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Visiting Sasebo SDA Church, and seeing more Hidden Christian history in Kyushu

lion-mask

This post is the 2nd part of a 2 part series about my summer 2022 trip to Kyushu. (First part of Hidden Christian trip) The highlights were visiting the Sasebo SDA Church, seeing more Hidden Christian history at Shimabara castle, sleeping on a bench, and getting re-acquainted with Hiroshima.

I took the bus in a light rain back to Sasebo, then went to the shopping mall at the port and after buying some nearly-expired bread and a big rice ball, I found a nice patio table and ate overlooking the port. I had walked past a small hotel the first night I came to Sasebo, but since the sign said the front desk closed at 10pm, I walked on by as it was already closed. But today when I walk in, a loud chime rings, and an old, bent woman comes out from somewhere. She looks up at me, and after I ask in Japanese if there are any vacancies, she breaks into a broad smile and creakingly leads me up the stairs to a 3,800yen room. sasebo hotel

Yes, I wondered if I should pay to stay on the Sabbath, but I considered it would be better to do that than to lay out in the park and go to church the next day all sleepy and grimy, as that wouldn’t give a good witness. I walked out to the naval museum, but it had just closed when I got there. It was interesting to walk by the American naval base there tho.

There are a lot of Americans walking around Sasebo. I was surprised to see how many of them had tattoos, and how many of them looked like teenage persons of color. There are so many Americans in fact, that this McDonalds, along with a few other shops, even accept American currency! mcdonalds

Going to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sasebo

Sasebo SDA Church

This was one of the 3 main reasons for this trip – to go to the Sasebo SDA Church. I knew the recently installed pastor was a Brazilian man (whose grandfather was Japanese) that I had met and stayed with for a couple of days in Saitama at a self-supporting Portuguese school in 2009. At that time, he had just quit his FX trading job, and was still very much into the rise and fall of pips. We had some good talks, and I tried to show him to get completely out of that worldly mindset, and work wholly for Jesus. Well, I hadn’t had any contact with him for these 13 years, but knew that he later went to AIIAS in the Philippines to study theology, and had just recently been ordained as a pastor in Japan.

Only around 20 people attended the day I was there, but there were 3 kids and several young (under 40) couples, and 2 people who are not yet Adventists. Since this was “Bon holidays” when most everybody in Japan believes their dead ancestors return, so they go back to their hometown for about a week, the pastor’s “sermon” was on the State of the Dead – excellent timing! Why do I put sermon in quotes? Because he had extracted many Bible verses showing the true state of the dead, printed them out on paper, and then had each person in the congregation read one of the texts, then he would comment on it, then they would pass the paper and microphone to the next person, until everybody in church had a chance to read one. It was really good! The Sabbath School was good too, as he actually encouraged discussion, something that is almost never done in Japan. About 5 of us in the congregation are native English speakers, and since his English is better than Japanese, he would speak in English, then his wife would translate into Japanese.

After the sermon we had potluck, then a good time of more study and online conference in the afternoon. It was a wonderful time, so much so that I really wish I could quit all my work here in Osaka, and move to Sasebo to help them. That’s not going to happen tho… Oh yes! There was one 50+ man in the congregation who asked some good questions in the Sabbath School. He is not Christian yet. I asked later how he started coming to church, and the pastor said that he was cleaning the church one Sunday afternoon, and ths man just walked in, saying that he was trying to find a church. Wow! I told the pastor that if all our churches were open 24/7 like convenience stores, we would no doubt have many more souls coming in, looking for help and eternal life in Jesus. sasebo adventist church

That evening I spent in the park again, in the same place I was on my first night in Sasebo. A email from one lady at church really encouraged me, and helped me ignore the mosquito bites. I prayed that God would bless the Sasebo SDA Church.

Going to Shimabara

I took a pic of this Catholic church walking to Sasebo station. sasebo catholic churchI know it looks very common for a European, but in Japan, scenes like this are very rare. The one-car train to Shimabara took us by this station, which has been featured on TV many times as the closest station to the sea in Japan. As you can tell, there is no fence or anything to keep one from falling in, something I cannot even imagine coming from Osaka – ha!

Shimabaa is famous for its rebellion against the Tokugawa government. I will copy and paste what Wikipedia says about it:

Shimabara Rebellion is often portrayed as a Christian rebellion against violent suppression by Matsukura Katsuie. However the main academic understanding is that the rebellion was mainly against Matsukura’s misgovernance by peasants, with Christians later joining the rebellion.

The Shimabara Rebellion was the largest civil conflict in Japan during the Edo period, and was one of only a handful of instances of serious unrest during the relatively peaceful period of the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule.

Shimabara_Rebellion wiki

That’s exactly right. I was surprised too, as everything I had heard about this rebellion, was that it was about Christians fighting for their freedom to worship peacefully, when actually the root cause was because people didn’t like the high taxes, started a rebellion, and many Christians joined them. hmmmm.

Why in the world would a Tennessee state flag be flying in the shopping arcade in Shimabara? First time I’ve ever seen that in Japan! You can tell from the picture that there are hardly any people. The free, hot foot bath sure felt good! And then I could get on a ferry and cruise about one hour. That was nice, and useful, as it landed me in Kumamoto. The free little van to take passengers to Kumamoto train station were all reserved, but there were some empty ones, so the driver kindly let me ride too – sweet! There are vending machines for just about everything in Japan, but this is the first one I’d seen for FISH!

In the afternoon I had to change trains, and saw this sign for “Usa”. That reminded me of something I had back when I was a kid, how a Japanese company had marked its clothing “Made in Usa”. So many Americans happily purchased it, thinking they were supporting an American company. For me, as a kid, it symbolized how sometimes people can say what is true to the listener/reader, but what is actually false in purpose. It was quite a big lesson in my life, so to see this sign was very interesting.

Bench press and Hiroshima ending

Around the Fukuoka and Kokura areas of Kyushu, there were lots of people, and even some young people, making me feel almost like I was back in Osaka. I got off at Shin-Yamaguchi, walked around about 1/2 an hour, and found this secluded bench in a park right by some hgh-rise apartments. When sleeping outside, I never want to be too remote, as sometimes gangs or just a group of drunk young people might come up and do things they normally wouldn’t. But I don’t enjoy being too noticeable either, so to be a bit secluded, near people is the best. 🙂 I put the mosquito repellant all over my skin, but they decided to bite me thru my shirt and pants anyway, so finally I put on two layers of everything to finally get some sleep. As you can imagine tho, it was quite hot, so it’s hard to call it “sleep”. It’s more like dozing for a while, sleeping for a few minutes, waking up, and doing that all over again. Just before 5:00 I woke up with a fluttering sound in my ears. Big mosquitoes? No, little bats. They were really cute, and their acrobatic skills were amazing! It was cool too, to see a bunch of little flying insects come down to my level every time a bat passed about 3 feet overhead.

This was my 7th time, I think to spend at least a few hours in Hiroshima. The day I went was exactly the 77th anniversary of the end of WWII. I could get my bearings quickly, and walked over to the castle, which, for some strange reason, I had never been to before. Here’s a pic of a eucalyptus tree there that was 740meters from the atomic blast, and you can still see burn marks on one side of it. It was funny/infuriating to see signs in Hiroshima saying how they were just helpless sufferers from this terrible atomic bomb, then see small signs here and there how this was a military installation, housing for officers, air-warnng location etc. When I first went to Hiroshima on vacation in 1988, the A-bomb museum was very small and junky and honest. Just a few years later they made a big, modern museum that decries how all these innocent people suddenly lost their lives in a blinding flash. (I will never enter it again) Of course they don’t explain well how the American planes dropped leaflets for days in the town telling people to get out, that somethng terrible was going to happen, and to stop the war. Actually, the military got agitated because of those leaflets, and ordered anyone finding one to bring it to them for burning. One more very unusual thing before I leave this topic is that there is some scientific evidence that those who survived the radiation, actually live longer on average! Some say it is because they get more health treatment and checkups, which may be true, but some say that a bit of radiation is actually effective in preventing some diseases. Who knows?

Lunch was in Okonomimura, a place that used to have a bunch of little okonomiyaki stands, but had only one open the day I went. Okonomiyaki is flour, water, egg, bean sprouts, noodles, and usually some kind of main ingredient like meat, but I got mine with rice cakes and corn – delicious!!! But at 1,200 yen, it was by far the most expensive meal of my trip. I made it last until the next mornng. 🙂

So ended my excellent adventure. After 3 years of not really being able to take a long trip because of corona, I was very happy to get out and see something new. I fulfilled my dream of seeing the Hidden Christian history, got some new information regarding them, saw my friend from 13 years ago and enjoyed his church tremendously, and got to see the sea and even ride on it a bit. Altogether my one week trip cost only 34,000yen, being totally worth that and much more. I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing this with me!

Trip to see Hidden Christian history in Japan

Hidden Christian Hirado panorama

My long-awaited trip to Kyushu in Japan to see Hidden Christian historical places (隠れキリシタン) finally came to fruition from August 9 – 15, 2022. I had originally planned to go to the 5 outlying islands off of Nagasaki called “五島列島” in Japanese, but in checking the web a couple of days before going, saw that they didn’t really want anyone outside of Nagasaki prefecture coming there, as they are scared of corona. OK. So instead, I went to some of the most western area of Nagasaki where there were quite a few hidden Christians, and had a meaningful time seeing historical places, and just enjoyed being in a totally different environment for a few days.

I like to ride trains and see the sea, and got my heart’s desire full of both! I also got to see some castles, and best of all, a Seventh-day Adventist friend who I’ve only seen once before, and that was at a little self-supporting place in Saitama prefecture that had a school for Portuguese speakers back in 2009.

This post will be about just the first 3 days of the trip.

I bot a “青春18切符” which translates to “Youthful 18 ticket”. There’s no age limit, and you buy a ticket for around 12,000jpy (100usd) and you get it stamped each day you use it, and you can use it for any 5 days in a period. Summer has the longest period of us: from July 20 to September 10, and you can use that ticket any 5 of those days, or of course you can have 5 people use it all together in just one day, or whatever. It’s very convenient. However, you cannot ride any of the fast trains. So to travel the 758km (471miles), I had to take the first train at 5:13, and arrived in Sasebo at 22:27. I have never had a problem with motion sickness on anything before, but I felt woozy for several hours after getting off. I had supper of noodles on the platform of the Tosu station, something I used to do a lot but has nearly completely disappeared from Japan. The lady running it looked like she was around 80:

So I arrived in Sasebo at 22:27, as the trains in Japan are nearly always on time (only one train was late on all this trip – about 9 minutes), and I promptly went looking for the Sasebo SDA church which I easiy found, and took this picture:

I went back to this church on Sabbath, and will have more pics of it in my next post.

日本で一番安いプロテイン(トップ20)(Cheapest protein in Japan)

むきむきボイ

最近、プロテイン(たんぱく質)が足りないと感じるようになりました。 数ヶ月前から腕の筋肉が痛くなり、頭がモヤっとして悪化しているような気がして、精神状態もいつものようにハッピーではなくなってきました。 昔から超痩せ型で、丸いBMIメーターでは目盛りがマイナスになるほどで、それは40年ほど前にベジタリアンになる前からそうだった。

プロテインが足りないのでは? この素朴な疑問から、最も安いタンパク質を摂取できる方法を探すことにしました。

このポストを読むよりビデオで見たい人はユーチューブでご覧下さい→
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKgCNO6btr0

植物性は最高

大学時代以来、肉や魚を食べていないので、植物性タンパク質が第一候補です。 植物性の食事は神の計画であり、多くの動物や魚は病気であると信じています。 しかし、自分的には「肉=タンパク質」というイメージがあります

神が創った動物を殺して、血を抜いて食べるというのは、自分にとってはめっちゃ気持ち悪いことです。 今、このことを書いているだけで、胃が痛くなってきた。 ウェー!。 肉にはたくさんのタンパク質が含まれていることは知っているけど、神様が「生きるため食べなさい」と言わない限り、食べないつもりです。

