Thursday, December 30, 2004

Thinking in 2004 - Introduction

At the beginning of this month (December) I was returning from office to my home expecting to take my doughter to her school (she would spent the night there) and I would go out with my wife in that rare night alone (me and my wife). When I was less than 20 minutes to get home, my car's gears started to crash and it could not go further anymore, it was took to the mechanincs workshop and spent there 3 days to be fixed, my weekend plans were totally frustrated. Not only my night plans were frustrated so I realized the same happened to many plans for the month (when I did not succeed in a job interview) and the year (when I expected to be engaged to a church project and community and some more frustrated plans). At that time that frustrating experience became one summary of my year.
But it is not fair to summary the year with angry thoughts, there is something to tell about my year, but a thing I also realized is that though sometimes you thing everything is very plain, you are not aware of all the seeds being sew and even more what God is doing that moment in your heart, and around you.
That is my mood when I started to summary 2004, my hopes remain for next year, even more because of the God I have been knowing and growing in His knowledge by these kind of experiences.
Like I did last year in my brazilian blog, I would like to highlight relevant experiences, books, films and postings (first time) for 2004. I hope to cover everything until tommorow (remember: this work is being done in portuguese also)

Thinking in 2004 - 5 most relevant things of my year

As I have done last year in my brazilian blog, I would like to highlight some good things of this year:
- My blog - I started blogging in October last year, but after joining a group discussion of New Kind of Christian book, I started to know a very nice bloggers community. I could know very good people in Brazil and US and I was very nicely encouraged through their comments and e-mails I have received. Besides this very important expericence to meet good people, the experience of blogging has been very nice, though last months I have been slow to write, I have maintained to visit other bloggers and I have received encouragement and inspiration by what has been shared by them.
- Orkut - Orkut had a great impact here in Brazil, surprisingly brazilians are 64% of all people in Orkut. The good thing in this system is to meet people and maintain them in your group. For me, it was great to be recognized by people I have not seen by long time as their friend, each time I saw people inserting me in their group, I felt good because of being remembered by them, each message of being inserted by old friends made my day! I have restarted to talk with some old friends, some other I will in the future, but this meeting at internet made difference to me. I have created two communities there but it has done a very slow path, but I have fun with other communities I am participating.
- Integral mission theology - I don't know if it is the term outside Brazil, but in this year I was introduced to this theme by nice books (most of which I will list later) and also in the church I have been going. It is a paradigm break not thinking about heaven so much, and starting make it happen here.
- My house - I could start to invest in my house as never before, my living room was totally changed after 11 years of marriage, Thanks to God I could do it. I think my house is much more functional after 2004.
- Business change - This year I felt the effects of the buying of the business I work for by a third part. Changes is though, we had to redirect our way of doing things according to new owner and sometimes we got frustrated mostly with the communication of news. I feel risky as never before, but I am deeply depended of the provision of God to me.

Thinking in 2004 - My top 5 books

This year I have read as never before! I have tried to be prepare to when I got back to a ministry, I have got great lessons, I was confronted a lot and growed a lot also, I am looking forward to practice all of it:

- Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard - It is really a classic! It was the best study about the sermon of the mount I have ever seen. Also I have got a better comprehension about what means the "Kingdom of Heavens".
- Mustard Seed vs. McWorld, Tom Sine - That's a very intelligent and organized book. It has great insights about what means to be church and act today for the sake of the Kingdom. This book demands great action after its reading.
- A New Kind of Christian, Brian McLaren - Another striking book! It was very interesting to note the Modern mind influence in lots of faces of our churching day by day.
- Reimaging Spiritual Formation, Doug Paggit e Solomon Porch Community - This book gave me a great idea of what means an emergent church. It was awsome to note their authenticity and their faith in action
- Run with the horses, Eugene Peterson - That is a great reading, I could have a very nice idea of Jeremiah and realize how much his ministry is need in the evangelical jungle we live today.

Thinking in 2004 - My top 5 films

- Lord of the Rings- Return of the king - Fantastic film! Great Production and a great history. I am really looking forward the extended version for all trilogy
- The Last Samurai - I didn't want to see the film at movie, so I saw its DVD, that was not a great idea! This film brings a great lesson about humility and honor.
- The passion of the Christ - This was not entertainment, it was a great experience. A great use of movie resources in order to make the sacrifice of Jesus being understand and felt. My communions would be different from the film on.
- 50 first dates - It is a nice comedy, but brings us the lesson about how to conquer everyday. Frankly, I think I also should see a tape every morning telling about my story and what I am doing here.
- 21 grams - This is a very strong and deep film, we have to work throughout all story and give great lessons about what mean to live dying.

Thinking in 2004 - Top 5 posts

This is new for this year, I have got the inspiration from Knightopia, his friend made a blog with the top 5 of all his friends. I tried make my list.
As I started blogging in English later, I have fewer options than my Brazilian Blog.
Here's mine:
- How to read the Bible, June 10
- Psycho Behaviour, July 06
- No excuses, August 25
- She prayed for twelve, August 02
- Christian consumer, September 27
- Family always worths more, October 27
In my birthday I was able to list 20 most important moments in my life, it was posted prior to start posting in English (may), I think that was the most important post for me, who knows in my next birthday, I will be able to translate to English?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Starting to review 2004

I have got from JR Woodward a very nice review of 2004 from MSNBC with photos, there is an editors choice with gathers photos of important events of this years and there are also readers choice with gathers generaly very beautiful nature photos of the year.
This slide show is followed by a very beautiful soudtrack. Worth to visit!
The Year in Pictures - MSNBC

Friday, December 24, 2004

Suddenly, It's Christmas

Suddenly we've got to December and now it is Christmas. Though I have been very slow to write, I would like to not let it pass and write something about it.
That is right that this date is not so Christian, Jesus has not born in the end of year, the date was established based on a pagan date. Most of symbols we have does not lead us to Jesus (the assumed reasom for this holiday), most of people today are more concerned about gifts and a nice meal. Though, this is a special moment to think about Jesus.
I have in my mind today, a bible passage writen by Jeremy at his Lamentations 3:21-23:
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The more I study and reflect about what Jesus said, the more I think about him, I can see more the love of God for us and I understand that his way to live is really the best for us. Jesus told about living an abundant life and living what he said mean to live a life far above the mediocrity of day by day.
Jesus is my motivation to write here, to hope that I can live a much better life, that I am free to prove a very deep level of relationships, that we can live a kind of community that have really a great impact in our world. That is why I could not stop dreaming and searching.
When we tell that Jesus is life, it is because in him we have everything to live the real life, when we see the world like it is, we can see that is much more to preach by our words and our lifes to people recognize Jesus as Savior with a salvation that can effect from now on to the eternity.
This is how I see a nice Christmas.
This is what i wish for you.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Not bad for Corinthians!

Yesterday our main soccer championship ended with the championship given to Santos, they beated Vasco yesterday and could win championship. Even with main players transfering to Europe, they could maintain their base and could bring other good players to maintain their power.
But I don't want to talk about Santos because I support Corinthians, I expected Corinthians to end at 15º place if not at the last places of championship, at the beginning of the year everything was wrong with us, we had few victories at the first matches, but we changed our Trainer and he could perform a wonderful job there, he could recover players stims and we returned to win matches again, even with a very small results (1x0 mostly), but we got the 5º place, for me, it is more than good.
Actually Corinthians signed an investment with a very suspicious group, I didn't like it, though they are bringing money to pay debts and bring better players, but we don't know from where this money come from.
I rather maintain Tite as our trainer and see what could happen with his long term work with small investment. Actually soccer clubs here don't have too much money to maintain good players here, we have to perform a different kind of work here with players at beggining career. This is our reality now.
We are still in 1st division and, this year, for me, it is fine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Signal of changes?

Spoils shared as stars turn out for anti-poverty gala match (Yahoo!)

When I was younger, I liked when FIFA used to join Americans (mostly south americans) in a team and Europeans in another team for a soccer match. It was fun to see brazilians and argentineans in the same team, and it was fun to see the best soccer players of the world playing in the same game. Later Africans and Aseans joined both teams and we used to have a good entertainment.
Today Champions League in Europe promote games with a World Cup's level (if not better), teams in Europe seems to grab the best players in the world.
Yesterday we have the second match between Nike players (Ronaldo's team) versus Adidas' players (Zidane's team).
We are not used to see Europe x Americas anymore.
Signal of Changes?

