Saturday, October 31, 2009

macau top 14

The Top 14 List of Macau:
1. Brazilian breakfast... where Luke sneezed all the contents of his mouth and nose onto April.
2. Sheets of meat in the streets. (Photo coming soon).
3. Meeting a friend from Oregon working at Fatburger
4. Packing the entire family for an overnight stay in ONE backpack.
5. Cinnamon roll? Nope. Red Bean look-a-like. Delicious.
6. Repeatedly dodging motorcycles in the alleys.
7. Thinking about leadership in light of the Venetian facade. Great illustrations for a future talk.
8. Massive dried shark fins for sale. Want one?
9. Tiramisu ice cream, african chicken, grilled pineapple.
10. Running in the hotel hallways with the boys.
11. Black out curtains. (We still don't have curtains at home).
12. Near-celebrity status in the hotel lobby. Paparazzi-level photography. Not sure why, but we did have to guard Luke at one point, from well-intending (but boundary-lacking) guests from another nearby country. Think tug-of-war with your child and total strangers.
13. Seeing Portugese and Chinese languages together.
14. Different architecture.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

atlanta to hong kong

This week our friends from Atlanta joined us.
Many thanks to North Metro Church for partnering in the gospel with us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

another side

On Sunday we went for a walk to get to know our area better. We walked passed several government housing estates and saw a beautiful picture of local culture. We ended up walking to the end of the line -- a local bbq pit beachfront where wakeboarding and sea kayaking outfitters operate. We walked about 7k. Our eyes were opened to yet another side of HK.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

one step at a time.

It's been a while since you were here but I just wanted to thank you for your work you and your team did here [Auburn]. You and encounter are missed. There was a degree of genuine passion and truth that was completely different than anything I experienced in a group setting like that consistently. What I liked was It didn't matter who was speaking or who was playing, the energy and presence of passion for God was always powerful. I'm telling you this because regardless of how your week or month was were always honest and focused on Jesus and Him being who defined you, your life, and encounter. Your leadership was excellent and I'm glad I had an opportunity to experience that because it showed me a little more clearly how Jesus should be glorified with my life and in a community like encounter. So thanks for your solid leadership and I hope hong kong is going well! - LD

Because we are still in the earliest part of what God is unfolding through our lives here in HK, it's hard to know for sure what it will look like, but I can say without a doubt we know what it will count for... that Jesus would be glorified in our lives and community.

I was so encouraged to get that email this morning -- just a reminder that what we walked away from in Auburn is still very much alive. We are praying that God would move powerfully in the communities we all now live and serve.

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:46

Monday, October 19, 2009

the "cat" restaurant

You never really know until you try right? Generally speaking, local restaurants are crowded because they are good. I'm pretty sure HK has one of the highest restaurant-to-people ratios in the world. Translation? Serve good food or go out of business. There are two restaurants within a 3-minute walk from our place. One is good. The other? Not so much. The good one, we call the "cat" restaurant. Why? Because there is a cat in the kitchen. Simple enough. I do know that cat is not on the menu. I also see that there is a "no-dogs" allowed sign on the entry door. So, I'm thinking it's just part of the family that runs the place. Great food and really friendly service. They even bring Luke a baby spoon. On mondays, I have staff meeting and then usually have more meetings after that, so the cat-place is an easy place to meet April and the boys after work. There it is. Life as we know it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

hong kong park

This is a great way to spend a saturday. We have recently discovered Great Food Hall, which might be the best grocery store / deli / whatever-you-need place to visit. We got some sandwiches to go and went to Hong Kong park nearby. At least three wedding parties were being photographed, which was entertaining for all of us. Definitely a great place to bring kids.


This ended up in April's dish at a special dinner we attended last night.
The question is, would YOU eat it?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

tunnel vision

Driving through a tunnel is a frequent experience for me --- at least once a day I find myself driving through mountains or underwater. Every time, I start thinking about the engineering genius required to pull off such a massive undertaking. The flashing lights can be hypnotic. Tunnel-vision happens. Night or day, the inside looks the same. Our adventure in Hong Kong so far, has provided plenty of opportunities for tunnel vision.

