The last 4 months have been exciting since I started the blog in April, and I have had the chance to check out other blogs and spaces and engage in some good theology-dialogues. Cadence and I will be spending 3 months in Beijing working on our language skills (namely Mandarin) from tomorrow onwards, so we can be of some use later on next year for our mission trip in Qinghai, the North West of China.
A few things to pray for:
1. The internet there (everywhere in China) is censored and monitored – so please pray that if I don’t blog here (not because I don’t want to, but simply because the blog is blocked; and my emails are monitored), I am still doing my commentary offline. I hope to finish looking at Numbers and Deuteronomy by the time I get back in Christmas, so please pray that I don’t procrastinate on that front. If you happen to send me an email, please refrain from using Christian terminology, and just learn to censor words (Chri*tian, Je*us, Y-H-W-H – or learn to refer to Christ with the other names given to him in Scripture, be that ‘Anointed One’, ‘High Priest’, ‘Second Person’, ‘Presence’… whatnot. I happen to find this a very helpful spiritual exercise!).
2. That we plug into a church there immediately and serve wherever God needs us to serve. I hear the teaching in Beijing is generally awful and not Jesus-focused, so perhaps God can use me where I can somewhat contribute with my Christological convictions; and of course, pray for the servants-in-Christ over there. I’m sure they are having a tough time if they are genuinely serving Jesus there.
3. Mandarin training – 3 months is not a long time to study any language (given the basic education in boarding/high school of German and French which lasted for at least 4-5 yrs and I still CAN’T evangelise in either of those European languages), yet Mandarin will be the basic language which I will be using when I work with the missionaries in Qinghai. It is no easy task, and as of now I have been asked to help lead some theology courses there in Chinese. Pray the Spirit will be working through this entire process and that God’s Wisdom will be the source of my achievements in Christ for the next 3 – 6 mths.
4. That I enjoy my time with new brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, family and with Cadence this year.
Hope to see you back here in Christmas: I won’t be blogging so feel free to catch up with the Genesis-Leviticus reading and help me discern the areas which are not clear, or questionable in my attempt at Christological exegesis. I’ve uploaded the three book commentaries on the ‘Sermons/Papers’ page. It would help to know that I am not writing in a vacuum.
May you remember that as a truly circumcised Christian, Jesus and his Spirit are continually interceding for you, so you can persistently and confidently take and live the true life of a son and daughter who is already redeemed! Christ has done it all for us! In the words of Luther:
“If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life in not the dwelling place of righteousness but, as Peter says, we look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. . . . Pray boldly-you too are a mighty sinner.”