Miracles

Cancer

Three guests attended the lecture I was giving about Christmas, but none of my students seemed to know who they were so I felt uneasy.  They stayed after class to ask more questions, cautiously revealing that they were students at a neighboring school and wanted to hear the Christmas story from me.  Students from my university had told them that I was a Christian, and their hunger to hear more about Jesus touched my heart.

One of the three young men was faithful to visit me every week and we would go out for long walks to avoid listening ears.  During one of our walks he told me that his mother had esophageal cancer.  She had recently undergone radical surgery to remove the cancer cells but the doctor didn’t know about reconstructive surgery, so she had to stay upright all the time to keep the contents of her stomach from spilling.  However, the doctor expected her to die because she had been vomiting blood and couldn’t keep anything down.  Would I please pray for her?  The village he and his family lived in was nearly all Christian and they were praying for her complete healing.

Spring came and I didn’t see Li for a long time.  I began to worry about him, and although I continued to pray for his mother, I wondered if he had gone home because of her dying?  Then he came one day to tell me that he hadn’t gone home nor had he heard any word about her health.  He was finished with exams and planned to go home that weekend.  The next day he returned with another young man whom he introduced as his brother who had finally come to the city to bring news of their mother to him.  Would I please attend church with them on Sunday morning?  It was not my habit to attend Chinese church because I knew I would be watched and those who spoke to me would possibly be questioned.  Nevertheless, I accepted the invitation.

Although we arrived at the church compound early, the building was already full, so someone found me a little stool and the three of us sat together outside.  Soon there was standing room only even in the courtyard.  Li translated what was being said and commented that the pastor was courageous to speak of things forbidden by the government.  The congregation sang some songs I knew, but they sang slowly and mournfully in a lower key to better suit their voices.  I sang either harmony or an octave higher.  Li’s little brother leaned against me, and I sensed his enjoyment.

After the service we ate together and Li translated for his brother who spoke no English.  Little Brother thought I sang like an angel.  They had kept me in suspense about their mother’s condition until now and I was eager to hear how she was.  Little Brother said he had delayed coming to the city because their mother was eating normally and sleeping normally by lying down at night.  The family wanted to be sure that she was actually recovering and not merely rallying before dying.  It had been a couple of months now, and she had gained weight and was actually helping with the fieldwork.  The two brothers were beside themselves with joy and thanked me for adding my prayers to theirs.  This was my first experience with miracles in China, but not my last.

Bicycle Wreck

James and I had walked down to the shore of the lake behind the hotel housing foreigners.  It was a beautiful spring weekend and people had to buy tickets to enter our university campus. The flowering trees and shrubs were in full bloom and the fragrance-laden air was intoxicating.  Suddenly we heard two sharp reports just over the rise at the road.  Nobody acted like they heard anything, but often the Chinese deal with trauma this way, so I asked James what that noise was.  He didn’t know and he didn’t care, he assured me.  Well I was curious.  James tried to persuade me to stay at the lake, but I began to walk toward the road coming down steeply from the hotel set on a bluff above the water.  Reluctantly James followed.

There was a circle of curious onlookers already gathered around a young man lying motionless on the pavement.  His bike lay at the foot of the retaining wall, twisted grotesquely, both tires burst. Immediately I began to pray silently for the boy whose brakes had failed.  His skin was turning black.  One knee of his jeans was ripped, but there was no blood other than the skinned knee.

“Lord, he’s dying!  Please don’t let him be taken until he has a chance to hear about You.”

We stood quietly for perhaps ten minutes.  James was impatient but I refused to leave.  “Lord, if he dies, or if he has severe injuries, his life won’t be worth much.  I plead the blood of Jesus over him, to give him life and health so that he can hear about Your love for him, and give his life to You.”

The injured boy stirred slightly.  An elderly man stepped forward and gave the boy a hand to stand up.

“We can go now,” James urged.  “He’s alright.”

Without replying I stepped in front of the boy and looked directly into his eyes to see if they were focused.  Not only were they focused, he spoke to me.

“Hello!” I exclaimed.  “You speak English!”

His color didn’t change, so I persisted in petitioning for total recovery.  Someone gave him directions to the campus hospital and I listened closely because I was not familiar with the campus, either.  I wasn’t sure the boy could walk so I asked James to walk with us, but James was extremely reluctant because according to Chinese custom, when one aids a needy person he is committing himself to that person for the rest of the needy one’s life!

We shuffled very slowly toward the hospital and I continued to bombard heaven on the injured student’s behalf.  Little by little his color changed, as though unwillingly.  I asked if he had feeling in his hands, in his legs.  Did he feel cold?  The hospital was far away, giving me time to watch him gradually regain color and a sensation of pain in his knee.  Color crept back into his hands and legs and the limp disappeared.  The severe abrasion merely looked like a skinned knee.  By the time we reached the hospital the doctor was disgusted that he had to bother with the boy at all, and wrapped his knee only because I insisted.

As we were exiting the building the boy’s companions came racing up on their bicycles and we said our good-byes.  Lord, I didn’t get to say anything about You to him.  When he wakes tomorrow morning I pray that he will be sore enough to realize that he narrowly escaped death and understand that he was preserved for some important reason.  Please send laborers into his harvest.

Fear of Rejection. Part II

This is part two of a chapter from the book The Mind of Christ by David Murry. With his permission I post it here for your affirmation as my brothers and sisters. The book is available as a free PDF download from David’s blog. Click on “Books”. This is chapter 1 from Section Two. https://dwmurry.wordpress.com/author/dwmurry/ 

Fear of Rejection. Part II

….What we are doing is walking in tremendous strength of our willpower. One of the lies of the carnal mind is the lie that we need the approval /acceptance of others to make us feel valued. On a good day we act as if we don’t care (denying the flesh/carnal mind), we suppress our carnal impulse, we ignore the pain, stuff it down with some comfort crutch in order to dull this searing discomfort, and we declare ourselves Spirit-led and abiding in the mind of Christ. After all, we are the victorious church! Jesus described that type of person as a “white washed tomb.” That is not who we are. We are “the redeemed.”

