Saturday, August 11, 2018

"Up up with people" (remember that song?)

Friday, August 10, 2018
We wrap up the week with the enthusiastic participation of the class. Everyone offers suggestions on the research topics and the questions. I write down the takeaways. My heart is full.
I drop the computer and final assignments to be graded into my room. Then Galen and Dickie take me for supper to a Nepalese restaurant - oh yum! - and then to a bakery.

We run into Woodim and Shiloah Ma and their family. He's the son of scholars Julie and Wonsuk Ma (who I met years ago on a NU debate trip to Oxford.) Their kids are adorable.

The chocolate choux pastry is a marvelous end to a long week - along with a cup of mint tea. The hospitable kindness of the faculty and staff feels generous and makes me feel at home.

The Filipino "school bus" and "city bus" and all-around transit vehicle is a jeepney. Two long benches line the sides; people hop in and out of the back. Many are hand-painted and souped up. This one, belonging to the seminary, is more sedate.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dad! amazing how you're still going strong - pedaling for kilometers, walking in the morning, making vile healthy breakfast smoothies to get good nutrition, exercising at night  ... no wonder you're fit as a fiddle. God's been so good to me and my brothers, giving us a father who believes in us and sent us into the world (and around the globe.)

There's no one as special as my dad - and I am blessed because of him. He's my role model of what God my Father is like. Thanks, Pop.
And thanks to Melissa for shooting this picture last weekend!

After a few minutes of texting, Kim and I decide to call each other. She offers encouragement and good advice for the class ahead. Thanks, friend!

There's no water most of the day, "until 6 tonight, ok, ma'am?" says a handyman in the morning. This is the third day with no water for a good part of the day. Feels like home! I fill up a hot-water bottle and the carafe from the coffee maker, in case I need to wash my hands or flush a toilet. Drinking water is down the hall, so that's no problem.

Koram (from a Himalayan country) comes to see me in the morning. We're trying to boost her project forward as she writes for her doctorate. After an hour and a half, she's got clearer direction and some resources. She'll work on the outline before we meet again next week. She leaves some coffee and tea from her country. Can't wait to share it with W.

Meanwhile, Vanessa is driving from the coast for 4 hours. Yesterday she dropped by her local ACE hardware to find the little plug-in water heaters that we use to heat water for washing dishes in our kitchen. Can't get those in our country.

We chase each other from parking lot to dining hall to my room - and finally connect in a hallway. Then it's off to Lemon & Olives, a good restaurant nearby. We avoid town because the weekend holidayers from Manilla snarl traffic in Baguio. The rain pounds down around us, drizzles away the afternoon, and obscures the spectacular views.

By 4:00, Vanessa is on her way home. Waze says a 5-hour trip lies ahead of her. Oh no! What a sweet friend.

Thanks, Vanessa. The chocolate cake is tucked away for a treat tonight and the heaters are packed away for the trip home. And then it's time to do research - I have quite a ways to go tonight ...

Read more:
*The nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as dust on the scales. Isaiah 40:15
*Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20
*May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NIV
Moravian Prayer: God, in the vastness of this world, you see me, even though I am just a speck. Thank you for your steadfast love in sending your son to teach me the way. May each of us heed your request and go forth discipling others—in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hills and more hills

Monday, August 6, 2018
A conference call at 6am is a wonderful refresher. I need to see my mentor-friend's face and hear her prayers and counsel. I now have a knife, a spoon, and a glass, so I rest a slice of peanut-buttered bread on a plastic bag and have breakfast. At 7:20, I head up the hill to teach.

Whew, these students are early birds. I get into the classroom about 7:30 and at least five faces are smiling at me. Class starts at 8. By that time, I've run almost a few hundred steps, up and down in the high altitude. (It's good to get blood pumping: my tracker - which is usually low - says I've done 22 flights up and 22 down by day's end.)

We have a few tech issues as usual - we need an adaptor to connect into American plugs with Asian electrical cords, etc. The projector has to be swapped out. We need an extension cord. And then we're off.

