From the books…

“Abandon to God is of more value than personal holiness. Personal holiness focuses the eye on our own whiteness…fearful that we will offend Him. Perfect love casts out all that when once we are abandoned to God. We have to get rid of this notion– ‘Am I of any use? ‘ and make up our minds that we are not, and we may be near the truth. It is never a question of being of use but of being of value to God Himself. When we are abandoned to God, He works through us all the time.” ~Oswald Chambers on Mark 14:6

“If I were to ask you, ‘What does the fine linen the bride is wearing stand for?’ you might be inclined to say, ‘The righteousness of Christ that covers us.’ Significantly, however, the text says something different: ‘Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints’ (Revelation 19:8). It’s only because of the Bridegroom’s work that the chosen princess, the church, can enter the presence of her Lord. Yet her wedding dress is woven through her many acts of faithfulness while away from her Bridegroom on the fallen Earth. The picture is compelling. Each prayer, each gift, each hour of fasting, each kindness to the needy, all of these are the threads that have been woven together into this wedding dress. Her works have been empowered by the Spirit, and she has spent her life on Earth sewing her wedding dress for the day when she will be joined to her beloved Bridegroom.” ~Heaven by Randy Alcorn, pp. 199-200.

 

 

Awake, my soul…

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Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew:
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

~Thomas Ken

Worth the Read

Up from Idolatry

“The first time Dr. Nomura Takuyuki decided to put on a Christmas meeting at his 19-bed hospital 20 years ago, he feared what others would think of him and if it would hurt his business. Christians make up only 1 percent of Japan’s population, and most Christians stay quiet about their faith in a society where social cohesion trumps all.”

Beware the Instagram Bible

“Beware the Instagram Bible, my daughters. It shines a partial light. We must know it both for what it says and for what it does not.”

Sunday Afternoon Tea-Peace on Purpose

“When I would lose my peace and get tense and feel like my world was spinning out of control, God would gently remind me that it was my choice to bring this image or that article into my home.  For that is what we do when we look at any media… “

The Fires of Growth-This is the first post of #2 son’s blog.

“God’s process of sanctification is not one that ought to be feared or dreaded, but rather it ought to embraced with open arms.”

Planning the Perfect Wedding-This is the first post of my new daughter-in-law’s blog.

“This wedding is Not all about you! Yes I know you’re the bride but their is someone of equal value in the wedding… your groom!”

Spring

February is probably my least favorite month.  It’s cold, rainy and dark and I am always looking forward to spring.  Sometimes the plum blossoms bloom later in the month.  Sometimes they wait until March.  Either way, that is the first sign of spring in this part of the world.

I usually spend February doing some projects around the house before spring arrives and calls me outdoors.  For some reason this year, I’m a little anxious for the appearance of spring.  I’m even thinking about spring cleaning early!  =O

Yesterday, I packed away my Christmas village and today I put out my cherry blossom dishes.  If you’ve been here long, you know that I absolutely love the cherry blossoms.  They should be here the end of March.  That season will be extra special this year as I will have a special guest from the USA to share them with.  Can’t wait!!Hutch.jpg

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

~Genesis 1:14

90 Days Update

It’s about time I updated again on reading the Bible in 90 days.  In my last update, I mentioned that I was a little bit ahead.  I am glad that I did that or I would definitely be behind this week.  Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you and I have had a lot of days this week that didn’t go as planned.  While I was able to fit some reading in, it wasn’t a whole daily portion according to the schedule.

I have heard people say that reading the Bible in this way reads like a novel.  I understand why they would say that.  I am seeing the connection to so many things in the Bible that I haven’t even come to in my reading yet.  For example, as I read about King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles, the phrase, “In the year that King Uzziah died….” from Isaiah 6 came to my mind.  It gave me a whole new perspective on that chapter.  I know that I will never read it the same again.

Reading through Esther as a whole was so exciting, even though I already knew the outcome.  This is so easy to do since it is only 10 chapters.  And today I start with the book of Job.  I have been studying and teaching through this, but I am looking forward to reading it straight through.  I know it will help me as I prepare for my next lesson.

I am still a few days ahead which is an encouragement.  I know someone who is trying to catch up and I am thankful that is not me.  I think I would give up.  Maybe not…at this point, by the grace of God, I have read too far to quit.  If you would like to join me, it is not too late.  A lady in our church started 2 weeks ago.  Grab a schedule here, and start counting your 90 days from today.  Be sure to leave a comment below so I can pray for you and we can encourage one another.

Another Perspective…

IMG_0890bI am a US citizen who lives in Japan. After our last furlough, I had a one-way ticket to return to Japan from Chicago-Ohare. I was not permitted to check in online. When I arrived at the airport, I was not permitted to check in at the kiosk. When I approached the counter, I was greeted with several questions. I showed my new visa in my passport and was allowed to proceed to my flight. It was clear that if I didn’t have that visa with a one-way ticket that I would have been “banned” from the flight. When I arrived in Japan, I was fingerprinted and photographed for their database. I may have lots of privileges living in Japan, but I do not have any rights. I am a foreigner. I carry an “alien registration” in my wallet and can be asked to show it at any time by anyone.  I have had to show it to get a cell phone, open a bank account, etc.  I don’t mind doing this, because I know that Japan doesn’t have to allow me to live in their country.  I am grateful that they do!

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“For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” ~Philippians 3:20