"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." (Isaiah 9:6)
Christians, ring the bells of your hearts, fire the salute of your most joyous songs, for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Dance, dance every one of you! Oh, let gratitude touch you with angelic fingers! And you, my tongue, shout - shout to His praise, who has said to you, Unto you a Child is born, unto you a Son is given.
Wipe that tear away! Come, stop that sighing! Hush your murmuring. What matters your poverty? Unto you a Child is born. What matters your sickness? Unto you a Son is given. What matters your sin? For this Child shall take away your sin, and this Son shall wash you and make you fit for heaven.
Charles H. Spurgeon
The Power of Prayer
50 Christian truckers got together to pray that somehow the sniper terrorizing the Washington, DC area would be caught. Ron Lantz would be retiring as a driver in a few days and didn't even live in the area, but he felt sure that God would answer their prayers.
A few days later he was listening to the radio as he was driving again through the region and felt compelled to pull off the highway to a rest stop. It was just a couple of miles from where the prayer meeting had taken place. As he pulled in, he was shocked to see a car similar to what was being described on the radio right there before his eyes.Carefully trying to read the license plate, a chill went up his back as the numbers matched. He quickly called 911 and remained there for what he said were the longest 15 minutes of his life until the police arrived. He even pulled his truck across the exit, there would now be no escape for these elusive murderers. The rest is now history - the snipers were taken into custody without incident.Ron's testimony is being beamed around the world today. It shows the power of prayer. And in a class act, showing his true character, when asked what he would do with the award money, he said the half million dollars would simply be given to the victims' families.The snipers killed 10 and wounded 3 around our nation's capital over the past three weeks, leaving the entire region in a state of terror. Yet out of the great darkness has also come a great beam of light as the world has heard a clear testimony of the power of prayer. www.presidentialprayerteam.com
When the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11th, sixty-nine percent of the fatalities occurred with people who were at or above the entry point of those two jets. In the south tower, six-hundred civilians died above the plane’s impact. Most of those people didn’t realize there was an open staircase which connected the upper floors to the street. Of the hundreds who were trapped on the top thirty-three floors, only eighteen people used that staircase to escape. The tragedy is horrible enough, but to think how many more could have been saved had they known about the open stairway. The gospel is like that life-saving staircase, but only those who find it can escape certain death. Illuminating the pathway to eternal life is the ongoing responsibility and privilege of every Christian. (Associated Press)
The Bible burning incident of February 3 by a dissident Orthodox priest in Tbilisi, Georgia, who led a group of supporters to burn down a warehouse with Bibles belonging to the Union of Evangelical Christians Baptists of Georgia (UECBG) moved President Eduard Shevardnadze to issue a Presidential decree that the religious violence be stopped.
At a reception with the President, Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, president of the Union, presented him with one of the newly received Bibles which are now being guarded from potential destruction by the Orthodox priest. Songulashvili says the government has been slow to prosecute the priest and he and Merab Khabazi, chief accountant of the Bible Society, now keep watch over their building to safeguard the Bibles which could also become a target for the defrocked Orthodox leader, he believes.
There is also a new concern for the draft religious law which continues to give special protection to the Orthodox Church. When the Baptists and other Christian leaders were given a draft for their comments they expressed concern at the accusation that aid and relief work was tied to religious conversion with possible criminal consequences. (BWA News)
BETHESDA HOME SOLD!
The Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home had been for sale for over two years. During this time many interested buyers came to look at our facility and to make comments and bids. We had to supply to each interested buyer much information and written reports which was needed to back up our statements to prove our values. After many efforts, our Home was finally sold on August 30th to three Christian individuals. According to the sale agreement, we will carry a mortgage for two thirds of the sale price for a period of four years. It is their plan to pay off their debt much before the due date. They will build new buildings on the 17.4 acre property.
Present at the closing was our President, the Reverend Alexander Kulcsar; our Vice-President, the Rev. Dr. Geza Herjeczki; our Treasurer, Mr. Louis Drescher; and our General Secretary, Mr. Steve Szabo. Our new buyers are very fine Christian men and after our closing, we prayed with them and wished them God speed in their new endeavor. They will retain the name of Bethesda but will add Senior Center, Inc.
They will pay our convention monthly for a four year period. After that they will pay the balance due as a lump sum payment. We also felt that we should reward each of our faithful employees with a nominal gift of money commensurate with their years of service. We felt that this was the proper thing to do. After paying the expenses involved with the sale, we invested the monies in Government Bonds and long term CD’s. We also invested monies in a Trust Account with the ABC (American Baptist Churches) as a continuation of our Reversionary Clause.
I must admit that I had mixed feelings about the sale. I had been involved with the Home almost from the very beginning. I remember some of the residents that were present back in 1924. We were all involved with the Home. We had to provide food for the residents from our own meager resources. I remember picking up pails of coal in the coal yard in order to provide heat during the winter months. Later, I served as a Board member and still later my wife, Ethel and I served as its director and after that Chairman of the Board. The Home has always been near to my heart. Throughout all this period of time, the Home was a Christian haven for people from every walk of life. Many people made Bethesda as their final resting place. We have served our people for seventy-eight years. Now, that part of our service is behind us. It is time now to concentrate on other missionary endeavors. God has been good to us and I am sure that He will continue to bless us if we continue to pray and use our resources wisely to further build His kingdom for many years. Let us make this our prayer for the future.
