July 30, 2009

Selling Our House

We have been sensing that God is leading us to move to Santos, which is a city on the coast about an hour south of Sao Paulo. We have started the process of selling our house 2 weeks ago ,and we are hoping and praying that we will be able to move before the end of the year and the holidays. We have a full schedule of speaking in schools and in some churches also in the greater Sao Paulo area until the end of November, so we cannot move at least until the end of October or November.

Here in Brazil the process to sell your house is different. One difference is that you can use as many "imobiliarias" (real estate companies) as you want to. So we have 6 companies that have started trying to sell our house. Another difference is that in the US when someone comes to look at your house they don't want you to be there; here in Brazil they want the owners to be present in the house, and to show the visitors around along with the agent. Also, in the US most people fix up there home before selling it; here the majority of people do not, and it is common practice that the buyers do whatever is necessary to fix it up. We have pretty much kept our house in good shape, so there are not many things that need to be done.

Please pray that God will bless the sale of our house, and also our search for an apartment in Santos, and that all will go well. Thanks for your prayers.

July 26, 2009

Visiting Friends In Valinhos

Last weekend Nancy and I visited our good friends Eduardo and Flavia and their kids Gabriel & Leo. They live in Valinhos, which is a city located in the country in the state of Sao Paulo about 1 1/2 to 2 hours north of Sao Paulo, depending on the traffic in Sao Paulo. It is very nice in the country in Brazil, and it is a nice change from the crowds and noises and traffic and pollution of Sao Paulo.

Leo & Gabriel with our dog Sampson
Nancy and I by a small lake in ValinhosNancy with Flavia, Leo, Gabriel, and SampsonPart of ValinhosA farm with horsesThey had small monkeys in the treesAnother "mocacinho" (small monkey)

July 17, 2009

Preaching The Gospel

" My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom..."

- Paul, I Corinthians 2:4

The following is taken from Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost For His Highest" devotional:

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher.

Real and effective fasting by a preacher is not fasting from food, but fasting from eloquence, from impressive diction, and from everything else that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God— "... as though God were pleading through us..." (2 Corinthians 5:20). He is there to present the gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the gospel will result in making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent the creative power of His redemption from doing its work.

"And I, if I am lifted up. . . , will draw all peoples to Myself" (John 12:32).

July 14, 2009

Back Home In Brazil

We arrived in Sao Paulo this morning after a 9 1/2 hour overnight flight from Atlanta. We were able to spend a couple more days with our sons John, Anthony, and Daniel before coming back to Brazil. I also had the opportunity to speak at 2nd Baptist Church of Cedartown GA on Sun. morning July 12 for their missions month. We are friends with Pastor Patrick Latham and his wife Laura, who used to serve at our church in Marietta GA before we moved to Brazil. 1 person accepted Christ and another rededicated her life to Jesus and joined the church. Here are more pics from our trip.

The "Big Chicken" in Marietta GAEating at The Varsity in AtlantaMissions Month at 2nd Baptist Church Cedartown GASpeaking at 2nd Baptist Church CedartownNancy & I with Patrick and Laura Latham and their family

July 7, 2009

Trip To The US

We have been in the US since June 26, and have really enjoyed visiting our families and friends. First we were in the Atlanta area to help our son John move back from Brazil, and to see our sons Anthony and Dan. We also had a great time visiting our church in Marietta GA, Roswell Street Baptist Church. Next we flew up to Ohio to visit my family, and we had the chance to celebrate the 4th of July with them. Next we drove up to Rochester NY, which is where we currently are, to visit Nancy's family. We will go back to Atlanta on July 11th, then on Sun. morning July 12 I will preach in 2nd Baptist Church of Cedartown GA, and then we will fly home on Mon. night July 13 and arrive in Sao Paulo the morning of the 14th. It's been great to see everyone and be in the US again, but we will be ready to go back home to Brazil by next week. When we get back we will begin selling our house and preparing for a move to Santos, which is 1 hour south of Sao Paulo on the coast. We are hoping to sell our house and move there before the end of the year. Here are some pics of our US visit.

Me with our sons Anthony, Dan, and John in Atlanta
John, Dan, Nancy, Anthony, and a giant pizza in AtlantaMy brother John and his kids, Nancy, and my MomNancy and my Mom enjoying strawberry pieNancy & my sisters & sis-in-law & Mom celebrating the 4th in OhioHaving lunch in Rochester NY with some of Nancy's family
Visiting Nancy's family in Rochester NY