Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sea of Japan

Last week I got to go up to Kinosaki, a well-known hot springs area in Hyogo. This was not a pleasure trip, but a school swimming camp. All 7th graders go up and swim and play and bond for 4 days and 3 nights.

Here is the hotel we stayed at.

The second night we had a campfire and the kids performed songs. It was a class contest and they had a blast. A shot from the fire night:

Then on the third day, the kids went to a rocky area to look at sea life and fossils. It was way too hot to be out in the sun for 75 minutes, but everyone had fun! Here's a shot of the area.

Overall, I had a great time with my students and co-workers, despite the threat of being "initiated" (hazed) by the veteran teachers. It never happened. Made me think of how often we fear things that may never come to be. Are you living with unnecessary fear? Give it to God. Just enjoy the beautiful things He has prepared for you, and if hardships come, count on His help.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Romantic One

Sometimes God sets things up so that you look way more romantic than you actually are.

Today I went on a few errands: get money from the bank, get a haircut, and buy a few food items. So I got the first two done, and realized all I needed to buy was flour. For some reason, I also thought it might be nice to buy my wife flowers, so I cycled from the supermarket to the flower shop -- about 5 minutes. On my way home from the flower shop, I ran into my wife -- not literally, but we happened to both be on our bicycles and on our way home, so we met up right in front of our apartment.

Anyways, she asked me, "What did you buy?" I lifted my left hand and showed her the flour and said, "Flour...." and a few seconds later, I lifted my right hand and said, "and flowers." She was so happy.

The thing is, if I had not cycled to the places I went in the order that I did so, and had I not chosen that exact time, and even that speed (and even stopped to down a soft drink and throw away the evidence before getting home), I would not have run into my wife when I did, and I would not have met up with my wife when and where I did... it might have been an in-the-house encounter, and I would not have been able to riff on the word "flour/flower"... so I say this whole thing was orchestrated by God. Well, the idea to buy flowers was mine (though I can give God credit for placing my wife on my heart in a special way today), but the timing and making the moment more romantic, that's 100% God! What a Romantic One He is!