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Monday, November 30, 2015

One Powerful Proof Regarding The Validity Of The Christian Headcovering Doctrine

 


Ladies, imagine that you are going to be dispatched to a certain country where most of them are not Christians and most of the Christians there do not have any idea about the headcovering doctrine (1 Corinthians 11). Now your boss (Jesus) told you to go there and convince them that the headcovering command is applicable for today. What would you do? Well, if you are like me, you might want to write your own covering testimony and translate it into their language. Then, you might also start translating the HCM articles and testimonies.

Well, I have done all of these things until today...yes, I am talking about my own situations. I am talking about my continuous effort for Japanese Christians. I have published several open letters of plea to Japanese pastors, pleading them to reconsider this issue and respond to me. Sister Sanae and I have submitted prayer requests to our HCM prayer team regarding these issues. Regardless of all these efforts and prayers, however, we have received almost no response from Japan, which often makes me feel discouraged. Then I realized how much I have been contaminated by the philosophy of pragmatism. I want immediate, quick and visible results! Faith, however, requires patience, for it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb.11:1).

 
Not in vain, the tedious toil,
On an unresponsive soil,
Travail, tears in secret shed,
Over hopes that lay as dead.
 
All in vain, thy faint heart cries.
Not in vain, thy Lord replies:
Nothing is too good to be;
Then believe, believe to see.
 
Did thy labor turn to dust?
Suff’ring – did it eat like rust
Till the blade that once was keen,
As a blunted tool is seen?
 
Dust and rust thy life’s reward?
Slay the thought; believe thy Lord!
When thy soul is in distress,
Think upon His faithfulness.
 -Amy Carmichael

 
Thanks to our team's intercessory prayers, the Lord lifted up my spirit and He granted me both fresh vigor and willingness to continue the mission which my Commander Jesus assigned me.

This morning, I wrote to Japanese believers, asking them to look at the life and faith of our headcovering sisters carefully. (for I have translated and published many of your covering testimonies in Japanese.) I asked them, how we can know and discern that one teaching is true or false; well, Jesus says, by checking the fruits. If the headcovering teaching is truly a biblical doctrine, then those who practice it will start to bear the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).
 
I encouraged them to read your covering testimonies carefully, for regardless of our diversities, one can clearly see the common points in them; such as inner/outer modesty, humble and reverent attitude toward the Words of God, obedience to our father/husband and so forth. And these points are universal and trans-cultural. That's because the work of the Holy Spirit is universal and trans-cultural.

So what is the powerful proof regarding the validity of the Headcovering doctrine? ; Well, you are the most powerful proof, my dear sisters! By looking at your dedicated lives in Christ, the Spirit shall convict us (them) that this teaching is indeed biblical. Now my dear sisters, let us continue to testify to the world with our united spirit and faith. Let us also pray that He will rise up our future-fellow-headcovering sisters from countries like Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, Philippines, Hungary, Spain, Brazil, China, Taiwan, France, El Salvador, India, Germany, Singapore, Ethiopia and so on.
 
The time shall come when the recovery of the headcovering doctrine will be known as an universal and global phenomenon just like the universal recovery of the believers' baptism around the world today.
 
 
 

 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Raindrops; a Persian Christian poem

 

*This beautiful poem was written by brother K in Persian.
 
 
At times the sound of the raindrops from heaven
wakes me up in the middle of the night,
knocking on the window glass in my room.
 
The drops damp the room of my gloomy heart,
calling me,
awakening me
from the depths of the dark night
 and make me understand my remote, distant days.
 
There has always been the One who has cared for you,
even in those dark, lonely nights.
 
And this voice brought me peace.
 
Peace.
 
The rhythm of the sound of drops,
with its music-beauty,
revives the sense of the beauty of life
and those joyous days which have long been forgotten.
 
Isn't it amazing that this simple sound,
recalled my inner reminiscence?
 
Or is it because of this simplicity,
had I receive peace?
 
Yes, a plain tune
without craftiness,
without hypocrisy,
and of heavenly origin.
 
A tune which comes from above,
which gives you the most tender, comfort songs of life.
 
My dusty nasty heart,
being washed by the flowing drops,
now was transformed into a clean, transparent one
like the window glass.
 
Now then what shall I do?
What shall I do?
 
Just listen, listen to the voice of Him.
 
The peace of the Spirit, in which has eternity,
and the Life is waving in it..
 
Listen to His Voice in the flows of the drops.
 
