Monday, March 11, 2013

WORD OF THE DAY - MONDAY 11 March 2013 Montgomery, AL

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV)
Во свидетели пред вами призываю сегодня небо и землю: жизнь и смерть предложил я тебе, благословение и проклятие. Избери жизнь, дабы жил ты и потомство твое, (Второзаконие 30:19 Russian) 

Almighty God, our dear Father in heaven ~ we rejoice again on this new day as we consider the mysterious and expensive gift of what we call life, and yet we hardly comprehend what it means to really live. We are very grateful that you love us and by your grace, make it possible for us to love others with your pure love. Give us wisdom and good conscience, so that we make proper choices that will result in a life full of faith, love, hope, joy, extravagantly good deeds and peace in the Spirit as we consider the wonders of our salvation in Christ. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

 Our good friend Natalia is one of our WEI advanced students, and she is enjoys photography. She was at the worship service yesterday in Nikolaev and sent these great pictures this morning.
We were very pleasantly surprised to see that Lilia, another of our WEI students was at the worship service. This was a real joy to see and we regret that we were not there for her first visit to one of our services. Sometimes people find fault with us that we spend too much time teaching English in our mission work. Somehow they see it as an alternative to teaching the Gospel. That is so far from reality. First of all, we meet so many of the nicest people in the city. Second, when students study English with us using the WEI course, they are learning the message of the Bible from A - Z. Moreover, as a preacher of the Gospel, I make certain they learn about God's plan of redemption that offers reconciliation to people who will obey the gospel message. What is wrong with that?

Denis Petrov was the guest preacher yesterday at the Nikolaev Church of Christ. Nikolay Gagarkin was present yesterday also. Since he now lives and works from his office in Kiev, we only see him in Nikolaev once or twice a year. He is the one who invited us to Nikolaev in 2009 after some brothers in Kiev suggested it to us. We continue to see the providence of God in helping us find this important city from which to do our work for the Lord. We are so very thankful for the long trip that Denis made to help spread the gospel message and encourage the church.

Doug Smith did another outstanding job of preaching a message from God's word at the Dalraida Church of Christ yesterday. He challenged everyone to follow Christ in the way we teach others and the way we live what we teach.
After we spent some time visiting with various people who were almost as delighted as we were to see so many of our family members with us at worship service yesterday, we went to a restaurant here in Montgomery and feasted on Asian food and visited some more.

 Following that big feast, some wanted a nap and a few of us wanted to walk off the big lunch. Adelaide joined us in a nice long walk at a park here in Montgomery.  We were able to show her the difference between male and female ducks. It was a most enjoyable afternoon!
Grandfather and Adelaide tried to outrun Grandmother Galina, the paparazzi.
Near the end of our walk we paused at another lake and enjoyed some more birds and people walking by.

After the evening worship service, we drove up into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range that begins near Montgomery. We were invited to the home of our dear friends Bob and Faye McKee. Bob is one of the elders at Dalraida and has been involved with missions to Russia a year longer than I have - 21 years. We always have so many notes to compare, but mostly we just enjoyed their company.

The Sipper family was also invited and we enjoyed getting to know their two very bright and curious boys as they ran up and down the stairs trying to check everything out.
Bob enlisted the help of the more youthful Josh to move some furniture downstairs and put it in his truck. There were actually two pieces of furniture and I joked with Bob that he made the guest earn their food. We enjoyed our evening and drove home with a beautiful view of Montgomery from the high bluff. Thank you for the fervent prayers regarding our mission work and the human efforts going on around the world to teach the truth in love.