Thursday, February 20, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
There is a historical mystery surrounding Valentine’s Day, also known the Feast of Saint Valentine, which causes people every year to wonder about the origins of the holiday which is celebrated on February 14 each year. It is observed in most countries all over the world, and remains a working day in most countries.
Was There a Real Valentine?
The historical origin of Valentine’s Day is surrounded by mystery, but one legend behind this celebrated holiday is centered around Valentinus, a Christian Saint, who was imprisoned for not giving up his Christian faith. The saint lived in the 4rd century in Italy. Three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Roman emperors still demanded that everyone believe in the Roman gods. Valentine was well known for his habit to give
flowers from his own garden. Especially as a priest he married couples
according to Christian tradition, which by that time was a crime against the
Roman Emperor.  The Emperor
insisted that unmarried men were better soldiers than those who were married, he
also strictly forbade marriage for younger men. Valentine disagreed with this statute, defied Claudius, the emperor and performed weddings for young soldiers who
were forbidden to marry, whenever they looked for him. Yet, this did not go unnoticed. After a while Valentine, a Christian priest, was thrown in prison for his teachings. He was also
accused for the crime of preaching to Christians. During the Roman Empire, this act was
considered treason, and when Emperor Claudius discovered this actions, Valentine had no hope to escape the death penalty. However, when on February
14, Valentine was beheaded, not only because he was a Christian, he also had to leave the world of the living because he had performed a miracle that seemed impossible to perform for an "evil" person, thus even further weakening the Emperors authority. He apparently cured the jailer's daughter from her blindness. On the
morning of his execution, Saint Valentine sent his last card to his jailer’s
daughter, with the scrawled words “forever in life and death, your
Valentine.” Another legend tells us that this same Valentine,
well-loved by all, received notes to his jail cell from children and friends
who missed him.
Against the Emperors will who forbade young soldiers to marry, Valentine
loved to marry couples and gave them flowers from his own garden.
Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb; an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. During 496 AD, Pope Gelasius I. in honor of his martyrdom declared February 14 from now on to be the "Valentine's Day" .
Another Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time, AD 200. He was imprisoned because he secretly married couples, contrary to the laws of the Roman emperor. Some legends say he was burned at the stake.
Saint Valentine would cut out heart shapes from a sheet of parchment and give them to soldiers, and the persecuted Christians, to remind them of their vows and God’s love. It is believed that Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring with an image of Cupid engraved in it. This was recognized as a symbol associated with love, and usually worn by bishops. The soldiers would recognize his ring and ask Saint Valentine to perform marriage ceremonies for them.
During his imprisonment, he befriended his captor’s daughter, and they struck up a friendship. The visits by the woman were brief, and they did not have much time to talk to one another. He would, during his free time, write loving messages on small cards and hand these over to her when she visited.
Saint Valentine’s Day is a ceremonial feast day on the calendar of saints who were martyrs in the Anglican Communion and in the Lutheran Church. Other Christian denominations also celebrate this day during July. Throughout the world, February 14 is celebrated and specially marked as a date for love and is often symbolized by the color red. Red roses, red hearts, and loving messages on cards are traditionally exchanged between friends and lovers.
Feast of Lupercalia
The ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the 15th of February, held in honor of a goddess. Young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities. With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to the 14th of February. The Christians had come to celebrate February 14 as the saint day that celebrated the several early Christian martyrs named Valentine.
During 1840, Ester A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in America. Howland is known as the “mother of Valentine.” Decorative creations using lace, ribbons and colorful pictures were produced as the tradition was birthed. Today the Greeting Card Association estimates that over a billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. This makes Valentine’s Day the second largest card-selling holiday of the year.
February is historically a month celebrated by romance and love and the mystery surrounding the saints and St. Valentine’s Day remains a tradition continued each year.
Choosing a Sweetheart on Valentine's Day in the Angelsaxon World
The custom of choosing a sweetheart on this date spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, and then to the early American colonies. Throughout the ages, people also believed that birds picked their mates on February 14!
