Sunday, April 28, 2019

Poem from a young soldier



"Lord God I have never spoken to you

But now I want to say, "How do you do?"
You see, God, they told me You didn't exist
And like a fool I believed all this
Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky
I figured right then they had told me a lie
Had I taken time to see the things you made
I'd have known they weren't calling a spade a spade

I wonder, God, if you'll take my hand
Somehow I feel that you'll understand
Funny I had to come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see Your face
Well, I guess there isn't much more to say
But I'm sure glad, God, I met you today
I guess zero hour will soon be here
But I'm not afraid since I know
 you're near

The signal!

Well, God, I'll have to go
I like You lots, I want you to know
Look now this will be a horrible fight
Who knows, I may come to Your house tonight
Though I wasn't friendly to You before
I wonder, God, if You'd wait at Your door

Look, I'm crying, I'm shedding tears

I'll have to go now God goodbye
Strange now, since I met You, I'm not afraid to die"

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Love Letter to a Lesbian

Dear ______,
I just want you to know that I understand.
I understand how it feels to be in love with a woman. To want nothing more than to be with her forever. Feeling as if the universe has played a cruel joke on your heart by allowing it to fall into the hands of a creature that looks just like you.
I too was a lesbian. I had same-sex attractions as early as five years old. As I grew up, those feelings never subsided. They only grew. I would find myself having crushes on my female best friends, but I was far too ashamed to admit it to them — let alone to myself.
At the age of seventeen, I finally made the decision to pursue these desires. I entered into a relationship with a young lady who became my “first.” The first time we kissed, it felt extremely natural, as if this feeling is what I had been missing all along. After her came another woman and then another woman. Both relationships were very serious, each lasting over a year. I enjoyed these relationships and loved these women a lot. And it came to the point that I was willing to forsake all, including my soul, to enjoy their love on earth.
In October 2008, at the age of nineteen, my superficial reality was shaken up by a deeper love, one from the outside — one that I’d heard of before but never experienced. For the first time, I was convicted of my sin in a way that made me consider everything I loved (idolized), and its consequences. I looked at my life, and saw that I had been in love with everything except God, and these decisions would ultimately be the death of me, eternally. My eyes were opened, and I began to believe everything God says in his word. I began to believe that what he says about sin, death, and hell were completely true.
“All things I had heard before without any interest became the most glorious revelation of love imaginable.”
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And amazingly, at the same time that the penalty of my sin became true to me, so did the preciousness of the cross. A vision of God’s Son crucified, bearing the wrath I deserved, and an empty tomb displaying his power over death — all things I had heard before without any interest had become the most glorious revelation of love imaginable.
After realizing all of what I would have to give up, I said to God, “I cannot let these things or people go on my own. I love them too much. But I know you are good and strong enough to help me.”
Now, at the age of 23, I can say with all honesty that God has done just that. He has helped me love him more than anything.
Now, why did I just tell you about this? I gave you a glimpse of my story because I want you to understand that I understand. But I also want you to know that I also understand how it feels to be in love with the Creator of the universe. To want nothing more than to be with him forever. To feel his grace, the best news ever announced to mankind. To see his forgiveness, that he would take such a wicked heart into his hands of mercy.
But with that in mind, we’re in a culture where stories like mine either seem impossible or hilarious, depending on the audience. Homosexuality is everywhere — from music, to TV, even sports. If you’d believe all that society had to say about homosexuality, you’d come to the conclusion that it is completely normal, even somewhat admirable. But that is far from the truth. God tells us that homosexuality is sinful, abominable, and unnatural (Leviticus 18:2220:13Romans 1:18–321 Corinthians 6:9–111 Timothy 1:8–10). But if I were to be honest, sometimes homosexual attractions can seem natural to me.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this may be your dilemma as well. You see what God has to say about homosexuality, but your heart doesn’t utter the same sentiments. God’s word says it’s sinful; your heart says it feels right. God’s word says it’s abominable; your heart says it’s delightful. God’s word says it’s unnatural; your heart says it’s totally normal. Do you see that there is a clear divide between what God’s word says and how your heart feels?
So, which voice should you believe?
“The struggle with homosexuality is a battle of faith. ‘Is God my joy?’”
There was a time in my walk with Christ where I experienced a lot of temptation about falling back into lesbianism. These temptations caused me to doubt God’s word. My temptations and desires began to become more real to me than the truth of the Bible. As I was praying and meditating on these things, God put this impression on my heart: “Jackie, you have to believe that my word is true even if it contradicts how you feel.” Wow! This is right. Either I trust in his word or I trust my own feelings. Either I look to him for the pleasure my soul craves or I search for it in lesser things. Either I walk in obedience to what he says or I reject his truth as if it were a lie.
The struggle with homosexuality is a battle of faithIs God my joy? Is he good enough? Or am I still looking to broken cisterns to quench a thirst only he can satisfy? That is the battle. It is for me, and it is for you.
The choice is yours, my friend. I pray you put your faith in Christ and flee from the lies of our society that coincide with the voices of your heart — a heart that Scripture says is wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Run to Jesus instead.
You were made for him (Romans 11:36). He is ultimately all that you need! He is good and wise (Psalm 145:9). He is the source of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). He is kind and patient (2 Peter 3:9). He is righteous and faithful (Psalm 33:4). He is holy and just (1 John 1:9). He is our true King (Psalm 47:7). He is our Savior (Jude 25). And he is inviting you to be not just his servant, but also his friend. If lasting love is what you’re looking for anywhere else, you are chasing the wind, seeking what you will never find, slowly being destroyed by your pursuit.
But in Jesus, there is fullness of joy. In Jesus, there is a relationship worth everything, because he is everything. Run to him.
-------------
Article by  Jackie Hill Perry
 (@JackieHillPerry) is a writer, poet, and hip-hop artist whose latest album, Crescendo, released in May. She is also the author of Gay Girl, Good God.
Text above was accessed at https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/love-letter-to-a-lesbian on 25 April 2019


