Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Suffering For a Purpose

Last week I told you that we all suffer August 18, 2019
It is because of the fall away from God's will for Adam and Eve where sin now results in human suffering.

There are different kinds of suffering...

One night, I was walking to the bathroom and kicked the furniture and smashed my little toe. Oh I was suffering. It wasn't the little toe that I hit. But after me trying to kiss my little toe... I pulled something in my back and I was in pain suffering for weeks.

There are different kinds of suffering. Some are dumb. Many are self inflicted. A person is told by the doctor to eat healthy and exercise. We hear it but we don't listen. Then when we are told you have a terminal sickness we start to drink Aojiru juice, overdose on vitamins, and eat goma seeds in everything. We hear but we don't listen.

God too is telling us something. Remember Job? “Out of the storm God spoke... 嵐の中から神様話した.”Now we can look at this in two ways. God is speaking to you or someone else. (Job 38:1)

The Bible shows us the kind of suffering that comes from the evil of others. You are innocent. You didn't ask for them to bully you or mistreat you. But you were there. Sometimes its from classmates. Sometimes from friends, the worst perhaps is from family. 

In Genesis, there is the story of Joseph. A young boy who loved God. God gave him a special ability to have dreams that came true. He could also interpret dreams. He'd tell his dreams to his family. The 11 older brothers were jealous of him and especially because their father loved Joseph more than the others. So the brothers make a plan where Joseph secretly gets sold to slave traders. The brothers actually wanted to kill him but they sold him instead. Then they lied to their dad about it and slaughtered a goat and used the blood to trick the dad into thinking a wild animal ate him. Oh how the dad suffered because of their hate. Poor Joseph was now a slave and sold to an Egyptian. He had to work to clean Potifar's house and wash his clothes and take out garbage. He then was falsely accused of a crime. He went to jail for 7 years. Oh his suffering was great. But he kept having dreams and interpreting them. Even in the suffering he was still using God's gift to bless others. One day the Pharaoh of Egypt had a dream that no one can explain. Someone tells him of Joseph. Joseph tells him the meaning and is then exalted to second highest in the land. He is now leading Egyptian people as well as all the slaves and the work. The dream was a prophecy about a 7 year famine that needs to be prepared for. But he still suffers the wounds of his family. There is a big famine in the land of Joseph's family. They had to come to Egypt and beg for food. Joseph meets them. He wants to do evil to them but he loves them. He could have them killed. But he misses his father. God through the suffering has given Joseph a greater gift than telling dreams. He was able to see things from God's perspective and how salvation has come to all the world even his own family through the suffering. What Joseph experience all along was all God's mighty plan even the suffering. Let's see how Joseph summarized his life in Gen 50.
[Gen 50:20-21 NIV] 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. あなたがたは、私に悪を計りましたが、神はそれを、良いことのための計らいとなさいました。それはきょうのようにして、多くの人々を生かしておくためでした。 ですから、もう恐れることはありません。私は、あなたがたや、あなたがたの子どもたちを養いましょう。」こうして彼は彼らを慰め、優しく語りかけた。

The brothers wanted to kill Joseph. God wanted to save the family from certain death. Having God's view Joseph was able to forgive and release the pain and suffering and then also to go on to care for them and love them. So many families are broken all over the world. I know how the hurt cuts really deep. but if you can see things from God's perspective you get a greater sense of what he is doing and we can then enjoy the peace even when we must still endure pain. Many families do not speak to each other for 30 to 40 years and they don't remember what was said. But they will not reconcile. Many of those hurting are suffering through sickness or poverty or loneliness. If we will look beyond our hurts and pain and see the value of God at work he through us will seek to heal their heart and bring them to Jesus. It will bring God so much glory. It will change the course of your life. It will change the course of your families life.

Another kind of suffering...

Paul had to continue to minister and work in spite of pain and suffering. Did he just Tough it out? (gaman?) I don't know, But I believe he was closer to Jesus because he needed His strength more than anythings.

How does Paul use his sufferings?

