I got busy. Relax, everyone. Can you believe it’s been about three weeks since I wrote a blog post? Don’t worry, I will recap everything – and I have videos!
Let’s start with the sweetest part of this update. Sugar Cane. I know what you are thinking – and yes, I did start an argument with my wife that it’s a fruit. But she reminded me that a fruit can only be something with seeds (which I taught her), so I decided it was a vegetable. I loved my sugar cane vegetable until she and google disagreed with me and called it a grass. Figures. I’m down to eating grass in India.
6 Years Old
Jaimie and I also celebrated a friend’s birthday! We went to a park that was designed to teach children road rules (good thing they start young over here). At this park there was a 5D theater. So Jaimie and I were able to experience that, boxed lunches (which were amazing compared to the American box lunch of cold turkey sandwiches), cake, and these awesome poppers. You know the ones that you pull a cord and a little confetti pops out. Well, these were top notch. One thing I’ve learned about India is that almost everything is either extremely better or extremely different than its American counterpart.
Jaimie links it as similar to Christmas, I think it is more similar to 4th of July…perhaps a cross between the two. Here is the awesome part: Children go around to their elders and the elders give them 10, 20, maybe 50 rupees each. By the end of the festival, you could potentially walk away with 1,000+ rupees ($20). I’ve also attached a firework video. During Diwali you light fireworks and/or bombs. As Jaimie mentioned in a previous article, she was hit twice by random explosions. Just a normal experience of Diwali that adds to the excitement.
The Puppet Show
After dinner one evening our friends’ children performed a puppet show for us. There is something about a child’s creativity that you have to stop and admire. Being a designed from a creative God, I don’t know why I am surprised by the amount of creativity I see every day in India. But there is a norm that one comes to expect when you live every day of your life in America. When one ventures out of the American box, a whole new world comes into view. I’m not saying it’s a better or worse world, but it’s a different creative style. Something only God could have designed…
I suppose that last bit wasn’t really about the puppet show…but moving on. I’ve been studying through the gospels and learning about the life of Jesus, and I have to say He’s better than me….like, in everything. As you may know, I’m in the second year of Jesus’ ministry and He is having many conflicts with the religious folks of the day…but I’ve been noticing they are always the same fight. It is either about the temple, blasphemy, hanging out with sinful people, or the sabbath. Did you know that Jesus never got upset with a sinful person? But it is recorded that three times Jesus was angry (only three), and they were all with religious people.
But what stood out most was Matt 5:11.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
In those days being martyred wasn’t new. As a matter of fact, I’ve learned that there are at least 4 recorded events where someone claimed to be the messiah and was executed for it around Jesus’ time period (I think Josephus mentions one of them). Anyways, what all of the other martyrs have in common is they were claiming they were blessed because they were being persecuted because of God, Yahweh, Allah, etc. Nobody has ever been recorded before this claiming that you are blessed when you are persecuted because of Himself.
We hear it today, and say, oh yeah, to be persecuted for Jesus, that’s normal. But back then? That would have been huge. Jesus is speaking as a madman if his authorship isn’t true. Just earlier in John 5 Jesus makes the claim that he is Israel. If you are a Jew, being in Israel is your salvation…and Jesus, the homeless fellow is claiming He is Israel? The man with basically no followers at this time walking into the religious centers casting out demons making claims He is salvation. That’s bold.
I’ll leave you with one more thought. It seems like Jesus considered it rejection when people only accepted him by his miracles to their benefit.