Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Week Thus Far 08/30/2010

Well, it is Tuesday here in China and I have met with each of my two Consumer Behavior classes. They are the same students from last year's Management and Human Resource Classes.

The schedule for the first 9 weeks is pretty easy, I only teach one class a day, Monday-Thursday, which gives me a nice long weekend. The class sizes are more manageable as well. About a third of the students from each class have gone to Australia to study leaving me with 42 students in one class and 39 in the other. That will make things much easier (I hope) for the both of us. Communication should be easier and hopefully I can get to know them better. They really are a nice group of kids.

For those of you who love to go grocery shopping, you know, getting in your car, lugging the groceries home and so forth. Count your blessings. How would you like to do the same thing by bus-while it is raining? He he, that is my shopping adventure.

I have gotten used to that and can now usually get it done in about an hour. If it is too hot, or raining too hard, I will get a taxi to bring me back home and get dropped off right in front of my building. Try as I might to make a list, I always forget something! So, I just have to make do until the next trip.

T-Shirts in China

I see a lot of students who wear T-shirts with English words on them. Sometimes the words make sense, sometimes they do not. I may try to post a pic or two of the interesting ones I see( if I remember).

Many times, the students have not bothered to read them (so they tell me) or know what they mean, so I will read them and try to figure things out. However, yesterday I saw a female student (thankfully not one of mine) whose T-shirt left no misunderstanding of what the message was. In big letters were the words F OFF. (the whole F word was spelled out.

I just could not let that pass. I looked at her and said, "Your shirt is so nasty". Thinking I was giving her a compliment she said thank you. I said, "No, you don't understand, many people find that word to be very vulgar and offensive". This happened as I was heading back to my apartment after returning from the grocery shopping and she and her friend were heading to the bus stop. She seemed nice enough for the few seconds we encountered one another. Hopefully, she will toss that shirt out.

The Return of the Wandering Kitty

Well, I was able to coax Mei Nv to come back home. After class yesterday I went looking for her and found her by the building where she and her boyfriend were hanging out the day before.

As, I approached, she trotted off a bit, but then laid down in the street and let me come pet her. I picked her up and began to carry her part of the way home, but then decided that I would let her come on her own.

So, I put her down and started to walk back to my apartment. I called her and she began to follow. As we approached, she stopped and laid down again so, I picked her up and carried her to the stoop of my building and put her down there. I began to climb the step and called her to follow me, but she would not come in.

I figured she was hungry ( that no good for nothing tom cat wasn't feeding her), so I went up stairs and got the bag of food. I stood at the top and shook the bag, but she did not come. So, I went down the steps and gave her a whiff of the bag. Yeah buddy, she was hungry! She perked up and followed me inside.

But, she still was reluctant to come up the stairs with the smell of food as her only enticement. So, I poured a little out on the top of each landing and she came and gobbled it up. By the time we got to my floor (4th) she was ready to come right in.

Since then, she has made herself right at home. No more yowling. I would really like to get her wounds healed up but, if she becomes insistent on going outside, I guess I will just have to let her go. I would imagine, kittens may be something the future holds. I don't know what I will do then.

Well, that about wraps up the first two days of this wee. Yeah, I know, not real exciting. Such is life. God Bless, until the next time...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mei NV Update

After church, I went to check on her, She is still not ready to come home yet. I found her with her boyfriend. He is not a handsome cat. Maybe if he had a good bath! ha ha!

As I approached, they got up and walked away.
You can click on the pictures for a full size view.

Today in Church 8/28/2011

Well, this is my first Sunday back in China and I was able to attend church. Two of my former students who often went with me last year came with me this morning also.

Before I talk about today's service, I will give you some general information. I have attended church in Zhenjiang, Wuxi, Shanghai, and here in the city where I currently live, and the services are pretty much the same as far as order goes. So, this is how it generally goes:

The service begins by reading a few chapters of the bible. I believe they are reading through selected books. When I left, they were in Isaiah and the last reading was 59-60. Today, we read Matthew 21-22. We should pick up in chapter 23 next week.

The next thing, and I find this kind of interesting, is that they do a practice run through of the hymns. What I find most interesting is that the hymnal, instead of having the standard musical notations has the corresponding numbers to the Do Ri Mi scale. So, for the first run through they teach the tune using that scale, then they go back and do a practice run through using the words. Ha ha, I still can't sing.

After that, the service is ready to begin. One of the elders will pray. Sometimes it is a long prayer, sometimes it is short. I did not ask about today's prayer (what was said), but they usually pray for the church and the people.

Then we sing the first of 3 hymns. Today's first hymn was written by Yi Fan Shen and is titled "Help Me to Pray, O Lord"

Help me to Pray, O Lord, Calm thou my fret and fear
Fervently wait before my Lord, for Thou art ever near
Fervantly wait before my Lord, for Thou art ever near.

