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Monthly of the Hungarian Baptist Convention of North America .
One or two pages in English, issues from January 2003 to December 2003

December, 2003.


The November 14-16th weekend was a special celebration at the Hungarian Baptist Church in Chicago. Many people gathered to be part of the inauguration of Rev. Janos Lukacs. The weekend had two major parts. One of them was taking place at the church on Sunday, but the other was a youth event on Saturday.
      Many young people joined, so that they could celebrate with our church and also could meet friends and family members. On Saturday morning, we met at the Moody Bible Institute. Rev. Laszlo Dan shared from the Scripture and encouraged all of us. We also had the opportunity to sing praise songs.
      Before lunch, Kornel gave a tour at the Moody Radio. It was a unique experience. We looked at all the production and "on-air" studios. Radio has been a major part of MBI. Today, the Institute owns more than 30 radio stations and broadcasts all over the United States.
      After lunch, everybody was invited to play a game. The part of the game was to observe specific things in the city and give away a "thank you" card to somebody for thanksgiving. When everybody got back, they had to fill out a "quiz." We got three (four, because two of them were in the same team) winners. Tihamer Kulcsar got the first prize, which was a $40 gift coupon for the Colorado 2004 trip. We had a tie between the second and third place, so Peter Lukacs received a $30 coupon as well Zsuzsi Olah & Ben Novak.
      For supper, all of us went back to the church and got ready for the evening service. We lead worship and shared testimonies. I think there was one testimony that none of us will forget.
      Tibi Koncz shared his afternoon experience as he gave away his card to somebody. He said, after I approached this guy, I told him "I would like to give this card to you." First, the person was shocked, but he continued. "Do you know what? Today is my birthday, and nobody has given me anything. You are the first one who gave me something. Thank you." It was a reminder for all of us that often just a little card can mean so much for somebody.
      We just would like to thank you all of you for praying for our youth members and helping us in so many ways. May God supply all your needs for His glory.
               Szeretettel, Korry

Pictures at the youth page and at the church's web page - 

The Annunciation

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, 'Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.' And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, 'Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.'" LUKE 1:26-33 KJV

When Mary was engaged to Joseph, she experienced a day so extraordinary that it would take her a lifetime to ponder the depths of its meaning. During that day, she was visited by an angel, was told that she would conceive a child even though she was a virgin, and discovered that the child she would carry would be the long-awaited Messiah. Mary didn't need to search a book of baby names to find one she liked. She received the name through the angel that God sent to her. When we give names to our children, we don't always think about the meaning of the name. Many babies today are given names just because they sound different or unusual, not because they have a certain meaning. Yet whenever God names a baby in the Bible, the name always has great significance and meaning. Mary's child would be called Jesus, a name that meant He would be the Saviour. The title "Saviour" was one that belonged to God alone. Therefore, Jesus' name meant that He was not only man, but that He was God come in the flesh.

In one major city in the United States, there is a church with a large neon sign at the top of the building. Travelers can see the sign from miles around. The sign reads, "Jesus Saves." Sometimes people who have seen this sign shining brightly over the city have asked, "Jesus saves from what?" The answer is a simple one. Jesus saves from sin. Jesus didn't come to leave us hopelessly bound in our sins. Jesus came to cleanse us from sin, forgive us, and to deliver us from its power in our lives. Jesus truly is a WONDERFUL Saviour.

God Knew Our Greatest Need

If our greatest needhad been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest needhad been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest needhad been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest needhad been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.

C from For Mine Eyes Have Seen Thy Salvation, by Roy Lessin.


There are few experiences in life that leave such an impact on us as when we meet with God. They are moments that affect us even long after they have passed. Such a time was experienced when the Hungarian youth met together in New York for a weekend. It is a rare time indeed when people from all over the country can meet togther for a time of fellowship and reflection.
      The weekend was filled with great times of building on old friendships and developing new ones. The energy of Times Square and the hectic lifestyle that is New York provided the perfect backdrop and energy to fuel times of connecting with others.
      Besides the times of fellowship we also heard various speakers talk about what God had laid on their hearts. The theme of the weekend was how to have a purpose driven life and how to lead lives filled with passion. Pastors spoke on the importance of not only seeking God daily but also spending time in fellowship with other believers who can help us see the weaknesses in ourselves and strengthen the sense of direction that we have. One particularly significant thought was a quote made by a man named Garth Bolinder. He said that, ABelonging is the foundation of all motivation.@ God=s purpose in giving us friendships was so that we can encourage one another. How can we love the unsaved if we don=t show love to our very own brothers and sisters?
      But the thing that left the greatest impact on me was a question put forth by one of the pastors. He asked the congregation how much God is worth to us. Most of us would be quick to start telling of how God means everything to us. However, it is easy to simply talk the talk. But do we live our lives each day in light of eternity? Our ultimate purpose is to glorify God. Yet it is so easy to get wrapped up in our hectic schedules that we lose sight of that goal. How easily we get caught up simply chasing after things that we think will bring us happiness instead of keeping our focus upward.
      In I Corinthians, Paul says that Christ is the foundation of our life. My prayer not only for myself but for the entire body of believers is that we will one day be able to say with confidence that Christ is worth everything to us. Only when we are able to do so will we be leading lives filled with passion and purpose.
             Brigitte Biro

Pictures of the Youth meeting

(Nov. 2003)                      ONLY IN NEW YORK!                                        
by Tamás Csercsa
It was quite a memorable few days spent in New York City. People form all across the United States, Toronto and also Hungary and Romania flocked to New York to take part in the fall Youth Conference. It was an exiting few days with lots of sight seeing with each other, conversations with each other, but also with God. The theme of the conference was "A Purpose Driven Life." The sermons broke down all of the different aspects of a purpose driven life including a purpose driven life in the family, and also in the church. Starting Friday night, we were introduced to goals that we have to set to please our Lord Jesus Christ. All of the attending churches (New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Alhambra, Sacramento, and Toronto) made sure to leave something in the hearts of all of the people present. Whether it was by instrumental music, vocal music, drama, testimony, poem or outstanding hospitality, it was all very enjoyable and well prepared.
      When we weren't in church, we were taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the most famous city in the United States, and maybe the world. These expeditions included a walk to and through Times Square and Ground Zero, where it was very emotional for those who went for the first time. We also went on a very enjoyable boat ride on the Staten Island Ferry. (Let's be thankful that we were not on the exact same ferry only 72 hours later when a tragic crash occurred with many losing their lives). Many of us went to Chelsea Piers Saturday afternoon where we had the opportunity to play many sports and also get to know each other a little bit better.
      Thank you to all of those who spent time and money preparing this very successful conference. The program was well put together, the food was great, and your efforts did not go unnoticed. A lot of people sacrificed a lot to be there, but I think it was well worth it.

by Kornél Gerstner
One of my classes at Moody Bible Institute was "speech communications," where each of us had to give a eulogy. The most interesting thing was that 70% of the class talked about his/her youth leader, and the influence that he had on him/her.
      That has been a milestone and a great motivation in my life. I have been enjoying working with the youth group in Chicago. They have been very precious to me. My desire has been that each youth member would grow closer to God, or have a more meaningful relationship with Him.
      And now, that I have been entrusted in the leadership of the North American Hungarian Youth, my desire and passion have been greater to serve all the youth. My goal is the same for each youth member that individually he/she could get closer to God.
      I think one of our goals as leaders is that we would meet as much as possible, so that young people can develop and deepen relationships and also share their testimonies.
      As I look at the schedule, our church is going have a special event in November, the installation of our new pastor. We would like to invite the youth, so that we can meet again and have a meaningful time together.
      Also, if the youth would like, we can have a ski-camp for couple days, where we can learn together again.
      But for next year, we are planning to have the annual spring youth conference (memorial weekend), as well the summer camp in Toronto (4th of July), and another week in Colorado (Aug. 15-22).
      All of us have been very excited and would like to serve all the youth. Please give us some ideas and suggestions, so that we can grow together and glorify God!    Szeretettel, Korry

Hello Lovely Hungarian Young People,
This is Zsolt Kulcsar from New York. I would like to begin by thanking all of you for the honor of selecting me as your Vice President. Although I am very busy with my studies I want all of you to know that I will always make myself available for all of you. I see myself as a person who likes to organize fun events and the incredible burden of preaching the word of God I will leave to our very great leader Rev. Dan Laszlo.
      Some fun facts regarding our youth conference in New York between October 10th-13th. We had over 150 guests register from out of town including the various churches in the U.S. and Canada. The head count in the church at one point was 205 people and that did not include the many people from the New York church who were busy working behind the scenes. I want to thank all of you for making this event as great as it was. From the general reaction we have seen everyone has had a blessed and spiritually uplifting event. I thank you all again and ask that you nurture all of the new, old, or newly repaired relationships you all may have formed during this event.

