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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

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

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).

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).

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)

Uncategorized

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

The Lord Has No Equal

Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?
Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
Are you so ignorant?
God sits above the circle of the earth.
The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
and makes his tent from them.
He judges the great people of the world
and brings them all to nothing.
They hardly get started, barely taking root,
when he blows on them and they wither.
The wind carries them off like chaff.

Isaiah 40:21-24 (NLT)

God Loves Us, Jesus, Messiah

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

The Lord Has No Equal

No, for all the nations of the world
are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
as though it were a grain of sand.
All the wood in Lebanon’s forests
and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough
to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
The nations of the world are worth nothing to him.
In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
mere emptiness and froth.

Isaiah 40:15-17

Uncategorized

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

The Lord Has No Equal

Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?
Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
or show him the path of justice?

Isaiah 40:12-14

Testimonies, Uncategorized

I’m So Stoked

“I’m living the Dream,” Ben Gravy

Ben Gravy loves to explore and find one-of-a-kind waves to ride. In this short clip, Ben is sharing his excitement about catching one Bonzi Pipeline wave recently. The waves that day were bigger than they usually are.

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxa6WUsdzdHia6IljNpRwMjnhucUwGDrJv

I love Ben’s honesty about being so afraid in the morning he told himself he wasn’t going to surf that day.

Ben’s experience is universal. Having a dream that is so big were to afraid to even paddle out into the line-up with all the other dreamers. But, each time we try we experience something new, that we could not experience if we didn’t “Go For It.” I have

I have dreams that scare the crap out of me and I know, from experience, that going for it out weighs staying on the shore.

I want to be in the middle of the arena with the Teddy Rosevelt’s of the world, not an onlooker from the stands.

Let’s do it together!!!


Defination of Stoked: being in an enthusiastic or exhilarated state. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stoked)