Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mexican Wrestling

Today Balázs came home with a new sweatshirt which one of his classmates gave him. At first we didn't think anything of it, until we noticed what was written on it:
Ma Balázs haza jött egy új pulcsival, amit megkapta egy osztálytársától. Először nem foglalkoztunk vele, amig észre nem vettünk, hogy mi van ráírva:

On the back: A hátán:

and on the front: az elején:

Yes, that's right - Balázs has a shirt that says "Mexican Extreme Wrestling". If only he knew what he was advertizing...
Igen, így van - Balázsnak van egy olyan pulcsija, amire rá van írva, hogy "Mexikói Extrém Birkozás". Ha bár csak tudná mit reklámoz:

How to Destroy a Marriage

Recently a pastor in our area from another denomination had a moral failure, and had to give up his position.
The whole thing is very sad, and my heart goes out to his family and the church he formerly pastored. I pray for restoration in the situation, and I also pray that God would protect Rosemary and I and our marriage by His grace, that nothing of this sort would ever happen to us.

In connection with this, I read this post from Perry Noble this week, which is worth checking out: 15 Ways to Destroy Your Marriage

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

11 Things About Rosemary

1. I have lived in 2 places in my life-Southern Cal and eastern Hungary!
2. I won't go to Hawaii out of spite-I've been to every other state but that one!
3. I have a white American grandma and a Filipino auntie and cousins who are actually not related to me.
4. Being a first generation American, I learned things the hard way-mispronouncing words in English and learning about such cultural icons like brownies in college.
5. My brother and I are very close-just 10 months apart!
6. My name derives from my 2 (actual) grandmas-Rosa the Peruvian and Maria the Hungarian. Be careful though-I don't answer to Rosamaria.
7. I have a teddy bear older than many of you-27 years old.
8. I speak Hungarian-not learning it from my dad, but the hard way-grammar lessons, memorizing and crying and sweating and praying for years.
9. I dream of a beautiful kitchen where I can cook and bake to my heart's content.
10. I don't have any favorites-in films, music, colors, food, etc. I just like a whole bunch of random stuff.
11. I have been living in HUNGARY for 11 years now!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Change in Policy - Eljárási Változás

Dear Sir or Madam,

Let it be known that the Nathaniel, formerly known as "the baby" shall no longer be referred to in such terms, but shall henceforth be known as "the big boy" as he no longer sleeps in a crib, but has fully transfered to a big boy bed.

Thank you for your compliance,
The Management

Tisztelt Cím!

Figyelmébe áljánjuk, hogy Nathanielt, akit régebben "a baba" nevében ismerték, mostantól ne illessék ilyen fogalmazásokkal, hanem mostantól legyenek szívesek "nagy fiú"-ként tekinteni rá, mivel ő már nem alszik a kisbaba ágyban, hanem sikeresen átállt a nagyfiús ágyra.

Közreműködését köszönjük,
A Főnökség

Sunday, September 27, 2009

World Heart Day Outreach

(Mirrored from our Ministry Blog)

Yesterday we had an all day outreach, in connection with World Heart Day.
Hungary has one of the lowest life expectancies of European countries, and heart disease is the biggest killer.

A woman in our church, Ági, has a heart problem, and she came up with the idea this summer that for World Heart Day we should organize an outreach with some doctors, in which we take basic readings and the doctor gives consultation, and through this we can share with these people about the importance of both taking care of their hearts physically, and giving their hearts to God spiritually.
We also created a flier for the day, which on the one side had information about how to have a healthy heart, and on the other side talked about the other aspect of the heart, and shared the Gospel message.

Another aspect of this idea which makes it good, is that there are many problems in the Eger hospital, so anything we can do to help the sick in the city is welcomed by the population, as well as by the local government. What we found during the outreach was that many people were very glad to be able to talk a doctor for a few minutes, as they don't often have this opportunity.

The response to the outreach was really amazing. In the morning we set up our tent next to the marketplace, and had a continuous crowd from 8 until noon, which never let up. We measured body mass index, blood presure and blood sugar readings and then Krisztián, our doctor, gave consultation and prayed for them.
We are sure that many more people would have taken part if we would have had the capacity to take them. Hopefully next year we can have more doctors and more helpers, as there is definitely potential to reach even more people through this type of outreach.