Monday, December 06, 2004

A New Way to Be Human

Last weekend I could finish "A New Way to Be Human" reading, this was the first book chosed by Rambling Reading to be discussed.
To join a discussion about a book was a very nice experience, one thing is simply read a book, other is writing your thoughts each chapter and find other thoughts about it, even if a book doesn't brings anything so different, we have the opportunity to raise issues, talk about that and, sometimes, redefine them when you see different point of views, I thought this process very interesting.
I liked book, Charlie Peacock invites us to consider our Story, and how this story mix to God Story, I liked this idea once we know that Christianity is not only a religion but a much higher on going project purposed by God. Also, once you consider others story and even place story, you know that you are not beggining at start, you must consider your redemption scope acting with a person as well as in the place you are. My challenge in this matter is to recognize what kind of meaning I am giving to people around me as well as the place I am.
Though we have some people tiring about his enforcements, I have learned with his repetations. Though the book doesn't bring anything so new, it was a great oportunity to reflect our way with God:
"My mission has been to help people move from a small view of life to a comprehensive kingdom view, to help people move from what is mostly life as rote, acculturated behavior to life characterized by a full knowledge of and participation in the unfolding drama of God and his people. If any so-called Christianity of Christian theology doesn't inform, reconcile, and renew the relationship between God and people, the relationships of human persons, and the relationship between humanity and all of creation, it has not done its work"

We could also take a good reflection about marriage and the importance of marriage in God's plan. Lots of books does not devote this space to talk about it and marriage really deserve more reflection and to be seen as very strategic to the redemtpion of this world.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Here in Brazil this is a very common weekend, but most of the bloggers I used to see (here at your left) shows how Thanksgiving is important.
In the past we have a bank that every thanksgiving day made a thanksgiving event that was broadcasted at TV, but we are not used to observe this day.
It is good to reflect how we are used to thank and to have a gratifull atitude, commonly even to start some conversation it is common to complain about something, if the person agrees the conversation started.
I have posted in my brazilian blog a very nice music made by one of our gratest worship musician, Ademar de Campos:

"I am gratefull for everything I have
The biggest trasure of this world was given to me as an eternan heritage
the biggest prove of a so deep love.
I have life, happiness in all times
I have friends, family and lots of brothers
it was Jesus, my truly friend
That have done everything to give me salvation.
I will worship to the Lord in all times
His worship will be coutinously
in my lips and also in my heart
Jesus Christ is allways my song."
(Ademar de Campos)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Arts Day

Yesterday I take our holyday (Republic day) to make something different, so I decided to attend our XXVI Arts Bienal of São Paulo. As my ladies (wife and daughter) were getting ready to go (not so fast) I took a look at Solomon Porch Visual arts lounge, very nice! It made me wonder about expressions and how poorly we have explored art expressions generally at church, I saw good examples at Solomon Porch (at their art louge), Warehouse 242 (which assign a picture to each of their services) and Quest, I don’t know so many examples.
XXVI Bienal de São Paulo
My visit to Bienal was very funny, there are very nice things, very weird and also very funny ones, I was afraid my daughter Maria Ester would be scared of some weird installations, but she went fine. I think one of the great benefits of art is to get new point of views, see same things by different ways and get insights that you would never get in your day by day. I returned home willing to make art, to express myself by any way, may be Photoshop, or painting, don’t know.
If I wait more for it, the same will happen: nothing!
Today I read an article from Relevant about art and church: “Irrelevant to the Church”, it is ironic to realize that art and church relationship is very controversy, once you know that arts is considered the picture of the soul.

It worthed the night!

Last sunday, at service, we heard a witness of parents of a recently born baby who had a terrible disease and had to raise a great amount of money to submit him to a surgery in US, they witnessed miracles of God raising quickly the amount and also by the quick recover of their child from this rare illness. At the end, the father concluded that they were not feeling more blessed than many parents who lost their children nor less blessed than many parents who have healthy children, he witnessed that what they spent was unique to their journey with God, something that everybody have with God, but by their own way. It was great to see such wisdom!
Few moments later I noted I have the same feeling of my wife, we could left church at this moment because that was a great message, a message preached with their own life.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

What's Going on in our world

Thanks to Orangejack blog, there's a site that classifies the top 100 significative words in news launched by news agencies, also links those to a picture, so you will find what is going on. Very interesting:
10x10 Words and Pictures that Define the Time

Friday, November 05, 2004

Bye Old Year!*

Yesterday, I went out to a mall to celebrate my 17 years of my date with my wife, the terrible thing to note was to see everything decorated for Christmas!
This is terrible, a great sign that the year is getting to end, as I heard from many friends, this is a kind of dispair by feeling that many things planned to this year was unfortunately not done.
I have read a nice text at Relevant Magazine: "Forever Young", I recommend for all people at their 30ies that is getting desperated by feeling time going too fast.
Dispair comes when we use to compare with whished patterns, be that comparision to younger people who happened to realize more things than us in their age or be that our comparision to our own expectations made when we were younger.
It is good to realize that our age is too few compared to eternity we have with Jesus Christ, I get very comforted when I think that God patterns are not related to accomplishments, but to relationship with Him.
*Here in Brazil, we have a song which we use to sing every new year and is like:"Bye Old Year, Happy New Year, that everything happens in the year that is borning, much money at poket, health to give and sell"

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

For a meaning to life

Latelly I was able to watch some movies and take advantage of my cabo subscription, so I could finally watch XMen United and Die another day (my wife loves 007 films), my difficulty to take advantage of cabo is to program yourself to be well at the time of the movie, I have been lost lots of movies because when it was at TV I was too tired or I was making anything else. There is another movie, (which I recorded in my VCR) that I was long expecting to see, The Good Girl, in Brazil the movie received another title :"For a meaning to life", this film catch my attention mainly because of Jannifer Aniston (ex-Friends) performing a drama, very far from Rachel Green.
She plays Justine a woman very upset with her life, she worked at a supermarket making up other women to sell make ups, that environment was very boring, also she was married to a pathetic house painter that used to grab is co-worker every night to her house to see TV and smoke marijuana. She looks prisioned to her life.
She met a boy, Haiden, who was also fed up with life, his parents were very far from him and just watched TV at night, he used to create some stories which the main character commited suicide at the end. They have an affair, but Justine felt greatly guilted, she even accept an invite from a creepy safety guard to attend to a Bible study meeting, she took her husband to recover her marriage but runs away when she saw a recepcionist of the hotel she usually had the affairs.
It is a disturbing movie, it is disturbing when you see some days like that, to be at night watching TV and seeing the life going away. But I thing the most disturbing thing is how we christian are providing the meaning of life for those kind of people that feel prisioned to their life, have no hope and surround us everyday. Sadly, many churches are just changing pathetic lifes in front of TV to pathetic lifes at programs in churches.
Jesus Christ gives us abundant life, living with him mean to share his redemption to all world, participate of a community of love and faith that lives fully love, Jesus have the answer that people are looking for, we have to live this answer and save people from the hell they are living now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Family always worths more

