Monday, August 28, 2006

Ivano-Frankivsk Pictures

*I'm having some formatting issues, and I am too tired to fix it right now.*

It has been awhile since I have posted Ukraine pictures. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Ivano-Frankivsk, where I spent the better part of my time in Ukraine.

Classic building fronts in downtown Ivano-Frankivsk.

Ivano-Frankivsk's beautiful gold onion domed Cathedral.

Ivano-Frankivsk School of Medicine.

WWII Memorial (and stray dog). The memorial is to honor prisoners (some of whom were arrested for stealing bread to provide for their family, and in even more extreme cases, simply for preaching the Gospel) that were slaughtered at the hands of their own countries military when the Soviet Union was retreating western Ukraine from the Germans.

Lake near where I stayed in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Apartments in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Can you at least begin to understand why I would love to still be in Ukraine?

Please pray for Tiana Weaver. She is heading to Lithuania for 2 years and needs to have in the rest of her support by this Friday or else she will have to leave later, seperately from the rest of the team. Team unity is extremely important in this respect, but God's plan is so much greater then ours.

David Knepprath

Tar Under My Fingernails and Jars of Clay In My Ears

How do I spend my Saturday's? Shingling a house from 8:00am to 9:00pm in 90+ degree weather, that's how! Fun stuff, eh? My brother, Steven (left), is moving into his new house (new to him, it's actually over 100 years old) in Philomath Oregon, just outside of Corvallis.

I had a realization when I was up there on the roof flinging hot sticky tar smothered shingles. I realized that I always benchmark physical labor, and any bodily suffering that may follow, to the high standard set in New Orleans. As a result, I rarely have anything to complain about.

Speaking of New Orleans, my brother had a few friends helping, one of whom was another David (right). He was in New Orleans with Crusade the same week I was down there. David went with his younger brother on the PSU team. I also found out that his brother is still sporting the red ribbon (more of a light pink now) from the camp. This makes 4 individuals (that I know of), including myself, who are stilling representing N'Awlins.

You can see the ribbon in this picture from Ukraine. I love it! I have been looking awhile now for a reason to post it. I really liked, and miss, the fresh breads.

Oh, by the way, I have the new Jars of Clay album, Good Monsters. You know, the one that doesn't come out until September 5th. :) Songs such as "Dead Man", "Work", and "Good Monsters" are a drastic change from their more relaxing melodic work on Who We Are Instead, but their new sound has really grown on me. The album includes a pretty good mix of styles. There are still a few songs from the Jars of Clay that I have come to know and love with tracks like "There Is a River", "Oh My God", and "Surprise". A trio of stellar quest artist take Jars of Clay to new heights; Kate York in "Even Angels Cry", the amazing Leigh Nash in "Mirrors and Smoke", and (in line with Jars of Clay African Blood Water Mission) the African Children's Choir in "Light Gives Heat". I approve.

David Knepprath

2 Peter 1:5-8 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)

Friday, August 25, 2006

God's Smuggler

You can expect to start seeing reviews of books that I read, or if I feel so inclined, reviews of books that I have read in the past. This is one such case, being that I read this book almost 6 months ago. I found it necessary to touch back on this book first as I was trying to write a review on a book that I just finished by the same author. (Hopefully, in a few days you will see why) So, with no further delay, my first book to be reviewed is God's Smuggler, written by a man under the pen name of "Brother Andrew".

God's Smuggler is an extremely compelling autobiography. It documents the amazing events of a man, known as Brother Andrew, that the Holy Spirit used to pave the way for Christ's love and salvation by smuggling Bibles into a land, being eastern Europe, where God was forbidden by the government, being the Soviet Union. In 1957 there was not a single Communist border over which you could take books of any kind - let alone religious books. Yet, this is exactly what he did, time after time. This "illegal" activity also being the reason for the need of his alias.

Armed only with prayer, Brother Andrew crossed countless border under the scrutinizing eye of border guards all the while transporting illegal Bibles. One of my favorite quotes was his prayer during such times. "Lord, in my luggage I have Scripture that I want to take to Your children across this border. When You were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind. Do not let the guards see those things You do not want them to see."

