Archive for January, 2008

Cultural Differences

A friend sent me these graphics, which are the work of a young artist who was born in Beijing and is now living in Berlin. They specifically represent the differences between German (blue) and Chinese (red) cultures.

Opinion
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Punctuality
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Contacts
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Handling Of Problems
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Moods And The Weather
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At A Party
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In A Queue While Waiting
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At A Restaurant
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The Child
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Three Meals A Day
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Transportation In The 1930s And The Present
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Way Of Life
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What’s Trendy
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January 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm 2 comments

Clusters of Hope

Some friends and I have been meeting regularly for a few years now.  We started off as a book discussion group, and the first book we read together took us almost two years to finish!  As we did our book study, we became increasingly aware of our need for relationships with people who truly know us, would lovingly speak truth to us and help us see our flaws and failings more clearly, so that God can transform us.  As a result, we’re focusing more on spiritual growth and accountability.  We have a (long!) list of questions to guide us in our discussion, as we seek to honestly examine our lives together.  
 

We’ve also started something called “Clusters of Hope.”  This is basically an exercise in encouraging hope in each other. Our hope is external to our situations, and rests in the triumph of God. So each of us is given a research assignment before our “Clusters of Hope” meeting, to bring back to the group and do a short presentation on. One person is assigned to come with a story from a biography or history book that gives a living illustration of God’s faithfulness and power in spreading His kingdom. Another person is assigned to come with a text from the Bible that stirs up hope in the triumph of God over the forces of unbelief and evil and pain. A third person is assigned to come with a report of a contemporary happening or development that illustrates God’s triumphant movement in the world today. There is some discussion, and then prayer that focuses on the advances of God’s causes in the world, and our feeling the hope of his victory so that our little problems would be swallowed up in the great God who rules all of history.            

At our first “Clusters” meeting, B had not just one text from the Bible, but a multitude of them, on a handout! As she went through each one, I was overwhelmed by the great number of God’s promises to base our hope on. R read a chapter from Steve Saint’s latest book about a believer that he met in Timbuktoo. What an encouragement!! I did some reading on the current movement toward missions to unreached people groups (UPGs) and the Joshua Project. I certainly learned a lot, and even though R and B already knew a lot about the UPGs, they had a clearer picture of the history and trends occurring in this movement. We all went away with stories and happenings of God’s work in the world, and with a stronger feeling of hope.

January 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment


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