Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pictures from fall break, chapel, etc. . . . .


These pictures were taken by Andrea Javurkova in Valtice during our visit with them last Thursday over fall break. That was before my professional hair styling for 55 Korun.


These pictures are my home away from home away from home. My classroom and desk. I share this space with Natalie Bernhardt, the high school art teacher, but it suits our purposes just fine. The entrance is to the right in the picture on the right.

Above: My beloved bicycle I named old blue or Miles as is inscribed on the frame. Amazing how the Lord provides something even as trivial as a bicycle. Only 20 Euro mind you! :) Tremendous deal! :)


Below: My attempt at creativity.





Not to seem narcissisistic (sp?) but when I get bored I try out some self-portrait poses. What do you guys think? Below.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Some recent pictures and thoughts . . .

Hey guys,

Just some thoughts on things as live keeps on going here in Vienna. The verse of the day . . .

Philippians 2:14-15

In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.

This past weekend was one that really hit home with me. I realized that God is so much bigger than the trivial feelings that we have each day. I remember back to when I was really feeling that everyone didn't want me in the Czech Republic. It was like I wanted to be there because at first they wanted me to be there, but towards the end of my service there it was like I wasn't even wanted. Turns out that as I know now I am working for the Lord and not for people. Yeah my bosses might be human along the way but my ultimate boss and master is our Lord Jesus Christ. I labor for Him and it is never in vain even if the human boss I work for doesn't want me there. So what I realized this past weekend as I spent my fall break in the Czech Republic is that it really didn't matter what everyone thought towards the end of my service there. Yes, input of co-workers is very important and needed to grow, but it really doesn't matter what others think as long as you are doing the Lord's will.

This past weekend I really got a sense that people have peace about why I was there and what they thought about it. I am also coming to grips with the fact that the Lord really had me there to form relationships with people that would continue through my life. I got to spend some quality time with very beloved persons in south Moravia this weekend and really was blessed by it. Please be in prayer for Irena Hajekova. Her father is elderly, 88, and he is having trouble walking and the burden of taking care of him has fallen on her. She could let him go to the hospital, but that would be bad because the care system is kind of messed up there. As it is the nurses are left to do everything in the hospital, cleaning, medication, food, etc. They do not spend time making sure that the mental health of the patients is good. Irena could not stand to submit her father to that. She is an amazing example of what it means to live your faith when it comes to us as Christians.

I will update pictures as soon as I have some time. It will for sure be in the next post. Thanks guys for continuing to be in touch and reading. Love ya all! :)

In Him,
Brian

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I really do care about my supporters!

Hey one big thank you is in order for all of you guys that have taken on the burden of my financial support while I have been here. I am constantly in prayer for you guys, but I would love to show my appreciation in other ways, so I would like to ask you this.

Are there things that any of you collect that I could find here, anything preferably smaller. I want to send all of you guys something at some point and I guess it would just be better if I knew what you guys collect if anything. Guess I am fishing for ideas. How are you all? Leave some comments. The way it works is I get them in an email after you post them and then I decide whether or not to post them to the journal. This is great for those of you that might have not commented before because you didn't want anyone to read them. Just make a note for me not to post your comment and I will most certainly not post it if thats what you prefer. Have an excellent day guys! :)

Brian

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Touching the Nations hits the mark again!

Hey guys just thought I would share another story from those emails that I get. It kinda deals with what I am going through, not literally, but it was inspirational to me. Hope it is for you as well.

THREE BULLETS

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an
old rifle and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out hunting
and kill some wild game for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit. He shot at the rabbit and
missed it. The rabbit ran away.

Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it.
The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree.

