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  • ivanildotrindade 1:29 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , anti-adoption forces, anti-adoption law, Moscow, protests in moscow, Russia, russia's new law, Russians,   

    Thousands Hit the Streets to Protest Against Anti-Adoption Law in Russia 

    You might want to read this if you are interested in the story about the ban on Americans adopting Russian children. I hope this movement protesting this self-serving decision will grow, but don’t hold your breath, some politicians traffic in stupid as only pros can.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade


  • ivanildotrindade 1:24 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: absent grandparents, book of lamentation, , Grandparent, , Holiday, Home, lament, lamentation, losing grandparents, nostalgia, , ,   

    My Book of Lamentation 

    It’s amazing how much you learn about your surroundings just by sitting at Starbucks and listening to people talk. Now I know this is dangerous business because you can be accused of eavesdropping or worse yet you may hear threads of conversations and build a whole narrative around them. Or you may think you heard something when in reality the people were talking about something also.

    I noticed today an elderly couple who walked into the store. The woman looked frail, she carried a cane and had a distant look in her eyes which I have seen in people who are about to depart. I also noticed how one of the employees was so deferential to that couple and immediately told them to grab a table “before it was gone” — Starbucks was rather crowded this morning. He got their drinks ready and then, as the lady came to get her freshly brewed coffee, I heard him refer to her as “grandma.”

    A few minutes went by and before I knew it the employee took a break, sat at the table with the couple, and began to talk. He told them about a train trip — which was not as comfortable as going by plan but it was good; he even said they had Internet on the train! They talked about the advantages of having or not having a car — this guy rides the bus to and from work, which is how I started talking to him the first time I met him at the store, as he was waiting for a co-worker to get off so he could get a ride home. The last bus had already come and gone. They talked about budgeting and the demands of Holiday spending. They talked about an optimum time for him to go see his mom. Then the couple inquired about his day off — tomorrow, and they made plans to pick him up for lunch. 11:30.

    You know what I mean about being accused of eavesdropping now? Please, believe me when I say that I was sitting across the room from them and the words were floating in the common air space where decoding is free. I heard all of that while quietly removing dead cuticle from my nails in my corner of the store, and I was not taking notes!

    But that scene made me nostalgic. I realized I was witnessing something unique. And I realized I was indirectly living something I was never privileged to do in my life. You see, from the time I was seven, my siblings and I moved to a different state, and from that time on, we were never in the presence of our grandparents on both sides of the family for more than just a few precious minutes. Actually, I don’t even remember my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family, and I had oh so little interaction with the ones on my mom’s side.

    And today I lament that. Yes, lamentation is the right word for it. I don’t use that word lightly. My rules for lamentation are plain and simple: 1. You are only allowed to lament over stuff that has already happened — no “lamenting forward” in my book, for life is too precious to have it ruined by the possibility that something might not turn out the way I want it. 2. You are only allowed to lament over stuff you had no control over. If you see the “check engine” light go on and you still decide to make that 500-mile one way spring break trip and the engine blows up circa 299 miles, don’t come to me lamenting your bad luck. 3. You are only allowed to lament over stuff that cannot be fixed.

    My grandparents are all dead and gone now. I cannot fix that. My wife and I also moved, not to a different state, but to a different Continent, when our children were small. I cannot fix that. But perhaps I can do something about not moving away from my grandchildren — if and when I get my own. I can do something about my children being the last generation in the Trindade line that will have to lament the loss of the grandparents’ presence.

    Starbucks awaits.

    A footnote: I just spoke to “Joseph” (the name I am ascribing to the employee aforementioned) and he told me that indeed they were his grandparents, that they are well into their 80’s and that his grandmother had a devastating stroke last year but she is doing much better today. I told him, “You are honored to have them in your life.” He said, “Thank you for telling me that.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Bob & Linda 4:05 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      My Dear Brother in Christ Our Lord,
      You are so “spot on” with this post. I was blessed to be able to be in close proximity to all of my Grandparents. That was good. They were unique in their own rights. They have all passed away but I have no regrets. In my time I believe this was more normal than not. That certainly isn’t the case today. We are all over the place. I heard a man this week with tears in his eyes talk about only seeing his two grand daughters but twice in their life since they live in different states. So sad but so true.
      Keep looking up, “perhaps today!”
      Bob & Linda

      • ivanildotrindade 1:03 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks for your comment, bob. yes, indeed, u were blessed to have your grandparents in your life. i feel sad for that man who connected so little to his grand daughters. that is even worse than my case, I think.

    • Ted Beaver 9:20 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you pastor, this gave me something to think about!

      • ivanildotrindade 1:05 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        that’s my purpose, ted — help u think, but not too hard. i hope somehow this will help you in your journey. we can all learn from each other’s experiences. thanks for posting a reply!

    • Mary Barr 9:45 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll give this a great big “LIKE”… I was SO blessed by grandparents that filled in for absent parents!

    • lionjudah 10:12 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I doubt if we can live without lamenting about something. May I comment on this blog: The discussion reminds me of a conversation I had, maybe 40-years ago with a gentlemen. It was, “Are we stealing when we pickup a newspaper and read the news and do not purchase the paper?”

      He said, “The papers print for market profit, information that they received free!” As I think about it, wouldn’t this be the same as eaves dropping?

      Nevertheless, I am always amazed that important men and women meet in restaurants or public meeting places/hotel lobbies and discuss private stuff–they get so involved in conversation that they become oblivious to the persons around them who can easily eaves drop! I confess that I love to oblige whenever I can.

