Dear Children and Grandchildren,

I have enjoyed the Word of God more than I ever have since I am no longer preaching 3 or 4 times a week and am not pressed for time. Some times I find things I'd like to share with all of you, or some of you individually. With your mother's encouragement I'd like to start a "Bible Blog" and share some of my thoughts with you. Last night I told Joanna that I opened a can of "Pork and Beans" for supper, (your mother is in Arizona helping Becky while Adam recuperates from a serious operation) but I found no pork so I renamed it "Beans and Beans". With a hearty laugh she wondered if I had "looked under every bean?' I trust what I send you will have some "pork" but if you find it to be only "beans" just push the delete button.

Ps.119:168 "I have kept Thy precepts and Thy testimonies: for all my ways are before Thee," As you were growing up one of the things I was careful to emphasize in our daily devotions was that the time would come when you would no longer be under the eye of Mom and Dad but you would never be out of sight of God's eye. What an encouragement we find here to keep God's Word. "all my ways are before Thee,"

"Experience makes many a paradox plain, and this is one. Before God we may be clear of open fault and yet at the same time mourn over a thousand heart-wanderings which need his restoring hand."--C.H. Spurgeon

"I may hide Thee from my eye, but not myself from Thine eye."--Wm. Gurnall

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sodomy


Dear Children,
Sixty-two years ago I joined the Marine Corps and upon arriving at Parris Island I was issued a uniform, boots, etc., along with cigarettes and a Bible. We were also given a warning that we would be immediately given a dishonorable discharge if we were caught engaging in any kind of homosexual activity. Later in Camp Pendleton, Calif. when I stood in front of a copy of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that was on the wall and read about sodomy, I was warned again of the dire consequences if caught engaging in those activities. Being a country boy I didn’t even know what the word “sodomy” meant. Cigarettes and Bibles issued by the U.S. government and severe punishment for sodomy!
This week when “Sodomy Sam” was drafted 148th out of the 150 eligible college football players who were chosen, the media went wild. All the major news organizations hailed him as a hero as he wept and hugged and kissed his “boyfriend” before a national audience set by ESPN, the place where most athletes look for their sports news. The Washington Post headlined an article entitled “How ESPN, Michael Sam and his boyfriend broke new ground.” Columnist Cal Thomas wrote, “He is being treated by the media and those in the gay rights movement as the equivalent of an American pioneer.” Fox news interviewed a sports writer who said Sam was another Jackie Robinson. Every black person in America ought to resent that awful comparison! Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones tweeted “OMG” and “horrible.” He has been fined and suspended from all team activities until he completes educational and sensitivity training to get his “right mind.”
My biggest concern is that evangelical Christians are being softened and are changing their thinking on this issue. Some ministers are regarding sodomy on the same scale as gross sins like adultery, stealing, lying, etc. Recently a new book from a mainstream evangelical Christian publisher has come out with the title “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Relationships” by Mathew Vines who describes himself as a gay Christian. Instead of softening our words, let’s use God’s Word when we encounter this abominable sin. “Abomination” is what God calls it (Leviticus 18:22). If it is an abomination to God, should it not be the same to me? What is wrong with using the same word as God? In Romans 1 God singles this abominable sin out in very explicit terms and concludes with “gave them up unto vile affections,” “gave them over to a reprobate mind.” Could this include a nation?
This week the state of Alaska has been sued by two homosexual couples that want to be married and have the marriage approved by our government. In 1998 Senator Loren Leman wrote in support of an amendment he sponsored “that to be valid a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman.” He asked me to bring some of my church members to Kenai to participate in a debate via teleconference with members of the Alaska State Senate in Juneau. We did that, but to be honest I thought I was debating about an issue that would never happen in my lifetime. Our constitution was amended with Ballot Measure 2 by the vote of the citizens of Alaska on November 3, 1998. These couples will probably find a liberal, pro-homo, ungodly judge who will throw out Amendment 2.
Paul says in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power off God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Later in the chapter he describes the homosexuals. They can thank God they can be included in the “every one” if they repent of their “abominable” sin and embrace the sacrifice provided by the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary.
May God give each of you the grace to stand with Him in this battle.
DAD