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Thoughts about homosexuality, Loving people in homosexual practices!

I would like to start this post reminding everyone that Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples because of Love. 
  
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." John 13.35

So the biggest question could be, how can I love people in homosexual practices in our churches and families? 
We love people that are imperfect because the fact is that we are all sinners and all imperfect. Doesn't matter if our sins are different, or more culturally challenge, as the bible says:

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3.23

So if we are all sinners, how can we say that something is wrong?
We can say that something is wrong not because we are perfect or better than anyone else, but because the bible, that is the word of God, says so.

I like a definition of love that says that love is "not to desire to the person less than what I want to myself"! 
So based on this definition I do love someone when I desire and treat the person at least as I would like to be treated, and I would like to receive mercy, forgiveness and friendship. And that is exactly what I will always offer to anyone that is consciously or unconsciously involved with any sinful act.

However, to love someone do not mean that we need to say what they want to hear, or to confirm their mistake.
To love someone is necessary the will walk the second-mile and say the truth, even when you know that the truth will make you less popular, cast out and that building schemes and helpings will be redrawn from you. 

I decide to love, I decide to speak the truth - even if this cost my job, my reputation and my freedom! 
I decide to offer the grace and freedom and mercy that I would like to receive, and on that way anyone is welcome, and everyone is equal.
But I am not called to preach what people want to hear, but what God says, and he doesn't change!

So the conclusion that I come is that in order to love anyone in homosexual practices or any other activity that is against what God's word says, even those things that I do we should:
1) Welcome everyone in love;

2) Never call anyone by their sins, or with mocking nicknames (that is sin and it is a crime)
3) Remember that we are all sinners;

4) there is no bigger or small sinner;

5) The truth is the Truth even when I don't like it, when society doesn't like or when the institution doesn't like it.

6) We don't say about this sin in every service, or in every moment - but when is appropriate and necessary be honest and say what the bible and God wants. Nothing less and nothing more.

7) God has a better plan, and that is how we can share with people that are yet not seeing the whole picture from God.

8) The fact that some churches are approving the mistake should not be a surprise, let's see what the bible says in 2 Timothy 4.2-4
 "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths".
                                                                                                                 2 Timothy 4.2-4 


Let's keep focus in the Lord and His word, that is the best for us and the community around us!

Hope that the Lord bless you and keep you!

Yours in Love, Pastor Luiz.


















What does the Bible say about homosexuality?


Genesis 2.24

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Leviticus 18 .22

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20.13
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Romans 1:26-28

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Matthew 19.3-6

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Jude 1.7

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

1 Timothy 1:8-10

Here Paul writes:
The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, men who practise homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. (1 Timothy. 1:9-10)


Few thoughts about the theme:
Homosexual sin is serious and real.
Homosexual desire is not what God originally intended. 
Homosexual sin is not unique. 
Homosexual sin is not inescapable.


Jesus wasn't silent on homosexuality.
Some claim Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and therefore is neutral on the topic. Not true. Jesus was unequivocal in saying that to understand marriage and the sexual union, we must go back to the beginning and see how God created humanity and to what end. (See Matthew 19 and Mark 10.) Jesus holds up the creation story in Genesis not as a quaint Sunday school lesson, but as authoritative — reminding us that God created each of us male and female, each for the other. And the sexual union that God created and ordains is for husband and wife to come together in physical union, one flesh.




Are you teachable?

Proverbs 12.15 Have you ever tried to teach something to someone that presumed knows everything? How was the feeling...