      A short time in my life I slept in a second bed in my parents room. I loved to pretend I was sleeping so I could then listen as they talked. Was that eaves dropping? How often we will be talking in a public place and suddently the person we are speaking with, suddenly cocks his ear to hear another conversation?

      When a high school senior we took the usual trip to the nation’s capitol. (1954) A guide led us in the hugh capitol rotundra and demonstrated how someone in the periforary could hear discussions from the center. In this way he explained a civil war plan from one side was easily understood by the other side.

      One can sometimes learn important news as well as lessons from eaves dropping. Your reflections, Pastor Ivanildo clearly point that out. Well done.

      Lamentation serves us well–it is like holding the “stuff” of life in tention. When I wrote my autobiography: RESOLVED TO FINISH STRONG,” I often wept while I wrote and relived scenes from my life. I lament that had I had a mentor to walk with me I believe could have avoided some pitfalls and have “Strengthened My Grip,” as Chuck Swindoll wrote.

      I was lamenting and musing this to a close friend, Dr. Arthur G. Mcphee, professor of missiology and he gave me this quote BY jAMES bARRIE:


      • ivanildotrindade 1:10 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, harold. i think i have written here about the ethics of taking discarded newspapers at starbucks, but that is a different situation from what your friend was talking about 40 years ago. i am not even going to try to think of the logic behind his line of thinking. wouldn’t this apply to a whole lot of other things — like library books, for example? and your james barrie quote? sounds to me like the problem could be solved if he simple had a good publicist and a merciless editor — that will take care of writing a book that is longer than your original plan. 🙂

    • lionjudah 4:53 am on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Your excellent eaves dropping reflections has jogged my memory of eaves dropping, too! I remember discussing the subject of “Is it stealing if you pick up a newspaper and read it without purchasing the paper? His rationale was this: “NO. He argued that newspapers actually are printing information that costs them nothing plus they are selling it for profit. I love to oblige “eaves dropping” when folks discuss private info in public whenever I can. Great article!
      The lionjudah.

  • ivanildotrindade 6:14 am on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blog impact, blog news, blog readers, Ivanildo's blog, starting a blog   

    2012 in review 

    The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

    Click here to see the complete report.

  • ivanildotrindade 7:03 pm on January 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arranged marriages, child abuse, dowry, forced marriages, India, New Delhi, rape capital, rape in india, , South Asia   

    Femme Fatality — the perilous side of being a woman 

    Too Young to Marry

    Today I lend my voice one more time in defense of young women and children, two of the groups that have suffered more injustices than any other group in the history of the world.

    Young women, children really, continue to be forced into arranged marriages in more traditional parts of the world, especially Sub-saharan Africa and South East Asia. For example, in Niger (Africa), it is estimated that 77% of the women between the ages of 20-24, were married before they turned 18. In Bangladesh it is 65%. UNICEF global figures from 2009 show that 36 per cent of women aged 20–24 were married or in union before they reached 18 and the latest numbers estimates 51 million of girls under 18 are married world-wide. In the UK an estimated 1,000 out of 8,000 forced marriages every year involve a person under the age of 15.

    So in light of these grim realities, I would like to nominate a 15-year-old Saudi girl as my heroine of the week. Why? Well, she simply locked herself in a room and refused to allow her marriage to a 90-year-old man to be consummated. Now the would-be husband is suing the family to try to recoup the roughly $18K he paid as part of a dowry to the family. I say give the girl the money and protect her sisters (if she has any) against their dad’s future transactions involving his daughters.

    Whenever a youngster like this one finds the courage to do something as extraordinary as what she did, we need to celebrate. She was a lot smarter and luckier than the 14-year-old boy who was raped by a Saudi Air Force Sargeant stationed in the U.S. and she is most likely in a better place than the 23-year-old who was raped (and later died in a hospital in Singapore) by 6 men on a bus in New Delhi in India recently. The attack on this woman, a medical student from a middle class in India, was so vicious that I post the story here, but caution you not to read it if you don’t want to be disturbed by the details. On the other hand, if you read it, you will understand the reason for my being so outraged.

    This last story is repugnant to the highest degree. It is this sort of rapacious, grotesque, indignant behavior that reminds us constantly that there is something terribly wrong with our species. And then, to add insult to injury, some bearded guru in India goes around saying that the girl was as guilty as her killers: “She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop,” he opined.

    Where in the world do these “religious” types get their mores? I am so outraged that if I hear another baseless pronouncement coming out of the mouth of a clergy type, I might just create a website where people will be allowed to slap the face of gurus, reverends of all sorts, imams, and all manners of priests, until they are forced to shut up. You know, one of those where the voice keeps repeating, “Shut up, shut up, shut up, you imbecile…” Okay, I know that will not solve anything but it will at least help me deal with the anger I feel inside toward people who are supposed to be connected to the Almighty and yet fall so deeply into the abyss when speaking about matters so critical to our human dignity. I have no patience for these people anymore.

    I mourn for the family of this 23-year-old girl whose only “crime”  was to be out with a friend on a night of merry-making-moving-going. And they wanted to “teach her a lesson…” I hope the Indian judiciary will put those brutes away for life. Perhaps they will learn THEIR lesson then.

    And may the whole country of India (and the world) learn this lesson: if you don’t protect your most vulnerable, you will eventually become the victim of your own indifference.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade


    • lionjudah 7:46 am on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Brother you could well be dubbed the “Compassionate Pastor of the World.” You probably are moved greater because you travel more than some of us do. Also you know how to rescue abused children from the sex trade in far away countries. May God bless you and your work!

