Ten Things I Love About Christmas Far Away

christmas-in-china-2Cue the music.  Sing it with me.

“Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams”


What a sad, sad song.  “If only in my dreams?”  This guy spends the whole song building up the joy and jubilation, which is the magical connection between two foundationally emotional concepts — Christmas and Home — only to finish with, “yeah, probably not gonna’ make it . . . but I’ll be thinkin’ of ya'”

He is obviously one of two things:  An absolute jerk . . . or an expat.

It makes sense for those of us living a life overseas doesn’t it?  Christmas can be hard when you are oceans away dreaming of everything that you connected with in your formative years.

I’d be lying though . . . if I said there weren’t some things that I love about Christmas abroad.  Don’t get me wrong . . .

I miss my family.

I’d love to be home.

But . . .

Here are Ten things I love about Christmas far away:

ONE:  It’s a one stop Christmas

I’m sticking my neck out here so I’m gonna’ need an “amen” from an expat who gets me.

Bouncing between my side of the family and her side, trying to hit everyone who matters and several who don’t, scheduling around the mayhem of other people’s busyness and stressing for weeks in the hopes to connect with every inlaw, outlaw, cousin, nephew, niece and new boyfriend MAY be worth it in the end.

BUT — I for one enjoy noticeably less chaos on this side of the world.

TWO:  Stores are open

This is significant for a chronic procrastinator like myself.  There is nothing as sobering as the realization that your gift options have been reduced to the VERY BEST from the beef jerky section of the 24-7-365 truck stop because it is the ONLY place open at 11pm on December 24th.

That will never be an issue where I live.

THREE:  Reduced Christmas politics

I can’t even keep it straight anymore.  If I say “Merry Christmas” it means I hate Muslims but if I say “Happy Holidays” it means I quit loving Jesus?

Something like that.

I love being in a place that doesn’t get quite so offended by my attempts to spread good cheer.

FOUR:  Extended Holiday

This one is region specific to be sure but I think I’ve landed the perfect gig.  We get two days off for American Thanksgiving which kicks off the Christmas season.  Then we get two weeks off for Christmas, go back to work for a couple of weeks and get TWO MORE WEEKS off for Chinese New Year.

Anyone looking for a job in education and want to move to China?  Call me.

FIVE:  More cookies for me

I happened to marry the best cookie maker on the planet (no offense to all other earth residing cookie makers).  Living abroad has significantly reduced the number of Christmas parties, open houses, bake sales and “cookie exchanges” that she needs to engage in.  There is still no small demand for her baked works of art but in an average December my hand gets slapped 86% less overseas.

I’ll take it.

SIX:  New traditions

New traditions?  Is that an oxymoron?

I love the new customs that have become a part of our family simply because we have been forced to figure it out.  No life-long routine.  No pre-set expectations.  No safety net.  That’s where creative parenting comes alive.

Don’t tell my kids we’re figuring it out as we go.

SEVEN: New traditions part 2

It’s not just MY traditions.  I love that because of this beautiful life overseas I now have friends from every corner of the globe.  One of the great conversations among nations is “what do you do on special days?”  It brings a rich understanding of the birth of Christ to learn how the rest of the world celebrates it.

EIGHT:  Satisfaction

Anyone can pull off a flashing lights, tinsel strewn, jingle bell Super Holiday when you’ve got access to to the mega-Christmas wholesale mart and the 10,000 acre tree farm . . . BUT . . . try decorating for the birth of Christ inside of a Communist superpower.  Then you’ll know you’ve nailed it.

Again.  My wife.  Amazing.

NINE:  A fresh perspective on the old, old storychinese-nativity

I thoroughly enjoy seeing the narrative of the birth of Christ outside of the narrative of my passport country.  There is something rich about God becoming man accompanied by the realization that not all men think and act like I do.

I love seeing God through the lenses of people who are not like me.

TEN:  Jesus is Jesus, wherever you live

That’s all.

Merry Christmas.


Cumin Lamb and Cigarettes: A College Bound TCK Looks Back as He Looks Forward


Just three weeks before we moved to China we celebrated with some of our very best friends.  Their son was turning 7 (that’s him totally owning the noodles).  We partied like we were shipping out tomorrow (even though we still had several days left and we were taking a plane).