Ernest J. Kish
THINKING MAKES IT SO
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" (Philippians 4:8, NIV).
A Native American boy was talking with his grandfather. "What do you think about the world situation?" he asked. The grandfather replied, "I feel like two wolves are fighting in my heart. One is full of anger and hatred. The other is full of love, forgiveness and peace."
"Which one will win?" asked the boy.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds," and James Allen rightly stated that, "You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."
Another has said, "What the mind dwells on the body acts on." If you don't believe this, think how temptation works - first a thought that seems to come from nowhere . . . we feed it and the thought begins to expand . . . then one's feelings get involved . . . and the more we think about it . . . the more we hunger for it . . . then we begin to rationalize and justify what we want to do . . . and the battle is lost. It's all in the mind.
As they say about computers: GIGO = garbage in garbage out. So it is with the mind. If we keep looking at and thinking about garbage, we will act out accordingly. But, if as the Bible says, we concentrate on thoughts that are noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, we too, will act accordingly. It's all in the mind, for what the mind dwells on the body acts on.
"Dear God, please help me to learn how to guard my thought life, and to concentrate on noble thoughts that lead to noble living and noble deeds. Help me to appreciate the fact that your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Thank you for your word to me today and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
MEMORIES OF PALM BAY
Memories... memories... precious memories.
I pondered these as my sister Judy and I drove south from Daytona Beach, Florida, past Cape Canaveral, Melbourne, and then to Palm Bay where the Bethesda Baptist Retirement Center is located in a quiet peaceful community off U.S. Highway No. 1.
1946. Memories. When, as a young girl, I accompanied family friends who were traveling from Cleveland to Florida. Palm Bay was our first overnight stop at the home of Hungarian friends. Little did I realize that this small town and its surrounding farmland would, a few years hence, become the location of a retirement village adjacent to the site where rockets and satellites are sent into the vastness of space.
1964. Memories. When, as a newly married couple, Sandor and I stopped at Bethesda on our way to Miami. Truthfully, we had no intention of retiring at that time but were interested in learning more about this settlement for elderly brethren. The three buildings we visited are still habitable, now being used as clean and comfortable facilities for tourists and guests.
1989. Such a comparison! Although the ocean waves still lap at the Atlantic's shores and the Indian River serenely flows along while seagulls glide above, much has changed during the past 20 to 40 years. The Cape was born! Can you imagine, even in your wildest dreams, what a difference these years have made?
As I looked across the wide expanse of the Indian River, I could see on the beachside monstrous buildings jutting up into the sunlit blue sky B the Vertical Assembly Building and other "contraptions" for launching satellites into space.
While here on land, instead of citrus groves and scrub brush, autos zig-zag in and out on multi-lane highways rather than the two-way roads of the past. Every imaginable type of business flourishes at the roadside to entice the tourist and/or the local populace. And, as elsewhere, everyone seems to be in a terrible hurry - to get "nowhere fast."
However, there is respite and a quiet time for those who have finished their life's labors and now are ready to rest a while. Bethesda Baptist Retirement Center serenely exists amid the hustle and bustle of Cape Canaveral's technological metropolis. Nestled among stately palms and pine trees, you'd never guess that a busy world is less than a mile away.
Red brick buildings have been erected for the residents since Sandor and I were there in 1964. Among these is a statuesque church with white steeple, where Rev. Barton Brown conducts worship in English and Mr. Ernest Kish in Hungarian. I was told that a kindly nun also visits the center, bringing her guitar and several youth who offer hymns and services for residents of the Catholic faith.
Introducing myself to the friendly administrators, Ernest and Ruth Cziraky, I learned that they had met in 1949 at the Akron, Ohio, Hungarian Baptist Youth Conference and lived mostly in Cleveland after they married in 1950.
Ernest and Ruth lovingly oversee the operations which consist of caring for 68 residents in cheerful, modern surroundings. These attractive brick buildings were constructed only five years ago with condominium-type apartments and efficiencies, spacious dining room, a recreation room and a library.
The gardens and fishing dock were deserted but this was understandable since the area had just survived a disastrous cold wave at Christmastime. However, I could see that great care was taken to provide the elderly with pleasant outdoor rest and recreation when weather permitted. Since Sandor went to his eternal home last fall, it was a bittersweet experience for me to walk along the same paths, under the same tropical sun, see the same dock with an eagle lazily floating overhead, as well as a sign suggesting that we not become too friendly with two alligators, unobtrusive but permanent residents nearby.
Thirty employees work to make life more comfortable for the residents. Ruth told me that several types of activities are offered, including walking tours, crafts for men and women such as carpentry, shell work, oil painting, watercolor and ceramics. The center even has its own kiln for ceramic firing. She said the residents take great delight in making gifts for friends and visitors.
Ruth said that anyone traveling the Florida East Coast or touring Cape Canaveral, is welcome to spend an hour or two, overnight or longer, at Bethesda.
Memories... memories... precious memories.
Klári Vereczky Mális (1990)
We cordially invite you to the 95th
ANNUAL CONVENTION of the
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 26-28. More
Excerpt from the program:
Saturday afternoon: Women’s, Men’s and Youth Convention, separate locations
7:00PM Worship service, highlighting the Youth of our Convention Sermon by the Rev. Laszlo Nemes (Australia)
Extensive road work on I-75.
