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Archive for May, 2007

At a Wink of an Eye

Life is like a wink of an eye. The very breath that we have now can be cut off just like a wink of an eye. That shows how wrong we are to think that we are in control of our lives.

Yesterday morning at around 11:4 AM, I was on my way back home from the center of Donetsk, where I bought an electric fan in preparation for summer,  when I became a witness to a hit-and-run case.

I was inside a marshurtka (a van used for public transportation) when a car that was ahead of us by a couple of vehicles hit an old lady who was probably in her late fifties. The lady was hit so hard that she was thrown on the other side of the road and landed on the concrete at the corner of that road. The car also hit the concrete where the lifeless body of the victim was already lying flat. The killer car and the lady ended up motionless on that spot, side by side. What a horrible sight. The driver was so scared that he flung the car door open, ran towards the streets, and disappeared in an instant, leaving his car and his victim behind.

People started crowding the crime scene (I was watching this from the window of the van which was still not moving due to the red light).  A teenager, out of curiosity, looked at the now dead old lady and went to the car to check if there was something valuable on the dashboard (maybe looking for something that he could steal). Other spectators milled around the dead body and the open car. Then our marshurtka started moving so I was not able to find out how long it took for help to come (knowing the system here, I had a feeling it took a while).

The first thought that entered my mind was. “Lord, I hope she was a Christian.” Then some other thoughts came to me like a torrent. Thoughts like somebody would be getting a devastating call about the accidental death of his/her mom or grandma later on. How would that person feel upon hearing the bad news? Then thoughts about the driver. Where would he flee? How would he feel living a life of guilt, knowing that he had just killed a lady? How would he cope with the constant fear of being caught? Whatever the answers are, he will not be the same person again. Likewise, the life of the victim’s family’s will be forever changed…and scarred. 

Life is so fragile. We can either make it or break it with one single action or utterance. It is the way we live our lives that will determine our fate. The choices we make now will have consequences in the future, good or bad. Some people take the high road, while others take the road most traveled (that is, the easy route). Those who value a personal relationship with God know that they will be spending eternity with Him in paradise, a wonderful place to be.

I don’t know if the old lady hit by the car was a Christian or not. I don’t know if she is already spending her eternal life with Jesus Christ. I just hope she is, and I sincerely hope and pray that the driver, wherever he is right now, is being touched by the Lord to do what is right. I don’t know if he is a believer. If he is, I hope he will entrust God with his life especially at this critical point. If not, I pray that what happened will serve as a wake-up call of sorts for him to call on God. 

Our gracious God is a giver of second chances. We all get a second chance. And I hope that every time we get a divine wake-up call, we will respond to it with much earnestness by turning to God and surrendering our life to Him. However strong we cling to life here on earth, death is inevitable. The Bible clearly states that death comes to us all. God, the giver of life, can take our breath away at a wink of an eye.

I was thinking of the accident yesterday and the whole day today. I was talking about it to my friend who is staying with me. I was telling her how life is so fragile and how things can be unexpected. We can die tomorrow through a freak accident, just like the old lady. We can be stricken with cancer. Or we can lose a loved one anytime.

Bottom line: we don’t know what the future holds. Only God does. But one thing for sure: if we have Jesus Christ in our hearts, we need not fret over our future for He is our future. So even if death comes, it is still a win-win situation for us Christians since having eternal life is such a precious gift. I’m forever grateful to Him, the author and finisher of my faith.

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Author: Mary Wilder Tileston
Source: Joy and Strength

Scriptures: Philippians 4:6-7

In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.  – PHILIPPIANS 4:6,7

JUST think of having His wonderful peace guarding one’s heart and one’s thoughts all day long. But it is only on condition that we fulfil the sixth verse, “In nothing be anxious,”–this is a distinct command, and, if we fail to fulfil it, we shall not get the blessing. Sorrow even is anxiety, and should be laid upon our blessed Lord. Then in prayer and supplication we must not forget that thanksgiving is also distinctly commanded; we must praise God for His dealings with us, even though we cannot make them out at times. Pray God to make you cease from anxiety about yourself and your plans; just be willing to do the work our dear Father gives you at the time. – JOHN KENNETH MACKENZIE

Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God. – THOMAS À KEMPIS

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Author: Mary Wilder Tileston
Source: Joy and Strength

Scriptures: Philippians 4:6-7

In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.  – PHILIPPIANS 4:6,7

JUST think of having His wonderful peace guarding one’s heart and one’s thoughts all day long. But it is only on condition that we fulfil the sixth verse, “In nothing be anxious,”–this is a distinct command, and, if we fail to fulfil it, we shall not get the blessing. Sorrow even is anxiety, and should be laid upon our blessed Lord. Then in prayer and supplication we must not forget that thanksgiving is also distinctly commanded; we must praise God for His dealings with us, even though we cannot make them out at times. Pray God to make you cease from anxiety about yourself and your plans; just be willing to do the work our dear Father gives you at the time. – JOHN KENNETH MACKENZIE

Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God. – THOMAS À KEMPIS

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My flat in Donetsk is the place where people hang out every Sunday, after the worship service. Some stay in the living room to watch videos, while others opt to stay in my bedroom (see photo on the left) to chat with their friends. The bedroom has indeed become my extended living room. I don’t really mind. To me, it’s nice when people can have meaningful fellowship like this in my place.

In times like these, I’m usually in the kitchen whipping out a meal for a hungry group of churchmates the best way I can (yes, people, I can now cook; well, basic meals, that is). There are always willing hands helping me out in the kitchen — like Tanya (see photo: she’s the pretty girl on the left).

Sometimes, people come to my place via the truck that church member Vetalik brings to church every Sunday! It is always fun to be in that truck which can accommodate a number of passengers.

My house guests, mostly key people from the church, always enjoy the lunch fellowship in my home. Of course, I do, too. We always look forward to informal gatherings like this because it’s a precious time to get to know one another better, encourage one another, and to enjoy each other’s company without the ‘work pressure’ that usually comes on weekdays.

I’m glad that many people consider my flat their second home where they can put their feet up, be themselves, and relax. These people, my church family in Donetsk, will always have a special place in my heart. They are always there for me, and I would like to be for them, too. Love you, guys!

I praise God for this rare opportunity to be of service to God’s people through such a practical ministry!

  

  

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My Visual DNA

Hey, guys. Here’s my visual DNA  according to Imagini, a cool site. 

 Try to find out yours by taking the test. Know yourself some more and get to know others as well. I guarantee you, it’s so much FUN. 

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Christian Song

Listen to this song by Twila Paris, The Warrior is a Child.

(Note: This video is also featured on Oikos Online, a Net community of believers from around the world.)

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