In the Bible Paul the great apostle was doing so much work for God but he had a problem. The Bible doesn't say what his problem was. But he was suffering (2 Cor 12:7) 7また、その啓示があまりにもすばらしいからです。そのために私は、高ぶることのないようにと、肉体に一つのとげを与えられました。それは私が高ぶることのないように、私を打つための、サタンの使いです。 8このことについては、これを私から去らせてくださるようにと、三度も主に願いました。 9しかし、主は、「わたしの恵みは、あなたに十分である。というのは、わたしの力は、弱さのうちに完全に現われるからである。」と言われたのです。ですから、私は、キリストの力が私をおおうために、むしろ大いに喜んで私の弱さを誇りましょう。 and others too were suffering (Galatians 4:13-15) (13ご承知のとおり、私が最初あなたがたに福音を伝えたのは、私の肉体が弱かったためでした。14そして私の肉体には、あなたがたにとって試練となるものがあったのに、あなたがたは軽蔑したり、きらったりしないで、かえって神の御使いのように、またキリスト・イエスご自身であるかのように、私を迎えてくれました。 15それなのに、あなたがたのあの喜びは、今どこにあるのですか。私はあなたがたのためにあかししますが、あなたは、もしできれば自分の目をえぐり出して私に与えたいとさえ思ったではありませんか。 ) . Three times, Paul, the greatest church planter to live begged God to take this suffering away (2 Cor 12:7). Paul could heal others. His handkerchief would be taken to people far away and they'd get healed by touching it. But Paul could not heal himself. God said, “No, My grace is sufficient for you.”What??? God didn't heal him? If I were Paul I might be tempted to say, “Well fine then I quit!”But Paul didn't do that. He saw that God had a greater purpose to keep Paul humble and dependent on the Holy Spirit. When we suffer we have to ask others for help. It's embarrassing and meiwaku and not convenient. We also have to be dependent on God. But God works through things that we don't understand. Romans 8

Pastor Mark often talks of the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. わたし自身、あなたがたのために立てている計画をよく知っている──のことば──。それはわざわいではなく平安を与える計画であり、あなたがたに将来と希望を与えるためのものだ。)
Paul no longer asked God for healing but he used it as a means of sharing the gospel. Instead of an anchor dragging along holding him back it was actually an engine that propelled him forward. [2Co 12:10 NIV] 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ですから、私は、キリストのために、弱さ、侮辱、苦痛、迫害、困難に甘んじています。なぜなら、私が弱いときにこそ、私は強いからです。

2 cor 1:3-5 [2Co 1:3-5 NIV] 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 3私たちの主イエス・キリストの父なる神、慈愛の父、すべての慰めの神がほめたたえられますように。 4 神は、どのような苦しみのときにも、私たちを慰めてくださいます。こうして、私たちも、自分自身が神から受ける慰めによって、どのような苦しみの中にいる人をも慰めることができるのです。 5 それは、私たちにキリストの苦難があふれているように、慰めもまたキリストによってあふれているからです。

2 cor 4:1 [2Co 4:1 NIV] 1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Suffering is a ministry. Did you know that? こういうわけで、私たちは、あわれみを受けてこの務めに任じられているのですから、勇気を失うことなく、


After being diagnoised with my heart problem here in Japan. We talked about going back to Los Angeles. Giving up. I became selfish. Like everyone pity me. “Oh I dropped my fork someone come pick it up for me, I'm sick.”The day before I was fine but now I am weaker. I can't teach English, I can't... and the list goes on. I can let the depression take over. It does from time to time. I've spent a day in bed feeling sorry for myself.” I ask God for forgiveness and ask him to heal my thinking. For me depression is just my negative thinking driving the car of my mind. It's out of control. But as we thought of going home the next thought would be and then what??? What will we do there that we can't already do here?
But God has given me too many promises. He has intervened in my life to change it and move me forward. Even though I had a bad attitude.

In the book of Peter he tells us some steps to take our suffering focus off of us and to allow God's will to lead us to do ministry and work for God through the suffering. 

[1Pe 4:1-2, 12-19 KJV] 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; If I am lying in a bed sick from chemo I most likely am not thinking about going to a party. Or gambling or lusting after others stuff.
1. このように、キリストは肉体において苦しみを受けられたのですから、あなたがたも同じ心構えで自分自身を武装しなさい。肉体において苦しみを受けた人は、罪とのかかわりを断ちました。
That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. ...Surrendered to God's will.
2. こうしてあなたがたは、地上の残された時を、もはや人間の欲望のためではなく、神のみこころのために過ごすようになるのです。

