Monday, June 29, 2020

DISC-- Better Late Than Never

I have finished the course DISCover Yourself and Others at Our Daily Bread University, and wished I had learned it while I was still working as a school teacher. -- Somehow, everyone may know about these differences in personalities empirically, but I have found it helpful to study it explicitly and systematically like this.

I will not go into detail about what I have learned through the course, which will help me understand and get along with myself and others better. -- Better late than never.

Incidentally, my personality type is "high C", and moderate "D".
I am far more task-oriented than people-oriented. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

#Ten Things of Thankful: June 27, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

 1. Though we are in the middle of the rainy season, I take a walk almost every day. It is still comfortable early in the morning.

 2. I like taking a walk in different parts of the city.  I enjoy exploring places I have never been to before, as well as finding something new in familiar places.

 3. I'm reading an inspiring book written in Japanese whose title can be translated as "Alone in the Presence of God" by Noda Shigeru, which is about the Book of Jonah.

 4. Last Sunday, I was asked to fill in for another organist on a very short notice: fifteen minutes before the worship service began. --I had played the hymns before, but I didn't have my book for preludes with me on that day. I selected a suitable tune from the hymnal in a hurry, and rehearsed it only once. When I played it in the actual worship service, I made only one hardly noticeable mistake.

 5. I'm thankful for my father, who has been doing the dishes for me since last October, when I began to have severe neck pain. -- The pain is gone now, but he still insists on doing the dishes after every single meal.

 6. I'm thankful for the electric fan in my bedroom.

 7.  Green shiso perilla, a fragrant and refreshing herb, makes ordinary dishes more tasty, especially on a muggy day.

I have taken apart an old yukata (informal summer kimono) of my mother's and have remade it into useful things:

 8. a pajama top,

 9. a pajama bottom, 

10. an apron.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Sky over the Overpass: #Sky Watch Friday

I walked on the overpass near the freight depot for the first time in my life early in the morning the other day. It was still cool and comfortable, and the sky was beautiful.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Joint Work

My mother, who loved crocheting, often had a trigger thumb in her sixties, but she didn't give up her hobby.

One day, she called me and asked me to crochet 15 small flower motifs for the lacy pullover she was making for herself, saying that her fingers were all thumbs then. At first, I was reluctant, knowing that she was a perfectionist who was never satisfied with my work, but I gave it a try anyway. 

My mother managed to crochet the pullover itself and sewed on it the motifs I had made for her. She liked wearing it that summer.

In November that year, she passed away, and all of her clothes, including the top, became mine.

this week's prompt: thumb

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Don't Offer Advice

This Week's Episode of God Hears Her:

A quote from the podcast that I'd like to keep in mind for the rest of my life --

How to help a friend who is healing:

“To be a good friend, don’t offer advice.
The present of presence just goes so much further.”

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Nest of Swallows

While I was taking a walk early this morning, I passed by the church. Approaching the entrance, I noticed a white stain on the slope. Looking up, I found a nest on the ventilator under the roof. --I hadn't known it was there. I hadn't heard anyone mention it before.--

I saw half a dozen swallows flying in front of the building. A few perched on electric wires. The nest may be theirs.

I know the password for the key safe, but I didn't enter the church. 
I know God hears me wherever I am.
This morning, however, I wanted to go near the church to pray, 
and realized how little time and energy I usually spend in praying.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful During the Rainy Season

The rainy season has set in where I live. It doesn't mean it keeps raining all the time every day for about 40 days, but it is usually very humid and uncomfortable during this season. Today, I'm going to list 10 things that help me cope with these muggy weeks, starting with the most obvious things...

  1. umbrellas
  2. rain boots
  3. the dehumidifier
  4. the refrigerator
  5. one-week weather forecast 
  6. iced coffee
  7. lavender-scented soap
  8. colorful flowers of hollyhocks and hydrangeas
  9. stoicism
  10. hopefulness for more comfortable days

 +   an unexpected, new hairstyle every morning because of the humidity...

Have a great weekend!

Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, June 19, 2020

In the Middle of the Rainy Season -- #Sky Watch Friday

I took these photos 
while I was walking along the river 
on a cloudy day in the middle of the rainy season.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

On a Sunny, Hot Day

On a sunny, hot day in mid-August, Vera went out of her cozy apartment where she lived by herself, and got on a local train on a whim. The university student was wearing a white cotton blouse, blue jeans, black sneakers and a new white hat.

