Updates from August, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 1:49 pm on August 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: catholic millenials, catholic youth day, millenials, pope benedict   

    Faith triumphs relativism 

    Found this today on page 9A of today’s edition of the USA TODAY and had to write about it:

    Anna Williams, an editorial page intern at USA TODAY and a recent graduate of Hillsdale College in Michigan, writing about Catholic “Milennials” (teenage and twenty something Catholics), is writing about the Catholic Youth Day in Madrid, headlined by Pope Benedict himself and reflects on the tendency not only among Catholics but also among Jews, Muslims and Protestants, to return to the “old” faith of their parents and re-launch their own faith with a gusto. She asked the question: “What attracts today’s youth to such ‘old-fashioned’ orthodoxy?” Her answer is so good I had to reproduce part of it here. This is stuff I have been preaching for years so it’s kind of nice to see someone under 50 repeating it. 🙂

    “As a member of this strange millennial cohort, I have wondered this myself. I think the answer comes down to this: 1960s-style liberation — from moral codes, family obligations, religious commitments — has betrayed us.

    Sometime in the past century, a new creed emerged, saying everyone should make his own creed. This tolerant, open-minded ethos seemed to promise freedom: safe sex with many partners, drugs and alcohol galore and quick, no-fault divorce. So our Baby Boomer parents partied hard, yet in so many cases left us only the hangover: heartbreak, addiction and broken homes, plus rising rates of teenage depression and suicide.

    The anything-goes religion of the late 20th century cannot prevent nor even explain these consequences. (After all, if I’m OK, you’re OK, and we can do whatever we want, why are so many people unhappy?) When every member of a society does whatever makes him feel good, the inevitable results are not personal fulfillment and communal harmony but selfishness and social breakdown.

    With these realizations in mind, many millennials reject the assumptions of 1960s liberationists in favor of something more substantial: the creeds, practices and moral codes that defined religious life for centuries. Unlike reductionistic scientism or vague romanticism, traditional religions propose specific, compelling explanations for the world in front of us — broken, fraught with suffering, enslaved to sin, but nonetheless revealing glimpses of beauty and greatness.

    More intellectually coherent than relativism, orthodoxy is also more demanding. It makes us place others above ourselves, the truth above what we’d like to be true, the fight for virtue above the pursuit of pleasure. In a word, it preaches sacrifice.

    These themes will be prominent in Madrid this week, as Catholics of all nationalities gather for prayer and festivity. So why are they happy to be Catholic? Because they have concluded that the church’s teachings are, in fact, true, and because they’ve recognized that true freedom lies in self-sacrifice. Far from repressive, such realizations are — as millennials of other faiths can attest — thrilling…”

    To read the whole article, go here.

    So, whachy’all think?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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  • ivanildotrindade 12:22 am on August 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    7 days under the sun 

    This blogger is on vacation until August 19th. I may post stuff here sporadically, if I’m not too sunburn to type. I will be back!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    Posted by Ivanildo C. Trindade via Blackberry

     
  • ivanildotrindade 1:01 pm on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The Asian equivalent of “the grass is greener…” 

    90+ degree weather and 100% humidity. Yes, that’s how many days are in Thailand and Cambodia. So why would women choose to ride their motor bikes in long sleeves, hats, and gloves that cover most of their flesh? It’s an Asian Burqa! It’s a penance for good karma! It’s a free sauna! None of the above.

    The reason they do it is because they don’t want to their skin to get dark. Yes, you heard me right. As in most parts of God’s brown mostly brown earth (85% of God’s people are black, brown or yellow — okay, you could argue that yellow is not really brown… but it is still different), people discriminate against dark skin. When I used to teach university students in Cambodia, the girls were quite open about how they would never marry some of the boys because even though they were smart and even “cute,” they had dark skin. Some of them even called the boys “monkeys.” They all laughed about it, but it was no laughing matter to me. In India they discriminate against people in the South who have darker skin. In Brazil, the self-proclaimed “first racial democracy in the world,” the laws against discrimination are so stringent that you can go to jail for just calling someone “black” or using a racial epithet.