The ironic twist to that story is just four weeks before we moved to China we had never met any of them.  That’s how instant our connection was.  They were Lifers from the get-go and while I could write volumes about the adventures our two families have had since then I’m actually going to let the 7 year old write this one.

He’s headed to college next year.

In response to an essay question on The Common Application he beautifully exposed the heart of a TCK, with the poignancy of his mother (who is an artist with words) and the clarity of his father (whose passion, expertise and life’s work it is to help ministries and missionaries tell their stories).

Here’s a glimpse into a brilliant young mind, shaped significantly (in his formative years) by life abroad.

The Question:  Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.  If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Zach’s Response:

My childhood was three years long and a few city blocks wide.

The first seven years of my life remain in my memory as a misty blur of brick townhouses and on-brand cereal, highlighted by space themed 4th birthday donuts, and hours of self-driven multiplication tables with my dad.   

k fam 6My clearest memories began when my parents announced that we were moving. Twelve assorted suitcases and plastic bins later, we arrived in Tianjin, China with a week of jet lag and no language skills whatsoever. It was here, among 15 million other souls, that I found my childhood home.

Our 1000 square foot flat perched at the top of a six-story apartment building, where we lived alongside a jumble of first year expats like ourselves and 100th generation natives. Behind our building, a patch of green peeked out of the ubiquitous smog-gray, a miniature Central Park nestled in an oversized New York.  This haven, affectionately called “The Garden” was a motley collection of tree-like shrubs that had gotten lost on the way to Mongolia, and hesitantly blossomed each year for a month or so before succumbing to some combination of acid rain, dust, and icy slush.

Beyond the rusting gates of our complex, which were emblazoned with the fading characters “Fù Kāng huāyuán (Fu Kang Gardens)”, were streets crowded with vendors, pedestrians, grocery laden bicycles, and lawless taxi cabs.  Cigarettes sprouted like tiny smokestacks from the mouths of men playing chess at street corners, and plastic bags rolled by like urban tumbleweeds.  When Chinese New Year rolled around, the newly comforting sights and smells transformed into a thunderstorm of fire crackers, which rang out from every alley and market for two weeks, driving us (along with a host of evil spirits) back into the familiar shelter of our home.  We were strangers in a strange land, an ocean away from the suburban cul de sac that we had left behind.

Needless to say, Noah (my younger brother and best friend) and I spent countless hours inside our shared room, on a floor strewn with two generations of Legos, free from the bounds of reason. Our stuffed animals waged war: with weapons ranging from clusters of magnets dropped from Noah’s top bunk to legitimately dangerous Lego cannons.  While our CEO-destined, Korean classmates left our international school for an evening of tutoring to learn the ways of the real world, we got lost in our own worlds.

k-fam-3Most of what I remember from my three years in Tianjin is composed of oddly specific memories supported by a terabyte of photos. My family holds onto these memories like relics, because of how defining they were for each of us individually and as a family.  The term for people like me and my siblings is TCK (third culture kid).  Our home culture is neither American nor Chinese, but a hypostasis of the two.  I am not Chinese-American (my sister is), but Chinese and American.  Even as the last remnants of my meager Chinese vocabulary fade, leaving behind only the lyrics to “Happy Birthday”, my childhood in Fu Kang Gardens will continue to define who I am.

I am Zach Kennedy (Zhā kǎ lǐ), and my most heart wrenching nostalgia comes from the the taste of cumin seasoned lamb and the smell of cigarette smoke.


That’s Zach (second from the left) without noodles looking all collegiate.  Noah the Magnet Bomber on the left, Hannah (the Chinese-American) out front and Mia on the right.  Dan and Sara now live, with these four amazing TCK’s, in Richmond, Virginia (USA) where they practice getting more photogenic every day.

If this post strikes a chord send Zach a note in the comments below and wish him well on what comes next.

I Love Travel Days


There are SO many bits of expat life that make zero sense to the normal people.

So many.

Here’s one, though, that makes no sense whatsoever, even to me:  I absolutely love traveling with my family.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Who doesn’t?!”

But I’m not talking about being there, I’m talking about getting there.

Actual travel days.

Packing apples and crackers in a plastic bag and pulling grumpy, groggy kids out of bed so we can catch a taxi at 4am.  24 to 36 hours of trekking through train stations, subway tunnels and airport terminals.  14 hour plane rides with screaming babies, old men who snore and a choice between bad chicken with rice or beef with bad noodles.  Hour long customs lines, overpriced airport food, lost baggage, late arrivals and jet lag.

