Quotes from "Fiery Faith" by A.W. Tozer

I've been meditating and digesting A. W. Tozer's book "Fiery Faith" recently and noted for my personal study a series of quotes from his book. I hope you enjoy these and are as blessed as I was reading this spiritually meaty book

• Before there can be any faith there must be enlightenment first - Jn 6.44

• Faith is not abstract and is to be for the immediacy of the physical life - see the words that reflect the physical: "taste & see that The Lord is good" Ps 34.8

• Imagination tries to create - projects unreal images out of the mind and seeks to attach reality to them

• Faith creates nothing but simply reckons on what's already there.

• There is no difference between the spiritual and the real - one does not contradict the other - the spiritual is the real

• Faith is present - living in the present of God - people live in their past with God and they're in the future hope in God and the work but live lonely in the present because they live with out present of God in faith

• Christian rationalists, Christian moralists, vs Christian mystics

• Faith never goes contrary to reason - it just ignores the reasons and rises above it

• The original sin was not disobedience but it was unbelief. Unbelief always proceeds sin

• Faith cannot use tangible worlds like "mountain, star, lake" if it could it
would become pagan. Faith uses words that are intangible "love, forgiveness, promises"

•Unbelief is a moral thing. Living in unbelief is demoralizing because it assumes the immoral condition of the heart before it can exist.

• There are things reason cannot do that are beyond it's capacity, for example - “wonder” - "they all wondered at Him" leads to marveling - faith moved forward supernaturally and reason follows wide-eyed in amazement - this is the way it should always be

• A believing Christian is a miracle - the moment you can explain him he is no longer the wonder of a Christian but a religious idealist or religious philosophist

• Faith must rest on not the promises but on God's nature first or the promises are taken out of context and misapplied - promise follower vs Christ follower

• Ps 116.11 we are brought up in an environment of lies Jer 17.9

• Satan’s first attack upon the human race was his sly efiort to destroy Eve’s confidence in the kindness of God. Unfortunately for her and for us he succeeded too well. From that day, men have had a false conception of God, and it is exactly this that has cut out from under them the ground of righteousness and driven them to reckless and destructive living.

• Much Christianity since the days of Christ’s flesh has also been grim and severe. And the cause has been the same - an unworthy or an inadequate view of God. Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be.

• They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42) So says Luke of the thousands who received the Word and were baptized following the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost. Conversion for those first Christians was not a destination; it was the beginning of a journey

• Came the revolution, quietly, certainly, and put another construction upon the word faith. Little by little the whole meaning of the word shifted from what it had been to what it is now. And so insidious was the change that hardly a voice has been raised to warn against it. But the tragic consequences are all around us. Faith now means no more than passive moral acquiescence in the Word of God and the cross of Jesus.

• Such a faith as this does not perturb people. It comforts them. It does not put their hip out of joint so that they halt upon their thigh; rather it teaches them deep-breathing exercises and improves their posture. The face of their ego is washed and their self-confidense is rescued from discouragement. All this they gain, but they do not get a new name as Jacob did, nor do they limp into the eternal sunlight. “As he passed over Penuel..." Limping Gen 32.31 

What to do when you are Offended

Remember these things next time you feel offended:

1. Never, ever withdraw. No matter how hurt you are
2. 9 times out of 10 we simply misunderstood what was said and didn't see the heart behind what was said
3. Always wait 24 hours before you answer a matter
4. People say hurtful things because they are hurting themselves.
5. Never take things personally, ever. It's not about you. You just happened to be in the path of a bitter person.
6. Take criticism with a smile.
7. Do not give an offended person a platform to speak their mind. They will only infect others. Speak privately with them.
8. When you are offended it is a tell-tale fact that a part of your flesh is still dominating your soul without the Cross. Only the self-centered old sin nature can get offended.
9. When you're tired, hurting or in pain you most likely are the most vulnerable to be offended.
10. Even though it was said in a hurtful way or improperly, ask yourself this question "was it true what they said" and if so deal with it alone with God.

