Updates from October, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 11:48 am on October 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Des Moines Register, Miami Herald, Mitt Romney, Romney, Washington   

    Don’t Take Mine or Camille Paglia’s Words for it… 

    Okay, my “fascination” with Ms. Paglia got the best of me. My regular readers know me well enough to know that my voice is only vox populi and not vox dei. But for the sake of those who visit me here only occasionally, and thanks to my dialogue with “Eric” here, I want to share the following with you:

    If you want to check a “serious” source (as opposed to “beloved” Camille…) that once supported President Obama and is now leaving his camp, I encourage you to read the editorial page from the Des Moines Register, an Iowan newspaper that has endorsed Democratic Candidates since 1976 and is now calling Romney “the stronger candidate.” For the opposite view, go to the Miami Herald editorial, which raises serious questions about Governor Romney’s contradictory statements as a harbinger of bad things to come.  And for a former Republican Governor who now endorses President Obama, go here. Study the issues, make your own judgement and always vote your values and convictions. And yes, pray for your President and all those in authority (and I don’t mean pray for him to fail!).

    I am praying for this country and its future. Especially for God to empower those who call themselves followers of Christ to reach out with compassion to a world in desperate need of hope, and especially those whose voices have been silenced and dreams have been shattered by the political noise in Washington. Leaders cannot make this happen, but they can certainly point the way, by words and deeds.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Harold G. Stoltzfus 7:11 pm on October 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo:

      How do you have time to write an fascinating and interesting blog like this and get ready to move to Pennsylvania at the same time!? Having said this, I keep turning to see what’s going on in your Brazilian mind and can also live/speak in Portugese. When I was teaching an ABF at Wooster Grace, I overheard an adult participant/student say, “Well, I guess I’ll go hear what Stoltzfus has to say!”

      A Proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron,” so I try to keep surrounding myself with other irons. I’m amazed to observe your interest in the voting process as a “green card” person from Brazil. But then as a Christian our kingdom is not of this world rather we belong to the kingdom of heaven/God. Therein, is our mutuality as brothers!

      I have never heard of Camille, but then no doubt she has not ever heard of “yours truly.” I don’t know anything about Iowa, except that my father went there to buy horses and mules in the fifties. He shipped them to Lancaster, Pennsylvania by rail and in the sixties by truck. A lot of presidents have risen and fallen since then.

      Keep writing my friend, keep writing! You have good things to say and challenge/teach us and to keep us on an even keel.

      • ivanildotrindade 8:14 pm on October 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Haarold. thanks for your comments. there are subjects that arrest u and others that need to be arrested by u. i am fascinated by election and politics, even if skeptical that any good thing may come out of nazareth, i mean, washington… a big part of my interest comes from growing up under a very oppressive military dictatorship for 20 years. i didn’t get to vote for the first time until i was over 30. u have some interesting stories about horses and trains. i would rather hear them than camille’s often salvador dali-esque visions. remember: we r all aliens, looking for a better country, whether we carry a card or not.

  • ivanildotrindade 11:28 pm on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art and mediocrity, , , Contemporary art, Feminism, modern art, stalin, statism   

    Shock: Camille Paglia Abandons Obama 

    Very few evangelicals pay any attention or even know who Camille Paglia is. First, she is a feminist, a different kind of feminist but one nonetheless. Second, she is openly Lesbian. Thirdly, she is an atheist. Fourth, she has been an outspoken voice for liberal ideas. So you would think that people like me would stay away from Camille and her rantings.

    Not so fast. I have always paid attention to Camille. First, because she is an art’s professor. As a former art professor myself, I sympathize with her views to see art take its deserved place in our society. Secondly, when it comes to her views about art, I find myself in agreement with her in a variety of topics, not the least of which the notion that so-called “shock art” has outlived its usefulness and modern art as we know it today is generally in the hands of fools. Thirdly, though a feminist, Camille has challenged some of the basic premises of radical feminism and I just love the way she makes some people mad.

