Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guy's Night

Christian men are a huge rarity in Japan. Super busy schedules
may be the biggest reason for this. Japanese men simply do not
have time for anything!
Both in an attempt to get more fellowship for myself, and as
a way to encourage other guys in Christ as well, we have been
doing "Guy Nights". Once a month we are trying to get together
outside of the busy church environment, to simply relax, eat
together, study the Bible and share our lives. Last time we
threw in a little worship time too. All to say, God has really
blessed us all with this time. I hope that these men will
continue to see our home as a place to rest and be encouraged.
Please pray for this precious minority as we continue to meet!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Pilot Missionary Friend
God sometimes sends certain people that just make your life a little
easier. They encourage or help in such a way that you just can't help
but say, "Thanks!"
Rudy Vaughan, a pilot/missionary who works for UPS is one of these
types of persons in my life. Rudy wanted to be a missionary, but he
also wanted to be a pilot. Then God called him to be both! Rudy flies
for a living and then gets to stay in foreign countries for a few days
where he encourages missionaries and churches.
Two weeks ago Rudy came to rescue! Rudy spoke on "Getting a Vision for
your Christian Life" to our college Christians. We asked him to speak on
this because we leaders felt this is what God wanted us to emphasize. He
did a great job. It was refreshing to hear from a person outside of our
ministry. Many college students commented on the way his talk encouraged
them. The next day, Rudy presented a cool lesson on flight for my 4th and
5th graders. (Picture) He also encouraged the kids to think about how
they can serve and glorify God with their future jobs like he is doing.
We were all happy and thankful for Rudy.

Click here to look at
Rudy's ministry.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reformation Evangelism

As I read through Numbers, one thought keeps coming back to my mind: God is
Holy! He is quick and decisive in executing judgement on
people who dishonor His glory. In this period of grace, it is sometimes
hard to imagine how HOLY God is.

While thinking about this God led me to watch the 2003 movie, "Luther".
Of course Luther was quite literally struck by God's holiness and judgement
in a thunderstorm in 1505. From then on he vowed to give himself to God.
As a young monk Luther was zealous to be holy. Increasingly he realized,
however, that he was not holy and never could be!

There is a tendency to think that the Catholic Church, with its ritualistic
ceremonies is somehow more "holy" than Protestant churches. However, by the
true definition, people who try to be holy for God, turn out to be the least
! Like Luther, we need to be aware that only God is holy and then be
AMAZED at the wonderful grace and holiness of God to judge His Son on our
behalf so that we might be MADE holy!

Please pray as I use this movie in my Sunday English class. Pray for good
discussion and for people to see through Luther what true faith and love is.
Pray that they could see that the only Holy One is God Himself. May they be
drawn to this transcendent majesty!

...And have a wonderful Reformation Day - October 31st.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Need for Cultural Immersion

- I hope this helps you as you think and pray about how to love the people around you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Listen to Mark's testimony (w/Maki's translation)

just click here!

If you want to look for the CrossRoads Chapel podcast (most messages are only in Japanese), go to the podcast search and type in "Ogaken".

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A short hiatus from English...
I adapted this from John Piper's "A Quest for Joy"



イエス様の教えの目的(中心)は人のための喜び (神様によって)
ヨハネ15:11- 「私がこれらのことをあなたがたに話したのは、私の喜びがあな















#1 神様の栄光のために人は造られました。

#2 全ての人が唯一の神様のために生きるべきです。

#3 全ての人は神様の栄光を無視して、自分の神様を作ります。

#4 全ての人は公平な罰をもらいます。

#5 神様のひとり子を送る理由は人の罰を支払って、永遠の命と喜びを得るためです。

#6 イエスキリストを受け入れて、信じるなら、救われます。

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We want to bless you too!
Over the years many of you have so personally blessed our lives through your prayers and love.
Recently in talking with my brother Gary, he made a generous offer that I thought might help our ministry in Japan and you, if you live in Iowa.
If you know of someone who is thinking of buying or selling real estate, my brother Gary, and his wife Melynda Wolter, have been helping people like you for over 5 years now at Skogman Realty. Gary & Melynda have agreed to donate 10% of all money earned in your name to our ministry for every real estate referral after it closes. Please visit GaryWolter.com to learn more about them and their services. - Thank you Gary!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Let George Whitefield, the great revivalist from the 18th century, preach to you here on Ephesians 2. This blunt, unvarnished message is so different from the saccharine, feel-good sermons often heard from today’s pulpits:

“Come, ye dead, Christless, unconverted sinner, come and see the place where they laid the body of the deceased Lazarus; behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with graveclothes, locked up and stinking in a dark cave, with a great stone placed on top of it. View him again and again; go nearer to him; be not afraid; smell him, Ah! how he stinketh. Stop there now, pause a while; and whilst thou art gazing upon the corpse of Lazarus, give me leave to tell thee with great plainness, but greater love, that this dead, bound, entombed, stinking carcase, is but a faint representation of thy poor soul in it natural state;...thy spirit which thou bearest about with thee, sepulchered in flesh and blood, is literally dead to God, and as truly dead in trespasses and sins, as the body of Lazarus was in the cave. Was he bound hand and foot with graveclothes? So art thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions; and as a stone was laid on the sepulchre, so there is a stone of unbelief upon thy stupid heart. Perhaps thou has lain in this estate, not only four days, but many years, stinking in God’s nostrils. And, what is still more effecting, thou art as unable to raise thyself out of this loathsome, dead state, to a life of righteousness and true holiness, as ever Lazarus was to raise himself from the cave in which he lay so long. Thou mayest try the power of thy boasted free will, and the force and energy of moral persuasion and rational arguments (which, without doubt, have their proper place in religion); but all thy efforts, exerted with never so much vigor, will prove quite fruitless and abortive, till that same Jesus, who said ‘take away the stone” and cried “Lazarus, come forth,” also quicken you. This is grace, graciously offered, and grace graciously applied. Or as the Confession [Westminster Confession] originally puts it, “grace offered and conveyed.”

Monday, October 02, 2006

CrossRoads Fall Picnic

After lots of planning and help from Maki and others
it has been a joy to start putting on more activities
for our young adults. As you know, I have had a vision
for getting more natural opportunities for ministries
outside of events at our building. The purpose is to
love people where they are at and show them the love of
Christ as we do things together. Praise God that many
other friends seem to be feeling the need for the same

On Sept. 23 we had a little fall picnic, which God
blessed with great weather and several not-yet Christians
whom we were happy to see enjoy the day with us.
A personal highlight for me was the nice game of touch
football and of course the opportunity to get
to know one of the guys (Yuzo) a little bit better.

On the 26th, Maki and I had the privilege of teaming up
to give the bi-lingual message at CrossRoads Chapel. I
shared my testimony (which is recorded below for you - It
should be coming to Ogata's podcast soon also) and
afterwards I was able to talk to Yuzo who had some questions.
God seemed to use this story (really the story of HIS work
in my life) to speak into several people's hearts. May He
continue to be seen as wonderful and full of grace in everything
we do. Through this we can rejoice even when we struggle or even
when we mess up. God uses all of this to show His greatness,
mercy and love. To God alone be all the glory - Alleluia!

"I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south,
'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar, and my
daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called
by My name, and whom I have created for My glory,"
- Isaiah 43:6-7