Job Hunting (again)

Once again I’m looking at job options. Though still employed at both AT&T Mobility and Harvest English Institute, the former position is about to drive me crazy, and the latter includes no benefits. My goal is to find a better “day job” and keep the role as ESL teacher as well.

Prayers are always appreciated.

Meet the New Clergy

This past week NPR started an occasional series entitled “Meet the New Clergy.” In the first installment we hear about a married couple graduating from seminary. The husband takes an associate position at a large church, while the wife (six months pregnant) takes a rural parish. The focus turns more toward the wife in the story, and I was struck by how little all of her reading and intense study in advanced theology had to do with the day-to-day life of a small country church. On the other hand, I would not want all ministers to be poorly trained and educated, unable to think for themselves and work out the faith and its expression to the congregation. I just wonder what seminaries are doing to help prepare students for the nitty-gritty of pastoral ministry. Having only a Bachelor of Ministry, I can’t give an opinion of seminaries in this regard. I can only wonder.

As Respostas

Meu pai as vezes falava, brincando, “Pode me perguntar qualquer coisa. Tenha as respostas. Pode ser que não são as respostas corretas, mas tenho respostas.”

Ele era honesto, pelo menos.

Durante a minha vida tenho conhecido várias crenças, e tenho respeito para muitas delas. Porém, desconfio de qualquer religião que promete todas as respostas. Ao ler a bíblia, por exemplo, eu encontro tantas soluções quantas duvidas. Existem mistérios, mas tambem mistérios que existem somente porque não buscamos a verdade. Tem coisas que posso aprendar com estudo, oração e experiência, e tem outras coisas que não são revelados ainda.

Preciso ter humildade, mas também sabedoria para distinguir entre as doutrinas ensinadas.

“As coisas encobertas pertencem ao Senhor nosso Deus, mas as reveladas nos pertencem a nós e a nossos filhos para sempre, para que observemos todas as palavras desta lei”
(Deuteronômio 29:29).

Overtime, Not Enough Time and My Cell Phone

This week I’ve been working a couple hours of overtime each day at AT&T. It’s easy overtime, helping our E-Team catch up on their backlog of bulk change requests. Still, it means I don’t leave work until 6:45 pm, and I go straight to my second job at Harvest from AT&T, without stopping at home first.

So, don’t be concerned that I’m not blogging. I also have several e-mails from family and friends to which I need to reply, but don’t have time right now. If you are one of the people awaiting a reply, it’s nothing personal.

Lastly, my cell phone is dying. It has been very durable (a tribute to LG, its manufacturer) and I was glad I had it all this time, despite how much I despise my service provider (Sprint). I’ve ordered an AT&T GoPhone to ride out the remaining two months of my Sprint contract, and will provide the new number whenever I receive it to whoever needs it. Once our contracts end in September, we’ll be porting our existing Sprint numbers to AT&T.

I hope everyone is having a good week.

A Humildade de Cristo

“Tende em vós aquele sentimento que houve também em Cristo Jesus, o qual, subsistindo em forma de Deus, não considerou o ser igual a Deus coisa a que se devia aferrar, mas esvaziou-se a si mesmo, tomando a forma de servo, tornando-se semelhante aos homens; e, achado na forma de homem, humilhou-se a si mesmo, tornando-se obediente até a morte, e morte de cruz. Pelo que também Deus o exaltou soberanamente, e lhe deu o nome que é sobre todo nome; para que ao nome de Jesus se dobre todo joelho dos que estão nos céus, e na terra, e debaixo da terra, e toda língua confesse que Jesus Cristo é Senhor, para glória de Deus Pai” (Filipenses 2:5-11).

O próprio Deus “esvaziou-se a si mesmo” e assumiu a forma e papel de um servo. O mas exaltado, o ser que mas merecia honra e gloria, aceitou circumstânias desagradáveis e simples. O autor da vida chegou a morrer de uma forma terrível.

Por que? Para a nossa salvação.

Se o Filho de Deus pode se humilhar tanto para nos salvar, o máximo que nós podemos fazer não é nada em comparação.

Health and Wealth in Africa

During my first couple of years in college I made a number of friends in Pentecostal circles, and it was then that I first encountered the prosperity gospel. At that time I wrote a rather angry essay entitled: “Heresy: Health and Wealth?” It went through several revisions and was distributed to Bible college friends at different times on a limited scale. In Brazil I encountered the prosperity gospel quite frequently, but will leave comments on that for another post (I actually have one in the works). For now, here are some interesting recent articles and blogs on the topic.

The following article is from the Christian Standard:

Idolatry and Greed: Exposing the Health and Wealth Gospel

Christianity Today reports on the spread of the prosperity gospel to Africa:
Gospel Riches

Kigali Pilgrim discusses the Christianity Today article:
An Inch Deep and a Mile Wide

The Christian Century has an article on the topic as well:
Expecting Miracles

Real Live Preacher discusses the Christian Century article:
The Gospel of Health and Wealth Moves to Africa