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Archive for December, 2009

I’ve just had a wonderful birthday! I’m starting with Vitaliy’s email to me:

Happy Birthday, You are my the prettiest girl and I wish you all the best. May God bless you.

My love . . .

Then, I celebrated with my mommy group–they are the SWEETEST ladies!!!

Top (L2R): Yulya, Natasha F. (baby Marika), Anya Bottom (L2R): Natasha L (baby Bogdan), me, Liza

Each of these ladies is a treasure! I’ve been at the births of both those sweeetie pies, too!

This is Anya, one client and lovely church friend, and Rachel, my American friend. They are due on almost the same day!

Anya (blonde), Rachel (brunette)

These are some of my babies!!! I was at their births!

Bogdan (yellow) & Marika (pink)

I’m so thankful to these dear ladies that they open up their pregnancies and births to me, let me help them, and so doing, I learn and gain invaluable experience. They and their births and babies are my teachers!

More is coming . . .

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This book by Kay Arthur was the topic of our conference; it’s a study of the names of God.

Vitaliy's mom, Galina, is in the last row, grey sweater; Sveta, his SIL, is next to her in the green sweater

It was a good two days. We had speakers cover about four names of God, then we did 2-3 other names in small group settings.

I talked about God Almighty (El Shaddai). I emphasized the angle that God is almighty to me personally in love and talked about our tendency to worry.  

The end of the last day, we divided into two groups. and Vitaliy and Liza presented the gospel to a small group of saved/unsaved ladies with the name “God Provides.” One lady, Valentina, the mom of Natasha in our church, prayed to trust Christ alone for eternal life.

It was great that Vitaliy’s mom and sister were able to come! Great to see God working.

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You can read these on Vitaliy’s evangelism blog, and I thought I’d repost them here so you can be praying.

Fenevichi

It makes me glad that people are reading the gospel of John and when Edward and I come, we discuss a chapter specific chapter (we’re on chapter 2). So far, there’s not much visible change from their faith, but they are reading-studying. We also talked this time about the 10 commandments, and how Christ fulfilled them for us and gives us His righteousness and justification by faith. 

Tolik starts to learn to play some songs on the accordian, and I also gave them many Christian songs to listen to, some Christian films and radio programs. May God use the power of the Gospel for the salvation of their souls.

I’m glad that my mom regularly comes here, too, for the service, even though it’s 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from her town.

fishing in the village of Kulyabovka

I was getting no bites, so that means it’s time to go home, I thought, heading towards my car. But at the last minute I thought to try one other place. To my surprise, there were bites, although the other fishermen weren’t getting anything. After an hour or two, the bites stopped, and I started driving home.

Along the way to Kiev, I picked up a young man, Sasha, and started to talk with him about God.  о Боге. He works in the police station, and said that right now he has some serious problems He listened attentively and said that I’d changed his perspective about God’s 10 commandments. He was glad that it worked out for us to meet, “although I usually ride in my own car,” he said, “and today it just didn’t work out.” I told him that I also never drive this way and only came out to do some fishing.

I thought: how wonderful what God arranged! Why I was already planning to come home earlier, but God held me back with biting fish even though no one else was getting any bites, and I was able to pick up this guy in order to talk to him about God and pray about his problems.

He has very serious problems and he’s just in a big perplexity, but he didn’t want to tell specifically what was going on, he just kept repeating that he’s having a hard time right now.

He was open to hear about God, although he didn’t decide to do a step of faith. In the end,  I prayed for him and gave him a tract about God, and then we parted.

 

 

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snow, sledding, skyla

My kitchen window this morning:

All the snow!

Vitaliy took Skyla out sledding today.

She L.O.V.E.D. it!

She recounted at home (several times) how she got snow in her mouth.

I can see how that would happen!

That’s my sporty girl.

And I WUV her!

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interview

Keri Lumm of thegracepost.com interviewed me recently, and posted it here on her blog. You can listen to or read it.

What a unique way she’s expressed friendship to me! We are excited to meet each other in person this spring when we’re in the States.

Thank you, Keri!

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It’s like air pressure that I didn’t know existed in my relationships has been  let out.

No one has to be perfect; they can make mistakes; I don’t have to change them. I can’t anyway.

So just like I can peacefully trust God to lead the transformations (i.e., sanctification) in my life, I can peacefully trust God to transform those in my family to be what He wants them to be in His own time.

Vitaliy and I used to argue about child discipline; we’ve mostly stopped arguing, but we still didn’t agree with each other. And from both of us, childlish behavior, mistakes, and sin were mostly met with shame and harshness.

But with barely a word about child discipline, we have both come to a together understanding position on this. (We’ve just spent hours discussing our done-ness in Christ and all the many outworkings of this.)

For examle, Skyla was sitting on the laundry hamper eating dinner with the family the other night. She’s a very antsy kid, it’s hard for her to sit still. And suddenly the hamper flipped down putting her and her plate of food on the floor.

Before, Vitaliy and I both would’ve been upset, ungracious, and made her feel bad.

But without a look or a word, we both sat still for a moment. Then he walked over to pick her up and comfort her and I started cleaning up the mess. Then she sat at my stool (that hamper flips so easily anyway) and ate my plate, and I got another serving and sat on the hamper.

And it’s days of this. We’re certainly far from perfect; I see moments that could be so much better, and I think God is just starting in His making us into the parents he wants us to be. . . .

Skyla hurt Vika, yes, on purpose, she said. Before, I would’ve spoken harshly and done some form of punishment that probably would’ve upset Skyla. But I said, “You know, Skyla, God punished Jesus on the cross for your hurting Vika. . . . You can say your sorry to God and to Vika.” Skyla’s starting to ask more questions about God. I’m not talking about permissiveness or no consequences. Sure, there will be consequences . . . like a damaged (but forgivable) relationship with your sister.

 But I feel so . . . free? Free from . . . I don’t know even. From controlling what I really have no control over? From feeling like I have to make my kids godly? and change Vitaliy to be more godly too, or just sigh and live with it? God’s doing His sanctification work in them, just like in me, and we can live patiently with each other, waiting for God to accomplish in us what’s done in Christ.

I’m not sure about all this. It’s where I’m at right now in all this proces.  

I’ve been thinking about this verse:

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,  and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. Colossians 2:18-19 

. . . Holding fast to Christ, from whom the whole body grows with a God-directed, God-given growth.

We look at and hold onto Christ and through Him God accomplishes/ed our progressive and positional sanctification.

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I’m nervous that somehow my pride will destroy it all. Strange how sins can be unearthing inside me, yet I still have a way to be proud about it . . . .

Bizzare.

Human?

All I can say is: I am in Him and He is all.

I am reminded of what I read in Jeremiah Burrows last night:

But to give you one more particular. As He is all in all in the good we have from God, so He is all in all in whatever we offer up to God: as in descent from God to us, so in ascent from us to God. Christ must come in here. He must be all in all in our services. Though our services be never so good, though they are spiritual, they must still find acceptance with the Father through Christ. That text in I Pet.2:5 is very remarkable for this, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a
spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Mark, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. But though the sacrifce is spiritual, that is not enough to make it acceptable. Christ must come in. Therefore he adds, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

I will be studying 2 Peter 1:2-11; I think this is key in here somewhere, somehow, but I don’t understand it yet.

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