Sunday, December 28, 2008
We went to a German, Chinese, Brazilian BBQ place for Christmas Eve dinner. We had the traditional Christmas Eve fare: garlic chicken hearts, broiled fish-head included, garlic pickled pork belly. Ya know, all the classics. And who doesn't have a young Chinese guy dressed as a cowboy and outfitted with a medical mask at their party?!
We had a blast with Carrie's sister and her 8 month old, Grae. Grae had all the old ladies cooing when they saw her. They all said she was SO white and SO fat. So for the rest of the time, her Chinese name was "white and fat." I taught my sis how to knit; she met with lots of our friends; we went to parks; made and distributed cookies, cards and gifts; hung out; prayed and drank too much coffee. It was a wonderful balance of hang out time, rest and getting to know China. At the end of her trip, Carrie, Kim and Grae met up with Kim's in-laws in Beijing. We walked around a more traditional area and took tons of pictures. I'll post those another time. My sister's an incredible photographer, so it was really fun for me to get to take pictures alongside her.
This is a frozen lake. People and sheep were skating, sledding, riding and walking all over.
Here's Kim and her mother-in-law eating some local snacks. It was a beautiful day to be outside and enjoy the Beijing smog.
A guy changing some electrical wiring. Who needs ladders really?!
Kesed and his new best friend, Grae. The two of them got along really well, it was really cute.
Having her here was so much fun. She is such a blessing to me, my family and now to our friends here in the city. I've cried now, multiple times. She was here for about 2 1/2 weeks, which was just long enough to make it feel like she was supposed to be living here with us. She was a wonderful minister and friend to all of us. So until next time....We Love You!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead."
Having a "personal relationship" with Jesus is no casual matter that is in anyway conducive to habit, trivialities, or apathy. To fall on our faces as though dead means we're doing something far more weighty and pregnant with meaning than catching up on to-dos, blog and email, or watching the latest news report or TV episode, or whatever other seemingly important thing we have to do each day.
We're compelled to ask ourselves, "Do I [practically speaking] regard my 'personal relationship with Jesus' with this sort of trembling and single mindedness?"
Friday, December 26, 2008
Luke 8:14 counters this idea: "And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature."
It is far more dangerous for our kids to live amid the laxity, entertainment, addiction to comfort, apathy, affluency, and gluttony of America than here or anywhere else. These things may rob them of their souls. By contrast, the most dangerous places in the world or merely those that lack America's conveniences all offer our kids the life-giving chance to see what really matters, to live intentionally, as foreigners in the world....
As parents, we need to examine what we really think is dangerous...criticism, weapons, automobiles, cancers.... OR "the cares and riches and pleasures of life"? Do we merely care for their bodies and momentary happiness OR their entire lives, including their souls and their eternal joy? This distinction will radically affect how we parent, where we spend our money, where we live, what we eat, who we meet, what we watch and listen to, the risks we will take, and the sufferings we will embrace with gladness.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Merry Christmas to everyone!
We promise to post soon. We've been enjoying time with Carrie's sister, so computer time has been slim.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Here's the gang with tables set up in the hallway of their dorms.
Charis spent the first hour like this. She doesn't like white people. No joke. So she was scared of everyone....except for the one black teacher we have in the city. Charis likes her. After an hour, she took her coat off and we coaxed her to sit with Brad and I.
Kesed spent his dinner being fed by a friend. They sat and talked and played and ate. It was funny because about 30 minutes after eating, I see our friend holding Kesed by his thighs and waiting. He finally asked me how Kesed was going to go to the bathroom, because he had normal pants on (no split pants). I told him that he had on a diaper. I explained that he didn't need to hold him up (right next to the dinner table, by the way) waiting for Kesed to go to the bathroom. This is the way all Chinese parents do it, I just forgot to tell our friend Kesed had a diaper on. It was funny.
Malachi spent his after dinner hours at a dance party. He was in the center the ENTIRE time. He actually had some good moves. This kid cannot stand being still if there is a beat to be heard. It's so funny to watch his shoulders start moving. Then the head gets going. It's as if he's going to bust out of his skin if he doesn't dance.
Here's Selah playing guitar with a friend. They were singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness when I walked in. She loves playing any type of instrument. We had a blast.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Wow! If you want to slay the incessant desires that wage war against your soul and thus pilfer joy, John Owen’s Indwelling Sin is a classic worth slowly chewing on. It is too dense in content for a fast read, however, if you would commit a few minutes a day to meditating on a few pages or paragraphs, greater victories will doubtless be gained.
Enjoy the following encouragement from Owen’s book, “Never let us reckon that our work in contending against sin, in crucifying, mortifying, and subduing of it, is at an end…Many conquerors have been ruined by their carelessness after a victory, and many have been spiritually wounded after great successes against this enemy…he who dies fighting in this warfare dies assuredly a conqueror.”
Justin Taylor has a great edition of John Owen’s most famous works on sin, entitled, Overcoming Sin and Temptation.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
All sin is becoming weary or tired of God. A good question to ask ourselves is simply this, "Where and when am I weary of God?"
Not "if"...since we all sin. Why do we grow weary? From this perspective, we have a different way to approach our prayer time, Scripture study, worship, service, and life in general....what do you do to not grow weary in a day and throughout the day? In the words of George Mueller, our duty evey morning and all day is to make sure we are "happy [i.e. overflowing in joy] in God", otherwise, we are useless at the breakfast table or anywhere else.
Friday, December 05, 2008
With that said, check out this little jewel in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, "And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers." Notice what Paul says God did---God made them accept the gospel (cp. 2:5, 8, 9; 1:5), the word of God, as the word of God!
Monday, December 01, 2008
So if you're short on make-up, any markers will do.