As he went further, he saw a large wild turkey up in a tree, but he had
only one bullet remaining. A voice spoke to him and said, "Pray first,
aim high and stay focused." However, at the same time, he saw a deer
which would provide more meat than the turkey. He brought the gun down
and aimed at the deer. But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs
about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot
the rattlesnake. Still, the voice again said to him, "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

So, the man decided to listen to God's voice. He prayed, then aimed the
gun high up in the tree, and shot the wild turkey. The bullet went into
the turkey, deflected off a bone and hit the deer, killing it. When the
gun fired, it knocked the man off balance, he stepped on the
rattlesnake's head which killed it and fell backwards into a pond. When
he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a deer and a
turkey with which to feed his family. The snake was dead simply because
the man listened to God.

Moral of the story:
Keep God first and everything else will follow.

Pray first before you do anything. Aim high in your goals, and stay
focused on God. Never let people or things discourage you concerning
your past. Do not look to man for your blessings, but look only to God.

-- Author Unknown --

Monday, October 16, 2006

This past weekend . . . what a blessing! :) God's creation is amazing!


The above pictures are from Fall Festival. It was such a good time to hang out with the students and to get to know their parents. Some of these people heard the name of Jesus much more that night than they ever would or ever have before. The Fall Festival is mainly to celebrate fall and the harvest and Halloween time, though we don't celebrate Halloween specifically. The middle school choirs had their first performances as did the bands. It was a great time for me because I was burdened with an unusual amount of responsibility. For the night I took Ervin's place as building manager. That meant that I was responsible to get people moving on clean up and also for any building related things that happened during the event. I truly felt needed and though it was a huge responsibility I felt like I was able to fall into the role fairly easily. It also helped that the staff helped enormously. All of those guys and gals are great!

Below are pictures from the men's retreat that I went on this past weekend. We stayed at the Hotel Payersbacherhof in Payerbach, south of Vienna. It is the nearest to the Alps that I have been so far. The lighting was great before the hike and into the first quarter, but nearer to the top of Mount Rax, the mountain we climbed, it got foggier and harder to see. Beautiful day and awesome weekend but man am I sore from hiking. I definitely need better hinking shoes! :) Enjoy guys! :)





I hope you all enjoy these entries and I am ready and willing to answer any questions that you might have. Please comment and leave any questions that you might have. God bless! :)

In His grip,

Brian

This past weekend . . . what a blessing! :) God's creation is amazing!


The above pictures are from Fall Festival. It was such a good time to hang out with the students and to get to know their parents. Some of these people heard the name of Jesus much more that night than they ever would or ever have before. The Fall Festival is mainly to celebrate fall and the harvest and Halloween time, though we don't celebrate Halloween specifically. The middle school choirs had their first performances as did the bands. It was a great time for me because I was burdened with an unusual amount of responsibility. For the night I took Ervin's place as building manager. That meant that I was responsible to get people moving on clean up and also for any building related things that happened during the event. I truly felt needed and though it was a huge responsibility I felt like I was able to fall into the role fairly easily. It also helped that the staff helped enormously. All of those guys and gals are great!

Below are pictures from the men's retreat that I went on this past weekend. We stayed at the Hotel Payersbacherhof in Payerbach, south of Vienna. It is the nearest to the Alps that I have been so far. The lighting was great before the hike and into the first quarter, but nearer to the top of Mount Rax, the mountain we climbed, it got foggier and harder to see. Beautiful day and awesome weekend but man am I sore from hiking. I definitely need better hinking shoes! :) Enjoy guys! :)





I hope you all enjoy these entries and I am ready and willing to answer any questions that you might have. Please comment and leave any questions that you might have. God bless! :)

In His grip,

Brian

Friday, October 13, 2006

Verse of the Day . . .

1 Peter 5:8-11

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blessings big and small . . .

Hey guys!

Just thought I would share something with all of you that seriously blessed my life yesterday, but before I tell you about the thing in specific I need to explain where my heart has been as of late. My walk with the Lord has hit rough ground lately. Mainly because I am trusting in Him for everything, almost constantly saying to Him "Give me this day my daily bread . . .". So needless-to-say I have been pretty frugal in what I spend or at least I have been trying to be more frugal than ever before. What this effort has brought my way is some tough choices. I mean I would love to go out to eat each time someone is doing a get together or something mainly because I enjoy the community here at VCS. Well, I have realized that I needn't and certainly mustn't do this all the time. I am on a tight budget with money that is not guaranteed. The only guarantee is that the Lord is faithful and His plan is nothing but good. So as of late I have been very conscious of my outflow of funds.