Especially among British and US- American friends this tradition is strong. In United Kingdom it is customary on that to send out anonymous love-letters. In U.S. teenies secretly send each-other greetings-cards with love messages. Whoever gets most messages counts as the most "wanted" - a questionable game indeed, but maybe on the way to more maturity still much fun as the old saying goes : It is all about the one prince or princess who loves you!
The Valentines Day on Continental Europe
"Does he-she loves me or does he/she not" , this is oneof the games often played for fun on this day, often with a flower in one hand and with the other ripping out one of its leaves, whenever the question changes... The Valentines Days is an occasion to share to somebody its own feelings about him or her.
Continental Europeans only from 1950 on began celebrate this day Couples and lovers are encourged to enjoy each other by sharing flowers, very much like Valentine did himself to express joy about their love. Some fine tasting chocolate or another small presents are also o.k. For some it is a day of much fun, for gardeners a day of much business, yet still it is not everybodies prefered day to show feelings, as many are convinced love is too special to form certain traditions for it.
Whatever you think about it now, it is a day where you under the shadow of a "tradition" you may express some of your deepest feelings to somebody you think should know about it now and to do a first step! Or maybe it is just another great day where you would like to tell your adored partner once more: "I love you"
About all because love is so special even King Solomon when he was surprised by love searched for human words to express it: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you. (Songs of Solomon 4:7)
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
There is an amazing story to praise the LORD, which almost accidentally happened in our neighborhood and is linked with the TECC ministry support among Indonesians in Taipei.
Since October a church in Beitou has opened its doors for bi-weekly Indonesian meetings on a Sunday afternoon. I regularly go there, bring Indonesian material, pray and sing with them and take the chance to learn some Indonesian. Ira, one of the four pretty regular attending old people nurses from Indonesia, last week experienced how her 91 years old Agung passed away. Before he did something happened that gave the whole sad moment a complete different direction:
Ira was too sad to be so happy about this. She had lost the base of her staying in Taiwan. But the LORD within hours provided her with a new caring work in Taoyuan, also to an elderly man. Guess what, he is a Christian too! - A befriended pastor from TECC will take care of her until she is settled there. The LORD loves the small the neglected people and uses them to build HIS glory and HIS church.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
"The savage hugs his god of stone and fears descent of night;
The city dweller cringes alone amid the garnish of light;
Lord Jesus Christ, arouse Thy church to see their mute distress!
Lord Jesus Christ, equip Thy church with love and tenderness."
--from "Macedonia" by Anne Ortlund who went to heaven in November
The Christmas season affords special opportunities to reach out and to communicate the Good News of the Gospel. The Taiwan personnel sense this and so they ask us, "To pray that they might be able to tell the Christmas story to many more people" and they ask us, "To pray that we [the pastors, Christian workers, and missionaries] will be transformed by the Christmas story and that Christ will preach through us as we tell the story."
- Dec. 10-Beitou Covenant Church - Chinese teaching Ministry among Muslim background Indonesians (a SEND sponsored TECC initiated ministry)
- Dec.16-17 Days of three big evangelistic events at the Shepai Hsinyo Church, North Taipei
- Dec. 17-Good Neighbor Church will have a morning outreach to San He elementary students.
- Dec. 17-Good Neighbor Church will have an outreach in the evening to teachers and administrators of San He Elementary School.
- Dec. 20-Living Water Baptist Church will host a party for students at Tian Wei Middle School.
- Dec. 21-Tanzi Church will host a coffee outreach and then on Sunday, the 22nd, continue an outreach through a Christmas service.
- Dec. 22-Good Neighbor Church, a growing church plant, will have a special Christmas service.
|SEND Taiwan Team with the China Lutheran Seminary Faculty members|
at Naomi|s Commissioning Service Dec.8th
- Camp Leung is being commissioned on, Dec. 8, in Xinchu, NW Taiwan, to join the SEND Taiwan field as their next missionary. Pray for the LORDs leading in the details of her assignment!
- Jou and Tammy Chen from New Jersey will be in Taiwan from Dec. 9-31 seeking God's will for future ministry in Taiwan.
