Sunday, October 31, 2010

Intimacy on the Run


The greatest command is to love God wholeheartedly. Intimacy with God is my life’s priority, before serving His bride.  The Gospels inform us the second commandment  is “like the first,” – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  This is where acts of service, leadership and volunteering in PWOCI enter into my relationship with Christ. Service and love of others flow from intimacy with Christ. This command is important, it is “like the first,” but it is clearly SECOND. 


It is vital that I keep first things first. I am not primarily “Asia Region’s President.” I am foremost  a lover of God.  The “secret place,” the “garden tryst,” the “tent of meeting,” must be central in my life. I cannot create intimacy on the run. Yes, I can worship while I drive or workout at the gym…but if the totality of my intimacy with God is “on the run,” intimacy will wither. My relationship with Jesus will lack depth.

I once found myself in a season where I consistently treated my garden tryst with Jesus as a visit to the gas station. I filled up when the gauge was on empty. Not because I loved being at the gas station, but so I could get to what I really loved – the adventure of a road trip. I found myself, coming to Him in prayer and worship, to be filled up so I could pursue my first love, the adventure of serving the bride.

Jesus asks, “Am I your first love or is ministry your first love?”

“Am I your lover or your ministry partner?”

“Forgive me. You are the lover of my soul. You are my heart. Forgive me for the times when I try to exist with intimacy on the run. May I always love You more than Your precious bride.”

I am changed. I set the table with the bread and wine of His presence; I slow down, pull away and make a conscious choice to commune with Him. I settle in for private worship, study and simple silence in His presence… Intimacy is love enjoyed….to BE with Jesus, hear His heart and long for Him. The response of the heart of God is lavishly explosive when I set my heart to love Him above all else.

He invites us to a place of intimacy in the midst of our serving. Will you join Him? My prayer is that each of us pursues HIM above all else. He calls us first and foremost to love Him. 

*First shared at pwoc.org on Asia Region's page. 


Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Modesty Towels?

Has anyone been to this onsen? I have questions:
Yae-Kokonoe-No-Yu: Exquisite outdoor hot baths that overlook a tiered waterfall in a mountain setting. A little out of the way, but well worth the drive. Separate bathing side for women although they can also use the men's side, if desired. Those who do wear modesty towels. It's fun to sit in the pools as snow falls from above. Directions: 36 Yakeyama, Towadoko-machi City, Aomori Prefecture. Located 25 miles southwest of Misawa near the scenic Oirase Gorge. Part of the Komaki Hotel chain. Admission: 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for elementary school students and 100 yen for preschool children. Must bring towel. Hours: 10 a.m.-9:00 p.m. daily (must enter before 8:30 p.m.). 0176-74-1141.
Questions raised by this blurb:

  • Is it worth the drive? 
  • Anyone want to try it? 
  • What is a MODESTY TOWEL?
  • Would it really be modest enough to wear in the men's onsen? 
  • Are the men wearing modesty towels or are they au natural? 
  • Wondering if I could get my men folk to do a family onsen with towels. ::snort::  
  • Why would I WANT to sit in the men's onsen? 
If you're clueless about onsens, read this - or go to the top left of this blog, type "onsen" in the search engine and hit the magnifying glass to see any other entry that talks about onsens. LOL  Simply put - onsens are the "starting point of pleasure". LOL 


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Of Prince and Princesses

We had planned to go to the annual Rokkosho Salmon Festival today. 




I got up early and headed to the gym. I followed it with a trip to my Hirohata Onsen (my new favorite).  I was back home toned, cleansed and rested in time for us to round up kids and head out by 9:30 a.m. 


Unfortunately, our princess woke up sick. Yeah - I know what you are thinking but ALL are daughters are princesses - and they will tell you I'm the queen. ::snort::  Anyway, Michael decided it would be better to go ahead and have all of us stay home today. I had offered to stay with Stacia alone. We cleaned, we organized, we played games....I made a "kitchen sink soup"....turned out to be WONDERFUL, with lots of leftovers for lunches this week. We love soup weather. 


