Dec 30, 2011

Is the worst really worst?

Sometimes, somehow, I'm boggled by people saying the word "worst". 

In my twisted mind, I started thinking "Is this person really know what has been said??"

Before going any further, I want to make this clear.
I do think there is a room for "worst". I do have worst moment in my life in my short twenty-two years.
And I've heard some people's experiences that, to me, are unthinkably hard and painful.
I believe that they were really difficult time. So I recognize that I need to be sensitive this place.

But here I am just giving some thoughts of mine, so please allow me to say following words.

It is often preached from pulpits: "The best is yet to come.".
Likewise, I think "the worst is yet to come" or should I say, "the worst is not something we can easily explain." . 
When I read and see what Christ went through, those thing I time to time think as worst fades away and the word "worst" seems to be poor expression.

The more I go deeper in the Gospel and Finished work of Christ, the lighter my sufferings becomes.
Think about what Christ had gone through for us!!!!
Is your experience that hard?? Something you make of big deal, is it really that big??

People quote Romans8:29, and say "my worst experience can bear some good.". 
Well, I think sometimes, your worst experiences are the best lessons you will ever have!!
If that scripture becomes so much real in our lives, I don't think we would ever want to exchange such time for other things.
Actually, I've heard Pastor Tullian said "The year was most difficult year in my life, but I will never exchange the year for anything!".

I have to say that I have not experienced such difficult times as I've heard others had gone through. (I need to be thankful for it, of course)
But at same time, I know that there will be a day I will want to say "This is worst!!". 
"Hold on, think about it!
Remember what Christ has done for me!!!", 
I have to preach to myself. 


As Christian, we all have a light that never fades and goes out!!!
Hold on the Light, who is Jesus who gave everything to you!! 

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Dec 11, 2011

CCBC Tokyo Conference!!!

Hello, there!!!

It has been a while since the last post, sorry!!!
My schedule has become busy lately, so I couldn't take time to blog :(
But finally, I almost forced myself to blog just for relaxing.

Last weekend, CCBC(Calvary Chapel Bible College) Tokyo hosted two day confernce at CCFuchu, called "Servant Leader Conference".

Good friend of mine, Zach Ruiz did fantastic job putting this together. I am really thankful for him  and his dad, pastor Tom for making this happen.
Though I was only able to attend second day, I was extremely blessed.

I was given privilege to be a interpretor for two speakers both of who are really good friend of mine, Joel and Mike.
Joel serves at CCBC Okinawa and Mike is a missionary at CCTokorozawa.
They did excellent job. As a interpretor, I think I get to absorb more than congregation. I was blessed.
Joel teaching, I interpreting 

Joel taught workshop title "Leadership". Personally, I was very convicted of my lack of being an example to others. He explained that we need to walk in fear to God, so that I can set an example for others and lead them to the fear to God.

Mike seriously "nailed" it!! He taught the main session called "Worship".
He simply took us through Psalm 103 and it was just glorious!!!
"Everything, serving, leading or evangelizing..etc starts with worshiping God", he said.
And our worship is only response to God's amazing love and mercy and we can worship Him for Who He is. Then as we understand more about God's love for us, the love we see grows bigger and bigger!!!

Oh, how much I try to worship God by my own flesh!!! I often try to generate the motivation in me in order to praise Him. That's just totally wrong!!!
God's love has nothing with me; He loves me unconditionally!!!
If I want see God's love grows in me, I only need to see Him more closely.
Mike teaching, I interpreting

Lastly, I was given opportunity to teach workshop as well.
I am really grateful to Pastor Tom for taking such a risk to let me teach. I was overwhelmingly  blessed.
I was assigned workshop called "Workplace". It was very challenging subject since I never worked full time!! But, God was good to me. He gave me words to speak, and hopefully people were blessed as well. and I have to give thanks to Logan, for his patience towards my changing notes and skipping the order on the note. He did a good job.
Me teaching

To God Alone be the Glory

Dec 2, 2011

Madison&Rileigh Cunningham

Just wanted to share a video with you all.
I'm always encouraged to see how God uses people regardless any labels we have.
There two girls are one example of that.
Madison and Rileigh Cunningham are the daughters of Scott Cunningham, who is excellent and well-known worship leader especially among Calvary Chapel circle.
I think Madison, who is older sister is only 15 or so.
I had a chance to listen to them few times in U.K.. I have to say they are truly gifted.
I was so drawn to presence of God.
So, here are few videos. Hope you Enjoy!!


There May Be Tears from School Of Worship on Vimeo.

