A Parable

The king had everything his heart could wish for, but he was lonely. Companionship was lacking in the midst of riches beyond measure. He considered how he could use his creative genius to create companionship. He could make a couple of creatures with his traits and character, his personality. If he made them to have choice then he would persuade them of his goodness and entice them to love him. If he gave them choice there was the risk of their choosing their own way and abandoning him. So he planned how he could redeem them to himself if and when they chose not to be friends with him. Actually, he would eventually like to be married to these creatures made in his image, but that would take some serious sacrifice on his part. It would be worth it, though, for he was so lonely.

These creatures, called man and woman, were made with huge holes in their souls that could only be filled with the king’s love. They went on life-time quests to find what might fill the void within them – primarily physical pleasures that lasted such a short time. Small gods such as other humans or tame animals. Some delighted in sports and personal skills such as hunting and fishing. Others learned to make stringed instruments and created music. It satisfied to a degree but never quite filled their inner emptiness. The king looked down at his creation and felt a deep yearning to be intimate with these beautiful creatures who had no idea of his existence or his ability to satisfy their deepest longings.

At some point in the centuries of earth-time, the king decided it was time for him to redeem his fallen creatures, so he put on the identity of a man-child born of a young woman and lived in the corrupted world of humanity. As the perfect man, the king always made a place in his life for his mother and brothers and sisters, even when they scorned him. He learned carpentry from his earthly father and became a skilled tradesman. The king as a man later became a teacher who trained, encouraged and challenged his followers to love him. He invited them to become his friends in his teaching, his rest, and all the joys that were his. Even when taken captive by the religious police of that day, the king remembered to entrust his mother’s care to one of his followers. He invited a criminal on one side of his cross to be with him in Paradise. In unbearable pain and anguish the king never stopped loving the people he had created.

Having paid the terrible sacrifice of his human body and blood, the king returned to his kingdom, forever a king-human to prepare dwellings for his lovely bride. He sent the spirit of his father to walk as intimately with those who chose to follow him as they would allow. The deeper the submission and yearning humans expressed, the deeper the intimacy the king enjoyed with them. His created beings had cost him everything he had, but, oh, it was worth the shame he suffered to gain the love of those who chose to follow him.

During his time on earth as a man, the king spoke often about his desire to marry those who loved him as a collective bride. They were dull of hearing but eventually some of the king’s teaching began to penetrate their thinking. During the king’s human infancy, royal visitors brought him gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were often worn by a groom on his wedding day. In the first of the king’s creative miracles as a man, he turned water into fine wine at a wedding. When the king’s followers asked when he would come back he said he didn’t know – only his father knew. The king explained that he was going back to his kingdom to build dwelling places for his bride. In a Jewish betrothal, the groom built an addition to his father’s house for his bride. But it was the father’s decision when the bride would be invited to come. During the king’s last meal with his followers, he took a cup of wine and passed it around. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” The king wouldn’t drink again from that cup until the wedding feast with them in his father’s kingdom.

Along with these subtle messages of the king’s desire for a bride that was his equal, the king also realized that further creative power was necessary to transform his bride into the stunning creature he cried out for within himself.

“He who began a good work in you will continue developing that good work, perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (Phil.1:6).”

(reference: https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/bible-study/33090-6-surprising-ways-scripture-says-jesus-is-your-bridegroom) 

 

 

 

 

TB

Playing with Grades

Since it’s the end of first semester, two transfer students came to ask how much money I wanted to give them passing grades.  I asked a third student to make up several missed lessons, but he thought I wanted money!  He told me grades cost 30 to 50 Yuan.  It seems there are three sets of grades: the teachers’, the department’s, and the final negotiated record.  Thus, transcripts are meaningless.

I have kept a private record of names and grades for every semester I’ve taught in China because I knew grades were often changed in the office.  However, until now students were not willing to let foreign teachers know what went on.  I’ve had English Department Chairmen ask for grade lists, thinking they were getting the only record.  Then they would “lose” the record and ask if I happened to have another copy.  I don’t know what complications they experienced when I gave them a second copy.  Also, I allowed any student that earned less than a “C” to make up the missed work, and everyone was allowed an opportunity to repeat an assignment for an average of the two grades.  This helped to give students hope of improving and they could calculate their own grade average.  I wanted them to know their foreign teacher could be trusted.  When university  records became corrupt I assigned students numbers for privacy and gave class monitors a copy of the class list using numbers instead of names, with grades.

