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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jesus the Great High Priest

I have been studying Hebrews of late with my friend Nancy in Hoping for Something Better. These words from Shai Linne have constantly been on my brain as I ponder the weightiness of Christ's "once for all" sacrifice (Heb. 7:27). Take a moment to listen and read the lyrics below, then praise God for His Hesed.

-Christy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the run for Truth


Mini-Biography Part 2
Athanasius

Athanasius. That name just sounds tenacious, and that is exactly what this man of God was. He was a straight up soldier. Perserverance marked this man's character, from start to finish. He was the poster boy for Jude 1:3, consistently contending for the faith. As I read about this truth-teller, I felt like I was entranced into an action-packed blockbuster suspense. He did not have anything easy, and most of his life felt like a "fourth and goal" with only seconds left in the game. If it was not for Athanasius, orthodoxy would simply not be. When the majority of the Christian world held an unbiblical view of Jesus, Athanasius put on his shoulder pads and took it to the heretics one blow at a time.

Born around 297 AD, Athanasius studied religion and philosophy and built his resume through apologetics. And by the age of 28 he was leading the debate at the council of Nicaea. For promulgating his Biblical doctrine of Jesus, and refusing to be silent on false gods, he was exiled a number of times. Six times in fact. Once the threat was so strong that he had to be protected by a small band of monks in the desert in order for him to continue writing instead of running. Today his writings are still "go-to" texts for defending the divinity of Jesus.

After the threats died down, Athanasius was free to pursue his calling as a pastor. He continued in the work of explaining the truth of the Scriptures and building the Church. A testimony to the effect of standing for the truth as he seemed to at times single-handedly shut down the work of false teachers.

Someone needs to make an action figure of this guy.

-G

Excerpt from "On the Incarnation"
You know what happens when a portrait that has been painted on a panel becomes obliterated through external stains. The artist does not throw away the panel, but the subject of the portrait has to come and sit for it again, and then the likeness is re-drawn on the same material. Even so was it with the All-holy Son of God. He, the Image of the Father, came and dwelt in our midst, in order that He might renew mankind made after Himself, and seek out His lost sheep, even as He says in the Gospel: "I came to seek and to save that which was lost. This also explains His saying to the Jews: "Except a man be born anew . . ." He was not referring to a man's natural birth from his mother, as they thought, but to the re-birth and re-creation of the soul in the Image of God.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A29 Brasil Boot Camp Pics

Wow! What an incredible impact the first ever Acts 29 Brasil Boot Camp had on the church-planting movement here in Brazil, to the glory of God. Many people were challenged and encouraged as they heard God speak into their lives through the lectures, and this is only the beginning. God is at work here in Brazil, Satan and all of his schemes don't stand a chance. Check out the photos below to see faces of some of the unsung heroes in the Brazilian church. We're working on our 8th newsletter right now to come out on Monday where you can read more about the Boot Camp, and we'll be posting videos soon that will be on the Media and Resources tab above. If you don't receive our monthly e-Newsletter, please sign up here. Thanks so much for partnering with us in prayer for the Boot Camp, God heard and He responded faithfully. What a good, good God we have.

***Photos Removed: If you want to see/download photos, email us.***

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2nd Day Boot Camp Pics

Here are some pictures from the second day. God brought a powerful Word today through the men that spoke, and the day was full of laughs for Christy and I from the start to finish. Please pray for 12 more interviews tomorrow afternoon with men who are interested in partnership.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1st Day Boot Camp Pics

It was an awesome, very exciting day here at the 1st ever Acts 29 Brasil Boot Camp! It's obvious that God is at work and is bringing unity to the often fragmented Church in Brazil. Men from all over the country came out, seemed like every seat was full. Today we had Gregg Heinsch speak on Gospel/Christ-Centered Theology, Chan Kilgore on the Qualifications of an Elder, and Antonio Carlos Costa speak on Social Justice. The translators Pastor João and Fabiano did a wonderful job and were very faithful to the message, which is such a blessing. Please pray for tomorrow- Jay Bauman will speak on Biblical Missiology/ Contextualization, Gregg Heinsch on Preaching the Mission, Adam Sinnett on Developing Leaders for the Mission, and Chan Kilgore on Leading Communities into Gospel Transformation. It will be a long day so please pray for the attentiveness of the attendees and the energy and voices of the translators, as they'll essentially be preaching two sermons. Here are some photos from today-

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A29 Brasil Boot Camp Starts Tomorrow!!!!

