Monthly Archives: January 2015

JANUARY WISDOM 1.31.15

On Saturdays in January, the blog will feature some light-hearted words of wisdom

I find television very educational. Every time someone turns it on, I go in the other room and read a book.
 Groucho Marx

A husband is someone who takes out the trash and gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house.

Do not listen to those who complain, for their disease is contagious.  Og Mandino

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.  Mark Twain

He who dies with the most toys is still dead

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
 Arthur C. Clarke

Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day

A closed mouth gathers no feet.  Sam Horn

POWER

The sound is deafening

The power is deadly

The sight is awe inspiring

Niagara Falls conveys power!

Spread over the borders of United States and Canada, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.

In high water season’s more than 225,000 cubic feet of water rush over it every second

Over 5000 people have died going over the falls

Yet, all the waters of the world came into existence by God simply calling for them to exist

The vast oceans are mere drops in His hands

If we want to talk about real power, we must talk about God, for no power exists except for what comes from Him.

God is the source of all power and He rules over every vestige of it. No power can escape from His rule or overthrow His control.

This is why God never fears or becomes anxious. This is how He can make huge and powerful promises that are always kept. This is why at His coming every creature on earth, in heaven and in hell will bow and declare He is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).

We serve this God

We call upon this God

We trust this God

We are held by this God

We are kept by this God

We find rest in this God

We are confident in this God

Our God who is Power

PLEASE HAVE A PLAN

Personal electronics and access to the World Wide Web are here to stay.

This access is coming to children at increasingly younger ages.

This access is an open door to evil they can see and evil people seeking to prey on them.

So – what is your plan as a parent or grandparent for the children in your life?

What is the plan and what are the guidelines to protect your family from a raging corruption that stalks us?

The Challies Blog regularly features excellent articles and resources to help lead us in God-centered ways.

In this article entitled “The Porn-Free Family Plan”, Tim Challies helps us to consider how we will deal with these three types of devices:

Fixed devices – where parents have a lot of control

Mobile devices – where control is much harder

Other people’s devices – where parents have no direct control

Please avail yourself of helpful resources such as this article, and please have a plan

 

 

BELARUS UPDATE 1.26.15

Silivonets church

The church in Ivanovo. Sergei Silivonets to the left and Vladimir Bukanov from Gatovo to the right

Jeff Galupo and I enter our second week in Belarus. You can see updates each day via Twitter (@PastorKyleHuber) or on Facebook

Highlights from this week’s schedule

In addition to what is currently on the schedule, there will be several more appointments made with pastors and church leaders.

Monday – Jeff teaches Romans at the Bible College.  

I will be meeting with Pastor Igor Prokopov from Good News Church in Minsk. Sergei and I would like to work more closely with him.

We will have dinner in the home of Andrei Malets. Andrei is on staff with SEE Global as Dean of the Bible College

Tuesday – Jeff teaches Romans at the Bible College.  

I am spending time with Sergei Drozd who is on the SEE Global Board and is Pastor of Resurrection Church in Minsk.  

In the evening we will be with the leadership of the church Andrei Malets serves in

Wednesday – Jeff teaches Romans at the Bible College.

I will be having lunch with Gennadyi, who is a Pentecostal pastor who is interested in SEE Global and in helping Sergei with his church plant.

Thursday – Jeff teaches Romans at the Bible College. 

Sergei and I will be touring potential sites for the new church plant. We need a location that will also accommodate the Bible College and SEE Global office. Like most capitol cities, real estate prices and rentals are far more expensive in Minsk than the rest of the country. This is a huge hurdle for us. 

At night we return to Rakov to teach on any subject from Romans that I choose. Not an easy decision to make!

Friday – Jeff teaches Romans at the Bible College.

I will spend the day with the leaders of Sergei’s church plant team.

Saturday – We travel east to Pruzhany to spend the day with Valery and Lidia Okhremuk. Valery and his wife have participated in SEE Global’s retreats fro pastors and wives. He is a pastor in the city of Pruzhany and he oversees churches in the surrounding region

Sunday – We are in Ivanovo with Sergei and Irina Silivonets. These are long time friends who graduated from the Bible College 12 years ago before entering the ministry.

Sergei teaches a course for us at the Bible College and we would like to have him be a region representative for SEE Global and our Network of Healthy Churches.

Our church summer teams have spent time with the Silivonets in Ivanovo on a couple of occasions

Thank you for following Jeff and I in Belarus and praying for us.

