Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insight: winter 2015

Health and Ministry

The past few months have been difficult, in spite of all that God is doing. In November, Nathan could not do anything because his voice was completely gone. After going to a doctor an
d receiving treatment, the problem resurfaced at the end of January. When climbing the stairs to our apartment, he felt as if he had run a mile. He returned to the doctor to find his lungs working at only 55% capacity. He was treated for atypical pneumonia. He spent a week in the hospital, and had a bronchoscopy done. During this procedure, 150ml of fluid was removed from his lungs and an additional diagnosis of asthma was made. His lungs are functioning normal again, and he is now being treated for the asthma. We are thankful for his returning health.

Our new church building

In the midst of these problems, God has been moving. He provided a building for our church, so we have a regular place to meet. Nathan has even been holding English clubs in several high schools, which has led to many open doors. We have had several parties outside of the schools with good turnouts and several opportunities to share the gospel with these students. We are continually grateful for the doors that God is opening, and pray that we will see fruit from these clubs.

The opening service of church: Krščanska cerkev Kalvarija Maribor.

Visiting the USA

Zoe trying out her new head phones for the airplane ride
We are coming stateside! We would love to visit and see you while we are there. For most of May and beginning of June we will be in Louisiana. The rest of June and beginning of July we will be in North Carolina. Please make time to see us while we are in the US. Our time there will be short. We would love see and talk to you while we are there. We will make time for you if you will make time for us!! While we are in North Carolina, our church, Hickory First, will be hosting an art auction for us. Nathan will be bringing some pictures he has made and taken. We are also asking for your help, if you have skills (painting, drawing, photography, digital…) and would like to donate a piece to the auction, please let us know now! ( or find us on facebook!) We would also love to see you come out and bid on a piece. All the proceeds will go toward our ministry. It is an opportunity for us to share what God is doing and raise some more funds for his work in Slovenia. The date and time will be announced, when we have more information.

5 Years and 5 Dollars

Ira's favorite pastime: chasing pigeons
In the last news letter, we mentioned that we are coming up on five years of living in Slovenia (June 2nd!!). We are exceedingly grateful for all you have done and the sacrifices you have made to allow us to serve here. One reason we were given clearance to live here, was because many of you were very generous with one time gifts prior to our departure. Over that past five years, though, the amount that was saved up has been slowly dwindling. So we ask for your generosity again with our five dollar challenge. The challenge is: would you be able to increase your support by 5 dollars? Whether you are currently supporting or have not yet started, we are seeking your action to this challenge! Could you give up one Starbucks coffee run a month for us? We know how much you all have sacrificed to support us already, and we continue to thank you for all that you do.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catwoman, Batman, and Jesus

Warning do not read if you have not seen the movie. Unless you just don't care.

So I watched The Dark Night Rises with some friends this week. Catwoman is in this movie and at first I did not like her character.  I thought she was displayed as a basically good person who was just caught in a bad environment. Then, I went to see the movie with some other friends and I thought about her character, I noticed that she is a great depiction of our humanity.

First she is not a basically good person. She is an excellent criminal or sinner. She does not like what she does always but she good at it and it is the only way she knows how to live. In fact, she tries on her own to give herself a clean record. However, all her attempts fail. Much like all of our attempts to be perfect like God fail. This attempts actually lead her deeper into her sin and condemnation.

And then there is Batman. Batman (like Jesus) tries to show her forgiveness and offers to clean her record, but instead of following him and accepting his gift she betrays him. Essentially, she helps kill the one man who can help her. But the best part about her story and our story is that it does not end there. Because Batman rises (like Jesus rises form the dead) and comes back to save her from her death with Gotham.

That is not where the story stops though. Batman gives her the clean record she could not achieve on her own. Then Batman takes her away to be his bride. Which I personally think is awesome when you look at the story in light of the Gospels.

Just like Catwoman we can not achieve salvation or a clean record by ourselfs. In fact, we killed Jesus with our sins and we still betray him. But like Batman, Jesus cleans our record and forgives us over and over again. Jesus also saves us from death and takes us to be his bride so we can spend eternity with our savior.

The reason I like Batman rises is because it is a mirror of the true story of Jesus and what he has done, is doing, and will do for us.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Snakes go form a curse to a blessing

The other week in Bible study we were talking about the story of the bronze serpent. I always enjoyed the story especial in view of John 3. Because I think it is awesome the way that Jesus became sin (the snake being a symbol of sin) so that we may be holy (without sin). What I never realized before is the context of the story.

The Israelites were complaining about their food which was manna from heaven. Another way to view it is the Israelites where complaining about God's blessing. I would say they were even view God's blessing as a curse. And then came the snakes. And more snakes. Now the snake is a symbol of sin, Satan, and a curse. So God tells them to make a snake and put it on a pole. Now when they look at the snake, a curse, they will be healed. So what God essentially does is take a curse and turn it into a blessing.

Now I think that is awesome and so true to how I live life. I will turn God's blessings into curses, if God leaves me to myself. But God turns curses into blessings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cultural Survey

I am working on a cultural survey and would like some help. If anyone has some more ideas or worldview ideas that i missed. If you have a good answer or a better answer please let me know.

1. What do you think culture is?
a. that which is excellent in the arts and manners
b. sociological context in which we live and view the world
c. a compilation of language, history, and traditions
d. a collection and appreciation of humanity

2. How has religion influenced culture in Slovenia?
a. helped create high arts.
b. helped preserve culture and language identy
c. used to control the comman man
d. only creates division and war
e. culture has a greater influence on religion than religion has on culture

3. How has Jesus influenced culture?
a. gives hope to the masses
b. raised awareness of the oppressed
c. his followers exaggerated his works to influence culture
d. he gave a good moral example

4. Does Jesus still influence your life?
a. yes he forgives me and helps me live
b. yes I try to learn from all great teachers
c. No, is is only a part of a myth
d. No, his teachings are no longer needed

I have a some more questions but they are finished and in another language. I would like five answers for each question. So if you have any ideas thanks.