A Praise Report

Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25

While we continue to do ministry in an international city we are constantly reminded of the trials and challenges back in America. So when I read this verse a day ago I was reminded of this truth. With that said, we present to you some good news!

Taiwan has gone over fifty days without a local case of COVID-19! The local government has been fighting to inform and equip the country, but also the world! (Just check out this website! https://taiwancanhelp.us/ ) This has meant Kennedy has enjoyed unrestricted school and play. Brittany and Justin have been able to get away for some much needed coffee dates. (That is, with a little tag-along, albeit a cute one.) And The Aroma Church has been able to reopen their doors to in-person services. Praise the Lord!

Regarding that last bit, something that has been interesting is that while several church members have been slow to return, the Lord has brought new people in. David is a man who came to our English ministry, Coffee Talk through googling “English events in Taipei.” After we told him a church met in the upstairs of the cafe, he told us that he was a Christian but had not been able to find a community of believers and so he had quit attending church for some time. He’s been attending our community events for the last four weeks! Praise the Lord!

Additionally, the young man playing the guitar in the picture above, I met when we first moved to Taiwan five years ago. Frustrated with relationships and God, four years ago he left the church. However, our God is one of many chances! He didn’t stop working in this man’s heart. This young man has recently returned and it’s been encouraging to see the community embrace him again. Praise the Lord!

We hope this encourages you in a time when the world might look chaotic. Thank goodness we serve a God of peace! If you want to hear more about what’s happening or connect with us personally would you send us an email? We’d love to pray for you by name. Just send us a message to siemens at ChopsticksAndScooters dot com

Much love and many blessings,

The Siemens

Passions & Callings

My passion & calling

On November 2nd, 2016 I was able to attend a training seminar in which we were asked to think about and formulate the verbage to describe our specific calling God has placed on our lives. The idea there was that this unique calling was a mix between A) God’s ultimate mission for the world, B) our context and physical location, and C) Holy Spirit’s promptings on our life. 

At that point in my life creating digital media was still a large part of my ministry. However, I’ve long known and specifically loved the story-telling aspect of creating media. I know God loves people and working through them, it makes sense that their stories are something that can build and further the His Kingdom. 

As I thought through people groups, issues, gifts, and skills that are near to my heart I formulated the following sentence; I intend to empower young singles and married couples from a lost identity and a lack of purpose into a Kingdom purpose and their true identity through the means of storytelling.

It’s now 2020 and I’ve revisited this sentence multiple times. While I don’t often create media as part of my ministry, both Brittany and I are very involved with young people. I hope that can always be the case as fathering those younger than me has become something that brings me great joy. (3 John 1:4) Since 2016 I’ve taken a deeper dive into philosophy and theology during my pre-ordination apprenticeship. Additionally I’ve taken more Bible classes and read many books, however in midst of all this learning my favorite part has been being able to share my findings with those I’m leading…

…and I most enjoy leading through the use of stories. Stories help us encourage connection and help us engage. They appeal to all sorts of learners. They’re a low-risk learning method (as they often mask their challenge within the story itself) and they also greatly inspire motivation. It’s through stories from my own experiences, or even stories of others that I am privileged to tell, that I am able to share and invest in my spiritual children. 

Your passion & calling

I may have found an interest plot line to reveal my calling, but realistically it came to me in a pretty boring fashion. There was never a burning bush moment where I suddenly realized what I was made to do. So no matter what others experience, don’t fret. Know that God made you to do something specific. He made you in a wonderful fashion and with a unique purpose! (Psalm 139:14)

So, how do you figure out what it is you’re made to do? I recently re-read a book called Garden City that lays it out pretty well. Read this…

What we do should grow out of who we are.

What are you good at? Perhaps you need to embrace that potential a dig in a little more. Then look at your limitations. What are you not great at? Perhaps you should stop trying to do those things. God made us all to do something different (We see this when someone who is clearly cut out for studying is forced into manual labor, or when an extrovert is pushed into a cubicle.) and we must first realize we can’t do anything. We can only do what God created us to do.

Both our potential and our limitations are signs pointing forward to God’s calling on our life.

After that, ask yourself some simple questions.

  1. What do you love?
    Can you make a living at it. Have you tried?
  2. What are you good at?
    Celebrate the success you’ve had and then also re-evaluate the failures you’ve had. Both are stepping stones!
  3. What does your world need?
    Your country, your neighborhood, your generation. We were put on this earth to work together with God and when he came to earth as a man, Jesus rocked the culture through his radical servant leadership.
  4. Does it make the world a better place?
    Does it help humans flourish? Is it good for the earth? Good for you? Good for culture?
  5. What are the open doors in your life?
    Could God be simply calling you to step into an opportunity that is in front of you?
  6. What are people you know saying?
    Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14  
  7. What is the Holy Spirit stirring in your heart?
    Holy Spirit sometimes asks us to do something we don’t want to do. We often ignore what He stirs up. But if we try to do something we aren’t made to do, fighting these stirrings is pointless, perhaps even dangerous. Press in instead!

I’ll end this post with a quote from the book I’ve referenced above.

Whatever it is that you’re called to do it. If you don’t, you rob yourself of the life God’s called you to live…  But you also rob the rest of us. We need you to be you.

Garden City, John Mark Comer (Chapter 3)

Press into God’s calling for you!