The other foreign teachers also followed this procedure.  A teacher of a different nationality warned me not to get too deeply into Chinese officials’ pockets, putting myself in physical danger.  She also had words of advice concerning a recurrence of what I thought was the flu again.  She pointed out that my attitude toward pervasive corruption was breaking my health and I needed to learn how to compromise.  I needed to change my vocation if I wanted to preserve my health.  I decided to return to the States for the six weeks of Spring Festival, and the wife of one of my former students who works as an airlines ticket agent found me a $600 round trip airfare on Northwest!

Home at Midterm

The first week home I mostly slept.  When I was awake I was aware of being depressed.   At the Health Department I got flu and pneumonia shots and a TB test.  The TB skin test on my wrist was swelled and bright red so I was required to get an x-ray.  The x-ray showed some damage to the upper right lung which explained why I had felt beyond sick last year, and again this winter.  When I came home this past summer I had to take the TB test again to work and it was positive again, so I had to get another x-ray which showed healed scars.  (I got a third X-ray in 2012 and it showed  significant healed lung damage.)

One morning while I was home, Mom woke but couldn’t move.  One of my sisters took her to a doctor who put Mom on steroids.  She is quite stiff and can hardly feed herself, but improving slowly.  Mom needs me and I want to be available to help her in her time of vulnerability.

My sister and her husband gave me half the airfare and three other individuals gave me money to help on the unexpected expense of returning home for rest and medical care.

The wife of the couple who own the local Christian Bookstore took Mom and me to the charter bus where I would ride to O’Hare for my return  flight, and Mom would go home with my sister.  In the bus parking lot I noticed with a start that my sis had a shuffling gait and stiff posture.  (She was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.)

I cut myself too short on cash, as usual, so I could only tip the shuttle bus driver $2 to and from the hotel in Chicago.  With the remaining $1.25 I bought a McDonald’s burger for lunch.  Of course, I arrived at the Beijing International Airport flat broke. Fortunately, the university met me to bring me back to my university several hours away.

 

 

 

God Encounters

The Mount of Transfiguration

Matthew 17

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

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14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

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Most people live for their encounters with Jesus. Encounters happen most often during corporate worship rather than during their daily devotional times in Bible reading and prayer.

It was after Jesus was transfigured that He cast the demon out of the epileptic child. Jesus lived from intimate encounters with His Father and He came down the mountain with power and authority.

It is good for us to have intimacy with our Lord, but there is more. To live from our intimacy is better. The encounters are meant to fulfill our destiny. They are for a purpose. God’s presence changes us. His presence impregnates us so that we can do the greater things that He desires for us.

Let me give you a simple illustration. I was praying for a man on dialysis to receive new kidneys and knew I was connected with the power and authority as the Holy Spirit flowed through me to the man. When I got home and could sit down to be quiet, I realized just how weary I was. Dog-tired!

“Lord, I can’t do this,” I told the precious Holy Spirit. “Please increase my energy.”

During the night Jesus came to me for a major encounter. He opened His robe and invited me in. With no hesitation I stepped in and pressed myself against His chest. He felt like a warm but very powerful dynamo and I heard Him say, “This is not a visit.” This was a place to dwell and to work from. Now, when I release His power, the flow is sustained but I don’t walk away bone-weary. Learning to work with my Bridegroom is a work of joy.

Learning to heal and do miracles (driving out what doesn’t belong and restoring what is missing) can come by praying for many who need prayer, or it can come through seeking God’s face as your priority. Saturating oneself in God’s holy presence opens us to increasing access to His power and character, and insight into His mysteries. As we seek His face a greater level of supernatural encounters will unfold. (Reference: http://www.thekingsofeden.com/2017/11/8-keys-to-engaging-the-supernatural-part-1/)

 

 

 

Spring Semester, 2000

Easter, 2000

It was during April 1st to the15th that the US spy plane landed in Guangzhou.  China published much anti-American propaganda and freely falsified verifiable information.  It was announced that the Americans would be freed the Thursday before Easter, and the day of the 12th the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers moved into our hotel, even into empty rooms on the fourth floor where we were living.  Our computer and telephone lines had been disconnected but Mrs. G. and I found some services still in operation so we hurriedly called friends in Beijing, packed almost frantically, and rushed to the train station where we met other foreigners living in our city doing the same thing.  The Mexican-American lady was so frightened of PLA aggression that she actually flew home and didn’t return.

Tea Party

The week after we returned to campus and the army men were gone, I held a tea party for a couple of other lady teachers. That was fun.  Two intercessors came for visits at the same time, so naturally, we held a praise and worship meeting.  One of the ladies had lived in this city previously a couple of years and was a major intercessor, so our time with the Lord was awesome.

V.I.P.

