Friday, April 18, 2014

Like Peter

To me, it's the most wonderful time of the year!  The Spring season is a season of newness all around in Father's creation.  It's a celebration of the winter being behind me and looking forward to the trees and flowers blooming and the season of Easter and hope.  As I have been reading and thinking about the events that led up to The Son's crucifixion, I've decided to look at Peter with more focus.

We all know Peter's story, denying his Friend three times before the rooster crowed.  I used to think, how could he do that?  How could he betray the One he followed?   How could he deny his friend, the one that he claimed over and over again to love.  As I've grown older, I realize that I probably would've done the same.  It would have been my first response, I'm sure.  If I think about it, when I am fearful and don't think about what I am going to say it's usually something that I'll regret.  He was human and that's probably what happened, since he was fearful.  

Just like Peter, we live in those few moments between the rooster's first crow..worldliness, getting by, provision, familiarity...and the second crow of shame, realization, loss, despair and weeping.  After the first crow, it's an opportunity to turn around and change my course.  But after the second crow, well that one is the realization of truth and remorse usually follows.

I can learn a lot from Peter, but what I am learning this season is that I don't want to continue with the shame, realization, loss, despair and weeping as much as in my past.  I want to gain wisdom from this story.  I want to be prepared and less fearful, so that I will be well equipped when the second crow comes.  I want to remember and be encouraged that 106 times the word, wait, is used in The Word, for perfect reason.  I want to wait and then respond, so I can hang my head in shame...less.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living in Beijing

Today, before class, we invited our neighbors for lunch.  Our neighbors are a German teacher who has a Chinese wife and a young lady from Spain.  As we enjoyed lunch and conversation together, it dawned on me that this is a benefit of living here.  We get to share meals with foreigners from other countries and share about our culture and our experiences here in China.  So I think I will share with you, first, the positives of living here for this season.  

Most Chinese people like foreigners, especially if you are kind and respectful to them.  Many of them think to do little extras for us and it makes us smile.  Just yesterday, Glenn and I went to a dining hall on campus to have lunch after class. We were sitting there eating lunch and a lady worker there saw that we were eating a rice dish with chopsticks and went and got us each a spoon.  When we go into our market on campus to our vegetable and fruit people, they love to throw in little freebies for us to enjoy.  Right now it seems to be cherry tomatoes.

Rather than bore you with all the details, I will just list some other benefits and if you have questions you can email me.  Cheap public transportation that includes buses galore, big subway system and cheap taxis.  Lots of vegetables and fruits everywhere.  Students always encouraging us that we should take a nap everyday.  Impromptu visits when someone wants to see you.  A culture that is so relational. Lots of good food available.  Hot pot. Lots of free tea to be had. Respectful students with lots of smiling faces.  Cheap cell phone plans.  Chinese love to bring fruit as a gift, just this week we were given watermelon and a bag of cherry tomatoes.  Two places on either side of our campus to get good coffee.  Seven very cheap dining halls and five restaurants right on campus.  Most students like to play badminton.  And best of all:  talking of the son is as easy as discussing the weather :)

Next time I'll share some, not so positive things, cause we know everywhere has them!