Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It is so interesting to me how this world is set up. People spend their entire lives trying to avoid heartbreak, avoid despair, avoid trouble, meanwhile they become so preoccupied with avoiding it they live in the fear of it. Even as Christians, we tend to think of the Grace of God as a big bubble that keeps us safe from the worries and pressures of this life. However when we look at the scriptures we are amazed to find that all of the great things that happened and all the great characters that were revealed, were forged in the midst of serious trouble, persecution, and ungodliness. We try to avoid getting our feet dirty but the result is we end up never seeing God do anything amazing. We never see people freed from the power of demons, never see a wicked sinner turn to the Living God, and never see a sick man healed because we avoid these situations in the name of "guarding our heart" or not having an appearance of evil.  I think people throw around those phrases too flippantly, just using them so that they can justify their spiritual laziness and their fear of getting involved in the lives of sinners. Jesus didn't do this. Philip didn't do this. Moses didn't do this. They lived for God and they got involved in the lives of troubled people. Let's allow God to put people in our lives that are troubled with demons, sickness, unbelief, and maybe He will also give us the dynamic Grace and wisdom to be Christ to these people. God can do amazing things through us in the power of the Holy Spirit if we would only be available. How can the Grace of God teach us to deny ungodliness if we shelter ourselves from ungodliness altogether. How can the light of our convictions shine when we hide it from the world in our little assemblies and parties. Let's stay on the move, stay close to the heartbeat of God, and stay tightly knit to the Body as we go on to win more by His Grace.

Here are some pictures from Turkey and Cyprus. I spent the last few weeks traveling to Berlin, Istanbul, and Cyprus and now I am in the USA for the month of December. When I return to Finland I will head to St. Petersburg with Pastor Schaller and then following that we will look towards our second semester of BIBLE SCHOOL in Helsinki. Our youth ministry in Finland is growing and we hope to see new young people in our Bible school there in this next semester. Keep us in prayer and the ministry in Helsinki. We have a vision to continue to reach Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and farther out in places like Sicily, Cyprus, Egypt, China, and the uttermost parts of this crazy planet.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Going Beyond What We Ask or Think

       Just got home from another amazing youth night this evening. The Lord has really been blessing us here lately in ways beyond our own futile expectations. I am constantly reminded that any expectation outside of a supernatural God is bound for disappointment, because it will always miss an appointment with the Divine.        
       Tonight I was so encouraged to see, in a little apartment in Lauttasaari, over forty young Finns gathered together to fellowship with God and hear a Word from His Throne. We had a guest speaker from Baltimore, Joe Lavoie, who has been a real encouragement to us here this past week. I continue to be amazed when I see how God uses different people in the Body to speak words of wisdom. Without even knowing situations at hand, the Holy Spirit fills their "open mouths" with specific and direct words to cut and to heal. During the message there are times where you can feel the Holy Spirit put His finger on something and say, "This is not of me. Let me deal with it. Let me bring you to a large place through the cross." It's amazing. That's what God is doing here.

Pray for more Bible School students next semester, and for young people here to burn with a consuming fire that compels them to go! Let us not waste our short time here on this earth! Let's redeem it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Needs of the Body

It's amazing when you really invest your time and life in a place how much you begin to see the great needs of people. Of course we are always bombarded and tempted to occupation with our own needs, but when you step outside your own little world for a minute, you realize the multitude of needs in others' lives. I was brought back to thinking about what Peter mentioned in I Peter 5:6-7 about humility and casting our cares upon the one who careth for us. The word used for 'cares' is very interesting to me. It means something that distracts and divides so that you cannot have oneness with God's mind in your thinking. These people Peter was speaking to, like us, were going through the fiery trials of their faith. In these trials they had an option: feed on the life of God or feed on your cares and allow them to distract and divide your mind. If we let our cares linger they will entangle us in a web of anxiety and stress. However, it's not only our cares that can entangle us. Many times as we identify and minister to people in the Body, we find ourselves carrying a heavy load upon our back: the cares of others. Is this how it should be? Am I here to bear these burdens alone? What is the solution for these things? Cast them. Immediately remove them from yourself and throw them upon God. Don't think about them, be occupied with them, or continue to allow them to entangle you. Cast them. This happens at the cross. That's why Peter leads into this principle by talking about humility; because this is an action that can only happen when I have surrendered all self-effort and self-occupation. I say, "I am not sufficient for these things", and I rifle them on the Father, leaving only the burden to pray, love, and encourage. What a light burden that is! What a joy it is to share that burden with Christ! Not entangled but free to serve, free to give, and free to bring people's needs before the loving Father who has all power to deal with the needs of His Body and the needs of His creation. We can rest in that.

Pray for us here in Finland. Pray for real revival among the young people.

