responsive reading from our wedding

IMGP4304.JPGTomorrow is our second anniversary, and I’m finally getting around to something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Actually, I’ve wanted to do it since about 1997, when I visited my New Testament professor’s home.   He and his wife had their vows hanging up in their kitchen for all to see and for them to remember daily.  I thought that was such a neat idea.

Plus, Lawrance and I are making our wedding vows a part of our anniversary.  Each year, on our anniversary we repeat them to each other again.  So, as I’m digging through my hard drive trying to find them, I also stumbled upon the responsive reading we used in our Taiwanese wedding.  Of course in the Taiwanese wedding, we used Chinese, but for my planning purposes, I used English.

I’m not sure where the idea came from–at this point it’s anyone’s guess.  We had a few goals with our weddings–one was to stress the idea of a covenant, one was to stress grace, and another was to make Scripture central to everything.  So, I compiled verses from the Bible into a responsive reading–I do remember it being too long and having a hard time cutting it down to a reasonable length.  Another couple that got married after us had a man and woman take turns reading aloud these verses at their wedding, and that worked beautifully too.

Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. (Gen 2:18)

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. (Gen 2:21)

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. (Gen 2:22)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:24)

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. (Prov 18:22)

House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. (Prov 19:4)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Eph 5:22)

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.(Eph 5:23)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (Eph 5:25)

Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph 5:28)

You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Col 3:12)

You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Col 3:13)

And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. (Col 3:14)

And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Col 3:17)

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mat 19:6)

Perhaps I’ll ask Lawrance when he gets home whether or not we also want to make reading these scriptures together a part of either our Aug 31st or our March 7th celebrations.

heaven’s eight blessings 天國八福

Last night, someone shared a video of the “Eight Blessings of Heaven” on Facebook.

Lawrance watched it, and since it was really catchy I asked about it.  He simply said, “oh, it’s the eight Christian blessings.”

And then the cogs in my brain started turning.  First I thought: “That’s really cool.  Some Chinese person who knows that eight is an auspicious number meaning blessing and fullness created a neat way to share truth.”
Then I thought: “Hmmm, I wonder how they choose only eight.  I wonder what those eight blessings are.  I wonder if they’re truly biblical.”

Fast-forward to today.  Lawrance found another video with hundreds of people dancing in the street at an event called “Kaohsiung for Jesus.”

I wanted to watch it for myself, so he sent me the link.  It was only then that I realized that “Heaven’s Eight Blessings” were the “Beatitudes”!

So, um, yeah.  That’s pretty biblical.  I never before realized there were eight of them.  I have no idea if that number had significance to the immediate culture Christ was “opening his mouth and teaching” to, but it sure does have a lot of significance to the Taiwanese and Chinese!  How cool!!!

Watch and see for yourself, how Taiwanese have turned the “Eight Blessings of Heaven” into a dancing chant:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:3-10 ESV)

taiwan is hotter than texas (on average)

When my mom was here, usually the first comment she heard was “Wow!  You look so young, you could be Amanda’s sister!!”  The second comment was then something like “Don’t you think Taiwan is so hot?”

My mom gladly accepted the first comment, but she fought the second one, insisting that Texas was indeed hotter than Taiwan.

Today on her facebook page, she is further trying to prove her point:
Taiwan friends and family…….we, TEXAS that is, win —- we had a high temp of 103 F (40 C) with 28% humidity to make it feel like 107 F (42 C) today!!! It is now 7 PM and temp is 98 F (37 C)!!!…! TEXAS IS HOTTER THAN TAIWAN!!!!
At first, I just agreed: Yes, Texas is hot.  We don’t usually get over 40 here in Taiwan.
But, then I started thinking about it.  And, while Texas is hotter than Taiwan a few days a year–what about on average or during the year as a whole?  So, I did some research and made some comparisons–comparing my two hometowns–Tainan to Bastrop.

As you can see in the charts below–Taiwan is in fact hotter than Texas!
Only for two months does Texas have higher high temps than Taiwan–but during those same months the average temps are the same and the average low temps are higher in Taiwan, so while Texas has high spikes, Taiwan stays hot.

(I only caught the months on one of my charts–so 1-12 is Jan to Dec, and 13 is the yearly mean. And, all temps are in Celsius.)
taiwan is hotter than texas avg temps
taiwan is hotter than texas avg highs
taiwan is hotter than texas avg lows
I used average dew point to compare humidity because as I told my mom, I don’t think comparing relative humidity is accurate for comparison.  Then I found this from to back up my belief:
If you want to know how comfortable you’re going to be, you want to know the dew point. Allowing for differences among people and their tolerance for humidity, most people are going to start feeling the humidity is getting out of hand when the dewpoint is above 70 degrees. Dewpoints above 60 are going to make it feel humid, maybe a little too humid for some people.
What’s wrong with using relative humidity?
To see what’s wrong with relative humidity, let’s go to Barrow, Alaska, on an average January day when the temperature dips to -19 and the dew point is -20, the relative humidity is going to be 94.96%. You might be wishing you had another parka to put on, but the 94.96% relative humidity is not going to make you feel sticky.
For more on why relative humidity doesn’t really tell you how humid you feel, and just what is this mysterious “dewpoint” that I’m talking about, go to the Understanding humidity page.
taiwan is hotter than texas avg dew point
However, if you are more comfortable comparing relative humidity, go right ahead, and you’ll find that each month, Tainan’s average humidity is higher than Bastrop’s.

When Taiwanese people like to tell me that Taiwan is HOT!  I respond with: it is humid, but that both Texas and Taiwan are quite hot.  I also make the following analogies: Taiwan is like a rice cooker; you will be steamed.  Texas is like an oven; you will be baked!

an admission

Sometimes the emotional pain of infertility is so strong, it seems like my heart physically aches.

As we journey though this together, I’m thankful for articles like this:The Bible and The Pain of Infertility.
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