Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Unique Food I've Eaten Abroad & in the States

When I lived overseas, I got the opportunity to eat lots of unique food: cicadas, duck bills and feet, salted scorpions, entire fish, starfish, seahorses, and snake on a stick, every organ imaginable, and even rocks. Some of it was great and some of it, well, tasted like rocks.

Although American cuisine isn't what I would call adventurous, I've been able to chow down on a few delectables these past two years that aren't considered your everyday fare. Check out below what I've been able to eat in my home, order on the street, or have at a restaurant.

1. Wild boar - This winter Megan made some burritos with some wild boar that we were gifted with, and they were definitely restaurant worthy.

2. Frog legs - Surprisingly, I've been able to eat frog legs at a couple different Chinese restaurants in town. Ribbit.

3. Brain sandwich - I ordered one of these sandwiches at the Fall Festival here in Evansville. They're kind of like scrambled eggs.

4. Beef tartare - My little bro ordered us this raw meat dish, and I found it to be da bomb diggity! I've eaten a ton of different kinds of meat raw, and this was by far my favorite.

5. Venison - Although I'm not a hunter, I'm thankful for those who hunt and share their game with mi familia.

6. Pizza with mussels - I'm a big fan of seafood and a big fan of pizza so why not put them together?

7. Chicken hearts - I used to get chicken hearts every time I ate at Brazilian steakhouses in China, and I was happy to recently get some at a Chinese New Year festival.

Were you aware these dishes can be consumed right here in the good ol' U.S. of A? What unique foods have found their way to your stomach? The next time you see some food that looks or smells a little funky, why not give it a go? Don't knock it until you've tried it. Bon Appetit! 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

I'm eating saltwater smelts filled with eggs galore. Yum.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Reflecting on Billy Graham's Passing

Back in 1999, I went to the Billy Graham Crusade in Indianapolis. In 2005 I went to the Billy Graham Center Museum at Megan's alma mater, Wheaton College. During my early years as a Christian, Billy Graham's website was my go-to place whenever I had a theological question. I've used Reverend Graham's videos for family devos, classroom lessons, and chapel presentations. To say Billy Graham has impacted me would be quite the understatement. I'm extremely thankful for how God used Reverend Graham to preach the gospel to me and millions around the world, and I look forward to the day when we'll be together again. Below are a few notable quotes from this great man of God.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Why I'm Thankful to Live in America

Presidents' Day is on Monday, a day to honor the incumbent president and all previous U.S. presidents. During my time overseas from 2002 to 2016, we had two very different presidents that led us through a great deal of change in America. Some of the changes weren't the best; however, there is much about this country that is a big-time blessing. I'm thankful that my children can receive a Christ-centered education now and later as adults. We can listen to Christian radio and even get our dance on. Below are five more reasons why I'm thankful to live in the US of A.

1. There is no shortage of churches in this country. Each month there are 214 churches and Christian properties destroyed around the world.

2. We have access to a million Christian resources at local stores and libraries. Over 200 million African Christians don't own a Bible, and millions of leaders lack written materials to equip their ministry.

3. I'm free to witness and share the gospel with others. Approximately 215 million Christians experience significant persecution.

4. Christian websites aren't blocked. I haven't always had that free online access.

5. I don't have to be concerned about hosting Bible studies in my home. That's certainly not the case where I used to live.

Yes, there is much we could complain about America, but it certainly could be far worse. What ways can you give thanks for living in the States? What's preventing you from giving thanks for your life in this land of opportunity?

Friday, February 9, 2018

My Year in Korea

In 2002 I sold my house on three acres of land north of Jolietville, Indiana and moved to Cheonan, Korea. I left a fantastic job teaching geography to sixth graders in a small town and accepted a teaching job at an English academy in a city of nearly 500,000. There were a few aspects I found challenging during my time in Korea; however, I clearly see how living there prepared me for my 13 years in China. I learned a great deal during my year in Korea and have much good to say about the country. Below are seven random facts about this year's Olympic hosts.

1. I always enjoyed telling others that South Korea is approximately the same size as Indiana but has a significantly larger population (51 million compared to less than 7 million for Indiana).

2. Did you know South Korea is home to a lot of companies we're fond of including Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and Kia? I wasn't familiar with LG until moving to Korea but noticed Best Buy selling LG products in the summer of 2003.

3. 30% of South Koreans claim to be Christian, and Korea is the second largest missionary sending country in the world (behind the U.S.). At night you can see tons of church buildings with neon red crosses.

4. South Korea takes education seriously and is a top ten nation in math, reading, and science. My oldest students left the academy after 9 PM.

5. Like in Japan, bowing is often done when saying hi, bye, and thank you. My students often greeted me and said goodbye with a bow.

6. Some Korean food is super spicy and can cause you to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night. My favorite Korean dishes are of the nonspicy variety - galbi (marinated short ribs) and bulgogi (marinated beef).

7. Generally, those under 30 knew I was American, but older folk often mistook me as Korean. I could ride my bike and have students yell hello at me or be shopping at e-mart and be greeted with anyoung haseyo.

Megan and her parents paid me a fun visit shortly before I left Korea.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ten Questions: When Wick Met Megan

With Valentine's Day one week away, I thought I would share a special time back in August of 2001.

1. How did you and Megan meet? Megan's dad called me and asked me if I would like to meet his daughter.

2. How did you know Megan's dad? We used to work together at Frankfort Middle School, and we were in a men's Bible study group.

3. What were you doing just prior to the call? I was giving my dog, Yuki, a bath.

4. What did you know about Megan before the first date? I knew she was on her summer break from teaching university students in China and that she was a Christian.