From a leadership perspective, it is so easy to focus on the lane, the car ahead, the radar gun, the camera, the exit signs on either side of the wall --- instead of looking towards the end. Sometimes (especially in Hong Kong) the tunnels are so long, that you can drive for several minutes without ever seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Like anyone else, I can be easily distracted. But our capacity for distraction is not the same as permission for distraction. We are in the tunnel. For a reason. Moving forward. Walking by faith and not by sight. We see plenty of evidence we are driving in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

irish lunch & turkish dinner

Random reason #253 I like living in Hong Kong? Today, I had a lunch meeting in an Irish pub, and then tonight for dinner our family met team members and some new friends in a Turkish restaurant. Last night, we met friends at our favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant. Tomorrow, a lunch meeting at an Italian restaurant. Sure -- food is just food, but one thing is certain, Hong Kong has a really broad culinary range. It's a good thing we walk a lot.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

it's gonna be loud.

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang, "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!" Revelation 5

Thursday, October 08, 2009

margin for error.

This is the car someone has graciously given our family in HK. One of the many fun things about driving in HK, besides being on the left side of the road, is navigating parking spots. Sometimes, the car fits. Doors closed. Which is great. Until you need to get out of the car. Then it is hilarious. The delicate balance between human contorsion, steel, and concrete.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Wednesday we met several other local families in the area at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
Definitely a must see, especially if you have small children. Well done.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Monday night, our team met again to pray and seek the Lord together. We wanted to. We needed to. Grace and peace abounds in the presence of God. Grace levels all of us. It means no one is worthy or right on their own. It means what we have and who we are is all a gift from Him. Peace means He is here. In our midst. In our circumstances. Peace is evidence of Jesus. A gift for glory. A deep settled conviction that He is God, and that we belong to Him.

One dear friend prayed, "God, more than anything else, more than our plans, more than our job, more than what work looks like, more than our preferences, more than.... and more than.... and more than.... and more than... and more than.... We love you."

A year ago, our U.S. staff team visited Hong Kong to pray about what serving in the city could look like. We were overwhelmed with hope. We saw a glimpse of heaven that week and were blessed to join hands with Passion and see a couple thousand young adults fill a room with the praise of God in HK. A year-ago, we were part of an amazing community of faith on the campus of Auburn University (that still lives on!). God asked us to say yes. To walk away. To hand it back. We did. He shined through our circumstances. Today, He is asking you and I to say yes. Yes to trusting Him for more. We are asking him to shine through our circumstances.

That may seem obvious, but not really. We love ourselves. We are committed to self. To self-preservation. Self-medication. Self-obsession. Self-promotion. Self-devotion. We belong to Him who knew no sin. He became our self-consumed sin, that we would become the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ... and that we would be such men and women who would consistently live in grace, that many would see God's offer of reconciliation through Christ. How much clearer does the redemptive purpose of God shine through in our lives, when things get uncomfortable, unpredictable, uncertain... and in faith, we choose to exalt the One who has redeemed us in the midst of inconvenience.

Wow. That still blows me away. Grace exchange. From guilt to glory. In Christ alone.

My encouragement to anyone reading is this: Remember what is true. Recognize that even if your circumstances change. If trials come. When they come. That NOT EVERYTHING has changed. In all likelihood, what needs to change the most, is simply your perspective.

He is God. We are not.
He is Lord. We are not.
He is wise. We are not.
We make plans. He determines footsteps.
He opens doors. He closes doors.
He provides. He refines.
He calls. He redeems.
He brings freedom and joy.
He invites us into His unending story.
He blesses us through his purposes.
He fulfills His purposes through our lives.
He. Is. God.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

mooncakes and lanterns.

We really enjoyed seeing so many families out together tonight. While we might not fully understand or celebrate all the components of the festival, there were plenty of reminders of how we are all made in His image, experience joy in community, and that people were made for worship. We continue to experience how friendly and caring the people are in this community. Want to learn more about this annual celebration? Click here.