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.