Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye Rocky Mountain News

When I was growing up, there were two main newspapers in Denver: The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. It was always kind of like a Coke or Pepsi type of thing - some people preferred one, other preferred the other, and it was more about style and feeling than about the content, because both were good. At our house we always had the Rocky Mountain News.
But times, they are a changin'. I took this picture when I was in Denver in December:That sign's probably not going to be up much longer, because the Rocky Mountain News has printed their last edition, and a Denver icon has passed away.
In this internet age, old slow media will have to adapt or else go the way of "The News" and Rest in Peace.
Here's a video about it:

Friday, February 27, 2009


I found this quote today:

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like that. I think that being a nonconformist is also an important part of being a true follower of Jesus.
I'm sure there are some situations where following Jesus is the popular thing to do, but probably those situations are the exception, not the rule.

On Wednesday night at church we finished our study through the book of Hebrews, and read this in the last chapter:

Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. (Hebrews 13:13)

Sometimes being a follower of Jesus means being willing to be "different," to be nonconformist, even to bear reproach for Him.

Romans 12:2 says - "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..."

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


As part of the theology course I'm doing, we have an online forum for students to discuss. Its a lot like a blog really, except its only for students studying that particular class.
One of the questions for us to discuss on the forum really caught my attention and made me think, so I thought I'd post it on here too, for the sake of discussion.

Here's the question:
"When, if ever, should pragmatism take precedence over obedience to fundamental principles? (The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer struggled with this dilemma when he joined the group planning to assassinate Hitler)"

What do you think?

I put my answer from the forum below in a comment, if you're interested.
I'm interested to know what you think though.

Megprobálom magyarra fordítani a kérdést:
"Mikor, ha egyáltalán, van elsőbbsége a pragmatizmusnak az alapvető alapelveknek való engedelmességnél?"

Mit szóltok hozzá?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Egri Sztárok - Celebrities of Eger

Az egyik dolog amit nagyon sokszor megkérdezik tőlünk, mint amerikaiak, az, hogy találkoztunk-e már sztárokkal.
Balázs mondta, hogy az iskolában megkérdezik tőle, hogy mi ismerjük-e 50 Cent-et. Mondtuk neki, hogy azt mondhatja nekik, hogy "Persze, hogy ne ismérnének? Jó haverok! MSN-ezni szoktak vele szinte minden nap! De, a 50 Cent most már nem akar velük szóba állni, mert Nick lehülyézte, és ő megsertődött."

Amerikában összesen 1 "sztár"ral találkoztam csak: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brooklyn-ben amikor "A Tégla" című filmet forgották.
Úgy volt, hogy láttuk, hogy filmet forgatnak egy házban. Oda mentünk, és kb 3 méterre tőlem állt egy ember, fekete napszemüveggel, és valahogy ismerős volt az arca.
Az apukám felém fordult és azt mondta, hogy - "Hé, nézd már - ott van Matt Damon." Aztán Rosemary szólt, hogy "Ne már - az nem Matt Damon, az Leonardo DiCaprio."
Leo amúgy mindezt meghallotta - és csak mosolygott és bement abba a házba, ahol forgatták a filmet.

Múlt vasárnap az egri plázában voltam - kulcsot másoltam - és a kulcsmásoló csávó azt mondja nekem, "Hé, nézd már - ott van Gazdag Tibor!" Fogalmam sem volt, ki ez a Gazdag Tibor, de most már tudom, hogy ő a "Jóban, Rosszban" egyik főszereplője.
Életemben egyszer sem néztem azt a sorozatot, de azért örülök, hogy legalább még egy sztárt láttam.

One of the things that Hungarians often ask of us as Americans is whether or not we've ever met any celebrities.
Balázs told us that at his school, the other kids ask him if we know 50 Cent. We told him that he can tell them, "Oh, of course they know him, they are good friends! They chat all the time with him on MSN messenger! But now 50 Cent doesn't want to talk to us, because Nick called him names, and his feelings got hurt."

In America I have met only 1 celebrity: Leonardo DiCaprio, in Brooklyn, during the filming of "The Departed."
What happened was, that we saw that they were filming a movie in a house, so we went over there, and this guy with dark sunglasses was standing about 10 feet from me, and his face seemed familiar.
So then my dad turns to me and says, "Hey, look, that's Matt Damon!" Then Rosemary said, "No way, that's not Matt Damon, that's Leonardo DiCaprio!"
Leo heard all this by the way, and just smiled and walked back into the house where they were filming.

