Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter, Everyone!

I have been absent from the blog since we got home. But we've been missing in action, in a way. Active but not writing. The house is in order - we get a hug, smiles, and 2 air kisses from the helpers upon our return.

I decorated minimally for Easter, setting a twig in glass vase with some painted eggs that I first hung in my alumni office 12 years ago.

One of the sweetest experiences last week was attending an arisan (women's club). It was established in 1965. I'm the youngest participant and honored to be a guest. Many are doctors and influencers or spouses of such.
The ladies are welcoming and fun to be with. We start with snacks - and have a huge meal afterward.

The oldest lady (in white) is in her 90s, so when she joined, she was 20 years younger than I am.

On Mondays, the study of Mark, held on our porch, is amazing as usual. We open the scriptures and ask, "What does it say? What does it mean? And what does it mean for us today?" And God always brings words of understanding. It's great to be together - Josue and Claudia did a great job of facilitating the study in our absence.

It's so good to be back in the heat. We shivered our way through March in the USA and Canada. The air is damp here (73+% humidity) and envelops us like a sweater. Even at night, we don't need more than a blouse or shirt, though when it dips to 72oF (22oC), I'm feeling the cold and bundle up.

We go out one evening for dinner ($5 per entree) to the local favorite, Ethnic.
Electronics mean there are more guests at the table than we two
Someone is hosting a wedding. There is an elaborate palm decoration hanging at the entrance to the venue.
In Seattle, the kids are decorating for Easter as well.

Sunday, April 16 EASTER
This is the day we've been waiting for. Christ is risen! Celebrate!

Claudia, Josue and their kids meet us at the Bamboo Shack. We set the tables (thanks to Claudia's good design) and hang the banner they had made. Our theme is Endings and Beginnings.

About 2 dozen people show up to eat together and talk about the meaning of Easter: God with us. God for us. Josue tells how they adopted their kids (a new beginning).

Around the tables, we share our stories and ask God to bless and keep us in his care. I think the women are lovely - and it's a privilege to get to know them better. We pose for a few selfies, of course.

The roaches are occasional but there's one on its back when I go to the bathroom. Ugh.

We caught 5 mice in the kitchen last week, including the one who chewed his way into a bag of cooking oil. Hopefully we'll catch the rest soon. Sticky paper seems the best way to trap them. If we don't find them right away, they start to smell.

We start the day with a walk, like many of our neighbors. It's the time to meet and greet people as we stroll the long blocks of the neighborhood a few times, shaded by old tall trees. The assistant governor lives nearby. There are always cars parked along the road and in his compound. The security guards chat at the gate and say selamat pagi (good morning) as we pass.

Read more:
*Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Eccelsiastes 12:1

*One of the criminals said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42

*For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16

*But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood--to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Gracious God, today we feel the deep darkness of death. Yet in our sadness we recognize that today is also a day to feel gratitude for the full truth of your deep and abiding love. We give thanks for this love and for Christ’s sacrifice made for us. In the cross we find comfort, in Christ’s wounds we find salvation and in his blood our ransom has been paid. Thanks be to you, O God, for this wonderful and precious gift. Amen.

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