December 31, 2008

Brazil Photo - Happy New Year

Brazil's most famous New Years celebration is in Rio De Janeiro, on the famous Copacabana beach. Over 2 million people gather in Copacabana to celebrate.

December 28, 2008

The Inspiring Life Of Paul

The Apostle Paul is an inspiration for me and for many others. He lived a life completely devoted to the Lord Jesus, and he was faithful to complete the ministry that God called him to, to help people to have a restored personal relationship with God through Jesus. Here are some verses about Paul's inspiring life:

Paul was completely devoted to Jesus, and to the ministry Jesus gave him:
"But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace." - Acts 20:24

Paul's top priority and passion was his relationship with Jesus:
"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."
- Philippians 3:8

Paul's main goal in life was to please God:
"So we make it our goal to please him." - 2 Corinthians 5:9

Paul was willing to give all he was and all he had to help others have a personal relationship with Jesus:
"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls."
- 2 Corinthians 12:15

Paul was faithful to the Lord Jesus until the end of his life:
"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me that day." - 2 Timothy 4:7-8

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in
the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
- Luke 2:10-11

December 22, 2008

Christmas In Sao Paulo

Avenida Paulista is the 5th Avenue of Sao Paulo, and it is considered the financial center of South America. It is a great place to visit during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Here are some pictures of Avenida Paulista decorated for Christmas.

December 20, 2008

Celebrating What God Is Doing

We finished our 2nd year of ministry in Sao Paulo, helping churches to share the Good News of God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ. God has truly done immeasurably more than we could ask and imagine in these 2 years. Here is a summary of what He has done:

* 25,994 people have accepted Christ (that we know of; there are quite possibly more)

* God has opened many doors for us to share Christ. This year we spoke over 650 times in 26 schools, and in 2 years we have spoken in 41 schools.

* over 550 teachers have accepted Christ, along with 2 principals, 2 vice-principals, and 7 coordenators.

* we have had the privilege of helping and working with over 30 churches, and have also shared Christ in many homes, in a hospital, a health center, a Vacation Bible school, a Rotary Club meeting, and in other special events.

* we have trained over 725 people in churches to share Christ through People Sharing Jesus seminars.

On December 13 we had a churrasco party to celebrate what God has done. Our good friends Junior and Elma let us have the party at their new house in Sao Caetano. We invited many of the people who have helped us as interpretors and in other ways, and about 40 people celebrated God's goodness with us.

Cooking churrasco for the party

Some of our friends who celebrated with us

Sao Sebastiao & Ilha Bela

Our son Anthony is visiting from Atlanta for the holidays, so we all went for a 3 day trip to Barequecaba beach, near Sao Sebastiao. It is a beautiful 3 hour drive from Sao Paulo along the coast, with some great views of the ocean. Barequecaba beach is a small community 5 km outside of Sao Sebastiao. The scenery in this area of Sao Paulo state is beautiful, with mountains, tropical forest, and the ocean. Ilha Bela in Portuguese means beautiful island, and it certainly is beautiful. It is a popular tourist area, and has many beaches, mountains, waterfalls, tropical forest,...

A harbor on Ilha Bela

Near the pier on Ilha Bela

Eating out in Sao Sebastiao

Old historical Sao Sebastiao

A tourist area of Sao Sebastiao

A flowering tree in Barequecaba

Barequecaba beach

Barequecaba beach

December 15, 2008

Brazil Photo

Here is a picture of an unusual looking plant we see here in Brazil. I am not sure what the name of this plant is. The main part looks similar to a banana tree, but the "flower" part is very unusual and exotic looking.

December 10, 2008

Seeking God

"God looks down from heaven on the sons of men
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God." - Psalm 53:2

God is looking for people who are earnestly seeking Him, seeking His will and plans above their own, seeking for intimate fellowship with Him above all other things. May God touch our hearts and give us a heart that puts Him above all other things, a heart that will truly seek Him. Here are a variety of Bible verses and other info. dealing with seeking God:
  • The Old Testament and New Testament words for "seek" mean:
    to seek the face of God; to desire; to examine or explore; to seek earnestly; to diligently search for ; to wish for; to crave; to investigate; to pursue.
  • Only God can touch our hearts and give us the desire to seek and to know Him, and to want His will & plans & ways above our own:

"I will give them a heart to know me." - Jeremiah 24:7

" O Lord, God of our fathers, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, requirements, and decrees..." - I Chronicles 29:18-19

"For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose." - Phil. 2:13

  • Intimacy with God and the fullest possible fellowship and partnership with Him comes as you desire and seek to know Him & His plans and will and His ways. Prayer and spending time with God is all about desire & passion for God ; it is not a "religious" discipline in your Christian walk.

"If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways, so I may know you and continue to find favor with you... Show me your glory." - Moses (Exodus 33:13,18)

" One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house (presence) of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple." - David (Psalm 27:4)

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God ? - Sons of Korah (Psalm 42:1-2)

" O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory... your love is better than life..." - David (Psalm 63:1-3)

" How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty ! My soul yearns even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." - David (Psalm 84:1-2)

" Now devote your heart and souls to seeking the Lord your God." - I Chronicles 22:19

" And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him he will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever." - I Chronicles 28:9

December 7, 2008

Vacation In Natal, Brazil

After a very busy year of speaking over 650 times in 26 schools, as well as speaking or preaching in many churches and other places, it was nice to have the chance to take a break. Nancy and I spent a week in Natal, which is located in the northeast part of Brazil. Natal, which means Christmas in Portuguese, is a beautiful city and a great place to spend some time off. There are many great beaches in the area, lots of restaurants and shopping areas, along with many tourist attractions such as dune buggy trips to beaches and sand dunes. We had great weather, with low temps of 75 and highs of 85-87 and no rain.