The train ran through rice paddies and vegetable fields, and she got off at the fifth station whose name means "Fortress" in the local language, just because she had never been to that place before. 

Vera had not decided exactly where to go and what to do in the city, which seemed to be a featureless bedroom town on a large river.  

Strangely, the air smelled of rusty iron. She looked around, wondering where the smell came from.

this week's prompt: iron

Monday, June 15, 2020

Laodicea: The 7 Churches of Revelation

Recently, I've watched the 7 videos on The 7 Churches of Revelation posted by Our Daily Bread Ministries, which I've found educational and eye-opening. I especially learned a lot of things through the last video. It is amazing how the geographical and cultural knowledge help us understand the meaning of particular passages in the Bible. I've learned what the lukewarm water and salve to put on your eyes mean to the church in Laodicea both literally and figuratively. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted because of Righteousness

Matthew 5:1-12

  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (verse 10) 
  • "Because of righteousness" means "for the sake of God."
  • The apostle Paul, for example,  was persecuted severely, but he kept following the Lord, spreading the Good News, which was made possible because he trusted in the Lord and prayed to Him all the time.
  • Paul, being fully aware of his weaknesses, was fully dependent on God.
  • "The kingdom of heaven," that is, the heart in which God reigns, is already ours.

--summary of the sermon by the Rev. O*

the hydrangea I saw this morning while taking a walk
(My favorite color of hydrangeas is blue.)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful: June 13, 2020

Ten things that are good for the eyes, which I've had this week:

  1. salmon
  2. sardine
  3. broccoli
  4. spinach
  5. blueberry jam
  6. red paprika
  7. green peppers
  8. tomatoes
  9. carrots
  10. eggs

Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, June 12, 2020

#Sky Watch Friday: June 12,2020

I walked along the river southward farther than usual, and saw this next to a bridge I crossed for the first time in my life.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Mr. O*

Mr. O* had lung cancer, which later metastasized to the tailbone. 

His doctors tried one therapy after another, which had various degrees of adverse effects. 

Every time I heard of how much pain he was in, I secretly wondered if they should begin to concentrate on palliative care, rather than curative treatments, but how could I tell anybody about my feelings?

A few days before he passed away, Mr. O* had said to his wife, 
"Will you allow me to give up fighting the disease?" 

Mrs. O* nodded gently. 

Then he asked her to sing her favorite hymn, "He Leadeth Me," for him.

this week's prompt: therapy 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Walking in an Unfamiliar Place

Early this morning, I took a walk in the western part of the city where I had never been before. A couple of years ago, someone told me about the vegetable gardens in a place where there used to be a railroad . --I didn't even know there used to be a railroad there, which was abolished decades ago.-- Somehow, I've been interested with the railroad-turned-vegetable gardens. Finally, I had an opportunity to visit it today.

It was about 45-minute walk from my house. I saw some people working on their gardens before 6:00 a.m.

Here are some of the photos I took today:

The Spotted bellflower is called 蛍袋(hotaru-bukuro) in Japanese, which literally means 'firefly bag.'  It is said that children put fireflies in these flowers long time ago. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful: Happy 7th Birthday!

Ten Things I'm thankful 
Ten Things of Thankful

  1. It reminds me of the importance of being thankful.
  2. It helps me to be more mindful of the things around me.
  3. It helps me to focus on good things in my life, especially in difficult times.
  4. It encourages me to keep writing in my blog, even when I find it difficult to think of anything interesting to write about.
  5. It motivates me to continue to practice writing in English, which is a foreign language to me. 
  6. Writing about something positive makes me feel happier.
  7. I've 'met' a lot of wonderful bloggers including you through this blog hop.
  8. Reading your lists makes me feel glad, too.
  9. It helps me learn more about the people living in different places, whom I will probably NEVER see in person.
  10. I'm thankful for the people who make kind comments, though I don't always reciprocate... (I definitely need to limit my screen time strictly.)

To celebrate the 7th birthday of this delightful blog hop, I'm going to post 10 of my photos I've taken recently.

Ten Things of Thankful