Sunday, April 30, 2006

I am SO lame

Hi everyone.
I'm lame b/c about 9 days ago I was playing basketball in the big gym in town... it's getting warmer and pretty humid, so the floors were kind of slick and damp. So I was going to be really careful, but about 20 minutes into the practice while we were doing 2 on 1 drills, I went up for a block and slipped and fell on the landing, twisting my right ankle and knee. So all this week I've been unable to go much of anywhere, which is pretty annoying, I must say. I finally can walk w/o too much of a limp and some not-too-hard biking is OK by now, which is really nice. But I'm still slow in getting around and can't prayer-walk every day like I used to. Maybe in a week or so I'll be ready for that.
This week is called "Golden Week," which is basically kind of like Spring Break for the Japanese. They celebrate by hanging all these dorky carp flags on lots of houses and buildings that represent good health and good development of the nation's boys. But the upshot is that Wed, Thurs, and Fri are all vacation days. Sweet. So Aub gets off all 3 of those days. I don't know what we're going to do... I would really like to do some extensive biking and exploration of Kikai, and that would normally include some hiking around on dead and exposed coral reefs, but I have to be really careful on those for fear of messing up my legs when I'm at 100%, to say nothing of when I'm already lame up. But there are some cool things to see that are only about an hour by bike one-way... Just hope the leg holds up, and the weather too.

Don't know what else to say. More pics later.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Apostle Paul was a jerk!

There circulates among some the idea that the Apostle Paul was an ogre, a boorish, overbearing type who constantly harped on everyone to get their stuff right or else. They contend that the reason for which he often mentioned church discipline and for which he refused to allow John Mark to accompany him on his 2nd missionary journey b/c he had abandoned him the 1st time around and for which he was constantly contending for the faith w/ unbelievers, often in a debate setting, was b/c he was a power-tripping god-complex personality. I have posted the following Scriptural psgs in order to speak to that very idea.

Acts 18:18 -
18Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.
--Why did Aquila and Priscilla follow Paul? No mention of an order or a vision to do so. Could we not conclude that it was b/c they shared Paul's vision and loved him enough to go w/ him to do it? Why else would they work so long together as tentmakers?

Acts 19:9 -
But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.
--Paul, for approximately 2 years in Ephesus, had a school for *discussion* and reasoning. Not just him preaching.

Acts 19:28-31 -
28When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. 30But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. 31And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater.
--Paul originally wanted to go before this crazed group of maybe around 20,000 people to make a defense, but his friends wouldn't allow him. That tells us that 1) he was available to listen to others and have his mind changed; and 2) he had dear friends who didn't want to see him in harm's way unnecessarily.

Acts 20:1-2 -
1After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece.
--It doesn't fit w/ this ogre personality when Paul spends so much time "encouraging" and "greatly encouraging" the brethren.

Acts 20:17-21 -
17Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18And when they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ..."
--They themselves (the Ephesian elders) did indeed know this and so didn't challenge his assertion that he lived to SERVE THEM, working for his own wages, living among them w/ humility, spending his time teaching THEM, refusing to deal only w/ Jews, undergoing trials in order to continue to preach the Truth.

Acts 20:31-38 -
31"Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. 32And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"36And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.
--A very long period of time he spent w/ the Ephesians, admonishing them w/ TEARS rather than an I'm-in-charge-here attitude. He was concerned w/ their sanctification and not w/ their worldly riches. He took to heart that "it is more blessed to give than to receive," and the elders knew it and wept and kissed him b/c they knew they would never see him again. And they went w/ him to send him off at the ship.

Examples could be multiplied but I don't want to make this a lot longer. Romans 16. The letter to the Philippians. The letter to Philemon. The letter of 2 Corinthians. Ephesians 2.
Why do these people say this about Paul? I think it's partly b/c they want to discredit him and the things he said so that they don't have to deal w/ unpleasant things, like:
1) His frequent mentionings of judgment
2) His teachings on church discipline
3) His teachings on the necessity of preaching the Gospel to all
4) His insistence that we live pure lives, away from even controversial sins like homosexuality, drunkenness, adultery, pre-marital sex
5) His insistence that all human beings are corrupted and fallen, and thus evil (see Romans 3 and tell me he didn't teach that)
6) His insistence that God has spoken thru the Scriptures and that we are to be correctable by them over and above anything else, any other human tradition