Last Sunday I was in the mall in Eger, getting a key copied, and the guy copying my key says, "Hey, look, there's Gazdag Tibor!" I had no idea who this Gazdag Tibor guy was, but now I know that he is one of the main actors on the Hungarian TV series "Jóban, Rosszban." I've never seen this show in my life, but I'm glad that at least I got to see another celebrity.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back to School

As of Monday - after a 7.5 year hiatus, I am once again a student.
My distance learning classes through the Open Theological College of the University of Gloucestershire started Monday.
I'm excited to get to study theology this way, and hopefully get a degree out of it.
Reminds me of a song I once heard:

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Picture

This past weekend in Mátrafüred we had our church's 3rd winter retreat. All 3 years we've done it on the same weekend, in the same place, and even in the same panzió (small hotel).
This year, we were sure that we wouldn't fit into the panzió, but we had some people cancel and the panzió was also expanded with 4 more rooms, so it worked out perfectly.
This panzió is nice enough, and they give us a good deal on it, but it is also a bit quirky.
For sure the place was built during communism; even the map at the end of the hall still says "Magyar Népköztársaság" (Hungarian People's Republic).
The room Rosemary and I stayed in the past two years had a leopard bed - with ears on it, mind you! - and a radio built into the headboard (which didn't work).
This stuff isn't bad, it just adds to the campy ambiance of the place.
However, this year when we arrived, we found that some changes had been made. Some were good - the leopard bed was gone, and some old wooden chairs had been replaced with nice couches.
Some changes were not so good though - there was a new picture that dominated the common room:
We showed up to have our nice Christian weekend retreat of studying the Bible and worshiping God, and this was the image we got to look at every time we gathered together in the Lord's name!
We wanted to take it down or to cover it up, but it didn't happen.
I would be curious to know the history of this picture. I wonder if this was a gift, or if perhaps it was ordered, and if so, how did that conversation go?
I kind of imagine it somewhat like this: "Hmm...I'd like a picture that would be perfect for the dining area of my panzió - you know, something for the families to look at while they eat their meals together; something that encourages conversation. Oh, I've got it - make me a picture of a centaur holding a nearly naked woman. On Mars. And make sure the centaur man is stepping in a puddle, so it looks true to life. And I want the centaur to look awesome and buff, and the woman to have giant muscles, like the kind those female body-builders have. Oh, and they should both have hair cuts that have been out of style since the 1980's. And, just to top it off, please put a flying "spirit horse" up in the corner to fill the empty space. That should do nicely. Thank you.
This was probably our last year in this place. There are a lot of things I will miss about it. This picture is not one of them.

Happy Birthday Rosemary!

This one goes out to Rosemary - my beautiful wife, my friend, my supporter, my other half, my teammate.
You're a wonderful wife, a great mother, and a huge blessing in my life.
I love you RM!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bad Day

Today was rough.
Yesterday Nathaniel climbed out of his crib and hit his head. Today we took him to the doctor and had to take him for an x-ray. Praise the Lord, he's alright, just has a hematoma. But please pray for him nonetheless!
The high point of the night was going out with some friends for dinner, but the low point was when we got home and realized someone had broken in and dug through our house looking for valuables.
All in all, we "only" lost our laptop, our Nikon DSLR camera, and jewelry which Rosemary's mom gave her, including her mom's wedding ring, all of which had a lot of sentimental value. The police came out, did their thing and just left not long ago.
Praise the Lord that nothing happened to the 4 of us. Please pray that God would protect us and watch over our family and our house. Balázs is especially shaken up and doesn't feel safe, so please pray for him as well.

Ma egy kicsit kemény nap volt.
Tegnap Nándi kimászott a kiságyából és megütötte a fejét. Ma elvittük az orvoshoz és be kellett menni a korházba röntgenre. Hála az Úrnak, úgy néz ki, rendben van, és csak egy vérömlenye van. De, azért kérlek, hogy imádkozzatok érte!
A nap fénypontja az volt, hogy elmentünk vacsorázni barátokkal, de amikor haza értünk, láttuk, hogy amig nem voltunk otthon, valaki betört a lakásba és feltúrta a házat, ahogy kereste az értékeket.
Mindössze, "csak" a laptopot, a Nikon fényképezőgépet és ékszereket vesztettük el - amúgy az ékszereknek szentimentális értekük volt - mivel Rosemary megkapta őket az anyukájától, pl az anyukája házassági gyűrűjét lopták el. A rendőrök eljöttek, csinálták a dolgukat, és nem rég elmentek.
Hála az Úrnak, hogy mi négyen rendben vagyunk, és nem lett semmi bajunk. Kérlek, imádkozzatok azért, hogy Isten megőrizzen minket és óvja meg a családunkat és házunkat. Balázst különösen zavarja ez az egész, és nem érzi magát biztonságban, úgyhogy kérlek, hogy imádkozzatok érte is.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Church Retreat

This past weekend we had our 3rd annual church retreat in Mátrafüred - about an hour from Eger.
For me, these retreats are one of my favorite things that we do with the church. They are always times when we grow closer to the Lord and closer to each other, as we spend the weekend in fellowship together, hanging out, cooking, playing sports, going hiking, and studying God's Word together.
Horvát-Kávai Árpi, Andi, and Nina came up from Vajta, and Árpi taught the Bible studies, which were a blessing to everyone.
We're already looking forward to next year's retreat - or maybe we will have to do one sooner. We'll see...
Here are some pictures:


One of Nate's favorite things is potatoes.
They are the perfect size for his little hands, so any time he finds any, he loves to take one in each hand and run around the house.

