Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Negative Pattern

Does this chart reflect the spiritual condition of your youth group?

Friday, December 25, 2009

6th trait: Unfaithfulness

Whenever we talk about unfaithfulness we're quick to think of an extramarital relationship.

Well, with that in mind , let's bring it to the spiritual realm. Let's look at the case of King Saul.

'Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance.' 1 Chronicles 10:13.

Saul betrayed God by consulting a medium. That's exactly what some youths do to God. They confess their love for Him in church but elsewhere they betray Him with a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, music, lies, deceit, rebellion, MySpace, Facebook, cell phone, etc.

Yes, that's what they do. Don't be surprised if I say so. I've seen cases where youths would leave the YPG meeting right in the middle of an important message in order to answer their phone. Others have enough time to be by the computer talking to friends for hours but don't have time to read the Bible.

Let me give you a more clear example. Let's say you've just arrived at home after a long day at school. You are tired, you feel drained. All you want to do is to lay down and sleep all the way through to the next day, if you could. But you can't because you've got to revise or do some homework for the next day.

In spite of the tiredness you push yourself for you know you need the grades to pass. Then you end up going to sleep very late that day, knowing that you have to wake up by 7am and leave the house by 7.30am next day, otherwise the school won't allow you in. So, what do you do? Decide to wake up later than usual because you went to bed late? No, you don't do that. You wake up right on time no matter what. Why? Simply because the school's principal, teachers and your parents will all be on your case, not to mention the risk you're taking in failing your tests.

My question is: why do they do that for grades but not for God? Why do they have to arrive late in church? Why is it that they are more FAITHFUL to their career than to God?


Monday, December 21, 2009

5th trait: Rebelliousness

'For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:23

This was a message sent by God to King Saul, through the prophet Samuel. Saul became very rebellious, to the point of being rejected by God. As we can see on the verse above, Saul refused to obey God, by doing his own thing. God couldn't tolerate that. Here, God makes a very strong comparison between the sin of rebellion and witchcraft.

He compares the person who attends church on a regular basis, reads the Bible, pray, evangelise and give tithe and offerings to a witch-doctor. How come? Why would God compare such person with someone who, in the name of the devil and his demons, makes animals sacrifices, and sometimes even human sacrifices? Why? The first person 'looks' so holy in comparison to the latter, so why would God do that? Because the latter might do what she does out of ignorance. A person offers herself to demons and spirits because she doesn't know better. But the so called 'Christian' knows the truth, fulfil all the religious duties mentioned above and yet rebels. Notice that Saul REJECTED God's words. He simply chose not to obey. There are many youths who attend church who have been rejected by God because they choose what to obey and when to obey, whenever it favours them. Many have been rejected by God because of this bad attitude.

Open your eyes. Don't let the sin of rebellion control you. Repent and decide to obey God's word no matter the cost.

Remember that we've known the truth. No excuses!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I went to the cinema together with my wife to watch this fabulous movie which depicts part of Nelson Mandela's story of forgiveness and resilience after the apartheid. A must-watch film.

You can find below the poem Mandela quoted in his time in prison.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela

Monday, December 14, 2009

4th trait: Recklessness

Reckless: (of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.

It's typical of a youth who is reckless not to plan ahead. This is one of the most common problems among teenagers. They do first and think after, when it should be the opposite.

Let me be more specific, let's take as an example the youth who sleeps around, without caring much for what can happen to him/her each time they have sex. The result is as old as Adam: pregnancy! Only after finding out they're having a child together is when they begin to think of the consequences of that action. How foolish is that! Because of recklessness is that we have adolescents behind bars, in hospitals, addicted to drugs and many who are cold in their faith.

Think before you act. Don't fool yourself.

Food for thought: 'The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless.' Prov 14:16

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3rd trait - Immorality

Young people nowadays have been the most significant victims of the spirit of immorality in this world. As usual, the devil aims his filthy darts at the youths as they are fresh and full of vigour. He has used music, movies and many other weapons in order to spread immorality among young people. Actually, sexual immorality is wide-spread among them.

Let me give you an example. We saw the case of that 18 year-old girl who committed suicide after her ex-boyfriend sent her nude pictures to the entire school and friends. The new trend is called 'sexting'. They took nude pictures and sent to each other. Pretty immoral right? Well, after they broke up he wanted to get back on her. She couldn't take the mockery and verbal abuse from people in school anymore.

One thing leads to another. Friends, shut the doors of your life to immorality and always remember: the wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23).

