Archive for October 1, 2007

Using My Head to “pass the test”

Today was perhaps only the second time in my life, that I can really remember that I genuinely Praised God in the Nip of Frustration.  This is a confession.  I’ve known I am supposed to “praise God in all things.”  I don’t.   A few weeks ago, when I was sure I had lost my cell phone, or had it stolen in the open bazaar, I genuinely gave it over to God and praised.  I immediately felt relief. I knew it was a major event in my life, and not because the cell phone showed up under the clutter on my desk.  As my Minnesota pastor says, I’d “passed a test.”   

Today, it happened again.  As I was leaving the office, after doing e-mail, I missed my office key.  This was the only official key, although I’d made a copy.  I could lock my office with that.  But, the thing was I HAVE in the past left the key in the lock on the corridor side.  If I had done that today, and had it been picked up by a passerby, well . . . I gave it up, again, and decided that I would confess the loss to the building’s security. But, before that, that I’d look thoroughly.  I decided to look behind my desk, took off my cap so the visor would not be in the way, and the office key fell on the floor. The key had been ON TOP OF MY HEAD!  I saw God’s eyes smiling, as I can see those of you who know me, smiling as well.  J.

I wonder what frustration, what he is preparing us for?  How big will it be?   How consistent will I be?  When I’ve learned something before, He has moved things rapidly.  Pray for us, please.

  Today is Ukraine’s election.  I hope and pray that what transpires there will not send Ukraine back from Europe’s and our Christian and democratic heritage.            We are so blessed.  Remember that.  Praise God for that, as well as the occasional, or persistent, frustration, or bigger, that He sends our way.  He IS loving, all powerful, and all knowing.  It was good to end the service today with “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”   

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“Communal Life” at our Flat

It is cool now in Almaty.  The other morning I awoke to look south to the mountains and they were pretty white.  Soon, we’ll be slipping and sliding on Almaty’s iced and tilted sidewalks.

It beats the heat, and the passage of time brings Kristina who arrives, TLW, 12 days from now via Grand Forks, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Kiev, and Amsterdam. Her “palace” awaits her.  At 70 square meters, I think our rented apartment is about as big as the first floor of the farm house.  It has a master bedroom, a smaller bedroom that will be Kris’ office, bathroom, kitchen, enclosed balcony, and a large living room, big enough to have a movie night for students.  It is a 20 minute “lope” down five flights of stairs and downhill to our university, and a 30 minute trudge uphill from it.  Good exercise.

I was initially awakened by the knock on the door of a rather ravishing blond J who wanted only to tell me that it was MY turn to sweep and mop the landing and stairwell down to the next landing. I was glad to be invited. Years ago in Kyiv, it took a year and a neighbor’s death for us to be accepted in one apartment. There, the landlord tried to get us a key to a locked corridor door, behind which was not only the fuse box for our apartment, but three other apartments.  Those owners declined to give us a key. A year later Luda died.  We contributed when a neighbor came by to make a customary collection for the family.  A few days later, a key appeared.  So, today, remembering that, I tried to do a good job in the stairwell.

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