It's easier to discard Paul b/c he was a mean and nasty person than to deal w/ the difficulty of changing a warped and liberal-tinged worldview to bring it into agreement w/ what the apostle wrote in the divinely-breathed Scriptures. But could it be that he actually *wasn't* the jerk that they claim and that God really *does* back up what Paul said in the Scriptures? An honest seeker will find the right answer.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A few new links; and Down with the gospel according to the WPA

It's 10 pm in Kikai. Do you know where your kids are?
Me, I'm in front of my lappy-toppy, prepared once again to type a blog.
Let me take a moment to point out a few links, BlogSpotting if you will. First, the Blackblogger has written an extremely insightful post on the recent Duke LaCrosse team incident, and I think his last 2 posts have been his best so far. Getting better w/ age, he is. Much like a good aromatic French cheese. But don't tell him I related him to something French. Don't want his next aggressive post to be about ME.
Also, on the left (if I indeed remembered to republish this blog before hitting the sack tonight) you will see a few new links. One is to my new MySpace site. It's not much, but the good thing about that is that it won't take long to visit. I guess I think MySpace is OK, and there are a couple of people I can more easily communicate w/ thru that site than by other means (since they don't seem to respond well to email). So there you go. Also, you'll see a couple of Kikaijima links that I dredged up from my old still-in-Norman-waiting-to-go-to-Japan bookmarks. Now that I have been here for 8 months, I find them very interesting and cogent, actually.
My favorite part of the articles is the last quote of the first one about Kikai's political scene. I think that article is at least 8 years old, written (obviously) before the alluded-to military installation was constructed (it's now operational) on Kikai. There was (according to a couple of friends of mine) vast public disapproval of it, but the gov't built it anyway.
I bring this up b/c mainline Christian leaders and churches in Japan have a reputation for being much more interested in the "social gospel" than they do in the real Gospel of Christ, and end up being involved in public education and politics, pacifism, etc. It appears that Pastor Maruyama (whose 'church' we attend on Sundays) ('church' is in quotes b/c it's, as previously mentioned, part of his family, one handicapped lady, and us) is no exception to this rule. A friend told me a story about Pastor M attending a public education town hall meeting and bawling out the speaker b/c of educational policies and quality of the schools. I take that w/ a grain of salt. But then 3 weeks ago a peace activist-in-training shows up on Kikai from Nagasaki and spends 3 days here seeing some WW2-related sites. Pastor M proudly escorted him around the island on at least one of those days, he himself told me. And then there's his comment in this article about the military installation.
So I suppose this can serve as a partial answer to the question: What do you guys pray for? Could anything be of more value to Kikai right now than a little good spiritual leadership?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Recent pictures. A Debate. Nothing Else.

I just feel like posting pictures today. I finally got off my bum and uploaded the pics from my camera.
This week in my English classes, I had the kids dress up in my clothes, and since I'm significantly larger than my students, it made for good fun all around. Ha ha - little kids in big clothes! Ha ha!
But you have to admit that a pre-schooler in a trenchcoat is funny.
We also have a pic of the Tokumoto family, me, and our new Belgian friend Marc who studied Kikai coral for a month. He lives on Honshu and was glad to meet other French-speakers in a very unlikely place. As were we.

Also included in the pics are 2 pictures of us on Easter Sunday at the park w/ the Kikai church. The older gentleman behind me is the pastor, Maruyama-sensei. 'Twas quite the sunny windy day.
Finally, allow me to plug the Debate Blog (see link panel at left). Centuri0n, the real-live Calvinist (Reformed Baptist, not exactly me but close enough) is engaging the director of the film "The G0d Wh0 W4sn't Th3r3" (misspelled so as to avoid webcrawler hits for such a ridiculous movie) on the question of whether Jesus actually existed in history. The atheist's 1st question was completely lame; I'll be curious to see what he has to offer in a real-live debate.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My musical talent; or "I couldn't think of a good title"

I wish I had sthg more interesting to write today.
I'm sorry.
I have posted some pics and I'm too lazy today to get the ones that are currently on the camera off it so I can post 'em, so I'll just post some older pics. And I can do that since I'm the blog writer guy.
Pix 1-3 are at the int'l student good-bye party where the French guy and Hong Kong and Taiwanese girls were. 1st - I'm playing the drum along w/ the shamisen; 2nd - I'm singing "The Preacher and the Bear" from Guardian's Swing Swang Swung album; 3rd - our friends Xu Xu and her husband Sunakawa (she's Chinese and he's a blind Japanese masseur) singing a Chinese song; 4th - some great Engrish off the back of one of our favorite Jr Hi students; 5th - another shot of the awesome gajumaru tree in Tokuzuku.

