Thursday, December 21, 2006

Now In Montana

I'm up in Malta, Montana now visiting my sister Sandy and her family. It was quite a trip to get here. On Tuesday I had to wait seven hours at the airport in Boise as the first plane with Big Sky airlines had problems with the radio that they couldn't fix. At first, they said there weren't many options as they had no extra planes so they tried to charter a bus to take us up. But later they got another plane so at about 7:10 pm we were on our way arriving at 8:15.

Once I got to Bozeman I had to hitch a ride with a young guy going to Malta that night but first had to wait for him to get done with some things. We left for Malta around 11:00 pm and got to Malta at 4:30 am.

I was pretty wasted the next day but today I feel much better. The trip was quite the ordeal, kind of like some of the trips I have taken in Romania. So I guess it was a way of making me feel like I was back home in Romania:)

Tonight I am going to go watch my nephew Jake play basketball. He is a sophomore and plays on the junior varsity team. He is a lot taller than the last time I saw him four and a half years ago!

I'll be here in Malta till December 26th then I will go to Bozeman for a week and after that I'll go to southern Cal to attend two conferences.

Hope you all have a blessed Christmas and holiday season.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Enjoying My Time in Boise

I have really been enjoying my time so far in Boise. Everyone at the church has been so helpful and gracious to me. I have been keeping very busy so far. Last Saturday was the only day I didn't share or attend some function. But that evening I did go up to Garden Valley to share the next day.

The day after I got here (Tuesday) I shared with the missions prayer group and this past Sunday I went up to the Calvary Chapel in Garden Valley and had the whole service to share about Romania, my ministry and some things I have learned on the mission field.

On Monday I shared at a home group in Nampa and on Wednesday I went over to Mountain Home to the "Open Door Fellowship" in the evening and had a potluck and shared about Romania and my ministry there. The pastor is a very good friend of mine and the church has been a faithful supporter over my years in Romania. Yesterday (Thursday) I went to a monthly meeting of the Calvary Pastors from this area and shared a bit about Romania. Last night I shared with the senior high youth group here at Calvary Boise. It was fun and I was surprised when one of the boys asked me "How can we help you?".

Tomorrow night (Saturday) I will get together with some of those who were in the college group I did years ago when I was in the Cole intern program. I am really looking forward to seeing them again.

Since being back I have run into a young lady in the college age group who use to be in my class when I taught gymnastics at Wings. She was in the fourth grade back then but now is all grown up. I also ran into a young man, Jared, who was in my junior high boys Bible study when he was in 7th and 8th grade. He is married to a young lady from the Czech Republic and has two kids. They are planning on going to the Czech Republic as missionaries next summer. I was so filled with joy when I saw him and found out about his life.

This week I also went to the dentist and had some serious deep teeth cleaning done. It took two visits to get it done. I need to have a few fillings replaced and will have it done after I get back from my trip to Montana and California. Next Monday I will go and have an eye exam. I would really love to get the surgery done so I wouldn't need glasses but we shall see.

Thanks for all your prayers. I have been blessed so much since I arrived back from Romania.



Got My Driver's License

Tuesday I took the written exam and today I took my driver's skills test. So now I finally have a driver's license for the first time in three and a half years. It is good for 8 years so I won't have to worry about it again for a long time. Watch out Boise I'm on the loose again!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Have A Phone Now & Good News On Laptop

I found out that my laptop is under extended warranty so it looks like I won't have to pay to have it fixed. So that is a big praise. It will hopefully go out tomorrow (Friday) and be back later next week.

The church was gracious to me and gave me a cell phone to use while I am here. I have a limited number of minutes and whether I call someone or someone calls me the minutes are subtracted. This is different than Romania. In Romania you only pay if you call. Please don't leave voicemail as I won't check it cause it uses up too much time. The number is 208-891-5148.

I am still trying to figure out if I can get my driver's license renewed. Please pray that I will be able to get it soon. Once I get my license I will need to find a car to borrow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Now in Boise

I made it to Boise safe and sound last night. I had a good trip- no delays and the flights were all smooth. I got to bed at 10:00 last night and this morning I got up at 6:00 which surprised me since I didn't get much sleep the last four nights in Romania. Especially the last night, I only got two hours of sleep cause I had to be at the airport at 4:00 in the morning for my flight out at 6:00.

