Monthly Archives: June 2011

Genesis 25 — Nearsighted

I remember being a kid and seeing everyone in my family wearing glasses.  It made me kind of jealous, believe it or not, and I wanted glasses too, so I didn’t really take care of my eyes.  I needed glasses … Continue reading

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Genesis 24 — No turning back

When I came to Japan, I had no idea how long I would stay here.  My initial plan was to stick it out for two years, and see how I felt after that.  During that time, I started visiting a … Continue reading

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Genesis 23 — Aliens and Strangers

In Japan, I’m considered to have come from another planet.  I can prove it.  I have my own “alien registration card.”  I heard that not long ago, when people came into a Japanese airport, when passing through immigration, there was … Continue reading

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Genesis 22 — God is good

At some churches I’ve been to, the worship leader will start by saying, “God is good!”  And the people all reply, “All the time!”  Then the worship leader calls back, “All the time!”  And the people reply, “God is good!” … Continue reading

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Genesis 21:1-20 — Letting go of “My way.”

Abraham faced a difficult choice after the birth of Isaac.  Sarah caught Ishmael mocking Isaac, and demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away.  It seemed pretty harsh.  After all, Abraham was still Ishmael’s father, and even in their culture, … Continue reading

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Genesis 20 — No excuses

“But I didn’t know.  I have a clean conscience.” Those were the words of Abimelech when he took Abraham’s wife to be his own.   And he was right.  Abraham and Sarah both lied to him, saying that she was Abraham’s … Continue reading

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Genesis 19:30-36 — At what cost?

Last night, I chatted with a student, and he talked about how he loves fishing.  His family lives in Mie Prefecture, but he lives in Osaka prefecture most of the week because of his job.  He apparently goes back to … Continue reading

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Genesis 19 — Holding on to what you shouldn’t

Several years ago, I was working at an English conversation school called NOVA.  It was one of the largest schools in Japan, and I had worked there for seven years or so.  In my last several years I noticed some … Continue reading

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Genesis 18:16-33 — Mirroring the heart of God

It’s scenes like this one that show why God would choose someone like Abraham in spite of all his faults and failures.  Because in this interaction, you see in Abraham’s words and pleas what I believe was in the heart … Continue reading

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Genesis 18, 21 — Bitterness and joy

There are times in the Bible that I wish we could’ve caught people’s reactions on video.  How exactly did they say the things they said.  For example, when Abraham and Sarah laughed at the words of God in Genesis 17 … Continue reading

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Genesis 17 — The God of the impossible

It’s been a trying the past week or so.  Not that I’ve had a lot of stress or anything, but for whatever reason, I’ve been struggling with insomnia.  Never had it before.  But last Tuesday and Wednesday, I couldn’t sleep; … Continue reading

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Genesis 16 — The God who sees; the God who hears

“God sees what you’re doing!  God knows!  You can’t hide from him!”  All of these words can have an ominous tone behind them.  It’s as if God is just waiting in heaven, looking for the next person to mess up … Continue reading

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Genesis 16 — It may be normal, but is it right?

I was chatting with a middle-aged English student recently, and he talked about how he met his daughter’s boyfriend recently.  While they were chatting, the boyfriend mentioned that he and the daughter would be going off on an overseas trip … Continue reading

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Genesis 15 — Believing God

Sometimes, believing God can be pretty difficult.  We know God’s promises.  We know what he has said.  And yet, our circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to hold on to these things. In Japan, for instance, the population of Christians … Continue reading

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Genesis 14 — Where blessing and success come from

“Abram and the battle of the kings.”  Sounds like some kind of movie set in the middle ages or something like that.  🙂 Anyway, after Abram and his allies gained victory over the kings that had captured his nephew Lot … Continue reading

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Genesis 13 — Not worth arguing about

Every once in a while, my wife and I will have a disagreement.  Generally speaking, they tend to be small things, but our conversation can get heated at times.  It’s very strange to me how stubborn I can get (dare … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18 — To be a blessing?

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, even the godly people in the Bible aren’t perfect, and Abram proves this in spades here.  Because of a famine, Abram and his wife go to Egypt and stay there, but Abram is so lacking … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1-3 — To be blessed, and be a blessing

I suppose one of these days, I’ll actually get off of these verses.  Maybe even tomorrow. It’s very interesting here that God actually offers Abram what he denied the people of Babel.  A great nation, and a name that would … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1 — Get out!

Generally speaking, I like reading out of the NIV, but today I happened to read out of the New King James, and two words jumped out at me.  “Get out!”  Somehow, it sounds much stronger than “Go from” (NIV) or … Continue reading

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Genesis 12:1-4 — Holding back

My decision to move to Japan was not an easy one.  I grew up in Hawaii, and went to school there all the way through college.  All my family and friends were living there, and quite frankly, I was just … Continue reading

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Genesis 11:10-32 — Something queer is going on here

It’s often said that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.  But that wasn’t always true.  Taxes certainly were not always around.  And neither was death.  In the beginning, Adam and Eve were created as eternal … Continue reading

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Genesis 11 — Life without God

Okay, I skipped a chapter.  So sue me.  I suppose it had to happen sometime.  I’m sure there will be other chapters in the future that I’ll skip too.  For the most part it won’t mean I didn’t read it, … Continue reading

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Genesis 9:20-21 — Saints, but sinners

When I was in university, I took a world religions class.  When we came to Judaism, one of the things taught was the story of Noah.  And towards the end of the story, my professor noted that in another flood … Continue reading

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Genesis 9 — A covenant of mercy

Steak for dinner!  Well, maybe not.  It’s a bit pricey in Japan.  Anyway, it occurs to me that we probably won’t have steaks in heaven.  And any barbecues we may have will probably be vegetarian.  At least, that’s what life … Continue reading

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Genesis 8 — When it’s hard to wait

Several years ago, when I was traveling to Hawaii from Japan, I decided to save a few yen and go through Korea.  Bad choice.  As we arrived in Korea, there was a fog, and the plane couldn’t land.  After circling … Continue reading

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Genesis 7 — The judgment of God

The last few verses of chapter 7 end with a few poignant words.   “21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on … Continue reading

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Genesis 6 — Grieving God, pleasing God

Verses 5-6 really strike me in this chapter.  “5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD … Continue reading

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Genesis 5-6 — Walking with God

Admit it.  You usually skip over these sections in the Bible where so and so gave birth to so and so who gave birth to so and so. So do I.  But from time to time you can glean some … Continue reading

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Genesis 4 — Hardened hearts

It sure didn’t take long after Adam and Eve sinned for hearts to become hardened to God.  Cain tried to worship God on his own terms, and God rejected it.  When Cain got angry, God said, “Why are you angry? … Continue reading

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Genesis 4 — By faith

Gotta start with this passage in verse 1, “Adam made love to his wife Eve.”  The NIV sure has become a little more…shall we say…blunt, recently?  Whew.  Next thing you know, the Bible translators will start using the word S-E-X. … Continue reading

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