This diary was written with my Japanese and American friends in mind.
SDA = Seventh-Day Adventist
悲しい知らせです。 僕が病院に行ったのは１１月の２３日だと思う。 もっと早く 知らせるべきだったね。 ごめんなさい。 おばあちゃんがやっとちゃんととした部 屋に入れた事をほっとしたところだったのに・・・Ｋさんはどうなるのか心配で す。 酒ばかりでしょう？ どうか神様が彼を救いますように。
実はね、ＹさんのＥメールが入った日にもう一つの凶報が入りました。 堺東教会 のＫさんという人が死んだ。 この死でショックを受けました。 １０－１２人く らいしか行かない小さな教会に一番燃えてる人、真理を追求してる人だからこそ ショックが大きい。 実は、８月から月一回聖書勉強をやっています。 そして彼が 一番面白い質問をしてくれたり、熱心そうな顔をしてて、そこまで出掛ける価値を付 けてくれた存在だった。 でもなぜか、この間まで、僕があまり積極的に彼にア プローチしなかった。 求道者だと思ってたし（だから教会の人のじゃまをしない 事）、とにかく勉強の交わりをしてから「さようなら」って感じだった。 でもこの 間家に帰って来たらその夜ずっと思った⇒「Ｋさんともっともっと会って、手を組 んで、伝道したり、聖書の勉強したりしたいな～」と。 でも遅い。
月曜日に教会に行って奥さんと息子さんに会った。 話によると彼はほぼ３年前にバ プテズマを受けた。 若い時に船乗り員だった。 単身赴任で大阪に来た。 息子さ んはＳＤＡだけど、あまり真剣じゃない。 娘さんの二人はまだ。 奥さんは敬虔な クリスチャンです。 彼はずっと無神論者だった。 死の原因は→大掃除のため両手 に窓拭き道具を握ったままではしごに登った（らしい、見つかった状態でそう推測し てる）。 玄関のところだった。 はしごのどこかで足を滑らせた。 はしごは低い ですよ。 一番上のところでも２ｍにもならないと思う。 だから多分１ｍ５０セン チくらいのとこで彼が滑った。 頭を打って、折った。 でもそれが致命的ではな かった。 あばれ骨が折って、肺を刺して、そして肺が血でいっぱいになって死ん だ。 ５７歳でした。 復活の際に会いたいです！！
ところで、土曜日Ａさんも連れて行って、一緒に晩御飯を彼のところにした。 ２ １日に八尾教会のクリスマス礼拝に参加するつもりだけど行きませんか。 皆が会えって、イエス・キリストの誕生の意味を自分のもの にして、良い交わりができるなら神様は喜ぶでしょう。
12/08 Reply to an article written on www.greatcontroversy.org on entertainment, especially movies, among Seventh-day Adventists.
Thank you for your article regarding the seducements of entertainment, especially the theatre, on our minds. As a 41y.o. American living in Japan, i get a dose of it almost every day, even if just by the commercials between segments of a news story, or in the pages of the newspaper etc. Many ads show things falsely, to make you think that somehow you need to BUY something.
When i was back in the States (Tennessee) last February, i was quite troubled, (but not so surprised) when the Madison Campus church pastor showed about a 5-minute segment of Shindler's List or some movie like that name, on the main screen during the main worship service. I did peek at it once or twice, but the amazing thing to me was how the worshipers (customers) reacted. Up until then some of the people had been dozing off, kids coloring or squirming around, you know, like every SDA church around. But when the lights went off and the film-clip started !! - everybody was glued to the screen with upturned faces bathed in the bluish light --- it was as if they were mesmerized! Quite scary stuff.
So thank you for warning about that danger. Please continue to sound the trumpet-call.
