Saturday, December 25, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 24 December 2010

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. --The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:10, 17)

Сердце чистое сотвори во мне, Боже, и дух правый обнови внутри меня. -- Жертва Богу--дух сокрушенный; сердца сокрушенного и смиренного Ты не презришь, Боже. (Псалтирь 51:10, 17 Russian 50:12, 19)

Серце чисте створи мені, Боже, і тривалого духа в моєму нутрі віднови. -- Жертва Богові зламаний дух; серцем зламаним та упокореним Ти не погордуєш, Боже! (Псалми 51:10 Ukrainian 51:12, 19)

Crea en mí, oh Dios, un corazón limpio; Y renueva un espíritu recto dentro de mí. 17Los sacrificios de Dios son el espíritu quebrantado: Al corazón contrito y humillado no despreciarás tú, oh Dios. (Salmos 51:10, 17 Spanish)

Most Holy God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that arrives with numerous reasons for every person in the world to rejoice – especially everyone who is following Jesus Christ as Lord and King. As we reflect upon the reasons why Christ came to this world that abounds in evil, give us wisdom and courage so that our minds will not be busy with formalized religious rituals and ceremonies. Rather help us to look at ourselves with utmost sincerity and truly repent of our sins as we turn our hearts fully to serving Christ while we have time in this life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo: Yesterday my sister Candace Baxley called and informed us that she was in Montgomery spending a few days with her "mother in-law". Her son Joel brought his youth group from Signal Mountain, TN down to Cedar Key and helped us put on some very good VBS programs a few years ago. We met at a nearby Walmart superstore and talked while we shopped and later stopped by the Burger King and talked some more. When she told us that she was now retired from her work with a public school in Florida, we immediately suggested that she visit us in Nikolaev and help out in that work in Ukraine. She didn't say no to this, so we will begin to pray for Candace to find her way over to help us in the great work of sharing the gospel and reaching out to orphan children in Ukraine. Thank you for your faithful prayers for this work and other efforts around the world that help people learn the truth and be saved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 19 December 2010

Ken and Linda Dunham, longtime friends from our time in Georgia invited us up to their beautiful home in a remote area on Lake Jordan yesterday afternoon around dusk.
Their neighbors also have docks for their boats, but for many neighbors the home on the lake is a second home. We thoroughly enjoyed our drive through the woods to get to their home and spending time with them. Ken is on the faculty of Jones Law School which is affiliated with Faulkner University. On the ride up to the lake from Montgomery, Ken and I talked about our experiences on mission trips to the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent, West Indies.

The purpose of the ride up to their home was because Ken had offered me the use of his truck for the remainder of our time here in America. We already had to pay a lot for rental car, and this will be a big savings for us. When we got there, they wanted us to choose between a very nice Solara convertible or the comfortable Toyota Tundra pickup. We chose the truck, and as we rode home we were singing "God is so good" in English and Russian. Ken said they will not need the truck for the remainder of our time here and encouraged us to make use of it. God's people everywhere are known for being good, kind and generous. Ivan is laid up in a Magadan hospital right now, and I know that if he had a car he would loan it to us without hesitation. When we lived in Florida, Christian friends also surprised us by loaning us their new truck for a trip to Virginia to see grandchildren. It is always a joy to be together with God's wonderful people. So many of you regularly make generous donations that make it possible for us to spread the beautiful message of hope and salvation as well as providing help to poor orphans. Thank you for your many prayers and kind deeds. Today at Dalraida Church of Christ, brother Earl Edwards, who has done a great deal of work as a missionary in Europe, will begin a special series of lessons on the theme, "Protecting our Blind Side". He spent many years preaching and teaching others how to preach.

