Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gypsies in Slovakia

I am so excited to go to Slovakia next month.  We connected with missionary John Bean last year, and he is seeing a great turning to God among the Roma/gypsies in this nation  (and in the rest of Europe also).  It turns out that the missions trip we have set up with him will be only about 25 miles away from Poprad, the city my grandfather left in 1907 to come to America. I will be visiting the Slovak church also.

This will be a sort of "experiencing my roots" trip!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Surprising facts about George Friedrich Handel

This summer we went to Handel's house in London, which has been made into a museum, the Handel House. It was here that he wrote his greatest works, including Messiah. It is in the center of the city, in Mayfair, and worth a visit if you are in London. Some interesting facts about Handel which we learned there:
1. Handel was a bachelor all his life.
2. Jimi Hendrix, the famous American rock guitarist, lived in the same house, which is a little weird.  He hosted big parties there with famous rockers and lots of drugs.  A whole room in the house is devoted to him.
3. Handel was something of a childhood prodigy.  When he was a child his dad took him along to visit a family friend who was a Duke. Handel was put on a piano stool and began playing on his own, awed everyone, and the Duke convinced his dad to get him musical lessons since he obviously had talent.
4. The writer of the words of Messiah was very disappointed with what Handel wrote (see the quote above). Charles Jennens said "I shall put no more sacred words into his hands to be thus abused". Of course, today everyone has heard of Handel and few remember Charles Jennens.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Funny word of knowledge

Recently I had a funny spiritual shopping experience.  I was in a famous discount variety store, and as I walked through the kitchenware section (on my way elsewhere) a picture of these great snack and desert bowls we used to have flashed into my mind.  We had a bunch of these given to us at our wedding, and all but one broke five years ago when a kitchen shelf collapsed and most things on it were smashed (it was quite dramatic!).  I have looked for them ever since, but with no luck.

But when I walked ten feet further, there were two of them just sitting there on the shelf.  I scooped them up, and gave glory to God.   God can lead you shopping after all!  Was this a word of knowledge?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Favorite thing in London

Several people have asked me about what I liked best on our trip to London and its surroundings.  Kew Gardens, Stonehenge, and the British Museum were all most impressive.  But my favorite will surprise you.

The British Library has a room of historic books and writings of all sorts (Gutenberg Bible, Beatles original songs, Shakespeare's plays, etc.)  But the most valuable is the Codex Sinaiticus.  This is a 4th century manuscript of the Bible, one of the two oldest, most famous, and original in the world (Codex Vaticanus is in Rome).  The story of its discovery is worthy of an Indiana Jones movie (check out the story on wikipedia). But it was an amazing experience to be inches away (it is is an alarmed glass case) from maybe the oldest copy of the Bible in the world.  I stood in front of it and just gazed at it for a long time.  It is written in capital Greek letters, mostly without word breaks, just continuous letters.  I was able to read a few words from it.

God's word is an incredibly powerful thing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Weirdest thing found in a church parking lot

Last week we found a heavy iron 15 pound dumbbell in the parking lot.

Anyone working out?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I am so excited to be speaking on the beatitudes for the next 8 weeks or so.  God used our first visit to Israel to provoke me to think more about them.  The site where Jesus spoke them is absolutely beautiful, a naatural amphitheater on the side of a mountain sloping down into the Sea of Galilee.  They deal with the character of a believer, and the characteristics that we need in our lives to have God's blessing present.  If there is anything we need in this day, it is godly character.

Join us for this series!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Man of steel

What a great depiction of fatherhood is shown in "Man of Steel", the new Superman movie!  I saw it last night, and much of the story turns around how Superman related to his Krypton father, and also his earthly father.  Both are great examples, and teach and sacrifice their lives for him.  One even keeps guiding him after his death through technology (you have to see it, no more details) . Superman struggles with his identity, and becomes the best of both great examples.  (I am not even going into a theological truth  that Superman is presented as an excellent Christ-figure by the movie, which was planned by the director.)   But this movie is worth seeing for its depiction of fatherhood. The action sequences and scifi were good too!