When we get offended, no matter the circumstance, we can know for sure that the symptom of offense that we feel is a sure sign we have uncrucified flesh reigning somewhere in our soul.

If  the Word of God offends us agree with it quickly - Jesus spoke beforehand that his disciples would have Divine Definition so that when offense came they would not be scandalized. Matthew 5:25-26 "Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing"

Psalms 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law:and nothing shall offend them.

Matthew 24:10
And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.

Proverbs 18:19
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city:and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

Matthew 11:6
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Matthew 15:12-14
Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Let them alone:they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matthew 26:31-35
Prediction About Peter’s Denial
(Mark 14:27- 31; Luke 22:31- 34; John 13:36- 38)
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night:for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
-- Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Mark 4:17
And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time:afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

Mark 6:3
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

John 16:1
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2 Corinthians 11:29
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

John 6:65-68
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will -- ye also go away?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Rom 5.5 the love of God sheds abroad in our hearts
Self love is easily wounded. It is so geared to its own self and self consciousness and is not easily healed. Overly occupied with myself everyday and how much I should be loved, valued and needed. Cain was wounded hurt, offended and never healed.
We have to leave ourselves to discover this love. Love one another as I have loved you.

Is it better to burn for The Lord or to obey?

Luke 22.33

Many are those that may burn in passionate love for The Lord who sing his praises and cannot be straightened in their zeal for him confessing their fiery love for Him. Yet when it comes to that lonely step of faith of obedience that is met with the icy cold wind of resistance they halt and step back secretly in their heart all the while confessing His Name and His Word.

There are times when the Fire burns in our bosom and we cannot stay but speak and move. But that is the rare blessed exception. To live in awareness of that Flame and it's purifying work is to quench it. To focus on the Flame and not the Still Small Voice of The Word inside of it is to get distracted and be turned aside to the emotion and phenomenon of the Fire & not the command. Though the Burning Flame in the heart of the quickened saint may be a new experience - the Cross must have its deep crucifying affect and separate the emotional feeling of the soul from the burning sensation of the Spirit.

The "ministers of fire" described in Hebrews 1.7 are servants that are aflame but often feel very little as they take faith steps of obedience in great weakness. It is in this great weakness where the soul feeling is divided from the spirit that God is glorified the most and His power is revealed - otherwise if the servant serves in the awareness of the Powerful Burning he is strong in his soulish feeling and weak in his spirit to obedience. We follow, we obey for the utmost of reasons, because of Truth - that is living by "Every Word"

The Paradox of His Strength made perfect in our Weakness

Thinking tonight of the great paradox and mystery of the Anointing.  David the shepherd not having the crown but was anointed king yet in great straits of weakness - 2 Sam 3:39a. Elijah, a mighty man of God - the "Prophet of Fire" was "subject (homoiopathḗs) to like passions as we are" - meaning he was liable to be affected by the same thing any human being is. Yet he prayed. Paul though weak with the thorn afflicting him served in the power of his spirit - Rom 1.9 because God's Grace sustained him. Jesus Himself was crucified in weakness yet lives by the power of God...Oh what a paradox! We do not grow stronger everyday with God, but rather as the years pass we grow weaker and weaker - more and more dependent on God, His Grace and His Word to bring us to the end of The Race with joy. "For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you" 2 Cor 13.4 - Thus the power of the Anointing may be of Him and not of ourselves. Otherwise we have no affective ministry to others.

This Lent Season Consider - Persecution of Christians has Exponentially Increased in this Century

This morning I read an article by a Catholic writer George Weigel on Christian Persecution in the 20th century. It has been estimated by some Catholic circles that over 150,000 brother's & sisters have perished for their faith. The number is most probably higher. 

With the increasing influx of radicals in Syria, Africa, and the heavy hand of governments in North Korea, Iran, and the Middle East; many, many have lost their lives for naming the Name of Christ. In Matthew 24 we see in the Last Days persecution will exponentiate - and we see that today.