A Dr. Hu from Australia had come as a visiting scholar so I took him some of my birthday cake, and he came to get acquainted when he brought back my plate – two hours of tiresome bragging about his outstanding accomplishments.  The following week my grad class was divided to give Dr. Hu some students and a time slot.  I was offended to be ignored in the process and wrote a note to Professor Jiang suggesting that I resign since I was overloaded anyhow.  He called to apologize and I agreed to continue with twelve students.  Getting an apology is rare, so I kept my feelings to myself.  May 25th Dr. Hu taught his last class before returning home, but I had a class at his departure time, so when he poked his head in my classroom door to say goodbye, I blew him a kiss.  Romantics at heart, my grads loved it and so did he.

Yesterday one of the English Department professors came to speak to me about returning next semester to teach the same class schedule as I did this year.  Several students have come to thank me for my strict, careful teaching.  One of my undergraduate English major students is the Student Body President for this university and also for this province.  He has come several times to visit and brought me a gift of natural pearls, praising me to the skies. Five of the English major graduates came to visit me, and four sophomore students, bringing gifts.  Everyone is more open to me than in the beginning while E.s and the American CEO were feuding with me.

Appearance Is Everything

Oddly, the American organization notified me of their end of the year conference at their State-side offices, expecting me to be in attendance.  They sent me a letter after the meeting saying that a number of individuals who met me last August had asked about me and were very disappointed that I hadn’t come.  It seemed strange that they wanted me to attend the year-end meeting after all that had transpired, including the “excommunication.”

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Tutoring the Wife of a University Official

I have been tutoring the wife of one of the university vice presidents.  Mrs. L. is a sharp dresser and has very good English.  She is the organizer and administrator of a popular preschool that emphasizes English language teaching for preschoolers and has been invited to a university in America this summer as a Chinese scholar.  Chinese university presidents and vice presidents are social and political equals to our elected Federal congressmen, so I felt honored to be her choice of a tutor.

Mrs. L. was refused a visa by the American Embassy on grounds that she wanted to immigrate.  A high percentage of teachers from this university who were studying in America chose not to return to China. Four teachers from the English Department alone within the last year have failed to return.  I suggested that Mrs. L. go back every week as long as necessary to present her request and ask what she might do to show good faith for returning to China.  When I returned in August Mrs. L. had already departed for America, successful in her strategy to obtain a visa.

Female English Majors as Maids in Singapore

Ariel, the class II monitor told me five junior girls had been chosen to interrupt their studies to go to work in various hotels in Singapore from this August through Spring Festival of the coming year.  Tears came to my eyes and I struggled to control my voice.  The Provincial Foreign Affairs offered this opportunity but why would they send university English major females to work in Singaporean hotels as maids?  Southeast Asia is known for its tourist trade in sex rings.

In distress I mentioned this to Mrs. L. and asked if she could inquire about this new program.  It didn’t sound good to me and I was concerned about my girl-students’ welfare.  I never found out what transpired over the summer, but when I returned in August the girls were still in university and said the program had failed for this university though not for other schools in the province.

Chinese Propriety

June 4th the foreign teachers still didn’t have visas to return in August.  We were leaving within the coming two weeks, so I decided to fast that our documents would be expedited.  The French teacher got his visa that same day.  June 15th I got my reentry visa, but only received my signed contract as I was getting in a car to leave for Beijing and America.  Even though it came at the last possible moment, faith kept me in peace.

The university Foreign Affairs Official waited to make hotel reservations at the last moment so my stay in Beijing really cost them a whopping price (No reservations, thus, full tourist price).  I had invited one of my male undergraduate students to go with me because the FAO hadn’t made arrangements, but when the official realized what I’d done, he quickly tried to negate my plan by sending a female graduate English major Party member to accompany me, to keep me from doing anything immoral or politically compromising.   Nevertheless, the male student risked favor with the Party by insisting on going with me. (I paid for his hotel room since rates for Chinese are only a fraction of foreigners’.)

Confirmation

On the plane from Beijing to Tokyo I sat beside a Chinese business woman who confirmed my impressions of the city I had been teaching in, its cancerous underground prostitution, and students’ dull mindedness.  I was deeply grateful for her confirmation since this had been a year of continuous conflict not only with the American organization but with Chinese personnel.  In Tokyo I was upgraded to business class with wider seats, foot rests, free access to a lovely fruit bowl, drinks, and a generous blanket for napping.

Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered

at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality

as though something alien and unusual to you and your position

were befalling you.

See to it that your conscience is entirely clear

so that when you are falsely accused as evildoers,

those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed of slandering your good life.

For it is better to suffer unjustly for doing right if that should be God’s will, than to suffer justly for doing wrong.

But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings,

rejoice so that when His glory (full of radiance and splendor) is revealed you may also rejoice with triumph.

