Thursday, June 26, 2014

For the first time

I have been learning a few things in the past couple of years about depression.  I have never experienced it myself.  However, it seems many people around me, especially here in Japan, have experienced it.

One of my friends from church is one of those people.  When she first came to church she was at one of the lowest points of her life.  Yet, God drew her to Himself.  Thankfully, we were just across the street from her apartment!

Since that time she has gone through many ups and downs.  She has learned about Jesus, His love, His sacrifice, His free gift of salvation and eternal life.  She has been quite consistent in attending church, even through times when she did not want to do so.

The transformation in her life is nothing short of a miracle.  We are all praising God together as we see the joy and peace in her life grow daily.

Last week she told me that for the first time in her life she truly does not want to die.  She is not afraid to die, she said.  But, really actually has a desire to live now.

Praise God for transformation!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flowers, sunsets, and other random things

I want to try to stay in the habit of writing once a week or so.  However, the past two weeks have just disappeared.  By the time I sit down in front of my computer in the evening all I really want to do is turn it off and go to bed.  (Which is another discipline I need to work on!!)

So, I am just going to share a few photos of nature I have taken recently.  Spring is so lovely in Japan as the flowers start blooming and we are reminded that winter does not last forever.

The clouds lifting after the rain.
This is the view from my front veranda.

The sunset over the bay.
This is the view from my back veranda- although I can't quite
see the sun, so I had to go down the hall so I could see it!

Sunset from the train.
I am sure the people around me were wondering what I was doing.
I was waiting for this specific place, iPhone in hand.
The sun is just behind a pole in the center of the picture.

My friend Yuri, her name means lily.
We went to a lily garden last week.

So many wonderful colors!

Field of yellow

Working on the selfie thing.

Enjoying mango ice cream
These roses came from a church member's garden.
She has a much greener thumb than I do!

Monday, June 2, 2014


The view from my veranda on a clear day
Mondays are my day off.  I often get together with friends or go downtown or go ride roller coasters or sometimes have meetings.

Today I had the day to myself.  I talked to three people and probably said a total of 50 words.  It was lovely!

I spent the morning cleaning my veranda, the one that runs the width of my apartment and is where I hang my laundry, watch the trains go by, and sit for quiet time sometimes.  I scrubbed and scrubbed and may have even gotten a little sun.

As I finished up the last corner and turned to look at the results of my work, I had a thought.  I enjoyed cleaning today.  One of the reasons, besides the fact that I don't have to worry about dropping my clean clothes in the dirt, is I could SEE what I had accomplished.  The results were obvious and fairly quick.

Ministry is very different.  I often don't see what is being accomplished.  What I think should be happening is often not happening, or at least in the time frame I think it should happen.  The results are often very different from what I expected or thought I was working toward.

So, every once in a while it is nice to have a day where I can see what was accomplished.  I feel successful.

Then God sits down with me for dinner and reminds me what true success is.  I will keep having my days of obsessive cleaning, however, I think I will stick with God's idea of success.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your mind.  Love your neighbor as yourself.