Seriously . . . I love jet lag.

I told you – it makes no sense at all – but I would bet that someone reading this just said “amen”.


It took me a while to figure it out but some of the best memories that I get to build with my family are every bit as much on the journey as they are at the destination.  Shifting our perspective from angst to anticipation changes everything.  We don’t muscle through the travel to get to the good part anymore.  We own travel days.  They ARE the good part.


Here’s what I’m learning to do with travel days.


img_0212Broaden the hype

Adding getting there and getting back to the pre-trip conversation has multiple effects.  For starters, it gives us two extra days to enjoy and two less days to dread.  It’s pretty normal to see travel as a worthless necessity that eats away from time doing the good stuff.

Again – we are not normal.

We talk for weeks about what movies we’re going to watch on the plane.  We chart the course with our kids and get especially excited when we get to fly through a new city.  We do goofy little Jones family “hoo-rah” huddles to start the trip.

By GO time – we are primed and ready.


Abandon good parenting

There are zero other moments in our child rearing experience that we would even consider allowing — no wait — encouraging our kids to watch movies for fourteen hours straight and stay awake as long as they want.

Seriously — who does that?

I’ll tell you who.  We do . . . but only on travel day.


Enjoy airports

My kids are good at airports.  They feel comfortable there.  They know how to navigate any airport in the world and if it has been a while since they traveled, they get itchy to fly.

I can’t tell you how much I love that.  Watching them tow their carry-ons to the gate or jump up and down when our bags come around the baggage claim carousel are some of the great joys of my parenting career.

Don’t judge me.

img_1094Chart the journey

Skipping ahead twenty years I’ve realized that we are going to have some pretty amazing pictures to show our grandkids.  The Great Wall of China, the Statue of Liberty, the Bone Church, the Burj Khalifa and we’re just getting started.

These are some of the experiences that my kids will remember forever but every bit as much as the selfie worthy moments, their childhoods are being marked by travel days.

It’s a part of who they are.

I’ve got pictures of myself at the St. Louis Arch and Disneyland . . . but I sure wish I had one of me sleeping in the back window ledge of a ’78 Buick LeSabre.

*note – children sleeping in Buick window ledges has since been deemed both dangerous and illegal . . . but someone reading this just said “amen”.


Always, Always, Always go Video on demand

Disclaimer – This is a first world problem if there ever was one.  I know there are much deeper and more painful issues that the people of the world deal with every single day.


It is a sick, gut wrenching feeling to walk on to a 14 hour flight with your family and see that there are no little TV’s in the back of the seats.



Make the most of Jet lag

Having kids that are WIDE awake at 2 am is generally not a good thing.  The frustration and the battles that can be born out of that are not pretty.  Considering the facts that jet lag is a direct result of MY life choices and is an ongoing, consistent reality for my kids, I do not want it to be a topic for their future therapy sessions.

So why not embrace the fact that no one is tired, pop some popcorn and watch a movie?  Or find an all night donut shop?  Or go for a walk?


Live the memory

My buddy Dan shared some simple brilliance with me years ago that completely changes my perspective on every single travel day.

“Live the memory.”

Memories are awesome but they are always in the past —  so STOP and be conscious of the fact that the memory is being built RIGHT NOW.

I’ve only got these kids for a little while, and I am loving this wild and wonderful adventure that we are on.  We get to do things that I didn’t even know how to dream about when I was their age.

I don’t want to miss a moment.

Especially travel days.

Does that make me weird?  I’m ok with that.

Anyone else?


The Beauty of Unrequired Sacrifice

Long winding country road leading through rural countryside in the English Peak District with beautiful evening sunlight.This post gets awkward really quick.  Sorry about that.

I’ve been pondering something that I think has huge implications for people living cross-culturally.  For some it changes everything.  For others it’s business as usual.

I was recently asked to teach from Acts 16.  It’s a chapter that teachers and preachers have been getting excited about for centuries.  Paul and Silas in prison . . . you know the one.

It’s the singing hymns in shackles at midnight — big earthquake — doors fly open — chains fall off — trembling guard and his whole house find Jesus chapter.

That’ll preach all day long.

But that’s not what jumped out at me this time.

