Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just a thought... (again)

Pastor Paul is preaching through 1 Timothy right now.  Last Sunday he talked about chapter 2.  The first two verses speak to a topic I have been thinking about for a long time, praying for those in authority.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1-2

A couple of years ago, about halfway through our current president's first term, I noticed Christians doing a lot of criticizing of him but no mention of prayer for him.  As the election approached, the comments got worse and worse, and still almost no mention of prayer.

During the last president's terms in office, I heard many people talk about praying for the president, even forming prayer groups for him.  Where are those requests now?  Why aren't we calling for prayer for the current president?

In this passage, Paul is writing to Timothy who is in Ephesus.  The ruler for whom he was telling them to pray?  Nero.  Do you remember what Nero did to Christians?  He used them as torches to light parties.  He tied them to posts, poured oil over them, and lit them on fire.  This is the man for whom Paul told the people to pray!

Why do we feel justified in calling for prayer for one man and not for another?  Not only does Paul call on us to pray for those in authority, but he also tells us to pray for everyone.  Everyone.  There are some people for whom I find it hard to think of praying, yet, Paul is not giving us a chance to choose those for whom we pray.  He tells us to pray for everyone, not to criticize, to pray.

What would happen if we took the time to pray for everyone, to pray for those in authority, to pray for our president?  How would our attitudes change?  How would our words change?  How would our world change?

Anyone up for a challenge in February?  February is when we celebrate Presidents' Day in the US, right?  For the next month, I am going to take time each day to pray for our leaders (since I live in Japan, I will pray for both countries' leaders).  Will you join me?

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Music Goes On...

On January 19th we hosted another Live Gospel Cafe.  This time our guest was Yoko Matsuoka.  She also invited her friend and protege, Rei Ogasawara.  Maki played keyboard for them and Seki san ran sound.
It was a night filled with Spirit-filled music, inspiring testimonies, and sweet fellowship-and, of course, food!  We also found out that we can get A LOT of people crammed into our church.  During the concert I had to go out into the hall and take a picture through the window to get a picture of the performers!  We are not complaining about the standing room only situation!
Rehearsal-oh, and Flat Stanley is visiting again!

The boys have fun with Stanley

Stanley is getting hungry looking at all the food!

Stanley meets Rei.

A picture through the window

Some of the guests enjoying the music.

Everyone getting into the music

Picture from sitting on the floor in front.

Oh, we forgot to take a group picture with everyone.

Thank you, Jesus, for music!  What a blessing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas Review Continued

A shopping mall near our church held a Christmas tree decorating contest.  We decided to try out for it and were chosen as one of the contestants.  We had a good time deciding how to decorate the tree, making the decorations, and then decorating the tree.

There were some great bonuses to being part of the contest.  We received a coupon to use at the mall, plus we got to keep the tree and lights.  Hopefully, we were also able to introduce our church to some new people!

Putting the tree together

Having fun!

Wrapping the tree with the ribbon Mrs. Sakamoto wrote on so nicely.

Mrs. Sakamoto arranging the ribbon and decorations.

Mr. Sakamoto adding decorations.

Our finished product!

All the trees

We didn't win anything, but this group of children won the grand prize!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Fun

In December, our church plant, Komyo Christian Church, hosted several events to share the true meaning of Christmas with our friends and students.  Here is a little glimpse into our December:

We started with a Ladies' Tea and Card-making afternoon.  It was fun to just spread out the tools, stamps, and paper and see the creativity of the ladies.  We had a fun afternoon chatting and creating.  Even Elijah got in on the fun!

My baking class even had fun with Christmas cookies!

Later in the month we hosted a party for our English classes.  We played games, sang songs, and acted out the Christmas story.  Of course, there was food, too!

We had a beautiful evening for the Christmas eve candle service!

We pray that God's love, the true meaning of Christmas, was proclaimed!