If you are censored and suffer abuse for the name of Christ,

blessed are you because the Spirit of God is resting upon you.

I Peter 3:16-17; 4:12-14 Amp. paraphrased

 

 

Worthy Is the Lamb

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…Rev. 5:9

12 saying with a loud voice,  “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might honor and glory and blessing!” Rev. 5:12

8 and all who dwell on earth will worship (the Lamb), everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Rev.13:8

7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. Is. 53:7

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God,  who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” John 1:36

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. I Peter 1:19

Even before God made Adam and Eve, He knew man would fail to keep the Lord’s one command – to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or the Tree of Life. God’s desire was to give man the freedom of choice so that when he chose to worship his Creator, both God and man could take great pleasure in that free choice.

In creating the human race God took a risk. In His desire for meaningful companionship, He made a way to buy back mankind from the enemy – at great cost to Himself. In the Old Testament God taught  the Hebrew people to offer a perfect lamb from their flocks each year to atone for their sins. But His ultimate intention was to offer His only Son as the sole worthy, perfectly sinless sacrifice to reinstate mankind for the companionship He yearned for. The salvation He planned included not only perfect, sinless blood to cover our sins, but that salvation included His plan to take our griefs and sorrows, and our sicknesses and diseases, and put them all on Jesus. Jesus became a curse for us. Now we can choose to accept this incredible, priceless opportunity to be lifted out of the slavery of sin and sorrow and disease. We can choose to be washed clean in Jesus’ precious, living blood and kept continuously pure by the power of His blood. His blood is Life supreme.

When God looks down on us, He sees the precious blood of His only Son and He is filled with a passionate love for us. When we look up to the throne, we see our own faults and failures. It is very important to keep in mind God’s point of view to maintain fellowship with Him. Our heavenly Father is loving beyond expression and lavish in caring for us. All thanks to Jesus Who, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame (Hebrews 12:2AMP). The prize Jesus was willing to die for was you and me. Our fellowship. Our friendship. Now that’s passionate love!

Here is a link to a song by the Gaithers that expresses our response to God’s sacrifice to buy us back from the enemy of our souls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaM1a0Vv_UE

 

Second Semester

G.s said we were invited to McDonalds to meet a couple associated with Debbie’s organization. (Debbie was serving a different school with a different organization.)  They planned to be at her school for a week.  Christian visitors from America are always welcome – they are like a breath of fresh air in a room full of stale cigarette smoke.

Classes hadn’t started yet and the idle time was heavy on my hands, so I decided to fast for refreshing in the new semester.  I did meet with the graduate English majors and went with one of my adult male students who is a teacher in the countryside to a restaurant.  That was fun.  (The Chinese are circumspect about appearances so a girl student was invited to accompany us.)

I am worried about Mom and her care.  And about my own future.  Fear and unbelief are such an affront to the Lord.  Fear has torment and is insulting to God and His promises.  Jesus experienced similar things in His own family, as the eldest.  His mother was a widow and joined Him in some of His wanderings.  His siblings criticized Him.  He had to stay single-minded but even in His last moments He remembered Mary.  Why didn’t her own children care for her?  Jesus had no place to live and stayed with friends and strangers, ate with them, or did without.

The following is a dual promise for physical necessities and protection from people, however well-meaning:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money –

and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have];

for (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you

nor give you up nor leave you without support.

[I will] not, [I will] not,[ I will] not in any degree

leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down,

[relax My hold on you] –

Assuredly not!

So I take comfort and am encouraged and confidently and boldly say,

The Lord is my Helper, I will not be seized with alarm –

I will not fear or dread or be terrified.

What can man do to me?

Hebrews 13:5-6 AMP

I have a lot of fear of losing Mom.  She is no longer able to help me financially even in small ways.  She is a real person with her own disappointments and feelings of rejection and failure.  I dare not lean on her out of my own need.  I dare not exploit another needy sojourner.  I feel the pain of loss, yet, I ask for grace and strength to nurture her who nurtured me.

Lord, increase my insight through genuine godly compassion for Mom and my siblings.  Allow me the joy of serving Mom and my siblings in appropriate ways, that Your love to me could overflow on them.  In Jesus’ precious, mighty name I pray.

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Our Foreign Affairs Official is frantically busy, as usual, so he left the work of renewing my green card to a student helper.  Every time I leave the country I am expected to take another physical and redo all the documents. It is a source of revenue for this city and not a government requirement. I was asked to get a physical and I refused.  He appealed to the person who went with me last semester but I steadfastly refused.  I realize my refusal could mean a broken contract and deportation.  Setting and maintaining boundaries is troubling and disagreeable

I gave the FAO my passport and green card the 11th of March and it was renewed the 14th, but wasn’t returned to me until the 20th.  Passports are not to be out of the owner’s hands more than 24 hours, so as time went on, I became very uneasy and asked a Chinese friend in Beijing to go with me to the American Embassy to report the irregularity.  While I was there I also asked to put in writing the interruptions in our telephone and Internet connections and irregular salary payments where Yuan was substituted for US Dollars.

