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Hey everyone, since this update is way overdue, and I hardly know where to start, let’s just do a pretend interview, okay? Here goes…

PRAYER PARTNERS: “So Krista, you are back in Romania now, but whatever happened with your bladder biopsy surgery? You left us hanging!”

ME: Yeah I know and I’m so sorry! I hate it when people do that. Well, the surgery itself was a snap. The doctor biopsied the two half-dollar sized ulcers in my bladder, sliced away the damaged tissue and cauterized it. The recovery after surgery was really quick and wonder of wonders, I discovered that the grinding, stabbing, sometimes incapacitating pain I had been dealing with had utterly vanished. Unfortunately no one told me that when the instructions said to go back to normal activity after 24 hours, they don’t mean vigorous walking around the lake with your very cute grandchild in a stroller. (more…)

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Jon Bloom explains why post-Christmas blahs can be a good thing:

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1559_hopeful_postchristmas_melancholy/

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Today I wanted to share with you an article I have just reread and thrilled at, by missionary wife and mother Michelle Cantrell, who is serving God in South Africa. As you will see, South Africa is a very dangerous place to live and I’ve heard that most South Africans who are able to leave, do so. So Michelle is writing to answer the question why she chooses to stay. The reason I’m sharing this article is that for different reasons, Ramnicu Valcea is also a very difficult place to serve and though our circumstances are different, what Michelle has written resonates deeply in my own heart and strengthens me to be steadfast in my own ministry. I pray that the last question she asks will as deeply challenge you as it has me.

“Why I Would Die for South Africa”

by Michelle Cantrell

South Africa has the best rugby this side of the world, the famous Big Five, fabulous weather, beautiful cities and friendly people. But it also has its darker side. It is dangerous to live in South Africa. Crime is rampant. We have the most liberal constitution in the world. We live in fear of an economic collapse like Zimbabwe’s. We see all the benefits of this country– including family ties and a rich history, but are they enough to keep us here? Why risk the safety of our family? Why gamble with the future university choices and career options of our children? Why stay? (more…)

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Enjoy Your God

Thought you all might like to hear from someone besides me for a change. The following post is written by Joey Hahne, or as he is known on his own blog, J.C. Hahne. http://itsallbygrace.wordpress.com.

I imagine that most Christians have heard of the following affirmation:

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

If you are a Piper fan like me, you know that he argues that these two things, glorifying God, and enjoying God, are not two different things, but one. We glorify God by enjoying Him.”He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” (John Piper 3:16) And so I do think that it is safe to say that God receives glory in us when He is seen, savored and treasured as all-satisfying. But my question for you is this: How can you enjoy God?

The first two examples that popped into my head were these: 1. Pizza, 2. Football. I love pizza and I love football. Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not trying to compare God with pizza and football, but I do believe we can learn to enjoy God more, and thus glorify HIm, by looking at these two pleasures of mine. (more…)

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Next month it will be ten years since we founded the church here in Ramnicu Valcea and in September, it will be twelve years since we left California to be missionaries in Romania. I don’t know about you, but anniversaries make me think back to where I’ve been. So out come the stacks of photo albums filled with photos of the past, photos representing our blood, sweat and tears (and of our ministry team) in this ministry. The faces of many of you who have come to visit us on teams (or just as friends) are in those albums too and frankly, it’s hard to put those albums away again without swallowing hard.

Those photos amaze me because they remind me of all the ministry you helped us carry out: VBS in orphanages, barbecue/sports days with the youth, preaching, conferences, evangelism, men’s breakfasts, visits to the elderly homes, hospital evangelism, children’s studies in the Gypsy neighborhood and more. What spiritual refreshing we felt with each team, though perhaps our bodies got a bit tired …okay, maybe more than a bit!  I remember the team that came during a heat wave when the city turned off our water. We had air mattresses wall to wall in our living room that time. Everyone who walked in the door headed straight for the ice cube tray. I remember the time with one team when we had Sunday worship in the park and a military band came and set up right where we had gathered! Then there was the time we took the youth on a hike. No matter that it must have been 105 degrees that day. Then there was the team (more…)

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"Delight over belonging to the family of God evokes a joyful eagerness to be with and share with new siblings." Dennis Johnson

I was looking for something in Dennis Johnson’s “The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption” and happened upon some good things he had to say about fellowship. In reference to the fellowship present in the early church he writes that it was “deep, virile and costly,” far more than “moments of idle chitchat over steaming coffee before or after a worship service.” (more…)

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