Saturday, September 03, 2016

"neither have two coats apiece" - A Murderer and A Priest

Around Tokyo

A Murderer and A Priest

John Grisham's novel The Confession was translated into Japanese and one Japanese reader read it to post his opinion.

The reader was finally puzzled by the motivation of Travis for his confession to a priest in Kansas of his murder in Texas for which an innocent African American youth was to be executed as the tragic victim of false accusation. 
In 1998, Travis Boyette abducted and raped Nicole "Nikki" Yarber, a teenage girl and high school student in Slone, Texas and buried her body in Joplin, Missouri some 6 hours from Slone. He watches unfazed as the police arrest and convict Donté Drumm, a black high school football player with no connection to the crime. Despite his innocence, Drumm is convicted and sentenced to death. He has been on death row for nine years when the story takes place. While Drumm serves his prison sentence, lawyer Robbert "Robbie" Flak fights his case while Black Americans protest his false conviction, creating a law and order situation. 
Meanwhile, Boyette had fled to Kansas and had lived there ever since. He had been suffering with brain tumor for the past nine years and his health had deteriorated. In 2007, with Drumm's execution only a week away, reflecting on his miserable life, he decides to do what is right: confess.

In the story, eventually Travis escaped the police after his confession of the murder in Texas and his help to find the dead body of the victimized girl.  Then, he called the priest in Kansas who had helped save Donte, though in vain, telling that he was alright and his brain tumor was not fatal.

The Japanese reader could not find a clear motivation for Travis to reveal his hidden crime, since Travis was not actually dying.  (Travis attacked another young woman, while being at large, to be arrested in the end of the story.  So, he was not fatally ill.)

In my estimation, Travis wanted to have access to the pretty wife of the priest.  As a strategy, he confessed his murder in Texas to the priest to have the priest get interested in him and get more chances to go to the church and see the wife of the priest.  But, he could not succeed in penetrating into the church.

Meanwhile, the priest came to strongly feel a kind of responsibility for saving Donte.  His zeal influenced Travis who thought that leaving the half-way house, against law, for Texas with the priest to save the African American youth might not be a bad idea, since if he had been fully released from the half-way house after expiration of his term, he would have had no special merit.  And in Texas, he was also influenced by hot enthusiasm of the lawyer and his aids in trying to save Donte.  Travis was overwhelmed and could not get away from them.  So, he led them to the place where he had buried the dead body of the girl, though soon after it he ran away.

It was a desire of Travis to the pretty wife of the priest that first brought him to the church and made him confess his crime as a mean to have access to the couple.

The key to reality of this story is involvement of the priest and his faith.   God looked like using the mean criminal Travis to reveal the truth of cruelty of death penalty and racial prejudice.

So, the Japanese reader may well not understand how a bad man can be sometimes influenced by strong faith and passion of a Christian priest or a true Christian priest, if he has the pretty wife, since most of Japanese have never been to church and never been acquainted with Christian priests.

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Luk 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

"Jesus to those Jews which believed" - Typhoon No.10 Moving from East to West

Tokyo Station

Typhoon No.10 Moving from East to West

For the first in the Japanese history, a typhoon has moved from the east to west on the Pacific Ocean immediately south of the Japanese Archipelago.

It is Typhoon No.10 (Lionrock) that finally landed yesterday on the Pacific coast of the Tohoku (northeast) region of Honsyu Island after it turned around at the sea area east of Okinawa Island (the southernmost major island of Japan) and moved from the southwest to the northeast, following back to the direction it had taken from the east to the west two weeks ago or so.

Typhoons usually have access to Japan from southwest to northeast.  But most probably for the first time in the written history, a typhoon has moved to the opposite direction.

Maybe a great warning for global warming or something about Japan it must be.

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Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"many believed on him" - Intelligence of God and the Mankind

Around Tokyo

Intelligence of God and the Mankind

What are our bodies, animals, plants, rocks, water, air, etc. made of?

Essentially they are materially made of protons, neutrons as well as electrons.  Only these three elementary particles are the building blocks of everything in the nature and the universe except some mysterious matter such as dark matter.

However, protons, neutrons as well as electrons cannot be directly observed, captured, or stored.  At one level up in the material stratum, we can identify the origin of everything around us: hydrogen.

Any other atoms and elements are made through nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms, which mostly occurs in fixed stars such as our sun.  Gold, silver, copper, iron, etc. were all produced through chains of nuclear fusion starting from hydrogen. And, any common matter and substances such as water, stones, plants, chemicals, metals, proteins, various molecules, etc. were produced through chemical reaction of atoms whose original forms are hydrogen.  

Hydrogen can be observed, collected, and stored in the form of the hydrogen gas each molecule of which consists of two hydrogen atoms: H2.  But indirectly hydrogen is observed in water, since one molecule of water consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.  Water is a kind of another form of hydrogen, though accompanied by oxygen.

The sun is a great ball of hydrogen burning in the nuclear fusion process.  We can see the state of nuclear fusion of hydrogen in the sun, though other atoms produced by hydrogen nuclear fusion are also in their nuclear fusion process deep in the sun.

So, from the sun to water, everything essential to our life is directly made of hydrogen atoms; and our bodies, animals, plants, chemicals, metals, etc. were all results of nuclear fusion and chemical reactions that started from hydrogen atoms.