The students smile and sigh as they put their smartphones into the welcome basket I've brought from my room.  "We don't think we can survive, doctor."

haha. Let's try together. The students need this information to do their research and writing, so I'm Cruella on phones. I toss mine in the basket, too. I'm just as addicted.

 Recognize this fruit? It's dragon fruit - and so yummy! I ate it this morning, taking fruit out of my food basket so I'd have a phone container.

The last time I taught, the addiction of checking messages brought many duplicate questions from students who weren't paying attention. (They were fully engaged ... until a ping on the phone distracted them - then they were messaging and lost to us until they looked up a few minutes later. "What does that mean?" Um, we just explained that ...)

It's a beautiful day - we open the windows as the fog burns off the mountain, turn on a few fans by lunchtime, and work together. The food is pretty good in the cafeteria.

After class, we head to the academic dean's apartment. Dr. Chai has pizza and pasta for the group. We mingle and enjoy getting to know each other. When I head back to my room, I grade papers until 10:30. I'm exhausted and fall right to sleep.

It's another early morning of prep (resources to a thumb drive). A student peeks her head into the open door at 7:20. She's on her way to the 8:00 class. I follow shortly after. Up the hill we go. I'm grateful for the altitude and hills we climb in Bandung. When we came to teach here from the USA, we'd huff and puff all the way to class, esp if carrying a heavy computer and book bag. This time, if I do it slow and steady, I'm just fine.

But I run the steps a few times. I don't like stairs. There are about 220 from my room to the classroom - and I go up and down at least twice a day, plus a few extra flights to the library, chapel, and office. The campus is well-lit, with white striping on the walks and stair edges.

It's also a special day because I open the drawer of the desk and find the "missing" cutlery and housewares - no, they haven't left me to eat with my fingers after all. (Honestly, Rosemarie, keep exploring! I've walked to every corner of the campus before opening the desk drawers. Hmmmm.)

I brought my hot water bottle and fill it with water from the coffee maker every night. So good to have a warm bed to crawl into.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Dad and Mom! My parents have been married 65 years today. WOWOWOWOWOWOW. They're amazing. By God's grace, they've stayed in love all these years and given us great role models.

I've found my morning routine: up at 5:30, do class prep, collect supplies and papers and sort what I need into my tote. Then I shower and eat a snack from the afternoon before (usually banana cake) with a cup of tea. I head for class before 8.

It's overcast and dripping. Reminds me of Chilliwack, where I grew up. I'm wearing sweaters and jackets all week, which is kind of fun after short sleeves and trousers every day.

Lunch is at Johnsons, where the African curry comes complete with raisins, bananas, peanuts, shredded coconut, and good company. Then it's back to class. These are long days: 8-5, with an hour for chapel (T-Th), another for lunch, and work until 5. At night, there's always a few hours of grading.

Supper is at the president's house, along with about 70 Chinese students who are on a short-term study course. The food is great, the hospitality warm. The academic dean and I sequester ourselves in a corner but are found and have a great time talking to the students, who head home this weekend.

By the time I'm home in the evening, I've done about 1000 steps. (That doesn't count the slopes from one building to another. The seminary is built into a mountainside.) My knees feel sore tonight: I didn't have good heels on the worn-out hiking sandals I slipped on this morning. I only walk a few miles each day, but it's a steep grade from A to B ... unless you're walking a hallway.

"Give your offering!" the students say and laugh as they toss their phones into the basket. It's been a good way to stay engaged. They begin their presentations today - we'll wrap up the research methods class tomorrow. They cheer each other on, give advice, ask questions, and sharpen their projects. Some of the ideas have the potential to be world-changing.

We take our obligatory class picture and then a goofy one, I with my phone and the photographer of the class with a decent camera.

