Priorities; March 27, 2023

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

This Psalm has several famous, dearly loved passages. A personal favorite is verse 8, that says, “My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.” However, that is essentially a condensation of this verse. A right relationship with God starts in the heart, as a matter of priorities. Many people claim to love God, but they can’t be bothered to come to Prayer Meeting, or for that matter, tithe. One of Jesus’ famous parables applies here: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46) Are we willing to give up everything material that we have in order to have a right relationship with God? That’s a painful question for most people, particularly in affluent countries like the US and Japan. In my experience, God doesn’t call many people to a life of deliberate poverty. So the issue is our willingness. Whether we have a lot or a little, if we value things above our relationship with God, we are in trouble.

Growing up in a missionary family, we were never awash in material goods, but God supplied our needs. In the 54 years Cathy and I have been married we have had some genuinely tight times, but again, God supplied our needs, sometimes in downright miraculous fashion. Since living in Omura we have had medical issues that, had we been in the US, could have bankrupted us, but because of the Japanese health insurance system we were never close to that. God knew what He was doing when He sent us to Japan! This morning we will go to the clinic that handles our physical therapy, and Cathy will be evaluated for a “handicapped card,” that will allow the two of us to take public transportation for the price of one – something to be greatly desired since we plan to attend a Pastors Conference in Shizuoka Prefecture in June. While she’s doing that, I will have a PCR test, since I’ve been running a fever of up to 102.5 Fahrenheit. (It’s down from that this morning.) Whatever the results of any of that, we know that our God. Is gracious and loving and we have nothing to worry about.

Father, thank You for all that You allow us to experience. Thank You that there is absolutely nothing that You can’t turn around for good, whatever it looks like at the moment. As You have told me to do, help us indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Depending on God; March 26, 2023

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

This Psalm is interesting in that David repeatedly refers to “the sins of his youth,” all the while asking the Lord to guide him. Awareness of our frailty is a good thing! As Paul said, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12) Humility is always the best policy! It is well known how badly David blew it with Bathsheba and Uria, but this gives the impression of having been written before that. That’s a reminder that we’ve got to keep our repentance up-to-date. God allow all sorts of things in our lives to remind us that we’re dependent on Him. (John 15:5) If we walk in humble obedience, we will receive abundant blessings.

As I have written about repeatedly, God graciously allowed me to break my wrist the last part of January. Since about two days ago I’ve been having a sore throat and coughing, and generally feeling rotten. The broken wrist wasn’t contagious, but whatever I have now could well be. (Temperature’s over 101) Accordingly, we didn’t go to the wake of a good friend of mine last night, but asked another friend to convey our feelings to the widow and their son and daughter-in-law. The question right now is how much I am to do or not do in the service. Off hand, I can only remember one time that I didn’t preach because I was sick. However, I have been saying and thinking that I’m certainly not the only one who can hear from the Lord in this church. I need to keep my spiritual ears open and discard all pride, so that God will may be done for His glory.

Father, thank You for this rather pointed reminder. Help me be, do, and say exactly what You desire, whatever that means for me personally. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 22; March 25, 2023

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

You could say that this is the most miraculous of all the Psalms, because in it David describes in remarkable detail the situation of Jesus on the cross. Jesus famously quoted this first line from the cross. (Matthew 27:46) Because He did so in Aramaic, the language of the common people in His day, rather than in formal Hebrew, the religious language of the day, the majority of those around Him didn’t even recognize that He was quoting Scripture. I think that also indicates that it wasn’t a “memory verse” from His childhood, because that would have been in Hebrew. I think He stopped with this first line for a number of reasons, one of which being that He probably wasn’t physically able to quote all 31 verses, being suspended from nails through His wrists. Just yesterday I was reading a short article by a Christian neurosurgeon talking about the level of pain Jesus had to endure, considering the nerves that would have been smashed or severed by the spikes. Having recently broken my left wrist and had surgery to implant a titanium plate for repair, I can identify, to a very small degree! (Most traditional depictions of the crucifixion show the nails in Jesus’ palms, but that shows an ignorance of both Greek and anatomy. The term in the Bible can indicate anything from the elbow to the fingers. Anatomically, nails through the palms would tear out from the weight of the person, but nails between the two bones of the forearm would support the person securely.) From our perspective, having the Gospel accounts for comparison, the section through verse 18 is incredibly detailed and accurate. Verses 19-21 are a bit of a segue, and then from verse 22 we have the triumphant testimony of Jesus after His resurrection. We will never go through as much as Jesus did for our sake, so any time we feel forsaken, we need to remember that whatever happens in the moment, “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn– for he has done it.” (Psalm 22:30-31)

