May 31, 2012
Musical Interlude: Rockabel Canon
This is many shades of awesome.
May 30, 2012
As you may have noticed, the "Daily Dozen" feature has ground to a halt. I realized that the last thing I needed right now was another hard deadline. However, I still wanted a way to share some of the great links I come across.
Enter Monday Mayhem. It's once a week, and there's no built-in number of links in the title. (Yes, I'm aware that it's Wednesday...we will start the "Monday" part next week).
So here is the first collection of randomness:
How a book is born It's not pretty.
The Best Go Kart ever
Lego Creation of the Week: Lost in the crowd
Leaning Towers They're not just for Pisa anymore.
You keep using those eight words... ...I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
Art Deco Avengers Awesome (If you're into that kind of thing...)
May 24, 2012
Max Moment: The Obama Promo
In which The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max (affiliate link) gets some word-of-mouth from a few unlikely sources:
Feel free to share the above video on Facebook, Youtube, or the social media site of your choice.
This was supposed to post over a week ago, but I am just now working getting to a large and growing blog backlog. What follows are a couple pictures of Michael's and my promise ceremony with the Brazilian Scouts. Back when we started participating in the scouting program I decided that it would be something my sons and I participated in together. It was a special privilege, therefore, when we were able to take our official promise on the same day.
You can see more pictures of this event on our scout troop's Facebook page.
May 17, 2012
Luau on the Beach (or...Suffering for Jesus in Brazil)
Our last activity with the Kerigma youth group was a luau on one of Sao Luis' spectacular beaches. While it was bittersweet, due to our impending departure, the ambiance was relaxing and therapeutic.
Here is a picture of Itacyara and I with our outstanding group of teens:
More pictures here.
Max Moment: Reviews and Interviews
The past couple of weeks saw two new reviews of The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max hit cyberspace.
First up, a review that originally ran in the bulletin of our home church in Lakeland Florida, written by the associate pastor (also...my brother).
Money quote: "...the action, romance and multi-layered plots will keep just about anyone turning the digital pages." Thanks, bro!
Next we have a review that ran in the blog Fundamentally Reformed, owned and operated by Bob Hayton.
Money quote: "The twists and turns of the plot, characters with depth and reality, and a locale where almost anything can go, keep one guessing throughout the book."
As Bob is one of the administrators for SharperIron--a site I have contributed to from time to time--the review appeared there the following day. As an added bonus, they also published an interview with me with several in-depth questions about the book, and writing in general. The following is one of my favorites:
Q. The book seems to be written from a guy’s perspective, and some of the themes, such as the chemistry between Max and Ilana, seem more suited to older teens and adults. What is your target audience for the book?
A. My target audience is teens to young-adults…especially guys. I remember reading Tarzan books as a kid, and then immediately going out to try my hand at being “king of the jungle” in the little patch of woods behind our house. In a recent documentary it was shown how, after the first Indiana Jones movies were released, there was a spike in the number of young men entering the field of archaeology.
The woods behind my house is far different from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ romanticized Africa, an archaeologist’s work is far different from that portrayed on the screen by Harrison Ford, and my ministry here in Brazil bears little resemblance to that of Maxwell Sherman.
Yet, it is my hope that The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max, in presenting somewhat of a romanticized ideal, will stir the hearts of young people—young men in particular—to pursue the genuine article.
If you have not yet immersed yourself into the exciting world of Missionary Max, what are you waiting for?
May 14, 2012
The Avengers ...and theology
The Avengers ...in high school
Tips for Preachers, 1 Preach through whole books.
Tips for Preachers, 2 Make a bee-line to the Cross.
Lego Creation of the Day Legos and trains...can it get any better than this? I submit that it cannot.
Tanks You're welcome.
Tanks Again You're welcome again.
Mothers, teach your children to play trumpet. It could save their life in a war.
The Four-Question Meeting Great for church business meetings.
Happy Birthday, Bella A heartwarming post by Elizabeth Santorum.
Divine Interruptions Patience is a virtue
You're Not the Boss of Me Tell you're soul who's in charge.
Sadness and Hope
The following are excerpts from our most recent prayer letter. You can read the whole thing here.
The past month and a half has been for us--without a doubt--the most difficult of our ministry since we arrived in Brazil. Our walk through the valley began on April 2nd, when our beloved co-worker Francisco Bezerra was killed by a stray bullet.
On the following Sunday the church voted unanimously for me to assume the pastorate of the church. I jumped into this role with both feet, determined to carry on the legacy of my departed friend. We had the full support of the pastor's family as we began our ministry.
Or so we thought...
After two weeks, events took place (too lengthy to write in detail here) which made it clear to us that the family of Pastor Francisco wished to place his oldest son in the pastorate of the church, by virtue of the fact that he had accompanied his father throughout his ministry. Numerous attempts to sit down and talk with the son were rebuffed, and in the meantime a highly successful campaign to undermine our ministry was carried out by the family.
It came to a head in a conversation with Pastor Francisco's widow, in which she left no doubt as to her goals for her son.
Itacyara and I realized at this point that if we were to press the issue it would divide an already hurting congregation. So, with great sadness, we officially resigned all our positions at the Kerigma congregation, effective last Saturday.
The days leading up to this decision were emotionally wrenching for us, as we found ourselves at odds with a family we have known and loved since before we were married, and because it forced us to leave a congregation which we have grown to love deeply over the past year.
The next couple days were of uncertainty. Since shortly after we arrived in April of last year we had fully embraced the Kerigma project, believing that God was directing us to help bring the church to graduation. When Pastor Francisco died, we embraced the project even more, believing that God had given us the task of moving the church forward in the midst of the tragedy. Now that it had all ended, we were at a loss.
The two other Regular Baptist pastors here in São Luís were very supportive, and began to offer ideas. We discovered that there was a group of individuals interested in beginning a work in a neighborhood on the other side of the city. On Thursday we went with them to visit this neighborhood, and came away greatly encouraged. Some of the things we found:
* A family from one of our churches, willing to serve as host family.
* An elementary school that has been made available to us for work with children on the weekends.
* A piece of land, donated by the above mentioned family, for the eventual construction of a church building.
* New residential areas projected for the area, giving potential for growth.
* A team of people with diverse skills, eager to embrace the project.
On Wednesday we will be meeting with the team to plan our next steps, and we hope to have exciting things to share with you in the near future.
Though there have been dark days as we walked through this valley, God has repeatedly shown Himself faithful, and never once has our commitment to the work here in São Luís wavered.
May 7, 2012
Honest Lawyers There are some.
Brain Teasers Just in case your brain needs a good teasing.
The More Things Change... ...the more they stay the same.
Lego Creation of the Day This little light (house) of mine...
You Can't Tell a Book By It's Cover But you might be able to tell it by it's first sentence.
Killing Canaanites and Eating Shrimp Why "those parts" of the Bible are still relevant today.
Make Peace, Not War Ok...maybe a little war.
The Course of Empire I'm thinking we're somewhere between paintings three and four.
Seriously What could go wrong?
Walk Like and Egyptian ...and be a-mazed.
The Importance of Reading Fiction It's very important.
Book Promotion In 50 easy steps
May 3, 2012
Sorry for the Blog Silence
This has been a grueling week for us, ministry-wise, and posting here has fallen to the bottom of the priority list. I am revving up to begin regular updates again on Monday. So, stay tuned.