The most impactful aspect of this book was this complete and utter reliance on God and Brother Andrew's intense focus and dedication in prayer. This autobiography is packed full of inspiring stories of how God can use someone who gives themselves up wholly to God. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but not soley to anyone, who has a twinge of interest in missions. Be forewarned, if you don't have a passion for missions, you will have a new found interest before finishing this book.

The events documented in God's Smuggler led to the creation of a missions organization called Open Doors (To get a snippet of the story of his life, they have put together a timeline). Open Doors is an international Christian mission supporting persecuted non-denominational Christian believers in countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed.

I found my first edition hardback on Ebay for $0.99, which leads me to believe this book doesn't receive nearly the attention it deserves. This book had a huge impression on my life, and is easily on my top ten list.

David Knepprath

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Sinister Gene

I will be posting a series of essays I wrote for my General Psychology class this last year (I pray you will find them more interesting then that sounds). The class was pathetic. One of the many pointless assigments was a weekly concept paper.

It was only the previous year (senior in high school) that I had developed a passion for writing along with the "writers high", which you really do have to experience to understand. However, coming into college at MHCC, and taking a lot of higher math and sciences along with general ed. classes, there were not very many outlets for me to be challenged in my writing. (This was before I discovered the wonderful world of blogging of course.)

Instead of just slopping together these concept papers to merely get by with an A, I decided to have fun with them. Geek, I know. Consequently, this meant I was putting in a lot more effort and doing a lot more work then was required to get an A.

So here's my brilliant idea - I figure I can get a few more miles out of these papers in that some of you reading this might receive some form of enjoyment from my overachieving nerdiness.

*Warning* They normally start out really slow and technical, then they get good (I like to think so at least).

The Sinister Gene
Genes are the biological units of heredity, passed down through generations, located on the chromosomes. Behavior genetics is the scientific study of the role of the inheritance of these genes in the behavior of an individual. The characteristics are broken down in to two types. The genotype is the specific genetic makeup of the individual, which may or may not be expressed in the observable phenotype. The phenotype is the observable characteristics produced by one’s genetic endowment.
Even further, these genetic makeups are broken down into three resulting effects. The dominant effect is if the genes received from the mother and father are paired, resulting in a particular characteristic being displayed. However, if a gene recieved from one parent is recessive, the characteristic will not show up unless the partner gene inherited from the other parent is also recessive. The third, being Polygenic transmission effect, is when a number of gene pairs combine their influences to create a single phenotypic trait.

Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed. But it isn’t with out a fight. The English word "sinister" comes from Latin root originally meaning "left" but then took on the meaning of “evil" or "unlucky”. Across all cultural boundaries, there have been a history of discrimination against left-handers. In England Left-handers were severely discriminated against during the 18th and 19th centuries, for being associated with mental disorders and criminal nature, and it was often "beaten out" of people. Even the adjective "left" means "improper," "out of accord." In some parts of China, some adults can still remember suffering for the "crime", with suitable traumatic punishments, of not learning to be right-handed in both primary and secondary schools. Even the word "ambidexterity" reflects the bias. Its intended meaning is, "skillful at both sides." However, since it keeps the Latin root "dext," which means "right," it ends up conveying the idea of being "right-handed at both sides."

While it is not known for sure if left-handedness is a genetic trait, there is strong evidence to support this. Statistically, the identical twin of a left-handed person has a 76% chance of being left-handed. This makes sense considering that an identical twin shares the same chromosomes from a single sperm and one egg. Historically, there are stories of left-handedness being an inherited trait. The Clan Kerr, of Scotland, built their castles with counter-clockwise staircases, so that a left-handed swordsman would be better able to defend it. Likewise, many members of the British royal family are left-handed. Genetic factors are usually used to explain this.

When looking at a genogram diagram of my own family from generation to generation, there seems to be an on going characteristic of being left handed in the last 3 generations, with myself being one of them. My great grandfather on my mother’s side was left handed. That trait passed on down to his son, my grandfather. From there it did no pass on to my mother, however, it did pass down to her brother, my uncle. My father’s side is a little less straightforward. No one of direct lineage to me, going down from my great grandfather on my father’s side was left handed. However, my father’s brother has five kids, two of whom are left handed. Also, my father’s sister has a son who is left handed. It appears as if the trait is dominant only in males coming down my mothers side, so in order for it to be passed on to me, through my mother, there must also be a genetic characteristic of left handedness on my father’s side as well, which it appears there might be in some form.

