13 de set de 2009

Bruno, I choose you!

"Choosing a life partner is not a matter of getting a magical sense or a supernatural revelation that, "This is the one." It is a matter of getting to know people who cross your path and evaluating them by the uncompromising standards you have established beforehand, recognizing always that you will find more than one person who meets those standards. That is what makes finding a life partner a choice in the truest sense of the word. Out of all the people you know, out of all the friendships you develop, out of all the legitimate "possibles" before you, you choose one person with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life. This is no a flighty, haphazard, head-in-the-clouds choice, but a deliberate, sober, feet-firmly-planted-on-the-ground decision. It is reaching the place where you approach another and say with deliberate confidence, "I choose you." (page 72 of Waiting and Dating by Myles Munroe)

11 de jun de 2009

A true gentleman is...

Before blogging this I kept trying to think of someone that I personally know who is a gentleman but no one came to my mind. Only movie or book characters or my fiancé! :)

To define a gentleman, I submit this quote, my standard in RPGs for the better part of two years now: "It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause ajar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast; -- all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to make every one at their case and at home. He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome. He makes light of favours while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort, he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets everything for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments, or insinuates evil which he dare not say out. From a long-sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults, he is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical principles; he submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his destiny. If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blunder. [From The Idea of a University, 1852]"

Sometimes, I wonder if the guys have it harder than the women. Lads, you have to be the perfect knight in shining armour. But take the advice I gave the women-this is the ideal. Strive for it, but do not berate yourself if you have failed in the past, or fail in the future.

A true lady is...

I want to be a true lady. Even if it takes me years to develop some characteristics. The first step towards becoming a true lady is knowing what it takes to be a lady. So, I did some research and here it is what I found:

A lady is sweet, even-tempered and kind, never shying away from her Christian duty to any in need. A lady is always properly and nicely dressed, be she tending the sick, having tea or attending the ballet. A lady never raises her voice, for a show of temper is unsightly in a woman. A lady is meek and humble, never seeking to raise herself with words, but always to extol others’ virtues and accomplishments. A lady never knows more than a gentleman on any given subject, and if she does, she is obliged to hold her tongue. A lady never fails to be polite to anyone, be he or she queen or a beggar, a widow or a child. A lady offers everything of herself and her home to any who asks it of her. A lady never seeks the company of a gentleman, and is never alone with a gentleman who is not her relation, husband or fiancé. A lady seeks to give pleasure to those around her, through her words and deeds. A lady never runs, never exerts herself. A lady is generous yet economical. A lady knows when to speak, to add to the conversation with her gentle views, and she knows when to be silent, for men always know the world far better than a woman. A lady is a teacher and a student, imparting lessons of virtue to her children, yet learning obedience and honesty from God. She is always virtuous, always temperate, never rude nor angry. A lady is the morality of the world.
I know all of you playing a Victorian woman are about to hang up your bonnets. It seems impossible, to be perfect. And if you’re all ready playing, you know you’ve forgotten to do some of that. To be quite honest, that is the idea. The lady was a model, like the Virgin Mary, an impossible standard to emulate.

19 de abr de 2009

Nós, nosso, queremos, vamos, estamos

Meu vocabulário mudou. Agora falo na primeira pessoa do plural: Nós.

Engraçado como uma decisão de namorar, que parecia ser apenas o próximo passo a ser tomado, muda tudo!

Antes os sentimentos eram só meus, os suspiros diante das fotos aconteciam quando ninguém estava vendo, as gargalhadas das palhaçadas eram solitárias, as anotações secretas no diário faziam parte do que eu estava construindo, entendendo, questionando, orando, querendo em silêncio.

Namoro é coisa séria. São duas vidas que agora estão caminhando pra se tornarem um. Os planos dele agora são meus planos também, os sonhos dele são meus sonhos, as qualidades dele são minhas também, as vitórias dele, as lutas, as dores, as alegrias, os amigos, a família, os medos, os valores, as certezas, as incertezas, os compromissos, as falhas, as obrigações, são todas minhas também, e vice-versa.