      I would guess there is also a connection because of your “burning bush” experience this past Sunday when you were installed as Lead Pastor at Lititz Grace Church. I’m praying for your local and worldwide ministries.

      Harold, the Lion of Judah

      • ivanildotrindade 3:56 pm on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, harold. yes, there is something like that related to traveling. i call it “the burden of seeing,” and sometimes i wish i didn’t have it, but most of the times i am thankful that I have had the opportunity to travel. i have seen the glory and the gory. thanks for your encouraging words.

    • Mary Barr 8:58 pm on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      So well written. Thank you. I shared this blog on FB.

      • ivanildotrindade 9:04 pm on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thank u for commenting, mary. this is so sad. thanks for sharing on FB. we all need to let our voices be heard on this issue.

  • ivanildotrindade 5:51 pm on January 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dorcas, , installation service, memorial service   

    Two Services and A Thought 

    Last Sunday I preached on the brevity of life. Little did I know that just a couple of days later a dear friend of mine, John Weaver, would die suddenly in Wooster, Ohio. John’s funeral and memorial service will be this coming Sunday at Wooster Grace and I will have to miss it because it is my installation service at Grace Church, Lititz.

    This turn of events and the coincidence of services have given me much more than pause. What if it was my service in Wooster and John’s here in Lititz? John was a godly man. Though a builder by trade, he could well be a pastor somewhere based on his knowledge of Scriptures and love for people. I, on the other hand, can’t build even walls made of Lego’s.

    The last couple of days I have only heard (and seen) positive, God-honoring comments about John and his legacy. John touched literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of people with his gentle ways, his firm convictions and exuberant love for God’s Word. I just can’t help but think about what people would be saying and writing about me if it was my service there and his service here… Do you ever think that way? And do you think that you would be remembered as a godly person who left a legacy of love for God and compassion for people. Would people would not only you but your character and integrity also?

    Yes, people miss John’s character and integrity. I also miss his generosity. John gave in so many ways. A thoughtful guy, he never missed an opportunity to bless someone, even if he did it behind the scenes.

    Today I thought of Dorcas, “who was always doing good and helping the poor,” according to Acts 9. When she died suddenly, the poor widows who came to her funeral actually brought with them Dorcas’ evangelism tools — the robes and other clothing she had made and given them while she was alive (Acts 9:39).

    What would people bring to my funeral? Only the funny jokes I told or a memory of a time I actually went out of my way to make sure that they were blessed? Scraps of memory from a reluctant follower or a flood of vivid reminders of an unwaivering faith in a God who delivers?

    What would people bring to your funeral? On Sunday the auditorium at Wooster Grace will be filled with people who loved John and there won’t be a single one who will have any doubts where he stood in his love for God and people. I can’t think of a better memory to bring to a funeral. May it be that way for ours as well.

    And sorry for the morbid tone. Death does make us melancholic, especially on the eve of a great celebration.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • lionjudah 8:15 am on January 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Pastor Trindade, for opening the discussion of death and dying.

      How can one not contemplate the end of his life? Especially when death knocks on the door of his life. The death angel has knocked at my door a handful of times. He has also knocked at my wife’s door several times, too.

      Marketing firms try to remind us to prepare for the eventuallity of our death. My sister-in-law quipes, ” None of us are going to get out of here alive!”

      Then too, those of us who attend funerals find them to be dress rehearsals of out own home going–that is our own funerals.
      And how can one not attend a funeral and listen to the words of remembrance and ask, “I wonder how will people sum up my life?”

      More importantly, How will God sum up our lives–do we have our reservations made?

      Who does not ask, will my death be sudden without farewells all around usually around a bed of infirmity? or will we need to suffer with lingering pain?
      Or who does not ask, will our money last as long as we do?

      There is a multitude of questions that swirl around ones mind as he winds down his pilgrimage.
      I think it is important to address these questions and plan for your end.

      The one thing I am sure of is, “I have done business with God”

      Because of Jesus,
      Pastor Harold

      • ivanildotrindade 11:44 am on January 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Harold, you are doing just fine with the blog thing based on the 10 minute tutorial i gave u. thank you for sharing your thoughts here. your sister is right but she is not right: some of us will make it alive — 1 Thessalonians 4. Take care!

  • ivanildotrindade 10:40 am on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , adoption blues, children collateral, duma, human rights, international adoption, russia new law   

    The Grinch is Back 

    Once again, innocent children’s lives have become collateral damage in the battle for power. Sure, everyone does it. Divorcing parents do it. Siblings do it. Even grandparents do it. But an entire government?

    Well, I am sure that the politicians in Russia did not set out to purposefully snuff hope out of the hands of children waiting for adoption in their country, but that is essentially the effect of the new law that the Duma, the lower house of Parliament in Russia, just passed will have. No more adoptions from Americans will be allowed! This all in retaliation for a law that President Obama recently signed that strikes against Russians who are violators of human rights.

    So one could say that to defend the honor of human rights violators, the Russian government is about to strike against innocent children, if President Putin goes ahead and sanctions the law, which he already indicated he will do.

    I am so outraged about this I have no words to describe how I feel. Every year hospitals in Russia receive hundreds of children who have been abandoned and neglected by their parents. They stay there until they find a home to go to — someone willing to adopt them. Some of those children are just one step away from being adopted right now. Perhaps some of their would be American parents might be on a flight to Moscow right now to bring them home. So what happens now? They are in limbo.