It is already Wednesday and I should not miss the opportunity to talk about couple’s retreat I attended last weekend. I have been writing a lot of my search for being a Jesus disciple here and now, but a great issue of that is regarding being family.
This was my first couple’s retreat after 11 years of marriage, I returned very glad for reflecting especially what it means being couple and being family.
We reflected about the liquid mind of today’s world, when you are what you consume. Consumerism have weakened the idea of conquest, as long as when you get things so easily, the feeling of preparing yourself for a travel, for a house and even for a marriage, has been made conquering not meaningful enough. For instance, when you prepare yourself for a travel to Europe, each month worths and the travel really became a dream fulfilled, but when you decide to go to Europe next week even sharing payments for next months, travel will not be as meaningful. When you know a girl and next night you can sex with her, where is the conquest? That is why liquidness of thinking today is a great hazard for the steadiness of marriage.
By marriage God gives the opportunity to be one, the closer experience we get of oneness that He have with Jesus and Holy Spirit, a great blessing, a blessing that worths investment not for the sake of marriage, but for strengthen spiritual experience with God.
The liquidity of today’s mind have hardened hearts as long as people start thinking a lot about yourself and lacks the opportunity to love, it causes people unlearning love and weaks their capability to love and share, that is why our marriage begins to be a great witness of the power and blessing of God for us.
With “New Way to Be Human” discussions, we’ve been talked about God purposing the way to be human, in this matter, purposed marriage, man and woman leaving their parents and becoming one, and all through Bible we learn how to have a very balanced marriage by love and submission. As long as man (or woman) starts to think more about himself and define his own way to drive his life, his marriage lacks the balance and his hearts starts to hard and marriage gets hazarded. This is where sin grows and life in earth becomes poorer.
I am not defending marriage for itself, as the institution that must remains, but the way of God allowed us to feel how can we be one. And how nice it is.
The theme of our retreat was more than appropriate: The Family always worths more, and I am confident of it.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Reimagining community

I have just finished to read Reimagining Spiritual Formation, I was very pleased to be presented to Solomon Porch Community. Their description about their values and the journals of some members made me feel presented to them.
I sympathize with author’s uncomfort about doing church today with yesterday mind, I also think that I could not stand with regular church expression for 10 years, mainly here in São Paulo we still have a great need of new kind of Christian expressions that fit to our reality today (faith is the same, expressions may change).
I don’t know if I could get along with this community very well, but, as I have already told, I appreciated their efforts to find a community approach instead of applying today’s regular churching approach which somewhat are close to marketing and business administration. This effort made me think about how authentic I was when I used to ministry in church.
I have reinforced some general conceptions with this book. I am glad to find a community like SP that found their own life, and set their own history and personality, it is good SP reimagined how they would go and maintained a great respect for what have done in christian history, that is a very good example.
I am a lot eager to start a new history with a new community here; sometimes I think I have everything ready in my mind to apply in a new community, which is a great mistake. Though we must have very defined values to drive a community direction, community itself will set the path as long as needs and gifts show up.
This path will be better set if communities dare to create their own patterns. I think people are usually very lazy to discover their own path, they see examples and instead of getting principles, they read that as how-to-do church, applying models that fit another reality. That is why we have some good examples and lots of bad copies of these examples.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday Investigation

Here's a new meme purposed by Rick Stilwell
1) Who was the first person you talked to this morning?
Andre, my former trainee, talking about weekend

2) What was the first thing you saw this morning?

My clock-radio

3) Where was the first place you went in a car today?
To office

4) When was your first phone call this morning?
My wife, as usual I call her when I got office

5) How did you decide what to wear?
I like blue, but I try not to wear one my blue shirts everyday, today was yellow shirt time.

It is not business... It is gospel

I read an article from Mark Priddy at Ooze "It's not business... it's the gospel", and I think he went deeper when I talk about Marketing and Church, he described a mind of marketers trying to sell church. As I were reading his attempts to make a campaign for the Gospel I sensed what he concluded later, a pure reducionism of the Gospel.
Thinking about making an ad campaign to bring more customers to church, and improve services to make them repeated customers, make me think that sooner we will not have the same gospel, this because these customers will change for a new one as soon as customers find a improved version of this, they will change them as they do at market. Churches will have to launch a better version later.
It is reducionism! As if following Jesus words were not enough.
I am reading the book about Solomon Porch, and I am appreciating all efforts from Doug Pagitt and his community to run out of all marketing attempts we have in church and exploring community and gospel for themself, it seemed more authentic.
When I was studying business administration university, I ever related all classes I was learning to church, I am the type of applying everything I read and do to the Kingdom, but seeing all exaggerations, I can conclude that Jesus brings much better solutions than Kotler.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The end of an era

Our couch prior to its ending years, my wife back staring at our beautiful sunset Posted by Hello
It was one of our great attractions of our beginning life together and supported very well the first for years of Maria Ester, it is our couch.
It was like a trademark of our house to our first visitors, some people thought that it was like a mania because I had also at that time striped bermuda and two other striped polos, we even received a blue striped toilet gift.
After all its glamour, last years were very hard with it, the first years of kidding from Maria Ester and its aging made it too unconfortable.
Well, our blue striped couch era is over and its days are counted, we have recently ordered a new couch, but we will miss it.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

NWTBH ch2 - The jazz of God

"When the "personal Savior" story gets mixed together with individualism and consumerism, a nasty liaison is born... This unfortunate triad has led many to a highly subjective spirituality, one scarcely able to attract or sustain interest in people who interact with it."
"The goal of a student-follower of Jesus is to live as a knowledgeable active participant in the Kingdom agenda of God... This knowledge is carried across time in every generation by a people of long memory. It's Art and Story, It's the jazz of God that Jesus stepped into- it's the people and place"

When I read "New Kind of Christian" I got impressed with the idea about accepting Jesus as your "personal savior" might be an sales approach to evangelism, afterall this idea is not based biblically, we are called to believe Jesus is our savior, not to receive him as "personal", as if salvation is a thing we can buy. Since them I have been reflected about ideas we have accepted but not confirmed them on what Jesus told. When we take salvation too personal, we could wait for Jesus Christ comming while God called us to a vivid life that begins from now on.
This chapter talks about a people that begin they journey at the wrong place, we accept Jesus Christ as personal, start to live a very individual spirituality and didn't realized that we are making part of a greater History, the history of God.
I agree that the lack of a communal story might be the source of a Christianism that did not reflected to a world so better, we hard realize that we are participating into a greater history and frequently we are found frustrated in our activism to entertain people in our communities, while the intention of our actions should be so higher.
That is a very nice call, a call to participate of what God is doing, a call to the abundant life.

Friday, October 08, 2004

NWTBH ch 1 - Parachute epiphanies

In first chapter we are called to a epiphany, as I saw in Rick's blog, this word may be a little unused in US too, I understood that as a revelation of God.
According to author, if you try to explain all reality according to all you know it will be like a guy explaining the earth from the window of a plane, If you want to know what is reality, you should get your parachute and jump, fell the wind, the sun etc.
It is, there is so much to be known about God, but you will really go far walking with Jesus. It is a hard task to pretend you are sure of God after studying all Bible, we don't know what kind of subjectivity you have in your assurance, thought you have got the right source, the Bible has the source, the true about Jesus, but it is just the beggining, but you can know the must by your life with God.

"Christian folk have often claimed to know too much. We've been guilty of speaking with far too much certainty... They load you up with words, propositions, assertions, and aculturated behaviors, and then send you out as some sort of fleshy trump card to the gazillion other cards in the human deck - an agent of the gospel in the soul-saving business"
"The best we can do is (1) make a confession, and (2) offer an invitation. One, we confess we have a starting place for looking at life... Two, we invite you to come over and stand where we're standing at the starting place of who and what we're sure of -Jesus"

With this I can remember two texts in the Bible:
"Jesus' disciples saw him do many other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life" John 20:30-31
"I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes" Job 42:5

Knowledge of God will not come so much from the books you read and the simposiums you assist, but rather living with Him and living with those who live with him.

Blogging University

I have found in e-vangelism a link to Rob Williams blog who patiently structured a kind of blogging university course, nice to see how I am doing in my blog and to learning a lot, see the classes:
Blogging 100:Prerequesites
Blogging 101:
Blogging 102: HTML Code
Blogging 201: Posting Photos
Blogging 202: Publishing
Blogging 301: Marketing
Blogging 302: Webstats
Blogging 401: Template Tweaks
Blogging 402: Ettiquete

Monday, October 04, 2004

One year posting!

