Shanghai Twilight

This is Legare’s third published book. It is a good story and the historical setting of Shanghai, China in 1932 makes it a good read. I am a historian but my knowledge of China in this period is rudimentary. However, Legare seems to have it right. Japan and China had several brawls starting in 1894, culminating in full invasion in 1937. The 1932 incident was short-lived, just two months.

In this story, Tom Lai, an American born Chinese, has made a name for himself by owning the best night club in the city, the Club Twilight. His success did require deals with the (real)  Green Gang lead by Big-Eared Tu (real). The Green Gang hunted for spies for the government (real) and the fictional Tom was suspected because papers were passed inside his club. Tom was given 48 hours to discover the real spy or be executed as the spy.

It’s a good plot and Legare has stuffed in plenty of kinks and twists. My only complaints are that there are too many typos and the style is heavy-handed at times. Perhaps a better description would be that his voice lakes polish. He also uses phrases that work in American English but are unlikely in Shanghainese. Still, good read.

Mike Lawrence

The Lord is My Shepherd

By Jeswin Thomas

 

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

Psalm 23

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!

Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your homeTLB

 

I scrolled through Bible Gateway looking for a version of Psalm 23 that might appear fresh. It is, after all, one of the most familiar passages for both Jews and Christians. It is read at funerals every day all over the world. It brings peace and comfort to millions.

Why is it part of today’ readings?

John records the event of Jesus giving physical sight to a man born blind; or as Jesus puts it, But while I am still here in the world, I give it my lightTLB The blind man became an illustration of the power of following God. Jesus is light and he gave light to the blind man. We read in verse 1 above, I have everything I need! Why? Because the Lord is my Shepherd. The only way we can see is to follow God always.

There are three elements in this world that make it possible for a person to get things done: knowledge, physical force, and money. The person who has all three has the potential to become great. Look at King Saul. If you read Samuel, you will see the man Saul following God and building up a great Kingdom. But he began to turn away from God, believing that he knew more than God.

Knowledge is the collection of information. Wisdom is knowing how to use that information. In 1939, Hitler had what was the finest collection of military commanders in the world. But he refused to listen to them, instead choosing to do what he thought was politically best and ended up getting his country destroyed.

A better illustration would be Paul who thought he knew that the followers of Yeshua were opponents of God and needed to be eliminated. Once Paul met Yeshua face-to-face, he learned how important it is to wait for the Wisdom of God. The information did not change. God gave him the Wisdom to understand that information.

We, at this writing, are facing a long period of wait-and-see with COVID-19. No one knows how many will die. But we also are in the valley of death economically as businesses face the prospect of bankruptcy. Jobs will be lost and it will be the poor who generally have none of the three sources of power mentioned above who will suffer the most.

Stay focused on God and His Word. If I die it will be in his hands.

 

Read my earlier comments on this theme here and here.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence