See the link below for the article yesterday in the Shanghai Daily:
[Originally written in my 07/01/06 Journal]<– nearly 8.5 years ago!
There are a few ways that my faith is lacking. Here are a few: 1) my future spouse. If God wants me to have one, he’ll provide. I don’t need to go out looking for one. I get these thoughts after seeing many of my friends getting married 2) God sanctifying me. I know that He is always working in me, but I feel like there are some sins that I simply accept, saying God doesn’t have the power to overcome that sin in me. 3) The power of prayer & that God truly answers the prayers of those who seek Him. I desire to become a man of prayer, but often I have doubts that God can do the work. I need total reliance on prayer. Show me the power of prayer. 4) That my life is in God’s hands. If I truly believed this, I would not plan anything in my future according to me having or not having Huntington’s Disease. How small is my faith! Forgive me Lord. Cleanse my sinful heart. Prepare me to do your service wholeheartedly. 5) God’s ability to change the hearts of nonbelievers. Often in my mind I place someone beyond salvation, saying that their heart is in a state too far away from God to ever be saved. Thus, I don’t pray for them. Lord I lift these things up to you. Sanctify me, Lord. Give me a heart like so many missionary men of God before me, like Hudson Taylor & Jim Eliot. May I have faith as strong as theirs.
[Written originally July 1, 2006, after my first year in China]
I’m very encouraged now by how the Lord has answered these prayers abundantly since then.
[Originally from my Dec. 10, 2007 Journal entry]
Notes from John Piper’s biography on John Bunyan [See my response below]:
“Authenticity follows winter seasons… People who have suffered want to be under pastor who has suffered. Pastor’s suffering is so important to the flock… Bunyan’s sufferings strengthened his assurance that God is sovereign over all afflictions of His people and will bring them safely home. People who suffer most tend to be people who understand God’s sovereignty most”
“God has appointed who will suffer [“…until the number of their fellow servants & brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed” (Rev. 6:11)], when they shall suffer [“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack & harm you, because I have many people in this city’” (Acts 18:9,10) AND “…but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come” (Jn. 7:30)], where they shall suffer [“I must keep going today & tomorrow & the next day – for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem” (Lk. 13:33)], what kind of sufferings [“I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16) AND “I have shown you by what death you will glorify God” (Jn. 21:19)]. Also, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity” (Jer. 15:2)…”I would go insane if not for the sovereignty of God”: Mom whose 21 year old son found to have leukemia”
[See Below my response to Piper’s sermon]
I was brought to tears today as I listened to the Bunyan biography, especially when Piper was talking about God’s sovereignty in the 21 year old kid with leukemia. We glorify the Lord when we are firm in our faith even in the face of suffering & death. This means I could glorify the Lord in my suffering if I have Huntington’s Disease. I used to think I’d wanna go to a dangerous place & get killed sharing the gospel. Now I think I could glorify the Lord most if I faced Huntington’s Disease with faith that the Lord could carry me through the deterioration of my mind & body all the way to my death. This seems more glorifying than trying to die before the symptoms come. That would be taking the easy road out. May the Lord give me faith that could stand firm.
[Originally written 12/10/07]
[NOTE: In early ’09 I was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease]
As of yesterday I’ve been volunteering at Waffle House — the Chinese breakfast place nearby — for two months.
I’ve been working about 6-7 hours per week at Waffle House.
The main relationship of note continues to be Mr. Gao, the 48 year old customer who comes in every day. He’s been living in Calgary for 8 years so we mostly speak in English. He’s back in China just for a year to help take care of his sick dad. My relationship with Mr. Gao is deepening each day. He’s excited to come to our home for a small Christmas party very soon. I hope to be able to share more about Jesus with him through the party & maybe give him a Chinese/English NT.
Waffle House has also helped me make friends with a guy Will Zhang who works in our high school’s office. He & his girlfriend Avril go to Waffle House every day, so I’m able to chat with them a bit each day. Both of them came to our home a couple weeks ago for a small TGiving party.
Still praying that the Lord would be opening the hearts of these people to see the light…
Recently I’ve been thinking about how unlike the Chinese men I dress when I walk around during a normal winter day wearing my huge long coat, a hoody, & at least three zip-up Under Armor long-sleeve shirts.
The Chinese men wear smaller — but thicker — coats, thick full-body long underwear, & some form of sweater.
Though I can’t wear as little of clothes as they wear — the normal high temp these days is about 30 degrees F — I’d like to make more of an effort to dress like the Chinese men dress. I’d like to be able to blend in here as much as possible.
So I’d like to start closely watching the Chinese men — & soon buying some clothes from local clothing stores, rather than just wearing clothes from the U.S.
If I can look more like them, maybe it’ll be easier for them to trust me. If they can more easily trust me, then maybe they’ll be more open to the gospel of Jesus Christ that I preach.
Certainly small things can go a long ways.
“I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means, I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:19,22)