CONTENT OF THE AUGUST ISSUE (1998)
News From Ruth Wright
Some of you might wonder how many people are reached for Christ by teaching English as a Second Language. Our experience is that many have come to Faith. It is one of the best ways to have continual contact with people. This allows a friendship to develop and we trust God for their hearts to respond to the Gospel message. Believe me, it is worth it for even 1 soul. ...
This summer looks to be a full program with an on going conversation class that will be held at my home weekly, international get togethers monthly, meeting with individual Internationals for encouragement, prayer, Bible study and friendship. Pray that hearts would be receptive.
You know, it is so great to walk with the Lord daily. His intent to love me keeps drawing me more and more to Him. Knowing more and more of his Character and trusting Him through trials makes Him more and more dear to me.
Please continue to pray for my sensitivity to Lords leading as I seek to connect with Internationals in our area.
Thank you for praying and giving. God has been faithful for the past 19 years. I have never had to worry how He would take care of me. Besides He doesn't want me to worry. Right?
I love you all. Thanks for keeping in touch. ____Ruth Wright
David and his ancestors understood sheep and their ways, and it was easy for David to express his feelings towards God in words that any shepherd understands best. I'd like to share with you a few things I learned about sheep and shepherds.
The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.
Sheep instinctively know that before they have been folded for the night, the shepherd has planned out their grazing for the next day. It may be that he will take them back over the same range; or it may be that he will go to a new grazing ground. The sheep don't worry, because the shepherd's guidance was good in the past and they have faith that he will take care of their future.
He Maketh Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures
Have any of you ever tended sheep? Did you know that sheep graze from around 3:30 in the morning until about 10? Then they lie down for 3 or 4 hours to rest. When they are contentedly chewing their cud, the shepherd knows they are putting on fat. The good shepherd knows that he has to take the flock in the early hours where the grass land is rough, moving on later to the richer, sweeter grasses, and finally coming to a good spot in fine green pastures. Sheep resting in such happy surroundings feel contentment.
He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters.
Every shepherd knows that sheep will not drink gurgling water. There are many small springs in the hills of the Holy Land, whose waters run down to the valleys, only to evaporate by the time they get there because of the desert sun. Although the sheep need water, they will not drink from fast-flowing streams. The shepherd must find a place -- a quiet place -- perhaps a pool, where the water is "still". If he can't, the shepherd makes out of his hands a pocket (bowl) big enough to hold as much water as possible for the sheep to drink from.
He Restoreth My Soul; He Leadeth Me in the Paths of Righteousness for His Name's Sake.
In the Holy Land, an old shepherd explained, each sheep takes his place in the grazing line in the morning and it keeps that position throughout the day. Very interesting! Once during the day, however, each sheep leaves his place and goes to the shepherd. The shepherd, then, stretches out his hand and rubs the animal's nose and ears, scratches its chin and affectionately whispers into its ear. The sheep will then rub against his leg, or if the shepherd is sitting, nibble at his ear and rub against his face. After a few minutes of affectionate contact with each other, the sheep returns to its place in the feeding line.
Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Will Fear No Evil: For Thou Art with Me: Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me.
I understand that there is an actual Valley of the Shadow of Death in Palestine, and every shepherd knows this. It is south of the Jericho Road leading from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. It is a narrow passage through a mountain range. The climate and the grazing conditions make it necessary for the sheep to be moved through this valley. It is 4 2 miles long. Its side walls are over 1500 feet high in places and it is only 10-12 feet wide at the bottom. Travel through this valley is dangerous because there are some gullies 7 or 8 feet deep in this gorge. There are places at the floor of this passageway where sheep have to get their footing on solid rock, where it is so narrow in places that even if it tried, the sheep couldn't turn around. There is an unwritten law in that area that the flocks must go up the valley in the morning hours, and down towards evening, so they wouldn't meet in the middle. There's a "break" in this valley where there is a gully in the middle and the rocks on either side are not on the same level. The sheep have to jump across this gully. The shepherd stands at this "break" and coaxes, or forces, the sheep to make the leap. If the sheep slips or falls, the shepherd's rod has to be used. The old-style crook circles the large sheep's neck, or a small sheep's chest, and is lifted to safety. If he has a modern, narrow crook, the sheep is caught around the hooves and lifted up to the walk. (To be continued)
Thou, 0 God, Who gives grace to the humble, do something also for the proud man. Make me humble and obedient; take from me the spirit of pride and haughtiness, ambition and self-flattery, confidence and gaiety Teach me to think well and to expound all things fairly of my brother, to love his worthiness, to delight in his praises, to excuse his errors, to give thanks for his graces, to rejoice in all the good that he receives, and ever to believe and speak better things of him than of myself.
CONTENT OF THE JUNE-JULY ISSUE (1998)
A Message From Your New Administrator
I am very pleased to join the staff of Bethesda, as the new Administrator. In the short time that I have been here, I already feel that I have found a home. My first impressions of a warm and caring commitment by all concerned has been proven true during my first month.
The residents are my first concern and I find them to be happy, appreciative and well taken care of by the staff. I have gotten to know many of the residents already and will get to know all of them as time goes on. Each resident is a very special individual and I am glad to see that they are treated that way. My second concern is the staff, I was pleased to find that the staff is also very special in that they give more than the job requires to insure that the residents are taken care of properly. Of the many Assisted Living Facilities I have known, Bethesda shows the most care and concern for its residents.
The Melbourne / Palm Bay will see an over population of new ALF's this year, as at least four to five new operations will be opening by the end of this year. The Sterling House has recently opened, Hibiscus Court, a venture of Service master and the Health First organization, is set to open the end of June, and the Marriott organization is building their new ALF for opening in the Fall. I feel that they will face the problem of competing with each other and the others already in the area for the same market of residents that can afford $2,400 to $3,500 per month. Bethesda, on the other hand, will have its own growing market of people, just under that price range, that will enable as to maintain as close to a 100% occupancy as is possible. As of April 25th, we reacheived a 100% occupancy and are now in the process of building an active waiting list of new residents in order to maintain that occupancy rate into the future.
Now, a little bit about myself. I was born in Louisville, KY many, many years ago. I grew up around the New York City area (Long Island and Westchester County), and then spent most of my working years in the Boston area, as a part owner of a computer company. I finally got tired of the cold weather and moved to Melbourne Florida in late 1990. In early 1991 I met my wife, Donna, and we were married five months later, on the Pier at Cocoa Beach. We opened a New Orleans style waterfront restaurant on the west coast of Florida and then migrated into the retirement community business.
I was the Administrator of Ormond in the Pines, a three level of care, 215 unit retirement community in Ormond Beach. This facility included independent living, assisted living and an Alzheimer unit. My wife, Donna, is the Marketing Director for the Renaissance Retirement Community of Titusville, in North Brevard County. With both my wife and I working in this industry, we have many avenues to keep in touch with the goings on in the ALF industry and Brevard County in particular.
I look forward to a long and happy stay here at Bethesda. I feel that my business, financial, dietary, marketing and maintenance experience along with my good common sense can help Bethesda and its residents continue forward into the twenty-first century. There are many challenges to face, problems to solve and funds to raise for Bethesda, but I feel that we will be successful in all areas.