In the afternoon we went to the city park, and had music and continued the outreach. We had fewer people come in the afternoon, but there was still a steady flow the entire time.
The whole program was a lot of work, but it was great to see how many people from the church stepped up to make it happen.

Today at church we had a new faces who we met at the market yesterday, and we were able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many people throughout the course of the day, while at the same time doing something beneficial for the city.

Please pray for those who we got to talk with and pray for yesterday, and for those who received the fliers!
Here are some pictures of when we were at the market in the morning:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Face Paint

Whether Nate's drawing with markers...

or eating lunch...

he knows how to decorate his face.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

College Outreach

(Mirrored from our ministry blog)

The Eszterházy Károly College in Eger is not a major university, but it is certainly up and coming, growing and getting more popular each year. The school now has around 10,000 students, and the campus is spread out throughout the city.

When we first started the church in Eger, we had quite a few college students attending, but as they graduated, many moved away. We have wanted for some time to do outreach to the college students here, and this year God opened a door for us to do that.
A guy in our church named Sanyi goes to college in Budapest, and is involved with Campus Crusade there. Campus Crusade in Hungary is an organization that I really love, and they have been very effective in leading students to faith in Jesus. One of their main outreaches every year is to go into dormitories and hand out "Survival Packs" (Túlélő Csomagok), which are binders with stuff in them for the students, such as calendars, schedules, note paper, and articles about Christianity, as well as a Gospel tract.

Part of passing out these binders, is that there is a questionnaire in them about issues of interest to youth, including relationships and of course faith. On the basis of the answers to the questionnaires, we can easily see who it is who is interested in knowing more about the Gospel, and we can later contact them and invite them to meet with us personally. This has proven very effective in the past for Campus Crusade, and I know many people personally in Hungary who came to know the Lord through this.

Since Campus Crusade is not active in Eger, they allowed our church to distribute the Survival Packs here. We included our church flier/tract, and went into the dormitories this past week to hand them out.
Out of the 400 binders we got from Campus Crusade, we have already passed out 320. We will still go into some more dormitories here in Eger, but we were able to do the biggest part on Monday and Tuesday. It was a lot of work, but a good number of people from the church came to help out, and we were able to take 3 teams through the dormitories on both days, and get the Survival Packs into each room. We were also able to have some good conversations and share with the students about Jesus and about our church as they filled out the questionnaire.

The next step is to contact those who are interested in knowing more about a personal relationship with God. Please pray for us, that God would lead us in this, give us wisdom, and that many would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior through this.
Here are some pictures of us in the dormitories:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


(originally posted on our ministry blog)

On Sunday we had a baptism at a lake near Eger, in Ostoros.
For the past 3 years, we have had 2 baptism services every year: one in Vajta in July, at the summer conference with the other Hungarian Calvary Chapels, and one at the end of summer in Ostoros at the lake.
God blessed us with beautiful weather (much better than last year!), and we were able to have the whole church service outside, followed by a barbecue and fellowship.
3 young men were baptized: Sanyi, Marci and Peti. Before their baptism they each gave a testimony of what God has done in their lives and why they want to be baptized, and then we prayed for them and baptized them in the lake.
Praise the Lord for these young men, their faith and their commitment to following Jesus. May God strengthen them and use them in a great way!
Here are some pictures:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Really Important

I don't do it very often, but the other day I read a blog that made some blatantly wrong claims about the Bible's teachings about the place of the local church in Christianity, so I wrote back a detailed response, with lots of Bible verses and explanations - even going into the meaning of certain words in Greek...
Then the next day, I checked the blog again, only to find that I had not convinced the person I addressed the comment to that they were wrong and I was right. I realized that spending so much time on that comment was kind of a waste of time. I don't it was totally in vain, but it probably wasn't the most fruitful half hour of my life.
Last Sunday I taught from 1 Corinthians 15 about the hope of heaven, and the last verse of the chapter says this:
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
There are a lot of vain things that I/we spend our time on, and one of the things I'm learning to do lately is to cut out a lot of the vanity from my schedule. It robs my time with my wife and kids, with the church, and with the Lord.
I start school again today, which means that more than ever I will need to cut the vain things out of my schedule to be able to balance my different responsibilities.
There is one thing that is never in vain, as this verse tells us: serving the Lord. That's never a waste of time. I want to abound in that, and cut out more and more of the useless vain activity from my life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Trabant Unveiled