Well, where the blessing starts to come in is, this past Sunday when Betka was visiting we went to the International Chapel of Vienna where they were advertising their men's retreat for this coming weekend. When I had visited this church before they had mentioned it and now three weeks later they are still pushing it. I thought, three weeks ago, that the spaces would fill up and I wouldn't be able to go so I kinda gave up on it. But this past Sunday they still had 4 spaces left. Throughout the service I had this feeling like God would be pleased if I went on this. Well, during the service I knew nothing about this retreat. After the service I found out that they needed a 40 Euro deposit and the total cost of the entire weekend, two nights room, and food for the entire weekend, plus the seminars and the book they are going through, was 133 Euro. Now if I were in the states this might be reasonable, but on my limited missionary budget I had to seriously consider not going. So I signed up and knew in the back of my mind that I could cancel and get the deposit back if I just couldn't go.

The past couple of days as I have been trying to get more information out of people about this whole thing, I believe that Satan has really been trying to get me to not go to this, and consequently I feel that the Lord wants me to go. I also think that it will serve a great purpose of connecting me with some Christian men here in Vienna. I have truly missed that. In Czech I had the soccer group of guys that I was with every Saturday, and in college I had the guys on my floor. Here I have nothing except an occasional poker fellowship with the guys on Thursday, but as you might guess it isn't much of a fellowship. We don't get too deep into what we as men are going through. So for the whole beginning of this week I have been kind of on the fence as to what I should do with this. The main thing being that I didn't think 133 Euro was fair considering I would not be there until Saturday morning, thats one less night, and as far as I could tell nobody would give me a scholarship to make the price more affordable. So yesterday as this was coming to a pinnacle and I was really ready to just say I wasn't going a small blessing showed up in my mail box at school. 20 EURO and no one put their name saying who it was from! Now I know what you're thinking 20 Euro thats not much out of 133, but I tell you, it was enough to make me start thinking that God wanted me to relax and know that He is God, that He has control, and not me. Yes, I believe that 113 Euro is still alot of money, but I am going to learn about how to become "A man after God's own Heart." so He will bless the sacrifice and I believe that it is well used. Yes, I might be fasting a little towards the end of this month, but it's worth it. Besides the Lord can teach you alot through fasting.

So yeah, and anonymous person blessed my life yesterday and I hope that my story blessed your life. I hope to share more with you about this retreat when I return. Please be in prayer for me as well as all the men who are going on this thing. I think the Lord will teach me alot about what it means to become a husband as well as a man of God. I want to be what He wants me to be and I believe that this weekend will help alot. Thanks guys for your continued support in prayer.

May He richly bless you and yours,
Brian

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

After School Discipline . . .

So I am here at the time right after the after school discipline program that I had to supervise and I think it went pretty well.

Please pray for the two students that I had today. They are really not bad kids they just don't understand why certain rules are neccessary. One was a dress code violation, one was for bringing a fire starting device to school. I think they understand better why things are the way they are, but they can still use prayer. Pray that something that I said to them might be made to ring true by the Holy Spirit and please pray that I might speak in the power of the Holy Spirit with confidence to stick up for what I personally believe when asked directly by guys like these two high school guys that think they really know what they believe. Pray for them to be continually seeking the Lord and Savior Jesus, because we all know that He has all the answers that our hearts desire.

In His grip as a mouth piece,
Brian

Hello again . . .

Hey guys,

Hope your day is a blessed one. Just saw the new movie "World Trade Centers" yesterday and it was free because the U.S. Embassy here in Vienna invited some of us from VCS to go to there special screening of the new film. I am not sure when it came out in the States, but you should definitely go see it. I think it is very artisticly and tastefully done. Granted I haven't seen very many films as of late, but it was really really good.

