Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I'll be back in August

 
Anne of Green Gables


Dear Sisters,

 
Hello, how are you, my fellow pilgrim? The other day, I wrote to my friend as follows;

Often, I feel like I am still a little girl and living in the dreamy "girlish" world. I remember there was a one-day "otomari-hoiiku (=over-night stay program)" in my kindergarten, and oh it was terrible! I kept crying, pleading my teacher, "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" Poor teacher had to lie beside me all night, trying in vain to soothe me.

Then I woke up to find myself in a far, strange country as a Christian missionary,,,I say to you that it is like another "otomari-hoiiku" but in a bit longer term,,

I don't belong to this country. We are all travelers on this earth, right? My soul is crying to Father, "Abba, I wanna go Home, I wanna go Home where you live!" May we all put off our earthly clothes and be swallowed by the majesty of His heavenly choir one day!

Ladies, I'll be away for about three weeks from tomorrow. So I won't be able to interact with you for a while. Oh I'll miss you!

May our Father keep all of us in His loving arms. May the earnest prayer of Jesus (,,that they may be one, as we are. John 17:11) would be answered through our mutual love and unity. In Jesus' name. Amen.

 
with much love and sisterly affection,

Kinuko


 

Make me like Thy clear air: Amy Carmichael

 



Love through me,
Love of God;
 
Make me like Thy clear air
 
Through which, unhindered,
colors pass
 
As though it were not there.
 
 
Powers of the love of God,
 
Depths of the heart Divine,
 
O Love that faileth not,
break forth
 
And flood this world
of Thine.
 
 
 
 
 
-Amy Carmichael
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Call To Be Pioneers: Headcovering Sisters, Let Us Open A Way Where There Is No Way!


 
"The Pioneer" art by Robert T.Barrett source
 
Are we conservative? Are we traditional? Are we "out-of-date" kind of stern-faced, solemn Christians? Is that what we, headcovering, modest sisters are supposed to be?

I tell you that I am inclined to be very conservative in everything, especially after embracing the creation order and biblical womanhood. Both my lifestyle (no TV, no radio, plain clothes etc) and my theology are fairly conservative. I'd thought being conservative overlaps or coincides with "biblical", until one day, I read the fiery message of brother Finny Kuruvilla, which challenged me. Here is what he says;

  "A final cautionary example is the word conservative. The Enemy would love to break Christians into docile, tame creatures who are loathe to rattle status quo. Consequently, care should be used when using expressions like "conservative Christian" or "liberal Christian." The term conservatives has three liabilities: first, it is not found in Scripture; second, it is allied to political parties; third, it is associated with preserving the existing state of affairs.
 
  "The latter liability has especially important implications for young people. "One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity is not conservative, but revolutionary." (Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, p.78)
 
 "Jesus' kingdom is at war; we need bold, courageous warriors--not timid, conservative bystanders. We need young people in a resistance movement against the world's powers. The need for boldness is well aligned with the natural impulse of youth.
 
  "Some of the greatest feats in the church age have been done by young people. Conrad Grebel, William Tyndale, Michael Sattler, John Wesley, David Brainerd, Adoniram Judson, and Amy Carmichael are but a handful of noteworthy believers who accomplished great things in the Lord while in their twenties or thirties." (Finny Kuruvilla, King Jesus Claims His Church, Chap 11. "The Propaganda of disobedience and the war of words", p.119)

Are we afraid of people's reactions against our head covering practice? Are we like fearful hamsters who are trembling at the corner of the church because nobody is doing it? Dear friend, I want to encourage you that you are clearing a new path right at this moment. Think about our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the true pioneer who opened the heavenly road to the Father by His courageous death on the Cross. And so are we who possess the Spirit of Christ!

  "Comrades, let us be resolute. Let us, by whatever name we are called, be Soldiers, Nazarites, Priests. Some will praise us, some will blame us; let us not care too much about either praise or blame. Let us live looking up, looking on--true by His grace, who has called us." (Amy Carmichael, God's Missionary)

Just like our brother Jeremy said, "more than a symbol is at stake (here)" regarding the head covering issue.