I don't know if he's saving them for later, or playing a game with us, but he also likes to hide potatoes in different places in the house: under the couch, behind the bed, in drawers, etc...
One time we found two potatoes in the back seat of our car - which means that Nate smuggled them in there, without us knowing, under his coat.

Yesterday, Rosemary prepared a bucket of water to mop the house, and when she tried to put the mop in it she found that someone had put a bunch of potatoes into the bucket when she wasn't looking.

A little while later I was in the other room and heard Nathaniel coming down the hall sounding upset.
I looked at him, and he was holding this partially-eaten potato, with raw potato bits coming out of his mouth - as he tried to spit out the thing which he loves so much, but yet which he had just found out tastes really bad!

If you ever want to get on Nate's good side - you won't do it with candy or chocolate - since he hasn't ever eaten either. For him, its potatoes all the way.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Wild East - A Vad Kelet

Hungary is generally a pretty safe place to live. There is crime here, but mostly non-violent crime, like tax-evasion. One Hungarian friend of mine put it this way: In the west, tax evasion is a serious crime. Here it is a hobby!

If you read the newspaper headlines, it is clear how quiet life is here in the "vidék" (every part of Hungary outside of Budapest). I used to read the Eger newspaper almost every day, and the headlines always made me crack up - stuff like: "Really hairy baby born in Eger hospital" and "Chinese store robbed in village."
These headlines made it obvious that there just wasn't much going on in Eger or the rest of Heves county.

But every now and then Hungary does feel a bit like the Wild West East - last week was one of these times.
  • Last Thursday an Eger post office got robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight.
  • At the same time, another post office in Haláp - near Debrecen - got robbed.
  • That same day a bank in Kecskemét was also robbed; this being the 3rd armed robbery in a Kecskemét in recent days.
  • Saturday night Marian Cozma, a Romanian handball star who played in the Hungarian handball league, was stabbed to death outside of a bar in Veszprém. 2 of his teammates were also hospitalized with injuries.
We've had a few things happen to us in our time here - but nothing major. Probably in many places this kind of stuff would be commonplace and not such big news. From that perspective, this isn't a such a bad place to live!

Magyarország általában egy elég biztonságos hely, szerintem. Van bűnözés, de az általában nem erőszakos bűnözés - pl. adócsalás. Egy magyar barátom így magyarázta ezt nekem: Nyugaton, az adócsalás egy komoly bűncselekmény. Itt viszont hobby!

Hogy ha az ember megnézi a hírlapok főcimeit, akkor világos, hogy mennyire csendes és nyugodt a vidéki élet. Régebben majdnem minden nap olvastam a Heves Megyei Hírlapot, és mindig nagyon viccesnek találtam a főcimeket: "Nagyon szőrös kisbaba született az egri korházban" "Egy falusi kínai boltot kirabolták."
Ezektől a főcimektől, egyértelmű, hogy nem túl sok minden történik Egerben vagy Heves megyében.

Viszont, időnként egy kicsit olyan mint ha a Vad Nyugaton Keleten lennénk. A múlt hét ilyen volt.
  • Csütörtökön, az egri Almagyar utcai postát fegyvérrel rabolták ki fényesnappal.
  • Majdnem pont egy időben, egy másik postát rabolták ki Halápon - Debrecen közelében.
  • Az nap, Kecskeméten, fegyvérrel rabolták ki egy takarék szövetkezetet. Ez volt a harmadik ilyen rablás Kecskeméten, rövid idő leforgása alatt.
  • Szombaton, Veszprémben, egy szorakozóhely előtt, szíven szúrták Marian Cozmát, a román válogatott kézilabdás, aki a magyar ligában játszott. 2 csapattársa is korházba került sérülések miatt.
Velünk is előfordult egy két dolog az itt tartozkodásunk alatt - de semmi komoly. Igazából, sok helyen, minden napos az ilyen dolog, és nem olyan nagy hír. Ilyen szempontból nem is olyan rossz itt lakni!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

One Flesh

Rosemary and I share an email address. In fact, almost all of our online presence is combined - for, 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:5-6)
By combining our online accounts, we are one flesh on and off-line :)

Hence, this blog post about Christians couples who share an email address hit close to home.

