoys learning more about Jesus Christ. Last night our study was from 1 John, chapter 1. Today we hope that we will be able to meet with the people that own the sign boards around the center of the city so that we can begin our fresh advertising. We have much work to do to build up interest in our evangelistic efforts to teach people about salvation through obedient faith in Christ Jesus and life in His church. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 25 March 2010

I know that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2b)

ибо знал, что Ты Бог благий и милосердый, долготерпеливый и многомилостивый и сожалеешь о бедствии. (Иона 4:2b Russian)

бо я знав, що Ти Бог милостивий та милосердий, довготерпеливий та многомилостивий, і Ти жалкуєш за зло. (Йона 4:2 Ukrainian)

Great and Mighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the constant care that we receive from your kindness on this new day. Give us wisdom as we search the scriptures so that our faith will be founded on the whole truth that is able to save our souls. Whenever we discover that we are not in step with your word, give us courage to repent and turn to your perfect ways. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: The sun is already shining bright at 06.00 in the morning here in southern Ukraine. The cool temperature of -1 C this morning just makes everyone walk a little more briskly with a spring in their step on their way to work, shopping, and school. The trees outside our apartment window have not yet begun to sprout, but we sense it will be soon. We see some signs of spring all around the city. As the train brought us into Nikolaev the other morning, we could see tender green sprouts in most of the farm fields that abound in this fertile region. We had 7 for our Bible study last night and agreed to meet at 3.00 this afternoon for another period of study with three seniors who can attend at that time. Today our computer is connected to the Internet here at our apartment, so it is possible for us to send the daily WORD out in the early morning as is my custom. We discovered yesterday evening that Sergey is a very good song leader! God is so good to us in this work, and each day we have begun to expect more pleasant surprises from His constant mercy. Today we plan to make arrangements to start our advertisements for a two week Gospel Revival meeting. If that goes as well as we expect (one new person) then we will extend it a little. Thank you for the prayers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 18 March 2010

But watch yourself in all things, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist, and make full proof of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

Но ты будь бдителен во всем, переноси скорби, совершай дело благовестника, исполняй служение твое. (2-е Тимофею 4:5 Russian)

Але ти будь пильний у всьому, терпи лихо, виконуй працю благовісника, сповняй свою службу. (2 Тимотей 4:5 Ukrainian)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the enlivening gift of life on this new day that sparkles with increased evidence of your unshakable care. As we read and study your word, give us wisdom so that we will put it into practice in our daily lives. Help those who are laboring to spread the gospel around the world have the strength and courage to press on with this great task in spite of all opposition or discouragements. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Today we are making for final preparations prior to our departure on Saturday for Nikolaev, Ukraine. We have great hopes of joy as we anticipate meeting our brothers and sisters in Nikolaev and later Magadan, Russia and God willing also in Inta, Russia. Thank you for your faithful prayers as we depart soon for the former Soviet Union.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 17 March 2010

So also Christ did not glorify himself to become a high priest, but it was he that said unto him, “You are my Son, today have I begotten you.” (Hebrews 5:5)

Так и Христос не Сам Себе присвоил славу быть первосвященником, но Тот, Кто сказал Ему: Ты Сын Мой, Я ныне родил Тебя; (К Евреям 5:5 Russian)

Так і Христос, не Сам Він прославив Себе, щоб Первосвящеником стати, а Той, що до Нього сказав: Ти Мій Син, Я сьогодні Тебе породив. (Евреи 5:5 Ukrainian)

Great and Glorious God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for blessing us with the awareness of your loving presence on this new day. Give us the wisdom of Christ as we study your word so that we will not elevate ourselves and expect others to adore us. Help us to honor Jesus Christ as the One and Only prophet, priest and king whom you have appointed over all Christians. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: It pays to have good connections. This morning Galina and I were invited to the East Montgomery Optimist Club that meets at 07.00 for breakfast each Wednesday morning. A dear sister in Christ and former mother in law (Martha's mother) suggested that they invite me to tell about our evangelistic work in Ukraine and Russia, and she introduced me to the club. We met many interesting people from the community and even picked up two coupons for free chicken biscuits at Chick-filet. The group was very interested in our work and we are invited back when we return in late October.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 16 March 2010