When we practice it out of our genuine love to Him and His word, we are,whether we like it or notpushed to the very front line of the ideological, theological and spiritual warfare in the 21st century.

Do we shrink back or press on? By our humble obedience, the Spirit in us moves forward, "casting down,,every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (II Cor 10:5)

Francis Schaeffer said that the world-spirit does not always take the same form, so we Christians must resist the spirit of the world in the form it takes in his own generation. And he quoted Martin Luther, challenging us to heed these words;

  "If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point." (Martin Luther, quoted in Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There)

Ladies, what is "that little point" in our generation, especially for the Bible-believing sisters? Yes, it is none other than the headcovering issue. And as Luther said, "where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved."


 

Untrodden path
Unknown path
 
Press on, press on
Little maidens!
 
Are you weary?
Are you downcast?
 
So let me carry your luggage.
And let me hold your hands.
 
See, my friend,
you've come that far
 
See, my friend,
the new path
you've made already
 
Press on, press on,
little maidens!
 
He is clearing a way
through you




-Kinuko

 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Interview with Bro.Joel Horst, the administrator of the Headcovering Directory Website

 
Jehovah-Jireh Farm, USA
 
Sisters, I am happy to inform you today that I could interview with Brother Joel Horst, a brother who is advocating head covering teachings publicly and courageously. Whenever I see and hear the brothers and sisters who have burning passion for Christ, my spirit is uplifted. So, let us incline our ears to brother Joel now.
 
1) What is your passion on this earth? What are you seeking in this life?
 
 
My desire is to love and serve God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and help others to do the same. God has called me to help bring unity to the church, "that they all may be one" (John 17). This unity will only come when we all follow Jesus Christ and His teachings alone.  I also desire to produce music that teaches Christians to follow Christ.

God has also given me a desire to help people be healthy by providing nourishing, wholesome, organically-raised food, and also by learning the secrets of health and longevity. Currently, I am working on our family farm, Jehovah-Jireh Farm, where we produce pasture-raised eggs, chicken, turkey and lamb. I also am the administrator for our websites, Biblical Research Reports, Free House Church Resources, Heritage Music, and The Headcovering Directory.

2) You are also defending head covering teaching publicly. Could you tell us the significance of this Bible truth and its recovery?

Headcovering, as taught in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 11, is one of God's commands that has been overlooked and explained away by the modern church. God tells us that, when praying or prophesying, a woman should cover her head, "because of the angels".
 
Headcovering reflects the order of authority that God has set in place, as well as glorifying God by covering man's glory (the woman) to show that God is the only One to receive honor and glory.

The temptation, when practicing headcovering, is to look at it as a "good luck charm" or a symbol of Christianity. However, God has not commanded that women cover their heads with a specific type of covering or that they must wear it all the time as a sign to the world.
 
He also has not promised that our prayers will be answered better, that our lives will go better, or that Satan will not be able to attack us, just because women cover their heads. At the same time, I believe that there is more to head covering than we realize. If God has commanded it, it is important.

It is also important that men obey God's command to pray and prophesy with their heads uncovered. In fact, I believe that it is even more important for men to pray with their heads uncovered than for women to pray with their heads covered. This is because a man who prays with his head covered dishonors Jesus, while a married woman who prays with her head uncovered dishonors her husband.

3) Through your blog, we understand how you were hurt and stumbled by the false teacher. At the same time, it is so touching to see how you have overcome (have been overcoming) this tragedy and been so faithful to Jesus Christ. Could you give some encouraging words to our readers who have been hurt or stumbled by false teachers in the churches?

I grew up under the teachings of Bill Gothard, whose organization produced the home school curriculum that our family used for 11 years. I believed that he was a very Godly man, until about a year and a half ago, when I found out that he is a liar, deceiver, fraud, sexual molester and wolf in sheep's clothing. Since then, God has been rooting out Bill's false teachings from my heart and showing me the truth. I don't think He's done yet!

