Who cares!…?

I often ponder about how I ponder.  In other words, I wonder about how I wonder.  OK, let me say it this way: I worry about how I worry about things.  Still not clear?  I mean it is very interesting what happens in my mind when I get caught up in anxiety.

Case study 1

Something happens and I don’t know if it will turn out for good or for bad.  This wonderful brain of mine chooses a circuit in my thinking towards a negative outcome.  I start the simulation process called worrying.

Why does this happen?  I choose, so I am making a conscious decision, right?  Yes, and no. There is a strengthened pathway, a circuit, which is well traveled and it has worn a deep groove in my thought processes towards the negative.  So my decision to think about what could go wrong is the default path I end up following.

Why is this? It is because I have already experienced bad things in the past and I believe bad things will happen again.  I have negative faith.

How is negative faith planted in me?  When I trace the feeling of “Oh, no. That happened!” I realize that it goes deep, deep into my childhood.  I was made to feel rejected, abandoned, dismissed, hated or unprotected.  Notice I said “was made to”.  In my thinking, I blamed it on someone who was supposed to love me and protect me.

Since I don’t take the time to think about the root of my worry, I keep worrying and neglect to bring it to God. I make a rush decision to cope with the situation by myself. Or, I try to ignore and dismiss the situation by saying, “Who cares!”

Case study 2

Something happens and I don’t know if it will turn out for good or for bad.  My brain immediately wants to go towards worry but the Holy Spirit stops me.

Then He asks, ” Are you the only one who cares about this? Are you supposed to deal with it by yourself?” In other words, “Who cares?”

The answer is obvious.  God does. He always does, always has, always will, in every circumstance and for everyone.

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

And I experience God erasing the deep groove of my negative pathways and paving the positive “faith” path. The positive circuit in my heart is strengthened.  And I choose to believe that all things work together for good.

Lord, don’t allow me to get frustrated and say, “Who cares!” but help me ask, “Who cares?” and trust You.

My shampoo bottle

Have you ever been so happy about something and equally sad at the same time?  Well, here is my story.

I have a shampoo bottle that was purchased a few years ago.  It is a refillable bottle.  Every month or so, I would refill the bottle with shampoo from a big bag.

I would screw open the nozzle and pour the shampoo into the little hole on top, but it was so hard to get it all in without spilling. I had to carefully hold the bottle and squeeze the bag at the same time. I hated the chore every time.

Then, it happened. One day I accidentally dropped the bottle, and behold, the whole top came off!  I thought I had broken it but no, it was supposed to open like that.  I was so happy because I knew that my refilling job would be a snap from then on.  But I felt terrible that I had not realized this for years!!

Life can be like that.  We know that God’s grace is there to help us, but we feel like we have to work hard to change ourselves.  And sometimes, even when we pray and try to balance our lives to please God, we just cannot get things quite right.

Then something happens.  We realize that the only thing needed is to open one’s heart wide, to simply be vulnerable to God and to people.  We discover the opening in our own heart that God wants to fill.

I met Jesus when I was very young.  But for the longest time I thought that Jesus was there only to save me from sin. But it was up to me to try to change who I am. By my own efforts I tried to become a decent human being.

God allowed shaking in my life until I thought I was broken, yet He knew what He was doing.  He helped me see that there is a big opening in my heart and it is there so that He can pour His life in me.

for while bodily training is of some value,
godliness is of value in every way,
as it holds promise for the present life
and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8 

So my encouragement to you today is this.

Let Him show you the big lid in your heart. Don’t keep trying to squeeze God in on your own. We sometimes don’t even know what it means to open our hearts.  He does.

Trust Him to give all that you need. He will not take advantage of you. He wants you to have a more fulfilled and fruitful life.

Trust the people He gives you and know that it’s OK to be vulnerable.

Don’t wait another day unless you want to waste your life taking the hard way.




Buried treasure

I think I was in the 5th grade. There was an assignment in Japanese class. We all had to write a poem. I wrote a poem all by myself for the first time.

I was very proud it but what the teacher said crushed me. She said, “That’s not a poem.”

I took what the teacher said to my heart and decided that I was not good at composition. I buried the treasure of writing skill.

Since then, every time I have to write something, letter, resume, anything, it was painful and I was never satisfied and ashamed of every writing. Words were scary to me. I can offend people with my words without me intending so. Words were like monsters out of control.

About ten years ago, God showed me that I buried my talent of writing. He showed me when that happened. I was able to denounce it and not have fear around words and writing and speaking.

