JAM March 2014

The Sun in Scotland?!?

My picture was printed in the Scottish Sun Tabloid last week. I was with my friend Simbo 7 ½ years ago and . . . well he saw it first, so he tells the story.

“They say every picture tells a story. Well what a story this one tells today. It was taken on October 11th 2006, me and Jono Miller soaking up the atmosphere on Independence Square, Kyiv, a few hours before Ukraine beat Scotland 2-0 in Euro2008 qualifying. Kenny Miller missed a glorious chance at 1-0, there was a dive for the penalty that made it 2-0. Anyway, this picture appeared TODAY (88 months later) in a Scottish newspaper as the draw for Euro 2016 was revealed. Today, while thousands in Scotland looked at this picture and thought about football, I was on Independence Square in Kyiv, sharing all kinds of emotions with thousands gathered to remember the 88 people who died here in the last week, fighting for a better future for this country. And today, I added the Saltire you see round Jono's neck, to the many other flags hung from the Independence Square Christmas tree, a few feet from where this picture was taken.”

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JAM February

Six Foot By 2 Foot

How much do you really need?

You can’t have wings and roots!

Recently I have toyed with the idea of putting down roots, choosing a place, saving for a house deposit. Today I was challenged with a story from the Scriptures (Luke 12:13-21). Throughout history mankind has had a love affair with land. They have sought for it, fought for it, bought it, thought about more of it, caught it (inheritance), tried to thwart others from having it.

But really, HOW MUCH LAND DOES ONE NEED?

Miller’s Adventures (through Marie’s eyes)

A recap of our summer trip: We started in the South Island in Christchurch and stayed with some cousins for a day before heading up to “sunny Nelson” where we stayed a week with Jono’s aunty and uncle. We spent one day walking around Lake Rotoiti which was a beautiful hike through beech forests. Another day, we went to the Abel Tasman National Park and saw some beautiful beaches.

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JAM January 2014

Holiday Time

Marie and I are enjoying holidays in NZ and will have reports and photos in our next JAM. For now we would like to thank those who love us and pray for us and encourage us. We have a few requests for prayer. We are thankful that we can bring all things to our heavenly father and that he is in control of everything.

Kids Camp

I am writing this update from Lonsdale Children's Camp. I will again be bringing the Bible talks to the kids each evening. We have a jungle theme and I have written an allegory about a person named Lyudi searching for the Fountain of Life and the true King of the Jungle. Pray for many new children who will hear about Jesus, some possibly for the first time.

Ukraine

UTSIM UPDATE (Sveta's own words)

"Natasha told me that you wanted me to write a few words about how the things are going here. Ok, I'll try..

Holidays are coming! I'm glad there will be a little break, ready for it.. :)

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December JAM 2013

Tis the season to sing carols

Today I sang some Christmas carols and I enjoyed it. In fact I loved it. Those who have endured my rants about the Christmas season may be shocked. A few year ago I wrote “I don’t believe in Christmas”. Recently I have been teaching a few students about Ukraine. One interesting contrast is between Christmas in Australia and Christmas in Ukraine. Ukraine celebrates New Year as a festive fun celebration full of family, friends, food, Father Frost, decorated trees, presents etc. It is great to have fun celebrations. Christmas in Ukraine is on January 7th and celebrates the nativity – the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. As I sang carols today I was reminded of the awesomeness of the truths of the incarnation and the implications that has for us. We didn’t sing about one-horse sleighs, frosty the snowman, Santa coming to town, or the most wonderful time of the year.

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November JAM 2013

Jesus Higher and Higher

Last month I wrote about Jesus and Exclusivity. I figured I needed to pontificate from a different spectra today – but I can’t! Every way I look currently, I am reminded of the person and the place of Jesus. He mysteriously asks us to eat his flesh and drink his blood. God gives him the highest place in the universe and declares that all will bow before him. He rose from the dead. He is alive. His name divulges tension and controversy.

Just last night I heard Peter Hitchens (brother of the late renowned atheist, Christopher Hitchens) say in front of a packed audience in Sydney’s Opera house, “The most dangerous idea in human history remains the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and rose from the dead.”

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October JAM

Jesus and Exclusivity

I have been reading through the Gospel of John. Slowly! One verse at a time trying to watch the flow and connection of the discourse. I am currently in chapter six. The message does not match popular religious ideology. Popular religion has the soul of man at the core, God is undefinable and broad in essence, tolerance and acceptance are key concepts, and Jesus is one of many possible options. Exclusivity is the antithesis of popular religion. Yet the message I read in the Bible shows us that Jesus is the only way by which we can know father God. And although some limay find this restrictive, I find it freeing. The onus is no longer on me. I don’t have to do because the doing has already been done. “Who the Son sets free, shall be free indeed!” (John 8:36)

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Monthly Update September 2013

Redemption

The concept of redemption has been flitting through my thoughts recently. I decided to see what the popular meanings of this word are. The number one sight from Google was about a documentary of that name. “Redemption is a documentary about New York City's canners - the men and women who survive by redeeming bottles and cans they collect from curbs, garbage cans and apartment complexes.” Wikipedia talks about religious and legal meanings before moving on to movies and books bearing the name Redemption. The dictionary has a few uses of the word. I was brought up hearing the word mainly in connection to theology. God has redeemed mankind from sinfulness and purchased them with the blood of Jesus. Whichever way we think about redemption, there has to be a change, a metamorphosis, a renewal. The state or destiny or substance of something or someone is transformed during the process of redemption.

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