Saturday, December 27, 2008
I experienced a first too in that they opened our presents for us in front of the camera. That was pretty interesting, although it was kind of hard because we cannot remember everything we received. We will actually get them next month when we are home for Sarah's sister's wedding. It was also interesting with giving presents as we had other people buy for us. My brother Dan did a great job and got everyone great stuff.
Moral of the story: Don't take being with your family for granted, even if it is a family reunion and everyone gets on your nerves.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The perfect person...
Loves all and condemns no one
Tries their hardest to have a non-biased view of the Bible, taking it for what it was meant to be
Follows the golden rule
Is kind to all
Patient, gentle, joyful (not a Debby-downer), merciful, considerate
Respects other opinions, but not afraid to share his when asked
Honest, even when it is hard or not convenient
Has good communication (prompt in their response)
Does not judge others by appearance
Dependable and reliable
Tells others what they truly believe, rather than sugar coating everything (in other words, if there is something wrong with me, I would appreciate you telling me so that I can look into the mirror of God's Word and see if I need fixing)
So this list is more for me because I want to strive to be this person. (Because I want others to follow this list, I should follow the Golden Rule and try to be like this list). You may have to read that last sentence a couple of times for it to make sense. But basically I am striving to be perfect, although a knowledge of one's own imperfections should be added to the list as well. And I must include that we will never actually be perfect.
So what else can I add to that list, or what would your list include?
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Speaking of things that I have always wanted to do: My good friend Nathan made a list of things he wanted to do and put it on his blog. So I am going to put a list here of possible things that I would like to accomplish at some point:
-Run a marathon
-Flip a house
-Publish a book
-Have a good enough marriage to be able to speak on the topic
-Earn an honorary doctorate (that is a joke)
-I think that I would like to Pastor a church at some point if God would like
-Be involved in making a movie (I say make cause it would probably be unprofessional, but I would like to be involved in one).
-hit a home run in softball (it might just have to be an in the parker)
-be fluent in several languages
ok, well that is all for now. It ended up being less serious than I thought because I couldn't think of much to write.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
But I think that God had a great purpose in creating the church. He did not just create it cause it sounded like a good idea. He desires that we first of all glorify God. We do that so much in the church. But we also do that by following the idea of church in having fellowship with other believers. That fellowship glorifies His Name. One purpose of the church is to heal us when we are broken. We encourage others through difficult times in the church, and then when we go through hard times, we may be encouraged as well. I know people who leave the church when going through hard times personally, but that is the time where in the church they should be encouraged and be rallied around.
There is a lot to say about serving in the church as well. JFK's quote about the country is just as applicable with the church, "It is not what your church can do for you, it is what you can do for your church." We should all be servants in our local church!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Oh well, at least I am aware of it. I will probably start sending the update email to my mom in the US to edit it before I send it out. But for now, I will just keep trying my best.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Yesterday evening, we had one of our language school teachers, Fabi, over for dinner. Sarah and Fabi left after their classes were over while I finished up my class. Sarah had a couple bus numbers in mind to ride home, but they were both wrong. So when they got on 614 she started to have problems. First, she had a 20 real bill, (equivalent to 10 dollars) and the guy on the bus did not have change and so would not accept it. So Fabi had to pay for the ride. Then, the bus turned before Sarah thought it should have. So they were freaking out inside the bus because they did not know what to do. It turned out ok though cause the bus still went pretty close to the house. So they made it home safely.
Then they were cooking dinner and the gas stove was turning on, but not lighting and they could smell gas. Sarah turned on the top of the stove and all the gas lit up. Sarah said she could feel the fire all around her and both Fabi and Sarah screamed, but it was over quickly.
We had also been having some problems with our gas heater. I couldn't get it to work. Well, Jon Trott, another missionary came over and looked at it and said, "oh did you know it was turned to off?" And then it worked and I felt retarded. But at least the gas is working now.