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

The Holy Spirit is in us to give us the Mind of Jesus, so that from the innermost man, now in union with Life itself, we are changed into His image by accepting His Word as truth and walking in it. He works from the inside out.

Some believers may be quick to recognize that they struggle with the fear of rejection. Others may boldly state that they could not care less what others think of them. Yet how many bear witness to controlling anger when we are wronged? Genuine sarcasm in response to someone who says something cutting toward us? A need to let others know just how much we “don’t care” what others think? The compulsion to be rude and say, “I just tell it like it is”? Feelings of anger when we are disrespected…by complete strangers!? These are all signs we are walking in the carnal mind. Specifically, walking around believing one way or another, that our sense of worth is tied to how others accept or reject us. If we, in any way, are conscious of the possibility that others may reject us – to that degree, we are not walking in the mind of Christ. We are fearing rejection.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

NOTE: The punishment we fear is the rejection we might face from others. This fear is the carnal mind exposed in us.
I am going to go one step further and take one of the most quoted sections of Corinthians and bring it home.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…” 1 Corinthians 13

This famous “love” chapter is often cited in regard to “works” or how we act or behave. This is one of the most propagated distortions of scripture. “Walk in love” means literally to have your motion, activity or anything else that is being done, be accomplished from a position where one is submerged, immersed and abiding IN the reality and power of His nature (Love).

Nowhere…nowhere, does the Covenant of Jesus Christ discuss love as an act, except as an outpouring of the heart. That thinking is old covenant. The old covenant exposed the carnal mind by saying “don’t give in to your carnal desires.” The new covenant says we are given a new mind. Walk in that new mind. That new mind is love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:9,12

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” I John 4:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Colossians 3:16

The phrase “In Him” means to be immersed in His nature.This is not an “act.” It is a state of being. A state of existence. We either are abiding in His mind/nature, or we are abiding in the carnal mind, which is no longer who we are. We have the mind of Christ now, and if we allow it,the Holy Spirit guides us in the wisdom and mind of Christ moment by moment. (1 Corinthians 2:16, John 16:13)

At any time, at any moment, we are either abiding in one of two places: The carnal mind or the mind of Christ. What the Body of Christ needs to understand is that it is a thought by thought decision. Meaning, every thought we chose to mediate on, on any and all subjects, is a choice on whether we will exalt the Word of God on that subject, or exalt the carnal mind. Abiding in the mind of Christ, the new man, is meant to completely envelop us. Why? Because God is interested in our performance? Is it a works based righteousness He is after?

Not at all.

It is all about love. We can only enjoy fellowship with Him in the areas we are walking in His truth. And He is such a jealous Dad, He wants all of us. So does His Son, and so does the Holy Spirit. They love us that much. The second reason, as with all other topics related to His Kingdom, stems from the first. Because of His love for His children, He rages at the thought of us being held captive to fear, pain, anxiety, torment, or any other emotion that is in violation to His rest. (Joyce’s emphasis)

Whenever we are looking to receive acceptance from man, which is another way of saying we are fearing rejection, we must examine the lie we are believing at that moment. That lie is in direct conflict with the truth that God said we are the righteousness of Christ, which means we are fully pleasing to Him and cannot be made more perfect.

“For He who had not known sin made Himself to become sin in your place that we would become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Corinthians 5:21

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Colossians 1:19-22

It is work in the beginning. To begin to recognize that our worth is independent of anything we can or cannot do, and is not attached in any way, to the acceptance, approval, dislike or outright rejection of others takes some time. We died to the carnal mind. It is time we enjoyed the blessings of the cost warranted to give you His mind. There was a bounty on our head. He paid the ransom so that we can forever be free from the task master of performance and the sting of fear.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Our worth is forever settled. The world says worth is the aggregate of your performance and conditional value in the eyes of those around you.

This is a lie. Our worth has forever been determined by our Creator and has forever been severed from anything else. The land of rest lies in our midst. It is among us, around us. It is in us. It is His spirit and His mind released that enters us into His rest. His eternal Sabbath. The rest is yours to possess. The Kingdom is already within you and released by agreeing with His Word. Take hold of that which is already yours.

Take it.

The Demonstrations of 1989 Part II

Tension in the Open-Air Market

There were days and weeks of no classes and nothing to do.  Travel was not an option and even going out of our neighborhood brought some risk.  I went to the local open-air vegetable market one day and noticed an old man I’d never seen before.  He was selling apricots and I asked for one jin (approximately a pound).  I didn’t have change so I handed him a 10-Yuan bill which he kept without giving me change.  I asked for the correct change but he still refused.  Soon a crowd gathered to watch and I was uneasy.  I indicated that I would go find the market policeman and the crowd urged the old man to give me back my money.  When he would not, I poured out the fruit, walked around his table, took back my 10 Yuan and left.

The peasants who sold vegetables in the market were very kind to me.  Sometimes I wanted to buy only one of a thing and they refused to accept my money.  So the next time I came, and they still refused to accept money for only one of something, I put down double the money where they could see it.  How could I accept free commodities from such poor people?  This kind of respect was not lost on the sellers, so I found out later that the old man who tried to cheat me was forbidden to return to their market.

Another time at a different market I wanted to buy two or three tomatoes.  Eagerly the seller heaped up a pyramid of tomatoes on the scales and I walked away in disgust.

“Don’t you want to buy these tomatoes?” he shouted after me.

“No!  Ni ting bu dong!  You can’t listen!” I shot back.

The man looked utterly amazed that I would answer him idiomatically and begged me to come back – how many did I want?  The other sellers were laughing, and although I was disgusted, I, too, was chuckling inside.  The man indeed listened after that and I loyally bought my vegetables from him.

The Public Announcement of Tragedy

Classrooms continued to be empty, so the other American professors left their universities.  But I was an independent teacher and needed the plane ticket the Foreign Affairs Office was supposed to provide.  Although there were no classes, the semester wasn’t officially ended until sometime in July, so I couldn’t leave and the FAO didn’t have authority to release me.