Read more:
*You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live. Deuteronomy 5:33

*You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’ Lamentations 3:57

*The Lord filled Zion with justice and righteousness; he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. Isaiah 33:5-6
*Jesus said, “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’” Matthew 10:7
*When Jesus saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning. Mark 6:48
*Jesus said to the lawyer, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” Luke 10:26-28
Moravian Prayer: Heavenly Father, you seek to lessen our challenges even when we don’t realize our struggle. May we rely on your work in our lives and may we trust your words when you say, “Do not fear.”
As we are called to share the good news with the world, may our actions reflect our words and our hearts’ desire. Lord, we ask that you teach us every day how to be your disciples. You are the one who offers us words of wisdom and guidance through our trying times. May our ears be in tune to the needs of those around us and may we hear your voice within us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A steep climb ahead

Saturday, August 4, 2018
I've left my watch on the night table and so I assume the time on my computer is correct. It is ... but only in our home time zone. Something buzzes on the phone, I glance at the time, and suddenly I've lost an hour. It's 1:00 not noon - and I'm still writing and in my pajamas. Oh oh.
Tucked in a flowerbed along my walk
I dress, paint on eyebrows, and am in the dining hall a floor above my room - all by myself. Hmmm. The gals sitting next to the covered food trays are peeling vegetables. Why am I the only guest? The meal schedule says lunch is 12-1:30.

I introduce myself as a guest lecturer and they call the cook in. "We are closed at 1:00," she says. (I guess it's time to update the printed materials for visitors.)

They're very gracious, handing me a plate of cold food with warm rice - and point to the microwave. Yes, chicken and vegetables (with some meat) sit out at room temperature. Would freak out our American friends but here none of us seem to get sick.

I put the plastic plate (eek) and the food into the microwave for a minute. It's hot and tasty. My plate is hot, too...

I save half the chicken breast for a chicken sandwich later on. (I wrap it in serviettes and tuck it into my handbag with no refrigeration.) I wander the grounds for about an hour. The campus is full of nooks and crannies. I go as far up as I can on one edge, then down halfway, cut across, and down all the way I can go on the other edge. Unfortunately, that means I have to come back up. (See the stair path on the right, below?)

It's hot in the sun but the clouds often blow over to cool things down. Here's a bit of what I see:

Someone loves plants and flowers - these beauties are scattered all over campus.

Besides the traditional bulbs and plants, I recognize some alpines from my teens, when I worked at Manning Park, Canada. They brings back good memories.

Since the institution is built on a mountainside, there are steps up - and slopes - and steps down. I count to a hundred and lose my place. 

I keep walking. With an elevation the same as Denver (+5000 feet), it's good for my heart and muscles to acclimate. Monday, I'll have a heavy computer and book bag to drag up to class with me.

The rest of the day is spent sitting at a desk. I read a book I've put off and make notes. A teacher's work is never done.

I skip breakfast and listen to Charles Stanley speaking on TV (In Touch program). It's my first time actually hearing a sermon by him (don't judge me). Reminds me of good speakers from my childhood.

Not sure there's food service at the institution today. Someone left fruit, bread, peanut butter, cornflakes/milk, and a coffeemaker in my room (though without a knife, plate, or cup). I can't starve but I'll have to wash my hands when I'm done.

But what does this mean? Your best guess? Quoting from a page inside my welcome packet: "Cafeteria Schedule (open Monday to Sunday) (except Sunday lunch only (closed) no meals are served"

What's your vote? They serve lunch only? No lunch, but other meals will be served? I'll toddle upstairs to see in a few hours.

Read more:
*Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few. 1 Samuel 14:6
*Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
*Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:14-18 NIV
Moravian Prayer: We come to you, Lord, to give thanks for the saving gifts we have received to share with our brothers and sisters. May we never forget how to share your light inside of us with the world. Amen.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fly away

Monday, July 30, 2018
W and I enjoy a new experience: speaking together on Facebook Live - first time we've done it but won't be the last. Thanks to Angela and Pursuit Church Live.

The study is great - Josh and Clau are back from Brazil and the study group welcomes them. It's funny how quickly people become family when you live in another country. Mind you, Indonesian Sundas - the main people group here - are warm and instinctively smile from the heart at any friendly face.

Various groups of Indonesians and expats have become our family here ... and when someone travels or leaves, we miss them a lot. When they return, everyone is happy! People hang out on the porch for a while.