Hebrews 13.3 writes "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body" 

I remember a statement by Richard Wurmbrand when I heard him speak as a kid at a conference on the Persecuted Church that while he spent those 14 years tortured for his faith in a communist prison there were times that angels would come an visit him and minister to him. Once he was told by an angel that they were there because the free church was praying for him in bonds.

I'd like to share a few excerpts from George Weigel's article  on persecution:
"We have been living, and we’re living now, in the greatest era of persecution in Christian history. More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined. And while the character of the persecutors has changed, from the lethal heyday of the twentieth-century totalitarianisms to the first decades of the twenty-first century, the assault on the Christian faithful today is ongoing, extensive, and heart-rending. Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith."

Where it is happening:

(image courtesy of Open Doors)
Today when Christians get upset that they have to wait in line for their favorite Starbucks' drink or they get depressed because no one likes what they write on Facebook - they need to remember their brothers and sisters who have lost family, homes, all their belongings for the sake of the Gospel. One writer put it this way; Christians in the west need a good lesson on "Sufferology" - how to suffer well for the true treasure, gold tried in the fire. 

Mark Moore writes: "163,000 Christians die every year for their faith. Half of all the Christians who have ever died for their faith did so in this century alone, some 35 million" Read Mark Moore's essay on statistics of the persecuted church and how you can help. Also read websites like: Open Door's and Voice of the Martyrs to be educated and updated how you can pray.

This season of Lent is coming upon us - let's not focus on what we have to give up for God for Lent but what our brothers and sisters have lost for Christ's sake and that we remember them in prayer.

Inner Healing - Some thoughts on a Damaged Soul

Recently observing a dear person I began praying for their "soul situation" and asked God for insight to help. Here are a few musing on the subject which are not by any-means exhaustive but something that I'd like to study more preach about this month of February.

Isaiah 1.6 - From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it [the soul]; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. - (brackets mine)

It’s unimaginable the pain and suffering people have experienced in their lives because they were victims of prevalent evil in this world. The depth of the damage that has been caused deep in people’s souls can be described in Proverbs 18.8 as "wounds that go down into the innermost parts of the emotions (belly)”. This injury hurts and causes the most destruction to the innocent soul when it is caused by people we love in circles of trust and safety. The greater question though is how the damaged goods are healed rather than the wallowing in the pool of the injustice that is done; which can be so consoling and oddly satisfying. Because of the  "wounds that go down into the innermost parts of the emotion” are not healed than the following verse applies in verse 9 - passivity and paralysis comes into dominate the hurting soul and the "Waster of Souls” wins.

When there is no “mollification” - no healing ointment then what substitutes the healing is protectiveness and an underlying drive in some cases to lash out or campaign against the injustice done to them. This reaction continues to grow and fester in Isaiah 1.6 resulting in an inner motive that affects all other parts of a person’s soul. It may even manifest itself in a religious endeavor or a self-justifying cause looking to others for support in their self-righteous movement.

The true problem is they need desperately to be understood in their suffering and they want to be heard - someone to feel their pain with them though they may fiercely refuse it because of an advanced state of bitterness. We know that there is only One who has suffered untold loads of pain and suffering and that is mankind’s Savior Jesus. When the Spirit of Jesus and the Words of His comfort are allowed deep into the injured part of our soul via identification, compassion and understanding, then inner healing and “mollification” begins and the damaged soul can heal to become a very effective person in ministering to others. At that point a vision can come into the once paralyzed soul and a capacity of faith can enable with the motive of God’s Love. 

People cannot self-heal. The self-healing is a substitute for true healing. What is needed is to allow the process of the Spirit of Comfort and the Word of His Healing to be allowed to go deep and recreate the ruins of the soul and make a person a brand-new creation. They need to enter into a Body of Believers that are Christ-centered, Finished-Work thinkers that create an environment of love, faith and safety where they as Lazarus can slowly have the death-bandages taken off that still linger binding them though they have been spiritually resurrected from the dead.

