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.

Uncategorized

You Can Renew You Mind

Healthy Heart Healthy Brain

You Control What Your Brain Is Listening Too

C.S. Lewis: How Are We to Live in an Atomic Age?

(“Or any age.” Michael Weiss)

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays

I copied the above C.S. Lewis article from https://americandigest.org/c-s-lewis-how-are-we-to-live-in-an-atomic-age/, July 25th, 2022.

J3 Khai Restoration, Recommended Events, Uncategorized

Free Introductory Optimum Health Live Session

I hope to see you at this free session Saturday, Shalom Michael

Free Introductory Optimum Health Live Session with Dr. Gary Samuelson!!!

You will learn how to achieve and maintain your optimum health as well as valuable insight on how to overcome health challenges.

I am a trained Cellular Health Coach and will be starting a new group August 5th!!! Dr. Samuelson’s intro session Saturday will give you the why’s, what’s, and how’s of my upcoming Cellular Health Coaching Group.


Saturday June 18th, 2022  – 12:00 to 1:00PM Mountain Time.

Dr. Samuelson will be holding a free live Session this coming Saturday from 12:00 to 1:00PM Mountain Time.

Feel free to invite your friends and family


Please use the Zoom link below to attend the Introductory Live Session on Saturday. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84146542682


Hope to see you on Saturday!



https://cellularhealthcoaching.com.
Guest Post, Uncategorized

Update from Ukraine

[I received this letter on May 29th]

Dear friends, I wish you all the God’s Day.

Today is the 95th Day of the war, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

I have not written to any of you for almost 40 days. Earlier, I wrote to you that every inhabitant of Ukraine, even one who is not in the war zone, is exposed to the post of traumatic stress, and in the military goes into the post of traumatic syndrome. Therefore, any creative work or brain effort today in Ukraine is given with great difficulty, such as reading books, writing letters, teaching, planning, training, drawing, preparing for preaching and preaching, and so on. Very difficult. Therefore, sorry for me that I am not often writing because I can’t do it at times, or I am forced to choose a priority that I must do right now. Necessarily and right now I need to talk about chaplaincy. So, in the previous week, I taught three o’clock in the evening to believers from the olive branch about chaplaincy, and I was also preparing to teach for a group of 22 students from the Gospel Reformational Seminary of Ukraine.

I was also preparing for teaching this week, but I was not home for three days because we were in the village of my mom. Every two weeks we visit her, and we bring her products, medicines, water, shoes and things, because after her home in Chernihiv was broken by a Russian bomb from the plane, she had nothing. Even her documents need to be restored. So next week during Monday – Wednesday I will online teach people who want to be chaplains.

We, that is, the Olive branch in Ukraine and the Church “Way of Truth”, we continue to use one of the most effective weapons during the war, that is, prayer. Our military feels the power of our prayer, as a supernatural inspiration and the good power of the Spirit.

We continue in the church to make our daily prayer online meetings. It will be 100 days soon.

The Olive Branch Ukraine and our Seminary also hold online meetings and prayer.

That Monday once every two weeks I have communication and learning from two Olive Branch International leaders. Thank you. I also thank you all, dear friends, for your financial and prayer support for chaplains and students of the Chaplain Program of the Kiev Theological Seminary in Ukraine.

The family of our eldest son returned to their apartment in Irpin a week ago. Their house was built near Kiev, so it was almost not injured: on one side of the building there are two holes from the shells, but it is far from the windows of our sons apartment. They had windows in ventilation mode, so the shock force of the wave of air did not break their glass in the windows but opened them. In cities where there are fighting, windows are not closed at all, but put something soft and heavy, such as pillows on the windowsill. When the shock wave hits the windows, they open, and the pillow falls on the floor and all is well. This is usually when there is no direct hit of a projectile or rocket into the house.

Maybe you are strange to read it, but it is strange to feel in my life. I never thought I would live in a real war. And, unfortunately, it’s not a movie.