12/05 I went with some mothers of my English students on a Co-op field trip to see a factory that makes spaghetti today. We rode in the bus on the 湾岸線、and i got to see lots of water and ship-building companies. It made me wonder what is made in all those factories. I asked the people in the bus to help me with one difficult Kanji i saw on several companies' signs, but most of them didn't know. One said it meant "iron" which i deduced from them being around metal-works, but nobody knew the correct pronounciation. Finally they agreed that it was the old Kanji and has been simplified now. One lady found out i was vegetarian, and asked for plain tomato sauce for me. The spaghetti was GREAT, but the sauce had a thick dead-animal taste.
12/05 ７月にホームレスのおばあちゃんがやっと部屋に入れた。 ５月に「もう入りたい」って言われたので 北区役所に行って、二人の若い巡査員が掛け付けてくれた。 ＫちゃんやＡさん と同じ形で、「入院してもらって、医者さんのＯＫが出たら福祉を受けるよ」って説 得した。 ＫＡさんを説得するのがもっと難しいと感じて、二人に言った。 ３日後 行ったらなんとＮさんが公園に居た！ Ｋさんの訳のわからない事で「元気で ね」って言って、もう福祉を受ける事に手伝わないと決めた。 でも役所の二人諦め なくて、７月に西成区の部屋（？）に入る事に成功させた。 たったの３ヶ月で倒れ るなんて、すごい悲しい。
２週間前Ｋさんのところに行ったら、彼がすごい泣いてて（酒が入ってて）なかな か動いてくれなかったけど、結局タクシーに乗ってＪＲ塚本駅の近くの「小泉病院」 に行って、「Ｎさん」にお見舞いに行って来た。 脳梗塞で、寝たきり状態 です。 目さえ開けてくれなかったけど、たまにはＫさんに声を掛けるそうです。 可愛そう。 勿論Ｋさんが「部屋に入ったからこうなった」って言ってる。 ど うか彼が人間不信から立ち直って、神様を受け入れるように・・・ そしてＮさん が元気になるように。
Ａさんはすごい成長してきたよ！ 別人みたい。 酒、タバコなどをやめて、部屋 を綺麗にして、聖書の勉強をちょこっとやってますよ！ すごい嬉しい （＾－＾）
11/26 I met a lady Sunday who is possessed with a evil spirit. We gave her a hot foot bath, and suddenly her voice changed and she started talking in a nasty man's voice. Whenever my friend and i would mention Jesus, she (it) would start cursing us. We sang a few songs, and she went to her room and lied down, being alternately quiet and then cursing in a guttural voice. Then we heard her (this time i'm sure it was HER), humming the song we had just sang - Silent Night, Holy Night. It was quite scary to see Satan's activity so out in the open. The Lord is more powerful tho, and i'm sure will protect us. It seems like the woman was involved with fortune-telling many years ago, and this spirit has had control of her since then. But it is progressively getting more violent with her. May God give her sister who is taking care of her strength to persevere.
Hi Mさん! 最近の天気は変でしょう？ 先週は真冬って感じ、今日は秋が始 まったばかりと感じた。 今日は風邪から治りかけてるって感じで、嬉しい。 先週 車いすのを使ってる友達と神戸まで同行して雨に降られ、そこが始まりだった。 そ れに急に寒くなったし。 寒いのが大嫌い。 ちょっと太りたいけど、出来ないよ
Aさんと先週やった事をちょっと伝えます。 彼はもう少し神様を受け入れるかも 知れない。 僕は燃えてるクリスチャンを求めてるけど、少ないな～。
Aさんのとこでの火事（ボヤ？）はAさんにとって生死の闘いだった。 結局隣 のビルに移った。 どうやって移ったか見たら、その7階のとこで１メートルくらい する空間を超えて、隣のビルの窓をつかんで、そこで若者が居て,Aさんをぎゅっ と持ち上げて、引っ張り込んだ。 ほんまに危機一髪。 先週の木曜日,彼と 二人で堺市のBんのところを訪問して、Ｈさんと４人で賛美歌を歌ったり、聖書 を勉強したりしてた。 和やかな時間でした：） その後公園で昼を取って、ＨＡさ んを訪問してから難波に戻った。 そこから買い物をしながらずっと中央区役所まで 歩いて、ＮＨＫの受信料の免状書を作ってもらって（彼は今まで３回も払っ ちゃった！）、赤堀商店街を通って、晩御飯のおかずをスーパー玉出で買って、彼のうちで食べた。 ちょっと疲れたけど、楽しかった：） Ａさんの発想は面 白い！
仕事は順調？ 祈ってるよ。 燃えましょうね：）
10/28 I had a strange time Sabbath trying to study the Bible with a Filipino lady and her 2 daughters. This was only the 2nd time, and right when i started, the mom burst out crying, and started talking about how bad her elder daughter is. Finally the daughter showed me her arm where the mom had been beating on her, saying, "everyone thinks my mom is a great woman because she goes to church and does things for the church, but noone knows the real mom." It got pretty crazy, and finally the 2 daughters got their stuff together and acted like they were going to run away from home. (They are 17 and 14). The mom ran down the steps and barricaded the doorway to the street. She had a wild look in her eyes, devilish. I stood between her and her kids and wondered what was going on as she was talking in Tagalog. Suddenly the 2 daughters burst out crying. I asked what happened (in English), and the elder daughter said her mom had just said she was going to kill both of them. I turned to the mom to ask her if that is what she said, and she just kind of shrugged and said that: "and i will kill myself too". I advised the daughters to get out as soon as possible. Probably i should have called the police, but i didn't. Finally the mom went back up to her apartment, and the daughters ran about 2 blocks to a friend's house. I sure hope and pray they are safe...
10/21 An Email to my brother.
Forgot to tell you about my dream i think it was Saturday nite. I was going to college, and you and C-san were with me. We were in a shop getting supplies for college, and you and he went out to the pickup to get something. I was looking around, and found a rack of winter slippers that all had a price tag of \500 on them - ha! But the laugher that actually woke me up, was that you and he were huffing and puffing moving something into an empty part of the old store, and it was a notebook!!!!! You and he told me it was a weight to keep the washing machine you were putting in from 'walking', but it was quite funny (^-^)
9/17 Reply to P-san about making time.
This email about making time was tremendous P-san!
This is something i've been telling people about for the last 12 years or so, but not very many seem to want to understand. We ALL have the same amount of time. The only time that "I don't have enough time" is not a lie, is when in you cannot physically do something even if you gave all your energies to it.
I illustrated it like this to 2 young English teachers when i was director at the SDA English school one time. I had given them a short assignment to do for their classes, something that should have taken 3 or 4 hours, and gave them around 3 days to do it. When it was time to see what they had done, "I didn't have time" was the lie i heard. Now this lie is generally glossed over in busy societies, and since there is little opposition, not much thot is given to this actually being a lie.
I told them, "If you saw a \1coin on the ground would you pick it up?" Now one yen is worth a little less than one U.S. penny. Of course they both said 'No'. "How about a \5 coin? - 'No', \10 coin - 'Maybe', \50 coin? - 'Probably', \100 or \500 coin? - 'Definitely'". "Now let's say you are almost late for teaching your class, but on the other side of the road is someone handing out \10,000 bills (80usd). Would you risk being late to get the money?" They looked uncomfortable, and didn't say much. "Now let's say that your rich uncle died, and in his will he said everyone of his relatives who appeared at 12 noon in front of Tokyo tower (or some far away place) would receive \100,000,000 (around 800,000usd). Would you come and teach your English class, and tell other relatives later that 'You didn't have time to go?" This produced a backlash by these 2 young men, as they knew exactly what they would do.
What i tried to show them, is that EVERYTHING is a priority. It would be nice if more people understood that. However the "not enough time" lie is so easily accepted, i find myself using it once in a while - ohhhhhhhh nooooooooooo!!!!!!
May we all make God first priority, and give him the first and best of our time.
9/01 Email to me brother.
Yep, it's me again. I got my hands dirty and greasy and actually got the front tire and tube changed on my means of transportation:) I thot about riding 3/4 down the hill to the convenience store to get a copy of 2 things with my signature on it for tdw, but decided to scan it in and print it on the computer here. Looks great, and my legs thank me, plus i'm 10jpy in the black:)
Y-san has a friend here from Nagoya, and they are taking the slow train to a small town near Hiroshima tomorrow. She told me a few minutes ago that i'm welcome to eat with them tonite. I made a joke about them dying if they don't have meat, and she said that her friend was hoping for some guidance in computers (internet) afterwards - haha. OK!
8/15 What a great trip! I got there (Mt. Fuji) around 4:40pm on Tuesday, at the 2,000 meter point. Japanese mountains are divided into 'levels', each mountain starting at '0' on the bottom, and '10' on the top. That way you know about where you are on the mountain when you see the number marker.
It was relaxing and refreshing to walk thru woods 40 minutes or so before coming upon some bare rocks. What a neat view there! From the bottom you couldn't see any of Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji), because of the clouds. but getting up a ways, it cleared out, and you could look down a long ways....and up a long ways - ha! The trail went back and forth between shrubs and rocks, and there were pretty little flowers and birds singing to cheer me on my way.
I had decided to walk until around sunset, which i didn't really notice until suddenly i was clear out of all the greenery, into a moon-like (!?) landscape. So i kind of found a shelter under a big boulder, and ate a delicious meal that only nature can electrify with a airplane-like view of forests and towns and lakes spread out below me, and thunderheads forming off in the distance, seemingly about the same level i was.
Laying down and trying to sleep proved an impossible task for several different reasons: 1. The stars were toooo pretty 2. The climbers coming up the trail in the nite were too many and too noisy with their bells ties around their climbing sticks for them to leave as an 'offering' to the god of lost climbers on top of the mountain 3. It was tooooooooooooo cold. Of the three reasons, you probably already know the one that finally forced me to get up and go again.
I didn't have a flashlite, but there were ropes most of the way, so i stumbled along up to the next level - 7. Yep, it WAS colder there - doh! Everybody passing thru was complaining of the cold - 40s(F), with a strong wind. I could have paid \5,000 to lay out on the floor for a few hours until everyone gets up which is around 1am to see the 'honorable coming of the light' from the top at 5, but thot it better to shiver a few hours for free. Finally i did break down and paid \50 to use the toilet, and then basically stayed in there 4 hours, getting out only when others came in to use it (which was around 6 or 7 times). The smell was bad, but didn't make me think i was going to die like the cold did.
So i saw the sun come up thru the screen in the window in the restroom. Quite pretty. Not long after, i decide it was time to head for the top, and push my sleep-deprived, cold, somewhat smelly bones up the crunchy lava-gravel trail. When i think climbing this thing is just not how i'm supposed to burn calories, i remember that i should eat. But eating is definitely saved for the top, so i break down and put a lemon-drop in my mouth. What a burst of power! Soon i'm up to the 8th, then 9th levels. Now to pass the boy scout troop being led by a 60-something man who looks like he may fossilize in his tracks, and -- the TOP! BRRRR! But fortunately the sun was out, and i looked for a place with noone around to replenish the energy i used from the lemon drop.
I walked around the crater for some reason counter-clockwise which for some reason was opposite to most everybody else, and came upon a nice red lava-rock area under some boulders in the sun, and had my breakfast which was a repeat of supper: peanuts, bread, tangelos, and peach jello. It's hard to know where the highest point of Fuji-san is, because surrounding the crater there are several high points. But following the sound of clicking cameras, i found the highest one with its marker. To help fellow climbers, i duly had my picture taken here too:)
I had wanted to post something from the top of the mountain as they stamp it with the 'Fuji-san' stamp, but couldn't remember anybody's address except my own and thot it was silly to pay to see something i'm currently looking at, so skipped that, and headed for the down-side while ogling the view of ocean, trees, towns, clouds etc. Going down the mountain is a blast! Up and Down trails are separated for the most part, and with a 4-inch layer of ash and small stones, you kind of like slide-fly down. Maybe i went faster than supposed to tho, as i didn't notice anyone passing me.... Ouch! That spot was gray like the rest, but no ash; just bare rock. Look ahead carefully, plant the foot, swing the arms, act like you're flying etc. etc. The interminable climb is reversible in 1 and a half hours!