A year ago I started to mantain a portuguese blog trying to make an Check list to live like Jesus today, with a great influence of emerging communities I have been trying to leverage this kind of discussion in Brazil.
With inspiration of other good blogs I believe I have been growing a lot and I am so happy to know lots of good people in Brazil as abroad that help me in this journey. With the presence of so much people abroad I started to post also in english to share my journey here in Brazil and to get company in these hard task to walk in Christ.
I thoough about blogging as an interlude between a very active time ministring to youths and teenagers in my former church and a moment I expect so much to be back to the game, but all these posts have been a good sign of where I am going where I may be going and to try to express authenticity. I hope to blessed you in all these moments in inspite of all the dreams, mistakes and contradictions expressed.
To all that have comment to all that have encouraged me with your thoughts and presence, thank you very much!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

New Way to be Human - Prologue

We are close to start discussions about New Way to be Human, from Charlie Peacock, I believe this kind of experience of discussing a book will be a lot worth, as long as you get experiences from other backgrounds, you get great opportunities to learn and grow, even more because people there are very cool.
I will try to share something as long as we will go through the book, here some sharings about Prologue:
I liked some definitions Peacock started to make in this prologue, my
everyday challenge comes when you talk about intentionality,
("The new way to be human is about the reality of God ans his ways. It's about stepping into the Story of God-people-and-place with intentionality")
I think we have to be too strong with our intentionality when day by day comes with their demands and distract you from the main purpose.
I think our deeper challenge is to be subverted by Jesus will quoting:
"Jesus did not come to start a new religion. He did not come to create a two-hour-on-Sunday parasite culture that pious people can stick on the side of their otherwise busy lives. Jesus came to subvert every aspect of life and culture with the relational Word and will of God- what he annouced as the kingdom... Following Jesus faithfully means seeing to it that all of these areas in our lives are subverted by the kingdom and rebuilt in the new way"

Tomorrow we will start discussions from Chapter 1 on, the link for our group is here: Rambling Reader

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Is it all Marketing?

After being at a Christian fair, I have been thinking more about Marketing.
First, thinking in our political campaign (Sunday we will have municipal elections) we have been exposed to a very hard campaign at TV, every elections parties have free time in TV, and political campaign does not mean purposes anymore, it means now disonest manupulated information, I am fortunate to have cable TV, because parties ads became very agressives, sometimes I zapped open TV to see some councilor candidates that were very fun!
At church, we have ever some marketing iniciated man that starts to tell that Salvation is our product and the visitors are our customers (Arghhhh!). As we had in the Christian fair, it seems that Church became a very big market. Too bad!
I think yet that marketing brings us good tools to be used today, I remember Leonard Sweet telling that "POP culture today plays the same importance that Romans streets played at the early church", I think marketing can help us very much in the meaning of communication, I saw excelent examples thought all those examples they know that marketing will be the least. Community is everything, not marketing.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Christian consumer

I went last weekend to a Christian constumer fair, I don`t know how it is outside Brazil, fellas from US can help me in this matter, but it was a very embarrassing theme after you see consumerism lessons from Tom Sine.
The fair was full of people, at the beginning I got very disturbing to find little stands with singers singing with their sound system at a very loud level, and after you got with a crowd of people waiting for a celebrity to sign his photo. It is hard to skip your sarcasm when you see these things beside a hole evangelical band cut the entrance line ahead of you or when you see a stand with children characters a lot similar to a character first place in the market.
Would Jesus make the same thing that he done at Jerusalem market? How much are all these things needed to reach out the world for Jesus?
I think we have quite everything material we need to proclaim the Kingdom, but the main things are not at sell.
Anyway, at least I could get good discounts in some books, new Vineyard CDs (which had no bands singing at their stands) and a VegieTales DVD to my doughter, they finally got here and I liked their David story a lot!

Friday, September 24, 2004


Thanks to Rick Stilwell, a very nice post from Ooze Blog, a great step to authenticity:
"Confessions of Leaders & Pastors Who Are Reimagining Church":
1. We'll confess that we are often cynical, whether it be from a past hurt or a Radical Empiricism.

2. We'll confess that we are often optimistic and hopeful. That it's our great love for God and Jesus as proclaimed in the scripture that propells us toward living the way we do, and believing about what we believe. Often this leads to Idealism.

3. We'll confess that in our desire for faithfulness and enthusiasm for new ways of living out the Kingdom of God, we are often guilty of the very same narrowmindedness that we say we have left.

4. We'll confess that we need humility in these matters. We need to hold great convictions and simultaneously live with, what my friend calls "a posture of I don't know".

5. We'll confess that we will likely do good, badly. That we will live rightly, wrongly.

6. We'll confess that we are optimistic about the mutual admiration of the various faces of the Church. This leads us to diving headlong into discussions on the Bible, the church and philosphy often with frustrating outcomes. Ironically, it is these outcomes that actually reinforce our cynical thinking about the Church, leading us toward narrowmindedness. (see #3)

7. We'll confess that we have nothing to prove, but we often live like we do.

8. We'll confess that it's hard to confess some of these things because we fear others will take them in a manner they are not meant and use them against us. (see #7)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Is There a "Blue Man" inside us?

There is the kind of article I need to read every month: "The (blue) man inside", by Adam Wright.
It is very difficult go out of routine, but I am very sure God made us to be much more than our job description tells, God made us to create also, to live.
I got very relieved when I read that I am not defined by what I do in my job.
Ah! I liked "Blue Man" very much, but appreciated more after getting their DVD, very fun!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Tale of Three Kings

I read today a very interesting booklet called "A Tale of Three Kings", it is a tale about Saul, David and Absolon, it was very nicely told and tells about power, kindness and submission to Will of God.
Above all I saw through the book how the eager for control have no meaning. I was very touched by this, for the people that suffered and saw theirself in power or interest games and divisions, i do recommend.

Mostard Seed vs McWorld...

... reinventing life and faith for the future.
I was waiting for an oportunity to import this book from Amazon and to lower my Wish List until a friend telling me that this book were already available in Brazil with another title :"The Hidden Side of Globalization", I would never know about it with this very oportunistic title!
I have finished and apreciated it a lot! From a Greenpeace guy and an executive, I am closer to an executive, but this is not to say I am closed to social ideas, I just get discomfort when comes more social minded guys and try to blame you of having what you have and ebarass the church as evebody were obligated to donate, I rather trust discipleship and the work of Holy Spirit to move hearts and souls to see their goods as blessings to be given to people who need. I think this books helps church very much for this kind of work.
I liked very much the aplication of futurology to church, as business does. It is really a pity churches do not worth this kind of work and feel comfortable to answer questions made yesterday, but make nothing to prepare to answer questions to be made tomorrow. Tom Sine made himself very clear, a summary of his concern in this book is that Globalization process is absorving more and more of medium class money and time through his appeal to consumerism. The bad consequence of this is that church will be more needed, but will have less grasp as long as medium class will have less time and money to dispose to Kingdom.
I remember when I was taking discipleship class and simple life class was the harder of all the course. But here is a great answer, we can live with much less than we live now and we can serve God on what we have, this is the core of stwardship.
I thought this reading very important which can generate a very good discussion, mainly to the US people, from whom Tom Sine tooks a lot of examples and applications.
Their examples are very good and so creative, I thought courious the new kind of monastic community purposed.
Linked to this theme, I remember a very nice documentary called "Surplus - terrorized into being costumers" shocking and interesting, it said a similar message that consumerism is taking people to nowere and to sadness, but his answer to this was far from satisfying, it is reflected by the violence at G8, IMF etc. Mostard Seed remains a so better answer.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The attraction for conspiration

Finally I have got to finish Da Vinci Code, as already told, I wished to complete all book at the beach, but I have just got to read half of the book there, since them, I have been dealing to read three books, but at the light hours I was reading chapter by chapter and I finally got it. It was long time I was not envolved with a ficction, it is a somewhat good fiction and a good entertainment.
The problem has been when people starts to take this message seriously, in the hope that what we got from Jesus Christ had never existed, for this I have heard that Jesus went to India after crucifition, that all his parables came from essenious now that Jesus let the church be leaded by Mary Madalene, that his teachings came from mithology.
Whay so much way out of Jesus has been created?
By the other side we have a comment from Andrew Careaga for my post of September 3rd telling the fear many evangelicals show defining the book as bad to be read by a Christian, if my faith must be protected by any kind of idea, I think this is not a faith, but a faith as ilusioned by any creed to a myth we have today.
We are close to a launch of a book from Erwin Lutzer in portuguese, I think it would help me very much in this kind of discussion.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Rambling Reader Group

Rick Stilwell started a reader group, I had already joined in, we should read books close to Len Sweet, Brian McLaren and others from the emerging church movement, if you see yourself in this journey and want to join us here the link:
Rambling Reader Group - Join us as we READ TOGETHER - asking the questions and looking for answers, which usually lead to even better questions. With a Christ-centered bent to our discussion, learning in fellowship community how to live like Jesus in the Kingdom

To reflect in your weekend

From the book "Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future", Tom Sine
"It seems that being a christian was reduced to a little more than a devotional refreshment that avoid the motor to boil, trying to get the top of the mountain, trying to get the top in our career, in our social life and in our childen activities... Most of us - be evangelicals, traditional protestants or catholics - seem to have acepted without questioning that a better future means to increase as much in our professional career, to live in a nice place, and to lift up in our social life. As our secular partners, it seems that we have got the idea of the more we get the more we are"(translated by me from my portuguese version)

It seems we have got out of the trail, have you seem wich signal we lost? How to get back?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Nice Tunes!

