Welcome to 3rd Culture Living

As Elyse’s husband and the tech guy behind the site, I welcome you to 3rd Culture Living. My wife has a more meaningful welcome here. 🙂

We are excited to launch the blog for each other, for our children, and for anyone else who may want to join us in journey of “3rd Culture Living”. More posts and topics will be coming as we live intentionally and see where life leads and the lessons it will bring.

Welcome to the journey!

What you see now gives an idea of “What is 3rd Culture Living“, the reasons for “Why this site” and “Who we are” so you can have an idea of what to expect. You can read all the posts below (on the home screen), read my wife’s welcome for an intro to the site, or click on some of the tabs above (which still have limited content at this point).

Thank you for joining us at the beginning of this new journey. We look forward to growing together!

Blessings,
Rob

January Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Happy New Year!!!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

As we celebrate the new year, we celebrate what God has done and what God is doing. “In the beginning God created…” and God is still working in His creation and in our lives. In fact, “the heavens declare the glory of God”!

To start the new year, we would like to highlight an amazing, meaningful, free activity that is great for the whole family at different levels. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a temporary exhibit (9/29/2018-4/28/2019) called “BUILT TO SURVIVE: BIOMECHANICS”. We were there today and it is amazing!!! It’s as if it were created to show the amazing wisdom, power, creativity, etc. of our amazing Creator. Our 4 year old, 8 year old, Elyse and myself (It’s hard to speak for the baby), all thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and it had the right mix of hands on, and deeper information to keep us all engaged and amazed. (See below for the “free” part, since the museum is not usually free. :o)

For those who are homeschooling their children, we have another exciting event to highlight. Bible Study Fellowship offers a great way to go deeper into God’s Word with a view to know him more. The day women’s class in Middleburg Heights has had the pre-school program for years, but that was difficult for families who are homeschooling. Starting this year, they will be adding the school age program for K-12!!! If you, or your children, would like to go deeper into God’s Word. This may be worth your checking out! BSF continues to be a huge blessing for our family and we are excited to pass this along.

With those highlights, here are other activities to celebrate God and his creation in the the month of January.

January Events

The events marked “Free RSVP” do require advance registration, which may fill up quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip.

Events marked “($$$)” have a fee.

So, How do I go to the Natural History Museum for FREE!?!

We encourage supporting the museums, etc. However, if finances are going to keep you from going and you’re willing to have a little extra hassle, there is a way to go for free through the public library.

Here is how:

  1. Get a Cleveland Public Library card. (Bring your Cuyahoga County card and they can use the same card) – FREE
  2. Ask to check out a “Family Pass” for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. This is good for six people to enjoy the museum AND the planetarium for FREE!
    1. The branches sometimes run out. If they don’t have one try again later, or try another branch.
    2. These do not need to be returned. You turn them in at the museum in exchange for tickets.
  3. Tell a friend… share the good news! (Especially while the “BUILT TO SURVIVE: BIOMECHANICS” is still at the museum!)

Enjoy your New Year as you focus on the Beginner and Sustainer of all things!

Other events that are not specific to this month

Ongoing Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Weekly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Monthly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

December Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Merry Christmas!!!

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

As we enjoy the spirit of Christmas, the lights, the family, the gifts and the music, I pray that we will once again remember the true Spirit of Christmas, Jesus the eternal Creator and Sustainer of all things, entering into His creation, not in power in might, but as a baby. He is the light of the world, bringing the light of life. He is the one who provides the way for us, sinful people, to be part of the family of our holy God! He is the ultimate gift, come not just as a baby (that didn’t last long, as all babies grow quickly), but as the Lamb of God, come to be the final sacrifice, to pay for our sins! And the one of whom every song should be sung, to the praise of his glory!

CHRISTmas… the Lord has come!

As you celebrate Christmas, remember to be still and appreciate what he has done. As you attend events, may this child, who would become our Savior and King, be at the front of you mind, words and actions.

Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area, may they point you to the King born in a manger.

Ongoing Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

 

Weekly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Monthly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

December Events

The events marked “Free RSVP” do require advance registration, which may fill up quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip.

Enjoy your December as you celebrate the coming of the King, our risen Lord Jesus!

November Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

The cold weather has come quickly this year. Perhaps the color of the leaves will soon catch up and this brief show of beauty will begin. (A beautiful time for a walk or ride through the metroparks)

So instead of hiding out inside, let’s enjoy the change of the seasons and get out with our families!

Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area:

Ongoing Events

 

Weekly Recurring Events

Monthly Recurring Events

November Events

The events marked “Free RSVP” do require advance registration, which may fill up quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip.

Enjoy your November!

October Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Well, the fall is revving up, and so are the fall activities. As the world changes color, one of the greatest events is simply to get outside and enjoy God’s artwork. The Cleveland Metroparks offer a greatly appreciated, and yet greatly underused, journey into the colorful world (with or without paved trails :o). They also offer a variety of free events all around the area, from tapping maple trees, to events in the nature centers.

So let’s enjoy the fall. Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area:

Weekly Recurring Events

Monthly Recurring Events

Ongoing Events

Events for October

Some of those events do get filled up pretty quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip. Happy Awesome October in Cleveland!

September Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

As a father, I am excited to lead my family to know Christ and reflect him as a family as the Holy Spirit works in our lives to make us more like Himself. As a man, I know that I can be lazy and selfish, wanting to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Any good is truly due to the Holy Spirit’s work in me.

Part of following Christ is to choose to flee from temptation (including the temptation to do my things, or just to rest, when I should be spending time investing in family and others).

One thing that can help is to get away from the house, and be able to focus on my family. These times away cut the distractions and make a great investment in family.

To that end, I am grateful for my amazing wife keeping track of the various (repeating) events we have enjoyed through the years. Here are some of the (free or very inexpensive) family events that are coming up in the Cleveland area in September. We may not be at all of them (some quiet, down time is also precious), but these are events that have blessed us that we will be considering for this month.

Ongoing Events

  • Library Events – See library listings near you (FREE)
  • Metropark Events – See the Metroparks event schedule, or just go take a walk in the woods or path or visit a nature center (Rocky River Nature Center has a lot to do, as do other nature centers)

 

Weekly Recurring Events

 

Monthly Recurring Events

  • 1st Saturday Home Depot Children’s Workshop (FREE w/ RSVP)
  • 2nd Sunday Cleveland Museum of Art Family Day (FREE)
    • Canceled in June for Parade the Circle (Wonderful FREE event)
  • 1st Wednesday Mad Scientists – Bay Village Library (Free w/ RSVP)
  • Chinese Story Times
  • Last Tuesday Volunteers of America half price day

 


 

9/1

  • Home Depot Children’s Workshop (1st Sat of each month) FREE w/ RSVP

9/1,2,3

  • Air show (Labor Day weekend) FREE to look at the sky, paid to go in
    • You can’t hide an air show!. Park nearby and look to the skies. (Especially for the Blue Angels precision flying team!)

9/5

9/7

9/8

9/9

9/11

  • Women/Children’s BSF 9:20am at Grace CMA FREE
  • Men/School Age BSF 6:55pm at Parma Heights Baptist Church FREE
    • Men’s BSF is usually on Monday night. This week only is on Tuesday for the first week of the new study.

9/13

9/15

9/21

  • young Explorers: Collage Art – Grades K-5 Berea library 10 a.m. FREE

9/22

  • Chinese church Chinese storytime 4 p.m. (every Saturday) FREE w/ RSVP

9/28

9/29

9/30

Perhaps we will see you with your family at one of these fun events!

Do you have another favorite event? Please share it in the comments below.

