Green Smoothies in Taiwan

Now that we’ve settled down and are getting ready for our first week as staff at APHA I’m determined to get back to our healthy regime. It’s interesting how health is defined differently here in Taiwan. Typically, from what I’ve gathered, what it means is one eats more fruit and do some stretches here and there. 

Recently, there’s been some reports in Taiwan about processed foods and how they’re poisonous….sounds like old news in America, or is it just in certain circles?

I’ve went on a search for salad mixes, sadly not finding anything yet. My Taiwanese friends have informed me that raw spinach is rare here and when it’s available, it’s too expensive. I myself have ventured into organic food stores here and most of them are stocked with dry groceries such as powders and mixes. Fresh produce take up little real-estate in theses stores which confuses me. 

My plan is to check the traditional markets to see if someone grows organic spinach there. If not, it’s down to growing them myself. 

I’ve juiced a lot this past year, but now am venturing into smoothies. I feel that though less vegetable can go into a smoothie, it’ll be easier to prepare and fun to drink. I’ve found some great recipes on Oh She Glow’s page on Green Monster Juice! Check it out: http://greenmonstermovement.com/?page_id=39

If you have any tips on finding dark leafy greens or alternatives that are found in Taiwan, would appreciate the input! 

Not Just Better Healthcare: What the Poor REALLY Needs

Just read this great article this morning. Here are some noteworthy excerpts. 

“The patient nurturing of self-worth, self-expectations, dreams, and aspirations may be a critical part of helping children escape poverty. It is a holistic approach that secular antipoverty initiatives have largely downplayed, but an approach that Christian development groups have championed for decades.

The traditional approach to development work has been to provide things for people. If people lack education, we build them schools. If they are unhealthy, we build them hospitals and provide doctors, or we drill a freshwater well. If their small businesses are stagnant, we provide microcredit so they can borrow.

While each of these interventions can be helpful in the right context, mere provision fails to address the root of poverty: the behaviors, social systems, and mindset that are created by poverty.

The key to ending poverty resides in the capacity of human beings—and their view of their own capacity—to facilitate positive change.

Indeed, every time we provide something for someone else in need, we send a subtle message to them that we believe they are incapable of providing for themselves.

While some interventions are necessary, especially in the area of health, they come at a cost of reinforcing an inferiority complex among the poor. Good development organizations understand this. Along with providing some basic resources that allow children to progress farther in school, the child-development approach advocated by Compassion appears to get under the hood of human beings to instill aspirations, character formation, and spiritual direction.

In short, it trains people to be givers instead of receivers.” –Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child (Article from Christianity Today) 

Scars heal and fade

It is true. Scars heal and after awhile its once vivid imprints on the body fade away. Though it may take days, months, years and decades maybe, it fades under the light of His face and in His gentle hands. 

(photo credit: SodanieChea)

I was growing weary of listening to others recount their healing testimonies. Particularly others who have already experienced healing in their relationships with their parents. I wanted so desperately to know what that’s like. 

I tried. I tried to be polite. To smile when the buttons of pain in my heart are pushed by careless words. To look away when wounds are triggered. But I still cried, I still yelled, I still felt. It seemed like it would never stop. 

The enemy told me I didn’t truly love God. If I was a true Christian, a real Christian, I wouldn’t feel, retaliate, yell, be angry or cry. If I truly loved my mother, I would forgive and understand her circumstances and her pain. But as I focused on these lies he presented day after day, believing in these black lies that rob and tie me down, I lost hold of the truth, of the Light that gives life. Of the grace of Christ that gives provision for what He commands. The Hand that extends out to me rather than just me alone grasping. 

Truth found me again hiding in the corner. He sang songs to calm my fears. He clothed me with beauty, covering me with safety. He held my hand until I was ready to come out of the darkness. Then He opened my eyes to see from His own beautiful sight. 

Who I am to Him is one who loves Him, loves my family but just simply struggling to heal on my own. He held me, put faith in my heart to trust in His kindness and goodness. Then one day, I looked up back into His eyes to see clearly once again. To receive without flinching. Stepped into the day with His hand in mine. 

I can see clearly the truth. He loves me and will continually fill me so I can love. Love my mom. See her brokenness. See her efforts at love I once dismissed as control, abuse and use. Open my clenched fists to receive freely once again from Him all that I ever will need. 

Becoming a House of Prayer: we are His resting place

As I sit here in my mom’s apartment in Taipei, Taiwan where I used to be tempted and give into the lie that God has forsaken this country, I am reminded of what God spoke to me when I sat here last October. As I was struggling to focus on my quiet time, I looked outside the window and my eyes fell upon the mountains in the distance. The Lord whispered, “I made those mountains, even now, I am here in this place.” 

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“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.” -Psalm 121 

One of the powerful wisdoms of the House of Prayer is that it creates a context for God’s children to become God’s temple or resting place. God is looking for a resting place, “heaven is my throne the earth is my foot stool, Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?” (Isaiah 66:1). When we allow the Lord to take us on this journey of becoming His resting place, His home, we begin to know that He is with us always. We walk further from loneliness, fear and torment and we step daily closer into His presence that has always been available to us. Though oftentimes, it is difficult to see the progress and to measure the growth for years, it is imperative to set our minds on the truth of His Word that we are being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). 

I still remember when I would be struck with fear when I visited Taiwan, this land that is populated with temples and overt idol worship. But as the years progressed, unbeknownst to me, the Lord was faithfully perfecting me while I sat in His presence and gazed into His beauty. Just by looking at Him, sitting with Him transformed me into His likeness, my heart into His home. This is how powerful He is

Though there will be difficult times in Taiwan and intense spiritual warfare, God has etched this powerful truth into my heart, He is with me even until the end. Thank You Lord.