7 Characteristics of Servanthood

Today while my wife and I visited p. Maciek and Renata with their beatuiful church, I preached on the subject of Servanthood. Here below are the notes from the message that you can listen to here: http://bit.ly/19Kw437

John 12:25-26 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be:if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

Jn 13.12-17 "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord:and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 

1. A Servant is powerful:
  • One of the most powerful thing in this universe is life of a servant. One of the weakest things on this earth is the life of a servant. 
  • No one gets the amount of things done in the simplicity and the focus that a servant has. For there is no flesh to complicate matters, relationships, or vision. 
2. A Servant appears mundane: 
  • "In some ways we would prefer to hear Jesus' call to deny father and mother, houses and land for the sake of the gospel than his word to wash feet. Radical self-denial gives the feel of adventure. If we forsake all, we even have the chance at glorious martyrdom"
  • "But in service we must experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves. Service banishes us to the mundane, the ordinary, the trivial.”
  • Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5.21 
3. A Servant is not in control:
  • "It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people's feet.
  • Mother Teresa: "I belong to Jesus. He must have the right to use me without consulting me.
4. A Servant choses to be a servant rather than choosing to serve
  • When we chose to serve we are in charge. When we chose to be a servant we give up the right to be in charge. This is great freedom. If we chose to be a servant then we cannot be manipulated. When we chose to be a servant we surrender the right to decide when and where we will serve. That is availability and vulnerability. 
  • There is a natural hesitancy that comes with any serious discussion of serving. Because there is a hesitancy in understanding the cost before jumping in. The fear is that people will take advantage of us
  • Self-righteous service picks and choses whom to serve. "Sometimes the low and defenseless are served because that will ensure a humble image. True service is indiscriminate in its ministry. It has heard the command of Jesus.
5. A Servant has lost his rights because of love
  • The perspective of a slave. A slave sees all of life from the viewpoint of slavery. He does not see himself as possessing the same rights as free men and women. When this slavery is involuntary it is cruel and dehumanizing. When the slavery is freely chosen, however, everything is changed. Voluntary servitude is a great joy.
  • “Bond slave” - a slave that has chosen to be a slave - not to serve. Paul is an example of this: "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” - Phil 2.17
6. A Servant is not bound to himself in self-love
  • "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." - Acts 20.24 
  • Nothing crucifies the flesh like serving, nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh screams for attention and will devise subtle, religious attention to the service rendered.  
7. A Servant serves giving all though the result may be small.
  • There is no demand for great results because it is an anointing upon the servant. 
  • Luke 4.18 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised
  • Luke 22.27 - For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 
  • Luke 6.40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 

The Humility of Jesus Portrayed on Christmas

Here are some draft notes from our message today on the Humility of Christ on Christmas - you can here the sermon here: http://bit.ly/1d23fhg

2 Cor 8.9 - For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

One of the greatest beauties of Christ was His humility. It was the most attractable thing about Him. He was always attracting humble people around Him and making proud people angry.

Luke 2.7-20
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not:for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found -- Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.  
  • Psalm 113:4-6 - The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
  • "Think about that for a moment. God humbles Himself. God condescends to look at, to behold the things that are in the heavens. God has to stoop down to look at what’s in heaven. We have to look up to see what’s in heaven. God has to look down to see the things that are in the heavens. The angels—they are lower than God. God stoops down. He humbles Himself to look at the things in heaven.”
  • Not only did He have to stoop down to even look at us but it is His amazing Grace that He even is mindful of man - Ps 8.3-4
  • The Love of God in Jogn 3.16 caused Him to do 7 things
    • So God doesn’t just look at us, He gets involved with us.
    • He humbles Himself.
    • He condescends.
    • He stoops down to think of us.
    • He is mindful of us.
    • He stoops down to care for us.
    • He became one of us
  • Christmas is about the greatest theological facts - The incarnation, God being born in the likeness of sinful flesh - Rom 8.3 - the uttermost display of humility. This is what made him guilty, not because of an inherited sin nature but because he associated with us. 
  • Heaven and earth cannot contain God but He became confined to a human body. 
  • 2 Chron 2.6 But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him. 
  • Heb 2.7 He became man made a little lower than the angels submitted himself in a human body to God.
  • The devil underestimated God’s humility - underestimated how far God would go.
  • We are never more like Jesus than when we humble ourselves and surrender to the plan of God
  • He was circumcised on the 8th day. Not because He was a sinner, He was sinless, He submitted to the Law of Moses to fulfill it. His first pain and suffering for us.

