Saturday, January 22, 2011

Felicia is ONE Year Old!

Last year on this day, we awoke to labor pains, and excited expectation, that our little girl was finally coming.
That excitement quickly turned to fear, sadness and worry when we got to the hospital - and for weeks as Felicia's life was in the balance between life and death.

Here are my blog posts from this time last year.

Now, one year later, we are so thankful for God's grace, that in His kindness He healed our little girl. She gives us so much joy, and her life is a testimony to God's power and grace.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Men of Whom the World Was Not Worthy

John Piper has a series of biographical presentations on noteworthy Christians called "Men of Whom the World was Not Worthy"

Rosemary and I have been very blessed and encouraged listening to these presentations, and I would heartily recommend them.

You can find them here and here:

We were particularly touched by the story of Adoniram Judson, missionary to Burma. He was the first American missionary to leave North America, and he served almost 40 years in Burma and left a significant mark on the nation.

At the same time, his life was marked by great difficulty.
He had 3 wives, who all died. Except for one son, all of his children died - most as infants, one as a toddler.

What he wrote about how he made it through such difficulty is powerful:
"If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings."

These were the words of Ann, his second wife, after her second child, the toddler, died:
"Our hearts were bound up with this child. We felt that he was our earthly all, our only source of innocent recreation in this heathen land. But God saw it was necessary to remind us of our error and to strip us of our only little awe. Oh may it not be in vain that he has done it; may we so improve it that he may stay his hand and say, 'it is enough'."

I am impressed and encouraged by faith like that - faith that does not get angry at God in the face of difficulty, but trusts in His knowledge and love even when it doesn't have answers to the question of 'why?'.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Nate has a stuffed dog who he likes to cuddle while he sleeps. His name is Kibbles - and the other night Nate asked me to take a picture of him and Kibbles.
Nate is doing his best American "toothy smile".
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Felicia Behind Bars

For a while I have been wanting to put up a gate at the bottom of our stairs so Rosemary have Felicia down in the kitchen without worrying about her climbing up the stairs when she is not looking, but the problem was that our stair case is very wide at the bottom.

Last week I used my favorite power tool - the angle grinder, or "flex", to modify 2 gates, making them one.
Nothing relieves stress like using and angle grinder to cut metal.

Here are some pictures:



Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seriously? / Komolyan?

2 things that made me ask the question "Seriously?" in the past few days:
2 dolog ami engem arra indított, hogy azt mondjam, "Komolyan?" az elmúlt napokban:
  1. On Tuesday, when Rosemary and I were doing the religious ed. class that I wrote about in my previous post, we were introducing ourselves to the kids, and we asked them if they know how to say anything in English. 2 of them knew something in English - one was "boombox" and the other one was "go and die!".
    Kedden, amikor Rosemaryvel tartottuk a hittan órát amiről írtam az előző bejegyzésemben, bemutatkoztunk a gyerekeknek, és megkérdeztük tőlük, hogy tudnak-e valamit angolul. Ketten tudtak valamit angolul - az egyik szó az volt, hogy "magnó", a másik az volt hogy "menj és halj meg!".
  2. Today I went to visit Shane and Marianna in Szolnok.
    By the way - if you live in Szolnok or know anyone who does, they are starting a church there. Here is their website.
    So on my way there and back I went through the Jászság - one of the poorest regions and least developed regions in Hungary. And as I entered the town of Jászladány, I saw this sign:
    Ma elmentem Shane-t és Mariannát meglátogatni Szolnokon.
    Amúgy - ha Szolnokon laksz, vagy ismersz ott valakit - Shane-ék gyülekezetet alapítanak ott. Itt van a weboldaluk.
    Szóval, Eger és Szolnok között van a Jászság - Magyarország egyik leginkább gazdaságilag elmaradt régiója. És ahogy bementem Jászladány községébe, ezt a táblát láttam:

    It says: "Jászladány: The Town of Opportunity." Seriously?
    I'm curious - opportunity for what? Not to have a job, that's for sure. The only businesses I saw were a few bars and a grocery store. So opportunity for what? To buy a cheap house? Perhaps.
    "Jászladány: A lehetőségek települése." Komolyan?
    Kiváncsi vagyok - lehetőség mire? Valószínűleg nem arra, hogy munkát találjon az ember. Egydül egy pár darab kocsmát és egy élelmiszer boltot láttam a községben. Tehát, lehetőség mire? Hogy viszonylag olcsó telket vegyen az ember? Arra talán, igen.

