Friday, December 08, 2006

I haven't got time for the Pain

Tuesday morning I woke up in excruciating pain. Not a good time to be sick! Tuesday is when I climb the mountain with Jack and get a chance to tell the mountain climbers about Jesus. Jack has been busy for two weeks and we have missed climbing. Today we the return to our habit and I would have hated to cancel. So I didn’t.

One the way to the mountain to meet Jack the pain got worse. I wasn’t worried. I get this pain once a year or so. It seems to be pancratitis, related to being a Diabetic. I know from experience that it will get nearly unbearable and then go away in 24 hours. Intellectually, I know that laying down or working make no difference to the pain. So I might as well bite the bullet and go do what I should do.

However, the pain can start speaking to you. It started telling me that I have been speaking to Jack for nearly 18 months about Jesus and still he is not interested. The Pain told me that I would not be a very good communicator when I thought more about the hurt than the message. But still I drove on to the mountain.

Jack met me there right on time and I could tell he was glad to back on schedule. He could see on my face that I did not feel good and started once again to lecture on the virtues of mountain climbing for health. Thankfully, Jack had a lot to tell me and I did not have to talk much on the climb up. He told me about his household projects and remodeling. He told me about his son and his wife and all their comings and goings. He told me how he started to raise rabbits last year, but had to give them all away this year because he can’t bring himself to kill them for food (though he loves to eat rabbit meat still).

As we ascended the mountain my pain got closer and closer to its peak and I got less and less anxious to do any talking. Jack happily took up the slack. He acted like a good friend, being there as a comfort and making no demands on his friend who clearly was having a bad day.

On top of the mountain, Jack made way for a tent with table and chairs that was not inhabited. For once, we did not join the others despite their invitations. I thought Jack was just being considerate to my needs. I was wrong.

Jack started to make tea after he could see that I would not be eating the breakfast he brought. After getting all the tools ready, he realized that he was out of tea! So he went scurrying around to the other climbers asking for tea. I almost fell asleep! He came back with some nice Roasted Tea and fixed us a pot. As we settled back to enjoy the tea Jack asked the most philosophical question he has ever asked me.

“What do you think is the reason for this life?” he said slowly and seriously.

For the next hour we spoke of Jesus with a seriousness and depth that Jack has never shown before.

For the next hour all the pain in my chest and belly fell to a numbness akin to a minor headache. I barely noticed it.

Jack finally admitted to me that he and his wife have been talking about their beliefs a lot lately. They have talked to their Catholic friends and to some Mormons that knock on their door from time to time. Jack admitted that the Buddhism from his family and the Catholicism from his wife’s youth just don’t seem to be giving them any answers. They have talked together about all the things Jack has heard me say about the Jesus of the Bible.

So, last week, Jack and his wife prayed that Jesus would come and live in their hearts!

But this week, as they talked about it, they said nothing had really changed. So they don’t have any confidence in their faith. They are not sure that they really know what they are doing or if the Lord answered them.

We talked about faith verses feelings, and promises verses circumstances. I asked Jack some very pointed questions about asking Jesus to be Lord. Jack said that he WANTS to see Jesus make a difference, but he just doesn’t want to be “sold-out” and called a “Christian” yet.

Though that may sound disappointing... this is actually INCREDIBLE! I didn’t do anything to change Jack’s attitudes... it was the Lord, the Holy Spirit working in his life. It was prayer from the Saints for Jack that changed his world view and is now leading him down the razor’s edge of Faith in Christ’s Sacrifice and Resurrection! This is the power (the dynamite) of the Gospel! Not that men can go and change other people, but that the message can cause the heart to change and that the Spirit can cause the mind to open.

Pray for Jack that he can gain CONFIDENCE in his faith. Remember Romans 11:1 - Faith is the confidence in things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Pray that the Lord places evidences in Jack’s path so that he can gain the confidence in things Jesus has promised.

Christmas Musak

Today I sat in a McDonald’s and munched on a nasty cheeseburger and waxy fries. Hey, sometimes you need the comfort food from home. Besides, Mickey D’s has A/C and wireless internet. I had a couple of hours to kill and a laptop full of homework to finish, so I sat down to eat lunch and knock off some chapters of my Hermeneutics Class.

