Wednesday, September 9, 2009

C'mon - let's go!


Here are the lyrics to a song by Mr. Children (translated from Japanese), written by Kazutoshi Sakurai. I had a chance to hear them sing it live while I was living in Japan ... and then later performed it with some of the students at the school I taught at -we were in a Human Rights Club together - one of the best
experiences and privileges of my life.
I can still hear them singing...


The song is about choosing love, for love's sake - despite hardship - and because that is all part of the journey. Love is always the right choice. Together, we can overcome our fears, our differences, our self-centredness & pride, our politics, conflicts, problems, ideals, and yes, even our "religion".


I'd like to listen in on the conversation between
Sakurai kun and Jesus....

***************************


I can fly ~ you can, too Just spread your wings, let's go together! Go on and get your things together... C'mon, hurry up now. Do you think you can follow me without falling behind? In your case meekness, in mine kindness We both put on a show and it tires us out but still it means something... What do you think? Do you still want me? I wonder - can you say with certainty that we didn't meet just to hurt one another? The only answer I understand now, the one and only answer is I love you And I love you And I love you Even as I stumble - Unsure whether to believe or doubt A tomorrow with no guarantee, an immature passion I keep running the race, today Will you make it through yesterday with me? I can't fly by myself anymore Because you take some weight off of me Now, surely I can sing without being embarrased I can sing, I can sing I love you And I love you And I love you There are times when I suddenly feel the need to be alone I gaze at the moon from the roof I realize that the stronger my thoughts of you are, The more of a coward I become I can't be honest with myself and admit it But I felt the day coming When you'd stop lying to me And the future took a step, and another, closer to us I love you And I love you And I love you

Friday, August 21, 2009

Romance


The sacred romance of Christ
is the passion of my life...

He was my first...
... and will be my last

True Love!

Everything
and
everyone
in
between
the
beginning
and
ending
is a
gift that
I
offer
back
to him
in
praise and
thanksgiving.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sanctity


"...promise me, oh women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right..."

~ Song of Songs 2:7 ~





Monday, May 11, 2009

改善 (kaizen)



改善 (kaizen) is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. The two original Chinese characters that make up this word are: 改 (change) and 善 (good)... quite literally, "change is good". Well - that's a no-brainer! Or is it...?

I'm becoming acutely aware of how easy it can be to become too content, too comfortable, with the status quo. The way things generally 'are' or have 'always been' is not always the best, most life-giving, secure way. At some point, if I am sincerely interested in improving the quality and effectiveness of my work, my relationships and my commitment to God's higher purpose for my life, I need to consider the value of change and the notion of continuous improvement.

And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished. (Philippians 1:6)

With Christ's help, there is no end to the maturing process. (Philippians 4:13)

...The good soil represents those who hear and accept God's message and produce a huge harvest... (Mark 4: 1-20)


Change can be messy, for sure. It's frequently difficult, requiring effort and adaptation, even compromise, on my part - and it's often inconvenient. There are things in my life, my work, my character --that I would like to change or that I know need to change -- and yet, it rarely happens as soon as I'd like. It's easy to become discouraged, impatient and jaded when I don't see the desired results I'd like to see.... and things can often appear to get worse before they get better...

A different perspective, an improved attitude, a renewed commitment, a change of heart, a change of address... or simply a change of scene... can really do some good.






Friday, March 20, 2009

Time



Photo courtesy of Tara Craigon

It's been a time when, outwardly, not a lot really appears to be
going on.
Yet, on the inside, entire new universes are being
created, discovered, explored.

Deep healing has taken place;
Christ has turned some of my mourning to dancing,
some of my tears to Joy,
given me promises to count on.

We have been graced with the peace that
"surpasses all understanding" - a gift more precious than any
jewel or fortune.

I am walking alongside my sister as she journeys with breast cancer.
Answers to questions do not come easy.
I wonder...
Will answers come in time?
Would answers bring peace if we were given them?
Do the questions we ask and the responses we give
determine our destinies?

There is a man I love dearly.
If you asked me what it is that makes me love him,
I'd have to say
that it's nothing in particular and everything at once.

Simple & True.

I am learning.
I am reaching.
I am growing.

I am singing
myself
a love song
about

time

*







Thursday, January 15, 2009

No Doubt


Whatever doubts I may have harboured in regards to God's existence, protection and complete sovereignty - - they exist no more.

Selah!

For God has said, " I will never fail you. I will never forsake you."
(Hebrews 13:5)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reflection


It's taken me nearly two and a half years to really start sifting and sorting through the photos, journals and assorted memorabilia from Japan that I have had tucked away, in their proper place, until now. I say "until now" because it is only now that I have become removed enough from those memories to be in the frame of mind to organize and categorize and begin to make sense of what those three years meant to me.
I believe now that my decision to go to Japan, although I wasn't aware of it at the time, was a sort of self-imposed exile - a step away from the familiar and predicatable - that needed to be taken. The third year I spent there was beyond that - and not self-imposed - bordering on cruel yet necessary in a way I'm only beginning to understand. This seems to happen in cycles as a process of healing on the path to wholeness.
I've come to realize now that Christ was with me all along, through every trial and triumph and circumstance. I think of the cross on the hill in Murou ~ the one that no one said anything much about when I pointed it out. I would look at that figure every morning on my way to the school and during those lonely hours between classes or from the hospital bed in my school when I was literally falling apart. I don't think it is by accident that it was there - and I don't quite know why it was - and I may never know - but it was - - and it was not an accident nor an illusion.
I know there must be people who had similar experiences to mine.
I know of people who endured far worse - and those whose experience was without incident or concern. I wonder if it is because I am a Christian that my experiences unfolded as they did... I recently was told that many Christians were martyred, not so long ago, in a town near to where I lived. Why the fear? Why would the God that so few in Japan believe in pose such a threat to the point of mass murdering Christ followers?
I am not ashamed to say that the more I stood up in my faith, the more oppression I experienced - and the final months leading up to my departure from Japan - despite the kind words people would say and my obvious desire to stay - the one thing I sensed most clearly was "leave here!"
I can't explain it and don't feel I have to justify or defend myself to anyone.
That is how it was and it broke my heart because I gave of myself - and of Christ's love- purely and deeply to the people I met in Japan. And there are those who truly loved me while I was there - for me, those ones are obvious now and I hope they know who they are.
I wonder if that is exactly why I felt such opposition and resistance at times...
we humans often do not know what to do in the face of Christ, in the face of truth, unconditional love and mercy. I imagine it's fear that gets in the way of receiving it.
I imagine it's pride and ignorance that prevents the reciprocation of it.
How I wish to rise above all that and just simply love & be loved - here, now, forevermore.
As I enter into this new year, I count my blessings, I look ahead - leaving in God's capable and willing hands the hurts, successes and failures of this past year. Anticipation suspends me momentarily as I sense this is a time of waiting, acceptance, renewal and preparation for good things to come.