Eu estava pensando sobre o dia do casamento mesmo, aquele momento que você diz: "Sim". E lembrei que minha mãe desistiu de casar com o ex-noivo dela quando os convites já tinham sido mandados, o vestido já estava comprado e tudo praticamente encaminhado pro casamento acontecer. Tendo ouvido essa história algumas vezes eu entendi que realmente minha mãe estava prestes à cometer um grande erro, o rapaz não estava nada de acordo com o que ela queria num esposo: dizimista, trabalhador, servo de Deus, homem firme. Mas imagina a decepção do noivo?!

Meu ponto é: penso que a decisão de se casar não é feita no dia do casamento. Quando dissermos "Sim" no altar, vai ser apenas um "Sim" em público, porque nos nossos corações já teremos certeza do "Sim", já vamos ter dito um para o outro, e o "Sim" já vai estar sendo vivido.

Meu namoro só se tornou uma declaração oficial e pública no dia 02 de Março, 09 depois de seguirmos todo o ritual desde construir a amizade, tempo de cortejo, conhecer os pais e orar, e orar, e esperar. Porém no meu coração e no coração do Bruno já estávamos namorando desde o dia 27 de Dezembro, 08 quando ele se declarou e eu me declarei de volta. E todo aquele sentimento que era só meu, passou a ser NOSSO.
(aférese de enamorar) vtd 1 Esforçar-se para conseguir o amor de; cortejar, galantear. vtd 2 Atrair, cativar, inspirar amor a, seduzir. vint 3 Andar em galanteios. vpr 4 Tornar-se enamorado; afeiçoar-se, apaixonar-se. vpr 5 Agradar-se, ficar encantado. vtd 6 Desejar possuir; cobiçar. vtd 7 Fitar (alguma coisa) com afeto e insistência. vtd 8 Empregar todos os esforços para obter. (Michaelis Dicionário)
Uma decisão de um compromisso pra vida toda não é coisa que se decide ali no altar. É um "Sim" que deve ser vivido muito antes. Um "Sim" que abrange muitos outros "Sims" previsíveis e imprevisíveis na vida à dois.

Viver o "Sim" é entender que o casal se torna um aos poucos em cada área: profissional, ministerial, familiar, pessoal, estudantil, financeira. E que a única área em que o casal se torna um que é reservada para o casamento é a sexual. Portanto todas as outras áreas devem ter um "Sim" vivido e confirmado antes do GRANDE DIA!!!

26 de mar de 2009

There are NO accidents

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

My friend Judy Squier of Portola Valley, California, is one of the most cheerful and radiant women I know. I met her first in a prayer meeting at the beginning of a conference. She was sitting in a wheel chair, and I noticed something funny about her legs. Later that day I saw her with no legs at all. In the evening she was walking around with crutches. Of course I had to ask her some questions. She was born with no legs; she had artificial ones which she used sometimes, but they were tiresome, she said (laughing) and she often left them behind. When I heard of a little baby boy named Brandon Scott, born without arms or legs, I asked if she would write to his parents. She did:

"The first thing I would say is that all that this entails is at least one hundred times harder on the parents than the child. A birth defect by God's grace does not rob childhood of its wonder, nor is a child burdened by high expectations. Given a supportive, creative, and loving family, I know personally that I enjoyed not a less-than-average life nor an average life, but as I've told many, my life has been not ordinary but extra-ordinary.
"I am convinced without a doubt that a loving Heavenly Father oversees the creative miracles in the inner sanctum of each mother's womb (Psalm 139), and that in His sovereignty there are no accidents.

"'What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Creator calls a butterfly.' As humanity we see only the imperfect, underside of God's tapestry of our lives. What we judge to be 'tragic--the most dreaded thing that could happen,' I expect we'll one day see as the awesome reason for the beauty and uniqueness of our life and our family. I think that's why James 1:2 is a favorite verse of mine. Phillips' translation put it this way: 'When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends.'
"I love Joni Eareckson Tada's quote. When I saw it on the front of Moody Monthly, October 1982, I was convinced she'd penned the words for my epitaph. Now my husband David is aghast to hear me say I want it on my tombstone! Glory be!

