Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two Options

The blind see. The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear. The dead are raised. The poor have the gospel preached to them. (Luke 7:22)

Notice they had to first be blind, handicapped, suffering from leprosy, deaf, dead and poor before the healing came. Without a significant amount of suffering and pain, Jesus had nothing to free them from.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/190840102933412858/


Pain. You have two options for dealing with it.

1. Give up.
2. Grow.

"Pain often plays an important role in God's plan. Unfortunately there is no other experience that equals it's ability to grasp and focus our attention."

Friday, December 6, 2013

listen.

Shut off your phone. Shut the door. Shut your mouth.

Settle down. Sit down.

No to-do list. No mindless entertainment.

Just listen up.

What if God has something to tell you?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pruning

This popped out as I was reading the Bible last week and it still has not left me.

...he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. (John 15:2)

I feel like God has been pruning me. Pruning hurts. He's cutting off pieces, unnecessary things. He is simply letting me experience the pain of nursing school for example. My patience is being tested. My trust in Him, tested. God is also doing more internal pruning in me, things I cannot put into words. I noticed this process begin when I first came to Christ. I thought GOD WHY ME? Pain. Oh pain is a beautiful thing. I learned that it produces growth and learning. Pain produces fruit. It is almost a dark and weary subject, but we all go through pain. Know this, God prunes the branches are are already producing fruit so that they will produce more. That's good news to me because I feel this gentle, painful, excruciating process taking place in my life. I hope you do too. Glory to Jesus for this.

May your spiritual pruning lead to bigger, better, juicer and sweeter fruit for our Lord :)
 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wisdom Calls Aloud

"Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech.." 
Proverbs 1:20, 21

I have always held the idea that wisdom is found in seclusion. In nature, alone, in a hidden place. But here it says that wisdom calls aloud in the open, in the public, at the city gate. How baffling!

 "If you look for it (wisdom) as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God."
Proverbs 2:4,5

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trust is a Must

As we drove through the ice storm, I could tell my mom was afraid.  She was behind the wheel and trying not to swerve into the wrong lane or into a ditch.

I was ten years old at the time, and let me tell you: I was not afraid.  White-out conditions? Black ice? Who cares? (Nowadays I can't say I trust my mothers driving!)

Growing up without a father in the picture, all the paternal trust my little heart held was placed on my mama. I trusted her with every fiber of my being. When she was around worries did not exist. She ALWAYS knew what to do, she knew how to handle problems (ironically she is actually a huge worry-wart). As surely as the sun came up every morning and as surely as the apple fell from the tree- I knew with my mama's help everything would turn out alright in the end. 

So. That snow on that dark icy road did not trouble my child-like heart. I thought to myself: "We'll get home". And we did. 

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This is a perfect reflection of how God wants us to trust Him. With child-like faith. Have you ever seen a little munchkin hide behind their daddy's legs when a stranger nears? Or run to their dad's arms and bury themselves into his strong hold? Children cling. They depend. They trust. Because their parents are their lifeline. God wants that from me. And you. Storm in life? Must be time to trust.

I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Within My Heart a Garden Grows



Within my heart a garden grows.
Wild with violets and fragrant rose.
Bright daffodils line the narrow path.
My footsteps silent as I pass.
Sweet tulips nod their heads in rest.
I kneel in prayer to seek God's best.
For round my garden a fence stands firm.
To guard my heart so I can learn
Who should enter and who should wait
On the other side of my locked gate.
I clasp the key around my neck
And wonder if the time is yet.
If I unlocked the gate today
Would he come in or run away?
I do not want to hold this key
Lord, will You keep it safe for me?
Then when he comes
If he's the one
You'll unlock the gate
Until then, I'll wait.

