Don’t Foul Away

Sunday was S. and T.’s second time to preach for the whole service. One of them kind of had an emotional, couldn’t-go-on kind of premature ending. The other one went over on his time and would have kept on going if I hadn’t started tapping my invisible wristwatch like I was in a triangle choke. Overall though, I really thought they did great. Anytime you stand to preach, priority number one is content. You can be funny, engaging, compelling, and composed in front of the crowd, but if your content is heretical, out-of-context, or just plain useless, you’re left of center.

 

[Verily, verily…] It’s like baseball in a way (get ready – here comes the only baseball metaphor I’ll probably ever make – I can’t stand the game). When a guy gets a great hit only to see it fly foul and out into the bleachers, it doesn’t matter how far it was, how high it was, or how many runs it would have been worth! It’s a foul ball – wrong trajectory annuls all the positive value. Thus it be with preaching with a content problem. That’s why I was real happy about their messages. S.’s message was on faith – T.’s on fear. Tied together well, which was good because almost everyone stayed on to hear T. in the second service.

 

Still working hard to get the new place ready for services to get started in about two weeks or so. Plus the students are coming. House has a problem in just about every category, so it’s been quite an experience. But we’re making good progress, though. Thanks for your prayers. Please pray especially for those who will come to this new place because of its proximity to their dorms – pray that the Gospel will find root in their heart.

 

This weekend was Duan Wu Jie, or the Dragon Boat Festival. First holiday that we experienced in China after we arrived. Saturday night we had about thirty people or so go out to eat at a “hot pot” restaurant. Basically the middle of the table has a pot on an electric burner. Then they serve you a bunch of raw food, which you dump into the pot to cook. It’s from Sichan, so it’s supposed to be on the spicy side, but here they tame it down a little. The main food for this holiday is a sticky rice that’s wrapped in banana leaves. Not my favorite, to tell you the truth.

 

After that, a bunch of us went down to the river, where absolutely nothing was going on. But people came like there was, that’s for sure. Actually they sell a bunch of stuff on the street – and people set off these flying lanterns (like miniature hot air balloons). Don’t know how many people were out that night – couple hundred thousand, easily. Unlike a lot of their holidays, it’s a go-out-and-party holiday more than stay-in-and-party. Late night and students going home for the holiday really hurt our services the next day, though, I’m afraid. Had some good first-time visitors, though, so still a great day.

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