Chinese New Year Traditions

•February 5, 2019 • Leave a Comment

It is hard to believe that this is the third year I have been in China and I have traveled to China several times over the last decade, but I have never really celebrated Chinese New Year. There have been times in the past (while I was living in the USA) that I would travel to Raleigh North Carolina for a Chinese New Year celebration, but I wouldn’t say that I actually celebrated it. Last year was the closest time I celebrated Chinese New Year, but we still didn’t celebrate it to the same degree. This year, we have done something that I thought was a really cool idea and very traditional in China. A special part of Chinese tradition is the process of hanging 对联 duìlián around your home’s door during Chinese New Year, which is a long piece of red paper with a Chinese blessing writing on it in beautiful calligraphy.

I have always been a fan of writing and reading Chinese characters (even though I cannot write a lot of Chinese, but give me a cell phone that can type in Pinyin and I’m a beast LOL), this was one of the most special things I have done in China. My family and I are Christian, my wife had the idea to look on the internet for a blessing 对联 duìlián to use during the Chinese New Year that had a Christian message written on it. Surprisingly there were a couple of these Christian oriented duìlián on Taobao, but we waited too late to order one. Taobao employees and a lot of delivery companies were already on holiday. Long story short, we had the idea to buy two in Hong Kong, but the Christian stores I usually go to did not have any. One employee at this one Christian store I have been traveling to every time I am in Hong Kong (located in Shatin 沙田, Elim- you can Google it) mentioned that I should have someone make it for us in Mainland China! I thought this was a really unique idea! Though I didn’t know if it would be possible, a lot of Chinese are moving away from these traditional practices and just buying mass produced things, but I thought we might have a chance since we live in an ancient village 沙湾古镇, Shawan Ancient Village.

After walking around for a while, we found a little market that opened up specially for the Chinese New Year. There was one man who was writing personalized duìlián and we found out that he has been writing traditional Chinese characters like this for over forty years! He definitely was a master at writing Chinese characters and he wrote them with such ease. We gave him two Christian blessings in Chinese and he copied them down for us. It was also a chance of us sharing a bit of our testimony and the Gospel with some people in a very uniquely Chinese way. As we were waiting for him to finish and the paint to dry, dozens of Chinese walked by to read what the old man was writing. Several people asked Elizabeth and me what the sayings meant. One of the blessings we had the man write were referring to the Beatitudes in Matthew and the old man told her something like- “in Chinese tradition we have five blessings we include on these duìlián, but you Christians have eight!”. We thought this was kind of funny but we told them a little about the 8 Beatitudes mentioned in the Bible.

It was truly a blessing and it touched my heart. It gave me a renewed spark to minister to the Chinese people and made me realize that my job here isn’t quite done. Please remember China and the Chinese people in prayer during the next week (and longer if you can). Christianity in China is going through some new hardships and we need to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ. God bless you all and Happy Chinese New Year!

Favorite Podcasts I Found In 2018

•February 2, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I meant to put this post up toward the end of 2018, but it’s been crazy lately. I am a big fan of podcasts and I have been listening to podcasts for almost half of my life. There are some podcasts that I have been following for a long time, such as those on the Twit Network or some churches that I have visited in the past. I haven’t really found any new podcasts that I have enjoyed lately until last year. I discovered three last year that I thought were very cool and informative. Two of which are China related and one strictly internet related. Oh by the way, if you are wondering what podcasting app I use, I used to use Pocketcast, but I don’t like some of their new UI tweaks, so I went back to Downcast.

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Apparently Tech Node is a Chinese branch of Tech Crunch. I have really enjoyed their podcasts because they talk about some of the new startups in China, some new APPS or new features of some older apps. It’s a nice way for me to keep up with what’s happening in the Tech space in the Mainland. I’ve even brought up some of these topics with my Chinese co-workers, it makes me seem like I’m knowledgeable about whats happening in China. (^o^)v

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The next podcast is kind of a new podcast, but this team of people have been covering China for several years. I know some people may find this pick controversial, but I think they do offer a pretty non-bias view on China. There have been times where I think they kind of go too far in their jokes. If you listen to this podcast though, try to remember this is a SATIRICAL (讽刺性的) podcast about China. Maybe the way it is presented sometimes is over the top, but the topics are still important issues that need to be talked about.

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The last podcast I would like to recommend has been around for a while, but I am just now finding out about it. IRL is a podcast sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation. It’s primary focus is on how technology is changing our lives and I appreciate it’s focus on the social changes that technology is bringing to our lives. There is no doubt that tech definitely has it’s positive aspects to society, but there are also many negative aspects that come along with it.

