View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New adventure - Part II

Hills of Portland in a sea of fog
We have been on the island a week now, and I guess I will start at the beginning.  We arrived in Kona after a nice flight that seemed shorter in length than normal.  Jeri and I played gin on the way over which helps pass the time.  Went to Hertz to pick up our economy car for one day, only to find out their were none available.  Darn!  Had to accept a free up grade to a KIA mini-van, which I believe was a God thing because I was having doubts that we could get all our luggage stuffed into a small car.  The brochure said two travel bags and we had five!

Made the 30 minute trip to Dick and Sharon's house that they purchased when we were over here in September.  They came back  in December for 10 days to put in some basic items like beds, refrigerator, and some dishes and kitchen ware.  Then they returned home for the holidays.  So we are the first to actually occupy the house and work out some of the bugs.  Literally!  Termites and itsy bitsy microscopic red ants are the two biggest pest, followed by cockroaches.  So far no termites or roaches, but boy are the ants a problem.  

Saturday morning the Direct TV guy shows up at 7:45, promptly went to work and had everything installed by 9:30.  Neat young man that flat knew how to work.  They had been scheduled for Monday, but called Friday wanting to install early if possible.  Worked for me.  So I ask the guy about future installing for us and that I had been instructed by DTV to bring my receiver box with me.  He said "Sorry, it won't work over here."  They use a different system over here with a different receiver and apparently the mainland techs can't seem to understand that.  I packed that thing over here and now will have to pack it back.  Frustrating.

After that we went to Costco, filled the rental van with gas and returned it to Hertz.  While Dick and Sharon were here in December they purchased a used Jeep Cherokee and were kind enough to leave the keys for us to use.  That has saved us a ton of money in rental fees.  Went back to Costco to load up on provisions and had lunch.  Say what you want about Hawaiian cost but Costco still sells a dog and drink for a buck fifty, same as the mainland.  In fact, as far as we can determine, the Costco prices here are the same as Portland.  After that we went to Home Depot and picked up a fresh gallon of ant spray and two plastic patio chairs.

That evening I decided to research and find a church to attend Sunday morning.  Found this one web site that was really laid out nice, described  all kinds of activities and ministries, care groups, men and ladies groups, feeding the homeless every Friday evening, and their statement of faith looked like it came right our of our church in La Grande.  The pastor is native Hawaiian, started preaching while in High School, did some youth and mission work, went to seminary, so I was really looking forward to hearing him.  

We find this place, and like most churches in Hawaii it is a building that has no side walls, just a roof.  Very open air and I love that.  From there on it went straight down hill like a falling rock!  First few songs were very loud, can't begin to identify the style but it was a mix of rock and maybe New Orleans Jazz or Dixie land, I don't know but it was strange.  One of the Ladies in the worship team was Hawaiian and improvised with a high pitch scream that was reeeeallly piercing.  Oh, and lots of hand waving, which I don't mind, but the older lady waving a four foot white flag was a little different.  Would have been alright if we had been singing "I surrender all" but we weren't.   Didn't notice anyone speaking in tongues, but lots of dancing.  Last couple of songs they toned it down and sang some songs I even recognized.  

Next, a lady, possibly the Pastor's wife, gets on stage and makes reference to the twelve baskets in front of the stage.  These are bushel size hand woven from palm leaves and really neat baskets.  She then had the congregation divide up into twelve groups, each with a basket.  The idea was to pour all your 2011 problems into the basket, get rid of them and start off 2012 with a clean slate, I guess.  About half the congregation went right up, the rest kind of reluctantly went up, peer pressure I guess, and then there was us sitting feeling awkward because we were not a part of that church family.  Noticed that there were two other couples that had come together were not participating, obviously visitors also.   Jeri nudges me and whispers "We could leave now and make the service at the other church", one that we had attended on one of our previous visits to the island.  But no, I am committed, I don't want to pass judgement too soon because I still am thinking this doesn't match with what I read on their web site.  Foolish me!  Oh it gets better!

The pastor then gets up and prays, makes a few announcements, and then introduces the guest speaker known affectionately as "Aunt Betty", a lady probably in her 60's.  The rock now begins to fall further and faster!  
First words out of this ladies mouth is "I prayed about this message and the Lord said to me not to prepare anything, that He would speak through me what I was to say".  Well, after 40 minutes of her rambling on, my conclusion is the Lord was dead silent because I didn't hear anything that even resembled something He would say.  Oh she talked about living right, loving one another, helping those who need help,
yada yada yada, made vague references to portions of the bible, for thirty seven minutes never mentioned a scripture, but then just when I thought she was going to make it  without doing that, she reads a passage out of Matthew.  Lost money on that self bet!  What a waste of a beautiful Sunday morning.

