Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's all about Him

It's Pentecost Sunday today. It was a long time ago when I went to my home church for the last time, but today, finally, I could go. I didn't know that the service would start a half an hour earlier, but I wasn't the only one. It seems that more people come to my church who cannot come every Sunday (like me) or don't belong to the congregation and that's why they didn't know about the upcoming events. Anyway... we had a baptismal service in the morning. This explains why we started earlier.
There were four young people - two young ladies and two men wearing white in front of our new baptismal basin. I don't really know what I missed. I heard the preaching, their testimonies, I saw them "dying and resurrecting with Christ"... it was really wonderful. And the best thing was that I knew all of them! I missed almost two years of church life because of school and now I felt as I would have been there during the whole time! I was so thankful to God that He let me be there today! I relived the day of my baptism, how nervous I was... I even can clearly remember what I said. I remembered how it felt like being there, going into the water, holding my pastor's hand, taking the breath before diving into the water...

"They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God's power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time." (1 Pt 1,5)

While the newest members of our church were busy with changing some of my youth group performed a little skit. They acted the story of John 21 when Jesus and Peter are talking about love and even more. Remember the story from verse 15 to 17?

When Jesus and the disciples had finished eating, Jesus spoke to Simon Peter. He asked, "Simon, son of John, do you really love me more than these others do?" 
"Yes, Lord," he answered. "You know that I love you." 
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 
Again Jesus asked, "Simon, son of John, do you really love me?" 
He answered, "Yes, Lord. You know that I love you." 
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 
Jesus spoke to him a third time. He asked, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" 
Peter felt bad because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He answered, "Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you." 
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." 

And they went farther. In the skit there were only "Jesus" and "Peter" and "Peter" wanted "Jesus" to go with him, to show the others that "Jesus" was there. "Peter" told "Jesus" about the day when Mary Magdalene told the apostles about the resurrection. (Here he switched to the Gospel according to Mark.) Mary met an angel, who said "Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.'" (16:7)
And "Jesus" kept asking what the angel said until "Peter" finally realized that the angel said "disciples and Peter". He understood that he denied Jesus three times.. he is a sinner who deserves death and deserves no forgiveness. But "Jesus" told him about what He accomplished on the cross and assured "Peter" that this act wasn't about the people, but about Him! He also told "Peter" his sins - also the denials were forgiven... and as "Peter" wasn't able to understand how it could happen, "Jesus" answered him with one word: GRACE.

They said it well... it's all about HIM. We don't deserve His grace, can't understand it, just accept it. It's a wonderful gift from our wonderful God to every sinner. How wonderful, how amazing is that! (Perhaps I don't have to mention that they sang "Amazing Grace" at the end of the skit.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Life after Bible school

We used to joke that there's life after Bible school and outside the bubble. What seemed a joke one day isn't funny at all now. When I came home on graduation day I felt like being on vacation with my family. My attention was distracted because of my language exam drew nearer and all I was doing was eating, studying and sleeping. After the exam the process of unpacking began. It lasted several days long. No wonder... I had many things to put on their proper places on the one hand... on the other hand I often stopped for a while when I found something reminding me on something sweet or even sad and I realized how many good byes I didn't say, how many people I didn't hug before leaving Tóalmás. Like I mentioned earlier, in the first couple of days I felt like if I had come back home just for visit, but now I know that when I'll go back it won't be the same without YOU! But! From one of my supporters who watched our graduation live(!) online, I got a little money as a graduation present which I would like to use to buy a webcam to be able to use skype again (I had a headset before but it doesn't work anymore). I hope we can keep in touch at least this way! :)

