It’s been a very wild week. The weather has been absolutely devastating and many have died. I heard that one of those tornadoes was even an F-5. That is a tornado that few see and live to tell about it. I see it as another example of how we cannot know from day to day what will happen. We must not take for granted the time we’ve been given on this earth. The disaster in Japan is another perfect example of this. Just think there are likely people in Alabama that thought it was tragic what happened in Japan and now they are not with us today…very sobering. I think we are marching on to the end times. This is one countdown that continues. The other is the countdown to our departure to Ireland that is now at the two week point. Once again I remind any that care that there will be no internet for us. We will be staying in a rustic Irish home in a rural area near Dublin so I won’t likely be on-line until I get home. I won’t forget you all if you don’t forget me! I have a few pictures that I’ve taken around here…not much to get excited about but I’ll share them anyway. Remember the hullabaloo over the big moon a while back? I did get a couple pictures of it . I’ve never done well getting pictures of the moon…I guess some things never change! LOL! My son turned 12 recently as well. My wife made a very creative cake for himand at first glance I thought it was an actual bag of popcornand be honest, wouldn’t you? The only thing that was “real” was the popcorn at the top of the cake! I thought it was very cool! Next we had a lot of excitement over some Sand Hill Cranes that came to visit us…they were far away so it’s a bit hard to see. However what was exciting was it was a couple with one other Crane who looked to be a very young adult. We hoped that they would find a spot to nest…sadly we’ve not seen them since. Please excuse these far away and bad quality shots…it’s the best I could do at that range. Next was of course Easter and the big egg hunt that we always do. It was fantastic weather…about the best we’ve had in a very long time. Who knows? If this keeps up we may actually see some leaves this year! LOL! Anyway, it made for a very pleasant time both hidingand findingthe eggs. The kids actually do like to eat them as well. Gabby went to work on some of the eggs right away. Besides, there were friends to be played with and they even brought a bunny! It was a good time had by allbut I must say the rabbit may not have agreed with us on this point! Only a post or two left before we’re gone for three weeks. The countdown continues!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
We have been experiencing a real resistance when it comes to getting back to Ireland as we’ve felt God has directed us. We’ve held onto it for some time now but the time was getting closer and closer and we still couldn’t afford tickets to go. Rising prices have become like a plague and airline tickets have been effected by this. Daily we looked seeing if we could find a good deal and daily we walked away hearing that the prices had risen terribly. Yesterday we decided to look again and found a deal that we could afford. This doesn’t include living expenses at all nor does it cover the expenses here at home when we leave…there’s much to believe for still but we have seen God move before and will continue to believe…please remember us in your prayer! We did buy the tickets and will leave on the 12th of May. We will return on the 31st of May. We are very excited though we know the battle is far from over. Even though we have this trip now there is a far bigger trip to the Philippines in August that will last until October…so much needs to be done but our God is able! These are thrilling times!
I will post a few more pictures of Japan as I can because I expect once we return from Ireland I’ll have pictures from there to share. Graves fascinate me and this shot has symmetry and sadness about it that is contrasted by the bright sunny day that really appeals to me…notice the empty flower or incense holder. The beautiful rolling hills where they have tea growing filled me with wonder . The golden pavilion was a tremendous wonder to behold in the idyllic surroundings where it sits. I expected to see bamboo forestsbut not so much pine. Japan is blessed with pine, bamboo and amazing places to see. It could rain quite heavily at times but the wonder of it thrilled me still…it even made for shots like this where the rain left beautiful jewels on some large leaves. The canopy of trees left shadows on the ground that reminded me of the beautiful Japanese writing. Above all it was the people we traveled with that made the trip. Kazu and Gabby were great friends…and she doesn’t just take to everyone. Kazu and Gabby decided to have a nice march that day…I think that they did a wonderful job together…I could weep still seeing these pictures…I miss those guys so much! I know my little girl had a wonderful time too! My goodness I love this picture! We must go back someday. Being there with the team and showing this amazing place to others was a crowning glory in my life. Thank God for my wife who wouldn’t let it go until it happened! Here is my son and RD hanging out in the bamboo forest of Kyoto. This is one of my favorite places in all the world! Here are Anna and Kazu who are more than friends, they are family. Gabby took it upon herself to lead this Japanese tour. I think Gabby felt quite at home. Lovely and Anna. I wish I was standing there right now! My little girl followed in her older brother and sister’s footsteps and was an excellent traveller even then. I couldn’t walk forever in Kyoto…always something new to me yet ancient in age. More graves. Gabby poses with an old man who was selling mushrooms that he made from tissue paper. It was a place touched by both new and old…you can still find people wearing the traditional kimono…so beautiful to see. I think this is about it for now so I bid you farewell until next time.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I feel like I’ve turned a corner somehow. I have known a growing frustration with so many things whether that be the terrible price of gas to being so disgusted with the politics in this country and the sense that nobody is even fighting for the true cause behind what makes the news. My son’s birthday was on Tuesday and that really started me to thinking about what was most important. None of the world events can change the fact that God is still on the throne and His blessings are still relevant and even right in front of my face. I’m going to really endeavor to keep things in perspective and that will effect my attitude toward blogging and even Face Book. I’ve noticed a real drop in activity on my blog and on Face Book…or maybe that’s a drop in interest in what I’m doing…not really sure about that honestly. Whatever the cause I will keep my focus and try to please God with it. I believe that from that those that really do care and support me will be blessed in turn and those that don’t care…well, what does that matter to me?
Our weather took yet another down turn that unfortunately will last for at least five days outside of Friday which looks pretty good. I remain so thankful for memories that are archived from our trips past! I wish I could look out the door and see bamboo forestsinstead of grey skies and brown grass still attempting to turn green. It’s good to see spring show up on my friend’s blogs too! Recently one of the blogs I follow put up some pictures that were from a graveyard…strange to see signs of spring there don’t you think? I have a bit of a morbid side as those that know me can testify. I took several pictures of the graveyards of Japan. I want to do that in Europe someday…but I don’t know if anyone would want to join me! The Japanese had many things dedicated to seeking favor or luck from spiritual sourcesbut as for me I will continue to seek God who makes those that believe His temple. Oh how I miss the well cared for gardens and ancient trees of Japan! Have you ever walked in the rain with someone you love? I have in a place that has beauty that is beyond anything I’ve witnessed anywhere else. Some things I can’t imagine seeing anywhere else in the world. Yes, Japan is very unique. I’m not sure of the color orange has some significant meaning but it does cause these doors to pop don’t you think? Everywhere in the places you visit in Japan you can find stations to wash your hands in very pure but icy cold water. I couldn’t get used to the familiarity of pine forests that I know so well here in Montana being the backdrop to ancient temples that were anything but familiar to me. I found myself often trying to read the signs before I caught myself and realized it was way beyond me to do so! Unusual shrines were everywhere…even on the side of a well used road. Spectacular ropes garnished with lightning bolt decorations graced particularly special sights. We walked through the tori gates in the pouring rain…I felt the profound sense that God was speaking to us about stepping into a new chapter of our lives. They say walking in such a place is one of the things that you simply must do before you die and I believe it. I say this with tears in my eyes in light of all that’s happened. Lovely and I have often spoken of going here during the cherry blossom season. Lovely and I weren’t the only ones who made friends with those who spoke a different language. I think there must be a place like this in heaven somehow. Sometimes the most beautiful light you can ever know is through the leaves. I would like to walk this place in the evening when stone lanterns are lit. For now I must be satisfied with faith. Faith that there’s always a silver lining and hope through God in whom I place my faith. The mysterious courtyards of life can never be opened without turning the key of faith.