a challenge

John Piper charges women--both married and single--with 15 challenges in this article from his Desiring God site. (Hat tip to Emily at Unfuling Flower.)

Piper also has other resources on Complementarianism in his online library.  And, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is edited by Piper and Wayne Grudem, is also available online in a pdf file for download (free).

Go; read; be challenged!


huh? you must be married to have a life!?!


I love games.  I always have.   Board games, card games, word games, dice games are all ok by me.  One of the most popular classic American board games--besides Monopoly--is the Game of Life.  But, did you know that in order to play the game of life you must get married?

Genevieve A. Longley wrote a beautiful article inspired after laughing about this game rule and saddened by the fact that many singles live in a holding pattern waiting for life to begin (aka waiting for marriage).  In the article, she tells about how she was waiting for a missionary husband to come along until "finally, one day, God was able to show [her] that He hadn't called [her] at that point to marry a missionary but to be one."

After this "wake up to life call," Genevieve was able to serve the Lord in Argentina for over 12 years in unique ways only someone unmarried could.  She died at the young age of 43 from cancer.  Six months before she died, she wrote these words:

"No one is guaranteed a
tomorrow; we each live by the grace of God. Is ours a temporary Dixie
Cup® of life or an elegant crystal goblet from which we can drink
deeply? Will we as Christian singles buy into the thinking that says we
must first be married before starting The Game of Life® or will we
choose to say, 'This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will
rejoice and be glad in it.' (Psalm 118:24)"

As unmarried women, we must start life before we are given a marriage partner.  In fact, one is never promised us, nor is it our greatest need (however, a Savior is).  Nonetheless, we can still hope that one day we will be interrupted by a God given husband.  We are able to do so because we can trust God with a hope deferred--we can say with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (aka Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego): the God we serve is able to . . . and even if he does not we still choose to worship Him alone (Daniel 3:16-18). 

Not as easy as it sounds, right?  Only by the grace of God are we able to do it. 

Go read Genevieve A. Longley's story. You'll be glad you did.

a few quotes on learning

Learning_2Each time I have graduated, my dad told me the same thing: "now your real education can begin."  He instilled in me from the beginning to use "formal education" as a way to learn how to learn.

In fact, learning is a natural part of my family.  My dad studies in order to prepare for his sermons; my mom is a teacher.  And all of us love learning a few good random facts.

In fact, I love learning.  Perhaps that is one reason I became a teacher and researcher.  As a teacher, I can pass on my love of learning others--giving them the tools to continue to learn on their own.  Being a researcher, gives me an excuse to continue learning so that I can become a better teacher.  And, like it has been said before, if you wanna learn, teach. 

As I prepare for the upcoming semesmter of courses, I want to share with you some of my favorite quotes on education and learning.

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”  ~Chinese Proverb

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." ~Abigail Adams

"Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration." ~Thomas A. Edison

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~Chinese Proverb

"The important thing is not to stop questioning." ~Albert Einstein

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."  ~Albert Einstein

"Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand." ~Chinese Proverb

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."  ~Pablo Picasso

"The more you know, the more you know you don't know." ~Aristotle

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." ~Eartha Kitt

"Learning how to learn is life's most important skill."  ~Tony Buzan

"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." ~Voltaire

"Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous." ~Confucius

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by Sallie at A Gracious Home
This week the theme is The Beauty of Learning and is hosted by Blair at Scribblings by Blair.

can you believe it!?!

As Kristy correctly noted yesterday in her comment, I got my hair cut. 

And it is SHORT.  The shortest I think it has ever been!!  For years it was down to my mid-back, and for the past two years I've been wearing it around my shoulders.  But, a week or two ago, I lost about 4-5 inches.

Then, the stylist styled it straight for me.  I don't think it has ever been this straight in my whole life!!! 

My Straight Hair

My straight hair only lasted three days! :)  And, it even got a little curlier the further I got from the time the stylist straightened it.  After the stylist was done, it was all sleek and straight.  Then later, suddenly it had bounce and shape. Kinda funny. :)

But, then as soon as it gets wet, this is what it looks like this . . .

