Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Kindness of the Lord, through Taka
I was just talking with my boys about leaving to go help up north. Noah, my three year old has been trying to understand it. "What if you crash, Daddy?" he asks. "Well, if we are careful and pray, God will protect us, Noah." I replied with just a bit of nervous tension, thinking about all the dangers and horrors we just might actually witness there.
After a few moments my two-year-old Taka responds, "But God's nice." I didn't hear him at first, so I said, "What, Taka?" And Taka replied again, "But God's nice, Daddy." Wow. Through the mouths of babes!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leaving on Mar. 31st for Sendai

We Need Your Prayers!
From March 31 to April 10, I will be joining a team of 3 or 4 others to join the relief efforts through CRASH Japan in the Touhoku area. This is the area where all of the main earthquake and tsunami damage is most severe. Please pray.

At first I was thinking that I would not be able to join for various reasons. One problem kept coming after another. It is now apparent that I will be away from my kids and wife and most modern conveniences for about 10 days, as we give relief to people in the area in various ways. Please pray that our time and work (which will be almost completely non-verbal service) will be a blessing for many. Pray for good communication, love and joy to be in our midst, and for God to be glorified through everything.

I have to admit, I have some nervous excitement in the thought of going. It will be great to help in practical ways, and at the same time it will be very hard to be away from my young family so long! The radiation should not be a problem where we are, but there are probably some health risks in going. Please pray for our safety and for the safety of others in the area.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When I pray for Japan, what should I pray?

A lot of key things to pray for here- Much better than, "Please bless Japan."
People Can Live Again
Christian congressman from Japan says Jesus is the only hope for his countrymen in the aftermath of the disaster.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Scripture is Essential for Christians
John Frame:
"...Jesus says that if we love him, we will keep his commandments (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23, 15:7, 10). Remember that his words are absolutely necessary for our lives (Jn. 6:68). If we do not do as Jesus says, we may not call him Lord (Matt. 7:21-27). Since Jesus wrote no books, we must trust the writings of his apostles and disciples, the NT books, to meditate our covenant relationship with Jesus.
People often claim to have a personal relationship to Christ, while being uncertain about the role of Scripture in that relationship. But the relationship that Christ has established with his people is a covenant relationship and therefore a verbal relationship, among other things. Jesus' words, today, are found only in Scripture. So if we are to have a covenant relationship with Jesus, we must acknowledge Scripture as his Word. No Scripture, no Lord. No Scripture, no Christ.
(p. 212 - The Doctrine of the Word of God)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Adoption-Unfriendly Culture
It is hard to get across the beauty of adoption to Japanese people. Even in Japanese Bibles the word adoption cannot be found. In a non-verbal polite culture where honor is key, adoption brings up unshared thoughts of dishonor and shame.

Foreigners looking to adopt a Japanese child orphaned by the recent earthquake may be surprised to know their help, in that respect, is not wanted at the moment...
“Very few adoptions take place in Japan domestically and only about 30-34 last year internationally” despite having “about 400 children’s homes in the country and about 25,000 children approximately in those homes,” Defilipo told “Bloodlines are exceptionally important, so the whole idea of adopting or raising a child that’s not your own or isn’t part of your extended family is relatively unheard of.”

Read more.

Please pray for these orphans, and that Japanese Christians would get a vision for bearing the reproach, just as Christ did, for the sake of those in great need.
Demonstrating the Gospel:
Christian Workers at Nuclear Plant

There are several Christian men working on the pipe connection for the cooling system of the Fukushima nuclear plant. These are workers that have volunteered to essentially sacrifice their lives for the good of their country and the world. I find it interesting that so many are Christians despite there being about 1 Christian man in every 400 people in Japan. Please pray for these men. The leaders' names are Seiichi Kisaka and Naoyoshi Sato.
Other Christians known to be in the plant areas:
Mr. Shibuya is in the Fukushima Nuclear Plant One.
Mr. Nakamura is in the Fukushima Nuclear Plant One.
Mr. Kita departed to the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Two Saturday.
Mr. Yatsuo went to the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Sunday.
Mr. Nishimura went to Fukushima Nuclear Plant Two on Monday.
PRAY for their witness to co-workers! For the Lord’s protection, and success in the work!

And a Christian Japanese man headed the team that reconnected the fallen power lines so that electricity could flow again to the power plant. Many, many people prayed for this man and his team! And they were successful! The last I heard electricity was flowing again to reactors 1 & 2 and they were trying to do the same for reactors 3 & 4.

