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."