Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spiritually Blessed

I did my Ukraine presentation at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church today, and it went really well. God really provided me with clarity of thought (despite me not getting a shot of caffeine.) and, I think, everyone enjoyed it. Even if they didn't enjoy it, I felt we really connected and everyone at least got something out of it. :)

My intent by doing the presentation, besides being a release valve for my excitement of the trip and wanting to let as many people as possible know how powerfully God was at work in Ukraine, was to let them know, as Americans, that they are so blessed. In essence this was the same message as the presentation I gave to the VBS kids when I got back, only on a more adult level. I got a full hour, as compared to the 15 minutes I got with the kids, and I used every minute. If you have been reading my blog at all, especially some of my posts from when I was in Ukraine, or you have heard me tell any stories from the trip, then you know that it is obvious, that we as Americans are extremely blessed. But what does that mean to us as Americans? Yes, we are blessed with comfortable houses, indoor plumbing, higher standard of living, potable water from the tap, public restrooms that you don't have to pay for, nice cars, and more entertainment then we know what to do with. So we all understand the ways we are blessed, then why does the message not hit harder? Why are we not more thankful and completely wowed by all these things we are given. I think it is because it doesn't matter. Those physically blessing literally do not matter. Humans are resilient, and if we lost all those things, we would adapt with time (I can tell you from my experience, it takes less then 2 1/2 weeks).

Those physical blessings aren't the blessings I am talking about when I said "we, as Americans, are blessed." As Americans we are spiritually blessed. We have access to unlimited resources and we are given more opportunities to grow in our faith then we could ever possibly undertake. We have dedicated church buildings, full time pastors (who aren't spread across entire cities), free access to scripture and tools to help us learn and grow in it, Christian radio stations and Christian entertainment for young and old, groups and organizations to pull us together, and possibly the greatest blessing, being given Christian friends to surround ourselves with to help us stay anchored in Christ. These are the ways that we all are truly blessed in America. But, it is so east to feel safe and comfortable knowing you have these things to be a buffer for us. We so easily become spoiled and complacent (Proverbs 1:32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.) by the exact things that we are blessed with to help us grow in our faith, the exact things that are such powerful tools to know Christ even more personally. We must not take these blessing for granted.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and was able to enjoy this amazing weather we are having!

In Christ Alone,
David Knepprath

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

(Downtown Kiev)

(St. Michael's Monastery in Kiev)


Mirranda said...

I'm glad the presentation went well; your message is... moving. (I can't think of the word I want, I hate that.) -Myrrh

P.s. Those pictures are fantastic! I want to go now.

Melissa Jo said...

EXACTLY! We are a blessed people and those pictures are amazing,I would love to see those buildings myself:) -melissa jo
ps i would love to hear your presentation but there is quite a distance lol

Elia said...

Its awesome that your presentation went awesome. I can imagine you all exicted and really into it, which is great. I am glad you mentioned how blessed we are, and how you explain not in the materialistic stuff, but in religion in general. I find it hard to find a reason why there are so many countries fighting over religion, and yes we have to be grateful to God that here in America, we are honored with the freedom of religion.