A while back I wrote a post about how a new Trabant - the Neue Trabant or nT - has been in the works.
On Wednesday the New Trabant was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Here's the video:

The new Trabant has very little in common with its blue-smoke belching, 2-stroke engined, paper mache bodied predecessor, other than its name and body shape. The designers of the Neue Trabant claim it is all about being economical and ecological. It is an electric car, and has solar panels on the roof, which power the air conditioning.

The nT is still only a concept car, so we probably won't be seeing any on the road anytime soon, but even if the Neue Trabant goes into mass production, I think it will never have the same cult following as the original Trabant, because it's just too nice. People love things which are awesomely bad, and this car just seems too good!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kevin Skinner's Got Money

We really enjoyed this season of America's Got Talent. It's a nice show that the whole family can watch together - Balázs can follow what's going on, and Nate likes it too, especially the acts with animals in them!
We are happy that Kevin Skinner won; we've liked him since his audition, and wish him all the best. To go from being an unemployed farmer to having a headline show in Vegas and $1 mill...that's a pretty drastic change.
There were a lot of good acts in the top 10; our favorite was Hairo Torres, a contortionist/break dancer. Hopefully being on AGT will help launch his career. Here's a video of (in our opinion) his best performance on the show:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faith = Commodity?

This semester in my theology course, I have a class about Christianity and contemporary philosophy. The class hasn't started yet, but I got my text books already and have been reading ahead.
As I've been reading this book, one quote really caught my attention:

Talking about faith in a pluralistic, postmodern society, Peter Berger says this:
'the religious tradition, which previously could be authoritatively imposed, now has to be marketed. It must be "sold" to a clientele that is no longer constrained to "buy." The pluralistic situation is above all, a market situation. In it, the religious institutions become marketing agencies and the religious traditions become consumer commodities.'

When I first read this, I initially found the idea of referring to faith and the Gospel as a consumer commodity as offensive and wrong, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that not only is this the current situation in the world we live in, but it is not exactly a bad thing either.
The fact is, America is not a "Christian nation," and Europe has been "post-Christian" for some time. Those who still adamantly claim the opposite are like those who make themselves hoarse trying to convince others that Earth is flat.

But again - I don't think this is really a bad thing. The problem with "assumed" religion - meaning that you believe something, because you were born into it is not Biblical, and it can lead to a false sense of security that one believes the truth, is right with God and is going to heaven.
I think it is a good thing for a person to question and to seek truth, rather than say, "Well, my parents were Christians/Muslims/Buddhists/etc... so I believe it too."
The Bible would teach that every person needs to seek for themselves, and chose for themselves which path they will choose.

And that brings us to the consumer-commodity analogy for faith. If every person must choose for themselves what to believe, then the different religious organizations are trying to convince people that they should believe what they are offering. And to do this, we use different kinds of "marketing" tactics; we just don't refer to them in those terms.
In Eger, if you walk down the streets, you can meet with Christians from our church, Hare Krishnas, and Mormons - all trying to convince you to believe what they are teaching. And the person on the street has no obligation to receive any of it, if they choose not to. So we try to convince them that they need what we have - and we use 'marketing tactics' to do this: tracts, posters, lectures, preaching, etc...

But again - I don't think there's anything wrong with that - NOR do I think it is a modern phenomenon which is a result of market economies or postmodernism.
If you look in the Bible, at Paul the Apostle - he was doing the same thing: he lived in pluralistic society, where different cultures and religions lived side by side, and he worked hard to convince those people to follow Jesus by telling them why they needed what he was "selling".

Paul wrote: We are ambassadors for Christ
, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2.Cor 5:17) He was giving a "sales pitch" to convince people who had no obligation to "buy" what he was "selling" that they needed what he had.
So, in my opinion, getting back to the point as a society where faith is not assumed is a good thing. It requires people to seek the truth for themselves, rather than just accept the beliefs of their ancestors - which is a much more Biblical thing.

