Wednesday, August 15, 2018

God Is Never Surprised



Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.” Luke 22:1-2

Surprises can be good or bad, wanted or unwanted, painful or pleasant. We are surprised by an unexpected check in the mail, meeting a kind client, or a cheerful server on a rainy day. On the other hand, a change in the weather that ruins our plans, or an unexpected illness or bill, are surprises we wish we could avoid.  How can we prepare for surprises and not become discouraged by the bad news or feeling prideful that our abilities made something good happen when things were unexpectedly positive?

Jesus was going to be betrayed, beaten beyond recognition, and then crucified. He was not surprised. He was never surprised because He was God and knew the future. He also knew there would be a victorious resurrection and the purchase of a bride made from sinful people! Knowing the future gave Him courage to face the present trials, as well as the future betrayals, and abandonment by His best friends.

You do not know the future. But then again, you actually do! If you are a Christian, you know that you will be raised to eternal life with Christ! You also know the One who knows everything about the future! You can live with consistent hope, courage, and optimism when difficult surprises come by trusting God who knows your future and loves His children. You don’t have to be caught off guard or discouraged when nasty surprises come. Your God was not! 

Remember, He has you in the palm of His hands. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28




Monday, July 23, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - July 2018



Dear Friends,     
Marriage was ordained by our Creator for our edification and pleasure, as well as for proliferation and the joy of raising children to know and love Him! Marriage is sacred and holy. Godly marriages and families are the foundation of the church and our society. No wonder Satan is constantly attempting to destroy them. Enjoy reading how Danelle and I were privileged to participate in a Ukrainian wedding, family activities, and a future marriage.


Alla and Alexandyr, and his son, Daniel


Wedding In Georgia We met Alexandyr 20 years ago when he and his sister came to our house in Canton to bring us some gifts to take to Ukraine on one of our mission trips. A few years ago we found out he was going through a painful divorce. I was able to travel to central Georgia to meet with him, comfort and encourage him, and help him commit his life to Christ. Last year Danelle and I met Alla in Kiev during a mission trip. She wanted our counsel about a young man named Alexandyr who lived in Georgia – yes, the same Alexandyr! They got to know one another through Skype as well as Alexandyr went to Kiev to meet her. They grew closer and decided it was God’s will for them to marry. They called and asked me to do the ceremony. It was beautiful service. It was also the first marriage I had translated into Russian! Please pray for them to grow in Christ and have a strong marriage. Alla doesn’t speak English and has never lived in America, to go along with the challenge of just getting married! We hope our Ukrainian friends in our church, Alex and Oksana, will be able to reach out to them and help them adjust.  

Wedding In Pennsylvania Danelle’s niece is getting married August 11th and asked if I would perform their ceremony. We were honored and heartily agreed! We also explained to them how we want every couple to have a good marriage that will last a lifetime. Therefore, we always have premarital counseling with the couple to help them start well. So, for several months we have enjoyed encouraging sessions on Skype with Kelsey and Eddie. Their desire to honor God and put Him first in their relationship has been refreshing. Please pray for this new couple to continue to seek God first and His purpose for their marriage. They need God’s grace as well as our prayers and support. 

Grandchildren Summer provides more opportunities to spend time with our grandchildren, and this month has been fantastic! We have been to the Botanical Gardens, Fernbank Science Center, swimming numerous times, and had many cookouts and walks together. Our granddaughters from NYC, Jasper and Emilia Dewey, were able to spend an entire week with us. We had great discussions about spiritual birth, God’s character, and read a biography of Lillian Trasher. (We had never heard of this woman before. It made us realize that there are thousands of fruitful Christian heroes whom we have never heard of that we will meet in heaven. May that be us as well!!!) The girls were so captivated by her life that they didn’t want to stop reading! They were eager to learn to pray out loud, as well as to read the word of God! Our times praying together were so rich that they reminded us why God gave us children! 

 Steve, Danelle, Jasper, & Dewey
                                                                                                                                         
       Prayer Requests

1. Alexandyr & Alla Ask God to help this new couple to find good fellowship, and to grow in their devotion to one another.

2. Atlanta Pray for our friends pictured here, Abel Israel, Abel, and his wife Francesca. We enjoyed dinner together at a Mexican restaurant recently. The parents are believers, but Abel Israel isn’t yet. We have shared Christ with him numerous times over the years. We continue to meet weekly with his parents to read the Bible and pray together. Pray for our lifeguard, Ace, who is reading Steve’s book, to trust Christ as his Savior. Pray too for our church to continue to become a close family that reflects Christ’s love to our community.



3. Family Pray for the upcoming opportunities this summer to build our children and grandchildren’s faith in God. Ask God to save the grandchildren who don’t know Him yet, and to help the kids who know Him to grow stronger in faith. Pray for their parents to disciple them and be good examples to them. Pray  too for Eddie and Kelsey who will be married August 11th in Pittsburgh. Pray for their love for others to grow as a result of their growing relationship with Jesus.


Thank you for your love and prayers!         

Steve & Danelle    



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