Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Black Gospel at ICCS!

Have you ever heard a Black Gospel concert? There has been a lot of action all over Japan for the past many years and Black Gospel is at the center.

You can learn how to sing those great Gospel songs at a local church or community center near you. Here is a change to learn how and help a very worth while organization.  Read on!

Black Gospel Benefit Concert for Wheelchairs of Hope
November 23, Wed – National Holiday
Biblical Church Ekoda
With Ray Sidney!

Workshop Learn the songs with Ray Sidney
2 pm~4 pm

Concert And Celebration WOH
5:30 doors open
6:00 Concert starts
  •  Music
  • Report
  • Testimonies
  • Video
  • Chance to donate toward the Thai Container Shipment

Asking donation: ¥3,000

 After the concert:
Wheelchair Project 5th floor
Walk thru work area and see how it is done
Cookies and coffee
Meet Ray Sidney and buy his CDs

Invite your friends for a great evening of song and help WOH reach their goal of becoming a NPO.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Footprints of God 神の足跡

What did these 7 have in common & how does that affect us today? 

アダム Adam-First man.
イブ Eve-first woman.
アベル Abel-first murdered.
エノク Enoch-first to not die.
ノア Noah-first to survive a flood.
アブラハム Abraham-first to be called..
サラ Sarah-first to be the mother of Israel.

Adam had the first relationship with the Creator.
Eve was the first to fall and the first to experience blame placed on her by her husband (“It was my wife’s fault!  You gave her to me… You made the mistake not me!”)
Abel never got to have a family-be married-see old age but had a growing relationship with his Creator.
Enoch was blessed to walk with God with such a close relationship; God did not want him to taste death.
Noah got to be part of a big building plan to re-start mankind.
Abraham left his family’s idols and started to serve the Living God who directed him.
Sarah had to follow her husband even when the call was his.

Adam had it made—all of creation was his to command AND he walked with God every day!
Eve found made like none other and was content with her husband.
Abel understood what it was like to be hated.
Enoch knew what it was like to find complete favor with his Creator.
Noah understood the importance of following instructions—even over many years. And by doing that, suffered the ridicule of people all around him.
Abraham had direct communication with God who told him what to do and where to go.
Sarah found something to laugh at when told, in her old age, that she was going to have a baby.

These seven people were the first for many things. These seven are true representatives of who we are.  I can’t even imagine how it would have been for Adam to take a walk with God every day at dusk.  How it would have been to have a verbal-I would guess it was verbal-communication with the Creator God!  Here Adam was—the only man—the only person on the earth. He had God’s full attention!  But Adam had not found a relationship with anything in the creation that would satisfy his longings.  He’d be seeing all the animals pairing off and having offspring but he was alone.

Then God put him to sleep—gave him rest of his searching—and made his helpmate right out of his side. (Can’t explain that but God did touch Adam in such a way that his helpmate was there when he woke up!)  

How that applies to us is interestingly parallel.  I too can take a walk with  God each and every day—when I want to, talk with Him--verbally. I can pray to Him. I can read His Word. I can learn what He wants of me as I do those things to build my relationship with Creator God. ¡He wants me to do that! He provides all I need to assure that to happen. I can speak verbally to Him or in my heart and He will hear me.  He has promised me all the riches of His Glory. 

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
フィリピの信徒への手紙 / 4 19 わたしの神は、御自分の栄光の富に応じて、キリスト・イエスによって、あなたがたに必要なものをすべて満たしてくださいます。
2 Peter 1:3-4 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you
ペトロの手紙二 / 1 3-4 3主イエスは、御自分の持つ神の力によって、命と信心とにかかわるすべてのものを、わたしたちに与えてくださいました。それは、わたしたちを御自身の栄光と力ある業とで召し出してくださった方を認識させることによるのです。4この栄光と力ある業とによって、わたしたちは尊くすばらしい約束を与えられています。それは、あなたがたがこれらによって、情欲に染まったこの世の退廃を免れ、神の本性にあずからせていただくようになるためです。

And when I am alone, I need to remember that 1. He will give me rest and 2. He will provide help for me.  I’m either single or married; He will provide help. It might not be a marriage partner but it could be, but His Spirit is always there to guide my life AS I SERVE HIM. If I do have a marriage partner, then I need to live my life in such a way that the marriage honors the Lord—showing my partner I care and support them—praying for them—to bring that relationship under His Rule and care.

