The Japanese, Sex And Family

The Japanese, Sex And Family

With a topic like sex, I am sure we’ve got your attention. In Japan, sex is a youthful thing. There is really no Judeo-Christian standard of sex being something being saved for marriage. But it is definitely not something two young people do at home. A whole industry sprung up called ‘love hotels’. More appropriately, they should be called sex hotels as they are just designed to give people a room to do something that husbands and wives are usually doing at home.

What has happened a lot in the Japanese society is pre-marital sex has been rampant. Youth have gotten pregnant and gotten married (which is a heck of a lot better than killing the baby through having an abortion which does happen) to take account for their actions. There is some abortion of babies as abortion in Japan is the lazy form of ‘birth-control`.

Young Japanese Family

Once married the young couple ends up raising their children. Traditionally the Japanese wife stays at home with the family while the husband goes to work. Usually, the wife controls the bank account and budgets for the family. Unlike other countries, Japan does not allow joint bank accounts.

As time passes, the parents are focused on their kids but not too much on their relationships with each other. Many times the relationship goes cold as love is something that needs to be cherished and developed. When the children leave the home, the parents don’t have that much to talk about. Divorce in general has been taboo, but with laws are changing where wives can get half of their husbands worth.

In Japan, there are many Japanese married to foreigners. Many Japanese men married to foreign women, and many Japanese women married to western men. In general, ladies from the Philippines are known for looking after their usually aging husbands better than Japanese women. At the same time, American men are known for treating Japanese women better as there is the cultural sense of chivalry that American tend to have. For example, opening the door, walking behind the lady, giving her attention that a Japanese guy would usually not give.

One interesting phenomenon we have seen with many Japanese women married to Westerners is related directly to sex. American couples usually have very active sex lives. However, after a few years of marriage Japanese women tend to start to withhold themselves from their husbands. We have even heard of Japanese wives telling their western husbands if they want to have sex so often then they should ‘get a girlfriend’. How pathetic!

Men have a very strong sex drive and withholding yourself from your husband is very harmful to a marriage and the family as a whole. Of course, if the drive is out of your marriage then you need to do something about it. What can a husband and wife do to make their marriage deeper?

More next entry…

If your neighbor hates you, give him land

That is exactly what is going on in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israeli is being pressured by outside governments (US, Russia, EU) to give the Palestinians control of the land of Israeli.

This is a very short-sighted solution for an age old conflict.

This week we read about Tony Blair’s next job and his priority of ‘making a Palestinian state’. The whole situation is actually quite confusing to a person just trying to understand the situation. Norma Parrish Archbold in her book, “The Mountains of Israel” makes some very interesting points. If you don’t understand the history, you wouldn’t know that Palestine was actually created by the British. Jordan is a result of much of that.

Ms. Archbold makes it very clear that she believes that there is already a Palestinian state. If the terrorists want their own place to operate, then they should move to Jordan. She makes it also clear that Israel should never give any land because the land is an intrinsic part of Israel.

More on this.

The Mission Message- Single and Concise

Can everything your organization stands for be boiled down into a single concise message? It can, and it should be. At least if you want people to make a heart connection with it.

Jesus knew this. On one occasion some scholars asked him to summarize the entire Old Testament. Jesus was able to do so on the spot. He said the entire law can be boiled down to this: “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.”

My question for you is: “Do you have a clear, concise message with which your staff and customers can connect?”

-Mac Hammond

Long Lives and Heavenly Peace- The Favor of God

Is the favor of God operating in your life?  If not, then you should check why.  God has an awesome plan for you.  He wants you to live a long and peaceful life.

Prov 3:1,2
My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.  NKJV

The key is, we need to stay in His Word.  As we stay in meditate, pray, and study His Word our spirits become more in tune with God and His ways.  We will know exactly what direction he has for our lives.  Whether we are to start a business, or work for another.  Whether to marry some particular person or keep them as a good friend, God knows exactly what is right for us.

According to Proverbs 3:1,2, if we keep His Word, he will give us longer more productive days, a longer life, and lots of heavenly peace. Peace that people cannot understand.  When the world is caving in around people losing their jobs, having marital trouble, not knowing what to do for their children we know exactly what to do.  We know His Word, and we know His peace.  Live long and live strong.  What a testimony of God’s goodness in our lives.  Hallelujah!

