"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paulo Renato

This is our brother Paulo Renato.

If you've been a follower of this blog for a while or if you get our monthly newsletter you already know about this brother.

Our love for him is very deep.

We've known him for almost 10 years.

He is a recovering alcoholic. He isn't shy about admitting that. He was sober for a few years. Last year he started drinking again. He did a good job of hiding it.

He was questioned about it for a few months. Different individuals at different times. He denied his drinking every time.

After a loving, confrontation from a group of his brothers and sisters in Christ he finally admitted his drinking and agreed to go back to the drug and alcohol rehab place that our church family works with.

He got out this past January and realized he needs some structure in his life to help him stay sober.

We suggested getting plugged into an Alcoholics Anonymous group. He excitedly agreed and found one that meets in a Catholic church in his neighborhood.

This past Sunday he worshipped with us in our house. He is a part of another house church family but he wanted to be with the Aggies.

As he was leaving he pulled out a piece of paper and showed it to me. He told me it was something he got from his A.A. meeting last week and he translated it into English.

He allowed me to scan it. Here's what it said:
Wow! Pure awesomeness.

My girlfriend almost cried when she read it.

He prayed during our worship time on Sunday. He thanked God for the love that he feels from his family in Christ. How he knows, really knows, that he is loved. I can't tell you how much that touched me because he's struggled at times with knowing and accepting the unconditional love of his Christian family.

We are really learning to be a family. It's hard but it's awesome.

I'm able to share all this because Paulo allowed me to do so. It's one of the things that I love about the men that leave the rehab center. They aren't shy about sharing their stories.

After Paulo shared his note with me I asked if I could scan it and share his story on our blog, ask people to pray for him and show everyone a picture of him.

He very excitedly agreed.

Go back up and look at the smile on our brothers face. It's priceless. It's as big as it is because he knew we were going to ask you to pray for him.

That's what family does. That's what family is.

Pray for Paulo.

Monday, July 30, 2012


These are the Aggies for Christ.

This is the 4th group we've had here from Texas A&M since 2007. We've loved every group so far. These guys are no exception. They are fun, funny and hard workers.

They got here last week and they've already been a big blessing to us, our church family and our other missionary friends and their families.

We'll probably share more about them later but for now we would appreciate your prayers for these guys as they spend another nine days with us.

That they will be safe and that God will open up big doors for them to minister to lots of people while they are here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lavish Grace-Max Lucado

Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Worry is falling short on faith.  Impatience is falling short on kindness.  The critical spirit falls short on love.

So, how often do you sin, hmm… in an hour?  For the sake of discussion, let’s say ten times an hour.  Ten sins an hour, times sixteen waking hours, times 365 days a year, times the average life span of 74 years.  I’m rounding the total off to 4,300,000 sins per person!  How do you plan to pay God for your 4.3 million sin increments?  You’re swimming in an ocean of debt.

But God pardons the zillion sins of selfish humanity.  He forgives sixty million sin-filled days.  He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.  And He did it by the grace of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Next Stop........Texas

We just put Ans on a plane headed to Memphis.


She's off to college. She's going to the same college that Bronwyn attends in Texas.

First she will spend a few days with grandparents.

This big group went to the airport to tell her bye (Apologies for the quality.....I think our camera has seen better days).

We, as is our goodbye custom, got in a circle to pray for the traveler. Giovanni said the pray this time and it was awesome. With no prompting he prayed for Ansley and the airport. I loved that.

I love that our family doesn't get all weepy when it's time to say goodbye. We don't  have anything against weepy and from time to time someone will cry but it isn't like a death cry. We are honestly happy for what's coming for the person.

Would it be cool to always have everyone live on the same street or the same apartment building? Sure.

But at the same time I would always feel like our kids would be missing out on something that God has planned for them. We don't want to hinder anything that God tells them to do or where He tells them to go.

So we release. And it's been so cool.

Bronwyn has already traveled alone to Africa. Ansley lived for 5 months by herself in Ecuador. They've had world views and traveled the world since they were pre-teens.  I never had that or even  understood that until I was almost thirty.

I like that our kids see the world as God's creation and are open to wherever He sends them. I like that they are ready for the challenges that come from stepping out of their comfort zone.

Ansley is, once again, stepping out of her comfort zone and it gets easier every time. When she left for Ecuador she freaked out. Then she gradually began to turn things over to God as she realized that me and my girlfriend would not be able to come visit her. She was alone and only had God to rely on. And she relied on Him. Leaned on Him. Learned to covet time with Him. And she grew spiritually like you can't believe.

