Sunday, January 29, 2012


I can truly sense God closing a chapter in my life and writing new ones. Yesterday I met a brother and friend I haven't seen in over ten years. I met Luci and Marcio still back in Brazil, while serving with them at Calvary Chapel Sao Vicente. They helped shape my first steps as a Christian and encouraged me to dream higher. The calling for their lives came, and with that, moving to the United States in 2001 to start new days... and I stayed there, knowing God would give me a season here. That came for me in 2009... I just never knew I would lose my dad - who was my hero and best friend - before boarding that plane to Atlanta, Georgia. Being in this country has been healing for me, and I've learned more about faith and walking with God than I could possibly express in words. In my heart, I dreamed about seeing again the people who were first lending me their hands as I got into dying to myself daily through professing Christ... that day came. I met Luci in July of 2011, along with my boyfriend - I watched the changes God brought to her life, her family, her children. Yesterday, it was the time for seeing Marcio, his family and his children. Here, God allowed me to meet the man through which I can see God's love and grace overflowing for me. God made the desires of their hearts reality... the same way He will make mine. I've seen the people who shaped the pillars, the foundation of my faith carrying the name of Christ in a foreign land... that will come for me. God will give me my family somewhere else, His heart is calling me to the old continent. I'll remain faithful to the One who loved me first.
He'll continue to direct my steps, leading me far and beyond.
Lord, here I am... SEND ME!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feliz aniversario to my soulmate, Josef!

Today is a day of thankfulness and praise to my God for one of the biggest gifts He has ever given me: my boyfriend and best friend Josef. In a story that just this amazing God could write, coming from Brazil and Czech Republic, we met in Georgia, in the United States. We were introduced in a trip going up a mountain through a Christian Ministry for international students, Friends of Internationals, by a Kenyan common friend. That same night, as I was going through a tough time, I prayed and said to a Brazilian friend, "I've met my husband today".
We have our differences. We have our similarities. In all things, God's grace is present. In all things, God is taking me back to the continent where my family started, Europe, to form my own family and start our lives together... lives lived to glorify God.
In all things... God is faithful. An answer regarding a job and a box were confirmation of what our Father is doing in bringing us together.
Carino, I love you beyond words!
I'm praying for a life filled with happiness and growth shared with you!

January 16th, 2012 - a new time has come!

My beloved friend sister and friend Greta shared this prophetic message another friend gave to her, and to what she felt it wasn't just to her, to the point she shared it in a blog... God spoke powerfully to me through it, and like her, I feel more people will be touched by it:

"It’s time. Time to trust.
It’s time to allow GOD’s light to shine like never before. GOD wanted me to remind you that you are loved. He wants this love to be your new name.
You're a light everywhere you go and to everyone who meets you, but GOD is moving you into a season where you find out what relationships truly are. Full, rich, and transforming ones. Relationships where people really, really, know you. Run to this.
Run to GOD’s plan for you. Forget where you have been and trust! Fight for this community. A community that allows you to experience genuine faith.
You will have to let go of some really valuable things and that will be painful. Allow the pain to point you to the cross. Jesus will bring to life your soul!
Go. Run. Go now to His throne and plan. He is holding you together - your past, present and future!
The Word God has for you now is “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our Faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of GOD.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A thought on death.

As I finally come face to face with grieving my dad's passing, this amazing quote came to me... interesting and truthful way of seeing things:

"Death robs us of a certain completion we desire in a life, but it also reminds us of the value of each life God creates (Col. 1:16). Cherish the gift of life and savor the joy of God’s handiwork." - Dave Branon

Even though it hurts me so much... I have to keep on living. It's extremely tough for me to walk away from you all because I feel like abandoning you, and what scares me the most is forgetting... I don't want to forget, to the same extent that I cannot allow the memories to paralyze me - or even kill me.
You'll be forever loved, treasured and honored.
Your legacies lives through me.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Lost in my thoughts.

