Featured Writers, Guest Post, Personal Reflections, Ukraine, Uncategorized

Update from Ukraine, 147th Day of the War (From email dated July 23rd)

Dear friends, I wish you the God’s Day.
My wife and I haven’t seen you for a long time, so we would like to physically be with you face to face over a cup of tea. But now there is a war and you cannot come to us in Ukraine, and we cannot come to you.

I am glad that I have many friends and acquaintances. It’s good for me, but I can’t physically write to everyone in person – it’s bad for me, I’m sorry.

My personal news, my personal feelings and observations.
Today is the 147th Day of the war: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The fifth month of the war will soon end. It feels like “eternity”.
I was interested in analyzing myself, what did I feel at the beginning of the war and what do I feel now?
I remember the first days of the war, from February 24 to March 31, when Russian troops quickly approached Kyiv and tried to surround and capture it. At that time, I felt confused, scared and stressed by the rocket attacks and shelling of our city by the enemy. Now in the news, this time is called the first stage of the war. Many people then prophesied for Ukraine, as a state, that it had 3-5 days left to live, and then it would have to capitulate to Moscow. But by the grace of God, this did not happen, the Ukrainians withstood this sudden, strong and insidious blow of the aggressor. God loves us.

The next period of the war, this is the time from about April 1 to June 30. This is the time when the Ukrainian troops forced the Russians to start retreating from the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy, that is, the enemy retreated through Belarus from the north of Ukraine to the east. At that time, I felt joy for our Armed Forces, I felt hope for our quick victory and the end of the war, but at the same time I felt the pain of our losses, because the Ukrainian army at that time had about 100 soldiers killed every day, who died in battles to deter the enemy from seizing the east and south of Ukraine. A large number of Ukrainian civilians died from shelling and shooting. The International and Ukrainian Olive Branch and the “Path of Truth” church prayed together and then my feeling of pain decreased. Thank you all for your many prayers through messenger. Thank you, Olive Branch! God loves us.

Now say that now is the third stage of the war. This is from about July 1 until today. Russian troops are concentrated in the east of Ukraine and are trying to attack all this time. Our Ukrainian troops stopped them in all directions. Positional and artillery battles are now underway. Ukrainian troops with the help of American weapons are trying to seize the initiative and destroy their rear. I still feel in me the old stress from the shelling and the new stress  from the uncertainty, because every time it seems that the end of the war is near, it is pushed back further. It is difficult psychologically. But God loves us.

Today in our church was Chaplain, who graduate a 2015 year of the  program “Pastoral Chaplain Leadership” at the KTS, Major of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuriy us his testimony, he thanked us for our prayers, and he repeated many times that prayers work and they are real act even when we do not see it with our own eyes. Major Yuriy cited many cases when he felt our prayer, when he himself prayed, when soldiers started coming to him one by one, and when the shelling started, then 20 people came to his room.He said that God, through our prayers, brought their unit out of the enemy’s encirclement, God saved their broken car at night, God saved the building where their military unit lived from terrible shelling for two months. All the windows there were broken and covered with plywood, but the glass in Yura’s window was intact. It is a miracle of God that where there are trained military chaplains, there are almost no wounded and none killed.

Our church has a list of alumni chaplains and has been prayerfully and financially supporting them since the beginning of the war.
God used to prepare Ukraine for the battle against Mordor through the Olive Branch, and now God continues to do so.
God is doing this through all of you, dear friends and employees of the Olive Branch, this is God’s miracle in Ukraine!