People with disabilities are God's best visual aids to demonstrate who He really is. His power shows up best in weakness. And who by the world's standards is weaker than the mentally or physically disabled? As the world watches, these people persevere. They live, love, trust and obey Him. Eventually the world is forced to say, "How great their God must be to inspire this kind of loyalty."

"Being Christian didn't shield my family from the pain and tears that came with my birth defect. In fact, ten years ago when David and I interviewed our parents for a Keepsake Tape, I was stunned to hear my mother's true feelings. I asked her to tell the hardest thing in her life. Her response: 'the day Judy Ann was born and it still is....' And yet when we as a family look back over the years, our reflections are invariably silenced by the wonder of God's handiwork. Someday I hope to put it in a book and I know it will be to the glory of God.

"Getting married and becoming a mother were dreams I never dared to dream, but God, the doer of all miracles intended that my life be blessed with an incredible husband and three daughters. Emily is nine, Betsy will soon be seven, and Naphtalie Joy is four. I've decided that every handicapped person needs at least one child. They are fantastic helpers and so willing to let me 'borrow their legs' when I need help.

"You as a family have been chosen in a special way to display His unique Masterwork. I pray that your roots of faith will grow deep down into the faithfulness of God's Loving Plan, that you will exchange your inadequacy for the Adequacy of Jesus' resurrection power, and that you will be awed as you witness the fruits of the Spirit manifested in your family."

11 de fev de 2009

Em cima do muro?! Cuidado!

Hoje na aula do Seminário o Pr. Eduardo contou a seguinte história, chamada Parábola da Indecisão:

Havia um grande muro separando dois grandes grupos. De um lado do muro estavam Deus, os anjos e os servos leais de Deus. Do outro lado do muro estavam Satanás, seus demônios e todos os humanos que não servem a Deus.

E em cima do muro havia um jovem indeciso, que havia sido criado num lar cristão, mas que agora estava em dúvida se continuaria servindo a Deus ou se deveria aproveitar um pouco os prazeres do mundo. O jovem indeciso observou que o grupo do lado de Deus chamava e gritava sem parar para ele:

- Ei, desce do muro agora...Vem pra cá!!!!!

Já o grupo de Satanás não gritava e nem dizia nada. Essa situação continuou por um tempo, até que o jovem indeciso resolveu perguntar a Satanás:

- O grupo do lado de Deus fica o tempo todo me chamando para descer e ficar do lado deles… Por que você e seu grupo não me chamam e nem dizem nada para me convencer a descer para o lado de vocês?

Grande foi a surpresa do jovem quando Satanás respondeu:

- É porque o muro é meu!!!

CONCLUSÃO: Se você não decidiu seguir à Deus então você está seguindo a Satanás. Não existe meio-termo. Sinto dizer que o muro tem dono.

"Nenhum servo pode servir dois senhores; porque, ou há de odiar um e amar o outro, ou se há de chegar a um e desprezar o outro. Não podeis servir a Deus e a Mamom." Lucas 16:13

"Assim, porque és morno, e não és frio nem quente, vomitar-te-ei da minha boca."Apocalipse 3:16

"Seja, porém, o vosso falar: Sim, sim; Não, não; porque o que passa disto é de procedência maligna." Mateus 5:37

9 de fev de 2009

Para receber visitantes como esse, vale à pena blogar!

Alguém encontrou meu blog ao digitar no www.Google.com.br a frase "testemunho de cura do homosexualismo". Um visitante como esse me deixa MUITO feliz! Porque é pra isso que escrevo: para testemunhar do que Deus tem feito na minha vida e do Bruno.

Voltei a blogar! Espero ser benção!

The Limitations of Formulas - Mart De Haan

SignaturePhoto05-06.jpgIf I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that followers of Christ have about as many unexpected health, work, and family problems as everyone else.

Even though the Bible is full of wisdom that promotes spiritual, emotional, and physical health, it does not give us formulas for making life predictable.

One of my younger brothers was a runner who participated each year in our city’s annual 25K River Bank Run. He was dearly loved by friends and family for his sense of humor and deep commitment to Christ. Yet he died at a fairly young age during one of his daily workouts. The opposite can also happen. People who show little regard for their physical and spiritual health, and who don’t follow conventional wisdom for what it takes to live a long and productive life, can be physically active and mentally sharp well into their later years.