JANUARY WISDOM 1.24.15

On Saturdays in January, the blog will feature some light-hearted words of wisdom

The real trouble with reality is that there’s no background music.

War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who’s left.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.  William Arthur Ward

When I hear somebody sigh “Life is hard” I’m always tempted to ask “Compared to what?”

The way some people find fault, you’d think there was some kind of reward.

You can’t be late until you show up.

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead.  Bill Mcglashen

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

Make allowances for your friends’ imperfections as readily as you do for your own.  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

People may like a person’s thought for its touching words, but they like him truly for his own deeds touching their heart.   Anuj Somany

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.   Lawrence J. Peter

A HELLISH LIE

Today is the 42 anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade on abortion

Next time you hear the ugly and hellish lie that families and children are “better off” when disabled infants are the aborted – remember Claudio Vieira de Oliveria.

Claudio was born SEVERELY disabled. Among other severe problems, his head is upside down and behind him.

Many (most?) doctors in our country would recommend that an unborn child in his condition should be terminated – killed.

However, Claudio is glad to be alive and he is the one who says his life is worth living.

Claudio’s family is glad he is alive; they cherish this wonderful person they so dearly love.

Shame to all who would so boldly lie to us and say their death would be “better”.

You can read about Claudio’s life and watch a video here

BELARUS UPDATE 1.20.15

SEE Global staff and leadership in Belarus

Yesterday, Jeff Galupo and I hit the ground running for our 18 day trip to Belarus.

I have been coming to Belarus since 1999 and this is Jeff’s third time coming with me.

We have a wide range of ministry activity planned. At the beginning of each week the blog will lay out what is happening that week so you can be praying for us.

If you want to follow along each day, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter (@PastorKyleHuber)

If you want to know more background about Belarus and our ministry involvement here, go to SEEGlobal.org

See Global is the mission organization our church founded in cooperation with church partners in Belarus.

This trip will be different for me in that I am not teaching an intense 1 or 2 week course – that will be Jeff’s job. He will be teaching the book of Romans at the Bible College next week.

My primary focus this trip is twofold:

1.  Work with the leadership team and congregation for new church that Sergei Lukyanov will plant this year

2.  Lay the ground work for creating a new Network of Healthy Churches that will be the primary work of SEE Global in Belarus.

We are beginning with 10-15 pastors who will commit to work with us for the next three years. This will involve coming to Minsk for intense courses and our sending pastors to visit their churches for on location training and encouragement.

Our purpose is to develop healthier churches who will in turn commit to training other pastors and church leaders.

The ultimate goal is to see transformation come to the Church in Belarus, which will include a new movement in church planting as well as sending missionaries out from Belarus to other parts of the world.

Highlights to Guide You Prayers This Week

Tuesday – meeting with Sergei Lukyanov the co-founder of SEE Global for planning. Then we both will meet with Viktar Krutko, who is President of the Baptist Union in Belarus.

In the evening I will teach his young adult Bible Study which has an average attendance of nearly 100 people.

Wednesday – more meetings with Sergei about the church plant and SEE Global’s work with pastors. In the evening we will be with a small group from our sister Church in Gatovo that meets in Minsk

Thursday – on to Nesvich, this is one of the ancient towns in Belarus. Ivan Beza who pastors a church plant there will be part of the initial group in our Network of Healthy Churches.

At night I will be in Rakov. A church there asked me to teach the book of Romans tonight. Yes, the entire book! Jeff said he will bring plenty of snacks and his razor

Friday – This is an exciting day of meeting with and training Sergei’s church plant team!

Saturday – Today will be the first day of training with the pastors who will be in our network of Healthy Churches.

Sunday – We will be with our sister-church in Gatovo all day! It will be a wonderful day of fellowship. It is like coming home to be with them.

On Monday, I will share highlights from next week’s schedule.

Please keep Jeff and me in your prayers!

SERMON LEFTOVERS 1.19.15

“We are Saints”              

1 Corinthians 1:2

We are in the series “Know who you are”, which looks at our identity in Christ.

Saint is used to describe everyone who is “in Christ”

Being a “saint” is like being “born again” – you cannot be a true Christian without this being true about you

The word saint means “holy one” or “set apart”

Saint comes from the same root word as ‘sanctification’ (which is the process of becoming righteous in our actions)

Saints are people set apart by Christ to live for a new purpose

We are both declared to be saints and called to be saints

1.  Being a saint refers to our condition, “those sanctified in Christ”

Christ has made us saints; he made us holy and he set us apart

Our guilt was placed on Christ and his righteousness placed on us

2.  Being a saint also refers to our purpose

We are called to live under the rule of Christ and in his character

Jesus is holy, he was ‘set apart’ from all that is corrupt

We are saved out of corruption in order to live for him and with him

We should not be content to say “I am saved and that’s enough”, we We should want to live in a way that walks with Christ

How can we welcome Jesus’ sacrifice and then disdain his life?