Our graduation was wonderful. The weather was fine, not as sunny as last year, but it wasn't too chilly either, though there was a moment when we wanted to go in. (We were standing in a line for half an hour before the meeting room.) I was a little disappointed because I had sent out many invitations and I got only a very few responses back... some promised to come and they never arrived. Only my parents and my aunt were there, but I was pleased to have them. The ceremony began at 11 am. I tell a bit about it, but you might want to watch it if you missed it:
After our Bible school director greeted the crowd we sang the Word of Life Hymn - in both languages. I didn't even think about that this was maybe my last time singing this "great" song. Now, more than a week later, looking back at this day.. I definitely feel the emptiness in me. A great chapter in my life has shut down. The hymn was followed by a prayer by our academic dean, then the director of WOL Hungary gave a short speech to remind us on who we are:
"Love the Lord! Be fully committed to Christ! Never get over the wonder of your salvation! Never get over the honor of being His servant! Serve Him with all you have, with all your heart, every day!" 
As a good-bye he read us, OT theologians a passage from Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
"Go out of here and make a difference for Christ!"
It wasn't a secular graduation, to God be the glory! After we sang, we could listen to the sing team singing their very last song together. Sadly, something went wrong with the amplification. Satan just didn't want us to have a perfect ceremony. He tried to spoil our day ignominiously.
"Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." (Psalm 115:1)
The guest speaker this time was Ronnie Stevens - the pastor of Danube International Church. He was preaching about John 11. He chose a longer story from the Gospel. I just tell this because he didn't have enough time to finish. Mom and my aunt loved his preaching and I think also my Dad loved it, though they aren't believers. Or at least not in a born-again-way.
The dean of students was asked to pray for us students to commit our lives into the hands of God.

After the first year walked along the stage, the diplomas were granted also to us, second year class. Then came the awards. I didn't even dream about getting the "Outstanding Academic Award" for the highest GPA. I hoped to get it last year, but not now. I remember the day when I asked the academic dean to allow me to study this year in English. He was afraid that my grades would fall off... and see, I won! I "tied for first place honor"! :) (In Hungarian you can translate this phrase with one word. So I wanted to look it up in Anne of Green Gables, but everything I've found was only this phrase. How disappointing!)

Not only the students got awards, but also the dean of students in honor of serving faithfully ~ as a farewell gift.
After this one of my classmates, the second year voted for, should have given his farewell message, but there was no time left for it. So we sang the Hungarian National Anthem and we ran to the castle to take pictures. It had already begun to sprinkle so we shot a picture of the classes and staff together, then one of the first year (while Mom shot one of me with my aunt) and soon the storm arrived. There was no opportunity to take more pictures. Oh, I would have loved to have one with my parents. But it didn't work out. Second year picture was also taken inside the castle... As we were waiting for the lunch, André got his time back to say his final words to us. I'm so sorry that this wasn't recorded and I couldn't take notes. I asked him to send me his outline and/or the manuscript.
We spent a great time together with my family until my Dad said it was enough and he wanted to go home. I looked around and found just a few people so I went to them to hug them for the last time and after we put all my stuffs into the luggage trunk I went into the international girls' dorm but I only found two girls, only two! When my Dad loses his patience you have to hurry up, there is no time for nonsense. Nonsense this time means to find the others. It's so sad, because I couldn't say good bye to those I won't ever see again in this life - most likely. I wonder what will happen at my wedding reception. My family wants me to stay at their side and it's not always my job to be around... He was angry when we finally left though I didn't do anything wrong... and I am sad because I couldn't bid farewell to my beloved friends. Leaving is never easy and I don't think that unsaid words make it easier. I miss & love y'all! GBU!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

God's choice

I've subscribed to the DaySpring newsletters and I get an update email every now and then. Now I got one with Roy Lessin's blog entry titeled Meet Me In The Meadow. I love his writings.

As for God, His way is perfect! Psalm 18:30 - So let Him choose!

Let God choose for you, it will be the right decision.
Let God guide you, it will be the right direction.
Let God plan for you, it will be in the right timing.
Let God measure for you, it will be the right portion.
Let God help you, it will be the right care.
Let God instruct you, it will be the right teaching.
Let God prepare you, it will be the right training.
Let God counsel you, it will be the right perspective.
Let God fight for you, it will be the right outcome.
Let God work in you, it will be the right result.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Language exam and other things...

So, when we got home on Saturday I was k.o. I could hardly stay awake but it didn't make a sense to begin to unpack. I knew I couldn't have finished it in just a couple of hours. I don't remember any more what I was doing, but I guess I basically was waiting for my bedtime (right after taking Arthur for a walk), so more or less I was just vegetating. Till the postman came on Monday I was just speaking and sleeping - not even eating.

