Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some wise words from a friend--

This was from a prayer letter that I received from a close friend of mine. I have known her since we were in elementary school. She gave me permission to copy what she wrote because she was excited to hear about God challenging me with the same thoughts that she has been having.
And God has been doing just that in my life. He has been challenging me with my own perspectives on missionary work and how that relates to my relationship and perspective on the true meaning of God's holiness.


Missionaries don’t magically become more like Christ when they move to a more exotic geographical location. God has been hammering into my head lately how grieved He is when I reduce “holiness” to what I do for Him instead of what He gave His Son’s blood for me to become. How sad He must be about all of the times I’ve relied on popular “methods” of ministry, trusted in my own strength, sought man’s approval as I’ve done His work and missed out on the unfathomable things He was longing to do if I had relied on His supernatural power. He’s showing me lately the depth of what He bled to obtain. He must increase, and all of my self-absorption, my worries about me and my problems, my “personality”, must decrease, for His glory.

I’ve been praying so much for revival in my own life, and revival in all of us. I am longing for God to do huge things, beyond what we would even think imaginable. I want Him to raise up mighty warriors for His kingdom. He wants to take me beyond my tendency to make life all about me, to weep over the things that cause Him to weep, to fight for the things He would fight for.

And before all of this can happen there has to be repentance- seeing my sin of selfishness, my indifference to the needs of the world, my lack of faith and dependence on God, my pride, the way He sees it. May God give us this gift of repentance and godly sorrow. May His fire of revival fall on us that we would truly know Him in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of His sufferings. What kinds of unfathomable things is He longing to do through us as He increases and we decrease?


So that's what she shared and that's almost exactly what I have been thinking about. It's challenging to back up and try to reevaluate our perspectives on our faith. Sometimes we think it's right or sometimes we think that it's going smoothly when in fact perhaps we need to take another look at ourselves to see just where we are.
Who knows. Maybe you are where God wants you right now. But then again, I have examined myself often enough to know that I'm not always in His will as close as I could be.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Trying to learn Japanese is like trying to exercise a muscle that I have never used before, let alone even knew I had. And trying to speak Japanese is like trying to use that muscle for the first time.
I have motivation to learn the language because I do love communicating with people and I enjoy conversation. I want to have coherent conversations with my Japanese friends and potential new friends!
So recently I sent in my application for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). It will take place on December 5th. I am not looking forward to it. Nor do I feel prepared. The test is held at five different levels; N5-N1, N1 being the most difficult and N5 being the easiest. I signed up for N4. But after recently purchasing some test prep. books I am feeling like maybe I am not ready for even the N4. I saw some pre-tests for N5 and decided that that test was far to easy. I am somewhere in-between N5 and N4 as far as proficiency is concerned.
So I have two months to radically improve my Japanese grammar and vocabulary and Kanji knowledge.
I it will take God pouring knowledge directly into my brain for me to actually do well I feel. But nothing is impossible, right?
This is a personal challenge. The IMB doesn't require this test. But i knew that if I did not have a challenge in front of me, like this test, that I would never get further in my language comprehension.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Entry

Last week I deactivated my Facebook account rather on impulse but decided that it was probably one of the best decisions I have made recently. Now when I am tempted to sit in front of my computer for an inordinate amount of time... I don't. But, I still love Facebook. I just have to admit that being in my position it's not the best thing for me. I was letting too many things distract me from back home that shouldn't be distracting me.
Lately I have been trying to find new ways to stay closer to God. I remember that back in the states I really enjoyed just being around my friends and helping them when they needed something to be helped with. I also remember really enjoying receiving the help of them in return, which many of my friends were ready to do! That was one of the best ways that I was able to share Christ's love with people. Here in Japan I don't have as many opportunities like that because of cultural differences, however the opportunities are still there. I am praying that God opens my eyes to them and that the people are willing and grateful for my help.
Last week I got to go on a trip to Kagoshima for a fashion show at a department store there. It was busy and fun, in spite of my ankle hurting a bit because I had sprained it a couple of weeks ago. But the most memorable time for me was the train ride back. ON the train ride back my friend from the studio, Makiyama-san, sat next to me. As I pulled my Bible out to read it a bit she was surprised to actually see a Bible. She had never seen one to my understanding. So we had a conversation about God's word. The girls across the isle also took part in the conversation. I hope I communicated efficiently despite the fact that my Japanese is really bad!
Here's hoping for more opportunities like that on the train with Makiyama-san. It's not normal that I get people who are actually interested to talk about religious things with me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have to say that lately I have been complaining about my life being mundane over here. TI seems as if I am reliving the same cycle, both in relationships, and in my daily life.
In relationships I seem to cross paths with people who are immediately interested in me because I speak English and am from America. Then we make friends because of this fact, and then later, because the grounds for our friendship was so superficial for them, the relationship kind of dissipates. Not that I really want it to disappear or end. ON the contrary I love having friends. But sometimes that just happens.
Right now it is the summer vacation for many students. All of my university friends are either at their home towns or are traveling over seas. I'm hoping that the ones who are overseas with internships and homestay programs get with good people and make some strong connections. Perhaps they will be able to learn things overseas that I was not able to teach them over here. I would love it if they came back and reported these types of things to me.
In my daily life I have gotten a little lazy. Getting to bed late and waking up late. I confessed to my church this on Sunday. So I am going to try and make the most of my time. I'll admit that I have A LOT OF TIME over here. It's not a bad thing, but I really need to make the most of it.
Also, Thank God for my friend Takao. He is a kid that is about to graduate from University. Just going into his fourth year. He is really patient with me and my bad Japanese and always trying to cheer me up if he thinks that I am feeling down. He is a blessing. So say a prayer of blessing for Takao if you read this. You pronounce his name "Ta cow" like "Ta-" plus the animal.