Pictures of the Youth meeting

October, 2003

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, 
 There's just something about that Name.
 Master, Savior, Jesus,  like the fragrance after the rain... 
 Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim.
 Kings and kingdoms will all pass away but there's something about that Name.
      Jesus, the mere mention of His Name can calm the storm, heal the broken, and raise the dead... 
      At the Name of Jesus I've seen sin-hardened men melt, Derelicts transformed, the lights of hope put back into the eyes of a hopeless child...
      At the Name of Jesus hatred and bitterness turn to love and forgiveness, arguments cease...
      I've heard a mother softly breathe His Name at the bedside of a child delirious from fever and I've watched that little body grow quiet and the fevered brow cool...
      I've sat beside a dying saint, her body racked with pain, who in those final fleeting seconds summoned her last ounce of having strength to whisper earth's sweetest Name Jesus, Jesus...
      Emperors have tried to destroy it,
      Philosophies have tried to stamp it out,
      Tyrants have tried to wash it from the face of the earth with the very blood of those who claimed it yet still it stands...
      And there shall be that final day when every voice that has ever uttered a sound every voice of Adam's race shall raise in one great mighty chorus to proclaim the Name of Jesus...
      For in that day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
      So you see... it wasn't by mere chance that caused the angel one night long ago to say to a virgin maiden:
      His Name shall be called: Jesus, 
      Jesus, Jesus... You know... there is something about that Name.
                     Bill and Gloria Gaither

The Holy Bible and the TV Guide
They lie on the table side by side,
the Holy Bible and the TV guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride,
not the Bible.., but the TV guide.
One is used daily to help folks decide.
No, not the Bible... but the TV guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see?
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV.
Then confusion reigns, they can't all agree,
on what they should watch on the old TV.
So they open the book in which they confide.
No, not the Bible... but the TV guide.
The Word of God is seldom read,
maybe verse as they fall into bed.
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be,
not from reading the Bible... from watching TV.
So then back to the table side by side,
lie the Holy Bible and the TV guide.
No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
the plan of Salvation is seldom heard.
But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
is found in the Bible... not on TV.
          Source unknown
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Rev 3:15-16
Be in the Word of God
We urges all Christians to be in the Word of God. May we not just say we believe the Bible but may we center our lives around God’s Word. Are our hearts so cold in America that we can’t see that we are in spiritual warfare? Note the words below from nationally noted Christian pollster, author, speaker George Barna:
      Cohabitation, divorce, sexual promiscuity and deviance and birth outside of marriage are increasing. Sales of pornographic material on the Internet surpass the cumulative sales of all other products sold online. ...
Much of this can be attributed to the heart condition of Americans.... At the start of the third millennium, America is a nation in which only one-fourth of all adults and just 1 out of every 10 teenagers believes that there is absolute moral truth. The majority of America, therefore, either believes or yields to the belief that all moral truth is relative to the individual and his/her circumstances.
               [Boiling Point by George Barna 2001]
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalms 119:11
         American Decency Association, Sept. 2003

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6 (NIV)

David Wilkerson (1935- )

It all started when David Wilkerson, the young pastor of a rural church in the mountain town of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, was reading a story in Life magazine about a murder trial in New-York City. Seven gang members were charged with brutally attacking and killing a fifteen-years-old polio victim. Suddenly the thought came to Wilkerson that he had to go to New-York and help those gang members. It was a crazy notion and he knew it; he was certainly not equipped for inner-city work. But he couldn't get the idea out of his mind. He asked his congregation for money to make a trip to New- York City with his youth director. Seventy-five dollars was donated, enough to get to Manhattan and back. As the two rode along, Wilkerson Confided, "I wish I could be sure that this isn't some crazy notion of mine, and that it really is God leading me." Wilkerson asked the youth director to reach into the backseat, get a Bible, open it at random, and read the first passage he put his finger on was Psalm 126:5-6 "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (v. 5 KJV) It was the encouragement that Wilkerson needed for what lay ahead.
      The first trip seemed to be embarrassing failure. Wilkerson was kicked out of the courtroom, and photographs of his ejection were featured in New-York newspapers. He began to have doubts whether those verses were really meant for him.
      Despite the failure, he felt he had to go back a second time. This time, to his surprise, when he was parking his car, he was recognized by some gang members from his picture in the paper and was regarded as one of them. After all, the police apparently weren't on Wilkerson's side any more than they were on the side of the gangs.
      For the next four months, Wilkerson made weekly visits to the city, and each time God seemed to increase his courage. One time, a gang member named Nicky told him, "You come near me, Preacher, and I'll kill you."
      "You could do that," Wilkerson replied. "You could cut me in a thousand pieces and lay them out in the street and every piece would love you."
      Within two years Wilkerson and his wife had moved to New York and started a television program for youth. Plans were laid for the first Teen Challenge Center, where gang members and drug addicts could talk with counselors. When the Center opened, Wilkerson was surprised to see what had been carved over the fireplace in the room they would use as the chapel. It was a bas-relief of a sheaf of wheat, tied and harvested, a perpetual reminder to him of those verses on Psalm 126 .
      The Cross and the Switchblade, a book that tells the Wilkerson story, became an international best- seller with sales in the millions. Meanwhile, Wilkerson was starting Teen Challenge Centers in other metropolitan areas. Today there are 120 such centers in the United States and 250 worldwide. After a few years away from New York, Wilkerson returned to start the Time Square Church in the heart of Manhattan.
      Randomly picking verses of Scripture isn=t usually the best way to get divine guidance, but Psalm 125:5-6 certainly gave David Wilkerson the encouragement he needed to begin a ministry to gang members is New York City.
        100 Bible Verses That Changed the World.  Selection. /Peny/
September, 2003.

We never know how much of our influence and teaching has on other people.
      I received a letter from a 55 year old lady who stated that she went back in memory to when "Uncle Ernie made me learn the 23rd Psalm in our Sunday's school class so many years ago. I have never forgotten it. Thank you for encouraging me and our whole class to do so. It has meant much to me for many years."
Here is the meditation on the 23rd Psalm.     Ernest J. Kish

The Lord is my shepherd - That's Relationship
I shall not want - Thats Supply
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures - Thats rest
He leadeth me beside the still waters - Thets Refreshment
He restoreth my soul - Thats Healing
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness - Thats Guidance
For Hie namesake - Thats purpose
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - Thats Testing
I will fear no evil - ThatsProtection
For thou art with me - Thats Faithfulness
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me - Thats discipline
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies - Thats hope
Thou annointest my head with oil - Thats Consecration
My cup runneth over - Thats Abundance
Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - Thats Blessing
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord - Thats Security
Forever - Thats Eternity.

HELEN MONUS   (1914 - 2003)

REV. JOSEPH BOGAR   (1917 - 2003)

Jesus loves me this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow.
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I’ll go.
On through life let come what may,
He’ll be there to lead the way.
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song,
Telling me in words so clear,
'Have no fear for I am near'.
When my work on earth is done,
And life’s victories have been won,
He will take me home above,
To learn the fullness of His love.
             Author Unknown

VFI:  Bible Verses That Changed the World

"Do to others as you would have them do to you" Luke 6:31
Pennies from Heaven
(J.C.Penney 1875-1971)
The Golden Rule has changed the world many times over, but J.C.Penney, the chain-store tycoon, made it the motto of his business. John Brooks, a writer for The New Yorker, characterized Penney in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. "If a novelist had invented him, the resulting character would surely have been ridiculed by critics as too typecast, too broadly drawn for belief. Even his name was too good to be true: J.C. (Jesus Christ?) Penney - the meeting of religion and money."
      Born in Missouri, Penney made money as a boy by raising pigs and watermelons. Later he ran a butcher shop, but the business failed because he wouldn't deal with hotels that served liquor. He went out to Kemmerer, Wyoming, and worked at a dry goods store, buying a one-third interest in the store in 1902. This store developed into a chair of what he called the "Golden Rule Stores."
      In 1908 Penney operated four stores; by 1911 the number had jumped to twenty-two, and by 1916 there were 127 stores. One key element in Penney's success was that he made store managers partners in the business. In 1931 Penney wrote his autobiography and called it The Man with a Thousand Partners, because by that time he had one thousand J.C. Penney Golden Rule Stores, and each manager had a share in the company.
      Penney became a multimillionaire before he was fifty years old. Not only did he control his one thousand Golden Rule Stores, but he also ran corporations and was the head of a large bank in Miami. He was known for his "Penney Principles," five simple statements that amplified the Golden Rule and expressed his desire to serve the public honestly.
      But as the Great Depression struck, the real estate boom collapsed in southern Florida. At first Penney thought it was only a temporary recession, and so he poured more money into his Miami bank. His charities and foundations were also suffering, so Penney shored these up by selling some of the stock of his company. But when the Miami bank was forced to close, J.C.Penney lost millions, and so did other investors. Now the public began to doubt his golden Rule philosophy; some even attacked Penney's character, calling him a hypocrite and a fraud that only used the Golden Rule to attract business. Penney said later, "It was the first time the honor of any of my dealings had been questioned."
      Everything he had worked so hard for was unraveling. He went to the hospital for what doctors called emotional distress. He worried whether he would have enough money to pay the hospital bills if he survived. He even went so far as to write farewell notes to his wife and children because in his depression he expected to die before morning.
But in the morning he heard singing in the hospital halls. A Christian group was singing a gospel song: "Be not dismayed whate'er betide, God will take care of you,  "Lord, of myself I can do nothing. Will you take care of me?"
      God did. After hitting that low point, Penney spent more time reading his Bible, more time depending on the Lord, and less time depending on his own abilities. And the J.C.Penney chain of stores grew back stronger than ever, still following the Golden Rule.
Later in life, when the chain fad become the country's fifth largest merchandising operation, with annual sales in the billions, Penney said, "the company's success is due to the application of the Golden Rule to every individual, to the public, and to all of our activities."