Sometimes it is hard to know what holidays from home are coming up, because all of the cultural markers that we grow up looking for a simply not present here. But Christmas seems to be a year round event here. You can hear Christmas Music and see Santa Clause everywhere in Taiwan all times of the year. I know a couple of churches and stores that have “Merry Christmas” banners up year round. It speaks more to a cultural seeking of good luck charms rather than any particular love for the holiday.

As I sat in Ronald’s house of arterial blockage, I noticed the music was almost totally Christmas Music this time. OH! Sure, it is Christmas time for real now. I soon notices something else. This was REAL Christmas music... not the typical Jingle Bells and You’d Better Be Good silliness that I hear the year through. They were playing songs that spoke of the Lordship of Jesus and the Salvation that he brings!

I was overcome in the Holy Spirt! Here I am in the middle of a restaurant with other people, as we all eat our cheeseburgers (a kind of cholesterol communion) and we are all totally oblivious to the declaration of the Good News of Jesus Christ that is being pumped into our ears. It was just noise. It was just a feel good, toe-tapping, emotional engineering SOUND that helped one to digest the meal.

I wanted to run around the room and ask people if they understood.

Are we just a noise that people associate with Christianity? Are we just a sound that helps the world be diverse and multicultural? Or are we the messengers of Good News that is above and beyond culture, nationality, race, religion, and culinary tastes?

Oh Lord, that my message is more than musak in the department store.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Changing Lanes

Many people have heard of Culture Shock. Anyone visiting a foreign country faces a shock to the core in that basic “cultural truths” are out of kilter for them. The daily assumptions of existence are violated in a place where everyone else has different assumptions of existence. There are stages of culture shock that are similar to the stages of grief. Culture shock has a duration that is different for most people by usually lasts no more than a year, though various events can cause culture shock as they become newly discovered over time.
        There is another issue that is less well known; culture stress. This problem occurs when, rather than discovering cultural differences, you are facing differences that are well known but still just too hard to deal with. You find yourself about to face a place in cultural dealings where you know the host country sees these things differently, you understand why thy do, you have learned how to deal with it... but it still causes you a kind of stress like fingernails on a blackboard. Culture shock goes away and turns into acceptance. Yet there are small parts of the cultural differences that you can never seem to accept as correct or right and these events stress you.
        Let me offer and example.
        Most of Taiwan has a culture view of lines, ques, and lanes that is much different than westerners. In a restaurant cafeteria, an American waits in line and takes their turn, never cutting in front of others. In Taiwan the american waiting in line is elbowed out of the way by everyone. The concept of personal space and order in line does not exist in Taiwan and the westerner is often stress by this due to their upbringing that you do not shove into a line to serve yourself until it is your turn. For me, this is a culture shock that I have overcome. I can elbow to a degree, but I am not offended that I have to wait for someone who has elbowed their way in.
        However, I have a culture stress. It has to do with traffic. It is a similar cultural thinking as the restaurant issue. Rather than lines, it is lanes. The lines on the road are somewhat optional most of the time. This too is not a big issue for me now... until it gets to intersections.
        Most of Taiwan has no protected left turns and nearly no left turn lights. Left turns in large cities is a danger. On a recent visit to Taichung I noticed that some new left turn lanes and lights had been added! Yowzers! That is so cool. NOT.
        First of all, understand that when there are three lanes in your direction at an intersection, it will quickly turn to five lanes. The break down lane or parking lane will become a lane. The natural space between cars in lanes is cramped together to allow for a fifth lane. Then, when the light turns green, the five lanes race like dragsters to all fit into the oncoming three lanes.
        The left turn lane adds a new dimension and danger to this equation. The new left turn only lanes were great in my mind... until I was in the middle lane at a read light and there were cars in the left turn only lane waiting as well. As soon as the green light came on, the left turn lane suddenly became the 6th lane to go straight! Now all six lanes are squeezing into thee lanes. Understand that these three lanes are really only two lanes, as the far right lane is really for parking. So, now there are cars parked, people from perpendicular lanes are making through right-on-red turns into our traffic without stopping and all six lanes are now coming into two and a half lanes. Ahhhh! All of them RACING to be the first there.
        What happens in the left turn lane when the light turn Green Arrow Left Only and the car in the front wants to go straight? Well, he goes straight! he has a green light in that lane after all... so as he is dodging the on coming left turn traffic and causing them to stop and go in that dance of the uncertain, those behind our offended must wait. But oh no! The left turn light goes out and is now red and the offender is long gone. No problem. Those in the left turn lane that were robbed of their green light take it in credit against the now red light. A dozen cars slip through causing the on coming straight traffic to join the dance of the uncertain (stop go stop go stop go).
        Oh, the horror... the horror.