    But never in a million years I imagined that Camille could ever be capable of delivering the most scathing indictment against the Obama administration as she did recently in an interview for an online T.V. channel. You may see the entire interview here. Most of it is about her new book and the place of art in America. But if you fast forward to about minute marker 11:24, she starts talking about why she is not voting for Barak Obama this time around. Now, the reasons she gives are not what most would expect, but my is she provocative!

    Having lived under the threat of communism for about 20 years in Brazil, I know what “statism” is. Most kids nowadays have no idea what that word means. Obviously, comparing Obama’s methods with Stalin’s is way off the mark, but there is no question that some signs of attempt at government controls are evident everywhere. Camille once again opens her generous mouth and paints a picture of apocalyptic doom. Either she is totally crazy or the most courageous leftist that ever was.

    Regardless, President Obama is lucky this aired only on an obscure Internet channel.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Eric 12:21 pm on October 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pastor Trindade,

      Though I am sure your post is well-intentioned, I think it omits some important details and could prove misleading to your readers. First, it is not really accurate to say that Paglia “has been an outspoken voice for liberal ideas.” It would be better to say that she has been an outspoken voice for libertarian ideas, since her support for socially liberal policies is founded in her belief that government should not meddle in people’s lives. It is also important to note that she is widely recognized as a professional contrarian. She launches criticisms indiscriminately – often wildly – and was once famous for her attacks on Bill Clinton. Her comments on President Obama are therefore not shocking specifically because she deals in shock for a living.

      Also, you don’t quite do PJ Media justice to call it “an obscure Internet channel.” It is actually a hard-right political blog, home to a lot of writers – including this segment’s Glenn Reynolds – who are far more representative of fringe voices than of the American mainstream. It is not surprising that Paglia would get an audience on this site, because she is a fringe creature as well – though not always the same exact part of the fringe. I don’t know that she is crazy, but I am confident that she is neither courageous nor (strictly speaking) leftist. Far from “scathing,” each element of her rant may be met with a very casual rebuttal.

      I wasn’t sure whether I would post a response to this or not, but I think it’s appropriate since many Evangelicals, myself included, have become increasingly troubled by the Church’s right-ward shift. It’s not news to say that, I know, but it makes me uncomfortable when clergymen support – or seem to support – the paranoia that dominates conservative politics in the age of Obama. I thank you for noting that Paglia’s invocation of Stalin is “way off the mark” and that hers is a vision of “apocalyptic doom.” But I would also suggest that these should disqualify her from a link on your blog.

      Thanks,

      Eric

      • ivanildotrindade 5:51 pm on October 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, eric. your response is well reasoned and i am glad to give you voice here. we can split the proverbial semantics hairs. i have read most of the stuff ms. paglia has written over a 20 year span and i would say that she is clearly on the left when it comes to most issues, even if she comes at them from an entirely different perspective compared to a typical liberal voice. her voice is at times disturbing, i am not going to deny it, but that is perhaps what makes it entertaining. also, when u watch the video, u will see that she refers to hersef as a “liberal.” i am taking her word for it. ms. paglia is not exactly “fringe” from the perspective of her huge following in some sectors of academia. i think she represents the views of a lot of people who are adept at seeing enemies coming at them from the four corners of the earth. they are still fighting an ideological war that seems to have been abandoned by all sides a long time ago.

        yes, PJ Media is indeed composed of a large pool of libertarians and conservative bloggers but PJTV.com, PJ Media’s subscription-only t.v. channel is rather puny and in fact the video i linked on my blog appeared on instapundit, which is even a smaller affiliate of PJ Media. if u ask around, almost nobody will recognize any of these names. and now ms. paglia finds her voice in an even more insignificant blog… my own! i think it is poetic justice.

        anyway, you r right: “shock” is not the right word here, rather, the emphasis should be on the fact that ms. paglia, by her own admission, was an enthusiastic obama supporter in 2008 and has now changed her mind. the reasons she gives as to why she changed her mind, though, are none that i would give, but i chose to refer to her interview here because the larger point of the interview, i think, is this perception that there r some elements in washington who see government as being the solution for everything, which is something i think is patently wrong.

        and by the way, u r right about elements in the evangelical church fighting cultural wars that serve no purpose except erecting walls between people and the God who loves them. i decry that too. thanks for your response.

