"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
~ Isaiah 40: 11

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

True Worship: What is it?

The semester is coming to an end and there are only about four Monday night devotions left. So the last theme that I am talking about is worship. Last night I shared Romans 12:1-2 which talks about presenting our lives as living sacrificies, holy, and pleasing to God as our act of worship. Worship is a lifestyle. Not something I just do in church, or chapel, or when I pray. It is an action and it is the way I live. I used the example of an alarm clock. I set my alarm clock to get up in the morning and turn it off when I get up. But worship is not like that - it is not something I turn on or put on during certain times of the week and then turn off during other times. In order to push my point I stood in the middle of the room and said "worship is not just something we do in chapel or in devotions (and I jumped to one side) and then when we stop praying or walk out of chapel we are done worshipping and can do whatever we want like drink a lot or be too physical with our boyfriends or talk bad about friends or etc. (and I jumped to another side of the room - it was a small jump)" Many of the Christian students have a hard time realizing that they can not compartamentalize their life and give God parts of it and be their own god over other parts of it. The beautifual and yet despairing part of this is that we can't worship God without Jesus. Jesus gave us the ability to be able to worship him and I ended with the hope that when we discover the grace of God joy flows forth from our actions which is true worship. The Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart as well. So I am excited about how the Spirit will speak to all of us as we explore the theme of worship.

Hungry Mosquitos

So it has been about twenty days since I posted something - whoops! How time flies and speaking of flying... Taiwan is filled with little flying vermit that seem attracted to my body like a child is to a sweet, sugary popsicle. The mosquitos are out in full force right now. Most of the time when I trek out into town I am drenched in repellent. You can probably smell me a mile away even above the stench (that I am still not used to) of the stinky tofu. These mosquitos are quite smart and peculiar, they seem to prefer biting my left leg and arm. I think they are left-handed mosquitos. Which, although I hate mosquitos with a passion I must respect their left-handedness since I too am a left-hander myself. However, I wish that they would attack the right-handed population and leave their own kind alone. I have a theory that mosquitos were created after the fall of man. I just hope some of me is left by the time I am ready to leave Taiwan because the mosquitos are feasting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Painting Pictures...

Painted more Wednesday night... I am sick of the color yellow!!! We are almost done but not quite.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Little Rabbit in the Woods..."

Every Monday night I troop up to the second floor of the girls dorm and make a fool out of myself in front of about forty girls. Dorm devotions happen every week night (except Friday night) and on Monday night some of the girls have a corporate devotion time. I am in charge of coming up with a game or fun thing, then we sing a few songs, then I give a devotional and try to make it simple and biblical. The format reminds me a lot of my middle and highschool youth group days and I have taken some ideas from my favorite memories of youth group. These girls have definitely received a dose of American culture this year for now they know the Hokey Pokey (which embarrassingly enough our President saw me through the dorm window teaching the students and will never let me live it down), the Cha-Cha, Telephone, and Simon Says (and many more). I also have taught them some of my favorite silly songs. My favorite being "Little Rabbit in the Woods." If you have not had the priviledge of hearing and participating in this song then I must enlighten you. The song has simple hand motions and the words go like this...

Little Rabbit in the Woods
Little man by the window stood
Saw a rabbit hopping by
Knocking at his door
"Help me, Help me, Help me" he said
"For the hunter will shoot me dead"
"Come little rabbit come inside
Safely to abide."

I taught the girls the hand motions but even better we sing the song three times. First in a normal voice with normal-sized hand motions. Then we do the teeny tiny version with a wee rabbit and wee hand motions. Then we do the GIGANTIC version and the rabbit is enormous and we use very low voices and jump around. It is great fun. I think the girls enjoy watching me make a fool of myself most of all. But it does really break the "icey" feel and helps everyone relax. I truly have probably lost all of my dignity here but oh well - that's what ministry and missions is about, dying to self!
Here are some pictures of our latest time singing the Rabbit song...

This past Monday night I decided to get some of the girls involved and did a small drama. There was no talking just movement. The theme for last few devotions has been light - Jesus is the light of the world, having Jesus' light in your life, etc. As I have been preparing these devotions I realized how much the image of light is in the Bible. So the drama went like this: five girls stood shoulder to shoulder with unlit candles. The person representing Jesus comes and lights the first person's candle and she starts singing "This Little Light of Mine." Then she lights the person's candle beside her and so on until all candles are lit and all the girls are singing. Then the person representing Satan (that would be me, which was funny because I had on a pink shirt) told each person why they did not deserve to represent Jesus and made them afraid to be "a light to the world." Then they would blowout their candle. I get to the last person who, with the person representing Jesus, sing the song with such fervor make the person representing Satan (me) so frustrated she leaves. Then the girl with the lit candle lights her neighbor's candle until they all are lit again and singing the song again. I explained the skit beforehand with a huge emphasis that no one can lose their salvation and in the skit when the girls blow out their candles it does not symbolize losing one's salvation. However, sometimes Christians become afraid and feel unworthy of representing Jesus in the world because they see all of their sin and failures. I tried to encourage them that as Christians our righteousness is not based on us but on all Jesus did and is. So we do not have to hide our light or cower when we are tempted to be discouraged. I used much simpler language and I hope they understood. My prayer is that God will work in all of these girls heart's and plant seeds and break down walls. Here are some pictures of our skit:

So, now it is Friday and I am already trying to figure out what to do about this upcoming week - it never ends! I am afraid that my creative juices will become stagnant at some point but I always seem to think of something (mostly with my colleague's help - Mrs. Lyle, who helps out during these devotions times too, she is a great help.
Well, until next time...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Major Achievement

So today I was very proud of myself. I ordered take out from my favorite Chinese restaurant (The seafood restaurant, talked about in a prior post) by myself in Chinese. Ok, so I did not speak in complete sentences but used enough words so that the cook and the waitress could understand me. When you live in a foreign country it is important to know the phrase for "take out." Anyway, I was pretty thrilled. Having no opportunity for language learning in Chinese I just simply don't know much. Students and teachers who are fluent just do the talking when we are out. But today I marched down, in the down pouring rain mind you, and ordered my food. So yes it's the only dish I know how to say in Chinese and I am sure my tones were extremely off (hint the owner of the restaurant had a huge smile on his face as I tried to communicate) but I got the food, it was great, and I spoke Chinese (even if it was only a few words!) So I thought that I would share this achievement with all of those who have been or lived in a foreign country and understand what it is like to try and speak a different language.

Until next time...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cats know best

After an afternoon full of grading, researching, and helping students with their grammar with badminton and bible teaching scheduled at night, I completely understand this picture. Life is good but tired I continue to be.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Attempting to Teach...

I have had many opportunities to teach this semester. One of my favorite experiences has been teaching some lectures, using powerpoint, about British History to the Senior English Majors. I have been giving them brief surveys of the history of Britain so they can understand the authors that they are reading. Recently I gave a presentation on C.S. Lewis. There is so much information on him and I did not feel I did justice to his life story. I only touched the tip of the iceburg. It was very interesting and I found lots and lots of pictures. Here is one of my favorite:

The students are now reading the "Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." I reread it and it has been fun to read it again. Every time I read the book I discover something new. It is a treat. During my presentation I shared some of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes and I thought I would share them with all of you as well...

“Once a King or Queen in Narnia, always a King or Queen.” - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

Before I sign off I have to mention the fact that the great C.S. and I share the same last name! I do feel a measure of pride to carry on the great Lewis legacy! I can allow myself to at least dream that there is some distant (however far off) familial relation somewhere in our family trees!

Until next time...