The US military volunteer was in the Cherkasy region and he was also visiting the hospital chaplains of Cherkasy. Last week he returned to Kiev to relax and gather things. In a few days he is about to go to the military unit. Today, on Sunday, we prayed for him again in the church, then we had communication with him and ate pizza.

Ukrainians protect their land and their people, but the enemy does not go away. The war is delayed, possibly, until winter. Ukrainians are already tired but are determined to fight. But I think that in Europe and in the US, television and media are now devoted less time to Ukraine and, perhaps, that the news will be given even less time about us. This is normal on the one hand, and on the other, there will be less help and prayers for Ukraine. Therefore, I have a request: to pray for us in Ukraine and about our government at least once a day in the morning or in the evening. Thank you very much for it.

Leader of women’s service has already returned home to Irpin, and my deputy will come to visit me in Kyiv on June 2.

Thank you all again. Christ said that how you served a cup of water or visited someone in the hospital or you visited someone in prison, you helped him. Thank you that you do exactly as the Lord Christ did.

I wish that we have in the soul a peace from God.
Valentyn Korenevych,

Colonel (retired)

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

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.

Featured Writers, Testimonies, Uncategorized

“Test,” by David Coffield

“The process of refining an element for the end result of purity.”

Dear Mike,

I never know, when I go to the Bible, what God is going to say or from where. I was struck by Proverbs 17:3, ‘The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts.’

I have taken a lot of ‘tests’ in my academic career. The test was designed to measure how much information I retained, whether I could do the problems, whether I was competent to continue in the course. A lot was at stake and it was a nervous time.

The Lord uses the word ‘test’ in a different way. It is the process of refining an element for the end result of purity.

Occasionally, I watch the TV show ‘Forged in Fire.’ They take 4 smiths, and they compete for 1st place and $10,000. The are given metal to work with. They clean the metal, tack weld it together, weld a handle, and the they stick it into a blazing forge. They heat it red hot and then begin the process of funding it into a shape they desire. How do you think the metal feels? But, without the process it will never arrive at its glorious end.

In my thinking there are 2 primary paths for growth in the Christian life. One is 2 Corinthians 3:18 – it is abiding in the Word and being transformed by the Holy Spirit, little by little, into the image of Jesus.

The second is the fiery trials and tribulations and pains of life. Live long enough and you will ge your fair share and perhaps more. Paul and James had it figured out. Paul said we should exult in our tribulations and James said we should count it all joy. We tend to think, from our cultural perspective, what a couple of sickos.

God has it figured out and He alone can be rusted. When the wall is breached, the reserve fails, when health declines and enemies arise, when injustice and unfairness raises it ugly head – our loving Father is still ruling over it all and His end desire is Troopers Hope refine us into the image of His Son, Jesus

It takes me awhile to get there. My emotions are going nuts. Then, faith and intellect grudgingly move to give God glory, thanks and I rest in Him.

Your Brother, David

A letter I received from David Coffield the week of May 25th.

Darlene, Family News, God Loves Us, Uncategorized

We Will See You Again!

It is with great joy, and a little sadness, I announce that Darlene’s Mother Bettye, affectionally know as Grandma Bettye, went to heaven Saturday afternoon, May 13, 2022. She is face to face with her heavenly Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Jesus promised he would never leave or forsake her, which he didn’t, and would come back for her to bring her to be with him forever, which he has.

She has also joined the cloud of witnesses that has gone before us. That include Bill, her parents, brother, many other family members, those she introduced Jesus to and those who helped her walk with Jesus here on earth.

I can only imagine this being the greatest family reunion she has ever attended.  

I could not have asked for a better Mother-In-Law. She loved me this I know for she demonstrated it so.

Her and Bill loved, cherished, and help raise their four Grandchildren into wonderful men and women who love God, their country and love their neighbors as God loves them. Their nine Great Grandchildren have a great future in part because of the wonderful legacy Mom and Dad have cultivated in their children: Pat, Darlene and Billy and their Grandchildren Susie, Michael, Evan, and Erica.

Mom each time I left you during the last couple months I told you with confidence “I will see you again.” The next time I see you it will be in Heaven! I am grateful to be your son, I love you and look forward to being with you again.