While visiting an Internet café in Beijing I discovered that an Embassy friend and my email addresses had been blocked to each other by my server, so I restored access to the addresses.  When I called my friend she invited me to a Christian ladies’ luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel where President Bush once stayed.  The new French teacher at my university came with me to Beijing, so my Embassy friend arranged for her to come to the luncheon as a guest, too. The new teacher is very interested in the international community since there is an active Catholic group.

What a privilege to be one of God’s intercessory missionaries!

 

Transparency of the Bride

Identity  of the Bride

As I have already described in my blog posts, I grew up in a very tormented, broken family. There were several of us children with me being the first-born. Two of my siblings have a horrible, incurable disease, and watching them suffer has been hard for me. As an intercessor, I repeatedly stand before the throne on their behalf and I go about my days grieving for them. Deeply.

It is my habit to invite the Holy Spirit to come to me in the night-time to teach me and guide me in dreams and visions. Last night was no exception. Increasingly the Father  asks me to disrobe before Him, and I’m becoming more familiar with His desire for me to be totally transparent with Him. Last night was a little different; it was Jesus, my Bridegroom, who asked me to stand before Him transparently. As I started taking off layers of clothing, I realized that I was going to have to discard my earthly identity and the grief I was carrying. He had not addressed that issue until now and while I was willing, I didn’t know how to go about it. Give up identifying with my blood brothers and sisters?

I felt Jesus saying that my grief for them was defiling my relationship with Him. He wasn’t first. They were. With  gentleness He helped me see myself as He did – in bondage to them and their welfare. He pointed out that He is exceeding abundantly able to care for them as He has so lavishly cared for me. He reminded me that He wanted a Bride that was without spot or wrinkle. That was not negotiable. He would not be unequally yoked with His Bride.

Transparency of the Bride

As I allowed Jesus to help me take off my earthly identity, the Holy Spirit stepped in and opened my eyes to what God saw me as. I stood fully transparent, glowing in glory and beauty difficult to describe. Light shone out from within me and I was fully His equal. Then my eyes were opened to see other individuals just as stunning with Light streaming out from within them. They were various colors from black and brown to yellow and red because God created the peoples of our world for His pleasure. What an incredible sight, and fully His Bride as described in His Word (Rev. 19:8). We came together as one and her resplendent radiance increased exponentially. The Bride’s gown appeared to be silk and it billowed gracefully as she moved to greet her Beloved.

Jesus will never be unequally yoked. But as we obey Him, He will continue His  miraculous creativity in bringing us to Himself in holiness and the most  thorough purity.

He Who began a good work in you

will continue developing that good work

and perfecting and bringing it to full completion

in you. Phil. 1:6

Your English Teacher Hates Children

For two years at a particular university I experienced severe emotional abuse by a religious group that was sponsoring me along with a young couple and their two young sons. It was harder to bear than even my first year in China with brain-washing.

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Mrs. G. had had her first baby and one evening both Mr. and Mrs. G. and I were having a prayer time since students are to be out of the building after 9pm.  About 9:30 the E.s’ baby-sitter and another student burst into G.s’ apartment, uninvited, to practice their English. (E.s were a young couple with two little boys sent with me by our organization to this university.)  I was holding Baby G. and E.s’ baby-sitter stopped short, her mouth open in utter amazement.  Of course she would be surprised if she believed that I really did hate my Chinese students and all children.  Quietly I returned the baby to his mother and excused myself.

Eventually the Chinese came to realize that everything they had been told and read in the emails about Me was not necessarily so. But what a traumatic experience for me.  Gaining Chinese trust takes time.  In the face of E.s’ criticism, my ability to forge relationships was seriously hindered and I was close to defeat.  Not only could I not make friendships with my students, I was set at naught with most of the foreign teachers, as well.  My spiritual mandate to pray for our university made getting beyond this situation urgent.  The enemy’s diversionary tactics were wearing me out and I needed prayer warriors to come along side to help drive back the powers of darkness.