Bless you all. Bob Harlow
Costs of a Working Mother
1. Child-care costs: about $300 per month for one child; $450 per month for two. This figure does not include lost wages when a child is sick, additional medical expenses associated with group child care, or the additional fees that always seem to be associated with childrens groups (gifts, trips).
2. Transportation costs: $250 per month, including car payments, maintenance and gasoline costs.
3. Work-related clothing costs: estimated cost about $50 per month.
4. Additional eating-out costs: estimated at $80 per month. As most working mothers well know, there is a fatigue factor that comes along with managing a home and a job. This is often manifested in hurried meals, eating out a lot, or ordering in pizzas.
5. Miscellaneous expenses (laundry, lunches, office gifts): $70 per month.
Obviously, there may be other expenses (such as hiring a maid), but when you add these all up, the total is a minimum of $750 but probably closer to $900. Don't forget that all these costs, except for child care, are paid with after-tax dollars, and the additional earnings of a working wife may push the family into a higher tax bracket.
If we assume the medium income of a working mother is $14,500, that means a net return of slightly more than $300 a month. Based on a 40-hour work week, a working mother nets around $2 an hour for her time!
If that same working mother used her services at home to reduce the family's food bills and shop at discount stores and garage sales, it is quite possible she would net more savings for her family than the income she generates.
(Focus on the Family, March 1996)
CONTENT OF THE MAY ISSUE (1998)
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE 91TH CONVENTION OF THE HUNGARIAN BAPTISTA CONVENTION OF NORTH AMERICA.
LOCATION: RAMA, ONTARIO, CANADA
TIME: JULY 3-5, 1998.
O Lord, our God: From your word we read, "Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up." (James 4:8, 10.) So do we come to You just now; humbly do we come.
We wish to give thanks for all the benefits we enjoy day by day, the greatest of which is our knowledge of and fellowship with Christ our Lord. Of all the people on the face of the earth, we feel that we are the most fortunate. Rather than to say that we deserve more than all the others, we would give humble thanks for Your mercy and grace. We gratefully receive from Your bounty day by day, and we say, "Thank You!"
On this special day of the year, we wish to give thanks for our mothers; for their love and concern. It was because of their nurture and interest that we came by our set of values. Through their guidance many of us came to know You, the true God. Because of them, we have exercised compassion for the unfortunate of our world. We cannot ever forget their contribution to our lives.
Our hearts go out to so many mothers in our world who must face life almost without hope; for they live in places of violence and deprivation. They see no light at the end of their tunnels of despair. They must look on helplessly as their offsprings wither and die. And, even in our own country, there are many forlorn mothers who have had to watch as their children have been overtaken by what has robbed them of purpose and future. May the day come when no longer do mothers anywhere need to sacrifice children and hope to circumstances over which they have little or no control.
Help us to be people of compassion - folk who are not shut up to our own selfish interests and desires. May we look about and see where we may be useful and contributing members of a society that could well use a bit of help. True, we have pretty much done what we could in days that are gone. But surely, even yet we can use our talents and love to bring blessing to some who need a helping hand.
We pray for those who are passing through trials at this time. There are the lonely and the isolated, who have been wrenched from old familiar ways. There are the hurting and the sickly, many of whom once knew comfort and ease. There are the bereaved, who have lost folk who were precious to them. There are the depressed who cannot seem to cope with what appears to be overwhelming now. And we all need a touch of Your hand, O Lord, that we may yet serve You where we are. We again dedicate ourselves, our talents, and what we have, to Your service.
May we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit touching our lives, inspiring us to do what we can do for the glory of God and for the good of those who know us. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Robert H. Harlow
At the March 14th meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home Robert H. Harlow was appointed as its new administrator. He comes to us with much experience in the field of Assisted Living Facility operations. He is a fine Christian gentleman and requests our prayers for the success of the Home in the days to come. He will be reporting monthly on the progress of the Home during the ensuing months. ___EJK
Servants of God
A short time ago we had the privilege of driving through the State of North Carolina and we remembered that there was a revered couple living close by. We called them while en route and arranged to stop and visit with the Rev. Bill and Joyce Molnar. They had served in the pastorate of a number of churches in our Convention in Canada, in Bridgeport, Conn. and in New York City. They even served as Directors of our Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home for just over a year. Rev. Molnar was our pastor in Bridgeport for many years and our spiritual life had been much enhanced under his leadership. We thank God for people of their caliber and were very happy to visit with them in their new home. They are well and keeping busy doing work for the Lord within the church that they are attending. We wish for them Gods richest blessing in their new home, and in the balance of their retirement years, a life filled with joy in serving our Lord and Savior. God bless you Rev. Bill and Joyce too, we love you both. ____EJK
Under New Management
You have probably seen such signs many times. When a company takes over another company, there is often a sign placed outside the premises announcing, "Under New Management."
No sign so accurately summarizes what takes place in Christian conversion. When Christ takes over a life, that life is literally "under new management." How hard it is to learn this lesson, and to acknowledge the new authority in our lives!
How hard it is for those who have obeyed the flesh, to obey the Lord Jesus Christ! But that is required in being a Christian.
Research Supports Abstinence Education
Published in Family Planning Perspective, the study showed that parents can best keep their teens from becoming sexually active by doing three things: maintaining a warm and loving relationship with their children; letting teens know that they are expected to abstain from sex until marriage; and avoiding the discussion of birth control. The study showed that each of these by itself doubled the chance that a teen would abstain from sex. But parents who did all three influenced their kids so strongly that their teenagers were twelve-and-a-half times more likely to remain chaste.
The welfare-reform law passed by the 104th Congress and signed by the President allocated $50 million a year in funding for school programs that teach only abstinence.
Washington Times, Jan. 16, 1997; Jan. 29, 1997.
CONTENT OF THE APRIL ISSUE
March at Bethesda
March had been an especially significant month at Bethesda. It was the time of year that the leadership of The Hungarian Baptist Convention met to plan the program for the coming months. We had the joy of hosting over forty five individuals from our churches throughout the USA and Canada. They came with their children and other family members. They added much to our life here at Bethesda. We first met on March 12, 1998 and all of our visitors were treated to a river outing on the Indian River where we were able to enjoy the beauties of God's beautiful river scenes. We then had a wonderful dinner aboard our ship. Needless to say we all enjoyed the fellowship of Christian friends in a relaxed manner before we began our deliberations with matters pertaining to our Convention. Our retirement home felt that the workers within our Convention deserved special treatment for their labors for the Lord. We were happy to have treated them. Our kitchen also had been extremely busy in preparing the food for 45 extra people.
You are probably aware of the fact that our administrator had tendered her resignation on January 2nd and that I assumed the position until our Board met here on the 12th of the month. Since the beginning of the year, much had been done to improve the looks of our Home. We painted all of our hallways and we bought much needed equipment. For many years we have held back on capital improvements for lack of money or for other reasons. This year, we had spent over $100,000.00 on improvements, and we are not finished with what we have yet to do. State authorities are strict in their regulations for security reasons. We have yet to repave part of our driveway and to tear down two old houses. We also must build a new generator building to house our emergency generator. All of these projects are slowly but surely being taken care of.