I hadn't planned on getting down so fast, so near the bottom, back in the trees again, i got off the path and found a nice place away from everybody where i could pray and lay down awhile. So peaceful, so natural, and so nasty from kicking up ash.
Now i'm back in Osaka again cleaning out my ash-laden lungs with normal toxic substances in the brown soup:) Definitely a highly recommended trip for anyone who can walk, except i can't recommend the toilet-hotel thing.
For a few pics of the trail i went on, (actually, it was looking at this site that made me choose this route), click here: http://3776.jp/record/2001/index1.html And for a few pretty pics of Fuji-san, go here: https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/fujisan.html
6/25 おととい友達と宇治の方へあじさいを見に行って来た。 三室戸寺に人がいっぱい おったけど、宇治市のほとんどの所は落ち着いてて、良かった：） なんか上宇治 （？）神社は日本最古とか！？
6/18 おととい京都に行って、友達と一緒に琵琶湖でカヌーをやってきた。 日本で初めて のカヌーで、それも折りたたみの空気入れ式のカヌーだったから「大丈夫かな・・ ・」と思ったけどすいすいだった。 空、鳥、蛙、もちろん水に囲まれて、すごいリ ラックスできた：）
この間の木曜日、Aさんたちのいる川沿いのところに行って、テニスコートの向こう、天神橋の下に住んでる５９才の男性と７９才の女性（夫婦のよう）に会った。 その女性が先週やっと、「生活保護を受けたい」と口にしたので僕が北区役所に行って、人を頼んで、そしてその人がおばあさんに説明してから救急車を呼んだ。 ABさんみたいに「２、３ヶ月入院してから生活保護を受けるよ」と言てあげた。 問題は５９才のと・も・だ・ち・ 彼はおばあさんを守りたいって言ってるけど、本当は一人でめちゃ淋しい。 やっぱり恐れた事が起こって、彼が病院に行っておばあさんを連れて帰った。 こうなるとおばあさんは一生生活保護を受けられない：（ でもちょっと考えさせられた。 多くの人は「永遠の命が欲しい」と言いながら、それを受ける条件（イエス・キリストを受け入れ、真理に従う事）を実行しようとしない。 おばあさんのように、求めても、周りの人の悪影響で負けてしまうケースも多いね・・・
6/4 The World Cup soccer tournament has started, and the whole country is gaga over it, but it's funny that about 19,000 seats went unsold for 2 games the other day. They are so paranoid over the hooligans. There has been stuff on the news for over 6 months about new shields designed for these games, extensive police training, closing places that hooligans might go to....there was a hilarious skit the other nite on some TV show where the head of the police force was training the officers to recognize hooligans. Walk up to a foreigner and say in English "Are you a hooligan?" If they say "Yes" then arrest them. If they say "No" then do nothing.
My throat cold has been with me over 2 weeks now. It's mostly healed, but still scratchy.
Don't know why, but i let some whiskers grow on my chin. This is the first time i've ever done that. Actually it looks stupid i think, but one of my English students said it made me look 'calmer' - haha.
5/10 Golden Week!!! I went with some friends over to Mie prefecture, and we enjoyed nature, digging up and eating bamboo shoots,listening to the ocean waves, and studying the Bible and praising God together:) It's only about 120 miles or so, but took us 7 hours to get there!!!! Everyone heads for the same places - away from the city - on the holidays. The road was a little winding mountain road where several times we had to stop to let cars slip past us coming the other way. Pretty lame for the richest country in the world i would say. On the way back we stopped in a 'old-style' town, and my friends had some of the snow-creme like stuff with green-tea poured on top, and sweet red bean paste balls (actually better than it sounds) on the bottom. While we were driving my friend suddenly screamed. She's always hyper, so we didn't pay too much attention to her. But she said she saw a big bug scrape past her neck and fall to the floor, so we stopped the car. Then her husband saw it. Finally we went and bot some bug spray which flushed it out, and he killed it with my Swiss army knife --- a 4-5 inch centipede. Pretty gross. Glad nobody got bit. We took one of my former homeless friends, and he said he got bit by one on his thumb last year, and it swelled up twice the size as usual - OAUCHEEEE!
