Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bits & Pieces from Japan

My little windowsill garden has grown a bit. My pink roses finished blooming - at least for now but there is some new growth. My hyacinth has bloomed a beautiful deep purple and we have added a little daisy plant. Don't know if any of you have ever watched "Keeping Up Appearances" on BBC. The three sisters are Rose, Hyacinth & Daisy. So in honor of a show that gave us many laughs, here is my KUP Garden.

Steve and I were out shopping the other day in a large mall. I was on the hunt for some fuzzy yarn and he for tennis shoes. We found both at the AL Plaza Mall in Kyotanabe. While we were wandering around we came across this sign THREE MINUTES HAPPINESS. I have been teaching at the ladies Bible study about true joy found in the Lord. . . and in the book of Philippians so I just had to take a picture of this. I don't know what it was they were selling but I thought "wow, that is about all the world can offer." True and everlasting happiness (joy) is found only in Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary. The knowledge that His great love for me made Him pay for my sins with His life brings me great joy here and now and the fact that I will be "dwelling in the house of the Lord forever" - well, it can't get any better than that.

Graduation at Kyoto International University & Academy
March 20, 2010
Saturday, March 20, turned out to be a beautiful warm day for the graduation ceremonies for both the KI University and High School. Even tho' I only vaguely knew a few of the kids, the minute I heard Pomp and Circumstance tears came to my eyes. I remembered the past graduations of our girls, sons-in-law and our first granddaughter Allison and I had more than three minutes of happiness. Then I realized that we will miss Allison's graduation from Montana Wilderness School of the Bible this May and my tears of joy became tears of sadness. So I will say "Congratulations" to her now from Papa Steve and Grandma.

We are looking forward to the cherry blossoms that should be coming out in the next week or two. Maybe by Easter there will be pink blossoms everywhere to remind us of the New Birth.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day from Japan

We arrived here in Japan on February 9 and we just celebrated our first holiday. Sunday was Valentines Day, as well as being our first Sunday here in Ikoma at Friendly Chapel. During Sunday School we attended an English language class taught by our host's (Jim & Barbara Blocksom) daughter Joelle. There we learned that Valentines Day is celebrated differently here. It is the girls who give or make chocolates for their special someone. Personally I like the USA way - WE GET THE CHOCOLATES. I explained that in America we exchange gifts. Steve did get me some yummy Japanese chocolates and I sent him an E-card. I forgot to buy one in the states before we left and I don't know where to get one here. After learning tho' that I was suppose to give him chocolate I just had to share my chocolates with him.

Today, Monday, February 15 we had to go to the Ikoma City Hall and registered as "aliens". Once again we had to have passport photos taken so that we can get our alien ID. The ID is like a drivers license with our picture and info on it so we don't have to carry around our passports all the time. Of course actually getting the ID will require another trip to City Hall to pick up the card. We are learning that anything official takes more than one trip to the required office.

We have had a visit from our Japanese son Hiro. He came this past weekend and stayed overnight and attended church with us. It was wonderful to see him again and he and Steve got in about 8 or 10 games of ping pong.

Steve has taken a big step and has driven a car. He says it isn't too hard to drive on the opposite side of the road. The only problem was that the instrument panel is also reversed and so he kept turning on the windshield wipers instead of the blinkers. Barbara said that was OK because she kept doing the same thing when she was in the US and driving a US car. For her everything was reversed. (She and Jim have been here in Japan for more than 40 years.)

We continue to be stretched and sometimes it is overwhelming and painful but. . .others may assist us, but only God can sustain us and so we will continue to claim Psalm 25:1 "to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul."

Friday, November 13, 2009

JAPAN 2009
(Surprised by God)

Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God."

(We can be sure that every detail of our lives of love for God is worked into something good. TM)

Oswald Chambers says . . . God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can't understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose.