Adam was the first man and he was the first to fall. It was because of his sinful nature you and I suffer separation from our Creator. And like Adam, we needed to come to God—and accept the sacrifice He provided for ALL mankind—the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus, who died in our place to take away the sins that holds us in darkness and emptiness.  

Hebrews 9:28 “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
アダム ヘブライ人への手紙 / 9 28 キリストも、多くの人の罪を負うためにただ一度身を献げられた後、二度目には、罪を負うためではなく、御自分を待望している人たちに、救いをもたらすために現れてくださるのです。

And Eve? Well, she shows us how to wait. When her first baby was born, in her mind THIS was the child that would take care of the sin problem.  She was wrong, as it turned out, but now there were three on Earth and God was still working with them and building the relationship back up.  Eve looked to her God.

And so should we! Maybe waiting is one of the hardest things to do. We want patience right now. We desire wealth quickly. We may want fast food. A fast dollar (¥). Short breaks so we can get back to work again. Short lines.  We want to be older when we are young and younger when we get old. We are upset when the short line at the market is held up because the person is paying in one yen coins!!! We want to be mature in the Lord - fast! We want! We want! We want!  Even when the waiting is for our good, we are not happy about that.  Nine months to have a baby? Sometimes, it feels like 19 months…other times, it flies by.  The Bible says some powerful things about waiting.

We should look to our God as Eve did. We know that, but we are impatient. We tend to fall back into old patterns and our mind is filled with old hurtful ideas. What should we do about that?

NKJV  Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
イブ  イザヤ書 / 40 31 主に望みをおく人は新たな力を得/鷲のように翼を張って上る。走っても弱ることなく、歩いても疲れない。

When I look at these seven people, I feel rather detached from them.  One, they lived a LONG time ago. The only things I know from them are from the most part from my reading of them in the Bible…some info from movies but that is not reality!

Two, There is so much we don’t know about them. What kind of home life did they have? What were their dreams? Their passions? But then again, it is that way for most of the people in Scripture---just enough to tell the story. Like with Lazarus. What did he ‘see’ in death? Nothing said in Scripture.

And where would Faith fit into the whole picture IF we were told everything up front? Isn’t it by Faith that we grow? Isn’t it by faith that we move along in this walk of life? And as we continue this study of walking through the Bible, we shall see over and over again how God’s People failed in this and how some of God’s People succeeded in this.  We hope to learn how to do this right. How to live life in such a way that He is well pleased.

Looking ahead into the New Testament, we see the Father of our Lord Jesus responds when His Son, Jesus, identified with Mankind and was baptized—not for forgiveness of sins but to identify with the Will of the Father. You can hear His Voice say: 

Luke 3:22 NIV “and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.”
ルカによる福音書 / 3 22 聖霊が鳩のように目に見える姿でイエスの上に降って来た。すると、「あなたはわたしの愛する子、わたしの心に適う者」という声が、天から聞こえた。

And God gave Eve to Adam.

What He said and what He did

The footprints of God are all over this Book.  It is found in how He related with, not only these seven people, but with ALL of mankind.  Each of these seven had their own unique walk with the Creator. All of them were responsible for what they said and did. All were in direct contact with Him.  All the contact was started from His side first.

And God made Adam (Man) in His Own image.

God was pleased with the offering of Able.

God’s deep friendship with Enoch.

And God called Noah to build an ark.

God called Abraham His friend.

The Lord blessed Sarah with a child.

And as we look at these people’s relationship with God, we will need to call into question, how do we fit into His call.  How do we respond to His friendship? How do we walk in HIS footprints? Like Abraham did; by Faith. 
What are you learning about what God said and of what God did from your Bible Reading?   

Let’s learn what that means.  Keep reading. Keep talking about what you are reading with each other. Grow as we walk through the Bible together.


If you believe that Jesus died for you and you are not Baptized, then read on… Are you wondering about Baptism? Do you know what Baptism is? Why do we teach that Believers be ‘put under the water’? and what does that mean?  Come to the Baptism Class on Oct 16 at 9:45 AM here at the Chapel. The class will end on Oct 30.