The Attitude of Gratitude Revisited
Recently as I was searching through some old papers, I found a few left-over copies of Della’s article for our July 2007 Prayer Letter. Although there have been many distinct, even drastic changes in world history since then, most of what she wrote is as pertinent today as it was then. Please read carefully and prayerfully to see if you agree! – Rick
Dear Friends & Prayer Partners, July 2007
One morning recently when Rick and I were having our devotional time together, we were discussing who we needed to pray for.
We have a dear friend, who just found out he has cancer.
Another special friend is dealing with Parkinson’s disease.
A relative is almost at the end of her strength…
And on went the list.
All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming gratitude to God…
- That we can bring all of these concerns and lay them at His feet, knowing that He will do what is best in each situation.
- Often when we have health problems or other trials, we feel like we’ve been given too much to bear – until we hear of what others are trying to cope with. Then comes the thought, “My problems are so small in comparison. What am I complaining about?”
I realized once again that day just how much we take for granted, how quickly life can completely change, and how grateful we need to be each day for the blessings God showers on us.
As I count my blessings today, I think of many.
- I’m still enjoying the companionship of my husband of 44 ½ years. A friend from our church just lost her husband – he died this week.
- We have a comfortable home – others have lost their homes in floods or fires.
- We enjoy having our daughter and granddaughters close by, and our son will soon be moving to Nampa – others have loved ones serving in Iraq.
- We still have the freedom to worship as we choose – many in other countries are suffering unimaginable persecution for their faith.
- We enjoy the faithfulness of friends like you, who month after month send your gifts to make Overseas Outreach a reality, who pray for us and send us encouraging notes, while some have not a friend in the world.
Why are we so blessed? I don’t know, but I’m extremely grateful for these rich blessings of God’s grace and loving kindness!
Thank you for being one of those who allows God to use you to bring a blessing to others – both here in the U.S. and in Ukraine.
“WE HAVE ALL BENEFITED FROM THE RICH BLESSINGS HE BROUGHT TO US – ONE GRACIOUS BLESSING AFTER ANOTHER.” John 1:16 (NLT)
With a heart full of gratitude,
Note from Rick: Della has done an excellent job expressing her gratitude in spite of the fact that she is also struggling with health problems. I want to express my gratitude to all of you who pray for us – and who remember her health issues. Please also remember to pray often for America, land that we love – to repent, turn from her prodigal ways, and come back to our living, loving God.
If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day,
Well, I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.
There will l always be another day to say “I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you, and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day,
That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear.
Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or “It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.”
– Author Unknown
Anchored in Christ
On Father’s Day at Eagle Christian Church, I was given a pocket-sized booklet entitled, “Anchored in Christ” (Devotions for Men). It is excellent! Mark Post, missions minister at ECC is supplying more copies to me to share, so let me know if you would like me to send you a copy. Following is what I wrote in response to an assignment given in one of the devotions.
What I Have in Christ
- 1. Forgiveness past, present, future by His precious blood – by abiding in Him! In Christ is my key!
- Strength to believe what I know – and strength to do what He has for me to accomplish today!
- Contentment with what I have.
- Discontentment with where I am spiritually.
- Confidence that He has me right where He wants me – and is still sanding off the rough spots.
- Ability and opportunity to share my thoughts about my Lord Jesus with others in our family, in our congregation, other congregations, and in different settings in Ukraine – including schools, colleges and universities.
- Ability and opportunity to share and teach through writing – and having my testimony and teaching touch other lives for Christ in English and other languages.
- The fruit of the Spirit growing in my life as the Master Gardener/Pruner is weeding out the works of the flesh.
- Della as my wife and life partner – “Mein Schatz” (My Treasure)!
- My family members – each a treasure.
- Peace, joy, purpose and power to walk with the King of the Universe by His Spirit.
- Open access into His presence for prayer, petition and praise.
- Even in spite of horrible tragedies, deep grief, and unexplainable hardships for so many people on this earth cursed by sin/rebellion and its dire consequences – I can enjoy peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory because of Christ and His grace!
- I have the blessed hope (and sure confidence) that one day I will see Him face to face and enjoy forever (eternity) in His glorious presence!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
P.S. I realize that my list of benefits in Christ is definitely incomplete, but I do want to add on FRIENDS! True friends are a genuine treasure – and I am rich with this treasure in Christ!
