Saturday, November 16, 2013


Today’s coffee: mocha (Tokumitsu), Papua New Guinea

So… last week I was hibernating. It’s been a busy two and a half months. First was my concert in Tokyo, then one in Abashiri, and the Wakaba Bazaar a week later (I made 5 different snacks to sell). Towards the end of October, I had a concert at Sakae Church, and then I played for their worship service the next day… and then rushed back to Wakaba to give a talk for the youth group in the afternoon, which I hadn’t really had checked properly… who knows how many Japanese mistakes I made? Then there was a pastor’s conference, and a week after that, a cooking class. Meanwhile, we were harvesting lots of stuff from the farm and preserving what we couldn’t eat right away. After the cooking class was over (I taught everyone to make lasagne with pasta from scratch), for the next week I spent as much time as possible resting… but there were a lot of things to catch up on too.

I’m glad this period is over; now we’ve got a couple of weeks to rest and prepare for Christmas rush. Still, in the middle of all of this, we saw some beautiful fall colors, met up with a lot of people we don’t usually get to see, I actually got around to writing up my lasagne recipe which previously only existed in my head, and we saw God at work in a lot of ways.

Our friend, Izumi is visiting right now; she was a fellow student at Regent. After having heard about her mom’s amazing pickles and her dad’s amazing garden for years, we finally managed to meet up with all of them in Niseko yesterday. During a nice early-morning onsen soak, Izumi told me about how she looks for beauty every day—not just beauty in nature, but the beauty of God at work, and the beauty of time spent with friends and family. This has gotten her through difficult times, she said.

Here are a bunch of beautiful things I’ve seen and experienced over the last two months that had me thanking God for his goodness. There's a huge number of picture that I want to share (who wouldn't take lots of pictures of Hokkaido in the fall?) so I'll give you 2 options to look at them.

For the casually interested, a collage:

If you want to take time to look at each picture (and read the captions), please visit the web album I made with all of these pictures.

A few more things I'm thankful for which don't have any pictures:
  • Keith and I went to see the new Studio Ghibli movie: 風立ちぬ (Kazetachinu—The Wind Rises). A beautiful film, very subtly anti-war… and the hero is an aeronautical engineer! Somehow with my family history, engineers are rather close to my heart…
  • Our car. It is loud and old, and it uses lots of gas. But without it, we wouldn’t be able to get around in the winter… and we wouldn’t be able to go camping or hiking!
  • People who pray for us and encourage us, both here in Japan and at “home” in the US… and lots of other places too!
  • Time to rest and cook and spend time with friends.
  • Anticipation: wow, does the Christmas fruitcake ever smell good. Waiting is difficult, but we're looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s with friends.

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