• December 3, 2008 /  China

    After an uneventful ride with China East airlines, we took a two part taxi ride from the Zhengzhou airport to our three star hotel. There are taxis that only go around the airport, which is 30 miles away from the city, and everything else, and then there are taxis in the city of over 3 million people. The airport taxis would not be willing to take you into the city, but they would be willing to charge you twice the normal rate to dump you along the edge of the highway half way into the city, where a city taxi completes the trip. Oh, China. Read the rest of this entry »

  • November 29, 2008 /  China

    Saturday was spent traveling from Peking University to Concordia Int’l school where Nels & Deirdre & their cherubs, Christiain & Eileen (9 & 7 year olds) live in Shanghai. Again it was blue skies & sunshine so we got a clear aerial view of the Chinese countryside between Beijing & Shanghai. We didn’t see any small population centers, just big fields and storage facilities for whatever they are growing, and cities. Mimi says that “small towns” in China means 3-5 million people! Read the rest of this entry »

  • November 28, 2008 /  China

    I got up early because I was too excited to sleep & had a Zone bar in order to be properly fueled for today’s adventures. I got cleaned up while Mimi had her last class for a week. She was pretty giddy about that. Our Thanksgiving date last night was surreal. We were the only white folks in a large fancy restaurant & the peking duck was succulent. But I was entranced by the lovliness of my daughter, not to mention amazed by her Mandarin with not hint of midwestern accent. Read the rest of this entry »

  • November 27, 2008 /  China, Reflect & Perfect

    Kathy graciously got up at 530am Wednesday to take me to the bus stop in Rockford, and it has been smooth connections since. Before boarding the 777, I was briefed by Dan, our Tang Soo Do instructor for several years, and now he is one of the mighty men who serve to make our air traffic safer. He updated me on the world hot spots as we caught up a bit. I let him know my flight & seat number in case the team on board needs an asset. Just kidding. There really isn’t a team. :-)

    I just realized that I missed most of Thanksgiving this year Read the rest of this entry »

  • November 19, 2008 /  China, Reflect & Perfect

    Next week I leave for China. I can hardly believe I have a passport with a Chinese visa stamped in it. It is one of those things that just work out, but you don’t really know why – yet. My daughter will be my personal translator and guide, which will be a whole new role reversal. Aren’t dads supposed to take care of their daughter’s health and safety?

    Well Mimi is a different kind of daughter. Remember the Italian warrior queen who raised her. She is required to travel around the country, the whole country, during her semester of study at Peking University in Beijing. I volunteered to travel with her when she has a week off for a Chinese holiday from language study. So we’ll be traveling by plane, slow train, fast train, subway, taxi, and walking, between Beijing and Shanghai on the coast, and up into the mountains a bit inland. I am sure I will see things that aren’t on the usual tour itinerary. What does one do with such an opportunity? Read the rest of this entry »

  • November 6, 2008 /  Mission

    I would like to share with you through the story of the Antioch church in Acts 11, and through some of my life experiences, how to find the perfect church for each of you. Don’t laugh. This is not a joke. I am dead serious. Don’t run. I am not going to hurt you.
    I will explain in this half-hour message why I believe the reviving of the mission of the US church depends on the depth of your commitment to a perfect local church! This is essential to the only effective mission worthy of your heart, soul, mind, and might! Think about this as a missionary – if you are not doing it here, why would you go someplace else and not do it?!
    Please, listen – and then, please, get connected to your perfect church – and then, please, tell me what you think!

    Perfect Church

  • October 23, 2008 /  Brazil

    If your culture were being taken from you, what would you do? If drug lords, pimps, and gangs were stealing your culture, your honorable way of living, and replacing it with their destructive and dishonorable “life,” what would you do? If your children were being taken from the streets of your own barrio, and enslaved by the very forces of evil, what could you do?

    Luis Neto grew up in such a barrio in Manaus, and has been wrestling from a young age. He has seen the corruption of the jiu jitsu culture, and felt the oppression of its corruptors. A few years ago after Luis completed the requirements for his black belt, his instructor said he was ready to be promoted–at a graduation to be held at a brothel, where he would “prove his manhood” by taking drugs, alcohol, and women. Luis refused, saying that he would not do anything he would be ashamed to tell his church. As a result, his instructor did not promote him, and the other students scorned and ridiculed him.  Read the rest of this entry »

  • October 14, 2008 /  Reflect & Perfect

    In my research of the meaning of the word “mighty,” I stumbled across this definition from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. It was a huge leap forward in my understanding of the term when I observed the contextual meaning. Vine places the Hebrew word gibbôr under the English heading of “hero,” rather than “mighty.” Evidently in the word gibbôr there is the connotation–if not the implication–that one’s strength be used to rescue another in peril; to use his or her greater strength on behalf of someone with less; to rescue one who cannot rescue himself. Only then should that strength be considered worthy of the Hebrew word, “gibbor.”

    See what you think. Read the rest of this entry »

  • October 14, 2008 /  Reflect & Perfect

    Andrew’s comment challenged me to define “mighty.” Fortunately, I received an email from a team member, whose father-in-law had some insight into the Hebrew. Part of this email appears below, and I hope it will be as helpful to you as it was to me.

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    …A friend whom I led to Christ (Fred) was concerned about what he was hearing from a fellow worker who was a Jehovah’s Witness advocate. At Fred’s request, I met with the two of them. The Jehovah’s Witness read from a WatchTower translation footnote at Isaiah 9:6 relating to Christ’s name being, “Mighty God,” as something less than “Almighty God,” the latter name being reserved for Jehovah alone, no other member of the Trinity. I refuted that contention by pointing out the following: Read the rest of this entry »

  • October 9, 2008 /  Brazil

    I call Ricardo the George Mueller of Manaus. His wrestling academy is more an orphanage than a gym, and it’s located squarely in the mouth of the dragon–the barrio that is most known for drugs, gangs, and prostitution. Ricardo was deep into all these things when he received a vision from the Lord: Read the rest of this entry »