Max and I continue our discussion on the post entitled "Cleverness" in March, so if you care to read it, it's quite educational in many ways.
It's a rainy day after two straight days of ridiculously beautiful weather. My apologies to those who are in OK - 95 F ain't no fun. At least, that's what I hear. ;-)
Ha ha, no, I'll have my share of hot and miserable days soon enough, believe you me.
Since we last spoke, what's happened? Hmm. Well, on Pascha evening we went over to the Tokumoto family's house w/ our new Belgian friend Marc. True to form, w/ 3 guys and 3 girls present, we became 2 convo groups, guys and girls. The girls got to talk about the source of morality and truth, while w/ the guys I was stuck talking about Iraq and the US. Sigh. In my younger days I might have enjoyed such an exchange a little more, but anymore I'm not too interested in many political subjects. Being a missionary has its foibles, man. Anyway, Mrs. Tokumoto (who has made an appearance in the photos on this blog) stated that morality comes from Buddha. "But Buddha is dead," said Aubrey. True. Well, what do you say to that? (Hint: Nothing.)
Moving on, we discovered that our burgeoning plans for Aubrey to go to Kansas to visit family took a blow on Monday, so we're kind of back to the drawing board on that one.
I got on a memorisation tear yesterday and memorised a whole vocab card booklet, including all those great theology words. Here are some more:
-Atonement (shokuzaki)
-Baptism (senrei)
-Repentance (kui ara tame)
-Advent (sairin)
-Trinity (sanmiittai) (I dig the word for Trinity)
And many, many more! So that's neato - now I can make my way towards having a halfway decent spiritual convo w/ someone in Japanese. Didn't say I'm there yet, mind you.
On Monday, from the pastor's wife, I acquired 10 Gideon bilingual New Testaments. Cool - they're pretty nice. And then Tuesday we received our shipment of more good literature from our friends in Tokyo, so thanks to them! I biked to the next town over (Araki) to give one of those NTs to the lady who invited us for dinner on Sat night. I showed up at her elem school during lunchtime and played w/ the kids and gave her the NT. She was very surprised and appeared to be very glad to receive it (if about a dozen profuse Thank-yous are any indication). I suggested she start in the Gospel of John. We pray she will.
Last night we got together w/ the Belgian guy one more time to eat out, but the restaurant all the way up on the mountain was, as we discovered just before finding it, closed on Tues nights. Live and learn. Drove a long way for nothing, but oh well. The next one (Blue Reef) was right on the coast and on the way, but it was also closed. So we went to our old stalwart, Kubo. During the course of dinner, we noticed that there were some Star Wars figurines on the wall and Marc asked if we like Star Wars. Perfect segue, actually, to launch into a discussion of ultimate morality, which leads directly into the Gospel. He's a typical European rationalist, but that was a good foundation - all you can do is lay out the info and pray. And I'm liking Star Wars more and more - that's the 2nd time that it's afforded me an opportunity to share the Good News w/ someone.
Tonight we're going to yet another restaurant w/ the new English teachers, so that should be cool. I know I SHOULD try sthg else at this restaurant, but I love their fried shrimp too much to eat anything else. Those suckers are almost as big as lobsters, man. Not kidding.
My English classes were running a little thin, so I condensed them and now it's much better. Tuesday I have 2 classes. Wed still 3, but should be a bit more well-populated. I'm about to start English classes during the evening at the Community Center, which will pay well, but it may not pay well depending on how much work I have to put into it. Plz pray for me on that.
Alan is out.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Pascha is just cool

Keeping in mind that the word "Easter" is a later add-on of dubious origin, I happily join the Eastern Orthodox in using the word "Pascha". Just the word, friends.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The church where we usually go gave us little Easter cards, w/ pictures of chicks singing songs on them. Argh.