What I do at Olive Branch in Ukraine

During the time that has passed since my last message, I conducted two three-day online seminars: 

for the Evangelical Reformed Seminary of Ukraine (in June there were 18 students) and for KTS in July.
So, on July 4-6, 2022, by the grace of God, I conducted the second three-day training course on the topic: “How to prepare a military chaplain for the local church to care for the defenders of the country.”
35 students were registered for this course during the war.
All three days of the course, 28 students were present online (according to screenshots). Another seven did not listen during the entire study time. The senior chaplain, pastor Vasyl, helped me in teaching.
Among the 35 listeners were:
Pastors – 7;
Deacons – 6;
Chaplains and volunteers – 10;
Other types of service – 12.
After reading the given literature, the students will be sent the Certificate of the program “Pastor and Chaplain Leadership” of the KTS.
The leadership of one of the independent Baptist churches of southern Ukraine was present at the seminar: a pastor and three deacons, one of whom was a military chaplain. They had a conflict in the middle because of the chaplaincy of one of their deacons. The church did not understand who a military chaplain is, how to equip and support him, and the chaplain did not understand accountability to his church and adherence to his creed. Therefore, I explained it to them in the course of teaching. They understood this and reconciled.
I think that during our studies we were able to learn to love God and each other more.

In the Church “The Way of Truth”
On July 25-30, in the premises of our church, we plan to hold a six-day camp on robotics and English for 20 teenagers from military and other families.
We are preparing four people for baptism.

Hospital chaplains work in Cherkasy
Senior hospital chaplain, reserve lieutenant colonel wrote:  “We, the Cherkasy hospital chaplains, are very grateful to OBI for the support you provide us. It inspires us to defeat the enemy. Soldiers who need both medical and spiritual support enter our medical facility. We are always on the spot and work together with the medical personnel (due to martial law, I do not provide most of the photos with the soldiers). Glory to God and Glory to Ukraine.”

In Irpin, under the leadership of Zhanna, the Ruth club works:
1) On July 17, 2022, the leader of the women’s ministry, Zhanna, Marina and the club “Ruth” at the “Path of Truth” church held a women’s event on the topic “Spiritual gift set” for women from the Irpin of branch of “Olive Branch”. These are women, who survived the occupation, internally displaced persons and refugees who recently returned home. Spiritual truths were remembered more because each of them was associated with one of 10 symbolic gifts: a neckerchief, soap, perfume, salt, a candle holder, a chocolate bar, a towel, lip balm, tea and a rose, as a symbol of originality and uniqueness every woman Each truth is related to one of the biblical images (women) that made them interested in reading about these women. A total of 26 women attended this event, including 8 for the first time. Faithful women from the club decided to prepare for Mother’s Day to invite other women to such an activity. And each will tell one biblical truth and give one gift.We also plan to prepare a presentation and excerpts of other Christian films!
2) We make plans for what we will do after the war is over. This is also a way to overcome the stress that women are under. We thank Linda and Caroline for their training during the online classes at the “Ruth” club, which were held on June 7 and July 11.
3) By July 31, we are preparing Galina teenage group for an evangelistic trip to the place of compact residence of people who lost their homes due to bombs and mines in Irpen. We also prepare a gift set for them – towels, bedding, hygiene products.
4) I visit these people once a week, I bring food to those who especially need it, then I learn about their needs and we pray. We sincerely thank our American brothers and sisters for their support, for the fact that we can help people in difficult circumstances. Together with the Word of God, we bring what is necessary. We also distribute volunteer aid.
5) We received bandages, towels and sleeping bags from volunteers from the city of Brody. The dressing material was transferred to the hospital of Kyiv and Kropyvnytskyi. Towels and sleeping bags – for people who have lost their homes.

Another 21 subdivisions of Olive Branch operate in different cities of Ukraine.

Our regional presbyter Mykola Romaniuk suggested that I prepare online training for pastors of the Baptist Brotherhood with the participation of his familiar American chaplain on the topic: “How to prepare yourself and the church for the meeting of military personnel from the war.” I am starting to work on this issue.

My mother continues to live in the village. I was in her apartment in Chernihiv. I installed a new door there. The inner walls of the apartment collapsed from the air strike, so we threw them down through the window from the fifth floor. We need to restore the walls, order and buy new windows, electrical wiring, pipes for water and heating …

Remember this letter in your prayers.