I've been trying to put in words how I've been feeling lately... today, as we were facing a truly pleasant day here in North Carolina, with a temperate of 67F during Winter time - miracle - Dixie, the dog of my friend Pat gave me this gift... a photography that certainly speaks louder than words!
Amazing how God speaks through some of the beings I love the most!

I'm sending much love to you all! <3

Monday, January 02, 2012

Secret Church: Family, Marriage, Sex and the Gospel (Nov. 2011)

I have to share this link for several reasons: David Platt is one of my favorite teacher of God's Word, filled with the Holy Spirit and with God's wisdom, with a wonderful insight in today's society... he is also diligent with his studies, has a great sense of humor and is certainly a tremendous man of God!
In April and November he holds in his church in Alabama a six-hours teaching event about the persecuted Church in the world, each presenting a theme. The last one is "Family, Sex, Marriage and the Gospel", which I share here.
Take some time to listen to this... it will certainly impart truth and vision into your life!

Much love in Him,
                            Helen. :)

I have in mind men and women. For men it's obvious. The need for warfare against the bombardment of visual temptation to fixate on sexual images is urgent. For women it is less obvious, but just as great if we broaden the scope of temptation to food or figure or relational fantasies. When I say "lust" I mean the realm of thought, imagination, and desire that leads to sexual misconduct. So here is one set of strategies in the war against wrong desires. I put it in the form of an acronym, A N T H E M.
A – AVOID as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire. I say "possible and reasonable" because some exposure to temptation is inevitable. And I say "unfitting desire" because not all desires for sex, food, and family are bad. We know when they are unfitting and unhelpful and on their way to becoming enslaving. We know our weaknesses and what triggers them. "Avoiding" is a Biblical strategy. "Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness" (2 Timothy 2:22). "Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Romans 13:14).
N – Say NO to every lustful thought within five seconds. And say it with the authority of Jesus Christ. "In the name of Jesus, NO!" You don't have much more than five seconds. Give it more unopposed time than that, and it will lodge itself with such force as to be almost immovable. Say it out loud if you dare. Be tough and warlike. As John Owen said, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." Strike fast and strike hard. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" ( James 4:7).
T – TURN the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction. Saying "no" will not suffice. You must move from defense to offense. Fight fire with fire. Attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ. The Bible calls lusts "deceitful desires" (Ephesians 4:22). They lie. They promise more than they can deliver. The Bible calls them "passions of your former ignorance" (1 Peter 1:14). Only fools yield. "All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter" (Proverbs 7:22). Deceit is defeated by truth. Ignorance is defeated by knowledge. It must be glorious truth and beautiful knowledge. This is why I wrote Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. We must stock our minds with the superior promises and pleasures of Jesus. Then we must turn to them immediately after saying, "NO!"
H – HOLD the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out. "Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1). Here is where many fail. They give in too soon. They say, "I tried to push it out, and it didn't work." I ask, "How long did you try?" How hard did you exert your mind? The mind is a muscle. You can flex it with vehemence. Take the kingdom violently (Matthew 11:12). Be brutal. Hold the promise of Christ before your eyes. Hold it. Hold it! Don't let it go! Keep holding it! How long? As long as it takes. Fight! For Christ's sake, fight till you win! If an electric garage door were about to crush your child you would hold it up with all our might and holler for help, and hold it and hold it and hold it and hold it.
E – ENJOY a superior satisfaction. Cultivate the capacities for pleasure in Christ. One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal. We default to deceit because we have little delight in Christ. Don't say, "That's just not me." What steps have you taken to waken affection for Jesus? Have you fought for joy? Don't be fatalistic. You were created to treasure Christ with all your heart – more than you treasure sex or sugar. If you have little taste for Jesus, competing pleasures will triumph. Plead with God for the satisfaction you don't have: "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14). Then look, look, look at the most magnificent Person in the universe until you see him the way he is.
M – MOVE into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors. Lust grows fast in the garden of leisure. Find a good work to do, and do it with all your might. "Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord" (Romans 12:11). "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Abound in work. Get up and do something. Sweep a room. Hammer a nail. Write a letter. Fix a faucet. And do it for Jesus' sake. You were made to manage and create. Christ died to make you "zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:14). Displace deceitful lusts with a passion for good deeds.
Fighting at your side,
Pastor John