The next few weeks I will be traveling to Berlin, Istanbul, Cyprus, and Baltimore, so keep those trips in prayer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Branches Run Over the Wall

     The last few weeks have been some of the deepest, funniest, craziest, and powerful weeks that I have ever experienced in my short Christian life. We went to Stockholm, Sweden with twenty of our awesome young people from the church here in Helsinki. It is amazing to see how bright our light shines amidst the thick darkness of this sick Western pseudo-culture. As we traveled from Helsinki, we had a Bible study on one of the main floors of the ship. It was amazing to see all the distractions that came immediately when the Bible was opened. It was just further clarification of how real the kingdom warfare is and how vital the trip was going to be for us. The first day we were there, we gathered for what was supposed to be a small meeting in Pastor Toll's apartment. When we arrived, we suddenly realized that there were over 35 people packed into the small living room. You could taste the presence of God there, it was so tangible. It is moving to see how God blesses His people when they take steps of faith and are available to allow His Throne ministry to flow. We spent the rest of the night there in worship, engaging in the Word, and fellowshipping together. The rest of the weekend flew by with meetings, Bible studies, outreach, and a lot of laughter. It was amazing to see some of our young people go soul-winning for the first time. One thirteen year-old boy came to me, holding a track in his hand and said, "How do I do this?" Haha! How angry could the old serpent be at that moment!    
     We finished the weekend on Saturday night with the teens by having a youth meeting at a church located nearby one of the families in our church there in Stockholm. It was so amazing to see over forty-five Swedish and Finnish young people together worshiping God and listening carefully to His Word as it was dished out like fresh manna from heaven. We were all astonished how the young people in Sweden invited their friends from their schools and neighborhoods to come and listen to the gospel. There were no frills, no skits, no real sources of entertainment, just the pure gospel and the presence of God. I really felt like It was a night I'm sure none of us will forget.
    On this trip I really felt that we experienced what it says in Genesis 49:22  "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall."  We have been rooted and grounded by a well-spring of living water. It's a well that constantly provides us with a source of joy and motivation. We always have something to receive and we always have something to give because we live off of the well which is self-sustaining. God is keeping His garden, watering it every moment. And when we are nourished with that life, we cannot help but to grow. As we grow, our branches begin to run out over the walls in this world, bringing fruit to hungry people.This is what our trip was like to Sweden, and this is how our life is in this ministry.
     Keep the youth in Sweden in prayer as many of them continue to make tough decisions to follow God and some maybe even heading to Baltimore to go to Bible school. God knows.

Turku Youth

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

He That Walketh With Wise Shall Be Wise

      Picture this: twelve young men from the age of thirteen to twenty-five huddled in a small living room with Bibles open. This is what we do every Monday night here in Helsinki. When I was in Finland a couple years ago we started these meetings and they have continued ever since. The way we usually do it is, we have some kind of topic or passage to read from the Bible. After some prayer and about fifteen minutes of quiet reading, we give time for anyone to give a thought for a couple minutes or ask a question. After that we have a guest speaker give a message from the passage or on the topic, whatever it may be. These meetings are done in a pretty informal way, which I think we all enjoy because it goes against the stereotypical "Finnish way" of doing things.
      It is amazing to hear from these young Finnish disciples, they are really loaded and they are thinking people. Some of the greatest times that I have had were at these Bible studies. There is something so important and valuable about being with wise people. We know it says in Proverbs 4:7 that Wisdom is the principal thing. When we are put in a situation where the only thing we have to cling to is a word of wisdom that we heard at a Bible study three years ago in a dormitory living room, that verse becomes reality. God is faithful to put us into situations where we either exercise wisdom or we just snap. That is why it is so important to daily be in a place of receiving and operating in wisdom. We let wisdom build her house in our soul and we continually seek her for every situation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do You Want the "Good" or The Best?

          Lilias Trotter, a missionary to Algeria in the late 1800's said this challenging yet convincing statement:  "Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen good harmless worlds at once—art, music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the "good" hiding the "best." It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God. . . and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His glory."
           I feel that in this day in age, especially as young people, we are bombarded by the enemy with something very seducing yet very dangerous: a "good life". Why not? I mean, who does it hurt if I find some things that I really enjoy doing and I just fill my schedule with them, maybe fit in a decent job so that I can support myself in those good things? Does it hurt anybody? Actually in all reality it does. It hurts everybody. It hurts God because He designed you for the Best, and wants to give you what's Best. It hurts you because you are robbed of the reality of God's perfect will being manifested in your life and the true joy that comes from living in what's Best. It hurts the Body because they cannot share with you in the power and life of what's Best. It hurts the lost because while you are living in the realm of what is good and acceptable, you miss the Best opportunities which God ordained for you to reach them. Is it worth it? The only person it benefits is the Devil, because while you are living in what is good, he can keep you from what is Best, which is overcoming him in every step you take. Thirteen times the writer of Hebrews calls the life, ministry, and covenant of the person of Jesus Christ: "better." I'll go farther and say that it is The Best.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sicily: An Open Door