During this time I watched televised state-run news to learn what the official reports might be.  The most accurate news was on short wave from BBC (British Broadcasting Company) and VOA (Voice of America).  The Sunday morning of the massacre in Tiananmen I was riding a bus when I heard the announcement over the city public address system.  Chinese faces betrayed no emotion at all for the people have learned to “eat bitter”!  As soon as I could I returned home and turned on the TV.  All electricity had been disconnected on campus except in the foreign teachers’ apartments, so students came to watch my TV.  There was one clip only – a student going from public bus to public bus burning and pillaging.  My students were amazed that any student would be guilty of such wanton behavior.  Surely their beloved Chinese government wouldn’t disseminate misinformation!  At last the foreign compound was plunged into darkness so students left.

Several students from my university were in the Square when the tanks and troops rolled in.  It was another week before I was able to leave the campus.  In that time two students returned who had been in the Square when the troops marched in.  They pretended to be dead and crawled out very slowly on their bellies.  In the two or three hours they were making their escape they saw soldiers raping and shooting so brutally that my students couldn’t believe they were Chinese.  No Chinese would ever be as barbaric toward their own people as these unidentified assailants were.  Behind the soldiers came the tanks….

Home

When the Voice of America broadcast that all Americans should go to either Beijing or Shanghai to be airlifted home, I went to the Foreign Affairs Office to see if they would help me.  They gathered enough of their personal money to pay for my airfare to Los Angeles since the State Education Commission hadn’t released funds yet.  This was an incredible act of generosity that I appreciated deeply.  By this time campuses were deserted and the cities seemed empty.  What a strange thing to be able to walk about the main streets in Shanghai, get on any bus and easily find a seat, or to find an empty cafe for lunch.  The FAO officer from my university got me a ticket and I was on my way home in a few days.

When I tried to buy a ticket from Los Angeles to an airport near my home, it was $750!  Perhaps my face betrayed my dismay because the clerk kindly asked if I had a passport to show that I had just come from China, and of course I did.  How grateful I was when she sold me a ticket through her account!  But as I sat down and leaned back in my seat on the plane, the horror of what I had just left swept over me.  Two men behind me were discussing photos of the Tiananmen incident published in an American periodical.  That’s when I began to weep for the students and friends I had left without saying goodbye.

I didn’t know how to deal with my grief and it seemed to never end.  One day on the street in my hometown I met an old war veteran who asked me my whereabouts during the demonstrations and subsequent action in Tiananmen.  Predictably, I began to cry but he wasn’t put off and talked to me with the compassion and wisdom of experience.  That’s where healing started.

Could it have been coincidental that ten years later I taught in a university in the city from which the People’s Liberation Army troops that marched into Tiananmen were sent?

After the Massacre

After the Massacre I couldn’t be satisfied to stay safely in America, not knowing how my Chinese students were faring.  A wealthy Chinese-American sending organization that knew about my love for China offered to pay a one-way airfare if I would return.  It was a difficult decision because Dad had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but he was doing well, so I decided to accept their offer.  One evening in June in Wuhan, Hubei, as I was having a devotion, it seemed to me that Dad had stopped fighting and wanted to die.  My brother and I had agreed together that Dad would live and not die, so I began to weep and plead with the Lord for his life, but that wasn’t to be.  In a couple of days I got a telegram saying that he had died.  I didn’t have the money to go home and neither the organization nor my family offered to buy a ticket, so I stayed in China and grieved alone.  I came home for only one month that summer and went out to the cemetery to grieve alone at his grave.

Bitterness

Mom and my brothers and sisters were angry with me for not coming home and Mom had given some of his things to family but saved nothing of his for me.  I couldn’t understand why she had left me out.

“Because you didn’t come home for his funeral – in fact, why did you even go?”  she demanded.

“I had to go back, Mom.  And I had no money to come home for his funeral.  You know that the Chinese organization bought the ticket for me to go, but I had no way to get home.”

It turned out that the Chinese sending agency, without my knowledge, had pressured Mom to repay the airfare.  Mom was aghast at their insensitivity since the leader had sent the telegram to me concerning Dad’s death at Mom’s request, so she knew our family’s grief and unexpected financial drain.  When Mom told me that, it was my turn to be ashamed for an organization that seemed to know no shame.

I had obligated myself to the university where I had been teaching when the Massacre happened, so I went back to China after only one month at home, but at the end of that year I resigned and came home for three years to be with Mom.  These three years were a time of deep grieving for Mom but it was a time for me to be near her and help keep her from sinking into depression and withdrawal.  My heart went out to her as I began to see her as a person and not just as my mother.  During that time I prayed a prayer that I earnestly hoped the Lord would answer – that I could be with Mom when it came time for her to need someone. (Thankfully, the Lord granted my petition. He is a compassionate heavenly Father.)

Fear of Rejection

This is part one of a chapter from the book The Mind of Christ by David Murry. With his permission I post it here for your affirmation as my brothers and sisters. The book is available as a free PDF download from David’s blog. Click on “Books”. This is chapter 1 from Section Two.     https://dwmurry.wordpress.com/author/dwmurry/

Fear of Rejection

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of

God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to

please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Lie #1: My worth is determined by others

If we are going to walk in the full freedom of being deeply loved, fully pleasing and without spot or blemish, we need to be able to identify in what areas we are not applying the mind of Christ which was given us at salvation. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

We are entering into the dawn of new ground being claimed in the Body of Christ. The “new man” is being spoken of more than in any other generation, I believe. There are many rising up exhorting the Bride to realize we have His mind, His nature and His power inside us. (Luke 17:21; 1 Corinthians 3:16)

The full gospel is beginning to emerge in this Age that is intended to usher us into a place where the world will see a real difference in those who walk with Him in spirit and in truth… and those who do not. Seeing and experiencing the goodness of God is what leads His lost children to be reconciled back to Him. (Romans 2:4). That goodness is revealed in power through His children walking in kingdom fullness. We can only walk in His fullness (peace, rest, power, love, health, and abundance) to the degree we agree with what God has stated is truth on any subject.

But…

We can say we possess the mind of Christ (and as believers, God’s Word says we do have it) but we will only walk in it to the degree we apply His Word to our identity in each area of our thought life.

Here is that verse yet again: “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7

The Hebrew word for heart is “nephesh” and comes from the root word “nephash” which means to breathe, breathed upon, refresh.