    So sun blockers are huge in Cambodia but tanning salons are few and far between, mostly catering to westerners, which leads me to the second reason girls there aspire to be “white” — they are looking to the West! And what they see, most of the time, is the standard of beauty flaunted at them by the white, skinny, plastic world of top models. Those who can afford even go to the extreme of having plastic surgery to get rid of their slanted eyes.

    Meanwhile, girls in the West, who were born with beautiful white skins, cannot stand it. They go to the tanning salons and spend hours burning themselves trying to look like the brunettes or olive skin girls from Lebanon or some other obscure place they have seen on the little screen in their living rooms. In the process they get this reddish tan that makes them look like they just had too much to drink the night before (it’s even worse when guys do it — just watch most of the anchors on T.V. these days!). So the Asian girls are trying to look white and the white girls are trying to look middle eastern and they are all trying to look like the Brazilian top model Adriana Lima!

    Sad, sad, sad. Humans seem to always be unhappy with the state they are in (and I don’t mean the State of Ohio!). So, today, instead of dreaming to be someone you will never be, how about celebrating what you really are and forgetting what anybody else thinks about who you should be (or changing it to the somebody you OUGHT to be)?

    And if you can’t do it for a whole day, how about 30 minutes? Or at least until you next tanning appointment?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:31 pm on August 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Facebook will be destroyed on November 5th 

    Yes, this will be the end of the world as we know it, and this time it is not some preacher from Kansas who is predicting it. Hackers from the group Anonymous, if it is indeed them, have posted on YouTube that they will destroy Facebook on November 5th. They are protesting the way Facebook handles privacy information. So all of you FB lovers out there, make sure you get your Google+ before the fateful date.

    Now this may be a joke, but what if it were true? What if there was a set date for stuff that has come so much part of our lives cease to exist? August 21: end of ice cream making. September 7: no more chocolate on shelves anywhere. November 10th: no more flying on airplanes or helicopters. December 2: end of t.v. January 1: end of cell phones. February 14: end of love… You get the idea. We would live from panic to panic. We would quickly populate our hospitals and psychiatric halls with people who would no longer be able to function. But instead, we laugh because we know this is silly.

    But wait, a more serious end is in sight — my own. We all have an appointment with death and there is nothing we can do about it. And yet, we live as if this would never happen and seem to think it is not a big deal. Does the fact that your life will end one day make you laugh?

    The Bible says that it is ordained for us to die once and after that there will be judgment. And what will we have to say to ourselves when we come face to face with the Almighty?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:31 pm on August 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Blackberry beats Twitter and Facebook in London 

    The riots in London have also brought to light a more sinister plot. It turns out Blackberry messenger was the weapon of choice of the delinquents who organized the destructive events. And the creators of Facebook and Twitter might be celebrating. That’s the kind of advertisement no one wants for their product. Now, the company that makes Blackberry, my smart phone of choice, is offering to cooperate with Police in London to help identify who the culprits were. In fact, if they chose not to cooperate, they might be forced by the Police.

    The problem is that in order to cooperate that they may have to violate people’s privacy, including the privacy of people who had nothing to do with the sad events of the last few days in London. Now, I am from Brazil. I grew up under a heavy military dictatorship that rules the country with brutality for over 20 years. I didn’t even get to vote until well into my 30’s and my campus was infested with military police the whole time I was in school.

    So you would think I would fall squarely on the side of those who are protesting Blackberry’s decision to cooperate. And you would be wrong. Simply because I don’t believe one should be allowed to use technology to advance nefarious and violent causes. There are times when exceptionalism is warranted and that’s one of them. I am in favor of giving up a little of my privacy so those who would abuse their freedom wouldn’t win the day. But of course I have nothing to fear if they get into my Blackberry messenger. And this is not to say that the youth didn’t have a right to protest. They just don’t have a right to destroy.

    Where is Mahatma Gandhi when we need him?