Have you had any experiences lately that made you ask the question "Seriously?"
Volt-e mostanában olyan dolog ami arra indított téged, hogy azt mondjad, hogy "Komolyan?"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Religious Education -- Hittan Órák

The Lord has opened up a great open door for us to teach the religious education classes in an elementary school in Eger which is almost exclusively attended by Roma (gypsy) kids. The school is known as one of the worst schools in town, and is located next to the largest Roma neighborhood in Eger. Even in the school there is a display with the Roma flag and some texts in Hungarian and Roma language.
Az Úr egy nagyon jó lehetőséget nyitott számunkra, hogy hittan órákat tartsunk egy egri általános iskolában ahol majdnem csak roma gyerekek járnak. Ez az iskola Eger legnagyobb roma negyede mellett van - az iskolában van egy kirakat egy roma zászlóval és magyar és roma nyelvű írásokkal.

Yesterday was our first time at the school, and we had a good time. Rosemary and I were able to go together, which was nice because she is very gifted at working with kids, and these kids really responded well to her.
Tegnap tartottuk az első órát, és nagyon jól ment. Rosemaryvel együtt mentünk, ami jó volt, mert ő nagyon áldott ilyen téren, és a gyerekek jól viszonyulnak hozzá.

At our first meeting we had about 15 kids, all Roma, and we had a very good time. The kids were super excited to be there and learn about the Bible - which most of them knew nothing at all about. Only a few of them said that they have Bibles at home, and when we asked them about Jesus had done, they all agreed that he came to help the poor people, and about 5 of them agreed that Jesus cut his hands with a knife and then rubbed it together with other people's cut hands to mix their blood, or that he squeezed out his blood into a bowl.
Az első alkalmon kb 15 tanuló volt, és nagyon jól éreztük magunkat. A gyerekek nagyon örültek, hogy ott voltak és hogy tanulhattak a Bibliáról - amiről a legtöbbjük nem túl sokat tudott. Csak egy páran voltak akik mondták, hogy van otthon Bibliájuk, és amikor megkérdeztük tőlük, hogy mit tett Jézus, mindenki egyetértett abban, hogy Jézus azért jött el, hogy segítsen a szegényeknek, és vagy öten azt mondták, hogy Jézus késsel vágta a kezeit és össze nyomta az ő kezét mások vágott kezeivel, hogy összefolyon a vérük, vagy hogy ő vágta a kezeit és egy tányérre nyomta a vért.

Each week we will be playing games with them and teaching them Bible verses and basic aspects of Christian faith. This week we talked about Jesus, next week we will talk about faith, and see how it goes from there.
Minden héten fogunk járni, játszani velük és tanítani nekik igeverseket és Keresztény hitnek az alapjait. Ezen a héten Jézusról beszéltünk, és jövő héten a hitről fogunk beszélni, és aztán meglátjuk.

We hope that this will give us the opportunity to impact both these kids and their families, and give us some open doors to minister to the Roma community in Eger.
Please pray for us!
Reméljük, hogy így lehetőségünk lesz nyomot hagyni ezeknek a gyerekeknek és a családjuknak az életén, és hogy ez által nyilnak majd ajtók arra, hogy szolgáljuk az egri Roma közösséget.
Kérlek, hogy imádkozzatok értünk!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

May 21, 2011

For a long time people have been predicting the end of the world.
[The artist formerly known as] Prince did it in the song 'Party like it's 1999', REM claimed back in 1987 that it was 'the end of the world as we know it' and that they felt fine about it.

Many pastors and religious leaders have attempted unsuccessfully to predict the end of the world - perhaps most famously the Jehovah's Witnesses, who predicted the return of Christ and the end of the world would happen in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.

Right now in the US there is a movement - inspired by the calculations of radio preacher Harold Camping, who also predicted the return of Christ in 1994 - which claims that the exact date for the return of Christ will be on May 21, 2011, and that the end of the world will happen on October 21, 2011.