Taken from the book: 100 Bible Verses That Changed the World

August, 2003.


Church leaders often call on their flocks to live a life of service to God "regardless of cost." This exhortation flies straight in the face of economic thinking - and reality. Believers, to be sure, fully intend to live up to this ideal while in church, as reflected by their hymns and prayers. But their everyday behavior tells a different story. The connection between these two life spheres is often tenuous and sometimes non-existent. No wonder hypocrisy is the accusation most often leveled against Christians. Economists point to the inevitability of this conflict between idealism and reality, but they also offer ways to bridge the chasm between them.
      We live in a world in which our wants are greater than the available resources (land, labor, factories, etc.) to satisfy them. Economists call this fact "scarcity." Our plight B the "human condition" - forces us to cope with scarcity as best as we can, i.e. to "economize". This means that we are faced with alternatives and must constantly choose between them. We tend to choose the options that bring us the greatest satisfaction. The value of the next best alternatives that we have to give up represents the costs that we incur whenever we make a decision. Economists refer to them as "opportunity costs." So every choice involves a comparison between benefits and costs. Our wants may be material (buying a car) or immaterial (helping the homeless); what counts is that their fulfillment requires scarce resources that have alternative uses. Economists study how we make these unavoidable trade-offs.
      Nations as well as individuals are plagued by scarcity. When a country wishes to increase its means of production, it can do so only by diverting resources that could otherwise be used to satisfy its citizens' everyday wants (consumption). Developing countries, for example, can build up their capital stock only by channeling resources away from an already low level of consumption. This is why poor nations seem to become even poorer before they can begin to enjoy the fruits of economic development.
      We as individuals experience scarcity by not having enough time and money. When we go to a movie, the dust on our furniture remains undisturbed; when we take that dream vacation, we must do without the home video system we also crave. We just can't "have it all." So we are forced to make choices and incur unavoidable costs. Economists view a "rational" choice as one for which the expected benefits to the decision maker are greater than the expected costs. There are no objective costs - and benefits, for that matter. Both depend on our valuations. Even if costs can be expressed in monetary terms, such as prices, the true cost to us is the value of what we sacrificed by spending our money - or time- one way rather than another. Both suppliers and consumers respond predictably to changes in benefits and costs. This predictability is the basis of the law of supply and demand.
      Human conduct is therefore an incessant sequence of choices: big choices and small choices, conscious and unconscious ones. The way we choose is, to repeat, determined by our valuations, not by some absolute, calculable standard. It may come as a surprise to learn that economics is about people's valuations, not about physical quantities.
      What, then, determines our valuations? One thing and one thing only: our "self interest." At this point some believers may want to part company with economists. Isn't the Bible teaching precisely the opposite: to disregard our self-interest in the service of God? How, then, can a committed Christian like myself also be an economist?
      That's because economic science, the study of self-interested choices in an environment of scarcity, accurately describes and predicts the broad outcomes in all human spheres, including religious ones. Churches, after all, require their members to contribute money and time, which have alternative uses and are therefore scarce. They can thus be provided only at a cost, which limits the amount of both that believers are willing and able to "supply." When Christians refuse to think in the "unholy" terms of the economist, they pay a high price, because they are giving up a proven, indeed the only proven, method of understanding and explaining human behavior. What gives?
      We need to specify the meaning of "self interest." Much confusion is caused by debates in which key words are left undefined, especially when everyone "knows" what they mean. Isn't self-interest synonymous with selfishness and greed? Doesn't it follow (just think about all the folks who regularly donate to charities!) that the economists' contention that human behavior is guided by selfishness and greed cannot be generally valid?
      No, it does not, when we use a broader and more realistic definition. Our self-interest is ultimately governed by the goals (both short-term and long-term) that we have set ourselves and the projects that we wish to accomplish to reach these goals. But how are these goals and projects determined? For answers to this important question, we must look beyond the realm of supply and demand and consider such factors as the families individuals grew up in, as well as their cultural, moral, and religious backgrounds. Many of us are, indeed, consumed by the goal of making it in this world; but others are motivated by compassion for their fellow humans (and even animals) and are thus willing to use their resources to alleviate their suffering (Mother Theresa). We are all at different points on the continuum between these extremes. Our self-interest is a mixture of selfishness and the willingness to share our resources with others, a mixture that is changing and evolving.
      When the Bible admonishes us to accumulate treasures in heaven, it does not negate our self-interest. In fact it appeals to it by promising us future rewards. In the here and now, Christian life is a process in which we are asked to continuously re-evaluate our self-interest; to keep nudging our goals toward becoming more loving and compassionate, to attach an ever greater value to giving and sharing and an ever smaller value to what we have to sacrifice. However, we cannot abolish scarcity and therefore costs. They will continue to limit our ability and willingness to live a life in the service of God.
      Only if we accept this reality as God-given, only if we integrate its constraints into our daily lives, will we be able to experience the joy of our Christian faith and avoid the charge of hypocrisy. Because the ultimate truth for a believer - and the one which connects biblical with economic thinking - is the insight that living in accordance with the teachings of Christ is in our long-term self-interest.

Elisabeth Tamedly Lenches, Ph.D. San Marino, California, June 2003

Rama Youth Camp 2003

What a week! It all started with the Camp Opening Conference (Tábornyitó) at the Hungarian Baptist Camp in Rama from June 28th to the 30th. It was an event filled weekend with great weather, and great messages given to us by the Lord.
      On the 30th, all present were kindly asked to depart so that for the third year in a row, we could experience true comfort and fun physically. Biblical teachings were by: Rev. Laszlo Dan from Toronto, Kornel Gerstner from Hungary but studying in and living in Chicago, and Steven Bakai from Toronto, but currently studying in Budapest.
      Every day would include two opportunities for us to get together as a large group and study the word of God, sing and pray together. There were participants from Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles with a total of 16 youth (including 3 educators). Total attendance of the entire camp was about 55-60. Every day provided an opportunity to spend time together with old friends, but also to make new ones as some of us met for the first time. Since all of us spoke English, most of the get-togethers took place in English because some of the youth spoke little to no Hungarian.
      Our bible studies focused on one lesser-known book of the Bible: Nehemiah, and one very well known book: Matthew, more specifically the Sermon on the Mount. Nehemiah showed us how to pray and since the focus of the conference and convention was: "Lord, teach us to pray," studying this book was very appropriate. From Matthew, we took a close look at the "Blessings" portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Steve talked about the importance of understanding this sermon because one verse or the other effected each and every one of us. Songs were accompanied by guitar and piano, prayers were heard by God, and he blessed the week that we spent together. Officially, the kids/youth camp ended on Friday after lunch, but starting even Wednesday, participants of the 96th Convention started to arrive. The weekend was also blessed, and I feel it was enjoyed by all.
      Sunday night arrived, and I never thought I would say it, but I was actually just a little bit tired of the camp and wanted to go home, but soon after, I already want to go back!

