Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Changes

Alternate title: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me...so help me, boom, boom, boom (bonus points if you have the faintest idea what I'm talking about).

Well, if you are the extraordinarily observant type, you may have noticed the subtle changes on my blog. Blogger put some fun new features in draft (draft.blogger.com), so I figured I'd have a little fun and try out some things! Don't know if it will stay like this or not, but I figured that since it was the season of change (as a rule, I'm not so fond of change, but it is beginning to grow on me against my will), it was as apt a time as any to goof around.

"Season of change?" you may inquire. "I thought it was still a frozen tundra away up there!"

Well, you would be mostly correct! It's freezing, and there is still quite a bit of snow hanging around. But it is beginning to melt (the sidewalks and streets are almost clear), and the sun has been making regular appearances. It did snow April 3rd...which was weird...because it's APRIL. But, this is not the change of which I speak.

This change is more of a human change. April 1 was the change of the school year and fiscal year. Also, in Japan, many people get transferred on a fairly frequent basis. So, as of April 1, a whole bunch of people left for far flung destinations around Hokkaido and a new group started coming in. It took some of them a while to get here. We are kinda far away.

It's been kind of strange to look around the office and see the same sorts of things going on as usual, but with completely different players.

I wonder if any of them had the same reaction as me when they found out they were being transferred to Soya (think shock and awe). Of course, some aren't from that far away, but I wonder about the others. Sadly, Soya isn't exactly at its prettiest right now (the exception being last night's sunset). But, I suppose most of Hokkaido looks like this right now, so it wouldn't be all that different! Don't worry, everybody! Soon, it will be fabulous everywhere!

So, in honor of all these changes , let's enjoy Blogger changes as well!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Ahhhh...


I love sunsets at Cape Noshappu. Unfortunately, the short and bitterly cold days of winter coupled with overcast (at best) winter weather conditions made that experience all but impossible. Well, the days have been growing longer and longer and we seem to be having sunny days again.

Well, the sun looked promising when I left work, so I grabbed my camera and headed to Cape Noshappu on the bus. The weather was still oh-so-cold, so I changed into some jeans and upgraded to a heavy coat. My outdoor apparel hasn't changed much with the advent of April...well, I guess jeans instead of snow pants is a bit of a change!

I was worried I was going to miss the good stuff, but I got to Noshappu just in time. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't do justice to the scene at all! The sun was a huge red fireball that was almost too intense to watch, even as it slowly disappeared beyond the horizon.

It was fantastic, and I was so happy to be able to witness the splendor once again!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! He is risen!

The day dawned gloriously bright and sunny. It was strange though, because I can't remember having a white Easter before...it was also bitingly cold and quite windy. But the sunshine was wonderful! I went to church, had lunch with a friend, and then read part of a John Piper book that was really good. The rest of the day was really nice as well.

I love Easter, because it really brings Christ's amazing work into sharp focus (which should really be remembered every day, but I usually need the extra reminder).

This guy doesn't sing, but I like the way he plays one of my favorite hymns, so I put the lyrics below from hymnsite.com

 

 O sacred Head, now wounded,   
with grief and shame weighed down,   
now scornfully surrounded   with thorns, thine only crown:   
how pale thou art with anguish,   
with sore abuse and scorn!   
How does that visage languish   
which once was bright as morn!    

What thou, my Lord, has suffered   
was all for sinners' gain;   
mine, mine was the transgression,   
but thine the deadly pain.   
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!   
'Tis I deserve thy place;   
look on me with thy favor,   
vouchsafe to me thy grace.    

What language shall I borrow   
to thank thee, dearest friend,   
for this thy dying sorrow,   
thy pity without end?   
O make me thine forever;   
and should I fainting be,   
Lord, let me never, never   
outlive my love for thee.