Dec 24, 2010

So it is gradual....

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12-13
I have been reading a book called "Fit for the Master's Use" by F.B.Meyer. It's really old book but has given me much inspiration so far.

I'd like to share one little portion with you this time.

So God deals with you and me. He does not turn the heart upside down and empty it of every sin at once. First the twilight, and we put away obvious sin; then morning, and we put away other sins not seen before; then eleven o'clock in the morning, and we put away deeper sins that we had missed; until it comes sins, the small dust we had missed. We see deeper, deeper down, and every year a man is saved more completely from the power of known sin. So it is gradual.

You see how kind God is??
I am so amazed at His kindness in working in my heart.
We all have to admit unless God works within us, we cannot substantially changed.
He does bring radical change sometimes, but most of the time, He deals with us gradually.
He does not show us above what we can handle.
As we read the Word and meditate upon it. He, through the work of the Spirit, shows and convicts of our sins.
At same time, He perfectly knows how much we can handle and helps us go through.

I trust in this Gracious and Merciful God.


最近読んでいる本に、F.B.Meyer著の「Fit For The Master's Use」(訳:主に用いられるのために)というのがあります。




Soli Deo Gloria

Dec 21, 2010

"to-do" & "to-be"

"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
Philippians 3:10-11

well, as you saw on my last post, I have (maybe should say "had") been crazily busy. There are so many things to do and I was so obsessed with getting them done.
I do think they are necessarily bad thing to get things which should be done.
But I now think I didn't notice that "to-do" was changing my "to-be".

Searching for job (or so-called "Job Hunting") is very unique culture to Japan. 
I don't have enough time to explain to you here but, in short, we start searching for job through the winter of Junior year and mostly end of April or May of Senior year. 
So for some it takes half year, for most people 4 or 5 months to do that kind of work.
(you know actually working for the company until next year though)

well, getting a job is a once in life decision. yeah, I know I can change my job if I really want to do but even this job changing depends on my first career.
In short, job hunting is extremely important.

In my mind, I knew it and was doing my best.
I even had a season of a few weeks that I didn't get more than 4 hours sleep.
I was really into it; going to different companies' seminars and writing applications.....etc
There are always things to do if I want or try to do.

But I was struggling with my spiritual life.
I really couldn't find time to read my Bible, pray and having fellowship with other Christians.
I knew it was for the season and saw it as necessary sacrifice.
("Sacrifice"?? how stupid I was "sacrificing" God!!)

well, God had His plan.
I met the guy who is manager at IBM Japan. One of my good friend introduced him, when I told him that I am really interested in getting a Job there.
So we met and talked. He is excellent business-man and godly man.
I asked him many things; about IBM Japan, works he does, career planing and getting MBA. well, at the end, he talked about getting a job as a Christian: how he struggled getting job after his college and on and on....

At very end he told me
"As Christian, I just have to do God's will. I can plan things regarding my career. But at the end, it all fall on submission to God. I know economy isn't good and it is hard to get a job. But God has His plan for you. Of-course you have to do what you have to do. But be more optimistic!!"

I was really convicted of my lack of trust in God.
I had known that God has His plan for me. But I think I was aspiring too much to find the plan by works of flesh. 
I spent more time on internet studying companies than in prayer. I spent more time readying economic magazine than reading Bible.
My "to-do" was invading my "to-be" as a Christian.

Well, I am really thankful for God's conviction.
Now I know what was wrong.

But the reality hasn't changed much. I still have to look for a job.
But my inner being is changed.
More trust in God, more confidence in Him, more optimistic in a positive way.

Thank you for your prayer those who are praying for me!


Dec 8, 2010

these days.........

sorry that I didn't update for long time!!

My life has been really crazy as I started what is called "Job Hunting".
I might as well first explain what "job hunting" is.

In Japan, students start looking for job that they will have after their graduation around end of their junior year.
That means you will have the notification of acceptance from companies around April and May of senior year. It will take about 5-6 month to go through recruiting process.

I have been praying for my future and still not sure about it.
So I officially started doing Job Hunting. (I haven't decided to work right after college though...)
Super High Tech bending machine


Near Tokyo Station
Roppongi (by the Westin Tokyo)

As I go to briefing of companies, I get to go downton often, which is both fun and tiring..