Thomas Csercsa

MORE on the Youth Camp and pictures

July 2003.
After the cancellation of the April meeting at my church because of the snow storm I thought the Lord saved you from a boring, half-English, half-Hungarian sermon. But brother Ryckman insisted that I should stay on the program for this new meeting. So, here I am. I will try my best.
      On the other hand it is much easier for me to speak to you today, the day after Pentecost since we are all reminded that although there are many languages in the world and although we speak in different dialects and accents God's people understand the message coming from the Lord.
      Yesterday the whole Christian world celebrated Pentecost. What? You don't know what Pentecost is? Have you ever heard of Acts chapter 1 and 2? Let me take a chance here and risk my first point with this question: how many of you listened yesterday in your church to a sermon based on the story of Pentecost? [The result: three out of more than 20 churches.]
      You see, in Hungary today is the second day of Pentecost. Baptists in many cities come together not for a Semi-Annual Meeting but for a worship service. We did the same even during the communist era. Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are officially two-day holidays.
      What about next Sunday? Will we celebrate Fathers Day? Of course, as we did Mothers Day. So what? It is nice to have all kinds of days and celebrations in the church, but if we forget to make Pentecost a first class celebration, a most important holiday, we are going in the wrong direction. (By the way, I am not a Pentecostal preacher and I don't have the gift of tongues.)
      Today, on the day after Pentecost let me encourage you to consider the importance of everything what was happening on that special day in History. Although it happened 2 thousand years ago, this is the last milestone thus far in the History of Salvation. We are living now in the last days - after Pentecost and before the return of our Savior. Today is the same day as the day after Pentecost.
      Today, on a day after Pentecost, let me read a short passage from Acts chapter 1, the story, leading to Pentecost. (Acts 1:4-5)  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ADo not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
      Clear, simple instruction. But why do they need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? They did not know why. They didn't even bother to ask the Master why they need the Spirit of God. What they wanted to know is something else -, as the Scripture demonstrates it as we read further: (vers 6) So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
      I am so sorry for the Lord and I am so eager to see how He will answer this question. After three years of discipleship they still wanted to know times, and wanted to see the Master as the king of the earthly Israel. (Do you wonder sometimes why our people ask the same questions after 10 - 15 years of teaching and discipleship?)
      They wanted to know times, and wanted to see the Master as the king of the earthly Israel. But the time is short, the Lord speaks to the point:  7He said to them: AIt is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
      What an answer! Three fold: (In short: You all got it wrong.)
      1. Stop thinking always about times - it is not your area, it is the Fathers authority;
      2. It is not me, but the Holy Spirit who will work through you in this world;
      3. And thirdly, it is not the State of Israel that is on my heart but the whole world.
      Even if they did not ask why they need the Holy Spirit the Master articulated it. You will need the Holy Spirit to fulfill my commandment. You will be my witnesses... to the end of the world! Gigantic task - to bring the Good News to everybody. Without the direct help and work of the Holy Spirit nobody can do anything meaningful in this respect.
      But then, after 10 more days something happened - let me read ACTS 2:1-4. "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..."
      You know the rest of the story. The Holy Spirit filled their hearts and beings. On the day of Pentecost Peter, John and the other disciples became able instruments of the Lord. They started right away the task - explained to the people of Jerusalem the life, death, resurrection of Jesus and of the arriving of the Holy Spirit.
      Peter, John, the disciples, you and me - we are living after Pentecost.
What are we doing on the day after Pentecost? We are doing what the Lord commanded us to do - you say. His last command is our first concern. Is that so? If it is the case please let the Holy Spirit do the task, lead the way, show the next step.
      Coming closer to the closing let me quote one more scripture, this time from the Old Testament. Zecharia 4:6 reads: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
      There are at least two traps or two kinds of danger for us if we want to fulfill the Great Commandment.
      The first: we want to do it alone. Why not? Am I speaking to Southern Baptists? We have the best churches, the best apparatus - International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, the best ever mechanism like Cooperative Program, instruments, programs, the best qualified people like Henry Blackebay, Jerry Rankin or Bob Reccord. The Lord Almighty said: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.'
      The second danger is that we think we are too little and too weak to do anything in that gigantic task. When Paul felt his weaknesses, the Lord gave him this answer: (2Corinthians 12:9) "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
      Brothers, we live on the days after Pentecost. Actually this is the day after Pentecost. But if we missed the day of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit to us, than today is the same as yesterday or the day before or any other day. Make Pentecost a day of great importance, a day like Christmas or Easter. Let the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and lives that we may be His useful and effective instruments for the world-wide, gigantic assignment - to bring the Gospel to everybody. 
A Géza Herjeczki
Cornerstone Christian Church, Melvindale, Semi-Annual Meeting, June 9,2003.
Cross in My Pocket
I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.
This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn't meant to protect me.
From every physical harm.
It's not for identification
For all the world to see.
It's simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.


When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or key.
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price he paid for me.
It reminds me, too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day
And strive to serve him better
In all that I do and say.
It's also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my master
And give themselves to his care.
So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I'll let him be.
            Verna Mae Thomas
In a prophetic e-mail to his wife from the desert of Iraq, Today coanchor David Bloom reflected on his life and pronounced himself a man at peace. (Melanie Bloom received the e-mail just hours before his death from a pulmonary embolism.)
      Mel, ... You can't begin to fathom, cannot begin to even glimpse the enormity of the changes I have and am continuing to undergo. God takes you to the depths of your being, until you're at rock bottom, and then, if you turn to Him with utter and blind faith and resolve in your heart and mind to walk only with Him and towards Him, picks you up with your bootstraps and leads you home. I hope and pray that all my guys get out of this in one piece, but I tell you, Mel, I am at peace. Deeply saddened by the glimpses of death and destruction that I have seen, but at peace with my God and with you . . .
      Save this note. Look at it a month from now, a year from now, ten years from now. You cannot know now, nor do I, whether you will look back at it with tears, heartbreak, and a sense of anguish and regret over what might have been, or whether you will say he was and is a changed man, God has worked a miracle in our lives. And not to be trite, but that will set me free.
      God bless you, Melanie. I love you and I know that you love me. Please give the girls a big hug, squeeze them tight, and let them know just how much their daddy loves and cares for them.
      With love and devotion, Dave
                          People magazine

Budapest and Transylvania - A photo exhibition in New York

Take a walk back in time and bask in the old beauty of Budapest and Transylvania. From June 1st thru November 9th, see these classic sites as photographer Stephen Spinder saw them. The Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation’s latest exhibit Stephen Spinder: Through My Lens - Budapest and Transylvania, features Spinder’s unique view -- a turn-of-the-century sense of history and the multitude of architectural styles in the region. The Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation is located at 300 Somerset Street in New Brunswick, NJ. For museum hours and more details call 732.846.5777.

June 2003

Hungarian Baptist Convention of North America
RAMA, ONTARIO, CANADA (Rama Road. tel: (705)326-6965
Theme: Lord, teach us to pray! (Luke 11:1)
We cordially invite you to the 96th ANNUAL CONVENTION of the HUNGARIAN
Please join us if you relate in any way to our convention. Officers of the convention, members of our churches, members at large or readers of the Gospel Messenger are expected to come and sit in the meetings and also worship with us as we want to make even our meetings a kind of worship service to express our unity with each other and with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Date: July 4-6.     More info: (416)752-1687
Location: Rama Hungarian Baptist Camp, Rama Road, Rama Township, Ontario, Canada 
Excerpt from the program:
3:00 to 6:00 PM Committee meetings
7:00 PM  Supper
8:00PM Worship service, including the opening of the 96th Convention
morning until lunch time:
Official meetings of the Convention
Saturday afternoon: Women's, Men's and Youth Convention
8:00PM Worship service
11:00AM Worship service, Lord's supper.
1:00PM Lunch
8:00PM Worship service
Great fellowship, spirit filled teachings by our pastors and a visiting pastor from Europa, poems, testimonials and a lot of singing.

Please go to the Youth Page of the Gospel Messenger for English reports and to the pages of the Chicago chuch for some 50 pictures taken at the conference. 
May, 2003.
Committee Meetings in Alhambra
By Klári Vereczky Mális
Members of America's Hungarian Baptist Convention were greeted by Southern California's balmy springtime as they convened in Alhambra from places as far distant as Toronto, Florida, New York and Detroit to formulate plans for the upcoming June convention in Toronto.
      They had an opportunity to enjoy ideal California summer weather as members of the local congregation hosted and dined the 17 guests who stayed with various church members.
      During the four-day event, appetizing lunches and dinners, as well as delicious Hungarian pastries, were served by members of the Women's Auxiliary, with President Márta Szerényi in charge of the kitchen.
      A weekend of pleasant fellowship and camaraderie began on Thursday, March 27, as leaders of America's Hungarian Baptist congregations met to prepare plans and by-laws for the Toronto convention.
      The Saturday evening service, well attended by members of the local congregation, heard Dr. Pintér Zoltán of Cleveland speak about Jeremiah the prophet who was a small but dedicated man of God. The Rev. Vadász János of Santa Monica opened the service with prayer.
      On Sunday, Dr. Herjeczki Géza of Detroit taught the Sunday school, and the Rev. László Dán of Toronto presented God's message during the Sunday morning worship service. The General Secretary of the Convention, Bro. Szabó István of Chicago, opened the worship with prayer.

Guests at the church parking lot.
See more and bigger pictures here 

      The youthful Alhambra Boys' Band, which performed before services on Saturday and Sunday, was very well received. They have accepted an invitation to perform at the Chicago Youth Convention in May, and the seven-member band is happily making plans for this, their first such trip.
      Sunday afternoon weather was also pleasant, and the Men's Circle prepared a tasty outdoor barbecue for the guests. ("Borszéki water" was a specialty served to everyone.)
We regret that Convention President Dr. Kulcsár Sándor had to return to New York early Sunday morning and could not participate in the entire weekend's festivities.
      However, the weather and fellowship were so enjoyable it was decided to meet again in Alhambra next summer for another friendly weekend session of the Hungarian Baptist Convention.


"In the small, contained world where we live most of the time, we know whom to trust and fear, whom to love and whom to hate. We get it all mapped out into good guys and bad guys, and everything is scheduled and predictable. Jesus' teachings on loving our enemies are not a little romantic lesson in feeling good about everybody and acting silly. It is rather a rich, evangelical statement that there is more to life than our capacity to contain it in our little moral categories. For, says Jesus, if you reduce your life to the simple practice of loving your friends and hating your enemies, of being generous only to those you like and trust, and resistant where there is risk, what's the big deal? Anybody can do that."