しかし、魚は別物だと思います。 イエス様が魚を食べたところを聖書で読んだ。 魚を食べただけでなく、祝福して増やし、他の人にも食べさせたのです。 イエスはそれをあるところで「良い」と言ったのです。 そして、最も驚くことは、復活した体になってからも魚を食べていたということです。 これには驚きました。 蜂蜜も。 だから、イエス様は菜食主義者ではなく、ベジタリアンでもなく、魚を食べるベジタリアン(ペスカタリアン)だった。 羊肉を食べていたと言う人もいるけど、霊感を受けた言葉の中には、その事を確実に証明する言葉はどこにもありません。

では、日本で最も安いタンパク質源は何でしょうか? 勝者は「大豆」で、間違いなく第1位は→
1. きなこ(焙煎大豆パウダー)
他に近いものは→
. おから
. 豆腐
. 高野豆腐

リストアップした物は、元となるタンパク源の種類にグループに分けていています。 この記事の下の方に、これらの物を順番に並べた簡単な表があります。

きなこは、日本で一番安いタンパク源です

きなこは、甘くないまろやかな味を出すために、お餅などのお菓子にトッピングする日本の伝統的な食材です。 この写真のように薄茶色で、通常は何も加えていません。 たまに砂糖を入れる人もいる。 もう大きな袋を買う人は少なく、小さな袋に入っていてわらび餅に振りかけるものとしてしか知らない人は多いかも。 この袋には、カナダとアメリカ産の大豆が入っています。

しかし、タンパク質の量を見てください!

100gあたり36.5gとは、すごい! この袋には200g入っていて、お値段は? 業務スーパーで買った。 https://www.gyomusuper.jp/
日本全国に店舗があり、安いことで知られている。 ここでは、73gのタンパク質が65円で摂取でき、1円で1g以上のタンパク質が摂取できることになります。 1円で1g以上のたんぱく質が摂れる商品は、現在私が知る限り日本ではこれだけです。 ちょっと待った! 今、きなこブームになってて、今日買いに行ったら、1kgの袋がなんと298円でした。 367gのプロテインが298円で!? 信じられへん! 1gあたり0.81円、つまり1.23gが1円です。

きなこの栄養表、日本で一番安いプロテイン

Generational change – brought to you by Corona Virus

Prediction on how Corona will change the world (written
April 14, 2020).

OK, I admit that’s a pretty audacious title, but here’s my prognistations on how the Corona (Covid-19, Wuhan flu, Chinese, Bat etc.) virus will change the world.

First and foremost, it will lead to a loss of freedom. There are many instances already observed, where citizens allow their freely elected representatives to tell them by force of law that they cannot leave their homes, cannot have people come into their homes, must wear a mask in public, are arrested for attending church services etc. At the beginning of 2020, if you had said any of these things would ever happen in America, most everyone would have said you were a lunatic conspiracy theorist. Yet here we are. Some countries are worse, like in India where they have beaten some people to death for going outside their homes, and some are much better like in Japan, where the govt. just urges people to stay home as much as possible, and only in the big cities.

Now I’m not going to go into dissecting whether the response is justified or not, but generally I see the “cure” of lockdowns, as being worse than the disease. The fact that people are acquiesing to the government telling them everything they can and cannot do, is what is a game-changer for democratic societies. People who use their constitutional freedoms of speech and gathering and redress of grievances are being vilified now for working against “the common good”.

You’ve waited patiently for the prediction part. 🙂
1. Cash will disappear. Cash is perhaps the number one non-religious object to put everybody on the same plane. Doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your nationality, religion, age, looks, whatever, cash is the great equalizer. Cash has been under attack for this very reason for quite some time now, and I remember reading in Communist China, nearly 80% of individual transactions are made by electronic payment now. Other countries are working to increase their percentages too, but free people have instinctively resisted going gung-ho for a cashless society. Now, as I see cashiers at convenience stores and supermarkets wearing spit guards, face masks, and rubber gloves, it shows that the days of cash are numbered. This will work very well for the Mark of the Beast, where one cannot buy or sell without the Mark. I remember going to India in 1998, and it hit me hard how there is no possible way people way out in the sticks who don’t even have electricity in their whole village will give a hoot about any mark, if you have cash. But now, even India’s remote villages are all electrified, and the govt. is working hard to make everyone have an electronic bank account. In advanced countries where things are much more interconnected, it would be a relatively simple thing to turn a switch on or off somewhere in order to allow or prevent someone from buying or selling, if cash was not allowed.

Ben Carson appointed head of Housing and Urban Development

Ben Carson was just appointed head of Housing and Urban Development by Donald Trump. This is good news, and am very glad especially to see someone who used to be Seventh-day Adventist (but fell away in the presidential race) in such a high position. For all those who are concerned about the unbalance of power in America (like I am) with Republicans controlling everything, at least there is a voice for the Sabbath near the top.

Let’s keep him and the whole new administration in our prayers, as it looks like there will be many changes for the better. 🙂

Global Warming: evil spawn of Evolution

I thot about this video for a while, then wrote a short storyboard for it around 3 years ago, and finally got it done and uploaded to youtube. 🙂
This video explores some of the similarities between the mother whore of Secularism, and its current beloved baby.
Neither Evolution or Global Warming have observed evidence in their favor, adherents to both make outrageous statements to support their belief, both are defended with earnest zeal by the “consensus”, both require the force of law to promulgate their beliefs, both have cool computer animations to convince of their truthfulness, and, most importantly, both deny the God of creation.
What do you think?
“http://youtu.be/mPln727Lf5E”

Protestants stop protesting, and return to Rome

This is big news. It is not every day you see something that you can definitely say is prophecy fulfilling right before your eyes, but what happened on January 21, 2014 with the pope sending a message to charismatic leaders in America, and they responding enthusiastically that “the protest is over” (meaning they are willing to go back to the Mother of Harlots), is amazing to see.

I highly recommend everyone to study this out, to see what the talking points are, how the enemy of all truth and righteousness is making his words softer and smoother than ever.

The following is from Kenneth Copeland’s blog:

On Jan. 21, 2014, Kenneth Copeland Ministries was blessed to receive a personal video message from Pope Francis. The attendees of KCM’s annual Ministers’ Conference were greatly inspired when Bishop Tony Palmer (charismatic Anglican), a longtime friend of Pope Francis, presented the pope’s greeting and a message he prepared specifically for them!

http://youtu.be/ehFpeVGLyxs

Kenneth Copeland’s Response to Request by Pope Francis:

Recently, I received a message from Pope Francis in which he asked that, as a ministry and part of the Body of Christian believers, we pray for him. In 1 Timothy 2:2, the Bible teaches that we are to pray “for all that are in authority.” It is scriptural that we do so. And, therefore, it is our duty to honor the Pope’s request and, as a Body of believers, join our faith with his by coming together in unity and agreeing with him in his quest, and for what is in his heart: the unity of the Body of Christ. So, in obedience to our Lord and His Word, we join our faith with that of Pope Francis as we pray with and for him, that he will receive the righteous desire of his heart, according to the words of Jesus in Mark 11:24: “That whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe you receive them, and you shall have them.” Our desire, along with that of Pope Francis, is in the fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a mature man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” This is very important to us all, as the Body of Christ.

Join with us in prayer for unity in the Body of Christ throughout the world!

Jesus is Lord!

Kenneth Copeland Ministries

========================

Pastor Doug Batchelor has put up an excellent dissection of what this means. He makes it clear that this is a call for Protestants to lay down their arms, and to come back into the “loving” fold of the Roman Catholic Church. It is so scary to see the many Protestant attendees clap and agree with the pope’s request!!

Surely we are near the end times, when Satan will work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.

Ellen White in Testimonies vol.5 p451:

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

help create a special envoy for religious freedom

A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in America in 2011 asking the President to create a special envoy for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. While the bill passed 402 to 20 in the House, by the actions of just one senator, it has been on hold in the Senate since then.

Here is a chance to write your senator to ask that a special envoy be appointed in this region of the world where many Christians especially are persecuted. If you lived in those areas, wouldn’t you want someone to treat you this way?

https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=267

dark age persecution meets youtube in ukraine

A new video on YouTube taken in Ukraine shows a procession of people led by a couple of Orthodox Church priests attacking a stand of books set up by Seventh-day Adventists. This is mild compared to what we will see soon, but the ancient animosity towards the truth is still alive and well today:

1858 great controversy progress first half 2012

So what’s been going on with the spread of this book so far this year? It doesn’t seem like much, as i just go around teaching English in Japan, and keeping in touch by email with people, but fortunately some things have been going on.

