Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Things of Some Significance

I can't find my camera battery charger.

I can't take photos until I find a new battery charger somewhere.

I can't buy printer ink for my printer here.

I can't find computer paper or file folders.

I'm surprised to enjoy serving our local PWOC as an Interim Children's Ministry Coordinator….I'm gleaning lots of great new teaching illustrations for down the road. ::snort:: Yes, gals who've served with me in the past, you read that right. It's not ME - it's GOT TO BE a work of GOD in my life, as teaching groups of others' little children has not been my thing in the past.

There are big birds that honk like geese flying over our home. This happened last night and this a.m. They always head in the same direction - away from this northern tip of Honshu. Can this be a sign that winter is coming? I wonder what the birds are….big ducks, geese, cranes….

FIVE women from our base are flying to Hawaii on Friday (We are also flying away from the Northern tip of Honshu ::snort::). Please pray for our travels, our relationships, our families at home, and our time away with Jesus. We will be attending the Pacific Region's PWOC (women's ministry) conference. The new Asia Region of PWOC will be birthed at this conference. God is moving.

I put a roast and veggies in my crock pot on low at 6:40 a.m. At 6:00 p.m., the veggies were still crunchy. I suspect voltage and the low setting….maybe I need to use the high setting while we are here - what will that do to yogurt making?

I can't find a live yogurt culture, but Deja reminded me of yogamet or some such thing.

I've been blessed with good friends….both in TX, in Japan, in cyber land and all over the world.

However, calling good friends at 1 a.m. is not advisable. ::snort:: Sorry, Deja, Beth, and Julie….I can only rejoice that no one picked up the phone and I'm being much more careful this week.

I plan to order a "few" things I NEED from the TX co-op and have them shipped here….my way of working around a commissary that seems content to say, "We're the end of the AFES line, we get what the other bases don't want". Humph….


Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Misawa Air Show 2009 (Sunday)

This is a HUGE gathering. The estimates from yesterday are nearly 1/2 a million spectators. Folks drive from all over Northern Japan to attend. There were even visitors from other islands and Tokyo.

We ended up with a strange dynamic at this Air Show - we divided. We had trouble finding info on times, routes etc….Mike went in at 6 a.m. His HOPE was to beat the crowds and then call us with the time for the Thunderbirds. He didn't beat the traffic.

The traffic was WILD. When the kids and I drove in it took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to drive about 2 miles. ::snort:: Jared tried to find wifi connections while the rest occupied themselves playing the alphabet game…which is challenging in Japan. ::snort:: I occupied myself with driving.

We did finally meet up with Mike. I loved this air show. What I have least liked at recent air shows is HEAT, long lines, the inability to bring our own food and drinks….I was shocked that there was NO checkpoint to get on to the base or the flight line. BUT I was happy. The weather was gorgeous. No chance of heat stroke (Jared at the San Antonio Air Show). AND everyone had coolers and had brought food in. I'll remember this for next year.

There was only one big demo team - the Thunderbirds. What fun to watch them with a Japanese audience who isn't jaded about such things. They ohed and ahhed…and clapped….and WOW the cameras they pulled out. Jared especially loved being able to see over the crowd to the flight line. ::snort::

The food was eclectic. Many Japanese families stocked up on "American Pizzas", baked good and hotdogs. We enjoyed yakiniku, yakisoba, "French fries", and Cadinimun (????). This latest was ALMOST Sio Pao (childhood favorite from the Philippine Islands). I discovered it by stalking a nice Japanese gentleman who had some. It took a bit of pantomime to explain that I'd like to know where he got it and what it was called. LOL I was thrilled. It's the same dough/dumpling thing….with meat in the middle (not sure what type). Instead of an enclosed dumpling, it looked like a folded taco on steroids…but tasted oh so good.

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This view cracked us up.

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Can you tell what it is? Whenever the planes flew over all eyes and hands went up. Here's a closer view.

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Here’s a great view.

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A few shots of other spectators and eating offerings.

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After the air show we had dinner at the Mokuteki (or the kids did), then a joint chapel service (the last before we move in to our new chapel YeHAW!), and headed home.

Jared was thrilled that he got about an hour online. All in all it was a splendid day.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Intimacy Revisited (Tuesday)

I've shared; previously, God seems to reveal "words" - memorial stones - to me annually. These words are little clues to where God may take me and what He may teach me in the upcoming year. Listing them in the sidebar serves to remind me of the works of grace He's manifested in my life over the "recent" past. Yes, I've already sensed the word for next year. The last few months have not gone as planned (::snort::). I need to capture a few thoughts…without a lot of flowery speech. If I don't do it now, I fear I won't have life lessons captured anywhere (remember my journal and Bible were stolen).

This year, truths I've known "forever" have been made "real". Sometimes being real/authenticity hurts. Here are a few thoughts…..

Intimacy requires privacy, trust and vulnerability.