Julia Molnar was laid to rest in our Palm Bay Fountain Head Cemetery on Tuesday, February 24, 1998. She loved our Bethesda Home and she is now resting in the Bethesda Garden area of the cemetery. Her committal service was conducted by the Rev. A. Barton Brown and Dr. Ladislau Biro. She was surrounded by many family members and her brethren in Christ. Julia Molnar was one of our missionaries doing service in South America and in Detroit, Michigan. She was faithful to the very end. God called her to His glory and now we have nothing but beautiful memories of this faithful servant of God. She is gone but not forgotten. According to His promises, we will meet once again in that land where there will be no more parting -- if we remain faithful.
Ernest J. Kish
Heavy winter clouds of gray hung over the city. The blustery weather was matched with falling temperatures. As we set our course in a northerly direction, leaving behind a more familiar urban setting, we did so with the confidence that the the Lord who had called us to go north would also make a way.
As we arrived at the little village of Rae-Edzo, Northwest Territories, we were conscious the Lord had indeed been with us over the icy roads of Northern Alberta and had brought us to our new home here among the Dogrib people. Friends with whom we have come to work had made arrangements for housing, and in a short time both of us, Anita and I were ready to get into Bible translation.
"But, wait a minute," you say. "How in the world do you jump right into translation work before you know the language?" You are right in asking. The normal way to get involved in Bible translation is, indeed, to learn to speak the language of the people for whom you wish to translate and then take up that difficult task with an understanding of the local tongue. In our case, there is somewhat of an exception.
For about 21 years we lived among the Slavey people whose territory is to the south of the land of the Dogribs. Slavey and Dogrib are sister languages, and the writing systems are very similar.
To a great extent they share the same sound system, but the "tones" they use to contrast words are just the opposite of each other. When we look at things written in Dogrib, they look very much like something written in Slavey, but the pronunciation is different.
Because of this high degree of similarity of the languages, we who speak Slavey but don't speak Dogrib (yet), can work with someone who speaks Dogrib but doesn't speak Slavey! Gradually, we are making adjustments to the new language, and with the Lord's help, we hope to become speakers of Dogrib!
How about the team we work with? This team is made up of seven people at this point in time. Not all work together at once. Part of the team (Jaap, Morina, and Mary Louise or Francis), work on drafting or checking translation, and the other part (Vic, Anita and Mary or Francis), work on checking and some drafting of translation.
It might come as a surprise that the first book translated was Luke, followed by Acts and John. Currently, we are working on the Gospel of Matthew and expect to finish that book by the Easter season. One of the reasons for working on Luke first was that it was good preparation for the production of the Dogrib language Jesus video which is based on that book.
The Dogrib Jesus video, now under production, is expected to arrive at any time and will be premiered here and in other Dogrib villages. We are eager for the people to see it because it is expected to create a lot of interest in the Scriptures now available in the language.
As Samuel of so long ago took a stone and called it Ebenezer, we too have passed a milestone just a week ago. We share with joy that the Dogrib translation team has reached the halfway mark of the drafting of the New Testament. We, too, declare, "Ebenezer...thus far has the Lord helped us," (I Samuel 7:12). We are grateful to God for giving us the privilege of helping to finish the second half of the New Testament in the language that speaks to the heart of the Dogrib people.
Maria was born on March 14th 1908 in Somogydöröske, Hungary. She had two brothers and two sisters who preceded her in death. She grew up in a Baptist home and embraced her Lord and Master in 1927 at the age of 19. She was very active at the small Baptist congregation in Tab, where she became a Sunday School teacher and harmonium player. In 1929 she married Adam Eifert, also a Baptist in Soltvadkert. This marriage was blessed with three children, Maria born in 1930, Adam Jr. born in 1933 and Eva, born in 1938. The son Adam preceded her in death in 1990. Maria and her brother Andreas Felder were the owners of a flourishing egg wholesale and export business. However, being of German descent, they had to flee from the approaching Russians in Dec. 1944 and settled in West Germany, where they became members of the Baptist congregation in Bissingen near Stuttgart, later in the City of Stuttgart itself. In 1952 the Eifert family immigrated to the United States and became members of the Foster Ave. Baptist Church in Chicago. When retirement time came closer the family relocated to Florida where Maria and her husband became members of the Bethesda Baptist Church in Palm Bay. They often traveled the 35 miles from Vero Beach to Palm Bay in order to hear a service in the Hungarian language. But time took it's toll. Her husband died in 1981 and she broke her hip in Dec. 1996, from which time on she was confined to a nursing home in Vero Beach, where she died peacefully in her sleep on Feb. 2, 1998 and was laid to rest next to her husband at the Vero Beach cemetery. ___Mary Tetzlaff
CONTENT OF THE MARCH ISSUE (1998)
We said our Marry Christmas and Happy New Year Greetings to all of our people and started our new year with thanks to God for another year of service to our elderly loved ones. Our new year started out with an announcement from our Administrator that she was resigning her position effective immediately. This was a blow to all of us, but we had to accept the fact with grace. Since Jan 3, I have temporarily taken charge of the operations here at Bethesda. Needless to say, I am kept rather busy in managing the Home and making many improvements that were needed.
In January we finally placed a bronze plaque in our Home honoring the gift of love from our New Brunswick, NJ. High Street Church. It reads "with appreciation, honor and remembrance of the members of the High Street Baptist Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey (1914 - 1996). We dedicate their generous gift to the glory of God and to the Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home, Palm Bay, Florida." The plaque hangs along side of the ones that honor the memory of our Shaker Square, Ohio and our Garfield, New Jersey Churches. We strive to continue the love of these congregations for us by showing our love to the aging residents of our Home whom God has placed under our care. May God continue to bless all those who help Bethesda provide a loving environment for God's aging children. It might also be of interest to our Convention members to know that our Home contributes $550.00 monthly to our convention in addition to $180.00 in interest for money borrowed from our convention. We are therefore working hand in hand with our convention in providing the means for some of the programs being carried out by our Convention.
We are currently going through a program of refurbishing our Home. We are painting and redecorating many of our areas. Our residents are delighted by what they see happening. We must beautify our facility in order to remain on a par with others in a very competitive market. We have made plans to demolish two of our old buildings. When this is completed it is our plan to ask your permission to build newer facilities where these old houses now stand. Right now this is only a thought which we will discuss with you and await your approval. Bethesda has a very fine name in our community and I know that whatever we do will be well accepted by the city as well as in the general public.
In the meantime, we request your prayers for God's guidance in all that we do and for sending us a God fearing administrator to carry on the work that our fathers started so many years ago. If anyone reading this would like to be considered for the administrators position, please make contact with me and send me your resume. God bless you all.
Alex was a diplomat par excellence! The talents as a diplomat helped him to acquire access to the various socialist countries in Europe. He invited a staff person from the USSR Embassy to visit Atlanta. On the scheduled day, this gentleman and his wife visited my office. Although they were scheduled to visit Andrew Young at a certain time, the gentleman chose to continue our visit. He and his wife wanted to discuss why Baptists baptize by immersion.
