Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I can Identify...

My friend just posted a post about repatriating.  I could definitely identify with each of the things in this list.  Click here to read the original post.

This is the one that has been quite convicting for me recently...

5.  Judgyness

When you see the place you have always called home through a different set of lenses you return to it with a different perspective.
“These people just don’t get it.”
“Everybody here thinks they’re the center of the universe.”
“If they could see what I’ve seen.”
“I used to think like that before I moved abroad.”
Faith, politics, education, business, office protocol, you name it.  It’s all subject to a deeper scrutiny from those who have seen it from a different angle.
Here’s the catch.  It is highly unlikely that you will notice yourself being more judgmental.  You may, however, notice that everyone around you is wrong.
Side note — if everyone around you is wrong, you’re probably being more judgmental.
You are not the first.

Yeah, people around me are often wrong.  I often have a bad case of judgyness!

Thank you to those of you who meet me when I am in the US and are patient with my attitudes.  Your prayers are more valuable than you know!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another quote

I am often inspired by words.  My words are not usually overwhelmingly amazing.  However, there are times when I read the words of others and I feel an instant connection.  THAT is just what I wanted to say but couldn't find the right words.

One person I admire and whose words I appreciate is Fredrick Buechner.  He was a German pastor and theologian during world war two.  If you recall what the atmosphere of Germany was like during that time you can imagine how well his zeal for God went over.  Yep, like a lead balloon.

He was arrested and eventually executed at a concentration camp, just days before it was liberated.

But his words and testimony live on.  They continue to inspire and instruct.  His love for God and being a witness to that love in a dangerous situation challenge and encourage me.

I was reminded last week by a friend that Fredrick Buechner was executed on April 10, 1945.  On April 11, my flip calendar had a quote from him!  (I have had this calendar for many years and never realized this coincidence!)

The quote reads...

"What we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the start there is a cosmic intelligence... but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about Himself in the starts but in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness."

God is trying to get our attention.  He is personal and will speak to us in ways that only we personally can understand.  He is trying to get our attention to let us know that He loves us, that He wants to have a relationship with us, that we are precious to Him.

Not only is He the creator of the universe and more than we can see or imagine, but He is also the lover of our souls, pursuing us as His beloved.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Today has been a day of preparations.

Tomorrow I will teach two Bible studies, one in Japanese on John and one in English on Mark.  I have enjoyed preparing for these studies each week.

On Sunday I will preach, so I have also been preparing for that.  Sometimes it is a challenge to figure out what to preach about.  Sometimes I am given an idea or a certain passage, but then the organizing of my thoughts takes a lot of time.  Sometimes things flow together quickly.

Although my thoughts haven't flowed smoothly today, it has been a good day of study.

Our monthly verse for April is Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."  Using that as a starting point, I have been thinking about "Go" and what that has to do with each one of us as Jesus-followers.

When looking at various websites about how to prepare for life as a missionary, I found an article by a professor at a university that prepares people for ministry.  It is a well-written article to help churches prepare people for missionary service.

 Click here to read the article.

Please take a few minutes to read it, maybe share it with others at your church, on a missions team, with a pastor, with a family member.  Consider how your church is preparing people for life outside the walls of the church-where we are all called to minister.