Monday, November 30, 2009

2nd trait: Troublemaker

TROUBLEMAKER: He habitually causes difficulties or problems. He even incites others to defy those in authority. He has a mind of his own and doesn't abide to any rules or regulations. Let's look at what the Bible says about them in Proverbs 6:16-19: "Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes (abhor, detest, hate) with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family."

This kind of behaviour is abominable, detestable to God. He fells repugnance toward this type of attitude because that was the spirit the devil manifested before being cast out of heaven.

Are you a peacemaker or troublemaker?

Next week we'll uncover the 3rd trait of an ungodly youth.

God bless you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tap out!

Last Saturday I had the privilege of baptizing 7 youths from our YPG headquarters here in Houston, Texas. It was my first baptism in water ceremony in this particular youth group. In fact, the first of many. It's so good to see young people giving up on this colorful and deceiving world in order to serve God with the best they have, their youth. Baptism is faith in action. I can only become a true child of God through the baptism.

Until then, I am a mere creature, just like everyone else. There are many youths who avoid doing so due to the seriousness of such ceremony. They know that one must be ready to turn his back on the world and follow God. The question is: do they want to let go of the world? No. The thought of not going to parties, night clubs, getting high, drinking, sleeping around is too much for them.

They can't picture that. It's too much to handle. They say: how can I survive in this world without my friends? Oh mindless generation! They think life with God is dull and tedious. Anyway, it's a matter of choice. My friends gave me nothing. When I came to church they were no where to be found. I frequented night clubs almost every weekend and it added absolutely zilch. I chose to surrender. Just like when a UFC fighter is getting battered by his opponent and he has to tap out. I tapped out! I could not live my life without God anymore. Hence I got baptized.

How about you? Are you willing to tap out or you'll try to remain standing while the world beat the hell out of you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

1st trait: Indecision

Some youths were stunned with what was discussed in our last YPG meeting, when we uncovered the first trait: INDECISION. I believe some of them were expecting to hear something like addiction, promiscuity, hate, envy, etc.

They guessed wrong. Indecision is a trait of those who don't live by faith. They are always divided between thoughts. Jesus once said, 'But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.' (James 5:12). In another occasion He said, 'So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16). In other words, pick one.

No matter the outcome of that decision, just pick one. If the result isn't good then at least you've learned a lesson. It will be different next time. You will acquire some experience. If you continue wavering between thoughts then you will never achieve anything, neither learn with your mistakes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can you handle the truth?

This week we begin a series of seven meetings called the 7 Traits of the Ungodly Youth. Trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. One can be easily identified as the child of a particular person by the features that he or she presents. Even our body tissues or fluids (DNA) can identify who our parents are. The same rule applies to our spiritual life. How can we identify if a person is of God or not?

Within seven weeks we'll be exploring the 7 common traits that ungodly youths have. I'm sure some won't be pleased with what they are about to hear but the truth must be told. Young people don't like to hear the truth as they will be thwarted in their desire to follow the impulses of their own flesh.

And they won't have any excuse to continue living their lives recklessly (by the way, recklessness is one of the topics to be covered). I will be sharing the 7 traits with you weekly. Therefore keep yourself updated to this blog. Can you handle the seven weeks?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Woe to the earth!

Why is it that God commanded Joshua 3 times to be strong and courageous? Was Joshua stupid? Was he old in age? Or was God talking to a kid? None of the previous suggestions, of course. God knew and He knows that life here on earth is tough. He wasn't preparing Joshua for a battle but for many battles. Some people think that after coming to church life will become a bed of roses, that things will run as smooth as... the petals of those roses on the bed. Revelation 12.12 says all.

Earth is a battlefield. Our enemy, the devil, and his subordinates, the demons, are out and about devising plans and strategies to hamper our success. He plays dirty. He will attack from everywhere, at work, at school, at home, even in the church. It's our duty to be alert, always in spirit. The angels overcame the devil by the WORD of their testimony. Do I need to say more? It's war!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The curator

Some youths would be much better off by getting a job at a museum. Yes, they like to talk about their past so much that they would probably become a very good curator. They like to keep the past alive in their memories.

Just like a curator, they make sure the history of their lives is intact in their memories. I sit down to talk to them and they quickly travel back in time in order to make their point. It's something like this, 'My dad left us when I was 3 years-old. I hate him. I wish he was dead! That's why I am the way I am.' or something like, 'My parents never showed their love or care for me. That's why I have this boyfriend who 'loves' me.'