This is the latest news I have. Tomorrow I plan to go to sell my garage, and then I will go to my mother in the village for two nights. My son Mark has not cut his hair for 147 days …

Thank you for your prayers and other help.

Valentyn Korenevych,
Colonel (retired)

President of the Public organization “Olive Branch” Ukrainewww.olivebranch.org.ua
Program director of “Pastors-Chaplains Leadership” of the Kiev Theological Seminary
www.ktsonline.org

The above is from an email dated July 23rd, 2022.

Darlene, Family News, Obituary, Personal Reflections, Uncategorized

We Love You Grandma Bettye

OBITUARY

Bettye Sue Ellis Lord, age 86, of Springfield, MO passed away Saturday, May 14, 2022, in her home, after a prolonged illness. Born in Springfield, TN on August 4, 1935, to Hershel Reeves Ellis and Alma Modene (Nichols) Ellis, Bettye lived in Tennessee until she flew to Germany to marry a soldier she met in church in Clarksville. Billy Riece Lord and Bettye married on January 4, 1957, in Augsburg, Germany. Together they had three children: Patrick, born in Augsburg, Germany, Darlene, born in Nashville, Tennessee, and William, born in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Bettye lived a life of service as a military spouse and Chaplain’s wife. She unabashedly shared her intellect, skills, talents, passions, and faith to improve the circumstances and support all people in her circle, and she had a wide circle, indeed. She was dedicated to her family, raising her children often “geographically single,” as Bill’s military career led him to three tours in Viet Nam. Bettye creatively nurtured her children to cultivate their own interests and talents, while instilling in them the importance of serving others. As a role model, she was unequaled in that regard. 

Bettye valued education, and while raising her family, earned a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She was a teacher, trainer, and counselor. Upon his retirement from the Army in 1984, Bill and Bettye created and managed a Leadership Training firm providing services to Fortune 500 companies in Europe. Retiring (again) to Springfield, MO in 2000, Bill and Bettye resided in the Elfindale community. 

Bettye was an artist of varied genres. She sketched, painted, and was superior at needle arts. She could (and often would) create costumes or formals or any kind of clothing from just a verbal description of what someone (usually Billy, but often, Darlene) said it could look like. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed experimenting with new cuisines from all over the world. Bettye was adventurous and willing to try new activities, such as river rafting, panning for gold, or skiing the Alps, which helped make the family’s frequent moves both educational and fun. 

Perhaps Bettye’s greatest talent was caring for others. Before her illness, Bettye worked diligently to meet the needs of the people around her. Whether it was providing a meal, cleaning a home, loaning a car, taking a walk, counseling, or assisting in navigating complex social systems, nothing was too small or large for her to do to help others. She educated, elevated, and empowered women and children to become strong and courageous. 

Bettye Lord, is survived by her three children, Patrick Lord of Springfield, MO, Darlene Weiss and husband Michael of Springfield, MO and William Lord of Zandvoort aan Zee, Netherlands; four grandchildren,  Susie Gray and husband Ike of Manitou Springs, CO, Evan Lord and wife Hanna of Springfield, MO, Michael J. Weiss and wife Elizabeth of Columbia, MO, Erica Ballard and husband Jimmy of Springfield, MO; and nine great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Hershel and Alma Ellis, of Springfield, TN, brother Bobby Ellis, of Paris, TN, her husband, Bill Lord, of Springfield, MO, and a nephew, Phil Ellis, of Los Angeles, CA. 

A Memorial Service was held Friday, May 27, 2022, at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Burial followed at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Sutton In-Home Senior Care, and Haven Hospice.

Personal Reflections

Not Knowing Is Not An Excuse

My First Sergeant told me, “Not knowing is not an excuse; the duty roster has been posted on the bulletin board for over a week.”

I was late showing up for Charge of Quarters duty because I had not checked the company bulletin board in over a week. I would have missed showing up at all if my friend had not noticed and woke me up.