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:1-3 NIV)

Услышь, Господи, слова мои, уразумей помышления мои. Внемли гласу вопля моего, Царь мой и Бог мой! ибо я к Тебе молюсь. Господи! рано услышь голос мой, --рано предстану пред Тобою, и буду ожидать. (Псалтирь 5:1-4 Russian 5:2-4)

Для дириґетна хору. До флейти. Псалом Давидів. Почуй, Господи, мову мою, стогнання моє зрозумій. Прислухайсь до голосу зойку мого, о мій Царю та Боже Ти мій, як до Тебе молитися буду! Ти слухаєш, Господи, ранком мій голос, ранком молитися буду до Тебе та буду чекати. (Псалми 5:1-4 Ukrainian 5:2-4)

Atiende, Señor, a mis palabras; toma en cuenta mis gemidos. Escucha mis súplicas, rey mío y Dios mío, porque a ti elevo mi plegaria. Por la mañana, Señor, escuchas mi clamor; por la mañana te presento mis ruegos, y quedo a la espera de tu respuesta. (Salmos 5:1-4 NVI)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new Lord’s Day that arrives with opportunities to assemble with others who have the same precious faith. Remember those who feel so broken hearted over the loss of a loved one that they have no strength or courage to face their friends. Give us wisdom so that we will properly divide the word of truth and faithfully proclaim the message of Christ to people of our generation throughout the world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY Saturday 18 December 2010

And he (Father) put all things in subjection under his (Jesus Christ) feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)
и все покорил под ноги Его, и поставил Его выше всего, главою Церкви, которая есть Тело Его, полнота Наполняющего все во всем. (К Ефесянам 1:22-23 Russian)
І все впокорив Він під ноги Йому, і Його дав найвище за все за Голову Церкви, а вона Його тіло, повня Того, що все всім наповняє! (Ефесяни 1:22-23 Ukrainian)
Y sometió todas las cosas debajo de sus pies, y diólo por cabeza sobre todas las cosas á la iglesia, La cual es su cuerpo, la plenitud de Aquel que hinche todas las cosas en todos. (Efesios 1:22-23 Spanish)

Most Holy, Wise and Beneficent God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the amazing gift of life on this pristine new day that you have given us. Give us wisdom as we search the scriptures and do our best to be obedient children. Forgive us for the times when we have blinked our eyes and wandered from the perfect plan you have for our lives. Restore our trust and confidence in Christ alone as the One and Only Head over His glorious church. Help all believers to conscientiously struggle for unity in the Body of Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
After we haggled again for a while at the car dealership, we finally were ready to head back to Alabama. Since William Binkley and his wife Lisa live in nearby Bronson, they came over to the Oaks Mall in Gainesville, and we had a nice visit in the food court. Bill is suffering from a Parkinson like disease that is making it impossible for him to function normally since the motion and balance part of his brain causes his body to act with involuntary movements. We are very thankful for the treatment and care he receives at the Veteran's Hospital in Gainesville. It just happens that his doctor is also a respected neurologist at the Shands Teaching Hospital of the University of Florida. As we rode back to Alabama we were driving in a major rain storm most of the way. Thank you for the many prayers.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 10 December 2010

You are from God, my little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Дети! вы от Бога, и победили их; ибо Тот, Кто в вас, больше того, кто в мире. (1-e Иоанна 4:4 Russian)

Ви від Бога, дітки, і ви перемогли їх, більший бо Той, Хто в вас, аніж той, хто в світі. (1 Йоаново 4:4 Ukrainian)

Hijitos, vosotros sois de Dios y los habéis vencido, porque mayor es el que está en vosotros que el que está en el mundo. (1 Juan 4:4 Spanish)

Dear God, our Awesome Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the sparkling array of fresh evidence that confirms your perfect ingenuity and abiding presence in the world you created for all mankind. Give us wisdom to discern those who speak evil shrouded in truth. Renew our confidence in our eternal hope as we remember how Christ is ultimately victorious over the Devil and his demons. We are deeply grateful that your Holy Spirit is dwelling in all faithful Christians. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