Due to size limatations permitted on blogs, I have to continue this as Part III. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Adventure

View from the Ridge

 From the earliest days of history man has been on a search of adventure, from the Vikings and Spaniards searching for the new world across an uncharted ocean to man walking on the moon and dreaming of seeing new worlds on other planets.  The Old and New Testaments are full of stories of adventures of people and whole nations embarking on journeys to new lands.  In each of our lives new adventures periodically show up in the form of a new job, new mate, new children or relocating to a new area.  Sometimes it comes with health issues and challenges that make life difficult.  But in every case, what ever the adventure may be, it causes us to stretch and grow to meet those challenges.  I believe that it is God’s way of molding and shaping us to become the person that He wants us to be. 

Several years ago they made a movie called “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.  If they made a movie about Jeri’s and my adventures they would have to call it “Mike & Jeri’s Adventures – Some Excellent, Some not so much”.  But each one was God ordained and directed and accomplished its purpose – to mold and shape us into the people we are today.  And apparently God is not finished with us, which is really good news because it means we will be around a while longer while he puts some finishing touches on us.  Hopefully, just guessing.

The year 2010 was an adventure fighting cancer and putting all thoughts of the future on hold.  2011 was spent recuperating, regaining strength and saying goodbye to Dad.  Last fall we started to venture into thinking about the future again because it appeared we just might have one after all.  We had spent the last 14 or so winters in California, Mexico and Arizona, and while the winter weather there beats Eastern Oregon by far, it was still not what I was looking for. 

The last two years, we have made three trips to Big Island of Hawaii, and two trips prior to that.  It has finally dawned on me that there is the weather that I truly love.  Lows in the high 60’s, Highs in the low to mid 80’s.  I mean, really, can it get any better than that? 

So Jeri and I started looking at the possibility of purchasing a home in the Kona area and began seeking God’s direction and will for our lives.  At the same time we started a daily devotion by Pastor Rick Warren.  It is a one year study on knowing God’s destiny for your life.  The very first lesson – day one – was titled “Focus your Life”.  The first paragraph reads “The next ten years can be the greatest of your life.  They can become a Decade of Destiny, where your life is focused and, as a result, you’re able to make an impact in all you do.”   

Excuse Me!  A year ago I wasn’t sure I had another year, and now you want me to start thinking about the next 10 years?  Well, as a matter of fact, that is exactly what God expects of us.  Despite whatever health issues there may be, despite whatever age we happen to be, despite whatever financial issues we think there may be, God expects us to have goals and to plan ahead and to seek His will, looking for open and closed doors as He guides us to His perfect will, and watch as he performs miracles beyond our wildest dreams.  This hit Jeri and I dead center where we were at in our lives. 

So begins the next hopefully excellent adventure of Mike and Jeri as we begin the search for a house in the Kona area of the Big Island.  This is day two, as we left Summerville yesterday and will fly out Friday the Sixth from Portland.  It is not just about finding a house in Hawaii but also about finding a church that we can plug into and have a ministry.  One thing that has bothered both of us during our winter sojourns is the constant visiting of various churches during the winter and not being able to be a part of one.  We never found a place in Arizona that we really liked and wanted to spend the whole winter at. 

Our goal is to spend 7 or 8 months in Hawaii and the other 4 or 5 months in Summerville and doing some summer traveling which we haven’t been able to do.  Our neighbor has leased the farm ground and has an option to buy the whole place within the next 5 years, so this takes a lot of the work and worry off of us. 

In the third chapter of Joshua, the priest carrying the Covenant Box was told to cross the Jordan River.  They were told the river would stop flowing when they put their feet into the river.  Not before, but after they took that first step.  As soon as the priests stepped into the river, the water stopped flowing and piled up, far upstream at Adam, the city beside Aarethan.  The flow downstream to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and the people were able to cross over near Jericho. 

While I don’t expect to see the Pacific Ocean  part, God has opened many doors for us to take that first step onto an airplane to explore what possibilities lie ahead in the land of mangoes and guava, geckos and sea turtles, beautiful sunsets and  -- oh, and by the way, a live volcano!  That could make life exciting!  Just guessing.

 Hanging loose!