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: If your surrendered God will work
12. 愛する者たち。あなたがたを試みるためにあなたがたの間に燃えさかる火の試練を、何か思いがけないことが起こったかのように驚き怪しむことなく、
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
13. むしろ、キリストの苦しみにあずかれるのですから、喜んでいなさい。それは、キリストの栄光が現われるときにも、喜びおどる者となるためです。
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
14. もしキリストの名のために非難を受けるなら、あなたがたは幸いです。なぜなら、栄光の御霊、すなわち神の御霊が、あなたがたの上にとどまってくださるからです。
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Bad suffering
15. あなたがたのうちのだれも、人殺し、盗人、悪を行なう者、みだりに他人に干渉する者として苦しみを受けるようなことがあってはなりません。
16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
16. しかし、キリスト者として苦しみを受けるのなら、恥じることはありません。かえって、この名のゆえに神をあがめなさい。
17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? We demonstrate that life is not all waku waku but that humanity is dying to die. we are getting old. We need to tell others about the next life.
17. なぜなら、さばきが神の家から始まる時が来ているからです。さばきが、まず私たちから始まるのだとしたら、神の福音に従わない人たちの終わりは、どうなることでしょう。
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
18. 義人がかろうじて救われるのだとしたら、神を敬わない者や罪人たちは、いったいどうなるのでしょう。
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
19. ですから、神のみこころに従ってなお苦しみに会っている人々は、善を行なうにあたって、真実であられる創造者に自分のたましいをお任せしなさい。

How do we turn ourselves around... Surrender to God... EVERYTHING. Let all worldly things go. Even family and kids. God's a much better parent than I am. Yes you take care of them. But let God work in their life. When bad things come help them to navigate the difficulties.
Have you divorced? Praise God you are now free to serve him.
Did you loose your job? Praise God you are now free to serve him and have him fine you a job
Are you get sick and have problems? Praise God you can now glorify him by telling others that Jesus has a new heavenly body you will get after you die.
Did you loose everything? Praise God you are now free to have only Jesus and nothing else. That's a good thing. The Bible teaches us the opposites are the good things. The first shall be last. The last shall be first. The poor of this earth shall inherit the kingdom of God. Those who suffer for Christ's sake will be rewarded greatly.

You can feel sorry for yourself and get people's sympathy and pity. Or you can turn that around and start the engine of encouraging others with sickness to look to Christ as he lifts up, he heals, he restores, he glorifies, and he takes us home.

God is speaking...We hear but we don't listen. Let's choose to listen from right now. Let's pray.

God is Holy

Good Morning
Yes, My wife and Daughter Rachel are in California now working on getting settled into University life. Rachel gave the testimony about life with a heart transplant. It has been a remarkable journey. I can remember her at 10 days old just breathing so fast. Not like a race that had been run. But this breathing was like someone drowning gasping for air. It was painful to watch her suffer. We took her to the Emergency room. It was busy but our daughter was given priority. We heard the diagnosis which confirmed our worst fears. She had dilated Cardiomyopathy 拡張型心筋症。Mihoko and I looked at each other and said “Oh no not again.” It was just 10 months prior to Rachel's birth that we buried our first born 3 year old Caleb who died of the same disease while waiting for a heart transplant. Cardiomyopathy is the condition of the heart being enlarged too much. Where it's not pumping the blood out of the heart. A heart should shoot 30 meters far. But only 20% of her blood was getting out of her heart and pumped through the body. She was drowning in her own blood and unable to breathe because of fluids built up in her lungs. This was a like a double drowning where not only could she not get her blood circulating but her air was unable to process. Without some intervention she would die within days. She was put on powerful medication and this extended her life for a few years but eventually the heart got weaker and weaker and it would need to be replace.

We went in for a normal routine check up. Rachel was walking into the clinic. She had a procedure called an echo cardiogram心絵構図(Kokoro eikou zu) (Sometimes it's 心エコー図) This showed her heart to be even weaker than ever and her medicine for her tiny body was maxed out. You can only put so much medication into a little body before it has no effect. She was more tired and sleeping all the time. The doctor told us without a heart transplant there is not way to extend her life. This was where we were exactly with Caleb our first born son. He had the same prognosis予後 and pattern. We were fearing the worst and I was questioning God. “WHY GOD?”Okay once I can understand but I know you love me and my family but why a second time? This was a dangerous question but one that many people ask. Why does God allow suffering not just once but over and over? God answered me.