We've been talking about what to do with Prince Charming as the insect supply around here is dwindling. The kids did their research. We took him down to a local pond and released him......he quickly went about hunting. LOL

I'll miss the little guy's company. I MUST talk to someone while I cook...and Prince Charming was a great partner in the kitchen. ::snort:: It was also  entertaining to catch flies and feed them to him rather than splat them on the walls. Ewwww....Just Sayin.

Michael and Jared put this shelf together for the laundry room. It's GREAT....the grain buckets are on the bottom (3 of them anyway) and I had somewhere to put the Vitacost order. LOL


Mike's been busy putting shelves in our closet....just a wonderfully, boring, typical family day.....a joy to live.


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Early a.m. start as I talked through my workshop for the upcoming PWOCI Conference....mainly I keep having such a good time with Jesus in prep that I'm not making the forward momentum progress I want to see. Honestly, it's all VERY good and I'm content.  I  then sent out a bunch of Asia Region related emails and one or two related to International.....THEN.....we packed a picnic and headed to....Towada Horse Park


The Red Cone at the top left is the top of the roller slide, the yellow winding through the trees is part of the slide.....








We  were given great directions for a short cut that makes this about 35 min drive from our home....it was a gorgeous fall day and we had the park nearly to ourselves. We enjoyed sharing this treasure with Michael. 








Yes, I enjoyed this too. 

Mike and I walked in parts of the park I'd not explored.

 The kids played at the park down below. 

We watched for pictures in the clouds - haven't done that for years. 

We went in search of a geocache at Swan Park....had to leave when they wanted to lock the tower...so we'll look again later.....

I am  loving this STAYcation.....we've tried this before and it's never worked well.....but we've found the secret this time. Michael asked us to clear our calendars...and we did...of everything....usually we keep the essentials in the schedule. LOL  This has been heavenly. . . according to Mike and I. LOL 

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catching Up

Wednesday - Doctor F and I met again. I have agreed to begin taking Zocor again. Regardless of my weight loss, working out 6 days a week, fish oil etc etc....my numbers jumped 70 points. He was rather emphatic...I'll spare you the details. He gave me only 3 months and told me I will be back at the end of 3 months (I waited a year for these scheduled labs). 


Wednesday, while Michael checked in at the chapel, I visited with a friend who is home for a few weeks before spending Nov and Dec with her family in the states. Renee is always a huge encouragement and we talked through PWOCI workshops. 


TODAY - gym....more workshop prep (probably will continue in Dallas LOL)....Physical Therapy for Jared....we began to drive out of town and discovered the battery was dead...then we had to discover where the engine was in the van. I'd forgotten what the seller told me about the battery but remembered it was under a seat or something. LOL 
Ah - engine under the seats...no wonder they are warm....checking the oil. ::snort:: 


Where IS the battery? Would help to be able to read the manual. LOL 

Ah - the battery is under the ledge behind the driver's seat....

By the time we took care of this there wasn't time to go out of town. We headed to the post office on base....six packages of "vitamins" from Vitacost......Life is happy in Asia. 


We went bowling and then took Michael to Papagenos......Italian Buffet. 

Stacia actually ASKED...."May I have a bowl," as she stood at the Chocolate Fountain. Yes, her eyebrows are usually blonde. 

We headed to Sport's Authority and bought Nolan a pair of running shoes. I found these.....and for a brief moment I was taller than Arielle. 


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

My Name is NOT Stacia

Oy vey! The first to ever do this. She's been emphatically telling us her name is NOT Stacia. 

We patiently agreed her name is Anastacia Joy...it means resurrection joy....we chose her when the doctors suggested we make a different choice....she said, "But my nickname is NOT Stacia!"

Ah - this is simple. You can choose lots of nicknames.....Ana, Ann, Annie, Stacia, Stacey.....

"My nickname is DeANA". Um.....and thus it goes in our house. Seems Arielle's name is now Ellie!

