Disciples fishing

Reflecting on Easter, it must have been hard for the disciples to transition from the whole Crucifixion and Resurrection. I mean look at how there were locked up in the room and Jesus revealed himself to them.(John 20) But I don’t think the Disciples quite got it until Jesus met them on the beach and again invited them to ministry. (John 21) I think what gives me hope is that during times of transition that Jesus comes and re-invites us to Kingdom work, that new call, (yet familiar if you look at him calling the disciples from their jobs as fishermen. Luke 5) the call from the Resurrected Jesus is one that is eternal a call for a new life.

Read the stories in the bible. What do you think?

Vrbovce Church
Originally uploaded by themoltron.

Here is my lastest Newsletter for you reading Pleasure

If you are interesting in seeing pictures here is a link to my flickr page
flickr.com/photos/themoltron

Ahoj (Pronounced ahoy and it means hello)

Here is my very first newsletter from Slovakia. I want to first thank all of you for all your support with prayer and financial support. I wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity to serve the Lord without you. Please continue to pray for me and the other young adult volunteers around the world.

I have been in Slovakia for about 5 weeks now. The first week I spent in Bratislava taking care of paperwork and taking the opportunity to see many of the sites.
It was interesting being the only guy in a group of 7 girls. 3 of them were volunteers from the ELCA and other 4 were from Germany. During our stay The Slovak Parliament was open in celebration of the signing of The Slovak Constitution on Sept 3rd, 1992. It was fun seeing the pride the Slovak people have in their government as well as seeing them celebrate their culture heritage at Bratislava castle near by. We were able to see many folk dances, music and handicrafts. This first week in Slovakia was exciting and an interesting experience just seeing the immediate similarities and differences between american and slovak culture. Here are a few things I noticed that were funny or interesting:

-A Sign for Mexican Food at McDonald’s in Slovak, It struck me that Globalization is more real than I thought it was.
-Hamburgers are just not the same in Europe
-We were told the American Embassy wanted to have a huge wall built around it but, the Slovak Government wouldn’t let them.
-American Music is heard everywhere, sometimes it didn’t feel like were in Slovakia yet
-Slovak Superstar is just as funny as American Idol, if not funnier
-The Slovak crown is roughly $1 dollar for 24 crown but, prices are about the same or more expensive compared to american prices.

The next 2 weeks were in Velky Slavkov which is in middle of the country near a city called Poprad (about 3 1/2 hour train ride from Bratislava). It was a beautiful place to study Slovak with the Tatras Mountains in the background. We had time during the week to travel up to several places including a waterfall and Štrebske Pleso (Pronounced Shtrebsky Pleso) which is a large Glacial lake and has skiing in the winter. We stayed at a christian retreat center and spend 6 hours a day having Slovak lessons.

The Slovak language is more difficult than I original anticipated. I have learned some basic sentences and grammar. The grammar is difficult to grasp because every word has many different forms depending on how it is used. So, my basic grasp of Slovak is going to take awhile. I am learning to catch what people are saying despite how fast seem to speak. For the time being I will share with you some words that I have learned and maybe extreme helpful if you are in Slovakia.
Ano- Yes
Nie- No
Dobré- Good
Dobré Rano- Good Morning
Dobrý De?- Good Day
Neviem- I don’t know
Nerozumiem- I don’t understand
Neviem po Slovensky- I don’t know Slovak
Som z Americky- I am american
Som hladny- I am hungry
vlak- train
Kde je Vlak- where is the train?

So after spending that time studying slovak, I traveled by train to Vrbovce where I was greeted by Pastor Miroslav. He speaks some basic english and I can understand him ok. We arrived in the village where upon immediate arrival I was invited to an older gentleman’s 60th Birthday party in the building where I will be living. It was quite a shock. I learned Slovaks are very generous people. I got a delicious soup and then dinner. And of course wine, they kept on insisting I drink more but, I had to stop at 2 glasses. Speaking of food. Slovaks eat a lot of bread, potatoes and pork. The biggest meal of the day is Lunch and usually includes soup then the main meal. Lunch can sometime be sweet which might include sweet dumplings with cocoa on top. Breakfast consists of fresh vegetable when available and sometimes lunch meat… ok back to where I am living.