Then we pray again. Until I can understand Chinese, I will use this time to pray for the pastor and the day's service.

After the prayer, a responsive reading of a selected psalm is read. I need to pay more attention, because I am not sure if this a type of reading where the elder reads one part, and then the church reads the next line, or if the elder reads and then the congregation repeats. Either way, today's Psalm was a good one (aren't they all good ones!) We read Psalm 111. Here is a little taste for those of you who may not have been to church yet:

Praise the Lord!

With all my heart I will thank the Lord
in the assembly of his people.
2 How wonderful are the things the Lord does!
All who are delighted with them want to understand them.
3 All he does is full of honor and majesty;
his righteousness is eternal.

After the Psalm is read, the we sing the second song. The second song is "Follow On"
by William O Cushing.

Follow On

Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the flowers are blooming and the sweet waters flow;
Everywhere He leads me I would follow, follow on,
Walking in His footsteps till the crown be won.


Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
Anywhere, everywhere, I would follow on!
Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
Everywhere He leads me I would follow on!

Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow;
With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear,
Danger cannot fright me if my Lord is near.


Down in the valley, or upon the mountain steep,
Close beside my Savior would my soul ever keep;
He will lead me safely in the path that He has trod,
Up to where they gather on the hills of God.


After this song, the choir will sing a special song. These songs are usually from a separate hymnal, and today I forgot to ask the name of song.

Ok, now it is time for the message. Today's message came from James 1:5-12, and from what I can gather from my students, the speaker did a good job of teaching these verses. I asked her to write the notes from the PPT in Chinese, and then after the service we stayed while she translated them into English. Mind you these were just bullet points, but I believe they were a good foundation for teaching.

After the message, we sing the third song. Today's third song was "More Love to Thee, O Christ" written by Elizabeth Payson Prentiss in 1869. It was really quite a beautiful melody, and now that I have read the words in English, I find it more beautiful.

More Love to Thee, O Christ

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

I have the complete Chinese hymnal in pinyin (alphabetized Chinese) who a dear friend lovingly and painstakingly translated from Chinese characters into pinyin for me. So, I am able to sing with my Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ. Many times, we sing songs I that I am very familiar with from back home.

After this song, the pastor will give a blessing to the congregation. Then we will say the Lord's Prayer from Matthew, and then the doxology

"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow"

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

So, there you have it, the order of service of the official Chinese church. I imagine it is a little different from what you expected or may have been told. As you can see, from the verses and the songs, Christ is preached. It may not be this way in all churches, but for the ones I have been attending for the last four years, it has been this way, and I know for a fact that people are coming to a saving relationship with Christ in these churches.

So, before I close, let me provide a little more background and information. The official name of the Church is the 3 Self Patriotic Movement Church. This church is protestant in nature. They also have a Catholic Church as well.

I choose to come to this church because as a guest worker in China I feel I should obey the laws they have set forth. I also know that when I extend an invitation to my students, I am not asking them to break any laws. In this way, they can learn about God, ask me questions, and I have someone who can help me understand what is being said.

In addition to the Sunday service (which begins at 7:30 a.m. and goes to about 10:30 a.m)they have meetings during the week for various age groups and they also have prayer meetings. I have not had time to attend any here as of yet, but back in Zhenjiang, I attended a youth meeting (ha ha their youth is 25-30 years old) and heard some powerful testimonies of Christ's changing power.

The attendance for today by my best estimate was a little over 600 people There are four rows with 19 pews in each row. In each row there is about 7 people. 4*19*7=532 When those fill up, they put little stools down the aisles, and there is another little room behind the main auditorium that holds maybe another 50 people

Well, if you have any questions about what I have written, or the pictures I have posted, feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer them. In the meantime, I ask you to pray for me, and pray for the Church. For my friends and family back home, I believe you know what to pray for as we partner together in this endeavor.

Until the next time...

Romans 8:28

Saturday, August 27, 2011

If Your Cat is Yowling, She May Be in Heat!

Well, Mei Nv, started yowling in the afternoon. She had not used the litter box, so I took her over there to re-acquaint her with her facilities.

Nope, that is not the problem. I finally decided she wanted to go back out and I opened the door and begun to walk downstairs with her (4 flights). After a bit of hesitation she began leading the way. Once downstairs, I opened the door and out she went. Big mistake!

She immediately proceeded to trot down the road toward the building where I found her last night-yowling all the way. I followed her and when I caught up, she came around the corner with whom I can only presume to be the object of her desires. I called her, but she was not having any of that.

I guess I will just have to wait and see-will she come home? Will she have kittens (boy I hope not, but that would be a bit naive to expect not)?

Until the next time...