That's why she stepped on the plane today with no freaking out, no crying and no doubts. She knows God has directed this next step and she's ready. I love that.

So we ask that you pray for her safety today, tonight, tomorrow and, as she eventually, in about 3 weeks, ends up in Texas.

The leaving home is part of life. Knowing that your kids are ready to leave and are ready for that next step and are following God is the best feeling for a parent.

We know all these things and, better yet, Ansley knows them and feels the Spirit leading her as well.

Very cool.

She'll even miss this.

Why? I don't know.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Late Birthday Gift

I posted yesterday that it was my dad's birthday.

This past February he really liked something that Carys did for my girlfriend on her birthday.

He liked it so much he asked Carys to do the same for his birthday. And even though he wouldn't be able to enjoy it he told her to make sure her family took care of it after she made it.

What was it?

It's a tropical picture made entirely of fruit, except for the blue M & M's on the right side. That's a new, but not surprising twist, for Carys.

By the way Pops, the exclamation point is another special touch just for you. It's an apple fritter and a doughnut.

Would you expect anything else from her?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Birthday Boy

If you've noticed or even care, we haven't been blogging much here lately. Honestly, when everyone is here we don't blog as much as when they are at college. But today I felt the need to blog.

Today is my dad's birthday. We call him Pops.

I couldn't have a better dad than my dad. He are some things that I love about him:

-He taught me how to treat my wife by how he treats my mom. He has always shown me what Christ's love for the church looks like by the way he loves my mom. He has always been the best role model of what a Christian husband and father looks like.

-He taught me and my sister about character. That your word is your bond. That even if someone cheats you you still treat that person the way Jesus would. My dad is a man of character.

-He doesn't take himself too seriously. He laughs easily at himself. That's a great quality today.

-He knows everything that goes on in our kids lives which isn't easy from 5,000 miles away. He calls and talks to our kids frequently. He laughs with them on the phone, jokes with them and calls them on important days. (He and my mom call on every birthday that we have and sing Happy Birthday as loud as they can....the kids love it. They just called him and returned the favor as loud as they could. I know he loved it!) Just the other day I heard him cracking our 15 year old son up on the phone. Just being goofy with our kids. They love that and so do I.

-He prays regularly for our family and our ministry. Every Tuesday morning he meets with some men. He's been doing that for many years. What do they do? Pray. For lots of things. One thing I know they pray about is our family and our Brasilian family and friends. They are prayer warriors for us and my dad is on the front lines in that spiritual battle.

-I have never in my life heard anybody say anything negative about my dad. Not in business. Not around his friends. Not when he's been a shepherd for different church family. That's pretty amazing in this day and age but, honestly, I'm used to it.

-He's a memory maker. I can't count the number of special family things he did with us growing up as well as just "guy trips" to see ball games.  It's something I've always tried to do with our kids.

-He's not afraid to admit when he's wrong. He has no problems apologizing when he goofs.

-He's not afraid to cry. He's not some macho, non-caring, non-sentimental ogre. When God touches his heart and he feels like crying. He cries. I like that.

-He's one of, if not the, wisest persons I know. I'm almost 50 and I still call him frequently for advice and Godly wisdom. I did it last night and God used him to calm my spirit about different things that are going on in our lives.

-Most importantly he's shown me how to love the Lord, how to not grow stagnant in my faith and to keep pushing myself with studying, stretching and growing my faith. He's an incredible example.

But it's not just me that thinks a lot of him. I asked people around our house today to share the first thing that popped into their minds when they thought of Pops.

-Giovanni: "Happy Birthday!"

-Anderson: "He always gives me doughnuts in the morning."

-Carys: "He's AWESOME!! He's funny. He's really nice to everybody. He's always doing something fun with us when we go there."

-Garrett: "I love him a lot. I like to be with him. I love spending time with him."

-Ansley: "I think he's super funny. I like it when he speaks in a British accent. And I love it that he doesn't really worry about anything. He trusts that God is in control."

-Bronwyn: "I love how he always has time to spend with us when we visit them. He always makes time for us."

-Benay: "He's always up for doing something fun."

We even asked Bronwyn's boyfriend Stephen (who's been with my dad 1-2 times) what he thought of Pops. Here's what he said: "I love how fun he is and how he's always up to playing games with us. I loved it when I visited them and he played cards with us. That's pretty special."

I shared nothing about what I wrote above with my family before I asked them about Pops and yet all the answers are pretty close. From a 3 year old to people in their upper 40's.  We all agree that Pops is a fun, funny, memory making man of God.

