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A Funeral

A Funeral – the ultimate reminder to us that the devil won a battle. 

There is a big difference between theology and philosophy.  You don’t want philosophy at a funeral.  You do want theology.  People benefit greatly from hearing truth about God’s Word and His wonderful character at a funeral – the ultimate reminder that the devil won a battle.

Q.  Who is God?

Answer:  Loving, kind, wise, patient, comforter, all-knowing, all-powerful, creator, sustainer, our Father… the one who lovingly allowed the Fall to occur, resulting in funerals – the ultimate reminder to us that the devil won a battle.

Q.  What does God’s Word reveal for us that is pertinent at funerals?

Answer:

1.  God is loving, kind… etc.

2.  The man who trusts in the Lord will never be put to shame.  The man who seeks the Lord finds Him.

3.  God knows what He is doing and doesn’t see the death of His children as a tragedy.

4.  Our security isn’t in the life we live here or even in the love we share with others.

5.  In the light of eternity, the length of our lives here, (be it 10 years or 80 years), is as a drop in the ocean.

6.  In eternity, God won’t be judging the Christian based on how many years he racked up, but on what he did with those years – who he was.

7.  We are not as those who have no hope.  We have the most wonderful hope available to man – that of being at peace in God’s presence with “pleasure forevermore”.

Testing

IMG_6415[1]“We’re back” - said in good old Arnold Schwarznegger style.  It’s been a good first two weeks of settling into things again.  The weather has been nice and mild, but much to the girls delight, we did get a day of big flakes which covered the ground. 

The trip here went very well.  Fly Emirates.  30kg of baggage per person is a lot more than the 23 the other airlines have given us in the past.  And they also didn’t fuss about us taking on extra carry on bags, for which we were very grateful.  We arrived in Kiev with only one bag missing.  It was amusing trying to remember what Pris had packed in it.  (The only thing she could recall was a pair of my jeans shorts being in there.)  Thankfully, I’d taken a photo of all our bags before leaving Australia and was able to give them a copy and our missing bag was quickly found.  (I think I’ll always take photos before big trips now!)  All in all, our experience with Emirates Airlines was top notch.

Gone

It has been interesting to note my feelings upon sending Marie “off into the world”. With Jesse it was: “Go git ‘em, mate!” With Marie, it has been: “My little girl has left our care… I’m not sure I feel great about that! We go to join her in Brisbane in a few days.
Just thinking about Marie… the first time I saw her I was in the operating room in the hospital on Petra Zaporozhtsya St. I remember looking across at the nurses as they took her away to check her and bundle her up, knowing that after a few seconds they would bring her to me to hold. They didn’t take long and then I was holding the little bundle of breathing life. It was nice. A gift from God… who I believed would grow up glorifying Him. She has done that and a father couldn’t be happier. The years have seen her develop from “totally helpless” to “extremely capable” and it will be very interesting to see what God does through her over the next few years. And yet, having said that… there’s a definite hole left in our household.
The summer has been full of events, people, special times with the kids and good times of growth and encouragement. We leave for Oz in a week and will be there through until the end of January.
The plan for now is to be in Brissy at 2 Williamson Rd in Morayfield for a month and then make our way down to Sydney and be there until a week before Christmas. Gymea People’s Church has been so kind over the years and we’ll be privileged to live with them for those two months, right next to the church building.
Life in Ukraine has gone on much as usual.
We recently held a mini-conference in Kaharlyk for members of four churches that we have contact with in the area. Dr. Lucas van Boeschoten, (a professor from the Bible College Priscilla attended “way back when”), came to Ukraine and wowed us with his obvious enthusiasm and love for people and God’s Word. It was a beautiful time and we were thankful for his ministry.

Spectacularly good camp

IMG_4809Camp 120 is over for another year.  113 people came out to the island to be with us and it was an amazing time.  We had more couples than ever before… and more little kids than ever before.  We had more amazingly talented musicians and singers than ever before.  (Four of them are renowned in Ukraine.)  We had hot weather, a touch of rain and wind on the last two days… making for a rough crossing for ferrying passengers home.  We had four speakers who were responsible and challenging and made me glorify the Lord.  We had a waterslide on which no one died… and a Tarzan swing on which no one disemboweled themselves.  We had a non-poisonous snake in the girls toilet cubicle and two snakes which crawled into a tent during the night.  We had one “pukey” who toughed out the night and one child who on the last morning caused some consternation when he struggled to breathe for about an hour.  We had several people learn to wake-board.  And we had lots of people reveal God’s work in their lives as they served and loved.  It was a spectacularly good camp.

For me, the most memorable moment was probably killing and skinning the sheep.  Rivaling that moment was hearing Slava and Mariana’s young son spontaneously break into “song” during a guitar intro someone was doing for the talent show.  It was hauntingly beautiful, partly because it was such perfect melody of classic Ukrainian sound.