- These are two great reasons to praise and incentives to pray even more fervently for the Lord Who is greatly concerned about the harvest to send out many [yes, many, many] more workers.
- The LORD established a small praying team to send out more workers from Taiwan. On November 26th Liao Chia-hei was send out for 809th month short term ministry to East Asia
Needs to pray for:
- Two more families and one single missionary to strengthen the teamwork in Chiayi and the Hakka ministry.
- The LORD's call to three local prepared and mature Christians for mission service with SEND overseas until the end of 2014.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
"Perspectives on the Christian Movement" (4th edition) is a excellent volume of carefully selected scripts written by Great Commission concerned writers/theologicans with the intent to regard this topic as a Christians journey when he follows the LORD. The course sees God's Glory among all nations and people groups (ethne) as the center piece of His mission which he executes through his global church. After many years of trying it out on U.S. soil this course has been translated into simplified Chinese. The first Chinese Perspective Class (4th edition) met in Hongkong from Nov. 6.-12 2013 already. For details about the simplified teaching course get in touch with International Perspective Asia Coordinator Dr. Rudolf Mak: firstname.lastname@example.org for the details about the availability of the course in 2015 in traditional Chinese writing please connect with UMOT (United Mission of Taiwan) chairman Peng Su Ray email@example.com. In Taiwan for the English version of Perspectives Mrs. LeAnn Eyermann firstname.lastname@example.org is the course experienced and certified person. Her office is at the China Lutheran Seminary in Xinchu.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Yes, you can help! Typhoon Haiyan has left devastation in its wake—10,000 are confirmed dead, hundreds of thousands are homeless, buildings are leveled, and survivors are desperate for food, water and medicine. Our brothers and sisters in the Philippines need our help. -
Do you want to help them and consider giving for them? Your funds will go to our SEND partner churches in the disaster area as they professionally help storm victims.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Reformation Day Prayer Bulletin ＃39
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God."
Taiwan is a prosperous country of twenty-three million people. But it is steeped in idolatry and deep spiritual darkness. For this reason SEND Taiwan is asking God to call 119 workers to plant churches in sixty cities along old Route 1 and Route 19 in western, central Taiwan. Only God can penetrate the darkness; only God can regenerate dead, darkened hearts. That is why we must trust in the Name of Yahweh our God.
Praise God for Sandy who this past October 19 during a Bible study made a decision to trust Christ alone. Pray for her growth, her willingness to identify with the Lord and His people through baptism, and her ability to be a witness to her family and friends.
Praise God the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of students in grades 1-9 in Daxicuo. Pray that many of them will respond to the Spirit's promptings to trust Christ alone. Pray that God will spread revival throughout the various schools in this area.
Miaoli is a needy area. Ask God to give clear direction where to begin outreach in this area.
Pray for relationships to be built through the teaching of English at Tian Wei Middle School on Saturdays. Pray also for Living Water Church for wisdom in their planning and grace to follow through with Saturday afternoon teaching seminars and activities to reach out to adults in Tian Wei.
Praise God for the good relationship the Dalin team has with the school principal and staff of San He Elementary School. English classes are being held for students in Grades 3-4 and Grades 5-6. Pray that God would honor this endeavor and through this teaching bring spiritual fruit.
A Sunday morning Sunday school is being held for the students who wish to come. Pray that God would sovereignly cause many students to come, that they would be attentive to the teaching of the Word, that through the Holy Spirit they would understand the Gospel, and that they would respond to the Gospel invitation.
Pray that Good Neighbor Church would continue to reach out to the people of Dalin. The church has been meeting in rented facilities but the lease will expire in January. Ask God to provide an even more suitable place for service gatherings.
About twenty years ago SEND I. recognized that God was greatly at work in Russia and Ukraine. It was Harvest Time! It was time to call forth workers. It was time to gather the harvest and to establish vibrant churches. Please, please ask God for a Harvest Time in Taiwan.
May we also ask you to go to the Throne of Grace and in the Name of the Lord our God to ask Him to do a spiritual work in Taiwan beyond our wildest imagination?