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Dear Children,
Last week I received a beautiful book in the mail: KOREA REBORN-A GRATEFUL NATION HONORS WAR VETERANS FOR 60 YEARS OF GROWTH.
The Korean War Veterans Association stated:
 “This book is as a gift from the people of Korea to Korean War Veterans and their families in commemoration of their service and sacrifice. The Korean War was one of the bloodiest wars in American history. The total American casualties were 36,516 killed, 103,516 wounded and 8,177 missing in action. Over 5 million Americans would serve in the war that lasted 37 months.”
This made me think of North Korea and the price paid to free the people of South Korea from that bloody dictatorship so I sat down and wrote the following:
WAS IT WORTH IT?
It was called “The Korean Conflict” and “The Forgotten War,” but it was really the "Forgotten Victory." The mothers and fathers, wives and children, and relatives and friends of the more than 36,000 young men who died fighting to free a nation from a Godless Communistic regime did not call it a “conflict” nor had they “forgotten.” When the flag draped boxes holding the remains of their loved ones who had laid down their lives to free a nation most of them had never heard of, they wondered if the price paid was worth it? They wept with broken hearts as coffins were lowered into freshly-dug graves. Some lifted their tear-filled eyes to the heavens when they heard the chaplain or minister quote, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
Others, when they heard those words wondered what they meant? We don’t know what took place in the hearts of those young men when they faced death at the hands of a cruel enemy, but we do know a merciful Savior could hear their cry just as he heard the cry of a thief hanging on a cross beside him and answered, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
Was the war worth the loss of the lives of more than 36,000 young men? Who am I to say? I do know that 50 million South Koreans are free today to worship as they please in the midst of a free and prosperous nation, while just a few miles to the north 25 million people in North Korea are living in poverty and starvation enslaved by an unbelievably cruel dictator. A place where people watch in horror while new mothers are forced to drown their own babies. A place where any who would dare to proclaim the name of Christ as their Savior are subjected to unbelievable torture and death.
WAS IT WORTH IT?
DAD