    Ivanildo Trindade

     

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:55 pm on August 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joke about quitting, quitting   

    Laughing about quitting 

    I shared this silly story with our people in my sermon yesterday. Hope you can still laugh at a silly joke:

    A 10 year old boy came home from school and made this startling announcement, “Dad, I am not going back to school. Ever.” The father, who was a wise man, asked, “Why such a sudden decision?” The son said, “Every day the kids make fun of me, they call me names, they leave me all alone during lunch time and recess. I hate school. I don’t ever want to go back again!” The father sat his son across from him and said, “Now son, I am sorry you are going through this and it is not the way it should be, but it is no reason for you to quit. You see all through history all the famous people went on to become famous because they didn’t quit even when they had reasons to. People like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Robert Qinbicnorm.” The son said, “Who is that?” “See, you don’t know him, he quit!” The father said. They both laughed and the next day the son went back to school.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:26 am on August 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discouragement, pastors dealing with depression   

    Depression is not for people on the pews only 

    Here is an excerpt from the sermon I preached yesterday on “Discouragement,” as part of a series we’re calling “Honest with God.” I was very open with my people about my own struggles with depression in the past and I got several responses from people who were there saying that the message resonated with them. I’m humbled.

    “As I read Psalm 42 and 43 again, I couldn’t help but think of the couple of times in my life when all I wanted to do was to lie on my bed in a fetal position, covered from head to toe under the darkness of my bedroom, praying to God that I would not have to be awaken again… Yes, it’s true, even pastors can experience depression sometimes. I too have had to tell myself, “Get up, put one foot in front of the other and keeping moving forward!” And I am not embarrassed to admit that. But I am also here to say that while “the dark night of the soul” is real, it is also true that you don’t have to buckle under the weight of your despondency. You can rise from the ashes and live a victorious life and today we will learn how…”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:52 pm on August 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: soccer under 16   

    The Heroes of the Day… 

    The title today goes for two teams from Brazil, one from my state, Para, who won the under-16 soccer club championship in Norway. These are young boys from a social project that helps street children. They use soccer as a bridge to learn other skills for life. What an exciting thing to watch. Here is the link, but it is in Portuguese… sorry! http://oglobo.globo.com/blogs/planetaquerola/posts/2011/08/06/karanba-bicampeao-da-norway-cup-no-sub-16-396974.asp

     
  • ivanildotrindade 4:54 pm on August 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , psalm 42. 43   

    The short diary of a depressed soul 

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Psalm 42 and 43 (originally only one song) are a short diary of someone who was dealing with severe depression. The writer kept asking throughout the song, “why am I so deeply sad?” Even though he points out that enemies are taunting him, they don’t seem to be the cause of his sadness. His deep sorrow is for no apparent reason. It’s must be something deeper, way more than he can explain.

    Three thousand years ago no one knew that depression existed and there was no Prozac around, so all he could say was that his soul was “downcast” and he was so “disturbed” deep down in the most intimate recesses of his heart. He says his tears had been his “food” day and night. Have you ever been there?

    I have, a couple of times in my life, and for no apparent reason. Those times all I wanted to do was to lie on my bed in a fetal position, covered from head to toe, under the darkness of my bedroom, never to be awaken again…

    I wish I knew then what I know now. The song writer puts it well: 1. He describes his condition the way it is, no sugar coating it, no trying to deny it. When you are miserable, it is not good to pretend like everything is peachy. 2. He remembers how it used to be in the past. Past memories of glorious times with God can revive the soul. Of course, past memories can also make things worse. You have to decide which memories to harvest. 3. Finally, he looks to the future and confidently says, “Things will be turned around and I will experience joy again.”

    Obviously, this was only possible because He had hope in the living God, as he calls his God. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be able to get up from my bed, Prozac or not.

    But I am glad I saw the light of God in His Son at the end of the tunnel.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 12:32 pm on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    We took 21 teens from our ministry in downtown Wooster to the beach yesterday. Most of them had never even seen the beach. Then we had dinner with them at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Cleveland. Almost no one had ever been at a sit down restaurant, period. And the head waitress, after the kids had gone outside, made a point of coming to me and saying, “We have lots of school groups come here but your kids beat them all in terms of how well they behaved.” I felt so proud of these kids. They have so many odds against them but we believe in their worth as human beings. We gotta make them believe that there is a better way.

     
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