Father Damien was a Belgian priest in the 1800s who went to a village on the island of Molokai in Hawaii, a village that had been quarantined as a leper colony. For 16 years, Father Damien lived with these people that no one else wanted to have anything to do with. He learned their language. He served them. He built homes for them. He organized schools and choirs. Rather than being careful to keep His distance from the lepers as most would have done, He got right up next to them. He bandaged their wounds. He ate with his patients, sometimes out of the same dish. He touched people that others considered untouchable. Gradually, throughout the course of his years of serving there, that village was transformed. Despair was replaced with hope. Yet for years he was still different in one very important point. They were lepers, and he was not. Then one day he stood up before his congregation and he began his sermon with two words. “We lepers,” for he had contracted leprosy while living among the people. From that moment on people in that village saw this servant in a whole different light. Now he wasn’t just living among them. He wasn’t just serving them. He had actually become one of them. Not only would he share their life, now he would die as they died.

On Christmas we celebrate the day that God came to our village. He didn’t just come to help us. He began His message by saying "we lepers." We sinners. He had become one of us. He took on our sin. 

David Brainerd's last journal entries - Missionary to the American Indians

Reading these last entries recently stirred me. This journal was used by God to inspire many modern day missionaries from the 1700's on till today.

Wednesday, Sept. 23. 1747
I finished my corrections of the little piece before mentioned, and felt uncommonly peaceful; it seemed as if I had now done all my work in this world, and stood ready for my call to a better. As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having: but oh, how vain and unworthy it is, to live for any lower end! ---- This day I indited a letter, I think, of  great importance, to the Reverend Mr. Byram in New Jersey. Oh that God would bless and succeed that letter, which was written for the benefit of his church! Oh that God would  purify the sons of Levi, that his glory may be advanced! ---- This night I endured a dreadful turn, wherein my life was expected scarce an hour or minute together. But blessed be God, I have enjoyed considerable sweetness in divine things this week, both by night and day.

His last entry: Friday, Oct. 2. 1747
My soul was this day, at turns, sweetly set on God: I longed to be with him, that I might behold his glory. I felt sweetly disposed to commit all to him, even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, my absent brother, and all my concerns for time and eternity. Oh that his kingdom might come in the world; that they might all love and glorify him, for what he is in himself; and that the blessed Redeemer might see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied! 'Oh come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.'

When I Survey the Wonderous Cross

I woke up this morning with this old hymn by Isaac Watts stirring my heart. It tells the story that we are not our own but that we were bought with a costly price, His Blood...

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrificed them to His blood

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small
Love so amazing so divine"
Demands my soul my life my all

- Isaac Watts

10 Persecuted Church Stories from 2009 - Merry Christmas from p. Chris & Gosia Moore

As we sit to eat our Christmas dinners and open our presents with our dear families and loved ones, let's remember in prayer those in prison & are suffering for their Faith in Jesus Christ. Below is a report from Voice of the Martyrs of 10 awesome stories from 2009

Heb 13:3  Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you also are liable to bodily sufferings. (Ampl)

1. Turkey: I Want to Belong to Jesus
Asli is a Christian girl in Turkey. During the summer, she invited her friend Yildiz to go to a Christian camp with her. Like most kids in Turkey, Yildiz grew up in a Muslim family. But happily, her father said she could go to the camp.

Yildiz heard the good news of Jesus for the first time at camp. Every evening, she called her father and said, “Dad, I want to belong to the Lord Jesus.”