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Children, On Sunday before preaching my message on Ephesians 6:10-20 about what we wrestle against, I mentioned in my pre sermon remarks about the filibuster by Rand Paul this past week and I was surprised that no one knew that John Brennan, the newly appointed CIA director, was a Moslem convert. Later when I told some of you kids you didn't know it either. Your mother sends you mp3 recordings of my sermons but I'm not sure you listen to them so I'm sending one of the many articles on this subject. You won't find this information on the regular news media, not even Fox News. Google CIA director Brennan/Moslem/Convert and you will get a wealth of information. I'll include one report here. "Even so come quickly"!, Love, Dad Written on February 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm by alpineski No Suprise: Obama picks a Muslim for CIA chief Filed under Barack Obama, Terrorism Act Now! There are many suspicions in recent years about Barack Hussein Obama and where he puts his faith. Now, news is breaking about the president’s pick to head the CIA. Looks like the fox is now in the hen house. President Obama’s picks a Muslim to head the Central Intelligence Agency, yes the same religion as those that caused 9/11 in the name of their religion. Obama choose John Brennan, an American whom converted to the violent religion Islam years ago while in Saudi Arabia. We see stories of Obamas government is being infiltrated by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Now that Obama appointing Brennan to CIA director, Obama has not only chosen a man “na├»ve” to these infiltration’s, but also picked a candidate who is himself a Muslim. Brennan’s conversion to the barbaric region of Islam caused a culmination of counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor … [or] he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kinds of environments, which makes him completely unfit to the be the director of Central Intelligence. Brennan is wholly unfit for government service in any national security capacity, and that would specifically make him unfit to be the director of Central Intelligence, the worlds problems are Islamic terrorism and Brennan will be biased, we certainly cannot expect Brennan a Muslim to see that Islamic terrorism is linked to Islam itself. The teachings within Islam are very violent in nature, and their prophet and founder of the religion was a warlord, whom rapes captured woman from battles, stole booty from war and had a 6 year old child bride when he was 52. This is their mentor. Brennan has proven through his own comments publicly that he is clueless and grossly ignorant of Al-Qaida’s rick to society and cannot seem to link Islam to their motivation to violence, even with Al-Qaeda members themselves reading Islamic verses justifying their heinous actions. There is a clip of Mr. Brennan where he specifically says during a public address … he said during that speech that he has learned and gets his understanding and his ‘worldview’ in large part from Islam. How frighting is that, he is motivated by the same source bin Laden was, except Brennan may be confirmed to head the CIA.
October 2, 2012 Dear Children, What a grand time it was in August when all 9 of you made your way to Hoonah for a reunion—the first time we were all together in 24 years! It didn't come about without a great deal of sacrifice in time and expense on your part. What a blessing it was to spend a week together under one roof. We are grateful for Cheyne, his wife and family, and Carey for the "roof" over a building large enough to house us. Alexander Pope wrote in his essay on "Criticism" that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Putting some of my thoughts about "Facebook" in this letter may cause me to fit that description. The first thing I want you to remember before you press that button is that there may be thousands who you don't know who can read what you write or what you "like." The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 73:15 "If I say, 'I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.'" I see preachers sharing their theology and "would-be" intellectuals displaying their smarts for all to read and we common folk to wonder about. I see some who make so many entries that pretty soon "facebookers" pass them by rather than try to read them all. Makes me wonder if it has become their "ministry" and where they get the time to let us know how much they know about politics, the state of the nation, etc. I see terminology that would be better not displayed where holy-minded people are exposed to it. I also wonder if there might be a smidgen of pride in collecting "likes?" I guess I'm old fashioned but telling the world how much you love your wife or husband and describing your relationship with words and pictures make your mother and I feel a bit like it should be left in the bedroom. We may be wrong but we have both often seen when there is excessive affection in public there may be problems at home. I am preaching a series on Paul's 14 times he says "God Forbid." My Vine's Dictionary says, "These words are entirely used to express Paul's repudiation of an inference which he apprehends may be drawn from his argument." So lest that happen here I want to say that your mother got on facebook because she wanted to see her grandchildren's pictures. Personal communication via email had become almost non existent. She would call me to look at pictures and finally I decided to use her password and look on my own. Besides the pictures I found many good things connected with Facebook. The prayer requests, the encouragements given when needed, the birthday greetings, etc. Many things you are doing as a family, the cute things about our grandchildren, etc., we wouldn't know w/o Facebook. I will close with "PRAY BEFORE PUSHING THE BUTTON." LOVE AND PRAYERS, DAD
October 2, 2012 Dear Children, What a grand time it was in August when all 9 of you made your way to Hoonah for a reunion—the first time we were all together in 24 years! It didn't come about without a great deal of sacrifice in time and expense on your part. What a blessing it was to spend a week together under one roof. We are grateful for Cheyne, his wife and family, and Carey for the "roof" over a building large enough to house us. Alexander Pope wrote in his essay on "Criticism" that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Putting some of my thoughts about "Facebook" in this letter may cause me to fit that description. The first thing I want you to remember before you press that button is that there may be thousands who you don't know who can read what you write or what you "like." The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 73:15 "If I say, 'I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.'" I see preachers sharing their theology and "would-be" intellectuals displaying their smarts for all to read and we common folk to wonder about. I see some who make so many entries that pretty soon "facebookers" pass them by rather than try to read them all. Makes me wonder if it has become their "ministry" and where they get the time to let us know how much they know about politics, the state of the nation, etc. I see terminology that would be better not displayed where holy-minded people are exposed to it. I also wonder if there might be a smidgen of pride in collecting "likes?" I guess I'm old fashioned but telling the world how much you love your wife or husband and describing your relationship with words and pictures make your mother and I feel a bit like it should be left in the bedroom. We may be wrong but we have both often seen when there is excessive affection in public there may be problems at home. I am preaching a series on Paul's 14 times he says "God Forbid." My Vine's Dictionary says, "These words are entirely used to express Paul's repudiation of an inference which he apprehends may be drawn from his argument." So lest that happen here I want to say that your mother got on facebook because she wanted to see her grandchildren's pictures. Personal communication via email had become almost non existent. She would call me to look at pictures and finally I decided to use her password and look on my own. Besides the pictures I found many good things connected with Facebook. The prayer requests, the encouragements given when needed, the birthday greetings, etc. Many things you are doing as a family, the cute things about our grandchildren, etc., we wouldn't know w/o Facebook. I will close with "PRAY BEFORE PUSHING THE BUTTON." LOVE AND PRAYERS, DAD

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last View Acres

My Dear Children,

It has been quite a while since my last epistle. When your mother urges me to write another I tell her that I have to feel “inspired.” Perhaps “laziness” is the culprit? When you are pushing 80 can that be a legitimate excuse?