        • Eric 6:19 am on October 31, 2012 Permalink

          Thank you for your response. I think it contains some more hairs to split, but that was honestly never my intention. I read your initial post to be saying essentially, “Look, even Obama’s most liberal supporters are turning against him!” and I simply wanted to amend that a bit, noting that the figures and the venue present a very unusual and unrepresentative case.

          I think my larger point may still stand, and in fact may even have been reinforced by your follow-up. You cite “this perception” that some in Washington think “government” is the answer to everything, and state your opposition. Fair enough. But the context implies that you are referring to Obama, and he has been very clear that he does not think this way. In fact, I don’t know that there is a single politician in the United States who would defend this position. Rather, what we have here is a partisan attack line – a *perception* that has been carefully developed and maintained by one political party for use against another. When it appears in campaign ads, you can shrug it off as politics as usual. But when it’s taken up by religious leaders – whether in the pulpit or the blog-space – the perception gets a sort of divine stamp-of-approval, transforming shepherds into party surrogates in the process. That is my concern, and I think it’s an urgent one. Thanks again.

        • ivanildotrindade 11:24 am on October 31, 2012 Permalink

          thanks, eric. i am loving having this conversation with you here only because it is different from my usual routine with this blog. a little context: my readership is made up of three small groups: a) my faithful readers, a small group of people, most of whom get my posts via email and thus have that (email) as their main means of communication with me; b) another small group of regulars who check me online. i know they are catholics, hindus, buddhists, atheists, christians, baha’is, muslisms, etc. i know because i have heard from them from time to time and also because i can track on a global map offered by wordpress where they are clicking from;c) the occasional “checker,” which is composed of the curious and passersby. i write some of the catchy titles for them :).

          my readers know that i am not overtly “religious” or overtly “political” here. in other words, this is not “the reverend trindade blog.” obviously, i try to be clear about where i stand (if at all possible), but i trust my readers to formulate their own opinions, even when the blogger might be a little off or slightly misinformed. the people who read my rambling thoughts most often here would laugh at the thought that my ideas somehow could carry even a semblance of “divine stamp-of-approval.” they know better than that. and i just want to say it to all the other passersby out there — i trust u to know better than that too!

          that said, two observations about your last comment: a) “I read your initial post to be saying essentially, ‘Look, even Obama’s most liberal supporters are turning against him!'” Your interpretation and you are entitled to it; b) “But the context implies that you are referring to Obama…” Again that is how you are interpreting it.

          also, i agree with you 100% that a pulpit or a church is not the place to endorse political parties or candidates of any stripe. actually, the IRS has clear rules about that. i am just going to assume that u weren’t talking about that possibility as being true about me, and if u did, i will just attribute that to the fact that u don’t know me and that u r sensitive about this particular issue, which is very encouraging to know. i guarantee u that if u would ever have a chance to see how i conduct myself in the context of a local church u would have no reason for concern.

          finally, again for the sake of the passersby, if you want to check a “serious” source (as opposed to beloved camille…) that once endorsed obama and is now leaving his camp, i encourage you to read the editorial page from the Des Moines Register, an Iowan newspaper that has endorsed Democratic Candidates since 1976: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121027/OPINION03/121026026. For the opposite view, go to the Miami Herald editorial which raises serious questions about Romney’s contradictory statements: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/26/3068819/obama-for-president.html as a harbinger of bad things to come. i posted these on my FB page and encouraged people to make their own judgement. and always, vote your values and convictions and pray for your president and all those in authority. i think i am going to post this here as well. thanks again, eric.

  • ivanildotrindade 6:40 pm on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: best friend, betrayal, don't belong, family secrets, missionary speaker, outsider, painful anniversaries, painful divorce   

    Family Secrets 

    Some time ago I lived in a little village in NE Ohio. One day I read an ad in the paper and on a whim decided to attend a morning service at the local Mennonite Church. The ad was for a missionary speaker who worked for an organization I much sympathized with.

    As a nervous newcomer, even though I was a missionary then and a church-going person my whole life, I arrived there a little early and sat in the car to time my entrance. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I almost changed my mind as  a thought came clearly, “I don’t belong here!” But in the end, I went in.