When I got here I was surprised to find that it is colder here than in Brasov. Last night I stayed at Doug Case's house and tonight I should be staying at a duplex that they set up for me to stay at for the first two weeks. There isn't a phone there so I hope to borrow a cell phone or something so I can contact people.

Tonight I will be sharing at the missions prayer meeting and hopefully tomorrow I will see if I can renew my drivers license.

It's nice to be back for a visit but it feels weird that Brasov is no longer my home. It will take some time getting use to living in Bucharest as I am not a big city boy.

Thanks for your prayers.

Last Days in Brasov

Since last Thursday I have been up and down emotionally. I thought I would have a hard time on Sunday when I taught, being that I started the church and now was saying goodbye, but it wasn't too bad though I did have a few "moments".

I had a real special time on Friday with the students at the study as we said our goodbyes. On Sunday I shared some of the things God has taught me while being on the mission field in Romania. I focused mostly on fear and dealing with it, on brokenness, humility and meekness and on love.

One major bummer was my laptop fell down at church and probably broke the bulb that lights the screen. I called today here in Boise and they said if it is broke it will cost around $300 for the labor and parts. But thankfully that was the only problem- could have been worse.

Rick took over my apartment Sunday when I left and I got my clothes, computer stuff and bathroom stuff down to Bucharest. Jamie was kind enough to come up from Bucharest and get the stuff on Friday.

One chapter in my life has closed and now a new chapter has begun. The adventure continues.




Monday, November 27, 2006

New Calvary Chapel Romania Website

With the help of Doug Case we are developing a new website for all the Calvary Chapel ministries here in Romania. It is in the alpha stage so there is not much there yet.

There are some very nice photos and links on the left side column to pdf's of the magazine "Renew Romania" which my church in Boise publishes. In the January 2006 edition there is an article about me and another one on Andreea Oprea, who has been impacted by my ministry in Brasov. So check them out sometime.

Calvary Chapel Romania Website

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Video - Christian Malpractice

Here is a video from "Way of the Master" Ministry that looks at what is the best way to love those who are going to hell.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Future Watch - Wireless, 3D Video and More

Here are some links to articles about new wireless standards and products, genes making electricity, flexible solar cells, 3D video and a prediction about the next stage in the web.

Wireless USB poised to cut the cable

A new gene that can make electricity?

Flexy solar cells: Concert T-shirts in disguise

Wireless HD specification due in 2007

Cheoptics360: the future of 3D video is here- check out the video

The Firefox Kid- the next big thing - the merging of desktop with the web

First Snow

Last night we had our first snow of the year. Not much came down just a light dusting but it sure feels like winter today. Thank God we've got heat on October 15. Now instead of my apartment being too cold it is too hot a lot of the time. I can't control the temperature so I tend to wear shorts in the house. While it would be great if I could control the heat I will take what we have to not having heat.

Brasov tends to be the coldest city here in Romania as it is located near the mountains. The best ski areas in Romania are located nearby so a lot of people are looking forward to being able to go ski.

Poiana Brasov is considered the best ski area in the country. You can check it out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poiana_Bra%C5%9Fov or http://www.poiana-brasov.ro/

Monday, October 16, 2006

Imperial History of the Middle East

Here is a cool 90 second flash presentation of 5,000 years of the imperial history of the Middle East. You can view full screen or download the 1 MB presentation at Maps of War.

Gospel Study Update

Here is an update of an in-depth study of the Gospel I am leading.

We moved the study to Fridays from Tuesdays due to conflicts some were having with their university class schedules. There are four coming to the study, all of them are attending universities here in Brasov. There names are Alex, Andreea, Daniela and Silvia. Please pray for all of us as we study the Gospel, that the Lord would open our minds and hearts to all He wants us to learn from this study.

In addition to meeting on Fridays we have a study group on Google where we can interact on-line. I decided to try it out and see how it will work as when I go to the States I hope to be able to continue the study in some fashion. There are all kinds of new on-line collaboration websites so maybe we will end up trying something else if Google group doesn't end up meeting our needs.

As part of the study those coming have to do some reading, research and writing in order to be prepared for the study each week. So far I have had them write out a one sentence definition of the Gospel, a longer version around a half a page and an outline of the key parts of the Gospel. For this coming Friday they are suppose to spend time researching, thinking and praying about how to improve their outlines.