Monday, July 26, 2010


It has been a long tim since i last posted anything. Sorry about that. Most of the people who were tracking this are probably off doing better things now! ha ha. But with some coaxing from someone back home (you know who you are) and also some recent events, I have felt led to add another post.
Anson and I have decided to go ahead and start reviewing the basic practices and beliefs of Christianity with our house church. Yesterday was a good a start. We had ten people!!! Of course not all of them were Japanese though. We had our neighbor, Fine, the pro rugby player from downstairs, and then two American friends of Anson's who are now living in Korea, and then our church member, Miku, brought two other Japanese Christian ladies. One of those ladies just happens to be a mutual friend of ours and I was glad to get to see her again after such a long time. Then one of our regular members, Takao, was there as well as our friend Hiro.
It was a nice little crowd and was perfect because we shared communion together and all remembered Christ's love for us.
We read Scripture about the Lord's Supper from 1 Corinthians and then shared with each other some praises and prayer requests. IT was an awesome Sunday morning.
I am looking forward to next Sunday and seeing what God will be leading our church to learning.

Anson also always helps provide some great music. God has really blessed him with this talent and it has helped the rest of us church members get to hear something besides our own voices during musical worship.
Pray for continued growth of our church! God can do great things with it before we leaving, and then even after no more missionaries are here! I pray for the day when there don't need to be foreign missionaries in Japan because so many Japanese are taking over the job!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Passion Tokyo Conference 2010

Last weekend I took a trip to Tokyo to check it out and to attend the Passion conference there. It was a very good service. There were about 1,600 people there and over a thousand of them were Japanese people. It reminded me that there are Japanese Christians still here in the country even if I never see them.
I tried to talk to some of them to see where they were coming from and almost all of the people I talked to were surprised that I came all the way from Fukuoka for the conference. Two guys told me "God bless you" in English. It was real sweet of them to speak so endearingly to me, a total stranger.
I didn't meet anyone from Fukuoka while I was there, but I was satisfied just seeing all of those Christians in one place. It was even more of a blessing to hear the service translated directly into Japanese by a pastor in Tokyo.

One could be cynical, like I often tend to be, and muse that perhaps not every Japanese person in attendance was a Christian. And they would be right.
But there was more than a single believer there and that is all that's needed for the Spirit to be present.
Praise God for that time. It reminds me to pray not just for potential believers in Christ, but also for the many young Christians that already live here in Japan.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Last week I was meeting with my friend, Kei. We were having our weekly Bible study on his University Campus. Kei thought I would be interested to know of a sign that the University had just recently posted.
Since Kei just so happens to be an expert in Japanese he helped translate it for me. Apparently the school is saying that students should be careful of "cult" groups on campus. People who come offering English language exchange, English Circles, or other types of groups because they will "brain wash" you with friendliness and kindness and then suck you into their religion where they will take all of your money.... and it goes on and on. It was a very detailed message and I was kind of surprised to see it. There had already been a message somewhere on campus that said that no apostatizing was allowed. I have never used a soap box on campus.
IN any case it was disheartening to me. Because now the students on campus will be more fearful of "cult" groups and perhaps anything that I could offer them.
I have no idea what the University defines as a "cult" and for all I know they could very well think that I was trying to recruit students into my own "cult" with my kindness and friendliness.
I just have to remember that what I have to tell the students about is much stronger than any block that the university has placed on me.
Be in prayer for the Christians on the college campus about this. No doubt it is disheartening to them as well as it is to me.