-The Haggard

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dancing in the Streets

it wouldn’t happen in the USA this way. Oh, it happens, but not THIS way.

Over the weekend, Sandy and I were invited to a Church that is pastored by one of her english students. The Church is about 30 minutes away from our home and on the sea shore. It is a famous town, we are told, because at one time it was the poorest town in Taiwan and the most densely populated. Now it is a thriving little fishing village.

The Church has a sunday evening english conversation class that is taught by the pastor. That evening, a dozen of the church members sat around the table and practiced their english on Sandy and I by telling us their names, ages, family constructs, and hobbies. They also asked us questions. It was really a joy. They were surprisingly friendly and open.

Afterwards, we were told that the youth were having an evangelistic even on a bridge near by. So, we all hopped in the car and drove over to support them. I expected a little two lane bridge in the middle of town. But once we got there I was greatly surprised!

About 20 youth and young adults were holding a concert with bass, drums, keyboards and more accompanying about 8 singers and they were doing a GREAT job singing the name of Jesus and telling of his glory. They were clearly happy and wanting to share their joy. One every corner of the intersection before the bridge, there were people handing out information about the church and tracts about Jesus to the waiting cars.

Now, you might say that you have seen this in the States and elsewhere. But you’d be mistaken...

They were IN the street.

The bridge turned out to be a large 4 lane main artery highway over the harbor. We were at an intersection of 5 roads totaling 18 lanes! The band was standing IN the corner lanes of the road blocking two whole lanes in two directions, giving them the most incredible coverage of the cars and business. I was a little stunned. Wont they get in trouble for blocking lanes on a busy road? the pastor informed be that the local leader (the Shay Zhan, kind of like an american City Councilman) had given them permission to do this every two weeks.

So for two hours every other Sunday night, travelers and shoppers are treated to some rather good musical performances and to some friendly and not overbearing witnesses who are genuinely EXCITED about Jesus. This is a rarity in Taiwan. The worship of idols through local Buddhism and Taoism (and others) is very personal and individual. You never see the local religions having excited and loving praise heaped upon their gods. They are not concerned with advertising the idol’s glory and attributes. Mainly that is because NONE of the idols “love” anyone on earth. They do not forgive, they do not love, they are not concerned. Worship for these idols is reduced to a basic Santa Claus list of “I wants” and “Please help me withs” and “don’t hurt me please” bowings and kowtowing.

These Christians are clearly different and it draws a crowd. Not an angry crowd of motorists! The crowd is of people pulling over to listen, people standing around to hear, and motorcycles that miss their green lite a few times to try and understand.

Oh, Lord, that more Taiwan Churches would show the JOY of the Savior. Perhaps then people could SEE the difference in the Living God.

-The Haggard

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Music to my ears

A while ago, Sandy and I were invited to go out to coffee with some of her Senior college students. They are a great group of English Majors who like to hang out with each other outside of class. They often call us up and ask of we will join them. This coffee shop was about 30 minutes away and on top of the mountain near the town of Sandimen.

Some of the reason I love this culture was seen this night with these students. Taiwan is a friendly culture where strangers will invite you to their homes, out for dinner, and over to their table. There is just a part of the culture that simply enjoys each other. This is odd for me, since I am really an introvert who tries hard to LOOK like an extrovert (the Myers-Briggs test says something about this condition but I forget what... perhaps it just confirms my schizophrenic status). They enjoy the conversation and company of other people’s viewpoint and existence.

What happened after the coffee was nearly gone and the tea was getting cold was amazing to Westerners such as Sandy and I. The natural leader of the group stood up and said that we were going to play some games now. Okay, I thought, some kind of variation of “truth or dare” or “spin the bottle” because that was the only college level game I could think of. Soon they were carrying the chairs out to the parking lot, 9:00pm on a school night, and they were telling us, “we will play some music and walk around the chairs, but there is not enough chairs, then we will stop the music suddenly and people will sit down. Whoever does not have a chair will be sitting out next turn. Then we will take away one chair. Do you understand?” YES! We know this game... we played it as little kids.

I was stunned. They were stunned. They were stunned that Americans would know this game. I was stunned that people THIS age, Seniors in college, were not only playing this game, but that they thought of playing it on their own. We had a blast! It was fun, we laughed, we teased, we will have memories to last a lifetime. I am still stunned.