On the upside, we met some new people last night at a dinner where about 16 were present. We shared the Gospel (mostly in Japanese) w/ a teacher whom we will shortly give a Bible. That's coolness! Yes, our vocabulary is increasing - we wereat one of the elem schools on Kikai, to able to use some words like:
-eternal life
And now Aubrey found another list w/ some more goodies:
-communion (not sure if it means the Eucharist, the Lord's Table; or fellowshiping)
So that's cool.

These are more pix of Kyle's time on Kikai. There are Kyle and me atop the railing at the high point of the Araki boardwalk, only 10 minutes by bike from our house. There are some fisherman who had an apparently fruitful outing on the coral shores. There are Aubrey and Michiyo walking from Sugira Beach to the boardwalk, which is a very pleasant walk. And then there's the monument to a group of (I think) 4 kamikaze pilots who were shot down over Kikai before being able to complete their mission (at least, that's the idea I got from Michiyo). If it were me, I would have erected a monument to the American pilots who shot them down before they were able to do more pointless harm to Japan's liberators. But they didn't ask for clear thinking on this monument, so what are you gonna do?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Passing of ports

Found it.
Looked and looked and looked. And it was in the suitcase that I used to travel to the States recently. But like 50% obscured by a panel, kind of stuck in the side lining. So it's not surprising that I missed it twice beforehand. But I'm SO glad to have found it. Glory to God.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Good Friday

Good Friday today.
It's been an up-and-down week.
Aubrey's back to work and enjoying her time w/ the new English teachers at the middle schools, especially at the really faraway one, Somachi. Too bad she can't go there more often. In fact, she was able to do lessons on Easter and its true meaning (yes, that would be the Resurrection of Christ; don't get me started on the friggin' Bunny) by showing parts of "The JESUS Film" in Japanese and her passing out some flyers that we made w/ Internet graphics and simple English captions depicting the various stages of the Crucifixion and then the Resurrection. Kind of like the Stations of the Cross, but less freaky Roman Catholic. Aubrey said that the kids are mostly in kind of this state of shock, not completely getting it. And we can understand that - it's their 1st time to hear about this story. And they're like "Who's the guy in charge" (Pilate)? "Who are those soldiers" (Romans)? You get the idea. On the other hand, the teachers are showing great interest in it and asking lots of questions. One of them told Aubrey (and Aub's still not exactly sure how the subject came up in convo) that she almost became Roman Catho a while back. Stay tuned for why. We will too.
Anyway, Aub's back at Somachi Jr Hi today for Good Friday.
Last night, our friend Shay was kind enough to hook us up w/ a copy of his truncated-Passover-seder-for-beginners-and/or-for-missionaries-in-Japan-w/o- an-oven-or-matzah. Thanks Shay! So I prepared the charoset (apple mixture - yum!) w/ mostly cashews instead of almonds or walnuts (they don't get too much into almonds or walnuts here), got some parsley, got some saltwater, got some grape juice (was thinking about wine, but I honestly don't like the taste and last year Aubrey got pretty sleepy after the 4th cup of wine called for in the seder. Don't know if that's b/c it was late or b/c we had drunk 4 cups of wine), got some saltine crackers, and got some candles. So we had a really good time re-enacting the summary of the seder. Cool beans. We even went out the front door and called for Elijah. But then we took it back - he's already come, after all.

We met a Belgian guy here on Kikai about 3 days ago, and we hung out two nights ago together. He's studying the Kikai coral for his Ph.D in geology and lives in Sendai, north of Tokyo. He's really nice and has rented a car, so he took us to one of our favorite restaurants, which ordinarily is accessible by bike in about 30 minutes. So that was fun. We'll hang out at least one more time. Yes, we spoke French together.
Did my taxes. Loving. The. Internet. That's about all I can say. It is way convenient anymore.