The part that jumped was odd because it’s a section that I’ve trained my brain to skip over.  You know what I mean, right? There are certain bits of Scripture that our minds naturally gravitate towards (namely Divine prison breaks) but there are others that we shoot through and hope that no one notices.

Like circumcision.

I warned you.  Awkward.

Timothy shows up for the first time in this chapter (before the jail scene).  He’s young and green but he gets it.  He’s a rising superstar in this brand new Jesus following movement and Paul wants to take him on the road.

One problem.

His mother was Jewish.  His father was Greek.

Do I have to spell this out for you?

Concerning circumcision . . . Timothy was un.

Here’s the big ironic kicker.  The message that Paul was headed out to share was that the Church big whigs had convened and made some really important decisions . . . specifically?

Circumcision would NOT be required for new believers.

Phew! Big sigh of relief right?

You would think.  But verse 3 says this:

“Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”

I’m sorry what?!!

Paul circumcised Timothy so they could go share the message that circumcision was NOT required.


Simply put, the people they were sharing with didn’t get it yet — and fair enough — they were rooted deeply in over 2000 years of tradition which was built on some pretty strong words right from the mouth of God.  Words like, “Any uncircumcised male shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant” (Genesis 17).

Not a lot of leeway there.

On a timeline of theology Acts 16 falls between that and words that would come later like, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing,”  (1 Corinthians 7).

If the argument (as is usually the case) is reduced to theological rights or wrongs, dos or don’ts, shoulds or shouldn’ts, then Timothy would have a pretty strong case for protest (and frankly who would blame him?).

Theologically speaking, this is not a required sacrifice.

But he makes it . . . not out of religious obligation but out of willingness to see through the lenses of people whose paradigm has not been shifted just yet.


Implications galore.

There is something really good about unrequired sacrifice.

Entitlement gets traded for a bigger picture.  Selfishness is surrendered.  Complaining doesn’t even make sense.  Being right ceases to be the highest value.  Good things happen.

Jesus knew something about the brains and the hearts of His people when He said stuff like, “go an extra mile and give them your coat when they ask for your shirt.  Forgive more than anyone would expect, stay married longer and do good things to people who do bad things to you.” (personal paraphrase)

The final note of this part of the story says “the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers” (vs 5).  I think it would be a jump to say that the growth of the church was a direct result of Timothy’s . . . um . . . surgery.  However, it seems clear that those meetings could have gone much differently had he been unwilling to lay down his rightful claim to a “Back off dude!  I didn’t sign on for this!”

Just something awkward and beautiful to ponder when you catch yourself (like I do) feeling shortchanged, cheated, left out and frustrated because this life overseas sometimes feels like it has taken so much.

What does a missionary look like?

photo credit: wikimedia commons


“The white guy with a van.”

That’s how my Kenyan friend answered my question, “what does a missionary look like?”  To this day it may be my favorite definition.

A teenage girl sitting in the same room had a different answer.

“My dad.” She said.  It was a very sweet moment . . .

“My dad with a tie on, standing in the foyer of a church in America showing pictures and handing out chopsticks.”

I knew her dad.  He was THAT guy.  Literally always pleasant.  Absolutely impossible not to like.  He just oozed all ten fruits of the Spirit and got more accomplished every day before breakfast than most people do in a decade.  He was a doctor who could have been  living the high life but gave it all up to move his family across the planet and help the hurting unreached.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Pfft – there are only 9 fruits of the Spirit . . . idiot.”

Yeah, maybe for you – but this guy was a level above in every way.  If ever I have met someone who epitomized and embodied the best possible definitions of the word “missionary”, it was him.

And yet . . . his own daughter only saw him in that light once every two years, when he was OFF the “field”, on home turf, speaking his native language, to other believers.

It’s interesting isn’t it?  How loaded this word is.

I’ve got my definition too but I’m too embarrassed to share it in front of the whole internet and everyone.  It’s not my good theologically polished, globally aware, ethnically inclusive, 21st century definition that I would pull out in a small group conversation just to stir the pot and challenge someone’s dusty old Western stereotype.

Nope – I’ve got my own dusty stereotype . . . planted deep down in there . . . and as much as I like to fancy myself a little more  . . . what are those words?. . . “in touch with reality” . . . I have to confess — when you say the word “missionary” — there is a picture that pops into my head.

I’m not going to tell you exactly what the person in that picture looks like but I will say this . . .  he’s got a van.