       I remember being in Turkey about three and a half years ago and hearing Pastor Matti rehearse the vision that God had given him for the Mediterranean countries while he was visiting the country of Jordan. At the time we had little to no real presence as a ministry in the Mediterranean that I know of. This past week, a team of twenty-five of us from Baltimore, Marlboro, Romania, and Hungary, went to visit the new work in Messina, Italy which is on the east coast of Sicily. When we landed we were met by Pastor Virgil and he expounded on some of the things which he saw during the past year that he has been living there. He has prayed with over two hundred people there in Messina personally over the past year and a half. This is a response that he has never seen in Europe in the last decade of his life as a pastor in Romania and Italy. Just the first night we were there we talked with a group of six young Sicilian military men for about an hour. At first they did not seem so interested but as Pastor Virgil explained unto them the seriousness and simplicity of the Gospel of Grace they seemed to open up. A hunger for God became visible to us and after an hour or so they were all praying out loud in Itailan with us to be saved. Who knows what happened that night in their hearts, only time can tell and only God really knows. All I know is that during the week with Pastor Virgil and Pastor Scibelli we were exposed to a great number of open hearts and a new field for our ministry that plants us right in the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Just imagine what God could do there with a team of people and a few men wholly given to God like Joshua and Caleb. WHO KNOWS?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Words from Sweden

Well, the month here in Sweden has come to an end. I will be on my way back to the states on Wednesday to gear up for the next move to Finland in September. It's been amazing to see how God has really stretched my capacity here and has been so faithful to give Words in season, divine "rhemas" that have been right on time. It's always surprising and actually very humbling when you here that something you have said has moved someone spiritually. Knowing the depths and wonders of our own depravity, we always can be positive it's a complete work of Grace. Also, isn't it amazing to see also how the Word comes at different times in the anointing? Sometimes it hits us like a hammer, breaking into pieces the little shards of the flesh so that we can't find a piece to draw water with. Other times it comes like dew in the morning, we don't even realize what it's doing until we awake to find ourselves drenched with His Goodness. However it comes though, it's always doing a work thats way beyond human ability and human understanding. It births within us new lines of sight, new perpectives, and new visions to go forward in the Mission. There's just no way we could possibly do this kind of work if it wasn't for that Sword that cuts on it's way through us and heals on it's way back.

It's been a real blessing to get to know the people here in Stockholm. We've spent many times together at the church on Sunday morning, or at houses on weeknights just having simple fellowship and listening to God in His Word as it is preached. We are being built up in Him. Also, it's been a time of great challenges, of course. However, God has been, and always will be, faithful to enlarge us in our distress through advances of the Spirit within. That is what I've seen in people here. They are all going through it, just like any one of us. But we all are brought to a place where we have to make the decision: Am I going to fall on the Rock and be broken, or will it fall upon me and leave my capacity crushed? We can get through anything if we choose to fall upon Jesus Christ and His Word.

Sweden, the people here, the times together, the vision to go forward in Scandanavia and beyond, all of these things I'm sure will stick with me. They are of eternal substance and their value can only grow with time. During this time we've seen new people coming to church (great stories), young people from Stockholm going to our youth camp in Finland, souls won to Christ, people growing in their faith, and much more. I am so excited to see what God will do with this country, these people, and this ministry in the next 10 years. Yes our minstry has had some success in this part of the world, and yes we are so grateful for it, but I say, "Let's do it all over again!" In a new, fresh way we can see God pour out a blessing on our unity and bring thousands into His Kingdom here, in the States, and all over the world in these end times. ....Right?


I've been surprised at the questions I've received here in Sweden, especially from young people. I was witnessing in the center here in Stockholm a couple weeks ago and I stopped to give a couple tracks to some interesting looking teenagers. They were in somekind of "emo" group, whatever that is. There were skateboards flying around, cigarettes lighting up, and kids doing some really obnoxious things. However, in the midst of all this craziness there were a few guys who called to me and said "What are you doing, what's this paper all about?" I went on to explain what I what I was doing and they asked me to sit with them and talk about God. One of them had really been putting a lot of thought into it and had some great questions about Jesus and who he was and why Christianity is the only right belief system. We sat and talked for almost an hour until I had to leave.

One of the kids that I'm living with here, a sixteen year-old named Teodor (Teddy), had been talking with his friends about Christianity. They had many questions that he didn't feel equipped to answer so he asked me if I would meet with them. So we went down to the nearest soccer field and they came, about 7 of them. We played a little soccer and then Teddy said, "I think they want to listen to you now." So we sat and they began to ask me all kinds of questions about Christianity, God, miracles, heaven, hell, etc. It was amazing. I was really impressed with their searchings of heart and how much they had been thinking about these subjects. It was proof to me that God is really moving in the people of europe. I will continue to keep these kids in prayer and wait on God to draw them to Himself and put people in their life that will prod them with the gospel.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Next Phase

Moving to Finland in September... Living in Sweden now until August 8th... posts coming soon