Can you imagine a group of American College Seniors sitting around at a hang out in the evening and suddenly saying, “Let’s play Musical Chairs!” And I mean that they would say this in all seriousness and not as sarcasm.

As I drive and bike around I see adults playing bat-mitten and table tennis with each other. I see groups of people sitting around parks and drinking tea, or singing songs, or practicing calisthenics together. People walk in groups, they eat in groups, they travel in groups. Just the other day, Sandy and her students began to walk to class and the students where troubled (really troubled) that one of their number was still in the bathroom and might have to walk alone!

Our neighbors who speak no english are always helping us, trying to communicate with us. So different from when an immigrant moves into a neighborhood in suburbia-west.

Has the west lost its love of the neighbor? Have we grown so distrustful of strangers that we cannot “break the ice” with them anymore to convert them from “stranger” to “acquaintance?” Have we become so “mature” that college students must drink alcohol watch porn to have fun in groups, and adults must be dignified and not sing to their friends?

Despite all the Taiwanese lack in knowing Jesus and knowing assurance of salvation (they fear the night so much, they fear bad luck so fully) they are rich in knowing each other and trying hard to de-strange the stranger.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Commin' Round the Mountain

Mountain hiking is a very popular pastime in Taiwan.  I have made a dear friend with a man who's english name is Jack and he loves to climb.  Jack and I have hiked up mountains for two years.  When I moved from his town of Meinung last July, he suggested that we meet each other every week at a mountain in between our two cities.  This seemed like a good idea at the time.  In Meinung we climbed ChaSan (tea mountain) and it was nice.  It was steep but maintained most of the way.  The gentle incline got your heart rate up and caused some strain but the 300 meter path was not so bad.

Now we climb up LeeDengSan.  This mountain is a training mountain.  That means that people climb this mountain every day for a week before the tackle the highest mountains in Taiwan.  LeeDengSan is a 900 meter hike up a 45 degree incline of slippery mud and rocks.  It takes Jack and I about an hour now to climb it... but in the beginning it would take us two hours and some change.  I still sweat like a fish the whole way.  (but my blood pressure and heart rate are the best they have EVER been)

LeeDengSan is popular with retired school teachers.  They drive from many cities to this mountain to climb.  Many climb it every day... that is e-v-e-r-y day.  Some of them climb it twice in one day.  Here I am in my $100 hiking boots and $50 climbing sticks with a $25 Camelback... and they are passing me like I am standing still as they wear $2 rubber rainboots or go barefoot with no stick and no water.  They are usually 20 to 30 years older than me.  

The Taiwan openness is so refreshing.  "My, you are fat!  You need to loose that weight."  Yes, thank you, I did not know that.  I am a 38 inch waist with a belly, but hardly obese.  I was a firefighter for 10 years.  But these thin and strong people have all sorts of suggestions on how I might improve my health.  "Drink a glass of water every morning," one man said yesterday, "and then lie down on the floor and pretend to swim for 30 minutes.  Put a pillow under your belly and that will push your intestines back into your abdomen."  Sure, I'll get right on that.

But the fact is that these people are NOT offensive.  They are like extended family.  Their observations and assistance, though blunt by Western standards, is kind hearted and loving.  I take no offense... well... not actively.

At the top of the mountain there is quite a community.  On one's first climb up the path, one is stunned and upset to find that there is a road on the back of the mountain that allows small trucks to deliver water and furniture to the top of the mountain.  Here, there are shelters made of canvas with tables and chairs all over.  Next to the shelters are locked cabinets full of water, food, gas stoves, etc.  On top of the mountain people have lunch parties and drink oolong tea.

Without fail, one or two groups excitedly invite us to join them.  It isn't just because I am Y-gworen (foreigner), they do this for everyone that makes it up the mountain.  Before lone there are a dozen ore more people around the table eating dumplings and rice and all sorts of fruit and drinking gallons of hot tea.  They are laughing and joking and giving all sorts of political and weather reports.  It is a hoot.

Upon leaving, people say their thanks and offer their wisdom until we all meet again.  And as I walk away with Jack, if often say, "Yesu Eye Nee" (Jesus loves you).   Without any hold outs, they all respond, wide eyed and appreciative, "Thank you, we are honored!"

