Spring break is HERE, and I am off to enjoy!! So, catch yall later!!
Whenever I get it out to use, my friends are amazed and very intrigued. It makes picture taking fun. It has also attracted quite a few funny looks from passersby.
I use it in two basic ways. One, we either are just totally random, set the timer, push the shutter button, extend the camera and wait. Or in the other way, I will use it more like a tripod--let my friend hold it while I set the timer and make sure everyone is inside, then press the shutter button and run to get inside the photo too.
The only complaint I have with my xshot is that sometimes the telescoping parts get stuck inside the other telescoping parts. Maybe I should try some WD-40 on it.
Anyway, just thought I'd say thank you once again to all of you who helped me to win this really cool gadget. I enjoy being able to use it. :)
Below are a few of the photos I've taken using my nifty little xshot.
No day of my life has passed that has not proved me guilty in they sight. . . . My best services are filthy rags. Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in they appeasing wounds.
Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me:
that by thy stripes I am healed,
that thou wast bruised for my iniquities,
that thou hast been made sin for me,
that I might be righteous in thee,
that my grievous sins, my manifold sins, are all forgiven,
buried in the ocean of thy concealing blood.
guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness, keep me always clinging to they cross, flood me every moment with descending grace . . .
(Excerpts from The Valley of Vision's "The Broken Heart.")
Julie, a young lady I meet with for worship (photo on left), also joined us for egg dying creativity.
My friends are SO creative. Just look as some of the fun eggs they made!!
That same day also happened to be Christine's 11th birthday!! So, I made her some birthday brownies and used some of the candles I'd brought from America. (Here birthday cakes only have candles with numbers.)
I've known Christine since she was only two years old. It's been fun to watch her grow and change . . . she is so full of life and energy. I love being around her!!
Yay!! Happy Birthday, Christine!!
Suzanne Hadley, one of the regular Boundless authors, wrote an article recently debunking seven of the myths single women often find themselves believing.
Here are the 7 myths:
1. God will give me a husband when I'm ready.
2. God views me more as a useful tool than a beloved child.
3. When it's the right guy, I'll just know.
4. When I get married, then my life will begin.
5. Marriage will/will not meet my deepest needs.
6. There must be something wrong with me. If I could just figure
out what it is, I could fix it and guys would start showing interest.
7. The older I get, the less likely it is that I will find someone.
In the past decade (aka "my twenties"), I have believed or at least pondered all of these at some point. The ones that I have had to fight with the most in the past year are numbers 1, 2, 6 and 7.
If you are single and find yourself believing any of these, I highly recommend checking out Suzanne's article. If you are married but have friends in that "extended period of singleness" I also highly recommend you checking out her article so that you can help debunk the myths you find your single friends believing.
Thanks to all the suggestions on helping to name my parents last month.
My mom and dad have decided to try "Nonny and Poppy." I think they would be ok with baby Nate changing these names, but this is what he will be encouraged to call them.
This Sunday, some of my former students from my former school came to Tainan for a "graduation trip." They invited me to join them on their adventures around town. Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and is full of historic sites. If I have to live in the city, I'm glad it is a city with history. :)
Whenever I see people drinking out of bags, it always amazes me. Some of my students bought yellow colored sodas in bottles. The store owner poured their drinks into baggies for them, added staws and tied them off.
Here is a pic of the whole group that came up from Kaohsiung for the day, plus their teacher Kady (my good friend and fellow Tainan-person) and me.
And, one of the highlights of the afternoon . . . . holding a baby!!! Rio's daugheters came with her on the outing, the oldest one (who is now two) has to be distracted in order to let me hold her or interact with her, but the younger one reached out for me as soon as I joined the group. Sigh . . . how sweet. Even though I've not blogged about them in a long time . . . yes, the mommy longings are still strong. :)
Julie, who serves on the same team as I do and is also a tentmaker, came to visit me this week. Even though our time together was short, it was wonderful to spend time talking and encouraging each other.
Our Father knows exactly what we need! Thank God for likeminded friends to fellowship with!! :)
My mom shared a link to a video of an atheist that agrees with the quote I posted yesterday . . . that it is a cruel mercy for Bible-believing Christians to not be sharing the their faith with those around them.
Video is from this site: The Great News Network, who have given permission to repost as long as there is a link back.
Thanks for sharing this, Mom!
Father, continue to help me have a burning passion and boldness to share Your Good News with those around me who live in total darkness.
Charity to the souls of others, is the highest kind
The soul is the most precious thing. It is
a rich diamond, set in a ring of clay.
This is charity to souls—when we see others in the
bondage of sin—and we labor by counsel, admonition
or reproof to pull them out of their dreadful estate, as
the angels did to Lot in Sodom. "Hurry! Get out of here
right now, or you will be caught in the destruction of
the city! When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his
hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and
rushed them to safety outside the city!" Genesis 19.
God made a law (Exodus 23:5) "If you see the donkey
of someone who hates you fallen down under its load,
do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it."
On these words Chrysostom said, "We will help a beast
which is fallen under its load—and shall we not extend
relief to those who are fallen under a worse load of sin!"
To let others go on in sin securely—is not charity, but
If a man's house were on fire, and another should see
it and not tell him of it for fear of waking him—would
not this be cruelty! And when we see the souls of others
sleeping the sleep of death, and the fire of God's wrath
ready to burn about their ears—and we are silent—is not
this to be accessory to their death!
If men wish to go to hell—and we do not attempt to
stop them—is this love to their souls?