The Ground at the Foot of the Cross

I confess that I was very angry with E.s and our organization. I was appalled at the gap between their Christian words and how they lived out their profession.  Even as I have begun to write about my time in this strategic location, I have revisited forgiveness to renew freedom from the fear of man and false guilt of verbal and emotional abuse.  One morning around 4am the Lord came to minister assurance and to witness to me that I had truly forgiven and needn’t be shackled by fear and intimidation any longer.  Another aspect of my struggle was the knowledge that my anger defiled other people.  This was a devastating realization and brought me very low, for I as a Christian had hurt others.  Forgiving myself was harder than forgiving others.  I too needed the precious blood of Jesus, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  I am thankful that the ground at the foot of the cross is level and we all may kneel there in contrition.

After the organization’s conference in Beijing it seemed like Professor E. began to realize what an impact he and his family had had on me, and was perhaps a little surprised that I didn’t fight back even when taunted.  For my birthday the E. family treated me to lunch at the local  Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was so gratified that he invited me to pray with his family for the university and our Christian influence, and amazingly, the Holy Spirit came to honor us with His presence.  Such a wonderful peace and healing.

Confrontation

In a private conversation I asked Professor E.’s forgiveness for my September-October anger.

“Why didn’t you answer the CEO’s emails?” he asked

“Because the organization violated their own policy regarding not sending any personal information by email or phone.  Also, there is never any reason to respond to abuse.  In addition, placing someone in charge that has never been out of the country, as opposed to someone who has more than eight years of experience in China is inappropriate.

“You sent your baby-sitter and her classmate to G.s’ apartment at 9:30 at night to practice their English when you knew we were having a prayer meeting.  After 9pm is our time to relax and enjoy one another here in the hotel.  If you want to help students practice their English that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t send students to another foreign teacher’s apartment without checking with them first.

“I’ve met comments in the street regarding my not liking children, according to you and your wife.  Even if you don’t like me, how do you dare negate my witness to the very people we have come to tell about Jesus?  The email about me not liking children and my Chinese students was not true!

“You have a lot to learn about how to keep your own counsel and protect the influence of other Christians for Jesus’ sake.  Speak directly to a person when you may have an issue with them.

“Nevertheless, someday you will make a fine missionary, Professor E.  You have some strong qualities, such as speaking directly to me now – even though it’s after the fact.  You have asked for advice before taking off into the interior of the province to hold a conference.  Asking for advice is important to gain the favor of your colleagues, not to mention safety issues.”  That last statement clearly meant a lot to E. and I was glad, for it was true.

Terminated

An email terminating my relationship with the American organization came toward the end of March and I breathed a sigh of relief from the oppressive relationship(s).  A fiery experience – not finished, but the overbearing authority had been removed, thank the Lord!  The organization followed with a phone call to confirm the email and I was relaxed and courteous, to the obvious relief of the representative.

Apparently Professor E. and the organization CEO continued to send frequent emails critical of me.  If either of them sent emails to me, I ignored them because I was keenly aware that the Chinese read them.   It’s hard to guess what the Chinese thought about those one-sided emails, but I noticed that the Foreign Affairs Office seemed to warm up to me.  The man who paid the foreigners’ salaries once a month was friendlier, smiling and offering courtesies to me not given earlier.  My students warmed to me as well, especially the graduate English majors.

Having had such a horrendous experience with the American professional organization, I hoped and prayed that returning the coming school year would allow me to craft some good relationships and provide opportunities to speak for Jesus.  I would be free to speak to Chinese Christians about forgiving to be forgiven, and they would understand where I was coming from.

Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife,

but it is not from Me.

Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall away to you.

No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper,

And every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment

you shall show to be in the wrong.

This triumph over opposition is the heritage

of the servants of the Lord.

This is the vindication which they obtain from Me.

Isaiah 54:15, 17

 

Is Jesus Unequally Yoked?

Made in His Image                                                                    

As I progressed through healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) I often thought about who Jesus is. If we are made in His image, is that why we have personal dignity?  Is that why we are creative – because He is? When I prayed for healing of my mind Abba brought up memories I had no access to without His help, to expose lies I had believed and vows I had made before understanding why they were wrong. Changing those lies and falling out of agreement with those vows has revealed a person set free to be who God created to reflect Himself to the world.

When I surrendered my will and choices to Jesus, I thought about how respectful He is of my wishes even when my wishes are not His will.

Possibly the most important aspect of healing for me was my emotions. I was almost emotionless, with layer upon layer of limestone and marble around my heart. I dreaded being joyful because I had to come back down and landed off balance nearly every time. So I would rather not have joy than to be plunged deeper and never quite recover the former level of depression.

I was willing to forgive and cancel the debts of those who hurt me, but Isaiah 53 includes the healing of griefs and sorrows. Forgiveness doesn’t heal the pain of wounds inflicted. When I began to surrender that pain and received emotional healing I was filled with awe. So that’s what emotional purity felt like!! I was so happy, and to the present I am joyful inside. Made in God’s image….so God is emotional, too. That was a revelation to me. He laughed with me and we celebrated small victories together. Knowing that my Creator is emotional has continued to be a source of pleasure for me.

