Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Memory Challenge: Week 4


I'm taking part in The Bible Memory Challenge, and memorizing Matthew 7:6 this week.

This verse immediately makes me think of a Japanese proverb, 豚に真珠 (buta ni shinju), which literally means 'pearls to a pig.' Wondering if this saying comes from this verse, I looked up a few online dictionaries. Yes, it does. I'd like to know when and where this Japanese proverb was used for the first time. 

Christianity was first introduced to Japan by Jesuit missionaries in 1549, but the central government banned it from 1613 to 1873. Christians were severely persecuted during this period. Today, Christians make up only about 1 percent of the whole population in this country. It is interesting that most Japanese people use this proverb without knowing that it originates from the Bible. 

There are some Japanese phrases similar to 豚に真珠, including 猫に小判 (neko ni koban), or 'Gold coins to a cat.' These expressions mean 'it is useless to give precious things to someone who does not understand its value,' but they don't seem to have the connotation that these animals may 'trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.'

Saturday, September 26, 2020

#Ten Things of Thankful: September 26, 2020

  1. rice cooked with kidney beans, which we had for lunch last Monday 

  2. seafood senbei (crackers)  

  3. Autumnal Equinox Day: It is a national holiday in Japan, and the road in front of our house was relatively quiet on that day.
  4. walking in a park early in the morning on Tuesday  

  5. It was sunny on Wednesday, and we put our futons on the roof to air them in the sun. 
  6. Juicy Japanese pears I've got at the supermarket

  7. cooking programs that my father often watches on TV, which give me new ideas.
  8. The Typhoon No. 12 did not hit this area.
  9. I had my hair cut on Friday.
  10. the lily turf in front of our house  

Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, September 25, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Sewing Project


About a month after my mother passed away, I opened her large oblong tin box in the closet room. 

In the box were a stack of various kinds of cloths and a number of old sewing magazines. 

There was also a roll of cloth with beautiful flower patterns for a formal kimono.  

Probably, my mother had taken apart one of her old kimono, got it dry-cleaned, and kept the fabric in the box.

Fascinated with the cloth, I thought of making it into something I could wear.

A few months later, I finished sewing an elastic waist skirt.

this week's prompt: elastic

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Memory Challenge: Week 3


In week 3 of The Bible Memory Challenge, we are working on Matthew 7:5. 
Reciting the verse again and again, I've realized that "the log" and "the speck" refer to any obstacles that prevent us from "seeing clearly", rather than our shortcomings, flaws, and mistakes.

"The log" in my own eye is my prejudices and distorted ways of looking at and interpreting things. My criteria is so deeply rooted in my heart that I seldom have any doubt about them. I do not notice how distorted they are from the eyes of God.

I tend to criticize others for their 'wrong' opinions, without realizing that my way of thinking may be wrong.

I find it impossible to 'take the log out of my own eye' by myself, so I will ask God to do so for me, who will surely help me look at other people and myself the way He does.

Then, "the speck in my brother's eye" will no longer be so significant and irritating.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

#Ten Things of Thankful: September 19, 2020


  1. cooler mornings and nights
  2.  "40 kleine, leichte und vermischte Orgelpräludien" by C. H. Rinck, from which I select a suitable prelude these days.
  3. time I spend practicing playing the electronic organ at home
  4. Japanese anemones in our neighborhood 

  5. rice cooked with chestnuts and mushrooms 

  6. pickled eggplants  

  7. taking a walk in the morning, trying to avoid the plants I'm allergic to
  8. forty winks in the afternoon
  9. vegetables that are less expensive than several weeks ago
  10. your kind comments on my blog

Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, September 18, 2020

#Sky Watch Friday: The Sunrise Is Getting Later


As the sunrise is getting later, I tend to sleep late. In addition, I am in the middle of the season of the pollen allergy, so I take a walk in the morning less often these days.

The other day I got up at 5:10, wondering if I should go out. I put on a mask and a cap, and  left my house at 5:40. "Better late than never."  The air was cool and comfortable. It was refreshing to walk in the beautiful morning sunlight.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Letting Off Steam


Replaying in her mind the rude remark one of her colleagues had made about her earlier on that day, Vera was filled with so much anger again that she needed to vent.