All things taken in to account, the genetic nature of being left handed is hard to trace. Even still in my grandfathers generation, being left handed was frowned upon, and in most cases they were forced to be right handed. So in the case of my family on my father’s side, it is not known whether there is a genetic trait that has been suppressed by the environment or not.
David Knepprath
February 24, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Important Lesson

Here is a very important lesson that, unfortunately, Jared had to learn the hard way...


P.S. In response to the accusation of "thievery", I just wanted to clarify that this picture was passed on to me by my good British friend Mirranda. Apparently, on the internet it is common knowledge that Jared is the definition of ignorance. ;)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pysanky (Easter Eggs)

Way back on July 20th in my Assumption of Mary post, I referenced a "Giant Easter Egg" museum. Well, here it is in all of its giant eggish glory! Unfortunately it was being renovated at the time, but you can use your imagination. The museum is nestled in the small town of Kolomya, in the foothills of the beautiful Carpathians. It was constructed in a shape of an Easter egg made of colorful glass. The Museum owns a collection of over 6000 exhibits. Its egg coloring masters have invented methods of Easter egg creation, maintenance, and restoration. What lies inside the museum are hundreds upon hundreds of wonderfully and masterfully decorated Easter eggs.

Pysanky (peh-san-keh) is the correct term for these "Easter eggs". The name Pysanky comes from the Ukrainian word pysaty which means "to write". I have many memories of concocting different dipping combinations to create elborate designs when dyed eggs when I was younger, but I never remember "writing" on one. But this is the difference between a Pysanka (singular) and your run of the mill Easter Egg. It is a very tedious, time consuming, and skillful process, which explains why Americans just put some dye in vinegar and plop a hard boiled egg in it. I'm just joking, sort of.

Pysanky is a ancient tradition in the heart of Europe, with the tradition enduring thousands of years to what is modern day Ukraine through any number of rulers, empires, and nations. The Pysanky is created by cracking the egg open, cleaning to prevent rotting, and reconstructing/reinforcing the egg with paper mache on the inside. Starting with the blank egg, you apply molten beeswax with a pen-like tool in a handwriting motion (hence the name) everywhere you want to remain white. Then you dye the egg in the lightest color. You again apply the molten wax, this time everywhere you want the lightest color to remain. This process is repeated with each consecutively darker color until you have applied wax and dyed the egg in the darkest color. At this point you hold the egg next to a flame and melt off all the wax to reveal a masterpiece much like the ones below (which I purchased for only $7!):

On this egg is a modified Ukrainian crest.

This egg bears the traditional Ukrainian Easter Greeting "Christ is Risen!"

I am going camping for the weekend, with Good Shepherd's college group. I know a lot of people don't think I do anything at work, but it is very mentally draining. I am really looking forward to spending the next 2 days surrounded by God's beautiful creation while getting some solid time in Christian fellowship, in prayer, diving into His Word, and worship.

For His Glory,

David Knepprath

Good Monsters

New Jars of Clay album "Good Monsters" debuts Sept. 5th! I'm not ashamed to say I already have it pre-ordered.

I'm really diggin the new Blogger Beta. My thoughts thus far:
  • You don't have to be an HTML guru to tweak the look of your blog. (Thank you Google!)
  • The spell checker is MUCH more intelligent. (Now I just have to kick my habit of copy & pasting my posts into Word just to do a spell check.)
  • The overall process of writing/publishing/editing a blog is streamlined and more efficient. (Faster page loads, more intuitive menu's, and instant publishing!)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

World Trade Center (The Movie)

It is never too soon. In the days leading up to the release of World Trade Center many people made remarks along the line of "Do we really need more reminders of that horrible day?". My simple honest answer....YES! We do need a reminder so that things like what almost happened last week DON'T happen. They are not going to stop and people become complacent far to easy. I don't know about you, but I would much rather keep people on their toes by watching a movie then by watching live tv and see 10 planes flying from Britain to America blow up simultaneously.

Rant aside, it was a decent movie. I'm not a huge Cage fan (besides Gone in 60 Seconds) and the rest of the acting was definitely C-list (Besides Jay Hernandez). A lot of reviews have praised the movie for not taking a political stand either direction. I agree, and in some ways I respect Oliver Stone for portraying the events without a slant. The premise of the movie is it follows the true story of two Port Authority police officers (John McLoughlin played by Nicolas Cage and William J. Jimeno by Michael Pena) who become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center and who also are the 18th and 19th (out of 20) survivors that were rescued after the collapse of the towers.

