Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Isaiah 26:3


You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3 NIV)

According to the article in Our Daily Bread, the Hebrew word translated as steadfast here means "to lean upon." So I had a look at the original verse:

The word corresponding with steadfast is the second one from the right. In KJV, it is translated as "stayed (on thee)".

Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. [Isaiah 26:3 KJV]

Reading the verse in Hebrew carefully, I noticed something interesting.
  • The first and third words have the same consonants.
  • The fourth and fifth words are exactly the same: shalom shalom (perfect peace).

This video says that shalom basically means "complete" and "whole".

Indeed we are broken people living in a broken world, and we long for shalom for all of us. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Anemone Hepatica


Anemone hepatica (liverwort) is the first to come into bloom in our yard every spring. Its official name in Japanese is オオミスミソウ (oomisumisou), but in our region it is usually called 雪割草 (yukiwarisou), which literally means "a plant that breaks the snow." The deep snow that covered the ground during the winter is now gone, and these graceful flowers tell us that spring has come at last. When I see these lovely flowers, I am filled with joy and hope. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Thankful: March 26, 2022


  • Our first spring flowers have come out.
  • There is little snow left on the riverbanks.
  • The neighborhood community meeting on Monday lasted less than half an hour.
  • I feel the urge to spring clean this week. 
  • I am thankful for canned food, especially when I am busy and tired.
  • I am thankful for my bicycle. 
  • My father went to the city hall last Thursday, and on his way back, he got some steamed buns with bean jam in them, which we had for tea. 
  • It was sunny and warm yesterday. 
  • I enjoy working on my music project. 
  • I am thankful for your visit to my blog.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: Harmony

I have been an amateur church organist for more than three decades, so everyone seems to assume that I am musically talented, but I am not. I often find it difficult to sing in tune, and when I am given a sheet music of a piece that I have never heard before, I cannot play it in my mind from the score, without listening to it being actually sung or played. 

When I start practicing a piece totally new to me, the first thing I do is to play it on the electronic keyboard anyway, from the beginning to the end, no matter how many mistakes I may make, and no matter how long it may take; otherwise I could not tell what it is really like. 

These days, I could search for recordings of unfamiliar pieces at YouTube, but I would rather play them for myself than turn to online resources, though I may want to listen to other people's renditions AFTER I have learned them.

As I was playing and listening to "Voluntary in A Minor" by William Boyce in that way for the very first time in my life, more than fifteen years ago, I was so deeply moved by the exquisite harmony that tears came to my eyes. 

For those of you who may be curious about what it is like, I have played and recorded the first section of the voluntary:

this week's prompt: HARMONY

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Thankful: March 19, 2022

  • The anemone hepatica in front of our house is going to be in bloom soon. 
  • I am thankful that our house wasn't damaged during the big earthquakes that hit Tohoku Area just before midnight last Wednesday.  The first earthquake lasted 30 seconds, and the second one 1 minute. I was scared. I turned on TV,  got dressed, and stayed awake for a few hours after that. -- I am thankful we are safe, though I am concerned about the people in Tohoku, who have been greatly affected by the disaster. 
  • I am thankful for a friend of mine, who has just moved to another city. I first met her about nine years ago, just after I moved to this city. Since then, I have seen her almost every Sunday at the local church. She was one of the organists, and we took turns. She served as a Sunday school teacher as well. She drew lovely pictures for the pupils when it was her turn to tell a story.  She was also a member of the choir. She is a BEAUTIFUL soprano. I secretly nicknamed her "The Diva" and "The Artist".  She is a weaver by profession. I could write on and on about her... -- Her absence makes us realize how much she means to us. I miss her and I am countlessly thankful for her.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: Ingredient

To be honest, I am not good at making up stories. When I write, I usually wait for an idea to come to me naturally, instead of racking my brain to come up with one. 

The thing is, I have been waiting and waiting these days. -- I have been waiting since March 6, but the entire canvas remains blank. -- I have been waiting since last Sunday, and I haven't hit on the right ingredients yet. 

I am writing this because I would like to let you know that I haven't forgotten you, and that I am still working on my Six Sentence Stories.

this week's prompt: INGREDIENT

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: March 12, 2022

  • Though we had a little snow last Monday, it has been sunny for the rest of the week.
  • I enjoyed taking a long walk every day this week. 
  • I am thankful for the encouraging emails from K*.
  • I have started rereading "Strange News from Another Star" by Hermann Hesse, in Japanese translation.   
  • I am thankful for the new bed sheets I have got this week.
  • It was warm and comfortable last Friday.
  • On Friday, I attended the prayer meeting, where we studied 1 Samuel 1. Our prayer points included peace in Ukraine. 
  • I am thankful for our pastor and the church family.
  • I am thankful for the prelude I am practicing this week: 

  • I am thankful that you have visited my blog.

Friday, March 11, 2022

#Sky watch Friday: March 11, 2022

a view from the bridge on my way to church

It's a beautiful day today. I walked to the church this morning and attended the prayer meeting. There were five people present, including me. We studied 1 Samuel 1, and learned that we can get closer to the heart of the Lord by praying to Him. Then we prayed for Ukraine, those whose lives have been affected by the great earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and the members and families of our local church.

Skywatch Friday

Monday, March 7, 2022

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Theme Reveal

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Theme Reveal

My theme for Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2022 is "Short Music Pieces".  Some of the songs I am planning to deal with are familiar to me, but others are not. I hope to learn more about the beautiful pieces and their composers, as I play them on the electronic keyboard and write about them. 

As a warm-up, I will post a recording of the Alphabet Song here:

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: March 5, 2022

image from

  • Last Wednesday, we had some sakura-mochi, rice cake with sweet adzuki bean jam in it, wrapped with a cherry leaf. It was tasty.
  • My father cooked pasta for supper last Thursday.
  • I studied two Greek words this week: καινός and νέος. The former primarily means 'new' in reference to quality, and the latter means 'new' in reference to time. (See Blue Letter Bible)
  • I have finished reading chapter 2 of Jean-Christophe.
  • I am thankful for blackberry leaf tea.
  • The sunrise is getting earlier and earlier. 
  • I heard some birds chirping at dawn yesterday. --During the winter, I seldom heard them singing near my house.-- 
  • I am thankful for sunny days.  
  • I enjoy practicing playing the electronic organ, as usual. 
  • I am thankful for the buckwheat noodles that we have at least once a week.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: Book

I can see them, but they cannot see me. I listen to them talking to each other without their noticing me. I can often read their minds accurately. 

I sometimes see myself reflected in some of them. I empathize with them easily, and hope that nothing bad will happen to them. 

They are the characters in a novel, and I am a reader of the book.

this week's prompt: BOOK