Odessa Camp 2013 and an Update from Kyiv by the Grodz's

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Thank you so much for your prayers and care. As you know we’ve moved to Kyiv on Saturday 13th, and on Sunday P.Roman led the wedding ceremony of Rafi and Tanya (By the way, Rafi and Tanya had part of their honey moon in this Camp!). On Tuesday 16th we went to Odessa to participate in Summer camp in Carolina Bugaz. God blessed us with the possibility to stay in nice hotel, most people stayed in tents on the beach. There were many families with 1-3 kids who were staying in tents, they are real heroes! Hope you saw some great pictures of this camp on the Facebook. There were about 70 people from Odessa, Cherkassy, Moldova, Kyiv,  L'viv and from Kaliningrad. The theme of the Camp was “A Prepared Heart”. P.Roman and P.Mark Knowles from Moldova were the main speakers and the other pastors had their great portions as well. There were 3 young men from different cities who got baptized at the end of the camp. P.Sasha and his team did an amazing work organizing this camp. People shared great testimonies from the time there. Many expressed the desire to have this camp longer and they anticipate next time of the camp.

We planned to stay couple days longer in Odessa to be with the church there, but our son got sick and we ended up in the hospital, it was an unbelievable experience, we decided to leave that hospital the next day. We stayed 3 days with P.Sasha and Tanya and then went back to Kyiv. Sam still is recovering, but he is much better now, thank God! Please, pray for special protection from God on our health, we feel since we started this process of moving to Kyiv we’ve been under serious attacks on our health.

P. Roman, Albina and Sam

God's Answer for Anxiety

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Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Anxiety Defined
Anxiety is the sense or feeling that results when core fear has not been confronted with God and His Love and Promises but rather pushed down, down into the lower sub-consciousness and treated with things to relieve the symptom of fear but not the cause.

Anxiety is similar to my medical symptoms. It is not something to get rid of as quickly as possible; it is something to define, to look beneath. It is not a problem to solve; it is a doorway into a deeper region of the human heart and soul  where God waits to meet you. And when you rest in the Father's embrace, unexplainable peace fills the center of your soul - Ps 23 "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me."

Think of anxiety as the red light flashing on your dashboard. It is telling you something is wrong under the hood. Ignore it at your peril. Medication has its place, but when you use medication simply to feel better without exploring the deeper roots of your anxiety, a spiritual malignancy might remain unexposed that threatens your quality of life.

How Women experience anxiety:
Invisibility
Probe deeply into the inner world of women, and a profound fear of invisibility will be felt. Will people never see beauty to cherish? Does anyone see the beauty of secure femininity as God created her to be - the wonder of anchored, unthreatened wholeness that warmly invites others into the love of God? Or do people see a woman and desire only external beauty, competence, or fun sociability, things that can be used or violated?

The core terror of invisibility is most acutely felt when a woman takes the risk to be intimate - to invite a husband, a daughter, a father, or a friend to know her. Will anyone be drawn? Will they be curious? Will someone see the beauty of a feminine soul that draws the observer to God?

How Men experience anxiety:
Weightlessness
Men are no less afraid; they are terrified by something just as personal but a little different - weightlessness. Do I have what it takes to impact people in a way that restores them to their God-designed wholeness? Will anyone value me as a weighty person in whose courage and strength people can rest?

The core terror of weightlessness is experienced when a man moves toward a wife, a child, a parent, or a friend to impact that person for good. Will anyone be impacted? Will she be grateful? Will someone respect the strength of a masculine soul that allows her to relax in the strength of God?

4 Things that are surface symptoms of a lies a core terror, a consuming fear that lives in secrecy:
1. nervousness
2. panic attacks and phobias; 
3. worries about health, money, and children
4. anxiety disorders 
       
Core Fears: The core terror in each person is deeply personal. People fear 
1. loneliness, 
2. inadequacy, 
3. rejection, 
4. isolation, 
5. dismissal, 
6. criticism, 
7. judgment. 
8. terror of exposure. Will I be seen for who I really am and not be wanted as I long to be?

Go Deeper - Stillness - Psychic noise.
Psalms 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God
Getting quiet before an all powerful loving God. Practicing the Presence of God.

