Meanwhile, during the Olympics

randal-pimentas-evangelistas

Yours Truly with three new evangelists in Pimentas church, Guarulhos, Brazil

Even though we still feel sluggish getting back into our Brazil routine, after our US trip, the month of August filled up with events, every weekend. Three of the four are teaching opportunities outside of our region: the ordination of three evangelists (last Sunday), a marriage seminar, and a day-long seminar on order in worship and discipline in the church.

The fourth event, in the state capital, is a birthday party for the daughter of a dear friend whom we consider family. It’s her fifteenth party, which are really big deals here in Brazil. (Used to be a coming-out party.) This one will be a cookout, with some saints from São José dos Campos going. Our friend now lives in São Paulo but continues to meet with the Esplanada congregation here.

We’ll catch a ride with the Esplanada folks who have rented a van to go there and back. Anytime I can avoid driving, I’m for it. Never was a fan of being behind the wheel, after the novelty wore off those first few years of the experience.

Looks like we’ll also hitch a ride to the seminar on order and discipline. It’s a 3-4-hour drive into the interior of the state. Some four or five congregations in the area will have people coming.

So I may feel sluggish, but we’ll have to be up to speed for all these good opportunities.

¶ Not every month is like this one, fortunately. Not that having all these events is bad, by any means. But we’re getting on up in years, adding another notch to age this very month, so it’s time to be slowing down, right?

¶ Seen last week: an article saying people over 40 should work only 3 days a week. Since I long ago passed that age, perhaps I should catch up and work only 1-2 days weekly. That’s good math, isn’t it?

¶ The Olympics are happening just a few hours away from us, in Rio. We don’t do TV, so I’m just reading headlines, like Michael Phelps winning his 20th 25th gold medal. Here, life goes on normally.

Anybody else think that the American team staying on a cruise ship looks bad? Also, giving the finger to a fellow competitor? I suppose with candidates to national leadership speaking trash and lies, and showing only greed and lust for power, the citizens are going to show their crassness as well. Or is this unfair generalization?

¶ I started to say that “unfair generalization” is a redundancy, but perhaps not all generalizations are unfair. Paul seemed to think at least one was fair. Read Titus 1.12-13. “A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.'” Paul agreed with this assessment: “Such testimony is true.” But maybe it takes a Holy Spirit-inspired writer to get a generalization right, reckon?

¶ I got asked, again, yesterday, which country I liked best, Brazil or the US. I gave what is now my standard reply, that each country has its good points and bad. The important thing is to highlight and enjoy the good points of each, and downplay the bad points of each. There are plenty of both.

The latest question came from the owner of a hamburger food truck, who was setting up his operation about 5 pm near my office. He’s been to New Zealand and the US. He gave the impression of wanting to leave Brazil. (We have friends and former neighbors who have.) But he looks like he works hard and does a good job. Yesterday, he was catering to a new business inauguration, so, no, I did not eat there.

¶ Food trucks are now all the rage in São Paulo. With the Internet, you can keep up with where they’ll be parked. If they keep their postings up to date.

¶ To end with, a word of God is best. “Now on the topic of brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another” 1 Thes 4.9. God is the real teacher behind all teaching of the gospel. When teaching on love, God is the standard and prime example.