5/7 このＧＷに三重県にある友達の別荘に行って来た。 海の音で本当に癒されるよね ：） 大好きな竹の子をいっぱ～い掘って、サラダやら、味噌汁やら、竹の子御飯や ら、天ぷらやら、竹の子尽くしで大大満足、満腹してる。 本当に美味しい！！
今日と明日は英語で頑張る日や！ How are you? What's your name? Are you happy? Ouch. ちびっ子に教えるのが楽しいよ！ でも ちびっ子の英語の上達ぶりは早いですよね。 なぜかふざける子が真面目な子より上 手とか。 なんでやねん？！ ハハ。
4/24 ２月に兄のところのテネシー州に行って、３週間 泊まった。 ２月としては暖かく、３回もゴルフをやった。 別にゴルフが上手って 事じゃないけど、ボールを追わないでハイキングするのが兄は嫌いだからゴルフを やってるって感じ。 ハハ。
３月の８日～１１日の間ロスの郊外ロマリンダという町に居た。 元々カリフォルニア嫌いな僕やけど、今回空気がきれいかった し、合った人もなかなか良い人ばかりで、悪くはなかった。 日本に帰ってから一週 間後、兄からのＥメールで、「カリフォルニアに引っ越すわ」（実は首になった ！）。 だから今度アメリカに行く時、カリフォルニアに寄らなあかん！
帰りの飛行機の隣の人は東大阪に住んでる人で、彼が１年の留学を終えてところだっ た。 彼がラテン系の家族とホームスティーしたせいか、アメリカ像は僕が思ってる イメージと全然違う。 どこの国もそうけど、その国の国民性というか、歴史を知り たいなら、その国のド田舎に行った方が良いと思う。 日本を知るため、やっぱり東 京より鹿児島ですよね！！
アメリカで本当にのんびりできるよね。 自由もあるし、日本より住みやすいとまた 感じた。大闘争の本の英語版をいとこが経営してる印刷屋さんで５０，０ ００部を作って来た。 いろいろ大変だったけど、ちゃんとできて、働いてくれた人 たちと神様に感謝します：）
今回のアメリカの旅で４人の中国人に会って、僕の未来に中国となんか関係あるかな ？と思わせられた。 どうやろう？ ちょっと行きたい気持ちあります。 でも当分 大好きな日本に居る予定です：）
２年前からホームレスに会って、いろいろ考えさえられる。 ほとんど皆はカンカン 集めで 生計を立ってている。 月収はだいたい３，０００～７，０００円。 もちろん時々 何かを拾うけど、生きていくのに一万円以下でもいける。 緊急な場合は別やけど。 でも食べる必要なかったらな・・・ 人間は一切食べなくてもいけるという変な宗 教もあるのを知ってる？ 空気なんかが栄養を全部与えてくれるとか言ってるのよ。 笑っちゃうけど、本当にできたらいいな、と思う時もある。 あ～、腹減った！
桜はめちゃ早かったよね。 ４月になったらもうみな落ちた。うちから３分歩いたところここの交野市の 一番きれいな「桜並木」がある。 また今年英語の生徒と一緒にお弁当を広げて、良 かった （＾－＾）。
4/1 It's a beautiful day here in Osaka with the cherry trees blossoming the earliest ever in history here. Three days ago we had lunch and a English lesson under the trees:)
Last week i finally found a place for my homeless friend to live. He will be getting welfare, but to get into an apartment, he has to have a guarantor. It doesn't matter who you are, everybody has to have a guarantor. It's really a strange system, especially considering that you have to put up 5-6 months rent up front that usually only around half comes back when you move out. Anyway, we found a company that specializes in these formerly-homeless welfare cases, and they don't require any guarantor. Instead, they don't give anything back when you move out, but that's no problem if you stay till you die i guess.... For around 315USD per month he will be able to live in a "one room mansion" as they call it. It's a room about 20 ft. by 12 ft. with a tiny unit bath. He doesn't have a balcony, so i guess he'll have to use a coin-laundry for his washing. Most people here hang clothes out to dry.
