Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rainy season's here

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
PakR and I meet for staff meeting in the morning with a full slate of business. We're sending off the first monthly newsletter tomorrow.

There's no Halloween here. Thank God. We're called to be light in the world, so I dislike celebrations of horror and darkness.
We finish our business over lunch at Miss Bee, which always has seasonal displays. The rain holds off until we make it home. Rainy season is here: we get several downpours each day and are happy not to be outside when they come.
Tembi's feeling tired and still fighting the flu. She's still been helpful as we sort through options for social media that send the right message from our various endeavors.

The driver calls to say that he has typhoid with stomach aches and a fever. He's gone to the hospital clinic. "But I can come tomorrow, maybe."

No, thank you. Don't want it. We pray for his health and ask him to stay home to rest until the weekend. W can drive if needed. (I don't even know where my drivers' license is.)

The Bandung Book Group meets this afternoon - Alice, Tembi, Petra (new to the group), and I catch a GoCar from our neighborhood to ride over to the next hill.

Marji's house is full of puppets, art, and masks from all over Indonesia. What treasures she's hung on the walls, displayed in cabinets, and placed on tables. Beautiful. She's made pumpkin cake, chocolate loaf, veggies and dip, and a few other treats. And Ilsa brings mulberry jam to share (homemade from her garden tree) and plum cake. Yes, we eat too much.

The discussion is vigorous but cordial. We've read Fascism by Madeline Albright. She doesn't clearly define the term fascism. After a strong start, the book gets a bit fuzzy as it goes on. Maybe she was rushed by her publisher? Anyway, we're not sure she's clearly made her argument against current governments. Albright has read a lot of history, that's for sure. (I'm always fascinated at how academics come to diverse findings from the same facts.) It's great to hear the group interact - we come from so many places that we have many ideas.

I take leftover copies with me for the Little Free Library in our neighborhood.

Some walking friends come by for the dogs. They're skipping the walk this morning but want to take the dogs to their neighborhood. They aim to make some dog-deprived Australian kids happy. That's one pretty smile from this youngster. After tummy rubs for the dogs, they all lie down on their floor and relax.
I skip our usual walk, guarding my sore knees. With Tembi feeling sick, she's not going either. I have lots of paperwork but mostly I'm waiting. W is coming back this afternoon after a trip of more than 2 weeks. I don't envy him his long journey back: 30 hours? Can't wait to see him though.

There's a beautiful (hot) pepper growing in the flower bed. "Oh, we already used up 2 of those for our sambal (hot sauce)." They grind the peppers and put them on food - 1/8 tsp makes my soup so hot at lunchtime today that my eyes water ... and I like hot food.

"You might as well take the other one home," I tell her. By Tuesday when she returns, it will have fallen off the plant.

Ibu also finds a 4" mushroom on a tree in the yard. "Is it safe?" she asks me. "Can we eat it?"
I shoot a WA message to our friends, who say, "Don't try it. We don't know if it's safe either."

Read more:
*Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.” Exodus 32:11-12
*Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Jeremiah 25:6
*Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Romans 8:34
*Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:16-21
*Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and 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
*Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11
Moravian Prayer: Everlasting God, there are so many temptations and distractions in our world; we tend to lose focus on what is truly important. Help us to clearly see the path set before us, to set aside worldly things, and concentrate instead on building a right relationship with you.
Merciful God, you love us unconditionally. Lead us in your path, that we may follow your example and be more ready to forgive. Make us more sensitive to the sorrows of others, more compassionate to the less fortunate, that we may understand their trials and show them mercy. Amen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A noodle house and cookie monsters

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Skip the dog walk. Before I know it, it's 7:20 - time to head to the international service with a full tote containing cookies, a colander (more on that later), and other odds and ends.

On the way, I pause at Miss Bee's parking shack - the guys choose a cookie from one of the boxes and I walk on in my high heels. The sandals are sturdy but keep my long trousers off the ground. Probably a bad idea to walk 600 meters in them, but the steep hill up to Green Gate is a bit easier in heels. (Though it's going to be toe-and-footpad-torture going down.)

