A few weeks ago I shared about a Ukrainian worship leader who had to leave his guitar behind when Hheleft Ukraine in my post A Ukrainian Worship Left His Guitar Behind. A generous person read the post and donated a guitar for him to have.
Nicolai came here with his wife and three year old daughter. He stayed behind in Ukraine for six months to share Jesus with Ukrainians fleeing the war. He reunited with his wife and daughter come to here.
Yesterday we met at my church’s office for him to receive the guitar. He was thrilled.. He tuned it and played a few songs. A picture if s is worth a thousand words. so here are the pictures of him opening the box and . holding the guitar.
He has a guitar now and can start helping with worship in the Ukrainian church here.
We can trust in Jesus the one who laid down his life for us and defeated death for us. He is our creator and Savior who loves us deeply. We can look to him in every situation.
This song seemed appropriate for me as I head out to the hospital for minor surgery to correct my heart rhythm. Jesus has been with me and seen me through so much in my life. I am grateful for his constant presence in my life.
Seven years ago I began the experience of what I call being a pinball patient going from doctor to doctor to try to find out what was wrong. At that time, I came across this video by Kristene DiMarco-It Is Well. Since that time, I have listened to it every day and some days more than once, some days several times.
I have shared it before, but felt it would be good to share it again today. Today is a double doctor day for me. I have an MRI this morning with check in at 7am. The MRI is to determine if I have ankylosing spondylitis which is an arthritis that is in the spine. Then at 1pm I have an appointment with an cardiac electro physiologist which is a doctor who does ablations. I need one to correct my heart rhythm.
So I will start my morning, way too early, by listening to It Is Well and praying. It is a video that has blessed me, so I am sharing it in hopes it blesses you as well.
Last night I visited the Ukrainian family I have gotten to know quite well. They invited me for a borsch dinner which is a delicious soup in their culture. The children greeted me with hugs, I joked with the wife about having dinner outside in the snowy night, and the husband and I talked about our ‘dream’ of the wife and one of the daughters opening a bakery and the two of us being the greeters sitting there drinking coffee.
They had other visitors who are family friends from Ukraine. They are a family of a husband, wife, a an ever so cute almost three old daughter. They just arrived here from Germany two weeks ago. The wife and daughter fled Ukraine to Germany first with the husband staying behind to share Jesus with people victimized by the war. Then the husband left Ukraine to join his wife and daughter in Germany leaving his guitar behind in Ukraine. Refugees fleeing war bring only bare necessities.
He was a worship leader in Ukraine. He led worship in his church in Ukraine and after the war started he would go out to the city center and play worship songs and then share Jesus with the people who stopped to listen.
After dinner we sat in the living room and shared worship music videos. It was a wonderful time of fellowship.
So my new project is to get an acoustic guitar for him. Please pray for me to find one for him.
No matter what happens in this life we have reason to rejoice because of Jesus. We can rejoice because Jesus has opened the way for us to come to God, have relationship with God, and have eternal life.
When I have a high pain day, I can still rejoice knowing it is temporary and a wonderful eternity awaits me in the future. When problems arise in life, we can still rejoice knowing Jesus is with us and will never leave us.
God has blessed those who follow Jesus, trust in Jesus, with every spiritual blessing. God has not held anything back from us.
No matter what is in our background, no matter what mistakes we have made, no matter what turmoil we have been in, our identity for those who know Jesus is-Child of God.
That means we are set free to live as children of God. We are who Jesus says we are. What others say we are does not matter in Jesus’s eyes.
When God looks at us, he sees his child. When Jesus looks at us, he sees someone he loves so much that he died for us. That is our identity and nothing can change it. Nothing, no one, can take our identity in Jesus away from us.
I love this song-Who You Say I Am. When I listen to it, what comes to mind is God saying-“Remember whose child you are.”
Isaiah 41:10-So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God does not say do not fear. He says do not fear for I am your God. Gods lets us know that he has our back. He is by our side. Jesus promised he will always be with us. There is no situation that we face alone.
I have been thinking about these truths recently. We never know what a new year will bring. My Ukrainian friends did not know last year at this time that they would come to my city as refugees. In January 2020, no one had an idea that we would go through two years of a pandemic causing chaos. Whatever we face, we do not face it alone. Jesus is always with us.
I will try to remember that this Thursday when I have a follow up with my cardiologist. Send me to another country and I am happy. Send me to a new group of people from a culture no one knows and I am happy. Send me to a doctor and I would rather crawl across glass sometimes. Figure of speech of course.
May this sweet simple song help us remember that God is with us.
I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and my prayer is that you come to know and experience Jesus as Immanuel-God with us. May you experience his love, grace, guidance, and friendship.
Immanuel God with us- Jesus is with us even in our darkest times. He will never leave us. He looks at those of us who believe in hum and says- MINE. He will never let go of us.
I love Teriian’s song Immanuel. I would like to share it with you this Christmas Day.
Last night I went to a special children/youth service at the Ukrainian church. I had taught my class there and was planning on going home until a few of my friends told me their children were singing in church that evening. I am glad I stayed.
We sang one song in English which happens to be one of my favorite Christmas songs-O Holy Night. I love the song because it focuses so beautifully on why Jesus came. He came to be our Savior. He came to free us from sin and the oppression of sin. He came to make it possible for us to be restored in relationship with God and his children.
This morning I started my day by thanking Jesus for coming, for leaving heaven to be born in such humble circumstances. The depths of his love for us is immeasurable. We cannot comprehend the magnitude of his glory in heaven. We accept it by faith. One day we will see him in all of his glory and then realize how much he sacrificed to come to earth as a human baby in such humble circumstances.