Nov 19, 2011




 私たちの心もこのように作られている。結婚という関係のなかでのセックスは美しいくひとつになる。しかし、結婚の外のものは、心の一部を捨てているのである。彼らはかつて美しかったのだが、今では何かが変わってしまった。彼らのかつてあった姿が失われている。彼らの心の美しさが色あせてきているのである。」(Ben Courson “Chosen Generation”)


(英語の一つの訳では”He has put thoughts of forever”『神は永遠の思いを与えた』と表している。)




 「それゆえ、人の心はあなたにあって安らぎを見いだすまでは、満ち足りることがありません。」(Thou hast made us for Thyself, and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee. )


 because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God Himself.”(「なぜなら、この果てしない溝が、無限のもの、不変のものによってでしか満たされない。言い換えるなら、神、御自身によってである。」(私訳))


 「もしわたしが自己の内部に、この世のいかなる経験も満たしえない欲求があるのを自覚しているとするなら、それを最もよく説明してくれるのは、わたしはもう一つの世界のために造られたのだ、という考え方である。地上のいかなる快楽もこの欲求を満足させることができないとしても、だからと言って、この宇宙が食わせ物だという証拠にはならない。おそらくこの世の快楽は、その欲求を満足させるためにあるのではなく、ただそれを喚起せしめ、かつ本物のありかを暗示するために、あるのであろう。(中略) この世の祝福は、本物に対する一種の写し、反響、蜃気楼にすぎないのだから。わたしは自分の心の内にわたしのほんとうの国−それは死んでから見出すのだが−に対する欲求を生かし続けなければならない。」

Nov 14, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

I have been listening to series of Ecclesiastes of Pastor Tim Chaddick, Reality LA.

I had never had deep study on Ecclesiastes, and this series has been rocking my world. The book contains, frankly saying, so much deep stuff!!!

It has much to do with last post, but the book and "the preacher" makes me face some serious, heavy and unavoidable topics about life.
I might write about this further later but I have been thinking about how to relate and make relevant the heavy topic that Bible has to say to us to the people with whom I hope and pray to share my faith.

It gets very hard when it comes to talking about life, death and eternity.
Pastor Tim called it "The Elephant in the room."
I do not want to bang my friends with scriptures, but at the same time I know I want to share what the Bible says!!

One verse said to me a lot about this.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." 
Ecclesiastes 3:11
 One thing it taught me was, I think, there is always timing and leading of God.
He has His timing and it's so beautiful.
As I obey the leading of the Spirit, God is working in their eternity.

And another is that everyone has the sense of eternity in their heart because God has put it in their hearts!!
The very fact that I and others have a sense of eternity, even a thought of it, it the proof that God created them. And we all in deep wonder where we are going after this life.

To me, so many seemed to be indifferent with such matter, but as I learned how to be obedient to the Spirit and try to see people's hearts I found it more often that many want to know what it is.

Many people know the existence of "the elephant." but do not want to admit it.
It is easier to ignore than tackling with the elephant. But you never be able to dismiss it completely, only can delay, and sometimes it's too late.
I think I need to be a guide to help people see the seriousness of the existence.

You can only try to escape and dismiss the elephant in your mind, but the fact remains, "The Elephant Is In The Room."

Nov 11, 2011

Heavy Question

"Everybody has to live for something. Whatever that something is becomes "Lord of your life," whether you think of it that way or not. Jesus is the only Lord who, if you receive him, will fulfill you completely, and, if you fail him, will forgive you eternally." 
Tim Keller(ティム・ケラー) 

"What do you live for?" is radically heavy question but still inevitable.
I found it that in Tokyo, though some will claim it is, not many are atheist but they are more likely to be secularist.

Asked if they think there is something that they hope for in the light of eternity, they will answer "Well, I really don't know. I hope there is, but for now it is easier to hope rather than search for it.".
I have personally had conversation like that.
But in depth, we all live for something without exception.
So the issue logically and eventually comes to "what is it that you live for?" and "Does it give you eternal hope?" .

If it is other than Jesus, they will fail you soon or later.
Because nothing is perfect here. This is something most people can agree. But Jesus is Perfect. He never sinned and stayed faithful, gracious, loving and forgiving.
He fulfill the law and imparted His righteousness to me.

We fail Him so many times, but He is full of grace; He forgives us when we come to him with repentance. Even at this very moment, He is working in and preparing  us for eternity.
He only can make my life full of meaning and satisfying.

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” 

Oct 22, 2011

"Church and churches" 「教会と教会」

Recently, I often think about "church".
In it, I think of different topics and one of them is "church with church".
Jesus said "Upon this rock I will build my church; and gates of Hades will not overpower it." Matt.16:18) 

The bottom-line is, ultimately the church is one. So why there are denominations and divided churches?? I think the answer to that is we have some different points such as style of worship, atmosphere and different theological views....etc . But those are the minors. The true church will agree on the essentials such as "salvation through grace alone and faith alone", "Christ finished work for man's redemption" "Bible is God's revelation to man"... I think this is church.