It is the same word used in Genesis 2: “…man became a living soul.” This word describes ourselves in terms of thoughts, life, existence and cognitive being.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

The Hebrew word here for “heart” is “lebab” and it is translated: most interior organ, bethink, breast, comfort, courage, tender(hearted), midst, mind, unawares, understanding.

It has 2 root words related to it:
”leb”- which translates: the heart, feelings, thoughts, will and intellect, and “labab”- to be enclosed.

If we put these together in context, we can begin to see that our thoughts, our beliefs, what we hold as our being, determine who we believe ourselves to be. And our thoughts and beliefs determine what kind of life springs out of us.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3

“Many people did believe in Him, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:40-43

If we are experiencing fear of man in any way, it means we are not walking in the truth that we are completely loved and fully pleasing to the Father.

 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Does this mean we don’t have God’s love in us if we are afraid?

Absolutely not.

Romans 5:5 states that we have the love of God poured out all over our hearts. It simply means the reality of His love for us is not perfected or complete.

We do not fear to the degree we have the revelation of His love for us. (Joyce’s emphasis)

That Love says we are complete. Complete means lacking nothing. Nothing can add to our inherent value. Our worth is forever secure in His eyes.

Think about it for a moment. Let it sink in. Jesus endured the torture of the cross, so that we can be called His redeemed children and walk in intimacy with our Creator and Father. The Holy Spirit came into us.

I hear Christians cite all the time that He died for our sins. He loved us soooo much the Father sent the Son to die. Let me ask a question. Did the Father think His Son was never coming back? Did Father God say, “Well, there goes my Son. Nice knowing Him”? So, since Father knew His Son would return to Him in heaven, what was so great a loss about Jesus dying? Where is the love that is supposed to be so deep in that? After all, Jesus was returning to heaven when it was all done. Where is the real sacrifice?

The sacrifice of the Roman crucifixion was twofold. If we can let this become a personal reality it will forever change our thinking.

The cross was torture. Torture beyond words. I already painted a watercolor image of the reality of this ordeal in an earlier chapter, so I won’t repeat it here. Pure and simple. Physical torture. Picture for a moment, you watching a loved one go through that. Frame that in your mind, knowing you could stop it at any time. But a greater love compelled you to allow it. Anyone out there going to do that? Are any of you willing to let a son, daughter, father, mother, best friend or spouse be tortured to the point of death so that a judge can then say, “OK, the court now says you can legally adopt another child. That orphan is eligible to be taken into your home now” ?

Hmmm…

Secondly, Jesus was separated from the Father. Communication and communion was severed. Jesus became death, sin, sickness and spiritual separation. He entered the oblivion of spiritual death from the Father. The Creator of Life… entered spiritual death.

No big deal, right?

Is it beginning to dawn on your heart how much you are loved? Let’s continue.

Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7

Have you ever stopped to think on this? The Holy Spirit wasn’t obligated to come. The indwelling of the Spirit is a gift. Everything our God does for us emanates from love.

A deep, burning passion to enjoy our company. (Joyce’s emphasis)

“I don’t call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends, because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.” John 15:15

“But I don’t know everything,” you might be thinking. The point is that we have His mind in us. He revealed the nature and love of the Father to His friends.

The Bible is not a rule book. It’s a diary written by the One who tells us how we can enjoy the greatest friendship possible. And beyond that, we are His Bride. Read Song of Solomon sometime. It’s almost embarrassing. We are His beloved, to say the least.

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.” Acts 2:38

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected within us.” 1 John 4:14

So, why all this redundancy? What is the point, and what does this have to do with the carnal mind being exposed?

If we are fearing what man thinks of us; if we are looking for the acceptance of others in order to feel a transient (and it is always transient) sense of deeper worth, we are not walking in the truth that we are fully loved by Abba, our Creator, and the Gift that lives powerfully within us.

We cannot serve two masters. We are not walking in the mind of Christ, who said we have been justified, reconciled, purified, redeemed and are now fully accepted, while being afraid of rejection. (Ephesians 5:21, Colossians 1:19-22, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5:9, Proverbs 29:25).

We fear rejection to the degree we are not experiencing the reality of this truth in our mind and innermost being.

Said another way: The carnal mind is revealed by the thoughts and motives of our heart.

Actions, though, can be deceiving. We as Christians have perfected the art of spiritual sleight of hand. We take the scripture, “…live by the Spirit, and you will never fulfill the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) and we have inverted it. We have bought into the works and law-based carnal minded system that says – “If we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh, this means we are now walking by the Spirit.”

Ahhh…no.

The Demonstrations of 1989 Part I

What is the Basis of Democracy?

During April before the student demonstrations became widespread a student with his political teacher came to visit me.  I had never heard of a political teacher calling on a foreign teacher, so I was on alert.  But the teacher didn’t delay.  What did I think about democracy in China?

Democracy is based on a belief in God, I responded, and assumes a willingness of citizens to obey a system of laws primarily resting on the Ten Commandments, which give order to society.  The Chinese system is based on an absolute ruler who is above his own laws.  Apparently Chinese think democracy is when everybody is equal – equally above law.  Thus, murder, theft, moral dishonesty and graft become a way of life.  The Chinese political teacher looked shocked.

There are some absolutes by which all men should order their lives, I continued.  The Ten Commandments forbid murder, lying, theft, and immorality among other things.  The Bible also elevates the worth of an individual and urges that individuals have consideration for those around them.  For that reason, absolute freedom does not exist.  Absolute freedom is license and results in chaos for a society.

To illustrate the contrast in attitudes toward respect for law and other people, I told about my first taxi ride from the Beijing airport into the city when I first arrived in China.  The driver drove at a high rate of speed, honking wildly at bicyclists.  When he entered a major intersection against a red light, he honked furiously and didn’t even slow down.  In a major American city late at night no motorist would risk life and property to run a red light without at least slowing down to see if there was traffic approaching.  My listeners nodded their heads with understanding.

The teacher looked surprised when I showed no interest in castigating Chinese leaders; but I insisted that the ancient feudal system was merely being perpetuated using an updated vocabulary.  Still, I was pleased at the relatively curious attitude this young man displayed, considering his students and some of mine were listening.