Each man will be like a hiding place from the wind, and a shelter from the storm; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:2)

и каждый из них будет как защита от ветра и покров от непогоды, как источники вод в степи, как тень от высокой скалы в земле жаждущей. (Исаия 32:2 Russian)

І станеться кожен, як захист від вітру, і немов та заслона від зливи, як потоки води на пустині, як тінь скелі тяжкої на спраглій землі... (Исая 32:2 Ukrainian)

Dear LORD, our Supremely Kind and Just Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day and the mysterious gift of life that energizes our bodies and minds. We are truly blessed to live joyfully under the glorious reign of Jesus Christ our Savior and King who hides us from the deluge thrown at us by Satan. Give us wisdom and courage to live righteously in the Kingdom of Righteousness founded by Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photos: Following the Sunday evening worship service at the Manassas Church of Christ on Sunday, the congregation gathered in a prayer circle concluding a service about loving one another. Later the church gathered for a time of sharing food ad honoring the young people who participated in the Bible Bowl program. As we enjoyed being with the family, my mind went back to that first Sunday in Manassas when David, Jr. went there because of the job he received as a co-op student at Georgia Tech. He was about the same age as Drew is now, and we pray that Andrew will encounter such a loving, faithful and caring congregation when he goes off to Oklahoma Christian University this coming Fall. Grandson Ben was sick with a chest cold while we were there. We hoped to make it to Atlanta in time for one more meeting with Daniel, William and Adelaide, but that didn’t happen. We arrived back in Montgomery late last night after the long drive. I don't think it would have been possible for me without driving help from Zhenya. We made a stop in Lexington, North Carolina and introduced him to a family tradition at the barbecue place. Then, since we were so close, we rode out to the cemetery in Mocksville where Daddy and Mom are buried beside my grandparents. Now that we are back in Montgomery, we must turn up the heat and finalize our travel plans and preparations for leaving this coming Saturday for Ukraine. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Friday, March 12, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 12 March 2010

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (Genesis 1:26 NIV)

И сказал Бог: сотворим человека по образу Нашему по подобию Нашему, и да владычествуют они над рыбами морскими, и над птицами небесными, и над скотом, и над всею землею, и над всеми гадами, пресмыкающимися по земле. (Бытие 1:26 (Russian)

І сказав Бог: Створімо людину за образом Нашим, за подобою Нашою, і хай панують над морською рибою, і над птаством небесним, і над худобою, і над усею землею, і над усім плазуючим, що плазує по землі. (Битие 1:26 Ukrainian)

Dear LORD, our Adorable Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that is pulsing with positive proofs that the precious gift of life that lives inside these temporary bodies did not originate merely by chance. We are amazed that you love us so much that we mere humans are somehow meant to replicate your glory and majesty. Give us wisdom as we go about today’s tasks so that we will not fail to behave in a manner that reflects Jesus our Lord. In Christ name we pray, Amen.
Photo: In April 2009 DB and GB meet Nikolay Gagarkin for the first time. This meeting was suggested by Evgeny Shevchenko of the Obolon Church of Christ. Nikolay drove from Nikolaev to Kiev to bring us to Nikolaev in his car for the purpose of organizing a Church of Christ in that city.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 08 March 2010

‘Now what are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.' (Acts 22:16)

‘Итак, что ты медлишь? Встань, крестись и омой грехи твои, призвав имя Господа Иисуса.’ (Деяния 22:16 Russian)

‘А тепер чого гаєшся? Уставай й охристися, і обмий гріхи свої, прикликавши Ймення Його!’ ( Деяния 22:16 Ukrainian)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the magnificent gift of life on this new day that is filled with new blessings and opportunities to do good as we follow the example of Christ our Lord. Give penitent believers who are putting off baptism, the wisdom, and courage to do the right thing just as the apostle Paul was instructed to do by our Lord’s messenger. We praise you for the ordinance of immersion in water that commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We are thankful that Christ died on the cross to take our sins away if we will only believe and obey Him. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 07 March 2010

And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)

И Он есть глава тела Церкви; Он--начаток, первенец из мертвых, дабы иметь Ему во всем первенство, (К Колоссянам 1:18 Russian)

І Він Голова тіла, Церкви. Він початок, первороджений з мертвих, щоб у всьому Він мав першенство. (Колосяни 1:18 Ukrainian)

Dear God our Savior ~ Thank you for the wonderful gift of life on this new Lord’s Day. Bless Christians around the world as we assemble in peaceful communion to celebrate our faith in Jesus Christ in whom we trust and obey for eternal life. Shield our brethren who must face harsh opposition and even beatings and imprisonment because of their faith. Give us wisdom so that we will properly communicate the superior position of Christ over His church. In Christ name we pray, Amen.