We took a ride downtown last night as the temperature was around 0 C, and asked Zhenya to take our picture in front of the state capital building in Montgomery, Alabama. The tree is very beautiful since most of the "trees" around the hotels and convention centers are artificial. The concept of Christmas trees is something that is extra-Biblical, but in America and some other countries, it doesn't seem to represent any type of pagan religious practice. In Russia and some other northern European countries, the "yolka" tree is celebrated with gift giving on New Year's Day in a similar manner as people in the Americas and some other places share gifts around the "Christmas" tree. Some people never hear anything or think about our Lord Jesus Christ except at this time of they year. This represents an unusual evangelistic opportunity for many Christians who may find their relatives and acquaintances receptive to the Gospel message of salvation from sin and the gift of eternal life. Thank you for the prayers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 09 December 2010

We were able to visit with our dear friends Laura and George Delaino. While living in Cedar Key, we had an early morning prayer and Bible study hour that included some refreshments and great conversation. This was also a time to meet new people in the community and make friends. This couple was there if we were there. Laura Jean has been a faithful member of the congregation since her teenage years due to the good example of her mother. Now she has problems with her vision that makes it impossible for her to read the daily Word of the Day. Laura made friends with Olga in Magadan and when she was able to see good, she would always write something to Olga as a way of encouraging her in the faith. And Olga wrote many good letters to Laura that she treasures. It is wonderful the way God's people truly love one another even though we may never meet on this side of Heaven, but we know that after this life if over, we will have that joyful and eternal fellowship with our Lord as we follow Him. Thank you for your prayers for this important mission work.

While we were waiting on the car dealership to make a decision about the car, we took a ride out to Cedar Key where I preached the Gospel from August 2001 until August 2008. This was during the time when I was unable to obtain a travel visa for Russia. We have many dear friends there and long to be able to visit them after our next mission work in Ukraine and Russia. Galina enjoyed her work there with the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum and we both stayed involved with community activities such as working as poll workers during elections. We noticed that the sagging world economy has taken its toll on many small businesses in this Gulf Coast island community. Several familiar and "landmark" restaurants and other shops were closed. However, this small town has a resilient core of people who will do everything possible to bring back successful businesses to the community. The city economy is fed to a large extent by the local clam industry. Cedar Key clams are shipped all over the world. Like the rest of Florida, many dollars come from tourists from other states as well as Canada and some other countries.

In addition to growing cotton and peanuts, this region of south Alabama, south Georgia and north Florida has many large cattle ranches. All the Cowboys don't live in Texas.

Cotton farmers in southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia were working hard to bring in their cotton. There were so many of these large round bails that it seemed to be countless. However, we noticed that everything was in order.

This photo was taken Tuesday morning as the rising sun greeted us on the highway between Dothan, Alabama and Donaldsonville, Georgia. We had to take a trip down to the automobile dealership where our car is being worked on. We were able to meet with the manager of the service department and settle the dispute and they promised to have the car ready Friday. It costs too much to stay in hotels for those days, so we just drove back up to Montgomery so that we can continue working on our plans for going back to our Ukraine and Russia work in January.

And the tempter came and said to Him (Jesus), “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4)

И приступил к Нему искуситель и сказал: если Ты Сын Божий, скажи, чтобы камни сии сделались хлебами. Он же сказал ему в ответ: написано: не хлебом одним будет жить человек, но всяким словом, исходящим из уст Божиих. (От Матфея 4:3-4 Russian)

І ось приступив до Нього спокусник, і сказав: Коли Ти Син Божий, скажи, щоб каміння це стало хлібами! А Він відповів і промовив: Написано: Не хлібом самим буде жити людина, але кожним словом, що походить із уст Божих. (Матей 4:3-4 Ukrainian)

Y llegándose á él el tentador, dijo: Si eres Hijo de Dios, di que estas piedras se hagan pan. Mas él respondiendo, dijo: Escrito está: No con solo el pan vivirá el hombre, mas con toda palabra que sale de la boca de Dios. (Mateo 4:3-4 Spanish)

Dear God, our Most Holy, Kind, and Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you of the incredible gift of life on this new day. We are in awe of the beautiful “green pastures” that you have led us through. According to your mercy, do not lead us into temptation like the situations that our Savior encountered in the wilderness with our adversary Satan. Lead us into righteousness as we learn and obey the will of Christ our Lord. Protect us with your Spirit as we follow the Way. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 08 December 2010