(Thomas Watson, 1658, "A
Plea for Alms." Public Domain as seen on Grace Gems.)
This is quite similar to a cruel mercy quote I posted awhile back.
This past Saturday, about 20 students (out of a class of a little over 40) that graduated in 2005 got back together for dinner. It was the first time since graduation three years ago that I'd seen most of them!
When I came up the stairs and saw them sitting there, I was kinda taken aback. In some ways they'd changed so much and in others not at all. For the most part I think they have transformed into adults--from boys and girls to men and women. That's neat to see happen.
They were my first class to teach in Taiwan and I taught them all for a full two years. They are more than my students. They became my friends and companions . . . some of them I know will be life long friends. These students have blessed my life in many, many ways. I will never have this kind of relationship with another class of students again, of this I am sure. I am SO thankful for them. Praise God for his blessings!
A solemn reality that reunions like this remind me of is that being a great English teacher has no eternal value. Many of them haven't used English much in the past three years and don't feel confident conversing with me in English anymore. That's ok because we can use Chinese, but my point is all my work and effort in English language education doesn't matter. It counts for nothing in the end. The only thing that matters is sharing the Gospel of Christ. It is the only thing I can share with them that will be of eternal value.
I got to meet this precious little baby a few weeks ago. He is the first child of Lydia, one of my college roommates, and her husband.
This little guy wasn't sure he wanted to enter the world. It was 9 days past his due date, and even after inducing labor he took 27 hours to decide it was time to enter the world. :)
In Taiwan, it is customary for moms to take a month long rest (作月子) after giving birth. She is confined to one room and does as little as possible--including not bathing (some wash their hair with rubbing alcohol and allow for sponge baths).
According to what I've been told, the new mom is waited on hand and foot while her main job is to rest, heal, and take care of her little one. She is excused from all duties and responsibilities. It is not uncommon to take the month long rest in a special facility just for new mom's, but my friend went back to her childhood home where her mom and sister took care of her.
She eats special foods--including a special "drunken chicken" soup (ie. cooked with rice wine)--and there are several other taboos to avoid and customs to follow during this month long rest.
So, all of that to say, my friend's son was born on January 22, and I got to meet him on February 23. He was so little and so tiny. I'd forgotten just how small one month old babies are.
What a blessing!!! I look forward to watching him grow into a man after God's own heart.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward" (Psalm 127:3).
Yesterday, I joined a few of my students for a fun little adventure. We rode out to a strawberry patch in Tainan county and picked strawberries.
I'd never done this before, and it was kinda fun picking and choosing the reddest berries I could find.
And they are so delicious!! Wish yall could come stop by for some strawberry shortcake tonight!
Deborah is posting on different topics about missions each day for the month of March. All her posts so far have been informative, but the two I liked the most (so far, we are only on the 6th of March you know) were about tatoos and diabetes and exploding trash.
We currently have a team of six (from Missouri) here serving with Hokkien Harvest, the mission team I partner with, for the week.
Yesterday, Wednesday, they came to Tainan and shared the Good News with Taiwanese college students.
What a privilege to witness new life begin!
I invite you to join me in praying for both the team as they still have a few more days here with us and for your new brother and sisters in Christ!!
This one last night woke me up enough to experience it and to think "wow, this one is kinda big. Father, thank you for keeping me safe and please help anyone not ok because of this earthquake."
Then I fell back asleep and forgot all about it till this morning when another smaller tremor shook me just now.
Last night's quake wasn't actually all that big; only 5.5 at the epicenter. And about 4 here where I live. But, I now live on the 7th floor--I've never lived quite that high before which affects the intensity of the quake with it feeling stronger on every floor you go up.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in
times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and
the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let
the mountains tremble as the waters surge! . . .
The nations are in an uproar, and kingdoms crumble! God thunders,
and the earth melts! The LORD Almighty is here among us; the God of
Israel is our fortress. Come, see the glorious works of the LORD . . .
"Be silent, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world." The LORD Almighty is here
among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. (Selected verses from Psalm 46)
All of these photos were taken by my friend Karen, a missionary to the Hakka people here in Taiwan.
All credit for the beauty of Taiwan goes to the greatest, most creative artist ever, God. What a privilege to be surrounded by his masterpieces!!
Sitting here surfing the net looking at pictures on flickr, when out the blue my skype phone rings.
My skype phone hardly ever rings.
I have an Austin area number, so family and friends can call a local number to talk to me even though I live in Taiwan. But, my mom and I usually skype on the computer, and I'm usually the one who does the calling to my sister and others.
But, tonight, the skype phone rings. I don't know the number, but I see that it is a 512 number, meaning someone in Austin.
I decide to answer.
For a brief moment, I am not sure what to say. My gut tells me to say "wei" (how you say hello on the phone in Chinese). My brain tells my gut that is wrong. My mouth doesn't know what to do.
It was a very weird feeling. Weird that I actually had to consciously think about something I've done unconsciously my whole life.
Finally, my brain reasoned that hello would be best, so mouth obeyed.
I then hear a voice I don't know say, "Linda?"
For a split second I wanted to tell this stranger that he had called Taiwan. For a split second, I wanted to speak Chinese just to freak him out a little. I wanted him to be able to share in the hilarity of it all, but again brain won because it reasoned that it would be too difficult to explain, and this poor guy wanted to talk to Linda, not me.
I did, however, laugh a little when I told him it was a wrong number . . . . think about it: this guy was trying to call an Austin number but got someone in Taiwan. Pretty wild.
Welcome to life in the digital age.