Below is the periodical maybe one day maybe the next, but definitely sometime verse,

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

Psalm 119:32

God bless! :)

B

Monday, October 09, 2006

Some new pics . . .

Hey guys just took these recently. I am growing my hair out in the sense that it is pretty much the longest that it has been in 10 years. The pic of Betka is also recent. Took it with my cell phone when we were in the park this past weekend. The silverish colored one is the railing in an Austrian commuter train, and the Fidorka is a dark chocolate wafer sweet that rocks, and can only be found in czech! :) Love you guys! :)





Forgiveness . . .

Hey,

Just thought I would give you all something to chew on a little bit. I have been struck by the power of God's forgiveness and consequently how hard it is for us as fallen-humans to forgive like Him. Why is it that He can forgive seemingly so easily, but I just cannot? Is it because I have no need to? Just meaning to do the best I can isn't good enough sometimes, God asks for more, for total forgiveness, the kind that allows you to go on with life almost as if nothing has happened. Its like sometimes people do things or say things that hurt you and you can't even see a reason for them doing that. How is that easy to forgive? Yeah, there are reasons why they feel the way they feel, but why didn't they ever tell me how they felt instead of jumping to conclusions and treating me like I mistreated them? I honestly do not know what I did. I only wanted to do the best I could. Maybe I didn't do that and that is why its a problem. What are the stages of forgiveness? First, I would have to say feelings of hurt and sometimes rage. Then there has to be an identifying of what the Lord's will is in the situation. Is my will and the other party's will in line with the Lord's? That part doesn't so much matter as the person who has been wronged coming to terms with the fact that they have to forgive. I guess that is where I am now. I have to forgive, God wants me to, I am just finding it much harder than I wish it was. So please pray for me guys. I want what God wants, it is just hard and it causes me to grow. Thanks.

Trusting in the King of forgiveness,
Brian

Friday, October 06, 2006

The New VCS video!!!!!

Hey guys!,

Just thought I would pass on to you the most recent piece of news, well actually two new pieces.

1. The new video for Vienna Christian School was just recently finished. The guy did the videography and editing and edited from like 14 hours of footage to produce the final video. I think this video accurately portrays what Vienna Christian School is all about and why so many of us as teachers here have forgone regular pay and become missionaries to be here. I hope you all enjoy it! It can be found at http://www.viennachristianschool.org/media.htm
Pass it on!!! :)

2. The most recent staff meeting here at VCS was very interesting as it was a report on how the board meeting for VCS the previous weekend went. Mark Dossett reported that they voted on two things, the main one being whether or not to move forward on the phase two of the expansion project. For a while now VCS has seen the need to expand to a larger facility. One main concern is the gym, well garage that is used as a gym, is way too small. We have no place for the children to run around when the weather gets bad. The new addition to our facilities would include another elevator, a gymnasium and an auditorium. All of these things are needed very badly as we see that our student population is growing. The administration has made it known that they see our student population topping out at around 355 or so. We are maxed out with our current facilities and we have like 222. Please don't quote me as to the exact figures, but they are rough estimates. Please pray that we would have the money as a school to fund such an expansion project. There has been talk from the Stadtschulrat (The Austrian ministry of education.) that they value what VCS is doing, education wise, and they would be willing to fund up to 1/3 of the entire cost of this project. So let's say that the board decides that the project will cost 3.3 million EURO. The Stadtschulrat would, as they have mentioned a little bit about, pay around 1.1 million EURO. We are very excited about this possibility and need your prayer as the school board goes about trying to secure a commitment in writing from the Stadtschulrat on this. 2.2 million EURO is still alot of money, but the school board is confident that it is entirely possible if we are in the Lord's will about all of this. Thanks guys for your continuing prayers and I do hope to update you more as I know more.