Because God is infinite and flawless, everything about Him is bigger than me. His drive to create is stronger than mine, so His pleasure in creating things is greater than my pleasure in sewing a new quilt, matching shapes and colors.

Each Person of the triune God is unique with distinctive likes and dislikes. That means, each is a fully developed individual with a distinctive personality. For example, it took me quite awhile to get acquainted with the Holy Spirit because I wanted to treat Him like I treated Jesus. Jesus was my Lover and I was eager to give and receive demonstrative affection to the Holy Spirit. But He told me He didn’t want that kind of affection. I was surprised. “You don’t? Why not?” But when I needed Him to protect me from some dark entities He was fierce in driving them out. So I knew He loved me. But He wanted to do all the loving while I did the receiving and praising and worshipping. I was deeply entrenched in performance, so that was difficult. I had to ask for His forgiveness and help in giving up the attempt to earn my own way and just accept His love without trying to earn it.

Early in my DID journey Jesus was my Friend, then Someone to play with me, then my Lover. The Holy Spirit never competes with Jesus for my love and attention. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit is my Teacher and Defender. I can ask Him questions and expect to get answers.

Abba is my Stability, my Rock. He likes for me to ask Him for things and when I get anxious or overburdened, He takes me in His lap and comforts me. I have learned to express my emotions of joy and pleasure as well as curiosity without fearing His impatience. All three of the triune God-head are so longsuffering and gentle and self-restrained. Sometimes I feel like a drama queen now that I’m out of prison but they are never short with me, and sometimes they even join in with laughter or a wild dance. If I’m deeply distressed for some reason they will join me in quiet sympathy. Jesus and the precious Holy Spirit are quick to aid my wordless intercession.

Early this morning as I walked I shared concerns about several things with my walking Companion, the Holy Spirit. When I returned to my apartment complex I sat on a bench in the shade to catch my breath. Behind me was a wild rabbit, startled by my  presence. It stood frozen so I turned to speak softly to it. After several minutes it relaxed, sitting on its haunches. That pleased me so much and I thanked my precious Companion for the thoughtful gift. He knows me completely and knew what would lighten my mood.

Made in God’s image means far more than a physical expression of who God is. He is Mister Personality with dignity and grace, perfect in empathy and mercy, intimate in understanding me better than I know myself – and wise in guidance. He is trustworthy and keeps His Word. He is pure and clean. His integrity and righteousness are modified by forgiveness and longsuffering. His intention in making me was that I would reflect these traits with His help.

Have you ever thought about Jesus planning to marry you? He created mankind in His image, yet a little lower than the angels. Angels are more intelligent and more powerful than mankind, but they don’t have the authority God has endowed us with nor the freedom to choose. Neither are the angels to inherit all that belongs to the only begotten Son as we are. Jesus came as a Man to buy us back from Satan when we fell – and paid a terrible price for us. His plan from the beginning was to make Himself a Bride worthy of His love. That is a mystery of mysteries – He has created us to need Him. Does He need us? Bill Johnson once asked the rhetorical question: ” Is Jesus coming back for a bride He will be unequally yoked with?”

 

Religious Emotional Abuse

For two years at a particular university I experienced severe emotional abuse by a religious group that was sponsoring me along with a young couple and their two young sons. I will be telling about it in the next several autobiographical posts. It was harder to bear than even my first year in China with brain-washing.

************************

American Professionals

Mr. and Mrs. CEO blew in for the day.  They head up a professional Christian organization in the States that places Christian professionals in universities of nations around the world.  Professor and Mrs. E. with their two little boys had been assigned, along with me, by this organization to this university.

“I don’t want any arguments!  This is what we’ll have for lunch,” Mrs. CEO emphasized as we sat around a large table in a very expensive restaurant.

She ordered dishes she had no idea about and since we had no say in the matter, we could only eat what our stomachs would allow.  Tripe! I refused to eat that.  Finally she asked me what tripe was and I explained that it was the intestines used as casing for various stuffings.

“No wonder it is so chewy!” she exclaimed.

Then the other adults decided not to eat any more of it, either.  The E.s commandeered the conversation with their precocious little son with the result that no serious conversation could take place even though we were eager for fellowship with Christians from the States.  Professor E. showcased little Jimmy, the young couple’s eldest son, and I wondered if it was a tactic to avoid any genuine exchange.