At a later time Alex brought the Deputy Minister of Religion from the USSR to my office. The Minister was seeking counsel in the printing of Bibles. Although he had earlier declined a Bible, upon leaving he asked a member of my staff to deliver some Russian Bibles to his hotel.
Alex asked me to accompany him on a trip to Hungary. This was an enlightening experience. There were meetings each day with religious, academic, and governmental officials. This provided me with the opportunity to discuss with the Minister of International Relations a possible visit to Cuba. A few days after returning to Atlanta I was notified that permission to enter Cuba had been granted. Thus came the opportunity for Southern Baptists to undergird the churches in Cuba for many years.
Later Alex traveled with me to Cuba to discuss, at the request of the Cuban government, the possibility of Billy Graham conducting an evangelistic crusade in Cuba.
Often when in my travels I became ill, Alex would call a pharmacy wherever I was and prescribe medication. Alex was my friend, counselor, mentor, and brother in Christ.
Alex rejoices as he dwells in the house of the Lord forever and sings in the celestial choir. Alex was an unsung hero who left a legacy of uplift, encouragement, and inspiration to others.
EULOGY OF DR. ALEXANDER S. HARASZTI BY THE REV. DR. FRANKLIN GRAHAM
I have been asked to read a letter that my father sent to Rosalie just yesterday.
I was shocked to hear of the homegoing of your beloved Alexander. I was also filled with joy because I know that he is in Heaven, waiting to be reunited with you and his family and friends.
I have always had a great love for you and Alex, and believe that God allowed our paths to cross for the first time in Cleveland many years ago. Through the years. I have loved him and learned from him. He taught us the strange and curious ways of the leaders of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He was a great student not only of the Bible but of the communist methods both outside and inside the church. Deep in his heart I felt he was always committed to Christ and the Baptist Church, even though he worked a great deal with the Orthodox and other Churches. In those countries he had a wide acquaintanceship and friendship with all kinds of people.
I will never forget the many stories he told us of his experiences in Hungary, West Africa as a missionary, and later as a doctor and surgeon both in Atlanta and Hungary.
I am in Washington attending board meetings and deeply regret I cannot be there for the service. Franklin and Ruth will express the feelings of our family and BGEA to you all.
We will always remember him with affection and appreciation.
In the meantime, I hope you will give my condolences and love to the entire family. May God's grace be sufficient for you at this time of loss.
With much Christian affection. God bless you all.
It was a privilege and honor for me to watch Dr. Alexander at work. I traveled with him on several occasions and my father in Eastern Europe - and what a man! I don't think I've ever met anyone quite as brilliant as Dr. Alexander. He is the man responsible for opening up Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union for my father. He did this single-handedly. He was a diplomat, a negotiator. I would sit with him in some of these meetings. He was one of the most clever individuals I think I have ever met. He could take the Communist reasoning, he could take their thoughts and he could turn them around in such a way and use it against them. And he would wear them out. And finally they would just give in and say: "Okay. Okay." I've never met anyone quite like him.
He was a friend. He gave up his position as a Doctor. He gave up a good part of his health, a good part of his life for one reason. Because he believed with all of his Heart that the Gospel was the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. Dr. Haraszti was not ashamed of the Gospel. He did everything that he could to open up Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union so the people of those countries could have an opportunity to hear the Gospel preached. This man believed with all of his heart that Jesus Christ was God's Son who came to this Earth to die for our sins. He believed with all of his heart that if we confessed our sins and repented of our sins and received Christ by Faith into our heart that God would forgive us and that we would be with him in Heaven. He believed it. And friends, I believe it too. I believe it. This man gave his life, he gave his strength, he gave his health so that the people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union might hear the preaching of God's Word. God Blessed this man! What a Friend! You know, you only meet a man like this once in a lifetime. And what a privilege it was for me to have met this man and to know him. He was a Friend.
My father would have never been in Eastern Europe if it was not for this man. He would have never preached in the Soviet Union if it were not for this man. He worked behind the scenes. Oh, there were times he translated - translated for, for my father, and I remember he translated once for me. I gave such a bad message. But you know it didn't matter, because he preached a different one, I'm sure! And then afterwards he congratulated me! But, what a Friend! And so we owe a great debt at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We owe a great debt. My father owes a great debt to this man. We loved him. And we just thank God for the opportunity to have worked with him and knowing him. Thank you all. We love you. We love him. And we know that we will be together with him, Leland, we'll be with him one day. We'll be with him one day in Heaven. Thank you."
CONTENT OF THE FEBRUARY ISSUE (1998)
His family and numerous friends will greatly miss Dr. Alexander S. Haraszti, who died on January 16, 1998 in Atlanta. Dr. Haraszti was an ordained Baptist minister; a linguist who spoke eight languages, and a physician who practiced first as an obstetrician-gynecologist in his native Hungary, and then in Atlanta for over three decades as a general surgeon.
Dr. Haraszti was born in 1920 in Soltvadkert, Hungary. He received a doctoral degree in linguistics from the Royal Hungarian Pazmany Peter Univ. in Budapest in 1944, and was ordained as a Baptist Minister in Hungary in 1944 and for many years was a Professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Budapest, Hungary. Over the next twelve years he preached the Gospel extensively as a minister in Hungary, in the process supporting both his own medical studies as well as the medical studies of his wife, Rosalie B. Haraszti. He received his medical degree from Semmelweis University School of Medicine in Budapest in 1951.
During the Hungarian uprising against Soviet domination in 1956, Dr. Alexander Haraszti left Hungary with his wife and five children, intent on pursuing his goal of serving God as a medical missionary. After a short stay in Vienna, Dr. Haraszti brought his family to the United States where he furthered his medical training, interning in St. Louis, then serving as a surgical resident at Emory University, the VA Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital from 1960-1964. In the years that followed Dr. Haraszti realized his dream of becoming a medical missionary, practicing in Ghana, Tanzania and the Gaza Strip. In addition to this mission work, Dr. Haraszti practiced medicine in College Park, Jonesboro and Henry County.
In addition to his devotion to his family and patients, Dr. Haraszti committed over two decades of his life to fledgling evangelical movements in Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland and the Soviet Union. Dr. Haraszti served for many years as the personal emissary of Billy Graham in Eastern Europe, ensuring that Dr. Graham would accomplish his historically important goal of bringing the Gospel behind the Iron Curtain. Using his vast energy, intellect, considerable diplomatic finesse and historical and religious insight to great advantage, Dr. Haraszti was instrumental in securing an invitation for Dr. Graham to preach first in Hungary in 1977, where he also served as Dr. Graham's translator. Using this first evangelical opening to great effect, Dr. Haraszti secured invitations for Billy Graham to preach in Poland in 1978, East Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1982, and then the Soviet Union in 1982, 1984 and 1988. During that same time, Dr. Haraszti helped to secure the return of the Crown of St. Stephen to Hungary from the United States Government, which had obtained it during World War II.