Just before Rachel was in a coma. She had lost more weight. At 3 and a half years old she was just skin and bones. The Doctor said if you don't want her into a coma where we force feed her you need to get some food into her stomach. She would throw up anything she ate. The doctor said even if it's empty calories she needs to keep her digestive system working or it too will begin to shut down. It was a Friday Night we are in EAST Hollywood. West is the good part with movie stars and shopping. We were in a very old part of Hollywood where you don't go out at night. But I asked Rachel what she wanted to eat and she said, “Popcorn and a blue slushy”(Slushy is like Kakigori) So I braved the wild streets of Hollywook to go and get my princess a popcorn and a blue slushy at 10 pm at night. I was worried and telling myself don't look at anyone. Just go to the 7/11 that was fore blocks away. I walked. While I was walking I was marveling to myself. “What a great dad I am. Braving the streets of Hollywood to get my daughter some good things.” Then out of no where a voice spoke into my heart. If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (NIV)” “してみると、あなたがたは、悪い者ではあっても、自分の子どもには良い物を与えることを知っているのです。とすれば、なおのこと、天におられるあなたがたの父が、どうして、求める者たちに良いものを下さらないことがありましょう。” That verse became like a broken record in my head. I had to apologize to God and thank him and ask him to heal my heart. So I enter 7/11 and get a popcorn and a blue slushy and a bag of chocolate cakes and a 2 liter bottle of soda.... Hey I needed to be rewarded for my brave deed. But the whole time I'm in 7/11 that bible verse is playing in my head. I wondered where that verse was located in the Bible. So when I got back to the hospital room while we were eating our snacks. I looked up the verse... It was Matthew 7/11. I was in 7/11 getting good things for my sick daughter but I wasn't in the Bible getting good things from the heavenly Father. I was shocked that God spoke to me in such a way. I prayed even more and with a sincere heart. Even though I was going through suffering with my daughter. I was numb to God's presence. I knew he was there. But I couldn't sense him because I was not in the word. I'd read it like it was a manga for key point or inspiration but I wasn't hungry for God to speak to me. This caused me to start to search the Bible about suffering. Not so much why? But more so how do we navigate our suffering? The greatest book on suffering in the Bible is the book of Job. One day, I was reading Job 38:1 and I could not read any farther. Job 38:1 “ Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm.” “主はあらしの中からヨブに答えて仰せられた。
As I was thinking of God in heaven I didn't even think that in the storm was where God was at. He wasn't outside shouting directions to me. He was from within the stom speaking to me.

So in order to address the subject of suffering we must know a few things about God. In the presence of God are pleasures forevermore. Outside the presence of God is suffering. The Bible tells us that God's Nature is Holy. His unseen Spirit is Holy. That means he is so pure no evil or sin or contaminated thing can exist in his presence. 1 Samuel 2:2 “のように聖なる方はいません。 まことに、あなたのほかにはだれもいないのです。 私たちの神のような岩はありません。” “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”

The Bible itself describes the holiness of God as light. 1 John 1:5 神は光であって、神のうちには暗いところが少しもない。これが、私たちがキリストから聞いて、あなたがたに伝える知らせです。God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” I like to illustrate this by describing a Bug Zapper (虫ザーパー)The device is a light that attracts bugs and the bugs have no protection so that when they come into the light they are zapped and die. God's light is holy light and we are attracted to it but our protection is weak and we cannot get close to God because the Bible says it is our sins that have separated us from him. Isaiah 59:2 (But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. むしろ、あなたがたの咎が、あなたがたと、あなたがたの神との仕切りとなり、あなたがたの罪が御顔を隠させ、聞いてくださらないようにしたのだ。) The Bible tells us that God desires us to be Holy like him so that we can have a relationship together. Leviticus 19:2 イスラエルの全会衆に告げよ。 あなたがたは聖なる者でなければならない。あなたがたの神、であるわたしが聖だからである。” ”Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

How do we become holy?
In the Old Testament the Jews would sacrifice a lamb in their place and used the Blood symbolically as a covering for their sin. So that God would not look at the worshipper's sin and failed righteousness but God would see the lamb's blood taking the sinners place and would forgive their sin that was placed on the lamb and they could have fellowship together with God.

In the New Testament Jesus goes to the Cross and suffers offering his life in the place of ours and gives us his eternal covering of righteousness. God no longer looks at you and sees your failed righteousness he only sees Jesus' covering. We still need to ask for forgiveness of sins and keep our relationship in order but we no longer fear the pending zap of God. Jesus took the zap away. You know if the flies and mosquitoes could have a special teeny tiny rubber suit they could fly into the light and not get zapped. We too need to put on a suit of protection so that we won't get zapped. But is is not our suit. No work we do or create will protect us. We need this suit from God by faith.