One response, then, could be, “So what’s the point? What’s the use of a faith in God that leaves us with as many physical or spiritual struggles as those who trust only in themselves?”

A Songwriter’s Lament

The author of the 73rd Psalm asked that question. Looking back, he wrote, “I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.” Then he added, “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain” (Psalm 73:3-5, 13-14 NLT).

A Wise Man’s Cynicism

Solomon made a similar observation. During a time of personal disillusionment, he observed that even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether or not God will show them favor in this life. “The same destiny,” he wrote, “ultimately awaits everyone, whether [they are] . . . religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-2 NLT).

A Good Man’s Bad Times

Then there’s Job. He too shows how misleading spiritual formulas can be. According to one of the oldest stories in the Bible, Job was a model citizen. God Himself admitted that no one on earth lived a better life. Yet no one ended up with more problems.

When Job suddenly lost his family, wealth, and health to a series of tragic and unforeseen events, some of his best friends thought enough of him to sit with him in his pain. They, however, weren’t buying the idea that he had done nothing to deserve his devastating losses.

In the opinion of Job’s friends, he had to be hiding something that would explain his suffering. So one of them, a man named Eliphaz, said, “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same” (Job 4:7-8 NLT).

The Law of the Harvest

Job’s friends were not all wrong. They knew that just as farmers harvest in the fall what they planted in the spring, so human choices also bear their own kind of fruit. Many years later, even the apostle Paul would write, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest [the consequences of] decay and death” (Galatians 6:7-9 NLT).

The Problem with Formulas

Where Job’s friends went wrong was in the way they tried to apply the law of the harvest to his immediate circumstances. Their formulaic conclusion that Job was suffering for a sin proportional to his problems overlooked the temporary storms of life—and the seasons of God that extend into eternity.

When we read the whole of Job’s story, it’s clear that one of the cruelest things we can do to those who are hurting is to judge them with formula-based thinking that doesn’t factor in the mischief of a spiritual enemy, or the mysterious ways of a loving Father.

In the end, both Job and his friends had to learn that, in any given moment, the conditions of our lives may not be reliable indicators of the harvest that is to come.

As bad as Job’s problems were, he remains to this day in good company. Joseph, Daniel, and Paul knew what it meant to suffer for the wrongs of others.

Yet none of them suffered to the extent of the long-awaited Messiah. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!” (Isaiah 53:3-4 NLT).

So if human formulas would not have explained the suffering of Jesus, maybe we should not be surprised when conditions in the lives of His followers don’t seem to add up either.

For now, we don’t reap the full harvest of our faith because, in the wisdom of God and for our ultimate good, He has allowed a spiritual enemy to disrupt the order of His original creation.

But, as Isaiah foresaw, the opposite is also true. Those who trust Christ don’t get the full results of the wrongs that we have done. Instead, we have already begun to harvest the good accomplished through what our Savior endured for us. Even in our darkest moments, we have hope because He allowed Himself to be executed and buried in our behalf—so that all who trust Him could be raised to the joy and goodness of a life that will never end (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Father in heaven, please help us not to think or say more than we know about the problems we see in ourselves or others. Please help us to use our faith not as a formula to explain everything we see, but as a way of trusting You when what we see doesn’t make sense. —Mart De Haan

The people with the roses - Max Lucado

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.

In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II.

During the next year and one-month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A Romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he'd never seen.

I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:

A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose.

As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl.

A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.

This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.

I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"

The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!"

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.

Houssaye wrote:

"Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are."

2 de fev de 2009

Only LOVE explains some things

Eric and Leslie Ludy have been my role models as couple and family for about three years now. Their commitment to God and their ideal of changing the world for Christ has impacted me tremendously.

The story below is about the adoption of their daughter Harper. I've always questioned why they would adopt a child with deformities knowing they would love her and then suffer for her when others would treat her differently, maybe even make fun of her because of her hands and feet.

It's one thing when you have a child who is born with deformities, but it's a total different thing when you adopt a child with deformities, because the latter gives you a choice.