The crowning achievement of these efforts in Eastern Europe was the Crusade in Hungary in 1989, during which over 110,000 people gathered at the People's Stadium in Budapest with Billy Graham preaching and Dr. Haraszti translating. Dr. Haraszti was of the firm belief that the spread of the Gospel in Eastern Europe would help to create fissures in the control the communist regimes held in these nations. Determined to spread his faith in an ecumenical fashion, Dr. Haraszti labored to assist Christians of all faiths to come together. He was instrumental in facilitating and arranging the historical first meeting between Pope John Paul II. and Billy Graham on January 12, 1981.
Since retiring from his medical practice in 1994, Dr. Haraszti worked extensively on his memoirs, chronicling his contributions to the Hungarian Baptist movement, and the important work that he performed with Billy Graham. He also continued to promote an ecumenical spirit here in the United States as well as his native Hungary. Dr. Haraszti remained active until his death in the American Hungarian Baptist Union, for which he served as president for many years, and for which he had been made honorary president at the time of his death.
Dr. Haraszti gained the most delight from the frequent family gatherings he organized at his home in Atlanta, and from the larger family reunions he spearheaded in his birthplace of Soltvadkert. Dr. Haraszti is survived by his wife Dr. Rosalie Haraszti, his sons Dr. Joseph Haraszti and Dr. Leland Haraszti, his daughters Dr. Rose Badaruddin and her husband Syed Badaruddin, Stella Beerman and her husband, noted contemporary American composer Professor Burton Beerman, his daughter Dr. Pamela Guoth and her husband Dr. Janos Guoth, his granddaughter Dr. Anisa Threlkeld and her husband Robert Threlkeld, his granddaughter Samantha Haraszti, his grandsons Chris Haraszti, Brent Beerman and his wife Sandy, Johnny Guoth, Kareem Badaruddin and his wife Denise, Shandor Badaruddin and his wife Michelle, and his great grandchildren Justin and Jessica Beerman, Bryce Saber Badaruddin and Anisa Rose Threlkeld, as well as four surviving sisters of Dr. Haraszti and numerous nephews and nieces. Dr. Haraszti is buried alongside his son Benedict Haraszti, who died in 1981.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions can be made in memory of Dr. Alexander S. Haraszti, to the Sanctuary and Christian Education Building Fund of his childhood Church, The Baptist Church of Kiskunhalas, Hungary, which is in ruins. Please forward gifts to: The First Baptist Church of College Park, 1773 Hawthorne Avenue, College Park, GA 30337. Marked: Memory of Dr. Alexander S. Haraszti.
Funeral services were on January 21, 1998 at Pope & Dickson Funeral Home, Morrow, Georgia and at Sherwood Memorial Park.
Joseph S. Haraszti, MD
Dr. Alexander Haraszti
I had the distinct honor of attending the funeral of our Honorary President, Dr. Alexander Haraszti on January 21, 1998 in Morrow, Georgia. It was an occasion which will remain indelibly in my mind for a long time. During the committal services, many accolades were sounded for the accomplishment attained by this humble servant of God. He loved the Lord with a passion for providing the Gospel to all people, but especially to his own Hungarian people. This was the driving force that caused him to make possible Billy Graham's visit to Hungary and later to East Germany, Romania, Poland and finally to Russia. No one will ever know the impact on the number of saved souls for the Kingdom of God that this servant of God had made possible.
Choire of the Hungarian ministers and representatives of our Hungarian Convention
Attending this service was Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows and other members of the Billy Graham organization. Attending from the Hungarian Baptist Convention were my wife and I, Dr. and Mrs. Ladislau Biro, the Rev. Alexander Kulcsar, Dr. Geza Herjeczki, Rev. Bela Zeffer, Elizabeth Fazekas, Louis Drescher and Steve Szabo. Our Convention also sent a beautiful floral piece in honor of, and grateful thanks for all that Dr. Haraszti had accomplished within our own Hungarian Baptist Convention. Dr. Michael Almasi from Budapest, Hungary was also present.
For all of the things that Dr. Haraszti had accomplished within our Convention and for his worldwide services, he will be remembered. If Dr. Haraszti could leave a final message with us, I think he might say what the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian church, "Finally, bretheran, farewell, Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you." (2 Cor 13:11)
Ernest J. Kish
Another year has passed and God has blessed Bethesda with joys and progress throughout the year. Oh, we've had problems too, but God has given us the wisdom to work these problems out in a way that satisfies all parties concerned.
We can report much progress for which we are grateful. We had redecorated our lounge and dining room. We had purchased new dining room chairs. We had painted our workshop and our Melbourne house. We also reroofed these buildings. In addition, we purchased a van to use in transporting our residents to and fro. We replaced our waste disposal pumps and bought a diesel tractor to help mow our lawns and fields. We also redecorated our entryway which we call "The Petre Gate." This was donated to us by Gabriel Petre in loving memory of his parents who worked so hard in the establishment and the operation of our Home in earlier times. This beautification cost many thousands of dollars and it now adds beauty to our property. We are grateful to God for giving us such friends who care for our Home and want to beautify it for the Lord and for our residents.
These were just some of the joys for which we are grateful to God. We also had some problems. In our type of operation, problems are always present, some large, some small. The large problems take a little longer. The state authorities keep a constant eye on how we handle our aging people. This is the way it should be and we are grateful for their help and observations. We try desperately to live up to their rules and regulations. We have a good relationship with the State of Florida and we will continue to be mindful of all regulations. Many of our other problems involve personnel. Two major problems developed during 1997. One was the termination of our dietary supervisor and the other was the resignation of our administrator, Sonia Carter. We were sorry to see these take place, but we must be prepared for all eventualities. Presently I am once again in charge of the operation and will remain so until March at which time our Board of Directors will make a decision on what to plan for the future. In the meantime, if there is anyone within our readership who feels qualified for the position, please send me a resume for review and consideration.
We request your prayers for strength and patience for the work that has yet to be done at Bethesda.
Ernest J. Kish Acting Administrator
CONTENT OF THE JANUARY ISSUE (1998)
I was almost your person today, Lord.
Then I thought what it would have been like if Jesus had done the same thing. What if God had almost revealed himself in Jesus Christ? What if Christ were almost born and almost lived and almost died? What if he would have said, "Ask and it will almost be given you; seek and you will almost find; knock and it will almost be opened to you"? What if he would have said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavyladen, and I will almost give you rest"? And what if Jesus had told his disciples, "For whosoever would save his life will lose it, and whosoever loses his life for my sake will almost find it"?
My Almost Christianity took on a much different light. I realized how many times I had played the game of being one of Jesus' "almost disciples." I recalled how many times I had prayed almost believing and walked through my days as if he were almost risen.
It was not a question of theology. It was a question of lifestyle. Whether or not I had a lifestyle that could match what I said I believed, whether or not, as some have said, I could walk my talk.
Lord of the years, those gone by and all those to come: we, who are so far creatures of time, turn again to You who are eternal. Deep within us is the conviction that we've only just begun, as we contemplate what this life is. For, Your word declares that this life is but a very tiny segment of what we call existence. You have given eternal life through Christ, which for us, is not just a quality of life, but also an unending existence. And, although we cannot here comprehend eternity, yet we can rejoicein the thought of it.
