Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prayer Stuff #5

Hi Everyone!

It's gotten a lot cooler in Japan these few days, temp's dropped to high 20s, which is definitely way better than when it was mid-30s. It's also raining a bit more, which is not saying much, but I already got caught in the rain twice this past week, so yeah.

Prayer Stuff!:
  1. Taira (Tokorozawa HC) is still pretty busy, he says he's been leaving work on average 9pm, but he seemed a lot 'brighter' today. Guess part of the reason is that he found out that one of his managers at work has the same interest in the piano that he has. Pray that he will continue to be able to find joy in life like this.
  2. Wednesday will be the next 'Yokohama HC' meeting. I'm putting it in inverted commas because at the moment, I'm still not too sure what it is, it's not quite a housechurch like some of the others, seems more like a leaders' group, but not sure about that either.
  3. One of the things I picked up while in Japan was the naginata, and my instructor is asking me to help her grandkid (and friend) with English. Which is all well and good, except for the part where I don't know anything about teaching English to 5-year-old children. Need wisdom, resources, and let's throw in some tolerance as well... not too sure how I'll be able to handle 5-year-olds.
Yup that's about it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prayer Stuff #4

Whoops ok sorry was a bit late this round.

Prayer Stuff!
  1. Urawa group is back up to the usual 5 members (Michiko, Fuyumi, Kimiko, Izumi, Miki) and maybe one guy who turned up before may be coming back (Yuzo). Some of the members though, are attached to the group because they want to meet Steve, not because of the Bible study. Pray this will change from former to latter (esp since Steve is leaving for home assignment next summer)
  2. E-moms this morning was ok, despite rain, 3 mothers came for the meeting.
  3. Kids' club tmr!
  4. Temperature's going down, probably the start of autumn. Karen (Shinjuku HC) especially, is one of those who are sensitive to the cold, so pray for health for all of us.
  5. Simon (Shinagawa Kai) has been informed that his teaching contract will not be renewed at the high school he currently teaches at. He really is quite keen on being a teacher, and this is a slight setback for him, though he is not too devastated since he knows God will take care of the details. His current teaching contract ends in March.
  6. Jiehuai and Jules stopped by one their trip around Japan, was great fun having them in and showing them around.
Till next time!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


So I'm reading in the news that some 'pastor' of a 'Christian church' somewhere in Florida has the intention of burning the Quran on the anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks. He wants to 'show' that America will not back down from terrorism, that by burning the books, he's doing the work of God, and that he is legally entitled to do so by the American Constitution.

What. The. $@(&.

Seriously. What. The. $@(&.

I don't even know what to say, as my mind is simply overwhelmed by the sheer absurdity of this venture. There have been times when I was serving in the army where I really wanted to curse, but this trumps it all. It's so freaking STUPID that even cursing with all the fluency of my platoon sergeant in English and Hokkien would not be able to convey just how repulsed I am by this idea.

How is this Christian? I'll like to ask. How is taking the holy book of another religion and burning it contributing to the work of God? As Christians, we are called first to "Love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," but the next part is to "love your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:27).

How is burning the Quran, which is the most important book for Muslims around the world, gonna show love for your neighbours? Doesn't Jesus love them as much as he loves us Christians? Would the Lord of Love be proud of you for burning the Quran?

I'm totally disgusted by the fact that he considers his actions similar to the work done by so many other real Christian workers who are showing true Christianity.

What are you trying to do you moron? Start the Crusades again?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Dreams III and Prayer Stuff #3

Last night I had kind of a weird dream. See, I dreamt that was in my study room. I know it was my study room because it looked sort of like how my home's study room looked like before my grandparents moved in with us, and I know it was 'mine' personally because in dreams, you kind of know that sort of thing.

So I was there, and I was doing my own stuff, and then I noticed that there were some bugs in the room. I guess part of it was because I was reading Dotz' blog last night, hence the reference to bugs. But anyway, there were more bugs than are normally allowed in a study room. So I looked up from whatever I was doing, and I was horrified to see that the entire wall was a giant infested mess of bugs and bugs' nests. Imagine it sort of as seeing lines of ants walking all over the place, with a huge termite-ish nest on the wall, and when you open up some of the PVC wire covers, there are like maggots and spiders and stuff dropping out. And I can't remember if there was a smell or not, but whatever, it probably would have smelled pretty bad.

So I took out my insecticide to try and attack the bugs. But my insecticide was about as big as your average cologne bottle, and just about as effective as cologne at getting rid of bugs. Notwithstanding that fact, I continued to spray for all it was worth, with expected, failing results. Then I heard a voice saying, "This is the state of your heart, which has been contaminated by your sins, and no matter what you do, how hard you try, you will never be able to clear up this mess. So let me help you."

Quite obviously, that voice was Jesus, and my dream kind of ended around there, but if I could continue it in my own imagination, Jesus attacked the infestation with a flamethrower and burned away all my sins.

There was a follow up dream to that. This time, it was a very short dream, and I don't remember much dialogue, but what I do recall, with the memory of that first dream still in the back of my mind, was that I was sitting at a table doing some very simple handicraft task. What exactly the handicraft was, I don't remember, but that was not an important point. The important bit was that that handicraft thing was in service for the Lord. And in my mind, this was way too simple for 'someone of my caliber', as I thought. (Please don't think I'm disgustingly arrogant, this is just the impression that I'm getting from my dreams. Ok maybe I *am* slightly arrogant, but please don't use this against me).

The next thought was that well, obviously, I had to do something simple, since it's kinda like someone who's been grievously injured and was undergoing rehab. As capable (and I only use this in the broadest sense of the word) as anyone has been, if he had to go through rehab, he would have to start doing the simple actions first before he can go on to the more advanced stuff, and maybe return to how he was before the injury. And in the same way, since my heart had been infested with bugs, I had to do simple things.

But the most important part of this next dream was that as the camera zoomed out from the handicraft I was making, Jesus was sitting there next to me doing the exact same handicraft, as if showing me that He considered my simple work and myself important enough to sit with me and do it with me.

And it's not like I'm a particularly important person in this world, but to Jesus, I know I am particularly important. As is everyone else on this earth. I know they like to make fun with this quote, "You're unique, just like everybody else", but to Jesus, that is true. Like in the book The Shack, God is "particularly fond of you", failings and all. And that is just one of the most wonderful images I can remember.

Ok, anyway, on to prayer stuff!
  1. OMF prayer for this month took us to the Imperial Palace, where if you follow the outer circuit, you'll come across special pavement tiles every 50m or so that is a representation of one of the prefectures of Japan. Pray for Japan.
  2. Izumi-san came to join us at Urawa today! She's been unable to make it for the past several months because she's been sick for a long time, so hopefully, this is the start of her recovery and return to the English group, where she will be able to ask more questions on Christianity.
  3. KHCN missionaries meeting on Thursday morning, pray that God will continue to show His guidance to us, and to the ministries that we are doing or intending to do.
  4. One of Karen's (Shinjuku HC) colleagues at the university will be leaving for USA soon, and Thursday is his farewell party. Pray that his time there will bring him in contact with good Christian friends.
  5. Jiehuai and Jules flying up for holiday, pray for a safe journey for them.
  6. Taira-san (Tokorozawa HC) has been able to get by daily with his work, and he's grateful that God gives him just enough energy, motivation and joy to get by each day, but he does hope that he will be able to experience the fullness of joy in God.
Ok so that's it for now.