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.

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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)