The stated requirement, by all Company NCOs, was every Soldier was to check the Company Bulletin Board twice a day to ensure they were aware of the latest unit information, requirements, and duty roster changes.

We have a bulletin board in our hearts. Have you checked it lately?

“In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart. Opposition to truth cannot be excused on the basis of ignorance, because from the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God’s nature have been made visible, such as his eternal power and transcendence. He has made his wonderful attributes easily perceived, for seeing the visible makes us understand the invisible. So then, this leaves everyone without excuse. (Rom 1:19, 20 TPT)”

Our loving, gracious, kind God wants us to know him today and be with him forever. Check out what Father God has written on your heart and look around at his wonderful creation. Also, consider what your naked eye can’t see, like the trillion billion water molecules in a drop of water and the estimated 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the universe.  

The Gospel, the Good News, is more about how good God is than how bad we are.

He loves you so much He sent Jesus to bring you to him and Holy Spirit to help us know him.

“When the roll is called up yonder” will you be there?  

Russian cowboy version

Personal Reflections, Testimonies

When am i going too . . .

 

My lower back hurts a lot this morning. When I laugh, cough, stand up, sit down, basically live life, my brain feels a scream of pain from my midsection. I hate it when I am immobilized like this.

 

Why did this happen again? Did an evil force do it to me again? Did the divine hand of God reach down and touch my back yesterday morning with the intent of causing me pain so I will finally learn a specific lesson? Or am I responsible?

 

I believe I am responsible!

 

I have known since 2003 that when I keep the core of my body strong, I reduce my risk of back pain and immobilization by over 85%. In 2003 my back said stop again, and our orthopedic surgeon recommended fusing some of my lower vertebrae to prevent this from happening again. I had been babying this issue for many years, and some say it’s from jumping out of excellent airplanes.

 

Wise friends encouraged me to get a second opinion, which I did. Six weeks later, another orthopedic surgeon said I didn’t need surgery. “One of your discs still has a bulge but, your leg numbness is gone; you can move without pain, you’re doing fine.” “What do you attribute this excellent recovery to?”

 

“Pilates”

 

I told the doctor I saw a Pilates TV commercial and started doing the floor exercises as I was able. Slowly the numbness in my left leg decreased and stopped. Slowly I was able to dress myself, especially but my Army boots on, without pain. Slowly the muscles that wrap around my waist got stronger and stronger, supporting my lumbar vertebrae and discs keeping the bulge from causing problems.

 

The Doctor replied, and wrote in my medical record, “patient should do Pilates regularly.”

 

I believe God gave me Pilates. Instead of healing me he was daily giving me the grace to do Pilates. For me, instead of a one time miracle he is giving the the miracle of his sustaining grace everyday. Instead of me remembering one awesome thing God had done I have the opportunity to be with him as he and I walk together daily.

 

His grace is always sufficient for every one of my needs whether I appropriate it or not.

 

When am I going too appropriate his grace? I hope more often then in the past!!!

 

Are you going to acknowledge and appropriate his loving, kind and faithful grace right now?

 

He is only this whisper away, “I need you God, I surrender to your will and way.”

 

Shalom to you and yours!

Family News, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Personal Reflections, Recovery Updates, The Daily Blessing, Yehovah

Darlene Update, Dec 6th

Today Darlene took three steps forward and three steps backward and Friday night we enjoyed pizza night together and Darlene sat on the edge of the bed the entire time!





Come, click on this link Joy to the World message by Pastor Steve Morgan, and enjoy an excellent Advent message by my Pastor Steve Morgan last Sunday. He uses Isaac Watts song, Joy To The World, and Psalm 98, the Psalm Isaac used to write this song, as he encouraged us to rejoice with heaven and earth because “The Lord is come.” Especially check out the worship band present their rendition of Joy to the Earth.

Steve’s message begins around the 55 minute point into the service if you want to start their. After he shares a little the worship band comes up and presents Joy to the World and then Steve continues he message.