Here are our group's one sentence definitions of the Gospel.

Alex's
The Gospel is the good news of the great gift of a new life offered to us by God in his love and it's available to us if we repent of our rebellious ways and receive by faith what his Son, Jesus Christ, did on the cross for our sins.

Andreea's
The Gospel is the good news that we can receive eternal life and be called children of God by faith in the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Son.

Daniela's
The Gospel is the good news of God's love for all of us, it is the way we can be restored in our relationship to God by receiving Jesus his Son into our lives as Lord and Savior.

Sylvie's
The Gospel is the 'Good News' that Jesus Christ came into the world and paid the penalty for what we have done wrong against God so that we can be reconciled and restored in our relationship with God both now and forever.

William's
The Gospel is the good news that we can be restored to a meaningful love relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross for us.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Best Alternatives to Windows Explorer

Here is a link to an article about a comparison made of alternatives to Window's Explorer file system which is what comes with Windows OS and another link to the best rated free program mentioned in the article.

10 Windows Explorer Alternative Compared and Reviewed

FreeCommander

Newsboys - Shine

Here's another Newsboys music video. I first saw this video many years ago. While the video itself is pretty weird the music is great.


Newsboys Video - "He Reigns" [LP]

Reason to Live Music Video

Here is a powerful music video using clips from the "Passion of the Christ" movie. I really like this video so I added Romanian subtitles so I could share it here in Romania.


Another Music Video About Jesus and the Cross

Here is another worship music video I came across on YouTube using scenes from the "Passion of the Christ" movie.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Future Watch - Personal Tech & SuperBus

Here are some links to articles on possible personal tech items in the future and a futuristic "super bus" that may show up at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. I call it the "Batman bus". Checkout the video on YouTube to see why.

HP's Crystal Ball Gazing - Personal Tech of 2016

SuperBus goes 155 mph, comes when you text

SuperBus video on YouTube

Shared the Gospel on the Train

On the train down to Bucharest the Lord did provide me with an opportunity to talk with a young Romanian man, Robert age 26. He is from Bucharest but working in Brasov at a construction site for a hotel. He does metal work.

He told me he believes in God but doesn't go to church. I was able to share my testimony and talk about what it really means to be a Christian and how one becomes a Christian. He seemed interested and I think I left him with some things to think about. He asked me where we meet for church as his girlfriend, who lives in Brasov, doesn't believe in God. So I gave him a card with info about our church.

So please pray for Robert. That God would water the seed I planted.

On the way back to Brasov I didn't share with anyone as those around me didn't speak English but I was able to be Christ-like to a couple. Their seats were not together so they asked a guy to change seats with one of them but he said no. I saw that so I offered to change my seat so they could be together.

It was not a big deal but you would be surprised at how often people in Romania are rude and selfish. Especially when it comes to driving a car or waiting in line. Sometimes it makes me really mad and in my mind I think of teaching them a lesson but thankfully I don't follow thru though there have been a few times I have said something.

Lately I have noticed this rudeness and selfishness a lot more. Maybe it has always been there but I haven't been paying attention to it. I don't know. I'm not saying everyone is like this but sadly a lot of people are.

But it has caused me to think about why it is this way. I may be wrong but I think it goes back to the the impact communism had on people and after it collapsed how most people were in survival mode only thinking of how to get through each day and not looking or thinking of the long term consequences of their actions or how what they did impacted other people. Survival of the ruthless so to speak.

Another negative influence is their lack of respect for law because they grow up in a very corrupt system. When almost every part of Romanian life is touched by corruption and the politicians, judges, police, governmental employees, ecetera don't respect and live by the law what can motivate people other than the threat of jail?

Wherever people have turned in their hearts back to God you see change for the good like less crime. I have read of times when, after a revival, cities have had to let some of their policemen go cause the amount of crime had gone way done. May this kind of problem come to Romania! May the Lord shower His love, mercy and grace on the people of this beautiful land. To His glory. Pray for the people of Romania to turn their hearts back to God from religion, legalism and sin.