After my guests left I paced the floor in prayer for them and the deteriorating political and social conditions in China.  I couldn’t help but think of the condition of my own country, her great foundation of democracy eroding and falling away in chunks as people seek self-indulgence in gross immorality and the accompanying lies and violence necessary to perpetuate such a life-style.

Holy Spirit Arranged Meeting

The demonstrations of 1989 had begun sporadically in April and the foreign teachers were worried that the government would lay the blame on the foreign element, which was us, so we were all looking for some way to escape that charge.  Without prior planning more than a dozen teachers converged on Qing Dao, a beautiful seaside resort town in Shandong Province.  We saw each other at the huge markets or at the train or bus stations and passed the word to get a room at a particular local university.  We were awed that we should all just happen to meet at the same place at the same time, considering how difficult it was to get train tickets in advance from so many different cities in China.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship – in our number there was even a respected American retreat speaker fluent in Mandarin who spent time counseling with us as needed.

One sunny afternoon several of us ladies went to Zhongshan Park.  Wandering into the trees away from the constant noise and coal smoke, we spread out our jackets to lie down and take a nap in last fall’s leaves.  Then, one by one, we returned to our various universities.

Organizing

As time progressed I was coming to love and understand my students and was making some enduring friendships.  When the demonstrations began I was concerned that too many lessons were being missed.  Then absences increased and more students joined the marches.  Sometimes streets would be blocked and one would intend to go shopping only to come upon an unexpected parade.  The participants were friendly and the onlookers were also, but uneasily I knew that this type of action could not go on indefinitely.  Meantime, my students had set up planning rallies and I attended, uninvited, to listen to their plans.  At first they were anxious at my presence, but then they began to accept me as I came, listened and left quietly.

Students were divided into shifts, some going to Tiananmen for three days, others marching in their local area three days, then resting three days.  A student borrowed my camera and shot a roll of film in the Square, giving me reprints.  There were banners with slogans using humorous word plays.  For example, Deng Xiao Ping can be rephrased “little bottle,” not a complimentary phrase.  I really enjoyed their keen wit.

When the gate to the foreign teachers’ compound was closed, ostensibly to protect us, students called on the phone to ask me to meet them at the gate.  They passed photos, notices and other information through the bars.  Among them was a memorial picture of a dead student with a daisy on her chest.

Eventually, the government shut down trains and buses to keep students out of Beijing, but they continued to come and go by hitch hiking.  They began to carry information into the villages to explain to the peasants what they were doing because the government had mandated a news blackout.  The peasants then cooperated in sympathy with the students by work slowdowns and stoppages.

Feeding the Weary

I was concerned that my students would decide to fast in the Square.  Their idea of fasting was total abstinence from both food and drink, so fasters died within a couple of days in the heat on the hot concrete tiles.  Their normal daily nutrition was quite inadequate, so fasting was more than the body could tolerate and many students died in spite of city doctors’ heroic efforts to save them.

Days turned to weeks with students out on the streets, not getting anything to eat at lunch or supper, so I began to buy stewed chickens and bouza, a vegetable-filled bun, which I carried to the dorms at night after students returned from the day’s protests.  Initially the gate keepers wanted to know what was in the heavy bags I carried, but when they realized what I was doing they “minded their own business,” letting me pass even to the boys’ dorm rooms.  My own students were sharing the food I brought with others, so I stayed and waited on them to eat so they couldn’t share.  They refused to eat, so I took the food with me and offered it to others of my classes.  When they understood that I wasn’t able to feed the entire dorm, they wearily accepted the food.  This was expensive for me but I wanted to express love and concern in a concrete way.  Such opportunities are seldom presented outside the classroom.

You Don’t Understand Us

One of my female students wasn’t healthy enough to endure the marches day after day and often she would faint, her classmates bringing her back to the dorm for the rest of that day.  When I found out about this I was angry and scolded her for her poor judgment.

“I will give my life for my country,” she declared.

“And what good is a dead body?” I demanded in exasperation.

She paused and then shot back, “Oh, you just don’t understand us Chinese!”

So I left the dorm determined to write her a letter explaining my understanding of her philosophy compared to the Christian value of life.

Daoism and Buddhism see human life as no better than animal life, just more highly evolved.  There is the “hope” of reincarnation for those who die nobly, who then have the opportunity to come back in a higher life form.  My letter was long and included a hand-printed copy of Psalm 139.

“Where shall I go from your spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend up into heaven,

You are there;

If I make my bed in hell,

You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the most distant parts of the sea,

Even there shall your hand lead me,

And your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,”

Even the night shall be light about me.

The darkness hides not from You.

But the night shines as the day,

The darkness and the light are both alike to you….

I will praise you,

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are your works

And I know that very well.

How precious are your thoughts of me, O God,

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them,

They are more than the sand…..”

This I took and tossed on her bed and left quickly.  I didn’t see her for more than a week until she came to my apartment and tearfully confessed that I did understand her ideas and that what I had written to her she would remember forever because it was so beautiful.

 

Helpful Resources for Healing

At the bottom of this post I have listed some resources to help anyone who needs healing of both physical and emotional wounds. My own healing has been miraculous and my relationship with God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit is amazing because of their purity and trustworthiness. They are so tender and compassionate. I never imagined I would be able to talk to them and ask questions or hear their answers clearly as I do. As a  former DID I cannot get enough of their overwhelming love and I press into them daily – passionately. What an indescribable privilege to be held in Jesus’ arms while going to sleep at night, or chatting with the Holy Spirit while on my morning exercise walks.

The triune God loves me possessively and defends me fiercely when evil entities come around. Having never felt that I belonged to anyone, the love and watchful care of the Holy Spirit makes me feel so secure and wanted. The experience I had with disrobing and receiving the Robe of Righteousness was definitive in healing wounds of rejection and an orphan spirit. See previous post: APRIL 23, 2017 / JOYCE’S JOURNEY

My whole outlook has changed and my personality is no longer bristly. Residents here in my building have noticed the change from a stern face to one with smiles and a greeting. One of my two sisters has commented on the changes in my attitudes.