    What a shame. What a disgrace to the human race.

    I guess this is the story that will prove once and for all that the spirit of Scrooge and the Grinch are still alive and sick.

    I am just writing to vent. I can’t strangle anyone…

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Rebekah Robinson 11:38 am on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for this “vent”! I too am so burdened for these children. Our two boys came from an orphanage in Southern Russian, and I know what they endured. I will always hurt for what they had to endure the first two years of their lives in Russia. Seeing the other children left…”hearing” the quietness of an orphanage with 120 children, ages 0-4, still haunts me. We have a niece in Russia who will be left an orphan if this law goes into affect. I am begging God for mercy for these children and praying against all spiritual wickedness who desires to steal and destroy life. The Church must fight for these children. We must fight in prayer and then do what God impresses on us to do for their lives….for our King and His Glory!
      Thank you again.

      • ivanildotrindade 1:14 pm on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. This is very sad. Let’s keep praying and lending our voices for those who have no voice. Thanks for replying.

        • Harold & Sylvia Stoltzfus 12:53 pm on December 29, 2012 Permalink

          There seems to be enough pain in a given church, school, community and family to sink a battleship! Perhaps two battleships! Christmas is a time of connections–loving kindness and gift giving. It is all based on God’s gift of S saviour to the world. To you and to me, families and governments.

          However it is played in out personal arenas, too.

          Here is a Russian type story played out in a small village of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. The grandparents who had not been able to connect with two grandsons, age six and four, purchased thoughtfully chosen gifts from the local education toy store. They lovingly wrapped them in Christmas paper and set out with mapquest in hand to find their grandchildren’s new home.

          God sent heavenly helpers to guide the grandparents. In the designated village, they encountered a receptionist angel in a local business–this personel angel was strategically located–to help make contact with their mother. Previously, their mother had not answered phone calls or texts for several months.

          Learning that she was on her way home with the two grandsons, the grandparents eagerly awaited one-half hour in their driveway for their arrival. But alas, she had her current husband bring them home at a later time. She explained that neither their father nor the grandparents any longer existed for her sons because “their stepfather is now their daddy.”

          So she denied the grandparents even seeing or giving them Christmas gifts to their grandsons because it would interrupt her plan to create a new family. She reluctantly received their gifts but would not promise to give them to the boys.

          The Grandparents turned back with empty arms, heart wrenching pain equal to none other and returned the 95 mile round trip to their home. The anticipated squeals of delight, arms tightly entwined about their neck with a long lingering hugs and words of “I love you” and “I miss you, tell Daddy I love him too! were all denied and unfulfilled.

          The x-daughter-in-law and mother of the two grandsons heart is darkened equal to that of the Russian President, Putin!

          She made it clear that they are off to Christmas with a new set of grandparents, 300 miles away. She also declared that both their daddy and their Stolttzus grandparents no longer exist and never will.

          Their is one little problem–when a man has a child, even though, the child is given a step parent, he will always be his father.


          We have never experienced any heart-wrenching devastation on this level. But we know the power of prayer. We share this personal experience to solicite your prayers and wisdom on our behalf.

          Prayer can make a difference to break both a President Putin heart in behalf of innocent children who are victims. It matters not which side of the ocean, Jesus said, “let the children come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.”

          This Christmas we sang repeatedly Luther’s Cradle Hymn, “Bless all the dear children in thy tender care…”

        • ivanildotrindade 9:58 am on December 31, 2012 Permalink

          This is a very sad story indeed and I was unaware that it had happened to you. There are people whose heart can only give the appearance of expanding if they exclude some people before they add new ones. It is hard to do but you should try not to take this personally. The person in question needs to have the veil of darkness removed and no one can help do that but herself and that only with supernatural help. As deep as that pains you, this is not your battle to fight. Time, we hope, will reverse the tables when the little ones gain wisdom to understand. Truth and love will triumph in the end. Revel in the knowledge that you did the right thing.

    • Renee Shilling 8:37 pm on December 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I too was grieved by this. Many national governments refuse to take care of their own children, but are too proud to allow international adoption. I’m trying so hard to not be angered by this, and trust that God is in control.

  • ivanildotrindade 7:58 pm on December 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a savior, a savior for you, darkness, despair, galilee, galilee of the gentiles, great light, light, the meaning of christmas, valley of the shadow of death, who needs a savior   

    A Savior… For You! 

    Hello faithful readers. I want to wish all of you a warm Christmas greeting. And with it apologize for being away from these pages for so long. Part of it is all the challenges with learning a new job; part of it is that I still don’t have Internet in my home, but it is inexcusable. Hope you have not abandoned me yet. :).

    Below you will find the message I shared with my church at our Christmas Eve services. It is longer than my usual stuff, but I think you will like it. 

    I have to tell you something about myself. As you can see, I am neither too big nor too small, which is a problem, especially when it comes to buying clothes. I have a hard time finding clothe that fit me, especially shirts. So I end up having to go to the Youth department in the store, but then I feel self-conscious. Maybe some people feel like I don’t belong there?

    But one day, as I was traveling in Cambodia, I found a little shop in the town of Siem Reap. It was just a hole in a corner, a place you could never find, unless you knew someone who knew where it was. I walked in and met the lady who was in charge. She was surrounded with fabric of all types and stripes. She told me she could make me a shirt that would fit me perfectly. I was skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try.