There are many lessons that we can learn from Bill Gothard, but here's a few major things:


-Jesus has commanded us to beware of false prophets, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15-20). We must realize that false teachers are real, that there are more of them than we realize, and that we have to be on guard at all times against them. The Bible repeatedly commands and warns us not to be deceived. As God has taught me over the past year and a half, I have realized that there are many, many false teachers in the church today.

-Some false teachers teach extra commands and doctrines that God has not commanded in the New Testament. Others tell us that God's commands are not important and we don't need to obey Him. I used to think that the second type of false teacher was the worst. However, all false teachers are dangerous. All false teaching comes from the devil, the father of lies. All false teaching has consequences. Adding to God's commands is just as bad--maybe even worse, in some cases--as ignoring some of His commands.

-Jesus tells us that we will know false prophets by their fruits. When we see that a teacher is not living a righteous life, we then know that they do not have God's righteousness within them (1 John 3:7-10). We need to believe what God has said about such people and not make excuses about their behavior or teachings.
 
God warns us, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil..." (1 John 3:7) Often, these sort of teachers will tell false or exaggerated stories about how their teachings have helped people, leading us to believe that they are Godly and that their false teachings work.
 
Do not be deceived. When you realize that someone is a false teacher, stop following that person and their teachings. Ask God to help you sort out the good from the bad. Examine everything that you learned from the false teacher, and do not accept it as truth unless you can verify it to be 100% true.
 


-Do not react to false teachers and false teachings. There are many people who, once they find out that someone is a false teacher, reject everything that the person taught. This is very dangerous. We should not merely do the opposite of what the false teacher told us to do.

They may have been 95% correct. However, do not be deceived by something that is only 95% correct! The other 5% of false teaching can kill you spiritually! Instead, we need to find out what God wants us to do, and draw more closely to what He has taught us. His commands alone define what is right and wrong for the Christian.

-Ask God to cleanse your heart and mind of the false teachings that you have learned, and teach you what is truth. As time goes along, you will discover more false teachings that you have accepted to be true, that are affecting you more than what you realize. But God is faithful to teach us the truth and free us from the bondage of Satan's lies.

4) Could you describe how you have been conducting family worship? (also, if you have a custom to pray together as a family, please tell us about it, too!)

I used to be a Mennonite, but God led our family out of the Mennonite Church over 12 years ago. Since then, our family has worshiped at home. From time to time, other Christians have joined us, but currently it's just our family. I do believe that, in His time, God will bring others for us to worship with. I do not recommend that all Christians leave their church and worship by themselves. We need fellowship with one another. However, if you are part of a church, and God calls you to leave, then obey Him!

For many years, our family would have a time of sharing, prayer and/or Bible reading in the evening, before we went to bed. As we have grown up and bedtime has become a personal choice instead of one set time for all the children, we have stopped this custom.
 
Currently, we each spend time with the Lord while we eat breakfast, studying the Bible and learning what God has to teach us. Then our whole family gathers together for half an hour of singing before we go out to do our farm work. This is probably my favorite part of the day. We have sung through several song books, singing at least the first verse of every song in the book (with some exceptions).

Over time, this has helped to train our family to sing together, blend our voices harmoniously and read music. My mom, who plays the keyboard, has the gift of being able to play a song that she has never heard or played before, without practice. It is very helpful for training us to read music.


Thank you very much, Brother Joel!


(Joyous "4-day-old chicks" football match video, from his farm. It is so cute and funny!)

 
 
 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Oh, there was never a blossom that bloomed so blithe as she (Amy Carmichael): a poem specially dedicated to Sister Sanae in Japan


 

 
              I dedicate the below poem to my sister Sanae

As you all might know, sister Sanae is a full-time headcovering sister in Japan. She has walked closely with the Lord for nearly 20 years and she has been my constant help and companion.

Japan is said to be a "graveyard" for missionaries. Regardless of advanced modern technology and high moral standard, Japan is one of the most "backward" nations in terms of the spread of the Gospel. It is true that there are no physical persecutions, nonetheless, there exists unknown pressure or spiritual opposition in that society, which many Japanese Christians feel almost every day.

So you can imagine Sanae's situations and how she has walked her spiritual journey in that dry land.

