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 SelectSmart.com selector, Christian Denomination Selector, is Presbyterian Church USA

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

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

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

  • My #5 result for the SelectSmart.com 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.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    Maria Ester birthday

    Maria Ester, my doughter is completing 4 years old, she is a great blessing and a great miracle God gave us.

    Maria Ester is now drawing even better than her dad·Posted by Hello

    Monday, June 14, 2004

    10 reasons why your church sucks

    First of all I would like to confirm my love for the church and my recognize of church as the hope of this world, I recognize church as a place where God talks to us, as a place to experience true community and as a redemptive potential for this world. It was a great idea from Jesus Christ.
    However, I have seen the institutionalization of the church as a process that has been neutralized the redemptive potential of them.
    I have seen a very good article called 10 reasons why your church sucks, with sadness, because I have checked most items of this list comparing with churches I had related.
    I have sympathized most of what the friend of the author had showed, I had also suffered a kind of church abuse, and I know how hard is to recover from that, I countinously see with much sadness many leaders that had their dreams stopped by poor leaders who had shown better political influence, many of them have exiled, like me, in "open minded" chuches, others have lost their faith. With the mercy of God I have not lost my faith, but I am countinously praying for opportunities to help the church to regain their redemptive potential.

    Saturday, June 12, 2004

    Second try

    This is my second try for creating an english version for my "Check list para viver o cristianismo hoje", this is a portuguese written blog, since I have started my blog, I have received some visitors from other countries, since then, I felt a need to make an english blog.
    I know that mantaining a second blog is a hard work, however, I would like to serve you that don't speak portuguese and also would like to get more partners (by prayers, ideas or anything else) for my journey.
    I have an Alta Vista button in my Brazilian blog to translate everything into English, but I don't know if it works very well. Sometimes, a word by word translation is not enough to make me understood.
    From now on I will work to post here my brazilian posts and anything else worth of commenting and explaining for non Brazilian readers
    Thank you for visiting my site!

    A lazy, lazy day...

    It started a rainy day, there is cold weather coming, this is my home view now, I can hardly see Paulista avenue now... a nice day for lazyness

    a lazy, lazy day...·Posted by Hello

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    How to read the Bible

    At the book The Mentored Life, I’ve got another interesting text from Soren Kierkegaard explaining how to read the Word of God. He told us that the loyal reader is those who search a basic faith in God to delight himself in the Word of God night and day. To get it, Soren Kierkegaard makes some recommendations:
  • at first, you need to be alone with the Word of God, which is not to allow that other ideas intervene in text read
  • second, create a silent environment for the Word of God. If we fail to do it, we can forget that we are dealing with the Word of God or we will fail to listen to it due the “noises” of our cultural inclinations
  • third, see the Bible as a mirror through we see ourselves and answer to what we see in us as sinners.
  • Fouth, this reading must take us to a deep feeling of conviction, personal repentance and to a behavior of repentance and humility by reading the message of God to us, this should allow His internalization in ourselves
  • Fifith, make a responsive reading to obey it and practice the truth
  • Sixth, Recognize that the biblical communication is done by indirect ways: Jesus himself told us stories.
  • Finally, read the Biblie with hope, believing that everything is possible to God, in order to make us open to the newness of God.

  • I take all those recommendations as a great challenge. As long as I try to read my Bible everyday, it is very easy to start reading it as a challenge to comply my goal of reading the Bible as many times as I can. However, no goal would help me to listen what God is telling in each text. An interesting thing of the recommendations above is the effort that the Word of God read (as once Brian McLaren told in one of his books) and teach us.
    In Spiritual Mentoring, I found the word “bibliolatry”, which is when people goes to Bible with all their pre-conceived ideas to base their own theology. Indeed, we will only make it if we read the Bible with a teachable spirit, which requires humility, sincerity to recognize what is not in agreement with the Word of God and disposal to change whatever is needed in our lives.

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    Perfect Peace

    I weaked up this morning with this music in my mind, actually, I have latelly waked up many days with this music in my mind, this is the bonus song of DVD Dwell, from Vineyard. I believe this came as an advice from Holy Ghost giving me the assurance of peace all day in the midst of all kinds of situations:

    In You I find peace
    In times like these I find peace
    And my thoughts can rest
    And my heart can trust
    In Your perfect peace

    I will trust in You (in Your perfect peace)
    I will hope in You (in Your perfect peace)
    I will rest in You in Your perfect peace

    I will trust in You, I will hope in You
    I will rest in You in Your perfect peace

    This is my pray today.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004


    "Ah, we who still call ourselves as christians, we are all, from the christian point of view, so spoiled, so distant from what Christianism requires from those that want to be called by that name - dead to the world - that we rarely reach that level of passion" (Soren Kierkegaard)

    Extracted from the bookThe Mentored Life