Monday, April 28, 2008

Aren't there many paths to God?


Influence of the Internet on Suicide in Japan

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A 14-year-old Japanese girl killed herself by mixing laundry detergent with cleanser, releasing fumes that also sickened 90 people in her apartment house, police said Thursday as they grappled with a spate of similar suicides.

art.japan.suicide.ap.jpg

Emergency responders enter an apartment building in Konan, Japan, where a girl commited suicide.

None of the sickened neighbors in Konan, southern Japan, was severely ill, although about 10 were hospitalized, authorities said. The deadly hydrogen sulfide gas escaped from the girl's bathroom window and entered neighboring apartments.

The girl's suicide Wednesday night was part of an expanding string of similar deaths that experts say have been encouraged by Internet suicide sites since last summer.

Japan's government has long battled to contain the country's alarmingly high suicide rate. A total of 32,155 people killed themselves in 2006, giving the country the ninth highest rate in the world, according to the government.
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Please pray for those who are struggling today in Japan. Pray that they would find the hope of the world - Jesus.

Read here for more.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Evel Knievel and the Power of Prayer

Solitude & Community

My brother has some great thoughts here on the need for solitude and community. He has some wonderful practical suggestions also.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Is he praying? We wondered too.
: )


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Atheism: An Irrational Worldview

"Clearly, atheism is not a rational worldview. It is self-refuting because the atheist must first assume the opposite of what he is trying to prove in order to be able to prove anything. As Dr. Cornelius VanTil put it, “[A]theism presupposes theism.” Laws of logic require the existence of God—and not just any god, but the Christian God."

Read more of this fine article by Dr. Jason Lisle
Together for the Gospel

I am sure all of the messages at this conference are excellent. These are some of the top preachers and evangelists in America today. I encourage you to listen to Dr. John MacArthur though. I am listening to his message on total depravity (The Sinner Neither Able nor Willing) right now and am being humbled and deeply encouraged.

It saddens me, as it does MacArthur, that so many people reject this great basis of the gospel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Confronting Your Secret Sins

Watch or listen to my twin brother Doug as he preaches in Kentucky.

Monday, April 14, 2008

"One is more than many"
(by a fellow missionary near Tokyo)

As we were waiting for the students, a statement from the book, “Taking Men Alive” by Charles Trumbull came to mind:one is more than many.” In fact, presented as a Biblical paradox, it is probably the main point of the book. The book is a classic on personal evangelism. So when we returned home, I pulled it back off the shelf and skimmed through it again. It is one of the few books outside of the Bible that I have read through more than once. In my case, that is significant, since by nature I am an activist and not a reader!

Let me share a few more key points from this book:


Christ proclaimed his message by preaching, as his ministers must do today; but Christ won men and women to the acceptance of his message and of himself as Messiah and Savior by his loving, deeply personal, individual evangelism—conversational evangelism is has been well called. P. 37


Reaching one person at a time is the best way of reaching all the world in time. P. 41


But we can never have this needed knowledge of the man, as a first step toward winning the man himself, unless we devote our whole energy, for the time being, to knowing the man…. The art of taking men alive calls for tact (tact is simply touch) at the very beginning, which means, first of all, studying your man. P. 74


He then gives several principles:

1. Their present interest:

He must touch them at the point of their present interests, unworthy though these interests might seem in comparison with higher spiritual matters. He must use a bait that would attract these men just as they were, without waiting until they should come, of their own accord, to worthier interests. P. 77


2. Honest Commendation

It will land the most slippery human fish alive. No man can resist it. A word, heartily spoken, of sincere commendation for a fellow-being, will disarm opposition and draw him to us more effectively than any other method. P. 79


To be a good listener is one of the surest ways of winning and holding men. The “I can help you” attitude is fatal in this work; the “you are helping, or interesting, me” spirit is one of the secrets of success. P. 85


3. Use their “open nerve”


4. Follow-up – pursuer to decision and beyond


5. Explain in terms of Current Reality


All of his principles are illustrated with stories of people he interacted with over the course of his life. Several of the people initially showed no interest and would not be considered good candidates to hear and respond to the gospel. But over the course of time, through the interaction, their hearts changed. The stories bring life to the principles and make it an interesting, easy to read book.

In the back of the book, I wrote:


Keys to his life:

Ø Used every opportunity God gave him

Ø Was genuinely interested in the other person

Ø Followed through on each person


Two more quotes:

To win his confidence to me was a duty, if I would hope to lead him toward Christ. P. 96


But this leading of men to the Bible is to be accomplished, as a rule, by wisely recognizing that those whom we would win to Christ are probably not interested in the Bible to begin with: that their attitude is more likely to be indifferent or even antagonistic to it at the start. This being so, we shall do better to make our approach in the language of their everyday life and in the terms of their present interests, leading them later, with loving skill, to the Book without which any life is sadly incomplete. P. 121

Friday, April 11, 2008

Encouraging News on the Willow Creek Church front

Our of Ur blog reports:

Today, Greg Hawkins, executive pastor at Willow, recapped the study and then shared some changes that the church is now making in response to the research. He said they’re making the biggest changes to the church in over 30 years. For three decades Willow has been focused on making the church appealing to seekers. But the research shows that it’s the mature believers that drive everything in the church—including evangelism.

(HT. Vit. Z)



Monday, April 07, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Expelled

See Relevant Magazine's preview of the movie.

The film opens April 18 (in the U.S.) to approximately 1,000 theaters nationwide. Don’t miss this one.






See more at http://www.expelledthemovie.com/

1,250 years of Seeking Forgiveness


(heart4japan.blogspot.com)


Every year during the darkness of cold March night sparks fly, as monks shake 2.5-meter-long flaming torches with all their might, and bells and horns echo through Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan.


About 30,000 visitors flock to see part of the two-week ritual on the climactic night of March 12.

The more than 1,250-year-old annual ritual calls for 11 selected monks to cut themselves off from their usual lives and gradually purify their minds.


While the monks with the torches dance close enough to the fire to singe their eyebrows in a closed-door ritual, conducted in the temple's inner sanctum, one of the eleven monks splashes sacred water and others help to dust off the sparks from the floor. The other monks bow thousands of times to repent for people's sins.

According to Buddhist doctrine, people commit myriad offenses due to the ‘Three Poisons’ -- greed, anger and ignorance. When the offenses accumulate, people become unable to see the truth and become ill.

Since ordinary people cannot repent for their sins and misconduct, the monks do so, on their behalf in the ritual.


Source: Yomiuri News, by K. Sakane, 2006-06-20


Some people might think this is creepy. But I guess majority of us here would see this perhaps serve as a great redemptive tool for Good News! These people do acknowledge sins, and believe that there is a need to repent!


Many in the crowd might be there just for fun, but many more would be there simply believing that the Kannon will remove their sins, and they will be heal from sickness and troubles in life. We need to find these people and tell them what is the TRUTH! more




Jesus loves to lift up the weak
Update: www.lifewithoutlimbs.com

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What about those who never heard?
Greg Koukl has a good set of videos here on this and other topics.