I grew up in Calvary Chapel church and have been in such environment, so I am not familiar to Japanese church circle, to be honest. And it is true that among Calvary Chapels in Japan, there are people like me especially in my generation. 
And I, having such background, once held wrong concept; "Calvary Chapel is teaching the word  and we are great. Calvary Chapel is the way to go.". 

Don't mistake. I love Calvary Chapel. and it's hard to imagine that I'm serving at other than Calvary churches.
This is very wrong idea and the fact is that there are many churches that teaches bible straight and loves Jesus. Still, I think such prideful thought is not only my problem and others need to check themselves as well.

そして、その対策というのは、"Major in minor"(「些細なことを大きく扱う」)ことをしないことだと思います。グレッグ・ローリーの言葉を借りるなら"agree to disagree"(「不一致に同意する」)ことが大切なのだと思います。
I mentioned something like it in previous post.
I think one thing we can do is not to "major in minor". As in Greg Laurie' word, "We can agree to disagree.". It is to know that there are things we don't agree fully but the bottom line is that we agree on essentials, so it is possible to work together.".

例えば、マイアミで来年開かれる"One Conference"というイベントです。


OneConference 2012 | Teaser from oneconference on Vimeo.
I have noticed events that I think practice it lately.
One of them is "One Conference" in Miami. This is hosted by Pedro Garcia, seinor pastor of Calvary Chapel Kendall. But speakers are very various. For example, well-known in Japan as well, Brian Houston from Hillsong church, Franklin Graham, also Greg Laurie of Harvest Crusade and my favorite Britt Merrick.(There are so many great speakers.)
I think this is really exciting.

また、もう1つは、Elephant Roomというイベントでした。
Another is "Elephant Room".
It was held by James McDonald, Harvest Bible Fellowship. But other participants were Greg Laurie (who is from Calvary background), Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler (reformists and calvinists), David Platt and Perry Noble.
These are the guys who have very different background and can disagree on good amount of things, but they come together despite the difference in the name of Christ and made it happen.
Btw, this is one great video clip I highly recommend everyone to watch.
the like is here.

Lastly, I want to share this video that is very profitable to think about "church".
It would be nice to hear your thoughts as well.

Britt Merrick | Reality Santa Barbara | Why Are We Here? from Reality on Vimeo.

God bless

Oct 15, 2011

"How Science Can Lead the Way"

I was reading this week' TIME magazine. There was an article that attracted my attention. It was
"How Science Can Lead the Way
What we lose when we put faith over logic"
It was written by Lisa Randall, professor of physics at Harvard, one of 2007' TIME 100 and author of many books. She is well-known in Japan as well.

I think she represent secular world very much.
She began the article, "Today's politician seem more comfortable invoking God and religion than they do presenting facts o numbers."
hmmmm, what is the point she is making??

here is the good example, she writes in same article after mentioning Rick Perry' recognition  of creationism.
"and when he (Rick Perry) chooses to pray for the end of a drought rather than critically evaluate climate science, he is displaying the danger of replacing rational approaches with religion in matters of public policy."
and she writes
"Logic tries to resolve paradoxes, whereas much of religious thought thrives on them."

I think she misunderstands what "faith" is.
Our faith in Christ is not blind-faith, it's more like reasonable faith. 
I put my faith in God because first of all, God touched me and showed loving grace to me, but I was intellectually and theologically impacted as well. 
As I read and study the Bible, it makes more sense!!!

Of course, there are some parts of the Bible that I just "believe in faith". But I keep trying to understand from the Bible. But faith is a trust, I sometimes don't understand why but I know I can trust my God for all the things I know about him and through experiences in which He has proven Himself to be trustworthy.

But, look at this world more objectively as scientists always loves to do. 
There are many things that does not make sense but we accept them.

"Why human being dies?"
"Why we as man have not adapted to the death, after adapting almost any environment on the earth?"
"What caused big-ban(this world into existence)?" 

This is why I love apologetics.
I really believe we need more apologetics resources in Japan.
We, christian, as minority need to know "What we believe, why we believe."

How do you think about this??
I'm very interested what others thoughts on this.

Langley Family

So, here I come with final post from the summer trip.
(I know, I know it's "finally".......)

So, the last stop was Langley Family in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Mike and Cindy once served as Jr.High group, Tsunami leader in Okinawa with me.
And Tyler and Maddie grew up in the group.
Funny thing is I still remember when Tyler first walked into Tsunami room with nice shirt and pants.