Featured Writers, Guest Post, Testimonies, Ukraine, Uncategorized

Eyewitness Account From Ukraine

From my friend, Valentyn Korenevych, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Dear friends, remember that now I wish everyone not a good day, but God’s day. You admit that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine began on February 20, 2014, when the Russians captured Crimea and then eastern Ukraine. Eight years later, the Russians decided to capture and destroy the whole of Ukraine, so on February 24, 2022, at 4 am, they began bombing our Ukrainian airfields, military units and cities. Today is the forty-first day of the active phase of the war. We Ukrainians defend our faith, our way of life, our land. A strong servant of Satan, hidden in the Kremlin walls of ancient Mordor: an old evil that pretends to be light under the guise of pagan Orthodoxy and Z occultism, is leading Russia to its doom. The unburied corpse of an idol man (Lenin) for about 100 years lies in the center of the Russian capital, near the cemetery of the same murderers and thieves.
We Ukrainians, as residents of the state of Gondor in the Tolkien writer, live in Mordor (Muscovy), and since 1487, we have been fighting with the Muscovite orcs for the right to live freely and believe in God.

This is my little introduction to give you a better understanding of how I feel and what is happening around me in Ukraine. Because I noticed that many people from other countries do not understand the essence of these events and continue to believe in fairy tales about good Russia. By the way, the name Russia is also was stolen by orcs in Kievan Rus, as now Russian orcs steal and take out of our cities, even fleeing Ukraine, refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, toilets, tablets, computers and more. But it’s not scary, we will still work and buy it all. It is not terrible that they destroyed our cities, we will rebuild. The scary thing is that they are killing our people by throwing bombs and missiles at us. And even worse is what they do with locals and children in the occupation. The city of Bucha, near Kyiv, where someone called the second Srebrenica. The name is not for the number of deaths, but for the cruelty. People and children were shot, tortured and raped by orcs there. Corpses, corpses… people. But it is not yet known what is being done in other Russian-occupied cities.

I have been with my family in Kyiv for a week now. Arrived on March 29 with my family (five of us). It helped a lot to have a car that all you raised money for me. We left Kyiv in this car for Cherkasy and we came back, and now I am transporting some things for the military in this car. Because transport is almost non-existent in Ukraine now. Thank you all again. May our God bless you all with His blessings.

In Kyiv I try to be useful to other people.
I communicate with military chaplains over the phone and various messengers.
I support them in various ways.
I take medicine to military units.
Every night for 41 days I have a church prayer for our military.
I join the online seminary every Sunday night.
Every Monday I conduct online communication with the employees of Olive Branch Ukraine.
On Sunday, I worshiped with the Lord’s Supper in our military building. Now there is no electricity and it is very cold.
On Thursday, Vasily and I will teach our pastors to understand chaplaincy.

The Russians have already left Kyiv, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Sumy oblasts, so military teams are currently working there to clear roads and buildings. Today the first road to Chernihiv, my mother’s city, was opened. The city is 70% destroyed, and there is no water, gas, electricity or heating. My mother begs for food and an apartment every day, which she does not have, and still does not have a safe way there. My mother is 79 years old, I don’t know if she understands that or if she’s so stubborn. Maybe in ten days I will try to go to Chernihiv.

Today, at the door of our rented room called “Olive Branch” and the Church “Way of Truth”, I hung an announcement for needy people that those who need food, please contact. We plan to help those who do not have jobs and money for food, especially refugees.

Thank you, my friends, co-workers with God, I feel your prayers and other help. We all Ukrainians feel. The Russians bombed almost all our strategic enterprises, oil depots, food bases, airports, blocked seaports and river ports, but thanks to you our army fires bullets, shells, missiles, our tanks, cars and planes are at war, air defense is alive. Four million refugees are abroad, and they are safe.

I thank God and you for your countries contribution to all this. God works through you in times of war. I would like to thank you all in some way, but I do not know what and how?