Hotel info: Recommended Hotel: Cross Country Inn,
Expenses at the convention:
Gone to be with the Lord
Elinore Dudics Pato went to be with the Lord on June 5, 2002. After a long illness, she was welcomed home by the Heavenly Father that she had served for all of her life. Her parents were God fearing people and Elinore followed their example and she accepted the Lord as her savior at an early age. She attended the Sullivan Memorial Baptist Church and later retire to Florida and attended our Bethesda Baptist Church in Palm Bay, Florida. She loved her Lord and had been faithful in serving Him. Of late, she had suffered much pain and discomfort, but she faithfully attended worship services as often as she could. She did not complain because she knew that soon she would be meeting her savior where there will no longer be any pain or sorrow. She is survived by a son, Frank, a daughter, Sandra, two brothers, Frank and Paul and one sister, Theresa Wright
AAnd I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.@ Happy are those who truly have these promises.
Elizabeth Bakor went to be with the Lord on June 6, 2002. For most of her 95 years she had served the Lord faithfully. Both she and her husband, Alexander, had been residents at our Bethesda Home. They both were members of our Bethesda Baptist church and were faithful servants to their Lord. Her husband, Alex died in 1990 and she lived with relatives since his passing. He is resting in our Bethesda garden and Elizabeth will join him there and await the day whenAThe dead shall rise first and meet their Lord together, In the air.@ What a joy that will be.
Ernest J. Kish
Reconciliation and Growth
How do you deal with divisive political history in a denomination? The Baptist Union of Romania (BUR) decided reconciliation with their Communist past is better than political or legal judgments against their own people. This is specifically directed at pastors who may have cooperated with the secret police during the years of Communism in which many Baptist pastors and people were persecuted. One of those persecuted was Paul Negrut, now president of BUR.
In a visit to the BWA on February 5, Negrut reported that Romanian Baptists agreed to deal with their Communist past in a Biblical, pastoral way. Each pastor who may have cooperated with the secret police has been asked to declare the facts.AOnce that is done there will be no judicial decision, but we will deal with this pastorally and forgive the person and move on,@ he said. ABecause of this there is no tension from the past and we can focus on evangelism and church growth as our priority,@ Negrut said. (BWA News)
WHY DON'T YOU TALK TO ME?
As you got up this morning, I watched you, and hoped you would talk to Me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking Me for something good that happened in your life yesterday. But I noticed you were too busy, trying to find the right outfit to wear. When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy.
At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to Me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip instead. I watched patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to Me. I noticed that before lunch you looked around, maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to Me, that is why you didn't bow your head. You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to Me briefly before they ate, but you didn't. That's okay.
There is still more time left, and I hope that you will talk to Me yet. You went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done, you turned on the TV. I don't know if you like TV or not, just about anything goes there and you spend a lot of time each day in front of it not thinking about anything, just enjoying the show. I waited patiently again as you watched the TV and ate your meal, but again you didn't talk to Me. Bedtime, - I guess you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family, you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time. That's okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you.
I've got patience, more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. Well, you are getting up once again. And once again I will wait, with nothing but love for you. Hoping that today you will give me some time. Have a nice day!
Your friend, GOD
Our Mid Year Get Together
For many years our Convention officers and committees have held their midyear planning sessions at our Retirement Home here in Palm Bay, Florida. At these sessions we plan our mission projects for the ensuing year. Our pastors and our committee personnel then work hard to implement the plans that were decided upon during these sessions.
Our Pastors and committees met here on April 11th through the 14th and they made their plans for the year 2002 2003. They arrived on the 10th and were greeted by 80 degree temperatures. This was a far cry from the cold temperatures that they left a few hours earlier. We at Bethesda welcomed them warmly and made them comfortable either on our own premises or at a local motel. Because we know that our people work hard all year on our Intended projects, we feel that a little bit of relaxation is in order for them. We therefore planned a Jungle River Cruise for them. They enjoyed seeing dolphins, alligators and other wild life In our Florida’s Wild Life Sanctuary. We saw God’s creations as they were when God created our land. When we finished our cruise we presented our people with an outdoor barbecue consisting of chicken and ribs. This was enjoyed by all. This was capped off by some Hungarian pastries prepared by our local ladies. After all of the treats, It was time to get down to serious business. On Friday morning we met for a period of meditation conducted by our local pastor the Rev Denzel Alexander. After our prayers, the Missions Committee and the Finance Committee went into session to make plans for the future activities that will be put into being during the coming year. Each of these committees have been charged by our Convention to formulate and put into being our mission programs and our finances for the ensuing year. In addition to the needs within our own Country, mission programs were approved for Hungarian missions in Slovakia, Romania, and Szerbia. Of the approved budget, approximately 35% had been approved for foreign missions and 55% for Home missions. It is our hope and prayer that we will be able to meet all of these important commitments.
The Mission and Literary Committe in
The Bethesda Home hosted over forty delegates with meals and housing. This was a mammoth job for our staff. Our cooks and servers and our cleaning personnel did an outstanding job to satisfy all that was required of them. They did so with grace and dedication. We have faithful employees who work hard to fulfill their assigned responsibilities. We are grateful to God for each of them. Many of our employees are Christian individuals. They love our residents and those others who are responsible for the operation of the Home. Your prayers for us are often answered beyond that for what we ask. God has been good to us and we continue to praise His name for it. We also celebrated the birthday of one of our old time Convention members. Esther Bankuti celebrated her 90th birthday. Well wishes came from many of her friends.