I went back to Tennesee for 3 weeks as i had to leave Japan for visa reasons anyway, plus i wanted to get my batteries recharged by visiting strong Christians:) I was able to get 50,000 books printed up, and got into nature some and met my siblings and friends - a wonderful trip!
昨日の番組は僕の救い主イエス・キリストについてのものだった。 わくわくしながらチャネルを合わせて見ようとしたんだけど、「イエスはナザレで生まれた」とか、「１９歳の時にヨハネの弟子になった」とか言われて、「誰についての番組やろう？」と思った。 どこかの偉い教授とかをインタビューして、全然聖書を信じない人をテレビに出したのはとても残念です。 聖書のあるところは間違ってるなら、全部捨てた方が良いでしょう？ でも聖書は神様の言葉で、永遠の命です：）
イエス・キリストを取り上げて、有難うございます。 イエスは自分が神様であるのを報じなかったけど、蘇ったとはっきり言ってくれて、嬉しかった （＾－＾）
我々が死んでも、番組がなくなっても、イエス・キリストは永遠に生き、そしてもうすぐこの地球に降りて、皆を蘇らせ、裁いて、良い者を天国に連れて行って、悪い者を火で焼ける。 そして悪は二度と起こらない アーメン！！！
3/14 The peach trees are in bloom here, and the little green birds are flitting thru the branches below my bedroom window i guess getting the nectar out to replenish their store after the winter. Cherry trees should start blooming soon and then everywhere will be very beautiful (^-^)
I often think of the phrase in the 1851 A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen White: "The mighty shaking has commenced, and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth, and sacrifice for God and his cause. The angel said, “Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice? No, no. It must be a free will offering. It will take all to buy the field.” I cried to God to spare his people, some of whom were fainting and dying."
Aren't God's ways beyond our comprehension?! I'm sure when we get to heaven we will see much more clearly places where he was leading us when everything looked like failure to us while we were down here. And i want to always keep in my head that it will take ALL to buy the field.
I really want to see this original 1858 Great Controversy get translated in Chinese this year, hopefully by the summer. Several people i met in America's enthusiasm for this project of the original Greeat Controversys was very encouraging! I wonder if the ABCs would be interested at all? Just Monday i got a email from the pastor i'm working with in Belarus saying that he has received the funds, so the Russian translation is starting up there:)
D.L. In California introduced me to the H. family (a Chinese family i'd never met before, but who graciously let me stay there 3 nites), and i was able to have a very profitable, very enjoyable time there in the LA area.
It was not my original plan to spend any time in the LA area as i really don't enjoy that place. I lived with my brother for 3 months in Loma Linda in 1981, and the selfishness of the people, the desert-like, smoggy environment, and the liberal theology was not enjoyable. But i just couldn't get a good flight out without flying on the Sabbath, and wanting to avoid that, i had to stay there a minimum of one nite, so i made it 3 nites and hoped i could make it profitable.
Finding some great old books at the heritage sale at the Loma Linda Univ. library and giving them one original 1858 Great Controversy i printed up, meeting a group of dedicated Christians at Colton, meeting the H.'s, meeting the most well-known Chinese SDA - D.L., and then on Sabbath meeting A.C. who is on fire for God and having him let me promote the Japanese original Great Controversy in church, wow! definitely God's leading all the way!!! What a profitable stay!
Somehow tho i got the impression that i'm supposed to do my best to try and help the Chinese in the future. Of course that's what i want to do anyway:) I love the Asian peoples for some strange reason (^-^).
