Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Funerals!

This morning I watched the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher. It was certainly a grand occasion and the attention to all the details from those hundreds of people involved was amazing. I am not going to comment on her life or her political career, or the policies of her government. I remember hearing about her when I was growing up in Brazil.

There is something about funerals that makes people think about the future or maybe even their lives. Perhaps some people might even think about the things they believe. The fact is that funerals happen when someone dies and death is the only certain thing that will happen to all human beings.

During the service the Prime Minister David Cameron read a passage from John 14:1-7

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Jesus tells his disciples: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (verse 6) Although this was not the text used in the sermon it is the most important truth about Jesus. He IS the way to the Father. Only through him can people go to heaven.

It does not matter if someone has lived a brilliant life, has accomplished lots, has done charity or not. It does not matter if someone has lived a pretty horrible life and done nothing, or made the worst possible choices one can make. The thing that matters is Jesus. Believing and trusting in Him is the most important thing in life. That is what is going to guarantee eternal life, with God, in heaven.

As I watched the service and saw so many faces, I couldn’t help but wonder if they understood this truth. I wondered if they would go home and think about Jesus and heaven and trusting in God with their lives.

I pray that God would use this occasion to make people think about Him and how they should be giving their lives to Him for eternity.

Beautiful stars!

We went to a friend’s birthday a couple of weekends ago and when we were leaving the party late at night, we looked up and saw the amazing sky! They live in an area with very little light polution and what we saw was truly beautiful!

So many stars and so bright! I don’t know if I would ever be tired to look up into such sky! When we got home on Sunday and I was checking some emails and Facebook updates, I saw that my dearest friend in Brazil posted a verse from Psalm that I absolutely love:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

It made me smile as I remembered those beautiful stars I had seen the night before! How is it possible that there are so many people in the world still refusing to see that all creation is proclaming God’s glory? The skies, the meadows, the mountains, the deepest oceans all exalting the Creator!

I still have that unforgetable image of that Saturday in my mind! Have you ever tried counting the stars? I have tried many times and sure enough, every single time I failed. Got lost in the counting even before I got to 20! Well, our Saviour has put each one of them in place and knows their names! Isn’t that amazing? He sustains the whole universe in His hands! He is sovereign over all things!

May our great GOD gives strength and courage to always proclaim His glory as the skies do!

How was your Easter?

If I were to ask anyone today how their Easter was, I am certain that most people would mention how many chocolate eggs their kids had, or how cold the weather had been this year. I would like to think that at least some people would say how wonderful it was to remember and celebrate the most important event in the Christian history. YES! That is the reason why we celebrate Easter. It is not about chocolate, or families, or special food. It is about JESUS and his death and resurrection. It is about completing the work He came to do here. It is also about His victory over death.

The resurrection is the most important thing to celebrate. If Jesus had stayed dead our faith would be in vain. If Jesus had not risen we would all be telling lies. Worse than that, the cross would have no effect and our sins would not have been forgiven.

So, when you think about your Easter next time and the answers you are going to give people, make sure you tell them the reason you celebrated. What better witness could there be? God’s children telling friends and family that they celebrated the King and his resurrection instead of telling them how many chocolate eggs they had?

May God help us to use all opportunities to point people to Him!

God bless.

A faulty boiler!

I had intended to write a post about Easter, which I will still do, but as we have a faulty boiler at the moment, I decided to write something else today. See, I had never really realized how much the lack of heating would affect our household. The house we rent is quite big and it takes ages to heat it anyway. Since we are having quite a cold spring, we still need the heating on and we still need hot water! We have had the plumber out a few times now, and  the problem is still there. It is very frustrating.

I started to think about my life and how sometimes I can be a faulty Christian… that is right. I get all excited about loving God and wanting to walk closer to Him and tell everyone about Him and I read the Bible, I go to all church meetings and I read Christian books and get my creative hat on to think about ways I can teach the kids about Him. I try to be an encouragement to my dear husband and all my friends. These things are all good things. They should be present in my life, but because I am trying to do all of this in my own strength, most of the time, I go into overheat mode. Just like our boiler. Then I go into a cooling period… kind of lose momentum… because I realise I can’t do all of those things on my own. I will never be able to.

I am very grateful for the way God teaches me, even through a faulty boiler. It appears to me I need to have some valves and some pumps changed and readjusted in my life so that I can try do all the good things that God would like me to do in His strength and not mine. I need to give every little detail of my day to Him and trust that He will help me out. I need to trust that HE has a perfect plan for everything, every day of my life.

An innocent man died for me!

Many years have now passed since I first met this man who died for me. His name is Jesus. I heard His story of love and gave my life to Him. How could I resist Him? His love still moves and amazes me! I stand before the cross of my Saviour in awe and wonder! Amazing is His love for me. How can it be? That the king of the Universe should die for me? How can it be that God gave His one and Only Son to die that terrible death in my place so that I could have life, eternal life?

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6

Thank you Lord for Jesus, for the cross and for your amazing love for me! My deepest desire is to love you and serve you everyday! To you all honour and glory.

Spiritual laziness!