They were going to try and douse the reactors (namely reactor
#3) with water again but decided to concentrate all efforts on restoring
electrical power to the plant so they could use the water pumps, which would
be far more effective. As it turns out, the project head is a Christian.
His name is Naoyoshi Sato, believed to be a member of the First Baptist
Church of Fukushima.
So please join all of us so we can pray as one. Pray for God’s anointing
upon Sato-san. Pray for a miracle, and that he and his team will be able to
accomplish restoring electricity to the badly damaged power plant and that
the water pumps will be functional to cool the reactors down.
Also, please pray that just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were
protected from the burning furnace, Sato-san, his team, the firefighters,
police officers, members of the self-defense force and government officials
on the scene will also be fully protected from all harm.
And pray for a solution to the crack in the reactor which could result in
major radiation leakage.
HT: Steve Clark
May all those involved witness the power and majesty of God that all
glory will be his.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Press Release - March 21, 2011
CRASH Japan Teams Reach Those in Need
Tokyo, JapanMarch 21, 2011 – As relief efforts to help local communities and churches intensify more than one week after the quake, hope is still strong for survivors and their loved ones as fresh news of rescues and reunions filter through. Okamoto Hiroshi, pastor of Ishinomaki Bible Baptist Church in Sendai, was feared lost when contact was cut following the tsunami. “No one had been able to locate him,” said Tim Cole, a missionary in Japan whose parents planted the Ishinomaki church. “The tsunami decimated the area they were living in.”

After repeated attempts to make contact, Pastor Okamoto was located by a CRASH Japan relief team. “They went and found him,” explained Cole. “Miraculously, his house was one of the only ones in the area not affected.” Acting quickly at the time of the quake, Pastor Okamoto was able to drive around the houses of his congregation and rescue those living in low lying areas. Taking any who needed help to higher ground, Okamoto’s church, which stands on a hill, is now home to both his family and his congregation. A third team left from the CRASH Japan command center in Tokyo today, ready to deliver assistance and support.

CRASH Japan team members were also present to witness survivors being pulled from the wreckage of their home in Sendai. Attracted by the shouts of emergency workers and those trapped in the house, Ken Ito and others saw Sumi Abe, 80, and her grandson Jin being rescued despite days trapped in the freezing wreckage of their family home. “We’re working with local pastors and I personally went round local houses asking what they needed,” said Ito. CRASH Japan’s sustained efforts to reach those most in need continue, with resources still desperately required to help relieve the crisis unfolding in Japan.

ALIVE! After 9 Days Trapped Under Tsunami Rubble:

Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved?

Christian Audio is making available for free (until March 31) the audio download for John Piper's little book, Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved?

You can read some of the book online for free as well.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Should We Pray for Japan?
I am heartily recommend this booklet to help you pray for Japan. You can download it for free here or look at it online.
It looks like I will likely leave for the Sendai area in a week or so to do relief work. Please pray for my family and for my own safety as I will probably be gone for over a week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Stripe
This family preferred to play a game called “There’s Waldo.”

How Do We Proceed from Here?
Here is Jonathan Wilson from CRASH Japan, the relief organization I am planning to volunteer through:
Click HERE to donate to CRASH.
Which Languages are Most Difficult for Native English Speakers to Learn?
I would probably say English is one of the most difficult languages for Japanese to learn as well.What Are The Hardest Languages To Learn? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tohoku Earthquake - Day 5

Trey Rowzie:

I thank each one of your for your continued prayers. As you may already know, the situation is worsening at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Radiation has been already been detected on civilians and US Navy personal. With the possibility of a reactor leak becoming more of a possibility, your intercession is even more crucial.

In addition, the death toll is rising and rescue workers are struggling to get to the thousands of stranded survivors. Please continue to pray for God's protection for those still stranded and possibly injured that they would be rescued. Also pray for God’s protection of the rescue workers as they are working in an extremely unstable and dangerous environment.

Some survivors have been able to get to makeshift shelters that were once schools or other municipal buildings. However, with a lack of normal transportation, relief effort is finding it difficult to provide basic necessities such as food and water to the many shelters being formed. For example, on Sunday, our church reported that there is a family member who is stranded in one of this shelters. Although they are safe and able to regularly call home, there is a growing concern over the lack of food there. Please pray that essential supplies (water, food, medicine) can be delivered to these isolated people who have already experienced traumatic suffering.
Crazy Shots of the Tsunami
As a Japanese friend wisely stated, "Get away from the Tsunami!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In American News
I appear at about 9:20 on this video. Though I am not a student, like they say, I think it is fair to say I was and am still being very affected by all of this. Please pray for some friends who are still missing loved ones!

My brother and I were on one more news program in KY here:

What God Has Done for Us


Saturday, March 12, 2011


For up to date video:

Please pray for God's wisdom as Maki and I decide how we can be involved in helping the recovery efforts.