Photo: We were in Nikolaev in late April and early May last year on our exploratory trip to determine the feasibility of helping to launch a new church in this great city. It did not take us very long to fall in love with the many wonderful people we met then and now we are especially drawn to this city because of the new Christians there. Thank you for you prayers as we prepare to leave for Ukraine on 20 March.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 06 March 2010

Yet he was full of compassion; he forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time he turned his anger away and did not stir up his entire wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away and does not come again. (Psalm 78:38-39)

Но Он, Милостивый, прощал грех и не истреблял их, многократно отвращал гнев Свой и не возбуждал всей ярости Своей: Он помнил, что они плоть, дыхание, которое уходит и не возвращается. (Псалтирь 77:38-39 Russian)

Та він, Милосердний, гріх прощав і їх не губив, і часто відвертав Свій гнів, і не будив усю Свою лютість,і Він пам'ятав, що вони тільки тіло, вітер, який переходить і не повертається! (Псалми 78:38-39 Ukrainian)

Most Holy God, our Merciful Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day and the precious gift of life that we often take for granted until we are suddenly reminded of our mortality. As we consider all the blessings and care which you provided for the people of Israel long ago, help us to be aware of the powerful grace that flows from your heart of compassion. Give us wisdom as we trust and obey Christ for salvation. Give us opportunity and courage to tell other people about this wonderful hope of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Ivan's grandson Mikhail (Misha) enjoys reading the scripture at meetings of the church in Magadan, Russia. This young man mother was one of the first converts during the original evangelistic meetings we conducted in 1994 to help begin the church of Christ in that city located in the northern Far East of Russia.

Friday, March 5, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 04 March 2010

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)

Когда взираю я на небеса Твои--дело Твоих перстов, на луну и звезды, которые Ты поставил, то что [есть] человек, что Ты помнишь его, и сын человеческий, что Ты посещаешь его? (Псалтирь 8:4-5 Russian)

Most High God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that sparkles with evidence of your handiwork in the vast universe as well as among the smallest things of creation. Give us wisdom as we study your word and contemplate your greatness and the magnitude of your care for all mankind. Help us to live in such a manner that others may see Jesus living in us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Spring is just around the corner in beautiful Ukraine. Last year we fell in love with our new mission focus as we met many new friends. We had a wonderful visit last night with the Cedar Key Church of Christ. I must run out the door to my annual physical exam at the VA here in Gainesville. Later, we will load our pictures we took of all the people who showed up to visit with us and hear how the Gospel is spreading around the world. Thank you for your prayers.


For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (2 Peter 1:17)

Ибо Он принял от Бога Отца честь и славу, когда от велелепной славы принесся к Нему такой глас: Сей есть Сын Мой возлюбленный, в Котором Мое благоволение. (2-e Петра 1:17 Russian)

Almighty God, our Most Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for precious gift of life on this new day and for the many reminders that eternal life is within reach for all people who will believe and obey Jesus Christ our Lord. Give us wisdom as we study the scriptures that tell the truth about the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Help us to have strong faith, as did the apostles and early Christians so that our deeds will match our words. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Galina and I had just updated some of the reports and photos on one of the "mission bulletin boards" at the Dalraida Church of Christ as JoAnn approached us with some questions and to tell how they were praying for us in their family. We were very pleasantly surprised and pleased when we returned from our most recent work in Nikolaev, Ukraine to see that the information had been kept up to date. There is also information on these boards about the mission work they help support in China and Indonesia as well as some domestic work. We are so blessed to be part of this congregation's mission work. Every time we are able to be present while we are in the States many people ask us detailed questions about the work including the information they want to know about the new brothers and sisters in Christ. We leave in a few minutes for Cedar Key, Florida where I was working as the local preacher when I could not receive a visa to Russia. The church there is like our own family and it will be a great joy to renew this acquaintance with them and tell about our mission activities. When we announced that we were leaving to go back into mission work, one person commented, "I am sad, I am mad and I am glad". We often feel those same emotions as we travel on these long journeys, but we know it is nothing compared to what our Lord and the apostles endured for our sake. Thank you for the many prayers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 02 March 2010