Until next time enjoy the video, pass it on to those that might want to help support us in prayer and finances and know that God is with you as He is with us also. God bless you guys! :)

In Him we trust,
Brian

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hey everyone!

Just a bit from my life here in Vienna at VCS. Every week we have what is called The Eagle because our school mascot is the Eagles. It is our weekly newsletter that keeps all of up to date on what is going to happen and what has happened. The following are excerpts from this week's Eagle.

UPCOMING EVENTS

October 13
Fall Festival
October 14
SAT @ AIS
October 18
PSAT @ VCS
October 20
Elementary half day
October 24
Coffeehaus 18:30-21:00

FALL FESTIVAL
Friday, October 21
6:30-8:30pm

Come and enjoy this all-school event for young and old!

The first hour enjoy games and contests for all ages
(with prizes and awards)
on the first and second floor and
hands-on science activities on the lower level.

Family-brought refreshments and punch will be served
in the Hall of Flags.

At 7:40pm enjoy the debut performances of
3rd, 4th, 5th grade Choir
Beginning Band
Middle School Choir

Families:
Please bring a plate of appetizers or treats to share.


THIS WEEK’S HOT LUNCH WILL BE
Friday, Oc t 6
Baked Potatoes with toppings and fresh fruit
Tuesday, Oct 10
Stewed Chicken with Rice


I hope that gave all you guys a little taste of what life is like around here. I wish all of you could be here to see it, but this will have to do for now. I hope that you will be in prayer for us at the school that are involved in the upcoming evets and that they might be a chance for us to show the love of Christ to our school community. Have a great day guys! :)

B

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wedding date and so forth . . .

Hey there again everyone! Just thought I would make a note to you all, the following is a date that is very, very, important.

The weekend of June 9th and 10th, 2007
Brian Reynolds and Alzbeta Sykorova will become Mr. and Mrs. Brian Reynolds in Lednice, Czech Republic!!!!

We just haven't decided what day exactly, most likely Saturday the 9th, but we will see. We are both trying to get things planned out and your prayers are needed as we are both new to this . . .I guess everyone is. We are both really excited about this time that isn't really that far away. What is it? Just a little over a 8months until the big day? So with the excitement comes the nervousness and trusting in God that we have made the right decision in accordance to His will.. We both believe that we have, we just need to keep seeking Him and the rest will fall into place. We would be really excited to see any of our friends from the States that might want to show up for our wedding. You can contact me via email if you are interested in being at the wedding. We will send out formal invitations at a later date, but if you are seriously interested in being in Europe for our wedding contact me as soon as it is possible to start thinking about this possibility. Also if any of you have any advice for a couple that is truly looking to do this with almost no money please send that advice my way. We would really appreciate it.

So yeah that is about all for now. Betka and I will most certainly update you with more details as we know them. Until next time . . . Blessings! :)

In His grip,
B


Verse of the day . . . sorry it isn't every day, I tend to forget.

Isaiah 26:12

LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.


Be blessed guys, you really do bless and continue to bless mine and Betka's life by supporting us in prayer and finances.

In His grip from Wien,

Brian


Happy Wednesday . . . err I mean Mittwoch. . .

Hey guys just to let you know where I am at as far as the whole school of life thing goes, in the words of beloved Peanut Charlie Brown "Life is like an ice cream cone . . . you have to learn how to lick it."

Consider me in the licking stage, but definitely still learning. I think we all keep on learning to lick the cone as we go along and God is the best ice cream cone licking teacher there is.

. . .just wondering though . . . what do you think was Jesus' favorite flavor?

Peace ya'll!

B

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Czech weekend . . .

Hello again faithful supporters.
This past weekend was wonderful! Not only did I have a much needed chance to catch up in person with my fiance, but I also got to reconnect with my friends in the Czech Republic in the churches of Farnost Mikulov. It is life as usual back there.

