Good attendance today at SJC, with 30 people, and at Taubate, with 14. For the very first time, I’m repeating my sermons at both congregations, which means Vicki and Leila and Jorge and Paula are hearing them twice.
I started a new series today, to continue to the end of the year, “Pondering the Depths of God,” title taken partly from the ESV/NRSV rendering of 1 Cor. 2:10.
Today’s lesson was “Pondering the Faith,” done mostly by manuscript, differing from my usual pratice, with the main points: (1) The Faith; (2) My Faith; (3) Your Faith.
The first point talked about the faith in the NT as being a synonym for the gospel, the truth, the teaching, and serving as our firm ground of security and certainty in a world constantly in flux with human philosophy and thought. I then tied it to the description of God as Rock in the Psalms and by Moses in Deut. 32.
The second point was a tad autobiographical, based on Psa 115:3ff, on what the sovereign God has been doing in my life as of late. Very different from what I’ve done in the past.
The third point I used to challenge people to have the mustard seed beginnings of faith. I used Luke 8 and the calming of the storm to ask, when the storms of life hit us, Where is your faith?
Speaking of storms, one hit us during the Taubate meeting this afternoon, and the lights went out, though we had enough light still through the large window to carry on. The storm did keep the temps down. Last week, we all were sweating profusely since the air conditioners never seem to work in the hotel.
Friday was a holiday in Sao Paulo, “Black Awareness Day,” so the Paulistanos took advantage to either take a pilgrimage to Aparecida or bake on the beaches of the north coast. All of those returning pilgrims and pleasure-seekers clogged the Via Dutra with buses and cars as we made our way back to SJC. (Photo: the Basilica at Aparecida, center of Brazilian Catholic religion.)
For the next three or four weekends, our family is going to be busy. The ladies will go this weekend to the Christian camp where for the first time the national women’s conference will be held. They leave Thursday and return Saturday, so I’ll be by myself a good part of Thanksgiving day. Not to mention the big day of the 28th.