The Lord knows your sufferings
and the Lord with His compassion weeps over your sadness.
The Lord heals and cleanses your wounds
with ointment of His tears.
 
Like the songs of the birds after the rain,
His loving Voice filled my heart with matchless joy.
 
My child,
 
In your dark nights,
in your pains, sufferings and worries,
 
I am with you.
 
And I shall give peace to the core of your being and
I shall make you a cleansed window glass.
 
Then with these transparent eyes, you shall see the outside beautifully.
Freely and lightly.
 
Just bear in mind, my child, that
every time you hear the sound of drops on the window glass,
remember that there is Thy Father in heaven, who loves you.
 
..Thy Father who loves you.
 
 
قطره های باران
translated by Kinuko

An Interview with Brother K, a devout Christian brother from Iran



O Thy being is heavenly. O Thy presence is full of rejoice.
O Thou art the glorious light of hope.
O Thou art the Sun for the coldness of each dark heart.
-Modern Persian Christian poem
 
 
Brother K is an Iranian Christian and he is serving in an evangelical church. If you are like me, the word "Iran" or "Iranian" often reminds us of various kinds of terrifying things which we daily watch or hear from the news.

"Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46 a). My earthly and fleshly bias often murmurs as Nathanael said to Philip. Can there any good thing come out of the people from "axis of evil", for example? Is He powerful enough to transform the hearts of the people, including the folks from so-called "evil nations"? Yes, He is! "For there is no partiality with God" (Romans 1:11). And as Peter confessed, "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him"(Acts 10:34-35).

Brother K is a living example of His transformational power. As far as I know, Bro. K is one of the most loving and tender-hearted believers whom I've ever seen. When we observe the New Testament churches, we are impressed by how Roman Christians and Jewish Christians love each other in Christ, in spite of the fact that there was a political tension between the Roman Empire and the Jews in Jerusalem at that time.

Brother K started the Christian poem and prayer site called Nedaye Doost ندای دوست  this year. Here is an interview which we engaged with him some days ago.
 
---------

-Hello, brother K. Could you please tell us the meaning of Nedaye Doost (=The Voice of Friend)?

K: This name was given by the Lord in my intense prayers. Here "Friend" means Christ. To me, Christ Jesus is not only my Shepherd but also my dearest and most faithful friend. The "voice" is based on the verse from the Book of Isaiah, too (Isa 40:3). I have an earnest desire to listen to His voice in His deep presence.

 
-What made you decide to start this ministry on the internet sphere?

K: Having observed the today's Christian channels and broadcasts, I realized that in many places, there are so much artificiality and human-elements that it is difficult to see Christ's glory alone. For this reason, I decided to testify Christ by simply recording the recitation of poems and prayers without showy display nor elaborate modern techniques. When I started this channel, I said to myself. "It is not important at all whether there will be hundreds of audiences or only one audience, for in the eyes of God, the value of one soul is of immeasurable worth and He loves each soul dearly."


-What is your passion on this earth?

K: The love of Christ has captured me. Now my heart is wholly occupied with Christ's Kingdom. I pray and dream that the hearts of many men and women will be kindled with the fire of the Holy Spirit so that they will stand up for the expansion of His Kingdom and for His glory. The glory of God is overshadowed in many churches today and thus, it is difficult to see His shining glory there. When its cover is removed, however, there shall be a great manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

 
-Do you have any prayer requests? I am sure that our sisters will intercede for you.

 K: Please pray that I may continue to proceed the path which the Lord has called me without fear. The flow of His Spirit is free but we tend to restrict its free move because of our fleshly interference or weaknesses. However, if the Spirit is released without these restrictions, He can speed up its way and make great strides forward. Thank you so much for your prayers.

 

O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning!



 
When I awake, I am still with Thee. Psalm 139:18b

 
Along with Crown Him With Many Crowns (1851), Like a River Glorious (1874), Immoral, Invisible, God (1867), this hymn, written by Mrs. Harriet B. Stowe, is one of my most favorite Christian poems. By meditating on the depths of this lyrics, my spirit is often captured by the glorious vision of that day and is filled with the heavenly anticipation that one day we will finally enter into an unhindered, eternal communion with our Lord.

 
Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.
 
Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
 
As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean
The image of the morning star doth rest,
So in the stillness Thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.
 
Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So does this blessèd consciousness, awaking,
Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.
 
When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose beneath the wings o’ershading,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.
 