Postscript. In Cherkasy on March 8, Marina and I went outside for a walk. We walked 500 meters to the city center when the alarm siren sounded. Marina immediately hunched over like a very old woman. It’s scary when you’re standing in the middle of the street of a still peaceful city, and the sirens around you are buzzing around, and you realize that you’re standing face to face in front of a cruise missile, and you’re defenseless (I didn’t mention God right away). I still didn’t have time to understand how Marina dragged me to the bomb shelter at a school. We waited at school for a while, but without waiting for the alarm to end, we went outside. We walked another 500 meters and I saw something strange, surreal. Near the market, right during the alarm, women were selling yellow and red tulips. It flashed in my head, today is Women’s Day, April 5th! And even more surprising was the fact that these tulips were lined up for men of all ages, who nervously shrugged, looked around, but stood in line, and they bought these flowers, mostly only one flower. To this day, I have before my eyes a picture: anxiety, the market, tense men, yellow and red tulips. I did not dare to stand in line, and did not buy a flower for Marina, because then such a purchase seemed strange and inappropriate. When I came home and calmed down, I was a little ashamed that I did not overcome myself and did not buy a flower for Marina. Suddenly, about an hour later, the son of the owner of the apartment where we lived, Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine., came and brought three flowers for Marina. Such are our military in Ukraine!
That is why Women’s Day, thanks to the military in Ukraine, exists even during the war.
Thank God for Ukraine and America and our other friends in Europe.

Valentyn Korenevych,
Colonel (Retired)

President of the Public organization “Olive Branch” Ukraine

www.olivebranch.org.ua
Program director of “Pastors-Chaplains Leadership” of the Kiev Theological Seminary
www.ktsonline.org

Charles J. Rolls, God Loves Us, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Uncategorized, Yehovah

Are you hangry for Love? Jesus is the Bread of Life!

“Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.”

The Bread of God

The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).

The context shows that the emancipation from Egypt, which was followed by the supply of manna forty years in the wilderness under Moses, is closely associated with this new claim. During that period of national history, four outstanding experiences are recorded. These experiences relate to the Passover lamb, the Red Sea deliverance, the uplifted serpent and the fording of Jordan. The Apostle John introduces the spiritual significance of these same four features in the opening three chapters of this Gospel. These memorable links with the past, together with Jacob’s well (John 4), and the pool at the sheep gate (John 5), furnish an illuminating background in relation to the far-reaching claim Christ made of being the Bread of God from heaven.

The secret of Israel’s sustained strength was linked with the lamb in Egypt, the power at the Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness and the old corn in Canaan. These reflect Christ in His personal holiness at the crucifixion, “a Lamb without spot,” His prevailing power in resurrection (John 2:19), His perfect humility in submission, “the Bread which came down from heaven,” and His pre-eminent honor in glorification, as the One enthroned high above all principality and power.

The third of these is the subject here, where Christ declared Himself to be the Bread of God. To draw definite attention to the fact of His own manifestation and ordained mission, He refers to the source from whence He came and the sequence of that coming. Bread, in the use we make of it, is brought to nourish those who are alive; but Christ the Bread of God imparts life eternal. John is careful to mention among the essentials of this life, birth, breath and bread, and attributes these in turn to the Triune God. The physical bread we eat is from wheat grown in the ground, from whence our bodies are derived. The calcium, silicon, iodine, iron, phosphates, etc. in an organic form are packed into the wheat in order to build up our strength. In like manner, if we are to become partakers of spiritual life and immortality we must needs eat the Bread of God, which is made up of righteousness, goodness, lovingkindness, graciousness, perfectness, holiness, and such like which result in Godlikeness.

Our Lord also claimed, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). This is a sure anchorage for faith; for by our coming it is obvious we form part of the Father’s gift. The decision to do so leads to a great discovery. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). An eternal mystery is unveiled to everyone that comes. Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.

 Charles J. Rolls, The Indescribable Christ: Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A-G (Loizeaux Brothers, 1984).

Charles J. Rolls, God Loves Us, Jehovah, Jesus, Messiah, Uncategorized

Jesus “is affectionately loving, altogether lovely and always lovable.”