A New Hitler? Transcript from CUFI.org

Below is a transcript from a recent CUFI newsletter. In undergraduate work I studied political science. As I look at Iran of today, it is a very urgent situation that needs to be remedied. How exactly? I am thinking about this and I am sure so are those governments who represent goodness and peace.

This information is something you wouldn’t normally see in the news.

CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL (CUFI)

april 16, 2007

NEWS FLASH CONCERNING ISRAEL

Iran Plans to Build Two More Nuclear Power Plants

On Sunday, the deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh, announced that Iran plans to build two more nuclear power plants.

These two power plants are in addition to the 40-megawatt heavy water reactor that Iran is already building and the 360-megawatt nuclear power plant that it is preparing to build.

It was also reported on Sunday that Iran has been training Iraqi Shias in secret terrorist training camps near Teheran. Thousands of Shia are being taught “advanced guerrilla warfare” in order to “attack Americans” in preparation for “their big battle with the occupiers.” According to the report, the Shia are being taught to how to destroy armored vehicles, shoot down helicopters, and utilize explosive materials. (The Associate Press, April 15, 2007).

HAMAS SUPPLYING QASSAM ROCKETS TO THE ISLAMIC JIHAD

Israeli security sources reported that Hamas is providing the Islamic Jihad with Qassam rockets.

These Israeli security sources stated that “Hamas is emerging as the lynchpin of Palestinian terrorist activities against Israel.”

This terrorist alliance enables Hamas, which is part of the Palestinian unity government, to publicly support the current cease-fire while simultaneously continuing to attack Israel through the Islamic Jihad.

It is now believed that the rockets used by the Islamic Jihad to attack Ashkelon on June 18, 2006 were provided by Hamas. (Ze’ev Schiff and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz, April 14, 2007)

iran trains thousands of iraqi insurgents !

Thousands of Iraqi Shias in the Mahdi Army, loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, are being trained in advanced guerrilla warfare tactics at a secret camp in Jalil Azad, near Tehran, according to militants who say they have spent time there.

Abu Amer, 39, said he had been trained by instructors he believed were from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. (Phil Sands Independent-UK)

Anti-Semitic Attacks Increased by 50% in 2006
Tel Aviv University reports that worldwide Anti-Semitic attacks increased by 50% in 2006.

In comparison to 2005, attacks on Jewish schools increased by 50% and attacks on synagogues increased by a third.

Britain, Australia, France, and Canada witnessed the starkest increase in anti-Semitic attacks. 2006 marked a 20-year high for anti-Semitic incidents in Britain.

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land”. Ezekiel 36:24

On a positive note, in 2006 anti-Semitic attacks in the United States decreased by 12%. (The Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2007)

The 2007 Passover Miracle
A massive Hamas terrorist attack that was planned to kill hundreds of Israelis during their Passover Seders in Tel Aviv was averted.

Israeli security spokespeople reported that a Hamas terrorist drove into Tel Aviv in a car with 220 pounds of explosives and large amounts of shrapnel. It is unclear why instead of detonating the explosives the terrorist turned around and drove back to Kalkilyeh where the car exploded in a “work accident.” (Gil Ronen and Hillel Fendel. Israel National News, April 10, 2007)

Message from John Hagee

Yesterday, Jewish communities around the world commemorated the horrors of the Holocaust with prayers and services in observance of Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

Yom Ha’Shoah refocuses us on the need to do more than just say never again, but to take action to ensure never again.

Today there is a new Hitler in the Middle East – President Ahmadinejad of Iran — who has threatened to wipe out both Israel and America. Iran is rapidly acquiring the nuclear technology with which to make good on President Ahmadinejad’s threat. If we learned anything from the Holocaust, it is that when a madman threatens genocide, we must take him seriously.

During the Holocaust, too many Christians were silent, and we were left to mourn the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Today, Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel. We must act to do whatever we can to protect Israel’s 6 million Jews from the second Holocaust that has been threatened. We must get it right this time. Our faith demands it. The times demand it. Silence is not an option.

