Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yoshua Speaks!

Our good friend Yoshua was the special speaker last Wednesday nigh at churcht.

This was his first time to teach. Yoshua taught from the book of Philemon. You can tell he is the son of a preacher because he taught through the whole book! :)

You did a great job Yosh! Looking forward to the next time.

Ping is Here

It is good to see Ping again. She is living in Taiwan now, but was able to come and visit for a few days. Of course, we put her to work; she made us some Kimchi Nabe. It was so good!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Activities

We had a nice Christmas this year. It would have been better if Dan was off, but he left work early so it wasn't too bad.

After work, we all went to Awase Golf Course Restaurant for their special Christmas Dinner.
We got our fill of Turkey, Roast Beef. Ham and all the sides. They had lots of pies too! Since we cannot normally get some of this type of food, this was a real treat!

We met Nozomi (not pictured) and Towa there as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to All!


We are counting down the days of Christmas by focusing on the symbols of Christmas.

Click on the numbers to see what they symbolize!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 24 - Candle

If you light even a small candle the darkness flees rapidly. We saved the symbol of candle for Christmas Eve for two reasons:
1) Many churches hold a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. It is very interesting to watch how one flame is used to ignite many others until there are many flames burning. But also,

2) the purpose of these symbols was to keep our focus on Christ, rather than the commercial, worldly aspects of the holiday. As one candle flame is passed on to another and another the light is spread out. As you share the love of Jesus with even just one neighbor, family member or co-worker, there is a good chance that they will in turn pass on that love to another and another person. Let's be faithful to be "let our lights shine before men."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 23 - Gift

We often associate gifts with Christmas. Why not? Truly God blessed us with the greatest gift of all by sending His Son Jesus to the earth. Also the wisemen brought 3 gifts (Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh). As God blesses us with things, let us make sure we also bless others!

Matthew 2:10-11 – When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 22 - The Star

Earlier we looked at Christmas Lights and mentioned how Jesus said that "We are the light of the world." But Jesus also said that He is the Light of the World. How can they both be true?

Well, easy: Jesus is the Light of the World. His glory shines on us, and we reflect His light. (Much like the moon reflects the light of the Sun).

Matthew 2:1b-2 – Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 21 - Wisemen

Today's symbol is the Wisemen. They knew the scriptures; the prophecy of the Messiah. And they were watching for the sign (the Star).

The wisemen remind us to be watchful for the Lord at work

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

As they say: Wise men still seek Him.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 20 - The Sheep

Since Jesus is our shepherd, that makes us the sheep. As John's Gospel says,

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; -- John 10:27

Let's make sure we are listening for His voice; and then follow Him.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 19 - Shepherds

Luke 2:8 – And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

When we think of the shepherds, we should also remember that God is our shepherd. Just as the shepherds watch over their sheep, God watches over us with protection and provides us with the things we need.

John 10:14 – "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Emi's 5th Birthday!

Emi turned 5 today! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.

We tried to make it a special day:
  • Her 2nd favorite breakfast ("Egg in the middle"); we'll have her favorite (French Toast) on Saturday.
  • A stuffed animal (you can never have enough); this one is an Iriomote Cat, but it looks like a regular cat.
  • Her choice for dinner (Chicken and Rice), and finally,
  • Papa took her to the Christmas House for dessert.
We'll have a cake with Baba (Grandma) and Auntie Lisa on Sunday.

Happy Birthday Emi!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 18 - Joseph

Joseph became the husband of Mary and father to Jesus.

At first though, he was of the mind to not get married, since Mary was with child. Joseph decided to do what God wanted; not what he thought he should do.

Joseph reminds us of the importance of seeking God's will.

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had

commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. - Matthew 1:24

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17 - Mary

Today we talked about Mary. Mary is a good reminder of the type of person that God uses.

In Luke 1, Mary is told that she will have a baby and that she is to call Him Jesus. Mary was afraid, but she answered, "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

God uses people that are humble and willing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16 - Baby in the Manger

The Baby in a Manger reminds us of why we have Christmas. Christmas isn't about presents, or toys, or even Santa. It is about God's Son coming to earth.

Luke 2:7; 11-12 – ...and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn... "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15 - Angels

Angels are a common sight at Christmas. With good reason too, since they are an integral part of it. Angels, being messengers, were the ones that delivered the good news. It was an angel that told Mary she would have a child. It was an angel that told Joseph to stay with Mary. It was an angel that announced the birth of Christ and it was a multitude of angels that proclaimed "Glory to God in the Highest!"

Angels remind us of the importance of giving the true message Christmas: God's own Son came to grant us salvation. Share the Good News!

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:10-11

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 14 - Bethlehem

Bethlehem reminds us the journey Mary and Joseph took.

So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Luke 2:4

Joseph and Mary went where God led them; we need to do the same!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13 - The Christmas Story

As we come into the last two weeks before Christmas, we focus more on the real Christmas story. Tonight we read this book, The Christmas Story.

It is one of many that we will read this season.

Luke 2:11 - For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 12 - "Xmas"

We often hear about "Keeping Christ in Christmas", which indeed we should. Too many people focus on presents or Santa or whatnot. Growing up, we were told that "Xmas" was evil and we should always say Christmas.

Maybe so, but it is interesting that the early church would often identify themselves with this symbol, CHI RHO.
These are the first two letters of Jesus' name in Greek.

So now when we see "Xmas", instead of being offended, I remember how the early church would remember Jesus.

"and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." Luke 1:31

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11 - Snowflakes

What do snowflakes have to do with Christmas? Not much really; especially here in Okinawa!

However, they are often used as decorations this time of year and they can remind us of God. Just as every snowflake is unique; God created each of us uniquely. So next time you see a snowflake, remember that God created you for a specific purpose!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made -- Psalm 139:14

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10 - Poinsettia

View Image

The poinsettia is a rather recent Christmas tradition. Since it blooms at this time of year and has the red and green colors of Christmas, it seems like a natural fit.

However, poinsettias can also remind us of how God takes care of our needs. Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-30:

Don’t worry about our food or clothing (the things we need).

See the flowers in the field?

They’re beautifully clothed by God.

If God takes care of the flowers in the field,

won’t He take even better care of you?