Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In You is full joy

Alright. Now it comes time for me to write about what I have been doing... and I can't remember anything!! Isn't that always the case?! Well, I have been doing things, though in retrospect I don't think that I have been doing as much as it feels like I have... hmmmm.

Well, a little bit ago now I went out to the college to audition for the Umpqua Singers Music Scholarship. I did not get accepted, but the man for whom I was auditioning said that he liked my voice, I just needed more practice sight-reading. Not a big surprise, since I am not very good at it. He recommended that I participate in the Chamber Choir out at the college this year and then apply again next year. I am interested, but we'll see if that's in God's plans for me! It was a good experience even if nothing came of it ;).

One of the responsibilities I have taken up in my new family (not replacing the old one, mind you :^) just in case any of my family back home is reading this) is a Summer garden. Of course, it isn't Summer yet, but I guess that the name refers more to the season in which you reap the harvest, not when you actually plant the seeds. I have planted squash and tomatoes and peas and bell peppers and parsley and some other potted plants that were given to me and I really have no idea what they are... yet! I guess that I will find out when they start giving fruit! I enjoy being able to work outside and having the garden gives me something that I can enjoy and reap the benefits of.

As Spring advances I am constantly amazed by all of the green that surrounds me! Just as I think that nothing could possibly be any more colorful than it is, something new comes up. I have been supremely blessed by the location of my home. We live halfway up a hill (well, it's a bigish hill/smallish mountain, I don't know what it's technical term is) on the other side of which is a river. It's pleasant to be able to take a short walk over the hill and down to the water where you can just sit and listen and pray and be still. When I stand up on top I can look out in all directions. I can see people walking below, cars driving by, cattle grazing, the river rushing, the birds flying by at my eye level... it's rather nice in a weird way knowing that you could yell at the top of your lungs and nobody would hear. God is good!
This time of year there are wildflowers everywhere. Perhaps when I get my computer set up (should be tomorrow, Lord willing) I will post some pictures so that you guys can picture the view with me.

Emily and I have begun taking regular classes and the YMCA. We have tried a couple, but I think that we have both decided that we like Zumba best. It's a great way to meet new people, be a witness and get a good workout all in one! I know that I must be making a fool of myself what with my feable attempts to keep up with the instructor and follow all of the moves... I have found that I can control my arms fairly well and my feet moderately well, but when I put them both together it becomes... awkward ;) But I am getting better!

Since I have been here in the US I have had the priviledge of of being able to participate in a girls' Bible study that meets on Monday nights (I think that I mentioned this before). It's been great getting to know all of the girls and seeing God work in and through us. We meet in a different person's house each week and this week it was our (Emily's and mine) turn to host the study. Emily was leading and I was providing snacks. This week the book we are going through was focusing on the final week of Jesus' life. It's interesting to note that, while the gospel do give us a good picture of the three years of Jesus' ministry, more than a third of the gospels are centered on Jesus' last week before His death and resurrection. Must have been important, no? There's far more emphasis placed on this than on the 40 days He spent with His disciples and followers after His resurrection. One of the events that the book focused on was Jesus' washing of His disciples feet. I have always loved this story, but Phillip Yancey (Author of "The Jesus I Never Knew") brought it even more clearly into light.
Did you know that footwashing is something that, according to Jewish law, a master could not force a Jewish slave to do? It was one of the most disgraceful and lowly jobs there was. No wonder Peter exclaims, "Lord, do you wash my feet?!" when Jesus comes to him. Jesus humbles Himself in this action, saying to his disciples, "The servant is not greater than the master; therefore, if you see me doing this, do the same for one another."
Last night we had the opportunity to wash one another's feet. It was neat to remember Jesus' sacrifice and, just for a moment, to stop and meditate on what it cost Him... and how willing He was to pay that price.

John 13:12-17
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. (New Living Translation)

Be blessed; serve God in what you know to be right. Commit your ways to Him and He will guide your steps. Be strong, friends!

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