Our Committee members often joined In songs of praises after each breakfast and lunch. Our Hungarian people love to sing and our Home residents really enjoyed hearing our music. At times they joined us In our musical praises and it was a joy to see the glow on their faces when they joined us in singing Amazing Grace and Jesus loves me this I know.
At this time our members are at home and each of them can have pleasant memories of a time of Christian fellowship and satisfaction In doing Cod’s work. We started our sessions by asking God to direct our efforts and we ended by asking God for help in Implementing the plans that we made.
May all that we have planned be fruitful and effective in the building of His kingdom.
Ernest J. Kish
The apostles Peter and John were on their way to the temple in Jerusalem at the hour of the midCafternoon prayer, when a man who was lame from birth cried out to them as they came to the Beautiful gate, asking them for alms. The two apostles approached the temple with the expectation of entering into fellowship with God. The poor beggar cried out expecting to receive some material gift. As things turned out, they all received more than they expected. The apostles felt a sudden surge of the Holy Spirit, and in that power they were able to perform a miracle of healing and proclaim the Word with power. The poor beggar received what many thought would have been impossible: the miracle of healing and a new joy and power to witness to the people concerning his new-found freedom of movement and spirit.
When we approach the place of worship at the hour of prayer, do we come with great expectations or scaled down expectations? What kind of preparations do we make for the encounter with God? What happens in our lives during the week? What happens during the time just preceding our worshiping and praying?
There are some people who come seeking inspiration, to find greater meaning in life and work, to find some answer to deep needs for forgiveness, friendship, strength to do what is right, strength to avoid doing what is wrong. Some come asking for help with finances, some hoping to find clues to a way to proceed in their search for food or employment. And there are some who come just out of old habit, not expecting to find anything meaningful or any new encounter with God. And, alas, there are even some who come with negative expectations. . . As Robert Louis Stevenson is reported to have said on one occasion: "I have been to church, and I am not depressed!"
Isn’t it amazing that the God of grace often exceeds our expectations!
And as people around us observe and evaluate our lives and our testimony, they build up their own set of expectations concerning our attitudes and behavior. Here is a partial list of what they expect of us.
1. The world expects Christians to go to church regularly, in anticipation of meeting God there in new and meaningful ways.
Because of that we have many opportunities to demonstrate the difference regular prayer and fellowship makes in our lives, as we are filled repeatedly with God’s sustaining power. We also go to church to express to God that we love Him and desire to serve Him. Going to church is our way of preparing for the time when God will send us new people to witness to.
2. The world expects Christians to show love to friends and enemies as well. In keeping with what we learned from Christ and what we often profess, the world can justly expect Christians to live up to those noble standards. Jesus said "You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:43-44) Whenever we face opportunities to show love instead of a judgmental attitude, we should think of the choices before us, and choose the way of love.
3. The world expects christians to be genuine in attitudes and actions. One of the criticisms hurled at church-going christians is that they often turn out to be hypocrites. That they are showing their acts of love in order to be praised by others, or to go one better than their neighbors. Yet, in spite of suspicions that result in cynicism, unbelievers and people who do not worship still cling to the hope that somehow, somewhere, they will find some Christians who will prove to be really genuine.
4. The world expects Christians to be "good news" people. In the letter to the Philippians the apostle Paul repeatedly urges believers to "rejoice in the Lord!" We are to be bearers of "good news" in the midst of a world filled with bad news. Peter responded to the pleadings of the crippled man by giving what at first seemed "bad news" (silver and gold have I none), bit then concluded with some really "good news" (in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!). It may not have been granted to all of us to heal those in need of healing, nevertheless we should and can be happy in all that God has granted to us, and use our spiritual gifts in order to shed light on the path of those who are seeking for truth. Some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self control. Showing any one or more of those fruits in our dealings with people can prove us to be real "good news" people, spreaders of the "evangelion."
5. The world expects Christians to share their faith. Yes, they do, although they may not want to hear about it at first. They are afraid that there would always be a note of condemnation in what Christians may say in their testimony. So they want to withdraw, to protect themselves from a comparison that will inevitably be set up between the Gospel standard and their own way of thinking. If Christians truly obey the commandment to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel," they cannot hold back from witnessing to their faith. The world does indeed have a right to expect that those who have experienced the love of God in their own lives will also invite their neighbors to share in that experience...
Peter and John went up to the Temple at the (mid-afternoon) hour of prayer and at the "Beautiful Gate" they encountered the man who was born a cripple. Somebody always had to carry that man and position him there, to spend his day begging. Many years of depending on the generosity of people to provide for his sustenance must have dulled his sense of expectation. How could he have asked for healing, instead of just alms? And yet, this episode teaches us that we should always come to the place of worship with "great expectations" because we have a great God who has the power to transform us. Moving through life may often seem like exploring an unfamiliar neighborhood along streets that have many turns, many corners. Yet, as a humble believer once expressed it, "God in His loving-kindness will meet us around every corner."
While we should be aware of what the world may expect of us, we should not forget what God expects of us, as revealed through the prophet Micah "He has showed you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (5:8) At the healing that came to the lame man, he leaped up on those formerly useless limbs, and walked about -- and his first steps took him into the Temple to give thanks and to praise God! We should also be ready to join the spiritually "lame" people who find healing through the word of God as we shout for joy and celebrate the mighty works of God in the lives of people.