We as Christians have an opportunity to help ensure that another Holocaust does not happen on our watch. To make your voice heard you can me and thousands of other Christians from around America in Washington, DC July 16 to 19 at the second annual Christians United for Israel Washington/Israel Summit. You will have the opportunity to share your concern about Iran’s nuclear plans with your member of Congress. You will have an opportunity to fulfill Isaiah 62:1 which says, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent; for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet…” and stand in support of Israel.

John Hagee

Making Dreams Come True

Commit your works to the LORD

And your plans will be established. Prov 16:3 NASU

It is so easy, as a highly-motivated achiever type of person to plan out of lives from every type of job we will work to how many children we have; all the way down to their names. There are so many self-help, time management, and leadership training books, seminars, and other resources out there to help us plan out our lives.

With all this information it is easy to go into information overload and lose track of our gifts and callings and how they related to God’s perfect plan for our lives. He does have a perfect plan for each and every one of us and part of planning our lives is having God’s involvement in those plans. He wants a part in what we are doing.

I remember working on a project at my job. We had the project meeting, worked through systems configurations and had ordered all the necessary pieces to connect to the rest of the world. Everything was set and the customer was ready to install the systems. A week before the cut-over the whole project was cancelled. We had not received the customer’s approval on the final plans and did not have their involvement in the project. While we were working, budgets were allocated to some other ‘priority’ project. All the work we had done came to nothing. We lost time, money, and face on the business.

God wants us to make plans and set goals. He wants us to work hard but also smart. He wants us to grow and develop and be on top of things not under smothered under things (Deuteronomy 28). Some believers just act as if everything that happens to them is from God and that He will just drop everything in their “spiritual laps”. They accept whatever comes as if that is God’s will for them.

Common people know that to succeed you have to be uncommon. God wants us to make our plans and submit them to Him so that He can be involved. We all have gifts and callings He wants to enhance and help us so that we can realize our greatest dreams. Our plans with God’s involvement are super-powered.

The original Hebrew word for ‘commit’ implies to ‘roll over’. God wants us to roll our plans over to Him so that He can show us where they match His perfect will and where the miss the mark. If we give our plans to God, not only will we have the pleasure to make the plans and know that He has called us to them, but we will get to see them come into being. If our plans our established with God, then we will see them come, materialize and make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. This is the real dreams coming true life.

Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.

Prov 16:3 NLT

Posted on 29 August, 2006

Finding a Good Church

Heb 10:23-25

Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. NLT

In this world of volatile world of human relationships, people come and go in our lives. Some people are acquaintances, people we know for a time, while others are true friends for a lifetime. Friends are people who stick with us through the thick and the thin issues of life. They don’t trash the friendship just because of something someone else says, they don’t get something financial out of the relationship, or they have to spend time getting to know you. Friends are people who care for us because of who we are.

Well, in our country the best friends we have should be born again or more accurately, ‘born from above’ (John 3:16 NAS) believers who love God. To be friends, we have to spend time talking, caring, and sharing. When Jesus won back the authority we lost in the Garden with His resurrection from the dead the first thing he did was talk, care, and share with those who loved him and followed Him. That was the beginning of the church. What is the church? The church is the family of God on this earth.

What is the purpose of the church? To allow God’s family to talk, share, and care for others and the people around them. It is the basis for the community. That is why Hebrews exhorts us never to forsake the gathering together of the family of God. If we withdraw and pull back from our community, we lose track of what is going on with other people, our community, our world.

In this earth are many people; just as there are many people, there are many families. But which families are the ones that know God, and encourage us to develop our relationship and go deeper with God? Let’s look at the key points for choosing your church family.

Charisma In Leadership 
Humble Seekers of God 
Unmoved by people, moved by the Word 
Reaching people 
Consistent 
Holy Before God

Charisma In Leadership 
I remember as a high schooler going to church thinking that I was going to church for the people and the fellowship. That is so true. But someone once said, “You can only go as spiritually high as your pastor”. Those words changed my perpective on church leadership and especially the importance of having a good pastor who has a living, active relationship with the Almighty God.

