“The grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn was not only that faith and holiness were well-nigh lost, but that dry, formal, orthodox men began then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves and to cry them all as evil madness or imposture.” –John Wesley (1703-1791)

This thought well expresses Pentecostal and charismatic belief about the necessity of gifts today. It impinges, however, upon the purpose of God, as if he could not keep the gifts going throughout history even though he desired it. It ignores that the cessation of gifts were in fact part of God’s plan for the church.

This view sees the presence of miracles as a sign of spirituality and holiness, as if the letter of 1 Corinthians didn’t exist. That church had the most gifts and could likely be called the least spiritual of the churches of the day.

As I remember, historically the Pentecostal movement arose from Methodism. No wonder.

I suspect the culprits are the interminable updates to Windows 98. It would not shut off by itself. When turned on, scandisk complained of a file with an unknown ending. When on the Internet, I clicked and had to move the mouse slightly before the command would be sent. Bad slowness.

I tried restoring OO to no avail. I uninstalled it and all the problems were resolved. Reinstalled (1.1.3, Brazilian Portuguese version), the problems seem to have returned.

When can I give Windows the final boot? (not boot up, but out)

“Faith is not the holding of correct doctrines, but personal fellowship with the Living God. … What is offered to man’s apprehension in any specific revelation is not truth concerning God but the Living God Himself.” –William Temple (1881-1944)

True, no buts.

Had good trip from Sao Paulo to Memphis via Houston. Continental was a decent experience, as airlines go. Arrived to some wonderful spring weather. Only two hours difference between time zones at this time of year, so the jet lag is not so great. Still, I’m waking up at 5 and 6 a.m., when I could be sleeping more. 🙂

I’m not familiar with this, but would like to be:

Alexander Campbell: Adventure in Freedom, A Literary Biography, Volume One, by Eva Jean Wrather, edited by D. Duane Cummins. Nashville: Disciples of Christ Historical Society. $28.00. Jean spent 70 years writing an 800,000-word biography of Campbell.

The numbers could not have been more significant, produced by a webcounter by visitors from the top countries to one of my little websites that I started counting a few weeks ago.

666 – Everyone thinks they know this one, right?
40 – years in the desert, days in the wilderness.
12 – The number for the people of God, tribes of Israel, apostles.
10 – The number of perfection, completeness.
7 – Another perfect number.

But let’s not jump to any conclusions just yet. Aside from the need for me to do some advertising and get those visits up. 🙂

The last few days, we’ve had unusually hot weather. People look like Droopy Dog. Yesterday morning, few sang with much gusto. I came to work this morning in bermudas and slipped on a pair of flip-flops this afternoon.

Let’s see, I think I need to go to the the air-conditioned mall for something …

For those who sleep well at night, as I usually do, it seems a small thing. But for insomniacs and troubled sleepers, a good night’s rest is a great boon. Diet is a huge factor for sleep.

Last night, we went out, against my initial proposal, for all-you-can-eat pizza. Though I moderated my eating, I’m lactose intolerant, among other things.

So I asked the Lord, on a Saturday night, to give me undisturbed rest. I woke not once during the night. I am thankful for his answer. I went to bed at midnight and awoke refreshed at 6:30 a.m.

The pope died today after a long illness and complications. He ruled the longest period of the 20th century, some 26 years and was the first non-Italian pontiff in 455 years. He was known as the globe-trotting pope, traveling to more than 100 countries during his rule. The charismatic figure brought new energies to Catholicism, at the same time he maintained a generally conservative position on doctrinal and moral teachings.

It remains to be seen if the Conclave of Cardinals will elect another non-Italian. I suspect they may go back to tradition, but only when the new pope is announced after the white smoke rises from the Vatican will anyone know.

I’ll write later what the pope’s demise might mean for Brazil and our work here.