Thursday, July 28, 2011

Excerpt From My Current Reading

This is an excerpt from the book I'm currently reading titled: Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit  by Francis Chan. He is the same author from the other book I read earlier this summer entitled "Crazy Love" which in fact helped God open my eyes to so many new things I never noticed before. Let me share something with you that made me really think from "Forgotten God":

"A while back, our lack of openness to examining ourselves really hit me. Two Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door and initiated conversation. I had a lot to do, so I prepared to send them on their way. But as they began their spiel, I decided to take a few minutes to engage them. I gently told them that I found their teachings about Jesus offensive because they taught that Jesus was the same person as Michael the archangel. I told that that I believe that He is much more that one among many angels, that I believe that He is God. My visitors replied, "No Jesus/Micheal is the only archangel. There are no other archangels." So I asked them to open their Bibles to Daniel 10:13, which reads, "But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michel, one of the chief princes, came to help me" (NIV). I pointed out that this passage is clear: Michael is only "one of" the chief princes (or archangels).

This caught them off guard. They told me they'd never heard or read this before. Now that I had their attention, I said, "There is no way you can look me in the eyes and tell me that you sat down one day seeking to find God, read the Bible, and came to this conclusion that Jesus is the same person as Micheal the archangel. No one could come to that conclusion. You only believe it because that's what you were told, and I don't want to stand here and spoon feed you something else." With that, I challenged them to read the Bible for themselves, rather than simply accept that what they've been told about it. They went away that day and said they would consider doing that.

I left that conversation feeling a bit proud of myself because I stumped them and got them to question their beliefs. Yet I couldn't help but wonder whether I was fair to them. Had I ever sat down with the Bible and sought after its self-evident truth?"

Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit page 28,29

Different Plan

Have you ever asked God for something? What if He has a different plan for you?
 "... Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us! ...Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God." Acts 3:1-8 NIV

God spoke to me through this Scripture, reminding me that  though I may have an idea about what I want or think I need, He may have a different plan- just like the crippled man. He thought he needed money, but God had abundantly more prepared for him.  Dwell on this :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Crusible of Suffering

I found this book in Tanya's room a few months ago... After reading it I have seen what our great-grandparent- grandparents and even parents when through under Communist persecution. I wish my grandpa were alive so I could talk to him about what he went through when he was imprisoned in Siberia. Anyway I'll show you a quote so you can get a feeling of what this book is like:                                                                                                                          "I have to always keep reminding myself that I am a man with a purpose. I am in God's plan, which means that God leads me and I need to be namely here- in the will of God... It's necessary to go forward. There is a command from heaven- survive! It is essential to live here only by faith, and to be self disciplined in thoughts, words, and deeds..."

I wouldn't say this is the most grammatically correct book (it was translated to English from Russian) but it shows the story of a man who overcame persecution, not by his own will but through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New York City Trip

So many memories...there is much to say about our trip to NYC. It was a learning experience in all ways, and I know everything happened according to God's perfect plan! I learned that even if your patience is tested, you may be frustrated, unsure of what to do, it is all for a reason. I really don't want to be negative in anyway but just so you understand, there were a few problematic predicaments we found ourselves in. Let's just be open here: our ride decided to leave us in NYC and go elsewhere. This left us with a few choices: Go to New Jersey with them, go home with 5 girls in the back, stay at Lenka's house and figure something out, take the train, take the bus, have mom or dad call and yell at driver... lol so many choices! Oy just trying to figure out how to write this down in words is very challenging, because we went through so much in just one weekend. In the end, I had the time of my life! Here are some pictures :)

Igor is thinking about quitting his day job and working in Brighton beach... Good pay, no?

Inna hitting the shopping scene of NYC. This is the ideal photo, something about it.. I think it's just Inna's beauty that perfects this picture :)

Times Square is just amazing, hectic, bright. I love it!

Times Square Church! Always my dream to visit. Thank God my dreams came true! It was a blessing, I think that where God's children are, you feel at home :)

Giggling on the subway aka our favorite place to cool off from the amazingly sauna-like conditions and snap some pictures. 

Practicing the smiling with your eyes look, but subtly crossing the line into the creeper look :P jk

Another really cool picture that is special, probably cuz Inna is in it yet again :D

Beautiful Lesya...
Looking like a true city girl, right? Haha I believe this is the moment Lesya and I went into the subway ourselves for the first time.. Look to my right and notice Lesya nervously laughing and rubbing her forehead vigorously. I had the experience of running in the streets trying to catch a bus, and finding the bus station, having a long ride home next to smelly man and itchy seats... And now it's home sweet home. I can't wait till we visit again.
 Oh and I can't forget the Express fashion show in Times Square!!

