Sunday, March 16, 2008

VIP Visit

Some people bring with them a very special kind of presence. Some people have what I call a Very Inspired Presence. They are people who are Inspired by the Presence of Jesus in their lives. A recent visiter to our home and to the Abide Center in Campos do Jordao was just such a VIP. His name is Greg Gregory.

Greg came into our lives back in 2000 through Hollywood Christian School. Problems in the public school in South Florida led Greg and his wife Zully to put their children into Hollywood Christian which is a ministry of the First Baptist Church of West Hollywood. Problems led Greg, Zully and family into a community of people inspired by Jesus. Now Greg, Zully and their entire family are all Very Inspired People. They are all inspired by the presence of Jesus in their lives. They are VIPs.

Greg has business interests in 17 countries. Among those countries are Brazil and Argentina. We reaped the blessing of two days that Greg had open during his business trips to Brazil and Argentina. Next time we hope Zully can come, too.

For now his presence was a VIP moment for Pam and me. Thanks Greg.

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Abide Retreat 2008

The weekend of March 7-9 marked the beginning of our monthly Abide retreats in our Abide Retreat Center in the mountain city of Campos do Jordão. The retreat was exactly what we dreamed it would be nearly 5 years ago when we began to see this vision from the Lord.

There is something very powerful about focusing a willing group of people on the abundance of having the living presence of Jesus in us 24/7. Remarkable things happen to those who dare focus their mind, emotions and will on the perfection Jesus within. The Light really goes on!

The retreat allows this happen as we "coach" others to seek the abundance of Christ within moment by moment. Once they learn that this possibility exists for them and for every believer moment by moment, it is the beginning of learning to receive this joy in the much noisier world they will meet when they go back to the valley where they live and work.

Taking the state of soul one gains in an abide retreat back into the very real and turbulent world of day to day living is the goal.
True Christian life is not designed to run from reality. It is taking the calm of Jesus right into the center of the storm.

Just like surfers look at large waves as a wonderful challenge, so, too, those who abide see the "waves" of life as a challenge the abiding soul can face with joy found in Jesus' perfect presence moment by moment.

Souls at rest can surf the waves of life.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I continue to be fascinated with the idea that evil is the development and defense of a list of people I have been given permission not to love. I am evil to the extent that I keep a list of people who deserve less than the best I am and the best I have.
Jesus had no such list. The sermon on the mount is designed to show us how a person without a list would behave in the most pressing realities of the world.

This morning during my devotional time the word "legalist" came to mind. I had not noticed that the word "Legalist" communicates the idea that a Legal List can be developed. How interesting!

Religious evil is always about a legally justified list of unlovable people. Political evil is always about a legally justified list of unlovable people. Personal evil is also legalized lack of love. I personally write the law of love in my own heart as my personal evil. It only takes one Legal list to make a legalist.

Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness. Jesus is the new law written in our hearts. Jesus is the kingdom where their are no Legal Lists. The laws one used to make legal lists are not needed since Jesus kept every law for all mankind so no more lists should be made to stop love.

Watch out for any Legal Lists of unlovable people. They are everywhere and very well written. Watch out for the most dangerous Legal List of all. That is the one you write within your own heart.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Small World

I was deeply touched by this e-mail from our sending pastor Russell Johnson. God is good and God is in control.


One of our Spanish men has been deployed in Afghanistan since early December. I received a note from him today telling me that they have put him in charge of the Spanish chapel service each week. The first week no one came, so he went back over our Men's prayer lists since 2004 and just watched how God had answered so many prayers, and those we still are praying for. The second week two guys showed up and they had a wonderful time in Luke 24. Here is the part that will bless you - Next week he is going to begin with "The Satisfying Life" We sent the DVDs and a book with him and he is going to begin sharing it with his Spanish speaking group. I'm not sure, but I don't believe that country was on your radar screen, but the vine keeps extending out!

Just thought you would want to know.


God is using each of lives to deliver fruit as we abide.