Only when these core identity terrors are defined can the reality of God be experienced. Until it is brought into the light of consciousness where the reality of God can strip its power, that core terror will continue to reign as a hidden tyrant. 

3 Quick fixes that don't work:
1. Live to soothe anxiety and you will miss out on the affirming, empowering experience of God. 
2. Live to feel less worry and you will depend on sources of relief that never bring peace. 
3. Live to never feel the terror of invisibility or weightlessness and you will never get close enough to people to enjoy intimacy and impact.

Do not live to solve the problem of anxiety. Live to walk through the doorway of anxiety into the core terror that will reveal the glory of a God who lavishes you with beauty and weightiness that no separation, betrayal, or experience of loneliness can destroy. Only then will you know the peace that passes understanding that anchors you in God through all the storms of life.

*Credit to Larry Crabb for some of the content in this article

The Trouble with X...

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An Exerpt from C.S. Lewis

I suppose I may assume that seven out of ten of those who read these lines are in some kind of difficulty about some other human being. Either at work or at home, either the people who employ you or those whom you employ, either those who share your house or those whose house you share, either your in-laws or parents or children, your wife or your husband, are making life harder for you than it need be even in these days. It is hoped that we do not often mention these difficulties (especially the domestic ones) to outsiders. But sometimes we do. An outside friend asks us why we are looking so glum, and the truth comes out.
On such occasions the outside friend usually says, "But why don't you tell them? Why don't you go to your wife (or husband, or father, or daughter, or boss, or landlady, or lodger) and have it all out? People are usually reasonable. All you've got to do is to make them see things in the right light. Explain it to them in a reasonable, quiet, friendly way." And we, whatever we say outwardly, think sadly to ourselves, "He doesn't know X." We do. We know how utterly hopeless it is to make X see reason. Either we've tried it over and over again--tried till we are sick of trying it--or else we've never tried because we saw from the beginning how useless it would be. We know that if we attempt to "have it all out with X" there will be a "scene", or else X will stare at us in blank amazement and say "I don't know what on earth you're talking about"; or else (which is perhaps worst of all) X will quite agree with us and promise to turn over a new leaf and put everything on a new footing--and then, twenty-four hours later, will be exactly the same as X has always been.
You know, in fact, that any attempt to talk things over with X will shipwreck on the old, fatal flaw in X's character. And you see, looking back, how all the plans you have ever made always have shipwrecked on that fatal flaw--on X's incurable jealousy, or laziness, or touchiness, or muddle-headedness, or bossiness, or ill temper, or changeableness. Up to a certain age you have perhaps had the illusion that some external stroke of good fortune--an improvement in health, a rise of salary, the end of the war--would solve your difficulty. But you know better now. The war is over, and you realize that even if the other things happened, X would still be X, and you would still be up against the same old problem. Even if you became a millionaire, your husband would still be a bully, or your wife would still nag, or your son would still drink, or you'd still have to have your mother-in-law live with you.
It is a great step forward to realize that this is so; to face up to the fact that even if all external things went right, real happiness would still depend on the character of the people you have to live with--and that you can't alter their characters. And now comes the point. When you have seen this you have, for the first time, had a glimpse of what it must be like for God. For of course, this is (in one way) just what God Himself is up against. He has provided a rich, beautiful world for people to live in. He has given them intelligence to show them how it ought to be used. He has contrived that the things they need for their biological life (food, drink, rest, sleep, exercise) should be positively delightful to them. And, having done all this, He then sees all His plans spoiled--just as our little plans are spoiled--by the crookedness of the people themselves. All the things He has given them to be happy with they turn into occasions for quarreling and jealousy, and excess and hoarding, and tomfoolery...
But... there are two respects in which God's view must be very different from ours. In the first place, He sees (like you) how all the people in your home or your job are in various degrees awkward or difficult; but when He looks into that home or factory or office He sees one more person of the same kind--the one you never do see. I mean, of course, yourself. That is the next great step in wisdom--to realize that you also are just that sort of person. You also have a fatal flaw in your character. All the hopes and plans of others have again and again shipwrecked on your character just as your hopes and plans have shipwrecked on theirs.
It is no good passing this over with some vague, general admission such as "Of course, I know I have my faults." It is important to realize that there is some really fatal flaw in you: something which gives others the same feeling of despair which their flaws give you. And it is almost certainly something you don't know about--like what the advertisements call "halitosis", which everyone notices except the person who has it. But why, you ask, don't the others tell me? Believe me, they have tried to tell you over and over and over again. And you just couldn't "take it". Perhaps a good deal of what you call their "nagging" or "bad temper"... are just their attempts to make you see the truth. And even the faults you do know you don't know fully. You say, "I admit I lost my temper last night"; but the others know that you always doing it, that you are a bad-tempered person. You say, "I admit I drank too much last Saturday"; but every one else know that you are a habitual drunkard.
This is one way in which God's view must differ from mine. He sees all the characters: I see all except my own. But the second difference is this. He loves the people in spite of their faults. He goes on loving. He does not let go. Don't say, "It's all very well for Him. He hasn't got to live with them." He has. He is inside them as well as outside them. He is with them far more intimately and closely and incessantly that we can ever be. Every vile thought within their minds (and ours), every moment of spite, envy, arrogance, greed, and self-conceit comes right up against His patient and longing love, and grieves His Spirit more than it grieves ours.
The more we can imitate God in both these respects, the more progress we shall make. We must love X more; and we must learn to see ourselves as a person of exactly the same kind. Some people say it is morbid to always be thinking of one's own faults. That would be all very well if most of us could stop thinking of our own without soon beginning to think about those of other people. For unfortunately we enjoy thinking about other people's faults: and in the proper sense of the word "morbid", that is the most morbid pleasure in the world.
We don't like rationing which is imposed upon us, but I suggest one form of rationing which we ought to impose on ourselves. Abstain from all thinking about other people's faults, unless you duties as a teacher or parent make it necessary to think about them. Whenever the thoughts come unnecessarily into one's mind, why not simply shove them away? And think of one's own faults instead? For there, with God's help, one can do something. Of all the awkward people in your house or job there is only one whom you can improve very much. That is the practical end at which to begin. And really, we'd better. The job has got to be tackled some day; and every day we put it off will make it harder to begin.
What, after all, is the alternative? You see clearly enough that nothing... can make X really happy as long as X remains envious, self-centered, and spiteful. Be sure that there is something inside you which, unless it is altered, will put it out of God's power to prevent your being eternally miserable. While that something remains, there can be no Heaven for you, just as there can be no sweet smells for a man with a cold in the nose, and no music for a man who is deaf. It's not a question of God "sending" us to Hell. In each of us there is something growing up which will of itself be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud. The matter is serious: let us put ourselves in His hands at once--this very day, this hour.