Despite the underwhelming acting, I would still recommend this movie (definitely when its on DVD, but not entirely a waste of money in theaters being that a portion of the proceeds benefit a variety of 9/11-based charities). I think it portrayed the hecticness and the confusion of that day very well. It showed the reality of the fact that no one was prepared for the events that occurred on 9/11. It gave me a different perspective of that day that I had never realized and that I didn't receive from watching the news. It is for these reasons that I think any American should give this movie the time to view it, and more importantly, reflect on it.

My favorite, and most emotional, scene is when the Port Authority Sgt. John McLoughlin is getting carried through the rubble on the stretcher. The majority of the rescue workers portrayed themselves, and in this scene particularly, you can really feel the energy as a result. In contrast, my least favorite scene was when "Jesus" was offering a water bottle to the two officers trapped in the rubble. Why was it included in the movie? Completely random and out of place.

While I am on the topic of movies, The Nativity (Will it stand up to the standards set by The Passion? I hope so.) and The Last King of Scotland (Sorry, I like history.) are looking interesting.


P.S. Any of you bloggers see the new Beta version? I'm excited!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Final Pictures From Kiev

This will be my final of 3 sets (1st & 2nd) in my pictoral tour of Kiev. I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse (if you can even call it that) into Kiev Ukraine.

Ukraine Government Building. Of special note are the 2 men in the foreground wearing "manpri's".

Kiev Cityscape

Statue of Ukrainian Composer Nikolai Lysenko, but gosh do I miss those buildings (and that color that they paint EVERYTHING with)!

"New Meets Old" (Or something like that)

St. Michaels as seen from St. Sophia's Belfry.

Unity Arch built in 1982 under the USSR to symbolize the unity between Russia and Ukraine. (Ukrainians think it is the biggest eyesore in Ukraine)

Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich

I know it must be severly depressing to hear this was the final set in my pictorial tour of Kiev. But, that doesn't mean I don't have more pictures that I plan on posting from Ukraine.

David Knepprath

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Snails are Brilliant

I think we can all learn a lot from snails. I can't stop listening to a song called, your never going to guess it, "Snails" by The Format. There is one line in particular that reveals the true genius of snails. Here's the line, think about it, and take from it what you may:

"Snails see the benefit, the beauty in every inch of life."
On an even more random note, I hate money. Ya, ya, I know the saying "money is the root of all evil" and Benjamin Franklin couldn't have been more right when he said "Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one." But I don't think you understand just how much I hate money. Today when I was depositing a check at an ATM, I licked the envelope and got the worst paper cut on my lip. It REALLY hurts. I really hate money.

David Knepprath

Warning Shot

Cheerio to our ol' chums across the pond in Britain! Good show mates!

10 planes were supposed to be simultaneously blown up this morning, according to Scotland Yard, in a terrorist act of "mass murder on an unimaginable scale". The airlines being targeted were American, United, and Continental flying from Britain to California, New York, and Washington.

The "sophisticated" plot involved hiding liquid explosives disguised as beverages or other common objects in carry-on luggage. British police conducted raids overnight and into the early morning arresting 25 and taking 21 into custody thereby thwarting the terrorist plans.

U.S. President George Bush said the alleged terror plot was a "stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists." Let this be a reminder to everyone. They have no desire to limit their suicide bombings to Iraq (35 killed, 122 wounded just today). Let it be a reminder, in which no one died but hundreds very easily could have, that the terrorists are going to, its only a question of when and how, bring the death and carnage of the Middle East to our turf.

How many planes would have needed to be blown up to make us open our eyes? I pray that this act was enough to open eyes, that we could heed the implications of the warning shot and not have to suffer the consequences of a bullet that is on target. I pray that it won't take more loss of life, comparable to that of 9/11, to open our eyes... again.

I am so thankful that God protected the lives of those who very easily could of perished this morning. But just because families did not loose loved ones and lives were not lost, I simply pray that the implications of these acts could have just as great of an impact as if they had.