But it was a great day because we got our CPF's, had a great lunch downtown, had a good day in class where one teacher told me how good Sarah is doing, and had fun having Fabi over.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
So I went out to the hallway and turned on a light and stood there for a while making a few noises to let the burglar know I was there. I also figured out what I would use for a weapon; the iron, or a big piece of glass from a broken picture frame. After a while I closed the door and laid in bed for a while. I think I finally fell back asleep by 5:30. As soon as it was light out, I walked around the house and saw that nothing was gone. I had in fact imagined the whole burglary. We live in a condominium with an electric fence around us, as well as a gate with a security guard. So I think that I will just try to ignore those noises next time. But I still have something in our room just in case the burglar does come.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
And we just laughed...
A churrasco pit sits in our laundry room awaiting these delicious meals, that is, as soon as I can figure it out. My first experience of being head chef for churrasco happened on Tuesday. We rushed home and I tried to start the coals. First mistake: no lighter fluid. Every time Sarah walked in to check how I was doing, my head was surrounded by smoke as I looked down into the flameless pit. I said, well, if we were smoking this meat, we could do it here. Second mistake: I didn't have enough coals or arrange them correctly. Once I piled them up better, dumped some cleaning alcohol on it, and gave it time, it started to heat up. Which by that time, I had told Sarah to fix something else. So we had steak over the stove, rice and gravy. Turned out good. We did keep one piece of meat though. In churrascos, you are supposed to use fat salt, or ocean salt, and put it on the meat, and then at some point knock it off. I never got to that point. So the meat was really salty. Third mistake: we had brought the wrong meat anyway. We bought the meat before we received advice from anyone. The same night I facebooked a Brazilian who gave us some advice and invited them over to show me the Brazilian way of doing it. I am looking forward to that day. But for now I have a story I have been able to tell people.
And we just laugh...
And we laughed...
Monday, October 6, 2008
After salvation, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness and a relentless pursuit of God's righteous standards (even though we can never meet them). The rest are godly characteristics like mercy, love, others motivated, peacemaker or reconciler, and then mentions those who will be persecuted.
I had never seen the Beatitudes in that way before and it was really neat for me.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We need to take a humble approach when studying and understanding the Bible. We all have presuppositions as a result of how we were brought up. And it is easy to say, well this is how I have always known it, so it must be true. We must humbly come to the Scriptures and study to see what passages are really saying. To understand what the author and God are trying to communicate, we must study the background, context, who they are writing to and why, the culture and customs, and also the language. Unfortunately, humans did the translation of the Bible and words change meanings as well.
One must also be careful where resources are found for interpretation. Scholars are humans too, and many disagree, soooo..... someone has to be wrong in their interpretation. That is why it takes much time in study before we become sure of a meaning, and then even still, unless it is a major proven doctrine, we must not be dogmatic about its meaning and label everyone else as liars.
Well, there are other thoughts on my mind for this post, but if it gets too long, I will lose the 3 people that visit my blog.
Monday, September 15, 2008
There is no doubt that the church today has declined in her commitment to Jesus Christ. Members do not show up regularly, Pastors are caught in scandals, and we are caught wondering where the lack of faithfulness is from. Although, there are many reasons for this, three have caught my attention. The first problem starts right at the root, and that is our doctrine of salvation. We have made salvation too easy in that we have handed out a prayer as though God gave out tickets to heaven for us to pass to all those around us. We have not thoroughly explained God’s plan for salvation, but instead have made the entrance exam a no-brainer for the lost. We encourage each other to make wise decisions not based on emotions, but when it comes to salvation, we have found that the easiest way to convert the lost is through the emotions and then wonder why we never see them at church. The second problem is a lack of discipling new believers. The last few decades we have had Sunday School for that, so what need is there for small group (2-4 people) discipling? The problem is not the available teaching, but the lack of ability to integrate discipleship and accountability. Once we utilize a better system for discipling we will not see the fallout rate we see now. Thirdly is an overall deficit of integrity in leadership which flows down to the followers. Between our Christian pride, materialism, bad influence, scarred testimonies, and no desire for personal holiness or understanding of the lost, we have not been effective in displaying Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. We need Believers who are on a mission to put Christ back into Christian!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Evolution takes much faith too. First of all, there is nothing but some sort of mass and it explodes and there is a universe with a bunch of stars and earth. But there is no life for a long time until all of a sudden, lightning strikes a mud puddle and boom, life is formed. Millions of years pass by and we all of a sudden have hundreds of species of animals that evolved from the first living organism. One species cannot make another species according to science, yet that is how we have so many different animals. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I think the point is made that there is not much logic involved in this argument. Both evolution and creation take much faith. Personally, I believe in creationism, but I do understand that it takes much faith to believe in it.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Although many people in the United States today claim to follow Christianity, most do not practice it. This book takes a look at the reasons why and the ways Christians can correct the problem. The authors peer into Christians' views of salvation and discipleship to uncover solutions to the unchristlike actions of Christianity's followers. The book is a quick read that will cause the reader to examine their own practice of Christianity.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