5. What did you not know prior to the first date? I didn't realize that Megan hadn't given her parents permission to call me. I thought she saw a picture of me in a yearbook or paper and thought I was cute. :-)

6. How did you feel that Mr. Downs asked you if you would be interested in meeting his daughter? I was truly honored. I had and continue to have a great deal of respect for Fred, and I couldn't believe he thought I was good enough to go on a date with Megan.

7. What did you think when you first saw Megan? I thought Megan had a sweet smile and her eyebrows really impressed me. :-) I thought it was cool that she invited me into her parents' place and had me try some longan, a fruit found in China.

8. Where did you go on the first date? I gave Megan a few nice restaurant options, and she chose Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. She didn't realize it's an upscale fine dining establishment. :-) We took also took a stroll on the Canal Walk in Indianapolis.

9. What did you drive? I owned a beige 93 Chevy Silverado 1500. I considered picking up Megan in my dad's Porsche, but it's not me.

10. How was the first date? Despite being super smooth and telling Megan I wasn't into China, by the grace of God, I got a second date.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

An engagement pic taken in Changchun, China during the summer of 2003

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Changed Heart: Adopting My Son

Five years ago tomorrow is the day Josiah Lee officially became a Wickersham. We talked about it a good bit today and looked at pictures of that first week back in 2013. One thing I reminded Josiah Lee about is how God changed my heart. I was content with two daughters and not wanting to throw a boy into the mix. Boys can be proud jerks who don't know how to stay still. Who wants that? But over time I began to think, by the power of the Holy Spirit, boys can grow up to be strong men of God who bring God glory. God can even use a sinner like me to help a boy grow in wisdom and stature. Absolutely amazing.

Josiah Lee isn't afraid to tell you that God radically transformed my selfish sick heart and gave me a desire to adopt the boy who is sleeping next to me right now. Although it's not always fun and games, I had no idea how amazing raising a boy could be. There are a ton of super cool aspects of raising girls, but Rosalie and Grace Noel don't quite appreciate my "pull my finger" jokes like Josiah Lee. Josiah Lee is the one who will go fishing with me or do crazy dances when we score goals in our FIFA soccer video game. I especially love hearing Josiah Lee pray and answering my questions after a church service. He has a real servant's heart and often displays Jesus in ways far greater than me. I'm so thankful God chose me to be Josiah Lee's dad, and I look forward to seeing what God does in his life.

In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, Ephesians 1:4-6

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wick's 2017 Highlights

2017 was our first full year back in the States, and God once again blessed us abundantly. Read below. Here are past Wickersham highlights: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016.

January - We attend a God-glorifying wedding at Indiana Wesleyan University and have a Chinese mini-reunion.

February - We decide to purchase a brick ranch house in Evansville and like it for numerous reasons.

March - I visit Las Vegas with my dad and brother and watch the Kobalt 400, consume fantastic food, and have crucial conversations. Megan and I provide a little glimpse at FSBC about what the Father has done and is doing in the Middle Kingdom.

April - I attend the Gospel Coalition conference in Indianapolis and hear the gospel of grace proclaimed by men who have taught me much over the years.

May - We now have a high schooler, middle schooler, and kindergarten student in the Wickersham household. How did this happen?

June - My dad treats us to a two-night stay at the Peabody Memphis: Bass Pro Shops, BBQ, Graceland, Shelby Farms, and more!

July - We go to the Ark Encounter and hang out with friends we did life with in China. A few days later, we visit family in Richmond, Indiana and make a presentation at their church. Soon after that, we visit St. Louis and enjoy time at the zoo, Science Center, and World Chess Hall of Fame.

August - We host a Chinese college student for three weeks and are invited by our friends to speak about adoption at a church in Johnson City, Tennessee.

September - I become the Cullen Campus principal at Evansville Christian School - so thankful to have a great job in a great community.

October - It's the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Soli Deo Gloria.

November - We part ways with the Wickmobile, and I spend some time in Bloomington, Indiana on an ACSI accreditation visit. I also enjoyed catching up with an old buddy from Avon.

December - We celebrate Christmas with our families in Avon and Frankfort, Indiana and spend time with other family members at various times during the month. God is good.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Seven Most Popular Facebook Pictures in 2017

Below are the most popular pictures taken and posted on my Facebook account (most via Instagram) in 2017. Lots of smiles and much to be thankful for. Enjoy.

Rosalie completed 8th-grade at Evansville Christian School. 

We took a family pic at Megan's parents' home and celebrated Easter in Frankfort, Indiana.

We took a family pic at IWU where we attended the wedding of good friends we worked with in China.

2017-18 Evansville Christian School Faculty & Departmental Staff

Josiah Lee turned the big six in November. Time flies.

This summer we enjoyed a few days in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis, BBQ, & the Peabody Ducks. Fun.

We celebrated Grace Noel's 12th Gotcha Day at Orange Leaf. Yum.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Reflecting on R.C. Sproul's Passing

A few days ago I was sad to hear of R.C. Sproul's death. The first book I read and studied as a new believer back in 2000 was Sproul's Chosen By God. His books, videos, and articles have profoundly impacted me. With the exception of John Piper, no author has taught me more about Jesus than Dr. Sproul. I owe a great deal to the man, and I look forward to thanking him in Heaven. Below are three notable quotes from Dr. Sproul from three of his books that I highly recommend.

"To be conformed to Jesus, we must first begin to think as Jesus did. We need the "mind of Christ." We need to value the things He values and despise the things He despises. We need to have the same priorities He has. We need to consider weighty the things He considers weighty." The Holiness of God (1985)

"If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God's sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled." Chosen by God (1986)

"...the more we understand of the holiness and righteousness of God, the more we begin to see by contrast how desperately fallen we are and how utterly dependent we are on His mercy and grace. The Truth of the Cross (2007)