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Teamwork

We had a down day yesterday.....doctor appointments and an appointment at work for Michael. 


Stacia has been begging to bake brownies or cookies with me and so we did....


I don't have my glasses on and am asking her "What does it say we have to add?" She is imaginative....I didn't realize what was going on until Arielle started laughing and snapping photos. 


She sprayed


She mixed...

She...um....tested for quality control...any girl that will eat a raw egg on a steak is not going to worry about brownie or cookie dough. 


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~

Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Mutsu and Back

We left our home at 0530. The mission was to arrive FIRST at Shipwreck Beach and find some glass floats. It was COLD and BLUSTERY....



Can you feel the wind and the biting cold? We didn't find floats. We did find some sea glass.



Just so you get a realistic image of looking for glass floats....in the trash. 

As the others warmed up in the van, Michael, Arielle and I took off to find a geocache. What a hoot. We had to snake around huge piles of shells, down a hillside...and along a construction site....then just as we climbed the top of the hill, a truck came along. They must be thinking, "Why do those Americans like to climb that hill????"  We found the cache. 

Here you see me falling.....and it's only included so kids won't gripe about their not so wonderful snaps. 

What a mess....we headed for the Asamushi Aquarium next.....the kids love this place. 

This sea lion just stays upside down all day...loved the sign.....note the English. 

Check out the sign below. ::snort:: 
Agreed....that would be a painful place to grow a hand. LOL 


We drove on up the bay to Aomori City to eat at the Surprise Donkey.....the kids also love this spot. Stacia totally surprised Michael by ordering an adult "hamburg steak" topped with a slightly cooked egg. We ordered chicken nuggets and fries "in case" - but she ate the entire thing...and loved it. 

Driving home we encountered SLUSH.....and it's 40* and dropping....I think winter may be on the way.....snow tomorrow or maybe just cold rain?????

We arrived home at 5:45 p.m. I sent a few Regional emails and had a ministry Skype conference. Heading to a WARM tub, I think.....oh wait....Stacia just ran past with the same idea. 

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Date "Night"

All the kids were pooped today. 


Mike and I decided to go on a date. We planned to geocache and then grab dinner. Stacia wanted to come. We used to take one child a month out on a date with us and this seemed like a good one to take her on. 


Off we went.......We didn't find the first one... a nano-cache in the midst of a bamboo grove...um...really? 

We did find a nice park and pond for Stacia to play at while we sat and talked. It turns out the next geocache was very close to the first. 


Found it....

Then it was off to dinner at Aburian......a new place for Michael. Stacia ate everything put before her...and more...platters of chicken, cheese rolls, grilled cabbage, beef.....they loved it. I sometimes forget what a magnet she is when we take her out in public. LOL 

Mike has plans for us to head to Shipwreck beach at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow.....oy vey...I've created a float monster. ::snort:: 


Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Every Gym Needs One



Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

On the Record

Just for the record - I do not wear the same shirt every day. In case you can't tell from the photos...this is a hoodie that the girls brought over last December. We're enjoying fall weather...nippy...but I'm too stubborn to wear the bulky coat until I MUST.....winters are long......

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

The Cape

When we were BRAND NEW to Japan we tried to find Shipwreck beach and ended up at the North Eastern tip of Honshu.....at Cape Shiriya. I've wanted to go back all summer, but for some strange reason the children were sure I'd get us lost. 


Today we head out with a picnic lunch, some snacks and several GPS coordinates....fun day. The coast reminded us of the Oregon coast. 





The noticeable exception being the wild horses.....this gentleman gave me carrots to feed the horses. 



And the shrine on the top of the cliff....


Zander's comment: "Mom, did some bakery dude die here?" 









This one liked the tri-pod....

And my camera!


We left the beaten path in search of a geocache....

I was taking a photo when Arielle noticed movement.....






We came oh so close to claiming a couple of more floats....we DID find sea glass, made fun memories...and made it home again. 

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...