Friday, April 17, 2015

Good Morning....Spring....!

Today...I have the balcony 
door open, first thing in the 
morning.  It is so wonderful 
to have the fresh morning air, 
and the fragrance from some 
of my flowers...especially the 
"stock" smells so sweet.  

This is a sign that Spring is here...
and it won't be long before the 
Summer heat and humidity arrive.

But for this I sit in my favorite spot on my couch...with my Bible, and other books...and a cup of coffee...I enjoy the freshness of the Spring morning. 

Thank you Lord....! 

(of course, I still hear the turkeys, but there are more birds "chirping" also, and the "busyness" of life in Tirana) ;-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

When I was working with my babies at the Catholic orphanage in Elbasan yesterday, Tanja, (my wonderful missionary helper that lives in Elbasan) and I began noticing that the little girls fingernails were all painted.

My first comment was, "Mother Faustina would never have allowed the babies to have their fingernails painted.  I wonder who came in and painted their fingernails without her knowing it?"  

Before we finished working with all the babies, we discovered that even little Ervjol, a little boy with Down Syndrome, had his fingernails painted.  Hmmmm....?

Then Mother Faustina came into the play room, and we asked her about the fingernail polish. She was the one who painted all the little ones' fingernails.  Tanja and I just laughed and laughed...the Mother Superior was the culprit, when we were trying to figure out how someone did this without her knowledge.

I love the times when things just make you laugh, so good for the soul....! Precious God surprises...!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Monday, twice...!

In this part of the world, living very near Greece, Easter is celebrated twice...according to the the Western Christian Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.  The thing that makes me laugh in all of the "Easter Monday" holiday...I will get to that in a minute. I looked it up on the internet to get a better understanding why there are two Easter holidays.  

So  here are the 3 reasons:

     The first factor, the calendar, has to do with the fact that the Greek Orthodox Church, continues to follow the Julian calendar when calculating the date of Easter. The rest of Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar.

 The other factor at work is that the Orthodox Church continues to adhere to the rule set forth by the  First Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea in 325 AD, that requires that Easter must take place after the  Jewish Passover in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ’s Passion.

 Finally, it must be on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is a fixed date, March 21. 

In 2011, Easter took place on the same date for the Western Christian Church and the Orthodox Church...but that won't happen again until 2034. 

Now for the Easter Monday issue...!

I live in a country that is 70% muslim, although not all are practicing their faith.  There is a law in Albania, and in Kosova, that if a holiday occurs on a Sunday, the following day Monday, is a national holiday.  Banks, schools, ABC Health Center are all closed.  So for the last two weeks, Monday has been an extra day off.  

The one blessing from having two Easter Celebrations is that the Orthodox Church behind my apartment, plays "All Creatures of our God and King" on the chapel bells, it is so special to hear that hymn being played.  (and I don't hear the mosque...and the call to prayer!) 

Even in the US...there is no such thing as Easter Monday, and it would never be allowed to happen twice...!