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  • ivanildotrindade 7:41 pm on February 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , child labor, children and livestock, children in brazil, children in cambodia, kids and adults, too young to work   

    Kids Behaving Like Adults 

    My little blog is suffering from a lack of post. Somebody just told me the other day that he was going to stop checking every day if I didn’t post something new. So to save me from losing a reader, here we go. By the way, if you don’t want to keep checking every day, just sign up on the blog itself to receive an e-mail. The blog entry will be sent to you via e-mail every time I post. Easy, huh?

    I had a conversation the other day with someone about the difference between what young kids are expected or not expected to do here in the U.S. as opposed to other cultures. It started me thinking.

    I had dinner with a family recently. There were three generations there — parents, son and wife, and grandson. The grandson was in his early teens but I was impressed with how he sat by the table with us and carried on a normal conversation about soccer, life in school and many other subjects. Only later I noticed that I had just witnessed something unique — kids here are not expected to spend much time in the company of adults who visit your home.

    Actually, kids are generally segregated from adults even in other settings. In church they normally have their own services. In social gatherings the hosts provide a table for the “young folks.” Even in malls, young people walk together, children have their play areas and adults run around trying to catch up with their kids.

    This conversation led me to think about the things I did as a child that most of the kids in the U.S. would never be required to do. At 8 years of age I would walk to the market with my mom for about half an hour one-way and help her carry groceries back home. Since the age of 4 or 5 I learned to fold and put away my own clothe. When I was 9 I started working selling sweets on the streets. At the age of 10 I was working at a grocery store and when I was about 11 I was on the back of a truck lifting and loading big sacs of sugar and rice.

    I became the president of the junior department at church when I was about 12-13 and at 15 I preached my first sermon. I babysat all my younger siblings since I was about 8 and was sent with my sister on mission to get a midwife to attend to my mom when she was in labor pains to deliver one of my siblings at home — a mission we failed miserably at but that is a story for another day.

    I also remember serving as a sort of taxi driver to younger ladies in my neighborhood who were a bit older than me, taking them to work or school on a bicycle. I must have been about 12 then. Even as a young teen, if my parents needed to go somewhere, they had no qualms leaving our younger siblings for me and my sister to look after. We were 9 so this was a lot of responsibility and thought nothing of it. Today this would probably be considered some kind of abuse, at least in the U.S.

    When I was in 5th grade, I walked 40 minutes one-way to school with my sister for a whole year. I had to get up about 4 am right before school started every year to get in line to get the yearly shots that were a requirement to enroll in school. This was before I even entered High School. Well, the list could go on and on. And none of this stuff, by the way, made me feel, then or now, that I was robbed of my childhood…

    And that’s why I laughed hysterically (at least inside) when I was in Cambodia once with a guy who had retired from working with livestock in an academic setting in the U.S. Traveling in the countryside one day, he noticed a girl who couldn’t be more than 6 or 7 guiding a cow with a simple stick, a not too uncommon scene in Cambodia. He said he would love to meet the parents of that little girl and warn them of the dangers of having a girl her age around large animals like that. I wanted to say something like, “Dude, these people having been doing this for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, and you think you are going to teach them something new about children and livestock now?” But I kept my mouth shut.

    Putting kids in an adult world and expecting them to do “big” things when they are still young, within reason, will help them grow stronger. It will give them confidence and it will result in their becoming much better citizens, able to adjust to any set of circumstances and face any challenge thrown their way. At least that’s what I think it did to me.

    How about you? Do you have memories of doing things that only adults would do today? Do share!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Brianna Wasson 3:36 am on February 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Pastor I, your post here resonates with me a lot. Now that I’ve lived in Germany for almost a year. Because we have seen our kids grow leaps and bounds inside all the adult things they’ve had to do while here. Not nearly what you had to do, but much, much more than anything they’ve ever faced in the U.S. Like facing uncomfortable and plowing through it. Helping me carry heavy bags of groceries, like you had to do. And, well, just “grown up” stuff that is no doubt maturing them. We are amazed at God is growing them this year. Anyway — thanks for your thoughts on this! Love it. 🙂

      • ivanildotrindade 8:13 pm on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        very good, Brianna. Good to know at least one person gets it… :). So happy for u and your family!