Josh does a great job of introductions and announcements before I speak. The topic today is the power of Christ's resurrection. But what does that mean for us today? Let's get practical. Three people tell their stories about the power of God at work in protection, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Instead of formal communion, we pass out a quarter-slice of bread and a grape to each person. Everyone shares their bread with those around them, along with a prayer or a few lines about what God is doing in their lives. Some people need extra slices so they can listen and talk more. That's a loving community.

As we bite into our grape (the colander schlepped along earlier was for washing them), we consider what it means to be crushed or broken to release God's fragrance into the world. That's what Jesus did for us - he was bruised for our sins. Crushed, he reconciled us to God. (Thanks for the idea, Kim.)

People stay to visit; the chairs are still full half an hour after the closing blessing. We only consume half the snacks - even the yummy bugis (sweet rice in banana leaves) that Hela has brought. We've already had our social time, I think. I pack away the leftover bugis and almost-empty cookie containers for tomorrow's study.

Tota takes his family, Tembi, and me to a special noodle house for lunch in town. Tembi and I choose half sweet, half salty noodles. Oh yum. The dragon fruit drink is delicious because of added lemon and sugar. Mmmmmm. Good recommendation, Ibu T!
Going back, we get seriously snarled in traffic. It takes over an hour to get to the drop-off for Tembi, who is meeting a few other young adults. And we're only 2/3 of the way home.
There's some kind of anime or costume party on the sidewalk. The characters sit under awnings out of the rain.

Rueben stays in the car with us until the bottom of my hill. Then he hops out and starts the long walk to his house and a study group. Smart guy. He won't make it back if he waits for the car to get him back.

His folks and I continue up the hill. There's a wedding and an alumni reunion at Bumi Sangkuriang. Traffic is utterly jammed on the 1½-width side streets. Usually cars have to swerve to the side to pass each other. Today, the drivers have decided on the middle of the road. So they're all going one-way.

We are waved onward; we can't even turn into our neighborhood. Every cross-street is the same; getting to our house is impossible with the car. (Good thing we dropped off the snacks before heading to town or I would have had a big IKEA tote bag with me.)

Three streets further up the hill, with Tota's car grid-locked, I hop out, heels and all. If they have to make a U-turn and take me home - before coming back through the lanes and up the hill, it could be evening before they get home.

I run into two friends who have left their long-suffering driver and are also walking home. It's just faster to walk. Tota takes the zig-saggy road across the top of the hills. They make it home about the time I reach my next meeting.

M is waiting for me at Wild Grass, just outside our neighborhood. She's a gifted media artist. We enjoy tea and conversation, flipping through the new menu.

At 5, I finally head for home ... still in heels. It's been a good day, a full day, and my feet thank me when I slip on flat house shoes at the door. The dogs are ecstatic and growl and bounce around.

It's an evening of writing. Among the things I'm working on - a universities on another island asked me to be their keynote speaker at a seminar for their doctoral faculty. I can't make it since we have other commitments. I enjoyed working with them last time, so am open to another day.

However, the department dean and I WhatsApp back and forth, trying to find a speaker among our connections in Bandung. We have no luck.

I have no early online meeting this week. The last grades come in so I can add up the scores - AND send them off to the university. Done!Done!Done. Happy dance. Oh wait, I'm not that coordinated.

After a walk with the dogs, the study starts at 9:30. It feels like  we're halfway through the day, in this land where morning starts at 5:30.

The team meeting is small - but helpful for me. The driver, who was having a motorcycle repaired calls in late afternoon. He's sick to his stomach and has the flu. Dr Hanna explains what's going on.

"Stay home tomorrow," I tell him. I don't need to get sick.

It's rainy season. There's a downpour every afternoon, soaking the ground.

The dogs share a crate. I've never seen such a thing - usually dogs are very protective of their "cave" and won't let even their best buddies in.

Gypsy, terrified of the afternoon thunder, retreats into the crate and Cocoa hops in beside him. They snuggle together without a protest, sleeping until the skies clear. Cocoa's not at all afraid - she just likes company. Good doggy.