My favorite line: We leaved and cleaved our separate email addresses and lit a unity candle on yahoo that burns brightly throughout the virtual landscape.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Találtam ezt a kiírást egy Rozsnyói (Rožňava, SK) falon:
Elég régiesen van írva a szövege. Törtem a fejemet azzal, hogy kifejtsem mit mond, és ennyit sikerült megértemen belőle:
Istennek dicsőségére felépítette ezen rosnai (szerintem rozsnyói-t jelent) ispitalt (gondolom ez korházat jelent) Krasznahorkának eörökös ura, idősbik (idősebbik) Andrássy György.
Lett régi hiv szolgálja tisztanólja (fogalmom sincs mit jelent - talán azt, hogy a régi hiv szolgálja tiszetelére lett építve?)
Rózmáni Industriálja által (gondolom, ez egy akkori cégnek a neve).

Mivel nem vagyok egy vérbeli madjar, lehet hogy ti tudtok jobban megérteni ezt a kiírást.
Mit szóltok hozzá?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Shopping Abroad (cont...)

A few months ago I wrote a post about shopping abroad, about how we love to go to grocery stores in other countries, and what things we like to buy in different places.

After our last trip to North America, in which we visited all 3 N.American countries (I don't know if Greenland counts as N.America or not...), I thought I should update the list.

  • Buckley's - Cough medicine made from pine needles, among other things. This is probably one of the worst things I've ever tasted. Its kind of like getting slapped in the face or punched in the stomach, but it certainly works to help with congestion or a cough.
  • Coffee Crisp - Candy bar. I haven't figured out quite yet if they have coffee in them, or if you are supposed to eat them with coffee, but either way, they are great.
  • Kicking Horse Coffee - One of our favorite coffees. Rosemary says that she likes it better than Illy. We'll just have to find a way to get more of it once we run out :)
  • Food from street vendors, especially tacos (3 for $1!), frozen coconut dessert sticks, and corn on the cob.
  • Tajín - chili seasoning for fruit. One of the best things in the world. We actually went to the village of El Tajín on our honeymoon!
  • Vanilla extract. I'm not really sure why Rosemary always buys it there, but I'm sure there is a reason.
  • Yorkshire tea.
  • Rubina black current drink.
What about you? What products do you make sure to buy when you travel to different places?

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Dance

I've always noticed that a lot of the time people who are the most self-absorbed and concerned about their own well being and happiness are ironically the most unhappy and isolated.

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller explains why this is from a Biblical perspective:
[Because of man's fall into sin] we became stationary, self-centered. And according to Genesis 3, when our relationship with God unraveled, all our other relationships disintegrated as well.
Self-centeredness creates psychological alienation. Nothing makes us more miserable than the self-absorption, the endless, unsmiling concentration on our needs, wants, treatment, ego, and record.
In addition, self-centeredness leads to social disintegration. It is at the root of the breakdown in relationships between nations, races and classes, and individuals.

We lost the dance. The dance of joyful, mutually self-giving relationships is impossible in a world where everyone is stationary, trying to get everything else to orbit around them.

However, God does not leave us there. The Son of God was born into the world to begin a new humanity, a new community of people who could lose their self-centeredness, begin a God-centered life, and, as a result, slowly but surely have all other relationships put right was well.

If you respond to [Jesus], all your relationships will begin to heal.

There are a few key phrases that I always like to repeat to the church; catchy sayings to help them remember key Biblical truths.
One of them is: Jesus makes you normal.

I really believe that sin makes people weird - because of sin things aren't right in the world; a lot of things are backwards and messed up.
But when a person comes to Jesus, he begins to makes them normal. The begin to think and act normally - the way God intended.

One of my favorite examples of this is in Mark 5, where there is this crazy guy who hangs out around the cemetery, running around naked, screaming scaring people, and cutting himself with rocks. He was a punk rocker, apparently.
And then the guy meets Jesus, and Jesus ministers to him - and then the next thing you read about him is that the people were amazed when they saw this man "sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind." (Vs 15)
The guy was weird. Jesus made him normal.

In our church, we've been able to see this too - as people get closer to Jesus, the more normal they become.
Of course there are some Christians out there who are pretty strange, and some even use Christianity as an excuse to be strange - but that is certainly in spite of Jesus and not because of Jesus.

As Keller is pointing out, one of the greatest ways God changes us when we come to Him is by getting our eyes off of ourselves and inviting us to be part of "the dance", a God-centered and others-centered life, in which we find true joy by getting out of our static, self-centered existence, and thus become more like the Triune God, who is in 3 persons who exemplify love by not focusing on themselves, but by glorifying one another.

I want to be part of that dance!