Planning for Physical Necessities

Suppose the thought enters your mind that you want to build a house. You sit down and make a list of all the materials you think you will need. Then you order them to be delivered to the lot where you will build. Everything is piled in the center of the lot, and the next day the bulldozer comes to excavate the basement and everything is in the way. It's all just where he has to dig.
A failure to plan.
Without some rudimentary planning you probably won't have anything to eat when you get up in the morning. And without some detailed planning no one can build a house, let alone a skyscraper or shopping mall or city. If producing shelter and food and clothing and transportation is valuable, then planning is valuable. Nothing but the simplest impulses gets accomplished without some forethought which we call a plan.

Planning for Spiritual Necessities

All of us know this and practice it in relation to the basic physical necessities of life. We take steps to see that we have enough to eat and clothes to keep us warm. But do we take our spiritual needs that seriously? Do we apply the same earnestness in planning to maximize our ministry as we do in planning to make a living?
What I would like to do here is to try to persuade you to set aside time each week in the coming year to plan—and specifically to plan your life of prayer and devotion and ministry. The bulldozer of God's Spirit often arrives at the scene of our heart ready to begin some great work of building, and he finds that due to poor planning there are piles of disordered things in his way. We're not ready for him.
The way I hope to motivate you to do this is to give four examples of planning in the Bible. First, some illustrations from the Proverbs; second, the planning of the apostle Paul; third, the planning of God; and fourth, the planning of Jesus.

Illustrations from Proverbs

Proverbs 6:6–7, "Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest."
The ant is an example not only because it works so hard, but also because it plans ahead. It takes thought in summer that there will be need in winter, and this forethought provides its needs in winter.
Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going."
The difference between planning and not planning is whether you look where you are going in the future or whether you focus all your attention on the immediate right in front of you. If you are not a planner, then you will be at the mercy of others who try to give you counsel about how to act now so as to be happy in the future.
So "the simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going." He considers the days to come and what they are bringing and thinks about how best to prepare for them and use them to accomplish his purposes.
Proverbs 15:22, "Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed."
Here the wisdom of planning is taken for granted, and the writer simply gives us advice for how to make plans that succeed. He says, Don't be so independent that you think yourself above counsel. Read the wisdom of others who have gone before you. Talk to experienced and wise people. Watch the way others do things and learn from their mistakes and successes.
Proverbs 16:3, "Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established."
Again planning is taken for granted and the issue is: How can you plan in such a way that what you produce will have abiding value and not just pass away overnight? Answer: Commit it to the Lord. That is, always seek the Lord's guidance and strength in your planning. Trust his wisdom and not your own. Then your plans will bear fruit that stays.
Proverbs 24:27, "Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house."
This probably means that it is important to be able to support yourself by the productivity of the field before you establish your own household. Perhaps we would say to a young person today: get a job before you get married. Or at least plan how you are going to support the new household you are establishing.
Proverbs 31:1516, "She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard."
Here the model homemaker is a model planner in two ways. She gets up early and assigns tasks to her maids. You cannot assign tasks to your maids if you have no plan about what you would like to be accomplished that day. And she considers a field and buys it. What does she consider? She considers how it will fit into the plan of the household.
Conclusion from the Proverbs: Careful planning is part of what makes a person wise and productive. Not to plan is considered foolish and dangerous. This is true even though the Proverbs teach that we do not know what the future may bring. "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). The fact that the Lord is ultimately in control of the future does not mean we shouldn't plan. It means we should commit our work to the Lord and trust him to establish our plans according to his loving purposes.

