More gifts God gives me each day…
1177. getting my kids’ autographs
1178. a day at the fisherman’s wharf
1179. kiddo hugs
1180. hearing laughter from little folks
1181. trying new foods…and not knowing what I am eating half of the time
1182. skype dates with family and friends…even when the connection cuts out every two minutes
1183. being immersed in another culture
1184. a taste of home – pizza!
1185. visiting historic places with a sweet friend
1186. my students experiencing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the first time
1187. fresh watermelon juice
1188. singing a song in Mandarin
1189. my student whispering in my ear “Teacher, you are so beautiful.”
1190. seeing God work
Posted in Adventures, Life with Jesus, Photos, Taiwan | 1 Comment »
Continuing to count the blessings God gives me, whether big or small…
1166. palm trees
1167. friends who welcome me, feed me, love me
1168. meeting a missionary who has been here in Taiwan for 24 years
1170. listening to worship songs
1171. actually understanding some of the Mandarin I hear
1172. big smiles on my students’ faces
1173. the ocean!
1174. a thank you note from my students
1175. seeing village kids share what Easter is all about
Posted in Adventures, Life with Jesus, Missions, Photos, Taiwan | 1 Comment »
It has been awhile since I have written here on Definitely Joanna. I have lots of good excuses, too! *grins* But really, God has been doing so much, that I have been very busy following in His footsteps and going where He sends.
And He sent me here, to the island of Taiwan.
I’ve been here three months now. And I have not even written once! Oops. So that is changing, starting now (and if you are still reading, please drop me a comment and let me know!).
The other week, I looked over ten-year-old Paric’s shoulder to see what he was drawing during family class. I expected funny drawings with cute, smiling faces (because he is always so sweet and smiling), but instead I was met with angry expressions and tears on his page. Kneeling down next to him, I looked into his face and asked why he drew his family this way.
I wasn’t prepared for his answer in Mandarin – because his mama is always angry and hitting his sister, which makes her cry.
The thing is, there wasn’t anything I could say to Paric in his language that would make it all better. I wish I could change the expressions that he drew. I want to make them all hugging and smiling. But I can’t.
Jesus is the only one I know who can bring true peace and healing in a life. Not me.
That precious name! That is why I am here! I am really excited to see what He will do in the coming months!
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Some of my ramblings of late and what God is doing…
* I just had to share this photo (above). My sister took it and designed it. Yes, the Gospel is such Good News and powerful! So grateful!
* For several Christmas presents last year (2012, that is), I went to Iris Trinkets, an online store run by my friend Krista Rodriguez. Krista and I have the pleasure of working together on Bloom! and I was so excited when she opened her store. Filled with all kinds of handmade delights – earrings, scarves, necklaces and such, Iris Trinkets is the place to shop if you like made by hand and unique! I highly recommend her store! So go ahead and take a look around.
* And yes, it’s been awhile since I have posted anything else on here but My Multitude Mondays and book reviews…but I have plenty of good excuses!
* Eva Abdullah, a follower of Christ in Tanzania, was released from prison! This seventeen year old has gone through a lot but has remained strong in her faith. Praise God!
* I’m working right now and waiting on the Lord for the next step…we’ll see what He has in mind! All I know is that it’s in His hands and He sure loves to take me on adventures!
* Lastly, just because I love to and just because I can – I’m doing a giveaway. Details below:
How to enter: Share one song that was meaningful to you in 2012 and why it was special to you.
The what: If your name is drawn, you have the choice of one of the following books:
Only one entry per household, please. All entries will be literally placed in a hat and and one entry will be randomly drawn. Due to postage costs, open to US residents only (but feel free to comment anyway if you’d like). Giveaway will close comments at midnight on February 5. Enjoy!
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Joe Kissack had it all…at least, according to the world’s standards. Successful in Hollywood, he had everything a man would need to be happy – or so he thought. But there was a huge empty spot in his heart that he tried to fill. He turned to drinking and drugs, at times becoming so depressed he was suicidal. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. His life, job, marriage – they were all severely suffering and spiraling downward.
Then he met Jesus.
This is the story of a man who is supposed to have it all but is really broken and despairing. This is the story of three fishermen from Mexico who survive over nine months lost at sea and end up 5,500 miles from the little fishing town they started out Mexico. This is the story of God scripting a story of redemption, of healing, and of power.
And this is the story of God bringing about restoration and wholeness into Joe’s life and the Mexican fisherman and intertwining their stories. It’s worth the read!
Note: I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
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I am not a person who normally reads historical fiction, so this was newer territory for me. There are things I liked about Jody Hedlund’s 2012 release and things I didn’t like as well.
Lily Young, the heroine of “Unending Devotion”, is a strong, passionate young woman intent on one thing – rescuing girls forced into prostitution. But deeper than that is something personal – rescuing her own sister. In a logging town in Michigan while searching for her sister, Lily meets Connell McCormick, son of a lumber-baron and life begins to get very exciting.
One of the things I appreciated is that Lily is so passionate about rescue. Perhaps she is so eager in this that sometimes she is a bit reckless but this just reveals how kind, loving, and selfless she is! “Unending Devotion” brought up some things I had never thought about, including prostitution and how sin can grab hold of you so tightly.
As for the things I wasn’t so keen on, most of them had to do with Lily ‘s relationship with a young man. It’s not that she had an intimate relationship with him out of wedlock as much as it was the physical kisses and such that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong – those things are great, I believe, but when in a marriage covenant.
All in all, I found it to be an interesting, informative, and sometimes funny read. I found Lily and her passion to rescue others to be not only thought-provoking, but also inspiring.
Note: I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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