But, I think I am getting into it little too much.
My week has been really filled with going to seminar, writing ES(Entry Sheet=application sheet) or studying for interviews......etc
Being eliminated by the companies is kind of discouraging..... (like J.P.Morgan, Roland Belgar, Morgan Stanley... I already said good-bye to them :P )

I hadn't had good time with God sadly..
BUUUUT, Today was little relaxing day and God blessed me with good bible study tonight!!! Praise God!!

Please Pray for me as I continue to seek God's plan for me.

Thank you

Nov 2, 2010

The Suffering of God

So, I will try to make this post as well bilingualed as possible. (I just made the word up)

I have been reading "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Church in NY.
In this book there is a section called "The Suffering of God" and it really hit and spoke to my heart so I want to share it with you.

We cannot fathom, however, what it would be like to lose not just spousal love or parental love that has lasted several years, but the infinite love of the Father that Jesus had from all eternity. Jesus's sufferings would have been eternally unbearable. Christian theology has always recognized that Jesus bore, as the substitute in our place, the endless exclusion from God that the human race has merited. In the Garden of Gethsemane, even the beginning and foretaste of this experience began to put Jesus into a state of shock. New Testament scholar Bill Lane writes: "Jesus came to be with the Father for an interlude before his betrayal, but hell rather than heaven opened before Him, and He staggered." On the cross, Jesus's cry of dereliction - "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - is a deeply relational statement. Lane writes:  "The cry has a ruthless authenticity.... Jesus did not die renouncing God. Even in the inferno of abandonment he did not surrender his faith in God but expressed His anguished prayer in a cry of affirmation 'My God, my God'". Jesus still used the language of intimacy - "my God"- even as he experiences infinite separation from the Father.

The section that comes before is called "Comparing Jesus to the Martyrs". I once wondered almost same thing; "In our theology, Jesus bore all the suffering and pain that we experience. But Peter died on the cross that was turned up side down. It sounds more excruciating. Why was agony of Jesus was great?".
Pastor Timothy Keller nailed it!!!
Losing a relationship that had lasted from the beginning of the time? oh my.....

I am so glad to meet this book.
Now I understand little more about Jesus!!

I really believe every Christian should study the cross of Jesus in his or her live.
I want to study and know more about His Cross and Suffering and Resurrection!!

"Lord, help me to know how much it cost
 to see my sin upon the cross...." 

Glory to Him

最近読んでいる本に、ニューヨークのリディーマー・チャーチの牧師、ティモシー・ケラー師が書いた”The Reason for God"(神のための理由)(直訳すぎるかな?)という弁証論的なのがあります。



Oct 23, 2010

Shanghai bound!!!!

I know I haven't done posting here for a while, this new semester has been driving me crazy. I haven't had enough time to update my blog.
Please keep me in your prayer that I will keep my priority right and be able to pray and listen to God and obey Him. 

So this is finale for my summer series.
I went to Shanghai in the end of Sept.. This was so amazing trip.
The travel fare was ridiculously cheap. It was because this trip was planned my OB (meaning "Old Boy", the graduated from) of my dorm and is chief of the board. 
He basically invited some students to accompany with them. And two students went  and one of the two happened to be ME!!!

We stayed at Johnson Howard Plaza in Shanghai for three days one of which we took a day trip to Suzhou. And last day we spent in Hangzhou and stayed at Hyatt Regency. 

I Love going oversea, taking airplanes and traveling!!!

I thank God for providing me opportunities and money that I need.

At Shanghai Expo 2010, Japan pavilion. 
The line was 5 hours waiting!!!

Night scenery was so beautiful.  

ramdom pic

I was able to hook up with my good friend, Keisuke. 
I have known him for years from Okinawa.
It was so encouraging to see him walking with the Lord!!( of course, playing Sanshin, as you can see :)

We saw temples too. 
Chinese people are so religious. but still worshipping false god and it grieves my heart......

down town
First hotel

second one (there were pianist and singer at lobby!!)

This is it!!
I am now back in school and having normal life which is spiced and turned into extraordinary  by God.

Keep in touch!

To God be the glory

Oct 2, 2010

MY Sweet home Okinawa Part3(last)

Last week in Okinawa, after seeing off my seminar group to Tokyo.
I was given opportunity to lead worship for Midweek Bible study.
Not having led worship for a while, I was quite a bit nervous. But, once I started worshiping, God totally fill me with His strength.

so, as you saw, my first week was filled with to-dos.
It's not bad, because I love doing ministries and serving!!!
Though I think I had needed real "vacation".