Got My Plane Ticket

I had a good trip to Bucharest. Got my plane ticket (actually an e-ticket) ok late Tuesday afternoon but at the travel agency they couldn't reserve a seat for me so Wednesday morning I went to the KLM office and reserved an aisle seat.

I wanted to get a seat near an emergency exit as they have more leg space but the nice lady at the KLM office told me I have to wait until I go to the airport for departure.

After I got back to Brasov with my e-ticket number I was able to check the plane I will be flying on from Amsterdam to Seattle and if I wanted I could have changed my seat but I had as good a one as was possible for me. All the seats in the front rows were taken and the ones near emergency exits are give first priority to those in their frequent flyer program.

I will try and get a seat with good leg space since I will be flying a long time but realize that may not be possible.
Before departure I wonder if is it possible to negotiate to upgrade for less than what they usually charge if there are available seats going unused. Does anyone know?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Going to Bucharest Today

I'm going down to Bucharest today on the train to pay for my plane ticket for my trip back to the States then I will stay over so I can go to the classes of the School of Ministry this evening. I will come back to Brasov tomorrow morning after the prayer time at the ministry building.

I am so thankful for the Lord's provision to pay for the ticket. I reserved the ticket a few weeks ago in faith as I had no money at the time and then less than a week later one of my gracious supporters sent to my church in Boise more than enough to cover the cost of the ticket. While things have been really tight financially for some time now I always have what I need. The Lord is so good to me though I don't deserve it. Praise be to him in all things.

Please pray that I will have a safe trip, for opportunities to share the Gospel on the train trip there and back, and for my time in Bucharest. Thanks.

Brrrr... It's Cold Inside

Here in Romania a lot of us, especially those that live in blocks (apartment buildings), have what is called "central hot water". That means that the water is heated somewhere else in or out of town then piped to apartments, ecetera.

Until I came to Romania in 1997 I had never seen such a system. In a lot of places the hot water system is broken down or in need of repairs. This summer in Brasov we went without hot water for over a month as they made a major repair to the system. It sound worse than it is. Over time you get use to it and adjust. For me I have a large pot which I fill up with water and heat up on my gas stove.

Slowly people are converting to having their own heating system in their places as there are limits as to when you have hot water in your place. But it is expensive for the average Romanian and sometimes there are other problems that have to be overcome.

Those of us with "central hot water" have two different hot water pipes in our homes. One for hot water in the kitchen and bathroom and one to heat the apartment. The one to heat the apartment is turned off from about April to the middle of October so when it gets cold outside it is also a bit cold inside.

I could heat my place with an electrical heater but on my budget that is not an option so I wear more clothes and put more blankets on the bed. It is not a big deal, like I said before you adjust and life goes on but I'm looking forward to the heat coming on.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Top Three Things People Are Searching For

According to John Stott the top three things people are searching for are transcendence, significance, and community which are exactly what the church was created for.

Check out Dr. Larry Taylor's article The Top Three Searches

Here are a few quotes:

"Transcendence is the longing for something bigger than self, something pure, intelligent, beautiful, glorious. As believers, we know that that something is God...The church is designed by God to meet that hunger for transcendence by connecting people to God in worship. Real worship is contact with the One who is “wholly other,” infinitely beautiful, awesomely intelligent. We cannot ever fully understand God, but we can authentically worship Him."

"Significance is the longing to have importance, meaning in life, love, and labor. Without significance, life is meaningless, hopeless, disjointed, and drifting; but with it, life is worth living, has vitality, purpose, and focus. God likewise designed the church to meet the hunger for significance by teaching His Word."

"Community is the longing to love and be loved; to find someone or some people, who will accept me just as I am, love me in spite of all my idiosyncrasies and faults, spend time with me, enjoy my company, and allow me to love them in my own imperfect, faltering way. When the church is operating as God intends, it produces genuine community."




Monday, October 02, 2006

Firefox Browser Add-Ons

I finally have gotten around to using Firefox on a regular basis. What I really like about it are all the extensions, plug-ins and search engines that give it much more functionality. In the upper right hand of the Firefox browser is it's search engine. You can add lots of different useful search engines to it like Wikipedia, Amazon, Answers.com, etc.

Check out the add-ons page here- https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/ Below are some of the add-ons that seem to be the most useful to me.