    She took my measurements without writing anything down. Then she let me pick the fabrics and tell her exactly what I wanted the shirt to look like. I did all that and decided to order not one but two shirts. She said, “Fine. I will have them ready for you in 5 days.” But I was leaving the country the next day.

    I knew we were going to have another team come through there in a couple of months, so I decided to keep my order. It was only $24.

    Two months later, I received a package in my office with my shirts and I opened it right away and put the shirt on without ceremony. To my amazement, the woman delivered on her promised. The shirt fit me perfectly well. It was like the first time in ages I felt I was putting my own shirt on. My own, personalized, stylized, built to specification shirt. I was elated.

    Well, in some ways, the words of the angels we will look at tonight remind me of my shirt story. For the last three Sundays, we’ve been looking at the words the angels said or sang on the night Jesus was born, but we’ve saved the best for last. The angels spoke of good news, peace, and gave glory to God in the highest, but what was the good news that promised peace on earth and shook the high heavens?

    Well, let’s look at their words in one of the biographies of Jesus, written by Dr. Luke, chapter 2:10-12:

    But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:10-12).

    These words have echoed through the corridors of time and been repeated by billions throughout history, but they never lose their fascination. And yet if you ask me what fascinates me the most about these words, I would say it is this: “A Savior is born for you.” A savior… for me!

    Listen, I already know of the worldwide impact of those words. I know that billions around the world have embraced the Messiah. In fact the angel himself said it when he made the initial announcement,

    “… I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide…” (The Message)

    But he goes on and says “A Savior is born… for you.” For me? Now he got my attention because just like that lady did to my shirt, he is customizing the Savior. “You mean, a Savior for me?” “Yes, one that understands you better than anybody else!” “You mean, my own personal Savior?” “Yes, one that you can count on for the rest of your life” “You really mean one with my name attached to him?” “Yes. One with a tag that says ‘Ivanildo’s Savior.” “No way,” I am thinking. “I don’t deserve it!”

    You can probably relate to how I feel, but if you don’t, let me give you a picture. About five years ago as part of the outreach ministry to under-resourced families in Wooster, our attention was drawn to a single mom with three small children who needed a van to go to and from work. A family from our church donated the van and we gave it to Sarah, the young mom.

    But we didn’t just give her a van, you see – we personalized it. We had it cleaned thoroughly, brought some flowers, which we put in a vase inside the van, wrote messages on a card, and made a beautiful sign which read “Sarah’s Van.”

    When Sarah saw what we had done, she started jumping up and down and tears began to flow. She kept saying, “Is this really mine? My own van?” We said, “Yes, this is Sarah’s van.” And she was practically screaming now, “I feel at the top of the world!!”

    And this is exactly how I feel when I read here that a Savior was born… for me! God thought of me when He came up with the idea of a Savior and He personalized it… for me. I have no adequate words to express my gratitude because I know too well how much saving I needed!

    But you may be sitting here and thinking, “Well, that’s great, preacher, but I am not digging it. The whole idea of a Savior is for weaklings. Enjoy your Savior but don’t try to tell me I need one. I am fine just the way I am.”

    If that is the way you feel, you are not alone. Millions of people around the word also think they are just fine and don’t need anyone to save them from anything. I am not offended by that.

    Recently, I was part of a religious panel at a community gathering where one of the presenters said that the beauty of the religion she represented was that they did not need a Savior because they didn’t believe there was anything they need to be saved from. And she said that with an air of superiority, almost as if saying, “And the rest of you… you will eventually get it.”

    Again, I was not offended by that statement, maybe just a little irritated with the condescending way with which she spoke. But my lack of taking offense does not mean I am in the least convinced that we don’t need a Savior, so I would ask you to indulge me for a few moments as I share with you why I believe we all need a Savior.

    Now there are many reasons why we need a Savior, but I want to focus on only one tonight. Let me put it bluntly: in light of the terrible losses of innocent lives this country has experienced lately, I don’t know how anybody cannot see that there is something terribly wrong with the human race.

    I know some could say, “Yes, these stories are tragic in the worst possible way, but don’t try to pin that on me – I didn’t kill anyone.”

    Fair. But isn’t that exactly what the problem is? We forget that we are cut out of the same cloth and that cloth was already defected when it came from the factory. Just like computers that come with certain default modes already programmed on them by the manufacturer, we also have a default mode within each of us that is bent on rebellion and law-breaking. And if not addressed properly, that default mode will tend to undo us.

    You don’t have to go very far. Simply look carefully inside of you. Even if you don’t ever carry out the intents of your heart, do you thoughts of revenge, even murder? Do you plot in your head to bring someone down? Do your rehearse words that you should have said to someone when they confronted you with something? Do you punch walls, go on a verbiage rampage? These are all signs that you need a Savior. You need a Savior who can save you from yourself first!

    Come to think of it, I never had to take my children aside when they were little and give them a seminar on how to lie. They learned that on their own. I never had to sit them down and demonstrate how to throw a tantrum in the grocery store if mom was not buying the exact brand of cereal they liked. That was all part of the stuff that came from the manufacturer.

    In fact, if I were a doctor and you came to me with all the tendencies I just described, I would tell you without hesitation that you had all the symptoms and you got it really bad. The prescription would read, “You need a Savior, and you need one right now!”

    Here is how the Christian thinker, G. K. Chesterton, a British writer who lived in the earlier 20th Century put it. In response to a newspaper article that posed the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” he wrote these words:

    “Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton.”