There's a Lion Air plane crash into the sea and all are lost. We pray throughout the day for the families left behind.

"When will you have the edits done?" I get an email from the point person of an academic journal. Oops, I thought I politely refused because I don't have time. Guess that didn't come across in my reply last month.

I spend 4 hours on the 29-page article, take a photo of each page, and send them to the editor. They will have to put my chicken scratch into the next version.

Without a driver, we're at the mercy of what's in the fridge. I bought 20 eggs last week but they're almost gone. (That's how much baking we do.)

So - let's try something new. How about a couple of egg substitutions? First, we try (per egg) 1 tsp oil, 2 tsp baking powder, and 2 Tbsp water. Then we try the same recipe with 1 Tbsp ground flax seed and 3 Tbsp water. The blender flings the dry seeds around without breaking them. Sorry, IbuA - she grinds the seeds and water with her old-fashioned stone mortar and pestle. (I don't want to muck up W's coffee grinder.)
Not bad - both kinds of cookies are ok, especially the ones rolled in cinnamon sugar. By day's end, we have heaps of spice cookies made for Sunday. You can't leave baking in a cookie jar: any gaps and the ants invade. Plus the butter goes rancid in a day or two. Into the fridge they go.
Imagine salad leaves, carrot shreds, and a few cucumber slices ... under rice, bean and beef soup. It's a tastier lunch than you might think, filling without a lot of calories.

The helper admits she likes the combo of crunch and flavor enough to try it sometimes at home, though her family thinks it's crazy. "Rice on salad? What's wrong with you?" Working for foreigners does that to you.

Tembi's off the the English Studio Center to help out with an afternoon class and have supper with the students. (Lucky gal - the center's boss Dony is an amazing cook.) Tembi is the Native English Speaker for pronunciation and vocabulary. She's smart, funny, and fun - the group loved having her and Hazel drop by last week.

Then she'll be hanging out with a group of young adults who have a great time every Tuesday night. They have food and discuss life at Josh and Clau's.

Meanwhile, the dogs are happy when the rain stops but Gypsy rolls his eyes when he hears thunder on the next hill. They run around and bark at anyone who tries to come into the yard.

Read more:
*The Lord said to Abram, “I will bless you and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2

*Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Jeremiah 1:17

*Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:9-15

*Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:14-15

*Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Moravian Prayer: Lord Father, teach us patience and understanding in the face of adversity, that we might respond to each encounter in a more Christian way. Let us be known for kindness, for it is the greatest tribute to you.

Almighty God, help us to live lives that set an example so others will see Christ in our actions. Bring us the opportunities to tell the Story, and the conviction to carry out the task set before us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2018

A little snap of paradise

Friday, October 26, 2018
It seems like weeks since I wrote the last post on Tuesday. I spend Tuesday on my weekend talk and Wednesday morning working in the office with Reza.

Tembi and I join the walk in the hills. While we're gone, two gals wash our wool IKEA rug on the porch and hang it to dry over the hedge. It's been 2 years since we did it. With rainy season almost here and downpours already coming in the afternoon, we need to get the major cleaning out of the way before everything starts to mold.

W and I stuffed that rug into a suitcase on the way back from a visa run to Singapore a few years ago. It's worn well, though we found it in IKEA's clearance section (@75% off).

Which style do you prefer - with or without a rug?

We've had rain over the past weeks, but no enough to soak the ground. The hiking trail is not as dusty as usual but it is still dry enough to be slippery. We're happy to have walking poles along, especially on the long downhills.
 We meet an older couple carrying sticks they've cut from the forest.
Some men are loading freshly cut bamboo - 30-40' long poles (10-12 meters) from one truck to another.
Petra and I find some frangipani branches that had been trimmed and tossed into an orange orchard. We bring a few shoots home.
We cheat a bit, going up the mountain. The cars drop us 2/3 of the way up to Gunung Batu. Thanks, Veronica! Good thing - my knees are sore; I hurt them a few weeks ago and was hoping that had cleared up.