“No way,” her father answered. But Yildiz kept calling, and finally her father reluctantly agreed. Yildiz was very happy. When she went home, she told everyone that following Jesus was the most important thing in her life. Pray that Yildiz will grow in her faith, even if others give her a hard time about it. Muslims in Turkey who become Christians often face persecution from their friends, relatives, teachers, and bosses. Pray that Asli’s parents will come to know Jesus, too.

2. Vietnam: A Letter from Dad
Rebecca and Samuel live in Vietnam, where the government controls all religious activities. Like dozens of other Christian children in Vietnam, they are separated from their father because he is in prison for his Christian activities. The children rarely see their father because the prison is far away from their home. Rachel and Samuel were thankful for this letter they received from their dad in prison:

My dear children, whom I long to see,

I write you some words today to open my heart to you. I wish you good health in God’s hands. I miss you very much. Dear daughter, be a good student. Study carefully literature, English, and math, three important subjects. Remember to teach your younger brother.

I say goodbye for now,
Your father

Rebecca and Samuel pray that their father will be able to come home soon.

3. Iran: Risky Questions
Marzieh and Maryam, Christian women in Iran, suffered under harsh prison conditions after their arrest for their faith in Jesus. Officials in Iran discussed whether Muslims who become Christians should be executed by the government. Police raided a house church, arrested the Christians, and took their Bibles. That’s the kind of thing Christians in Iran faced in 2009.

So why would anyone in Iran want to become a Christian?

A Muslim leader gave a speech at a public school in Iran. He said that the kids could write questions on pieces of paper. The students turned in 40 pages of questions. Many students asked questions about Christianity. The students said that their parents believed in the teachings of Jesus more than the teachings of Islam. Muslim kids in Iran want to know the truth, even when the truth is risky. Pray that they will find the truth in Jesus Christ.

4. Sudan: Meat for the Soul
“What does meat taste like?” asked 10-year-old Peter Diing Wol. Peter is an orphan in Sudan. A Christian from America visited the area where he lived. Peter saw the American eating beef jerky that she brought to Sudan with her. He had never eaten any meat, fruit, or vegetables. Peter and many other south Sudanese children lived on corn, rice, and other grains. Muslim attackers from the north destroyed food supplies, leaving many Christians very poor.

VOM and other groups have taken Bibles to the Christians in Sudan. Peter studied the Bible every day, even when he was hungry. The Bible was meat for his soul. “God began to show me in the Bible that Jesus is God’s son, just like I was my mother’s son,” said Peter. “One day, Jesus will come again and take us away from all this evil.” Peter wants to be a preacher someday. He began to teach preschool orphans about Jesus for practice.

Now Peter is a teenager. Christians have provided him and his orphan friends with meat to eat and a place to sleep. Peter has earned a scholarship to go to high school in Uganda, where he will study and prepare to become a pastor.
(Source: Make Way Partners)

5. Laos: Girls Stand Up to Police
Ban is a teenager in Laos. One day, a Christian man came to her village. He told everyone about Jesus. Ban wanted to belong to Jesus but did not know how. The man soon left.

In 2009, a group of Christians came to Ban’s village. They explained how people can come to Christ and follow him. Ban and five other girls accepted Christ into their hearts! They began to study the Bible and worship together.

Ban’s parents were angry. They did not want her to be a Christian. Many people in Laos worship false gods and spirits. Ban’s parents asked the police to stop their daughter from following Jesus. Two policemen and a group of other adults took the six Christian girls to a village hall and scolded them. They threatened to take the girls away from their parents or to put them in jail if they did not stop following Jesus.

The girls did not give up their faith. “We are sinners and we need Christ,” they said. “If we die, we die with faith in Christ and in his ways.” Ban is now living with a Christian friend. She does not know what will happen next in her life, but she trusts God.

6. Indonesia: Muslim Youth Leader Becomes Christian
Arief lives in Indonesia. He went to a Muslim school and learned to be a strong Muslim. Every Thursday, he taught others about the Quran at his mosque. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book, and a mosque is a building where Muslims worship.)