The building I am living in is the old church school building, it is beautifully decorated with gold and white and resembles an ornate castle. They have many social functions on the 1st and 2nd floors. On the 3rd floor where I am living there is an apartment where the Seminary Intern Zorka lives, she is very nice and knows a little english. There is a music studio and a spare bed room. Then we have a fitness room that leads to 2 bedrooms. 2 german volunteers from another organization are there and I have the other room. All in all it is not a bad place to stay.

Most of my time in Vrbovce has been spent doing various bits of handiwork around the church and the old school building. I spend a few days putting grout in on a sidewalk. We also pick-up lunches and deliver them to elderly members of the parish every weekday. One day a week I help with english class at the local school. I also with be giving music lessons on drums or guitar. I am learning and reminding myself I am working for the lord in every task I do, even if it is boring or apparently minor. I know the Lord wants us to please him and serve others by doing our best in everything we do. I am also hoping to learn slovak from the interaction with the kids and build some relationships through all the work that I am doing.

We have been fairly busy most sundays with traveling from one place to another so I have had few chances to attend a Slovak language church service. It is very interesting to see the similarities and differences. They general order of the service is the same from what I can understand and figure out. We share many of the same Hymn melodies. One sunday we traveled to another Church in Bukovce where they were installing a near Pastor. I met a member of a church from Bratislava there who spoke english his name was Marian. I was asking some questions about the church service I pointed out the difference in liturgical robes. Slovaks wear more Academic black robes with white lace covers from Martin Luther’s academic tradition, which I thought was interesting. That sunday they also had a women’s fellowship which was hosted in Vrbovce. This of course met there was fun and food. I was able to meet and talk to people in the little slovak I knew. One thing about living in the old school building is whenever there are social functions there are leftovers and they usually save some for the volunteers.

So that has been my first couple of weeks in Slovakia. I am doing well and living by God’s grace daily. Everyday is a learning process. Before I end my newsletter I would like share a bible verse with you.

“Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

As Christians we are called to be Ambassadors for Christ wherever we are, whether that be in Slovakia, teaching, playing soccer, or working in an office. We are called to live in Christ with everything we do. You may not feel called to do anything special but, all believers are called to be Christ wherever they work and play and that is a our great gift and responsibility.

God’s Peace be with You,
Mark Molter


Burning Bush Coffee Company
Originally uploaded by themoltron.

This past weekend I attended Winter Celebration. A Youth Event for high school students. The Theme was from Exodus 3, when Moses encounters the Burning Bush.
The overall event reminded me how important it is to remember God is with me through whatever I do. I’m also reminded that God calls us to do something that only we can do. I’m still struggling to figure out what that looks like for me. God calls to us and we need to remember those Burning Bushes our lives.

I met with small group of adults. It was encouraging to hear people’s stories and to know that they have gone through many of the same doubts and struggles I am going through right now. The biggest struggle I have right now is dealing with myself worth. Having been out of work for about 2 weeks now, it is hard to feel an sense of accomplishment or motivation for things. It also doesn’t help to see my savings slowly dwindling.

I think what I got most of the weekend was a sense that God is bigger than I am and only He knows who I really am. God is will take care of me ,if I’m willing to listen and take a step of a faith. I mentioned in a early blog entry about how I’m blessed when I’m at the end of my rope because there is more of God and less of me. I’m finding that I am reevaluating what it means to be humble and understanding.

When I go out I look at all people working, and I see them from a different perspective than I have in the past. Many of the upper and middle class look down at these people who are working hard. They are people working hard to make a living. We are so afraid of what people think about our occupation that will mask it my judging others. I’m learning that I need to stop evaluating my self-worth based on what I do. I need realize who God is and who He created Me to be. Because “God Is Who He Is” and He is Good.