Why would you choose the uncommon? Why would you choose facing a difficulty you could avoid? LOVE. And it's just not any love, but something really special, purposely placed in our hearts by God. In such a way that it makes you see, what others may think is a tragedy, as a way for God to show who He really is, for His power shows up best in weakness.


In October of 2006, Eric and I experienced the tragic loss of our second baby through a miscarriage. It was a life-altering experience, awakening us at a whole new level to amazing value God places on little lives that the rest of the world doesn’t value. It gave us new passion not only for the unborn, but also for orphans around the world. And it re-directed our ministry focus toward these precious little ones that so desperately need advocates. During our research on the orphan crisis, we met with a local adoption agency that specialized in Korea and China adoptions. Not thinking that we’d be personally adopting anytime soon, we were just there to collect information and become more aware of the needs of these children overseas. But then we heard about a newborn baby girl in Korea who was missing her fingers and had deformities on her feet.

When we saw a photo of her tiny, misshapen baby hands, our hearts were gripped. We learned that she had been born to a poverty-stricken mother who gave her up at birth because of her deformities – because deformities are a great shame in the Korean culture, and because she did not have money to care for her. We left the agency with the images of those deformed hands and feet impressed upon our hearts and minds. On the drive home, Eric began to weep for this little girl. (And crying is not something that comes easily to him!). We asked God to give us His heart for this little child. Eric attempted to pray, but the only words that would come out of his mouth were, “God, you are a Father to the fatherless, and you set the solitary in families.” (From Psalm 68:5) As we continued to drive, we felt a clear sense of God’s presence with us in the car. When we arrived home, an email from a friend was waiting for us in our inbox. She had no idea that we were even checking in to adoption, but in her prayer time that morning she felt that God had given her a scripture for us:

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (Psalm 68:5-6)

29 de jan de 2009

Think of me - Phantom of the Opera

Think of me, think of me fondly,
when we've said goodbye.
Remember me once in a while -
please promise me you'll try.
When you find that, once again, you long
to take your heart back and be free -
if you ever find a moment,
spare a thought for me

We never said our love was evergreen,
or as unchanging as the sea -
but if you can still remember
stop and think of me . . .

Think of all the things
we've shared and seen -
don't think about the things
which might have been . . .

Think of me, think of me waking,
silent and resigned.
Imagine me, trying too hard
to put you from my mind.
Recall those days
look back on all those times,
think of the things we'll never do -
there will never be a day,
when I won't think of you . . .

Can it be? Can it be Christine?
Long ago, it seems so long ago
How young and innocent we were...
She may not remember me,
but I remember her...

Flowers fades,
The fruits of summer fade,
They have their seasons, so do we
but please promise me, that sometimes
you will think of me!

28 de jan de 2009

Change is possible, I believe! Do you?

Marcelo, a friend of mine, simply sent me an email, for no clear reason, with the news below:

"A popular Christian artist, 3 time Dove Award winner Ray Boltz announced to the world on Friday, September 12th, 2008 that he is living a Homosexual lifestyle. Mr. Boltz stated in an interview with Washington Blade "If you were to hold up the rule book and go, 'Here are all the rules Christians must live by,' did I follow every one of those rules all that time? Not at all, you know, because I kind of rejected a lot of things, but I've grown some even since then. I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things."

Coincidentally I've being reading and thinking a lot about the whole homosexuality debate. At the time I read this email I was puzzled, asking myself why he would just email me this out of the blue. He lives in Brazil and has little notion of what goes on in my life here in NY.

For the past year I've grown closer to a friend who came out of homosexuality through God's power and grace. And our friendship has stirred in my heart the desire to better understand and even help people who struggle with same sex attractions (SSA).

In October I read the news about Connecticut Supreme Court legalization of gay marriage, making them the third state behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. It made me ponder: The world is acting on their believes are we, the Church, doing the same?

Then I met two guys who are gay. Not knowing what to do about all of these urges I had of helping them, I decided to buy a book called "God's grace and the homosexual next door" by Exodus International Ministry.

