Jan 30, 2016

#10 Thankful: January 30

   The other day, I went to a concert held at the Bible Institute in another city and had a very good time. The concert featured Christian songs that were popular in Japan in the 1980's. On the stage were three guitarists and a vocalist, and all the audience sang along. There were about twenty people there. We sang 38 songs together in two hours! I'm thankful for the Rev. Satou, who organized this wonderful concert. I'm also thankful for the leaders who played the guitar and sang so many songs for us. The coffee served during the break was good, too.

   Last Sunday, we had a rice-cake party at our local church. We made some 餅 (mochi ), or rice cake, in a traditional way, and ate it for lunch together. The rice cake was good, and we had a good time talking with one another. I'm especially thankful for Mrs. S*, who cooked the sweet adzuki bean soup for us, in spite of her broken left arm.

making rice cake

rice cake in sweet adzuki bean soup

--The two photos above were taken at the party in 2015. I didn't have a camera with me this year.--


   We needed a new fluorescent lamp starter. The one that was in my father's drawer was of a wrong type. So, I added the item in my shopping list. Then I remembered that there were a few unused starters in one of the drawers in my room. One of them, though it was more than twenty-five years old, was the right type. It still works! I don't have to buy a new one.

   I'm thankful for the kumquats that I've got at the open-air market.


   Several weeks ago, I asked the city library to buy a certain book, though I didn't hold out much hope of their granting my request. To my pleasant surprise, however, they emailed me this week, saying that the book was now available and that I should come to the library to borrow it within a week. I went to the library on Friday. I'm glad that I can read the book so soon!

 I'm thankful for the rice crackers that Ms. D* has given us.

Jan 29, 2016

A Sunny Day after the Heavy Snowfall

in the park next to the city library in Nagaoka, Japan

I'm joining Skywatch Friday
where people from all over the world post great photographs of the sky in their part of the world

Jan 28, 2016

Canned Air

Mount Fuji from Hotel Mt Fuji 1995-2-7

If you were to visit Mt. Fuji, the highest and the most popular mountain in Japan, and see cans containing air from the top of the mountain sold at one of the shops there, would you like to buy one as a souvenir?

An 18-centimeter (about 7-inch) -tall can costs about 1,000 yen (about 9 dollars).

What if you were given one of these cans by someone who has been to Mt. Fuji?

The can seems to contain not only air but also something else.

When you shake it, it makes a faint tinkling sound.

Would you be tempted to open it?

cue: can

Jan 15, 2016

Jan 14, 2016

In the Snow

Last Monday, I went to a small town by the Sea of Japan to attend a meeting held at the Bible Institute there.

It was snowing heavily, and I was the only person that got off the train at the unattended station by the stormy sea.

Having walked in the snow for more than half an hour from the station, I realized I had lost my way.

I had come to this town before, but it was in the summer, and it looked as if the snow had changed the place completely.

All the hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and souvenir shops on the street were closed during the off season, and there was no one to ask for directions.

I wished I could call the organizer, but I didn't own a cell phone and there was no public pay phone in sight.

cue: change

Jan 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Vol 251

1.Share one thing that really makes your day.

Making someone smile.

2. Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.  

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you've seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?

I'm not familiar with any of the places listed above. Judging from the photos on this page, I would be most interested in Wroclaw, Poland.
One of the most colorful places I've traveled to is Goshiki-numa, or Five-colored lakes in Fukushima, Japan, in autumn. 

3."Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield  In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?

I don't agree. Things I want doesn't necessarily have anything to do with fear.

4. Imagine you're stranded on a desert island and dessert appears...what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?

I hope it is ice cream. 
-- Since English is a foreign language to me. I always have to be careful when spelling 'desert' and 'dessert.' 

5. What song almost always makes you cry?

Kyrie in Mass B Minor, by J.S. Bach

6. January is National Soup Month.  Everything from soup to nutsin the soup,thick as pea soupsouped up...which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.

To be honest, I had to look up every phrase above in the dictionary... I should say that the fog of the English language is still thick as pea soup, and I need to have my vocabulary souped up.

7. Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?

Don't worry.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm glad that I'm taking part in Wednesday Hodgepodge again. I've learned several new things in answering these questions.

I am taking part in Wednesday Hodgepodge,
hosted by Joyce @ FROM THIS SIDE OF THE POND.

Jan 9, 2016

#10 Thankful: January 9

1. the brunch on New Year's Day 

2. taking a walk on New Year's Day 

3. going to church on the first day of the year

(Most churches in Japan have a worship service on January 1st.)

4. a fragrant yuzu citron

5. One of my cousins visited me on Monday.
(She gave me dozens of dried fish.)

6. the pear cake that K* has given us 

7. finishing my latest translation assignment for Our Daily Bread Ministries 

8.  my previous work, revised by the editor, being published online this week: 

9. T* had cataract surgery this week, and he seems to be doing well so far. 

10. signing up for a Bible Memory Challenge, which is to start on January 18

Memorizing Matthew 6

Jan 7, 2016

Exact and Appropriate

Studying English as a foreign language, I find words like exact and appropriate intriguing. Used as adjectives, they are likely to describe something desirable. For instance, I would prefer an exact answer to an inexact one, and I would rather be in appropriate clothes than in inappropriate clothes. Used as verbs, however, these words sometimes remind me of something undesirable. A person who tries to exact something from someone else is not exactly kind, and appropriating someone else's money is far from appropriate behavior. Words with many meanings are confusing but interesting.

cue: exact

Dec 31, 2015

The New Year's Resolution, 2015 and 2016

On January 1, 2015, I made a New Year's resolution.

I decided to read the entire Bible in one year according to the schedule suggested in the devotional booklets, Our Daily Bread.

At the end of the year 2015, I'm happy to announce that I've finished reading the Bible from cover to cover in 365 days!

I have to admit that I sometimes read the chapters in a cursory manner on busy days, but I did follow the schedule every single day.

In the year 2016, I'd like to read the Bible more carefully.

I'm going to focus on the New Testament, and I'm planning to read it every day, starting with Matthew 1 tomorrow.

cue: resolve