I am very thankful to still have a church in our home and have about 20 souls willing to listen to me preach. In my younger days I thought that anyone my age had, as my dad used to say, “gone to seed,” or was ”put out to pasture.”

Your mother has become quite the photographer since I bought her a digital camera, and she can take a thousand pictures at no cost whatsoever. Most of the pictures are taken from our living room window. We have a magnificent view as can be found in no other place than Alaska! Cheyne has called our place “Last View Acres.”

We are well aware that we are living on “borrowed time” (Psalm 90:10). I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow old without the knowledge and confidence that your sins have been forgiven.

“No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness Divine.
Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, thro’ Christ my own.
Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou my God, shouldst die for me.”
(Charles Wesley)

Our daily prayer continues to be that all nine of you, your spouses, and our 36+ grandchildren will all be with us when we sing “Worthy is the Lamb That was Slain” (Rev. 4:11). This brings me to what I have wanted to share with you for quite a while now.

Years ago I read a poem written by Dr. Bob Jones Jr. I found it in the flyleaf of my Bible after moving to Alaska. It was so moving that I wrote him a letter expressing my appreciation.

“Sometime I shall not care
That wanton spring breathes perfume on the air,
That roses blossom forth serenely fair.
I shall not care that mountains high
Loom shadowed beauty ‘gainst a sunset sky
Or flaming eye of dawn has put to flight
Black-visaged night.

For I shall see his face
And all earth’s wonders, all of nature’s grace
Shall fade before the beauty of that sight
As candle flame grows dim when day is bright.”

Until Then—
Love, DAD




















[Click on an image to enlarge.]

Thursday, October 27, 2011

".....if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

To My Dear Children,

This morning as I read in II Samuel, a character in chapter 19 named Barzillai piqued my interest. David had been betrayed by his son Absalom who was attempting to take the kingdom from his father. Ahihophel, David’s trusted counselor, had joined Absalom in the betrayal. (Incidentally, Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba). Spurgeon mentions in The Treasury of David that Ahithophel’s betrayal may have been the basis for Psalm 55. While David was in the wilderness fleeing from his son, he was met by Barzillai, a man of means, who brought ample supplies for David and those who fled with him. After Absalom was killed and the rebellion was over Barzillai meets David at the Jordan River and David invites him to go with him back to Jerusalem. Barzillai refuses and gives as his reason something every “aged person” should consider. He said, “I am this day fourscore years old…” He said that he could no longer discern between good and evil (your mother and I are having trouble keeping up with all the changes in the church today so we have accepted, as a badge of honor, being called “old fogies”), his taste buds had lost their flavor, and his hearing was such that he could no longer appreciate good music. He would only be a burden should he accompany David back to Jerusalem. He also said that he wanted to go back to his own city and be buried next to his parents. I read all of that with great interest. Often circumstances take us places in God’s Word where we haven’t been before.

I shared this with your mother at the breakfast table and decided to pass it on to you. Too often over my years as a pastor I have met with the “aged” who would not accept the fact that they could no longer do what they did in their younger years and were becoming a problem not only to themselves but to their loved ones. Advertising has them convinced that they can still “climb that mountain,” and so they spend their savings trying to re-capture their youth.

Thank the Lord this need not be a problem in the spiritual realm. We may “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” until He calls us home. As I write this I am experiencing all that Barzillai found in his old age. There are so many things I can no longer do, but I am not looking back, only forward to meeting the one I have served for 57 years. I have even bought a plot for your mother and me next to that of your grandparents in the “Blough Mennonite Church Cemetery” which is located about 500 feet from the home where I grew up. I confess however, that I pray every day that the Lord will spare me from Alzheimer’s disease, which my mother went through for several years. Poor Alois Alzheimer whose claim to fame is to have a disease like that named after him! I close with some of the words from Longfellow’s poem:

God’s-Acre
Into its furrow shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith that we shall rise again
At the great harvest,…

Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,
In the fair gardens of the second birth;…

With Thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up the sod,
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow!

Till Then,
Love, DAD

Monday, August 8, 2011

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!

