Monday, April 27, 2009

The Irresistible Revolution

I just finished reading this book, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an ordinary radical, by Shane Claiborne. It was a very interesting and challenging book. I would recommend it to everyone. As with any book, there are plenty of things that I do not agree with in the book, but overall I think that it stretched me in my faith and has caused me to know more about the heart of God. We all grow up with one point of view usually, which means that there are thousands of "philosophies of lives" out there and who are we to think that ours is the one that everyone needs to have. So seeing other people's radical lives is good to see and at times, mimic. Or at least add to what you believe or how you believe. This book taught me to love more, give more, and to need less. I have had a tendency to blame people for where they are at financially, which is probably not a good thing to do. I need to be careful about how I judge others. I am sure that over 90% (probably 99%) of the world grew up in a situation financially less comfortable than I did. I have been so blessed. People have lived on so much less that I have lived on and so it would not hurt me too bad to have less clothes, food, etc... Shane talks about the possibility of knocking out poverty in the world if we just shared our resources more. And he is right. And I have not played my part in that and so I am going to start to do so more.
Shane is also a war protester. I have never really thought any different about war than that we need it. We were attacked and now we are defending ourselves. Shane did bring new information to the table though for me as he went over there and visited. He talks about showing love rather than hate as a means to end war. I am still struggling with this in my mind as I know that it would be ideal, but is it reality? Not sure. Either way, I do not like conflict and so a war-less world would be great. I think that we would all agree on that. It is just a matter of it being possible. I just see so much effects from sin in the world to see a world that would not have someone who would want to be Napoleon or Hitler, who would just want to conquer the world. And how would you stop those personalities without war? Not sure.
I need to love more as well. It is tough living in Brazil with so much poverty around me. I really do not want to give out money that much as I am not sure what it will be used for. I would rather give out food and clothes. I am excited about being able to do this more and am wondering what my clothes drawer will look like in a few months.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I can't do it

I cannot live this Christian life. It is too hard on my own. I get so frustrated with what I feel that I need to do and I just want to revolutionize the world for God, but I can't. I have been trying to do everything for God and save people for him and bring them closer to Him, but I haven't been able to. In the past, I have discipled several people in growing closer to God, but it has turned out that they were never really saved in the first place. That is right. I discipled one young man and the following summer he realized that he was never saved and accepted Christ at camp. I discipled another guy who was looking to be in the ministry. It has been a year since I worked closely with him and a couple of weeks ago he sucked up his pride and asked God to call the shots as Savior and Lord in his life. I married my wife who realized a year ago that she was not saved. After a year of being married, I never had the insight to see that she had never truly given her life to God. I thought I had this Christian life figured out. But then God just keeps sending surprises my way.
Lately I have been reading some interesting books deciding a little more about Christianity. So after reading I try to apply what I have read. I guess that I am looking for a sure way to be a Super Christian. I figured out that I just can't do this on my own cause really I just mess things up. So now I guess that I am just going to have to let God do all the work. Yeah, I will be available to be used by Him, but I really need to stop trying to save people on my own, cause it really has not gotten me anywhere. I suppose that is why Paul writes about dying daily to self and allowing God to do the transforming. And I guess that is why the Bible is full of mess ups that God used despite their blatantly obvious mistakes. There is no one who has it together. Those closest to God's will are the ones that are continually clinging to God's grace not relying on their selves, but understanding that it is God who works through us for His good pleasure.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book ideas

I always have ideas for another book. Some of them are as follows (now don't be stealing these all you authors out there):

Missions: Changing the way the church does Mission work

Christian=Disciples: If you are saved, does that make you a disciple or is it separate? If only disciples were believers, how would that revolutionize the Christian world?

A fiction book on the steps a missionary takes in arriving on the field.

Balance in the Christian life: There are so many books out there on secrets to the best prayer life, devotional life, going radical for Christ, but what about learning to just maintain a balance rather than getting burnt out.

Video idea

So I thought of a video idea a while ago and when I told Sarah her eyes kind of just rolled. She is not too into video ideas as I am. But I thought that I would write a little here about it and actually I think that I am going to start recording more ideas on this blog to see what people think.
So we did a day in the life of video that was pretty fun to do. I think most people liked it too and it gave a good idea of what we are up to here in South Brazil. So I want to do another one when we get to the Amazon. Only this time I want to use a bunch of movie quotes. So I will try to collect a bunch of lines from movies to put into the script of the Day in the Life video. But I won't say what movie they are from. I will just have as many as I can put into it. Then I will post the video and have a competition. Whoever sends me the most exhaustive list of quotes, who said them in what movie, will win a prize to be given on furlough, or at some point.
What do you guys think? Good idea/bad idea?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Vacation

So yesterday we were talking in class about vacations and our professor who is also our Pastor, a Brazilian missionary, said that there are some things that only millionaires or missionaries do. haha. Well, that was true on our vacation. We had a great time on a beautiful island that can be compared to Hawaii. Florianopolis is located about 6 hours from us and is an island just off the coast. It has 42 separate beaches (that are divided by mountains and rocks).

We were able to visit several of those beaches including a practically deserted one that was surrounded by a nature reserve. The waves were incredible and I played in them like a little boy. It was great. I have never seen such big waves. I even built a sand castle to watch it be destroyed by the waves. I know, I am childish and weird, but I had fun. haha

The house we stayed at was incredible as well. It had several bedrooms, an entertainment family room, a pool with several chairs around it for laying out as well as some hammocks. It really looked like a resort. Vinicius, our friend that we met on the plane when we arrived in Brazil in September, is the owner of the house and invited us to stay with him. (If you ever want an amazing place to rent on vacation in Brazil, let him know cause he rents it out during the summer months in Brazil). He was a very gracious host as he showed us around the island, all the secret spots and the popular spots. We were amazed by God's handiwork as well as His graciousness in providing an incredibly relaxing vacation, a very cheap vacation (I don't really like to pay much for vacations, and we just had to pay for gas and food), and also a chance to practice our Portuguese in a non-pressure time.