It was perfect occasion, because Mike had his retirement ceremony (he served US Navy, I think, for 26 years.). So he invited Andersens whom I was originally planned to stay with throughout my stay in east coast. They decided to drive down to VA, so I had no choice (fortunately, of course) to accompany them.

They have so cool/nice house. I think when I got there, there were over 10 people sleeping in the house!!!

The retirement ceremony was so beautiful. I always respected Mike for his leadership and integrity for Christ. He truly had it at his work.
As I look to start working soon, it was so encouraging to see and be confirmed what God can do through us at our work place.
Maddie gave a speech in behalf of Langley kids, she did incredible job. It was really nice, to say the least.
at retirement
Langley family
 Maddie giving a speech


While I was in Fredericksburg, I was able to go to downtown Fredericksburg and Washington D.C. too!!!
D.C. was incredible!! There were so much to see!!
But my favorite was Martin Luther King jr. memorial. The words recorded were impacting and the design was beautiful as well.
downtown Fredericksburg

 Capital Hill!!!
 me with FDR
 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
 Lincoln Memorial
 With Langley family 

 It was such a great time.
I got to meet many of their family as well. They were all nice to me.

I seriously miss traveling now.
It feels little strange not speaking English all the time, not flying, not getting ride from friends..... etc

Well, I think I just might as well enjoy the limited time in Tokyo now.

I again would like to thank God for making this amazing trip happen.
It was seriously "LIFE CHANGING"!!! no doubt.

I love and miss all the people whom I met and reconnected with.
They are all wonderful gift from God.

To God alone be the Glory.


Oct 4, 2011

East Coast!!! NJ, with Andersens :)

So I left SoCal and headed to East Coast for the first time.

Again, though I did not know at the time, I had a little trouble getting picked up at the airport.
I forgot giving the flight info to the friend who was coming to pick me up. He found out that he only had departure and arrival time, and tried almost everything (it literally was) to find out which flight that I was taking. I flew from LAX to JFK, so these are among biggest airports in the states. It made it hard for him to find my flight with little information.

But, SNS is amazing!!! I miraculously checked-in on my facebook at the airport.
There were dozens of names that I could choose as check-in point, but I chose "LAX United Airlines gate" or something like that. This was big!! For it gave him the info of my airline!!!

So he narrowed it down to two flights and picked one, hoping the right one. Then he saw a guy picture of whom I posted on facebook coming out from gate. Then, he knew it was the right flight!!!

I did not know all of this until he told me what was happening and to him!!! CRAZY!!

well well, so I was picked up by my good friend Matt Andersen.
He and his family live in ProspectPark, NewJersey.
When he lived in Okinawa, he was leading worship. (Wasn't he?? If you were there, I know you'd agree with me :)
I had learned so much from him about worship and had always respected him as a godly man and friend.

He and his wonderful wife Jess have started church while ago, in his neighborhood  and have a great heart to preach the gospel and desire to see their neighbor coming to know Jesus Christ.
I was so touched by their vision and compassion.
Even the story of how God brought them to the place they live now was so shocking and impacting to me.

They lived in 3 floor house. But they are lending the upper two floors. Cool thing is that one of their two tenants is Japanese!!! (cooler is they are both christians!)
So one night we got together and had wonderful fellowship.
We also sang worship in Japanese!!! Matt and Jess still can sing Japanese songs, it was so amazing!!
Matt playing, me laughing. lol
me, Matt, Jess and Akiko (RtoL)

I also met their two younger kids for the first time!!! When they left, they only had one and she was so little too.
They are absolutely adorable kids!!!
I totally enjoyed hanging out and playing with them ;)
 youngest, Joshua 
their neighbor friend, Jennie and Ella (RtoL)

I was so blessed to see how God is using this family in the community.
The area not far from their place, honestly was very scary to me.

"drug free school zone"??

Please, keep them in your prayers.
As they reach out with the bright light of Jesus Christ to the community.

I seriously want to visit them again.
Jess said that I can bring a mission team. hahaha Can that be happen??

Thank you so much for the wonderful time.
Love you, Andersens!!!

Sep 25, 2011

with Deans!

My last stay in California, I was able to spet time Dean family.
I met them in Okinawa and actually when I was in states last time, I stayed with them.