Either way, these are the four latest podcasts I have in my podcatcher app. Please check them out if any of them sound interesting! You can read a little about the descriptions I included in each screenshot to get a better idea of how each podcast might be like.

Haruko Taiyaki

•December 29, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Despite the fact that I am living in China, I see a lot of Japanese trends, brands, even food around Guangzhou. I have seen these desserts in Hong Kong, but I have never tried them. So I figured since this place popped up behind 正佳广场, across the street from the Line with Friends, I decided that I would try it.

I choose to eat the Cheese flavor Taiyaki, but they have several different flavors ranging from 16-26 RMB or about $2-4 USD. One of the most traditional flavors would be the red bean paste, which one of our friends got (though I forgot to take a photo of her dessert). She did give my wife and I a taste; it was probably the better of the two. But I did enjoy the cheese flavor Taiyaki.

If you are interested in checking out this dessert place, the name is 晴子家 or pronounced as Qíngzi jiā and the address is 天河南一路90号 or pronounced as Tiānhé nán yīlù 90 hào.

You can find out more information about this website on their dianping page founded here

Don’t live near a place to buy your own? I have a really nice website and blog that shares how to make it. You can watch it here or get a detailed recipe at

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•December 25, 2018 • Enter your password to view comments.

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A Quick Shout Out

•September 30, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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Hey everyone! I hope everyone is doing well, it has been a busy busy school semester already. I am still with the same company (but we moved schools), teaching history primarily, but now I have an increasing amount of English classes. Well, I started a new set of English classes at our new school and the kids were very excited. The first class was kind of an introduction, introducing myself and getting to know the kids. We used several resources in the class, we have a class website and we utilized plickers in class. I would recommend any educator to consider creating a class webpage and looking into plickers.

Anyway, one of the local Chinese teachers was so impressed with my class that she wrote a short blog about one of my classes. It really surprised me, but it was such a sweet post. It is written entirely in Chinese, but you can always translate it to English or just look at some of the pictures. I hope you enjoy! Local Teacher’s Blog

Such a Proud Father

•September 13, 2018 • 2 Comments

I haven’t posted in a while, but this is a post that I have been wanting to do for some time. This summer has been extremely busy, I have worked a summer camp teaching English with my company and we recently started school again. I am also taking some special classes that I will mention in another post.

So Noah is almost seven months old and he is doing so good. Currently, at the moment, he has three teeth starting to come in. He is learning how to stand and he can sit up straight without any help. I am so proud of him. A few weeks ago, we bought him a new little cup with a straw. The bottle said seven months, but we have decided maybe he is too young for a straw (plus the doctor recommended against it, she suggested eight months at the earliest). Anyway, before we stop using the cup, I was able to teach my son how to use a straw. I used it a couple of times in front of him and made some sucking noises to give him a better idea of what to do. After about twenty minutes of him fighting with me for the bottle, he was able to figure out what I was telling him. It made me so proud that it even brought tears to my eyes.

While I was teaching my boy how to use a straw, I finally understood something that only someone with a child would understand. I sincerely believe that God feels the same way about us when we learn something, especially about Him or when we grow as an individual. I know our dear Father in heaven delights in us and He has a strong desire to draw us closer to a relationship with Him. There are some things that we can only learn when we are single (and we should spend that time learning about the Lord and ourselves), but there are some things that can only be learned in marriage (or with children). I have only been a father for a few months, but I have already learned more about God’s nature through my son, that I have ever learned before in such a short time. God is a good God and He desires a relationship with His creation (you).

Update on our New Little Addition to the Family

•May 29, 2018 • 4 Comments

Hello everyone! It has been a fast few months. I cannot believe that our boy Noah has already turned 3 months old on the 26th of May. I have been planning this post for some time and have been wanting to give you all another update. I miss all my friends and family back home in Fayetteville, North Carolina. God has greatly blessed us, it’s hard to believe that I am almost finished with my second year in China. My company has decided to hire me on again, but we will be moving to another part of Guangzhou. We will be moving to an Ancient City that is over 800 years old. I will definitely take photos of Nansha 南沙 before we leave and I will also take some photos of our new location.

I’ll keep it short because I believe you guys are more interested in looking at the photos of Noah 诺亚 instead of reading whatever I have to say! Please enjoy the photos and remember to keep us in prayer. Please be praying for us to have the able to visit the USA soon, I have been really missing you all today.

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