-From the Cristy Miller series

Thursday, September 5, 2013

You Never Leave - Dillon Chase & ZG

God keeps sending me reminder after reminder of His faithfulness. When we are faithless, He remains faithful. This statement holds so much weight. And here I am, sitting here in awe- again and again. Anyway, I hope this song serves as an encouragement to you in some way.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Feel Like Writing Again


Take my life, Lord
You know my strife
So much like Hosea's wife
Nevertheless
Out of this mess
You have saved me
Set me free
You have opened my eyes
Shunned the lies
Truth is
Without this cross I am at a loss
I now take a seat
This I wish to repeat
Simply sitting here at Your feet

Friday, August 9, 2013

Week 7 Video Interview: Stanley John


Okay maybe week seven was my favorite week. It is hard to decide. I like that this week was more "college style" learning. It made me excited to start up the college groove this fall. Stanley John was hilarious and very smart. There is never a dull moment when he is teaching. I hope that he will continue teaching SFG Bible school in the upcoming years. Anyway Bible school is coming to an end. I am not sure how I feel about having our last day of classes tomorrow.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SFG Bible School Week 5 Video



Watch this video if you haven't seen it already. Yes I'm in it! Hehe :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week Five and Kentucky Trip


Week 5: Probably my favorite. Why? Because we got to study the book of Romans! The most studied, yet ignored, simple, yet complicated book of the Bible (my opinion). I loved it! It's the basic gospel message. And in the end it points to our foundation: Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross.

  Our teacher from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a man of passion. You can see how much he wishes us to understand and grab hold of the truth in the Scriptures. I loved that we actually opened up our Bibles in class. Sounds silly, but it was nice. I like not having notes printed out for me.

 Our dear Paul preached for the first time! Praise God! It was a touching message about our Jesus :) My favorite topic! I can't wait to see him preach in Rochester.



We had two presentations during week five. First was about Modern Christianity (my group) and the other was about Mormonism. A quote I thought was noteworthy by David Wilkerson: "God hates the LUKEWARM GOSPEL OF HALF-TRUTHS that is now spreading over the globe. This gospel says, 'Just believe in Jesus and you'll be saved. There's nothing more to it.' It ignores the whole counsel of God, which speaks of repenting from former sins, of taking up your cross, of being conformed to the image of Christ by the refining work of the Holy Spirit. It is totally silent about the reality of hell and an after-death judgment."

 It was our first bus trip with the 50-seat bus! It was so much fun!!

Oh yeah and half way to Kentucky the air conditioning inside the bus broke. The temperature reached just under 100 degrees. I think God was preparing us for the extreme conditions the missionary world. I am just glad that I am not too heat sensitive compared to others. Not bragging or anything, but I sleep under blankets no matter how high the temperature. Maybe I am destined to live in the Sub-African Sahara. Or Florida. Or on my own private island.

 First stop: Creation Museum!


Everything is based on God's word.

Noah's ark. There is so much at the museum, I would not be able to share it all with you.

Yes, dinosaurs too! Rawr!

The new part of the museum: all about bugs. So many different kinds of bugs. So grossly interesting. The guys really loved the bugs while most girls were pretty freaked out. They were all real bugs (not alive) and the only ones that scared me were the "mammoth" African Beetles or something. Those things were the size of my hand. Ew ew ew ew ew.


And the petting zoo. Look, it's a zorse! A zebra horse! Such a cool creature. Yes, I got to pet a zorse.

Then there are the chickens we got to pet. I think this picture is funny. Yaro has this super-compassionate look on his face while holding this chicken. Lol. I love chicken too. Fried chicken.

We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! This is our class motto for this year. Romans 1:16.


Then back on to the hot bus, singing songs, talking to each other about our favorite topic: dating and marriage haha.

At the end of the day, someone's gotta clean up. Looks like "Michael Motorcycle" doesn't mind too much.


So the trip was a success, praise God. This upcoming weekend we plan on visiting Cleveland, OH and Erie, PA. I am looking forward to everything. Guys, I am so glad I went to Bible school. God is so good! Now I am off to do some research for my paper! God bless y'all!


Friday, July 19, 2013

SFG Bible School Weeks 3 and 4

I cannot believe how much time is flying by! So here is an update of what we have been up to and how we are doing here in our little own world called "SFG Bible School". Above is an awesome girl, Liliya Silkovska. She is one smart cookie.