Since then little by little, I started enjoying sharing what I thought. I realize words can be encouraging, inspiring. Words can make people laugh and bring people comfort, open their eyes to new ideas and truth.

I am not scared of words. I am not scared of making mistake with words. Writing in my second language like this is a testament of that.

The Bible talks about a servant burring his talent in the ground. He said he was scared of the master. He must have felt the pressure of having to produce something out of nothing. I do identify with his feeling, but feeling like that is not based on the fact. God the master is not to be feared that way. He knows what we can do and what we cannot do. He knows we will make mistakes and OK about it. He does smile on our imperfect poems. He wants us to use our talent and enjoy doing it.

So I want to attempt recreating the poem rejected by my teacher. I want to dig it out of the ground. It went something like this.

Train of tomorrow

You can almost see
The train of tomorrow
Your earnest desire to be
On the train of tomorrow

You sleep of a hope to be in
The train of tomorrow in the morning

It eludes me once again
Everyday that I gain

Yes, instead of catching
The train of tomorrow,
I have attained the day
That is called today.

Today becomes yesterday
So goes on my memories

Chasing the train of tomorrow
Will give me opportunity for today
And treasures of yesterdays.

I usually have someone check my English but I will share just like this in the hope of being seeing many many mistakes.

A Manual for Getting Rid of Your Worries


(ピリピ Philippians 4:6)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This famous verse is a complete and comprehensive manual for when we have problems that cause us to worry.

  • 1. 「何も思い煩わないで」 まず思い煩うのはよくないと悟る
    Do not be anxious about anything- Decide not to worry.

Worrying is a rehearsal of the mind to simulate the worst scenario over and over again. To get out that cycle, we must first denounce and decide not to worry about it.

  • 2. 「あらゆる場合に」 状況を把握する
    Face the problem honestly – in every situation !

After deciding not to worry, we must look at the situation with understanding.  We should not deny there is a problem.  We must look at the negative circumstance, whoever is involved, and at your emotional response also.

  • 3. 「感謝をもって」 良い点に注目する
    With thanksgiving – Focus on the good

There must be some good thing even in the midst of challenge.  You might have someone to call for help, God may have provided the money to do something about it, etc. What can you find to be thankful for?

  • 4. 「ささげる」 すべて神様のところに持っていく
    Present your requests to God.- Give all your concern to God.

We have to let it go – let Him take it.  That is when we completely stop worrying.

  • 5. 「祈り」 神様に近づく
    Prayer – Approach God

Come to God the Father who loves you.  Recognize who He is and trust that He can take care of it and give you the right perspective.

  • 6. 「願い事」詳しく具体的に願う
    Petition – Request an answer to a specific need.

Ask God for His will in the situation and pray specifically for His will to be done. Include prayer about what God specifically wants you to do.

  • 7. 「あなたがたの願い事を神に知っていただきなさい」思い煩いに代わる心配事への対処法のまとめ
    In summary, take it all to God – everything!

Work through all that is happening and how you feel in prayer to God. Repent if necessary (more often than not it’s necessary!) Be honest about what you want God to do about it etc.  When all that is done, supernatural peace will come.  You will recognize the peace. Perhaps it will come in words of encouragement from God.  In other words, don’t stop praying till all your worries turn to peaceful hope.

「そうすれば、人のすべての考えにまさる神の平安が、あなたがたの心と思いをキリスト・イエスにあって守ってくれます。 」
(ピリピ Philippians 4:7)  
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Mother Smart

Some people are book smart, some are street smart. Here are two mother smart people I know.

utaMy grandmother did not finish grade school, but she was a smart lady. She taught herself many skills like sewing, farming, cooking, and art. She did not read many books but she read the Bible. I still remember her big Bible with a cover that I think she wove. She knew her God.

She had a hard life, so hard that she left home and decided to take her own life. As she stood in the pouring rain, God spoke to her. She realized God would take care of her and her family.

“Search seven times before accusing someone.” She used to say this. I thought it was for when you lose something, but this applies to many things in life. If you need something, go find it; because if you really need it, God will give it to you. Don’t blame not having what you need on others and don’t demand it from others. She was truly mother smart.

toshikoMy mother did not go to High school. She is from a complicated family, too complicated to explain. She experienced a lot of prejudice in her life but she met God who loved everyone in the world. She is a giving person, prayerful mother and faithful grandmother.

She used to say, “Don’t judge people for what they can not change.” I thought she was saying about people’s outside appearances, like height, race and gender. but this applies to life. If others need your help seeing what they should change, we should help them but it is not right to judge people for how God made them, because that would be judging God. She was also mother smart.

I hope to be mother smart like them.