Encouraging

  • “A‌s you prepare for the ministry, I would like to share some key attitudes that can be used by God to greatly minister to the Japanese church and people: 伝道スピリット (dendo supiritto): spirit of and [...]
  • I’m sure we have all gone through periods when we don’t pray that much. That doesn’t mean we don’t pray at all, but sometimes our prayer life can become a meaningless round of perfunctory platitudes. [...]
  • Of the various lessons I’ve learnt during the three years I’ve been in Japan, the biggest one has been about spiritual warfare. In particular, I have been surprised by how real and how normal it [...]
  • “I want so much to belong. Sometimes I think I kind of belong and then I realize that I really don’t belong. The scary thing for me is that I don’t belong in America. I [...]
  • I was standing on the sideline of our kids’ soccer field, chatting with a bilingual friend, when another Japanese mum we hadn’t seen for a while came over to chat. It all seemed ordinary enough. [...]

Inspiring

  • A‌bout to embark on my ninth trip to Japan, I was assailed by the same questions from my family and friends as I prepared to leave them once again: Why Japan? Do you think you [...]
  • Paul exhorts us to “in everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18 NASB). Here, I consider some of the benefits that can flow to us through following this exhortation. Dispelling negative emotions Being thankful can sweep [...]
  • At the age of 25, Masako Tanaka left her job as a personal care assistant and moved to New Zealand. It was around that time that the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, and she [...]
  • I had a deep desire to share the gospel with Japanese people when I arrived in Japan in 1951 at the age of 20. I met Phyllis, who was also with the same mission, about [...]
  • C‌hristmas and Easter can be difficult seasons for singles. They can also be times filled with expectation, worship, and joy in the Lord. Many variables influence whether a season is joyful or painful: one’s background, [...]

Equipping

  • When I do premarital counseling, I tell couples to listen, listen, listen to each other. In Japanese, I write kiku, the verb for listen, three different ways, きく、聞く、聴く. In hiragana, kiku has a soft feel. [...]
  • Google “writing inspiration” and you’ll get millions of suggestions. Finding inspiration can be a problem even for full-time writers. So here are some ideas for next time you don’t know where to start on your [...]
  • Each stage of language and culture acquisition has its own challenges. Probably the greatest battle in the early stages is against the feeling of being overwhelmed and discouraged. The goal of fluency can seem very [...]
  • “I’m going to get married!” My wife and I rejoice with them at the happy news. But when we enquire who the lucky man is, we discover he’s not a Christian. This scene has been [...]
  • The smell of blueberry muffins wafted through cabin 33 at Takayama.1 The girls were called from their beds, “And don’t forget your bathing suits!” Café au lait was in the thermos, while there was hot [...]