We thank You for folk along the way who helped us make something of our lives. We owe much to people who have influenced us and have made life more bearable and more precious. We think of parents and Christians, who did their best to keep us focused on what is most important.
And we pray that we ourselves may be good role-models for those who are around us too. We know that we should think in terms of making our lives examples of what Christians should be. Therefore, keep us alert to the pains and hurts of people we meet. We are sure that some of the folk we know are carrying heavy bur dens which we might well share. For in bearing the loads of others, (according to Your Word), we fulfill the law of Christ.
May we appreciate each new day we are given, and may we regard it as a piece of time in which we may improve ourselves. Help us to face each hour with the wisdom and strength You give. May we forget what is behind and stretch toward what is ahead. May we resolve to do something this very day that will bring honor to You, our Father, and that will help some fellow-traveller on his or her way. May race or background not deter us, but, like the Samaritan of old, when we see a person in need, let us do what we can to serve.
May You prepare us for what this day may bring. Keep us pure in thought; keep us thoughtful in speech; keep us diligent and faithful to our responsibilities; keep us humble in our estimation of ourselves; keep us honorable and kind in our dealing with others; keep us loyal to every hallowed memory of the past; keep us mindful of our eternal destiny as children of Yours.
We pray for the people of our world, the majority of whom do not have the blessings we enjoy. Where there is hunger, poverty, or chaos, bring Your peace. Move Your people to share with those in need. Bless our sick and aging. Comfort our sorrowing. Encourage our discouraged. Empower our weak. Lift up the fallen. Give hope to the desolate. We commend them all to Your care and keeping - praying that their needs may be met, in Your mercy.
Eat right, exercise regularly, and go to church on Sunday
Regular church attendance is good for your health, according to scientific studies compiled by Time magazine.
"People who regularly attend religious services have been found to have lower blood pressure, less heart disease, lower rates of depression and generally better health than those who don't attend," the magazine reported in a cover article about changing attitudes toward health.
Supporting the link between religion and health were a series of scientific studies reviewed by Jeffrey Leven, a gerontologist and epidemiologist at East Virginia Medical School, and David Larson, a research psychiatrist at the National Institute for Healthcare Research. After examining 200 studies on the effect of religion on health, they reported:
* A survey of 30 years of research on blood pressure showed that Achurchgoers have lower blood pressure than non-churchgoers."
*A study of 30 female patients recovering from hip fractures found that "those who regarded God as a source of strength and comfort and who attended religious services were able to walk farther upon discharge, and had lower rates of depression than those who had little faith."
* Other studies found that men and women who attend church regularly "have half the risk of dying from coronary-artery disease as those who rarely go to church."
The researchers noted that "religious injuctions against drinking, drug abuse, smoking and other excesses" produced better health, but said that alone can not explain their findings. "Larson likes to point out that in his own study the benefits of religion hold up strongly, even for those who indulge in cigarette smoking," Time reported. "Smokers who rated religion as being very important to them were one-seventh as likely to have an abnormal blood-pressure reading as smokers who did not value religion."
The Time article suggested that prayer may provide some of the same health benefits as meditation. "Praying affects epinephrine and other corticosteroid messengers or 'stress hormones', leading to lower blood pressure, more relaxed heart rate and respiration and other benefits," the magazine suggested.
A poll of 1,004 Americans commissioned for Time found that 82 per cent of Americans believe "in the healing power of personal prayer." (The Christian Voice)
Well, nothing new. King Solomon: "... fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." (Prov 3:7-8)
CONTENT OF THE DECEMBER ISSUE (1997)
That Christmas Day
How Many Make a Million?
A blazing autumn sun beat down upon a vast crowd gathered in the open air. Men from every part of the continent had found their way to the United States Capitol for a special day -- a day to meet with God. The heat of the sun, however, was matched by the heart fervor of this great gathering of men who had come to "stand in the gap" and commune with God.
Even before that Saturday October 4th event, large groups of men had met to pray round-the-clock asking God to meet with the vast crowd that was expected to gather in the Mall the following day. The phrase, "Men of God" (from such-and-such city or state) was stamped in bold letters on luggage, clothing and banners. Never intended to be a political statement, this special convocation was proclaimed from beginning to end as a solemn day of prayer and fasting before God. Concessions had prepared to serve food to thousands, but much of it was untouched because God had evidently laid a burden of intercession on the hearts of many men. Thus, giving up food, they concentrated on matters having to do with the soul.
If you had been there, you would have felt very small in such a vast crowd. You would have observed the order, reverence and brotherly love exhibited on the faces and in the hearts of 'men of God' who individually made up the vast number of that solemn assembly of 'promise keepers.' You would have seen hundreds kneeling or prostrate on the turf or huddled in clusters of united prayer. While immersed in a crowd of a million or more, one still felt like it was one man meeting with a holy God.
As the day progressed, and the heat of the sun became more intense, the leadership urged the crowds to find water and soda pop as protection against dehydration. Yet, another kind of thirst was clearly in evidence -- the thirst for God and the inner yearning to have God meet with us as they waited upon Him.
As the prayer sessions got underway, four men sounded the ram's horn as a call to worship. Initially, each man played a different note, but in the end their sounds blended in beautiful harmony. What a fitting way to open this historic event when an estimated million plus men (and a few women) stood to sing praises to God in joyful worship. Then, seated on the grassy turf or in chairs they brought, they listened eagerly to the declaration of God's word for the hour. Speaker after speaker opened the Scriptures, and the central theme could be summed up with II Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Four major topics were explored during the six-hour session: personal, family, racial and interdenominational. We were called upon to search our hearts in each area and to bring ourselves in line with God's Word. Personally, I was challenged afresh in the area of intercessory prayer. I was also moved to lay members of my family before the Lord for His work in them and in my building a better relationship to them. In the two remaining areas, I realized my need to allow God to love people of other racial and denominational backgrounds through me.
After the meeting was over, I had opportunity to interact with a colleague who was also present that day but on some other area of the grounds. We were of the consensus that the day was filled with holy moments, even too sacred to be scribbling down notes for future recall. What impressed us both was the context in which the Bible's message was openly declared: a vast number of men, serenly gathered, sharing a common purpse to seek God. They were willing to kneel before the Lord their Maker, to prostrate themselves under the direction of Godly leaders. All in all, there was an atmosphere over the scene that was devoid of racial, cultural or linguistic barriers.
While each speaker -- whether Native American, Asian, Caucasian or Afro-American -- brought timely messages to that heterogeneous array of peoples, the common purpose to seek God and overriding sense of presence of the Spirit of God at work in the lives of each man were the two things that impacted me the most that day. The bottom line was that we had met with God and that God was pleased to meet with us. In retrospect, that 'summit meeting' with God is having a lasting impact upon my own life as I seek to put into practice on a daily basis what I learned as an individual in God's presence alongside of a million other men.
CONTENT OF THE NOVEMBER ISSUE (1997)
Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)
He became a traveling salesman in the Chicago area and had considerable business success. But his heart was in evangelism. In 1860 he gave up his business for full-time Sunday school and youth work. He established a non-denominational church, and met Ira D. Sankey, who became his musical associate, composing hundreds of hymns which they used in evangelistic meetings.