My New Hair Cut

Many people have asked if I would do it straight again.  And the answer is sure . . . if I had the tools, products, and time.  It was fun to have straight hair for a day or two.  I loved being able to run my fingers through it at any time I wanted to (not just when it is wet).  I even liked to feel the swish of it on my shoulders.  It was fun, but I am completely satisfied with my curls. ;)

happy birthday, grandmas!!


Today, August 27, 2006, is the birthday of both of my grandmothers!!  They were born on the same day nine years apart. 

I thank God for both of these women and the amazing influence they have had on me, the unconditional love they give so freely, the encouragement and support they offer, and the prayers they pray on my behalf.  I am blessed!

I love you, NeeNee!  I love you, Grandma! 
Happy Birthday to both of you!!

visiting family


Thanks for stoppping by my blog.  I'm glad you did.

Just wanted to let you know that for the next week, I will be visiting family in the States and not be able to post.  Please stop by again in about a week when posting should return to normal.

Have a great day!!

Photo above was taken by my younger brother Sam during his fishing trip with Dad to New Mexico.  More here (including one of a bear). :)

only in taiwan

Baby in a Bucket

Thought I would share with you one of my favorite "only in Taiwan pictures."

Yes, this baby is a bucket on the back of his grandma's bike.  And, yes, the baby is being sheilded from the sun by an umberalla that grandma has tied somehow to the bucket on the bike.  And, yes, I did take this picture while driving my moped (but, shhh, don't tell that to my mom or grandmothers.)


I was listening to my "Trusting God" playlist on my ipod while I ate lunch yesterday afternoon.  Mostly I had been enjoying songs from Soverign Grace Music, when suddenly I heard a worship leader proclaim:

"哈利路亞!! 來讚美祢! 祢是好的神! 祢是最好的神!"

(Translation: Hallelujah!  We've come to worship You!  You are a GOOD God.  You are the best God there is!!)

I didn't expect to hear Chinese while I munched on my chicken in my parent's home, nor did I expect my reaction to hearing the Chinese:  I broke down and cried. 

I miss Taiwan.  And, at the same time, I am thankful that we really do worship the God who is greater than all other gods!

祢真是最好的神! 祢是主! 哈利路亞!!

cultural gumballs??


I have a cultural question I need help answering.

When Sam and I were out touring northern Taiwan, we saw a giant gumball machine just like you could see in any mall or grocery store in the States.

However, each of these gumballs were enclosed in a little easy to open plastic ball. 

I don't ever remember seeing this in the States.  I do know that the Taiwanese are a little less than enthusiastic to eat with or get their hands messy (it took a lot of convincing to get elementary kids to finger-paint).  So, I thought this might be a cool cultural thing. 

So, I have two questions really. First, are gumball machines in the States now wrapping their gumballs?  Or does this seem to be an "Only in Taiwan" thing?

GumballsAnd second, here a multiple choice question for ya:

The gumballs were in little plastic cases so:

a. you don't get germs from your hands on the gumball

b. if you drop it on the floor you can still eat it

c. you can safely save the gumball for later

d. all of the above
any other ideas why?

fried ants anyone?

When I was a kid, I remember my mom telling me  you could tell how long a missionary had been on the field by their reaction to insects in their food.

Less than a year: "Disgusting!"  And throw away the food.
About a year:  "Oh Gross!" Then pick the insect up out of the food and toss it.
About two years: "Hmm, more protein."  And eat the insect with their food.

Why my mom choose to tell me this, I have no idea.  I don't even know if she recalls telling me about it.  But, I never, ever forgot that conversation I had with my mom when I was eight or nine years old.

In Taiwan, a city in my county is famous for its fried ants and grasshoppers.  But, when I visited, I wasn't brave enough to try them out.  Maybe one day . . .

You know missionaries have great fun times swapping stories about what we do push past our tongues for the sake of being accepted by the host culture.  The worst story I heard was from a missionary to southeast Asia who told about how he actually ate a live, little critter.  Too scared to chew, he swallowed the bug whole.  After a few moments of nauseousness, the little critter actually crawled his way back into the missionaries mouth!  UGH!!!  Oh my that is just GROSS!!!