    I submit to you today that we all have the same problem: WE are what is wrong with the world and that is why we need a Savior. I need a Savior who can save me from myself first. Forget all the other things that are wrong with the world – I am what is wrong with the world!

    The Bible calls these default mode things “sin” and the prescription it gives us, the only way to undo those factory settings and restore the computer of your life to what God always intended it to be is by embracing this Messiah, Jesus Christ, whose Birth we celebrate tonight. He is the one who can re-set your life to the way God wants it to be.

    Here is what Paul said to the believers in Rome:

    “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become servants of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the reward of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23, NLT).

    Now if you are here and you feel so defeated that the thought of a Savior is indifferent to you, I also want to talk to you for a few moments.

    I understand that we all have bad days. Maybe you’ve even had a string of bad days or even years and you’re ready to throw in the towel.

    Perhaps you feel a little like Alexander from the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a classic children’s book written by a mom based on her own son.

    From the moment Alexander wakes up, things just don’t go Alexander’s way. When Alexander gets out of bed, he trips on the skateboard and drops his sweater into the sink while the water was running. At breakfast, Alexander’s brothers, Anthony and Nick reach into their cereal boxes and find amazing prizes, while Alexander ends up with… cereal.

    On the way to school, he gets squeezed in the middle back seat while his other friends get the window seats in the carpool. At school,Mrs. Dickens doesn’t like his picture of the invisible castle (which is actually just a blank sheet of paper), criticizes him for singing too loud. His best friend deserts him for his and there is no dessert in his lunch. At the dentist’s, the dentist, Dr. Fields tells Alexander he has a cavity, the elevator door closes on his foot, Anthony pushes him in the mud, Nick says he is a crybaby for crying, and Mom accidently hits him as she was trying to punish Nick.

    At the shoe store, they’re sold out of Alexander’s choice of sneakers (blue ones with red stripes), so Mom has to buy him plain white sneakers, which he refuses to wear.

    At home, the family has lima beans for dinner (which he hates), there is kissing on TV (which he also hates), bath time becomes a nightmare (too much hot water, soap in his eyes, and losing a marble down the drain) and he has to wear his railroad train pajamas (he hates his railroad train pajamas). At bedtime, his nightlight burns out, he bites his tongue, Nick takes back a pillow, and the family cat chooses to sleep with Anthony. No wonder Alexander wants to move to Australia.

    The book ends with Mom’s assurance that everybody has bad days, even people who live in Australia.

    Now we can have some fun with this but I realize that for some of you, life is not fun. You may feel like the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, who were at the bottom of the totem pole. And you may feel like the people of Israel who were living in uncertainty because they were not in control of their own destinies.

    Yesterday I prayed with a gentleman who was telling me that both he and his wife have been without jobs for quite a while. Times are tough, money is tight and here I am talking about Christmas cheers.

    Let me remind you that in spite of the bleakness of your situation, this Savior is still for you. If you don’t believe me, listen to these words from the prophet Isaiah, who lived 700 years before the Birth of Christ:

    “Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

    The people who walk in darkness
        will see a great light.
    For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
        a light will shine.” Isaiah 9:1, 2).

    You say, “What do the words of a prophet who lived over 2700 years ago have to do with my situation?” Ah, that is the beauty of it, you see, this text also refers to a group of people who were out on their luck. They were the despised and rejected people of northern Galilee and they had been taken captives by a mighty empire called Assyria.

    They came by horses and chariots and ransacked the land, making their people slaves and carrying them off to a far away land. Then they repopulated their lands with foreigners.

    From then on Galilee became forever known as a land of mixed race peasants, a backwards country, filled with darkness and despair. People told jokes about Galileans. Their accent was funny; they smelled; they were repulsive to the eyes of the people in the South, and considered worthless by the rich who inhabited the cities.

    In fact, you remember during the night Peter betrayed Jesus, when he tried to deny Jesus, a simple servant told him, “You can’t fool me; your accent tells me you are from Galilee.”

    And earlier a wealthy and well read man by the name of Nathaniel ridiculed the idea that the Messiah was from Galilee, when he said point-blank, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” one of the towns in Galilee.

    So why is this message from Isaiah important? Here it is why. Because it reminds us that God never forgets those who are despised and rejected. Little people matter to God. He says here that their darkness and despair will not go on forever. There will be a day when “Galilee of the Gentiles,” the butt of jokes among snobbish southerners, “will be filled with glory.”

    “The people who walk in darkness
        will see a great light.
    For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
        a light will shine.”

    And what is that light, may I ask you. Are you ready for the answer?

    The light is no other than the Messiah Himself! Wouldn’t you believe this? The message about salvation coming to the world through Jesus Christ was first announced to the despised people of northern Galilee, the people walking in darkness, those who had been taking captive and were no longer in control of their destinies. It was to them that Isaiah announced in the same text:

    “For a child is born to us,
        a son is given to us.
    The government will rest on his shoulders.
        And he will be called:
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).

    So if you are here and you have lost hope, I have great news for you. A SAVIOR WAS BORN FOR YOU AND HE IS CHRIST JESUS, OUR LORD.

    And no matter your circumstances or what the rest of the world, this Savior is still FOR YOU and God offers you today the opportunity to embrace this beautiful Messiah called Jesus. Would you invite him to come into your life, forgive your sins, and help you navigate through the trials of life.

