April headlines for you from my corner of Japan-land:
At home, I swapped Japanese-language anime episodes for documentaries on the lives of Christian men and women.
- T’was a good choice.
- The father of the modern, global tourism industry was a Christian businessman in the UK named Thomas Cook. Through affordable travel packages, he wanted lower-class men and women to experience the beauty of God in nature.
- I’m intrigued by the “Life of David Brainerd.” They are his profoundly reflective and often melancholy series of diary entries. It was edited and championed by Jonathan Edwards. Brainerd shares his repeated failed attempts to evangelize different Native American tribes and his deep struggles with sin. This pivotal book from the 1700s is considered by many to be the primary impetus for the modern western missionary movement continuing today.
- The 3rd-century desert father named Anthony was a fascinating man. It’s incredible how much God can do with what the world considers a “worthless,” destitute, and humble life of obedience to Him. One story says he passed over a pile of gold coins in the desert because they would distract him from God’s calling on his life. Would you pass over that pile of free gold in the desert for God’s calling? If you think about it, Martin Luther was one of the first influencers. He didn’t get any ad revenue and never got a single royalty from his books that changed Europe forever. Copyright didn’t exist. Youtube wasn’t there to give him a diamond creator award.
We started a new Paz Bible College Course: Biblical Counseling.
- “The quality of your decisions determines your intellect.”
- “What feeds my mind controls my thoughts.”
- “Our lives hinge heavily on exactly what our definition of success is.”
Been Meditating on Jesus’ “fishers of men” analogy.
- Does Jesus intend for many groups to use “nets?”
- If a fishing pole is used:
- Is Jesus the bait?
- Are Spirit-empowered people the attraction?
- Perhaps the good works and Godly character of Christians?
- Can you go “fly fishing for souls?”
Our first Choose Life women’s Life Group, will finish its 12-step program this November.
- Our Life Group training group is expected to complete training by February of next year.
We held our Paz Japan quarterly vision retreat on April 19th, 20th, and 21st.
- We ironed out the baseline status for a healthy sending church.
- Identified a need to start building our youth program for up-and-coming teens / young adults.
- We learned more about the heart behind the successful church plants in Brazil.
Our Kids Church meeting space got canceled with only two days’ notice before the May 1st Sunday service.
- But today, Jesus opened a door for our Paz Kids to start meeting in a provisional space from next week. Praise God!
I entered my 3rd decade of life.
My production of Bible Bilingual episodes slowed to a more reasonable pace and shifted to a lower priority.
- But, I am still excited to continue sharing truth directly from the Bible on Youtube in a bilingual format. When time permits.
Japanese grammar and kanji studies still occupy at least an hour of my everyday.
We worked with printing companies in Japan to make a bunch of awesome Paz merch.
- The items are good conversation starters, breaking down common misconceptions about churches in Japan.
- New people and visitors feel cared for when they visit us and receive thoughtful gifts.
- (Send me a message if you want to pick up a sweet Paz hat or Paz shirt.) 😃
Thanks again for helping us make these good headlines happen. Our good God's glory is so worth it.
Unless the Lord Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the LORD protects the city, its watchmen stand guard in vain. -Psalm 127:1 (ESV)