So, our material world and universe are really the hydrogen type.  And, can it happen by chance?  Without a grand design, can it be possible?  Apparently this hydrogen dominant universe and world cannot be a result of random and infinite-time trials of creation of material universes and worlds.

God must have designed it and successfully created the whole hydrogen-based universe just in one Big Bang.

And designing is mental work based on intelligence.  Therefore, in this context, God resembles the mankind in that He has at least a human-type of intelligence.  Or more correctly, the mankind was given a part of intelligence of God.  Therefore, the mankind is responsible for God in terms of how they use intelligence given by God.

The more intelligence a man is given, the more responsible he is before God.

The Sun exudes a constant stream of hydrogen, called the "solar wind."

Earth's oceans from space
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. And when you burn it or use it to produce electricity, the only waste product is water.

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Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

"Jesus, thou Son of God" - Haiku Master Basho in Summer Mountains

Tokyo Bay

Haiku Master Basho in Summer Mountains

Once Basho, a notable haiku poet in Japan in the late 17th century, traveled from Edo (Tokyo) to Mutsu, the vast local region northeast of Edo.

It was travelling to observe nice and interesting scenery and create haiku poems, since Mutsu was then with full of mountainous and seaside nature in addition to farming villages through paths of hundreds kilometers.

In a mountain area, Basho was walking up and got absorbed by a flood of buzzing of cicadas, since it was mid-summer.   The sun was high, the mountains and fields were full of green, the air was hot, and cicadas were naturally and loudly buzzing to add the heat to the air.

Basho saw a wall of rocks on the road side.  It stood there in the contrast against trees and other thick green plants.  He felt that the buzzing of cicadas was incessantly hitting the surface of the rock wall.

But suddenly Basho realized that nothing was heard except the buzzing of cicadas in his environment.  Rather, he felt how widely spreading the buzzing of cicadas was over the air where no other sounds existed.  Then, he could catch silence of the environment through the buzzing of cicadas or through a very short momentary pause of the buzzing in its vibration.  Yes, he found that cicadas were making noises in the middle of stillness in mountains.

Then he felt that the buzzing of cicadas was penetrating in the rock wall that stood still and the buzzing also forcibly penetrating into his mind.  The more the sound was penetrating into the rocks, the more the stillness in the air covered by the buzzing could be sensed.

So, he made a famous haiku poet facing mountains near and far and listening to the spredaing buzzing of cicadas:
Oh what mountain stillness revealed
by the deeply seeping into the rocks
of the buzzing of cicadas so hot.

Cicadas were not trying to hide the stillness.  But as it was essentially so still in the mountain, they made noises fully without restriction.  It is as if the stillness in the mountain used the so many cicadas buzzing so as to make Basho realize the deep and vast stillness
Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694), or Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku).

Through full of noisy evil things in this world, can we, however, sense silent holiness?

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Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Mat 8:30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
Mat 8:31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
Mat 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Monday, August 29, 2016

"One of the prophets" - Why God Gave Christianity and Islam to Mankind


Why God Gave Christianity and Islam to Mankind

Interestingly, the Koran denies the deity of Christ Jesus and teaches that He was not God.
What does Islam and the Quran say about Jesus? 
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (4:171,Yusif Ali)

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (5:575, Yusif Ali)

The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (9:30, Yusif Ali)
However, Christianity is a religion based on belief that Christ Jesus is God.  How can this be possible that Both Christianity and Islam have been prevailing in parallel for more than 1300 years?  And, have leaders of both the religions to solve this discrepancy in cooperation?

It is time for Christians and Muslims to discuss this matter: Why do Christians believe that Christ Jesus is God while Muslims deny it, and why do not Muslims believe that Christ Jesus is God while Christians believe it?

And, what proof will Christians present to support their belief that Christ Jesus is God, and what proof will Muslims show to uphold their belief that Christ Jesus is not God?  There must be hot discussions and contention between them.  But they must address and solve this issue, since this is one of the most important issues for the mankind.

The answer is, however, in the truth we have to admit that God is almighty and God is the Lord of the mankind.  He can make Christians believe that Christ Jesus is God and, at the same time, make Muslims believe that Christ is not God, since God is almighty and God is the Lord of the mankind.  But, there remains another question: Why does God do so?

From the beginning, God could have shown himself as a mighty king or emperor leading a million troops to Judaists and Roman troops in Palestine in the first century but not as a son of a mere carpenter.  Or Gould could have appeared as a mighty king or emperor leading a million troops to Muhammad and Arabs in the seventh century without using His angel to send His messages to Muhammad.

So, we have to think about why we have just such history as has ambiguous and non-conclusive incidents involving God, as seen in the cases of Christianity and Islam.

For example, there is the law of gravitation in the nature.  Anyone can confirm it by dropping an apple or any other objects from his hand to the ground.  We can confirm it that the law of gravitation works in the nature.  But we cannot confirm existence of God in such a manner.

However, for Christians and Muslims to discuss why they have different views on Christ Jesus must be useful to deepen our faith in God, hopefully.  Those without true face will not like such discussions and not be interested in it from the beginning.  But those who really love God and true faith must want to address this issue.

Why did God give Christianity and Islam to the mankind, in addition to Judaism?  This is the issue that the mankind must address in total cooperation.

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Mar 8:27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
Mar 8:28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
Mar 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
Mar 8:30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.