I was able to leave school a couple hours early after I was finished with my teaching for the day. This allowed me to be in Lednice by 6:00 PM when Michal came and picked us up to go to Novy Prerov for the youth meeting. This happens every Friday for the most part and I used to go all the time when I was living there. It was wonderful to see such friends as Petr Stoy, Martina Stoyova, Vasilka, and Tomas Kostka. It has been a month or more since I saw them last and it was a wonderful time. Then on Saturday I ate lunch with Betka and her mom, then headed to Valtice to visit with Irena Hajekova. Betka and I have been wanting to do this for some time, just haven't had the chance to do it. It was a truly blessed time. Irenka could not go anywhere at the present time because her father is in worse shape. He cannot walk at all. He cannot even help her get himself to the bathroom or anything like that. He as well as she can use your prayers. Irena cannot really take care of him and work to keep their apartment. Please keep her in your prayers as she struggles with thoughts of putting him in the hospital. She hates that idea, although she would be able to see him every day, she knows that the hospital is not where he would receive the best care. Irena has been going to the hospital in Valtice every Sunday for a while now reading the Bible to the elderly and dying. I guess in the Czech Republic the nurses take care of everything from houskeeping of the grounds to patient care, and quite frankly patient well-being is not high on the priority list of the nurses mainly beause they have no time to just work with the people. Therefor the people just lie in bed all day unless a family member comes to check on them and gets them up and about. So please pray for this and also that Irena would prepare herself for her father's passing sometime in the near future. He has failing health and is 88 to begin with. It is an inevitable thing that he will go and now without his ability to do simple things. Just please remember Irena when you pray she can use every one.

On another note school is going ok. I really like being here and it seems that the administration is very supportive of me and understanding when I fall behind a little. They are also a great source of encouragement, as is my mother. She shared with me what I in essence shared with her. TTN is an email that I get sent to my yahoo account. I told her about it and now she receives it. So she would not have been able to send this to me had I not first shared that with her. awesome how God works isn't it? Anyway. . . this email's text is something that really impacted me as far as my ministry here at VCS is concerned. I have hated teaching ESL and have said "I don't do ESL, TEFL, etc." Well, this email changed my tune. Now I will try, saying "I don't do . . ." limits God's ability to do something through us doesn't it? I really don't want that. Have a good day guys! :)

I Don't Do... (from TTN – September 26, 2006)

One of our students received an appointment from a bishop, and the student did not feel the placement exactly suited his abilities.

I overheard him complaining about it to another student, and then the other student said, "You know, the world's a better place because Michelangelo did not say, 'I don't do ceilings.' "

Her comment stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to admit she was right.

If you and I are going to be faithful to the ministry God is calling us to, then we had better understand that. I reflected on the attitudes of key people throughout the Scriptures and the history of the church.

The world's a better place because a German monk named Martin Luther did not say, "I don't do doors."

The world's a better place because an Oxford don named John Wesley didn't say, "I don't do preaching in fields."

The world's a better place because Moses didn't say, "I don't do Pharaohs or mass migrations."

The world's a better place because Noah didn't say, "I don't do arks and animals."

The world's a better place because Rahab didn't say, "I don't do enemy spies."
The world's a better place because Ruth didn't say, "I don't do mothers-in-law."
The world's a better place because Samuel didn't say, "I don't do mornings."

The world's a better place because David didn't say, "I don't do giants."

The world's a better place because Peter didn't say, "I don't do Gentiles."

The world's a better place because John didn't say, "I don't do deserts."

The world's a better place because Mary didn't say, "I don't do virgin births."

The world's a better place because Paul didn't say, "I don't do correspondence."
The world's a better place because Mary Magdalene didn't say, "I don't do feet."

The world's a better place because Jesus didn't say, "I don't do crosses."

And the world will be a better place only if you and I don't say, "I don't do ..."

See: Genesis 22:2; Jos 11:15; 2 Kings 18:6; Heb 5:8.
-- Leonard Sweet, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio.
Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 2.--

In His grip,

B