-- Walter Brueggemann, "Taking a Second, Painful Look" from the Threat of Life (Fortress Press)


True story about Temple Baptist in Philadelphia

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it "was too crowded." "I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.
      Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
      Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.
      Inside was found 57! cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School. For two years she had saved for this offering of love.
      When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.
      But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the! turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividend.
      When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300 and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday Schoolers, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
      In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds".      (Anonym)

April, 2003.

Jesus Christ is Lord!
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to deathCeven death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
The glory of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.
How did he arrive at this victory?
He "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, ... he humbled himself and became obedient to death --even death on a cross!"
      Perhaps it is not by accident that Paul is the one who stresses this fact so strongly. He knew very well --perhaps as well as we know-- that greatness and the victory belong to the strongest, the greatest, the overwhelming, the powerful, the forceful and the decisive. You can easily continue with this list since the TV and the papers reinforce these messages with a great variety of words.
      Paul himself was a successful man; a man of power, strong will, clear vision and leading personality among the pharisees. But after his conversion, and after his study of the life of Jesus, he came to the conclusion that the greatness of Christ is connected to the cross and His suffering. Not only that, Paul was able and ready to make the connection to his own life as he declared: That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Cor 12:10)
      Paul's victory was a little bit like the victory of our Savior. But he did not stop there. After --or even before he wrote down to us this Hymn about the greatness of Christ, he stated that we --that is the reader-- you and I should be acting, thinking like out Master: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus --Paul wrote.
Is there any victory for us?
Yes, but only if we follow the attitude of our Lord while we execute the mission command. There is no victory in forcing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ on other people. But there is victory if we confess with humility and with an attitude we learn from the Master that Jesus Christ is Lord. And we must do that in every language of the world.
      And while we are doing that it is better that we exchange our "we can do everything" attitude for an other one: He already did everything for us on the cross.
      Let us be full of joy that there is a name that is above every name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and that there will be a time when every knee will bow before Him, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. He is the one who said: "I am the First and the Last. I am the living One, I was dead and behold I am alive for ever and ever." (Rev 1:17f)
                    Geza Herjeczki

A young girl finds what was missing in her life
"God enters by a private door into every individual."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wasn't abused as a child; I just felt, well, lonely, neglected and unloved. I don't think it was my parents' fault, necessarily; I just wasn't a happy kid.
      My family did not attend church. I had never even set foot in one. We weren't rich, but we had enough money to take a beautiful trip to Florida every Christmas. Of course, my parents loved to tease me about Santa not doing address changes very well. But every year packages marked "From Santa" made their way to our motel room.
      One morning in Florida I had decided to play in the warm, white sand with my shiny new pail and shovel. My parents weren't gong to the beach, so I settled for digging in the motel courtyard. I looked at the sandy beach, sparsely covered with tropical weeds. I set out to find the best spot to create my sandy masterpiece. I chose a place way out in the middle, sat down contentedly and began to dig.
      About four inches under, my shovel clinked on something. I was always dreaming of things like finding lost pirate treasures or being the first one to find an unopened genie bottle. Therefore, it wasn't a stretch for me to think I had hit the jackpot. However, my little shovel had uncovered a treasure of a much different sort. It was a small silver cross. I turned it over and over in my hands, looking at it as the sun made it glow brightly. Etched on the back of the cross were words I could just barely make out: "Jesus Christ is Lord." I wasn't sure what that meant. I never showed anyone the cross, but kept it hidden as one of my prized possessions, only taking it out when no one was around. To me it wasn't just a cross, it was a sign.
       During high school, I was a typical teen. I sought out fun and trouble, but rarely got caught for it. My life was gong downhill fast, but I thought it was perfectly under control, except for the emptiness inside that I couldn't account for.
      I had lots of over nights with friends. We would laugh, goof off and eventually go to sleep. My sophomore year, though, curiosity began to develop within me. I decided that I wanted to know about God. Although it was something cool kids didn't tell their friends about, I managed to spend these nights with my friends on Saturdays with the secret intent of going to church with them on Sunday morning.
      Most of the church services I attended were good, but one was life-changing. As the music began to play and I was consumed, I felt Him. He was the One I had been searching for. He was the One who had been calling me. The pastor called for those who didn't "know Him" to come forward. I couldn't have stopped my feet if I had wanted to. He prayed, I prayed, and my life was never again the same. I went home and wept with joy. A seemingly lifelong void was finally filled. For some reason, I am quite sure my search had begun the day I hit metal with my little shovel and found a cross that read, "Jesus Christ is Lord." Now I no longer have to dig to find my treasures. All the treasures I'll ever need are just a prayer away.
--Lana L. Comstock, from "Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul" 

VFI:  Bible Verses That Changed the World

Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)
Jimmy Carter (1924-) and Charles Colson (1931-)
Throughout the centuries, Christians have used the term "born again" to describe their salvation. This term was a particular favorite of George Whitefield, the energetic preacher who echoed these words of Jesus: Ye must be born again. He was calling people out of a formal faith and into a personal commitment.
      That's exactly the way the term born again has been used in the twentieth century. Fundamentalists in the twenties and evangelicals in the fifties used it as a kind of code word. Many people considered themselves Christians merely because they went to church, so I am Christian didn't mean much. But I am a born-again Christian would indicate a personal experience with Christ.
      The phrase burst into public awareness again in 1976 as two different world changers hit the headlines. Jimmy Carter, the peanut-farmer-turned-governor from Georgia, was running for president. Just a few short years after the Watergate scandal, Carter's simple honesty was a breath of fresh air. A devout Southern Baptist, he clearly stated that he was a born-again Christian.
      The other newsworthy born-again figure that year was Charles Colson, a veteran of the Watergate scandal. He had gone to prison and written a book, just like others from the Nixon White House, but his book was different. Dwelling very little on the background of Watergate, it talked instead about his religious conversion. He entitled it Born Again.
      Colson wrote at the book's climactic point: "Was I to accept without reservations Jesus Christ as Lord of my life? It was like a gate before me. There was no way to walk around it... While I sat alone staring at the sea I love, words I had not been certain I could understand or say fell naturally from my lips: 'Lord Jesus, I believe You. I accept You. Please come into my life. I commit it to You.' "
      The late seventies saw the words of Jesus from John 3 become an ad slogan, a hot product name, a cliché on the lips of every celebrity. People were claiming to be born again through fad diets, crystals, and sexual experiences. The metaphor was stretched way out of shape.
      In the eighties a few popular TV evangelists were publicly disgraced, and as a result the public began to associate the term born again with everything they didn't like about Christianity -- hypocrisy, insensitivity, arrogance, judgment, and greed.
      Now when someone asks, Are you born again? you need to be careful. You might have to explain exactly what Jesus meant by the term. But the truth is that a multitude of folks over the last two millennia have seen their lives begin a new because of a personal relationship with Jesus. Other gave changed the world in quieter ways. Perhaps someday we can reclaim the simple beauty of Jesus' metaphor.

Gone to be with the Lord
Joseph Yanik

On February 8, 2003 the Lord called home to glory an old time Hungarian Baptist individual. Joseph Yanik was originally a member of our Austin Street Baptist Church in the City of Buffalo, N.Y. His God fearing mother introduced him to the service of the Lord at an early age and he learned to play the base tuba. He praised the Lord by playing in the church band with other members of his family. He later expanded his skills by playing in the Austin Street Silver Band (religious) and many other local musical organizations. He was part owner of the Yanik Brothers Trucking Company where he served for over fifty years as a "big-rig" driver. Joe spent many years on the road and he often stopped to visit members of our convention in various cities of our country. He leaves behind many old friends and memories. He is no longer with us, but I suspect that he is making music with one of Gods angelic bands. Well done thou good and faithful servant.

        Ernest J. Kish

March, 2003.

