Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pics and post

A few pictures and comments from the week:

Working away
 We've always got work to do. This week I sent our monthly updates and a "New Normal" photo to friends and supporters. W tallies expenses and keeps the paperwork squared away.

Though we can buy some vegetables we recognize, they are often a different texture or ripeness (left on the vine longer?) Okra is quite hard: here it is usually sliced against the grain instead of the long way as I'm accustomed to cooking it.

We haven't found frozen beef anywhere. Chicken. Tofu. Fish. Yes. Beef? Nope.

The map of Indonesia on my desk.
Can you find West Java on the map above? Bandung is southwest of Jakarta.

When will I take houseplants growing outdoors in January for granted?
We walk twice to the seamstress with Dr W. Ibu K make a batik shirt for W and a skirt for me @$30. She sews for a lot of expats.

Exploring similarities and differences of Sunda - expat cultures
I'm invited to a presentation on Sundanese customs for women. Based on an Oxford dissertation, the talk puts a lot of things into perspective: the flow of power and influence, the expectations of sharing resources, and the roles of men and women in Sunda traditions. 

Does "your heart feel save"?
Reading the occasional typos makes us realize that we probably won't ever be completely fluent. The promo at this top-notch heart center made us blink.

Potentially our new home. It looks almost Swiss from this angle.
Note the wind chimes to chase away fruit bats.
We meet with IbuW. Her house is for lease. Dr W helps translate the conversation, though IbuW has a good grasp of English. It looks like we'll be moving, whether or not hers is the right place. Our half-repaired roof leaks and the kitchen still needs replacing. We finally give up on this place.

We are surprised to get a knock at the door the same morning: the landlord has sent the handyman to fix the leaky spots. Leaks are not uncommon in Indonesia but this is in a good neighborhood and our neighbors say the condition of the house is completely out of line with the rent. We've been putting a pail under the leak or swooshing the water out the back door. Perhaps the helper (who is the handyman's wife) has told him that she's mopping water out of the back hallway every time it rains. 

We ask our friends to pray and feel peace about the next phase of life in Bandung. Coming up soon.

Read more:
*For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. Psalm 33:4-5 ESV

*It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights. Proverbs 20:3 MSG

*I will set my eyes upon them for good. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. Jeremiah 24:6 ESV

*Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Heavenly Builder, you have created a foundation of love and a garden of life. You give us the strength to grow and thrive, to do your will and seek your kingdom. May we never stop reaching. Amen.

C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing “of our own” left over to live on, no “ordinary” life. 

I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include much leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian they would be as much part of his “religion,” his “service,” as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts. 

What cannot be admitted—what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy—is the idea of something that is “our own,” some area in which we are to be “out of school,” on which God has no claim. 

For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.

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