[Rom 3:20-24, 26 NIV] 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ... 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
ロマ3:20-26 20 なぜなら、律法を行なうことによっては、だれひとり神の前に義と認められないからです。律法によっては、かえって罪の意識が生じるのです。 21 しかし、今は、律法とは別に、しかも律法と預言者によってあかしされて、神の義が示されました 22. すなわち、イエス・キリストを信じる信仰による神の義であって、それはすべての信じる人に与えられ、何の差別もありません。 23 すべての人は、罪を犯したので、神からの栄誉を受けることができず、 24 ただ、神の恵みにより、キリスト・イエスによる贖いのゆえに、価なしに義と認められるのです。 25 神は、キリスト・イエスを、その血による、また信仰による、なだめの供え物として、公にお示しになりました。それは、ご自身の義を現わすためです。というのは、今までに犯されて来た罪を神の忍耐をもって見のがして来られたからです。
26 それは、今の時にご自身の義を現わすためであり、こうして神ご自身が義であり、また、イエスを信じる者を義とお認めになるためなのです

Back to when I was reading Job was blessed by God. God saw into Jobs heart and loved him greatly. He tells the devil about Job but the Devil tells God to take away his protection and he'll loose faith and die.

God permits Satan to take away Jobs business, property, live stock, possessions, and even his servants and kids. Job is suffering but is still faithful to God. Satan then causes him bad health. He's super sick. Head to toe stinky sores. Jobs wife can't bear to watch the suffering. She loves job but thinks he should end his life to end his suffering. Job remains faithful. Then his friends come not with biblical wisdom but different types of man's philosophy. In the Book of Job; Chapters 1&2 are destruction and then 3-37 are debates. Mankind reasoning for “the why” of suffering. But they never ask for “the Who.” Chapters 38-42 are the deliverer, the WHO of Jobs life. Sin is the cause of all suffering but after the destruction and debates job learns that God is his deliverance. God didn't cause suffering sin did. But God is the salvation for us even during our times of suffering. 

Job 38:1 out of the storm, whirlwind, tsumuji kaze. God speaks. Was this storm in the atmosphere or in his heart. Job started to doubt God and demanded a reason for suffering. But the reason is easy. We live in a fallen world. For all are born with a sin nature. All sin because we are sinners. The only salvation we need is God himself. Job didn't need an answer to his why... but he needed a “who” that can deliver him out if sin and suffering. Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is the bread of life, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. We don't need a big book of rules to follow. We need a Savior to follow. A Holy God needs holy people. Suffering teaches us that he suffered for us, and we are not holy.
Suffering is the state of not having pleasure. In God's presence are pleasures forevermore. Outside of God's presence is suffering. In our suffering know that God is near. He is ready to help us, guide us, and comfort us. To those who don't know him? He is ready to save all the time anytime. Paul used his suffering to glorify God. The soul that glorifies his creator is a most noble soul.
James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 見なさい。耐え忍んだ人たちは幸いであると、私たちは考えます。あなたがたは、ヨブの忍耐のことを聞いています。また、主が彼になさったことの結末を見たのです。主は慈愛に富み、あわれみに満ちておられる方だということです。

Will I suffer more.? As long as I live on this Sin filled planet with sin tainted DNA I will experience some kind of suffering. I too have the same heart disease as my Son Caleb and daughter Rachel. How much longer will the medication work for me? I don't know? But I do know this. That when the suffering comes I can be at peace that my Savior will be with me and if the worst happens and I go home to heaven. I'll rejoice exceedingly because I will be with Jesus and in a place where there is not more.... Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 彼らの目の涙をすっかりぬぐい取ってくださる。もはや死もなく、悲しみ、叫び、苦しみもない。なぜなら、以前のものが、もはや過ぎ去ったからである。」 Let's pray.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Off to University Prepaid Sim Free Plans 2019 May

Yes! Finally, she is off to University. Going to univ. has proven to be a challenge. Car? NO! Bike? Better yet walk? Health Insurance? License? Smartphone Plan???? Yikes. I started to look into the prepaid phones plans with no contract and my head started to spin.