Intimacy with Christ, a daily, extravagant, genuine love relationship, is what God wants most from me and for me.

Often times of great intimacy follow times of great turmoil, unrest, instability or suffering.

Intimacy requires solitude. Luke portrays Jesus, Himself, consistently seeking out solitude. I must cultivate, set aside, time for SILENCE. Too much noise and activity in my life is the enemy of intimacy.

God wants me to pursue Him.

He pursues me and will go to great lengths to arrange my life so that I have times of solitude with Him (revisit a stolen van, a husband on a separate continent….).

Nothing else in my life is as vital as intimacy with Christ. NOTHING!

Intimacy often leads to a pruning of outside activities and relationships…as THIS relationship grows and takes over more of my attention.

We must choose carefully what/who we will become intimate with. Intimacy, of all kinds, leads to places we may not envision.

Intimacy often leads to fruitfulness….in His way and in His time.

Intimacy's heart cry, is the cry of the apostle Paul. "I count all things to be loss in view of (or comparison with) the SURPASSING VALUE OF KNOWING (being intimate with) Christ Jesus my Lord. " (Phil 3:8)

The above are a few life lessons that God has lovingly shared with me this year. I have read, rather hit and miss, Oswald Chamber's, "My Utmost for His Highest" for decades. I try to find new devotionals and always come back to this one….but as I say…rather hit and miss.

This past week, I unpacked this gem and set it by the toilet (hmmmm…. What's with this recurring toilet theme?). The last few days' readings have eloquently stated the cry of my heart in recent weeks.

"A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ's own…someone who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work. He calls us to Himself. 'Pray the Lord of the harvest,' and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer." (Based on Matt 9:38)16 Oct.

"The greatest enemy of Christ is "work"…This work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God…..The central point of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others."

Mr. Chambers goes on to write that the great benefit of the Bible Training College (where he taught) was not in its many Christian activities…but in allowing its students the opportunity to be "immersed in the truths of God, to soak in them before Him." (Based on Luke 17:20-21) 19 Oct.



Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Rice Revisited (Saturday)

I have previously blogged about the rice fields near our home.

This is harvest season. We've been following the progress with great interest during our morning walks and runs. Peeee-EWWWWW….. when the fields are clear they burn and put really rank smelling manure down….

This has yet to happen directly across from us, but I'm sure it is coming. We've seen it in fields on our drive to base and back.

Across from us the fields have turned from green to yellow. The paddies have been allowed to dry out for a few weeks.

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Saturday a man and woman turned up to cut the rice.

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After the field is cut, they tie it into bundles and leave it standing in the field to dry. What happens if it rains? Hmmm…

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Jared read the next step is threshing the rice from these dried stalks. FINALLY, it is sent to a shop to be polished and bagged.

I was excited to find big bags of rice at the Farmer's Market. YOWZER the price was incredible. It was the equivalent of a bit more than $90 for 25 - 30 lbs. I suppose I'd best keep buying it in the 1lb bags from the commissary. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Toilet Slippers (Friday)

Our lease says we will not wear shoes in our home.

I love this, really. The idea is not to mar the carpet or the wood floor. For me, I've discovered that there is something truly symbolic about leaving your "work" shoes at the door and donning fuzzy slippers.

Our entry
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We have very slick wood floors (and steep stairs). I have been on the look out for slippers. Mike and I and the older two were able to find great slippers at the BX. We could find nothing for the little ones.

The other day while at Sanwado (think Wal-Mart), I was able to find 98 yen slippers. What a STEAL. I picked up three pairs for the little ones.

I was rewarded with squeals of delight at home. "Mine have Minnie on them!"

"Mine have angels on them!"

"Mine have a boy going to the toilet on them!"

"WHAT?"

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::snort:: Ah…toilet slippers. Many homes here have slippers that are housed outside of the bathroom and used only to go into the toilet….I unintentionally bought the kids toilet slippers…. But they work.


Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...

My Roaster (Saturday)

I've been a bit sad to find that I only brought one teapot and two teacups. WHAT was I thinking? I also didn't bring a lot dishes. I remember that Bobbie Jo suggested I leave everything I didn't need in storage and buy things in Japan. GREAT idea….I plan to buy some teapots and tea cups here.

I NEED a roaster. I've had my eye on the Pampered Chef roaster for years but would never spend the $.

I was in Homac Saturday, looking for shelves and a roaster, and found THIS. I'm not sure what it's meant to cook. I had to figure out how to ask if it could go in the oven, because I couldn't read the box, and the ladies said it would be o.k.

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Isn't it great? It's big, worked great and is Japanese….and cheaper than what I was looking at in America. I'm satisfied. There are matching small dishes I can buy to go with it….maybe they're for rice or ramen? I could do a whole post about the great dishes around here.

Kim, I'll be emailing you the box so you and Ryu can tell me if there are any special care instructions I should know about. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...