Arief’s mother became curious about the Bible after she saw Jesus in a dream. She and Arief began reading the Bible. After Arief finished Matthew, he started visiting a church. He decided to follow Jesus, and so did his mother! Arief’s stepfather was angry. He kicked Arief’s mother out of their home. He gave Arief and his five younger brothers and sisters a choice. They could stay or they could leave.

All the children chose to go with their mother. Now Arief reads the Bible every day and plays guitar and keyboard at a house church of 40 believers.

7. Iraq: An Eternal Home
Mary, Sarah, and Anna live in Iraq. Their parents used to be Muslims. Then one day, their dad, Ali, watched a DVD about Jesus with a Christian friend.

Ali didn’t really believe the teachings of Islam, even though he was a Muslim. He was glad to find out the truth about Jesus, and he decided to accept him as his Savior.

Since that time, Mary, Sarah, and Anna have had to move around a lot. Their grandfather kicked them out of his house after Ali became a Christian. They were kicked out of their next home after Ali shared Bibles with Muslims. Then the girls and their parents rented a house next to a mosque. When Muslims found out they were Christians, they surrounded the house. Some even stood on the roof. The owner of the house asked the family to leave.

The girls and their parents are happy that they will have an eternal home with Jesus in heaven someday, where no one will force them to move anymore.

8. China: Children “Forbidden to Believe”
Sixteen-year-old Shao Yuji helped plan and organize a summer youth camp for Christian kids in China in 2009. Chinese police raided the camp and arrested 28 kids, including Shao Yuji, and four adults. According to a witness, the police said, “It is forbidden for those under 18 to believe in Christianity.”

The police also took the kids’ cell phones, Bibles, and other belongings they brought to camp with them. They drove the Christians to the police station and beat up the youth. Then they let most of them go. But they kept the four adults and Shao Yuji for several days. For two of those days, they gave the Christians no food or water. Pray that the youth will remain strong in their faith and that the police will come to know Jesus.

9. Pakistan: Chased Away for Reading a Story
Nathan is a tenth-grader at a school in Pakistan. He helps lead a Sunday school class and youth group at his church.

One day, Nathan was reading a Christian pamphlet at school. The pamphlet told the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. But God spared Isaac and blessed Abraham for his obedience.

A Muslim student saw the pamphlet. Muslims believe that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Ishmael instead of his son Isaac. The student and his Muslim friends were angry. They said that Nathan was insulting Islam by reading the pamphlet. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

The Muslims were so angry that Nathan and his family had to leave their home for their own safety and stay with Christian friends in another town. Other Christians in Pakistan have been treated the same way by radical Muslims.

10. Nigeria: Precious and Miracle
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of twins in the world. Precious and Miracle are two of those twins.

The twins have three brothers and a sister. In northern Nigeria, where their family lives, most of the people are Muslims. Christians suffer during attacks by Muslim rioters. The girls’ father died after an attack in 2006. Their mother could not care for all of her children after their father died.

Now the twins live at the Stephen Centre, a boarding school built by VOM in Nigeria. The school provides an education and a place to live for children whose families were left poor after Muslim attacks killed members of their family. “I have learned how to forgive and love others because God loves that,” said Precious, who is now 12. “His will for my life is for good and to give me a future and a hope.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

HIMSELF - A.B Simpson Words: Albert B. Simpson, 1904

"Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things." 1 Corinthians 8:6

Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted,
Now, the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.

All in all forever,
Jesus will I sing;
Everything in Jesus,
And Jesus everything.

Once 'twas painful trying,
Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
Now the uttermost;
Once 'twas ceaseless holding,
Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting,
Now my anchor's cast.

Once 'twas busy planning,
Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care;
Once 'twas what I wanted,
Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking,
Now 'tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working,
His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
Now He uses me;
Once the pow'r I wanted,
Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
Now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus,
Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
Now they brightly shine;
Once for death I waited,
Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored
Safe within the veil.

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When He Visits in the Night

You have proved my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and find nothing [no evil purpose in me]; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Psalm 17.3 – Ampl.

