29 de jan de 2009

Think of me - Phantom of the Opera



CHRISTINE:
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 . . .

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

CHRISTINE
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

DO YOU BELIEVE?

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.

chorus
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.

chorus
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

bridge
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...........
again