Faith Dreams

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Sunday we preached on Having a Faith Dream. Here is the audio message: http://buff.ly/1aQOVbw. Here are some of the notes: Faith Dreams

Genesis 37:5 Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him still more.

Psalms 126:1-2 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

In a society that thrives on the thrill of extreme adventure and the "reality rush", people suffer from the passivity and boredom of a life lived in selfishness and egocentric entertainment. They live in an environment that is probable, predictable and controllable yet riddled with discontentment and lack of satisfaction. The despair deepens as they try more and more to fill the gaping hole in their soul that can only be filled with the love and purpose that comes from the deep call of God that calls to the depths of a man's spirit.

We, like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, & Nehemiah have been created for a purposed calling from a God that wants to speak to lonely empty people. People are limited to themselves and their feeble imaginations. God wants to give people a dream, a faith dream.

A faith dream is a Rhema that God imparts through His Word to the spirit of a person as He did with Mary in Luke 1. This faith dream comes from a revelation of the character and nature of God through Jesus Christ. This vision builds a fearless capacity to step out onto the water to walk out on the impossibility to meet Jesus Himself on the waters. When Peter standing in the boat saw Jesus walking on the water he saw himself on the water with Jesus.

Heart dreams motivate our thinking in a godly way, causing us to establish goals at a very young age. When these goals are established, they are regulated by discipline. As a result, we are sustained as individuals - These dreams really do protect the soul.