Family News, God Loves Us, J3 Khai Restoration, J3Khai Ambassadors, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Personal Reflections, The Daily Blessing, Yehovah

God is good is the good news

The Gospel is about how good God is, not how bad we are!!!

Jacob upon waking from a beautiful revelation of the LORD (Yehovah) himself talking to and confirming promises made to Abraham and Isaac, that now promise to him also, Jacob says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. (Gen 18:16)”

I am amazed and encouraged by this observation. Amazed at how wonderful God is and encouraged because he revealed to Jacob that in fact, he was in that place. I don’t know why the grandson of Abraham and son of Isaac does not know Yehovah was in that place, but I do see God making himself personally real to Jacob.

I wonder, is this experience like the one Peter had when Jesus told him, “Flesh and blood did not reveal that to you but my Father who is in heaven, (Mt 16:17)” after Peter proclaimed that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God? (Mt 16:16)”

 I believe that God is building his Church “upon the rock” of God revealing himself to us. I also wonder if this interaction with Jacob was an “upon the rock” building moment?

Update on Darlene

Father is blessing and healing Darlene as he loves her and responds to your loving prayers for her. Her wound is healing, and she is getting stronger as does a little more physical exercise each day.

We know God can heal her completely right now and if he heals her over time his grace is always sufficient!!

We hope to be in Springfield together for Christmas!!!

God Loves Us, J3 Khai Restoration, J3Khai Ambassadors, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Personal Reflections, The Daily Blessing, Yehovah

The Gospel (Good News) is about how good God is, not how bad you are!!!

John 3:16 & 17:3 combined, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believed in him would not know Father, Son and Holy Spirit but would know Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Life eternal is living in relationship with God every moment from now on!!! You are loved always and always.

What is Meant By “these ten times” in Numbers 14:20-23?

David Talley — March 31, 2014

Numbers 14:20-23 states, “Then the Lord said, ‘I have pardoned them, according to your word. But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.’” What is meant by “these ten times?”

One option is to understand this phrase as a rhetorical number. It would be similar to a parent saying to a child, “I have told you ten times to clean your room.” The parent has not necessarily communicated with the child exactly ten times. The point is that there have been countless times that communication has been made. In the Numbers passage, the point would be that the Lord has been persevering with His people through countless illustrations of rebellious behavior, which was testing Him. Another option is to understand this phrase as an actual number. This would mean, then, that the Lord had been tested an actual ten times by the behavior of the people.

Regardless of which option one might choose based on the evidence available, it is important to have an understanding of what it means to “test” the Lord. A clue is provided for us in Numbers 14:11, which is the Lord’s response to the people in the situation, which precipitates Numbers 14:20-23. In Numbers 14:11 it states, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?’” The Lord performed signs (Egyptian plagues, parting of the waters of the Red Sea, etc.) for Israel intending that it would produce belief in them. However, as soon as Israel moved beyond an event where they had seen a sign from the Lord and then encountered another similarly difficult situation, they did not evidence belief. Thus, they tested the Lord. Another clue for this is provided in Exodus 17:6, where it further defines “testing” as Israel’s raising the question, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Again, when the nation encountered difficulty, their response did not evidence a belief that the Lord could move on their behalf and meet them in their place of need. Indeed, in their minds, he was absent.

Either option for understanding “ten times” is plausible because we do not have a record of every event that occurred for Israel during this time period. All we have a record of is “snapshots” of various events that occurred through the nation’s journeys. However, the second option is supported in a rather interesting way from the biblical text. The “signs” of the plagues against the Egyptians are intended not only to judge the Egyptians, but also to instill belief in the nation of Israel. Israel watched the powerful work of God in the ten plagues. Then, the Lord delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians and took them out of the land. How does Israel respond when they encounter difficult situations along the way? Do they evidence belief or does their response “test” the Lord with their lack of belief?

