A View from the Pew: Thanksgiving, Advent, and Missions

It’s a season for thanksgiving and anticipation, but I have a confession to make: celebrating abundance and extending a call to give at the same time feels incongruent. I have mixed emotions, and it’s hard for me to sort it all out.

Becoming a Church

Peter Pan premieres at the box office. Eisenhower becomes President of the United States. The Korean War ends. These events all occurred in 1953, the same year that a church plant was created.

Priesthood of the Believer

As a Baptist, I have always been drawn to the concept of the priesthood of the believer in church life. In scripture, we learn how Christ equipped everyday women and men to share his message and do great things in his name, and that we are called to do the same today, no matter our role in modern society.

Circle of Faith

A few months ago, we met a woman in her fifties from a neighboring prefecture who had come to visit Kanazawa Baptist Church, where we worship and work. We learned from our pastor that this woman’s father was a longtime church member, but had been in and out of the hospital and was nearing death.

Take it Outside

It was the early 1980s. It was Texas. It was December. It was a Southern Baptist church. It is customary in Southern Baptist churches to take up an offering during the Advent season to support missionaries overseas.

Formations 07.06.2014: Showing and Telling

As our lesson writer reminds us, Christianity is a missionary religion. In Matthew 28, Jesus calls us to make disciples of all the world. The early church took up this mission, and we can read about some of their earliest efforts in the book of Acts.

Spring and Sakura

Many people around the world know that Japan is famous for its abundance of cherry trees that blossom in the early spring with various shades of pink. During our first spring in Kanazawa, we were excited to see if the sakura (cherry blossoms) lived up to their hype.

Earth Day 2014

Creation care is a hot topic these days, especially in Christian circles. For Laura and me, we find it imperative to take care of what God has given us to be able to share it with those who will come after us.

Breath of God

Two weeks ago Laura and I took part in the annual CBF China-Japan team meeting in Macau, China. As part of our gathering, we did a tour of the city with our teammates and the Macau team members’ English students. We visited many beautiful sites, but the most famous and awe-inspiring were the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a historic Portuguese church near the center of town.

The White Whale

I began planning for winter when Laura and I arrived in September. I had heard how bad it could be and wanted to be ready. I brought a heavy jacket, thick socks, and weather resistant hiking boots to prepare, but soon found out that these particular boots would be a hassle.

Who Are My Neighbors?

As I sat down to the large banquet table, I began to quietly inspect the food sitting in front of me. I’m still learning about traditional, formal Japanese meals, and I wanted to prepare myself for what I would be partaking. I studied the small crab, bowl of soup, and some mysterious appetizers at my place setting.