Everything is being built up. There's a new pillar, a flag, and a plaque on the final ridge. Someone is making it "a destination." Most of the places we used to hike for free have been bought up by concessions. Now we have to pay to see nature.
With our lazy uphill, it is a 4 miles hike to the cars. Tembi and Alice stop off at the Bird and Bromeliad Park to see the big parrots and various birds tucked into the gardens.

Lunch is at Dr Hanna's and Alice's Airbnb, Raben House. Don't they have a beautiful courtyard? The house wraps around it.
The food's enak (tasty), the surroundings are peaceful, and the friendships wonderful.
Tembi and Dr H are working on a project. Later, we enjoy the evening study at our place, led by Alice.

It's a a treat to work in the quiet office on Friday mornings. I take the dogs with me and they lay down to nap most of the day. However, they bark up a storm every time someone walks by. That will take some training.

It is great to have Della stop by - she's prepared wonderful food for both Community Dinners so far, and that's become a passion of hers. Cool to hear her heart.

From several mosques, the Friday chants at noon mean it's time to go close up and work from home.

This week, I've handed in the grades from my classes. Dusted off a few things on my desk. I read Fascism by Madeline Albright in preparation for our book club meeting next week, too. What an interesting view on life and politics. I don't agree with much beyond the facts - but the advantage of academic writing is that the researcher can draw her/his own conclusions from the same observations.

Dr H and Tembi have been working on a charity proposal most of the week. They're back home by late afternoon. The bean soup I make for supper is ok, not great. It's spicy! but hits the spot. It feels cool outside: at 75o (23C), I wear long sleeves to keep warm.

Read more:
*My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
*That night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Keep up your courage!” Acts 23:11
Moravian Prayer: All-powerful God, you fill our hearts with hope and courage. With your help and guidance, we can accomplish great things. Thank you for being our strength and support in everything we do. Amen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A bouquet and goodbye

Tuesday, October 15, 2018
Version Two: the combination of 2 bouquets from last week. We were going to take them to the hospital but the patients had gone home.

Later in the week, there's one final arrangement to make the room beautiful.

After I walk the dogs Tuesday morning, we head for an office meeting at 9. Tembi and Hazel help us sort out some core ideas in preparation for creating an online presence.

Then, Hazel, Tembi, and I go for lunch with Josie and Pauline, old friends. We meet at Padang Sederhana, a restaurant where every dish comes to the table - and you pay for what you eat.
They find a padan restaurant, where you choose your meal from an assortment of dishes brought to the table by a server. You pay for what you eat. I prefer to go early in the day - the food's no longer hot but fewer people have had access to the plates before you do.

We talk, laugh, and tell stories. I love those two - and always feel better after meeting with them.

And then it's off to Ciwalk to meet with Friska - I drop the gals off, make the introductions and head home to work.

At supper, it is SOOOO delicious to share the food truck's hamburgers with the Youth Alpha group. Scott and Sarah are celebrating their last evening with these young people. It's bittersweet - full of stories of their progress, hugs, and great affection between members of the group.

Casey, the little doggie from up the street, joined the pack overnight. She likes both of our dogs and they include her. She scoots down the road, walking between the big animals. All three of them kick up a fuss when someone comes to the gate.

We have one more meeting at the office: the social media expertise of our guests is such a benefit to us. They work through a realistic schedule and give us pointers for updating things well.

And then I send off the last part of the dissertation on which I am advising someone. That's taken 3 days of editing and thinking. It takes almost as long to edit as to write. Well, not really - but it does swallow energy and time. For a non-paying job, that's a lot of work.

While Tembi and Hazel head for the hills with the walking group and the dogs, I tackle the stack of doctoral papers piled on my desk. The cohort was 2 months ago ... but I was waiting for one last paper so I could grade them together. It's grueling work: the second-language English takes some wading through - for 3 days.

While the women go to an orphanage nearby, I finish the last assignments that were handed in and send off some emails to find some missing papers. (I thought that was the last - nope.)

In the afternoon, we have another Community Dinner. It's a noisy packed room; Scott does a great job of talking about what it means to be a community - that we are all needed for each other - just like a body needs all its parts and suffers when one part is injured. The community activity is defining oneself with paper and a stick figure. Some of the creations are totally amazing!

It's a fun crowd (we didn't all make it into the photo, but you can see some of us.)

Delicious food is provided by Della.

And at the end, the group says goodbye to Scott and Sarah with a prayer of blessing.
No one wants to leave; I flick the lights off and on - and a few throw their hands in the air and shout, "Party!" Yes, that's the kind of laughter and interaction that we enjoy together.

Snacks - oh oh. I forgot to check if someone wanted to bring them, so it's on me. I toss crackers in the tote, along with cookies - and 4 fresh-baked loaves of bread for communion. The new IKEA trays are at the bottom of the tote bag with several tablecloths, oil for prayer, and a bell to call back people after the greeting time.

During the greeting and after service, we ask people to find a friend or family members and go to one of three stations around the room. There's a loaf, a glass with grape juice, and a small bottle of oil waiting. We break off a piece of bread, dip it in juice, and celebrate together. Some pray for the sick as well, as we are learning to serve each other as a congregation.

I'm speaking about Jesus, the Lion of Judah - our protector and defender - and the Lamb of God - the one who sacrificed himself for us. The highlight for me is after I'm done: people gather around Scott and Sarah, who are repatriating back to Australia. It's wonderful to hear an Indonesian blessing before I pray in English.

When I start walking to the house at noon, there's still a good crowd hanging around. Hanna lives nearby and volunteers to help. She grabs one side of the tote and I take the other.

In the late afternoon, two young people and I take a Grab car across the city. We have a community gathering and lunch - Scott leads. Thea and her family have made a wonderful meal for all of us after baptism and some storytelling.
We look over the city - and pray as the sun goes down for the big beautiful world around us.

Notice that the world map is centered around the Islands.

Meeting day starts early. For the third meeting, our team doesn't have lunch; we're going to have supper together at Dr Hanna's.

Mid-afternoon, I drop by Angela's for tea. It's lovely on the porch behind the house. I bring some goodies, but she introduces me to a new Indonesian snack.

Shops here have a few aisles of snacks - and there are a lot of snack shops, little cart vendors selling snacks, and ... well, fried snacks everywhere.

Scott and Sarah fly off home tomorrow, and it's one last chance to talk, dream, and pray together. It's a special evening, for sure. And Alice's food is delicious. (Try Raben House if you need a B&B in Bandung!)

Unrolled and ready to pack after sitting in our freezer, here is Dr H's birthday gift to Scott. Yup, the freezer is where you kill bugs so you can get the bark art into Australia!

The gardener comes early and I have to unlock the gate. We take the dogs for a walk. It's Tembi's first time looping the neighborhood with us. It feels like it's going to be a warm day - except that it starts to rain and cools off the morning nicely. Gypsy, incredibly afraid of thunder, hears it coming. He sneaks into the crate in our room and spends most of the day lying in it.

I need to get to Setiabudi Market, though I was just there Saturday. The chick peas have disintegrated in the bag - it's full of weevils. A nasty squirming surprise ...

And we are out of rice.

"Where does it go?" I ask the helper. She shrugs. They've gone through 5 kg of rice in 3 weeks. I need to check on how much extra rice they are cooking. That amount would take W and me a year or more to consume. I rarely eat rice, even when they make it.

This week they scrubbed the carpets and hung them over the shrubs outside to dry. The dust is a constant foe - and seeps into the house through every custom crack of every handmade door and window.

I'm done grading! Oh my, this has been a long process - with the class so long ago, I have a hard time getting into the swing of things. But I'm done - well, I'm waiting for one more person's papers but with the class behind me and the standard for papers set, it will be a breeze. One or two hours max, I hope.

Read more:
*The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever. Deuteronomy 29:29
*Yes, in the way of your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for you. Isaiah 26:8
*The Samaritans said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
*Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
Moravian Prayers: Heavenly Father, let us know that you are near. We turn our eyes toward you and your mercy, as you teach us humility, patience and forgiveness. May your love abide in our hearts from this day forward.
Lamb of God, how blessed are we who have heard your word and know your love! We pray that, whenever we may find those less fortunate, we do what we can to share your gifts with them, and teach them to believe in you. Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2018

2 weddings and a lunch

Where does the week go?

This week, we got lovely guests from the USA. They volunteered at an orphanage in the Philippines last month. Now they'll be exploring Bandung, speaking English with students interested in learning the language, and getting to know Indonesia, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2018
We walk from the tea plantations,
through the overgrown trails of the jungle, which tear up the skin on my shins.

We hike all the way up to the volcano.

From one of the vendors, we buy a few eggs so we can boil them in the steaming water for 12 minutes. They taste yummy.

We have gone straight uphill for a few kilometers - so tired! We have a mud massage before we go up up up to the parking lot - about 8km total - my legs are aching so the massage feels good! W and I have other work to do so we leave the rest to go to their next attraction and head back home.

The evening study is good: Scott leads. Great stuff.

Christian and Eva are getting married. W does the service - and they have a nice reception after.
By the time we get home, our guests are awake, get a massage from Ibu Siti, and feel relaxed after their long night on the bus from the airport to our house.

Later in the evening, I watch parts of the British royal wedding - what a pageant. 

We host a farewell lunch for Scott and Sarah, who are heading back to Australia soon. Before we leave in the morning, W and I walk the dogs around the neighborhood While he prepares a PPT, I make a big pot of spaghetti, boil eggs, and prep for lunch.

We're speaking this morning, but have to dash home right after the service.

Over 50 people show up. Though Scott and Sarah have only been here 6 months, everyone tries to tell them how much they mean to us. 

One student from the language school is celebrating a birthday. Scott finds a few candles and puts them into some sweets. We all sing Happy Birthday for Lydia.

The Youth Alpha group will especially miss their leaders!

Dr Hanna loans us Ibu Lili, who hangs out in the kitchen with Ibu Apong and makes sure everything is taken care of. 

Before we eat, we pray a blessing over the food, Scott and Sarah. 
Josh - our Brazilian Grillmaster - grills  up chicken wings, kababs and beef.  Daniel from Austria helps him out.

Guests have brought potato salad, noodles, fruit, lonton (rice steamed in leaves), pastries, drinks, and enough goodies to make two tables groan with food.

Last week, someone gave us some warehouse leftovers - rattan sofas. We put them around the yard and the house and teras absorb the rest.

Friends hang around until 4:30. The next meeting is at 5. We love to see these friends; we have tea and cookies. Then new recipe is called "blondies" - its caramelized taste is a hit.

Our guests feel hungry by about 7, so we head out the door to Miss Bee. It's a warm evening under the stars. By 9:30, we're ready for bed. We fall in and are asleep about 10:30.

W is running a program on his computer; it blinks into bright light mode after 1am. I'm wide awake. He covers the screen with a cloth - I fall back asleep. When the cloth slips off the screen before 2am, it wakes me again. I can't sleep again until after 5. Sigh. Light is so distracting, even to sleepers.

I'm exhausted when we get up at 6 to walk the dogs. My first call is at 7, then we have a meeting at 9:30, and another at 11:30. After, W heads into Jakarta on the 2:30 shuttle. He's still on the road - with an ETA of 8pm when he calls. He'll stay there overnight.

Read more:
*Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9 NIV

*Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them! Numbers 11:29

*Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God. Psalm 95:2-3

*Jesus said to the disciples, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  John 20:22

*May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

*Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. Hebrews 4:14

Moravian Prayer: Gracious Leader, you tell us that we may dream dreams and see visions, yet we often fail to pursue the leading of the Spirit. Help us to discern your vision for us. 

Reconciling Father, our society is a rich tapestry that is seldom reflected in our fellowship. Guide us in loving you and also in loving our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.