This post is inspired by the fact that apparently, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is raising missionaries! :)

chocolate confessions

photo by parl

Chocolate covered fruit--strawberries, bananas, cherries--turns the
mouth into a festival of delight!  Just yummy.  I promise you a frozen banana
covered in chocolate tates better than ice cream!  I kid you not!!

Eating Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas--YUMMY!!

Speaking of ice cream, even though I confessed the other day that I would prefer green tea ice cream to chocolate ice cream, I must explain the reason why.  Don't get me wrong.  Just like most every woman, I enjoy chocolate in a myriad of forms, but I prefer rich dark chocolate.  Milk chocolate bars, chocolate flavored puddings, or even chocolate ice cream do not satisfy like a small, hard square of dark chocolate melting slowly in my mouth.   I'm talking 60-80% coca here ladies.  Pure delight!

I'll make another confession too, my favorite Sonic treat is not even on the menu: a hot fudge shake.  Sounds like an oxymoron right?  But it is the richest, chocolatiest shake I've ever had.  It is like I am finally allowed to just drink hot fudge.  :)

Oh, and as long as I am making confessions . . . one more.  Chocolate chips are just too wonderful to be put into cookies.  :)  Last year, I took back to Taiwan with me a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to bake with.  Not one of those delicious morsels made it into a baked treat, but they did all get eaten.

I am so thankful that God choose to give us coco beans and that some smart people decided to make them into chocolate.  Can you imagine what the banquet foods in heaven will be like?  I am sure my confession that dark chocolate is "pure delight" will seem silly and overstated as we drink in His presence.

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by Sallie at A Gracious Home.  This week the theme is The Beauty of Chocolate and is hosted by Ellen at MzEllen & Co

photo scavenger hunt: money

I once again saw Mountain Musings' Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt and finally decided to join her and others in the fun. Today's theme was "money." 

Taiwanese Money Side 1

For Christmas 2003, my sister, Sarah, came to see me in Taiwan.  In the photo above, she displays several 1000 New Taiwan Dollar bills.  Each 1000 NT dollar bill is worth about 30 something US dollars.

Money, Money, Money!!

My brother shows me his wallet which is full of 100 New Taiwan Dollar Bills.  Each 100 NT bill is worth around 3 US dollars.

Paper Money
But the sad thing about money in Taiwan is "spirit money".  Taiwanese people burn spirit money (also called "ghost money" or "paper money").  They burn it believing that it is going to their ancestors who can then use the money to buy things in the spirit world.  Twice a month, I can see people in my neighborhood burning money to the spirits. 

Photos from above mosiac can be found full size on the following pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


Right now, it is the middle of Ghost Month, so there is even more burning of paper money than normal.  Ghost Month is a month where the Taiwanese (and others in Asia) beleive that the gates of Hades are opened and the spirits allowed to roam free on earth.  While the ghosts roam the land of the living, the living must appease them by offering them food, gifts, and money.  Morever the living are scared and try to take precautions against avoiding evil--they will not move to new houses, will not marry, will not make any major purchases, and will not go swimming or take part in other "dangerous sports."

Please pray for the Taiwanese.  Oh how they need to be set free from the lies and the fear that binds them!

Photo Hunter

the world's tallest


After spending the morning at the CKS Memorial, and the early afternoon exploring a puppet museum, Sam and I then went to the world's tallest building!!  Taipei 101.

We got to ride the world's fastest elevator--something like 84 floors in about half a minute!  At it's fastest it goes 28 miles per hour--that is FAST for an elevator!!

And, we also saw one of the three dampers that help keep the building stable--it just happens to the world's largest damper.

Sam and I had a BLAST that afternoon.  We just enjoyed the scenery, enjoyed each other, and enjoyed being silly. 

Do you know why it is called Taipei 101?  Well, because it has 101 stories/floors.  So, we started a list of 101 things we did in the world's tallest building.  But, uh, we didn't write it down, so I have no idea what was on our list now.  However, we had tons of fun making the list! :)

Oh, and just FYI, I did eat the world's best (at least in my opinion) green tea ice cream in the world's tallest building. :)  It was DELICIOUS!!  Just to let you know I think I would choose green tea ice cream over chocolate!!  It is so good!!