Guard Your Heart!
Proverbs 4:20-27
by István Mikó


Introduction: One of the most important jobs of the Secret Service of the United States is to protect or guard the President. The president needs to be guarded because there are so many people out there that would attack him if they could, and because he is one of the most important people in the world. In verse 23, it says that you should 'guard' your heart. I think that that mean that there is something valuable and worthwhile to protect, and not only that, it also means that it is under attack. So what exactly is the heart that it's so important to protect? Is the heart here your physical heart that pumps blood? What does it mean that the heart is the Wellspring of life? A wellspring is like the place where something starts, the source, something from where everything flows out of. Back before there was running water, they dug wells everywhere. The well was typically in the center of a town, and the whole town thrived because of it. But if the water was polluted or dirty, then the whole town suffered. In the same way your life will suffer if your wellspring, or your heart, is not kept pure and clean. The heart symbolizes a couple of different things in the context of the Bible.
I. The Heart
      A. The heart could symbolize feelings and emotions. In Proverbs 12:25 it talks about "having an anxious heart that weighs a man down." Proverbs 12:25 talks about "having a heavy heart", meaning discouragement or despair. Leviticus 19:17 says not to "hate your brother in your heart."
      B. The heart could also be closely related to acts of the will, or your deliberate acts and decisions. The Bible refers to David as "a man after God's own heart, for he will do everything I want him to do." In other words, God knew David was willing and eager to fulfill God's will for his life.
      C. The heart is also many times referred to as the true nature of a person, or the whole inner being of a person. Proverbs 3:5 says "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding," to trust God with everything that you are. In I Samuel 16:7 it says "man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart." We may judge a person by what he looks like or appears to be like, but God looks at our character.
      D. The heart could also mean a lot of other things, but it most commonly stands for the mind, or our thoughts, and this is what I really want to focus on today. Guarding your heart means guarding all of the different meanings of your heart, but guarding your thoughts is such a vital part of the Christian life, so I want to spend the majority of the time talking about that.
      - So as you can see, your heart is important and it's very important to protect, and that's why it is constantly under attack.
II. Your heart is under attack from three different sources: The Devil, the world, and the sinful desires of your own flesh.
      A. The Devil - Your life is essentially a battleground. If you are a Christian and have accepted Christ into your life, than He now dwells in you. But Satan also wants to have a piece of you. But the problem is, you can't have two masters. In the middle ages, if a person committed a crime, a common form of the death penalty was to tie a person's hands and his legs to a different horse, and then have the horses run in opposite directions. Needless to say, the person was literally "torn" in half. But the battle for our hearts is the same way. You can't hold on to your sin and try to serve God at the same time. It rips you apart.
      Satan doesn't come right out and attack us though. He doesn't say "ha-ha! Here is sin! Do bad things!!" Not at all. He is a smart enemy. Perhaps the reason the North Vietnamese were so successful in the Vietnam War was because they used guerilla war tactics, like hit and fade attacks. They knew that if they attacked the Americans head on that they would lose the battle. That's why they hid in the jungles and set up traps and ambushes. The devil is like a roaring lion looking seeking someone to devour. And even when he does attack, the Bible says that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 
      The Greek writer Homer, who wrote the Odyssey and the Illiad, describes a story of a greek war with a group called the Trojans. These Trojans were in a city called Troy, and the Greeks layed siege to the city for about 10 years, but they could not overtake it. Finally, they designed a new war machine, a giant wooden horse. They presented it to the Trojans and pretended it was a gift of peace and the troops that were seiging the city hid in the hills close by. However, when the horse made it into the city, they unleashed their trap! A bunch of troops hid inside the horse and when they came out, they opened the city gates for the rest of the troops to come in.
      That's how Satan attacks us. He tempts us and makes it seems that sin is pleasurable. That sin helps us. That sin is the only way out.
      B. The world also presents a huge threat to us. By "world" I mean the part of society that promotes ideas like lying, stealing, lust, and selfishness. There are so many things in our society that just feed us false information, such as the governments, schools, television, movies, music, etc.
      1.) When Sir Edmund Hillary completed his first climb of Mt. Everest, he was so grateful to the efforts of the Buddhist Nepalese people that he asked them "What can I do for you?" They answered "Give us schools!" Since there were almost no Nepalese teachers, they brought in Hindu Indian teachers. The result was that the Buddhist beliefs became watered down and the whole culture changed because of the teachers, since they spent many hours a week teaching them, and they were taught something other than what their parents were teaching them.
      I just read an article in U.S. News that said that 90% of the teachers in colleges across the US are liberals and only 10% conservatives and Christians. But I'm sure that similar statistics can also be found in high schools across the US and Canada. Biology is based on evolutionary theories. History discussions leave out any types of contributions of Christianity. Literature's themes are often morally inappropriate and teach that Jesus is just another philosopher like Plato and Socrates.
      2.) TV and movies can also pollute the heart. Sex outside of marriage is the norm. Children disobeying parents is respected. Lying, cheating, and stealing is OK unless you get caught. Pleasing yourself is the most important thing in life. Profanity is OK if it makes you laugh. I am not telling you that TV and movies in and of themselves are wrong, or that you should go home and chuck your television sets out the window, but you need to be aware of the danger that some TV shows and movies possess.
      3.) Music can be a very powerful tool to persuade young people. Why? Because it is emotion-based. Music caters to your emotions more than anything else can or does and it can be a very hurtful - and dangerous - thing. Music can promote anything from love and kindness to rape, incest, homosexuality, rebellion, rage, hatred, suicide, and the list goes on. 19-year-old John McCollum committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a .22 caliber pistol while listening to Ozzy Osbourne albums for five hours prior to his death. Lyrics such as "Suicide is the only way out" and "Can you help me? Oh, shoot out my brains" were running through his mind during the final moments of his life. If you would come up to me and tell me that you listen to music not because of the words but because you like that style of music, I'd believe you. I think there is some really good music outside of the Christian music industry. But don't tell me that the words of the songs don't have an effect on you, because they do. Maybe just subconsciously, but those lyrics are still filling your head.
      C. So we know that Satan attacks us and the world around us attacks us, but maybe the most harmful attacks come from ourselves. In Galatians 5 it talks about the acts of the sinful nature, such as sexual immorality, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, rage, selfishness, drunkenness, etc. And Satan is never even mentioned in this verse. This means that even if there was no devil to tempt you, your human nature would still desire these things. The sinful flesh tells you "go ahead. It's ok. It will make you feel good. It will make you feel popular and accepted."
      So let me ask you a question. With all of these battles going on in your life, how can you possibly do the right thing? And also, what is the point? Why should I live the kind of life God wants me to? I'm going to give you four steps to overcome sin and guard your heart!  

(Part II. March 2003)

III. Guarding Your Heart

A. Know your Sin. When I was in elementary school, I don't remember what grade, our science project was examining the taste buds. They gave us each a little bag of different types of food to demonstrate all of the different tastes that our tongue can taste, such as sweet, sour, bitter and salty. I don't remember everything that was in the bag, but I do remember that there was an orange, there were peanuts, and a couple of other things that I don't remember, but one thing that I remember for sure, was that there was a piece of chocolate in there. Well, it was right before lunch, so I was pretty hungry. Obviously, the teacher had you eat everything before the chocolate, so the chocolate was last. When we finally got to the chocolate, I was really excited. But when I tasted it, I was extremely disappointed. It tasted bitter! It was actually sugarless chocolate that the teacher gave us. Sin is the same way. It seems so tempting, but when you take a bite out of it, you find that it's not so sweet after all. Maybe not right away, but eventually you will. But yet, we are still like sheep. Do you know what sheep are like? They move around in a herd to the pasture to feed every day, but they need a leader because even though they've been going the same way for their whole lives, one day without a leader, and they would be completely lost and not know where to go. If they are taken to a river to drink, sometimes you need to actually take their heads out of the water or else they would drown! But in reality, we're not really that much different from sheep. Maybe that's why the Bible compares us to sheep so much. Even though we may know the danger of sin, we still jump right into it.

a.) And sin is downhill. You can't just stop whenever you wish. It's a lot harder to stop running down a hill and turn around and walk back up than to keep on running down the hill. Even a little boy can bend an oak tree when it is new, but 100 men couldn't root it up when it is full grown.

b.) Not only is sin addictive, it is also damaging. Yes, God will forgive you for your sins, but the consequences continue. Some have little consequences, and other things have big consequences. Sometimes it may be a consequence that you must live with for the rest of your life.

c.) It's so crucial to understand sin the way God understands it. If you don't, you won't understand why you have to change. Something to keep in mind is that when we sin, it's like us saying to Christ, "hey, look. I'm glad that you died for me. That's great and all, but I don't need it. I'm just going to live my life the way I want to." It may sound rash, but that's the way God views our sins. Which brings me to the next step.

B. Know Your God. You might be sitting there thinking "But you don't understand. My problem is complicated. And I don't think even God wants to forgive me." And you might be right, your problem may be pretty complicated. But I think the pastor at my church says it best: God is a bigger savior than you are a sinner. I mean, this is the same God that split the Red Sea and brought down the walls of Jericho. And he's on your side! And the great thing about it is that God is so patient. Though we are dumb sheep and may make the same mistake 10 million times, God will always forgive us if we go back to him. If he didn't, Christ's death on the cross wouldn't mean anything. When God looks at us, he should automatically send us to the pits of hell. But Jesus is like a filter for us, when God looks at us, we seem perfect to him, because he sees us through Christ. But don't let that be an excuse to sin. The Bible says "if you love me, you must keep my commands." So you can't just keep on sinning and keep asking God to forgive you. Once you understand who your God is and what He is capable of, you are ready to begin your battle plan to guard your heart. Which is the next step, know your plan.

C. Know Your Plan. What would happen if I was the coach of the Detroit Lions football team, and I decided to plan a new strategy. I am going to try to win the game by just concentrating on defense. That should work, right? If the other team can't score, they can't win, right? Well, the problem with that strategy is that defense doesn't win games, and most likely the other team will score. Especially if you're the Detroit Lions, the other team will score. What I am trying to say by this is that a good offense is the best defense. You need a defense, but a strong offense wins the game. It's the same with your thoughts. If you clean out the garbage out of your thoughts, that's only half the battle. You've got to replace those thoughts with Biblical thoughts. Not an easy task.

