Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taiwan is NOT part of China!

From Author Michael Richardson at:

Taiwan's freedom march censored by U.S. news media--the photos they don't want you to see
May 19, 1:59 PM

The streets of Taipei and Kaohsiung were crowded on May 17th with Taiwanese seeking an independent Taiwan free from Chinese domination and those critical of Ma Ying-jeou, the Kuomintang leader of the Republic of China in-exile.

America's failed treaty obligations to the people of Taiwan under the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952 were the subject of many demonstrators' shouts and signs. Meanwhile, across the Pacific Ocean in the United States the public was unaware of either the protest or unmet U.S. obligations.

U.S. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals is aware of the unmet obligations. Judge Brown declared the treaty lapse to be the result of "strategic ambiguity" by the United States and has led to "political purgatory" for the residents of Taiwan.

Judge Brown is prepared to act "expeditiously" on the request of Taiwanese plaintiffs in the lawsuit Roger C.S. Lin, et al vs. United States for a determination of rights under the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Plaintiffs are seeking U.S. supervision of a self-determination process free from coercion and use of U.S. passports in the interim since they are denied nationhood by the "strategic ambiguity".

The longstanding "Taiwan question" is an artifact of the Cold War, ignorance of the historical record, and lucrative profits from the arms race that the unresolved national status has triggered.

Taiwan, commonly called Formosa, was a Japanese colony at the end of World War II when Japan surrendered to the United States. The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet landed Republic of China troops on Formosa in October 1945 to process Japanese soldiers. The civil war in China and the Cold War caused United States to prop up the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek allowing them to occupy Taiwan as the U.S. occupation proxy. And then the Chinese never left.

After the 1949 revolution and the People's Republic of China was born, the United States went along with the fiction that Chiang was the legitimate ruler of China and the people of Taiwan were subjected to forty years of harsh martial law and never did get an internationally sponsored referendum.

Not only has the U.S. government been silent on Taiwan's "political purgatory" but also the U.S. news media either ignores or provides misinformation about Taiwan's status. There was virtually no reporting on the Taiwan freedom marches to the American public. The Associated Press played down the events and said it was the first large protest of Ma's administration when it is actually the fourth massive demonstration.

Some of the signs in the protest, kept from the American public, refer to unmet U.S. treaty obligations. President Barack Obama has been silent on the matter and has not responded to Judge Brown either in court or by public announcement.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My buddy Lemon from Pingtung University of Science and Technology really gets into this Video Game... a game with the largest touch screen I have ever seen in a game. What a great way to overcome stress and relieve aggression!

Empty Nest Fears

Time is growing short. It is a month of good byes. Man, I hate those.

Sandy and I moved to Meinong, Taiwan five years ago... at that same time Dana and Karen moved to Meinong for the same reasons. For five years Dana and Karen have labored in Meinong to being the good news to the Hakka and they have become dear to us and to the people of Meinong. This week, Dana and Karen pack up and leave for the USA for some rest and training before going on to a mission elsewhere. Last night was the big Good Bye party. More than a couple dozen people tearfully told Dana and Karen what they meant to Meinong. They leave behind a church in Meinong that was not there when they arrived. They will be missed.

Also this month are the college graduations. In Taiwan, seniors graduate much earlier than other class would end their term. We have three college campus Bible studies, and two of them will be completely vacated by the seniors moving back to their home cities. Many of these young men and women are personal blessings to Sandy and I. They come to our home for dinner and talk often completely aside from Bible Study. I am not looking forward to those final dinners. Sure I will see them past those days, but not as much.

However, that means that next term I will be able to cultivate new relationships, meet new freshmen, start new Bible Studies and dinner & a movie nights in my home.

God bless you all as you find new paths on God's direction for your lives.

-The Haggard

Monday, May 04, 2009

Why Are People Reluctant to Go into Missions?

Why Are People Reluctant to Go into Missions?
John Piper

When I spoke at Missions in the Main Hall Sunday night, I tried to give a biblical response to possible obstacles that are in the way for some people that may keep them from moving forward toward missions. My prayer is that God would use these responses to call more of you to go. Here are eight objections and a biblical response.

1. "I am not smart enough."

"Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

"Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise." (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)

2. "My body and my personality are not strong enough."

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." (2 Corinthians 4:7)

"[Christ] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

3. "I am not a good speaker."

"Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." (1 Corinthians 1:17)

"Moses said to the Lord, 'Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.' Then the Lord said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." (Exodus 4:10-12)

4. "I am afraid of the horrors I read about in the newspapers."

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore (katartisei--"mend" or "repair" your horribly disfigured body when the lions in the coliseum are through with you), confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:8-10)

5. "I am afraid I won't be fruitful"

Your responsibility is not to be fruitful but to be faithful. "And said, 'The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29)

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

6. "There is plenty to do here."

True, but there is a division of labor and God calls some to MISSIONS, not just evangelism. The difference is seen in Romans 15:19-24: "So that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I [Christ] have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named. . . Now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions . . . I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain."

How could Paul say there was no room for work when there were millions in that region to be evangelized? Because evangelism is not missions.

7. "I am not married."

The best spouse is found on the path of obedience. "An excellent wife [or husband!] who can find? She [and he!] is far more precious than jewels" (Proverbs 31:10). The finding is exceedingly hard. It will happen on the road of obedience.

8. "I fear that when I get there it might turn out I made a mistake and will come home with shame."

Which is worse, shame for having endeavored to follow Christ in missions, or fear to venture? Shame before others for making a mistake will not hurt you; it will humble you and can make you more useful in a new situation. But fear will make you useless everywhere.

Consider Ecclesiastes 11:4 and what it says about risk: "He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap." Meaning: without taking the risk of sowing when the seed might be blown away and reaping when the rain might ruin the harvest, you will starve.

Oh, how precious is the freeing word of God,

Pastor John

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.