March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Sharon and I hope you have a very special day today and have a chance to participate in one of the many meaningful traditions that celebrate Jesus' victory over death for every person.

With so many images competing to represent this special day, I thought you might enjoy this article on the history and meaning of Easter-- as well as the many ways that Easter is celebrated around the world...

Found here:

The Easter Celebration: What does it really mean?

March 14, 2008

Easter so Early!

I was surprised how early Easter Sunday is this year- March 23th in 2008- with good reason. The last time Easter was this early was in 1913 and the next time will be in 220 years- AD 2228.

The date of Easter Sunday is set by this formula:

The 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox

This approximation-- a compromise made centuries ago-- was meant to unite Christians who were celebrating Easter on various dates. However, Eastern Churches adopted a different formula-- making Easter Sunday April 27th this year. The Eastern and Western observances do fall on the same day in some years-- for example, 2010 and 2011 both fall on the same Sunday.

Does Easter come even earlier than March 23?

Well, the last one was on March 22, 1818 and the next one will be on March 22, 2285-- So, stick around!

Could you imagine what it would have been like for the disciple Thomas at the time of the first Easter? Well, here's an interesting account of what it may have been like:

or you can look over or even download a pdf file of the March Easter edition of Activated Magazine here:

March 13, 2008

White Day

No, White day, March 14th, is not a Ku Klux Klan holiday. In Japan, it follows a month after Valentine's day, when women give gifts to men, usually chocolates-- nice, huh? I really like chocolate!

However, now, on White Day, it's the men's turn. And, we have to consider the Japanese traditional saying: sanbai kaeshi 三倍返し "return triple". Ouch!

How did White Day originate?

Well, just as Valentine's day promotions of cards, flowers and chocolates popularized that holiday, apparently a 1965 candy company 'Marshmallow Day' campaign-- urging men to repay Valentine gifts with marshmallows-- has since expanded to “White Day”, with white chocolates, other candies or even jewelry or white clothing like handkerchiefs or lingerie.

photo: (c)

March 02, 2008

Nagano Skiing

We've been snow-covered continually nearly all winter-- with temperatures hovering right around freezing in the day and well below at night-- of course colder in the surrounding mountains.

And that's just were we went two weeks ago. That's Andrew in the photo. He did quite well for his first attempt.

The skiing here is world-class-- impressive and beautiful, even to a non-skier like me. My big dare of the day was to sled halfway down one of the slopes-- the fastest I've ever gone on a sled!

Photos of the resort we went to:

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