For God's Glory,
David Knepprath

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Motto

I've always been jealous of people who have mottos. I could never decide on a single one. There are far too many brilliant quotes throughout history to narrow it down to one. This post was probably incorrectly titled, because I still don't think one simple statement can sum up my whole life philosophy, but this one comes pretty stinkin close.

Jonathan Burr, a settler in New England pursuing religious freedom in the early half of the 17th century was often quoted as saying "It is better to wear out with work, then to be eaten out with rust."

Now thats just good, and it describes me perfectly, no? It could almost be my motto, or something.

David Knepprath
"It is better to wear out with work, then to be eaten out with rust."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kids of Ivano-Frankivsk

I apologize if you got bored with my last post. Here are some pictures to make up for it. These are just a few random pictures of all the kids (that weren't in my class) that came to the VBS in Ivano-Frankivsk Ukraine. It would of been great to have more time so I could of interacted with the other age groups more, but I really enjoyed the time I did get with them to joke around and have fun. Good memories...

Primary class music time.

No more snacks. Sad day!

Picture from the concert the kids put on the day after VBS was over.

I still have at least 3 or 4 more Ukraine post ideas, so stay tuned!

Good night and God bless!
David Knepprath

Monday, August 07, 2006

Footprints in the Sand: Reality Check Edition

I took a couple days off posting since I was up in Seattle for the weekend visiting friends. Good times, although it seems the time part is always severely lacking. I do still plan on doing more posts on Ukraine, if that's the only reason you are sticking around, but at the moment I came across a random piece of inspiration.

This picture was courtesy of Dan Franklin (I hope he doesn't mind me "borrowing" it). It is a picture of Dan and his son Matthew on vacation. At first I just found it mildly amusing. After gazing at the picture and chuckling a bit, it was only a matter of seconds before the "Footprints in the Sand" poem popped into my head.

That poem has always been comforting, but in many ways I think it is an overly romanticized view of the relationship it so beautifully trying to portray. When the poem was read to me as a child, and even now as I reread it, it invokes a picture of myself perfectly relaxed and at peace with the world, being cuddled in Jesus loving arms as He carries me through life, knowing He is protecting me from every harm the world brings my direction.

You're probably quite frustrated with me at this point, wondering what kind of heresy I am alluding to by calling it "overly romanticized ". Hear me out as I analyze this picture from Dan's vacation, and hopefully you will see what I am getting at.

First we will look at the similarities. There are two individuals on the beach. There is a father carrying his son. There is a single set of footprints. Those are the essential aspects of the poem, but as far as imagery in concerned, the similarities stop there.

Contrastingly, in this picture Dan, the guy wearing the loud hawaiian shirt, is walking confidently, yet firmly, holding his son. His son is seemingly throwing a tantrum wiggling and squirming trying to resist his father's direction as much as possible with every passing step. All the while Dan is in perfect control of the situation, he knows the enjoyment Matthew could have while also being fully aware of, and protecting him from, the dangers he might be faced with.

Now I ask you, which one more accurately portrays your life and your relationship with God, especially when you are going through hard times? I know I definitely see more of myself in Matthew then in the idealistic imagery of the poem. Of course that would imply Dan was Jesus, but I don't think Jesus would be wearing an obnoxiously loud hawaiian shirt, more likely then not he would be sporting the white robe and red sash.

The point is, it is so easy to simply say that we are putting our lives in God's control. But how often do we still resist and struggle, throw fits and tantrums, all the while still trying to do things our way when God is trying to carry us through the hard times in our lives His way. "...I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Isaiah 46:4) I'm learning more and more that those tantrums are simply put, a waste of energy. I'm learning, slowly, to be able to curl up in Jesus arms; listening to Him (meaning I have to actually open my Bible), talking to him through prayer, and finding encouragement through my brothers and sisters in Christ when I am going through the hard times in life. If we let God take us where He wants us to be in our lives, no matter how new and unfamiliar that terrirtory is, He will provide a life filled with satisfaction and a hope for salvation far greater then anything the world we often grasp so hard to be a part of has to offer. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (Hebrews 6:19)

Hmmm...I wouldn't mind walking on the beaches in California right now with Jesus, even if Jesus was wearing a loud hawaiian shirt. (I really am sorry Dan.)