Dear Children,
Recently I posted this notice on bulletin boards around town. Today when Becky asked me for a copy, your mother suggested I send it to you. I've had a number of people ask me if I'd gotten the GPS back yet. I'm praying the Lord will use it as a witness. 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I AM WONDERING WHY YOU FELT FREE TO GO INTO MY BOAT AND UNHOOK MY FURANO GP-32 AND STEAL IT? THEY SELL FOR ABOUT $475. DO YOU HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM OR SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH? WE HAVE ENJOYED LEAVING OUR BOAT UNLOCKED FOR MANY YEARS HERE IN HOONAH. I HAVE OFTEN BRAGGED OF HOW HONEST THE HOONAH PEOPLE ARE AS FAR AS BREAKING AND ENTERING AND STEALING OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY GOES.

FIFTY-SIX YEARS AGO AS A 21-YEAR OLD MARINE COMING BACK TO THE STATES ON A TROOP SHIP AFTER THE KOREAN WAR THE LORD FOUND ME AND SAVED ME! I HAVE SERVED HIM AS A MISSIONARY/PASTOR FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS. I RAISED A LARGE FAMILY WITH THE LORD SUPPLYING ALL MY NEEDS. MY WIFE AND I NEVER HAD MUCH LEFT OVER EACH MONTH BUT WE HAD ENOUGH. WE RELIED ON GOD'S PROMISE IN PHILIPPIANS "MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEEDS ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY." IN OUR 17 YEARS IN JAPAN AND 25 YEARS IN ALASKA NOONE HAS EVER STOLEN FROM US. YOU ARE THE FIRST ONE! YOU SEE YOU DIDN'T STEAL FROM JUST ANYONE-YOU STOLE FROM A CHILD OF GOD WHO DEPENDS ON THE LORD TO SUPPLY HIS NEEDS. YOU WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE LORD! IF I WERE YOU I WOULD RETURN THE GPS IMMEDIATELY! YOU SEE ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD "THIEVES SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD." "IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE, AND AFTER THIS THE JUDGEMENT." THE NAME OF MY BOAT IS THE "EBENEZER". IT IS TAKEN FROM THE BIBLE AND IT MEANS "HITHERTO HATH THE LORD HELPED US

PASTOR RON BLOUGH

P.S. YOU CAN DROP OFF THE GPS AT THE BOAT OR THE HARBOR MASTER'S OFFICE.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Even So Come Quickly"

DEAR CHILDREN,

Yesterday the state of New York approved a same-sex marriage law, and when I turned on my computer news sources this morning there was an article listing the so-called famous movie stars, politicians, etc., who were joyfully chortling their words of satisfaction. New York had joined six other states to approve, by law, same sex marriage.

It was sad for me to see New Hampshire as one of those states. In 1977 when we returned to the USA after 17 years in Japan, one of the reasons we moved to New Hampshire was that it was at the time the “Live Free or Die” state. The governor, Meldren Thompson, was as conservative as any governor in our country. I soon became caught up in the conservative movement that swept the state. Some of you joined me in helping get a largely unknown conservative, Gordon Humphrey, elected to the U.S. Senate.

In New Hampshire I tangled with many of the presidential candidates when they came for the "first in the nation primary." I brought the homosexual issue up every chance I got. You will remember two that I talked with who later became president, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. I must have asked at least a dozen or more candidates about the homosexual and the abortion issues. Reagan gave me the clearest answers.

When I was elected to the “Whitehouse Conference on Families” during the Carter administration, a number of us walked out in protest of the redefinition of “family” when they wanted to include homosexuality. One of our non-elected delegates from New Hampshire was a lesbian appointed by Democrat Gov. Gallen! Since then I have fought the encroachment of the abomination of sodomy in our country.

I remember reading the "Uniform Code of Military Justice" (UCMJ) in Camp Pendleton, Calif. in 1952. I didn’t even know what the word “sodomy” meant until then. At that time sodomites were given immediate dishonorable discharges! Has that been changed in the UCMJ? I fought against it when it was partially approved by the silly “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. Again last year I wrote letters to many newspapers when the Obama administration gave full approval to that abominable practice in the military.