My picture is rooted in my formative years.

I loved it when the missionaries came.  It tweaked something inside of me and made me dream of far off places like the ones in National Geographic. They always showed their slides and told stories about rats and snakes and people who didn’t seem to know very much about Jesus or silverware.  Then they shared how we could support them (financially AND through prayer).  The ushers came and we passed the plate (for a second time that service) and gave whatever God laid on our hearts.  There was a formula to the whole thing and it always ended with the same tagline.

“You don’t have to move to another country to be a missionary.  We’re all missionaries.”

So I left confused.

What a great thought – but the only ones who ever said it were the ones who had, in fact, moved to another country — unless it was just missions Sunday – then the preacher said it on behalf of the ones who had moved to another country.

The message was clear like mud – YOU TOO are a missionary wherever you are but we won’t call you one out loud until you go somewhere else — except when the people who have gone somewhere else come back to visit.  Then we’re all missionaries . . . just like them . . . only different.

The parameters were never clearly laid out so I built my understanding based on the compilation of people that other people called missionaries.

And so did you.

So what does your picture look like?

Be honest.  Where are they from?  What do they look like?  What are they wearing?  How old are they? What do they do?  What color is their skin?  (can I ask that on the internet?)

Don’t worry – this is not a shaming post.

(“Shame on you for thinking missionaries look like the ones you have seen before.”)

On the contrary – I’ve grown to love my stereotype.  It gives me a place to start – and when I work up the nerve to throw it out there (as a confession) I discover something shocking.  My assumption is that EVERYONE shares my stereotype (and should also be ashamed of themselves) . . . they really don’t.

They’ve got their own picture.

You . . . have your own picture.

And when we lay them all out on the table next to each other the bigger picture gets clearer.  Paradigms start shifting.  Assumptions get challenged.  Stereotypes get broken.  Minds get blown.

Far more than any uber polished, perfectly worded Bible scholar’s definition of a word which (ironically) makes zero appearances in the Bible, it’s the conversation that changes the missionary picture.

The conversation is where you start to see God doing things that only God does.

  • Things like sending Filipino housekeepers to raise Middle Eastern royal children
  • and Chinese educators to love on North Korean orphans
  • and Panamanian teachers to teach at a Christian international school in Jordan
  • and Dutch teachers to teach at a Christian school in Suriname
  • and Korean pastors to plant churches in Brazil
  • and Brazilian business people to run Christian companies in Vietnam
  • and Ugandan students to start university Bible studies in Thailand
  • and ten-fruit doctors to pass out chopsticks in America

and of course white guys in Kenya . . . with vans.

It’s a pretty cool mosaic of a billion stereotypes and the conversation brings it to life.

It’s also there that we find out the hard stuff — like we disagree — about pretty much everything.  Things like missionary theology and philosophy and strategy and semantics and definitions.

Does a missionary raise support? Plant churches? Make tents? Run a business? Go the the 2/3 world? The Global South? The 10/40 Window? Back to Jerusalem? To the less reached? The least reached? The unreached? Do short termers count? What about teachers?  Or professionals? Or servants?  Or refugees? Or slaves?

And what about people who never leave their hometown?

Are they missionaries?

Careful.  It’s a loaded question.

But the anwers are where we see God doing things that only God does.

So what does a missionary look like to you?

Don’t think just answer.  When you see the word “MISSIONARY” what is the picture that pops into your head and where does it come from?

No judgement here.  Wait — that’s probably not true but go ahead and take a chance.

It’s a rich mosaic when we do.


Jerry lives in China and blogs at The Culture Blend.

Going Home


I sometimes catch myself using finger quotes when I say the word “home.”  You too?

I’m writing this on an airplane and am currently 3 hours and 8 minutes away from “home”.  Simultaneously and ironically I am also 9 hours and 4 minutes away from “home.”  I’m in that weird spot that expats love and hate . . .  between “homes.”

My family and I have spent the last five weeks hugging old friends and fighting over road trip radio stations.  We’ve slept in a total of 26 beds and driven through 11 states (not even counting Canada).  We have re-stomped our old stomping grounds and picked up six new airport refrigerator magnets.  It has been both wonderful and exhausting.

You know the feeling.

