It was an hour drive from our overnight stay to a breath-taking scenic wonderland: Yosemite. This national park hosts some of the most beautiful scenery that you can comprehend.

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While this will not be an exhaustive list, decades of ministry have illustrated that there are diverse circumstances in life, but at the end of the day, there are common denominators why people end up with ruined lives. Without a lot of comment, here are some of the things I've observed:

  • Ignores consequences - never deal with the root of an issue, deal only occasionally with the fruit that continually crops up.
  • Avoid anything painful. Sacrifice is to be avoided at all cost.
  • Make personal happiness (above anything else) your goal in life.
  • Never relinquish control.
  • Only do things you completely understand.
  • Convince yourself that you can compartmentalize - you are a good person in most areas of your life and that certainly outweighs any deficiency.
  • Never let light shine on the secret area of your life.
  • Depression, self-pity, emotional struggles entitle you to avoid personal responsibility.

If you intend to end up a train wreck, pick at least one of these and defend it with all your might.

Any others I might have missed?

Our time in Tokyo was short and sweet. We were not on the first standy-by flight from Manila to Tokyo, so we did not arrive until 8PM. Transfer to Tokyo on a bullet train and still we were not at our hotel until 10PM after clearing customs and passport checks.

The weather was not even close to tropical, but did remind us of home in Germany. As a matter of fact, Japan is the only other country that rivals the dedication to having things as tidy and clean as in Germany.

What we saw we enjoyed thoroughly. Manicured gardens and the imperial gardens in downtown Tokyo, a little shopping district, a temple and a tea ceremony.

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Last day in paradise. Time to get away from the tourist resort. Having been on the scooter yesterday, we discovered other parts of the island to explore. So we decided to do our last big meal at a tiny beach at the end of the island.

A twenty minute ride on a sidecar type motorcyle, we arrive at our destination - Puka Grande. Really. That is hopefully the given name, and not the name everyone calls the place after eating.

What a great menu and meal. Nothing elegant - plastic tables, plastic garden chairs. Six tables host a couple of nationalities, but everything is an island pace.

 

A gentleman wouldn't tell stories, but I have never been accused of being a gentleman.

Debbie and I had planned to rent a scooter. That was always on the schedule. So that is what we did. Then we got on their newest model. Perfect in every way. And we took off.

Then Debbie began to cry in my ear. I mean, sob. Scared. Really scared. But she pushed through it and then it became fun. Ultimately we ended up covering some of the same territory twice; she couldn't see some of it through the tears. And we laughed.

Fear does have the ability to grip you tightly. Sometimes it is an early warning system that protects you from stupid decisions. Sometimes it keeps you from any risk and you won't see things that are beautiful.

I'm glad she pushed through the tears and the rest of the ride was an absolute delight.

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