Sunday, December 7, 2014

Advent Reading



One of my advent readings from Jane Rubietta's Finding the Messiah this week included this:

Dear one, 
I remember. 
I cannot forget you; 
You are engraved on my hands, 
Tattooed on my heart. 
I’ve been watching out for you 
And watching for you 
Every day of your life. 
I remember your pain; 
I know your disappointments, 
Your sadness, 
All the almosts and not- quites 
Of your life. 
I see how you show up, 
Trying to be faithful, 
To cover all the bases before you, 
And that sometimes, oftentimes, 
There’s not enough of you to go around 
And you can’t get everything done. 
And here’s the truth: 
I rejoice in you 
No matter what. 
But in this season of “I remember,” 
You remember, too: 
In your normal day, 
Your normal job, 
I am with you.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Just in Case...

The big reveal!
Well, my thanksgiving blogs got set aside because of some international travel.  In case you haven't heard, I am enjoying my mom's birthday and American Thanksgiving with my family this year!

My sister and I have had a fun time planning this surprise for months!  I am not sure if my parents were more surprised that I showed up or that my sister kept a secret for that long!  

We have been having a fun time talking and laughing, eating and cooking together.  We are also enjoying the anticipation of a gaggle of relatives showing up tomorrow to join in the festivities.


A few have already arrived...

Dinner time

Monday, November 17, 2014

Elevators

I really want to talk about something else tonight, but it will have to wait because I am too tired and it is long! I am excited to share that thankful point soon.

I only have a picture looking down.  I don't have any pictures
of my building from down below looking up!
Tonight as I was coming up to my apartment in the elevator, I thought, "I am thankful for this elevator."

First of all, I am thankful for the elevator because it means I do not have to climb 9 flights of stairs to get to my apartment.  (I only have to climb one.  The elevator doesn't stop on every floor so I get out on the 8th floor and climb up to the ninth.  I don't know; I didn't design it, I just live here!)

Second, I am thankful for the elevator because it fulfills a childhood dream to live in an apartment building where I have to go up to my apartment in an elevator.  I am not kidding!  When I was a kid and we watched the Jeffersons, I always secretly wished I lived in a building with an elevator.  (We didn't watch it often because we had a limited TV viewing allowance/week and had to rotate between favorite shows.)

In fact, when I was in about second grade, I used my birthday money to buy a Barbie house, the one with the elevator, and I was jealous of Barbie getting to have an elevator.

I was raised in a small town in South Dakota.  There are not many buildings with elevators there.  I don't know where I thought I was going to live, but maybe I always knew I was not going to live there when I grew up.

Every place I have lived has had great points, but one of top points of this place for me is the elevator.

There I said it.  Now you have proof that I am just a little bit wacky!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

English Bible Study

Today at English Bible study only one student was able to attend.  We had a wonderful time talking about life and family and God's love.

As our time drew to a close, my student said, "The best present I ever received was Jesus.  I am not a good Christian, but He has walked with me and held my hand all of my life."

What an awesome testimony!  I am so thankful for those who take the time to share Jesus' love with others.  It leads to such testimonies!

I am thankful for the opportunity to study the Bible with this lady and others who share their wisdom and love for Jesus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Parks


I love the park just up the road from me.  I has lovely tree-lined walking paths, a water fountain, and lots of friendly people.  I often run through the park on my morning runs, however, during the summer I run exclusively in the park so that I can drink water without having to carry it.

Over the summer this year I discovered there is a group of people who do radio exercises every morning at 6:30.  I have joined them and really enjoy it.  Many of the participants walk the paths before the exercises start.  Although, now that it is getting cooler and the sun doesn't rise so early, many are waiting until after exercises to walk.  That is when I have started running, too, actually!

I love running past people and greeting them.  Now that I have joined the exercise time, people know I can speak Japanese and have lived here for quite some time.  I think that gives them more of a willingness to greet me.

One of the men who has lived in the area the longest said that the park used to be a pond and a plum tree orchard.  There is a pond in the park now, but it is in a different location!  I am not sure how they moved the pond, but they did.  There are ducks that winter in the pond and a pheasant who makes his presence known every once in a while.

A couple of mornings ago the clouds turned pink as the sun was rising and the full moon was setting. It was really beautiful, and impossible to capture with a camera.  But, I wrote this haiku as I was walking home...

early morning sun
full moon swallowed by pink clouds
jogging in the park

Come visit and I will take you to meet my new friends at the park!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

God's Presence

A quick post tonight as it is already late and I have preaching responsibilities at two churches tomorrow...

I am thankful for God's presence, constant and steadfast.  Jesus promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us.  What an awesome promise!

This was on my flip calendar today...

Sometimes the loveliness of God's presence comes in the midst of pain.  Madeleine L'Engle

How true!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Every Year

Every year when I do my month of Thanksgiving Anointed Gospel Choir makes the list.  Since they have become part of my family (See this post for last month's comment on AGC), I guess that merits a spot!

This evening we had a karaoke party.  Around half of the members were able to attend.  We had a great time singing and eating together with lots of laughter!

Music is definitely a great mood changer!  I wasn't in a bad mood before I went, but I feel even more uplifted after our time together.  I was exhausted from a long day, however, feel refreshed after singing with these friends.

I am thankful for AGC and the way our lives have intersected.  I am looking forward to more fun times together!