Because of my leg bruise I spent more hours connected today, I went to Mars Hill Community Church site (Seatle), filled out a playlist with their music and kept listening, it was like staying with them in a service (Yes I know, it is very far from it, but I am starving for a service like this!), it worth it a lot!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Do you wanna see a church birthing?

I received in "New Kind of Christian" discussion group a mail from a girl that is participating for a start up project for a Mennonite church, their name is Vintage 242 Church, " A Community of God lovers, God doubters and God Seekers", it worths to see.
My prayer for a brazilian example in Sao Paulo continues, as posted last month

Nothing like a day after other...

After an awsome holiday at the beach I had a terrible workday with hours very frustrating, so frustrating that my happiness for a wonderful travel were totally gone. But there came to my mind a music (things from Holy Spirit), don't know if there is an English version:

"He is with us forever, our Emmanuel, strong God, Powerful, forever is faithfull.."

How great is to be reminded about the faithfullness of God in the middle of a though moment, I want to praise my God and to thank Him for his faithfullness and for His kindness. Thank to Him one day will not surely be like the day before, I Thank Him because with Him I can have Hope, it is Great! It is great to know that there will be allways an opportunity of change and all bad will be used to our good, the bad momments will even be used to prepare us to enjoy good moments with all happiness.
This music start with this verse:

"Give thanks to our Lord the King of Kings, because his love is forever"

Friday, September 03, 2004

A quiet week? Not so much

I am in the end of the week with some things to be posted but with no environment to do it through this week, tomorrow begins a holliday that ends just on thursday (September 7th, independance day), and I finally could be able to go to the beach (Ubatuba, afer 13 months without sea and sand!), since now I am prepared to take more than the usual 3,5 hours to get Ubatuba and to find there too many people, but my needs of beach is bigger than my fears of uncomfort. I am looking forward to post again later, after I come back on Thursday.
From now I can share that I began reading "Mustard Seed vs. MacWorld" and I am appreciating it very much.
For this holliday, I plan to read the very talked "Da Vinci code" between swimming and caving some holes in the sand with my doughter. I have found a Review of this book in Relevant Magazine, I think it would might help.
I am counting with your prayers.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The return of prodigal son

The Return of Prodigal SonThe Return of Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

At the end of Soul Survivor, I've got with history of Henry Nouwen, again, I read about his history when he saw the paint above about the prodigal son and reflected about it a lot, it touched him so deeply that when he went to St. Petesburg he got to see personally the paint, and got even more touched, this originated a book about Prodigal Son and changed his life a lot.
Different of the times I read about Nowen's experience, this time I have decided to looked after this painting, and here it is...
I think it is very interesting how God works and brings His insights by wonderful ways. We just need to be open to His relationship and open to the ways He will touch us.
The paint is very interesting, isn't? The prodigal son on his knees, the father touching his beloving child and the older brother at the dark, I think because of my huge churching background, I see myself very close to older brother. I will look to this book and learn more.
I liked also to discover other paintings by Rembrandt, he also selected many other biblical themes, it worths to see his Web Museum

Friday, August 27, 2004

Inspirational for this weekend

Found in Sivin Kit's Garden

It is easy to die for Christ.
It is hard to live for him.

Dying takes only an hour or two,
but to live for Christ
means to die daily.
Only during the few years of this life
are we given the privilege of serving
each other and Christ…
We shall have heaven forever,
but only a short time for service here,
and therefore we must not waste the opportunity.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

No excuses!

Olympics themes and lessons are on top until the end of this week!
Monday we felt a great deception in gimnastics, we were never close to get to the finals, but there surge a girl, Diane dos Santos, which started to get high grades in other competitions, mainly in floor exercise. All media started to focus on her as a great hope of medal (which we never got so far in all gimnastics).
When she exercised many people stopped to see her at TV, but she got two great mistakes, (she stepped away of the line) and her grade were not as high as expected.
When we have this kind of deception it is usual to circulate lots of jokes (mainly because the girl is poor and is an african brazilian) and lots of excuses (it could be her knee, or the organization, or the pressure, etc).
To my great surprise, she assumed her fault and did not blame anything, a great show of maturity.
I hope this might be a great lesson to many here that do not assume their falts and always have anything to blame. I can't stand excuses, I hope to have Jesus Christ more listened :"be your yes, yes and your no, no" it would be better to stand ourselves if we assume our mistakes and not cover them by our excuses, and see one to other as we are: failable, mistakable and eager to better.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

This is what I call virtual evangelism

I found in e-vangelism that Andrew Careaga disposed a introdution of his work evangelism 2.0. I could not read all document yet, but from the pages I could read, I liked very much, Internet is really a great field to be reached and wisely worked, I told wisely, this because it is easy to see evangelism without any wisdom in internet.
I thought very interesting Careaga's story about when he entered virtual environment of "The Sims" and could develop some spiritual conversation, very virtual but very true as long as when you think that behind every Sims there is a person that has a spiritual background and a searching for God.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Power or Service?

This week our president kid with the Costa Rica's president telling that he went to Gabon to learn how to be mantained in power 34 years and be re-elected. Bad kid for a man too close to Hugo Chavez (president of Venezuela)
In a newspaper I saw a very nice letter to our president:
"Mr. president, you were not elected to be in power, but to lead and govern a great Nation"

I don't like our president, I know he has a great history, but his party once looked like very ethic, now, as long as they are doing as bad as other people acted in government they look now hypocrit.
With this kid, we can learn other lesson: why are you leading, to have power or to serve?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Olympic Friday 5

With all these sport overload, I though in posting a Olympic Friday 5 which deals with our personal assessment, answer the questions below at comments or in your blog (indicate it in your comments)

1)If you could, wich sport would you play in these olympics?
Biking or thriatlon
2)Overall, in what thing do you think yourself faster ?
Get ready to go out
3)Overall, in what thing do you think yourself stronger?
Be under pressure
4)Overall, in what thing do you think yourself more resistant?
Keep friendships even when they do not return enough
5)Overall, in what thing do you think yourself skilled?
Make surprises

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Emerging Church - yes, there are cons!

I've found a link in Knightopia to a Jason Clark post about pros and cons founded in emerging church movement (Love/hate the emerging church).
Most of pros come from freedom and simplicity of doing church, it seems that the cons come from the fanatic people that started thinking that this is THE way of doing church and annoy others that are sincere too but not as "post-modern", other annoying think come from the mind that everything worth, we in Brazil call that "zona", i.e. a great mess.
I think this is a very need and important assessment to be done right now in order to not change a way of doing church for another kind of legalism.


I was found by a member of Warehouse 242, Steve Knight, this was the first kind of emerging church case I found and I have been visiting that site a lot, I was used to listen good messages from Sunday services, Steve also posts a very nice blog: Knightopia, by his blog I have discovered that services are back to be disposed at MP3, good news.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Obfuscation 2 - The answer

Wow! At the beggining I was thinking that my lying capability was very weak, but with other answers I could think I was not as bad!
The answer is number #2, yes, it appears that is not so possible to wait that much at a sunny day, the problem is that in Brazil you should never leave your car unlocked, our car robbering rate is very high!
Regarding #1, my friend is a very polited guy, when he started dating, he asked to her fathers to comply the date, that is why at the end he asked to talk with everybody.
#3 was a very difficult situation, I was seated at drivers seat, the pastor was at my side and the girl at backseat, I could not leave the car and I though I could not stop talking to go home.
That's it, I think I have a good tolerance for these kind of situations, I wished I could have this level of patience for whole life, for problems of life we have to wait for much more time, that is the thing God has been giving me as long as I have to face some hard situations.
Thank you very much all the answers, hope you all had fun!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Olympics now!

Olympics is ever a great time to me, unfortunately I was at work at Open Ceremony, but I have record and saw everything at night. Now it is the time to see everything through 4 channels I have disposed in my cabo.
We in Brazil have some gold medals hope: Man and Woman volleyball, Man and Woman Beach Volleyball, one medal at Sailing.
We have also good podium chances at Gimnastics, Athletism, Judo and Woman Basketball. I saw a Medals table to be inserted at blogs, but it shows just first 10 positions, we usually don't get enough medals to reach that position, yet.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Obfuscation 2 - Waiting times

Well, as told before, today is the day of Obfuscation 2, you will find below three stories, 1 of them is false, try to find the one and answer at comments, I will tell you about waiting times of my life in an era without celular phone:

#1 - I was with a friend at his girlfriend house, after a large time talking privetly, he and his date called the family for a serious talk, I knew they would break up (I believe they were together 3 to 4 years), I offered to get out the familiar conversation and wait outside, it was 11:30 PM, it was an old apartment building, and I went down to the dark lobby, there I was just me and the security guard, I seated at cold stairs, the lobby was far from a cosy, so it was dark, silent, cold and getting colder as the time was getting late, I wait there for an hour, two and close to 2:00 AM, there came a broken hearted friend to go home, we went through the city at 40 Km/h. It was a long, long night.

#2 - It was saturday, I and a friend would go to the movie, but first he would get a quick visit at his office to see if everything were all right with his report, I decided to wait at his car and not get to the work of parking, closing etc... It was a very hot afternoon and I remember to see that hot weather warming, see most of the radio stations and wonder what happen to his report, unfortunatelly, I could not get out the car or park it, because he taked the keys, from 2:30 PM, I waited until 5:00 with much excuses and a plan to go home by bus because he should stay at the office to work on his report.

#3 - I was participating of a working group and we met in the West zone of my city, at the end of the meeting I offered a ride for two people that lived closed to my house at North Zone (one of them were a pastor), first I take a girl to her house, when we get there, the pastor asked if she was really feeling well, unfortunatelly this was not the case, so they started talking and he started counseling, and there was getting two important hours of crying, praying and we got home. I would be all right if I were not dating that night, I told Heloiza I would get her at 6:30 PM, I got there at 9:00 PM with angry moods to calm.

I am not as good to lie, Monday I will post the answer. Leave here yours...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Kingdom, heaven and hell

I am glad to complete the reading of "The Divine Conspiracy", from Dallas Willard. I learned a lot, I thought this book a great and necessary study about the Sermon of the Mount.
I am also glad to realize how reachable is the words of Jesus, but the greater grasp we have to fulfill the kingdom within us, the greater is the responsability of us to take his word seriously of ignore him by our own risk.
Latelly I have been expose to this idea of Kingdom of God, which starts now in our lives and the idea of heaven that is our Earth renewed. The pastor of the church I have been going have talked very much about that.
I have also been exposed to a idea of hell that could be the same place of heaven but the idea of peace and the presence of God could be hell to the people that do not adore him. Sincerily I am not comfortable with that. Now I have to take my own study about our future, heaven and hell, but this idea of hell is different in my mind when I remember "Rich and Lazarus", Jesus taken apart the people are not his and the lake of fire of Revelation. Sometimes I think that this kind of hell does not fear enough, though people does not have to accept Jesus running away from hell. I have grown up waiting for a kind of future and it is not easy to see that change by this way, I have learned also that the worst thing of hell could be the absence of God and no way of repenting, I am not comfortable but I am not closed about this idea.
If you have something to help me about that I will thank you very much.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tuesday 3

Rick provided a very dreamy Tuesday 3 to answer, here the questions and answers:
1) Three things you wish you'd done when you were younger.
- Became a Triathlete
- Visit my penpals from Europe
- Became a better friend for my friends out of the church

2) Three things you wish you could be doing today.
- Visit some friends
- Play with my doughter
- Enjoy a coffee with a cake in my mother house

3) Three things you wish you can do as you get older.
- Own a small business (like a cafe)
- Live near to the beach
- Write a book

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A very good way to start

I found Axis is dedicating 40 days to refocuse their spiritual direction. I am glad to know that this kind of work is not forgeting the foundamentals.
Usually, when we have the purpose to be more countemporary in things we do at church, we got to be so pragmatic about how to do those things that the way we do things became priority. Those moments are a great step defining that priority belongs to God. It creates an environment to think about yourself, about if what was done were fine, what should be better, what were flash, what were spirit. The best way to start, like so others we see at the Bible.
Today I read about silence and solitude, I need so much this! Those are things so need in the rush of our life that I think that just in those moments when we can really reflect about our life, we can really regret, receive from God the wisdom we need day by day, and go to the right direction.

Like an Emerging Church class

I have found via a a very nice link to a Billy Graham Center about The Gospel in a Post-Christian Culture, I am not used to a abundant Emergent Church material like that, it seems it worth a lot to take a good review in those documents. I will start from who I know , Brian Mc Laren (The Strategy we pursue) and Rick Richardson (The perceptions we face), other themes looks very interesting. I like also the cases: Seekers small group, Axis, Overcomers Outreach and The Shalom.
Again, I am not used to this kind of academic material, I think most of the seminaries here are far from this kind of discussion. For me it seems the best Emerging church course I can have so far.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A new blog game!

Since we lost Friday 5 it was difficult to have funnier posts, I discover a blog game via Rick Stiwell blog that will be run on August 13 . The game is Obfuscation 2
On August 13 I will post 3 stories (one or two of them are false), came this day and try do discover by your comments which one are false, on Monday (16) I will post the results.
Hope to see you here on Autust 13!

Monday, August 02, 2004

She prayed for twelve...

Yesterday I read a very nice article from "The Ooze" written by Lisa Bledsoe called God's Dozen. It drew me my attention because of the details of a planting church in North Carolina (Catalystic Church). I liked the kinds of details listed by her and all things that concerned her that moment and later, I think planting church is a task full of risk but a very challenge one.
I think these kind of risks are risks worth to be taken, the risk of constructing a contemporary liturgy, invites and praises to God. She was really able to think out of the box and I think she did it very well, not everyone is able to do it as well, you need a great level of research and to know how to mantain teologically aceptable as well.
This is the kind of movement I miss a lot here in Brazil, unfortunatelly it is rare to see a church planting like this, and when you see one, it is just an extension of the established one. Few leaders dare to risk to create a community with a different kind of communication and approach. The task to plant this kind of community is so harder given the usually hard task to plant one, we have also our conservative culture obstacle.
As I see and collect lots of experiences outside and in Internet, I pray that God give me opportunity, wisdom and the twelve needed to dare too here in São Paulo.
Few moments ago I saw this article is a little old (January), but I'm glad to see by their website the church is going well.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A nice combination

As you may note, I have been reading "The divine Conspiracy" from Dallas Willard and "Soul Survivor" from Philip Yancey. The first talks about a radical approach of the message of Jesus Christ to live today, the second talks about lives of great man that were great because of their faith in Jesus Christ. The first talks very well about how to and the second talks very well about how they have done.
May I move my life on to live like I am been teached now.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Fear, love and compassion

I am in a company in a hard transition, our division was sold to a private American company, as this week we had contact with our new boss and we would know our new structure, there was some changes in what was expected, than I became to fear what would come.
Thanks to God I had never experimented disemployment after married, but I fear to became one in next weeks, beside all Plan Bs I started to make, I remembered I John 4:18 "perfect love drives out fear" (things from Holy Ghost). The fear comes when you forget the care and the purpose of God to you.
Thanks to God, my boss have me in his plans, I am a little relieved now. But I felt a little what would like to not be employed and to cut house expenses, to search for an employement. I feel deeply compassioned for those people have this kind of dispair today, my prayers are with them.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Bad time for a game?

