Update: back in America to stay

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d write a quick update to let you know what I’ve been up to.

First, I need to mention how awesome it is that I’m wearing a hoodie on August 27 because it hasn’t reached 70 degrees yet!  2002 was my last fall season in NJ and I’m looking forward to autumn this year.  What can I say… Ohio and Beijing just aren’t the same.  I do hear more of summer and its 90-degree weather are around the corner for this weekend so I’ll have to wait a little longer for fall to arrive.

I’ve been home in the US for eight weeks now.  I’ve been doing other things and visiting people I haven’t seen in a long time, but primarily I’ve been looking for a job.  So far I’m still unemployed but I’m waiting on the results of an interview that I had last week while I continue to look for work.

Other than that, I’ve been thinking about how much of a privilege it is to be able to attend church freely.  Most people in this country will never experience anything else, but when that freedom is taken away for a while I realize how important it is to be able to openly meet with people who are like-minded in faith.  So many people in this world can’t do that and life in the US is really the exception to the rule.  There is a baptism service this weekend at church, and I can’t help but wonder if the significance of baptism is lost in our culture today because in many parts of the world to be baptized means to be estranged from family and culture and sometimes even results in death.

So all that to say… the adversary has different tactics in affluent north Jersey than he does in China or in the Middle East.  Instead of restricting our freedom, we have more freedom than we know what to do with which tempts us to be lazy and complacent.  It’s easy to skip small group or church because life gets busy, or the night before was really late, or you’ll just go next time.  It’s hard to imagine life any other way since life in NJ is normal to most of us, but don’t let stuff, entertainment, and the American Dream get in the way of following Christ.  Seek Him and His priorities so that keeping up with the Jones’ doesn’t sneak in and take over.  There are millions of people who are without our choice on Sunday mornings to sleep in or to go to church, or to go to the movies or to tithe.

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