Humble Seekers of God 
In these last days it seems many people focus on programs in the church more than the relationship with God. Youth groups, Kids church, orchestra, cell groups, the list of various things to keep people involved goes on and on. However, more than anything our church leadership has to be humble seekers of God. The strength of the Brownsville Revival of the 1990s was the prayer and intercession of the church before and during the revival. 
We have to always be hungry for more of good. Jesus said, “I Am the bread of life…” When we are hungry for God, what we got yesterday is not enough for today. We need to feed constantly on His Word and wait on Him.

Unmoved by people, moved by the Word 
Any good church you visit is a good church because it has good leaders. Good leaders listen to people. But not everything the people bring to the pastor is God’s will. A good church family always has a pastor that listens to his church, but more importantly seeks God’s Word for His church. 
I remember when we got our first facility, I had resistance from some people in leadership within the church. But I knew that God’s will was for us to minister to the people of our neighborhood. Well, those people are gone but we had God’s Word for our church and many more have come.

Reaching people 
The church is a family of Believers. More important than anything else, we have to remember that the church is there to minister to the needs of people and the city. When a church because focused on internal issues, church growth is stunted. When a church is overflowing in the neighborhood and reaching out to the people of the city, there is life and there is growth.

Consistent 
If there is any favorite word of the day, being consistent would have to be it. So many people fail for being inconsistent. Just as they are coming to the end of the race they just give up. Many times it is like they have just run 25 kilometers and are just 10 meters from the finish line, all the sudden they throw up their hands and say, “I am finished, I have had enough” and stop running. IF they would have only kept on the race of our spiritual life and continued for a few more steps and they would gained the prize for all the hard work. Consistency is the key to success. Churches also have to be consistent to be successful and meet the needs of the people.

Holy Before God 
Holiness seems to be the forgotten ingredient in so many churches. Everyone visits their church on Sunday but many are thinking about lunch than the message God is speaking. Some places can become overcome by a spirit of lethargy. 
As we are growing in Him, we desire more of a relationship with Him. If we are holy before Him, it is so easy to turn off that television, secular music, movie, or anything else that desensitizes us to the move of the Almighty God. 
I will never forget attending revival meetings in Florida. As we worshipped the Father I had a vision of Him on the throne. I had to get myself to the floor because I could not stand in His Presence.

Whether you are looking for a good church family or are attending the church that your family has been attending for years. Keep the real meaning of what a church is in your heart. To gauge a good church you will see a church that is;

Charisma In Leadership 
Humble Seekers of God 
Unmoved by people, moved by the Word 
Reaching people 
Consistent 
Holy Before God

Posted on 17 October, 2006

The Christian and Giving- First Fruits

Firstfruit and Our Finances

Prov 3:9-10 
9 Honor the LORD from your wealth 
And from the first of all your produce; 
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty 
And your vats will overflow with new wine. 

In my early days of ministry, I remember serving in my denominational church in Japan. We served there three plus years and during that time we prayed for the sick, cast out demons, and saw many miracles. You would think that seeing all the great things that God does, people would want to go deeper with God and tap into that authority He won back for us. However, we found that most people are always looking at their wallet. If they are “blessed”, that isn’t some spiritual thing. It means they have all the provision (money, food, and things) that they could possibly need.

In the Japanese church, I found that the most common question was how do I walk in financial prosperity that the Bible preaches? Being a good student of law in my University days, I answered their question with a question. I always asked them, do you tithe regularly? The answer was always, one-hundred percent of the time, yes that’s 100% of the time, a big NO.

After a handful of people responded to the same question in the same way, we got smart and started a course on Sunday after church called God’s Financial Plan. In that way we were able to teach the whole church how God’s Word works in the financial area. To tap into God’s Financial Plan one of the very basic things is you have to be a giver. But that is not just a giver, but a regular giver. What is a regular giver? Well, Proverbs 3:9,10 lays that right out for us. If we are believer in God, then we need to honor Him with our Firstfruits. What are the Firstfruits? We are to give of the Firstfruits of our income. In the Old Testament, that was usually the first fruits of our crops. That is the top ten percent of what we produce was given to God in thanksgiving for all that He has given us.

If we are a farmer, then that would be taking the best off the top and offering it to God. Some might ask, “But Pastor, God does not need our money…” Well, He doesn’t need our money in Heaven but He does use it to work on this earth to work through His servants. Just as Abraham gave a tithe to the priest-king Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20) to honor the Lord for His victory, we are to honor the Lord with the Firstfruits of our labor.