It is 5:10 PM, it is the final of Copa America and I have 30 minutes to take a shower and get ready with Heloiza and my doughter Maria Ester to go to church at 6:00 PM, Brazil is playing against Argentina, our worst sport rival in South America.
Even without Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Brazil could make a very good season and made it to the final. Every game against Argentina is very tough, our nerves get the highest. Penalty against us? Gol for Argentina!
Oh no! I get to get the shower!
It is a bad time for a game of a bad time for a service?
Act:It is 9:35 PM, we are back from a tremendous service, I checked the news and Brazil and Argentina tied by 2x2, but Brazil won at penaltys!
We are the champions!!!! (Again!!!)


Last Friday I have found a very interesting text about our church in Brazil written by Pr. Caio Fabio, "Sorry for the disgust" (the text is in Portuguese and I have tried to translate it to English, it is not as good, but I hope you will get some ideas of it). He confess a high level of discomfort of seeing Christianity as it is today.
We have more people claiming theirselves as evangelicals, we have more hours of services in TV, we have more evangelical products sold, but there are many problems arised. We have churches challenging african cults with the same tools of them, we have a large range of rituals preached for the sake of Jesus Christ, things much more sophisticated than Jesus Christ even thought!
I confess I share the same discomfort and it is hard to deal with that, in that times you are easily labeled as a guy taking part of the devil that doesn't like the revival we have here. I can't see any revival if we continue to have lots of poor people starving here far from be attended by them.
I am attend a kind of conference in the church I am going, today we have exposed one vision of what means the kingdom of God, the pastor concluded that we live a situation of repentance and claimness for a church that is large but very mistaked. Tomorrow we will have a preach called "The Gospel of the evangelicals and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God", it is ironic, Ithink  it have became different. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Films of the weekend

As previously in last post, after a long time I could finally see some films that were in my interior list, but all at once, thanks to our winter that brings a kind of cold weather that is very hard due humidity, some friends told me that this kind of cold weather is sometimes worse than dry cold even with very low degrees, it has been an average of 14 C, but the best to do is to be at home and see some films, I would like to talk a little bit about them:
Saturday was like a trip to Japan with "The Last Samurai" and "Lost in Translation", the day after I have to offer my wife a lunch with Japanese food in shopping we went.
The Last Samurai - I though it a great film, at the beggining I was not taking it seriously because of Tom Cruise, but as I saw some comments about the film, I feel sorry for not seeing it at movie. One of the good comments I saw came from Sandro Baggio, a pastor of a emerging church also in São Paulo in February 24th (comments in portuguese), perhaps what I though is very close of what he wrote, what we saw from the Bushido is closer from what Jesus Christ said than the promises of being "head and not tail" or to have success and prosperity as I have been seen in many evangelical churches today, who readed The Sermon on the Mount with all sincerity and tried to change his life according to it as a disciple of Christ knows very well this kind of difference. The example of the woman that had to treat and to hospedade a man that killed his husband is a hard example for everyone, but according to Jesus is the example.
Lost in Translation - Since the beggining I thougt is as a very interesting film, when you see the making off you get very well impressed with the directress of the film (Sofia Copolla) about her simplicity and the kind of production she leaded. I got a very well idea of when you have to work abroad in a short time and you fell alone, mainly because you are very away from home. Apart from it you get a very nice idea of Tokio, you get nice shots of the city, the life of the people changes when they join their solitude and get to know better the city together The sad thing is that you fell that their loneness came from home, a very serious thing to think: how are we investing in our family in order to not make your partner feel loneny even with us.
Along came Polly - I like every movie with Ben Stiller and also with Jeniffer Aniston (as a good fan of Friends), a like it as a very soft comedy. I though it as a film about safety, I though aboug the false safety we search, Ben Stiller as a risk analyst took his job very seriously, and took it even to his choices of life, the problem is that when we get to analyze the kind of risks that affect us we will never have all info we need and we will be very far away of monitoring all variances of life, Jesus told very well about think about today, tomorrow will bring their own evil. It makes sense to trust absolutally in God, because he knows about those variances, but Jesus traced a perfect way to live withouth concerning about these kind of things.
Finally I would like to tell a little about Shrek 2, which I saw at the movie with my family, it is very amazing, mainly when you relate to other films. I was thinking that all the scandals we have been have have ruined all the trials to create good reputations many people constructed. We have discovered much hypocrisy behind the carpet until the Enchanted Prince and the Fade became the vilains of the film. People today wants authenticity, Jesus also asked for it, something that should be a consequence of every born agai Christian.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I'm back

With the cold weather coming for the weekend and a place in Ubatuba that is not as well sophisticated as wished, Ubatuba became a bad place to stay I Friday I have backed home.
Our week in Serra Negra was very nice, it is always good to be all times with my wife and my doughter, we enjoyed a lot the farm and their warm covered swimming pools, to take some saunas, to fish for the first time (and to get a big fish for the first time). I could finally rest as I could. It was interesting to see some movement created by a priest of the Catholic church in that farm, he created like a intensive First Communion course, the families went to the farm and the kids attended these classes in the morning and in the afternoon. I think it was interesting the kind of opportunitty the priest and the farm created. Mission is a matter of opportunity
The rainy Saturday was a day to reorganize home and to finally see some films, I could see The Last Samurai, Lost in Translation and Along came Polly very nice films, but I will talk about that later...

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Thanks to God, last Thursday I prepared everything in office to be back there just on July 22nd. Now I am on vacation, I were to enjoy it on January, I had postponed to April but now it is the time!
That is the time to experience Sabbath, the rest God want us to do, 10 days is not so much to it but it is fine! A nice moment to refresh and to meet God and my family.
I spent the week watching weather forecast so with the rain forecast for our holliday (9 of July) I had to elect plan B, Serra Negra (mountain) and after Ubatuba (beach), I hope to rest some days in Serra Negra, but I would like to go to beach at least 3 days, Although it is winter here, sometimes we have 20 C to 22 C and for me it is fine, I have not gone to the beach this year, actually, last time I went to beach was July last year when I had gone to Fortaleza (very far from here, but wonderful), Ubatuba is 3 hours from here and I like this city very much, if at least I can walk in the beach it will be good.
In my baggage, I have not forget to pack "The Divine Conspiracy", from Dallas Willard, I am getting close to the middle of the book, I am enjoying it a lot, and also "Soul Survivor, how my faith survived the church", it recently launched the portuguese version for this book, I will check Amazon check list out later.
Well, I don't believe I will have internet in places I go (this is another kind of rest I will have), I hope to be back on 21st.
Need your prays.

Friday, July 09, 2004

March for Jesus, No thanks!

Last 26 of June, we have the March for Jesus in Sao Paulo, the march grabbed nearly 2.5 million evangelical people. I didn't go, I sometimes watched TV seeing people dancing, yelling and declaring São Paulo for Jesus. It was a nice event I think, but thinking better the march was much like a Evangelical carnaval than a movement to change hearts for Jesus discipleship, so did some polititians that went there to show their names and to get votes for next municipal election in November.
The problem is that people like me is treated as a betrayer, so did two brazilian articles I highlighed in my brazilian blog. I think Jesus did never think about that, he thought in changing hearts to love, mercy, humility and these changed hearts would make other hearts to change by their behaviour.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Friends are gone

Yesterday I saw the last chapter of Friends, with sadness I can realize that there will be no more new jokes, no more new funny situations. I am a great fan of them and I will continue to see old chapters as much as it will plays.
The end of Friends was likelly the end of dreams of many people that reaches their thirties, in our twenties we are tied to our friends to travel, to go out, to talk until very late. Until come the times to move your life on, marry, have children, move on your career and nothing will be like again. Suddenly we see ourselves alone with a great challenge to get over all the fun we had and have a great new life with new friends and new situations, sometimes it is very difficult to face new reality and to live as new. Keep old friendships is a though task, you have to be very active to call them but the difficult thing is that you don't know how this friendship is as important to them.
I believe friendship at thirties is an art, to be friend and to promote good moments is very difficult when we are drowned among so many issues. Relevant Magazine tells about that in a very nice way.
What I liked about Friend was mostly their sincerity, they was very unable to lie to each other, it is a very good quality that makes friendship very valious.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Psycho behaviour

