Sunday, July 30, 2006

Miami Connection--Global focus

Once again I am amazed at how God is continuing to connect our lives with people we thought we were "leaving" in the USA.
This past week I was privileged to be a part of Brazil's first GLOBAL FOCUS training with Dr. Larry Reesor and Dr. DIno Pedrone.
Larry is the founder of Global Focus and Dino is the Senior Pastor of the New Testament Baptist Church in Miami, Florida.

Global Focus helps local churches live out the vision of Acts 1:8 where Jesus said his followers would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. It is a wonderful new way of doing missions through the local church. We hope to develop a partnership between Abide Ministries and Global Focus.

New Testament Baptist church is one of our supporting churches. It is also the home of Dade Christian Schools. I graduated from Dade Christian in 1969 and Pam's family was supported by New Testament as far backk as the 1950's.

Being with Larry and Dino was a blessing. Three men from New Testament church also came down to teach and launch the Global Focus ministry.

It was a good week. The connections that God is engineering for us continue to amaze me.

The first picture is of Dr. Dino Pedrone preaching in the evening Global Focus service.
The second picture is of the Global Focus team from the States.
The last picture is of Dino, me and Larry just before an evening service.
(Click on the photos to enlarge them)

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Pleasant Surprise

Oswald Chambers once observed "God orchestrates our circumstances to educate our faith." For that reason I am always alert to the seemingly small details that tell me God is at work all around.

For the past four days Pam and I have been in the mountain city of Campos do Jordão looking for our future home here in Brazil.
From the very beginning of our call to return to Brazil this mountain city has drawn us back again and again. In human terms the city seems to be out of the way and not in the middle of the big things God is doing in Brazil. That is just not true.

We stayed in a wonderful mountain hotel in Campos named "Leão da Montanha" which means "Lion of the Mountain." The hotel was built 25 years ago by a Jewish man who survived the Holocaust. That Jewish man is now 84 years of age and the running of the hotel is now in the hands of his grandsons Fabio and Elan.

The amazing detail is that Fabio and Elan have both accepted Jesus as their Messiah and they want to work to help the Abide Ministries in Campos and among the Jews of Brazil. The chances of this kind of contact is amazing. My faith was educated once again! God is at work in His way in every place.

A year ago we dreamed of having a place in the mountains where we could bring leaders and learners to clarify what it means to abide in Christ 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Now we have people willing and ready to help who own a camp and a hotel. We also have extremely sharp Jewish believers ready to introduce us into the Jewish community.

When we left South Florida with its huge Jewish population, it never dawned on us that we would be sent to a mountain city to continue to work with God's chosen people scattered here in Brazil.

One picture is of Pam and me with our Jewish brothers in Christ Fabio and Elan. The other picture is of Fabio, Elan and another young Jewish believer named Raphael.

Don't miss the surprises in your life. God is educating your faith.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A thought on the demonic

Here in Brazil there is a tremendous emphasis on the unseen, demonic world. Yesterday at the church we attend there was a seven hour couse given on "Spiritual Warfare". The young pastor who taught the course did an excellent job with the Biblical material. I was amazed at his depth of experience and Biblical knowledge.

One thought that struck me as he spoke came from the words of Paul in Ephesians six where he says "We wrestle not against flesh and blood..." What struck me is that we all wrestle with demonic forces. Life is like a wrestling match for all of us but we think it is people who are behind the struggle. No. There are forces opposed to life in God that create the force we feel resisting us. To fight people is to miss the point of the real struggle. There are powerful forces behind the visible against which we "wrestle"

Human beings are not sources of anything. Human beings are receivers. Remember when Paul said "I am what I am by the grace of God"? He said his whole life was the result of receiving from God. If Paul was what he received, so, too, are all humans what they receive.

Demonic forces are substitute sources that attempt to attach themselves to the human spirit. Most may never manifest a deomonic presence as we think of demonic possession. Yet, all of us reflect through the fruit of our lives the source or sources that feed our spirit. There is no such thing as a human spirit that is not receiving from some source of thought or intent.

The word "sorcerer" means one who seeks the source. Make no mistake. A source of some kind is trying to reach your spirit and feed it . Truly, we wrestle not against flesh and bone. Humans are not the source our spirits was wrestle against. There is a spirit world and it will make a connection if it can and its fruit will appear over time.

This is why the blessed Holy Spirit of God is in us. If we rest in the Holy Spirit and resist the Devil and his counterfeit sources
we win. To fight humans is a waste of time. The battle is behind the fruit in human lives.

In the end it is always about the source from which we drink and eat. Thank God Jesus is come into the world as our daily bread and water!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Time Team

Pam and I are busy leading a group of young people from the USA. It has been a long time since I have been surrounded with such energy!

The team is made up of young people and their leaders from Massachussets, Daytona, Florida and Miami, Florida. The International Bible Baptist Church of Miami has developed a wonderful summer missions outreach for teens and young adults called TIME. The team uses drama presentations to preach the message of Jesus. It is very, very effective.

Got to run! Pray we can keep up.

Bud and Pam