Guys, pray for us as we prepare for the first ever Acts 29 Brasil Boot Camp! We're cleaning out the church now and setting up the tables and the refreshment room. We are praying that it will be a huge blessing to the men coming, and that God will use this as a catalyst for a grand church-planting movement centered in Christ! It's obvious that God is working in this as He is bringing close to 100 men from 8 different Brazilian states as well as 2 men from Chile to a conference of a brand new Brazilian church-planting network. But these men are eager- we've now met a good handful of them that are desperate for training, coaching, and resources (not just financial).


You can follow on Twitter with #A29Brasil the next few days to hear how the conference unfolds. Speaking at the conference, we have Chan Kilgore & his wife Stacy in from CrossPointe Church in Orlando, Gregg Heinsch from Celebration Community Church outside of Orlando, as well as Adam Sinnett from Mars Hill Church in Seattle (soon planting a new congregation - Downtown Cornerstone also in Seattle) in from the States. And of course our very own Jay Bauman, Director of Acts 29 Brasil and Restore Brazil, and Antonio Carlos Costa of IP Barra and Rio de Paz giving sessions as well. Registration begins at 11:30 am tomorrow and then we kick off the conference with worship at 1:00 pm.

More to come soon!

-Christy


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mini-Update & Look into Sitio Neighborhood

You often hear us talk about Sitio, the neighborhood in City of God slum where we are helping a brand new church-plant grow, so here's a better look at the neighborhood as well as how you can be praying for our work there. But we couldn't post this without telling you how desperate the situation is there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If you think you can manage on your own, you won't pray

Prayer is hard. I have never been able to conquer prayer as a daily discipline in my life, and I think this is a common struggle. It's hard to hold a quiet thought in your head for more than 20 seconds and the Devil is always around the corner trying to distract you to do other things (usually "righteous" things like cleaning or as Johnny P. says "sending Holy emails." Amen?!). Giulian and I recognize that for our time to be fruitful here we need to be successful at fierce, intercessory prayer, so we decided to be more intentional.


Last Monday we listened to a sermon from Pastor John Piper called Put in the Fire for the Sake of Prayer. He made logical connections in Scripture and explained the purpose of prayer in a very meaningful way that transformed my outlook on prayer; I would highly recommend it. Then we went out to dinner and talked about what we heard, and made a game plan for our prayer life. (Side note- It's awesome here because restaurants will let you sit at your table as long as you please so even when we were finished we kept on talking and they didn't even bring us the check! It's very conducive to great conversation.)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Animal Planet - Marmosets

So I was sitting down inside taking care of some emails when Giulian calls from outside, "Christy, come outside right now!" What we saw was a little colony of marmosets, jumping around from tree to power line and back, it was quite the sight, one we've never seen the likes of before. I have a feeling we'll be sharing many more Animal Planet videos (including this previous one about our resident Tortoise who we found out today is a female because she gave birth to many little eggs).

-Christy

Ladies and gentlemen for your Sunday evening viewing pleasure, Maria the Marmoset-

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This Bunyan Wielded a Bible, Not a Blue Ox


Mini-Biography Part 1
John Bunyan

To follow through with Hebrew 6:11-12 ("And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance c of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."), I wanted to share some stories of Christians who have been used by God in many ways. I hope that you will leave reading these blogs knowing that God can use you as well. This is part one in a four part series. Suggestions are appreciated.

This literary giant was born in 1628 in Bedford, England. Like the generation ahead of him, he followed suit and becamed trained in "tinkering" or metal works. At a young age, his mother and sister died a month apart from each other. This set the course of a life closely knit with suffering, a theme often apparent throughout his works.

When pondering his youth, Bunyan stated,