From Our Mailbox
Here is a copy of the unique message we received from Jim Winder. Let’s continue to pray for his wife, Shirley, his son, Scott, and all the family – and to praise God for his legacy.
I just wanted to let you all know that yesterday I took my final trip from this world into the next. It has been a pleasure knowing and e-mailing with you all…
You may want to remove me from your e-mail list as I will probably not be answering any more e-mails. In fact, this e-mail is being sent to you by my son, Scott, because I didn’t figure I would have access to a computer up here.
So this is my final farewell to you all. Know that I am where I want to be. I want to see each of you here eventually so live a life worthy of the calling that God has placed on your life. And if you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to ask and get help!
I love you all!
Tribute to Jim Winder
by Rick Deighton
Jim Winder was and is a man of God with a Kingdom perspective. He knew the King and walked with Him! No doubt, he now has an even better perspective of the Kingdom of God than ever before. Jim lived and died with the same perspective as did the Apostle Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.
Generosity could well be considered Jim’s nickname. He saw the need for outreach to the Former Soviet Union Nations, especially Ukraine, through both creation evangelism and compassion evangelism (for the orphans and refugees from the war zone), so Jim faithfully supported our Overseas Outreach mission for years.
Jim also saw the need for Northwest Science Museum to share the powerful evidences for Creation and the Flood, to counteract the hoaxes of evolutionism that have corrupted our culture. (When kids are taught that they are nothing but animals, why be surprised when they act like animals.) Jim not only donated a genuine dinosaur bone, but also an entire trailer load and more boxes of valuable gemstones to Northwest Science Museum. Jim left us not only a legacy of generosity, but also an outstanding example to follow.
So, Lord, please tell our friend, Jim, that even as we honor his legacy this day – we also look forward to seeing him again and enjoying rich fellowship “on the other shore.”
“Opportunity to help a family and ministry in Ukraine with a vehicle”
Sergei Golovin, president of our partner ministry, the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics, replaces his vehicle after so many miles of heavy travel on Ukrainian roads (and off-roads in the Carpathian Mountains) so that he does not face predictable repair issues and it remains under warranty, or close to it. Sergei sometimes crisscrosses Ukraine several times in one month due to teaching and speaking opportunities. He wants to avoid the problem and expense of repairs while meeting ministry speaking appointments.
The vehicle is a 2013 Nissan X-Trail. It is similar to a Ford Escape or Ford Explorer. It has 100,000 kilometers on it (60,000 miles) – which means it has a lot of life in it yet. There are predictable expenses due to wear and tear, but for someone comfortable with working on and taking care of those things himself, and who is not crisscrossing the country routinely a great deal is offered. The trade-in value of the car is $16,000. Its actual value is much greater than that.
Sergei would like to see one of his long-time partners in ministry have the car, but the 16k must be raised and in two months – the new X-Trail is on order and the old must be traded in in two months when the other arrives.
The family that would benefit from receiving the car is the Goryainovs, Anya and Andrei. Anya was one of my students when I started teaching at Crimean-American College (Commonwealth International University) in 1994. She was one of our first two TMI/CIU staff members. She was one of the translators of the first book we published in Ukraine: “Why Believe? God Exists!”
Andrei and Anya became a couple after meeting at a family and singles conference/seminar that Sergei and I held. They served in a Christian children’s home in Crimea initially sponsored by a children’s home in Ohio, which founded Mulberry International. They still serve with that ministry. They have two biological children and seven adopted children!
Andrei assisted Sergei and the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics as a volunteer for many years: children programs and camps, conferences, and cover design for publication (including many of our Man and the Christian Worldview annual publication of presentations). Later he assisted with web design issues and other matters related to marketing and publishing, including as a science and pedagogy consultant for the monumental science textbook project.
Recently he became a part time paid member of the team, managing CCSA’s online ministry, designing printed materials, writing, producing video versions of Sergei’s training courses. He authored “the first national textbook on science in the former Soviet Union,” “Physics of God’s Creation.”…
Andrei’s van with which he and his family fled Crimea for Western Ukraine after the annexation, has some 1,500,000 kilometers (over 932,000 miles) on it and is 18 years old; it has repeatedly had major repairs and has pretty well reached its end. (It had 900,000 kms/560,000 miles on it when purchased! It currently states around 500,000 kms, but the odometer rolled over to zero again before that.) [This figure seems incredibly high, but the previously quoted figure seemed too low.] …
So, if their story and ministries (the children they saved from who knows what kind of life as orphans; assisting CCSA to advance its outreach and impact with long-term effect) speak to your heart, please send a gift to TMI with the memo “Transportation.”