Going “home” is one of those pieces of expat life that stretches the limits of every available emotion.  So many happy reunions followed immediately by an equal number of painful goodbyes.  Unexpected culture shock (especially in election years), non-stop bopping from the last place to the next place, feeling like a tourist where you once felt most comfortable.

It’s weird.  But good.  But hard.  But incredible.

Regardless, it’s a great opportunity to process.  Every time I go “home,” I pick up something new.  Some little cultural tidbit that I hadn’t recognized before or maybe a deeper reflection on an old reality.

Here’s what I’m thinking on my way home from home this time around.

First, “Home” is a culture too.

Sounds ridiculous to say it out loud and fair enough if you’re thinking, “well duh.”  However I’m realizing more and more that it’s not necessarily a natural thing to recognize your own culture as a culture.  Cultures are out there . . . away . . . somewhere else.  Cultures are what we study.  Cultures are fascinating.  They are exotic.  Exciting.  Confusing.  Different.

Every time I step out and back in again I am reminded that my most familiar home base is all of that, even though I never saw it that way growing up.  From the hairstyles to the body language to the propensity to bread and deep fry virtually anything,  it’s a ethnographic wonderland just waiting to be explored.

Who knew?

Two . . . International “home” going is layered.

Where I come from people move away.  We go to college.  We get married.  We find a job.  All of these carry the potential for long-term relocation.  So my childhood friends are spread out around the area.  Around the state.  Around the country.

Very few however, wander outside of the country (at least not for living).  It’s just not normal.

It’s always nice to come “home,” but I’m discovering that “home” is a contrast word.  The farther you roam, the bigger “home” gets.  “Home” has expanded for us beyond a town or a community and I start to feel like I’m home when I hit the first airport of my “home” country.  L.A., New York, Dallas, Atlanta all feel like home, at least compared to Beijing.

Ironically I feel more “at home” in the Beijing airport than I do in any other airport in the world.

It’s strange right?

Thirdly . . .  It’s OK for “home” to be a confusing concept

“Home” is a value that has been deeply embedded into my core.  So redefining it feels wrong.

It throws off my equilibrium to start wrapping my head around the layers and the nuances of “home” in a cross cultural life.  It was especially confusing the first time I went “home,” but the confusion marches on ten years later.

How do my kids understand “home” when they spend the bulk of their lives as foreigners? Am I going “home” or leaving “home” right now? Is “home” a place or people or an allegiance or a feeling?  Should I feel guilty for wanting to get back “home” even when I am “home”?  How is it that I can be at “home” and missing “home” no matter where I am?

Deep breath.

It’s alright.  “Home” is complex, for people don’t have the luxury of simple answers.  People have been wrestling with this concept long before we showed up.  That’s why we say things like “home is where you hang your hat” or “home is where your heart is.”

However, that rationale assumes that your heart can only be in one place at a time . . . and that you only have one hat.

It might not be that simple.  I’m ok with complex.

Fourth . . . Going “home” is a gap-filling time

I mourn “home” for my kids.

The experience, not the concept.  My experience, not theirs.

I know I know, they are having their own adventure and it is rich.  They are doing things that I only dreamed of when I was their age.  They are seasoned world travelers with a front row seat to the broader world and it is all preparing them to grasp the complexities of “home” in a way that I never will.

I love their definition of “home” BUT they don’t know how to play baseball.  They don’t know the joys of a small town ice cream shop or catching lightning bugs.  Fireworks to them mean Chinese New Year not Independence Day.

Going “home” for a few weeks doesn’t give them my childhood, but they don’t need that.  It does help fill in a few gaps though.  It’s a connection between their childhood and mine.  It’s a glimpse into things that I remember fondly and the missing link to the place that their passport says is their “home.”

I want that for them.

Fifth . . . Just passing through doesn’t mean I can’t love the trip

It’s inevitable in Christian circles.  Conversations about “home” end with a comment about “passing through.”

“This world is not my home.”

“My citizenship is in heaven.”

No argument from me but I do kind of cringe a little at the unspoken insinuation that love for our earthly home is grounds for a “shame on you.”   My only frame of reference for something that I can’t even begin to grasp is the closest possible thing that I can.  Even if this is just a reflection of the real thing, it’s a pretty awesome one.

Finally . . . Living abroad means I am double blessed.

It has been a great summer.  Thankful to have gone home — Thankful to be going home.


Jerry lives in China and blogs at The Culture Blend.