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Am I a glory thief

Psalm 115  Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory…

Here’s the quote:  “Men are glory thieves.”

All men? Am I a glory thief?  Yes.  And quite properly, it bothers me. 

Paul writes to the Christians in Corinth that God wants something different for some of us – namely, “God wants us to live for His glory”.

How many times have I heard that phrase!!! How many times have I said it, prayed about it, thought it!!! And yet I still catch myself far too often saying something or doing something that proves I still don’t get it. The older I get the more I understand just how often I live for myself and for my glory. I pulled myself up yesterday as I started to mourn the delivery of a sermon I felt quite good about when it was on paper. Did I feel bad about it because it made me look “sub-standard” or weak or foolish and I liked looking suave? If that was my concern, it was an sure indication that God was not my focus and that I was preaching, (partly, at least), for my glory. I’ve begun thinking more about it as I get older and have men showing me honor.  It scares me, for I know my heart.  May God have mercy on me so that I respond with revulsion when I realize I am stealing glory from Him. 

kidsdanFor the first time in months, we met inside again as a church yesterday. We’ve actually been loving the setup where we drag everything needed for a meeting out the front of the church building and sit in the shade. (We’ve been doing kids talks during the service for summer.)  Yesterday, much to my surprise, within 2 minutes of church ending, 90% of the congregation was standing in the sun outside!  We don’t know yet what we will do when we have quarantine imposed again.  We are considering a few different creative options, and may alternate between them for the weeks/months quarantine is in place.

Our “evening meeting” happened at the stadium last night. About half our church turned out to watch and chat as about 10 of us run around in the dust for a couple of hours. Being part of a close church in a small town is such a privilege. I love the fact that we do this.

We have marked out the area in which we want to rebuild our sauna at the rehab centre. The sauna is another thing that also provides great means for 20-30 men to sit around and have good conversations. We don’t think we’ll get this one up and going before the snow sets in… but you never know – we might be sharing sweat before the year’s out. That would be a dream come true!

I just got a call from Dima, whom I spoke about in my last post. He left us to go back to his family a few weeks ago, but has since moved up to Kiev again. He’s going to church and hanging out with Christians. He left us without our blessing, (something the guys in the adaptation stage agree not to do), even though we would likely have given it. It was a bit of a disappointing goodbye… but we are glad he’s a part of a church in which we have contacts. May God continue to show mercy to my friend, Dima.

viber_image_2020-09-20_14-06-23The other guys in rehab are doing well. Right now, I’m spending two days a week with them, (+ Sunday), and really enjoying their company. It’s kinda funny, listening to them talk about different jails and the hardships they faced in the jails. I’m very much “out of the loop,” and feel a bit like a choir boy from a titled family in comparison. In this illustrious company, I’m the guy who’s lived a sheltered life!

Pris is still recovering well from her operation. She just said that her voice is nearly back to normal… but still a bit scratchy. Tomorrow, we go to a clinic to start the physio she has been champing at the bit to get stuck into. All things considered; she’s been doing pretty well.

For the first time since we started the project, (nearly three months ago), we don’t have a car for sale in Ukraine. Hooray!  One truck is on its way to Europe, while the other is on its way back, so we’ll soon have more cars for sale. (I don’t think I mentioned that we were given a loan to buy another truck and trailer… which we did last week – pictured.) God is blessing it and we pray that this project brings Him glory as we fund different ministries that we, (and others), are involved in.

IMG-1709The work on the new building continues… The guys from the rehab centre are a big help… but also several people from the church have been volunteering. We hope to have the new chimney attached and the new furnace fired up by this Wednesday. If it works, it will be an exciting development.

Thank you for your prayers for this part of the world. Thank you for your prayers for those who are a part of God’s family here. And thank you for your prayers for us.

May God bless you.