So I had to first understand my daughters usage. On average she used 8 to 9 GB of Data each month since February 2019. That's a lot. Why? She commutes to high school via a train. During the 50 min each way door to door travel she is live streaming music and videos. She hasn't had a regular phone call in that same time period nor texting as all her communication is via data hogging apps. Instagram, Messenger, Line, What's App, are all her go to communication pathways. It can be quite frustrating as she will occasionally message me on three apps at once. It's like which one do I respond to? So as far as my daughters needs for getting a prepaid plan in the US we must also recognize her lifestyle will change. When she goes to live on campus she will have universal internet. She will also not have the commute. So she will stream on line and not use so much data. Weekends she may be out and about and will need a fair amount of data. But WiFi hot spots are in many places. On vacation to Los Angeles we'd all get up in the morning and go to Target for WiFi. So we are not looking at an unlimited plan per se. Although at the writing of this there are some two year contract plans that are cheaper than going sim free. Tempting but for the first year of University we are wanting to wait and see how she likes things. Growing up in Japan all her life with periodic whirlwind tours of California where it was restaurants, amusement parks, beaches, and malls. Living in California is not as glorious and  it's expensive. So that is why we are waiting. But which company is good? Which plan?

To cut through all the charts I've created; I found that every provider has you spending $30 to $50 a month. All have slight variations. Unlimited is a loosely used term meaning you have unlimited use of 50 GB of data and then they throttle you back to a 2 G network which is like being put in the corner having to wait until the next month to get out of purgatory.

Another facet of this moving to the US is that older users are stuck in ancient methods of communication. Like talk and text. In Asia, people walk around sometimes video chatting with a friend or family member out and about. For many in older users communication was a private affair. You didn't share your phone number with anyone. Now you can troll someone by liking their profile and even chat and send pics and vids without ever being formally introduced. So I'm saying that even though my daughter's preferred method of communication is apps. Others are stuck in talk and text methodology.
So I know people still actually dial on a phone family, friends, and businesses. I've seen persons in Japan driving a car with a Navi in the dashboard of the car live streaming TV and video chatting on their smart phone. It is much different than all the regulations that the US has. Holding your smart phone while driving is illegal but that 44 ounce soda is okay?

This link has a great read on the cheapest plans available. They are cheap and you get nothing for what you need. If I were to buy my 85 year old mom a smart phone I'd get her the $5. a month plan because she'd most likely never turn it on. Her prepaid flip phone is just to call AAA in case of a road side emergency. She refills her phone yearly and is happy.

The one I like and am heading for is MINT https://www.mintmobile.com/choose-plan/

They have a $15 a month plan and a $20 a month plan. I'm looking at the $20 a month for her needs. It is 8 GB of data and unlimited text and talk nationwide. The plan also includes the sim card for her exact phone. Some carriers charge $3-$20 for the nano sim card. The difference is you pay in 3 month chunks at a time. It's not month to month it is more like quarter to quarter. I don't mind that. No contract and no cancellation fee.

Beware of YouTube videos because many of them are older from last year or 5 years ago and the plans change every 6 months. Also many are tubers are bought by a brand that they push for a buck and they don't have your interest at heart. They are a monkey dancing to the music. I'm hoping by the time we get our daughter to Los Angeles in August the plans will be even better. I'm writing this as of May 2019.

Now when you have a plan purchased that is not the price you pay. There are about $8 to $25 in taxes and recovery fees with many states like NY who charge 24% tax on phone usage. California is estimated to be about 1%. But sales tax is 10% on each bill. Then you add 911 fee and a few others. If you know someone in the area you will go to ask them to tell you how much the taxes and fees are. One carrier, US Mobile, pays all those fees. So their $42 plan is actually $42. But they have the worst customer service and many people were unable without great trouble to connect their phones. So my $20 plan of choice may cost $30 or less from my estimation.

Here is a link to a site that will tell you the cost of 911 service on your phone.
911 state by state fee chart for cellular service: https://www.nena.org/page/911RateByState

Each State has a recovery fee and then there are State, Local, and other taxes.

So good luck with your phone needs and finding that carrier to keep you in touch with your loved one. God Bless

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tokyo Radiation Levels as of May 2019

Hey it's been a long time. Because of Facebook and other social media my blogs became tweets and comments, so I have been absent. Now from time to time I have been caught or shown that I was posting false or unreliable information. Usually it is out of me sharing what others posted without checking the source. This latest information was someone else's research. The information was not accurate. I wanted to redeem my miss-information posting by showing other graphics of radiation levels. These graphics are what got my heart racing to post in hurry without checking the source.

 "A NEW CHART" from someone I respect and love who works with the government in our city who had posted a new graphic highlighting the levels of radiation in Japan. The Chart was quite shocking to see. The person posting was also sharing from another whom she respected and expressed her dismay at the graphic.