While the study group continues to visit, we head upstairs for an early lunch. The team has lots to discuss. We want an update on how Josh's dad is doing (was ill) and how their children coped with travel. They're doing fine and happy to be home here.

Even our dogs settle together. They walk on one leash quite well - with the occasional grrr as one wanders over and bumps the other. They've chosen their own prime spot on the porch and have their own food dish. At night Cocoa comes inside.

I fall into bed early. Speaking, teaching, listening, interacting. It's an intense Monday, as usual.

We get to talk to our good friends and get counsel on an upcoming adventure. They've just dropped off a grandson at camp - what fun. And what wisdom, which those of you who know Mel and Martha will understand.

Our young grandkids chatter with us via FaceTime as we walk the dogs. Via video, they see the neighborhood. They're fascinated by the chickens, cats, women and men in traditional Muslim gear, and other things we take for granted.

"Oma, faster, you can't let Opa and the dogs pass you! He's getting in front of you!" Kinsey feels a bit competitive. Since I have the phone and she's talking to me, I can't let anyone get ahead of us. haha

Date day! We head up to Rumah Doa (house of prayer), a retreat center for the rest of the morning. On the way home, we have lunch (Korean barbecue) at Wonjo.
The dogs jump into the car and curl up immediately, then go for a walk with the driver while we pray.
We've asked the helper if she can find us another canary to replace the one the cat ate last week. (Ugh. That morning, W asked, "Want to see what happened?" Nope. But thank you.) A cat reached its paws through the wires and caught the bird unawares at night. It ate what it could pull out.

Now we have to cover the remaining cage every evening. We don't really like cats - but our neighbors tolerate our dogs and never complain, so it's a fair exchange.

During our afternoon work, we enjoy a mini-Magnum. The creamy ice-cream and the crisp chocolate surround - these minis are my favorite treat to cap off a meal.

In the evening, Youth Alpha connects with teens - what a joyful sound their laughter and discussion provide. Scott and Sarah are excellent mentors and the teens love them.

We had planned to have movie night, but another meeting comes up - and so we postpone it. W and I still mentor couples and leaders. In the morning, I have a conference call to someone finding their place in ministry. The internet makes the exchange possible across the ocean. It's always exciting to hear the desire to serve. The complications come because humans are involved, right?

We snap a shot of a woman taking her daughter to school. She hops on a GoJek (motorcycle taxi) with her baby in arms. She smiles at us as we take her picture, typical of the warmth and friendliness of the Sundanese.

I wake about 4am, with many thoughts rushing through my prayers. We have breakfast at Miss Bee with Josh and Claudia. Once Josh gets his coffee, he's full of good ideas for the next steps of life and work.

We have a sad chore later in the morning, emptying Sandy's kitchen. They've fully repatriated to Canada and the house is nearly empty. Terry flew off this morning, but Reza takes us to their old place. We pack up what can be useful to us and to other several households with very little housewares.

It's time to put things in my own suitcase. I revise notes for teaching next week. Guests drop by and I sort house chores and assignments for helper in coming weeks while I'm away. It's a long busy day and an early night. When W goes to the study, I crash into bed. I'm asleep by 7:30pm. Musta needed that!

We're up at 3. It's my Mom's birthday - what a sweet gift from the Lord she has been to me and our family. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM (actually "yesterday" her time, but was too early to call her when I fell asleep last night.) We are so grateful that she is in good health and still working away at life. She's also an indispensable part of our prayer team.
A photo from last year's visit
W and I are on the road to Jakarta at 4am. The driver hops into the driver seat, after waiting for us in his neighborhood down the hill. Traffic? none - well, the few slowdowns hardly count. Unbelievable! We're at the airport by 7:30, mouths hanging open with glee and amazement.

W spends a few hours in the airport. We walk (2 miles) in the new terminal, eat, and catch up. I buy a bagel and tuck it in my carry-on. (It comes in handy at 11pm, on the road to Baguio.)

As a ministry team and couple, W and I treasure these precious hours before goodbye. He heads into Jakarta to re-register our car. By the time they get home, it's after 5pm, about the time I fly in to Manilla (6pm local).

