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Day 323: The Micronesians are Coming!


"Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean".     

Yesterday was a long day. Long but rewarding. I got up at 5:30 a.m. I wanted to have time to sit and have a cup of coffee before playing for the two masses at the Catholic church I am interviewing for the church pianist job.  There is a Starbucks just a few blocks from the church. I was worried about being late, so I reasoned that I could go to Starbucks and sip coffee until about 7:00. I needed to be at the church by 7:30.  First Mass was at 8:00, but I needed to get my music in order and meet with the cantor.

I got to Starbucks in plenty of time. I felt quite pleased with myself for being awake before sunrise!  And I had a new drink:  A honey caramel latte. So yummy!  The barista was very friendly. I felt good!

The church services went well. I was worried because I did not get a chance to practice at the church. But the first time is always rough, no matter how prepared you are.  My biggest blooper was actually quite funny. Well after the fact, that is. Right now, I am still blushes remembering....

I started the entrance hymn when I saw the priest standing in the door. That is how we did it at the Lutheran church. But in this church, the congregation is elderly, and cannot read the hymn numbers that are posted on the board. So apparently the cantor asks them to rise and turn to hymn # ____.  She apologized for not informing me of this. I started joyfully playing the first stanza of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today". But I got a horrible feeling, like a nightmare, when I realized no one was singing! The cantor was whispering, "I need to announce the hymn!"  So I nonchalantly stopped and inserted a chord. She announced the hymn. The congregation stood and we started over.

Even  more amusing was the later service. The priest had emailed me the order of the Mass and what hymns we would be singing. But for the second service, he would write Hymn # _____, "unless the Micronesians sing". He wrote this several times. He also wrote that the second reading might be read in "Chuukese". I was dying with curiousity. Who were these mysterious Micronesians?

I googled Micronesia. They are islands near Australia. 

 So I finally got my answer at the second service. Apparently, there are a group of people from Micronesia who enjoy singing for the church and doing the scripture readings in their native "Chuukese" But they do not always show up. Sometimes they do not have a big enough group. Sometimes they just do not make it. But when they do, they are well received. They dress in colorful clothes. They sing joyfully, and loudly, accompanied by a boom box. 

And they did show up yesterday for the 10:30 service.  It was so refreshing and joyful. Perfect
for an Easter service!

I enjoyed my time at this lovely little church. I do not yet know if I have the job.  But if it is God's will, I will be pleased, especially if the Micronesians come again!

After church, I was going to go to lunch with  my son. My daughter and son-in-law were going to go with his family to lunch after church. But my son-in-law was sick.  So I got yet another wonderful experience on Easter - lunch with  my kids! My mom had called earlier, raving about Easter brunch at Izzy's. We are all trying to be healthy in our household, but that sounded wonderful.  The church had paid me, and I was relieved the the music went so well. So off to Izzy's we went!

And I am pleased to report that I ate very healthy.  I had a plate of salad and fruit, scrambled eggs. steak, a bit of potatoes and small piece of ham.  And hot tea.

After lunch we went to Fred Meyer's. I had bought my daughter a crockpot for her birthday. Our prepackaged crockpot meals were not fitting in her small crockpot. Plus I thought one with a programmable timer would be more sensible.

Alas, the one I had purchased had a deceiving image on the box. It was no bigger than her old one! So we returned it and upgraded.  We had a 4 quart. We now have a 6 quart crockpot with programmable timer!

We also bought a vaporizer for the ailing patient.  And some menthol and fresh fruit.

After all of this, we were all sleepy. We went home for a nap. We had talked about going to the gym later that evening. I wondered if we would make it...

But 6:30 p.m. I popped up. Woke my son up. My daughter was sitting with her husband. He was still feeling pretty funky, coughing and such. She said she needed to stay home with him.

So at 7:00 my son and I went to the gym. We were there for about 1 1/2 hours! I worked up a sweat and then sat in the hot tub. I am leaning towards a membership at this gym. My gym, Crunch, is cheap and convenient, but no hot tub, steam room, pool or sauna.

24 hour Fitness has all the above hydrotherapy. They are having a special price this month. It brings back fond memories. As a young adult, I signed up for a gym with a pool and hot tub. I remember how refreshing it was to workout, soak and then shower. Even in my early 20's I had a lot of joint pain. And now, like then, the hot water after a vigorous workout does wonders.

So, today I am back to work. Spring break certainly did whiz by. But I feel rested and restored.

My psalm of the day is Psalm 17:

Psalm 17
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men's words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.
 
I love the last line of this psalm. Such an expression of hope!

I looked up commentary on this psalm. And found these lovely words from the site www.refiningtruth.com:



"Charles Spurgeon called Psalm 17, “AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN from the persecutions of earth”. This is a good descriptive of the Christian day. All of us have trials, tribulations, concerns and pressing matters of fate and fortune. Maintaining our righteous integrity and our relationship with God is “mission critical” to surviving and overcoming these adversities. Psalm 17 is a marvelous example and guide to achieving just that!" ~Bill Hitchcock (http://www.refiningtruth.com/appeal-heaven-psalm-17-commentary-exposition/#.VvnXdytRK8B)

On another note, Mother Angelica passed away on Easter Sunday. She was 92 years old. She founded the EWTN network in 1981, broadcasting from the monastery garage! I really must find out more about her.  I have lately been listening to the Catholic radio station and have been comforted by her sweet voice and often draw strange looks as I laugh out loud at her unexpected rascally humor.  I plan on reading more about her. But for now just want to offer a prayer for her sweet spirit. May you rest in peace, beautiful lady. 

http://www.people.com/article/mother-angelica-ewtn-founder-dead-92




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