Here's to you Pops on your special day.

Thanks for being the spiritual leader of the Blume family. We are blessed.

We love you. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Travel Time

It's about to get wild around here with lots of travelers and we would appreciate your prayers for safe travels.

Today Stephen, Bronwyn's boyfriend, comes for a visit.

Tomorrow Garrett goes, by bus, with his soccer team to the interior of our state for a soccer championship. He will stay for a week unless his team gets put out early.

Tuesday the next Aggies for Christ group will come to POA to work with us. If I'm not mistaken this will be the 4th group from Texas A&M that will visit with us. They are always awesome and work hard. We'll have fun with these guys and they'll do lots of good stuff for God's family here.

On Thursday Ansley will leave to go to the states to begin her college journey.

On Friday Bronwyn, Stephen and two more ACU students will take a mini vacation to the amazon. They'll come back next Wednesday.

On the 8th of August my girlfriend and Carys will fly to the states to take Ansley and Bronwyn to college.

The Aggies and Stephen will both leave around that time as well.

Bronwyn goes back to college on the 16th of August.

And finally my girlfriend and Carys will return home on the 29th of August.

Lots of good stuff going on and lots of people traveling.

We would appreciate it if you would remember all these people and all their travel plans.

Thank you!

Friday, July 20, 2012

More music......for Pops

We love living in Brasil. We love it for many reasons. One reason is the grocery stores.

What? I know. Let me explain.

As you know we have a big family. Grocery store food portions here are small. We buy our milk and juice by the liter. Our family burns through milk and juice. Pretty much everything we buy comes in a smaller portion than what Americans are used to.

So my girlfriend and I visit the grocery store.........a lot. Like almost every day. Literally. Usually quick trips but almost daily.

Why do I like going so much? The music. The grocery stores play the best music. And it goes through all decades and countries.

We've heard French music, Brasilian music, Spanish music, Italian music and American music from the 1930's through today. Cover bands, original bands, everything. Every visit is a different style of music. It makes it fun. I've been next to people singing along, smiling, to Italian songs as we picked out our fruit together.  I think that's so cool!

Living in Brasil has gotten us accustomed to being ready for all kinds of stuff that might come on the radio.

Like last night.

Garrett and I were coming home from his soccer practice. We were flipping through the stations looking for something good to listen to. He stopped us when he heard a song. We both loved it and I told him that my dad (Pops to our kids) would LOVE it.

You see my dad was/is a big Doobie Brothers fan. When I was growing up I can remember us taking trips and listening to them and the Eagles. My dad popping the steering wheel and waggling his finger to the beat.

I can even remember being a senior in high school and my dad coming to talk to my class. I can't remember what the talk was about but he used one of my Foreigner albums in his talk. My friends thought he was super cool because he knew of a rock band that they liked.

So Pops, the song we heard last night is an Italian group called Neri Per Caso with guest Mario Biondi singing one of your favorites. This may be your new favorite version. It's pretty cool.

You'll be happy to know that as we listened Garrett and I (he started it) were doing our best Pops impression. As we sat locked up in rush hour traffic I think we gave people some good going home conversation material. We had a great time and were wishing we could be listening to it with you in the car. Hopefully we can do that soon.

Until then, here's your new favorite song:

Short side note: I showed Anderson this video and he loved it. I explained the Doobie Brothers to him and he wanted to see them so we watched them sing this song at the 1980 Grammy Awards. Our conversation after:

Anderson: "So they actually showed stuff in color in 1980."

Me: "They actually did. Can you believe that?"

Anderson: "Not really."

Friday, July 06, 2012

Camp Roots

We just put these three goobers on a plane going to São Paulo state.

They are going to hang out with some of our most all time favorite missionaries buds (Mark and Ali) and be a part of Camp Roots.

What is Camp Roots? Check out this short video that our friends made to learn more.

If you helped with the fundraising that Bronwyn did to get her and her sisters to São Paulo this week we can't thank you enough. We know their lives will be blessed and they will bless others.

We would appreciate all of your prayers for their safety over the next 8 days and that they will touch many lives for Jesus.

We know one little boy who is already looking forward to them getting home.
Make that two. Anderson cried when they left.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Andy Griffith

The Blume house is a little sad today with the loss of one of our favorites yesterday......Andy Griffith.  But we are pretty sure everyone in heaven is enjoying some laughs and songs right now.

Enjoy one of the best songs ever from maybe the best tv show ever.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

"God can militarily take over anything. It's just not who He is. He's a lover. The greatest conquests come through romance. "

Bill Johnson