  • ivanildotrindade 12:53 am on February 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltimore Ravens, CBS, evangelicals, , , Lewis, NBC, Person of the Year, Rahab, Ravens, Ray Lewis, speaking for evangelicals, speaking for God, Super Bowl   

    Ray Lewis Doesn’t Speak for God 

    Ray Lewis will probably have a statue of him erected at the Ravens stadium commemorating his storied career. But no amount of rings or statues will ever erase the cloud of suspicions which still hover over the murders of two men, after Super Bowl XXXIV, as a result of which Ray Lewis was convicted of obstruction of justice, after striking a deal with the prosecutor. He also allegedly settled for an undisclosed amount with the family of the murdered men later on before the matter went to trial on a civil court.

    Ray Lewis is undoubtedly a gifted athlete. He also seems to be a sincere man. He claims to be an evangelical Christian, even a preacher. So that means that by virtue of his celebrity status he will at times speak for all evangelicals.

    And that is the matter with Ray Lewis. As far as I know, He is not theologically trained and has no authority to speak on biblical matters as if he were some kind of an expert. And I deplore his attempts to appeal to God in explaining away the questions surrounding the issues of the murders of two innocent men. And that is exactly what Ray did on the eve of the most recent Super Bowl. If you didn’t see the interview, here is the critical moment of it. I reproduce the question the CBS reporter asked him and the unmistakably bizarre answer by Ray Lewis:

    CBS: “What would you like to say to the family?”

    LEWIS: “It’s simple: God has never made a mistake. That’s just who he is, you see. If our system — and this is the sad thing about our system — if our system took the time to really investigate what happened 13 years ago, maybe they would have gotten to the bottom line. But the saddest thing ever is a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘We know you didn’t do this, but you’re going down for it anyway.’ To the family: If you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for his glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.”

    If you want to read the full report, go here, but in essence Ray is saying that his innocence is proven by the will of God. I say: nonsense.  (For a more incisive analysis of Lewis’ interview, read this story by NBC). The thought that God does not use someone who is decidedly “bad” for His glory is preposterous.

    First, you have to establish whether God is really bringing glory to His name through the individual in question (in this case, Ray Lewis). In the absence of unbiased evidence, are we expected to take Lewis’ own words that God is indeed using him for His glory? How many people have been so successful and done so much good and yet have been so far away from God and don’t care to state that publicly? Goodness is not a propriety of the religiously initiated. Ignorance of God does not make one automatically evil.

    Secondly, all you have to do is take a cursory look at some of the Bible stories. David was a murderer, he was an adulterer, and a thief. Saul was a murderer before he became Paul. Rahab was a prostitute before she became an ancestor of the Messiah. The list goes on and on. And may I tell you about me?

    Look, I am not calling any of these people “bad.” I am just saying they weren’t exactly walking on the straight and narrow. At a certain point in their lives they were not candidates for the “Person of the Year” award. They were not your hometown heroes, they were not someone you would ask to babysit your children. But fast forward a little and each of those folks ended up being used by God to do some significant things.

    Ray Lewis has missed the opportunity to show a little humility. He doesn’t have to admit guilt or confess to something he didn’t do. But I would appreciate if He would just leave God out of his lame explanation. Don’t taint God’s honor with man’s foibles. Don’t think you can fool us by just saying that you and the Almighty have a special deal where He has given you one of a kind killer insight. I cannot bear the thought of hearing that type of nonsense anymore.

    And if Ray Lewis really wants to speak for God, I recommend that he should at least start doing some serious reading and systematic studying of God’s Word, now that He will have plenty of time since he is retiring from professional football. And by all means, express some sorrow to the families for the pain you have, intentionally or unintentionally, caused them.

    And if you change your mind and decide to accept a coaching position with the Ravens, please don’t hire God as your assistant. You may end up embarrassing Him… again!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Ted Beaver 9:26 am on February 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Ray has some interesting theology, for sure. I’ll be paying attention to how he lives his life now that he isnt playing, and doesn’t have the world telling him how great he is on an hourly basis.

    • Derek Johnson 7:13 pm on February 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The vague reporting in the Lewis story is the result of the media lumping all Christians into the same category, without bothering to learn the specifics of what they believe. Ray, if you want credibility, say what church you belong to. With the public reporting, it’s possible that he’s religious but doesn’t go to church.

      • ivanildotrindade 11:38 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        not sure revealing which church he goes to will give him credibility, but I understand that u r making a larger point: show me your confession with your deeds. thanks for posting!

