How to Deal With Fear.

Have you ever noticed in the book of Acts what happens whenever the disciples get into trouble? Their attitude seems to be, “That was great! How can I do this more?” Why is that? They weren’t always like this. They learned some lessons while they were with Jesus.

Dave shares some insight about how to deal with fear. It’s a 40 minute talk.

Overcoming Two Key Threats to Getting the Gift of God by Dave Schmelzer

Hope this helps.


Sunday Service – May 29

One thing Jesus does not lack in our church; willing helpers. Helpful helpers would have been nice during our main Sunday service. (All our actual leaders and leaders-in-training are in Altamira, at a conference). The group that showed up to help prepare were a younger crowd. I gave Railan the camera during the setup so you can sense some of the atmosphere.

Jobel is a fringe church goer. He loves the soccer. I asked him to be the main usher. “If things get out of hand I will need you to help me restore order.” But when the boys were being rowdy up front he was outside. Somebody helpfully told me there was a fight in our parking lot. I think that happened a couple of times over the two nights of services. Oh well. I think of it like this, “They were fighting before we got here. So anything good that happens is a bonus”.

All in all it went pretty well. About 50 people came, including a few youth and adults. I preached about the disciples crossing the sea during the storm while Jesus was sleeping in the boat, and how Jesus taught them to give their fears to him. I used many of the rowdies as props. They lined up their chairs up front as the disciples. Jesus was on the floor sleeping while they were afraid the boat was sinking in the huge waves. “What are your fears?” Snakes came up a few times. And darkness. In the end we had a quiet time, then we gave our fears to Jesus and asked Him to calm them down and to walk with us through life.

As you look at these photos can you see these kids ten years from now, in their young twenties? They all look just the same, except older. They are all still eager to get on the stage, eager to be useful.

For 19 photos click here. (There is a slideshow button above these pictures that works well).

A Helpful Sermon About Freedom

Jesus says that if we are connected to Him we will bear good fruit with our lives. One example of “good fruit” is living a joyful life. Another example is helping friends do the same. This sermon will give you some helpful ways to get though the junk we get tangled up in. Do you live with regrets, or live with guilt about some sin you cannot overcome? Or maybe you have a friend in this predicament. You need to listen to this sermon.

You’re Not Perfect – And That Can Work Out Fine by Dave Schmelzer


What do you do when no one is pushing you to work hard? Do you initiate reconciliation when someone has offended you or when you know you offended someone else? How is your attitude when you are alone? What are you looking at on the internet when no one is around? What are you thinking about during your free time? What is the real reason you have daily devotions and go to church on Sundays? What motivates you? Why even go to church? Why forgive people? Why work hard to be the best person you can be? Why work at your relationship with God?

1. Some people don’t want God mad at them. They see God as having a big step, ready to whack those who do wrong or don’t believe all the correct doctrines.

2. Some people just don’t want to go to hell. They don’t really care too much about God, but the other option is very bad.

3. Some people have learned that God’s principles really work. Give and it will be given unto you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. They do God’s things for what they get out of it.

4. Some people just like doing stuff with their Dad.

Surucucu or Bushmaster

I found out this snake was a surucucu. In English it is called a bushmaster.

This snake is the largest poisonous snake in South America, and one of the largest poisonous snakes in the world. It is a viper whose venom is extremely lethal, according to this article below.

Brazilian link about the surucucu or bushmaster snake.

I got mixed up. I thought the poisonous snakes had slanty eyes, triangle heads and thin narrow tails. Since this snake had none of these I assumed it was not poisonous. Hmmm. You ever get that mixed up?

This snake is also known here in Brazil as the bico-de-jaca, surucutinga, or surucucu-de-fogo.

Here are some bushmaster/surucucu snake photos I pulled off the internet. Same round head. Same round eyes. Same thick tail. Same heavy scales. Same attitude radiating outward.

I learned a good lesson here: “Don’t put shelves right beside you main house entrance”.

Big Snake

As I stepped out our front door I heard a strange “whirring” sound, kind of like a long necklace was slipping over a metal shelf. I stepped away from the sound and looked around. There was a snake poised to strike, at my head level, and the end of his tail was vibrating wildly against the metal shelf he was lying on.

My body catapulted into “fight or flight” mode as my heart rate leapt from 60 to 140. I managed to stay in control of myself and stared at the snake, wondering what to do. We stared at each other. I could sense it had an attitude. Maybe he thought this was a turf war? He definitely looked like he was going to jump at me. I decided to catch the snake to show the girls when they get home.

Some boys were playing soccer nearby. They were eager to help. They were all convinced this was a very poisonous snake, the kind that kills people. We armed ourselves with shovels, hoes and sticks. I was going to put it in a tub but I couldn’t pin it down. Then he started lunging at us. He was over 7 feet long (2m 20cm). He could jump a surprisingly long way. And he was fast at regrouping. He struck my jeans with one lunge, and just missed another kid with another. I gave the permission.

We all stared at the snake for awhile, still flipping around but with a severely broken neck.

Then I had a good idea. “Let’s bury it in that hole. It will become fertilizer for the mango tree I am going to plant there.”

“Oh no, you have to burn it.”

“Otherwise it will come back.”

“And it will bring it’s mom back with it.”

“Yep. It will bring it’s mom back.”

They all nodded their heads, looking at me with wonder for not knowing such an obvious fact.

“And the mom will bring other snakes. This place will become over run with snakes. You don’t want that.”

We all considered that grave possibility, looking around the yard to see if it might be happening already.

“You have to burn it to get rid of it’s smell, so it’s mom won’t be able to find it.”

I gave in again.

These boys are very proud to be able to help a dense foreigner like me in areas like this where they are experts and I am the learner. I look forward to they day they are the missionaries.

It turns out this is one of the killer snakes of the Amazon. I was glad it didn’t strike me on the head as I walked out the door. And I really don’t want to meet it’s mom!

On the road again!

Hi. Deanna and the group are on their way again, already past Pacajá! It sounds like they will go through the night, or as far as possible. They already had to get out and push their bus through another hole but everyone is doing well and they are very happy to be on the moving bus. It is 11:20 p.m. here now.

Deanna Asks for Prayer

Deanna asks for prayer. The 29 person youth group left Marabá in a bus this morning at 4 a.m., heading over the Trans-Amazon Hyway to Altamira for a conference. At noon they hit a huge mud hole. Traffic was way backed up. When it finally became their turn, the road closed all together. Tractors have been working all afternoon to clear the road, but as of 7 p.m. our time our group was still waiting in a bar alongside the road. They are hoping the bus will get through soon and the holes ahead will not be so severe.

If the road does not open soon the group will have to walk back through the big mud hole and spend the night in the stuck bus. Not too fun. If it does open up they will be able to sleep as the bus continues on. Except they have heard there is another big hole the other side of Pacajá. If the traffic is flowing the road from Pacajá to Altamira will take about 8 hours with this bus. That would be a best case scenario, so lets pray for that.

“Lord, please let the bus show up. Now. And let them be able to drive all the way from there to Altamira without getting stuck again. Thank-you.”

Leadership Training

About 20 people eagerly look forward to Sunday mornings. That is when we have a Leadership Training School. Last week they formed teams and had to do a presentation in front of the group. The week before that they went to a park downtown and had their study there. Mid-week these are the leaders of the cell groups, the services in the homes. And this is the group that is going to Altamira for the conference. Aline (first photo) teaches this first module).