One change has been an understanding that my body is sacred to my Lord the Creator. When I was growing up my family was poor. People gave my mother large boxes of clothing for us children. While my sisters resented wearing hand-me-downs, I didn’t care. Mom and Dad  had five children to feed, clothe, and keep clean so Mom was too busy to teach us how to style our hair or care about social graces. When they got older, my sisters began to dress well and care for their hair and nails. But I had no interest in my appearance. With significant emotional healing, Father God has inspired in me an interest for my appearance.

Meditation brings revelation and revelation brings manifestation. All my life I have yearned for an intimate relationship with my precious Lord but didn’t know how to breach the barrier. He came to me in the night one night, as I related early in this blog, and changed my life forever. FEBRUARY 25, 2017  Yes, I was a strong believer. Was a teacher of English in China for more than a decade. Was an intercessor and active in deliverance. But my heart was hungry for love. I knew God was with me but I wanted far more than His authority!

I had no idea I had alternate personalities! But His sweet presence revealed things inside of me that I would not have imagined. He could reveal those things because He had the answers – healing and intimacy that I had ached for. Everything He has lead me through has been done just by His grace and mercy with no human counselors. And it has happened relatively quickly – since this past October, 2016. When I felt overwhelmed I simply asked for the Holy Spirit to strengthen my determination to obtain what I knew He had for me. Go back into the archives and read my journey for yourself. No matter how hungry you are, you will never deplete His resources – He is limitless and gracious.

Start your own journey with the infinite Holy One and discover His goodness and boundless riches. He is Love and you were created to revel in His Love. Focus on Him. Saturate yourself and the dry thirsty ground around you with His glory and Love.

Some helpful sources:

https://prayingmedic.com/my-emotional-healing https://prayingmedic.com/category/alters/

https://prayingmedic.com/2016/12/30/did-self-healing-integrating-fragments-and-alters/

https://mattevanssite.wordpress.com/  How to pray for/minister to fragmented persons

http://www.net-burst.net/love/luv.htm

http://www.net-burst.net/love/index.htm

Receive short inspirational quotes every second day (the best of the best) from the website. See <http://net-burst.net/daily-quotes.htm> for details.

For facebook go to http://www.facebook.com/DevotionalDiscussions

This is a huge Christian site with lots of easy to read information concerning DID as well as other issues. The site owner offers free counseling. Stimulating, compassionate and sometimes hilarious pages for Christians. Includes top, full length books, free to Internet users! <http://net-burst.net/search.htm>

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1113153.The_Shining_Man_with_Hurt_Hands#other_reviews. The Shining Man with Hurt Hands is also available as a free download in PDF. This book was my introduction to multiple personalities and fascinated me. Little did I realize at the time I was reading this book that I also had alters!

 

Injured

One fall I was in a serious one-vehicle accident.  The university Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) had taken all their foreign teachers and foreign students on a weekend trip to a poverty-stricken area where the local authorities wanted to develop tourism.  As is the manner in China, the van we were riding in was grossly overcrowded and the driver lost control on a curve.  We rolled down a shallow embankment, coming to rest on the side of the van where I was sitting.  When I came to I was the only person inside; so, I thought lazily that I should get out too, or “they” would worry about me.  I knocked the glass out of the cracked window, crawled up a slight incline, and sat down heavily on a mound of mud to survey everybody.  The others had been pulled out and were lying on the ground, shoes and socks scattered about.  A Japanese student was on hands and knees, vomiting. Probably a concussion, I thought dimly.  Another Japanese student had only one shoe on.

When people saw me they gasped and started to run toward me, but I waved them away.  Having had a little medical training, I knew I had spinal injuries and was having difficulty holding my head up.  As I looked around I began to pray for those lying stretched out.  A peasant lady offered me some pink crepe paper, toilet paper, but I refused, so she slipped around behind me and slapped it in my hand then plopped my hand on my head.  After a long while I realized that I was supposed to hold the paper to my head to stop the bleeding, but the motion hurt, so I stopped after a few moments.  My jacket, shoes, pants were covered with blood but I was unconcerned.

The peasants only had bicycles and tricycle-trucks with which they carried vegetables, etc. and they offered these to take us to the ferry to go to the nearest hospital.  While making arrangements to get us to the hospital they took us to the island infirmary to wash off the blood and make a more accurate assessment of injuries.  I sat quietly and looked around to make my own evaluation of needs and prayed God’s mercy on those with obvious injuries.  In fact, I also felt nauseous but braced myself in the straight-back chair and continued to pray for us all.  At last vans came and we boarded in pairs so that each foreign student had someone to translate, but I was the only English speaker and was overlooked in the confusion.

As shock began to wear off at the hospital I put someone’s great coat over my trembling shoulders to keep warm.  (A great coat, which the Chinese wear in the winter, is like a very thick army blanket cut as a coat.)  Possibly an hour later when everyone had been attended to, I was noticed.  I was lifted up on a gurney and taken to an operating theater.  My eyes widened at the sight of needles and other equipment.  What did they intend to do?  What did they think was wrong with me?

“No, no, no,” I repeated over and over.

They tried to explain that I needed help but I wanted to know exactly what kind of help they proposed!  At last someone was found who could speak a little English and I asked him to show me that their instruments were sterile since it was common practice to use and reuse needles, for example.  They thought, and at last someone ran to get some autoclaved instruments still wrapped in sterile towels, so I reluctantly agreed to their stitching up the obvious lacerations in my scalp and neck.

Several men carried me on a stretcher up three flights of stairs to a room where I was transferred to a bed.  Four or five men dressed in suits stood looking very grave.  The nurses tried to get me to lie down but the pain in my legs, neck and back was so sharp my head was silent by comparison.  When I tried to pull a folded quilt to the head of the bed where I could lean back on it, they helped me, but then I continued to writhe and sob quietly.

A nurse took my blood pressure and when I saw the reading I knew I’d better make an effort to calm down since there were no medications for that purpose.  Somebody brought warm water and I drank eagerly.  Somebody else brought antibiotics and pain pills.  Relief!  The watching officials would occasionally try to offer condolences and I tried to say in my limited Chinese that I would be all right.  Later, our FAO (Foreign Affairs Office) Director told me they thought I was dying.

