Japan

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An excellent video presentation showing and telling the spiritual atmosphere of the nation we have loved with God’s Love for the past thirty-eight years. God has promised ” . . . and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh . . . ” Prayercast: JAPAN is a wonderful video presentation of a young Japanese man praying in English for his nation. See also this link for additional information about how to pray for Japan: http://www.prayercast.com/japan.html

 

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You might want to give a listen to this beautiful song from the Japanese Hymnal. It is a song wishing joy to a newly wedded couple and a song of praise to God. It also expresses the couple’s desire to always be seeking God’s love and to live in His righteousness. The song is titled “To The Beloved Couple.”

It is sung by Wakamatsu Music Co. Sachiko KOYAKUMARU and Saori HOTTA singing background harmony. This particular clip was recorded during a rehearsal about 40 minutes before an actual wedding in the Marie du Cour Wedding Chapel in Kokura, Japan.

「愛する二人に」Ai suru futari ni

1 愛する二人に  Ai suru futari ni あふれるよろこび  Afureru yorokobi
造られた神を  Tsukurareta Kami wo たたえて歌おう。Tataete Utaō.

2 互いに信じる  Tagai ni shinjiru 心を実らせ  Kokoro wo minorase
主の愛求めて  Shu no ai motomete 正義に生きよう。Seigi ni iki yō.

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“This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink, in remembrance of me.”               1 Corinthians 11:25

Serving communion in Japan using traditional Japanese wine cups made by a Japanese artisan of earth dug from our own city.

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The following was originally part of a letter to a pastor of a supporting church in Bremerton, WA.

Since we’ve been back in Japan we’ve seen how very much the people in the  church, especially the deacons who were appointed before we left, have grown and matured spiritually. It’s so surprising, and yet it gives us a sense that having gone back to Alaska for a year was definitely God’s plan. I know now that if anything ever happened to make us have to suddenly return to the USA, or even leave Japan, that the church God allowed us to pioneer for Him will survive.

With things going on in the world as they are today [in 2003], we can see that things can change overnight. This area (Japan) of the world is especially “matchbox-sensitive” right now ― North Korea, Iraq, China etc. have all been heavily on the minds of the Japanese. As well, equal in tension is the uncertainty of the economy and the rising unemployment situation. What once was very secure, secure enough to almost guarantee home-family income through retirement and old-age, is now crumbling. Companies that offered all this security are now ‘restructuring’ by letting go these people who were looking forward to after-retirement security. Banks are no longer able to handle the changes in the financial world alone and many are merging, amalgamating (combining) with other banks in order to survive. As just one result, we see homeless people increasing all over Japan. Men who were once executives can be found living in cardboard shacks.

Missionaries living in this nation have prayed for years and years that a shaking would come to Japan ― something that would shake them loose from their “gods” of money, success, looking the other way and pride. I am reminded of a vision the Holy Spirit gave me about 24 or 25 years ago. I was in a local Japanese church in

the city of Kokura in the northern part of the island of Kyushu. The meeting was keynoted by a former Finnish missionary to Japan. I can only remember his name being Rohm-sensei (phonetic spelling).

It was during the song service as about 50 or so people were praising God when I saw very clearly the nation of Japan from above. The whole nation of Japan all at once was shaken by a terrible earthquake. The entire nation from Hokkaido (north) to Okinawa (south), from east to west, all at the same time was shaken. I thought this strange since earthquakes are usually localised and only affect one or two cities at a time, but this one shook the whole nation.

I saw every major metropolis on the coasts, the cities and towns that surround them, the villages way up in the mountains where very rarely a foreigner ever gets a chance to go. There was not one place that did not have people that was not shaken to the core. I was amazed at what I saw. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly in my spirit, “Man is made of the dust of the ground.” I realised in a flash that this earthquake was one that would literally shake every man, woman and child in this nation, all at one time.

Then the Holy Spirit showed me what followed the earthquake. I saw a tidal wave so big, so huge, coming to the very same coastlines and islands of the entire nation

of Japan that I had seen so violently shaken. It covered the same metropolises, cities, towns and made its way up into the nook-and-cranny-villages of the mountains. It covered the whole country from Hokkaido to Okinawa, from the east to the west. I can’t say with penned words how huge this wave was. Believe me, it was huge! It was then I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to me again. “The glory of God.” I gasped.

My, how God must love the people of Japan, even if they have resisted His visitations throughout the past centuries. “For God so loved the nation of Japan that He gave His only begotten Son . . . If the gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of (money, success, looking the other way, pride) this world has blinded the minds of them who don’t believe.”