The Beauty God Sees: A Model Finds God

I watched Sean Mcdonald's testimony, and this led me to discover the awesome testimonies that are on YouTube! I really recommend you search CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) on YouTube, and this will lead you to I think hundreds of testimonies. The grace of God is evident in these people's lives, and I rejoiced when watching such beautiful testimonies. I watched video after video, and I'm so excited to see God working in the lives of people who to us may sometimes seem "unreachable". It is now clear to me that God has no boundaries, He will reach out to all! Check it out and pray for these people with me! :) 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Hug From My Love

I was looking through my journal and found this written on March 15, 2011:
"I had a dream that even though I felt messed up, I was one of Your disciples. At one point You stretched Your arms out and I physically felt Your love. I felt it in Your voice and I could see it in Your eyes. You didn't care about what the world thought, You embraced me. It was an enveloping feeling. Your love was tangible, and tears were in Your eyes. Everything about You spoke compassion, love and some deep sorrow, but mostly love. As You embraced me, You embraced the world, it was like a group hug. Thank You! Your love is what fills me, without it I can't imagine my existance, with it I do not fear the future..." 
That was my Jesus dream :)

Monday, July 18, 2011


What a blessed VBS indeed! This was quite a unique year because first of all the staff had their priorities straight... When you strive for a goal according to God's will; to save the souls of children, He will help and come through! This year instead of having the mindset of: lets get through this by getting the kids busy with activities like games, worksheets and services, we instead had the mindset of: care for the kids, love them, and most importantly- lead them to Christ. This year left me with the joy and bliss in my heart knowing many children sincerely gave their lives to Jesus, they got a taste of true faith and prayer and blessing in the Holy Spirit!

 Teachers of Tribe Joseph: Dee and Lesya :)

Overview of each day:
Day 1
Bible Point: Jesus had a family…we do too.
Bible Verse: “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
Day 2
Bible Point: Jesus had a name…we do too.
Bible Verse: “I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
 Day 3
Bible Point: Jesus had a home…we do too.
Bible Verse: “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.” (John 14:2) 
Day 4
Bible Point: Jesus went to church…we do too.
Bible Verse: “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1)
 Day 5
Bible Point: Jesus served others…we do too.
Bible Verse: “Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)

I absolutely LOVED my classroom this year! I was initially supposed to be the main teacher but I know God had other plans... So Lesya was chosen to be the teacher! Honestly I have never had the experience of having total power over the classroom with someone my age, I'm used to being with an older teacher. I think that instead of the kids taking advantage of our ripe young age, they had respect for us, connected with us and learned to interact well with us! Lesya, you honestly have a God-given gift with teaching. You are made for it, and I don't want you to be proud or anything, so I'll just stop at that because your simply just a perfect teacher :)

 Beautiful Tribe Joseph. I love each and everyone of them, even if I'm bad at remembering their names!

My favorite day of the week: Thursday. This was the day we had the altar call and prayer in the choir room. Praise God for days like this! Children never cease to amaze me with their sincerity, faith and trust in the Lord. After Dima preached, the kids were called to the front if they wanted to accept Jesus as their personal savior. All Praise to Him because it seemed like almost all the kids went up to pray for salvation! I got choked up and was in a state of shock at the beautiful display before me! Nothing can beat seeing lives starting afresh in Christ Jesus!! After this, kids who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit were called to the choir room for a special prayer, I was also shocked to see the amount of kids who had the desire to be filled with the Holy Ghost, a wave of joy spread over my heart just to see that. As we went into that room, I knew this would be a sacred and special time, they were all so silent and respectful as they entered that room. My thoughts as I entered that room were: They will never be the same after this prayer. I knew it for a fact. Praise God we prayed for about thirty minutes and 27 children were baptized in the Holy Spirit! I think that not exactly 27 were baptized, but some of those 27 just had their first meeting and taste of the Holy Spirit, and were kind of young to understand exactly what was going on and what to do and such. 