I read the book and many testimonials of people who are overcoming SSA through faith in Jesus. I listened to an audio by Ricky Chellete explaining the roots of homosexuality. I also read some pro-gay articles from The Advocate, and a book from the library about Kinsey,who is considered the father of the gay movement, and his biographical film.

Just last week the film Prayers for Bobby came out on Lifetime TV, I didn't see it yet, but the story is about a teen who committed suicide after trying unsuccessfully to change his SSA through his Moms (Mary Griffith) religious methods, then after his death she understands that God loves homosexuals as they are.

Ray Boltz states that he did not follow every rule in the Bible but rejected a lot of things. I don't blame him. I have not follow all of them myself. I've sinned and rejected what the Bible tells me to do many times throughout my life. No one is good enough, we're all utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us.

"...for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23

I agree with Mary Griffith that God loves the homosexuals just as they are. He also loves liars, adulterers, thieves, drunkards...He loves all of us sinners just as we are. But our sin separates us from God, and the punishment for it is death.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

Because God is just he can not leave our sins unpunished. But because He is love He made a way so we could make things right with Him.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

God loves you SO MUCH. If you only believe that Jesus is your savior, you will be washed clean and receive the gift of eternal life.

"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:11

It's not by doing good deeds, it's not a matter of deserving anything, we don't.

"All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Isaiah 64:6

When you simply believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, for all your wrong-doings and that the punishment is paid in full, you will be a new creature. As you repent - changing your mind from rejecting Christ to accepting Him as savior - He will come and live inside of you, and will help you discern right and wrong and make better decisions.

As you start walking with God and letting Him be your Lord, He will day-by-day sanctify you. He will show you how to lead your life. By obeying God and following His ways you will not only bring glory to Him but you will also have the most pleasurable life ever.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philipians 1:6

Until Jesus comes back and takes us to heaven we will be a work "under construction". Everyday I need to let God mold me, show me what needs to be changed in me because it's not pleasing Him.

All of this is a personal choice. No one can force you to believe that change is possible through faith in Jesus. It's a matter of individual FAITH. That's where Mary Griffith made a mistake by thinking SHE could change her son's mind.

It's a choice and God won't force you to open your heart, He's only knocking and you can open the door or not.

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me." Revelation 3:20


21 de jan de 2009

Obedecer é melhor que sacrificar...

...Sim, mas e quando a obediência envolve um sacrifício?

Aí é preciso muita fé pra obedecer.
Eu também lembrei de Abraão agora. Imagino ele subindo o monte Moriá para sacrificar seu próprio filho em obediência à Deus. Que situação! Não é por menos que Abraão é chamado de Pai da fé, pois haja fé para obedecer dizendo "Deus proverá!".

E não posso deixar de mencionar o próprio Jesus que mesmo inocente aceitou calado a morte de cruz. Quem poderia nos amar tanto a ponto de entregar a sua vida por nós? Não existe amor maior que esse. A obediência sacrificial de Jesus é que nos purifica de todo pecado e nos garante vida eterna com Deus, se crermos. Jesus obedeceu dizendo "Seja feita a Tua vontade."

Ai Pai...me ensina...

"Honra a teu pai e a tua mãe, para que se prolonguem os teus dias na terra que o Senhor, teu Deus, te dá." Êxodo 20:12

Honrar o pai e a mãe é mandamento do Senhor. E às vezes obedecer esse mandamento exige sacrifício. Quando penso em honra penso nas medalhas de ouro que se ganham nas competições olímpicas, penso nos prêmios Nobel que honram as pessoas de grande destaque na sociedade mundial. Honrar é valorizar. No caso dos pais é dar o devido valor a posição deles como pais, obedecendo-os com alegria. Não basta obedecer, é preciso obedecer com alegria.

Provérbios 10:1
"O filho sábio alegra a seu pai, mas o filho insensato é a tristeza de sua mãe."