One of her distinct virtues is her faithfulness. Dear headcovering sisters, Sanae knows many of you already and she has been praying for you quietly in her closet. She is not like a colorful red-rose in the show room; rather she is like a wild lily in the spring valley, hidden from crowds and noises.

When you feel everybody seems to forget you or discard you, remember that there is sister Sanae, quietly and faithfully interceding for you.

When I read the following poem, I thought of her, thinking that a "blossom" in this poem beautifully reflects her and her life. May His light in her shines brightly in this dark world. Amen.
 
 
 
 
Oh, there was never a blossom
That bloomed so blithe as she,
 
On the bitter land, by the salt-wet sand,
On the margin of the sea,
 
Where never a flower but the gorse can blow,
And the dry sea-pink that the mermen sow,
 
There grows she.
 
 
Oh, there was never a blossom
That bloomed so brave as she,
 
On the narrow ledge of the mountain's edge
Where the wild fowl hardly be,
 
And over her head the Four Seasons go
With a rush of wings when the Storm Kings blow--
 
There grows she.
 
 
Oh, there was never a blossom
That bloomed content as she,
 
In the heart that burned, and loved and learned
of the Man of Galilee,
 
And plant her high, or plant her low,
In a bed of fire, or a field of snow,
 
There grows she.
 
 
 
 
Amy Carmichael,
from Toward Jerusalem
 
 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lord, how great is our dilemma!: prayer poem of A.W.Tozer and,,,a hymn of praise to our beautiful Creator




Lord, how great is our dilemma!
 
In Thy Presence
silence best becomes us but love inflames our hearts and
constrains us to speak.

Were we to hold our peace
the stone would cry out;

yet if we speak, what shall we say?

Teach us to know that we cannot know,
 
for the things of God knoweth no man,
but the Spirit of God.

Let faith supports us where reason fails,

and we shall think because we believe,
not in order that we may believe.

In Jesus' name. Amen.


A.W.Tozer
 


O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

,,even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Cor 2:11





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear My Russian Readers, дорогие мои читатели, русские из вашего японского сестры во Христе

 
 
Я посвящаю этот пост для моей сестры Ирины и дорогих русских христиан .

Dear my Russian readers.

Hello. Thank you so much for visit. By His providence and also to my great joy, many Russian believers started to come to my blog! Oh, how happy I am! Today, I'd like to introduce to you several inspiring books which deal with Russian believers' testimonies. I was impressed by their steadfast faith and love to Jesus Christ. May our Lord bless you abundantly.


Это моя самая большая радость видеть вас на моем блоге. Я узнал от чтения книг , что там было так много замечательных верующих в России . В тяжелых гонений , они были верны до конца . Мы чтим их во имя Иисуса Christ.May Бога благословить вас и вашу семью в изобилии . от вашего японского сестры , Kinuko


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, here are some moving testimonies;



After accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior, Judith was compelled to leave her father's house, the young man to whom she was engaged and whom she loved dearly, her friends and her people. Her life, that henceforth was fully yielded and consecrated to the service of her Lord, found an end under the deadly blows of the swords of a group of soldiers following the Russian Bolshevik Revolution.
* Kegan and I highly recomment this book!


 


"True to the spirit of Russia's believers, this work gives a colorful and detailed description of faith 'underground.' But what makes it unique is the author's penetration of the soul of Russian belief — in so many ways dissimilar to western belief in God." —Leonid Maslennikov, Russian professor, James Madison University



Set in the early 1920s in the Ukraine, this book tells the true story of a Russian orphanage taken over by communists. Walter, formerly the children's leader in mischief-making, now led them in their secret worship services. They stood together in spite of persecution. Another inspiring account by the author of Judith.


 


Konshaubi is the story of a Circassian Muslim who grew up in the Caucasus Mountains in the middle of the 20th century when Soviet authorities were cracking down on religious freedom all over the USSR. As a boy, Konshaubi herded his family’s sheep in the lush green valleys of his ancestral homeland. One day while he was out with his sheep, he met a little old Russian man who told him about the shepherd David, the shepherd who had loved God and had written a song called “The Shepherd’s Psalm”. Intrigued, Konshaubi began attending Christian meetings and, in spite of fierce opposition from family members, gave his heart to Jesus Christ and was baptized.