Introducing the choir
The Hungarian Baptist Central Choir was founded in 1957, by Jenő Bányai choir master, and Pál Beharka, organ-artist. Since 1982, Gábor Oláh has been the artistic master of the Choir, assisted in his work by Miklós Oláh, conductor, and Imre Pátkai, piano-artist. The repertoire of our Choir primarily includes the Baptist choruses that have been sung by the local church choirs in Hungary since the time of their establishment. Naturally, our Choir also sings pieces of universal classic choir music that is in harmony with the Choir's belief and conviction. Our Choir is pleased to sing the simple musical settings just as well as the more difficult choruses and the highly elaborate and at the same time the most magnificent oratorios among musical compositions. The compositions of Hungarian composers, e.g. Ferenc Liszt, Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók, Lajos Bárdos, Gábor Lisznyay, Ferenc Farkas, Zoltán Gárdonyi etc. are of outstanding importance even among compositions of universal fame.
Apart from the ministry performed in the Baptist Fellowship, the Hungarian Baptist Central Choir also performs at different ecumenical events, events for charity purposes of non-ecclesiastical organization and concerts not organized by the Church. This is how the Choir performed Mozart's Requiem in cooperation with the Symphonic Orchestra of the Danish Radio at the Budapest Spring Festival of 1999, conducted by Ádám Fischer, a conductor of international fame.
In March 1991, the Hungarian Baptist Central Choir received Golden Diploma in the category of large mixed choruses, at the 3rd International Choir Competition held in Budapest.
A large number of records and audio-cassettes have been made with the Choir to record the performance of a broad scale of compositions, including the simplest songs just as well as the grand oratorios and many more. The Choir gives live concerts on a regular basis in the studios of the Hungarian Radio. Films have been made on our Choir by the Hungarian Television and the Duna Television on a number of occasions.
The Hungarian Baptist Central Choir has acquired good reputation outside Hungary for the benefit of the Hungarian Baptist Fellowship and the Hungarian musical culture. So far, the Choir has visited the following countries: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania (Transylvania), and Yugoslavia.
"JESUS HELP ME"
The Faith of Todd Beamer:"I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm going to have to go out on faith." It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger -- and Wheaton College graduate -- who said "Let's roll" as he led the charge against the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93. The one, you will remember, that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.
The whole world knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11. But this week we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: Faith in Jesus Christ.
Todd died as he lived, a faithful evangelical believer. In an article titled "The Real Story of Flight 93," Newsweek reveals gripping new details from the actual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voice recorder.
"Todd had been afraid," Newsweek relates. "More than once, he cried out for his Savior." After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the GTE Customer Center in Oakbrook, Illinois. He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. And then he asked her to pray with him.
As Newsweek relates, "Beamer kept a Lord's Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn't need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." As they finished, Beamer added, "Jesus, help me."
And then, Beamer and his fellow passengers prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries -- the prayer that David wrote in a time of great anguish: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." And then the famous last words: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."
We now know from the cockpit voice recorder that Beamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into he ground, killing themselves but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers' plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.
As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnesses a faith that held up in the extremity of fear. A faith that is even now comforting his widow and two young sons. Lisa Beamer told NBC's Dateline, "You know, in the Lord's Prayer, it asks us to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." As Todd prayed this prayer in the last moments of his life, in a way, Lisa said, "He was forgiving those people for what they were doing, the most horrible thing you could ever do to someone."
It wasn't Todd Beamer's job to fight terrorists. He was just a passenger who along with several others did what he didn't have to do but foiled a terrible evil that might have been done to his country. As Flight 93 hurtled towards destruction, Todd Beamer could not have known that his quiet prayers would ultimately be heard by millions -- that the story of his last acts on earth would be a witness to the Lord he loved and served, and a lasting example of true heroism.
Submitted by Klara Vereczky Malis
Our Hungarian Heritage
We who are of Hungarian heritage are a very proud people. And we have much to be proud of. We have made our presence known in many areas. We have distinguished ourselves in the field of science, medicine, music, sports and in many other areas that have impacted the lives of mankind throughout the world.
I have however often wondered what those of us who are of the second, third and even fourth generation have contributed to the betterment of humanity. I have even reduced that area down to what we second, third and even fourth generation Hungarian Baptist individuals have done for the progress of mankind. As I think back at some of my own acquaintances among our first generation Hungarian Baptist individuals, I remember individuals who have attained high recognition in the field of Engineering, in Law, in the Teaching profession and in Manufacturing skills. There were many who distinguished themselves in these areas. To my knowledge, we even had the son of one of Hungarian Baptist preacher attain the position of a Juvenile Judge in California. He was the son of The Rev. Joseph Batka, who was our pastor in the city of South Norwalk, Connecticut. The Yanik boys in Buffalo, New York, owned a large fleet of trucks and transported all sorts of goods throughout the USA and Canada. My own brother Julius owns and operates a large Tool and Die Manufacturing plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut. My brother Elmer was Dean of Students’ at one of the High Schools in Connecticut. There were many more Hungarian Baptist Individuals who made their Christian background felt in all of their business and professional dealings.