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. (Psalm 36:5-6 NIV)
Господи! милость Твоя до небес, истина Твоя до облаков! Правда Твоя, как горы Божии, и судьбы Твои--бездна великая! Человеков и скотов хранишь Ты, Господи! (Псалтирь 36:5-6 Russian 35-6, 7)
Господи, аж до небес милосердя Твоє, аж до хмар Твоя вірність, Твоя справедливість немов гори безодня велика, людину й худобу спасаєш Ти, Господи! (Псалми 36:5-6 Ukrainian 36:6,7)
Tu misericordia, oh SEÑOR, se extiende hasta los cielos, tu fidelidad, hasta el firmamento. Tu justicia es como los montes de Dios; tus juicios son como profundo abismo. Tú preservas, oh SEÑOR, al hombre y al animal. (Salmos 36:5-6 Spanish)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ we are lacking the proper vocabulary to praise your Holy and Righteous Name as we should, but we come to you with a sense of deepest gratitude for the tremendous love that you have for all your creatures. Give us more of your wisdom as we do our best to remain faithful to Christ the Lord. Help us to use the perfect wisdom of our Savior to properly conduct ourselves each day and to persuade others to follow the One and Only Way to eternal life. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Photo: Yesterday we drove out to Cedar Key after we met with the car dealership that is repairing our car. We think we reached an amicable agreement whereby they are happy with the job and we can afford to pay them their due. Hopefully we will pick the car up today and head back to Montgomery, Our Russian visas may come this week. We enjoyed spending some quality time with our dear friends Laura Jean and George Delaino. They are both struggling with the problems that face everyone who ages gracefully. We didn't have time to visit with others since we stopped by and saw Bill in Bronson for a few moments. Laura Jean began to correspond with Olga in Magadan and regrets that she cannot continue this since her eyesight is now severely hampered. Thank you very much for your sincere and fervent prayers to God who loves all His children.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - 06 December 2010 from Montgomery, Alabama

Last night this congregation allowed me to show pictures and tell about our exciting and rewarding work of sowing gospel seeds in Nikolaev, Ukraine and Magadan, Russia. Galina and I sometimes wonder if people are tired of hearing from us, but this church showers us with encouragement and receives our reports with much the same joy that we feel by serving the Lord. They are truly our partners as we go forth with the message of hope and salvation. We also have other dedicated partnering churches as well as several individuals who send support to Dalraida for this work. With such encouragement behind us, we can make bold plans for our work in 2011 and beyond according to God's purpose. Thank you for your fervent prayers and encouragement.
PS My daughter Laura noticed yesterday that I had put "from Nikolaev, Ukraine" on my WOTD. It was just a keyboard actuator error. We are planning to be back in Nikolaev next month. We hope and expect to receive our Russian visas this week or next.

This congregation has been involved in local evangelistic activities, in other parts of America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, China, and since 1991 this church has had a very active role in taking the gospel to people in the former Soviet Union.

Doug Smith, Minister of the Gospel, welcomed everyone to the Sunday evening service at the Dalraida congregation.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:3)

Сей, будучи сияние славы и образ ипостаси Его и держа все словом силы Своей, совершив Собою очищение грехов наших, воссел одесную (престола) величия на высоте, (К Евреям 1:3 Russian)

Він був сяєвом слави та образом істоти Його, тримав усе словом сили Своєї, учинив Собою очищення наших гріхів, і засів на правиці величности на висоті. (Евреи 1:3 Ukrainian)

El cual siendo el resplandor de su gloria, y la misma imagen de su sustancia, y sustentando todas las cosas con la palabra de su potencia, habiendo hecho la purgación de nuestros pecados por sí mismo, se sentó á la diestra de la Majestad en las alturas, (Hebreos 1:3 Spanish)

Dear God, our Majestic Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the fascinating gift of life on this new day that is brimming over with fresh opportunities and provisions for the journey. Help us to use the wisdom we have already received from your kindness. Give us courage to step out and take action on projects that will make it possible for even more people around the world to have faith in Christ our Savior and King.