Now these folks are Buddhists, Taoists, and various other "local" religions (mostly idol worship)... and they are VERY appreciative when I simply let them know that Jesus loves them.  Sure, many of these religions are "inclusive" and allow for Jesus to be one of the many God's they worship.  That isn't the point of my blog today.

How many times in the West have you shared the love of Jesus even in so small a greeting as "Jesus loves you," only to be met with sour faces, scoffs or even ridicule.  Here in Taiwan there is resistance to conversion, but there is great respect for other people's faiths.  No one is teased or ridiculed for having a faith, even when it is disagreed with.

Isn't it odd that in the nations where "everyone" says the KNOW that Jesus loves them because grandma beat it into their heads as a kid so please don't unload that crap one me that's offensive and violates civil law yadda yadda yadda... that here in the land of idols and god that DO NOT love their worshippers and have no time to really hear their prayers unless they pay enough money, that they respond favorably to the simple message that Jesus loves them.

Their response is not just a "thank you"... it is a true amazement at the possibility that a god (THE God in this case, but they aren't sure of that yet) would have the time, emotion, and willingness to actually be LOVING toward them.  There is some fear in their voice as well because to have a god notice you in this culture is not always favorable.  They have the kind of respect that is mission in the West, the true knowledge that a powerful God, able to make and destroy all things, LOVES them and caress for them.  They are not always convinced of this fact, but the communication of this fact is treasured and met with gratitude.

Ah, what the "Christians" could learn from the Pagans about the Fear of the Lord.

-The Haggard

Monday, October 30, 2006

No Peace on the Beach

Today my wife, Sandy, and I drove the scooter down to the beach.  From our home in Neipu, the Kenting (pronounced Kun-Ding) beach area is only about 45 minutes by scooter.  We took a portable tea set and some sandwiches and had a picnic.  Sandy read from the Scriptures (I Timothy as I recall) and wrote in her journal.  I brooded and talked to God about this place.  Taiwan can be overwhelming.

Taiwan has 23 million or more people crammed into an island 90 miles wide at the widest and 250 miles long.  Only about 1/3 of the island is habitable as the rest is rugged mountains.  This makes some parts of Taiwan (the cities of Taichung and Kouhsiung in particular) some of the most densely populated places on earth with upwards to 5,000 people per square kilometer.  

Of that mass of scooters, cigarettes and tea; only about 1% of the population can be called any flavor of evangelical Christian.  Oh, the number crunchers like to say there is about 5% Christianity on the island, but this number comes from people who are NOT Christens and do not come from a Western/Judeao-Christian culture. Therefore, they do not have the cultural baggage that helps to define what a "Christian" is.  They count every flavor of religion that includes a "Christ" within its mantra.  

Even with that most liberal of figuring... Taiwan is pretty lame in the salvation department.  There have been active missionaries here for at least 5 decades working diligently on this problem.  Racially, the aboriginal population does well at a nearly 50% Christian population (but there are only 100,000 of these subjugated people left).  And at the other end of the spectrum is the Hakka.  The Hakka are a racial group from the Han people of mainland China.  They emigrated here mostly at the end of the Ming dynasty (apx 1644).  These people rate at lest than 0.2% Christian.  Books have been written on the Hakka's nonviolent resistance to conversion.  

These numbers are numbing for a Christian convinced that God has called the Taiwan population to His throne and shelter.

But there are worse numbers.

Every 15 minutes in Taiwan a teenagers "successfully" completes a suicide.

The abortion rate per capita is greater in Taiwan than in the United States.

The majority of Taiwanese married couples are not faithful to their spouses.  This is an open situation where verbally they don't see a problem... but emotionally they are torn apart inside.

Pornography is practically available to anyone of any age simply by turning on the TV late at night or by going to the local pirated DVD store where such DVDs cost only a buck in US currency. 

In Taiwan, one is brought face to face with an argument that has raged in the USA for decades:  Do you legislate morality or do you teach morality and show people how to legislate themselves?

The legislation of morality in the USA has an interesting variable that Taiwan does not have.  In the USA we have a history of Lex Rex, Rex Lex: the philosophy of "Is the Law King or is the King Law?"  We have chosen Lex Rex as a people for more than 200 years... really even further back to the Magna Carte and even the 10 commandments!  But the Taiwanese people have lived for 2000 years under Rex Lex, where the Emperor or the Minister's WORDS were the law of the moment.