What started out as a class assignment for the Women's School of Ministry I am taking turned into an adventure full of surprises. First, I reconnected with some old friends that Steve and I had met when we went to Japan 6 years ago. This blessed my heart very much. But, I became involveed with some new friends that are not yet "Kingdom" friends but quickly became heart friends. This took me by surprise and I came to love these new friends deeply and I have a great desire for them to give their heart to Jesus so that they are not just my heart friends but my "forever" family. We dubbed them the Joy Luck Club.

Here is Beverly Rivers and Yoshi Hanks with our "Joy Luck Club".

The other thing that took me by surprise was that even tho' Beverly (a wonderful gospel singer), Helen Shopp (my pastor's wife) and I never collaborated about what we'd be sharing, God wove it all together into a wonderful ministry that encouraged and supported what we had come hoping to do. Then when Steve arrived 2 weeks later and Beverly and Helen flew home, that ministry just continued on. Now together, as husband and wife, we met and shared with the same people. Steve gave the message at the Mino Grace Bible Church on Sunday, Oct 11. This was a clear and to the point message of the need to place your trust in Christ and Christ alone, that He is the one and only God and Savior - there is no other. There sitting in the congregation were many of our new heart friends coming to see a man who could play his harmonica and guitar at the same time and to see a puppet play. However, they also heard about the love of Christ and the offer of salvation with the encouragement to do it now while they have the time.

I might mention also that another surprise for Steve and I was that we met, for the first time, his cousin Gregg Hutton and family who have been missionaries in Kyoto Japan for 25 years. Also, we were able to spend a week with our Japanese "son" Hiro and family seeing some surprising and new and beautiful sights of Japan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

70th Anniversary & Family Reunion

We just got back from a wonderful family reunion/70th wedding anniversary celebration. Steve's parent, Hyatt & Betty Moore celebrated 70 years of marriage on May 6 and on June 23 through June 26 we met at the Dana Point Marina Inn for a reunion. This was the first time that everyone was all together. Mom and Dad have 5 children (Hyatt III, Steve, Lynnel, Sue & Lori) who in turn are all married and have children. And. . .Hyatt, Steve & Lynnel all have grandchildren. So the total number gathering together was 70. It was a wonderful time getting reacquainted and acquainted with those we hadn't met before (brand new babies & new husbands). We even published our very own Moore Cook Book from contributions from the whole family. Sprinkled throughout the book are pictures of the family, a poem and antidotes about what it was like at meal time at the Moores. This will be a treasured book for sure. On June 27 we all reassembled at Rolling Hills Covenant Church for a reception for the folks. There were many many many friends in attendance. I never got a head count but the place was full. All of us in the Moore Clan put on a program honoring our folks and giving praise to God for His goodness for such a family as this. Steve even wrote a couple of songs in their honor. One required Kleenex which we supplied at each table. The other left us laughing. As it has been said in the past "no one knows how to throw a party like the Moores" still holds true today.

We had wonderful times playing games in the conference room at the Dana Point Marina Inn where we were all staying for the week.

The Penny Auction. This is one way to pass on some of Mom's things to the next generation. It is also called downsizing.

A beautiful day at the park by the beach.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In Roars March

Today we woke up to snow. It seems that it crept in silently last night while we slept. We have been having some wonderful rains lately, but this snow was a bit of a surprise. Yesterday was a day of heavy, heavy rain, with a black sky resounding its thunder: a very good day to stay in by the fire, read a good book with a cup of coffee in hand. I, on the other hand, went outside to listen to the thunder. And while I was at it, I watched with trepidation as the large oak trees swayed in the wind. It brought to mind Psalm 29:3...the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters and Psalm 104 (a Hymn to the Creator) verse 4. . .He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. What a powerful God we have and yet what a loving God we have. One who want my fellowship & my love. All I can do is stand amazed. Hope your day was touched by the God of thunder, the God of love.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Silly Papa Steve with Isabel & Acacia Worsley