During World War II, the Battle of Iwo Jima was an extremely bloody one. Huge U.S. ships pounded the island with massive guns for hours before a land invasion was done. Even then, the fighting was fierce. The plan of the marines was to take Mt. Suribachi, and they finally did, which is where the famous picture of the four marines lifting the flag took place. But the fighting was long from over. Many Japanese soldiers were still hidden in the caves, and mopping up went on for many more days after that.

Our minds are in a similar situation. Though we may decide to change and to start living our lives for Christ and clean out our thoughts, even when you think you have achieved victory, the enemy is still hiding in the caves. Your old sinful nature is still there, waiting and ready to ambush you in your moment of weakness. That's why it is so important to stay in constant communication with God.

To be a part of a conversation, you have to do two things: Listen and Speak. Listening is reading the Bible. You won't know what God is telling you if you don't listen to Him. That's why it's so crucial to daily be in the Word. You can't overcome your problems if you don't know what God has to say about them. But it's just as important to talk to God. That's prayer. You have to ask God to help you overcome your sins, and He guarantees that He will. In I Corinthians 10:13 it says "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." That is a tremendous promise. And let me encourage you, I know sometimes when you pray it feels as if it's useless. But do this, next time you feel that you're in a situation where you feel like God doesn't care and you don't care much about God, pray this prayer: "God, I don't love you right now. I don't even want to love you right now. But help me to want to love you."

Say your mind is a building of some sort. It has a door to it. You stand guard at the door and you regulate what enters and what does not. Jesus of course is standing next to you, but who goes in is not his choice, it's yours. He can only warn you of danger. Let's say 'loser' approaches the door. He says to you, "You've been a loser all your life. You blew it again. You might as well write bum on your resume, cause that's all you are!" Well, do you let loser in? Can he enter the doors of your heart? If you've been talking to God, you know what he would say. Ephesians 2:10 says "we are God's workmanship, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Or how about that we are created in God's image and He has a perfect plan for our lives? So you know that loser can't come in. But what if he puts up a fight? What if he's too strong for you to beat him? Then ask God to help you. Pray "Jesus, loser is a tough guy, but you're tougher. Can you please come and kick him out for me?"

Loser is gone. Now groupie comes to the door. "man, you are so cool! I wish I was just like you. The world is such a lucky place to have you!" Well, do you let groupie in and think that you're better than everyone else? Let's see what Christ says. Romans 12:3 "don't cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or of your importance." Or how about Galatians 6:14 "The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging." Kick groupie out.

Now temptation and lust come to the door. They don't say much, but you want to let them in. What do you do? Song of Solomon 2:7 says "do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." And God has someone in store for you to marry who is hoping that you stay pure for him/her. Temptation and lust definitely cannot come in.

Max Lucado gives an interesting illustration of the heart in his book Just Like Jesus.

Say you come to visit me one day and find that I'm working on my greenhouse. It's not mine, though. It's my fathers. It's a state-of-the-art technology greenhouse that is just perfect for anything that is grown in it. So I ask you to help me collect seeds for my father's greenhouse. He put me in charge of it. Now, you've always thought I was a bit crazy, but what I do next removes all doubt in your mind. I start collecting weed seeds. I get everything from crab grass to dandelions. You can't believe it. You say to me "I thought you wanted a greenhouse full of flowers and fruit? "I do" I reply. "Then don't you think you should plant flower and fruit seeds?" "Nah. I'd have to drive all the way to the garden store to get them. No thanks, I'm taking the cheap and easy route."

What do we learn from this illustration? First, God is the rightful owner of our hearts. Don't assume that it's your body and you can do whatever you want with it. Not exactly. Second, we learn that the mind is like a greenhouse. Whatever you plant there takes root and grows, and it's hard to get rid of weeds. You can mow them down, but they're still rooted. They'll spring up again. That's why it's so crucial to 'guard' your heart. It's a lot harder to cut sin out of your life when it's full-grown. So don't go to a bar if you're an alcoholic, and don't try to prove your purity in a pornography shop. Finally we learn that guarding your heart is not easy. It's always easier to let your guard down and let all kinds of sin filter into your heart and mind. We're not programmed robots. God gives us a choice. A choice to do evil or good. It's a choice to stop doing one thing and do something else. It's like stopping in the middle of a freeway, turning around, and going against the flow.

D. It's tough trying to swim upstream and go against the flow by yourself. That's why it's so crucial that you make friends that help you with your fight and to become active in a church. I strongly encourage you to find someone that you look up to and ask him to keep you accountable. It makes a world of difference.

Know your sin, know your God, know your plan, and know your friends. Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

(Steve Miko delivered this message at the Youth Conference at Toronto on Oct. 13, 2002.)

On behalf of an anonymous client, a Ft. Lauderdale advertising agency launched a unique billboard campaign which has since spread to other parts of the country. All the messages are signed "God."
A sampling:
10. Let's Meet At My House Sunday Before The Game.
9. What Part of 'Thou Shalt Not...' Didn't You Understand?
8. Loved The Wedding. Invite Me To The Marriage.
7. Keep Using My Name In Vain And I’ll Make Rush Hour Longer.
6. Will The Road You’re 0n Get You To My Place?
5. Big Bang Theory. You’ve Got To Be Kidding.
4. You Think It's Hot Here?
3. That 'Love Thy Neighbor’ Thing. I Meant It.
2. Need Directions?
1. Have You Read My #1 Best Seller? There Will Be A Test.

Crying for a non-violent solution
excerpt from a missionary journal
Our chapel has had extra times of prayer by students and faculty who are deeply concerned about a possible war with Iraq. Frankly, most of our European Baptist colleagues are strongly opposed to a U.S.-led unilateral invasion and war with Iraq. They don't question that Saddam Hussein should be disarmed, but our friends generally feel that the U.S. intention of forcing a regime change sounds like a throwback to 19th century colonialism.
Does U.S. leadership realize the horrendous consequences such a war would bring in the loss of innocent human life and destruction? Christians often affirm that we need a presence and witness among Muslims. But a war could very well close the door to such witness for decades, while evoking an increased radical Muslim commitment to terrorism! We don't know all that people are praying in the chapel during these times of earnest intercession, but our conversations over coffee and in classrooms lead us to believe that many are crying out to God for a non-violent, non-military solution. And we resonate with those prayers."
       Wesley H. Brown, Ph.D., Chaplain & Lecturer
       International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague

February, 2003.
1916 - 2003
On January 21. 2003, the Lord called to glory one of His devoted servants, the REVEREND WILLIAM B MOLNAR. He was in his 87th year of which 58 were spent in the preaching of God's word as a Pastor.
      Molnar Balazs was born in Tiszagyulahaza, Hungary on October 7, 1916. The Molnar family emigrated from Hungary to Canada in his early teens. They settled on a farm 20 miles from Kipling, Saskatchewan. As a young man he attended the Hungarian Baptist Church in Kipling along with his family. He was baptized by the Reverend William Tatter in a lake near Kipling. By his twentieth birthday he was ready to start his own life as a hard working farmer. The Lord however had different plans for him. Instead of planting seeds of wheat and grain, he was destined to plant seeds of human souls. After much study and physical trials, he attended seminary and became a pastor. 
      He completed his studies at McMaster Divinty School, in Hamilton, Ontario in May of 1944. During his seminary days, he served as a student pastor in missions in Hamilton and Brantford, Ontario, and in each of those missions he preached to Hungarian people. His first pastorate after graduation was at the First Hungarian Baptist Church in Toronto.
      In 1949 Rev. Molnar received a call to our Hungarian Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Conn. He served that church for 18 productive years. It was here that I personally gained his friendship and saw his faithfulness to the Lord. His love for people and their spiritual welfare resulted in the saving of many souls for the Lord. Thereafter, for a short while he served as Pastor of an English Baptist Church also in Connecticut. But his love for his Hungarian people continued and in 1972 he accepted the position of the administrator of our Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home in Florida. His love for the saving of souls however was stronger than being an administrator. He therefore accepted a call to pastor our Hungarian Baptist Church in the City of New York. It then became time for him to rest from his daily chores and retired to North Carolina (1979). He then became a valued parishioner of a Southern Baptist Church (Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC) where he was graciously received. He later became a member of a church closer to home where he served as a member of the Westwood Baptist Church in Cary, NC. His years of service in this church affected many People which was shown by the many comments and tears during visitation and at the service which was held at Westwood Baptist Church.
      I was asked by the Executive's of our Convention to represent us at his services. Having known him for so many years it was my privilege to attend and to speak of his devotion to the Lord and to his Hungarian people.
      Pastor Molnar also participated in the work of the Hungarian Baptist Convention, serving on various committees, and as General Secretary as well as several terms as President. He preached in almost every church within our Convention.
      He was well loved by us and by all other people with whom he had contact. He received the "Well Loved and Well Done" call from the Lord whom he had served throughout his life time. Now he is with the Lord where there will be no pain, no parting, nor sorrow. He will await a reunion with friends and family in heaven. What a joy that will be for all who will remain faithful. We thank God for Pastor Molnar's faithfulness and example to all who knew him.  
      Ernest J. Kish
To Joyce Molnar and Family:
You Are my Leaning Post
You are my leaning post, dear Lord,
My shelter and my rock.
You open up the door for me
Each time you hear me knock.
All I need to do is ask
And You provide the way.
You hear me when I call to you
The times I kneel to pray.
Thank you Lord, for Your great love,
Your comfort and your care.
It’s such a joy for me to know
I may seek and find you there.
        Jean Soule
Memorial gifts may be made to the Westwood Baptist Church Building Fund, 830 High House Rd., Cary, NC 27513