The Jakarta airport lounge fills with a tour group, about 80? people going to Medina on a haj. That is one of 5 obligations of "good" Muslims. They're friendly and talk and smile while we eat breakfast.

While Waldemar gets right to sleep at home in Indonesia, I'm in the car on the way north. It takes 4 hours to leave the outskirts of Manilla - weaving in and out of traffic, constant honking and changing of lanes, a little noisier and more aggressive than Jakarta, but the same process.

I lay down in the back seat after a few hours and fall asleep to loud pop music and the jerking of tires over gaps in concrete roads under us. I totally miss the hairpin turns up into the mountains. Don't mind that at all.

The driver wakes me and hefts my suitcase of books down the stairs at 12:15am. It's a groggy walk to the room - good thing for smartphone flashlights: it's a brownout so the campus is quiet and dark. Perfect for sleeping. I plug my phone (5% charged) into the computer (98% charged) and hope we'll have electricity in the morning.

All the lights above my head are on when I wake at 5:30 so I might as well get up. We must have power again. (I didn't know what lights would be on or off last night, so I took my chances.) I'll nap later. There's breakfast on the sideboard (bread, peanut butter, fruit, water - ) but no knife so I'll wait until noon to eat.

By 6 or 7, the sun is coming up over the beautiful hills below us. This mountaintop is something else. It's going to be a walk then a working day. God is good! And after writing, it's almost noon. Time for that walk. I have to acclimate to the altitude of +5000 feet, about the same as Denver.

Read more:
*Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

*The Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you. Deuteronomy 23:5
*If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
Moravian Prayer: Faithful God, help us to plant seeds that will grow big and strong towards you. Help us to speak the words you lay on our hearts and use our hands to do your work. Amen.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hellos and goodbye

The sun shines through a restaurant window, making its own rainbows.

Thursday, July 26, 2018
After a walk and breakfast, the women's study meets for the last time on our porch. We're handing it back to Claudia, who returns from Brazil on Sunday (hurrah!)

--From the study:
It's wonderful to explore what Jesus is doing in scripture and continues to do today.

In John 5, Jesus asks a disabled man, "Do you want to be healed?"

I've always found that questions fascinating. The tendency is to snap off: "Of COURSE! he wants to be healed." But as we discuss, we agree that the man must decide to adopt a new identity if he is no longer ill. He will have to work rather than beg. He will not have "special" (noticeable) status or distinction from those around - he'll just be like everyone else ... 

and so it's a good question. It's also one that Jesus continues to ask. He offers us grace, freedom from the sins of the past, healing of body, soul and spirit.

But what if, when we are praying for his help, he stops to ask you - or me,

Some of us prefer to hang on to our broken identities, our revenge, or our familiar ways of functioning in relationships. So, though God wants to heal us, we stay where we are - safe and sick and unhappy.

Take a few minutes to listen as Christ asks you: "Do you want to be healed?"

In the evening, a bunch of us study Joshua 11. W leads the discussion of now-and-not-yet, of battles won and still to come, and of our trust in God in the middle of settling into God's plans.

W and I have breakfast where his Friday study usually meets. Today, we are the only ones (had a heads up, but it gets us out of the house and talking through upcoming opportunities.) No one ever is alone in the neighborhoods - streams of young people, kids, and adults walk together.

W has lunch but I'm not yet hungry. After, we head over to Terry's house to see his progress on wrapping up life in Bandung. He's almost done - the house is clean, empty, and there are just a few things to do. It's bittersweet for us - we've enjoyed his leadership these years in Bandung and will miss him and Sandy so much.

From there, we drop into Café Oz for book group. W grabs some meat pies for supper and heads back home while the women and I discuss our book.

Manju hosts the women's book group while DrHanna leads the discussion with some questions. Today, we're studying Being Wrong, a book each one had trouble finishing. There are so many studies, examples, and quotes that we get snarled in a thicket of research. But we have a lot of back and forth about what it means to "be right" or "be wrong" and if that's even possible.
I get a call, which Dr Hanna kindly interprets - Cocoa is on her way to the house. And indeed, when we get to our neighborhood, W takes Gypsy (our yard dog for a walk). The transporter follows us into our neighborhood and brings out this beautiful creature.