Weeks ago, we had a judgement of a student that killed three people in a movie theatre by shoting to all places (The movie was "Fight Club"), based on him, Arnaldo Jabor (a famous columnist) detailed a psychopatic man: has no emotions, but can fake them to get what he wants, knows exactly what he wants, determined, do not regret of everything etc...
This is the background of a message we have two weeks ago that striked my heart, the pastor (Rev. Ed Rene) was stunned to realize that this is the kind of behaviour that we are educated to be and also educate our children to be. We have been teached by magazines like Fast Company, (Você S.A. in Brazil) to succeed in our careers with behaviours like the psycho man described above, as the best way to succeed in life.
How to succeed in a interview? Do not show your emotions, show that you know what you want. If you want to be a manager, you need not to be scary to fire someone if he is not productive enough.
The sad thing is that I have been educated in my church to be like that also, I have acted like a psychopatic man when I left my former church, when I hurted good people that were special to me when I intended to fire the psycho guys of the community, I was as psycho as the people that hurted me that moment.
The example Jesus gave is very different, dependency on God, humility, mercy, love, things very away from the behaviour we have been teached
I have just read a chapter telling about beatitudes in "The Divine Conspiracy", and I can realize that the thing to value is very opposite things magazines values.
This is to be different from the world.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Church vs. The Church Inc

The Church Inc
wants to go to the next level
is managed
prays to do something
sees other churches as competition
gives people what they want
wants to please many
listens to someones complaints

The Church
wants to grow
is led
prays to become something
sees other churches as partners
gives people what they need
wants to please One
listens to someones souls

Very nice thoughts I found in Len Evans blog. Makes totally sense for me.

Monday, June 28, 2004


"Mundo, mundo, se meu nome fosse Raimundo
não seria uma solução, seria uma rima"
Carlos Drummond de Andrade

"Oh World, if my name was Raimundo, it would not be a solution, it would be a rhime"

Many times I was tempted to believe that with only one thing, I could solve all of a problem. I hope to have learned that this is mostly far from true.
Once we grow up, we perceive problems that requires a much complex solution, may be because when we get older, we get the ability to see things in a higher view which make us able to see some connections (not all) of the problems so that one solution affect others.
In the middle of the crisis, I love to remember the hope the Bible gives:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1st Peter 5: 7)
To my God which has total view of the situation, I claim for the perfect solution which respect all other connections and will promote His Glory

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
(Psalm 42:11)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

St John

As the town where I work (Barueri) took St John day's to its local holiday, I could thanks to St John for a great opportunity to sleep until late and not to work today. It is even better because São Paulo (where I live) does not have local holiday and I can enjoy all the services with no rush and few people today.
I waked up late, took my doughter to school and went with my wife to take a walk to a park near my house, drinked some expresso and return home to watch Portugal x England at Euro 2004 (Great job Portugal!). I consider that a very good holiday among others. I am in a holiday in a city in workday.
Throghout this country (manily in small cities) we have great popular parties for St John. Good parties, with lot of popular dancings, nice food, fireworks, very pretty.
Talking about St John, it is a good day to remember what he has done, a very remarkable apostle:
  • He belonged to the closed circle of Jesus Christ, he might be a very good friend

  • Though we was not very easy and once claimed with his brother to fire someone that did not listen Jesus (Luke 9:51-56)

  • He was a very practical men, his writings about the consequences of the faith was very, very clear (1 John 1:5-10)

  • Once he was very, very old he was able to remember all that he spent with Jesus and wrote a unique gospel wrote to all the world

  • Also, he saw things very ahead of his age and things of the heaven, things that no other man could see and had to translate all those into words in Revelation. I can imagine how great task he had!

  • He was a very zealous man, and left very clear his concern of what was the objective of his efforts: to believe (John 20:30-31)
    29.06 - Recently I discovered that St John of this day is John the Baptist, a protestant mistake

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Interview with Dallas Willard

    Today at morning I read a very interesting interview of Relevant Magazine with Dallas Willard, for me, it becames a quite interesting as I am also reading "The divine conspiracy" and I felt easy to connect his ideas from the book to the interview. I like interviews, it is not common to see interviews with these good Christian authors in Brazil, and I thing Relevant Magazine makes the interviews very "relevant". The interview was performed by Keith Giles, which has a kind of subversive work among Christianity, he made good points and maintained a good conversation.
    Here you see the interview:
  • First part
  • Second part
  • Third part

  • As I have seen so far in "The Divine Conspiracy", Dallas Willard claims for a more radical following of what Jesus Christ said, he affirmed that what we have today is a lack of discipleship rather than leadership crisis, modeling crisis and programing crisis. In that case I can agree with him, it is hard to have a good conversation about discipleship and not talking about discipleship program, which is far behind what Jesus Christ had really commanded, I think also if we had our total priority in really following what Jesus said, we would not were talking about who's leading what, contemporary churches, apologetics etc... People would see the love and joy inside us and would see the difference. There is a good point of individual changing.
    I believe the problem is to talking about the primasy of discipleship and really following Jesus Christ and consider with less importance matters like douctrine, liturgies, rituals while people that consider those matters with a high priority tells that for the sake of following Jesus Christ, it becames a discussion with a high lackness of sincerity, in this moment, the most sincere will loose.
    Even with that I believe in a very sincere way of living Jesus Christ as a very countagious way of living, we allways have examples of people living this way and knowing that those people ever becomes a pattern to the rest of community.

    Friday, June 18, 2004

    You are my King

    I listened to a music, this morning, and this music is in my heart until now. I first listen to this music when I was at Willow Creek Community Church at communion, it was one the most emmotional communion I ever took.

    I'm forgivin because you were forsaken,
    I'm accepted, you were condemned
    I'm alive and well, your spirit is within me
    because You died and rose again

    Amazing love, how can it be
    That you, my King has died for me?
    Amazing love, I know its true
    its my joy to honor You
    In all I do, I honor You

    You are my King
    Jesus, You are my King
    You are my King

    Thursday, June 17, 2004

    What kind of denomination should I belong

    If I had to choose a church in US, based on Religious at the Mutual Interest Selector I should choose:

  • My #1 result for the selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Presbyterian Church USA

  • My #2 result for the selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Methodist/Weslyian Church

  • My #3 result for the selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Presbyterian Church in America/Orthodox Presbyterian Church

  • My #4 result for the selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Reformed Baptist

  • My #5 result for the selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Reformed Churches

    I don't know any of the churches above, the only church I visited in US was Willow Creek Community Church, in Chicago. As you can see in my links besides, I may have selected churches a kind of away of those denominational debate (I am not church, I have not seen this kind of debate in those sites).
    I had served Presbyterian church here in Brazil, now I am going to a Baptist one. As you have saw, I should have Presbyterian seeds inside.

  • Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    Not only a crier

    I have been liking a lot "Run with the horses", from Eugene Peterson, his language is not as difficult as I thought and he gave me a new perspective over Jeremiah. I think I ever read Jeremiah with the image of a crying prophet, and also a prophet not dare enough, because he once tried to convince God he shouldn't go ahead because of being too young.
    However, he had a great change after this talking and becames a great reference for his age.
    I have also learning about the reformation of Josiah, it is a moment I ever liked, a king that discover the word of God and promotes a reestablishment of the church, I have even preached about that a couple times. However, I didn't connect this reformation with the prophecies of Jeremiah, observing that we see only a surface reformation, people walking like God's people, talking like God's people but with the hearts away from him, worse, their hearts deeply attached to old religion.
    I see a great connection between Jeremiah and our reality, here in Brazil we can see a very big growth of churches, but this has not impacted our society as much, I think sometimes we need prophets like Jeremiah that do not feel satisfied with the growth of number of churches and prophet to a sincere convertion of the heart and mind. We need people like Jeremiah that dare to tell things that confronted status quo of their church and also distrusted what was the commom message of them, which was far different of what God wanted.