After the midweek study, I basically had nothing to do, but had chances to meet my old friends.
I met friends from High school. Though some stayed in Okinawa, many left the island, I feel the tie we build through Jr. and Senior High school is very strong. They are brilliant and so inspiring people.
I pray that I will be good witness to them and they will one day accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Then.... I will explain with pictures from here

I was able to hang out with my friends from CCGinowan.

Joel (whom I know since he came for his first semester in Okinawa) and Tom Cotton.

Zach Ruiz (whom I know for about 7 years?)

I took my grandparents and rest of the family out to dinner on the "elders' day".

left: last root beer at air port.
right: my most favorite starbucks in the word. went there almost every night.

Every single time I come home, God is so faithful to show me so many great things He is doing in Okinawa. And I am always blessed with good bros and sisters in Christ.

Special thanks to my family(grandparents and aunt and uncle), allowing me to stay their house for whole trip.
And Staff at CCOkinawa, the church I love and always call "home", Rick, Glenn, Kevin and Roy. I love you all and am praying for you.

Thanks every one who blessed me while I was there!!
Can't wait to see you again!


Sep 29, 2010

MY Sweet home Okinawa Part2

I had my students of seminar coming for our annual camp in Okinawa!!
It was very nice time, giving them a tour and having lots of conversations with friends and my professar.

Giving them a tour had me realize that I still don't know about Okinawa much.
I need to learn more about my home so that I'll be able to tell how awesome the place is!!

I basically  took this chance to give myself a time to do sightseeing as well.
So we went to many famous sightseeing places and did photo shooting.

at Sunset Beach

My grandma told us her experience in Okinawa battle during WW2

at KingTaco

Please Pray for me as I keep minister those friends of mine that God will give me compassion towards them and my heart will be always on His mission.

Sep 28, 2010

MY Sweet home Okinawa Part1 

So I was back in Okinawa, small island located in very south of Japan. 
Many of you might know, but I was born and grew up there until I moved to Tokyo for college.
But, I have to say my "home" still remains to be Okinawa. I look forward to going back home every time!!!

I usually stay there about a month during summer but this time, in regard with my work, study and other things, I was able to stay there for about two weeks.
I was little disappointed to know that at first. 
But God is always beyond my expectations.  He had blessed my stay so much. Maybe it was the best one in past two years.
I was blessed time with my family and friends and ministry opportunity at my old fellowship(though always new in many ways) Calvary Chapel Okinawa.

So there are so many things I want to share but it will take forever. So I decided to do introduce what I did and what God blessed me with with pictures and short explanation. Hope you'll like it. 

 I was first blessed with the opportunity to share a small devotion at Japanese Prayer Meeting which good friend of mine, Roy Toma leads. I remember last summer I was here he was praying about starting this meeting and I was so blessed to see it . I was praying that Japanese fellowship at CCO will grow strong. God is certainly at work!!!

First Sunday there I was given the opportunity to teach Highschool group. I taught from story of Enoch. I think it was sharing my heart rather than teaching them. 
I once was in the group and some of the high school students there were ones I knew from my Jr.High ministry I was involved when I was in high school.  
I am so thankful for Kevin who is current Youth Leader, one of my dear friend. He is so awesome teacher and leader.  I am so excited to see them next time.

Sunday afternoon we had monthly Japanese Fellowship Lunch. We had lunch together and had special time to talk about "Obon" which is Okinawan religious activity, worshipping ancestors. I was interpreting for Pastor Rick who led the discussion.  


We had baptism after the lunch fellowship. 
One of the benefit of living in small island is that you can get to beaches so easily. 

I'll stop here.
Look forward to next post!!!

Sep 8, 2010

so far.......

My school starts in Oct., so I have already spent more than half of my summer break.

It has been awesome, both in regarding with spiritually and leisurely.

One of the highlight is my trip to the west by trains.
I was long slow trip, but met so many friends.
I stayed at my friend's houses which is totally blessing.
 self shot at Kiyomizu temple, Kyoto
 on my lonely train ride
with Forbes in Osaka

What I really liked about the trip is that meeting good friends of mine whom I know for quite a long time.
The family in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, that I have known since I was in Jr.High school. I haven't seen them for long time. They have been ministring there for five years.
I have wanted to visit there for a while and finally the door was opened!!

