Thursday, April 21, 2016

Walk with us

Traditional Indonesian food
Thursday, April 21.16
The first hour of the morning is the most precious, time for scripture reading and prayer. Some days we study for a few more hours, making notes for future talks and classes, sketching plans for the future, or consulting with others.

We got news yesterday that I am to appear for American citizenship interview and tests in May. That's months sooner than we thought. And it may interfere less with the summer schedule. W will start looking for cheap tickets ASAP and I will plan to be away a month so I can get a passport.

This morning, we and three friends leave our place about 8:30. We meet others and drive out of town for a walk through the hills. We've done the walk before, but never when the rainy season has been in full swing. We have to wade through a rushing river partway. And one of the trails is now half-waterfall.

Come along with us via pictures?
Fighting our way through tall plants
What goes down must come up - the steep bits 
Almost psychadelic blue and gold butterflies
A pause in the tea fields
Overgrown trails
Determined to cross on makeshift bridges
Soothing aching feet in cold pools
A brief stop to admire the view
The rivers and waterfalls are full.

Everything grows like crazy in rainy season
so the trails are often narrow and overgrown.
Bamboo sculptures

The little bus takes us up the hill for a late lunch
The view from the tables is pretty.

And back down we go - a van festooned in ribbons.
We are tired after +12,000 steps and over 5 miles (8 km). W and a few others get sunburned.

We are home at 4, in time to meet a worship leader. She comes over to practice for the upcoming Sunday's service. (I'll play keyboards in church for the first time in years.) When she leaves after 6, she takes some cookies along for her family. I baked 20 dozen yesterday, stocking up for just such occasions.

I'm ready to rest.

Read more:
*But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6 NIV

*But now, this is what the Lord says--he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

*The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed. Daniel 2:44 ESV

*John wrote: Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah.” Revelation 12:10 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Savior of our lives, we rejoice that your kingdom is near. Let us work for peace and justice until it comes. Find us ready to enter into your immediate presence, having fulfilled your call to prepare the way! Amen.
C. S. Lewis in MiraclesOn God
It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. “Look out!” we cry, “it’s alive.” And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. 

An “impersonal God”—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life- force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. 

But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God”!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us!

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