Sunday, November 6, 2016

Selamat pagi - a few times over

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Waldemar got back safely from the states. He will wait some weeks to hear from American immigration - but I vote. It's been a hard year to become a citizen.

The church is sponsoring a Harvest Festival for kids. As I lead service, I feel again how much I love to speak. Strange: it's not a gift I've sought, but it's found me. The pleasure of standing at the front of a group makes my heart sing and relaxes me.

The star of the morning is Nicole. The cake Sanny orders as a festive centerpiece comes with artistic cupcakes. The gals arrange a display for everyone to enjoy before the kids disappear for class.
Beautiful bonus
During our small group study of Proverbs, a group of volunteers plays with the kids and does a program.

It's Pieter's last day before he returns to the Netherlands: we eat together at Bumi and he catches a ride from our house to Jakarta in the evening. He's been here a week. He signs the guest book before our farewell selfie.

Mondays start with Bible study. I love how the scriptures open to us in delightful discussions.

I go straight to language school. It's a priority. I've asked for a review week: so many words from the past 6 weeks need consolidation. I'm always exhausted by the time we're done.
Teachers and students from language school
It's prep day for tomorrow's movie night. After a morning conference call, I'm thinking about menus, set-up, but I have an appointment as well.

I meet two new friends at a Korean restaurant (wow, great food!) Jenny and Karen have been praying about restarting their women's group. They take me for lunch and offer to become friends and partner together. "It's a conversation," they say about their exploration of scripture. Cool! I'm in.

Back home, I prep a few dishes and put them in the fridge for tomorrow.

It's the most fun - and hardest-working - day of the month for me. It's our monthly movie night. I have a conference call, then putter to stir up energy. Mid-morning, I finally start cooking.

We've have about 30 replies but over 50 people show up. Yay! we're together - young and old, students and professionals, retirees and friends. Everyone eats a big meal together before watching Eddie the Eagle.

What an inspiration. The crowd cheers and yells along with the scenes. At intermission, we enjoy desserts but we're all eager to get back to the show. The questions tonight: "What did you want to be when you grew up?" and "What parts of that dream are you still following today?"
W welcomes everyone and explains the movie
In small groups, we talk about our childhood dreams. The room buzzes with conversation. Some of the beautiful faces:

Just 3 of us walk: the weather report says rain, so the regular walk is canceled. But it turns out to be a blue-skied morning. We're glad we went!
1/3 of the way to go! can you see the top
of the non-standard stairway?

A very steep hike up the stairs from the valley.
Here we're halfway.
After our study of Philippians in the afternoon, I hit the books to absorb more language. We have to make a decision: shall we drive to Jakarta in the morning? We have 4 appointments that we are excited about keeping - and would hate to miss even one.

I've got a bad feeling about going into Jakarta and have a restless night behind me.

Language school. Hurrah! I really enjoy this way of learning. I'm utterly dizzy and have a raging headache on the way home. We decide against going. We'll reschedule what we can.

There's a big demonstration going on in Jakarta. The streets fill with political-religious protests and we are glad we stay home. Our driver is relieved: we find out later that he got caught up in the protests 20 years ago and was traumatized. He was scared to go in.

DrW and I walk downhill about a mile to the spa for a facial. They're not ready for us yet, but after a while the gals take us upstairs - how relaxing! Girl time on a Saturday - it's the best.

We walk across the street - While W takes DrW home, Nirmala picks me up for a meeting led by Andrea and Karen. It's the first session of a "Back to Eden" health group for women. What fun! We learn to make kefir and other healthy dishes.

W and I preach about prejudice and Christ's response to people who are other in gender, status, and ethnicity.

We always enjoy the Q&A after. Today we are assisted by Mark, who offers excellent comments on the questions.

It's also Communion Sunday. (1 Corinthians 11:23-38 tells what that's about, below.) After reading the scriptures, we seek out a Communion steward standing in the aisles - and take the elements of bread and wine. Then we find someone we don't know to share "His body broken for us" and "His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins." People linger to pray for each other, talk, and hang out.

A young mom and I discuss God's calling, equipping (she's educated), and the culture of church permissions - why are they open or closed to women in ministry?

W and I like to speak together. "Do you have any pushback when you speak with your husband?" she asks. No, we don't. The congregation is welcoming and responsive.

W leads the Proverbs study - which has turned into a question session about marriage by the time I get upstairs. Western expectations are very different than here. It's interesting to see how Scripture is applied in the lives of people around the world.

Over lunch at Bumi S, we are getting to know our friends on a different level, personally and deeply. God is good. And so is the food.

Read more: (ESV)
*For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

*You who seek God, let your hearts revive. Psalm 69:32

*God says, “O that my people would listen to me.” Psalm 81:13

*For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14 ESV

*When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? Luke 18:8

*Continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard. Colossians 1:23

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1–2

Moravian Prayer: Most holy God, keep us vigilant in seeking you. Give us the strength and faith to trust wholly in you and to keep our eyes fixed upon you as we run the race that is perfect in your will. All glory is yours, O Father.

Gracious Lord, in all of our transgressions you show mercy; you know each of us as we are. We prepare for you until you return. As we go about this day we pray that you will be with us and help us to tell your story of glory in all that we do and say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
COMMUNION TEXT: For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 

In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenantin my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:23-28 NIV

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