The couple in Osaka who is one of my dear friend, is working for Franklin Graham Festival. The husband was one of the stuff of the church I used to go when I was in Okinawa.
Every time I see him, he blesses me and encourages me so much!!
Of course this time too.

The other couple whom I fellowshipped in Tokyo, now moved there and planing to plant a church. They opened their house to me to stay despite of my sudden call I made the day before I got there.

They are so awesome!!
I love them so much.

I love how God brings people into my life and keep our relationship.
Though we are far from each other, there are times God brings us together and encourages us!!

Thank you Lord for the brothers and sisters in Christ.

Aug 31, 2010

The normal does the unusual

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

So I finished the first book of the summer, "Big God".
If you graciously follow this blod, you've heard many times I quoted from this book or the author Britt Merrick.

In the book, I studied Hebrew 11 aka "The Hall of Faith".
I saw the life of.....
Adel - faith worshipping
Enoch - Faith walking
Noah - Faith Working
Abraham - Faith Willing
Sarah - Faith Waiting
Abraham with Isaac - Faith Well-Tried
Moses - Faith Winning
Rahab - Faith Welcoming
David and the Rest - Faith Warring

One big thing I found throughout this book is that there people are so normal but did great things.
I know Bible records that Noah was drunk, Abraham lied, Moses was afraid. Rahab was prostitute and David committed adultery.
Pastor Britt in epilogue writes
"When you look at the list, you really have no excuses. These are the examples given to us in God's Word. They weren't great people, but they had great faith in a great God. At the critical moments of their lives, they exercised great faith and made the right faith decisions."

What a challenge!!
I always put those people in "the hall of faith", seeing so different from myself.
They were so great, bold and courageous I would think. And I am an ordinary man who might be able to do little for God.
I thought that to be faithful to the "little" was what I need to do.

In the sense, I was wrong.
I can do so much more if I trust and love the Lord more!!
Because they didn't earn faith, faith is a gift from God!!
In Him, I can do any thing!!!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:8-10
Glory to God

Ready to talk??

Last Wednesday, I had a great opportunity to attend the very special class at Tokyo University. Th guest teacher for the class was Prof.  Michael Sandel from Harvar Univ.. 
(in this building, the class was held)
His class is called "Justice" which itself is really interesting to not only as a student but also as a Christian.
I watched his classes online and on Japanese TV. I happened to find the information of the class by going through internet sites while I was at work. (just make sure, I was going through my company' websites ok?) So I applied to the class not knowing that there was keen competition, the applicants were ten times as many as the fixed number. 
But, God totally blessed me and I received the acceptation from the office. (I typed wrong email address so they called me which it is another miracle!!)
class scene
His class is very unique in his style. Though the size of his class is about 1,000 student, he interacts with students and proceeds his teaching with discussing the problems of moral justice. 
In the beginning he mentioned to the talk that says Japanese are too shy to engage in discussion. Well, I thought that makes sense to some degree.

For example we discuss case like this
 a famous nineteenth century legal case involving a shipwrecked crew of four.  After nineteen days lost at sea, the captain decides to kill the weakest amongst them, the young cabin boy, so that the rest can feed on his blood and body to survive.  One of the reason they chose him was he was orphan and had no family but rest of them did. Another was that he drank sea water against other' opposition.
So, was the action they took was right?

There was really good discussion. He concluded saying "Japanese are ready to engage in deep philosophical discussion!!"

Yeah, they are ready!! 
As a Christian, I thought Japanese don't think about spiritual and much deeper problem in life, compared with people form west.
It proved to be I was wrong.
We can talk about that!!
"What's the meaning of life and death?"
"What is the truth?"

So it was really encouraging class.
I will talk little more on the discussion part next time.

Aug 28, 2010

With bros !!

"The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit."
2Corinthians 12:12-13

One of the great thing about having good fellowship is to have good brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we can encourage one another to follow Christ.

Our out-reach wasn't about music, worship song. But really, it was about spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
So while we were playing music, others were passing out flyers that has information of our different church services, some were even able to engage in conversation with people sharing from Bible!!

I am so blessed with work for the Kingdom of God with those godly men and women.

Outreaching with stretching

I don't know where to start, so many things has happened this past few weeks.

I will start first, second week of this month was our church' out-reach week.
We do it every year. Of course we should be reaching out to the lost always, but it is also good to set a time to concentrate more on evangelism. 