Christians may sin, but we must not be friendly with sin (Ephesians 5:1-12)

Sadly some Christian may tell other to “loosen up” and not be so zealous about every little sin

Would you be happy to accept a little bit of Ebola in your body?  Why ask God to accept a little bit of sin in you?

Christ himself harshly warns against the heart behind this (Revelation 3:16)

Being a saint includes:

1.  Our reality – this is what we are in Christ

2.  The Father’s expectation – what He saved us to be

3.  The Holy Spirit’s enabling – this is what he is doing in us

What does saintliness look like?

It has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic idea of “super Christians”, which is simply unbiblical

It is also more than strict moralism, which is the world’s perspective of saintliness

By definition, to be a saint is to live “set apart” for God

It is the recognition that we exist for him

God has set us apart from an idolatrous world to be worshipers of him

1.  To be set apart it is vital to see what we separate from

From whatever is rebellious

From what is false and distorted

From what distracts you

2.  To be set apart it is vital to see and cleave to

To the person of God

To what God has said

To the community of believers God created for us

Saintliness is to be like Jesus (Ephesians 4:11-13)

To love the Father with all our heart, mind and strength

To desire the Father’s will in all we do

To live for Christ’s kingdom rather than our own

Fulfilling our identity as a saint is a worthy way to live

We have to come to a conclusion about what we think is a worthy life (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Do we think a half-hearted life is okay and worth it?

Do we think that zeal for God is wasted energy and a poor life goal?

Do we believe the Bible is accurate in what it portrays about the glories of obedience and living for Christ?

What makes living as a saint worthy?

What God has done for us in Christ

It follows the perfect wisdom of God

It brings us to the glorious eternal purposes God has for us

What is your conclusion? What do you think is worthy to live for?

JANUARY WISDOM 1.17.15

On Saturdays in January, the blog will feature some light-hearted words of wisdom

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.  Theodore Roosevelt

A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s: She changes it more often.  Oliver Herford

Money won’t buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.  Bill Vaughan

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Douglas Adams

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. Jerry Seinfeld

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.  Thomas Sowell

You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother.  Albert Einstein

I was the kid next door’s imaginary friend.  Emo Philips

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.  Henry A. Kissinger

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

GRACE ABOUNDING IN SUFFERING

by Debbie Huber

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake  (Philippians 1:27-29)

In Philippians 1:29 we are told that, for the sake of Christ, God has granted to us that we will suffer for His sake.  When we first read this it could seem disheartening or hard to understand that this is a sign of God’s grace. 

But as we realize how significant it is that God used Jesus’ suffering to bring us eternal joy, we will begin to have unanticipated reactions to our own suffering.  

Through suffering, we become identified with Christ’s suffering.  Just as grace abounded in the suffering of Christ, so when believers suffer for him, grace abounds as well.  We will see suffering as an opportunity to bring God even more glory as we are comforted in the Holy Spirit. 

Because Christ’s death has reconciled us to God, His grace sets us free from the fear of death.  We do not need to live with fear and anxiety over present or future suffering because we have been set free by His grace.

In this passage, Paul is speaking to people who feel marginalized by the society around them.  Natural responses for people who are marginalized are to withdraw in fear, counter in retaliation or to complain in frustration to one another. 

Jesus provides us with another way to react:  confidence grounded in God’s grace that frees us to respond to adversaries with composed kindness and to believers who hurt us with humbleness and forgiveness.  

Jesus is our example in this.  He humbled himself and died for us because of His great love for us when we were so undeserving. 

In his book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller writes,

“The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.  This leads me to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time.”   

How can we hold onto hurts or take offense at others when God does not hold onto our frequent offenses against Him?  

For Christians this can mean responding in grace with forgiveness to fellow believers who hurt them, lovingly seeking reconciliation instead of withdrawing from them or complaining to others about them.   

Instead of leaving the church where you may have been hurt, it may mean looking to reach out to those who are marginalized, providing encouragement or help. 

It may mean being Christ’s ambassador by responding with grace and kindness to those in society who speak condescendingly of Christians or your values because you are a Christian.  And it is responding in confidence that the Holy Spirit works within Christians and that God will “never leave us or forsake us.”