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
香港 2013年11月6 - 12日
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a course about God - what He has done, what He is doing, and what still remains to be done. As we are struggling to integrate all that information in one place at one time it is vital to have the new just finished translated 4th edition introduced in the hearts of our church & mission leaders in the Chinese world too. More than 100,000 students have benefited from it for their ministry and be able to translate biblical into into the realities of our globalised world we a much higher degree of efficiency. Pray for the time in November to introduce its content to a new generation of teachers, pastors, workers and other called people to serve in the finishing of the Great Commission. It also helps us in Taiwan to see the urgency of reaching out to the unreached AND the necessity of training capable workers for cross-cultural ministries in the right perspective and to understand its utmost urgency better. >>> Orders
Friday, September 20, 2013
You may know the gravity and urgency for special prayers for Taiwan this month. Over 5,000 images of the Matzu goddess were flown in from all over the world. It is expected that more than 10,000 images will be displayed in Beigang Town which is quite close to Chiayi City, where SEND's churchplanting teams are placed. This is unprecedented and the show of strength of the popular religion of Taiwan is revived and have also spread far and wide. One small but important view we may deduce from this event is that the preaching of the gospel in Taiwan has brought this religion on the defensive. Our contention is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. We need spiritual sensitivity, unity and true holiness in the Church and protection among the church planters who are in the forefront of this spiritual warfare.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
"The best reason for resisting weariness and giving up is that if the necessary preparation is done, the harvest is certain [Gal. 6:9]." --John Kohlenberger III
edited by Cary Perdue
There were several concerted efforts by various churches and teams to penetrate targeted groups in the V119 areas this past summer. Now that schools have resumed and others are in their normal life's routines, the hard work of follow up must be done. It is therefore imperative that we pray:
1] That those who made a decision to trust Christ by faith would blossom in their faith by seeking baptism, fellowship in a supportive church, and grow in and show their faith to others.
2] That those who heard the Word but have not yet responded would be drawn out by the Holy Spirit to come to faith in Christ.
It is also appropriate to praise and to thank God for local churches, Christian workers, missionaries, and several teams from abroad who all gave of themselves to reach the lost of Taiwan. As one thinks of the various individuals composing the short term teams, would it be appropriate to ask God to call some of them back to Taiwan for career ministry? We think so.
As we think about and pray for Taiwan let us not forget that because of pervasive idolatry much of the country is in the grips of spiritual darkness and oppression. Even as you read this update a major event is happening in the country. From September 12-22 the Matsu Temple in Beigang, a city adjacent to the V119 area, is holding eleven days of rites and rituals, sometimes under the guise of cultural expressions, labeling the event as "The World Matsu Meet in Beigang." By various means idols from all over Taiwan and twenty-nine other countries are being invited to participate in the event [the idols cannot physically come but the spirits behind them can] with the purpose of praying for world peace. Their goal is for ten thousand idols to participate. The streets of Beigang will be opened and local participating temples will parade their idols through the city claiming Beigang as their territory. Therefore, let us pray:
1] That Taiwanese believers living in the shadow of these activities would not be discouraged.
2] That the power of the Holy Spirit will prevail and many will turn from darkness to light.
Most of the requests in these updates concern strategic matters and rarely mention personal names with perhaps the exception of individuals who comprise short term teams and those working with them. Let us mention two couples for whom we can both praise and pray.
Mark and Ruth, indefatigable laborers in the V119 outreach, will leave Sept. 23 for three months home service. Pray that they will be renewed and refreshed in body, soul and spirit.
Will and Suzy, experienced in the culture and language, just returned from home service. Praise God they will be joining the team in Dalin. Ask the Lord to use them greatly.
IT IS GOD'S WILL FOR US TO PRAY THE LORD OF THE HARVEST FOR MORE WORKERS!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
This is an overview of the 2013 TMF Annual Conference Program as published on the TMF Website:
1. Monday Evening
2. Tuesday Morning
3. Tuesday Evening
4. Wednesday Morning
5. Thursday Morning
6. Thursday Evening
7. Friday Morning
8. Friday Evening