I never expected to have any personal identification with the sensation of spikes through my wrists, but at this point I am thankful for the experience. I have been thankful for crucifixes to remind us of all Jesus went through for us, but at the same time I have thought it sad that so many people seem to picture Jesus only that way. He didn’t stay on the cross, or even in the tomb! Too many people are like Shusaku Endo, the Japanese Catholic who wrote several powerful historical novels, notably, Silence, which was made into a movie a few years ago. Endo believed in the historical reality of Jesus and that He died as atonement for our sins, but he couldn’t bring himself to believe in resurrection, and to me that is a fatal flaw to all his work. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (1 Corinthians 15:19) However, the Bible is replete not only with mentions of heaven, but with promises of resurrection. I certainly don’t know any details, but I’m looking forward to whatever God has “up His sleeve!”

Father, thank You for this reminder, and for having David write this magnificent Psalm. May I not hold back from anything in this life, but always keep my eyes on Jesus and rejoice, (Hebrews 12:2) for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Grace; March 24, 2023

Psalm 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.

This Psalm says it is “A Psalm of David,” but virtually everything about it seems like it was written by someone else about him, rather than being his own creation. However, other Psalms with exactly the same attribution seem clearly to have been written by him, so we really don’t know. What stands out to me about this verse is the difference between the English and the Japanese translations. Where the NIV says “unfailing love,” the Japanese says “grace.” Whereas it is true the Japanese word for grace is broader than the English, often being used where in English we would say “blessing,” it still carries the feeling of “unmerited favor,” which is the definition of the English term. Not being a Hebrew scholar, I can’t say which is more accurate here as a translation. However, I do know that God’s grace is an expression of His unfailing love, and vice versa. We really run out of words to describe God and His attributes, because He is infinitely magnificent! People often say things like, “How could a loving God do/allow something like (whatever tragedy)?” That all comes back to the mystery of human free will. How is it that we have free will when God, being outside of time, already knows everything we will ever do? As Bill Whittle says, we don’t have the “mental horsepower” to really understand it, and often enough we get angry that we don’t. We want to know and understand everything, but a major part of maturity is accepting that we never will, this side of heaven. However, we do have the assurance Paul expressed: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) As the Southern Gospel song puts it, “We will understand it better by and by.” The important thing to realize right now is that God is omnipotent and omniscient and loving, and as He told Paul, His grace is really all we need. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

This is something I still struggle with occasionally, because I love to know stuff. Even in the fourth grade I used to read the encyclopedia for fun, and I still consume a great deal of information. Now if I could only remember it all! However, I have learned over the years that quite a few of the “facts” I learned turned out to be untrue, sometimes because of honest mistakes and sometimes because of deliberate deception of the part of “authorities.” We’ve seen entirely too much of the latter recently! Even my understanding of God keeps growing, not to mention my knowledge of myself. That’s why I need to keep applying one of my father’s pet phrases; “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ.” I greatly look forward to “knowing as I am fully known,” as Paul said, but in the meantime I am increasingly satisfied with knowing my God’s grace/unfailing love.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Looking back over the past 74 years I cannot help being amazed at Your incredible, all-sufficient grace. Help me be appropriately grateful and obedient in response, so that all of Your purposes for me may be accomplished on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dependence; March 23, 2023

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Verses 6-8 were put to a catchy little tune several years ago, and I can’t read this without that running through my mind. That’s not a bad thing! One of the many blessings of music is that it can make Scripture much easier to remember, and indeed, it has been used as a memory aid from before the time most people were literate, much less having printed books. That said, the point of this verse is extremely important. Who or what we depend on makes a huge difference in our lives. We see that all around us all the time. A case that is currently in the news is the war in Ukraine. The Japanese for “chariots” is literally, “military vehicles,” and is precisely the term used for tanks – which Russia has relied on to very poor effect. However, this principle applies much closer to home for every human being. We all have moments when we realize that we can’t make it strictly on our own. That’s actually a very good thing, because acknowledging it will liberate us from the pride that is so deadly in separating us from our Creator. The wisest course is not to wait for moments of crisis, but rather realize from the outset that on our own we can accomplish nothing good, just as Jesus said. (John 15:5) As Asaph wrote in Psalm 73, our physical bodies will fail, but God is eternal. (Psalm 73:25-26) Young people can have trouble accepting that, but time has a way of catching up with us! The earlier we establish the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our hearts and minds, and our utter dependence on Him, the better it is for us and everyone around us.

