Monday, January 16, 2006

What a glorious day...

Today was an abnormal Sunday. We slept in a bit (no, we didn't skip church) today, which was nice. We had an appointment with one of my professors at Bethel Theological Seminary and his wife for Dim Sum at Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington (South Minneapolis). The professor was Dr. Wilbur Stone and his lovely wife Sheila. I had Dr. Stone for Global and Contextual Ministries in September school, and then again this past Fall in World Religions. The Stone's were missionaries in Malaysia and Hong Kong, and my wife has done missions work in Malaysia, so I figured it would be a great day. I was right, and everyone hit it off well. Wilbur ordered all sorts of stuff for us, always ordering in Cantonese, which I think surprized a few of the staff. We were one of two white tables, all the rest were Asian, so you know this had to be good food. There was a line out the door, and Wilbur warned us that if we didn't get there at 11:00 AM when they opened we might not get in, as it's that popular. He was right, it was packed wall to wall, with 30-40 people at all times in the lobby, standing so packed together that it was difficult to get in or out of the building. Don't tell the fire marshall. It was the best Asian food I have ever had. And considering I don't like vegetables, I ate everything put in front of me, and liked most of it, and hated none of it. Great presentation, great fellowship, great stories! My wife and the Stones even knew some common people in Malaysia which was really neat. Dim Sum is a great experience, and I'd go back in a heart beat, but I think I'd want someone in the know ordering for me again next time.

We left there around 1:15 PM and made a few stops on our way to my wife's parent's house. When we got there, we spent the afternoon opening cards from our wedding, and opening the handful of gifts that had arrived in the 2 weeks since the wedding. Quite a few things have been shipped directly to their house for us. We did this knowing we wouldn't be home for a week during our honeymoon, and knowing that our neighborhood is more hood than neighborly at times we didn't want anything to go missing. We discovered previously when opening presents the day after the wedding that a wrong package was delievered. We had gotten by mistake a very nice toy piano from Macy's or Bloomingdale's. We were supposed to get some Calphalan cookwear instead. The shipping company dropped off the wrong box, and I suppose some poor child was surprized by baking racks and cooking pans for Christmas gifts! They did come back while were on honeymoon and picked up the piano, and then also while we were gone the correct things arrived. We got some great gifts, and are so blessed and humbled by people's generosity. We then ate supper with my in-laws, and made our way to church.

We attended La Luz, a service at Woodridge Church in Medina, MN. La Luz (Spanish for "the light") is the young adult service at Woodridge. It was started years ago as a stand alone church/ministry, but wasn't doing well financially on it's own and landed at Woodridge. We don't normally go to this church, but from time to time we make it there. The last time we went was just before Christmas. It works well when we have a conflict on Sunday morning, or when we just want to add an extra time of worship and learning beyond our normal Sunday morning service. Michael Binder (a fellow Bethel Seminary student) leads this ministry now, but Sr. Pastor Paul Johnson preached tonight, and gave an excellent message on giving. He talked about giving of our time, talents, and treasures. Worship was led by Mark Alan and Stacy Hanson like it is every week. I was hoping to run into another Bethel Seminary student, Ramon Pastrano, but he wasn't there this evening. A couple of years ago I had Paul Johnson as a professor for a Seminary class called Evangelism for Discipleship. It was about sharing your faith and techniques for sharing the Gospel. Paul is a gifted relational evangelist, and share many of his experiences and techniques with us over that semester. Paul is also the leader of TeAMerica for the Baptist General Conference. The mission of TeAMerica is to develop and support exceptionally equipped church leaders who will mobilize and multiply reproducing churches in the United States and around the world. They are enormously successful in planting churchs that survive and thrive once planted.

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