Cocoa runs around the yard, smelling this and that. We go for a walk to stretch her legs after her 3-day trip. I've forgotten what a people-magnet poodles are! Kids, teens, and adults stop and smile. "Anjing lucu!" we hear over and over (=cute dog!) And a few exclaim, "Bonika!" which means a doll or stuffed toy.

When I take Cocoa into the house, Gypsy can come back into the yard. Each time Cocoa goes out in the evening, W takes Gypsy for a walk in the neighborhood. They'll meet tomorrow, after they're familiar with each others' smells. Meanwhile, the LR is improved by the poodle, don't you think?

Groan. We took Cocoa and Gypsy out and around a few times at night, not knowing if Cocoa can wait until morning. She patiently lies in her crate from 4:30-6:30am, after wandering around the room  earlier to find her perfect spot.

"This is why we don't do puppies," I say to W as we head out before 7am. Judy kindly lets us use her fenced yard for the dogs to meet. W takes the long way around the block while I head straight to Judy's.

We're stopped several times along the way as people want to know what kind of dog she is, if she's ours, and if she's very expensive. ("She's a blessing and a gift from a friend," we reply to ward off potential dognappers.) "Ah, so beautiful!" Yes she is.

Cocoa bounces around the yard and then waits nearby. Gypsy goes wild when he is let off his leash. He dashes past her, inviting her to play and run. She's not sure - she has the cautious nature of my other poodles. Eventually he gets settled down enough to sniff around and we walk back to the house together. She comes in; he stays outside.

Before noon, we walk down the hill to a coffee shop with both animals. What you can't see is the fireman sitting in the back of the firetruck. He waves traffic to stop as the truck approaches, sirens wailing. Then he waves from his window for traffic to continue after they pass. Sirens alone make little impact. Indonesians are watching for movement rather than listening for another sound in the chaos of traffic noise.

We get stopped a lot - most people have never seen a standard poodle.

They do fine, even with all the attention and exclamations. Both are great on the leash. When we get home, they're free to hang out together. One chooses one end of the porch; the other sprawls on the other side. W has a quick nap as well.

Then W and I get to work - we're presenting an online talk together later this weekend.

BIC is having a community potluck for Pastor Terry's farewell talk. W and I get up early and walk the dogs. (I think this may be slimming.)

I make a huge pot of pasta before leading service at 9. We send a few cards around for people to sign and send their love to Sandy, who has stayed behind in Canada. It is truly a wrenching farewell for us, losing our friend. He says a fine and encouraging goodbye. He is commissioned by the church's leadership team, to preach and teach in Canada. And then we gather around to pray for him.

Last Sunday, I sat behind him and sketched my goodbye. (The angle of the photo is skewed so this is more rounded). We won't forget this fine man, intent on hearing from and speaking for God on our behalf.

Lunch is delicious: lots of noodles, rice, sweets. A big bucket of ice cream draws me back twice. "Wow, you must like chocolate ice-cream," says a little girl, looking at my bowl. Yes, yes, I do.

Andrea drops by in the afternoon - but we are so full of food that we don't bother with tea or cookies. That rarely happens! We share some cold water instead.

Monday is always a long and satisfying day. This morning, a conference is cancelled as our friend is doing other things.

Good timing. W and I are live on Facebook. Pursuit Church Live has asked us to speak on a movie theme, so we choose our last movie night film, Queen of Katwe. The time shift means they're getting the feed Sunday at 5; we're speaking Monday morning at 7. I have my mug of tea in hand.

It's no biggie for me to be alert because of my usual 7:00 conference call. But W exclaims that we've already had an "event" with more to come later in the day. Yes, Monday starts early, but it feels like a rewarding day as we meet with studies and our team.

For all the ways you love us, God, we thank you. 
For all the ways you comfort us when we have to say goodbye, thank you.
Today, we accept the new provisions and the future from your hand 
With gratitude and trust. Amen