I was a "teacher" (helper) but instead of teaching I found myself learning from the children and from God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Short Update

Kids Camp is this week so I'm very busy! It's weird not to be home because things keep happening that I am last to find out about. You see, I guess we got a hammock. And I come home today to seeing a black Toyota corolla in the driveway!! :) Kids Camp is coming along very well. Usually I have a major headache especially because of trouble makers, but this has yet to happen this year! I love our class, and by our I mean, Lesya (teacher) and I (helper). I love this year so far because I'm having so much fun with Lesya and with helping out in the plays and singing. I especially love the children, 9-10 year olds are so easy to connect to. They are not like little kids who don't understand everything, yet they are not the "cool" teenagers who like to rebel and be in their awkward stage. It's right in the middle and really enjoyable. God bless the rest of the week!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Basic Waffles

I made these yesterday when Yuls was over. It's such a quick and easy recipe... Your family will fall in love with the home-style taste of these breakfast goodies, and never buy the frozen waffles again. Sometimes I even make 2 batches and freeze the leftovers! One con for this recipe is that you need a waffle maker... It's great if you own this machine but is probably disappointing if you don't have this machine.

-2 cups flour
-2 Tablespoons sugar
-1 Tablespoon baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda... NAT.. :P lol, remember?)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 3/4 cups milk
-1/3 cup oil
-2 eggs

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl. In separate bowl whisk together milk, oil and eggs. Gradually add liquid mixture to dry mixture. Stir until just blended. Makes 4 1/2 cups batter.
Pour the batter into the ready waffle maker... wait a few min...
 TADA!! Yummy yummy in my tummy!! Instead of using syrup I like to mix some sour cream with homemade raspberry or black current preserves! Try it and you will like it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Last night was a great night! It brings joy to my heart to see God working in the youth... This is what I have been praying for ever since I can remember: revival for the youth. Okay, maybe the whole youth is not exactly on close terms with God, but it all starts as a small spark, one person, two people who are passionate for Christ, and then the flame becomes unstoppable :) It still hurts to see those who are lukewarm, and don't think that I'm judging them by calling someone lukewarm, some one could ask: who am I to know their spiritual life? Well Jesus said you will know a tree by it's fruits, so pretty much you can view an individuals relationship with Christ simply by viewing their fruits, or behavior in other terms.

This is the time when I feel like I should desire to read the Word of God, but find it hard because it's easier to do something else. I prayed about changing this, so a yearning would ignite in me to read the Word, like I used to. And I feel God is starting to answer my prayer by encouraging me to read more, the past week I have encountered people who continue to encourage me. I love how God works through people! I actually remember talking to a friend who I gave advice on reading the Word of God, I said- No you are not saved by reading the Bible by any means, in order to attain salvation it don't matter how much times you read it cover to cover, all you need is Jesus Christ. His blood and sacrifice is the only thing that could save you. But you know what's important? You need the Word of God to grow. The seed may be softened and planted, but you need water and nourishment from the Word. Being saved is the most important thing in your life, but the steps after are just as important, the growing, the action of God molding you into a beautiful sculpture through good and bad times. So let me pass the encouragement down to you... Read the Word! Let Him saturate your soul and do this while you are young!!

Cherry Clafouti

This is an Italian pie custard type of thing that I found in a magazine once and ever since I made it the first time it has become a summer tradition to pick cherries at the farm and bake this at least one time every summer. Today's the day! You can also use rasberries, Lesya and I did that one time after picking berries in her forest. Remember that? Seems like forever and a half ago :) So here is the recipe, I recommend you try it!

Cherry Clafouti

2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted
2 Tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk (any milk works fine)
3/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9x9 baking dish. Toss in almonds and cherries. Wisk eggs, sugars, salt and flour untill smooth. Add milk and extracts. Wisk untill smooth. 
 Pour into baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar after fully cooked.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

 I'm really enjoying this summer... It seems like each year gets better and better.

Time for a photo update!

Gotta say I love this pic! On 4th of July morning we took the family to the farm to pick cherries (Mama, Tuna, Dee and Pushok- Dad is working). One word for fresh cherries: Delicious.

We spent almost 20 bucks on this crate thing of cherries. It's worth every penny! I'm planning on making cherry clafoti tomorrow...

We had a small get together with family at the park... Cuties! This is Jason (bottom) and Olivia (top). They are twins yet are so different from each other in personality and looks.

"Oh the joys of motherhood."
That's the quote I envisioned for this picture... haha.

Fire works at the city :) Had a nice view and lots of fun with a huge group of youth! Good call to come here! Dare I say this starts a new tradition for our youth? ;) Hopefully!