On Friday we’re off to cold weather, heading south, to the city of Curitiba. It’s almost winter time here, and people say it dips below freezing there. In the southern hemisphere, going south is like going north above the equator — it gets colder. And here, it feels colder, since houses have no indoor heating.
My assigned task is to give away a bride. Cosma’s parents are both deceased, and she invited me to do the honor. She lived in SJCampos for some time, and Vicki and I became close to her.
Unlike American weddings, The Missus and I will remain standing up front during the ceremony. Must wear comfortable shoes, I hear tell two suits will officiate.
It’ll be a quick trip. We go Friday and return Sunday, so as not to miss our Urbanova meeting. (I had to turn down an invitation to preach in a congregation there Sunday morning.)
We’re traveling to the US June 8, for five weeks, so we didn’t want to be away yet another Sunday so close to the trip.
Just in case we have some problem in getting back and are delayed, our meeting Sunday night will be in Douglas and Ludmila’s home, instead of ours. They were kind enough to offer to host the meeting. (We meet once on Sundays, at 7:30 pm.)
Douglas will take us to the airport Friday, and Alcides will pick us up Sunday morning. When you don’t have family nearby, you depend more on the family of faith.
You may not be so interested in these details of travel, but it gives you a small window into this empty-nest phase of our lives. To see who some of these people are, find them on GoSpeak.
¶ Last night our fourth grandchild was born, Reagan Paige Matheny, in Hermitage TN. Somebody wrote that children exist to give grandchildren to grandparents. They may be on to something. She’s a fine little specimen, and we pray the Lord bless her, her parents, and her older sister Tessa. May she be strong in the Lord.
¶ While one issue of Edificação magazine is in the printer, we’re working hard on the next issue, with the theme “12 Facts about Jesus.” Brazilians are writing on each fact, with seven done so far. I’m scrambling to find people for the other five. The idea for the theme came after writing this article. Much overlap between English and Portuguese, in both directions.
To close out the 12 articles in the issue, last night I finished — while waiting for pictures of Reagan Paige — a short article, “All the facts about Jesus are important.” We need all the information about him in Scripture to form a complete picture. It’s often said that knowing about Jesus isn’t the same as knowing him and having a relationship with him. True, but the corollary to that is we can’t know him at all without first knowing about him.
Sometimes we try to jump to knowing him without reading and studying about him. Can’t be done. Just like a so-called transgender can’t change his chromosomes, no matter how may changes of clothes he makes. (I didn’t put that last sentence in the article.)
¶ We’re looking for a few good people to partner with us in the gospel. Here are details.
¶ The Missus and I both had personal Bible studies scheduled with non-Christians this week, and both were cancelled. Hers might get rescheduled before we travel. Mine won’t, since the fellow works and studies, with little free time. Maybe next week …
¶ Somewhere in an American print-shop, a book ought to be making its appearance in the world soon, wearing the Forthright Press label. If you’ve not gotten your pre-pub special, you still have time. It’s designed to be used for Bible classes. Twelve contributors, many of whom you know, have written for it. It meets a modern challenge to the Way. The title itself (thanks, Matt!) stakes out its ground: The Right Kind of Christianity.
¶ Not rarely I get book ideas, and most of them never get put on paper. A recent idea was to write about Bible texts that have meant much to me at some point over the years and how they sustained me in hard times. At one point in life, I felt “hemmed in” Psa 4.1. This psalm, and particularly, this verse, kept me: “I will lie down and sleep peacefully, for you, Lord, make me safe and secure” Psa 4.8. It still does. Even when going into freezing weather.