    • lionjudah 1:08 am on February 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      God’s name gets used, blamed and brought into the courtroom of daily living for lots and lots of things that goes against his righteous attributes. Unfortunately, good folk like us justify our selfish and unholy living by involking his holy name. When instead, God should be simply obeyed, revered, feared, and understood as someone to whom we will ultimately stand in judgement.

      The beautiful thing about all of this is that God will be the final judge and we will all–each one of us–answer for the unrighteous deeds we have done. The “lake of fire” is waiting for us unless we confess and own our sins before we make that final “touch down.”

      Knowing this, each of us should come to the foot of the cross of his son, Jesus, to find refuge and forgiveness–that includes me, you, rulers, the high and the low, the rich and the poor and SPORTS HEROS, too.

      Here is a simple story that I used to tell to children. The officials of a local town offered a beautiful bicyle as a prize to any child catching the largest fish in a contest on a given Saturday. So a young lad decided to spend a couple days fishing, then select his largest catch and freeze it until the day of the contest. Sure enough, he was being celebrated for catching the largest fish until the judges weighed his prize fish. But the judges had to disqualify the lad’s fish when they discovered his fish was FROZEN!

      • ivanildotrindade 11:34 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, Harold. appreciate your taking the time to comment. not sure how the story relates to ray lewis but i loved it.

  • ivanildotrindade 8:37 pm on February 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brazilian dictatorship, curriel, ephraim, fear of police, french email, french hashtag, french language police, french war of words, french words, french words in english, gilead, hashtag goodbye, hashtag war, hutu, language, language protectionism, language purist, , military dictatorship, mot-dièse, police, protectionism, rwanda. rwanda genocide, shiboleth, siboleth, tutsi   

    French Alert: Kiss Hashtag Good-bye 

    Among Western nations, France must be one of the few that has an active “Language Police,” although they have a fancier name for it: The Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologisme, “The General Committee for Terminology and New Words,” which seems like a bureaucratic heaven for people who might not be big fans of new things.

    Be that as it may, in 2011 this illustrious group banned the use of “Faceboook” and “Twitter” in any news coverage, unless the word was germane to the story. In 2003 they also decreed that “e-mail” was a threat to the pristine French language, so they substituted it with “courriel,” which actually sounds cooler to me.

    The latest victim to fall under the sharp knife of the “Language Police” is the beloved “hashtag” of Twitter fame. From now on, in all official French documents, that ignominious word is to be referred to as “mot-dièse,” a Gallic substitute literally meaning “sharp word.” The French, being the masters of self-ridicule type of humor, obviously reacted (on Twitter, of course). Here is a sample:

    Je teste un nouveauté de la langue française : le . Je préférais  

    “I tested a novelty of the French language: the #motdièse. I prefer #hashtag #riplittleword.” Very funny…

    One other user  said, “We will not say Facebook anymore but ‘Livre des facies.’”

    Having grown up under a heavy military dictatorship for 20 years in Brazil, I am naturally suspicious of Police anywhere. I know, it is a conditioned response. I understand they play a crucial role and I have some good friends who are in Law enforcement, but to this day whenever I see an uniformed policeman anywhere my first impulse is “RUN!”

    Now you can imagine how I must feel about the thought of a “Language Police.” It is not only irritating, it can be downright dangerous. In a crisis moment, having a language apparatus that is incapable of producing a certain type of sound, or carrying a dialect that betrays your origin, can land one in deep trouble (Peter on the night he betrayed Jesus) or even determine whether you will live or die (the Ephraimites in Judges 12, who looked exactly like the Gileadites and yet could not say “shiboleth,” instead they kept saying “siboleth,” and thus 42 thousand of them perished on that day — the first case in recorded history of death by language malfunction).

    The modern-day equivalent of a “shiboleth” type of war was what happened in 1990’s Rwanda. I have friends who are Tutsi and friends who are Hutu. They all tell me that you can’t tell by looking whether one is a Hutu or a Tutsi, yet in a matter of 100 days 800 thousand people (or more) were massacred, mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutu who favored the peace accord. Now I am not saying that language particularity was the only issue there, but it must have played a part.

    Make no mistake about it: in the case of the Ephraimites and the Rwanda genocide, the people drawing the war strategies were not the war generals, they were the language and cultural purists — those who could tolerate no deviation from “the norm.” That is one of the dangers of a department dedicated to protect a national language. It is not the good intention of preserving one’s own, it is the ever-present potential misuse and manipulation of information that scares me.