I have been thinking about laziness lately and the consequences of it. When we are at school for example, and we understand everything and for whatever reason we decide to be lazy about our homework or the work we do in class and just do the bare minimum, the teacher will, most often, think we are unable to do or we are being just lazy. That is very frustrating!

Or if we are at home with lots of little jobs to do, just the normal cleaning and managing the home, and we decide to be lazy, and leave it until tomorrow. Well, we might feel momentarily better and rested, but when tomorrow comes, we will be stressed out trying to make sure everything is done. Or, if we don’t bother about it, the house will just be messy and dirty all the time.

If we are hungry but too lazy to go prepare food, or, even work for food, our bodies will perish. If we complain about others having a house and other comforts in life and we just sit around doing nothing we will never have anything.

When it comes to our Christian faith and growth if we are lazy we are not going to grow or produce fruit. We need to be prepared to do our best to practice all the principles and truths we learn about Jesus from the Bible. It is not enough to just hear about Jesus, we need to let Him rule our lives. We need to work really hard to become more and more like Him each and every day of our lives.

May our God and Father helps us to always desire to work hard in getting to know Him better!

Repentance or remorse?

Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between repentance and remorse? Both attitudes present themselves as a form of sadness. Repentance is a sadness because of the sin we committed that offended God. Remorse is a sadness because of the consequence of our sin.

Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples, denied Him 3 times and in Matthew 26:75 we see what happened when the rooster crowed. Jesus had told Peter this was going to happen.

“Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.”

We know that this deep sadness that Peter felt was repentance because he changed. We know that Peter became a great preacher and spent his life testifiyng to the Gospel.

Judas, the traitor, in Matthew 27:3-5 is filled with remorse. The sadness caused by remorse will lead to a bigger error:  Judas killed himself.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied.  “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Repentance will always be accompanied by a change. Take Peter again. in Acts 3:19 he tells us to repent and turn back to God. Repentance is followed by turning back.

“19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”

It is this profound sorrow that leads us to realize we are sinners and that our sin is offensive to God. When that happens, we know the only thing we can do is  turn back to Him, to His cross and His sacrifice for us. In Him we find salvation and forgiveness.

God bless!

Tiramisu!

Very recently my son, 7, discovered he loves Tiramisu. If you know him well, you know he is a bit finicky about his food. When it comes to pudding, chocolate is the only thing he likes. So, I was really surprised when he decided to try it and then liked it! He loved it!

So, I have decided to find a recipe and make one for pudding on Sunday. To my surprise, it is amazingly easy to make. It was very hard to wait to try it. It was a success! Everyone enjoyed it!

As I was preparing it I was thinking about life in general and the amount of times we wish there was a recipe for things like raising children, or being a fantastic wife, or a successful person. We sometimes even wish we had a recipe to be a better Christian.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe to raise children, or to be a fantastic wife or a successful person. I can tell you that reading and studying the Bible, getting to know God through Jesus is the closest thing to a perfect recipe to grow in our Christian life. Simple! All we have to do is follow it, be brave and try it!

I found that with recipes, sometimes, I am tempted to adapt it if I am short on some of the ingredients. The problem with that is sometimes it turns out ok and sometimes it is disastrous. So it is with our Christian lives. We can read and study the Bible in order to know God through Jesus, but if we try to adapt it to our liking, we will find the results will be different than what we expected. In order for it to be a perfect recipe it needs to be followed to the letter, and practiced time and time again.

I was very happy my son loved the Tiramisu I made and the smile on his face was priceless! So, I will be making it again soon! I hope and pray that my desiring to grow as a Christian will be stronger every day and that I will want to practice all the things I learn to the glory and honor of the Father.

 

White as snow!

I love watching the snow! I must confess that my Brazilian blood missed the sun today. It is so cold! All my bones were freezing all day and when I spoke to my sister in Brazil earlier she was complaining of the heat over there. It was 32 C where she lives!

I find it absolutely fascinating and beautiful to see how white the snow looks when it has fallen and covered the garden and it has not been disturbed. I could look at it for a whole day and not be tired.

I had to go outside in the back garden to feed our bunny rabbits and as I walked leaving marks on the snow I realized that our lives without Jesus were just like that bit of path that was now a bit messy and looked dirty. We could have tried to live good lives, be honest, give money to charity, pay our bills on time, look after nature, but eventually sin would have revealed our true nature and we would look messy, dirty and unattractive.

In contrast, the bit of the path that had not been walked on, was beautifully white! No marks! No dirt! That is what our lives with Jesus look like. Jesus died for us on the cross and through His blood He washed us clean.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:11

When God looks at me now He sees me as white as the snow in my garden! All because of Jesus!

Thank you Lord for the simple reminder of your grace and love for us!

God bless.

Happy Mother’s Day

This day that we celebrate Mother’s Day, at least in the UK, I would like to encourage all of you that are mothers to continue to trust the Lord each and every day of your lives, because He is good and His love endures forever. He entrusted us with the amazing task to minister to our children and bring them up in His ways.

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

Every day we have new opportunities and no matter how inadequate we might feel at times, God knows us and will help along the way if we give all to Him.

For all of us, those who are mothers and those that are not but still have a mother: honour her. Respect and encourage her because this is what God designed and is good in His sight.

 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Happy Mother’s Day!

God bless.