I must however make mention here of some of the accomplishments made by the second, third, and fourth generation of a number of our old time pastors. Many of us remember the Rev. Michael Biro, Sr., the Rev. Joseph Kovach, the Rev. Michael Biro, Jr. and the Rev. Emil Balla. All of these pastors served our Hungarian Baptist Churches. Today, a granddaughter of the Rev. Michael Biro, Jr., a great granddaughter of the Rev. Michael Biro, Sr., and a great granddaughter of the Rev. Joseph Kovach and a niece of the Rev. Emil Balla and the Rev. Joseph Forcurelli, and a first cousin of the Rev. Michael Summers, who is a grandson of the Rev. Michael Biro, Jr. are serving in the mission fields.
In addition, the Rev. Michael Biro, Jrs., granddaughter Lori Christianson, is working for Franklin Graham in his program with The Shoe Box Christmas program.
In addition to the above, second generation Hungarian Baptists have also received the call of service in the field of ministry. The two sons of the Rev. George Balla followed their father into the field of ministry.
All of the above are the products of Hungarian Baptist individuals. We seem to think at times that our work is at a standstill and that we are not making any progress. God however works His mysteries after we have planted the seed. Let us not lose courage and hope. If we give our children the right example and background, God will work wonders with the seed that has been planted, even amongst our Hungarian Baptist generations.
Ernest J. Kish
Some of us are mothers. Some of us have
endured the tragic grief of losing a son or daughter. People say there's no pain
as heart-rending as that of a loving mother whose child has been taken from her.
Oh Mother Mary! How you must have suffered!
Heavenly Father: There is one thing
we all can do - we all can pray. And we can all pray wherever we are.
Since You are everywhere, and not confined to sacred places, we can talk to You.
You never tire or sleep, we may pray at any time. Since You are not limited by
language, You accept each of us as we speak in our native tongue.
My youngest brother, Edward Kish went to be with the Lord on February 5, 2002. He was the youngest member of the first generation of the Kish family. What can I write about a man who loved the Lord and served Him for most of his 74 years. He accepted the Lord as his Savior at our Silliman Memorial Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut and took an active part in the mission of the church. He was a member of its band, and later, its conductor. He was also a Sunday School teacher, a youth leader, its choir master and a deacon. He was a product of a Christ centered group of believers and he worked tirelessly to build God’s kingdom wherever he lived. In his quiet nature and strong faith, he lived his life as a true witness for his Lord. As an electrical engineer, he also had many opportunities to testily of God’s greatness with surety to professional colleges and associates. After retirement, he moved to a small village in northern Vermont where he joined a small church and became extremely active in its Christian ministry. They wrote of him as follows: "Ed, we were blessed to have had you to share our lives. We rejoice that you now share the eternal joy of your beloved Savior." Edward is survived by his loving wife, Loraine of 51 years, three sons, Edward Jr., Keith, and David, their wives and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, Ernest, Julius and Elmer, as well as two sisters Marguerite Stumpf and Helen Kautz.
In his final message to all of us, he mentions the effect that our God loving parents had on his life and asked us all to remain faithful to our Heavenly Father as he looks forward to meeting all of us in our Heavenly Home. His favorite verse of scripture was, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path." Prov. 3:5-6
Ed Is now with the Lord that he loved so much. He has heard God’s call as found in Matthew 25: 21 "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of the Lord." He is now awaiting the day when we all will meet in that Home that has been promised to all who love and follow our Lord and Our Savior.
A loving brother, Ernest J. Kish
1. Shakespeare in As You Like It; 2. Proverbs 27:5; 3. Current sayings since the 16th century; 4. Russian proverbs; 5. Matthew 6;24; 6. Proverbs 17:22; 7. Ecclesiastes 11:1; 8. Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice; 9. Current since the 19th century; 10. Job 37:22; 11. The Koran; 12. Amos 2:6; 13. Plato; 14. Shakespeare in Hamlet; 15. Job 19:20; 16. Isaiah 22:13; 17. Proverbs 27:15; 18. From the Greek; 19. Book of common prayer; 20. Psalm 30:5.
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was
almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a
circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy.
Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"
About a week later, after the story time,
Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it,
Jenny? What's the matter?"
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of. Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand, but do believe this one thing -God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. (Anonym)
December at Bethesda
The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior is celebrated in various ways throughout the Christian world. In many places, the celebration is commercialized to a point where the real reason for the celebration is completely lost. It is gratifying however to see that in certain areas we can still feel the real reason for the celebration. Bethesda is one of those places. We indicate to our residents that the real reason for the celebration is the birth of our Lord and Savior. The glitter and sparkle associated with Christmas adds to our celebration in a way that can bring glory and beauty to the real reason for the celebration at Bethesda, we try to make our elderly residents give thought to the fact that God sent His son to earth in a human form in order to make salvation possible for mankind to gain everlasting life through the birth of the one who Is being celebrated. Our elderly residents have so many beautiful memories of past Christmas’. The memories of loved ones and friends who are now gone from view bring back for them blessed memories of earlier days. The celebration of Christ’s birth has special meaning to elderly folks at Bethesda, all of our programs during the month of December emphasize the real reason for the celebration. We have not only our own organizations to help in our celebration but also many outside organizations to help us remember the reason for celebrating. In addition, we see to it that everyone of our 69 residents receive little gifts as a token of our love for them. We also had many local organizations put on programs of praise for our residents. We even had a motorcycle club drive up to the Home and offer rides in their side cars to the residents. This they enjoyed very much. Thus, our residents had a joyful way of celebrating Christmas. For many, it may have been a final Christmas celebration and they celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior In such a meaningful way.