It didn’t seem that they planned any time to talk with me, so I requested an hour during the afternoon with the CEO’s wife, to listen to my outlandish, angry, condemning tirade (that’s how it came back to me) before ending the day at a banquet hosted by our Foreign Affairs Office.  During “my hour” that afternoon I mentioned the political prison just one block from campus and heavy artillery fire that could be heard day and night with helicopters flying low overhead. The CEO scoffed.

“So what!  That goes on all over China (I’d never heard it until now, and I’d been in various places in China nine years by this time).  We have it all over America, too.  We hear heavy artillery fire outside XX day and night.”

“This university didn’t promise to reimburse the flight money until the end of the school year.  My wife told you explicitly in front of our treasurer that you had better take enough money to live on for at least a month.”  This emphatic advice must have gone entirely over my head, and the treasurer’s.

I pointed out that we had no copies of the contracts we signed.

The promised exchange of Yuan for US dollars had not been forthcoming and the exchange percentage was arbitrarily reduced from 50% to 30%.  This exchange of Yuan for US Dollars is how I managed to save enough money to buy round trip plane tickets year after year and it was crucial to my continuing service in China.

I was working 16 classroom hours a week as a writing teacher when the normal load for a “foreign expert” was 12 hours.  Considering that my hours were for composition, I was in my room marking papers about 40 hours a week.  Professor E. had 8 classroom hours and Mrs. E. had 4.

Our documents cost us between 800-1,000 Yuan although the university was supposed to be responsible for this cost.

We are required to go to the telephone office to pay our telephone bills by ourselves (the Foreign Affairs Office refused to help us) although not one of us speaks the local dialect or understands the billing.  My phone was actually disconnected for two weeks before I realized I was expected to pay the bill for whoever occupied this room before I did.

Professor E.’s family and I have computers, never mind that all the (pirated) software is in Chinese and we don’t read Mandarin.

Believe it or not, none of these issues were important enough for the CEO to negotiate.  What’s more, I was forbidden to address the proper officials with any of these issues!  Professor E. would take care of all the negotiations although this was his first experience outside the United States and he knew nothing of Chinese culture!

During my hour with Mrs. CEO, she commented, “We thought you were more professional than that,” referring to my first newsletter which had to be submitted to them before it could be sent to my family and friends.  “It was discouraging.” Not discouraged-sounding.  I had the impression that they were concerned with what my family and friends might think, rather than with my need to let those who prayed for me know what was happening or not happening with me.

Regarding the broken promises, very expensive contract with the university officials, and clever escalation of classroom hours I commented that there were Chinese contingencies for everything.  Promises broken are good strategy in a country where the national currency is not exchangeable, and resorting to law is meaningless because those who make the laws are above the law.  Mrs. CEO pointed out that the Chinese believe they are born pure; they really don’t know right from wrong.  I said nothing more; her world view was something less than adequate.

“We possess this precious treasure in frail human vessels of earth

that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power

may be shown to be of God and not from ourselves.

We are hedged in on every side – troubled and oppressed in every way,

but not cramped or crushed;

we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out,

but not driven to despair….

For our light, momentary affliction

(this slight distress of the passing hour)

is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing

and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory….

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen

but to the things that are unseen;

for the things are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting),

but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

II Corinthians 4: 7-8; 17-18

Ending the day at a Foreign Affairs banquet, the CEO and his wife repeatedly brought the conversation around with religious terms such as “redemption” and “salvation.”  Chinese officials have little idea of this type of vocabulary other than to be offended with the perpetuation of American colonialism.  This misguided zeal makes the building of trust more difficult for the Christian teachers who must remain and earn the confidence of those who don’t know our Lord and Savior.  I was ashamed of Mr. and Mrs. CEO. Didn’t they realize that one must earn the right to speak of sensitive matters to a Chinese friend, and speaking of such personal things in public was dishonoring to one’s relationships, if not risky?

As a result of this visit, the following day the hotel management stopped student visits to our apartments.  One of my students with a prior appointment was turned away with a violent verbal exchange, not even being allowed the courtesy of using the reception desk phone to cancel the appointment with me.  Other foreign teachers were livid at the counterproductive attempt to restrict contact between Chinese students and foreign teachers outside of class without realizing what had caused the change.  In-class instruction is inadequate because students need to use English in practical settings to develop vocabulary, sentence structure, inflections and logical responses in real conversations.  Forbidding students to interact with their foreign teachers is not common, fortunately, and is an indication of the strong local reaction to a Christian presence.

Closing the hotel to our students was ostensibly to protect us since murder of foreigners is on the rise in China.  However, rooms are rented on our floor to Chinese willing to pay more than for first floor rooms, and strangers roam our 4th floor hall, looking in our doors and windows.