    If you do that, I guarantee you: it will set you on a different course for the rest of your life. Now I am not saying that it will solve all your problems, but I am saying that it will give you the power to deal with life’s challenges no matter what happens to you and that is the best gift you could have this Christmas!

    But it gets better. For those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ, that light that shone bright on the night Christ was born is now living within us and God’s plan is for us to let it shine as we share his hope and love with people who are in need.

    The story that comes to mind is already a few years old but it is worth telling. A woman nicknamed “Tinkerbell” posted on an Internet forum that her family (husband and six children) were going to lose their home in 20 days. She was not asking for help other than prayers for her family, and especially her children.

    As a result of that post, though, “Tinkerbell’s” virtual friends stepped up and quickly raised the $7,000 she needed to save her home. One person called it a “virtual barn raising.”

    I don’t know where you are and I have no idea how God can use this story in your life, but if you are in a position to help someone today, please find a way to do so. If you can’t do it alone, gather other people and get it done. Let your light shine in the world, beginning with your Jerusalem, right here in our town, and then going to the rest of the world.

    But if you find yourself down on your luck, we are here to pray and encourage you. At the end of the service, I will stay upfront for a few minutes, if you need prayers.

    But remember, no matter what happens, Jesus is still a Savior for YOU, and you can go to Him and ask Him to give you the strength to keep moving forward.

    Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 5:39 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: American Psychiatric Association, Asperger syndrome, autism, Bipolar disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, importance of education, new disorders, odd behavior, Tantrum, throwing tantrums   

    Soon Your Odd Behavior Will Become a Disability 

    There is a reason I have insisted that all my children go to college and pursue education to the highest level they are able to pursue. Actually, there is more than one reason.

    Obviously, finances have something to do with it. Over a lifetime a person with a college education will make an average of a million dollars more than one who didn’t finish college. But money is not the only reason. There is also the realization that in our societies, for good or for worse, it is the people with the diplomas on their walls that often make decisions that affect our lives. And I want my children to at least be part of that conversation.

    I often offer my children my life as an example. I just started a new job as a lead pastor at a church in Pennsylvania. This is something I have been looking for my entire life and it would have not been possible to get if I didn’t pursue higher education. I tell my kids that if I was able to get where I did, anybody can.

    Consider this: I was born on a tiny island on the Amazon, destined to a life without. People who come from the part of the world I come from don’t normally get a chance to even walk through the halls of learning. My father never studied beyond 5th grade and my mother only finished High School.

    On top of that, my dad was a fisherman and we were destitute. No one cared about us and the few families who lived along the stretch of river we lived on were dying from perfectly curable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. I nearly escaped death on more than one occasion and the reason my family (or at least several family members) didn’t perish is because a missionary by the name of Bill Burk not only introduced my dad to Christ but also delivered to my mom, religiously, every month, the “magic pills” that kept us alive — vitamins and parasite medicine.

    I was introduced to books when we moved into the city. There was an older man on our street, an Italian immigrant, who every adult warned us to stay away from his house. He was called a “communist” by so many people it made me want to look up the meaning of that word. Instead, I started peeking into this man’s house and soon discovered that the rooms were lined with books from wall to wall.

    I never ventured inside, but I admired that man. No matter what the neighbors said about him, he always had his books. And I yearned to discovered the world he inhabited… only a book away from paradise. This man, without knowing, gave me an insatiable desire to read everything I could lay my hands on, which was not very much.

    And this brings me back to this whole idea of intellectuals making decisions that affect our lives. This week I read that Psychiatrists, for the first time in 20 years, decided to change the guidebook they use to promote mental disorders. The book is not out yet, but some of the changes have leaked. Among them, dropping certain familiar terms, such as Asperger’s disorder and dyslexia, and the most interesting of all, calling frequent temper tantrums a mental illness or  ‘disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,’ the proposed name for the new disease. Now, when you read the next paragraph, please bear in mind that there are people who agree with this change. They say it will address concerns about too many kids being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with powerful psychiatric drugs. I am not so convinced myself. I mean, if kids are being drugged up by some medical professionals, how will it be any different if the nomenclature is changed? Couldn’t it also mean that they will be prescribed more medicine now?

    Since insurance companies take their cues from this hollowed book, they will probably expand their coverage to include treatment for kids who suffer from this disorder. Parents will be frowned upon for disciplining their children when they decide to bang their heads against the floor and scream in the grocery store because mommy didn’t get their favorite candy. Schools might be required to hire specialist who will give one-on-one attention to tantrum prone kids and administrators will have to put up with all sorts of odd behavior during meetings and if they say something, they just might hear people say, “I couldn’t help but throw the stapler at her. I am DMDD. It’s a disability. I can replace the stapler but could I be excused from work for the next three days so I can see my therapist and try to get this under control?”

    And that is why I want my kids to go and get their PhD’s. Perhaps one day they will be in a position to save us from so much insanity.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade


    • Patti Lehman 6:55 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I was talking to my radio when I heard about this yesterday. Physician heal thyself!

      • ivanildotrindade 7:03 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        patti. u talk to your radio? i only play it. it’s the only thing i can play… :). yes, remember this was Jesus saying the multitudes were sure to use that proverb against him. they couldn’t be more wrong! sometimes just because u have the power to DO something does not mean u SHOULD do it. restrain may be one of the best measures of a person’s character. God is the restrainer in chief and were He not to be, we would have been vanquished a long time ago. thanks for replying.