If you were to read Exodus 14 through Numbers 14 (it is not necessary to search through the book of Leviticus) with an eye toward Israel’s response to the various difficulties encountered during their journey, it is interesting to note that there are ten occurrences where they grumble and complain rather than evidence belief in the Lord. Note the following passages:

1.         Exodus 14:10-12

At the Red Sea where it seemed that Pharaoh’s army would destroy them

2.         Exodus 15:22-24

At Marah where they found bitter water

3.         Exodus 16:1-3

In the Desert of Sin as they hungered

4.         Exodus 16:19-20

In the Desert of Sin as they paid no attention to Moses concerning the storing of the manna until the morning

5.         Exodus 16:27-30

In the Desert of Sin as they disregarded Moses concerning the gathering of the manna on the seventh day

6.         Exodus 17:1-4

At Rephidim as they complained for water

7.         Exodus 32:1-35

At Mount Sinai as Aaron led the people in making the golden calf

8.         Numbers 11:1-3

At Taberah where the people raged against the Lord

9.         Numbers 11:4-34

At Kibroth Hattaavah in the grumbling provoked by the rabble for quail

10.       Numbers 14:1-3

At Kadesh in the Desert of Paran when the people refused to receive the good report of Joshua and Caleb but rather wished themselves dead

So finally in Numbers 14:11, the Lord cries out “how long?” Repeatedly the Lord had demonstrated His faithfulness in each situation of difficulty. However, as soon as Israel encountered another difficult situation, they evidence unbelief through their grumbling and complaining. Their complaining cried out loudly, “Is the Lord among us or not?” As a result, the Lord concludes, “and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice.”

Is any of this important to us? Our response to this is to consider how we might put the Lord to the test in our own lives. We can read about the Lord’s faithfulness in the Bible, and we have seen his faithfulness in our lives. Yet, when we encounter our next difficulty, do we evidence belief in Him, a belief that knows we can trust Him through the difficulty?


David Talley

David Talley is a professor of Old Testament at Talbot School of Theology. Talley enjoys research in the areas of Old Testament theological themes, local church ministry, and contemporary theological issues. His dissertation research on the judgment of pain in Genesis 3 continues to be a focus in his research as he formulates a perspective on Godly living in a difficult world. Talley is passionate about understanding and teaching the truths of God’s Word, discipling and equipping others, and “passing on the faith” to the next generation. In 2013, he completed a survey book on the Old Testament, which blends the information of the biblical text with the transformation of the heart. His research has also been published in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Eikon (formerly the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) and the Christian Research Journal. 

https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2014/what-is-meant-by-these-ten-times-in-numbers-14-20-23 (Accessed August 30th, 2021)

God Loves Us, J3Khai Ambassadors, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Personal Reflections, The Daily Blessing, Yehovah

Jehovah Bless You and The Gospel is about how good God is not how bad we are.

Jehovah bless you and keep you,
Jehovah make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
Jehovah lift up his countenance upon you and give you shalom.
Numbers 6:24-26

The Beginning (Origin or Source) of Creation

“Investigate where we will, not a grain of grace, not a mite of mercy, not a spark of sympathy, not an atom of authority, not a trace of truth, not a fraction of faith, not a look of love and not a glow of glory exist without His (Jesus) originating energy. If we examine the vaster things we must admit that the whole earth is full of His glory, whether this glory be reflected from the sublimity of the sky which is so measureless, the splendors of the stars which are so countless, the shining of the sun which is so exhaustless, the spaciousness of the heavens which are so trackless, the surging of the ocean which is so ceaseless, the spectrum of light which is so matchless, the designs of the snowflakes which are so numberless, the springs of fountains which are so traceless, the superiority of mountains which are so ageless or the fragrance of flowers which are so taintless. These few features in themselves introduce a range of wonders that are indescribable.”

Rolls, Charles J.. The Indescribable Christ: The Name & Titles of Jesus Christ A to G . Believer’s Bookshelf Canada Inc.. Kindle Edition.