So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee;
O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee.
 
 
Still, Still With Thee, Harriet B. Stowe, 1855







Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Narrower The Way, The Nearer We Become: Proclaiming The Uncompromising Gospel In The Age Of "Tolerance"


Dear my sisters who are walking on the same path of faith,

This morning, I watched the following VTR (Pastor Pays Price to See Germany's Spiritual Revival) and was touched by the courageous faith of Bro.Olaf Latzel, a German pastor in Bremen.




He is speaking the Bible truth so clearly that he has been attacked in the media, investigated by the local government, and even denounced by fellow pastors. It was as if I was watching that ardent Reformation days back in the 16th century.




As I shared with you in my previous post (Old "Tolerance" And New "Tolerance"---in pursuit of the love of the truth (II Th 2:10) here), the new “tolerance” insists that there is no absolute truth and that we have to accept this religious relativism absolutely. And this new concept not only has been fully accepted in society but also setting itself up to the supreme value with its coercive force.

Countless believers were burned at the stake in Europe because of the Bible truth. They could not deny the fact that our salvation comes only through the atonement of Jesus Christ, our Crucified Lord. However, according to the new stream of "world ecumenicalism", it is this claim to the Cross of Jesus Christ that is the stumbling block on the path to a unified world religion. Though countless faithful believers had given up their own lives because of the Bible truth that says we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, nowadays it seems to me that again we are giving up this precious Bible truth for the sake of organizational "unity and peace."




O Lord, we are living in the age that promotes external "tolerance" and "unity" but in reality, it is really hostile and intolerant to Biblical Christianity. This new stream is subtly but persistently demanding us to compromise the Bible truth. Oh our Great Shepherd, help us to remain at the foot of the cross and never deny Thy precious atonement. We know that in the coming age, it is Thy cross that will unite or divide us. Help us to put our faith first and refuse to deviate from the truth of the Gospel. In Jesus' name. Amen.

 
O Prince of Glory, who dost bring
Thy sons to glory through Thy Cross,
Let me not shrink
from suffering, reproach or loss.
 
The dust of words would smother me;
Be all to me anathema
That turns me from Gethsemane
and Golgotha.
 
If Thy dear Home be fuller Lord,
For that a little emptier,
My house on earth, what rich reward
That guerdon were.
 
And by the borders of my day
The river of Thy pleasure flows;
The flowers that blossom by the way
Who loves Thee knows.
 
-Amy Carmichael
 
 
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Be Not Dismayed, Thou Little Flock (Ne crains point, petit troupeau)



The measure of love is to love without measure, -Augustine
 

 We dedicate this poem for our French brothers and sisters in Christ, who are in distress.
Nous dédions ce poème pour nos frères français et sœurs dans le Christ , qui sont dans la détresse.
 
 
Be not dismayed, thou little flock,
Although the foe's fierce battle-shock,
Loud on all sides, assail thee.
 
Though o'er thy fall they laugh secure,
Their triumph cannot long endure:
Let not thy courage fail thee.
 
Thy cause is God's: go at His call,
And to His hand commit thine all.
Fear thou no ill impending.
 
Salvation shall arise for thee,
Acquit thyself now manfully,
God is for thee contending.
 
Our hope is sure in Jesus' might;
Against themselves the godless fight,
Themselves, not us, distressing.
 
Shame and contempt their lot shall be;
God is with us, with Him are we;
To us belongs His blessing.
 
Amen, Lord Jesus, hear our cry;
Stir up Thy pow'r, come from on high,
Defend Thy congregation;
 
So shall Thy Church, through endless days,
Give thanks to Thee and chant Thy praise
In joy and adoration.
 
 
-Johann M. Altenburg, 1632

 

Psaumes 34:4-8

4 J`ai cherché l`Éternel, et il m`a répondu; Il m`a délivré de toutes mes frayeurs.
5 Quand on tourne vers lui les regards, on est rayonnant de joie, Et le visage ne se couvre pas de honte.
6 Quand un malheureux crie, l`Éternel entend, Et il le sauve de toutes ses détresses.
7 L`ange de l`Éternel campe autour de ceux qui le craignent, Et il les arrache au danger.
8 Sentez et voyez combien l`Éternel est bon! Heureux l`homme qui cherche en lui son refuge!
 


 

 
 
 
 
 

Love found me alone -Amy Carmichael

 



Love, traveling in the greatness of His strength,
Found me alone,
 
Wearied a little by the journey's length,
 
Though I had known,
All the long way,
many a kindly air,
And flowers had blossomed for me everywhere.
 