    Upon entering the building, I found a nice atmosphere. A couple of people extended their hand to me, including the man I suspected was the pastor, whom I had met some time earlier at the little barbershop in town. One lady, who was sitting by me, actually introduced herself, shook my hand, and said with a smile, “Hi, I am Rita Wenger. Welcome!”

    The service started with some nice readings by a couple. They read a poetic arrangement about God’s signature in the sunshine, the lightening, the rain, and “the people with their beautiful smiles who are here this morning!”

    A gray-haired lady, nicely dressed and decidedly friendly, led the music. We sang the first song a capella. Beautiful harmony. Mennonites, like Brazilians, know how to harmonize.

    After a few songs, the pastor got up and shared “celebrations.” A couple had become grandparents — again! An elderly woman had the twenty year old roof replaced in her house — all the work done by the men in the church, and the women, who helped cook that day. A couple who was moving to Indiana was honored — “a celebration in reverse,” the pastor called it.

    But I was not expecting what happened next. He invited people to share. No, he didn’t just ask them to come upfront or walk to them when they raised their hands. He gave the congregation the microphone… literally. Announcements, words of thanks, clarifications, a real grocery list of stuff was shared.

    But the place turned eerily silent when a lady who was sitting on the back got the microphone. She said, “Many of you have asked about my divorce. Well, I am here to share this with you by way of a prayer request, so please take your pen and paper.” The sound of paper shuffling and people getting their pens out echoed in the room and eyes were moving fast.

    The woman spoke with a voice that commanded respect and drew sympathy to the core. She said the divorce had been finalized recently. As she went on, she asked for prayer for her. Her anger. “Yes, I am still angry.” Her ability to forgive. Her children and his children. “One of my children has been sleeping with me for several months now.” The pain was so intense but she was not done.

    Next, she gave a list of her losses: a husband, a family, a relationship, a person she thought was her best friend. The anniversaries she no longer celebrates. and the fateful date. September 26, Communion Service. The woman who was her best friend then washed her feet and when she got done, she whispered in her ears, “I love you.”

    That same night, when they got home after the service, her husband told her that he was having an affair with the feet washer. “That was the death of my marriage,” she said, “and that anniversary is coming up.”

    I looked in front of me and saw the neck of this beautiful lady wearing a beautiful green blouse. I knew her. She was the stoic pre-school teacher at the school my son attended. At school she looked like a saint whose smiles come only in installments. But now her neck was getting red, from the bottom to the top. It was like the shadow of the clouds rapidly covering a river at high noon. Soon it took over her entire neck and tears began to flow. I could only see her neck but it was as if it too was crying. Her hands were resting on her chin and I heard her sobbing softly.

    Then I looked around and saw other people crying, including grown men with what appeared to be tear-proof beards. The woman went on and listed other anniversaries. By now I was asking God to spare us more sorrow. Then, quietly, she read a poem that talked about overcoming through Jesus and sat down.

    The pastor got the microphone and prayed with the congregation for this woman. Then he went to the platform and said, “This is the church.” From then on, I could care less about what the speaker was going to say. I couldn’t take another sermon. What that missionary speaker had to say no longer mattered. I could only think about that young woman, her painful words and the tremendous courage it took for her to share them with those people.

    Then a thought came: “I was right. I don’t belong here.” Let me explain: my church experience was so different from what I had just witnessed. Yes, I was blown away by the openness of that congregation but there was a part of me that thought I inadvertently walked into a family meeting and stumbled upon some family secrets.

    I just wonder: is that the church like the pastor said or just one aspect of it?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Patti Lehman 6:41 am on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      There is so much I want to say about this post but time does not permit. I think Galatians 6:2 sums it up well.
      “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

      • ivanildotrindade 10:11 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, Patti. There is so much to say. At least we can all think hard about what we are doing in our own sphere of, influence. I think that was the point of putting the verse here. Thanks again!

    • Spiritually Inclined, with Julie Buhite 8:59 am on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I so wish that more churches would be that way. It there were, maybe I and so man others wouldn’t have had to walk away.