As I told, on Monday the postman came and he brought me a letter. My language exam in English was scheduled for Friday. I had to practice my English. So during the days I was either studying my old course books and grammatic books, I was reading Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure or was watching Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables ~ The SequelAnne of Green Gables ~ The Continuing Story or an old time classic TV show - my favorite sitcom Full House. The next lines are familiar to you, aren't they? :)
Whatever happened to predictability / The milkman, the paperboy, evenin’ TV? / How did I get delivered here? Somebody tell me, please! / This old world’s confusing me / Clouds as mean as you’ve ever seen / Ain’t a bird that knows your tune / Then a little voice inside you whispers / Kid, don’t sell your dreams so soon / Everywhere you look (everywhere you look) / There’s a heart (there’s a heart) / A hand to hold onto / Everywhere you look (everywhere you look) / There’s a face / Of somebody who needs you / Everywhere you look / When you’re lost out there / And you’re all alone / A light is waiting to carry you home / Everywhere you look

I began with season 4 & 5 and found some cute songs. That's my favorite "lullaby" by the three men, Elvis' Teddybear (4X2). 

Soon, I got to Jesse's and Becky's wedding in Season 4 Episodes 18 & 19. I loved when John Stamos was singing Forever by The Beach Boys. It's only a short version - the wedding version with their old pictures and the choir singing in the background. You might wanna listen to it too. :) There will be a longer version later by Jesse & the Rippers. And now... Becky is about giving birth to their twin boys Nicky and Alex.

Last time when I tried this language exam, I picked a situation about shopping. I'm not a typical woman and I hate to go shopping. And I told this the examiners. So we skipped the situation. That's not good if you have only two tasks: situation and describing a picture. So now, when I was about to leave for the exam, my parents told me, that I liked shopping, I loved my university and I didn't want them to convert.
I was nervous when I got there, mostly because exams are too stressful for me and I'm afraid not even being able to tell my name, but that they would fail me because I speak American English not British - the "language" they expect. But when I entered the room, everything was ok. Of course I was praying outside for the whole time long. I greeted the two women in English and asked them if it was okay for me to come, because I was scheduled only for later (11 am), but nobody else was outside. First of all they asked me to pick one paper from one pile and and two from the other one. The one I had to give to the examiner and the two I had to turn to see the pictures. Now I could choose: fishmarket or library? I chose the library. Then they asked me what I was gonna do in the afternoon. I told them that I had to unpack my suitcases and boxes... they asked me why.. poor they. I began to advertise the Bible school. I told them about the school philosophy, the guest teacher program, why I was studying American English...
Then I had to describe the picture. But they didn't ask me to describe it but to tell about my habits going to a library. So mostly I was talking about my studies and thesis.
The last task was the situation. I had to "visit my friend" who just moved from her own house into an appartment in downtown. So while we were talking about her new appartment I told her how interesting it was that my parents wanted to move to a village. They had to stop me in both tasks, and I think it's good.
At 12 pm I had the listening comprehension in which I had to listen to a text (this time about digital books) and I had to answer the Hungarian questions in Hungarian. I think I did a pretty good job. But I'll get its result sometime in the next month. But when I came out our results from the previous exam were told. I got the most points!! I lost only a couple of points because of my American pronounciation and because I wasn't sure of the meaning of a word and I asked it and I said a German word... but shortly after saying it in German I also said it in English.. Unfortunately my result (if I failed the exam or passed it) depends on the listening comprehension. If I don't get enough points there, my 90 % of the first exam are in vain....

Today I went back to my pulmonologist for a check-up. She prescribed me partly the same medicins (for my allergy and asthma) but she also gave me a new inhaler - for urgent cases.
Shortly after I got home Mom's friend came to visit. Her granddaughter had questions about God, suffering, death... and she asked me to help to answer these questions on the level of a 5-years-old. I was smart and I asked her about her beliefs. It's not worth to answer questions biblically if she doesn't believe in it at all.. how could have she explained everything to that kid? So I shared the Gospel with her. She didn't make a decision but she has been thinking... I answered some of her questions too and my (God's) answer seemed to be logical to her. Please pray for her! I also adviced her to go to the WOL family day on next Monday, I hope they'll go! :)