We recently took a short trip down to Palos Verdes to see Steve's folks. For people in their 90's they are doing great. (I will post a picture of them later.) We left Sonora Sunday afternoon after church and got to PV by supper time and stayed until Tuesday afternoon. Then we drove to Jason & Heather's place in Canyon Country for a brief visit - well it was brief for Steve because he had to leave the next day for Sonora. I on the other hand had the wonderful privilage to staying for a week. Here is a picture of Steve and the girls in the back yard. They were playing "Pirate". Steve was the caption and Isabel and Acacia were his maties and they were finding buried treasure all over the yard (they were picking up their toys; sneaky way to get them to clean up huh?) It was one of the last dry days we had. The rest of the week was rainy off and on. That was OK tho' because I had a wonderful visit with everyone and then on Friday afternoon until Sunday evening I was honored with caring for all 4 kids while Jason and Heather took a little
R & R to Pismo Beach. While the parents were away we ate Mac & Cheese in front of the TV watching Wall-E; we stayed up after 8:00 pm; had monkey faced cupcakes for dessert and exercised to a hula DVD. All in all we had lots of fun. I then took the train home to Modesto on Tues, Feb 17. Well, first an Amtrak bus over the snow covered hills of the Grapevine to Bakersfield and then the train from Bakersfield to Modesto. Steve was there to greet me and take me out to dinner and then home to Sonora.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Memorial Day

Today is January 31, 2009. Eleven years ago today my mother, Marion Mae Colby, entered into her final rest. Steve and I had been gone all day to a church related conference and arrived home at 9:45 pm. As I walked in the door the phone rang and it was my brother calling from mom’s place to say that mom had just died. She had been in very poor health for a long time and on hospice the last few months. So it wasn’t a surprise -- and yet, it was. We are never quite ready when that call comes.

In 1987 she had a stroke, which left her changed in both body and spirit and personality. Nevertheless she loved me and I loved her to the end. But I think back most fondly of the woman who taught me to bake a pie, who gave me a love for reading and who encouraged me in everything I did. She was a friend, not just a mom. We would often laugh, discuss the books we’ve read, overindulge in donuts with a hot cup of coffee and just enjoy each other’s company.

And she was such a happy grandma! She just loved our 3 daughters to pieces. The love would bubble up inside so much that she would smile and then grit her teeth to prevent herself from hugging them to death. She'd say, “I just love them so much it is a wonder I have any teeth at all!” She was blessed to get to see 3 of her great grandchildren -- and she still had her teeth! And, she thought Steve was the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Marion Mae Turnbull Colby was a quiet, steady rock. She took whatever life threw at her with a calm dignity. Her complaints were few. I remember going to visit her in the hospital after a grueling 12 hour surgery. It was the first year I was married. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to see her because of fear of infection and so I didn’t go to the hospital right away. A few days later my father stopped by the apartment where Steve and I were living and scolded me for not going to see mom. I told him that I wasn’t allowed to see her, but he just replied, “Nonsense, she needs you!” So that day I drove over to the hospital, put on the required gown and went on in. She looked at me with a big smile on her face and told me, as she had told me so many times before, “That’s OK honey, I understand!" I cried, but she just smiled and patted my hand.

I remember one time when I was commissioned to sew a wedding dress, veil, and all the bridesmaids’ dresses. What a daunting task and I had great fear. The first cut on the beautiful satin nearly brought me to tears. As I got each new part of the wedding dress done, I would take it over to mom’s (she was living in an Adult Foster Care Home by this time) and show it to her. I'd let her feel the satin, see the lace and beads and hang it up so she could see the full length of the dress. She would always exclaim how beautiful it was and what a wonderful job I was doing. After the wedding I brought her pictures of the day, the bride, bridesmaids, and the handsome groom.

As her life began to ebb she would sometimes say, “I wish I could just die!" She missed my father very much. He had passed away 15 years earlier, in 1983. Her pain and discomfort were getting to be too much and she was tired of being trapped in a wheelchair. She was ready to go. And so, in one burst of pain from an aneurysm, she was gone. At the age of 81 she entered into eternity, and because she knew Christ as her Savior, she found herself home with Him forever more.

I love you mom. I will see you in the morning!