At first Moody and Sankey met with little response, but their campaigns suddenly caught fire on their third visit to England, where it was estimated that over two-and-a-half million people attended their meetings. Back in the USA, Moody established boys' and girls' schools, and a Bible Institute. During his lifetime he is said to have covered a million miles on preaching tours and, spoken to 100 million people.
Use me then, my Saviour, for whatever purpose, and in whatever way, you may require. Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with your grace. Here is my sinful and troubled soul; quicken it and refresh it with your love. Take my heart for your abode; my mouth to spread abroad the glory of your name; my love and all my powers, for the advancement of your believing people; and never suffer the steadfastness and confidence of my faith to abate; so that at all times I may be enabled from the heart to say, 'Jesus needs me, and I am his.'
Ten Commandments ordered out of courtroom
A judge in Montgomery, Alabama, has ruled that a display of the Ten Commandments must be changed or removed from the courtroom of a Gadsden judge. "The judiciary continues to push God further and further out of the public sphere," said Tim Wildmon. "And then everyone wonders why our society is crumbling."
The controversy surrounds a display of the Ten Commandments which hangs prominently behind the bench of Etowah County Circuit Judge Roy Moore. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in 1995 on behalf of two residents of the county, who wanted Moore not only to take the display down, but also to cease opening the courts sessions with prayer.
Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments violated the U.S. Constitution and Alabama's state constitution by promoting religion on government property. Price said the plaque was not displayed "for a historical, judicial or educational purpose, but rather, and clearly to promote religion." Price said that if Moore did not want to remove the plaque, he could move it to another wall and display it along with nonreligious or historical items.
Price's decision reverses his own ruling last November 22, when he ruled that the Ten Commandments did not violate either the Alabama or U.S. constitutions. In that ruling, however, Price banned all prayers in Alabama courtrooms. The Alabama State Supreme Court has blocked that part of his ruling.
Moore is appealing Price's ruling on the display of the Ten Commandments, and the Alabama Supreme Court has agreed to a stay of the decision until it can review the appeal. Alabama Governor Fob James said that he would use all legal means, including state troopers and the Alabama National Guard, to keep the display in the courtroom.
American Family Association
Why eagles fly and chickens flutter
Once upon a time in the long, long ago, the Eagle and the Chicken were very good friends. Everywhere they went these friends went together. It was not uncommon for people to look up and see the Eagle and the Chicken flying side by side through the air.
One day while flying, the Chicken said to the Eagle: "Let's drop down and get a bite to eat. My stomach is growling."
"Sounds like a good idea to me," replied the Eagle. So the two birds glided down to earth, saw several animals eating, and decided to join them. They landed next to the Cow. The Cow was busy eating corn, but noticed that the Eagle and the Chicken were soon sitting on the ground next to her.
"Welcome," said the Cow. "Help yourself to this corn."
This took the two birds by surprise. They were not accustomed to having other animals share their food quite so readily. "Why are you willing to share your corn with us?" asked the Eagle.
"Oh, we have plenty to eat here. Mr. Farmer gives us all we want," replied the Cow. Well, the Eagle and the Chicken jumped right in and ate their fill. When they finished, the Chicken asked more about the Farmer.
"Well," said the Cow, "he grows all our food. We don't have to work for the food at all."
"You mean," said the Chicken, Athat the Farmer simply gives you all you want to eat and you don't have to work for it?"
"That's right," said the Cow. "Not only that, but he gives us shelter over our heads." The Chicken and the Eagle were shocked! They had never heard of such a thing. They had always had to search for food and work for shelter.
When it came time to leave, the Chicken and the Eagle began to discuss the situation. "Maybe we should just stay here," said the Chicken. "We can have all the food we want without working for it. And that barn over there sure beats those nests we have been building. Besides, I'm getting tired of always having to work for a living."
"I don't know about all this," replied the Eagle. AIt sounds too good to be true. I find it hard to believe that one can get something for nothing. Besides, I kinda like flying high and free through the air. And providing for food and shelter isn't so bad. In fact, I find it quite challenging."
Well, the Chicken thought it over and decided to stay where there was free food and shelter. But the Eagle decided that he loved his freedom too much to give it up, and enjoyed the consistent challenge of making his own living. So, after saying goodbye to his friend the Chicken, the Eagle set sail for the wild blue yonder.
Everything went fine for the Chicken. He ate all he wanted. He never worked. He grew fat and lazy. But then one day he heard the farmer say to his wife that the preacher was coming to visit the next day and they should have fried chicken for dinner. Hearing that, the chicken decided it was time to leave. But when he began to fly he found that he had grown too fat and lazy. Instead of being able to fly, he could only flutter! So the next day the farmer's family and the preacher ate fried Chicken.
When you give up the challenges of life in pursuit of security, your ability to fly turns into a flutter. And that's the reason Eagles fly and Chickens flutter.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE ?
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1John 5:11-12)
CONTENT OF THE OCTOBER ISSUE (1997)
Bible-believing Christians cringe and shudder at the thought of Satan worship and occult rite. But how many of these same people will dress their children as witches, ghosts, skeletons, or devils and send them out to "trick-or-treat"? How many smile approvingly at the church or Sunday School and youth organizations that have Halloween parties and sponsor "haunted house" activities?
Can any Christian give any scriptural -- or even logical -- reason for participation in, or approval of, that which is unmistakably associated with paganism, devil-worship and witchcraft?
GOD'S PEOPLE GOVERNED BY THE SCRIPTURES
The 18th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, (vv 10-13) very explicitly forbids Christians to have anything to do with witchcraft, spiritism or the demonic. In verse 10 of the chapter we read: "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire (this has reference to the worship of the pagan god Moloch which was state worship), or that useth divination (a false and pagan counterpart of prophecy; the art or act of foretelling secret knowledge, especially of the future), or an observer of times (astrology), or an enchanter, (to cast under a spell; charm; enrapture; to chant [magic words]), or a witch (divinations in connection with the worship of idolatrous and demoniacal powers), or a charmer (a fabricator of material charms or amulets to be worn especially around the neck, as a charm against evil or injury), or a consulter with evil spirits (an inquirer by a familiar spirit), or a wizard (a false prophet, especially a conjurer. One who summons a devil by oath, incantation or magic spell), or a necromancer (one who in one form or another seeks to find information by consulting the dead.)
"Thou shalt not learn to do after their abominations..." (Deuteronomy 18:9). "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 19:31).
It is obvious that the elements, symbols, and traditions of the Halloween observance with its emphasis upon goblins and demons, witches and skeletons, ghosts and apparitions rising from cemeteries constitute a dabbling with the very things which Scripture forbids to God's people and an open invitation to demonic activity.
It is at this point that many will say, "But we don't worship demons on Halloween. It doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in the past. It's now just a harmless, innocent time of fun for the children and the young people."
