Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Beautiful sunny day today. One of the nicest things about living in Beijing is the climate. The weather is nice most of the time. And Beijing has a very dry climate. It is cold in the winter, but not cold like North Dakota or Minnesota. And since Beijing is in North China, the buildings are heated. There's a rule in China--buildings north of the Yangtze are heated. Buildings south of the Yangtze are not. In North China, winters are cold and dry. In South China, the winters are not as cold, but the weather is damp. And the buildings do not have hot water radiators. Right now I am sitting inside. If you consider the inside climate (which is what matters) the climate in Beijing is warm and dry, while the climate in South China is cold and damp.

Broke the zipper on my jacket the other day and caught a cold. I was going to buy a new coat, but Claire brought one today that her brother used to have. She said he doesn't wear it anymore. I think it's going to work. The main thing in Beijing is to have plenty of layers on when you go outside, and to be able to remove them, as needed, when you enter a warmer place.

Went to church this morning. Some 70 people were baptized. This church is interesting. The practice adult baptism by sprinkling. I have never seen this practice before. The do not baptize infants. At least, I have never seen an infant baptized. Interesting, though, one of the ladies who was lined up to be baptized had been baptized as a baby. The pastor mentioned this, so he didn't actually baptize her.

Next week is Christmas. Lots of services on Christmas Eve. And some more stuff on Christmas Day. I was going to have a Christmas party on Christmas Day, but we will probably put it off until Sunday, 'cause the translators will all be busy providing English translation for all the services.

There's a song in the air! There's a star in the sky!
There’s a mother's deep prayer and a baby's low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

There's a tumult of joy o'er the wonderful birth,
For the virgin’s sweet Boy is the Lord of the earth.
Ay! the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

In the light of that star lie the ages impearled;
And that song from afar has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light, and we echo the song
That comes down through the night from the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Savior and King!

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