Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Six Most Popular Posts in 2016

Last year I blogged about my 15 most popular posts from 2015. This year I'll only be sharing my 6 most popular posts from 2016 since I posted far less this year than in past years. You could say it was kind of a busy year for the Wickershams. Although I blogged less this year, "Wick I Am" received quite a bit more traffic in 2016 compared to past years. I would like to think it's because my writing has captivated millions of readers, but I'm thinking it has more to do with the big move. That's okay. If the blog has blessed you in even the tiniest of ways, I'm happy. Happy New Year!

6. 13 Ways How I Became More Asian in the Last 13+ Years
5. Reviewing Eric Liddell's The Disciplines of Christian Life
4. My Hobby of Writing Amazon Reviews
3. 10 Cool Facts About Tianjin, China
2. "Name That Chip!": Spring Edition
1. Moving From Tianjin to Evansville

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wick's 2016 Highlights

2016 was a year of major changes. Some of the changes were challenging, but they were also good. Read below. Here are past Wickersham highlights: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015.

January - I preach my last sermon at Tianjin International Fellowship: Psalm 8. Praise, worship, and bring glory to God.

February - After a 13 year break, I return to coaching a high school girl's soccer team. Go Lady Eagles!

March - We visit Grace Noel's orphanage in Hubei Province and meet her foster mother. It's hard to believe it has been ten years.

April - We accidentally leave Rosalie's $3600 French horn in a taxi, but it's returned to us a few days later. We're thankful for the police and our Chinese friends. Why are French horns so crazy expensive?!

May - I accept a new position as a 6th-9th grade assistant principal at Evansville Christian School (ECS). God is good.

June - We leave Tianjin and move to Newburgh, Indiana. I start driving a 1997 Plymouth minivan.

July - We drive to Florida and attend a family wedding. It's great to catch up with those we haven't seen in a long time.

August - Rosalie tries a new sport, cross country, Grace Noel makes the 5th-6th grade soccer team at ECS, and Josiah Lee joins Newburgh Youth Soccer as a Red Shark.

September - Megan and I speak about our Tianjin lives to a group of Chinese at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. It's good for us to be able to connect with Chinese in the Evansville community.

October - The University of Southern Indiana (USI) hires Megan as an ESL instructor. Go Screaming Eagles!

November - I start coaching soccer players at the Metro Sports Center and decide to start playing on a team. The knees aren't the same, but I can still kick a ball.

December - Megan gets hired as an ESL instructor at Vincennes University. We owe a few people a debt of gratitude.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Reviewing Kevin DeYoung's The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a 32-page booklet by Kevin DeYoung, pastor of a reformed church in Michigan. It was published by The Gospel Coalition almost six years ago, and I believe it's one of 14 booklets produced by this broadly reformed network of churches that champions the gospel. I've read a couple of Pastor DeYoung's books, and once again I did not come away disappointed. The Holy Spirit has just three chapters:

1. The Holy Spirit in All the Bible
2. Who is the Holy Spirit?
3. The Work of the Holy Spirit

The second chapter consists of three sections (see below) and is very short like the first chapter.
1. A person
2. God
3. Distinct from the Father and Son

The third chapter is the bulk of the book and is organized in the following fashion:
1. The Holy Spirit Convicts
2. The Holy Spirit Converts
3. The Holy Spirit Applies
4. The Holy Spirit Glorifies
5. The Holy Spirit Sanctifies
6. The Holy Spirit Equips
7. The Holy Spirit Promises

The book concludes with 21 endnotes and a description of The Gospel Coalition. If you're wanting a better understanding of this often forgotten member of the Trinity, check out Kevin DeYoung's The Holy Spirit. The book is filled with Scripture and Scripture references, and it can help us better understand the person and powerful work of the Helper that Jesus promised His followers.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26

Reviewing Paul Washer's Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church

Paul Washer's 55-page booklet, Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church, is a free Kindle download I picked up four years ago. It's actually a sermon he preached at a conference in Atlanta nearly a decade ago. Although I found the book to be a good read, I could see many Christians being offended by Washer's direct charges against the American church. Paul Washer was a missionary in Peru for ten years, and today he preaches passionately against false gospels. After a brief introduction, the Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church is organized in the following chapters:

1. A Denial of the Sufficiency of Scripture
2. An Ignorance of God
3. A Failure to Address Man's Malady
4. An Ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
5. An Unbiblical Gospel Invitation
6. An Ignorance Regarding the Nature of the Church
7. A Lack of Compassionate Church Discipline
8. A Silence on Separation
9. A Replacement of the Scriptures Regarding the Family
10. Pastors Malnourished in the Word of God

The book concludes with a brief mention of Chapel Library Resources and 45 endnotes. The Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church will take maybe a little over an hour to read, and it's not for those who are looking for a positive message and a pat on the back. However, if you are seeking something with lots of Scripture and much to ponder, I recommend checking out the book.

Reviewing Trace Wilson's Uniquely Me

Since Josiah Lee was born with one hand, Megan saw the importance of purchasing Trace Wilson's Uniquely Me. Last year Uniquely Me was written by Trace Wilson, a marketing student who was born with only a left hand (Josiah Lee has a right hand). The story consists of 24 pages and is geared towards those who are four to eight years old. Words are found on just over half of the pages, and the book contains very colorful pictures from illustrator Ana Sebastian. The children in the story are different from one another although if you're looking for a book that contains kids from every ethnic group, you'll need to go elsewhere.

As far as the story itself, it is not the same as Different is Awesome, another children's book with a person who was born with only one hand. I like both books for different reasons. Something I like about Uniquely Me is how it's a story of a young child where Different is Awesome is focused on someone who appears to be in high school or college. Uniquely Me's story concerns a little boy who one day notices his friends have two hands. This starts him on a special journey to figure out why he wasn't born with two hands. Four wild animals help him come to understand that we are all uniquely made.

We're thankful for Trace Wilson and those who supported him in writing Uniquely Me. Uniquely Me is a great book for families with children with limb differences and would be a wonderful addition to any children's library. We're thankful Josiah Lee is growing up during a time and in a culture where he can be taught that there was no mistake in how he was created.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Three Resources That Have Impacted Me & Many Others

Although I wrote less Amazon reviews and blog posts this year, I did have the privilege to write for a few publications that produce a significant amount of exceptional content. These sites include ASCD, ChinaSource, and Master Teaching.

ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is a nonprofit organization that supports the global community of educators dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. It comprises of 125,000 superintendents, principals, teachers, and education advocates from 140 countries.

Do you want a window into Christianity in China and the key issues that impact the Church? Then you want to check out ChinaSource. It is a reliable resource connecting Christians with important information for working with and contributing to the Chinese church and community.

Nurturing the development of education in Asia is Master Teaching, sponsored by LEAPAsia. Their purpose is "to begin a crescendo of praise for Yahweh starting with what the authors write and growing into classrooms around the world."

I'm thankful for the work these organizations are doing and encourage you to spend time at their sites. If you would like to receive ASCD's free e-newsletter twice a month, click here. You can also provide financial support to the publications and projects of ChinaSource and LEAPAsia.