Posts in American Voices
New Year Reflections: More Than Well-Wishes

Just last week, several families from Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu had their bank accounts frozen by the government because they are members of the church. Years of savings are gone, and some of their husbands are still locked up in prison. Believers like them "are scum of the world, the refuse of all things" (1 Corinthians 4:13). They look very different from the images of wealth, health, and happiness that we wish upon each other on Chinese New Year. And yet I doubt that any well wishes – or even actual wealth, health, and happiness – can be of any comfort or enticement to them, and I hope the same for us.

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What’s in a Name?

Several months after moving to China, I doodled that new name in my journal. I was praying that day, reading scripture, spending a quiet hour with God. As I sketched my new name, I realized these characters were not actually given to me by my Chinese friend: this new name, the one that meant “beautiful” and “restful,” came from my Heavenly Father. 

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Enter Into the World of Chinese New Year

One New Years Eve, while the villagers were preparing to once again escape from the village, an old beggar came into the village to ask for food. An elderly woman quickly gave him a bowl of rice and warned him that the monster was on its way, and he too should leave the village soon. The old beggar said, "If you let me stay in your house for one night, I have a plan to scare the monster away." The woman was skeptical, but she was in a hurry to leave, so she gave him the permission to stay.

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The Art of Chinese Names

If all of that is confusing to you, I hope it at least helps you appreciate the depth of meaning behind a Chinese name. Naming is one of the most important acts parents do for their children because it expresses the care and hope the parents place on their children. Not only is a person known by a name for the rest of his or her life, but the meaning behind a name may also define his or her character.

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Light Up the Fire in Your Heart – How to Support the House Church in a Time of Persecution

Despite raids by police, house churches continue to meet and preach and pray on every Sunday. Their devotion to these spiritual disciplines is preparing their bodies and souls for whatever is to come. If we were placed in their situation, would our spiritual disciplines give us the resilience to endure this kind of suffering? 

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