“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'” (Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)

Так говорит Господь, Который сотворил [землю], Господь, Который устроил и утвердил ее, --Господь имя Ему: воззови ко Мне--и Я отвечу тебе, покажу тебе великое и недоступное, чего ты не знаешь. (Иеремия 33:2-3 Russian)

Так говорить Господь, що чинить оце, Господь, що вформовує це, щоб поставити міцно оце, Господь Його Ймення: Покликуй до Мене і тобі відповім, і тобі розповім про велике та незрозуміле, чого ти не знаєш! (Еремия 33:2-3 Ukrainian)

Great and Mighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the uplifting joy that we experience on this new day as we consider the wonder and majesty of all your creation. We call out today in our prayers and ask that we will receive greater wisdom as we confront what seem like insurmountable obstacles in our daily pursuits. We trust in your great power that has no equal in all creation and beyond. Give us greater faith so that we will accomplish the mutual purpose in our lifetimes to share the saving Gospel with every person on the earth. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Galina Binkley in front of freedom memorial in Kiev. Millions of people in the country of Ukraine and other Slavic countries need to hear the hope that is found in the Good News that Jesus commanded to be preached. Last Spring we were in the capital city of Kiev and we received a challenge to come down to the city of Nikolaev near the Black Sea and teach the Gospel and organize a church of Christ. We plan to leave soon to return to this huge task. We know that we need more workers to accomplish this and we ask you to join us as we pray for more workers in the harvest field of southern Ukraine.

WORD OF THE DAY - 01 March 2010

Do not love sleep, or you will grow poor; open your eyes and you will have food to spare. (Proverbs 20:13)

Не люби спать, чтобы тебе не обеднеть; держи открытыми глаза твои, и будешь досыта есть хлеб. (Притчи 20:13 Russian)

Не кохайся в спанні, щоб не збідніти; розплющ свої очі та хлібом наситься! (Притчи 20:13 Ukrainian)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the splendor of creation and the mysterious gift of life that resides in our mortal bodies on this new day. Grant us opportunities to do good deeds today that will bring glory to our King – Jesus. Give us wisdom to see the virtue in work and help us to overcome laziness that brings benefit to no one. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Photos: We enjoyed the rich brotherly love and hospitality of the Old Jefferson Church of Christ in Smyrna, Tennessee yesterday on the last Sunday in February. Our good friend, Ron Caldwell who preaches for this church, arranged for me to preach yesterday. This was our third visit with this congregation that is one of our partners in our mission work in Russia and Ukraine. One of the elders for the church - Murray Kaiser has some ties to Montgomery, AL since he is the nephew of Leta Donegan who I think was part of the original group that helped to start the Dalraida Church of Christ. Murray led the singing and later helped us set up the projector so that everyone could see pictures of our recent activities. Ron graciously insisted that I preach and teach the adult Bible Class as well as take time during the period of fellowship to make comments about the photos and answer more questions. We are rejoicing today that we now have Galina's visa to Ukraine and it is good until 2014 when her U.S. passport expires. Now we must order our tickets for our upcoming lengthy period of evangelistic activity in Nikolaev, Ukraine and later Magadan and Inta, Russia. This week we plan to travel down to Cedar Key, Florida to say hello to our dear brothers and sisters and former neighbors there. We will plan to see our son Bill Binkley who is living in Bronson, Florida and suffering from a form of Parkinson's disease. Please keep Bill in your prayers. In addition, while in Florida it is time for my annual physical exam at the VA hospital in Gainesville. Soon we plan to make a short trip up to Manassas, Virginia and visit with family there. We were able to visit with our family in Marietta, Georgia for a few hours last week. Thank you very much for the many prayers.