Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Shopping in Shanghai

Here it is, a new year and I am 1000's of miles from friends and family. They say that one of the languages of love is the giving of gifts so I am about to embark on another shopping trip downtown. The last time I was there was with my interpreter to buy a gift for a very good friend of mine. This time it will be an attempt to find something for my 2 1/2 year old boy. I was reminded a day or two ago of something that I had said to my wife as we discussed the imminent arrival of Christmas shopping. When I pondered upon the mayhem I came to the conclusion that part of the reason there is so much stress involved in Christmas shopping for so many of us is that the process forces us to really think about someone else. Unless we take the easy way out we will be faced with truly reflecting upon the person with good intent in our hearts. This is a process of getting out of ourselves and the tiny world of our own minds. This is a process of discovering another human being, and hopefully seeing them rather than seeing through them. This shopping trip is to be a time of reflecting on my son, and, I trust, becoming a little better dad.
If you are reading this Cris, I love you and please kiss the kids for me. I will see you soon. Brad-Daddy

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Been Awhile!!

Yes, for any and all who have wandered over to this site it has been awile since I have entered anything, but as always I have a good reason. I am in freakin' China!!!! Shanghai to be exact, and Gubei New Area to be more precise. I have been here for a grand total of two weeks and I have two weeks left before I head home to bring the family here. Some may say that it is work that brought me here, for indeed I am working here, but we all know better don't we?? When we prayed about this decision (not exactly like choosing which pizza joint to go to), we heard a voice with a familiar capital 'p' paternal tone say," I am going to China, would you like to come along?" What followed was a stunned silence on our end while we picked ourselves up off the floor and convened to converse on this response. Since it is not easy to talk with your lower mandible scraping the lint off the carpet (easier done with a goatee) our conference made little linguistic sense and we knew it was simply a stalling tactic anyway. Long and short has me in a very new situation; very very new. For those who are taking a break from the sanitized Hollywood of Sunday morning I am sure you will have some grip on this.
Our collective Daddy instructed me to leave my handheld holy writ at home and test out the true mettle of my sword. One month being fed by ravens in a strange land. One month with only the mouth of the Father to speak to me. One month with not a believer in sight. One month.
He may be safe, but He will never be tame.
Oh yeah, by the way, Dad's trip to China is a business trip and it is not just with me. I wonder what it says on His visa.
Tsechen for now.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Why am I so surprised???

I am constantly surprised by my ability to forget things. You know what I mean, right? You look into a mirror, even a perfect mirror and then walk away and forget. When I look into this mirror I not only see myself the way I truly am, I also see the truth the way it truly is. I just spent some time in an old familiar place and was truly surprised that my faith was beginning to show some serious cracks. As much as I pondered over this dilemma I could find no answers (No, of course I didn't go back to the mirror, whadda ya think I!!??). It wasn't until I had left the place and driven for some time that I realized that there was a spiritual dominion that I had entered and in not addressing it as such I got the shit kicked out of me more everyday that was there. I am not sure what keeps me from remembering the fact that I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but this is something that I really need to rectify. It has become more apparent that I need to be constantly aware of what is going on around me and address it accordingly. True, sometimes it may be as simple as offering someone some peace, but at other times I will need to stick it directly to Mephistopheles and his cronies. Of course being more than a conquerer I will kick butt, but until then I will live under the thumb of circumstances.
There is only one spirit that is Holy, but there is not only one spirit.