Sadly, the registered Baptist church Konshaubi attended with his wife and children capitulated to the demands of Soviet authorities who forbade parents to teach their children about God. The spiritual life of the church slowly ebbed away until Konshaubi, along with other Christian brothers, became convicted of their sin in obeying the authorities instead of God. Konshaubi and a small group of other believers left the registered church and began to worship secretly together, including children and young people. Within six months, Konshaubi and six other Christian men were arrested. Konshaubi was sentenced to three years in prison.

It was in 1967, while Konshaubi was in prison, that he met Georgi Vins in a labor camp. Together, they started a tiny, but powerful secret church in that labor camp in the far north of Russia. Through their witness, several other prisoners came to faith in Christ. In fact, their influence was so powerful that the prison authorities eventually separated them, little knowing that the light of Christ cannot be quenched.

After Konshaubi was released from his first imprisonment in 1969, he was arrested and imprisoned two more times for preaching the Gospel, the final arrest being in 1985. Even though he suffered greatly for his unwavering devotion to Christ, he remained victoriously faithful, leaving a legacy for us to follow.
source



Miracle in Moscow, by David V Benson

from the Amazon book review

This is an amazing account by Benson of his work with and in communist Russia. He tells many stories about his first hand witnessing of the underground Christian movement during there, as well as his own dealing with the secret police. A very exciting and readable book. But he is also a highly literate man, and he has a very deep perception and insight into the human heart, thought and struggles, especially when under severe persecution. So combined, his writing reams a very eloquent and powerful impact. If you're a Christian, or want to read about a REAL Christian (and he speaks very genuinely and honestly about his own struggles and his witness of God's work), you must read this book!

*another excellent bookreview here

 
Russian Nonconformity: The Story of Unofficial Religion in Russia by Serge Bolshakoff


Meek and the Mighty: The Emergence of the Evangelical Movement in Russia by Hans Brandenburg



Soviet Evangelicals since World War II by Walter Sawatsy




This enduring work of Russian spirituality has charmed countless people with its tale of a nineteenth-century peasant's quest for the secret of prayer. Readers follow this anonymous pilgrim as he treks over the Steppes in search of the answer to the one compelling question: How does one pray constantly? Through his journeys, and under the tutelage of a spiritual father, he becomes gradually more open to the promptings of God, and sees joy and plenty wherever he goes. Ultimately, he discovers the different meanings and methods of prayer as he travels to his ultimate destination, Jerusalem.


Как возлюбил Меня Отец, и Я возлюбил вас; пребудьте в любви Моей.
 John 15:9

 

 

Tender comfort for those who are under sorrow


 
I have known Sorrow; I have been acquainted
With her pale face; her voice, her footsteps known,
Oft uninvited she has crossed my threshold,
To speak with me alone.
 
I loved her not! I gave to her no welcome;
Asked not her errand, closed to her my heart;
With chilling words, and with a face averted,
I urged her to depart.
 
She went, but came again; as a dove flutters
Above some dear retreat, she oft returned;
I heard her wings but offered her no shelter,
Her coming flight I spurned.
 
At last, by my repelling frowns unwearied,
Again she ventured nigh, and thus she spake:
“I come from One thou lovest!” showed her tokens,
Grew welcome, for His sake.
 
Thenceforth she sat my guest, revered and honored
And her stern face unlovely ceased to be.
When life interpreting, she sat beside me,
Made Christ more dear to me.
 
And yet her presence drove from out my threshold,
The treasures that His hand in bounty gave;
Groans wrung she from me, as I knelt in anguish
At the relentless grave.
 
Upon the rock of sore suspense she laid me,
Not once, but often, tore me limb from limb;
And when I shrank, and wept, and cried for mercy,
She pointed but to Him.
 
And so by turns sore-smitten, soothed, instructed,
I sit at her dear feet, and smile on her,
Who came on wings of love to scourge and prove me-
Christ’s precious messenger!
 
 
 
Elizabeth Prentiss