In Deuteronomy, when Moses speaks to the new generation - the generation who were born in the wilderness, the generation who were the children of the people who entered into the covenant with God at Mt. Sinai - Moses refers to God as "Your God" over and over. He does this because he wants them to understand that while Yahweh is the God of their fathers - he must be their God personally. They must make the choice to walk with Him for themselves. And in Deuteronomy 30, Moses places a decision before this new generation - that they must choose for themselves whether or not to follow the Lord. It is not enough that their fathers chose to follow him - they must also make that decision for themselves.
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live...
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
This is essentially Moses' "sales pitch," in which he tries to convince the new generation to follow the Lord by telling them why it will be good for them.

I don't consider faith a commodity, but I think that we should use tactics and strategies to get our message to people and help them understand why they desperately need what God is offering them: Salvation, forgiveness, restoration and eternal life - through faith in Jesus.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hoppá! - Oops!

Úgy tűnik, többen nézik ezt a blogot, mint gondoltam.
Amikor az unokatestvérem, Tess, itt volt júliusban, ő csinált egy fényképet Habis Lászlóról, Eger polgármesteréről, ahogy a pogármester úr megtartotta Tess plüss majmát. Erről írtam és feltöltöttem a képeket itt, ebben a bejegyzésben.
Nos, tegnap telefonált az egyik barátom, és azt mondta - Képzeld el! Emlékszel arra a képre amit az unokatesód készített a polgármesterről? Ma kaptam egy szórólapot ami arról szól, hogy a polgármester mennyire rossz - és az a kép van rajta!
Íme, a szórólap:
Erről fontos mondonom egy-két dolgot:
  • Nem én írtam ezt a szórólapot
  • Nem én adtam oda ezt a képet, hanem valaki csak letöltötte.
  • Nincsen semmi bajom a polgármesterrel.
  • A Biblia szerint, keresztényként, az a dolgom, hogy imádkozzak azokért akik hatalmi poziciókban vannak. (Romaiakhoz írt levél 13)
  • Én csak ilyen szórólapokat szeretek osztani.
Csak remélem, hogy nem jönnek értem éjszaka fekete autóval... :)

It seems that more people are reading this blog than I thought.
When my cousin Tess was here in July, she took a picture of the mayor of Eger holding her stuffed monkey. I wrote about it, and uploaded the pictures here, in this post.
Well, yesterday a friend of mine called me up and said, Guess what - remember that picture your cousin took of the mayor holding the stuffed monkey? Today I got a flier about how bad the mayor is, and that picture is on it!
A few things I should say about this:
  • I didn't make this flier
  • I didn't give this picture to anyone - someone just downloaded it.
  • I have no problem with the mayor.
  • According to the Bible, as a Christian, my job is to pray for those who are in positions of authority (Romans 13)
  • I only like to make fliers like this.
I just hope they don't come for me with a black car in the middle of the night... :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sopron Picnic

20 years ago the "Pan-European Picnic" was held on the Austrian-Hungarian border at Sopron to protest the Iron Curtain. During the picnic 600 East Germans used the opportunity to push through to the West, and significantly, were not shot at by Hungarian border guards. It was one of the main events which led to the fall of the Berlin wall.
Here's a video from CNN about it:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Wedding Anniversaries 0-5

Yesterday we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Praise God for bringing us together and keeping us together. We look forward to many more years together here on Earth - and then many many more after that together with the Lord!

September 4, 2004 - San Diego, CA.

September 4, 2005 - New York City
Two friends of ours got married, and we got to spend our first anniversary in Manhattan. It was a good weekend.

September 4, 2006 - Aspen, Colorado
We had a great time together in the Rockies. Aspen is great.

September 4, 2007 - Eger, Hungary
Nate dogg was 3 days old, so we celebrated our anniversary in the visiting room of the maternity ward.

September 4, 2008 - Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
This picture is actually from somewhere else in Bulgaria, but we like it :)

September 4, 2009 - Budapest, Hungary
A friend of ours watched Nate so we could go out. It was really nice.

5 Years Ago Today

It seems like just yesterday, but hey, time flies when you're having fun, right?
Here's to my beautiful bride. May our life together continue to be built upon the Rock.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Beethoven gave his first concert at 9 years old.