BTW, there are some awesome photos of 'Taipei One-oh-One" on flickr.


a puppet museum

Sam Plays with the BuDiShee

After visiting the CKS Memorial, a subway ride and lunch but before visiting the next famous Taipei landmark, Sam and I headed for a lesserner known museum in Taipei: The Puppet Museum (also called the Puppetry Art Center Taipei or 台北偶戲館).

We learned that there are three types of traditional puppetry in Taiwan: glove puppets, string puppets, and shadow puppets.  It was a cool museum that had all the information about the puppets translated into English.  However, it was also really interactive.  After learning about each type of traditional puppet, they had a some that could be played with. 


See these and more full size photos from our trip.

These puppets--especialy the glove or hand puppets--are very popular in Taiwan.  In fact, there are lots of shows on TV which star an all puppet cast.  At first Sam thought these shows were strange and very fake, but after the museum trip he decided that if he could understand Taiwanese he would watch the shows.

In order to reach the Taiwanese in a very culturally relevant way, there is one missionary (one that I know of at least) who envisions using traditional Taiwanese glove puppets to tell Bible Stories.  I think that is an awesome idea!  This missionary, who works with OMF Taiwan, has an informative powerpoint about her vision online.  How Cool!!

P.S. If you are actually thinking about going
the museum, I would make one caution, it is rather small, as in not a
lot to do/look at for individual visitors.  It seemed to be more
structured for preschool and elementary fieldtrips with much space
being devoted to craft rooms where young stundents could make and take
puppets.  However, Sam and I enjoyed what were able to see and do
there.  I am glad he was there to go with me.  I always love learning more about the Taiwanese culture.

The CKS Grounds in Taipei

02; Originally uploaded by Blue-Interface.

I found this really cool photo on flickr. 

It shows how all the buildings I talked about in the earlier post are all laid out in real life.  Now you know why it is one of the most popular siteseeing stops in Taiwan.

I also loved the photo below taken by the same photographer.

04; Originally uploaded by Blue-Interface.

Sam's First Day in Taipei

It's been a while since our whirlwind trip to the north, but I still wanna share about it.  So, please join me as I show you a little about Taiwan and all the things there are to sightsee. 

After we went shrimp fishing, the next day we went to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. However, we didn't stay in Taipei, we stayed at my friend's house.  So, each day we took a bus to Taipei. 

Sam on Bus Bus Ticket from TouFen to TaiPei

The first day we visited perhaps the most popular landmarks to sightsee in Taipei. In the morning we went to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.  On the same grounds are the National Theater and the National Opera House.  These buildings are beautiful! (To see any of the pictures bleow larger, please click here.)


Even though it is just noon, Sam is obviously tired.   It must be the humidity.  It certainly wouldn't be because I made him take lots of pictures!!
Sam is tired of phots :)

Regardless of why, I made sure he got something cold to drink.

Ahhh . . . Refreshing :)

In the afternoon, we continued to have fun.  We went to our next destination by subway.  Come back tomorrow to see where we went that afternoon!!

Sam on the Taipei MRT

I forgot to say thanks

Back in the middle of July when I was in travelling, Sallie announced the Blogs of Beauty Awards

I was actually a finalist in the "Best Encourager for Singles" category, but the award went to, as it rightly deserved to, Carolyn at Solo Feminity.  Most of my posts on singleness of late were all quoting her blog or her book!  And, like I have said before if you are a single female, go now and find a copy of Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? and start reading!  You'll be very glad you did!

Also, I was nominated for "Best Encourager in General." And that award went to another blogging missionary living in overseas: a very joyful Joy from Joy in the Journey.

I've been meaning to post on this and say two things.  First of all, thank you to whoever nominated for me for these awards.  It is great to know that people are actually reading my words and as a result are being encouraged.  All honor and glory goes to the Father!  Second of all, if you haven't checked out the nominees, finalists, and winners, you should!  You will find your list of "must-read blogs" growing by leaps and bounds!!  Thanks to Sallie for undertaking such a huge task that blessed so many women in so many ways!!

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