Sunday, April 27, 2008

If I had ______ I would do ________.

This was a part of today's message by Phil McElhenny, pastor of Kalamazoo First, Portage, MI. The message was about the existence of God, and our needing to ask questions of people. Part of what he said dealt with outlining the various arguments for the existence of God. One of those things was the idea that we can dream.

He asked us to fill in the blanks to: If I had ________ I would do __________.

Quite intriguing to me. The temptation is to answer selfishly. What if we were to answer selflessly? How much good could be done in the world? How much of the fragrance of Jesus could we spread around?

 Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity;
O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
Jones and Hayworth

What could we dream of together? Is anything to big for God? Perhaps our conception of God is too small?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bread or Stones

While preparing to share tonight at our prayer meeting about the persistent widow and the unjust judge, I realized that God is not some tight-fisted, bitter, and angry God, from whose hand we are lucky to pull out one blessing. Rather, God is like my father (and mother) who gives all that he can to his children. If I ask him for bread he is not going to give me a stone.

When I call my parents, they drop everything and talk to me. That is the way that God is. (He doesn't drop the cosmos, of course, but you know what I mean.) My Heavenly Father is concerned about my needs, even if they seem small in comparison with the things on his plate (natural disasters, war, injustice, etc.) He knows my name and spoke to him just a few minutes ago.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Funeral sermon times seven!

Attended the funeral (part one anyway) of Juri Filipov, the director of the Teen Challenge center in Vilnius. We will finish it up tomorrow afternoon. There were seven preaches, your truly being one of them. It was in Russian (which I don't know) but at least I had an interpreter. My poor wife didn't have that and resorted to over 200 people who were in attendance. That was a lot of people and you can't believe the flowers! Very amazing. The music? Well, let's just say it gives "dirge" a whole new meaning

This has me thinking what I want my funeral to be like.
  1. I want it to be happy- Happy that I am finally with Jesus.
  2. I want there to be a great worship band- Worshipping God just like I am doing.
  3. I would like there to be few flowers and instead people would donate to Teen Challenge Lithuania
  4. I would like a certain pastor to do the service, (Kandra knows) Others can have some minutes, but he should have the bulk of it.
  5. I would like there to be an appropriate way for people to respond to my greatest desire: that they would know Christ.
It may be a bit morbid to think of, but thinking through it seems to be a good idea. I mean, who would want the very last thing you do on earth to be done in a way not in keeping with your desires?

Think about it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sad Day/Legacy Day

This morning I received news that Juri Filipovas, the director of the Teen Challenge center here in Vilnius had passed away. It seems that his poor health over the years finally caught up with him. He has had problems with his kidneys for many years and his heart and lungs had been affected in recent months.

I am the National Director of Teen Challenge in Lithuania, so I feel a special connection to Juri. He was the first director of Teen Challenge and had dedicated the last 8 years or so to helping people with drug and alcohol problems.

It is kind of ironic that today, Sunday, I had asked Juri to come and preach at our church and bring some of the students along to give some testimonies. When I heard the news, I thought they wouldn't come. But Sasa, Juri's right hand man brought them and they shared some songs, some of their stories, even a skit. We asked them lots of questions and they provided some great answers. Bob MacIsaac said, "What a legacy Juri has left behind!"

Our prayers go out tonight to Leokadija and her two adult sons. Juri will be missed as he was a very kind and compassionate man. Please keep them in your prayers.

There will no doubt be new leadership at the center and that will be a challenge in and of itself. Pray that God would give me wisdom as I guide the ship through these troubled times.

We never know when our time will be up. It is best to always be ready.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For Men Only

I came across this on my recent trip to Turkey. Some people from Russia brought it and I took a picture of it:

I was told it says: Keep away from women!

Not politically correct

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Oh yeah, I have a spot on MySpace now. This way I can keep up with my girls.

Hello Boys!

I'm Baaaack! In the words of my generation....

Anyway, so much for the lines from Independence Day. Better stop while I am ahead;-)

I have returned to Lithuania. We came back last Saturday and have been busy getting caught up with everything.

We are sure missing our girls. I can't believe that we are actually back here alone without them. I am sure we will stay busy though.

I have been an adult for 24 years. I can't retire and go back to being a child again for another 25 years. Sounds like a good time to start saving. Now, is the time I can really have that honeymoon I didn't really have with my wife. We have enjoyed a few nights on the balcony this week. Nice long talks. I don't know what I would do without her.

The coolest thing is that Stef left a bunch of little notes all around the house saying things like, "I miss you!"or "I miss your hugs!" or "I wish you were here eating all of this yummy food!" What a great kid. I leave them so that I can find them more than once. Kandra collects them....who can explain that?