Since I will turn 75 this year, entering what the Japanese health system classifies as “the latter period of old age,” this is very pertinent for me. By God’s grace I am in good health, but He allowed me to break my wrist the end of January, to teach me to rely not just on what He enables me to do but also on what He does through others. A major issue with my pastoral ministry and leadership through the years has been poor delegation, choosing to do things myself rather than getting other people involved. Pride has certainly been a part of it, but it has felt like my biggest motive was simple convenience. It’s just been easier to take care of things myself. However, that has had the negative effect of not training others in doing things, and is a direct violation of God’s plan for ministry, as expressed in Ephesians 4:11-13. I’m to be preparing others for “works of service,” not doing it all myself. Age may bring wisdom, but sometimes I’m very slow to learn! The day will likely come, and not too many years from now, when I will be largely dependent on others for almost everything. The sooner and better I learn to depend on God through others, the better off everyone will be.

Father, thank You for this reminder. And may I say, Ouch! I ask for wisdom and guidance in delegation. May I not fear asking others to do things, but rather rejoice that we are all dependent on You, and You work through each of us for the benefit of the others. May pride be banished indeed, and You alone be glorified as Your will is done, in and through me and those around me. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light in Darkness; March 22, 2023

Psalm 18:28 You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

The section from verse 25 through verse 36 is completely underlined, and there are several songs that run through my mind as I read it. However, this verse particularly catches my attention right now. I’ve written on Discouragement and Depression recently, but we are prone to all kinds of darkness. The human heart can be a dark place indeed! This whole Psalm is a magnificent testimony of David’s relationship with God, appropriately enough since it starts with, “I love You, O Lord, my strength.” However, David had a very limited revelation of God, since he knew nothing of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, even though he prophesied it in amazing detail in Psalm 22. In some ways he had to operate in more faith than we do, because he didn’t have the Bible to guide him. Here, “keep my lamp burning” probably means, “keep me alive,” since that was a common metaphor for life, but the second half of the verse shows a bit of deeper understanding. The Japanese simply says, “The Lord my God shines on my darkness,” but I find the NIV to be quite striking here. Either way, it brings to mind John’s famous declaration: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7) In a sense our whole lives are struggles against darkness. We can’t generate light in and of ourselves, but since God is light, we can allow Him to shine through us. That is the only real victory against darkness, in ourselves or in the world around us. Thinking about it, it’s really earthshaking that Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) I could keep going for quite a while, since I have preached numerous sermons on this topic! But to come back to the original point, when we recognize spiritual and moral darkness, in ourselves or in society, we are to let God shine His light in order to dispel it. As the song says, “Don’t try to drive the darkness out; you just turn on the light.”

Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone. It is easy to spot darkness in society and in others, but I’ve got to be willing to acknowledge it in myself and allow the Holy Spirit to dispel it. I’m not to be like those Jesus spoke of, loving darkness rather than light. (John 3:19) I am never to think I’ve got it all together, because that will lay me open to the traps of the devil. Knowing the truth without applying it is just deceiving myself, just as James said. (James 1:22) Consistency is the key. However, as Paul wrote to Timothy, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) I am not to be anxious, focusing on my weaknesses but rather, as He has told me to do, rest, relax, and rejoice in Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your incredible, sufficient grace. May I be a bright, open conduit of that grace to all so that as many as will may come to Your light, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heritage; March 21, 2023

Psalms 16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

This Psalm has various impactful verses, but I keep coming back to this one because it was a favorite of my father and grandfather before me. It is interesting that David would say this, because he was not the oldest son and his father’s land would not have come to him as an inheritance, even though the terminology in this verse is explicitly that of real estate. That leaves us with the conclusion that David wasn’t talking about tangible things at all. There are indeed many kinds of inheritance, and frankly, some aren’t worth having! Parents pass many things on to their children, starting with simple genetics. We can’t escape that! Further, parents pass on their values, whether they intend to or not. A Japanese proverb talks about children learning things from “watching their parents’ backs.” It has been said many times, but we communicate far more, ultimately, by what we do than by what we say. Words are certainly important, and we should let our children know why we do what we do the way we do them, but it’s the actions themselves that communicate most loudly. In terms of words, patterns of speech also pass down from generation to generation, and not just in terms of accents. Profane parents will usually raise profane children, verbally abusive parents abusive children, and kind, encouraging parents kind, encouraging children. Of course it’s important to note the “usually” there. Parents aren’t the only influence on their children! However, they are certainly a very big influence, and that is the biggest part of the heritage they leave.

