Monthly Archives: November 2016

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Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith . . . Hebrews 12:1

Please sit back and watch 6:47 minutes of the day of “Passing The Baton at MBCC” service-celebration of photos by professional photographer Riz Crescini. Even though this slide-movie presentation is a past event, it will bring the memories of November 13, 2016 alive over and over again.

 

 

 

 

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Passing the baton photo taken by Kent, WA River of Life Fellowship’s Tina Ury.

We passed the baton of pastoral leadership of Munakata Bethel Christian Center to James & Tracy XAVIER in the Sunday worship service here in Japan on November 13, 2016. The following is a brief of the message Nils spoke just before passing the baton.

Haggai 2:6-9 says, For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

The expressions of thus saith the Lord of hosts in these verses is none other than a declaration that God’s Word will of a surety come to pass. Revival to the church and the awakening of Japan’s eyes to the reality of Whom God is will come to pass because He said so. No questions or doubts about it . . . It is absolute . . . As surely as He said in the beginning, Let there be light, and there was light, awakening and revival in Japan will happen.

The glory of this latter house spoken of here is not how nice the building or the property on which it sits looks, but it is the PRESENCE of God; it is the work of the Holy Ghost; it is welcoming the Holy Ghost among us. Andrea and I have laid the foundation of Munakata Bethel Christian Center, but it will be the Holy Ghost working together with James & Tracy XAVIER who will build on that foundation to prepare it for the GLORY of God.

Pass the blue baton. Why not yellow? Why not red? BLUE is the color significant of the Holy Ghost. Blue skies above us and around the world show us that He is everywhere, a constant, never changing, and always with us. We must welcome Him into our families; into our lives; and when we gather to worship.

The Japanese character for “dove” shows nine birds ⏤ 鳩 ⏤ revealing the personality of the Holy Spirit in His nine gifts and and nine fruit.

We must WELCOME Him. The Japanese character for “welcome” reveals something about how our attitude should be when we gather to worship, when we gather as a family, and when we live our daily lives. 歓迎 ⏤ pronounced kan-gei.

歓 ⏤ the left radical shows a heron, a celebratory bird, while the right radical shows a person with a gaping, wide-open mouth standing by to eat it.

迎 ⏤ shows a person bowing as he comes out of his house to welcome (the person) someone to the feast.

When you feel a knock at the door of your heart, by all means open the door and welcome in the Lord Jesus. Once you open the door, you can be sure He won’t hesitate. He’ll come right in, sit down and feast with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrea and I came to Japan in January of 1978 and began our life as missionaries, working and preparing for four years in Kurume City before stepping out and moving to the city of God’s leading . . . Munakata . . . in September of 1982. Caroline was born shortly after moving here, so we know that it was exactly 34 years ago.

We celebrated the past 38 years this past Sunday, November 13, 2016, in a combined “retirement-passing the baton” day of worship, food, fun and fellowship. Passing the baton of pastoral leadership to James & Tracy XAVIER has been a work in progress since they arrived in January 2010. They have proved themselves, studied the language, captured the hearts of the congregants and put roots of intention to remain in Japan until the Day.

We regret none of the past 38 years. They were filled with God’s presence, signs, wonders and miracles. We look forward to what God has for us in the months and years ahead as we re-fire and are boosted like a rocket closer to the Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please feel free to view this slideshow of our lives from high school graduation, marriage, ordination, arrival to Japan, four years in Kurume years and 34 years in Munakata.

You can also view the actual exchange and passing of the baton here in this 1hour-32-minute video. The baton exchange portion is toward the latter end of the video. It is mainly in Japanese and may sound muffled, but guest speakers from Alaska and Seattle speak in English with an interpreter. Nils asked his interpreter from 38 years ago, Hidekuni INADOMI, to translate his parting message for the Japanese present.