David Knepprath

Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong, I still love the poem. It is a very reassuring reminder of the comfort that Jesus can provide us with in our lives when we are following Him. And I actually really do like crazy loud hawaiian shirts. Unfortunately I live in Oregon, which has a coast, but not a "beach", at least not in my book (My book, being written in Texas, prefers warm temperatures). So the shirts are only a reminder of that, and are more depressing then anything else.

Friday, August 04, 2006

FACT: Toyota's Are a Household Appliance

"Toyota's are nothing more then a household appliance". This line has been repeated by many automotive journalists because of Toyota's bland styling and a lack of passion in the "driving experience". This was all based purely on opinion. But, until now, there hasn't been proof.

August 3rd will go down in history as the day that Toyota's ceased to pretend to be an automobile, and were revealed to be nothing more then a simple household appliance. See the following article that documents this landmark event.

How hot was it? Dashboard oven hot

Associated Press Updated: 4:36 p.m. PT Aug 3, 2006

BEDFORD, N.H. - Blistering heat was just what Sandi Fontaine needed to bake cookies for her co-workers — on the dash of her Toyota RAV4.

With temperatures soaring Wednesday, Fontaine placed two trays of cookie dough on the dashboard, shut the doors and retreated inside to her air-conditioned office.

"My husband wanted me to run some errands this morning," said Fontaine, who works at Baldwin and Clarke Corporate Finance. "I said, 'I can't. I'm baking cookies.'" ...

Household Appliance

A Very Expensive Household Appliance

David Knepprath

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sort Your Pictures at Home!

This is a plea to all who have embraced digital cameras and consequently those nifty little machines at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and such that you can use to get prints made.

Puuulease sort your pictures at home!

It is a bit of a bother having to wait in line behind you for half an hour while you pick out 30 pictures from the 400 you took on your vacation in Hawaii. Although I must admit, it was fun to see all the beautiful shots of sunsets over the Pacific, and all the pictures from your apparent fascination of Hawaiian Hula dancers. And while I do feel like I know your family fairly intimately now, I regret that I will never get to meet your precious grandson in person.

When I finally got to the machine, an odd thing happened. I popped in my presorted CD and I simply pushed “select all” and I was done. But I felt twinge of guilt, because the person in line behind me didn’t get to experience the joy of viewing all 722 pictures of beautiful Ukraine while I edited, cropped, debated, and picked out which ones I wanted prints of.

It was worth it though, because a woman and her young daughter were at the machine next to me who I knew from the moment I saw them they were Ukrainian. I was about to say something when doubt settled in…or were they Russian?... or Slavic of some type? I listened intently trying to pick out a word that would give them away. Then I heard it, the girl pointed at the screen and her mom said “Tak”! Now I don’t know how many Slavic languages use “tak” for “yes”, I at least knew it wasn’t Russian, and in the excitement of the moment I didn’t care! In the end they were from Ukraine, and I struck up what turned out to be a very interesting conversation. They were from a town in western Ukraine not far from Ivano-Frankivsk.

David Knepprath

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tour of Kiev Continued...

This is the second set of three in my pictoral tour of Kiev Ukraine.

View from St. Sophia's Belfry.

Fountain in Independence Square.

Buildings along St. Andrews St.

Now defunct Communist youth camp turned "hotel" where I stayed in Kiev.

Inside of Kiev Train Station (Trust me, this picture doesn't do it justice).

Apartments in Kiev.

I'll have the third set up soon.

I read a passage last night that hit me pretty hard. I think we as American, and myself in particular, sometimes think of ourselves as being very educated and knowledgeable. Paul is writing to the Romans, and specifically in Chapter 6, about the consequence and death we have through our sins but the salvation and life we receive through Christ. That's all fine and nice but in verse 19 he says "I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves." Now why did Paul have to go and say that? Why does he have to outright point out and tear down my pride? One translation even bluntly states: "I am speaking in human terms, because of your human limitations." Ouch! That’s pretty humbling to say the least, but at the same time it is much needed.

I too often think I have things figured out, but I realize more now then ever how much I need to be in God's Word, so that He can help me understand His desires for this world and myself. I am so thankful he has outlined His desires for me in human terms, that our God knows and understands us, even with our human limitations. I am so thankful that our God isn't some mystical being that we can't have a personal relationship with and can't learn to know intimately. Because we can! But we can't get their on our own. We need His word (2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work), and His Spirit (John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.) to guide us to Him.

David Knepprath