Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day of Thanks

This year I spent Thanksgiving with family and friends in SD. The day started with the traditional Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade viewing and running into the kitchen to check on the sweet potatoes during commercial breaks. Then we headed over to our friends' house. These friends and their entire extended family have adopted my family since we don't have any relatives here in South Dakota. A very few times while I was growing up we spent Thanksgiving with relatives, usually it was with the Sims' family.

Here is one of the three tables set up for the 40 guests!

We had lots of fun eating, talking, watching football (American football), bowling, eating and talking some more. Here are three of my little friends who enjoyed the Japanese candy I brought as well as learning how to write their names in Japanese.

It was a great day! I am truly grateful for my family, friends, faith, and so many other things that I won't take time today to list them all.

Of course, being in the US meant I didn't get to spend the day with my mission family. I am grateful for technology and the chance to see and chat with them while they celebrated on the 23rd.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My favorite hymn of all time is "To God Be the Glory." (I do realize many people younger than 25 have no idea what a hymn is, but I love the old hymns as much as the 'new' worship music.:) The hymn is written by Fanny Crosby who wrote over 8000 hymns. Today I was doing a little reading about her and found her first poem. It is pretty amazing for an 8 year old. By the way, Fanny was blind.

O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot, and I won't!

Just a little something to help you start to get into an attitude of gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thought from St. Ignatius

I am reading a book about Mother Teresa. It is filled with letters that she wrote to and received from her superiors as she was forming and serving as a Missionary of Charity in India. So much of what I have read has made an impact, but here is a recently read quote. This was written in a letter from Archbishop Perier quoting St. Ignatius.

"My only wish and desire, the one thing I humbly crave to have is the grace to love God, to love Him alone. Beyond that I ask for nothing more."

Oh to live with such a desire!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


As I have traveled around the upper midwest the past two months I have met many new people, shared numerous times about ministry in Japan, and stayed with a variety of people, some I have stayed with before and others were first timers. Overall, it has been a great home assignment so far.

A week ago I went to Minnesota and stayed with long-time friends. What a blessing those 6 days were!
I stayed with fellow missionaries...

Barb and I tried to buy out all of the tall-sized pants and jeans at Shopko.

I stayed with a college roommate...

We did a lot of fun things including a corn maze...
and breakfast with another roommate...

I also had dinner with another roommate...

She is also in ministry so we had a good time of sharing and encouragement.
Six of us lived together senior year so I have lots of college roommates!

And yesterday I got to visit with a best buddy from high school, junior high, elementary, well, since forever, right here in Madison.

I was reminded how blessed I am with such wonderful friends. Thank you, Jesus!