Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Funny article . . .

The following links you to an article sent to me from a friend that is currently living and working as a missionary in Prague. Awesome description of life in Prague and it fits for Vienna also. Do we run into these problems in the States?

http://launch.praguemonitor.com/en/65/life_in_prague/4897/

Enjoy! :)

P.S. Please pray for the group of runners that are running in the Vienna City Marathon this Sunday starting at 9AM Vienna time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Elementary Spiritual Emphasis week pics at last!

As I said before Jerry Jacoby and his wife Michaela were a true joy to have amongst us last week. The following pictures are testimony to that. I will try to explain what he was doing or what he had me doing in each picture. His ministry is really awesome and you can find out more at the link that I posted in a previous post.

Left: Jerry dressed up as Moses, Abraham, Elijah, and other famous biblical characters. He used the same costume every time and the kids quickly caught on.

Left: Jerry's "adopted son" Elmer the duck was the kids' favorite. Jerry would bring Elmer out and tell a story about Elmer. Elmer's story would help the kids understand the concept of God's abundant grace a little better, not to mention it was hilarious. The kids were mesmorized.

Left: Jerry did songs "low tech". Every song was hand written by his "lovely wife whose handwriting is way better than mine . . . you can actually read it." This song was one that Jerry taught the kids and it was stuck in the staff members' heads. Basically a song to remember when you want to feel happy and the Lord's love for us.





Above left: Jerry loves to use audience participation. Every day he had another crazy thing for me to help with. At the very least I was a sign holder. He said "Back in the third grade I held signs so much they called me Jerry Signholder." My kind of guy! :)


Above: These are pictures courtesy of Tricia Zimmerman our very own 4th grade teacher. These were motions that Jerry taught me to teach to the kids. He would call me up for a song that was called "We want more (pronounced 'mow') of Jesus."
It went like this. Every time We sang "more (mow)" I pushed the lawnmower (Left). Every time we sang "for" I was to hold up four fingers (right).
The lyrics went like this:
"We want mow of Jesus, mow and mow, and mow. We want mow of Jesus than we ever had befour. We want mow of His great love, so . . . so free . . . we want mow of Jesus cause He wants mow of me." The kids loved the fact that I was up front and acting so goofy. They would ask me in art class to "do the lawnmower". I am pretty sure that I will never live that one down. Thanks Jerry! :)

All in all it was a wonderfully refreshing week. It reminded me of the joy of being in such a position as I am with these kids. Despite all the day to day pains it is great to remember that sometimes it is great just to joke around with the kids.

Hope this post was a blessing to you all. Take care.

In His grip,
Brian

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pic from ACSI ICEC . . .

Hey there everyone!

I just thought I would take this chance to post a pic from the ASCI International Christian Educators conference. It was great not only to connect with people that are in the same field all over the world, but to also re-connect with people from the past. Sara and I re-connected. We were in the same circle of friends back at BBCHS. It was really great to connect and to realize how awesome the Lord is for bringing people like us together "randomly" to a conference in Germany of all places. It was a blessing Sara, see you this summer! :)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

MARATHON IS COMING . . . . . .

If you all haven't noticed the countdowns to the right. One of them is the countdown to the half marathon here in Vienna. Yeah, thats right, Brian Reynolds, formery known as the guy that always wanted to be fit but never was, is running in the Vienna City Half Marathon, all 13 miles of it. Should be drop dead awesome. Hopefully that will be without the drop dead part. I can run around 6-8 miles now without dropping dead so suffice to say that I have come a long way. You can visit the marathon website at www.vienna-marathon.com On the site if you search for my name on the starter list for the half(halb) marathon(maraton) I should be there along with about 25000 other people. Its gonna be really cool. 9 days and counting! :)

B

Isaiah 41:10 . . .

The following scripture came out of the daily news and appears to be the Lord's response to my post about dealing with tough times.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



Thank you Lord for being so faithful and that you offer your saving grace over and over again to make me, the hopeless sinner, whole. Isn't it amazing how His words can bring us out of the depths of despair. It isn't the encouraging words of people that are best. His holy word is best. Thats not to say that encouraging words are not appreciated on my behalf, but that the word of the Lord is the best there is out there. Where the encouraging words of people are by nature fallen and have alterior motives, the Lord's word is the only truly uplifting word out there. God bless you all, and thanks so much for praying for me. Life walking with the Lord isn't always fun, but it is the best possible way to go.



In His grip,

Brian

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what St. JAmes chapel in Lednice looks like . . . 2 good pictures of the chapel and chateau that it is connected to are below.




The following is a diagram of left brain right brain stuff. I still find that really interesting. I am really sure that my right side is way more developed than my left except for the language part. That part of the left side is really getting a work out at this point in my life.



Enjoy! :)


Monday, April 16, 2007

Prayer please . . .