Runaway Cat! 08/27/11

Well, yesterday I went to pick up Mei NV and was thankful she seemed to remember me. After a few moments of letting her out of her cage at the vets, she was rubbing her cheek up against me and purring.

Although, her wound is better, it is still not healed up, and even though it looks bad in the picture, it is much better than it had been I have brought some no-stick gauze bandages back with me and will have my sister send some more so that I can keep her wound covered-especially when it begins to scab over. If we could just get past the scabbing process I believe she will heal the rest of the way.

As I said, she seemed to remember me. So, we put her in the backpack (that is how I get her on the bus) and proceeded to leave. However, I decided to take a taxi home because it was so hot outside.

Along the ride home, I unzipped the bag a bit so she could move around a bit, get more air, and be a little cooler. All was well until we arrived at my building. I had not zipped up the backpack all the way, and when the door opened she jumped out and bolted over to the next building.

As I tried to come near, she ran past my building and under a fence into the field next door. I tried to coax her back through, but she just stayed hidden in the bush. I walked around to the field and was hoping to either be able to get her, or that she would run back through the fence toward the building. She did neither. She ran down the fence line and I lost her in the bushes.

At that point there was nothing I could do, so I decided that I would just come back in a couple of hours and see if she would reappear. At about six p.m. I went out, and sure enough she was on the steps of the next building. So, I called her and began to approach, but she took off down the little road in our apartment complex.

By this time the sun had set, but I had a little flashlight and I followed her to another building. I would call her and she would just not come. So, I went around the wall she was sitting on and tried to come to her that way, but she took off again. This time she headed back toward my apartment building.

For whatever reason she stopped and just laid in the street. So, I stayed on the other side of the street because I did not want her to run back under the fence into the field again. I sat on the curb and called her and talked to her a little. Then she started rolling over to scratch herself on the concrete. As she did, I slowly approached and she finally let me rub her chin. As I did so, I stooped down and picked her up. Ha, ha, I wonder if she was trying to let me know she was unhappy at me leaving her for almost two months.

I wish that was the end of the story (and it is as far as her being a runaway). I get upstairs to the apartment and let her down and she begins to explore, sniffing everything and familiarizing herself with the surroundings. She meowed a bit and seemed to settle in, getting on my bed, jumping onto my lap as I sat at the computer. All seemed to be well until two a.m.

She began to yowl! Mind you this is a cat who had previously done nothing much more than let out faint mew (except for when she had a stomach infection). I would call her and she would come up to the bed purr and rub up against my hand seemingly content. But, as soon as I would drift back off to sleep, she would begin to yowl again. This went off and on until my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m. I really hope this is not a nightly thing.

Until the next time...

Friday, August 26, 2011


Hmm...boy will these titles be orignal-the day's posting date. Ha ha.

Well, returned on August 24th. The flight was good. Smooth and relatively few problems. Tis good to be back in China and I am looking forward to a new year with some returning students and some new students.

For those of you new to my new blog, I am a business instructor for Jiangsu University of Science and Technology. While living and working in China, I hope to be a vessel through which the light of Christ shines.

I attend the local church, formerly called the 3 Self Patriotic Movement Church, which is the legal church in China.

I know, you have heard that these churches are solely a tool of the government, maybe some are, but I am here to tell you that in my experience here in Zhangjiagang, Zhenjiang, Wuxi, and in Shanghai, I can tell you that the gospel is being preached, the Word is being taught, and that Chinese people are coming into a heavenly citizenship in the only way possible: Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

I have chosen to attend these churches as it is the best way for me to invite students to learn about God if they choose to do so.

Most of these posts will be, like everyday life, rather ordinary. They will be about my teaching and living experience here in China. After 4 years, not everyday is exciting, but everyday is a gift from God, and I hope to share with you what God is doing in China, Chinese culture, and the lifestyle of everyday Chinese people-who we really have more in common with than we do difference.

So, today, I will go with a student to retrieve my kitty from the veterinarian's office. She was sort of a rescue kitty. She was apparently attacked by a dog and her back was torn up pretty badly. She recovered enough to hang out across from the school cafeteria to beg food from the students. I started to come by and feed her daily.

During the last year's Spring Festival, I left her at the vet's office to see if we could get her back healed up. After returning from my vacation in Hainan, there was nobody at the school. So, I just brought her home with me.

However, her back never healed all the way so I decided to leaver her at the vets office again while I returned stateside for the the summer. I am hoping that after about 45 days her wound has healed enough that it won't bleed if she scratches the spot. I call her 美女, or Měinǚ, which I sometimes see written in pinyin as Mei Nv. That is her picture at the top of the post. Ha ha, I used an ace bandage and duct tape in my attempts to keep her wound covered and prevent her from scratching. She did not like that and always found a way to tear it off while I was sleeping or at school teaching.

Well That is it for today. Until the next time...

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.