It is interesting that Abraham chose to give off the top ten percent (10%) of his income, hence the beginning of the word tithe, which means 1/10th. Personally, I don’t think we are limited to giving the first 1/10th of our income. The point is that we are needing to be a consistent and thankful givers. Rather than saying tithe, at our church family we like to call our tithes our Firstfruits as that is exactly what they are; the first fruits of our labor, the cream on the top of the milk we have skimmed off and offered to God. They can be whatever percentage of your income that you have faith to give for. For our family, the ten percent is a minimum as we are so thankful what God has done through our local church and we want Him to keep it up.

For the founder of a major US corporation, his goal was to give 90% and keep 10% for himself. And he did it, but not only did he do it but he built the best company in his field because God blessed him for honoring God first.

Well, what is God’s Financial Plan?

1) Give your Firstfruits to the church you are ministered to at and where you call home. Your offerings can go anywhere as these are above your regular giving.

2) Give consistently. If you are experiencing financial lack, it is most likely because you are not giving consistently. If you are on a salary, most people give the Sunday following the receipt of their paycheck.

3) Give with a cheerful heart. This is probably the most important point. If you are not happy and thankful about giving then you should keep your Firstfruits. God wants you to give because you love Him and want to do so.

One other guideline we follow is we give our Firstfruits to the church where we are being ministered to. Anything above that becomes the offering. Offerings can be given anywhere God leads you to give. We give offerings as God directs to orphanages, missionaries in other countries, intercity ministries… however you are led by God’s spirit. You can even give regular offerings to ministries that God really ministers to you through.

The amazing part is the connection you get as you tithe your Firstfruits and sow your offering seeds into ministries. We have seen a direct connection in our lives between where we give and how God provides for us. It is amazing how when we are giving into a ministry that is good ground we are blessed. What is a good ground ministry? A good ground ministry is one that is 1) Proclaiming God’s Kingdom 2) Healing the Sick (Matthew 4:23). When we began giving into good ground ministries as well, our income increased three-fold. What does that mean in monetary terms? Ten-thousand Japanese yen became thirty-thousand Yen. For those who operate in dollars, $100 became $300. Hallelujah!

Praise the Name of Jesus! God is SO good. He is the ultimate giver who gave His Son to die on our behalf. 

Posted on 10 October, 2006

The Benefits of Participation

 

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:3-7, NASU

Participation- 
As we are study through the book of Philippians at Victory Word Church, the theme of the book becomes very evident.  In Philippians 1:5, Paul commends the believers for their participation in the work of the Gospel. 

In this world, I have heard that participation by people in various groups is on the downturn.  The Rotary Club, the Lions Club, various civic groups are struggling to gain new membership.  People are no longer willing to spend time working for various causes as everyone becomes more self-centric, overloaded with too many other things to do, and just plain distracted.

This is not true for the church of Jesus Christ the Son of God.  The work of Jesus Christ on the cross is still changing people from the inside out.  People are changed by the power of the Gospel.  There are physical and spiritual healings, deliverences from drugs and sexual sins, and complete changes in people as they go from the darkness to the Light of God.

But, what makes believers different from all of these other dying groups?  The difference is the power of the Word of God (the Gospel) that acts in people’s lives as they apply the Word and act on the Word.  That power is activated as people participate in the church that God has called them to.  In Japan, many people start attending church at one particular body of believers (church) and stay there until they die.  This in general is noble, however it is trouble if the pastor stops seeking God’s direction and heart for the people of the area.  If the pastor is not spiritually sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, how can he lead the church into a deeper relationship with God?  The church needs to be praying and interceding for the pastor.  If there is no change, or no desire to change then it might be time to seriously consider looking for a healthy church.

People need to participate in the work that God has called them to.  Find a great church and get involved.  As you get involved in the giving of your tithe, your time, your love, your patience, your leadership, your support, your lifting the leadership up in prayer, yourself; God will bless you exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask or think.  The church is not a building, but the family of God.  Families are made up of individuals.  The more that you add to the family, the more you benefit.

Come join us as we study on in the book of Philippians.  You will be amazed as the great plans God has for you.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!  Philippians 4:4 

Posted on 12 September, 2006