Twice a week we have "Student Church". Pretty much one group (5 groups in all ) leads service. And it is always blessed and interesting. I love seeing people get out of their comfort zone and preach for their first time, or sing. It's a good atmosphere to start.

We sang an old hymn and my favorite line was "One in Himself, I cannot die, my soul is purchased by His blo-o-o-d, my life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ my Savior and my God."


This is our week 3 teacher and it was his birthday! He taught on evangelism.

Here is Lesya, presenting on the topic of Atheism. She is so funny, just look at everyone smiling! :)

Resting on the Word. Maybe just napping. Hehe.

Our group. From left to right Julie (NC), Dennis (TN), Vadim (OH), Liliya (MI), Rostik (OH), Ninja (OH), me (NY) and below us is Tim (OH) and Yaro (NY). I'm actually surprised at how close we have gotten.

Week 4 was different because we had different teachers come in everyday due to a teacher not being able to make it from Ukraine because of Visa issues. Pastor Olesh was an amazing teacher for a day, we are hoping he could substitute in for a teacher again!

Planning and voting on our t-shirt designs.

Our main administrator: Alex Sinyk. He said "I am not photo-hygenic" Lol he meant to say "photogenic". I have a feeling that he really really loves us. And he really loves to scare us.

I love this shot. We have so many talented students in our class. When we have alone time, you can catch students throughout the church (inside, outside, here and there and anywhere) reading the Bible, praying, napping, playing guitar/piano, working on sermons, practicing for church or just chillin. It is one of the best feelings to walk in on someone praying in a room (that sounds wrong, I mean it just makes me so happy to see us have a passion for the Lord). What a blessing it is to be here! 

In the end, this is what it comes to: Living IN CHRIST. It does not matter if someone is in Bible school, at home, at work... If we are in Christ, we are in the right place. We are secure, our Rock is steady and our joy is great because our Jesus is good.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Love To Worship Spoken Word

Thoughts on Gods Will


God's will for you is unique. You will touch the lives of people no one else can touch. Just like that puzzle piece that touches certain pieces, no one else can stand in the place you stand in your life. Be it family, school, work, or neighborhood. There is no such thing as coincidence, it is all a beautiful master-mind plan of God. Every person you meet, every seemingly "random" encounter with those hungry for the Jesus in you; that is a circumstance that can never be repeated. So take a chance. Stand out. Be the light. Let Jesus be Jesus in you. Depend on Him. Jesus Himself said He cannot do anything without the Father. Who are we, mere humans, thinking we can be independent from the Father? So don't worry about God's will for your life, He will work everything together for the good of those who love Him. So love Him, depend on Him, cling to Him, stand on His firm foundation. Don't forget what was done on the cross. That's His will for you.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

SFG Bible School Weeks 1-2 Video



This video was made by a few of our students. Made me want to laugh and cry. God bless :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weeks 1 & 2

Slavic Full Gospel Bible School... I'm so blessed to be part of it this year.
Chillin with our teacher during lunch. A very intelligent man indeed. Week 2 topic: The Study of the Holy Spirit.
Each week, a different group prepares a presentation about a world religion. Here is Viktoria presenting the religion of  Jehovah's Witnesses. It was awesome to hear history, values and tips on witnessing to those individuals.
Last week we had a car wash.
Funny story: We caused a minor car accident. Distracted driving I guess!
This car decided to die amidst the washing. The guys had way too much fun pushing it!
Beautiful ladies. They have hearts to serve!
Cutie.
Practicing my guitar skills before we left to do some work in the city called Highways and Hedges.
My roommate and awesome friend Lesya. We call her Miss L for fun. I love that she is here, I can't stress that enough.
The mission of Highways and Hedges is to go out to the city of Columbus and preach the gospel of Christ on the streets and in the homeless shelters. We also give them food and other products for daily living. We visited about 4 different locations and spent time praying and simply talking to the different people. These two men were encouraging us and sharing their stories!
An American pastor from Potters House Church preached the gospel at this shelter and I really enjoyed hearing it!
Our class Pastor.
Danny, our fellow human. You can call him the event organizer for Bible school.
And of course there is volleyball!
All glory to God for everything!