Did you know that a person who has dreams lives better because he has goals? A person who has healthy dreams checks his performance against his goals. The consequences of a person’s goals will maintain his performance. Consider some dreams for yourself under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Ask the Lord for a dream goal

Show me a person who is filled with emptiness and passivity, without purpose in life, and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have a dream

A person without a dream is passive, frivolous, empty-headed, and easily influenced by people who have no purpose in this life.

Is 29:8 - A hungry man dreams

For those of you who can’t dream, there are people who are dreaming for you.

if a dream is motivated by self-interest and we have already committed ourselves to our choices instead of allowing God to choose for us, then we will find roadblocks.

There are 8 characteristics of a faith dream.
1. It is something that God puts in the spirit of the surrendered heart at
His Cross by His "energeo" - Phil 2.13 - "enthusiasm" grk. "God inside"

2. A vision that does not originate with us nor centers around us. It may be something that we have run from such as Moses - Ex 3.2

3. A vision that is much bigger than us than our emotions and mind. It is something that is bigger than our resources and not for our fleshly gain. Nehemiah

4. It is a dream that is so impossible to the natural man that only God's love working in us can make a way to break through the discouragement and reasons not to go on.

5. It is a purpose that many may not understand and that we could easily doubt if it were not for God's confirming in our hearts. It is a vision that may make us at times feel alone. Lam 3.28

6. It is a vision that is accompanied with the presence, liberty and the fruit of the Spirit.

7. It is very possible that you may not see the faith vision come to pass in your lifetime. Heb 11.

8. The result of obedience by faith is the deliverance, salvations of many and eternal fruit that never passes away.

Eph3.20
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we able to ask or think according to the power that worketh in us

Intimacy & Vulnerability in Prayer before God

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Here are some abbreviated draft notes on a message we preached on "PRAYER - Wisdom that comes from Vulnerability"

Here the message here: http://bit.ly/12AZwlH

"A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer." - Prov 29.19. There is a lot of ignorance due to the lack of prayer. 

When we sing, 'Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,' we are not thinking of the nearness of place, but of the nearness of relationship. It is for increasing degrees of awareness that we pray, for a more perfect consciousness of the divine Presence. We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts." --A.W. Tozer 

"I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." - Jn 15:15.

Information age of technology - automation and machination that causes isolation and entertainment vs prayer that creates reverence and participlation. Technology can create a culturally obese society because of the availability, ease of use, convenience, and affordability of technology. 

Intimacy in prayer repels the demand that God answer all our why's to satisfy our mental lust for inforamtion. We trust Him for those things that He has allwoed in our lives without having to ask Him why. We quielty bow before Him in worship.

Those whom God should use mightily He wounds deeply. "What are these wounds in thine hands?" Then he shall answer, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Zech 13:6. Take Jacob for example. Wrestles with God comes out with a limp.

It can be that we hide in what we do for God as Adam hid among the leaves that he was to be the caretaker of - 1 Sam 10:22 Saul hid among the stuff that he was to be ruling over. "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee."- Ps 32:8-9

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” - Mother Theresa

When we sing, 'Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,' we are not thinking of the nearness of place, but of the nearness of relationship. It is for increasing degrees of awareness that we pray, for a more perfect consciousness of the divine Presence. We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts." --A.W. Tozer 

Transparency leads to authenticity in our prayer life with God. Our communion with God is a two way communication whereas shallow religious prayers are just a monologue to God no different that the pagan prayers of the lost. Authenticity is what we all long for in our Spiritual Vertical with God because it is the only satisfying element in our lives - communion with God. Where we are not afraid of God deeply seeing and knowing us through and through as he did with Abraham. Abraham was the Friend of God and his relationship was authentic as we see in Genesis 18.17 "And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" Abraham was transparent before God resulting in experiencing the Secrets of God in His Plan. 

That is authenticity and it costs us our cover. Surrender your fig leaves that only last a season and surrender to the All Seeing Compassion of God

Grace sets the stage for Love to come in and create a safe zone where transparency is no longer a threat and vulnerability becomes voluntarily. Where there is no transparency there can be no authenticity and our relationship with God is not genuine and is intimacy with God is replaced with activity for God. Servant Master relationship.