For example: In Taiwan many American and Canadian english teachers have been frustrated by the fact that they came here on a contract only to see the contract change at the whim of the employer.  They started with 20 hours a week on paper but after a few weeks there are "just one more class" arguments.  This is because as a culture the Taiwanese see the Boss as the authority more than the Contract.

Because the King is Law, policemen are in an entirely different light here than in the West.  People will SPEED past a cop here because today may not be the cop's day to catch speeders.  Today he feels like only catching jaywalkers.  Tomorrow he will catch speeders.  Because of this, traffic LAWS that are ON THE BOOKS are rarely enforced unless the cops feel like it or are facing a quota for the day.  Everyone, even cops, run red lights and drive on the wrong side of the road as they feel the need.

The laws are there... and they don't matter.  No one is afraid of the law here.

Now, put that in the "Legislating Morality" argument.  Can you pass an anti-abortion law in Taiwan that will be obeyed?  Can you put a law on the books that limits teen access to smokes, porn, and beer and expect it to be followed? 

Robert Heinlien wrote in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" that one of the main character's political leaning was "Rational Anarchist."  In other words, he argued, that people will do just whatever the heck they WANT to do... but they rationally try to get along and follow the rational laws.  He argued that no matter the political system employed, that most people are in fact Rational Anarchist and just don't know it.  it is up to them how much of the law they will follow based on their "rationality" of the use of that law.

So the key in his political view, and in my view of missions, is not to make laws or create "dos and don'ts" but rather to show/teach people what the rational truth is.  Let them legislate themselves.  

Well, not everyone is really very smart... but everyone acts in their own interests.  Yes, they will fail, that is why there is grace.  But they will not TRY to act rationally if all there is is force and law to guide them.

I sat on a mountain top, near a temple, drinking tea one day.  A man who was a retired school teacher stopped to talk.  Upon hearing I was a missionary, he asked many questions about Jesus.  He assumed, as many do here, that Buddha and Jesus are basically the same in their theology and teaching.  I explained to him the trap of Karma and how Jesus paid the price so that sin (or even Karma) cannot be counted against us. He took it upon himself.  Buddha said he could not do that for us. Jesus said that only he could do that.  Sin (even Karma) cannot be paid for in our own lives because the sin (or karma) has already devalued that currency.  

With wide eyes and a pale face, he declared, "That is probably the most important thing I have ever heard in my life."

No law passed by any government is going to get THAT description.

Jesus changes lives.  

-The Haggard

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Well, it's about time I did...

Computers and me get along.  Always have... most likely always will.

I got my first Atari 400 in 1982.  Kicking and screaming I was drug into owning my first WINDOWS computer in 1990 after owning every Atari model made.  Now I am a Macintosh man without ashamedness. 

Computers are my art.  I design 3d sculpture on the computer and build it from the plans.  I write on my computer; novels, stories, letters, lessons, sermons.  I store my photos, my books, my albums... everything in computers.

As a young pastor and bible college student in the early 80s I butt head with colleges over using computer in my dorm room and turning in dot matrix printed assignments.  Now those school require computers in the dorm and turn in pages over internet.  

As a pastor of 22 years I filed, researched, wrote, and more on computers when church brethren and cistern though the computer was of the devil or worse.

So why in the world haven't I been BLOGGING?

Not sure.  But now I am.

Who am I?

Besides the obvious "nut-case" moniker I often wear, I am a thinking Christian.  I am philosophical missionary.  I am a libertarian speaker.  I am passionate listener.  I am a wild eyed prophet.

After 22 years of ministry and 14 years of marriage, I move my wife and me to Taiwan to be missionaries to the Lost of Taiwan.  I do not work in a church or a mission.  We are english teachers.  She in a college and me in a kindergarten.  We tell people about Jesus.  We tell them about liberation from sin and fear.  We see lives changed.

After many decades as a freedom loving American, as a libertarian thinker and speaker, as a gun enthusiast... I now live in a land that does not value those things because they do not have the historical baggage that brought me to that way of thinking and that world view.  

Seeing things from this side of the ocean and this side of the culture, there are many things about Church and Politics that I want to talk about.  I have changed.  Perhaps more wild and nutty than before.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps something else.

So now I am here to blog.

There is NO predicting what I will write on or at what length a subject will be dealt with.  I just need to vent.

So, nothing here on this first message other than introductions and howdies.  Come back and see what happens.

-The Haggard