At times in the very evil world we but sojourn through, we can feel the enclosing darkness press on our spirit and try to cloud our mind with questions that attempt to de-throne Jesus Christ from off the throne of our heart. It is times like this that God’s entire heavenly host hush in wonder as the trial that haps upon the child of God for what will be brought forth is His Treasure. This happened one night at the Garden of “the Winepress” (Gethsemane) with the Son of God Himself. At this moment of the power of darkness Jesus prayed yet what was squeezed out under crushing pressure was not psychic confusion nor cries of despairing questions but rather prayer and absolute surrender unto the Father.

When it is a dark night of the soul we must not grieve the Spirit’s whispers that can only be heard when we ourselves have been weaned and quieted before Him. It is at this time of great infirmity that the Lord wants to minister to us otherwise as Jesus said to Peter – “you have no companionship in me” (John 15 Ampl). I am learning that without these visits in the night where He ministers to us under much pressure, our ministry can actually become perjury; oh may God forbid!

These visits in the night may not be often but when they occur there are two things that result (as it was with Jacob) a tremendous revelation of God’s Gracious Nature and future Plan as well as a definite weakening of natural ability. See after Jacob’s encounter with the Lord how he leans on a rod, the very rod that he used later in his life to bless his children. We will do well to let Him visit us often and rapture our heart and renew the spirit our minds.

Now in Ukraine we have faced several grievous health situations with dear people in the church here. Please pray with us as we minister here to these very precious Ukrainians with a towel and a basin.

P. Chris & Gosia

Please enjoy the slide show below of birthday parties, remodeling and our new Chapel

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When God Feeds Us from His Own Hand

L’viv, Ukraine

When you look at a bird, it is very unique in that it is lacking something…hands. It helps bring to light the phrase Jesus made in Matthew 6:26 (Ampl) “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them”. We are like this bird mentioned in this verse, wings to fly in the heavenlies with Him but no hands to feed ourselves. God Himself wants to feed us that is why He leads us to the brook of need and trial. God fed the prophet Elijah by a brook “Cherith” in 1 Kings 17.4,6 by commanding the ravens to feed him bread and meat in the morning and the evening, everyday. Why this way? Intimacy. God wanted to bring the prophet to a place where he ate from the Hand of God Himself, this is one of the meanings in the Hebrew for “Cherith” - “in the face of”. With intimacy comes trust, and in trust comes depth, and in this depth comes deep communion.

Presently there are 4 dear saints in the church in L’viv here that are in the late stages of cancer. One of them, Lena, may have only 2 weeks left with us here. Lena is a teacher at the "Perilina" (our Christian Day School) with a husband and 2 daughters 9 & 7) and a precious member of the church here for 13 years. This is the first time something like this has happened in the church here and it is being used by God to bring everyone together in serving these families. Please pray as we are abiding in prayer for a miracle.
Please enjoy the slideshow below of a recent picnic we had.

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Summer 2005 - The Journeys Begin...

During this trip God has placed in my spirit such a burden for these people of the 10/40 window, the Muslims that do not know the name of their father "Ishmael" means "God that hears the cry" - the cry of their heart. Many of us christians are standing on a boat as Peter did fishing, when the Lord suddenly appears walking on our water...may our response be..."Lord! if it is you...call me to come..."

In Acts 27 we see a theme, "Don't underestimate the value of trips with unexpected events". This summer was a flash of fellowship and outreach in 10 cities, 8 different countries. Cherkassy, Ukraine; Sevastopol, Crimea; L'viv, Ukraine; Kaposvar, Hungary; Tyumen, Siberia; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Zagreb, Croatia; Banja Luka, Bosnia; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Krakow Poland.

The secret of God is in His people, it is so easily missed. To see this secret we must be made very small by the Cross. We do not make ourselves small; God does that by the greatness of His gentle mercy.

The tasks of the King must be accomplished by steps:
1. Take a step - don't withdraw like a victim
2. Take another step - don't condemn the man that doesn't take it with you
3. Keep taking steps - never get satisfied with your last step.
Every step we take is onto holy ground God has given us - Joshua 1.6,9

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