The reason this week has been so down is that I seem to have lost my passport. That qualifies as a Bad Deal. I always kept it in the same desk drawer, where I keep other stuff including Aub's passport. I know I got to Japan w/ it and thru Customs on 3 March. I'm almost positive that I got back to Kikai w/ it b/c otherwise I would have freaked out while unpacking. But I had no other opportunity to look for it or need it until just two days ago when I needed a copy to send to JET. I've torn my house apart and will do it again one more time. Went to the old house. Don't know, man. Either someone stole it (why not take Aub's too?) or it was lost during moving (though I kept an eye on that desk drawer the whole time and nothing else is missing out of it) or I misplaced it (though I don't know exactly why I'd be carrying it around the house) or I didn't get back to Kikai w/ it (though my two friends w/ whom I stayed don't see it and again, I would have freaked out if it weren't in my money belt upon my return to Kikai). Short answer - no idea. Bummed. I got a copy from the City Hall, which is good at least - they had it on file. So I was able to send it in to JET to keep hope alive there. But I'll probably have to go to Okinawa in a week to get a replacement. That. Stinks. Please pray for me - I would like to find it before going to replace it but if I don't find it I would really like to know a bit as to why God is sending me to Okinawa to replace it. I want to participate wholeheartedly in His plan, so pray that I'll be ready to do so.

Here's to lost passports and muggy weather.

Monday, April 10, 2006

My friend Bobby on the Gospel of Judas

It's retarded!

--The End--

Our stainless steel bathtub, w/ external water heater on the right.
This is a picture.

Our kitchen, looking moderately tidy. That's a big head of cabbage near the cutting board to the right of the sink, just so you know.
This is a picture.

This is the classroom, the spare bedroom area. I really love having an empty room to hold my classes in.
This is a picture.

A pic of the former wallpaper on our computer. This is our computer desk in the living room.
This is a picture.

Here is the guest room, still w/ some of Kyle's stuff in it. I'm going to keep being lazy and not take some pix of our new house. The pix off of Kyle's camera will suffice.
This is a picture.

The cat food brand that we bought for the cats of our former house. Kyle (very helpfully) pointed out that "smack" is slang for heroine in the States. Thanks, Kyle.
This is a picture.

Us picking berries.
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From the high point at the Araki Boardwalk.
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It's Easter! This is a native, wild Kikai lily. They smell seriously great.
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From left: Me, Kyle, Maruyama-san the pastor, Mrs. Maruyama, and Mrs. Maruyama's 98-yr-old mother. This is looking towards the back of the church from the pulpit.
This is a picture.

Aubrey letting Kenshiro (on your right) read the Japanese children's book at our Saturday night party.
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Huge tangly tree, already seen. Man, it was big!
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Kyle w/ his wanna-be Coke. He said it was really good and tasted like Coke w/ an after-bite of Jolt Cola. I'm taking his word for it.
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Kyle under a cool climbing tree at Sakamine Elem School.
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Me at the altitude measurement at Hyakunodai. I think that this was the first time I've ever been there during sunny weather, actually. From sea level, it's 204 meters high to where my head is.
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Us at the Araki Boardwalk

Same evening, same place, a little before. Sunset can be beautiful at Sugira Beach.
This is a picture.

A few random pictures now. Here is Aub and me at Sugira Beach. We had a lovely night out, just messing around and being silly. Later we met two HS students who were giggling since we were so "Lub lub," which is Japanese for "lovey-dovey." We asked them if they wanted to know our secret and they eagerly said yes, so we shared the Good News of Jesus w/ them and told them how He governed our dating relationship in purity and our marriage.
This is a picture.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kyle Wuz Here