I was incredibly blessed that my father and grandfather not only loved this verse, they also confessed verse 2 in honesty: “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” Both men were totally committed to Christ, and I have reaped more blessings from that than I could count. Recently another missionary family saw their matriarch off to heaven, and I quoted this verse to them. None of us know how long we will be here, so we all need to live so that those after us will be able to quote this verse in gratitude and joy. I have two physical children and numerous spiritual ones as well. It is my prayer that this verse will be their confession, as it is mine.

Father, thank You indeed for the truly delightful heritage I have received. There is so much to it! Thank You that my inheritance in Christ is even greater, because my physical ancestors were finite and fallible as I am. Help me be a good steward of the heritage You have given me, on all levels, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Depression; March 20, 2023

Psalm 13:2, 5-6 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.

Various figures in the Bible would today probably be diagnosed as “bipolar.” However, strong emotions aren’t necessarily a sign of weakness, much less disease. Josephus recorded that Jesus was known for mood swings, and an honest reading of the Gospels will bear that out. Here, David is complaining of classic depression, but then he flips around by his own choice. The first step of that is simple: he chooses to trust God. He does that on the basis of what he knows of God, his experiences of God. Modern secular society tries to push God out of everything, assigning materialistic causes to everything and discounting God’s hand in it all, but that is a terrible loss. Science has shown us many of the mechanisms by which God does things, but that doesn’t negate the fact that He’s behind it all. The second thing David does here is to sing. Many studies, not to mention everyday experience, have shown the huge impact music has on our emotions. Singing a dirge isn’t the best idea if you’re wanting to get out of an emotional pit! David very wisely chooses to sing to the Lord. I emphasize that because a lot of even supposedly Christian music is completely self-centered, and that’s no way to get over depression. You could say that David was practicing what the old hymn Count Your Blessings recommends. He chose to rejoice in God’s salvation and remember how good God had been to him. That’s a recipe for happiness if there ever was one!

In my youth I struggled with depression, and even seriously attempted suicide one time. Even as an adult I have thought of it a few times. However, over the years I have learned that all that stems from being self-centered. Everyone has that tendency, but that’s not an excuse to indulge it. We do experience everything from that perspective initially, but the more we get past that the more mature we become and the better able to enjoy all the blessings of God and His creation. When bad things happen there is always the temptation to say, “Why me?” We indeed need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit pointing out things of which we need to repent, but barring that, the answer is usually, because we live in a fallen world. That’s why Jesus said so bluntly, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) However, as Paul pointed out, “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) When we have the eternal perspective we can understand that our troubles are no more than blips in the road, certainly not worth dwelling on. By God’s grace I have had moments in which I was more sure that God was real than that I was real. I don’t think I’m ever likely to be tempted by suicide again!

Father, thank You indeed for Your overwhelming grace. Thank You that I’ll be able to share in the online Coaching conference this morning. Help me say exactly what You want me to say and nothing else, not running overtime but blessing each of my hearers so that together we may rejoice to participate in what You are doing, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discouragement; March 19, 2023

Psalms 11:3 “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do ?”