Your Home also has over thirty faithful employees. As a Christian organization, we also remembered them In a meaningful way as a reward for their faithful services. God has been good to Bethesda and we try hard to indicated to all people that we love them and appreciate their services to our elderly residents. Please remember us in your prayers for God to grant us patience and loving care for those whom He has placed in our care.Ernest J. Kish
The Silliman Memorial Baptist Church celebrated their 90th year of proclaiming Gods word on December 2, 2001. This church for many years proclaimed the word of God to our Hungarian speaking population. They were a very active group of people within our Hungarian Baptist Convention. Its members held important positions within our Convention and even today they are active within our organization. As is the situation with all ethnic groups, our old time Hungarian speaking people have died and are now enjoying the promises of God. The congregation many years ago decided to continue the services of the church in the English language and is now a vibrant body of Christians in their area. Their congregation now consists of African Americans, Haitians, some Hungarians and a number of other ethnic peoples. The word of God is still being preached and souls are being saved. Those of us who have served the Lord within that church are proud of our background and the accomplishments that have been made over the course of ninety years. Our Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home in Florida is a product of the Silliman church. We look back with joy at the accomplishments of its people, many of them now serve the business world as well as being teachers, doctors and lawyers. Many of these individuals are still active in our Convention and in the business world. We look with pride upon their accomplishments. For all that has been accomplished by member and former members of this church, we are grateful to God. A successful church is the result of much prayer and work by devoted people of God.
Since 1910, eight pastors have served this church. They were The Reverend Stephen Gazsi, The Reverend Ladislau Reeves, The Reverend Arthur Stumpf, The Reverend William B. Molnar, The Reverend David Lindsay, The Reverend George Rowe, The Reverend Robert Marshall and the Reverend Joseph Delehunt.
That, that had been started so many years ago by our old time Hungarian Baptist people is still an active force in proclaiming the word of God to all people. Let us continue to pray for that church body and trust their continuing effectiveness to our Lord and Heavenly Father. Ernest J. Kish
The Hungarian Bible Church of Santa Monica celebrated the 70th birthday of our pastor the Reverend John H. Vadasz on December 2, 2001. Both Frank and Sandor Vadasz came to celebrate their father=s birthday with us.
May God continue to bless him with many more years of health, joy and happiness. Helen Olah
On January 5, 2002, at age 93, Mrs. Elizabeth Balla went to be with the Lord. Rev. Denzel Alexander, pastor of the Bethesda Baptist Church in Palm Bay, Florida, conducted the memorial service. Present were her four children, three of her seven grand-children, two of her twelve great grand-children and several long-time and beloved friends. Time was given during the service for those in attendance to share special memories they had of Mrs. Balla.
From her early teen years when she first accepted Christ as her Savior and Lord until her last days, she loved and served Him with great sincerity. Her children readily attest to that. Much to her influence they also came to faith in Christ.
Her marriage to Rev. George B. Balla included serving not only her family but serving in our Hungarian Baptist Churches also. During the Depression she was active in helping her husband care for many needy families, providing food, shelter, clothing and job searchings for them. In the New York City Church she helped many families coming from the 1950’s conflict in Hungary to be settled in America. She also stood by her husband and helped in the relocation of the Hungarian Baptist Retirement Home from Michigan to Florida. Many more things could be said of her love and care for others. Through those experiences she formed many loving and long-lasting friendships of which she often spoke. Her family is grateful that the Lord blessed them with a loving mother and friend for so many years.
George E. Balla
KEEP ON SINGING
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy=s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before she even met her.
The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes... every three... every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?
Finally, after a long struggle, Michael=s little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary=s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatric specialist regretfully had to tell the parents, AThere is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst.@ Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby but now they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. AI want to sing to her,@ he kept saying. Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over.
Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen made up her mind, though. She would take Michael whether they liked it or not! If he didn=t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversizedscrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket.
But the head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, AGet that kid out of here now! No children are allowed@. The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse=s face, her lips a firm line. AHe is not leaving until he sings to his sister!@
Karen towed Michael to his sister=s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: AYou are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray...@ Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. AKeep on singing, Michael,@ encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. AYou never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don=t take my sunshine away.@ As Michael sang to his sister, the baby=s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten=s purr. AKeep on singing, sweetheart!!!@ AThe other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms Michael=s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. AKeep on singing, Michael.@
Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. AYou are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don=t, take my sunshine away...@
The next day... the very next day... the little girl was well enough to go home! Woman=s Day Magazine called it AThe Miracle of a Brother=s Song.@
The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God=s love!
Never give up on the people you love. Love is so incredibly powerful. (Anonymus)
Evangelicals Focus on the Heart at Expense of the Mind
Twentieth-century evangelicals have so focused on bare emotion and "winning the heart" that they are no longer contending intellectually for the faith in the public square, Phillip E. Johnson said during a recent conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Johnson, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, and author of several books on Darwinism and evolutionary naturalism -- including "Darwin on Trial," "Reason in the Balance" and his latest, "The Wedge of Truth" -- served as a guest lecturer at the Louisville, Ky., campus.