A Love Letter to My Boys

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

   his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

   great is your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

Dear E. & I.,

I am so delighted to call you both my sons! What a privilege to be your mom! No matter what happens in the future, I wanted to make sure you know Baba(爸爸 means “daddy”in Chinese) and I love you so very much! We do what can to prepare for the worst but have total peace to know God is trustworthy and His plans are far better and sovereign.

I am not sure whether or when you will actually read this letter, but simply pausing to think about what I most want to share with you helps me gain perspective on life. How I choose to live today matters to God’s eternal plan. Knowing God’s desire gives me great pprov1717assion and caution in my walk with the Lord. His mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). As you both can testify, I made a lot of mistakes and didn’t do everything right. If you fail or are in a difficult situation, don’t allow the enemy to trick you into believing lies. Resist the temptations by the power of the Spirit through reading and applying God’s Word! Allow His Word and the trials to exam your hearts as He has done to mine numerous times. He is ALWAYS faithful! We pray that you two are there for each other for good and bad times! It’s always fun to watch you two play together happily or reconcile peacefully.

Initially, Baba and I set up this blog out of a desire to give you a spiritual legacy when we are gone, or at least help to get our mindset fixed on the Kingdom above as we raise you. But you might even be gone before us if it is the Lord’s will. This legacy is not from us and not just for you! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) What a perfect Father we have! Our heart and mind are so empowered by the Heavenly legacy from our Father above, to all nations, all families! We definitely pray for God’s protection over you physically and spiritually. It saddens and scares me tremendously to think about losing you, both or either, for whatever reason. However, it grieves me even more when thinking about any chance of not seeing you, or my relatives and friends in Heaven. Continue reading

Homiletics Post 3 of 3: Examples, Tweaks & Additions

Previous related posts: Part 1 of 3: “My story”, Part 2 of 3: “What is Homiletics?”

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
Colossians 3:16a

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica;
they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:11

In the previous posts, I shared my story and when and how I started learning homiletics. Like me, you may tweak this design or add to it as you get more into God’s Word and see what helps you to draw near to him. As I have done my own homiletics and read more about homiletics, I also have added sections to my homiletics, but still use the above mentioned plan as my base.

I gained a lot from “Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages“ by Haddon Robinson, which was recommended by my pastor as a main book used in seminaries. From reading this book, I added a section to my homiletics which further broke down each Division into a Subject, Compliment, Idea, Application and Principles. I further broke down the Application sections into “What does this teach about God?” and “How does this impact my life?”.This also gives mom and I areas for deeper spiritual discussions and applications as we both love God’s Word.

When I was learning, I know that examples were as, if not more, helpful than explanation. My homiletics for John 2 make for a fairly clear and complete example. More examples, as well as glimpses into what God was teaching me at the time, are available here: Revelation, John. You can also copy my template, which I update as I think of new areas that would be helpful. (Again, mine are not the best homiletics, and I have grown over time. Don’t let mine limit or intimidate you.)


A word of caution & insight

Develop your own style, don’t just copy mine – I encourage you to develop your own style. Part of the growing for me has been in tweaking my homiletics sheet as I learn more about God and His Word and see ways that would help me to focus to know him even more. It’s all about the process!

Viewing others homiletics – I am hesitant to include the links to my homiletics other than one example for John 2. I don’t want them to be something you look at first, but as you are doing homiletics yourself, sometimes it is fun to discuss yours and see others. I also want to have them available for if I am gone, so you can see a glimpse into your dad’s journey before you. I would enjoy seeing your homiletics as well, and to see how the Lord is speaking to you!


Remember, the goal is to draw near to God through His word, not to simply have an academic understanding of the Bible. Pray that God would open your eyes to see Him and His truths and applications in His Word.

May the Word of God dwell in you richly!

Dad

Note to Others: In keeping with the purpose of our site, this is a letter to our kids and grandkids to leave as a legacy if something should happen to us. If you find any benefit, praise God!