I fought with Alaska Airlines when they gave a special discount to those who went through their special homosexual site. In answer to my first protest letter I was told that Alaska Airlines was “proud of their gay site.” When I googled the name of the representative who sent the letter, I came upon web sites with the filthiest homosexual perversions imaginable with the representative’s name accompanying “Alaska Airlines.” After I sent that to the president of Alaska Airlines thinking the person would be fired, one of his underlings, many months later, wrote me and said that they had put their lawyers on it and concluded someone else had inserted that into the web sites. One supposedly Christian Alaska Airlines’ board member sent me two ticket upgrades and said that we have to be “inclusive” in our dealings with the public. I tore up my Alaska Airline Credit Card that I had used for 20 years.

Who would have ever guessed a few years ago that we would have marriage redefined and sanctioned by law that a man could be married to another man, or a woman to a woman? I know this has been long, but I believe that even evangelical Christians have been softened and are more accepting of this wicked sin that is to God an “abomination” (Lev. 20:13) and “vile" (Rom. 1:26, 27).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Revelation 7:9

Dear Children,

It has been sometime since I’ve contacted you in this way. Some of the reason is that it has been a difficult summer here in Hoonah. It is hard to write encouraging letters to your children when there is little to share with them in visible results. Visible fruit doesn’t always tell all that is happening, but when there is little it takes a toll. I often think of your brothers who fish for a living. If they fail to catch fish they would either move to a new location or look for another vocation.

Last spring we had an invitation to an expense-paid trip to Japan for three, paid for by some of our Japanese “boys” we had left there 33 years ago. Most of you were raised in Japan and remember the happy times of living there on the coast of the Japan Sea. We all share lots of good memories of those nine years of working and playing together. Finally, after 17 years of serving the Lord in Japan, your mother and I decided it was time to go home to the U.S. It was in the midst of a severe winter and we were sick and discouraged. At that time we were the only foreigners on the coast south of Wakkanai and had had lots of exposure from the news media, having been on television several times, and were written up in newspapers and magazines many times. We spoke in every high school and civic gathering for miles around, but we had seen little in way of spiritual results.

When the invitation came to revisit Japan after 33 years I was hesitant to accept it. Your mother was excited about it but I, at 77 years of age and having largely forgotten the language, didn’t want to undertake it. When we agreed to go, a check arrived to cover expenses for us and an extra person to help us with luggage, etc. We chose to take Vicky since Caleb and Abi were in BJU and Bea and Steve agreed to take Joanna for the month.

I was fearful, for the schedule they sent included me preaching 13 times in 22 days. After a day’s delay because of plane trouble in Juneau we arrived for our first meeting at 1AM on Sunday where I was scheduled to speak twice the same day and was informed there would be no interpreter! I limped my way through with the help of the audience. Some of you will remember Noriko who lived with us for 6 months in Rumoi. She had made the hour and half trip to the service, which she attends once a month. She had waited about 35 years to apologize to me in person for marrying an unbeliever.

We visited our old home in Reuke and were saddened to find so many had died. The Buddhist room with the pictures of the dead was back where it had been 42 years ago when we made them move it out before we moved in. One man I was looking forward to seeing had died the week before, and when we entered his home, there was the smell of incense and the picture that always accompanies Buddhist funerals.

It would take too long to relate here the rest of the trip, but we were greeted like royalty every place we went. One pastor who as a high school student had come to our services for two years before he was saved had a wonderful church and family. When his daughter heard that we had 33 grandchildren she shyly asked if she could be number 34.

Another, who has a large church (large for Japan) in Sapporo, every time he introduced us, recounted word for word his salvation experience in our home. Vicky and Marlene gave testimony many times. They have remembered the language very well. Many tears and gifts accompanied our visits.

Our last visit was near Nagoya when we visited and ministered in Mino Mission where I had spoken many times in their annual conferences. The pastor, a very dear friend, was bent over with Parkinson’s but could still whisper his Sunday sermons in an amplifier. We laughed and cried together. We visited the graveyard where our dear friend Betty Whewell, one of long-time missionaries, is buried.

There is so much more I’d like to tell but don’t have space here. We so appreciate Pastor Kamidate who headed up and orchestrated our itinerary and the sacrifice of the churches that made our trip possible. We would like to invest our many gifts of money into Japanese commentaries and books for the pastors. Two of them had only a set of C.H. McIntosh’s work on the Pentateuch. Upon inquiry I found there is much more available in Japanese. The dollar has fallen to 81.5 yen per dollar as opposed to 360 yen per dollar when we were missionaries, so these books are very expensive. If any of you would like to help in this endeavor we will see to it that these dear pastors get good books and commentaries.