        • Patti Lehman 3:44 pm on December 9, 2012 Permalink

          Yes, I talk to my radio routinely, maybe I have a disorder too! This is the piece I heard on the revisions to the DSM. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/30/166252201/weekend-vote-will-bring-controversial-changes-to-psychiatrists-bible

          Forbes did an article too that I read. I find it troubling that sometimes the normal stuff of life is now diagnosable. Is that even a word? Maybe I think on too simplistic of terms but we all suffer from a problem with rebellion at some point in our lives which can create a terrible downward spiral of symptoms and pain. Grief is also another “problem” under review which caused me to talk to me radio….

          Being labeled is never easy for a multitude of reasons. I am not denying a variety of mental illness truly do exist. This is a subject close to my heart. I have people I love dearly who are struggling to cope with their thoughts and pain.

          My hope is that a generation of medical professionals will rise up to take into account the whole person mind, body,and spirit and begin to treat them with great compassion and understanding and not just label them with a disorder but teach them how to live productive lives with some measure of happiness and purpose.

        • ivanildotrindade 7:47 pm on December 25, 2012 Permalink

          Yes, that is my hope too. Too many people suffering, and in some cases, their suffering could at least be diminished. Merry Christmas, Patti.

    • Mary Barr 7:35 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      From what I understand-Asperger’s will now be classified under Autism disorders, which may be a good thing for those seeking treatment for their children.
      AND welcome to Lititz!!..and praying for Naza to feel better very soon!

    • Vital Simplicity 11:20 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thought-provoking, as usual, Ivanildo. I appreciate your sharing about your childhood and am so glad you were blessed with that missionary. I am finding myself drawn to service in Brazil. Advice?

      • ivanildotrindade 7:48 pm on December 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Brazil, eh? Know a thing or two about the place… 🙂 E-mail me. Merry Christmas, Julie.

  • ivanildotrindade 9:06 pm on November 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: getting rid of trash, jogging, people and trash, running for a cause, street trash, team hope, trash taking   

    Some Trash Refuses to Die… 

    I have been jogging around my neighborhood since 2008. To find out how I started running, you will have to go here to discover the beauty of running for a cause. But that is not what I want to write about tonight. Rather, I want to do some trash talking.

    You heard me right: trash. Running through the same streets repeatedly helps you get acquainted with every little turn, every nook and cranny, every light post, every hole and pothole, every odd thing that makes up the ground a neighborhood walks on… (actually drives would be more appropriate. Nowadays dogs walk people and people hide behind their castles).

    Among my findings trash has become a favorite. Yes, there is the occasional candy wrappers and the bottle thrown out the window by a mindless teenager. There is also the soda cans and the pencils or pens some youngster dropped from her school bag. I have seen dirty diapers, discarded batteries, empty bags of potato chips, and even scratched compact disks.

    I run one day and pass by the usual suspects, but another day I look for them and they are gone. Usually after a rain or a hard wind. But you may say that some trash refuses to be trashed — Marlboro cigarette boxes, little containers of chewing tobacco, a rusty nail, a lost glove, etc.

    These may move a little but they refuse to go. I have taken to give them pet names, and especially on long runs, I like to address them, “Hey Rusty, you moved a few inches… looking for Mrs. Rusty?” I find a sense of familiarity on my runs when I see my old “friends.” It gives me comfort and a quiet assurance that I will get to my destination.

    But then one day I got to thinking: some people choose to live like the trash on my streets. Some stuff they easily let go; others, they hang on to them and refuse to let go. Or they let it go for a while, only to find it on the next corner as they turn south.

    One day, however, a super storm blows East and the effects are felt in the Middle west. Being crazy, you go running in the middle of the storm and all of a sudden you notice — your “friends” are gone!

    There is a point to this story: don’t wait for the big storm. Deal with the stuff that refuses to go upfront. Don’t let it grow on you, don’t covet its familiarity. There are behaviors that in the end will prove destructive. The Bible calls them sin. But God has provided a way — the forgiveness that comes through Jesus Christ. Embrace it and you will not need to brave the storm.

    I am glad that God has given me the strength to weather the storm in the hardest moments of my life. Today I am full of hope and eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • indianajimhocking 7:34 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting thoughts

      As I continue to struggle through change I am amazed at the patience of God as He waits for us to notice.

      Thanks Ivanildo!

      On my iPhone Please excuse my spelling errors Jim Hocking CEO ICDI http://www.icdinternational.org

      • ivanildotrindade 10:08 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        don’t we all struggle with change… thanks for replying, jim. it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

    • Harold G. Stoltzfus 9:59 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo, your creative mind never stops! A gift from God!
      May God’s guarding angels travel with you this Saturday,
      Because of Jesus,

    • Bob & Linda 6:00 am on November 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      My deep thinking friend. We are going to miss you here at Wooster. Our loss is Litiz’s gain. You have been a great example to many of us. 8 or 10 years ago we were coming through the mountains on an interstate highway and came upon a burning car. The people were out and walking down the exit way. I whizzed on by. Then the thought hit me and I verbalized it to my family; “what would Ivanildo do?” You would have stopped and asked if you could help in any way. Play that hundreds of times over in many situations and your influence by example has impacted so many of us.May you continue to cause people to “stop” and give a cup of cold water in Jesus name. God Bless you my friend.

      • ivanildotrindade 12:30 am on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        my dear friend, bob. i am deeply moved by your words and indebted to your (and linda’s) friendship to my family all these years (starting in the 80’s in orville, hard to believe!). u have been a great source of joy and inspiration to me. thanks for all!

  • 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


      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.

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