And yet Love found me fearful,
and He stayed;
 
Love stayed by me.
 
"Let not thy heart be troubled
or dismayed, My child," said He.
 
Slipped from me then
all troubles, all alarms;
 
For Love had gathered me
into His arms.
 
 
 
-Love traveling, Amy Carmichael
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lord, use me as thou wilt, do with me what thou wilt! -Puritan prayer

 
George Whitefield (1714-1770) Open-air preaching

 
 
SOVEREIGN GOD,

Thy cause, not my own,
engages my heart,

and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom
to set up thy kingdom
in every place where Satan reigns;

Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honour to thy name is my sole desire.

I adore thee that thou art God,
and long that others should know it, feel it,
and rejoice in it.

O that all men might love and praise thee,
that thou mightest have all glory
from the intelligent world!

Let sinners be brought to thee for thy dear name!

To the eye of reason
everything respecting the conversion of others
is a dark as midnight,

But thou canst accomplish great things;
the cause is thine,
and is to thy glory that men should be saved.

Lord, use me as thou wilt,
do with me what thou wilt;

but, O, promote thy cause,

let thy kingdom come,
let thy blessed interest be advanced in this world!

O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!
let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;

let me be willing to die to that end;

and while I live let me labour for thee
to the utmost of my strength,
spending time profitaby in this work,
both in health and in weakness.

It is thy cause and kingdom I long for,
not my own.


O, answer thou my request!
 
 
"God's cause", The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
Picture is from here
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jesus-Loveliest of Names

 


*Excerpted from My all for Him by Basilea Schlink


The true bride of Jesus carries a secret in her heart: the name of her Bridegroom. "Your name is like perfume poured out" (Song of Songs 1:3). It has been my experience that when the name of Jesus resounds in my heart as the name of Him whom I love above all else, when I repeat it again and again, my love for Him is fanned into flame.

..The name of Jesus will sometimes sound like the resonant chiming of bells in the heart of the bride, at other times like the soft music of the lyre. There is so much love and tenderness contained in this name. To carry the name of Jesus in our hearts is a priceless gift, one that can never be taken from us.

How precious it has been for me to repeat the name of Jesus in my heart during times of spiritual dryness or when I was ill and prayer did not come easily. Nothing could stop His name ringing in my heart.

What power lies in pronouncing the name of Jesus! It is the most effective prayer! Yet we should not pronounce this name simply because it makes us happy and brings us peace and help. We should also do so for His sake, sensing how it delights His heart. Saying His name lovingly deepens our relationship of love with Him.

A word expressive of our love for Him (and do we not always express love by saying the name of the beloved?) will not go unanswered. ...The song of our love, expressed in saying His name, is irresistible to Him. He cannot fail to enter a heart that awaits Him, lovingly repeating His name.

 


..In uttering the name of Jesus and in worshipping Him for who He is, we nourish bridal love. Our love for Jesus is constantly under attack from Satan, who begrudges us this supreme happiness. Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, trying to find where we are vulnerable. He wants to break into the chamber of the bride's heart so as to disrupt her loving fellowship with Jesus. He has many methods of enticing us with people and the things of this world, so that we fail into bondage.

..We are called to battle against 'the wiles of the devil' (Eph 6:11). His enticements will lose their power as we focus on Jesus and proclaim Him in all His glory. Then all that is counterfeit will be seen for what it is in the light of His glory. Those who fail lose the fellowship of love with Jesus. But those who faithfully nourish bridal love, calling upon His name, will reach the heavenly goal-the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

 
Jesus! Name all heaven is singing!
Name with which all heaven is ringing,
Throbbing with exultant joy!
You are 'throned in splendour glorious,
Crowned with crowns of beauty wondrous
More than man can comprehend.



Tears of Kurds, Tears of the Lord


 

 
 

Kurdish folk, wandering folk.

Disconsolate folks who don't have earthly home.

Kurdish folk, indignant folk.
Folks that have long been rejected.

 
Trodden, crushed,
and you revolt against them.

You sing and fight.
fight and sing.

O sons of Kurd
My rejected sons

My heart weeps, when thinking of you.

Poor sons,
 
You are shouting, for not knowing His love
You are shouting, for seeking His love.

Sons, come here.
We won't attack you.

Come here, dear.
You can release your weapons,
for here is a safe place.

