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July 24, 2015, 2:38pm Report to Moderator
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        In October of 1993 we were one of the first missionaries to arrive in Russia.  My contacts had found us an apartment in a residential area of 12 story apartment buildings.  We did not know one person there.
        The day after we moved in, my wife ordered me out on the streets to find milk.  
        Near our apartment I found a small kiosk on the side of the street with the Russian word for milk in big letters painted across the top, but it was closed.
        At the local grocery store I found cartons of milk sitting in a floor refrigeration unit, but when I ran my hand along the inside of the refrigeration unit, it was not cold.  It was not on.  The milk in it was at room temperature.  Since I had not found any other milk, I purchased the room temperature milk and took it home.  When I opened it, it was spoiled.
        In the next few weeks I purchased milk at the grocery store a few more times.  Sometimes it was spoiled and sometimes it was not.  When it wasn’t, I put it in the refrigerator for breakfast, but by breakfast time, it was always spoiled.
        The milk kiosk was always closed.
        At that time many Russians got their milk by taking a one liter container to an old lady stationed behind a dirty, yellow tank of milk trailered in from the farm.  It was not pasteurized and so required boiling before drinking.  I wasn’t brave enough to buy any.
        One day as I was going to a morning appointment, I saw a lady in the milk kiosk.  I stopped and bought a half liter of milk from her.  As soon as I got home, I opened it up and checked to see if it was fresh.  It was.  The next morning it was still fresh.  We figured out that the lady worked in the milk kiosk only in the morning as long as she had milk, so we started getting up early in the morning to purchase milk.
        Even though we now had milk, there was still one problem: it was Russian milk.  The problem with Russian milk, at least for this American’s tastebuds, is the strong aftertaste, a taste reminisent of barnyard air.  We choked down the milk hoping to get used to the aftertaste.  It never happened.  We finally stopped drinking milk altogether.
        Four months later, we heard about a new place to buy milk.  It was a Finnish store located on the other side of town.  Other Americans had told us the general area where it was located, so we took the subway to the nearest station and set out on foot.  After combing the area for an hour in the cold wintry weather, I spotted the Saint Petersburg Hotel which was supposed to be next to it.  I ran back to a park where my family waited and told them the good news.  We trekked a mile to the Finnish store.  Instead of finding the big grocery store we expected, we found a small convenience store with little more than milk, magazines, and meat.  We purchased four half liters of milk.  The next morning they were still fresh.  In fact, after a week they still had not spoiled and they did not have the Russian aftertaste.  What a miracle!
        My wife started making the hour and a half trip each way to the Finnish store every week just to get milk.  We learned that it matters where we get our milk from.
        Spiritual food is the same way.  There are many books, religions, and holy men that claim to feed you spiritually, but only one came from the spiritual realm and only one knows the truth about spirituality.  Anything else is just spoiled milk.  That person said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father, but by me.”  Yes, the only source of real spiritual food is Jesus Christ and the only authoritative book of His words is the Bible.  As you read His words and think about them, you will grow.  You will learn the truth about the world around you.  You will find out what to do and what not to do.  You will become strong and well nourished.
        So where does your spiritual food come from?  If you don't read the Bible, it does not come from the Bible.  Make a commitment to spend time each day reading and thinking about the Bible.

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Ray on the Bible    Exploring a Nontraditional Bible    The Bible  ›  Where Does Your Food Come From?

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