Doogie Howser graduated from Princeton at 10 years old.

At only 2 years old, Nate seems to also have a flair of genius in him.
He loves cameras, so on Tuesday we let him hold the camera in the back seat on our way home from the zoo.

Here are the impressive artistic images he captured:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Slovak Language Act

There is more and more tension between Hungary and Slovakia these days.
In addition to what happened last week - yesterday Slovakia passed a new language act, which "fines anyone misusing the Slovak language and limits the use of the Hungarian language in public." (Source)
Slovakia is being criticized for this law by many, even within the European Union, whereas the Slovak government claims that the law is being misrepresented and misunderstood. Here's the critics' view and the Slovak response.
I'm like Rodney King - I wish we could all just get along :)

Egyre több feszültség van Magyarország és Szlovákia között manapság.
Azon felül, hogy mi történt a múlt héten, tegnap vezették be az új nyelvtörvényt, ami "bírságot követel azoktól akik helytelenül használják a szlovák nyelvet, és korlátozza a magyar nyelv nyilvánosságban való használatát." (Forrás)
Sokan kritizálják a szlovák kormányt e-miatt, meg az EU-n belül is, miközben a szlovák kormány azt állítja, hogy ezt a törvényt félreértik és média hamisan írja le.
Itt a kritika nézete és a szlovák válasz
Én olyan vagyok mint Rodney King - azt kivánom, hogy mindenki kijöjjön a másikkal :)
Maranatha! (Jöjj el, Uram!)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Birthday Images

September 1, 2007 Eger Hospital

September 1, 2008 - Nessebar, Bulgaria

September 1, 2009 - Nyíregyháza Zoo

Nate had a great time at the zoo today. He loves animals so much, and knows their names - most in both languages - and what sounds they make, but most of his favorites he had never seen in person. He recognized all of his favorite animals when he saw them, but there were a few surprises:
  • He really likes elephants, so we were excited to show him a live one. When he saw it, he knew exactly what it was and raised his arm up like an elephant trunk...and then about 2 seconds later he saw some chickens and decided to run after them instead, and didn't care about the elephant any more :)
  • There were certain animals which he had never seen before, which had him a little confused: He couldn't tell if the buffaloes were bears or cows, and if he should moo or growl at them. He saw some hairy monkeys, and first barked at them, then meowed at them, and then said "oo, oo" (the monkey noise). He had no idea what noise to make at the camel :), and he thought the raccoons were cats.
  • Another one we were really looking forward to were the bears. Nate has a bear he takes to bed every night, and always growls at it. When we got to the bears it was feeding time, so the bears were less than a meter from us. Rosemary and I found this very interesting, but in the mean time Nate heard a cow down the way, and from that point on could have cared less about the bears!
  • After seeing lots of monkeys, Nate surprised us by walking on all fours, like a monkey.

When we first arrived he couldn't stop saying "Wow!" to everything. I think his favorite was the polar bear, who even dove in the water right in front of us. He also got to hear a lion roar and pet a giraffe!
All in all, it was the best birthday of Nate's life :)

Happy Birthday Nate!

Today we celebrate Nate's 2nd birthday. Nathaniel Nicholas was born here in Eger, and we chose his name after we saw him because he had a gentle cry and was so sweet. Nathaniel is literally our "gift of God" and we have so much joy because of him.

A few things I love about Nate:
1. He is a rock n roller, banging his head to good music.
2. He doesn't stop moving around for a minute, unless you turn on a Diego video, then he can sit and watch those without moving for an hour.
3. He is very healthy and poops 3-4 times a day.
4. Sometimes he just sits down and reads his baby Bible.
5. His favorite word is apparently "mama" which he says all day long, and doesn't just say it, but SINGS it.
6. He talks to animals in their languages. I.E. When he sees a dog, he barks at it, for a horse he neighs at it and meows at all the cats we see.
7. Nate concentrates very hard to build something or use his tools. No one should disturb him.
8. He eats anything and says "yay" when it is time to eat.
9. He's very polite and yells "bye" when we leave the store.
10. We can easily know what Nate wants because he takes us by the hand or finger and leads us to what he wants, then grunts.

Happy Birthday! We love you Nate!