Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mortifying Sin in Your Body

I am studying "Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges and found this very helpful.

Formula: How to Know Right from Wrong.
  • "'Everything is permissible for me' - but not everything is beneficial" (I Cor. 6:12).
Question 1: Is it helpful- physically, spiritually, and mentally?
  • "'Everything is permissible for me' - but I will not be mastered by anything" (I Cor. 6:12).
Question 2: Does it bring me under its power?

  • "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall" (I Cor. 10:31).
Question 3: Does it hurt others?

  • "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).
Question 4: Does it glorify God?

"As simple as this formula may appear, it is powerful in developing conviction - if we are willing to use it. These questions can get rather searching. But they must be asked if we are to pursue holiness as a total way of life." J. Bridges, Pursuit of Holiness, pp. 91

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun Photos

Here are some recent photos. Hope you enjoy!

Daniel & Jeremiah going for a run together with the video game.

Hannah teaching her "Class."

Our dogs LOVE David!

Daniel enjoying a Sunday afternoon Banana!

Jeremiah and Gabriel waiting for the bananas to ripen so they can eat one too!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Effects of the Gospel

Last weekend we had the privilege to participate in Nova Vida's 7th anniversary celebration. James, David and Phil each took one of the services during the weekend and they all focused in on a chapter from 2 Corinthians.

Saturday evening, David reminded us that our weekend should really be a celebration of what the Gospel has done to us.
Phil shared on Sunday morning emphasizing that when Christ died, we died with Him and we should therefore now live for Him.

James closed out the conference by focusing on the importance of transformation through contemplating the glory of Christ regularly.

The Gospel changes people. It IS evident in the lives of many of the people in this church. To look back 7 years, you would see vulgar, crude, immodest women changed into humble, modest, loving women who are regularly sharing the Gospel with others. One said to me this weekend that she doesn't have many friends outside the church now because her old friends don't want to hear about her new life or feel guilty about their own sinful choices when they are with her.

One man waited several years before accepting Christ but once he was saved his whole life was changed. Today he leads his employees in a short Bible study each morning before work begins. Another man is prayerfully considering full time pastoral ministry. This is a direct result of the effect of the Gospel in the people at Nova Vida.

We had a great time of fellowship there in Curitiba. I think James and David both miss preaching on a regular basis so it was a blessing to do that as well.

We of course had a cook-out with the church while we were there.

Beginning a new work has various challenges but probably the greatest is the sense of isolation from other believers. We are so thankful for the opportunity this weekend to see God working in the lives of other believers, to edify one another and just be together.

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. Psalm 9:1

We praise the Lord for his work in the people at Nova Vida as well as here in Sao Jose. He has blessed us immeasurably!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Ministry Update

We had a great Bible study on Sunday afternoon with Rosane. This week's lesson was on the resurrection of Christ. Near the end of the study, James asked Rosane if she was ready for the judgment that awaits each of us after our death. "It is appointed unto man, once to die and then the judgment." (Heb. 9:27) She admitted that she was not, for she knew that Christ would not accept her in her sin. James went on to share the plan of salvation, focusing on the fact that we are saved by grace alone and completely apart from our "good" works. Her next comment was completely contrary to what James had just shared. She went on to explain how she was "getting prepared," by reading the the Bible and doing these studies with us. It was as if she didn't really hear James. She still seems to be focusing on her works instead of Christ's work.

We met with 2 other women later that day and had the same conversations with the same outcome. They both admitted that they weren't ready to meet God, but after hearing the Good News, they both talked again about how hard they are trying to earn God's grace.

It is easy to be discouraged as we try and share Christ with these people. Their hearts are so hard to the truth, so full of religious misconceptions. They are distracted with life; work, families, pleasure, etc... Please pray that we will not focus on results as man sees them, but on being faithful to our God.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Weekend to Remember

This weekend, we celebrated all the September Taylor birthdays. Daniel started it off, 8 on the 19th, then Gabriel turned 2 on the 23, then Phil turned 58 on the 28th and David 31 on the 30th. Whew! Lots of birthdays and lots of fun...
Friday Phil and Mary Ruth arrived and we all got to enjoy the sandbox that David made for Gabriel. We had coffee and chocolate chip cookies and then went for a walk to look at some properties nearby. God blessed us with a beautiful day.

Saturday Daniel got to open his big presents, a Tee-ball set, bat & glove. The first big hit bounced out of our yard and down the big hill right into the main road below. James chased it down in his slippers and although it was run over by a car, the ball is fine!

Although overcast, we did not have rain until that night. So we took advantage and went to a beach that had a park. After the kids played for a while we took off exploring and found some wonderful sights.

The rock formations here are incredible.

We followed the sea wall until it ended at these steps which led us to a beautiful overlook toward the city.

The rain started Saturday night and it didn't stop raining until Phil & Mary Ruth left to go back to Curitiba. (Actually, we had a brief respite from the rain, it is STILL raining!!!)

Sunday was especially encouraging. We had a wonderful time of Bible study together from the book of James. I think we all came away challenged and edified.

We had a wonderful weekend and are so thankful for the opportunity to spend time together as a family.