The reason I stayed with them this timing was to attend Suzie' (Regina's sister) wedding. She is wonderful lady who loves the Lord. She met her (now) husband at Bible College. (Bridal College remains!! haha) 
It was so beautiful and glorifying wedding. They truly showed the marriage was by the Grace of God. They were great witness for Christ.
Sue and her dad Michael
Regina and Claire
Beautiful Couple
worshiping Jesus as a couple/one

With Rizzi family
with Dean family

One of the memory I had there was the conversation with Josh at one night......
Josh, he is so intellectual guy. It was so funny.
He found out my major is International Relations with emphasis on U.S..
So he would ask me many questions on U.S. politics. But, on the contrary, I really do not like talk about politics with others. (if it's not in class or just for joke or something not deep) So, I kept saying "Ok, this is it. We need to stop this conversation!!", but he insisted asking and talking about it!!
well, well, now it has become a good memory but at the time, it was funny but very nasty at same time. haha

I think Regina had hard time reading me. I was getting used to American sarcasm. So I was being little sarcastic time to time, but she couldn't tell if I was serious or not!!! Sorry Gina!!
I thought it was very funny though...

I love seeing their kids growing up too. Jeremiah was still baby when I saw him last time. Now he talks!! I really enjoyed playing with Jer and Claire the Smarty!!

I truly miss them, but know I will see them again.

God bless you!!

Sep 17, 2011

SanDiego with Gaines

So, it is always hard to say goodbye....
I said goodbye to Cook family and headed to SanDiego.

There, in SD, I stayed long friend of mine, Gaines family.
I actually had privilege of serving Jr.High ministry with them in Okinawa.
I remember playing guitar with the oldest, Christian. He name our band "Holy Fire Band". (because all we played was "holy fire") He was so adorable!!


So, I walked into the house and met Christian. He first said, "So, now I have to call you Mr.Yasutomo ?"
I was like "NOOOOoooooooo!!!!!!"(in my mind)
I kindly said, "you are my friend, call me Yasutomo as you did in the past!!"
Luke the younger son was all grown up. and I first met their youngest Hannah as well.

They are the one, I think, who took my word most seriously when I said "I'm here to hang out with you!" haha
Though we didn't do much, but it was so relaxing time.
Of course, Steve took me super cool burger place in downtown. We went on hiking and went to Rancho.
I went to Christian and Luke' baseball game too!! Luke was so cute in his playing, Christian was actually really good batter!!
              downtown SanDiego                        Luk and Christian after the games
The best part of the SD was Wednesday night when Steve took me to Horizon Chapel, Adoration with Evan Wickham.
He is all time one of my favorite teacher/worship leader.
He taught on Acts 12. It was super good!!! I was just absorbing the truth.
We had extended time of worship as well which was extraordinarily good!!

with Evan Wickham

I haven't mentioned his wonderful wife, Tiffany. She fed me super nice foods.
She is more like my good friend than sister or aunt. haha
We actually had fun playing sarcasm that I have acquired in states.

As I spent time with them. I saw their heart for Okinawa, Japan.
I really pray that they would one day come to Okinawa as missionary.
But God always has His best. This is just my hope ;)
with Steve and Tiff

Funny thing is I leave for Okinawa this morning and Steve is already in Okinawa for his job. Hahaha
I said goodbye to them with teary eyes, but I'm seeing him again this soon.

But, I truly miss all the Gains family!!
Thank you so much!!

One day at beach!!!

oops, I forgot to mention one friend!!!

So while I was staying in LaHabra, I was able to hang out with my friend whom I met first in Okinawa about 6 years(!?!?) ago, Lynsie.
I think she absolutely Love Japan. She has been to Okinawa twice and to Tokyo twice!! That's very crazy.

So, I had seen her at her last three trips. (She came to Japan to help relief in Tohoku while I was in England.)

So when I got in states, I was able to get hold of her and by the grace of God, it actually worked out!!
She took me to Huntington Beach which was one of the coolest beach ever!!
Huntington Beach

She came with her friend Amy, so I got to know her as well.
We had lunch at Ruby's, walked around the main street, went into stores....etc
Hurley Store!
But the best part was bike riding!!!
We rented a big bike which seems for two people, but they put all us thee in it.
So it was kinda small for us, little bit hard to pedal but nice work out, I say.
With Lynsie
With Amy

 Another Best Part is that they took me to their job, PETSMART....... which I thought strangest place ever!! They had suite room that had TV, they had phone for dogs...... apparel for dog.....

At night, we went to midweek Bible Study Calvary Chapel Montebello which Lynsie and her family go to. The church sends mission team to Japan almost every year, and I am so grateful for their support. 

with Pastor Pancho

I was able to see some people I know at CCM as well. And I also got to know her family and her BF. I really love the church, which is so loving and welcoming!!
Lynsie and her bf Derek who works at church.
He was really cool guy!

Thank you Lynsie!! Come Japan again!! lol