The Planning of the Apostle Paul

We will take just one example of Paul's planning from the many that we could take from Acts and from his letters. Romans 15:20–28,
I make it my ambition (i.e., my plan) to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on another man's foundation . . . But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be sped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little. At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints . . . When therefore I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been raised, I shall go on by way of you to Spain.
Here is a typical example of how the apostle Paul carried out his mission. And I think we should learn from him that planning is essential to a productive ministry. And I mean your personal ministry as well as the more complex organism of church ministries. Paul was the greatest church planter who ever lived. He accomplished more in his life for the spread of the reign of Christ than any other person. So I think we would do well to take seriously his method. Part of his method was his planning.
He had a general guideline: he wanted to preach where no one had preached before. Then he developed a specific plan from this guideline: he would take the gift to Jerusalem; then he would go to Rome to establish a western base, from which he would then go to Spain.
What makes this especially significant is that as far as we know the plan fell through. He was arrested in Jerusalem. He went to Rome as a prisoner and probably never got to Spain. It's just like we saw in the Proverbs. God is the one who finally makes the future. But we plan nevertheless. God uses our planning even if he aborts it.
For example, if Paul had not planned to use Rome as a base of operations for a trip to Spain, he probably never would have written the greatest letter the world has ever known—the epistle to the Romans. Planning is crucial in Christian living and Christian ministry—even when God overrules our planning.

The Planning of God

The ultimate reason for planning is that God is a God who plans and we are created in his image to exercise dominion in the earth under his lordship.
I don't think it is even possible to conceive a God who does not act according to his own eternal planning—that is, a God who has knee jerk responses to stimuli rather than deliberate actions that fit into a wise purpose.
Isaiah 46:910, "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'"
Ephesians 1:910, "God has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth."
Acts 2:23, "This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God."
Since God is a God who does all things according to plan it befits us to approach the most important things of life with forethought and plan, not haphazardly.

The Planning of Jesus

Jesus had a mission to accomplish, and he finished it with forethought and planning.
When his mother urged him to do a miracle at the wedding in Cana, he said, "My hour is not yet come" (John 2:4). There was a planned and appointed hour for the revelation of his power. He would stay with the plan. Luke 9:51 says, "When the days grew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem." He knew that the plan meant death in Jerusalem and he didn't shrink back from the plan.
But he wasn't driven against his will. The Father's plan was his plan. He said in John 10:18, "No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."


Very specifically my plea to you this new year is that you take time to plan the most important things in your life.
Plan for the Most Important Things in Your Life 
Plan how you are going to spend time with your spouse to deepen and strengthen the relationship. Plan how you are going to spend time playing with and teaching the children. Plan how you are going to get the amount of exercise you need to stay healthy. Plan how you are going to get enough sleep. Plan how much you should eat and how you are going to limit yourself. Plan your vacation so that it really gives rest and spiritual renewal.
And most important, plan how prayer and meditation on the Word are going to be significant parts of your life. Without a plan these most important things always get pushed aside by urgent pressures.
Make Planning a Regular Part of Your Life 
But it won't work just to plan something tonight or tomorrow. Planning must be a regular part of your life. I expect that the pastoral staff at Bethlehem will take a full day each month away from the church office just to pray and plan their ministry. This is in addition to the time I expect we are all taking each week to plan our week's work.
So my plea to you is that you set aside time each week to plan, especially to plan your life of prayer and Bible study. For example, since Sunday is the first day of the week (not the last day of the weekend!) and belongs to the Lord, take ten or fifteen minutes each Sunday and think through when you will pray and what you will study that week. Give some thought how God might want to use you that week in a special way. Plan the letters you need to write, the Bible verses you want to teach your children, the visit you want to make, the book you want to read, the neighbor you want to talk to, etc.
The Proverbs teach us to plan. The greatest missionary who ever lived was a planner. God is a God who does all things according to plan. And Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem because of the most loving plan ever devised.
He planned for our joy; we ought to plan for his glory.