This monthly service is just once a month. Through this service we can sweep away our mental dusts and receive many blessings. Sometimes I do not put much effort into the service, but when I think about the many people suffering from illness, I cannot help but focus my prayers for them. This is how I put more effort into the service. Those of you here and now, I am sure you know of someone close to you: family, friends or coworkers, with illness or personal problems. We are taught that through saving others, we are also saved. This means that when are praying for the salvation of others, we are also saved. Let’s put hearts together in fervent prayer for those we know who are suffering from illness or personal problems.
Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the November Monthly Service here at Pearl Church. I believe that when we perform the Service spiritedly and in unity, as we have today, God the Parent and Oyasama are truly satisfied with our efforts.
Instruction Three Reminder
In order that we may commemorate Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary in 2016, befitting our spiritual maturity, the Shinbashira presented Instruction Three during last year’s October Grand Service. Let us read Instruction Three to keep our course to cleanse our hearts as a goal towards Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary.
Let us read it together.
Accumulating Good Deeds in Our Daily Life
In our daily life of faith, we are taught that it is very important to accumulate virtue in our soul. Oyasama said that virtue is invisible and that it is engraved in one’s soul. It is a record of a good deed. People can lead a happy life if there is virtue residing on their soul. In life there are many things that are invisible, but very valuable such as love, resolve, diligence, promptness, honest, frugality, and gratitude.
How can we accumulate virtue? It is by making other people happy. On the other hand if we cause trouble to other people, we will reduce our virtue.
What is the difference between people who have accumulated a lot of virtue and those who have not? At work, there are some people who are accumulating virtue and some who are reducing their virtue. Those who are accumulating virtue are those who are working more than expected. On the other hand those who are reducing their virtue are those that are working less than expected. Those people who are essential or indispensable for the company and those who are always appreciated or those who work very hard for the company’s success and expansion are those who are accumulating virtue.
There are those who can find a good job and those who try but cannot, or some people who work very hard but have problems from conflicts with co-workers and their bosses, and some people cannot continue working due to the company going out of business or laid off due to downsizing, no matter how good their skills. In addition, some people have bad luck in working at a job or whatever they do.
In our life of faith, it’s not about having good or bad luck. If we are having problems holding a job, it’s because we have depleted our virtue. In this case it is important to accumulate a lot of virtue. Working hard in the shadows where people cannot see, is the best way to accumulate virtue. Such as doing hinokishin at the park, cleaning the bathrooms, washing the dishes and picking up dog poop left by other people’s dog.
In this way, without a doubt, we can receive blessings from God. This is the truth of heaven. Through accumulating good deeds in our daily life, whatever we wish will come true.
Not how much money we have, we cannot buy virtue because virtue is something that is unseen. Those who have virtue, have good partners at work or a trusted friend or a good spouse. Moreover, those who have virtue are trusted and their words have the power to inspire and motivate others and heal people’s psychological scars.
There is a Tenrikyo follower from Japan who is the son of a church minister and is living here in Hawaii. Growing up in a small Tenrikyo church, but a large family they lived a very frugal life. His parents couldn’t afford to buy him a bicycle. He needed a bike, so he went to a train station where he could find a lot of abandoned bikes that were broken. There he took parts from here and there and built a bicycle. Such was their life that even though they were poor, they could make do with what they had and led a happy family life. As an adult, he is very smart and talented. Although he went through a lot of hardship when he first came to Hawaii, now, he is bilingual; he has a successful business and a beautiful family. You could say that he has a lot of virtue.
We are living in a very abundant and technologically advanced age. For instance if we have air conditioning, we can cool our room with the touch of a button and we can heat our food in a couple minutes using a microwave oven. We have become accustomed to an easy and comfortable life due to abundance and advanced technology. However, have our minds become abundant and spiritually advanced as well? On the contrary, because of our material abundance and technological convenience, we have become less happy.
Through my experience, when I start to complain about something, most of the time, I realize that I am too blessed or too spoiled with material things. In other words, when life is too convenient and filled with material things, we take things for granted and we become lacking in appreciation and thankfulness. Some of us throw away food, when we don’t like it or when we are full. This is also reducing our virtue of making good use of things. In the Anecdotes of Oyasama #138 You Must Treasure Things, Oyasama said,
“You must make good use of everything. Everything is a gift from God.
Also in the Life of Oyasama p.32
One day, when Kokan informed Oyasama that there was no rice left in the house, Oyasama said to her:
In this world there are those who are suffering, unable to eat or even to swallow water despite food piled high at their bedsides. If we think of them, how blessed we are, for when we drink water. It tastes of water. God the Parent has blessed us with exquisite gifts.
Each and every day let us remember to accumulate virtue, by working in the shadows and make good use of things, be happy and appreciate whatever we receive big or small.
Thank you for your attention.
- For those of you able, please join us in tree trimming hinokishin tomorrow, 11/11, at MHQ of Hawaii. You can either meet us here at 8am or at MHQ at 8:30am.
- Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
- I would like to thank everyone for your support of the Trick or Treat for UNICEF fund drive. Thank you for your donations.
- You’re all invited to attend a thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd at 5:30pm followed by a pot luck dinner. Please let us know if you’re coming.
- Mission HQ will be having their annual general cleaning on Thursday, December 26 after the 9am Yohaishiki service.
- We will have our annual Pearl Church general cleaning on Saturday, December 28, from 9am and New Year’s mochi pounding on, Sunday, December 29 at MHQ from 7am.