 
My beloved sons,

Come here,
Come near to us


Now the dinner table is ready for you.

We will welcome you with open arms.

 
Tears of Kurd,
 Tears of the Lord.

Healing of Kurd,
 Joys of the Lord.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

O Immanence, that knows nor far nor near, but as the air we breathe is with us here



 
Have we not seen Thy shining garment's hem
 
Floating at dawn across the golden skies;
 
 
Through thin blue veils at noon, bright majesties;
 
Seen starry hosts delight to gem
 
The splendor that shall be Thy diadem?
 
 
 
O Immanence, that knows nor far nor near,
 
But as the air we breathe is with us here,
 
Our Breath of Life, O Lord, we worship Thee.
 
 
 
Worship and laud and praise Thee evermore;
 
Look up in wonder, and behold a door
 
 
Opened in heaven,
 
and One set on a throne:
 
 
Stretch out a hand,
 
and touch Thine own,
 
 
O Christ, our King, our Lord
 
whom we adore.
 
 
 
-Amy Carmichael, Immanence
 
 
 
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Power and Holiness: The Spirituality of Christian praise of Mission Timothée, France


 

                                          Mission Timothée, Cholet city, France
 
*The original post was written by Sanae T in Japanese(here). Translated by Kinuko.

 
Sister Caroline is currently attending at Mission Timothée, a Bible-believing evangelical church in France. I had cherished the Christian hymns even before I was saved at the age of 20, and I love listening to the hymns in various languages in all over the world.

Through Kinuko and Caroline, I've come to know the Mission Timothée website, where we can listen to their original hymns. (Click Liste des chants, and you will see so many beautiful French hymns there.)

They are constantly updating the contents and I see how they acknowledge the importance of hymns and try to share them with non-Christians for outreach,too. I heard from Caroline that even some Korean churches asked them to come to teach their hymns!

Three characteristics
 
Regarding the Mission Timothée hymns, I found three distinct characteristics. 

1. Rendition by natural voices of the worshippers and the acoustic musical instruments

2. New but simple hymns, which are different from most of the CCM songs

3. Power and holiness. Hymns as testimonies of their faith.

Nowadays, modern electronic musical instruments and band performances have been introduced vigorously in many Western churches, and they use highly-modern CCM songs at their Sunday worship service. And we often see this phenomenon in bigger churches.
 
 
CCM worship service
 
The musical performance of Mission Timothée, on the other hand, is practiced by simple acoustic instruments and I see they try to arrange the play in such a way that the music would not stand out by itself. As pastor David Gutcher says; "the music supports the lyrics and not vice versa."

And unlike most of the CCM praise & worship (which normally one worship leader stands in the middle of the stage and sings almost like a soloist), in Mission Timothée, many worshippers sing together. In this way, I think we can avoid the temptation of self-glorification and we can cherish the "congregational" worship. As for the melody, too, in contrast to many of the gaudily-decorated and highly complicated CCM melodies, they use rather simple styles.

It seems to me that they are trying to avoid the error which modern CCM enterprise often makes; that is, to pursue musical elaboration excessively so as to conceal the poorness of its content and its spirituality.  

Another point which I noticed while watching their youtube is their simple, modest clothes. I also noticed that men in the church have short hairs while the women have long hairs. I think they do so because they have been taught the importance of biblical manhood and womanhood.

Conclusion

The Bible repeatedly exhorts us to sing new songs to the Lord. Out of the fear of becoming "worldly", some churches do not accept any new songs, which I think it rather hinders biblical praise. In this sense, I believe we can learn a lot from Mission Timothée which is creating new songs while preserving the solid biblical principles. Let us learn from their simple and spiritually rich hymns and songs!

I am going to attach some of their youtube videos.

   This song was based on John 13:34
  
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
Prayer
 
*Let us pray for our French brothers and sisters in Christ that the Lord give them strength and courage to proclaim the Gospel truth. Bible-believing French believers are very few and thus, extremely precious in His eyes. They are like stars of hope in France. Let us pray that they would be filled with His spirit and run the race of faith bravely until the end.
 
Chers frères et sœurs françaises en Christ. Nous sommes désolés pour la tragédie qui a eu lieu à Paris la semaine dernière. Nous voulons prier pour vous que Dieu vous donne la profonde consolation, l'encouragement et la force d'avancer. Tu n'es pas seul. Nous sommes une famille dans le Christ. de Sanae et Kinuko