    (click on the picture for a larger one and more)
Many people from Hungary settled in the Bekevar District in the early 1900’s among this group were settlers who were from Baptist churches in Hungary. They met in homes for singing and devotions. This area is seven miles from the town of Kipling.
      In 1911 the church was organized by four devoted families. With only a few members the first church was built... This building was only 14 by 20 feet in size. The group was led by John 0. Kovach. In response to a request to the Baptist Union of Western Canada, John Monus came to be the first missionary pastor. Rev.Monus served from 1912 until 1925.
      As the congregation increased the meeting-house was enlarged three times. In 1915 the larger church was built and again enlarged in 1918.
      In 1925 Rev. William Tatter from Chicago took up the work for 13 years. The work continued through difficult times during the depression.
      During the early years there were annual conventions held in the three Hungarian churches. The conventions altered each year to Leask, Wakaw, and Kipling.
      The pioneer spirit was evident in those years as neighbors helped each other. The neighboring church along Highway 16 was the Bekevar Presbyterian Church. On some occasions the two churches had joint meetings.

Békevár Baptist Church, Kipling, Sask. in the country, 7 miles from Kipling, 1915-1947.

      It is interesting to read a report about an article in the Hungarian Paper from Winnipeg. This was in the Special Jubilee edition: In July 1925. The Bekevar Colony celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The festival lasted for three days and was remarkable in that on Sunday, the Reformed, Presbyterian and Baptist churches held a combined service in a large tent. Many visitors came. On Monday there were speeches from members of the Sask Government.
      The Bekevar Hungarian Baptist Ladies Aid was organized in 1920. The ladies were an active group in the work of the church and missions. Money was sent to help orphans and needy ones in Hungary. In 1961 the title, Ladies Aid was changed to Ladies Mission Circle. The church has always been involved in mission projects including Canadian Baptist Overseas missions.
     The CHOIR was organized in the early years and continued to serve through all the years. Also a brass band was started in the 20’s and performed for a number of years. Music Ministry has had an important part in the life of the church. In later years we had a string orchestra.
      The Young People’s group was started by George Balla and also Mrs. Mento led the group with choir practises. In later years when it was re-organized. we had Bible Study, programs, socials, with meetings at church and in homes.
     From 1938 to 1940 laymen carried on the work. Rev. George Balla came to help out during the summer months.

Calvary Baptist Church, in the country, 1947-1959
      In 1940. Rev. Gabriel Mento came to carry on the work. He served for 7 years. The old church was dismantled and a new one built in 1947. The name was changed from Bekevar Baptist to Calvary Baptist.
In 1948 Elek Basky from Leask accepted a position in Kipling School. He was asked to be Lay Pastor, in which position he continued for 5 years. Mr. Basky re-organized the Young People’s group and also led the choir.
      In 1953 Rev. Elmer Dekany accepted a call and was Pastor for 8 years. The church building was moved in 1959 from the country to Kipling to its present site on Third Street. In 1223. the church building was changed with a new entrance addition. Then in 1990 the front of the sanctuary was remodelled.
In 1961 a change was made from Hungarian to English worship Services. Rev. Bruce Haskins came in 1961 and was pastor till 1968.
      In 1969 Rev. Jacob Rabuka accepted a call and served as pastor of the church for 13 years. English services were held in the mornings and Hungarian in the afternoon or evening.
Rev. Monus, the first pastor of the church came once a month to take the service in Hungarian from 1961 to1971. During the summer months from 1971 to 1973 Rev. Revesz from California took services Sunday evenings.
      As an outreach to Hungarian folks who could not understand the English messages in 1974. Rev. and Mrs. Ilonka from Romania were sponsored by the church and they continued with Sunday evening services till 1975.
      In 1978. Rev. & Mrs. Lajos Olah from Hungary continued with the Hungarian work. Rev. Olah served here for 10 years. They had an important outreach to the Hungarian speaking people as well as others in the community. From 1971 until 1988 our English and our Hungarian pastors worked together, with English service in the morning and Hungarian in the afternoon.
      After Rev. Rabuka left in 1982, Pastor Paul Hay came and served until 1985.
Pastor Audrey Kemp from Broadview was our pastor for one year.
After a few months of Pulpit Supply Richard Barta from Moosomin accepted a call from the church in 1987. Rev. Barta was ordained in 1991 and is our pastor at the present time.
      Pastor Richard & Doris are continuing with serving the church for which we are very grateful. Although the services are in English, Pastor Richard also understands Hungarian and has a good relationship with the elderly Hungarian folk. However our Hungarian speaking people are few in number at the present time.
      Calvary Baptist Church from its beginning has had a Sunday School for all ages. Vacation Bible School was started in the early 50’s and had continued for a number of years. We have regular Bible studies and prayer meetings each week. We can recall the happy times at our Annual picnics. Our church potluck suppers are held each month with a time for outreach and fellowship.
      Our prayer is one of Thanksgiving to God for having led us in the past. We are grateful for the pioneer workers and pastors who have preached the gospel faithfully over the years. We are thankful for all who have shared their faith with us. We have a common heritage and a bond of fellowship in the Lord. May we continue with God’s help to be faithful in serving our Lord.
50th was on July 22-29, 1962. Bruce Haskins, Pastor
Guest speakers were Rev. Bill Molnar, Rev. George Balla, Rev. John Monus.
60th was on July 9, 1972 Rev. Jake Rabuka, Pastor
Guest Speakers, Rev. Haskins, Dr. Renfree, Rev. Revesz, Rev. Monus
70th was on June 20. 1982 Rev. Rabuka & Rev. Olah, Pastors
Speakers were Rev. Moffat, Rev. Medgett, Rev. Monus, Rev. Olah
80th was on July 26 1992 Rev. Barta, Pastor
Speakers were Mr. Ron Basky, Rev. Rabuka, Rev. Larson.
90th was on July 21, 2002 (as report in the previous issue of the Gospel Messenger).
Irene Basky and Pauline Daku
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
Isaiah 49:1
"Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations. Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name."

The Italians call a person's thirty-third year the Anno de Cristo, the year of Christ, in memory of Christ=s death in his thirty-third year. It is the year for spiritual revelations and reflection.

For Christopher Columbus it was a time to reflect on his name, Christopher, which means "Christ-bearer." While he and his brother Bartolomeo were working as map makers in Lisbon, Portugal, Columbus had time to reflect also on his love of the sea. Then he came upon a Bible verse that fit these reflections - the opening verse of Isaiah 49. It spoke of islands and "distant nations." It spoke of being "called" before birth. Was that why Christopher was given that name before he was born? Was that why he loved the sea so much? Did God direct him to this Scripture verse because he was calling Christopher to bring the message of Christ to the people in "distant nations"?

And so in his thirty-third year Christopher Columbus went to the king of Portugal with a proposal. He asked for underwriting to finance a trip to sail west to get to the Far East. The royal commission called the idea far-fetched. Columbus sent his brother to England, but the English court called his brother a fool. Then Columbus turned to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, who rejected his plan because it "rested on poor foundations."

Disheartened, Columbus retreated to a monastery. There a Franciscan friar befriended him. Soon Columbus was ready to try again. "It was the Lord who put into my mind," he wrote in his Book of prophecies, "to sail from here to the Indies... I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy his marvelous presence."

"The signs are that the Lord is hastening the end. The fact that the gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time - this is what convinced me."

The next morning the prior at the monastery sent a messenger to Queen Isabella, asking her to reconsider the decision. The rest is history.

On August 3, 1492, after receiving Holy Communion, Columbus rowed out to his three ships, all meticulously outfitted, to begin the voyage. During the voyage, the crew was on the verge of mutiny, but Columbus thought of himself as Moses leading the murmuring Israelites toward the Promised Land. When he finally arrived in the New World, he christened the island San Salvador and prayed, "Praised be Thy Majesty, which hath deigned to use us... that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth."

Returning from his final voyage, he had a dream in which he heard a voice assuring him, according to Isaiah 49:1, that God had privileged him to open up "islands" and "distant nations" for the gospel. He wrote his will on the pages of prayer book and signed it as he usually did -- "Christ-bearer."


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