The problem is the graphic. With skill someone can make graphics appear dire and bleak. This one was grave. But then someone digs a little and the message comes gentle saying "You might want to check the source." So I do and find the conspiracy theorists were at it again.

They got me by eye candy. The activist who made the graph spends all his time uncovering the scandals and had compiled this graphic and listed it as more accurate and reliable. Now when
you compare it side by side with the government readings you find a more drastic difference. Who is right? Can you trust the government? I would like to think the Gov would be more reliable than the conspiracy

Other Countries are taking issue with the whole thing and opting to not import goods that come from "so-called" affected areas. Take Korea and the recent WTO ruling that S. Korea had the right to refuse to import goods from areas they deem unfit for their people. I don't think that's a bad thing. If I believed the lady in front of me with the sick runny nose kid sneezed on the produce. I will opt to go buy produce from somewhere else.

 Another cool graphic showing the soil samples. It's source below graphic is PINAS. Who? I tried to search it out. It's someones name or a city in the Philippines or a group of some kind. So we need, (I NEED) to be careful when we see these graphics and take them with a grain of salt and realize like the dinosaur pictures and the evolutionary pictures that are CREATED BY AN ARTIST we must receive in objectivity. In college they have graphic design arts classes. They are fun and you can make anything say what you want it to say.

Below is the graphic made by the government collecting the radiation readings from schools all over Tokyo. They are clean and clear as far as the air. This was made from daily readings and is a current display.

So in all of this mayhem. Tokyo is a safe place to visit and live and have your Sushi. But do keep an open mind and wait. Just remember that cool graphics don't always paint the most accurate picture. They also can mislead us. And above all just remember to keep calm and carry on.

A Bible verse that should of helped me. But alas my words were not few but rash.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why won't you believe

Stepping into Korea we found a world we have not known. The language the signage the social cues are all foreign. In Japan, when riding an escalator you stand on the left and allow others to pass on the right. In Korea there were no formal rules. The streets were like in the US drive on the right. The airport was very modern and then we drove south toward Osan. It was not like the TV series MASH that I grew up knowing. It is a beautiful country. In Osan, the buildings are many with high rises on every side. Yet as we got closer we noticed the area take a drastic turn and become seedy and run down. The streets had slum like conditions with open garbage dumped on the streets. Not in cans or bags. The buildings were stacked one on top of another with massive signage that made it confusing to know which sign belonged to which business. I noticed in the days that we were there the repetition of the businesses. A liquor store, a bar, a sports store, a gift shop repeat. There were many restaurants like BK-31 McD's, and Pizza shops. Once on base we entered another planet. The groomed grass parkways and organized streets with condominium like buildings for housing and offices gave way to a sprawling landscape out of a movie. It was another city within the city. We walked for 30 minutes before we got to the Commissary and food court. Beyond that we came upon the Schools. In that area was a fitness building with a gym that has two basketball courts back to back. This allowed the organizers to layout 5 wrestling rings end to end. 16 High school wrestling teams assembled for the three days of wrestling in multiple wrestling classes. Nathan wrestled in the 141 weight class. He place 4th out of 16. We praise God and thank him for the opportunity for Nathan to wrestle and enjoy the sport. I really am thankful that dispite the difficulties he stuck with it to the end. Each night we went with the wrestlers to dinner at various Korean restaurants. It was wonderful. The food was good and hot (spicy hot) but everyone had a good time.
    After the wrestling was over we had our last day to visit two friends from our kids school. The Korean government is very strict about what school the kids can attend. It is very difficult to go to an international school. So many families will relocate outside of the country and gain two years experience which earns them the right to attend an international school in Korea. The Kim family is a family of Doctors. The husband and kids are all Christians but the mom, who has attended church for 15 years has never given her heart to Christ. She knows the gospel and knows the consequences. Yet still she is playing with fire. I tried to politely pursuade her to reconsider. She politely declined. We talked on the way to the airport but she has her reasons. I told her I would pray for her as we love her and want to see her in Heaven with all her family. She thanked us. Please pray for Mrs. Kim. I really feel the wrestling was secondary to the primary mission God wanted us to plead with her soul to receive him. She is wrestling on the inside and she can't pin down what it is. Yet, she continues to grapple with God. May He prevail over her life and she surrenders to Him.
    On Tuesdays, I meet with other Calvary Pastors for breakfast and study. We have been almost a year in the book of Jeremiah. This week we were in Jeremiah 40.  It is so sad that though the people knew Jeremiahs prophecies and saw the fulfillment of it all they still refused to listen and though they were told to not got to Egypt they still went. How is it we as humans can ignore God's warnings? It seems unfathomable yet we all sin including me and we all disobey and stray. It is by grace that we are saved through faith and that not of yourselves. Oh that God would give to Kim san that saving faith to receive the grace he has for her. Love you all thank you for reading and praying.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jama or Ojama or Love