Johnson told Baptist Press he has grown increasingly frustrated at evangelicals' lack of boldness in defending their faith. "I am frustrated by many evangelicals who are indifferent to ideas, who don't understand that ideas have consequences," he said. "[Many] think they can preserve their faith by walling off a Christian subculture and somehow keep that independent of the mainstream culture -- the public schools, the television networks and so on.
"[Christians] are pretty good with feelings and the heart, but not so good with ideas and facts and knowledge," he said. "There is no reason why Christians have to be dumb. They can be well-educated, they can be very smart and they actually have a better starting place than the other side does." www.Crosswalk.com
The Church of God has gone into the entertainment business! People must be amused, and as the church needs the people=s money, the church must supply the demand and meet the craving! How else are godless hypocrites to be held together? So the picture show and entertainment take the place of the gospel address and the solemn worship of God. And, thus, Christless souls are lulled to sleep and made to feel Areligious@ while gratifying every carnal desire under the sanction of the sham called the church! And the end? What an awakening [in eternity]! H.A. Ironside
THINGS YOU NEVER HEAR IN CHURCH
North Korea Aid
On a recent visit to the Democratic People=s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Paul Montacute, BWAid director, signed a lease to rent an apartment in the capital city of Pyongyang, which will be used as a base for staff to live and coordinate the distribution of relief supplies and other work. Montacute and Sandor Szenczy, the president of Hungarian Baptist Aid, negotiated the contract. On the visit, Liz Russell, BMS World Mission Secretary for Asia from England and Dr Bela Szilagyi from Hungarian Baptist Aid, accompanied them.
AIt was clear the medicines delivered earlier this year are already greatly depleted. The children=s hospital was almost devoid of medicines and the larger provincial hospital had only marginally more remaining in its storage facilities,@ reported Ms. Russell. AIt seems that the Baptist aid is at present the only source of medicines to these two hospitals.@ (BWA News)
Certifying Witchcraft for Kids
After receiving complaints from several parents, the Jacksonville Public Library has decided to cease issuing a "Certificate of Witchcraft@ to students who read the entire collection of the popular Harry Potter book series. The fictional Harry Potter attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Author J.K. Rowling=s original Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer=s Stone, was published in 1998 and quickly became cultural phenomenon. The ensuing Harry Potter episodes -- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- have continued the publishing phenomena.
While the Harry Potter series has reached unfathomable levels of popularity, many parents have expressed concern with some dark themes within the books. In Jacksonville, Mathew Staver, president of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, saw the inclusion of witchcraft certificates to students as a new arena in the continuing church-state debate.
The Jacksonville library=s discontinuance of their Certificate of Witchcraft followed receipt of a letter written by Mr. Staver, who represented the concerned parents. In the letter, he contended that issuing a Certificate of Witchcraft to students was an official endorsement of a particular religion, which is in violation of the First amendment=s establishment clause. Mr. Staver said that a government body issuing a Certificate of Witchcraft is no different than that same body issuing a certificate of baptism to students. This case illustrates the leniency many library and school administrators exhibit toward pagan and new age religions while students who embrace Christianity are frequently persecuted by school officials. (Liberty Journal)
IRENE PETRE FEKETE
God called to glory a faithful servant on November 14, 2001. Irene Petre Fekete accepted the Lord in her early years and had served him throughout her 90 years of life. She was the eldest daughter of the late Reverend Adalbert Petre and became involved in the life of her church in West Pullman (Chicago), Gary, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan. She later moved to Florida in the early seventies and became active in the activities of our Bethesda Baptist Retirement Home and our church. In order to be closer to family both she and her husband Ignatz moved to Winter Haven, Florida and they both became very active in the life of their church there. Irene loved the Lord and testified to others of His love to all. She also was proud of her Hungarian heritage. Her husband predeceased her by almost a year and she longed to be with her Lord and to join her beloved husband. Irene is survived by two daughters, Renee and Sharon and three sons, Charles, Bud and Don who is a minister of the Gospel in Seattle, Washington.
Today, we remember her with tears in our eyes. We know from His word that some day He=ll wipe away all our tears and even though we have tears, we are made glad in knowing that Irene died in Christ and is already with our Heavenly Father in the place that He has prepared for all those who believe in Him and have lived a life of love and obedience to His will.
The Lord called Alice Biro to her heavenly home on November 24, 2001. She was 98 years old and had served the Lord for most of her life. She was born in Budapest, Hungary and immigrated to the USA in the early nineteen hundreds. She settled in Buffalo, New York where she married and accepted the Lord as her Savior in the Hungarian Baptist Church then located in Buffalo. She and her husband, Nick, served in that church for many years before retiring to Palm Bay, Florida where they became members of our Bethesda Baptist Church. They were devoted Christians and enjoyed the fellowship of many friends here in Florida. During her last few years she and her husband moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in order to be near their daughter and son in law, Olga and Pinky. Periodically she would call and visit with us to let us know how she felt. She was always a lovely and gracious lady. She was loved and honored by all who knew her. She is no longer with us but she is in a far better place. A place to which she sought after all her life. She is now with the Lord and with her husband, Nick, and other people of God.
Today, we remember with tears our sister Alice. We know from Gods words that someday He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and even as rough as our tears are we are made glad in knowing that Alice died in Christ and is already with God in the place that He has prepared for her and all those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Ernest J. Kish