So the main idea is to share the Gospel with others and invite them to church right?
Yes, it is correct.
But, after the week, what I found was that God stretched my faith through the out-reach we did.

This year, we decided to go out on street and play music every night in front of the station.

and this has been always challenging to me to play in front of people.

But, I knew it is all for Christ, so I went and played.
So Tuesday night was my first playing there and it was ok.
Since I was able to get used to playing there a little, Wednesday was better.

Then come Thursday.
We started playing and got to the song called "Halleluja Jesus" which I have played like hundrad times.
But, what happened was that I totally lose the music, rhythm and my mind went blank. 
I knew I wasn't playing right, but I didn't  know what to do with it.

My pastor came and asked me if I'm ok, I said "no, you need to play for me."
I handed guitar to him thinking how that happened.
I felt so embarrassed and so stupid and was so sorry for everyone else for making this disaster happen.
But I didn't leave there immediately. Instead, I started passing out flyers with others from fellowship.
Well, it was good time, but the feeling of stupidness and mortified( I know this word isn't proper here, but you know what it conveys)  was still there.

So I went on my way to home. On my way to home, I stopped at McDonalds to have a coffee.
I was thinking back what had happened today and asking God what to do.
Then, principle of "JOY" came to my mind.
J- Jesus first
O- Others next
Y- You last
I just happened to have finished listening to Pastor Britt Merrick' message that I introduced in previous post. and was listening to Francis Chan' message on Loving Jesus.

So I asked myself, "Do I love Jesus?"
"Yes" I replied and felt God telling me "Then you know what you need to do."
I was reminded of what Pastor Britt is going through and thought "why am I so disappointed with such a little failure, compared with his situation?"
And asked myself "What are you doing?"
I felt so stupid, in a good sense this time!!

I was so obvious what I need to do.
I was reading "Big God" at McDonalds and it was on Rehab, welcoming God's will with taking risk.
That was just encouraging for me in order to step out in faith again.
Yes, I will go in spite of the possibility to mess it up again!
God is always with me calling me to His work with His love.
Yes, there are times that I feel I can't take it any more.
There are times that I feel I am not the one who should be doing this.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2Corinthians 4:7-9 
Yes, God is the power that I need!!
I thanked God for giving me this word of His.

I went next day, did played.
God provided me with His power, I was able to play all the songs.

I was so convicted of my pride which my disappointment revealed. 
But now, I am a little better than who I was before. 

"These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 
I Peter 1:7 

Aug 7, 2010

My Mom

Hi, guys!!
I think I have been keeping good pace with my blog.

My mom, Takako, is currently in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel.
I still remember even in my childhood she was telling me and my sister her heart for Israel and that she wants to go there ans serve Israelis.
I think I was sensing she will go there in the future but not like this.

I have great respect towards her. She is woman of faith.
I recall when she quitted her office work at school.
I asked "Hey, you know what are you going to do next?"
She replied, "I know I am taking a trip to Israel, but not after that. I just had to obey God and trust in Him."
I thought she was craziest mom in the world.

Then about 5 years later, after my sister moving to Tokyo for college,
She told me she was going to Israel not for a trip but to serve there.
I asked her "So when are you coming back?"
She said "I don't really know. Whenever God leads me."
I again thought she was crazy.

But, in all things that I saw my mom did, there was always dependency on God.
I didn't get it back then, neither now perfectly, but little better than before.

Being away (really far) from my mother, God has given me such a special opportunity to see how my mom means to me.
I really never had said this but I can say now
"I have best mom in the world."

Would you please pray for my mom?
As she serves at Calvary Chapel Tel Aviv.
Please check out her blog too.

(taken summer of '09)

my campus

well, I know when I started this blog, I wanted it to be a record of what God has done in my life and my sharing them with others will glorify God.
That's the true and ultimate purpose of this blog still.
I write both in Japanese and English (or either of them), sometimes just for my conveniences.

But I thought it will be not bad to post what is happening in my life.

so here is the first post from the thought

It's about my campus!!
I LOOOOVVVEE my campus. It is so beautiful and nice!!!

I know God has placed my in this place and I have mission here.
Please pray for me as I ONLY have a year and half at this campus.
For the lost soul and unsaved friends of mine
 they had "Open Campus", and many high schoolers were at campus
it's usually nice and quiet palce
she is taking pic of our famous auditorium