Tab Mix Plus - Enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities (must have IMHO)

Fasterfox - Performance and network tweaks for Firefox

FlashGot – Download Mangager

ErrorZilla Mod - Implements a useful error page when a website cannot be reached

VideoDownloader – Download embedded videos like youtube, google, etc.

Hebrew Calendar - very small, located at the bottom right of the browser

Cacheout! – When webpages are down that you want to look at you can load them up using Google's caching service and CoralCDN.org

Answers.com – look up meanings, etc. right on the web pages
you are viewing

GTDGmail – Getting Things Done - GTD - time organizing system that works with Gmail


Google Calendar Notifier



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Future Watch - A Look at New Gadgets, etc.

Here are some links to articles on advancements in mulitlayer DVD's, a look at the near and long term for Intel processors, Nokia's new amazing "smart" phone coming to Europe in early 2007, and a small gadget to secure your PC laptop.

New Technology Could Nip DVD Format War in the Bud

Intel Pledges 80 Cores in Five Years


Tiny Linux Gadget Protects Windows XP Laptops

Nokia's N95 Smartphone Goes Legit
Apple is suppose to be coming out with a phone at about the same time (If anyone wanted to get one of these for me I wouldn't complain!)

A Look at Consumerism and Fragmentation

This last Sunday I preached at Calvary Chapel Bucharest on finding our main identity in life as disciples of Jesus. During the sermon I read Luke 9:23 - Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." After reading this verse I shared on two things I think that make it difficult today to really follow Jesus- consumerism and fragmentation. Here are some links to articles I have read recently on these two subjects.

Consumerism
iChurch: All We Like Sheep

What the Church is Doing Right, Part 1

What the Church is Doing Right, Part 2

Take Nothing for the Journey: A Fresh Look at Church Health

From Lord to Label: How Consumerism Undermines Our Faith

Fragmentation

The Pathetic Segmented Life

The Answer is Jesus





Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Video - A Look Around Brasov

Video - "Declare Your Glory" Worship Song

Video - Calvary Chapel Brasov Church Service

To Start the Day

To start the day I like to read a Psalm. There is a website called The Daily Psalm with a daily devotional written by Mark D. Roberts that I usually read to begin my time with the Lord in the morning. I really like it.

Here is a quote from today's Psalm:

"Notice the point of the undivided heart. It's to "revere" (literally in Hebrew, to fear) God's name. When our hearts are undivided, we bow before God in awestruck reverence and we live our lives for Him and His glory. Worship, both in heart and in action, is our life's goal, "to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

http://www.thedailypsalm.com/


Mac News - The Ultimate Mac Apps List

Do you have a Mac? Here is an article of what Mac News Online considers to be the best Mac Apps available.

http://macnewsonline.com/wp/the-ultimate-mac-apps-list/

Future Watch - Roll-Up Laptops

A look at 'morphing materials' a team of engineers at the University of Cambridge have developed which have the ability to retain up to three structures, meaning within five years' time it could be possible to roll-up your laptop screen as easily as a newspaper.

http://management.silicon.com/itdirector/0,39024673,39162681,00.htm


Monday, September 25, 2006

Shared the Gospel - Please Pray

On my trip home from Bucharest yesterday afternoon on the train I had the opportunity to share the gospel with Cristina, who was sitting near me. She seemed amazed by it and really open. I gave her an outreach CD-ROM and contact info for Shane and myself as she lives in Bucharest. She does marketing for a fashion design firm there. Please pray for her and for her 82 year old grandmother whom she was going to visit since it looks like she is close to death.

Had a Good Time in Bucharest

I had a good time in Bucharest this weekend spending a lot of time with Shane. Went down on Friday and looked into getting a plane ticket to go back to the States for a visit. Reserved a seat on KLM but now need to come up with the $1100 to pay for it (please pray). Saturday I attended one of the classes of the School of Ministry and spent time preparing my sermon and on Sunday preached at Calary Chapel Bucharest and had the opportunity to meet a lot of new brothers and sisters there. They have a nice building that they meet in, wish we had something similar here in Brasov.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Free Worship Song Downloads

Here is a link to a site that has many worship songs you can download for free.

Recent Rainfall

Blogging Again

Howdy Everyone,

I've decided to start blogging again and will be experimenting awhile to see if I like Blogger. Let me know what you think.