Across the US, billboards and other advertisements are proclaiming the return of Christ on May 21, 2011. Here are some examples:

This prediction - like most before it - is based on 2.Peter 3:8, which says that 'one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.' Rather than an analogy explaining that God doesn't see time the way that we do, many people assume that this is a divine recipe for us to calculate the exact date of Christ's return.
Despite the fact that Jesus, in response to his disciples' question about WHEN he would return to establish his Kingdom on earth, told them that it was not for them to know the times or the seasons that the Father had fixed by his own authority, and that they should rather focus on carrying on Jesus' mission by being his witnesses in the world (Acts 1:7-8), these people refer to 1.Thessalonians 5:1-5 in claiming that we can in fact figure out the time of Jesus' return.

Personally, I don't think that 2.Peter 3:8 is a recipe for figuring out the exact time of Christ's return. However - if I am wrong, I'm ok with that. I'm ready to go at any time. I won't be surprised if Christ doesn't return on May 21, 2011, but if I'm wrong, that's cool too. Either way I say Maranatha! (Come Lord!)

Here is the website of ebiblefellowship, in which they explain why they believe Jesus will return on May 21.
Interestingly, they claim that the great tribulation started in 1988 and that the tribulation actually lasts 23 years, not 7 years like most dispensationalists claim.

Here is a video made last year explaining this claim:

What do you think?
Are you going to sell all your possessions and party like it's 1999 until May 21?
Is this just another misguided attempt to calculate the end of the world?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Taxing the Witches

CNN had a report today on a new law in Romania that will tax witches, fortune tellers and astrologers.

As of January 1, witches -- along with astrologers, fortune tellers, valets and models -- are officially named in the classification of professional trades, which means they may eventually have to declare their income and pay taxes on it.

Witchcraft is traditionally practiced by gypsies in Eastern Europe. I have heard of it being practiced by gypsies in Hungary before, but it seems to be much more prominent in Romania.

The witches are pretty upset about this, and are casting spells against the government - because they don't want to have to pay taxes.

The spell they are using involves mixing dog feces, black pepper and soil... I think I would rather pay taxes than spend my time doing that...

Here's what the witches had to say for themselves:

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Old Friend / New Friend

There is a saying I always tell our church:

If your Bible is falling apart, then probably your life is not!

I guess that only applies to those people whose Bible is falling apart because they read it - not because they mistreat it, but I have really found this to be true, not only in my own life, but in the lives of others whom I have observed using Bibles with pages worn out from much use.

Not long ago I said goodbye to an old friend - and welcomed a new friend into my life.
In November 2002 I bought a Bible at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver for $14.95. I read and taught from that Bible for years. Two times I used superglue to reattach the binding; its pages have coffee stains, and were ripped and even eaten by both of my kids.

These are battle scars, and every good Bible should have some battle scars - they are signs of life, that that Bible is actually used and read. Bibles were not meant to sit nicely on shelves as pristine decorations.

When we were in the States, Rosemary bought me a new Bible to replace my old friend. This one is a big larger and has a real leather binding, which probably won't fall off as easily as the fake leather one I had before.

This one already has its first battle scar - an ink stain on the cover that I got while taking notes at a conference in Ukraine.
I plan to have this one for a while, and hopefully get a lot of mileage out of it.

Is your Bible falling apart? What battle scars does yours have?

Monday, January 03, 2011

2010 in Review

Happy New Year!
I hope that this year will be a year in which you walk closely with the Lord and know Him as your all-satisfying greatest treasure.

For us, 2010 was a year in which we experienced some great trials and also a year in which we experienced God doing miracles and answering prayers in amazing ways.

Looking back over the past year, the most predominate characteristic was grace. The blessings were all by God's grace - and in the difficulties it was God's grace that carried us through.

We're looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in 2011. Last year at this time, I would have never guessed that those kinds of things would happen to us that did, and I'm sure that when next year I look back at 2011, I will say the same thing. No matter what, I know that God's grace will be sufficient for us.

Here are our top blog posts of last year according to Google Analytics; not surprisingly they are almost all about Felicia:
  1. Problem with Baby - Please Pray!
  2. Felicia Pictures
  3. Our Day in Pictures
  4. Krtek - A Kisvakond
  5. Felicia Update 4
  6. Hard Day / Egy Nehéz Nap
  7. Trabant News
  8. Felicia Update 2
  9. Felicia Update
  10. Felicia Update 3
  11. She's Home!