This one is for you, mom. I am being well fed, no need to worry. I get home cooked meals everyday and they are not just any meals. Everyday at lunch I get some sort of cooked meat and potatoes, two things which were never meant to be separated. Everything i’ve had here i like. Kathy and Jennifer are excellent bakers and cooks. Banana nut cake, Romeo & Juliet (a cake with a mix of cream cheese and jelly), steaks, pork, the most delicious macaroni i’ve had in my life, chicken hearts, and palm hearts barely scratch the surface of the brazilian cuisine. Hamburgers here have corn and eggs thrown in. I never would have thought of it, but it is sensational. You can also get juice from any fruit you could think of i.e. pineapple, passionfruit, or even drinking from coconuts. I can’t wait until i go to the amazon where the natives will hunt and cook just about anything that is available.
James Padley has been a real blessing and mentor to me. It’s so easy to talk to him and he has an opinion on almost anything. He’s not afraid to state the obvious or ask personal questions which is great because i have come to trust him enough to tell him anything. He’s an honest and genuine guy and very accomplished. Truly he is consistent about what he preaches and definitely passionate. The relationship he has with his wife is something to be admired. He believes that he is the happiest man in the world, there is no woman better than his wife, and what they have is gold. How i know he isn’t being synthetic is that he says it without his wife being there, so there is no one to impress or flatter. I’m considering changing my views on the subject of dating and courtship due to our copious conversations. We are very similar in that we both love playing guitar and love comedy and share a passion for loving people. When i look at him, it almost like looking at a future me, or rather what i would want to be, though we still have our differences. He is knowledgeable on the bible having read it 8 times cover to cover as well as many facts that exist between the lines. Whether its sitting by a fire or having a conversation in the car, he has taken it upon himself to pour into me and help me find what I want and what God wants for my life. He hates religion. He lives completely off the support of others, depending on the Lord for everything. He has over 400 songs and hasn’t sold any of them, but rather giving them away for free. His style of leading worship is completely improv, depending on the holy spirit to lead him and an audience of 300 youth, which for anyone else would be intimidating.. It’s so easy to agree with him; I don’t know whether he is just persuasive or he is speaking the truth. My guess would be the latter. I had my first beer with him. A brazilian beer made from wheat, not barley. Very smooth, not bitter like most other beers. He has seen some pretty crazy things in his life including an army of angels (not only him but 30 others with him) and demons in his bedroom. Also he likes metal, which is rad.
Paul’s Ranch is an enormous vacation getaway. It is beautiful and is fit for kings. It’s purpose is to take in pastors and their families for rest or teaching. James was going there to do worship and translate for a pastor from Texas (I was already skeptical). The first words to come out of this guy’s mouth were something like this, “I have preached to thousands of people all over the world. But here tonight, I feel honored because I am teaching to a room full of pastors, God’s elite.” And imagine having to be the one to translate that. I heard three sermons from him and never did he forget to say that he spoke to the thousands and healed the sick all over the world. That doesn’t sit well with me, and that is a huge understatement. To me this means nothing. I don’t care how many people you “save” or preach to. Change happens with a constant loving relationship.
Although his start was offensive to me, his preaching was actually pretty good and informed. He talked about the bible as a whole first and how we don’t understand it because we don’t know its real name. I forget the Hebrew, but the “bible” actually means, “to cut where blood flows.” We don’t understand the bible because it’s written in something called “covenant language.” In short, the bible is full of promises, but not just any promises. When a covenant is made, blood is taken from both parties, mixed and consumed. There is an exchange of the robes (a symbol of heritage and pride) and an exchange of debts and assets. When a covenant is made, two people become one. Everything one person has becomes the others. He did not stop here. This is exactly what Jesus does with us when we give our hearts to him. He covers all our debts and we get all the assets of a God with limitless power. He gave his blood for us and clothes us with his robes. He has given us all of his weapons i.e. the ability to move mountains and drive out demons. So we don’t have old and new “testaments.” It’s an old and new Covenant. And Jesus made the new covenant for humans to obtain God after the Fall..
The next day he began to speak about the passover. Specifically in the old testament and the first passover. Then he began to connect the lamb, that was checked three days before butchered, to Jesus, who was on trial for three days before his death. There are a ton of comparisons: they would take the lamb outside the city before being butchered with the sins of the people on the lamb’s head, they would cut the lamb on the neck for passover rather than down the back, etc.
At the end of the weekend, he called people up to the front to be healed. To one woman he explained that she could command her brother on death row to accept Jesus because God gives us that authority. If anyone commanded me in the name of Jesus I would be offended and not trust Christians. People have a choice to follow Jesus.