Does their current lifestyle justify their parents absence or lack of love? Of course not. But no matter how hard we try to show them that what they are doing is just in vain, that they are only hurting themselves. They are not open to the idea that God can help them forget their past and invest in their future. They seem to love history.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Too young to decide

Some teenagers say they are too young to decide on whether to give their lives to God or not. We invite them to get closer to God in order to have a life full of His blessings but they refuse it. They are too concerned about their own lives. They say, 'I need to enjoy myself a bit more.' They even say that church is only for old folks.

The question is: Aren't they too young to become parents after sleeping around? Why is it that they don't mind doing these things knowing that there will be terrible consequences? It's just a matter of using our brains for crying out loud!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Letter from a youth


The other day in the youth meeting, we read Proverbs 28: 17-18. It said, "A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit; Let no one help him. Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall."

At first, I didn’t even get it. I was like what does ‘a man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit’ even mean?! But the pastor was saying how it’s someone who is loaded with guilt because they’ve done so many bad things. So because of this, they’re basically doomed - there’s just no help for them!

And it’s so true! Remember that guy from your brother’s school that got sent down? He did so many bad things, that’s what he was known for in your area wasn’t it? But look at him now, no one can help him...he really is in a pit! How long will it be until he’s released? I think that’s what it means when it says ‘burden with bloodshed.’

I guess when we live well, I mean like doing what is right, we will be saved and we’ll have a pretty good life here too.

You know what, out of everything the pastor said in the meeting, what I understood is that a devious life is a doomed life. If we do stuff that are wrong and choose not to follow the right way, there is no way out for us.

What did you get from the message?

I’ll see you next time at the youth meeting.

P.S: Don’t be late!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Deceived

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer Camp

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer Camp

Bringing youths from different cultures or backgrounds together has never been easy. Today it is all about code area, blacks against whites, whites against Latinos, Latinos against blacks and so on. All this in order to get some recognition, respect and power. And as we see almost every day on TV and newspapers, it never has a good ending. Someone gets shot, stabbed, punched, raped, KILLED! The list goes on.

However the YPG Texas organized a summer camp entitled John 3.16 Camp. We traveled all the way into the middle of… nowhere. Literally. The place is called Forest Glenn in Huntsville, Texas. We took time with the youths in order to invest more in our relationship with God. We held meetings with them and we also played sports, did archery, went blobbing, fire camp, etc. It was awesome!

We told them that they had to leave the camp on Sunday in a different way. We made sure we put youths from different branches together so they could get to know each other. It was very positive. We did so many things that I can’t explain everything with details; otherwise I would need three pages to do so.

Believe you or not, there wasn’t any misunderstanding whatsoever. Nothing like boys and girls fooling around somewhere in the forest. NOTHING! Even if there was someone there with a carnal mind that person had no choice but to gel with the rest of the group as everyone else had one thing in mind, get closer to God.

So you see, it is possible to put a lot of youths from different backgrounds together and still have a lot of fun.

Whenever someone tells you that you will lose by giving your life to God, they really don't know what they are talking about.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When it all began

Before sharing with you guys the messages that God has inspired me to give to you, I want to talk a little bit about how my passion for working with youths started. Believe you or not I never ever thought of working with young people at all.

When I was called to do this amazing work back home in Brazil I knew what I was doing, sacrificing my will in order to do my Father’s. But when the time to work with the youth group came, more precisely the VYG (Victory Youth Group) in England, I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was going to be demanding and I also knew it was part of the work I had committed myself to but with no clue on how to work with you. Hence the Holy Spirit must dwell in us so we can do the things that cannot be done by our own natural resources and human knowledge. Because of that I was ready and excited concerning the task ahead of me.

Five years later I was breathing, eating, drinking, dreaming youth group. The situations I came across during those 5 years were many. Some of them were really sad due to the problems some of you were facing in your family, personal life, etc. Other situations were sadder because I saw many youths coming to the youth group full of issues, in need of help but not so determined to fight for a change and turn their lives around as you were. They never came back. But I also had very, very good moments. Trips, messages, competitions, events and the most important to me, TESTIMONIES.

Seeing many of you guys arriving in the youth group one day with your lives completely destroyed and your dreams shattered by the many problems you faced and working hard to change, and not only changing behavior but becoming leaders, helpers, assistants, it was great!

That is why I am more than ever determined to work with you for many more years to come. I know face a new challenge, the youths of America. They are as thirsty and hungry for attention as the youths I met in England. And I know many of you here in the US will be very soon sharing with others what God has done and will do for you .

This is what I have to say for now. I hope and pray that you guys may feed your spirit here in this blog. It is simple but written with an immense desire to help you all. Or should I say ‘y’all’?