      • ivanildotrindade 4:29 pm on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        julie. thanks for coming back. was missing your comments. there are different churches for different kinds of people, but one thing they all must be if they want to make a difference in this generation: authentic. people r still looking for authentic, transparent relationships, even if they try to put on a face that attempts to deny it… blessings!

  • ivanildotrindade 4:55 pm on October 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: moving, moving to lititz, new opportunities, pastor ivanildo transition, resignation letter   

    It’s Official Now! 

     
    • Beth Mast 5:08 pm on October 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You will certainly be missed. You exude the happiness of Christ and are a wonderful example of Jesus. Thanks for being such an encouragement over the years.

      • ivanildotrindade 5:26 pm on October 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        i am humbled, beth. thanks for helping our ministry succeed here in wooster. it’s people like you who make a difference. best to you and yours!

    • Harold 11:07 am on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo, Naza and Josh:

      Having just read and reread your “official letter of resignation,” we are sad for our Wooster friends, but happy that we belong to the group called “Pennsylvania Friends!” Welcome to Lititz, Pennsylvania! We are excited that you are officially called as Senior Pastor to the Lititz Grace (Brethren) Church—the other dominate, neighbor church in Lititz! Being a Senior Pastor, Ivanildo, is your next “calling” that God has planned for the baby boy born on the Amazon River, years ago!

      Thanks, Ivanildo, for a copy of your excellent farewell letter. Your letter, however, tugs on emotional heart strings, but it is an sample of the pathway a faithful, pilgrim/disciple treads as he follows Jesus. Naza, you played an important role of prayer. You are officially the “First Lady!”

      The same Jesus that led you through your Ohio years will be present to welcome you when you officially arrive in Lititz! After all, he played a sovereign hand letting you know and leading you to church of his choice here in our city! You will find things here are like conditions Paul found in Mars Hill: some worship an unknown God, and some are faithful followers of Christ!

      Having followed the path of Jesus in his service in our life time, Sylvia and I know the “highs and the lows” that you will experience in the coming months. You will learn again how to hold two opposite emotions at the same time: joy and sadness. But God’s resources are adequate.

      A wonderful church awaits you folks here—they have waited long and patiently for your coming.

      Because of Jesus, Harold and Sylvia

      Pastor Harold Stoltzfus

      • ivanildotrindade 1:34 pm on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Harold. Thank you for your kind words. We are mindful of the challenges and opportunities ahead but trusting in our great God every step of the way. Christ is still the Head of the Church, His bride, the apple of His eyes. Thanks for the prayers!

    • Jefferson Amstutz 10:45 pm on November 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m seeing this announcement for the first time. When I was regularly attending Wooster Grace, I was always so thankful for your service and leadership there! I’ll be gladly praying for you and your new opportunity, and, because we live in northern Baltimore, my wife and I may stop in some Sunday to see you in PA!

  • ivanildotrindade 7:10 pm on October 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Transition 

    My friends:

    I have been so absent from these pages lately, but there is a reason for it. Over the last several months I have been on a journey which ended today. I have accepted the call to become Lead Pastor at Grace Church, Lititz, PA. If you want to know more details, go here and click on the Lead Pastor Search Information link. There are some videos there you can watch as well.

    Over the next few weeks my wife and I will be working hard to transition to Pennsylvania before it gets too cold. This will probably mean more silent weeks here, which I apologize for. And in the future I expect this will be a weekly blog as I will also be blogging somewhere else on matters related to the church. I am not abandoning you, though, I promise.

    Blessings to all of you!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Harold 9:40 am on October 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Friend: Sylvia and I realize you have a large congregation of people welcoming you to Lititz, however, we stand ready to be of assistance as well. We can’t tell you how happy we are that you will be moving to our town!

      Now we want more than ever to move to Lititz! We pledge our prayers on your behalf—we believe God will be in every detail of your transition, just as he was in the invitation to become the Senior Pastor at Grace! It is God’s perfect will!!

      Love, Harold

      • ivanildotrindade 4:58 pm on October 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, harold. you are both special friends and we are thankful to God for having you in our lives.

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