Mrs. Zhu, the university FAO Director, arrived at last and I asked to return to the hotel where the group was staying for the night.  My Japanese roommate could get my supper and see that there was enough water in the thermoses to drink.  The lady doctor insisted that I prove that I could walk and manage the squat toilets.  It took some effort but I was determined, so at last she allowed me to go back to the hotel.

Peasants in the countryside are very poor and the hospitals don’t have adequate medicines to treat the most basic needs, such as local anesthetics for sewing up wounds, or even general anesthetics for surgeries.  They gave me their best, however – a local anesthetic for the scalp.  And they were as careful as they knew how to be.  In fact, I marveled at their gentleness and caution.  Much later when our FAO Director arrived, they asked through her if I could accept a penicillin injection and I said I could.  The “barefoot doctor”, a minimally trained peasant, decided to be cautious and scratched my skin as a test.  Immediately I broke out in a rash, probably because I was emotionally overwrought.  The next morning I still reacted to the penicillin scratch test but told the doctor not to worry because I had had a tetanus injection in the States before coming to China, the American tetanus being good for ten years.  She was incredulous although respectful.

I awoke early and went outside in the brisk autumn air to walk so that I wouldn’t get stiff from bouncing around in the van the day before.  As others woke they found me outside and asked what I thought I was doing.  Mrs. Zhu was pleased to see me exercising.  She said a Chinese would do the same thing.

To my delight the three Japanese students who had been so seriously injured were able to travel and were in good spirits.  One of the boys had been hallucinating after the accident but now he was stable.  The journey back to our university was more than six hours long and our driver who had back injuries from the wreck was braving his pain to continue as our driver.  We trusted his driving and clapped and cheered that he drove even though a substitute had been found.  In keeping with Chinese hospitality, we were met by our university authorities and given a dinner with speeches of apology.  We were too exhausted to appreciate the food or speeches, though.  It had been a long weekend.

The following Monday I had no classes but got no rest because delegations of officials came with fruit, and students came to offer to do my vegetable shopping and cooking.  Everyone brought medicines to help me recover quickly.  The FAO Director was very caring of me and tried to persuade me to take x-rays.  I refused so they offered an MRI, which I knew they really couldn’t afford, so I steadfastly refused any medical examination.  I knew I had spinal injuries and possibly some broken ribs, but the general policy of that university was to send foreigners home if their injuries were extensive and I had no intention of going home.

Lying down at night was pure torture but the injuries eventually healed.  Meantime, I told the FAO Director, who translated for the city doctor now tending me, that the students with concussions recovered so quickly because I prayed for them.  She had been to America as a visiting scholar, so she understood when I explained that God loves us all, even those who don’t believe in Him.  My 17 huge stitches came out easily within seven days and the doctor was impressed with my rapid recovery.  He commented that I had recovered more quickly than a young man who practiced qi gong, explaining that qi gong was the power he used when people needed more than what medicine could do for them.

In the week immediately following the accident there were many opportunities to tell what happened and why my recovery was so rapid.  Students listened with rapt attention and privately asked for Bibles.  Long term teachers in China don’t usually keep such items but I was able to obtain Bibles for those who asked.  I was invited to an English Corner (a weekly informal outdoor meeting to practice English conversation with native speakers) where a student asked how I could be so well educated and still believe in the superstition of God and Jesus.

I answered with the analogy of the cosmos being more complex than a watch.  If a watch were taken apart to make six pieces, and the six pieces were shaken in a box, how long would it take for the watch to be reassembled?

“Well, never!” was the indignant answer.

“Then how can one think that a living cell, which is far more complex than a watch, could be formed in any unit of time?”

Some students gasped as they understood what I was asking.  But apparently the university officials were displeased because English Corner was suspended with no reason given for the remainder of the semester.  The accident, my injuries and rapid recovery was a springboard to discussions about Jesus that I could never have had otherwise.

“Herald and preach the Word!  Keep your sense of urgency….

whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable,

whether it is convenient or inconvenient,

whether it be welcome or unwelcome….

being unflagging and inexhaustible

in patience and teaching (II Tim. 4:2).”

My Healing Update

This post will contain some updating on my healing from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I have shared very personal things with my readers on this blog and don’t wish to repeat what is already available to you. My soverign experience one-on-one with Jesus, then Father God, and now with the precious Holy Spirit has been an incredible adventure and I wouldn’t take anything for my relationship with the humble, gentle, fierce, untamed triune God-head. He is a treasure beyond calculation. He is truly pure and holy. And His correction is with such compassion that it has broken my heart but brought me strength and a deeper trust in Him that can better be experienced than described. I don’t have words to tell you His patience and even His keen sense of humor. For example, Bill Johnson said when we ask to be filled with God, we better hope we leak. I laughed and laughed. Do I leak? I don’t know, but I don’t have a lid on, so when the Lover of my soul comes to fill me I just spill freely until the dry ground around me is saturated and so am I. The almighty God is infinite and He never runs low on Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Humility, Self-restraint; so I draw on Him freely many times throughout a day.

The Holy Spirit is my protector and defender. One night I awakened suddenly to catch a glimpse of the Holy Spirit flashing across in front of me from right to left. Then I saw a small dart speeding from the left toward my heart. It failed to strike and I fell asleep again. In the morning I checked my body and spirit for injury but found none. Apparently the sweet Spirit intercepted the dart before it reached me. Only in Heaven will I know all the times He protected me as I dwelt in the shadow of Abba’s wings. The times He lets me see His protection increases my trust in His possessive watchfulness.

I feel like I am born anew although I have been a strong believer all my adult life. Yet I have never known His Love like I am enjoying Him now. And He is very intimate in His purity. We are so focused on the material/natural world that we interpret His passion as being physical when nothing could be farther from the truth. He IS Love! And we are made to need His Love. His Love in me and my love given back with the help of the Holy Spirit is what I am created to do/be. That discovery is what I was born for – and it has taken a lifetime to find it, but oh, what a discovery!