My Pastor has been preaching on Worship the last couple of Sundays and I have really learned a lot from it. God wants our worship above our service. Our service and actions are just means by which we are worshipping God. So we must focus on worship above all else. "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him." -John Piper.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I have also used this time to try to grow through reading and writing. I have read a bunch of books and am also listening to free Seminary classes online (www.biblicaltraining.org check it out!) I have listened to three classes so far and am working on a fourth. I have learned a lot through these classes. The books I have read have also sharpened me and given me many ideas for ministry. I have also written a lot. I started out with a document called "book" that has about three or four book ideas and thoughts in it. It is about 60 pages long. My current writing is in a book that I want to finish. It is about how we Christians do not have a good reputation, some of the reasons why, and then how we can change that. Right now I am at around 60 pages with a decent skeleton to work with. I hope that I can finish it soon and maybe email it to people or have it on a self publishing website where people can buy it individually, if they want it.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We learned so much I forgot half of it by now. All the steps to leaving were included, including a checklist of things to do before we leave. We have started working on that. The first three days were focused on language acquisition. We learned phonetics and where all of our sounds come from. I was confused. Sarah did a lot better than me with that. So maybe she will catch up with me on learning Portuguese. We will see. On the second day, the whole afternoon Sarah and I spent with a tutor for German to show one way of learning a language. I never thought that I could ever learn German, but after a couple of hours I could recognize specific sentences and then even say some sentences. The exercise was very encouraging for us as we saw that we had the ability to learn.
After LANCE we started covering all kinds of topics. We learned about cultural differences, security issues, doctrine of hell, spiritual warfare, how to do group decision making work (if you are in a company that has bad meetings and want to invest in how to make meetings productive, I can recommend someone to you). Intermissionary conflict is a big reason for leaving the field and so we concentrated on how to avoid and/or work around problems. We ended with chronological Bible teaching taught by Mark Zook, who made the video Eetao. Mark went into a tribe in Papua New Guinea, studied the language and culture for 2 ½ years and then started teaching the Bible starting from Genesis 1:1. At the end of three months, he arrived at the crucifixion and resurrection. At that time he presented the gospel and almost the entire tribe was saved. Mark challenged us regarding the use of chronological Bible training to fight syncretism as well as form a true Biblical worldview. Amazing stuff. If you would like some resources on that, just let me know and I can talk to you about it. It is designed to teach someone what the story of the Bible and to be evangelistical, but I think it is just as good for those raised in church and who are already saved.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Very interesting perspective by Jay Leno...I hope you will all read to the end. Jay Leno puts it into perspective and makes us think about the pathetic negativity. That's right, Jay Leno!! Jay Leno wrote this; it's the Jay Leno we don't often see....
'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true, given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed, and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence, 2/3's of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?'' Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time, and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services t o help all, and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.
Fact is we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here. I know, I know. What about the President who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The President who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same President who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?
The President that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The Commander-In Chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it...are yo u upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want, but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds, it leads; and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, a nd when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J.. Simpson to write a book about 'how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way'...Insane!Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media.
Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth, and should thank God several times a day or at least be thankful and appreciative.'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?' Jay Leno2007
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I wonder if someone were to say, "what are some characteristics of David Carrel," what the answer would be? If it would be the above couple of verses, I think that would make me pretty happy. But that is up to me and my life and how I allow Christ to live through me. And it is up to you for your life too.