Monday, May 28, 2007

wait, wait, wait A Maranatha Music song from the late 1970's has been running through my head all weekend: We must wait, wait, wait on the Lord We must wait, wait, wait on the Lord . . . In His timing He will tell us What to do, where to go, what to say You know there are times when the path might be unknown, but there is only one way to go--forward--so that is what you do. But, what about when the path has a "y" or comes to a "t"? Ahh, that is when life gets exciting. That is when faith is tested. So, here I stand at a "y" in this unknown path waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It is, oh, so tempting to do things the Amanda-way. It is, oh, so tempting to apply Amanda-logic. It is, oh, so tempting to not be patient! "Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long" (Psalm 25:5). I found this sermon by James Smith (1869) to be of great comfort, encouragement, and exhortation. If you find yourself in a place of waiting--please do click over and at least skim if not soak in what he is saying. Here is a not-so-brief clip: Believer, you may be independent of all creation by realizing your dependence upon your God, and waiting upon him continually. You must believe: the love he has to you, his watchful care over you, his delight in you, the promises he has given you, the provision he has made for you, the glory he will get by you, and the honor to which he intends to raise you. In so doing, the fear of man will die, joy in God will spring up, the peace of God will fill your heart and mind, your dependence on creatures will cease, and you will be happy in looking only to the Lord. "My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from him." "Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land– when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it." . . . Before us are difficulties, seemingly as great as the Red Sea before Israel; behind us are obstacles, as fearful as the Egyptians behind them. Besides which, we have no Moses with the rod of God to make a way for us. What can we do? Do as the prophet of old did, who said–-"I will wait upon the Lord, who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him." Yes, wait on the Lord, who has given you this precious promise–-"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye." He will point out the way, he will teach you in the way, he will guide as a loving Father or a faithful friend. There are no...
culture difference #312 Cultural differences come in many shapes and sizes. Some are based on thoughts and beliefs--presumptions about the way the world works and values a group of people hold in common. Some are much simpler than that. If you were to ask my students about what is culture they would probably answer with things like "food," "holidays," and "weddings." They would be somewhat right. However, culture--the way we live our lives--entails, oh, so much more than that. It involves some great big things and some little tiny things as well. One of the things I loved showing international students when I was in college was how I made my bed. It is totally different than how they made theirs. We take all aspects of our culture for granted. And, it can be little things like keys and light swiches that are really interesting to people from other cultures. Some things about life in taiwan that used to seem so abnormal, now seem so normal and common place to me. Speaking of keys lets take them as an example: Before coming to Taiwan, I'd never seen a round key with holes in it before. I need it to open the basement door of my parking garage staircase. And, the key with "LACEE" on it above--how cool it that!?!?! It looks like a key to a treasure chest, right? But in reality, it just opens the lock on my moped. And that pointy key with grooves on four sides? It has a notch in it at the top, so I know which way to insert it into my front door. Pretty nifty in my opinion. The black rectangle opens the outside door of my apartment building if I come home after 11 pm. Beeped-beep and I'm in. Why two sets of keys you ask? Well, remember I drive a moped: I don't want my keys too heavy and big while I'm driving with them all exposed. In the coming weeks, I plan (Lord willing) to showcase here on my blog some of the myriad of little cultural differences that have intrigued me and captured my interst while living here. So, if there is anything you are wondering about . . . ask, I'll try to get a picture and show you. Send me on a scavenger hunt; I dare you. :)

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