Today, 10-29-2016
I was in a hurry. A lady was not driving though a green light as she was waving to someone on the sidewalk. The person wasn't looking and the driver was taking 30 seconds to try and get their attention. When she did turn I pulled up to pass her and rolled down my window and shouted 'Jama" 邪魔 [じゃま (jama)]" see note at the bottom. "Jama," can mean, "you're in the way," or get outta the way depending how you say it. I believe I had the best intentions when I said it. My son swears it was close to an epitaph. I didn't use the honorific “O”in front to make it more polite (Ojama). At that point, my son sitting next to me and sinking down in his seat says, "Hey dad, can we go back and invite her to church?" I shot back, "Dude you sure know how to ruin my day." I now know what book I'll write now. "How NOT to be a missionary/pastor/father/Christian/or ambassador for Christ”

I got to thinking more about it and reflected on the scriptures this afternoon. Below are my thoughts.

Matthew 5:21-22
21“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you
commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’
22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!
If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the
court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (NIV)

I was wrong and verbal and expressive. This is not by any means an excuse for my behavior in fact it wasn't the first time. I probably feed this attitude of my heart because I mumble under my breath. In stead of having a heart of compassion I had a heart of business and indifference. I was rude and a misrepresentation of Christ. So according to 1 John 1:9 I am forgiven as I confess my sin to Jesus. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As much as I am addicted to coffee I am more addicted to God's grace.  The final thought I had on this even though what I did was bad on many levels because I was verbal... the scriptures show that even if you think the thought of something bad your are equally guilty. Oh may the Lord purge our hearts of evil thoughts. I need the heart of Jesus more and more. 


邪魔する ‎(hiragana じゃまする, romaji jama suru)
  1. to impede, to obstruct
    その車が通過 (つうか)邪魔 (じゃま)しています。
    Sono kuruma ga tsūka o jama shite imasu.
    That car is impeding passage.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Christians that are haters...Stop it!

Warning I'm treading into the ring and shouting at the Christian haters. I am not endorsing any candidate. I am talking to Christians in general. Yes this is way too long.

1 John 5:16 "If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

Galatians 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

6 months ago Donald Trump was not a born again Christian. Recently Christian leaders have been meeting with Mr. Trump and have stated that he has in fact prayed to receive Christ. If this is true (and this is a big if) then the above verses must be applied especially since his sin was in the past and our Savior Jesus has forgiven and forgotten Mr. Trumps Sin. Yet I am seeing just vile anger and guile toward this sinner saved by grace. I am questioning many of my social media friends on whether or not they have truly received grace?

Trump is not an idea candidate but he is who God sovereignly has provided to you republicans. Trump 6 months ago was and still is a Sleazy real estate mogul that was known for his strip clubs and gambling casino's around the world. He's cheated on his wives not a new revelation. He is rife with sinful actions. Now he turns and hears the gospel and receives Christ. He is a new creation. You hear about his past sins and the American Christian turns on him and shouts off with his head. Like crazy demonic eyed ISIS fighters there are many Christians that are hateful to Trump. Stop it! It's not Christian. I am a pastor and missionary here in Japan and I have to explain your vile actions to our church members. Trumps actions are easy to explain because they were pre-Christ. But you Christian are just flat out embarrassing. I have no explanation for why a so-called Christian would become so blood thirsty for one of their own.

I am reminded of the parable in the book of Judges.
Jotham’s Parable

When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted,
“Listen to me, citizens of Shechem!
Listen to me if you want God to listen to you!
Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king.
First they said to the olive tree,
‘Be our king!’
But the olive tree refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing the olive oil
that blesses both God and people,
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

“Then they said to the fig tree,
‘You be our king!’
But the fig tree also refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

“Then they said to the grapevine,
‘You be our king!’
But the grapevine also refused, saying,
‘Should I quit producing the wine
that cheers both God and people,
just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

“Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said,
‘Come, you be our king!’
And the thornbush replied to the trees,
‘If you truly want to make me your king,
come and take shelter in my shade.
If not, let fire come out from me
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”

If you don't continue with what you started and Hillary gets elected you may find yourself burned in the process.