Wednesday, May 10, 2006

An open door

The church where we serve here in Brazil hosts an annual conference for pastors and leaders who want to learn how to develop churches that are guided by God's purposes instead of personalities or programs. It is an awesome conference and time of spiritual growth and formation.

This year it was my privilege to address the 1400 delegates from 26 Brazilian states concerning spiritual formation and discipleship. I spoke on "Discipleship 24X7--entering the second rest." Read Matthew 11:28-29 to see the first and second rest and you will get the idea.

The photos show the moments I had the privilege to speak to the delegates. Our goal of influencing 1000 pastors is helped tremendously by this kind of opportunity. From this group we have gathered about 50 pastors who have requested to become a part of our abide network here in Brazil.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Spiritual hunger

What is it that creates spiritual hunger? I think it is the emptiness that comes from trying to make life work apart from God. There is definitely a deeper spiritual hunger here in Brazil than I was accustomed to seeing on a day to day basis in the USA.
People here live lives that are definitely harder. It is much harder for people here to think life can be made to work apart from God.

There is a part of me that wants Brazilians to have easier lives, but there is a part of me that wants them to stay open to God as they are. Every time I teach here in Brazil I feel I am truly meeting people at a deep level of hunger. Living here day to day I sense that people must chose God or they must chose anger. I am so happy to report that many chose God!

The pictures are of a couples retreat Pam and I did recently. We have developed a marriage seminar called "Six Metaphors of a Happy Marriage." It has blessed many and we could literally travel every week to give the seminar. We are traing Brazilian pastors to give the seminar in our place.