Well, FINALLY Kyle is gone.
Actually, it was a lovely time of fellowship when he was able to come here. I feel sorry for him, really - he's been in Bangalore for quite some time - months - and he flew from Bangalore to Bangkok, waited 9 hrs in the Bangkok Airport, flew to Seoul, flew to Kagoshima, and then flew to Kikai on Friday. Oooff. That's a long way and it's dang near a whole day of traveling w/o staying in a hotel. He was a trouper, though - he arrived after not so much sleep on Friday and didn't miss a beat. So we were able to hang out a lot and had a great time.
On Friday night, we went to the Tokumoto house and enjoyed some really good Japanese food, including the much-beloved niku jaga, and good convos. Though the wheels seem to have been greased on our Japanese friends' part by a few cans of suds (as usual), I believe it was a great time of explaining the Gospel. Aubrey got to hang out w/ the Tokumotos' daughter Naoko, who has appeared on this blog before. Mrs. Tokumoto made an interesting observation about the plethora of Japanese gods (who are similar in scope and specialisation to the Greek pantheon of gods) along the lines of "Since Japanese gods only deal w/ certain specific life topics, they're really not all that powerful, given that a human being can work between many different kinds of experiences and life paths." Um, didn't expect that.
Kyle was able to share his testimony, specifically laying out how he was convicted by the Holy Spirit during an LDS trip during which he feared he would die and wondered why he had an excuse in his mind to give to the God that he didn't think existed. Mr. Tokumoto expressed a rather inordinate amount of interest in the LSD Kyle used, but anyway. 'Twas a good time.
Kyle was then able to sleep a good long time though we stayed late at their house. We gave him our bed b/c we are trying to learn to sleep on futons on the floor. The experiment is not going great for Aubrey's back, to be honest, but for me it's OK so far.
Anyway, the next morning we had some good fellowship time, prayer, and such and then took a tour around the island w/ Mr. Izumi. Saturday night we had a good time w/ many people coming over to our house to enjoy keihan and an excerpt from the VeggieTales: Jonah movie. Two kids were present, 14 months and 6 yrs, and they were great.
Sunday we went to church and then enjoyed lunch w/ our friend Michiyo, who has taken Aubrey and me around the island along w/ others at least four times now. We went to Sugira Beach and then the Araki Boardwalk on foot, and it was a really nice walk. We had great convo and picked some berries from a mulberry bush, getting our hands all stained, and Aubrey got to practice her Japanese on Michiyo, especially along the lines of seeking a husband and the idea that a husband will complete a young lady's happiness.
We had to spend a lot of time on Sunday night preparing for Aub's lessons on Easter this week at various schools. Stayed up late.
Monday morning Kyle and I had coffee w/ the pastor and his wife and we had some convo about evangelism. All in Japanese, yes, and I was doing perhaps better than I ever have in terms of understanding, so that was cool. Kyle's flight was later in the morning, and it turns out that he will be delayed so as not to be able to get back to OK until at least 10 hours later than he had originally planned. That stinx, and it appears that this is the first time in recent memory that this plane to Kagoshima has been delayed. Fortunately, Izumi-san was there to help us interpret as well - it would have been much harder w/o him, though I think I could have handled it mostly.

Many thanks to Kyle for bringing us a few purchases from India:
-Ink cartridges for our printer
-A pretty blue Indian outfit for Aubrey
-An external hard drive (which happens to be a Seagate, actually) in a 3rd party case. Really cool, good price.

Along w/ some great pix and stories from India, it was a great time.
1st pic - Izumi-san and I at the famous straight Kikai road.
2nd pic - Kyle at the huge gajimaru tree in Tokuzuku. Amazing.
3rd pic - Aubrey and me at the Araki Boardwalk at a panoramic viewing spot.
4th pic - Kyle and Izumi-san at the map of Kikai at Hyakunodai Park on top of Kikai.

Pix from the house later. Keep your pants on.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Jesus Walks on the Pack Ice, an Ancient Parable

For my next amazing trick, may I present Matt 14:24-33, RPV (Revised Post-Modern Version):

24but the (disciples') ice-boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the creaking pack ice, for the glacier movement was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he (Jesus) came to them, walking on the ice. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the ice, they were terrified, and said, "Won't his feet get frostbitten?!?!?" and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; my feet really aren't that bad."
28And Peter answered him, "Lord, if your feet really aren't numb from the cold, command me to come to you on the ice." 29He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the ice and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to break thru the all-of-a-sudden thin ice, he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt the ice would hold you?" 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." But they were just products of their time, exercising superstitious ignorance.

Hat Tip to a Florida St. Univ professor on this one.

This must have been one of those "Quick, let's think of something clever to discredit Christianity and foist our naturalistic bias on the world!" jam sessions that took place in the Student Union after 3:00 am and about 6 cinnamon-hazelnut non-fat Fair Trade coffee bean lattes. I'm beginning to appreciate those more and more. The lattes and the jam sessions. Both.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Finally back on Internet

...and thus connected to the world. Or at least connected to anything outside of a 4-mile radius.

Don't want to write much now, so I'll just say that we're back, the new house is quite nice and big and I might just be finding out about whether I will work w/ JET for next year.
Also, our friend Kyle is coming to visit on Friday-Monday, so that should be fun.

Peace out.