One highlight for me was having John Himes, a grandson of John R. Rice, interpreting for me four times. One of the times was when I had the privilege of speaking at the annual Fundamental Baptist Conference for pastors and missionaries. I am sorry to have to leave so many names out that were a blessing. However, I’m glad that when “…a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred’s, and people, and tongues…will cry with a loud voice, saying, "SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE AND UNTO THE LAMB," none will be left out! Only the Lord knows of all the prayers and tears that were involved in the salvation of these dear Japanese believers. “….and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, “

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

Dad

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

JUSTIFICATION and THE USE OF OUR TIME

Dear Children,
I have chosen the poet/hymn writer Isaac Watts as my source in writing to you today. Several years ago I read with great profit, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts by Soli Deo Gloria Publications. His hymns are saturated with good doctrinal content and in stark contrast to many of our modern day hymns. Speaking on our justification he writes:
Neither the acts of love, or zeal, or repentance, or fear, or worship, or any other acts of obedience, are appointed as means of our justification, because these actions carry in them an appearance of our doing something for God, our answering the demands of some law; and this would make our justification by a law of works: but faith is the act of soul whereby we renounce our own works as the ground of our acceptance; acknowledging our own unworthiness, and giving the entire honor to Divine grace. We are saved by grace, that God may have glory of all.

And Watts on a different subject:
We eat, we drink, we sleep; that is the life of nature: we buy and sell, we labor and converse; that is the civil life: we trifle, visit, tattle, flutter, and rove among a hundred impertinences, without any settled design what we live for; that is the idle life: and it is the kindest name I can bestow upon it. We learn our creed, we go to church, we say our prayers, we read chapters and sermons; these are outward forms of our religious life. Is this all? Have we no daily secret exercises of the soul in retirement and converse with God. Have we nothing to do with God alone in a whole day altogether? Surely this can never be the life of a Christian?

Please take time to read this. It would be easy to skim it as it is long and takes thinking which we all do too little of today. I know many of you are extremely busy, and it would be easy to joke about where you would get the time to do what Watts writes on this last subject. I can’t afford to neglect a meaningful time of reading, meditation, and prayer—can you?
Grace be with you, Dad

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE SPECIAL DUTIES OF CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS - II

Dear Children,
In my last letter I began what will be a series of letters of instructions on the subject of THE SPECIAL DUTIES OF CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS from the book Baxter’s Practical Works by Richard Baxter. Though it was written almost 400 years ago it is still full of practical instruction for today. Your mother and I are becoming more and more agitated at some of the standards that are becoming acceptable in the Christian community. We are often accused of being old fashioned or not being able to “adjust to the times.” Some of this may be true, but when we observe immodesty in dress and hear some of the music that has become acceptable in Christian circles we are filled with dismay. Many of our evangelical churches are including what is called a “contemporary service” for those who are more up to date as to music and dress. It is difficult to separate a pastor from the standards he allows, however good the sermon may be. I realize what I have just said is different than the subject I am writing from Baxter. However, I believe there is a direct correlation to the way children treat their parents when they are young and the kind of church they choose to attend when they are older.
DIRECTION II - “Honor your parents both in your thoughts, and speeches, and behavior. Think not dishonorably or contemptuously of them in your hearts. Speak not dishonorably, rudely, irreverently, or saucily, either to them or of them. Behave not yourselves rudely and irreverently before them. Yea, though your parents be never so poor in the world, or weak of understanding, yea, though they were ungodly, you must honor them not withstanding all of this; though you cannot honor them as rich, or wise, or godly, you must honor them as your parents. Remember that the fifth commandment hath a special promise of temporal blessing; “Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long in the land.”
“There are five sorts of sinners that God uses to overtake with vengeance even in this life.
• Perjured persons and false witnesses.
• Murderers.
• Persecutors
• Sacrilegious persons. And,
• Abusers and dishonorers of their parents.
“It is a fearful thing to see and hear how some ill-bred ungodly children will talk contemptuously and rudely to their parents, and wrangle and contend with them, and contradict them, and speak to them as if they were equals.”

Dad’s addition:
In Romans 1:24-32 we find the sin of sodomy and God giving them up to “vile affections” and “a reprobate mind.” Included in the terrible list of sins they are “filled with” is “disobedient to parents.”
I have you all in my heart,
Dad