The vision was 24 or 25 years ago. It didn’t happen the next day, but with the ability to see and hear what is happening in the world today by way of the mass media,

one can see the world is falling apart at the shakings taking place all around the globe. Are we ready for the shaking? Are we ready for the glory of God’s visitation?

Promises of God fill my heart when I see and read about the shakings taking place around the world, even right here in Japan ―

“My God shall supply all your need (spiritually, emotionally and physically) according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“The LORD bless thee and keep thee. The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Romans 16:20, 24; 1 Corinthians 16:23; Philippians 4:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; Revelation 22:21

“Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.” Psalm 107:19

“I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25

As the song service continued, I wondered whether or not what I had just been shown was to be prophesied to the people, or if it was just for me. I kept quiet. The service finished and in the after-fellowship with the Japanese pastor and the Finnish missionary, I felt to share what I had seen. The missionary couldn’t speak English and neither could the pastor, so I did my best to share it in Japanese. So, we representatives from Europe, Asia and North America sat there and continued the discussion in Japanese. I shared what I’ve written here in the same graphic detail.

After I was done, the Finnish missionary’s mouth kind of dropped open and he said to me ― “You are the third person in two weeks to share the exact same vision with me. Before I left Finland to come to the Orient on this mission trip, a man in my congregation stood and shared the vision with our church. He had seen the same thing you’re telling me now. Then, just a few days ago in Thailand at a meeting there, a woman in the congregation stood and prophesied the same vision. You are the third person to share it.”

I am reminded of what the Word of God says,  “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1.

It’s been over sixty years since World War II ended. Japan was made a non-warring nation and has probably never even considered war ever occurring again in Japan. However, it’s closer to happening than ever before during the past sixty-some-odd years. North Korea launched a missile right over Japan a few years ago in the direction of the USA. It was reported to have ended up somewhere in the Gulf of Alaska. Now they have decided to continue their nuclear activities. They refuse to sit and talk. They continue feeding its armies with donated food from around the world that was sent with the intention of feeding its hungry citizens. North Korea has been kidnapping Japanese citizens and taking them away, hiding them in unreachable areas of the country. They continue to send spy ships into Japanese waters. The list could go on. The threat of war again in Japan is becoming very real. US naval and air bases throughout Japan are here simply because of such a threat. One can imagine just how the entire nation of Japan could be shaken to its core all at one time if a bomb were to be sent this way, if it were to drop on a metropolis, a city, a town or even a village way up in the mountains.

I’ve been praying that if and when Japan is shaken as described here, that the Lord would protect the properties of the Lord’s churches and its members throughout Japan, so that when the populace of this nation comes running, they will be able to handle the sudden influx. We need the power of the Holy Ghost NOW more than ever, ever, ever before.

Let us bring our vessels, not a few, to God and have Him fill us with His Holy Spirit. His Presence and Power, His Glory. Let us shut our doors behind us and have Him pour out of Himself into us. Let us seek the LORD while He may be found; let’s call on Him while He is near. He will fill us with His glorious Spirit. This is His greatest desire.

I’ve shared these thoughts and have been penning them for the past two or three hours or so, but they have encouraged me to once again get more of God in me. I love the Holy Ghost and desire to hear His voice more clearly in these days that lie ahead of the whole world.

Let’s keep very close to God in these days. ―May, 2003

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bokudencollageI went to a calligraphic-art exhibit yesterday at the Oishi Gallery in the Shin Ten Cho shopping area of downtown Fukuoka City in Tenjin. Master calligrapher Bokuden MATSUDA was exhibiting various forms of his students’ artwork.

The title of this artwork by Taniguchi-san is 「輝」(kagayaki), meaning radiance, brilliance, glitter. When I saw it, I smiled and immediately thought of Creation in Genesis 1:2-3 where it states ―

kagayaki谷口“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light.”

Yes, even inspired art can make the Word of God come alive!

When you stop to view art, don’t just blink and go to the next one hanging on the wall. Use your imagination. Take a look at 「TKS25」by Tan-san.

I stared and stared at this one and saw a husband walking with his pregnant wife on his right side and his two other children on his left. I wondered if that was the 5 in the title. Then I stretched my imagination a bit more.

art

I saw the same expectant couple rejoicing together next to their melon-filled shopping cart as they come upon some cute baby clothes at their local COSTCO on sale.

I’ve found the older I get the more I appreciate art.