This week Deb’s parents have arrived for a visit. The kids are relishing all of this attention. This morning the kids had their first horse riding lessons. The teacher is a widower, her husband passed away last year. They have several nice horses on a small ranch and have begun giving classes.
Even Noah and Clark got in on the action!
I’ve been enjoying some new areas of study. I recommend the book, “Tactics” by Gregory Khoukl, (you may also like his radio show, www.str.org) it’s a refreshing look at defending our faith in some relevant, non-offensive ways. For me, I find that my personality, and poor tactical skills often lend to offending more than the truth claims I represent. Amazing how Christ dealt with the skeptic, the hypocrites and religious of His day. He masterfully exemplified the art of questioning, exposing either illogical or hypocritical thought. It’s one thing to ‘tell someone something’, it’s another to help them see it through interaction, questions and thinking through issues. In Ukraine, there are more atheistic/agnostics than in Texas, and this encourages me to sharpen my thinking in preparation for a God honoring defence of the hope that is within me. I’m not inclined to reading like my ‘novel per day’ wife (not that she has time anymore), but I’ve ordered some more books along the lines of apologetics, and we are studying how to practically respond to many of the tough critiques of the Christian faith in our home group each week.
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” 1 Peter 3:15
The gospel saves, but sometimes we need to help them understand why it’s good news, and what they are actually rejecting. Basic Christian 101 stuff here, but challenging me to think more passionately. We are, after all, commanded to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and all your mind.” Are you exercising that thing squished inside your skull (or noggin the kids would say)? I figure we have a few more good years before we start to forget as much as we remember!
– We were encouraged this week by a meeting we had with the city. They are asking us to register an organization (church or charity) in order to continue partnering together. At first I took this as an act of control, and a negative thing. However their attitude is more to help us, and for legal protection. They offered to help with this (through the city lawyer) and also encouraged us to ‘not’ stop serving and helping while we figure this out. Pray for us, there’s a lot of work involved in registering anything in Ukraine, and whatever we do needs to be thought out and planned long term.
– This Sunday went well, I spoke at the ‘all church ‘ meeting, about 100 people from the town. I shared on Marriage & Relationships, and how a good marriage is a practical way to be ‘salt and light’ in this community as we reflect God’s example of forgiveness and love. It’s amazing how many people yell at each-other here, it’s a normal way to treat people under your authority (at work, getting documents, in marriage). It was well received, several ukrainians came up and shook my hand or quietly nodded when it was through, although who knows what Dan actually translated:) We are at a crossroads with the ‘all church ‘ meetings and will be making future plans this coming Sunday. Pray for our meeting, and pray that God directs our hearts and decisions.
Bruce & Deb