There were no visa problems coming back, so i don't have to leave the country for one more year now.
2/28 It's a freeeeezing 14F here in Goodlettsville this morning. Hard to believe that just 2 days ago my brother and i were happily chasing a little white ball and knocking it all over a cow pasture in Kentucky - ha!
The big project is done - i got 50,000 of those original Great Controversys printed up. There were lots of hassles, and the finished product could definitely be better, but they got done. Now to get them into the hands of the people who need to read them to get ready for the 7 last plagues.
Now my next project will be to help a pastor in Belarus who is going to translate and print this book in Russian:) And just last nite i got a email from someone in Indonesia saying they knew someone who may be able to translate it into Indonesian.... got to keep the ball rolling:) I used to have the address of a missionary in Mongolia, but they do not seem to be there anymore, so i'm at a loss right now about what to do to get this book into the Mongolian language... any ideas? I'll go see S.W. in Whitwell next Monday. He's interested in getting this book into Chinese. It's already been translated, just needs proofreading. Sure hope E. is OK -- haven't heard anything from him in almost 2 months now.....
Went to Wal-Mart yesterday and just about bot them out of their ABC coloring books - haha. I think my kids in Japan will enjoy them. At least it should occupy 10 minutes or so of English class. Now to buy some tapes of songs and maybe a few games.
It doesn't seem like America is quite so violence-oriented as i remember last time i was here around 15 months ago. Probably that terrorist stuff has a lot to do with that. It strikes me as kind of strange tho to see "God Bless America" signs everywhere. How can God bless us when we refuse to follow his leading, and our leader even publicly proclaims that we need to instill the ideas of the pope into this country?!?! People need to reason more from cause to effect.
Regarding the 1858 GC again -- noticed at the ABC yesterday that the White Estate put out a new fascimile copy of it, and they even put a big green sheet of paper on the shelf advertising it as "The Original 1858 Great Controversy". That was quite interesting to me.
Thanking God for his watchfulness and care over his children (^-^)
01/20 Said to be the coldest day of the year according to the calendar, but some plum trees are already blooming!
Since i've been friends with the homeless, a little over 2 years have passed. One of my favorite homeless friends (68), studied the Bible with us for a year, and even lived with the group i'm usually with for several months, but last year in January he left in a huff, and went to live by himself away from everyone, and has purposely avoided contact with the other homeless.
Well, last Friday a Christian sister who tries hard to help people, invited him to her apartment. I was very surprised that he went, and thanked God for this opportunity to reach him again. We got in the car and after rolling the window down on the chilly day, we could stand the smell of 1 year - no bath. When we got to the apartment, we fixed up a hot bath, and helped him scrub down, massaged him, cut his hair, got him some clothes, and all ate around a big boiling pot with tofu and vegetables in it. It sure seemed a bit like heaven:)
I always go to study the Bible with the homeless on the Sabbath, and always stop by his tent before going to the area where most of them live on the other side of the river. While i don't push it, i often ask him if he'd like to join. Wonder of wonders - yesterday he said yes! After a year of "no"s, it was incredible to see how meek he got after getting a bath! So he walked over the little bridge to the other side, where the other homeless were. Unfortunately, the man who lived together with him for several months, and who has been studying the Bible with us for 2 years and has completed the VOP Bible study course saw him coming, he ran away... Satan is not happy to see hearts be changed, and he is trying to stir up the natural besetments.
We studied Matthew chapter 20, and the part about being hired to work in the vineyard struck a resounding chord with the 3 homeless friends that stayed for the study. It's interesting how that part of that parable hadn't really hit me as being big before. Just goes to show how the Spirit chose the words in the Bible, and how he works on each heart individually - praise him!
01/01 My HP www.earlysda.com is still going good even with a different hoster. My New Year's Resolution is to get out the original Great Controversy in as many languages as possible, especially Nepali, Polish, Chinese, and Russian this year!!!