Hey there everyone,

I thought I would get real right now and ask you to please pray for me. I am at a point right now in life where I should be really really happy, but I am not. I am stressed and cynical and burning out and I really really don't want to be that way. My really tough struggle is with meeting expectations of people. It shouldn't matter what others think because my worth is in Christ Jesus our Lord, but with my also being a first year teacher I believe that I have the responsibility to meet some expectations. I really want to learn, but sometimes it is just really hard and I almost want to have a bad year and have someone acknowledge that it is a bad year so that I can learn from it and move on. It is like sometimes people don't want to acknowledge that. I really haven't vented like this in a while, but it is good to know that there are people reading this that really care. Please pray that I would continue to see the Lord's will in this and that I wouldn't get disheartened. I know that the Lord doesn't give us more than He is with us to help us handle, but it seems like too much sometimes. I am new at teaching and I don't feel adequate at what I'm doing, I am going to be a new husband and I know that I will never be able to get to my goal for that, and I am new to the cross-cultural thing too even though I lived in czech last year this Austrian culture is way tougher and it is really hard. I guess this is just a time where I have to trust that the Lord is with me even if I can't feel it. I know He is there but why does faith have to feel like death. It's just downright HARD to have faith sometimes.

On a more positive note I would like to say that this week is Spiritual Emphasis Week for the Elementary school here at VCS and Jerry Jacoby and his wife, Michaella are here to minister to our students. Not only are they ministering to our Kids but we as adult teachers get to hear a fun approach to the Gospel that rings true even for us. God bless them. You can check out more about the couple at http://jerryjacoby.com/ This week will be great. My art schedule is out of whack though but hey thats every elementary teacher this week. The kids will be learning about "The Great story" of God's grace. The guy is seriously the funniest kids entertainer I have ever seen and the kids adore him. I hope to have pics soon. I'll have to rely on fellow staff members for those because I kind of forgot mine in CZ. Oops! :) Anyway, I hope all of you have benefited from my aparent venting. I feel much better now and quite able to continue into this hectic week. Please keep me in your prayers as you think of SEW this week and the impact that it not only has on my routine but more importantly the impact that it can have on the students and towards winning their hearts to Christ. God bless you guys.

B

Friday, April 13, 2007

Support situation . . .

Hey guys,

I thought I would make a post here to really thank those of you on my team in keeping me here in Vienna. As many of you might know it isn't an easy thing being here on 100% missionary support. I am a teacher full time and still need to keep up contact with everyone back in America that is faithfully supporting me in prayer and finances. I am truly more thankful than you can ever know for all that you guys do. This is a tough time in my young life. There are many changes taking place and I sometimes feel very inadequate for the place He has put me in. However, I know, and His word has confirmed this, that I am in the right place.

Right now, even though times are really tough financially, He is asking for my faith. My faith really hadn't truly been tested until I became a support based missionary here in Vienna. God is teaching me alot and strengthening me throughout this process. He is also showing me the immense need to really stay in touch with all you guys back home. That is why I would like to ask all of you, if you have time, to comment or send me an email to let me know that you read this and how I can make it more effective. Should I post more, should there be more content? How can I improve in my reporting? I really look forward to your responses. God bless you guys! :)

In His grip,
Brian

Wedding Time!!!! :)

Ok, maybe there are too many exclamation points in the title line, but I am kinda excited that we have some concrete details nailed down for our wedding plans. The wedding invitation is below. We wanted simple but interesting.



My parents will also be having a reception-type deal when Betka and I are back in the States this summer. The information for that celebration is as follows:

Where: Grace Community United Methodist Church
735 Main St. NW
Bourbonnais, IL 60914

When: Sunday, July 1st@ 2-4PM Open House style

Why: To celebrate our wedding.


I will probably plan on talking to some close friends and family that evening about Vienna Christian School and my involvement in ministry there and ways that people can help support Betka and I there. Hope to see some of you there! :)

Blessings,

B

Monday, April 02, 2007

ACSI ICEC . . .Man thats alot of acronyms! :)

Hey guys,

Just thought I would get na little update in here while I have time between sessions.

I am here in Kandern, Germany, the location of Black Forest Academy in the south of Germany. We are actually only 30 minutes drive from Basel which is in Switzerland and near the French border as well.

This conference that I am at right now is a convention of educators of Christian International Schools in Europe and Africa. Some schools that have teachers here include teachers from Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Austria, and Senegal, as well as many others. It is really refreshing to meet with so many people that are doing really the same things that I am doing at VCS. There are many great sessions that are offered. I just attended one session that addressed the fact that some teachers can let shame take a place in their classrooms that they shoudn't. It was really well presented and I learned alot about how the subtle things I do in class and even the facial expressions that I use can drastically affect the learning of the students under my supervision. There have also been some really great what they call Plenary sessions where they have two keynote speakers there to encourage us and bring the word of God to us in a new way even for missionary teachers. I am also attending an intensive seminar where they are showing me how to integrate my Christian worldview into my lessons. Lets just say that my brain hurts alot.

I hope this entry finds you guys well and I do look forward to having a little more time to write a longer entry but they keep us really busy here. God bless you guys.

B