“Christ monopolizes loveliness by His heart of lowliness, He multiplies preciousness by His spirit of meekness and He magnifies graciousness by His deeds of kindness. As Bridegroom He is affectionately loving, altogether lovely and always lovable.”

The Bridegroom of the Bride

He that hath the bride is the bridegroom (John 3:29).
In that bright and beautiful narrative of the book of Ruth, Boaz, the notable kinsman who played the part of restorer and nourisher, also became the beloved bridegroom (Ruth 4:15). When the storm of sorrow and the waves of dire distress which Ruth had encountered died down, a new dawn of radiant splendor broke upon her life, in that she made the soul-stirring discovery that Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, was actually her kinsman and her redeemer. The damsel found in this nobleman a stronger sympathy than she had known before, a sweeter society than she had previously experienced and a dearer relationship of remarkable renown; for Boaz, the mighty, became her very own bridegroom.

The greater reality of the New Testament is reflected in this record; for the Son of God became the Son of man, our near kinsman; so that by identity of life and integrity of love, He might redeem and raise up His Bride, the Church, to share the intimacy and immortality of an eternal union with Himself. The illustrious and illuminating portrayal in the record of Ruth supplies an index to infinite movements that find complete consummation in the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7).
By virtue of Christ’s identifying Himself with human history, God wrought out His great regenerative purpose of salvation. If the celestial One had not entered into the realm of the terrestrial and overcome the infernal power of darkness, mankind would not have had any title to the heritage of light with its infinite glory and incorruptibility.
The Apostle Peter presents this Bridegroom as the perfection of all preciousness, the sum-total of exquisite beauty and majesty; whose life is everlasting, whose love is everabiding and whose endowments in an unwithering inheritance are to be eternally enjoyed. Christ monopolizes loveliness by His heart of lowliness, He multiplies preciousness by His spirit of meekness and He magnifies graciousness by His deeds of kindness. As Bridegroom He is affectionately loving, altogether lovely and always lovable.

The Scriptures disclose a series of illustrious bridegrooms in whose lives are given glimpses in faintest tracery of the tenderness of this eternal Lover. Glimmers of Him are reflected in the first love of Adam for Eve, in the faithful love of Abraham for Sarah, in the fervent love of Isaac for Rebecca, in the fragrant love of Jacob for Rachel, in the fruitful love of Joseph for Asenath, in the faultless love of Boaz for Ruth, and in the fascinating love of Jonathan for David.

The majestic countenance of the heavenly Bridegroom shines as the sun in its strength, so that the mystery of beauty is manifest at its best and brightest. Through Him the divine luster of lovingkindness beams forth in all the richness of moral goodness. He discharges the highest obligations perfectly. He has always been chivalrous in conflict, valiant in victory, constant in courtesy, loyal in love, thoughtful in tenderness, kingly in kindness and gracious in gentleness. No one is able to find in Him a single trace of failure or the slightest taint of fault or forgetfulness.

How solicitous He is in His care, how steadfast in His love, how sympathetic His heart and how sensitive His Spirit in understanding! Emanuel displayed infinite affection in coming to earth to select and secure His Bride, the Church, and to present her to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish. He has designed that His Bride share with Him in joint heirship His celestial home and heritage. Little wonder that the name of this Bridegroom is adored for its unrivaled glory and that His love is admired for its unchanging fidelity.

What a thrill comes to the soul when we anticipate sharing a home with Christ beyond the hills and the horizon. A mansion beyond the mists and the mountains. A possession beyond the plains and the planets. A society beyond the stars and the sky. A dominion beyond the darkness and death. A state of bliss beyond the sun and the shadows. A titled estate beyond the trials and tribulations of time. A paradise beyond the perils and pains of the present era.

Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts
Thy present smile a heaven imparts,
O lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy beauties see.

Charles J. Rolls, The Indescribable Christ: Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A-G (Loizeaux Brothers, 1984).

Uncategorized

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

The Lord Has No Equal

To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31 (NLT)