Monday, October 31, 2011

Ponderings on Halloween

We had a celebration today. No, we didn’t celebrate Halloween but my nephew’s 4th birthday. After my sister and her family left, the last dishes were washed up and the order in the living room was restored… I grabbed after the remote control and began to push the buttons. I found a movie – a Halloween one. I was about 11 years old when I watched it for the first time and at least 11 times since then. It’s Hocus Pocus – a movie about Halloween, witches, black cat and magic. I simply loved it. I think I was a *good* Catholic girl who adapted the pagan ideas into her belief system. In excuse back then I was a religious and lost girl and not a born again believer.
I knew Halloween had to do with witches in real life too, but I didn’t know much about it. Of course I “knew” Jack-O’-Lantern and I always liked carved pumpkins and wanted to go trick or treating… I’m the chocoholic in the family and it seemed to be fun to leave with an empty and to arrive with a bucket full of chocolates.
More than a week ago I was listening on  to an 11 minutes long sound clip on the Origin of Halloween. Well… what I heard there by David N.Taylor shocked me. Not really what I heard… but what I saw in my surroundings. People put carved pumpkins in front of their houses, the stores are decorated with orange color, Jack-O’-Lanterns, costumes are sold… for an event Hungary doesn’t even celebrate. Or am I mistaken?
My cousin bought a huge pumpkin to carve with his daughters. When I asked him WHY? he answered me… there was Halloween in school and the little girl also had Halloween in kindergarten. What? Now I was shocked! 
Upset I told Mom about my conversation with my cousin… and she told me that she as a little girl used to carve pumpkins too, but in that time they didn’t know anything about this festival they did it just for decoration (and fun) and not for this typical day.
I ran to the bookshelf to find my book on Hungarian holidays and folk customs. The whole book is the mix of pagan and Catholic customs. In 1000 Hungary was declared to a Christian (well Catholic) state and the pagans were forced to get christened and go to church. But our religion was Shamanism. We also believed in ghosts and spirits, full moon and that this time of the year deaths are coming back onto the Earth. Pumpkin lanterns were made – those with wicked face to scare evil spirits away from crops, houses etc.
Later in villages this was the weekend when the harvest ended so they had harvest festivals with pumpkin-lantern-contest.
In my parents’ childhood lanterns were made whenever in the fall just to decorate the house with.  
I as a child kinda wanted to have this celebration in our country.. but now as an adult and a  true believer living in a country this festival is more and more present (I haven’t heard about trick or treating so far)… I’m firmly against.

Monday, October 17, 2011

At the gynaecologist...

A worried woman went to her gynaecologist and said:
- Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even one year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.
So the doctor said:
- Ok and what do you want me to do?
She said:
- I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.
The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady:
- I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.
She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.
Then he continued:
You see, in order for you not to have to take care of two babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.
The lady was horrified and said:
- No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!
- I agree - the doctor replied. - But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.
The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same!
If you agree, please SHARE. Together we can help save precious lives!
Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Search Me

I don't wanna hide anymore from Your voice
I don't wanna run anymore from Your words
I don't wanna bow anymore to these gods
I don't wanna worship anymore of these things

Search me - oh God You know my heart
Test me - and You know my anxious thoughts
See me - if any offensive way in me
Lead me - in the way everlasting

I don't wanna chase anymore of these dreams
Don't wanna walk away anymore from Your love
I don't wanna live anymore for this world
Don't wanna find my strenght anymore in myself

Search me - oh God You know my heart
Test me - and You know my anxious thoughts
See me - if any offensive way in me
Lead me - in the way everlasting

I don't wanna sit anymore on your throne
Don't wanna be ashamed anymore of your name
I just wanna lay all my crowns at Your feet
I just wanna raise up my hands and say

Search me - oh God You know my heart
Test me - and You know my anxious thoughts
See me - if any offensive way in me
Lead me - in the way everlasting

Search me - oh God You know my heart
Test me - and You know my anxious thoughts
See me - if any offensive way in me
Lead me - in the way everlasting

Search me
Test me
See me
Lead me

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
(Psalm 139:23-24)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

1 John 2:15-17

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 
When I was reading today’s passage from 1 John I remembered how I used to love the world. Since I don’t have a job I was thinking of going back into the theater to work. Old memories came into my mind. It could be very very dangerous. But it doesn't have to. 
My colleagues keep asking me when I’m going back. My name is still on my locker. And I have the key to it. It would be easy to get back there.
But what would it help when I would work there? It would mean fun but I don't want to happen it again. I want to choose Jesus. Every time. Would be there more disadvantages than advantages? I would have at least a little pocket money. I wouldn’t be “grounded” in the apartment and could go out in the evenings. But I know my old self and I know that it would be hard to get up early enough in the next morning to have time to arrange everything I need to do during the day before leaving for work. 
I have a task, a kind of project to do right now. Could I concentrate on my studies, could I help my parents or spend time with them? I want to choose Jesus, not the world, not Satan’s realm. It’s so much worthy to spend time with God, to study His Word, to spend time with family and friends from my congregation. 
(You can read more about my struggles with the “world” here.)  

And yet Jesus Himself sent us out into the world. It's possible to live there but not for it, isn't it? I just have to set my priorities and stick to them. I could do it. 
The first year of Bible school was horrible. Every time I went home to visit I almost immediately headed into the theater... to see performances, to chat with colleagues, to meet "stage-people" I keep in touch with... The less I felt God wanted me in school the more time I spent in my "phantasy-world". The more time I spent there the further I got from God... until the end of March when God spoke to me during Matthew-class.
In my second year - when my heart was on its proper place, I still used to visit my old workplace, but not that often. And I couldn't afford to go home as often as in the previous year. I didn't run into the theater every time I went home, only couple of times. I didn't see any performances but the bows occasionally (I always loved to clap). And I felt and still feel that I'm not that big fan any more I used to be.
I know it might be tough but not impossible. My life has changed... I've changed.

Please pray for me that I can follow God's guidance! For Him, I wouldn't do it, but with Him I could do it.. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Empty me!

"Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you.
Lord, empty me of the selfishness inside. Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride and any foolishness my heart holds to.
Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with You."
(Chris Sligh) 

"He must become greater; I must become less."
John 3:30

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Babysitting (and discipling)

At the past weekend I was babysitting my youngest nephews.
My sister and her husband were asked by an old high school friend to help with moving.

I had great plans for Saturday, like going onto the playground, playing, talking, taking pictures… but this day had to be spent otherwise.
Poor boy - since he is in first grade now - had lots of homework to write. So I had to watch him doing his homework correctly and his brother playing (of course I played with him a lot!).
It was quite late in the afternoon when we could go outside to play a little soccer and other fun games with our ball.
Later my older one began to talk about faith. I asked him if he remembered the songs and Bible stories he had heard, the decision he had made in camp this summer. As if his memories had been wiped out… So I took my Bible and read him one of the stories when Peter and Jesus were walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33). After that I shared and explained both of them the Gospel using my EvangeCube. The 3 years old Erik found it either too long or too boring because he began to play with his cards, but he stayed there and heard everything. And sometimes he looked at the pictures too.
The 7 years old Balázs chose Jesus again. I told him that he’d already made this choice and he didn’t have to “get saved” every time - but still I felt very glad and blessed! :) I encouraged him to talk to his classmates and new little friends about his decision and what Christ had done for him.
At bedtime after the story was read and the good-night-kisses were given, he almost crying told me he couldn’t tell the Good News to his kindergarten friends. I told him to pray for them and for opportunity to share.. and to ask his parents to arrange a play date with those kids.