Turning Blessings into Praise

During the Passion Conference 3 weeks ago, Matt Redman sang his famous “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” song most of us know by heart. My heart was in spectator mode but upon hearing this song, a song I’m terribly sick of to be honest, a phrase in the song truly convicted me;

“Every blessing You pour out, I’ll turn back to praise.”

In a moment I went from being a spectator, in awe that 4000 young Ukrainians had gathered for Jesus, to a participant, engaged with God in a question that convicted me instantaneously. The question, or thought was this, “Have I turned God’s blessings in my life into praise?”. I knew the answer. Most of the blessings I take for granted. The reality of God’s overwhelming abundance, His grace, His direction and favor in my life, His patience, and of course His faithfulness engulfed my mind/heart as I realized the initial burden deposited in my heart many years ago, was taking shape in this new phase of our life.

Do you ever have those moment where God pulls you back and allows you to see your life’s history in a moment, His hand scattered repeatedly throughout your experiences? Before the song was over, I had committed in my heart and mind to be more pro-active in my praise. We know that Sunday morning isn’t a time to ‘start’ our praise, nor any specific time really. I want my heart to be singing melodies of gratitude continually. Which one of us who have experienced God’s love and faithfulness need to be prodded like unwilling cattle into a loving response for our Lord? The time for praise is now, it’s a heart attitude and purposeful internal (first) expression that we can carry with us everywhere and always.

“But I will hope continually, And will praise thee yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14

We are in Kyiv now, arrived yesterday (another gracious deliver by Daniel the taxi man). If you have a vehicle, especially in the smaller towns like Rz, you are a minority and like a public well… many will call upon your 4 wheeled blessing for favors. Speaking of trucks, our 40ft container has been delayed another month, the date now posts July 12 as the expected date. I was discouraged, but after a day of considering our situation, realize we don’t really need the truck, we have 2 months in this apartment, and public transport is really the best means of getting around. Besides, until we learn to read Russian better, I would be a menace on the already dangerous roads. We’ll be forced to use the metro and buses, which means more Russian practice and getting to know this large city will be an asset down the road. The apartment is a major blessing, it’s fully furnished, complete with toys for the kids, games, bunk beds, nice western style kitchen and internet.  It even has a nice quiet office room and I’m now getting into a groove finally for work. We found a great grocery store 10 minutes away, Deb was delighted that some of the items (about 10%) were in English. God is so good, we’ve definitely been turning this blessing into praise.

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{Brent & Clark find toys} …………………………….{Fish on ice anyone?}

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{Crispy sun dried clothes}

Our house is coming along nicely, although our progress has been impeded slightly because our paint was not the right color in a few spots. This week the kitchen cabinets are scheduled to be installed and tiling has begun in spots on the main floor. Kolya, his brother Eloysha, Sasha and Elyosha #2 are great brothers who are working hard daily. Pray for Kolya and his new wife Jeannie, they are uncertain (like many construction workers here) of their next steps after our house project. They need a place to live for starters (borrowing Jono’s house, a missionary who is returning next month), and also aren’t sure about where God is leading them next.

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There are a few available buildings downtown Rz that Daniel and I would like to pursue gathering information on. Be in prayer with us, this particular one pictured I took a liking to because it’s right on the main street and has glass front (not common here) and could be an inviting storefront type cafe. Half of the building is a small hardware store, the other half is empty or used as storage. God direct our steps and give us favor!

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I’ve posted a new link on the left called Pray With Us, it will stay updated with the most recent prayer requests. The next big ministry event for the Church in Rz is the summer camps, please pray that God blesses this and the body of Christ in the whole area continues to grow stronger, united in faith, with a developing ‘mission’ to reach their communities.

Also, remember to consider if you haven’t already to help us with the meal we’ve volunteered to provide the Christians at the camp, donate any amount by clicking here. The total needed WAS $500US, we’ve now received $600 to date for this (Thank you!). Any extra received will go toward the cost of fuel for the participants ferry ride, which has sky rocketed over here as in the US, the cost of $2 per person does not cover this expense and we’d love to help with this too Lord willing.  We’ll keep you posted on this!

Giving thanks with you for His marvelous deeds in all our lives-

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