English: I went to California in April to a Passover/Unleavened Bread campmeeting, and was able to have 3 studies with groups of people there. The leader of the place requested 1,000 books if possible, to which i gladly gave. He is now giving them away at www.bibleexplorations.com

Japanese: Still around 200 in stock. The church that showed so much interest in them last year has zero interest in them now.

Filipino: The man who i sponsored for 3 years to travel around spreading these books is still working overseas. He says he wants to come back to the Philippines and work on this again, so i still have hopes. Update July 8, the Filipino man contacted me after a silence of several months saying he is stuck in Sabah and needs a way to get back to the Philippines and he is sorry he didn’t restart working on spreading this book earlier. Hopefully we can get him back, and he can start again spreading God’s words soon.

Indonesia: A good friend i made there 2 years ago said in a email about 1 year ago that the translation was finished. But then he basically stopped communicating. Last month he said again that the translation was finished, but when i pressed for more info and showed interest in helping get it printed or whatever, communication stopped again.

Vietnam: The plan is to print 10,000 of this edition along with 10,000 of the 1911 edition to go with the General Conference plan to spread the book this year.

Thailand: Approximately 200 books left. I’m hoping it can be proofread and reprinted.

Myanmar: The book is slowly being distributed.

India: This is where most of the action is. In the north, my pastor friend is in the process of getting the Tibetan one proofread, and hopefully reprinted soon. We had to throw away all the copies printed around 7 years ago, so i’m really praying that this time will be successful. He is also interested in more Nepali copies. In southern India i am currently sponsoring a man with the idea to print this book along with Steps to Christ and maybe some health literature in several languages. The Kannada translation is currently in the final proofreading stage, and i have hope it will be printed this summer. The Gujarati and Marathi versions are supposedly translated, but it is hard to get a handle on exactly where they stand. Pr. Randy Skeetes is scheduled to come give meetings there in January, so we are planning to have this book in several languages for the meetings to try and introduce young, on-fire SDA members to this book so they will want to spread it in their towns. This Brother will meet a high church official this Sabbath, and plans to introduce this 1858 edition to him. May God’s will be done.

Zimbabwe: A man i’ve known thru the internet for maybe 9 years or so has kept in contact, and finally at the end of last year i offered to support the translation and printing cost for the Tonga version. He wrote back in about a week saying it was done, whcih just heightened my concerns, so i told him to be careful about it and take time and do a good job. He wrote recently that in getting help with some words translating, he is able to reach some people he would not be able to reach otherwise, and one man has already become convicted of the truth of this book.

Ghana: Some feelers were put out, but not much interest.

Armenia: Basically in the same stage it was 2 years ago – translation is finished, and awaiting proofreading. It is very frustrating, because i’m in close contact with the translator, but still nothing seems to move forward on this project.

Romania/Spain: The Romanian translator has just offered to work full-time to spread this book, so we are planning to reprint it. He has also retranslated the Spanish version, and after it gets proofread, we plan to print it. I’m hoping something good will happen with the German translation too while he is at it.

Portuguese: Nothing.

I was really hoping to push the book this year, as this is the year the General Conference is especially putting emphasis on to spread the Great Controversy book. But even if it doesn’t go as quickly as i had hoped, it is good to see some progress.

May souls be in God’s kingdom as his words return to him yielding a 100-fold 🙂

youtube video of last year’s pics

Put up a video made of pics i took last year, with around 4 minutes of spiritual journey talk at the end. I’m sure that October 22, 1844 was the correct date for the Day of Atonement that year. Knowing that raises lots and lots of questions tho, not least of which is why does God still move according to his calendar, and should we also?
daniel winters’ 50th

america’s founding fathers were christian

We hear a lot today about how there should be no mention of anything “religious” in a public setting, as that might somehow favor one particular brand of religion over another. This is a concocted effort to drive Christianity out of public space, as it is the religion that shows us our sins, and that there will be a judgment for our actions in this life.

So what did our founding fathers have to say about Christianity/religion?

For example: What was one of the first things George Washington did when he was elected president?

“Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 – President George Washington
“WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

“Washington referred to himself frequently using the words “ardent,” “fervent,” “pious,” and “devout.” There are over one hundred different prayers composed and written by Washington in his own hand, with his own words, in his writings….Although he never once used the word “Deist” in his voluminous writings, he often mentioned religion, Christianity, and the Gospel”

“”The Commander in Chief directs that divine Service be performed every Sunday at 11 oClock in those Brigades to which there are Chaplains; those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendence set an Example to their men. While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of Religion. To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude and Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.” –George Washington, General Orders, (May 2nd, 1778)”

“John Adams: The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. … The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.

Samuel Adams: I [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins. … I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world … bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace. … We may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid … [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

John Hancock: That the spiritual kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be continually increasing until the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

japan’s long financial slide, tsunami cleanup

I’ve lived in Japan on-and-off for the last 23 years, and can still remember the dynamism of the whole culture when i first came. Osaka’s skyline was like a huge erector-set, with tall cranes furiously putting up new buildings everywhere. The people walked quickly and while the natural Japanese mood of “melancholy” was abundant, there was a looking-forward to the future, where anyone could do just about anything they set their minds to. One of my English students was a normal guy – jazz drummer, and told me how his friend spent around 700,000usd on a new condo, and wasn’t even planning to live in it! He was a speculator, planning to sell it higher later. This student himself borrowed over 300,000usd to start up his tiny jazz studio/cafe in the nightclub area of Osaka. Wonder what happened with that?

I can still remember the day around 6 months after i arrived when the stock market crashed. The standard response was “It will come up again.” There were magazine articles explaining how Japan was “unique”, and different from other countries, so the economy would dip a bit, and then come back stronger than ever, and be number one in the world. Of course a few years before that there was a man in America who wrote a book something along the lines of “The Japanese Century”, referring to how the 21st century would see Japan become the dominant power in the world. Funny thing happened tho, that same man is now studying Chinese – ha!

Anyway, very few industries in Japan are really efficient, but the export-driven companies are usually tops in their fields. Especially in electronics and automobiles have they been world-beaters. So they have amassed a huge foreign reserves, second only to China’s. Japan’s reserves

It is a good thing, as that is about the only bright spot in Japan’s financial picture. The demographic problem is the biggest, with the population aging rapidly, and the young choosing not to get married, or married much later, many unborn killed, and a fear of allowing many foreigners in. The 1990s is called even in Japan a “wasted decade”, as the government continued to throw good money after bad on public works projects to somehow “ignite” the economy. Of course that didn’t do much good, as current stories of a huge govt. recreation centers etc. being sold for as little as $1 in some cases, because really no one wants them! So Japanese govt. debt ballooned to where it is now way higher than any other major country’s. Public debt per GDP is twice as bad as America’s, yet there is little angst about it, as most of the holders of the debt are not foreigners, but domestic. list of countries by public debt

Today Japan announced the first red ink in international trade in 31 years. 2011 Japan’s red ink. The stated reasons are the cleanup from the tsunami, tsunami cleanup pics and even bigger – the shutdown of many nuclear plants after the Fukushima problems, with the slack in electricity production being taken up by importing more oil and coal. This is ominous, as the export sector has been propping up the economy, and if Japan loses its reserves, there is basically nothing left financial wise.

Which leads to a big question – what will happen to the yen? The yen has been on a tear over the last few years, rising against all the other major currencies. When i left Japan in 2005, it was around 110jpy/1usd, but now that is 76/1. That is great for earning in yen, and sending to other countries to help people, but what will happen if Japan self-implodes?

Three years ago a pastor at a Seventh-day Adventist church here in Japan prayed for a better economy, but i told some of the members afterwards that it might be better for the economy to collapse totally, so that the people would be forced to consider eternal realities. As long as things go along somehow, people will not consider what is important in life, and will continue to reject God’s gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

test for image addition to search engines

I’ve had lots of pics up, and yet very few of them get indexed by the search engines. Recently i saw where “Agatha Thrash”, which used to display my pic in the top 5 results, now doesn’t show at all, except for 2, totally unrelated pics.

So i’m going to try something different, please bear with me 😉