Archive for the ‘Family’ Category



Christianity, Hospitality and Immigrants

“The great majority of Christians in America will never host a meal for someone from another culture making his home in the US,” said my friend across the table.  I immediately thought of my fortune not only in having been invited for dinner, but to have been “adopted” into an American family my sophomore year in college. In retrospect, it made all the difference in the world. I though it was a silly, frivolous prayer at the time. But in the depths of my lonely days as an international college student, I prayed to God for a family–more precisely, an American family. I had grown weary of not having a place to go during breaks, specially the long summer breaks. My parents in Brazil were financially struggling to keep me in school, my student visa limited the amount of hours I could legally work, and flying home during school breaks…

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Tricking Your Children. A Bad Parenting Moment.

There a a lot of books and blogs on good parenting. Focus on the Family has been helping Christian parents for decades. A lot of family experts talk about “teachable moments.” My contribution to parenting comes from a different angle altogether: what not to do. From time to time, I’ll share with you some of my “unteachable parenting moments.” Hopefully they’ll prevent you from making the same mistake with your offspring. Here’s a Bad Parenting Moment you should not repeat. Tricking your children into going on a scary ride will not get them passed their fear of rides, but it will ruin the rest of your Disney vacation. That was my brilliant idea several years ago when we took the boys, age 5 and 9 to their first trip to Disney. My rational was simple: ride the scariest ride on all  of Disney World early on the first day. Once…

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Not All Blessings Are Created Equal

I didn’t grow up with thanksgiving day as a holiday. Christmas season in Brazil officially begins sometime in early November and goes on until January 6, Kings’ Day. Yes, that’s traditionally the day the Catholic church celebrates the Magi arriving in Bethlehem. But growing up,  Thanksgiving day celebration was relegated to a couple of children’s choirs singing at a local mall and a blip on the news. Brazilians are missing out, and as I stopped to take inventory of all my blessings today, something stood out on my list. This morning I joined several friends early and ran the Boulevard Bolt, a 5-mile race through Belle Meade Boulevard, my familiar running route. I rushed home and cooked a 22 lb turkey, 12 lbs of mash potato and lots of other goodies to celebrate with family and friends from far and near. As I prayed before the bounteous, tryptophan-laden and coma-inducing…

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