I noticed a very important detail as I was reading this just now, and that is that is that this is the end of a quote that starts in the last line of verse one. This isn’t a statement of God’s truth, it is an attempt to discourage the righteous. In a “divine accident” this morning I read Psalm 12 first, though the listing was clearly for Psalm 11, and that describes precisely the sort of situation in which the devil says this sort of thing into our ears. In it, David starts by saying, “Help , Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men,” and he ends by saying, “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” (Psalm 12:1, 8) That sounds all too familiar and contemporary to us today! Things that were once acknowledged as perverted, in line with what the Bible says about them, were first pushed to be “accepted,” then admired and honored, signs of pride and privilege. The devil wants us to give up, so he says things to us like the quote in the first part of this Psalm. We have no reason to accept such nihilistic nonsense! As David says in direct response to it, “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne.” (Psalm 11:4) The rot that we see and hear today is strictly temporary, because God is eternal, and He is perfectly holy and righteous. In the US today, and even in places around the world, we are seeing the stirrings of genuine revival, of people seeking God above all else and crying out to Him. We are even seeing a political movement to expose the lies and deceptions that have been so rampant in recent years. There is every reason to lift our heads and expect great things of God. If our expectations are placed in people we will be disappointed, because everyone is weak and flawed, but God is an expert at using even such as we are to accomplish His purposes, and that is where our hopes should be. What will transpire in the near future remains to be seen, but we can have total peace and confidence that the ultimate outcome will be God’s rule and reign, even as He has told us to pray.

I have certainly heard voices of discouragement many times in my life, and I am very grateful the Lord has brought me through them. The devil wants every believer to throw in the towel, to give up, but the Bible consistently cautions us against that. Even when we don’t see the victory in this life at all, we still experience the total victory of Christ in eternity. God has given me assurance of that, even though my current situation might not seem very “victorious” to an outside observer. In recent weeks I have been seeing all sorts of signs of God’s plans in action, and it is exciting. At the same time, I’m not to try to impose my timetable on what God is doing. I am to keep myself available for however God might want to use me, but I’m also to stay out of the way when He wants to use someone else. Above all I’m to keep my eyes on Christ Jesus my Lord, and not be distracted by everything else. That is the way to true peace, victory, and joy.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for causing me to read Psalm 12 first! Thank You for Your hope that overrides everything else, including martyrdom. May I be Your servant, Your agent to do Your will at all times, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Name of God; March 18, 2023

Psalms 9:10 Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

A few days ago I saw a comedy sketch on the Internet that was to me quite insightful. The comedian was of Indian ethnicity, and he portrayed two characters in turn from the British Raj period. Using a perfect British “posh” accent, he was declaiming how God insisted on this, that, or the other, all things that today we would take as a matter of course. Then he switched to an Indian persona and asked what was the name of this god that the Brit was quoting. Going back to the British persona, he got all flustered and insisted that God was God, that was His name. The Indian persona then said that he was ridiculous, not even knowing the name of the god he was using as an authority. The Indian sounded very calm and reasonable, and the Brit sounded more and more unhinged. It was all very amusing, and painfully close to home at the same time. It’s not just that people from monotheistic cultures don’t know how to relate to polytheistic cultures, it’s that many of them really don’t know the God they say they believe in. You could say they believe in God, but don’t actually know Him. Someone well versed in the Bible could have answered the Indian in that exchange, “His name is Yahweh, and His Son’s name is Jesus.” Going from there to the concept of a singular Creator who loved His creation so much as to send His Son to die for us would have seemed fantastic to the Indian, but at least logically connected. There are in a sense three facets to evangelism: informing people of a loving Creator, telling them about His provision of salvation, and then helping them understand how totally they need that salvation. This verse in Psalms touches on the first of those, and somewhat assumes the other two. People in monotheistic cultures really have little grasp of why the Old Testament keeps talking about “the Name of the Lord,” or even why the 10 Commandments forbid the misuse of that name. It actually is a very big deal that our Creator goes by I AM, that is, The One Who Is. All other gods are cheap illusions, propped up by demonic activity. Who we worship, who we pray to, is actually a matter of extreme importance.

That comedy routine has really stuck with me since I saw it, and I need to let it impact how I share the Gospel. Shinto is certainly polytheistic, to the point that the Japanese themselves refer to their country as “the land of 8 million gods.” Buddhism is technically atheistic, but in practical terms it likewise has countless gods, because people pray to their ancestors. Xavier and those with him used the term “Ten Shu,” Lord of Heaven, which I think was very wise. Unfortunately, Protestant missionaries a couple of centuries later went with “Kami,” the Shinto term for gods, and I think that was a sad mistake. It’s awfully hard to change tradition at this point! I need to liberally sprinkle any presentation of the Gospel with terms like Creator, so people will have a better idea just who I’m talking about. And of course, my goal is for them to know Him as Father, and Jesus Christ as Lord.

Father, thank You for this insight. I don’t usually expect to get such insights from YouTube videos! Help me indeed hear You clearly however You choose to speak to me, and hearing, may I be fully and joyfully obedient, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

Posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment