Another question for those who haven't had the privilege of coming to Japan. I think this is pretty easy, but what do you reckon?
What are these used for?
|The view across the valley from the campsite at sunrise|
|Park golf course at the campsite|
|I captured this on the edge of the park on our way home.|
I am well aware that no book can "solve' the problem of pain. Yet I feel compelled to pass along what I have learned from the land of suffering. (Ebook location 119)Yancey asks, Where is God? and comes up with three answers.
Time will not heal all wounds. Even God will not heal all wounds, at least not in this life. Meanwhile, we in the church have work to do. Some have particular gifts . . . All of us have the power of love. Suffering isolates, batters self-image, ravages hope; a loving presence can prevail over all three. (Location 1221)He writes, "If the church does its job, people don't torment themselves wondering where God is. They know the answer. God becomes visible though people."
I have been determined in captivity, and still am determined, to convert this experience into something that will be useful and good for other people. I think that's the best way to approach suffering. It seems to me that Christianity doesn't in any way lessen suffering. What it does is enable you to take it, to fact it, to work through it, and eventually to convert it. (Location 1254)So, we "cling to the promise that the God of all comfort has not abandoned us but continues a slow and steady work to restore what evil and death have spoiled."
I believe that God can and will generate good out of everything, even out of the worst evil. For that, he needs people who allow that everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.
I believe that God will give us in each state of emergency as much power of resistance as we need. But he will not give in advance, so that we do not rely on ourselves but on Him alone. Through such faith all anxiety concerning the future should be overcome.
I believe that even our mistakes and failings are not in vain, and that it is not more difficult for God to cope with these as with our assumed good deeds.
I believe that God is not a timeless fate, but that He waits for and responds to honest prayers and responsible action. (Location 1264-5)There is no stopping these disasters. We can but continue to pray to our God who cares, that good will come out of these this suffering. We can but continue to play our part in "being present" in whatever way God calls us to be. We can but continue to look forward to the time when all will be right again and suffering will no longer be a given. And we can continue to know that we are not abandoned.
Gradually I faced the reality that God did not evaluate my mothering by how perfectly or imperfectly my children developed. Rather, he expected me to address how I influenced my children by how I yielded to his love for me and then acted it out in life. Period. He did not ask me to control their responses, their choices, or their consequences...I could not fix my family—my first family or my second—any more than I could fix myself. I was broken. They were broken. I was to offer myself to God and to allow him to use my best, but still flawed, mothering to shape their development. (Location 906).How freeing, is that? That doesn't mean I don't have responsibility for how I conduct myself as a parent (and wife, sister, adult daughter), but it does mean that there is a limit on what I am responsible for. How come I struggle with this so much? I'm always telling my youngest son he's not responsible for his older brothers. I'm often telling the boys that they're only responsible for their reaction to their brothers, not changing how their brother's react...listen to yourself Wendy!
Parenting, like all tasks under the sun, is intended as an endeavor of love, risk, perseverance, and above all, faith. It is faith rather than formula, grace rather than guarantees, steadfastness rather than success that bridges the gap between our own parenting efforts, and what, by God's grace, our children grow up to become. (This actually comes from Leslie Leyland Fields, , "The Myth of the Perfect Parent," Christianity Today, january 2010, 27.)And:
No parent, no matter how dedicated, expert, present, and loving, can produce a perfectly healthy and happy adult. Such a feat is simply not within our power.That's scary and releasing at the same time. Scary, because there are no guarantees about the sorts of adults my kids will turn out to be. Releasing, because I'm not responsible for their choices. My success as a parent doesn't depend on them making good choices. God doesn't judge me by that.
|New tent bag|
|I think he was having trouble holding up that sheet!|
Strangely enough, with long hair and a "skirt" he looked
quite graceful, must be all that sport!
|A tangle of bodies!|
|One page in this small calendar. I love|
the green theme of this page!
|Screen shot of "Project Time Log"|
I can go from writing a prayer letter, to answering an email about the magazine, to checking a fact for an article, to answering an enquiry from the OMF website, to answering an email about another publishing project, to jotting down an idea for a blog post, and back to writing the prayer letter. In the middle there (if I'm being very naughty and disorganised), I could drop by Facebook. But I try not to!Does that sound a little ADHDish? I suspect I'm not the only person who works this way.
Can you tell me where I found these leaves for sale? Bonus points if you can tell my why I might spend 250 yen (AU$2.50) on them.Well, I had few responses. Carol correctly guessed exactly which shop I found them (she's a local): a fruit and vegetable shop. And there were several guesses as to what I would do with them if I'd bought them, including use them for wrapping mochi (pounded rice treat) or onigiri (rice balls) or even in tempura.
The TV report included more detailed information about one of the care homes that has been found guilty. They gave an example of a man in his 70s who'd come to live in the home after receiving a head injury 10 years ago. Since he'd been in the the home, it was recorded that he's had 70 injuries, three of which were broken bones. The report went on to quote care givers who said things like,
"We hit them to get them to finish their food faster. There were others waiting for it. It worked the first time, so we kept doing it."
"He refused to get out of bed, so he was punched."
"We all had our own threshold of acceptable violence."
"Some patients were found to have been abused daily."I felt sick! I know that in Japan these caregivers are frequently poorly paid and trained, and there is a high turn-over. But behaviour like this is abysmal. I find it hard to find the words to describe how evil it is to treat other human beings with such a lack of compassion and dignity.
OMF International is greatly concerned for the people in the areas devastated by Super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name “Haiyan”). According to the BBC, 4 million people have been affected by what looks like the most devastating natural disaster to hit the Philippines. The International Red Cross says up to 10,000 people may have lost their lives. For those wanting to stay up to date with information, http://www.inquirer.net/ is said to provide reliable local information, in addition to major news outlets.
There is immediate need for clean water, food, health care and sanitation. Delivery of aid and restoration of civil order are high priorities. Government authorities and international aid organizations along with other governments are working to deliver the basic necessities.
Mark Chapman, OMF International’s Field Director in the Philippines, said that for large relief efforts like the current situation OMF Philippines likes to work with the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches’ relief arm called Philrads (Philippine Relief and Development Services). While there has recently been two large relief efforts in Bohol and Zamboanga that have strained resources, OMF is sending significant aid through Philrads to planned relief efforts they are doing in the Samar/Leyte area. Philrads is also partnering with iHelp and Habitat for Humanity to help build new homes for the those who have lost their houses. Those interested in assisting financially can contribute through their nearest OMF International office: Philippines General Relief Project Fund Project Fund P65145.
In addition to groups like World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and Mercy Corps, OMF Philippines also recommends Operation Blessing (www.ob.org) as an organization with a "good reputation and doing good work.”
An OMF leader is heading to Samar to visit workers affected by the typhoon and assess areas that OMF can assist in. Other OMF workers and friends are traveling with medicine, water and hygiene supplies to visit smaller islands and coast land areas affected by the typhoon but cut off from the main aid centers.
Please join us in praying for delivery of the essentials for life. Pray for safety and healing of survivors and aid givers, especially for the hundreds of thousands without shelter. Pray for wisdom, peace and justice as the leaders of the Philippines and other organizations work to bring aid. Pray for unity and wisdom among the different organizations providing aid. Pray also for people who can serve this area long-term, after aid agencies have pulled out. Pray for workers who can come, learn language and culture, and share the hope of Jesus through lives of service.
|Here is a classic case of a photo gone wrong (aside from|
from it being out of focus). Clearly our eldest son
was "done" with photo taking that day.