Monthly Archives: April 2018

National Day of Prayer 2018 prayer guide

We created a prayer guide for our church to use on the National Day of Prayer on May 3. It is available here in either letter size or booklet format. As you can see, it can be used to guide your prayer any day of the year.

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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Prayer


To friend or unfriend

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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in Culture, Facebook, Fun


Be All In

After spending two weeks in Russia, I often struggle when I return to the States. After seeing the commitment of my brothers and sisters in Russia, I question the habits of my church going friends in America.

During my first week in Anapa, one pastor and his friends drove nine hours to attend the three day class on the book of Revelation. Another pastor and two people came five hours by car and ferry to attend the class. All who attended carved out three days from their schedules to be present.

During my second week in Elista, the group did the preclass assignment in order to attend. They also rearranged their schedules to attend the three day course. Because of fear of persecution, they changed locations overnight and adapted their schedules accordingly. Though cautious, they came and did not stay away.

When I come home, I deal with those who are far less committed. Those who attend church once or twice a month and consider themselves regular attenders. Those who attend but never get involved. Those who observe but never participate. Those who are present but who defer when asked to serve. Those who keep their membership at one church but attend a different church. Those who never commit to anything because they want to keep their options open.

For the former, church is a matter of commitment. For the latter, church seems to be a matter of convenience.

Maybe it’s the jet lag talking, but I don’t get it.

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Posted by on April 26, 2018 in Church, Culture, Russia


Why I believe in a pretribulation rapture

While teaching the class on Revelation in Russia, I shared with the two groups that there are four basic positions on the timing of the rapture.

  • Pretribulation rapture – The church is removed from the earth before the Tribulation begins.
  • Partial rapture – Only spiritual Christians are removed before the Tribulation. Carnal Christians go through the first half of the Tribulation.
  • Mid-trib, or Pre-Wrath Rapture – The church goes through the first half of the Tribulation and is removed just before the judgments begin.
  • Posttribulation rapture – The church goes through the Tribulation and is removed just prior to Christ’s return, making a quick U-turn to return with him.

I explained that I hold to the Pretribulation Rapture for the following reasons. They build upon one another and the strongest one is the last one.

  • The church is mentioned in Revelation 1-3, and 19-22. It is not mentioned in 6-18 when God judges the world.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:10 – Believers are exempt from God’s coming wrath, the time known as the Great Tribulation.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 – Paul excludes believers from the Day of the Lord and the outpouring of God’s wrath.
  • Revelation 3:10 – In the letter to the church in Philadelphia, God says that they will be kept from the hour of trial.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:18 – The doctrine of the pretribulation rapture should be a comfort and encouragement to believers.
  • The doctrine of imminency –1 Thessalonians 1:10 supports the imminent return of Christ, that he could return at any moment.
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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Revelation, Russia


Russia 2018 Trip Report


The high cost of Christmas lights

As we were talking one night in Elista, Naomi asked me about the medical costs for my hip surgery. Since I had time on my hands in the hotel in Moscow, I decided to total them up. As you can see, it turned out to be the most expensive Christmas lights we ever purchased. Thank God for good insurance.

Category Total costs Out of pocket expenses
Ambulances $2,529.13 $100.00
Hospital & personnel $26,999.56 $1,000.00
Ultrasound $2,543.73 $25.00
Surgery & follow up $8,671.00 $25.00
Rehab Center $4,307.14 $752.18
In-home physical therapy $1,539.75 $0
Rx $3,154.46 $187.19
Primary Care Physician $1,160 $200.00
Physical Therapy $4,715 $525.00
Totals $55,619.77 $2,814.37

Considering I have another follow up visit with the surgeon on Monday and possibly more PT to come, as well as more follow up on the blood clots, it’s not quite done yet.

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Posted by on April 21, 2018 in Finances, Health


Russia 2018 – Week two report

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Ministry, Missions, Photos, Russia


Wild tulips

We saw the wild tulips of the Steppes region. Since I was more familiar with the organized, well laid out fields of the Skagit Valley in Washington, I was surprised to see tulips growing in the wild. There were red ones, smaller yellow ones, and then tiny white ones. I was even caught trying to take a picture. Beautiful.

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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in Flowers, Photos, Russia


Kalmyk farm and museum

Today we toured a traditional Kalmyk farm. One dwelling served as a museum to show how a traditional Kalmyk lived. It included, beds, furnishings, and clothing. Our guide said it could all be packed up and carried on two camels.

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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in Photos, Russia


Worry vs. Trust


Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Quotes, Tim Challies