Yet, history clearly shows that Halloween is unmistakably a "religious" (pagan and Roman) holiday. Religion is the adoration, obedience, and service rendered to the object of one's worship. It presupposes profession, practice, or observance of whatever belief and practice -- in this case Halloween -- as required by some superior authority. It is indisputably clear that Halloween is not commanded or sanctioned by God in the Scriptures -- the Christian's Superior Authority.
"Abstain from all appearances of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:22).
"And many that believed came and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men" (Acts 19:18,19).
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).
A DATE AND EVENT TO REMEMBER
It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther published, by attaching to the church door, his ninety-five Theses declaring "Justification by Faith." This is a date and event to remember.
(Excerpt, Bob McCurry)
(Do you want to read the whole article? Send an E-mail to the Editor. )
Our Father and our God: We come humbly to give thanks that You concerned Yourself with our needs and our sorrows. Always have You been open to the cries of folk in need. In ancient times Your invitation was, "Call unto me and I will answer." You have been a refuge and shelter to millions of people who have cast themselves upon Your mercy, when everything else had failed. Your word declares, "The Lord is near to those who are discouraged, and He saves those who have lost all hope." (Ps. 34:18 TEV.)
And how much more do we have to give thanks for Your mercy and grace - we who live on this side of Calvary and empty tomb. We hear again the words of Your Son, "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28 TEV.) Again and again we have come, and especially when life has been cruel and hard. We have found You to be a caring Father, a Friend who is closer than a relative. We feel that You do understand the way we take; You see the struggles we encounter; You see our mistakes and failures. Yet, we still turn to You because You do care for us - You forgive; You heal, You guide. For this we give thanks!
We need to pray because we always have concerns - for ourselves and for others who must face trying times. We do not understand fully why life should be unpleasant at times, but we accept the bad with the good. We pray for strength to face the tests and temptations that come to all of us here. Give us courage to keep going, especially when we cannot see too far ahead. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
In our abundance and plenty, we pray we shall not ever forget the suffering poor, nor shall we ever cease to share with the unfortunate. As we have opportunity to give for the needs of people who cannot help themselves, let us be generous and gracious. For in the final judgment it will be important that we shared the needs of our brothers and sisters who had needs they could not supply. We realize that in this way we may serve our Lord, who befriended the humble folk when He was here.
Bless us, for we all need You every hour. Bless our aging people, especially those who are sickly and in pain. Bless those who have lost their bearing, and must stumble on in their confusion. Bless the ones for whom loss of loved ones has left them desolate. Look upon all of us, and bless us with courage and strength for all our days.
We pray for all those who are engaged in preaching and teaching the Gospel - in meeting houses, over the media, in the hard places of our cities and country, and in far-flung nations of the world. May the Good News of Christ enlighten many lives this very day!
May Your Holy Spirit move upon us and lift us from mundane thoughts and trivial pursuits. Help us to be open to whatever message You would like us to hear. And help us to follow Your teachings.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
(1882-1967), Hungarian composer, folk music collector, and music educator, born in Kecskemet, and educated in Budapest. Beginning about 1905 he and the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok collected and popularized Hungarian folk music, which had been forgotten for centuries by the educated classes. In his compositions Kodaly quoted or imitated the forms, harmonies, rhythms, and melodic shapes of Hungarian folk music. His finest works include the Psalmus Hungaricus (1923), for tenor, chorus, and orchestra; the opera Hary Janos (1926); Dances of Galanta (1933), for orchestra; and the Missa Brevis (1945). After 1945 he developed a system of music education for the public schools of Hungary. His method, which emphasizes the singing of songs either borrowed from or based on folk music, has been adopted by many schools in the U.S. and elsewhere.
CONTENT OF THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE (1997)
LESSONS OF KORNYA'S WORK
1. Kornya demonstrated with his remarkably successful work that Baptist mission work is a people's movement. Its popular appeal is the best assurance of its spreading.
The direction of missionary advancement is - figuratively speaking - horizontal and not perpendicular - down from above. The effect of parity in life-style, in earthly possessions was well recognized in the time of the Apostle Paul. In the case of Kornya the fact that he dressed like the other countrymen, wore boots instead of shoes - like the city fellows, ate what they ate, slept where they slept created confidence among his peers. The "oneness" with his people opened the many doors to their hearts.
Hungary is supposed to be Christian from the very beginning of the XIth century. It is Christian by name even today. But that kind of Christianity, at least until Hungary was slipped behind the Iron Curtain, was nothing else for most of the people than part of the social life. Many country people expressed this obligation in this way:
"One just has to have a religion, he cannot live like a beast" - and religion they had.
In this kind of religious circumstances ministers did not have much spiritual or moral influence on the average citizens. The priest or minister "had to say" from the pulpit what they said.
But when a man came from their midst and rank, with their level of education and proclaimed the Gospel not using theological jargon, the modest, simple hearers raised their heads: this is something different! Not only different, but it was credible. When the priest calls to repentance, he had to say so, because he learned that in the seminary. But when a modest, sincere man, one of their peers told them about their sins, they had to pay attention.
Of course "Kornyas" cannot be educated in Christian schools - only the Lord can appoint them. But still the Christian communities can create favorable spiritual atmosphere where "Kornyas" may grow. Opportunity calls out heroes and leaders. Christians should seek ways and means to create the opportunity.
2. Kornya proved that no education can substitute for the earnest, spirit-led study of the Bible. He studied the Scripture not as a religious book but as a basic guide in life. One can read over the Bible many times and be just "religious", or lead even a wordly life, but for Kornya the Word of God served as bread for his soul, a lamp unto his feet, and protecting rail that kept him from the abyss of sin.
His hearers could perhaps unconsciously distinguish between the well delivered, beautiful sermon and between Kornya's simple meaningful substantial speech, which came from life experience - and was easily applicable to the life of the hearers.
Kornya proved the old, but often forgotten truth: the Word of God is the best text book for anyone who wants to preach the Gospel.
3. Kornya established many churches and so-called mission stations or preaching places. The word "established" must not be understood in today's terms. There were no "charter" members. Those who accepted the Lord in each locality came together three or four times a week for Bible study, prayer and fellowship. Organizations were of secondary importance. It is like a paradox, however, Kornya was not church conscious but soul conscious. By this he left a legacy to all mission workers who came after him: the individual soul is the most precious. His salvation is the first concern. The birth of the churches will follow the salvation of souls and not the other way around. This legacy of Kornya's should be remembered by us modern Baptists.
We praise the Lord for giving to our Hungarian Baptist mission a great missionary like Michael Kornya. Let us all pray that another Kornya may appear on the field, and let us prepare the soil in which more Kornyas may grow. (End)
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The late Roland Q. Leavell in his book, Evangelism: Christ's Imperative Commission, stated that of all the reported Church members:
If these statistics are correct, they simply mean that as far as evangelism is concerned only 5 per cent of the Church members are obedient to Christ. In my experience I would judge that this figure is actually high.
WHERE JOY MAY BE FOUND
Not in unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."
Not in Pleasure: Lord Byron had a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone."
Not in money: Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."
Not in position and fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret."
Not in military glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept because he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer.
Where then is joy to be found? The answer is simple: in Christ alone. He said, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." (John 16:22.)
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