I love the old hymns. The music to “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is beautiful, but the sentiment “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it” is quite a negative statement. How would your spouse feel if you said that to him/her? Or if he/she said that to you? If marriage is a commitment for life, how much more should our commitment to Jesus be for eternity? In my faithfulness to Him I find the hidden joy of committed love, and that is my Source of wealth. He makes me rich.

Recently I had opportunity to share just a little of my early life with an old schoolmate that also had an abusive early life. She listened carefully and commented that most people had trauma at some point in their lives and need healing. For someone who doesn’t know Jesus well, she was perceptive. But I discovered an unhealed spot in my heart – that I had to describe the treatment I received from my parents in order to explain my need for integration of alters and healing for my griefs and sorrows. For truly I love my parents and am thankful that they both gave their hearts to Jesus and are waiting for me in Heaven.

Christmas and Easter Holidays

Cancer

Three guests attended the lecture I was giving about Christmas, but none of my students seemed to know who they were so I felt uneasy.  They stayed after class to ask more questions, cautiously revealing that they were students at a neighboring school and wanted to hear the Christmas story from me.  Students from my university had told them that I was a Christian, and their hunger to hear more about Jesus touched my heart.

One of the three young men was faithful to visit me every week and we would go out for long walks to avoid listening ears.  During one of our walks he told me that his mother had esophageal cancer.  She had recently undergone radical surgery to remove the cancer cells but the doctor didn’t know about reconstructive surgery, so she had to stay upright all the time to keep the contents of her stomach from spilling.  However, the doctor expected her to die because she had been vomiting blood and couldn’t keep anything down.  Would I please pray for her?  The village he lived in with his family was nearly all Christian and they were praying for her complete healing.

Spring came and I didn’t see Li for a long time.  I began to worry about him, and although I continued to pray for his mother, I wondered if he had gone home because of her dying?  Then he came one day to tell me that he hadn’t gone home nor had he heard any word about her health.  He was finished with exams and planned to go home that weekend.  The next day he returned with another young man whom he introduced as his brother who had finally come to the city to bring news of their mother to him.  Would I please attend church with them on Sunday morning?  It was not my habit to attend Chinese church because I knew I would be watched and those who spoke to me would possibly be questioned.  Nevertheless, I accepted the invitation.

Although we arrived at the church compound early, the building was already full, so someone found me a little stool and the three of us sat together outside.  Soon there was standing room only even in the courtyard.  Li translated what was being said and commented that the pastor was courageous to speak of things forbidden by the government.  The congregation sang some songs I knew, but they sang slowly and mournfully in a lower key to better suit their voices.  I sang either harmony or an octave higher.  Li’s little brother leaned against me, and I sensed his enjoyment.

After the service we ate together and Li translated for his brother who spoke no English.  Little Brother thought I sang like an angel.  They had kept me in suspense about their mother’s condition until now and I was eager to hear how she was.  Little Brother said he had delayed coming to the city because their mother was eating normally and sleeping by lying down at night, normally.  The family wanted to be sure that she was actually recovering and not merely rallying before dying.  It had been a couple of months now, and she had gained weight and was actually helping with the fieldwork.  The two brothers were beside themselves with joy and thanked me for adding my prayers to theirs.  This was my first experience with miracles in China, but not my last.

Easter

It is possible to buy books in China that relate what Christians believe about Christmas and Easter.  They are not accurate but at least the curious can find some information.  I have found that explaining how the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus relate to Adam and Eve’s fall really connects with my Chinese students.  To them the idea of Adam and Eve being enticed by a talking serpent in the garden seemed ridiculous. Jesus dying on the cross and rising to life again were merely isolated events in western mythology.

Starting with Adam and Eve, I tell how man fell into moral evil (the word “sin” doesn’t translate well) and how God was so sad because of the loss of fellowship with man, the highest of His creatures and made in His likeness.  To restore the lost relationship with us, God chose to take the punishment the human race deserved by coming as Jesus to earth.  The story takes on meaning for my listeners and they hang on every word.  Jesus had to come back from the dead so that we could have everlasting life and victory over moral evil in this life.  The students are fascinated to learn that Christians have no fear of displeasing ancestral spirits because we believe that after death one goes to his final resting-place, either with a triumphant Jesus or to everlasting punishment.

“Nobody is roaming around; the punished cannot and the victorious would not.”

“Then what is the point of worshiping and placating ancestors that can’t cause us any trouble?”

“Good question.  Come and visit me when we can talk at our leisure.”

Sometimes there are visitors when I tell this story and that makes me uneasy.  But I don’t neglect to tell this story both at Christmas and Easter.  I write out Isaiah 53: 3-7 by hand and read it aloud.  A real Jesus who actually lived in history?  This is a new idea to challenge the status quo.

This is a story that bears telling twice a year for it never gets old with the telling.  Some teachers say they can’t take time from lessons to go into depth about Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.  Dropping one two-hour lesson from the syllabus is not too much when this is the story of salvation, eternal life and hope – the driving force behind life itself.

These events can be made memorable for the students in many ways.  I ask American friends to save American canceled stamps, including the postmarks that show the cities of origin, and give them as gifts.  Christian themed stickers are popular, too.  Or blank greeting cards that they can use as gifts if they wish.  I make enough fudge for each student to get two pieces, and pass them out in class.  Or better yet, I have an open house in my decorated apartment and have the homemade fudge ready to serve.  We sing Christmas carols in my classes and I explain the meaning of obscure words.  Chinese students love to sing.  Even when the witness is low key, it will be a lasting memory that will bear fruit (Is.55: 11).  There will be students who come privately to ask more questions, so these holidays can be a springboard to deeper discussions.

Jennifer asked how I planned to celebrate Easter so I told her of the foreign teachers’ meeting Sunday morning.  She told me that a group of students had tried to enter a church on Easter morning a year ago but the gatekeeper had immediately called the police who drove the students away.  I told Jennifer I had chosen to not attend the open church in our city as a mini protest.  Jennifer was familiar with the concept of protest from studying western culture but begged me to take her.  Surely the gatekeeper would let her in if she were with me.  I refused but other foreign teachers did go, with students, but the students were turned away.