Looking at Mary, who was sitting across the table from her, she said, "You know what?" 

Just then, the kettle began to whistle. 

"Just a moment."

Mary stood up, walked to the kitchen stove, turned off the heat and made jasmine tea.

The aroma of her favorite tea made Vera smile, and she no longer wanted to dwell on anything unpleasant.

Six Sentence Stories
this week's prompt: kettle

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Memory Challenge: Week 1 and Week 2

The Bible Memory Challenge, which started last week, is going well. It is amazing that these verses are exactly what I need to learn and engrave in my heart right now.

Week 1

Who am I to judge others? Only God has the right to judge people. 

I wonder if Jesus was smiling when He said so, and I wonder how many of the people around Him laughed or chuckled at that time.

In any case, the hyperbole in these verses helps bring the point home effectively. 

Today, "the log in my own eye" seems to refer to my own judgmental mindset.

image source: Do Not Depart. com

Saturday, September 12, 2020

#Ten Things of Thankful To Cope With Pollen Allergy


  1. masks
  2. eyeglasses
  3. Kleenex
  4. the air cleaner
  5. the vacuum cleaner
  6. water
  7. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  8. lozenges
  9. spoonfuls of honey 

  10. anything that reminds me that these symptoms will disappear by the middle of October

Ten Things of Thankful

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Floating in the Air

Sonia, who is now in her late eighties, is sitting on a faded sofa alone in her small room. 

She has remained single all her life, and all of her relatives have passed away.

Sitting on the sofa, Sonia often thinks of the day when she went on a date with Victor for the first time, nearly seventy years ago.

On that beautiful day in May, Sonia and Victor went to an art gallery in the capital where they saw eclectic collection of paintings from foreign countries.

In her mind's eye, she saw Victor standing in front of a painting by Marc Chagall, in which a young couple was floating in the air in a room, with the lady holding a bouquet in her hand.

Remembering how Victor admired the painting, Sonia felt as if she were the lady in that painting.

Six Sentence Stories
this week's prompt: gallery

Saturday, September 5, 2020

#Ten Things of Thankful: During and After the Heat Exhaustion

 I came down with heat exhaustion yesterday, which I am not very thankful for, but I will try to list ten things I am thankful for about it.

  1. glasses of water
  2. salt
  3. ice cubes
  4. the air conditioner
  5. a comfortable pillow
  6. license to stay in bed, doing nothing
  7. a sobering realization of my weakness
  8. my elderly father, who cooked a meal for himself
  9. an opportunity to practice fasting without exerting my willpower
  10. getting better and being able to walk normally, and eat normally again

Ten Things of Thankful

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Way


When I was about ten years old, my parents made me go to the calligraphy school run by one of their acquaintances in our neighborhood on Saturdays, because my handwriting was hopelessly awful. 

The teacher, Mr. Kambayashi, who was probably in his fifties at that time, told each student to copy an example in the textbook dozens of times every week. 

At the end of the month, he selected the best works we had handed in, and sent them to the headquarters in Tokyo to have them graded by the 'authorities'.

I didn't like taking calligraphy lessons, because I was so clumsy that I found it difficult to copy the shapes of complicated kanji (Chinese characters) in the textbook.

One of the kanji that I found the most difficult to write was 道 (michi), which means 'way'.

I felt overwhelmed by the way the last stroke twisted and turned.

Six Sentence Stories
this week's prompt: twist

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Flowers I Saw While Taking a Walk This Morning


I've been allergic to certain kinds of pollen at this time of the year, and I avoid going to the riverbanks where there are lots of plants in question. So, I go for a walk in the center of the city these days instead. 

Today, I walked to the senior high school and the city library. I took the photos above on my way home, near the pedestrian bridge.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Are You the One Who Was To Come?

 Matthew 11:1-6

  • John the Baptist knew Jesus as "the Lamb of God. who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1). 
  • John was in prison now, and he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the one who was to come. (Matthew 11:2-3)
  • Jesus told John's disciples to report to him what they heard and saw (verses 4-6), instead of answering their question directly.

Reflecting on what Jesus has done for us in our lives, we know that He is our Savior who has been walking with us all the time. He may not always solve our problems immediately, but He is always with us.

--- Reviewing the sermon of this week