    French, by the way, ironically, has given a wealth of contribution to many of the languages of the world, including English (and my soul language, Portuguese). If the same rule they are now applying to their own language, would somehow be applied to English, for example, we would (at least I would) all of a sudden realize how much we love the French!

    Here is just a small sample I just quickly recalled from memory:

    “Cordon bleu” would now have to be “blue ribbon.” Would it taste the same?

    Les Misérables would have to be “The Wretched Ones,” and north Americans would be forever robbed of the joy of their favorite pastime — coming up with a nickname lest they be forced to pronounce a foreign-sounding name. “Le Mis.” (How many times after I tell people my first name, do I hear them say, “Can I call you Ivan?” or “Do you have a nickname?”).

    “Carte Blanche” is now “blank card,” but it just doesn’t feel like having the same all-encompassing power to say “blank card,” does it?

    “La vie en rose,” the famous movie (and song by Edith Piaf) becomes “life in pink,” which sounds more like an advertisement for a new Barbie doll.

    “Papier-mâché”  is “chewed paper.” Now imagine explaining that to your kindergartners when you are telling them about the materials you will be using for today’s craft…

    Our beloved “dessert,” from the French “desservir,” “clear the table,” “unserve” (it was the last course served) would suffer significant damage if suddenly we told the guests, “Now we are going to unserve you.”

    “Moulin rouge”  is “red windmil;” “aide-de-camp” is “field helper,” which sounds like a “farm hand,” “Brigadier” is “the one who fights,” a title any brawler at a bar would gladly embrace.

    Companies would have to say good-bye to the title of their top executive — C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer). All three of these words come to English via French via Latin. Good luck getting rid of that one!

    Two of my favorite French words, “fatigue” and “milieu” would have to be banned. “Medium” or “surroundings” for “milieu” just doesn’t cut it and I would get fatigued just trying to say “that which causes weariness.”

    By the way, all the words that have “petty” in them (“Petty Officer,” “petty coat,” etc.) are also of French derivation, as is “coat” (from French “cote”) and “officer,” “oficier,” by way of Latin.

    And let’s not even talk about one of the most popular and expressive French words, starting with “m_ _ _,” which has an equivalent in English starting with “s” (let the reader understand), which unfortunately did not make it into the English language, which is a shame because had it made it into English, we would all be getting mad at each other so much more poetically…

    By the way, I went to the website of the Journal Officiel, which broadcasts these official pronouncements of the “Language Police,” and to my surprise I found a link on the upper left corner with the words FAQ. I still have to find what that stands for in French… Tell me if you know, s’il vous plaît.

    I think I have caused enough trouble with this post, so c’est fini. Sorry, “It’s finished.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • lionjudah 10:25 pm on February 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Moons ago when I studied World Lit at Kutztown University, in a class discussion about the Budist 8-fold path of right living which included #3 “right speech,” a girl posed this question, “Does the Christian religion have anything to say about right speech?” I was then a student and my answer was blatanly mocked by the professor–a Greek.

      “Yes, Maam,” I answered, “The Apostle Paul gave us instructions on right speech in the New Testament.”

      The Greek Dr. professor leading the discussion, marched over to where I was seated in the corner on the front row and demanded, “Rev. Stoltzfus, chapter and verse, please!”

      I said, “I can’t give that reference from memory.” The Dr. Professor marched back to his lectern and continued with another topic.

      In an earlier test I had written a PS note that said, “I have done my best to answer your questions from an academic point of view, but as a Christian believer I cannot endorse this Greek mythology.” I guess he had my number. At that point I was not yet ordained, so I was not a Reverend.

      Both God and his son, Jesus Christ, have followed the same thread of “right speech” throughout the
      world famous, holy writ, the Bible. One can begin a study of this in the Ten Commandments, “You shalt not bare false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex. 20:16 RSV) Although evidence of right speaking, starts in the Garden of Eden.

      Yes, worldly government systems use speech to control the masses. Indeed, Christians throughout the centuries and until this day, die because of their confessions.

      • ivanildotrindade 3:11 pm on February 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        harold. it’s funny, we’ve already talked in real time about this before i read your comment. that professor was just testing u. i guess u must have failed his criterion. if u had given him any reference, i bet u he would have gone for it. funny how we have an answer for every awkward situation we lived… 30+ years later! blessings, brother.

    • Brianna Wasson 4:54 am on February 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for making smile this morning. A brilliant discussion of etymology. I love it. (J’adore.) 🙂

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