My friend and co-worker Trey Rowzie writes:

As news reaches the rest of the world, I've been encouraged by the response from friends and family. Please let me first say again: in Kyoto we are far away from the epicenter (450 miles/ 730km) and in-land so that tsunami did not affect us. However, for the rest Japan, there is a great need for your prayers.

In Tohoku region, northeast of Japan, Miyagi prefecture as well as Iwate and Fukushima prefecture were the hardest hit by the 8.8+ Magnitude quake and later tsunami estimated up to 10 meters (33 ft). The tsunami has damage much of the Pacific coastline in Japan. A day after earthquake, there are still aftershocks and much of the coastline is still under tsunami alert.

Rescue work has begun but it will be some time before we know the true extent of the damage and lose. Since experts say that the first 24 hours are crucial in rescue efforts, please pray that survivors could be found quickly and brought to medical care.

In other urgent news, it was reported this afternoon that there was "some kind of explosion" inside the Fukushima #1 nuclear power plant that injured 4 workers. The backup cooling system failed during the earthquake and they have been trying to contain the problem by dumping water into the reactor’s core all day. At the plant entrance, some amount of radioactive cesium was detected (over 1000 microsievert). People 10 km from the plant have already been evacuated. Now as a precaution, the evacuation radius has been expanded to 20km and evacuating begins for the area around Fukushima #2 nuclear power plant as well. Teams specializing in radiation are now being deployed to the area. Please pray that the reactors could be brought under control and that contamination would be contained.

CRASH Japan is now organizing a volunteer effort that will work with local relief efforts when civilian teams are allowed to enter these areas. There will be much need for your help. If you are in Japan and are willing volunteer or overseas and wanted to know help, here are two sites for you.

CRASHJapan site (

Facebook CRASH Tohoku Quake Relief group (

Are you in Japan and need help or looking for loved ones in the affected areas?

Person Finder (

Japan Earthquake Emergency Information: For the international community
Contact at 0570-000-911 or 090-7170-4769 or or

How Christianity Started vs. Other Religions

Outside the Bible all we have is a private interpretation of solitary events and personal philosophies of man. Only in the Bible is there a complete public revelation from God, a work of the personal God throughout history, a story of grace and redemption from creation to consummation.
(HT: Z)
On the News!
My twin brother, Doug, and I were on the Louisville news about the earthquake. Check it out here.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Today at 14:46 in Japan, a 7.9 Magnatude earthquake struck just of the coast of Honshu in the northeastern coast of Japan. To give you an idea the magnitude of this
earthquake: in Kyotanabe, we are over 730km (450 miles) awake from the epicenter. However, we felt the quake and caused hanging lights to sway and people a feeling of motion-sickness.

Currently, there are a number of severe tsunami warnings of up to 10m (33 feet) all along the Pacific coast near the epicenter. The major tsunami warnings from Hokkaido all the way down to Okinawa.

If you are in these areas, please get to higher ground as soon as possible!

For the family of God around the world, please pray for God's protection for these dear people.

More information here:

Tsunami Warning Update (2011/03/11 19:04 JST)

Tsunami Warning

Japan Earthquake Emergency Information

Earthquake emergency contact information for the international community - please pass on.

If you need help, contact at 0570-000-911 or 090-7170-4769 or or

(HT: T.Rowzie)

Please Pray for Japan
We are okay in Kyoto.
I hear tsunami waves will be hitting everywhere in Japan and throughout the Pacific.
In Tokyo no one is able to use the train system. People are walking from station to station.
The largest earthquake ever in Japan... This is going to affect the food industry and economy for sometime.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Truth About You & Me
"A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar." - Mark Twain

Ps. 116:11 - "All mankind are liars"

"Born in Adam, we come into this world with a view of truth that winks at twisting of facts for the sake of personal benefit." R.C. Sproul

I thank God for transforming grace which can change us!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sometimes we are tempted to doubt God, or the Bible, or even our own motivation for believing it. What do we do about it? I think Piper's answer is very helpful.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Heart of Missions - Bringing Everlasting Joy!
J.D. Greear:
What an incredible video… this is one of the many Unreached People Groups in Southeast Asia… and someone allowed us to see what it was like for them to get the Word of God. Watching this video is like getting to heaven just a little bit early. Seriously, what would you rather invest your money in? And ask yourself, do you approach the hearing of the Word of God with this kind of anticipation?

The Kimyal People Receive the New Testament from UFM Worldwide on Vimeo.

(HT: Z)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Nuclear Strength Apologetics
This final part (part 4) wraps up a shockingly good series on apologetics. Watch it here.