Waiting…
Originally uploaded by Neogene.

Over the past few days I have come across several things that remind me of how important women are to the Christian faith.

Among them was a Movie, One Night with the King, about Ester saving here people from Destruction. A blog entry about Bishop Brigid, one of the few female Bishops and another Blog entry from Jr Woodward about a new blog for Women leaders.

It strikes me that God’s power is not limited by gender. God designed everyone to be called to his service in some way. The Movie One Night with the King is a dramatization of the story of Ester. Originally a jewish slave and then chosen to become Queen to King Xerxes. She discovers a plot that all the jews are to be killed throughout Persia. She pleads before the King in a way that only a women can do and saves her people from destruction. It is a rather good movie and fairly accurate with the story in the bible. Read the story if you get a chance.

The entry about Bishop Brigid is from a Priest in England. The Protestant faith has many ties to Celtic and English tradition. Among them many of the Feast for Saints and Bishops. Feb. 1st is actually the Feast of Bishop Brigid of Kildare. Here slice from his Blog.

Brigid was ordained a Bishop when she and a group of women went to Bishop Mel to receive the veil, a symbol of clothing to demonstrate their commitment to a life of service as religious women. As the other women were receiving the veil, Brigid held back so that she was the last to whom a veil would be given. Instead of saying the prayer as he did to the other woman, Bishop Mel spoke the words that ordained Brigid as a Bishop. Such an event was unheard of in the church given that only men could be ordained priests or bishops, yet Brigid was recognised in her lifetime as a Bishop of the church.

—excerpt from MadPriest Blog.

The other Entry I read from Jr’s Blog was about the new Blog sponsored by Christianity Today called Gifted for Leadership. I’m excited about this new resource for women. Of the women I’ve known in ministry most have a powerful faith and devotion to the Lord. Women definitely have a unique perspective and deal with Issues Men can’t fully comprehend. Women are something to celebrate. I read again and again of women who are strong and courageous. When a Woman is mentioned in the bible is usually for acts of great faith and strength. Here is an excerpt from Amy Simpson, Executive Editor of Resources about some of the things she hopes this Blog with Highlight.

Biblical truth—We always look at leadership issues through a biblical lens.
Reality—We are realistic about the issues, struggles, challenges, opportunities, and joys women leaders face.
Honesty—We are committed to addressing reality with honesty and without apology.
Redemption—We express ourselves without bitterness. When speaking from personal pain, we point to hope and
Healing—even if our healing process is incomplete. This is not a forum for mere arguments or expressions of personal anguish.
Love—We care about women in leadership and want to make personal connections with them.
Equipping—We help women get better, and more confident, in what they do.
Encouragement—We want women to feel good about the gifts God has given them, and we help them see how they can use those gifts. We love and root for the church and its people.
Challenge—We challenge women to use their leadership gifts, pursue spiritual growth, and think deeply.
Unity—We help women rise above the arguments and judgments about where they should lead. Instead, we agree that we are all obligated to use our gifts in the ways God has called us to do so.

I would like to close this Entry with a short prayer.

Lord,
Help us all to recognize and cherish the women in our lives
encourage their hearts so that they may do great things
Amen!!!

Elements | Fire | Blessings
Originally uploaded by Kymberlee della Luce.

I was reading through Matthew 5 the other day when I came across the “Sermon on the mount”. I have a habit of skimming through the bible. For some reason I was struck at this simple passage.

“You’re blessed when your at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”
— Matthew 5:3 The Message

Amazing!! At this moment in time I feel like I’m at the end of rope. It is not easy getting laid off and having to look for a new job. But, God tells us we are blessed during these times. We are blessed when we can rely on God to get us through. This passage in James is an echo of Jesus’ words in Matthew.

“Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes our way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow, so let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
–James 1:2-4 NLT

So when we feel like we are poor, helpless and at the end of our rope. We are blessed. We should live like we are. We are children of God. And that is what I plan to do.