Whether or not you send a donation (check made out to TMI, PO Box 904, Melbourne, FL 32902, 321-877-8999), please send a prayer for their vehicle needs.
Note: If you prefer to donate through Overseas Outreach, we will send it on to Georges so he can transfer the funds to Sergei, and Sergei & Olga can deliver their car to Andrei & Anya (true, devoted co-workers in both creation evangelism and compassion evangelism).
I agree very much with Holland Johnson’s assessment of your book. I found it very good, well researched and documented (both with the Bible and other references). It was interesting to read…
“I have been reading your book Is the Bible Without Any Errors. I really appreciate the style/format of the writing. Biographical with Godly insights and teaching, along with the sharing of others stories that have meaning to you personally. An excellent book for Eastern Europe that I believe will culturally appeal to believers and non-believers alike. Look forward to the chapters to come.
In His Grace
“Thank you for standing with us. We know our calling and will honor it. Together we will make a difference, with our Lord’s wisdom and strength. Please seek God’s mind on how best you can support this work. We need you. – Ravi Zacharias”
(Ravi wrote these words to his donors and prayer supporters – and we couldn’t say it better – we feel the same and wish to express the same to you.)
Below is a praise – and another urgent prayer request from Reggie Thomas:
“Thank you again for praying for our granddaughter Lacey during the ordeal in Haiti. The President resigned, and so peace has returned. Lacey made it to the airport, and is scheduled to fly home today.
God has answered every prayer. Praise Him!” (A report received this morning (July 18) reports that Lacey is safely home now.)
Reggie requested prayer for Manuel, who is the first of all the men that he recruited for the ministry in Cuba some 20 years ago. He is very important to the brotherhood in Cuba. Below is a summary of that request.
Manuel needs a surgery for a cancer in the front of his head. However, the doctor says that he cannot do the surgery immediately because Manuel’s blood counts are very low. Manuel requested help to get some important medicines to get his blood counts up – but Reggie explained that it is against the laws of America, and he thinks possibly also against the Cuban laws, to take or send medicines to Cuba.
But God knows about this desperate need, so please ask Him to touch and heal Manuel, if that is within His will and to the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Summary of Prayer Requests
1. Please pray for God’s miraculous healing touch for Manuel, and praise Him for Lacey’s safe return from Haiti.
- The finished expansion and enhancement of “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” will be a full book of about 384 pages. Please pray for publication and delivery by mid-August and powerful impact on many receptive hearts.
- Please pray for the full $16,000 to be donated for the car fund for Andrei and Anya to receive a better car and Sergei and Olga to get their new car. (If you want to volunteer to do a matching fund for this, please let us know!)
- Please pray for wisdom in priorities for our Board of Directors for Northwest Science Museum as we go through this transition time, and also for God to lead the best possible individuals to be part of our Advisory Council.
- Please pray for the funding for Dennis Petersen to come to Northwest Science Museum as our business administrator, as well as serving on our Advisory Council.
- Please pray for significant increase in our donor base for both Overseas Outreach and Northwest Science Museum.
- Please praise God with me for answered prayer about the last week of my mission trip this fall. Lord willing, I will be going back to Germany for fellowship and outreach in Berlin, Tűbingen and Ehningen, as well as to visit the huge Frankfurt Book Fair, where our book, “Ready to Give An Answer” will be displayed. Also, my airline tickets were $378.00 less now than when I checked for an estimate at the end of May (and I have an extra stop-over in Berlin.) Wow! Thank You, God! (Could the lower gas prices now be a factor in this blessing from God?)
- My mission trip to Ukraine and Germany is scheduled to start early on September 10 and finish late on October 15. Please pray for God’s leading, power, and love to be manifested every step of the way – to His glory!
- Please pray for the end of war and bloodshed in eastern Ukraine – and praise God for the many rescued souls among the refugees (IDP) who have experienced the love of Christ through the compassion of believers in the rest of Ukraine.
- Please pray for persecuted believers everywhere – and for the release of Asia Bebe in Pakistan and Andrew Brunson in Turkey (both being unjustly held in prison on false charges).