Nonogaki Reports – Jan 2017
The American Congregation – Jan 4 2017
We had Bro. John Phillis to work with us from July to October. He stayed at our church building, which is not the best living environment. He is a member of a local congregation in Albuquerque NM. He also works with the military outreach program which the Bear Valley Church of Christ has supported. We are still a few in number, but we trust in the Lord, who says “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Our Singing Ministry – Jan 4, 2017
There are lots of good Christian songs written by Japanese people who belong to denominations. Lots of them are songs for children and teenagers. I believe we should use them to attract people to Christianity. Maybe because of Japanese culture, Japanese worship services in some congregations are very gloomy in comparison with American worship services. In contrast, the messages of the new songs that I mentioned are very good and uplifting.
In Japan lots of people commit suicide every year. Many are mentally ill. Many people are dependent on their parents and cannot have a job for themselves. Even if they have a steady good job, they cannot keep it. I would like to help those people and reach out to them. The gospel of Christ has power to save them and set them free from the bondage of sins such as worry and fear. I pray somehow by the power of God this pagan nation, Japan, is going to be filled with lots of lots of Christians. Would you pray with me for this cause?
Planning to Visit the U.S. – Jan 6, 2017
I visited the US congregations about three years ago. If possible, I would like to take my wife, Mari, with me this time. Tentatively we are thinking about fall 2017 or spring 2018. Recently her worker has been injured by a traffic accident and has been in hospital since then. This has made Mari extremely busy. She goes to work at 7:45 in the morning and comes home around 7 in the evening. It has effects on my daily schedule. Now I do all kinds of housework from cooking to cleaning. No big deal, but I just do it.
The Lectures on the Work of the Holy Spirit – Jan 6, 2017
About 4 years ago I had a series of three lectures on the role of women in Christ’s church. I thought that was really a challenging topic. This year from January to March I have three lectures on the work of the Holy Spirit. This is also a challenging topic.
Today Christians can get all kinds of information through Internet and listen to denominations’ preachers and pastors. Japan is not different from any other country. It is true that the interpretations of the work of the Holy Spirit are varied from denomination to denomination. This has created confusions among Christians. Particularly the interpretations of this topic can be very subjective and based on each individual’s personal experiences. It is extremely difficult to deny his experiences which are largely part of his faith.
In these lecture I will go back to the Bible to explain plainly what the Bible tells us about the work of the Holy Spirit. I will not deny the power of the Spirit but rather uphold His power and work in each Christian. But at the same time I realize my own human limitation on understanding the work of the Holy Spirit because God works in a mysterious way beyond human knowledge.