Saturday, June 30, 2007


Pam and I are hosting a group of young adults from the International Bible Baptist Church of Miami. They are wonderful!
Over the past 5 days we have shared the Gospel in 15 different settings in and around the city of Campos do Jorão. Our audiences have been mostly teens in public schools.

Normally these kids from very poor families are not receptive to groups once they get past 15 our 16 years of age. The Time team holds their attention and a real bond takes place.

So far, we have given the message of Christ to over 3,000 and we still have four days to go.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Map

The Map.
Imagine for a moment that you are a military leader fighting a determined enemy. It seems that every time you make an attack you end up in the wrong place. Your continual losses leave you weakened and afraid. Over time this sense of loss and failure causes you to want to quit the war and give in to the demands of the enemy.

Suddenly you discover the source of the problem. The enemy has put false maps of the battleground into your hands. Every time you plan an attack, you have been starting in the wrong place and you always end up in the wrong place.

Having the right map is critical to any strategic plan. Starting in the wrong place guarantees weakness and loss. Ideas have consequences. Wrong maps produce wrong ideas and wrong consequences every time.

Over the years I have come to believe that our enemy Satan has given God’s people a false map for discipleship. His maps look good but they purposely start in the wrong place. Satan’s discipleship maps start in man and in what is lacking.

Satan’s discipleship map causes us to begin at a place called “ LACK.” When we use the enemy’s map we end up weak and suffering loss every time. For disciples of Jesus, starting at “LACK” can only lead us to “LOSS.” No wonder the enemy changed the maps!

The right map for discipleship is found only in Jesus’ words. Truly, He is the way, the truth and the life. There is no “Lack” on His maps.

God has given us the words of Jesus as the discipleship map for the children of God.
It is a map that begins in God and His abundant Vine. The very first words on Jesus’ map are “Blessed are…” and every page has the words “Fear not…”

In the battle for souls, instead of starting at man and what is lacking, we must now start at God and His Son’s perfect abundance. Starting at Jesus puts us where we must be to disciple others away from the enemy of their souls.

We are each responsible for the map we choose to use in the battle. For this reason Jesus repeated over and over again the word “IF” when talking to His disciples. “IF” you abide means “IF” you start in Me moment by moment then you will arrive at the glory of God. You must choose your map.

This is a very old battle and the warriors of old like David had a good map. His map started with the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” That is a good map but the one marked “Abide in Me” is even better. It is for today and for today’s battles.

Make no mistake, we are in a war for the souls of men. Satan has changed the map and we must abide in Jesus’ words or we will be weakened and suffer even greater loss. We must start at the place marked “ABUNDANCE” in the Vine. Start anywhere else and you will find yourself arriving at a place called “LOSS.”

It is not easy to change our old map in the middle of the battle, but we must be absolutely sure our discipleship battle map is consistent with Jesus’ every word. We must look closely at our map because our Enemy never tires in His hatred of God’s abundance. He wants you to start at “LACK.” The enemy of our soul knows when we start at God’s “ABUNDANCE” in the true Vine that means he ends up at “LOSS” every time.

Check your map. If it doesn’t clearly say ABIDE find the one that does. There is a battle raging and you need to be there moment by moment.

Abiding In His Abundance,
Bud and Pam McCord

Monday, June 11, 2007


One of the most interesting things about Brazil is its vast size. Brazil is bigger than the continental USA. It really is surprising how different Brazil's reality differs from region to region. Traveling throughout Brazil leaves one wishing it were possible to live in five or six different cities at the same time. It is never boring here.

This past week I visited a city that is new to me but famous to all Brazilians. I was guest speaker at the annual pastors and leaders conference held in the northern Brazilian city of Fortaleza. What a city! What a conference!

Fortaleza is home to over 3 million and it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A mix of beauty and poverty, Fortaleza is home to the Central Baptist Church led by Pastor Armando Bispo. For the past 24 years this dynamic man of God and his dear wife have seen God gather a congregation of nearly 4,000 in weekly attendance. The church is among the finest I have ever seen on any continent. Their energy and passion for Jesus is truly inspiring.

Each year the church hosts a leadership conference and over 500 pastors and leaders come from all over Brazil. The year the theme was "Leaders that Abide". I fit right in! What a privilege it was to preach for hours and hours to this hungry team of leaders.

Fortaleza has become the home to many, many Europeans who are taking advantage of the strong Euro and the excellent weather in Fortaleza. It is amazing to see how "small" the world is becoming day by day. One can see the day not far into the future where Brazil will be seen as a key player in world affairs.

Fortaleza is worth a visit. I, for one, will be going back and wishing I could call Fortaleza home, too.

Pictures from top....
First--Bud speaking at evening session
Second-part of Central Baptist Pastoral team
Third --Closing service of Conference
Fourth--Conference leaders Orlando and Chris
Fifith--Conference theme--Leaders who Abide
Sixth--Evening sessions
Seventh-- Senior Pastor Amando Bispo and wife with Bud