Obedecer é ir e vir quando eles pedem, fazer as tarefas dadas, não fazer o que eles proíbem e tudo isso com alegria, partindo de um princípio de amor. Se você se nega a fazer algo e os desobedece, se arrependa e obedeça. Submeta-se à sua disciplina, instrução e correção, não apenas aos pais bons e gentis, mas aos megeros também. Abrir mão, ceder aos conselhos de seus pais, à sua direção e consentimento, sem ignorar ou fazer pouco caso deles, mas buscando em tudo sua aprovação. Se esforce em tudo para ser o conforto de seus pais, e fazer com que a velhice seja mais fácil para eles, seja mantenedor deles se houver necessidade...Para que se prolonguem nossos dias na terra - essa promessa, que é geralmente cumprida no sentido literal, é explicada em Ef. 6:3: "Para que te vá bem, e vivas muito tempo sobre a terra." - Aqueles que com a consciência em Deus fazem isso e outros mandamentos de Deus, podem ter certeza que tudo lhes irá bem, e eles viverão na terra tanto quanto a infinita sabedoria de Deus achar por bem pra eles, e o que eles vêem como uma vida curta na terra, será abundandemente recompensado numa vida eterna, a Canaã celestial que Deus lhes dará.

Pensando nisso tudo conclui que esse pequeno mandamento é resposta de Deus pra que eu como filha obedeça com alegria e ao mesmo tempo para que meus pais sabendo que estou obedecendo descansem na promessa de Deus de que tudo irá bem comigo e viverei nessa terra por tempo prolongado de acordo com o que Deus achar melhor.

12 de jan de 2009

Two are better than one

"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed" - Ecleasiastes 4:9

Of all the Bible translations for this particular verse, the above version from the New Living Translation is my favorite. We find in other translations: "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor". As you read the verses that follows this one it talks about keeping each other warm, being stronger together, which makes me understand that having a good reward for whatever it is that you're working on together means succeeding at it.

The Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Eclesiastes 4:9-12 Surely he has more satisfaction in life, who labors hard to maintain those he loves, than the miser has in his toil. In all things union tends to success and safety, but above all, the union of Christians. They assist each other by encouragement, or friendly reproof. They warm each other's hearts while they converse together of the love of Christ, or join in singing his praises. Then let us improve our opportunities of Christian fellowship. In these things all is not vanity, though there will be some alloy as long as we are under the sun. Where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them; then there is a threefold cord.

Becoming a threefold cord

It's always good to have a companion to walk by your side through your life journey. But when it comes to the union of Christians through friendships or marriage it gets even better because you became not two but three.

"Where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them; then there is a threefold cord."

It's great to connect to someone because of common activities or interests. It's awesome to be close to someone because of similar ideas and goals. It's even better when you can be emotionally open to a person. But above all, it's BEST to connect to someone spiritually. Because when two people, whose main interest is to grow closer to God, start walking together, the Holy Spirit will join them in their walk, and they will be not two but three. That's what I call a strong relationship! Two people following God together equals a threefold cord.

You, God and me.
The three of us have a Bible promise to hold to as we walk together:

"I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them." (Matthew 18:19 and 20.)

WOW! Isn't it wonderful?!

3 de jan de 2009

Music: I need you once again - The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Decisions must be made
and now i have a choice,
i need your wisdom Lord
i need to hear your voice
im facing challenges
and the walls are closing in.
I'm crying out to you, my one true,
faithful friend.

hear my prayer oh lord
i need you in my life
i cry to you
oh, lord.
please lead me to the light
show me the way
oh lord
and cleanse me from my sin
i need you
i need you once again
i need you
i need you once again

verse 2
i know you are the one that guides me day by day
the answer's found in you
your the truth, the life, the way.
When others seem to fail,
and troubles all around
Lord, you're always standing there
the one true hope i found.

hear my prayer oh lord
i need you in my life
i cry to you
oh, lord.
please lead me to the light
show me the way
oh lord
and cleanse me from my sin
i need you
i need you once again
i need you
i need you once again

i need you, beside me
i need you, to guide me
i need you , please hear me
i need you, be near me..
i need you, beside me
i need you, to guide me
i need you ,please hear me
i need you , be near me!

hear my prayer oh lord!
i need you in my life!
i cry to you
oh, lord.!
please lead me to the light!
show me the way...... (sopranos)
show me the way.... (altos)
show me the way.. (tenors)
oh lord
and cleanse me from my sin
i need you
i need you once again
i need you
i need you once again
i need you
i need you once...........