Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Friday August 28, 2009

I just arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Driving here was amazing and beautiful. Water pours from every rock. the lush mountains are enveloped in mist, and cone-shaped like something out of Dr. Seuss. I step out onto jungle-like grass and immediately spot some geckos warming themselves on the concrete.

We had some good conversation on the 6 hour car drive, aka James giving us a lesson. One of the most interesting conclusions I came to were that perspective is everything. How you choose to look at something determines how you judge and act. Learning to view things from others’ perspectives, in my opinion, would heal relationships, feuds between families, and even nations.

Also that the Christian life is full of judgement. Some people say that judging people is bad and we should never do it. However we judge who is a good friend, who to confide in, who to walk with, who our pastors should be, but never defining that person by our judgement. God judges and tests us all the time. Who are we not to test others? However, we do not want to gossip and limit someone to our initial judgements as some girls do. “Look at her nails! It looks like she came out of some horror movie with... sluts!”

Stemming from that, it is good to be observant. Some of us, myself included, can be so oblivious that we don’t contain anything from the day. If we ever need to access in our memory anything important, like what someone was wearing because they committed a crime, we won’t know. In relationships, it means a lot to the other person if you remember details about them and make the right inferences. Also it’s a great way to test your memory and become more observant.

Another point: It’s better to work for something and pay the price up front than to obtain whatever it is you want and pay the price for it later. What price you pay will determine the quality of the product. This ratio works every time. Guaranteed. This has so many applications to our lives. Within a man and woman relationship, it is best to save physical pleasure until marriage. If you get what you want then and there with a woman or man you will not marry, you will pay the price in relationships to come. The novelty of having your first kiss with your wife will not be there. How could you enjoy your first kiss when you’re not married to the person you had it with? Would your husband/wife be jealous? What an awesome thing it would be to have had that experience with my wife! We could revisit that moment and take pleasure in it anytime we want! Also this concept of paying the price now relates to following Christ. The Bible says to deny yourself now and follow Jesus and receive life in heaven. What good is it for a man to own the world but not attain eternal life? Everything is dust, and all that will remain is heaven and hell. If we die to ourselves now, for 70-80 years now, we will have so many more riches and joys in heaven. Just thinking about heaven gives me such a greater love and understanding of God and how much he loves us. I look at the stars and begin to imagine myself exploring all of God’s creation. Every galaxy, every star, every planet, every coast, every sky will be mine to enjoy.

Rio is a beautiful city. My jaw literally hits the floor as we drive past a 9 mile bridge, gorgeous museums, waterfalls, mountains, and beaches. The salty ocean air brings back memories of being in Florida with my grandparents, Papou & Grandma Lou. Christ the Redeemer perches himself high above the city. Very ironic considering that it is one of the most violent cities in the world. If you step foot into the favela (ghetto) without business or being expected you are killed on the spot. We drove by the most famous favela in Rio, Rocina. This favela is owned by a drug lord and he takes care of the people who live there. No one enters or leaves; It grows by pro-creation. The children serve the drug lord as middle men for drug deals. It’s a very sad reality for those who live inside Rocina, never knowing any sort of reality outside the dictator community.

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