Your Words Have Power! – November 2020

Good morning and Aloha.  I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the November Monthly Service here at Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. And I would like to thank those who have joined us on the live streaming today as well as joining our morning and evening services. Thank you very much. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!

Let share a funny story: My cheerful friend posted on Facebook that she tested negative for coronavirus.  I commented, “Really? Normally you’re so positive!”

Your Words Have Power!
For the past 3 months uppermost in everyone’s mind is the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Presidential Election.
The election is over and now Joe Biden is the new President of the US. Those of us who wanted him to win are happy and those of us who wanted the other candidate to win are probably unhappy.  Whoever wins, it shouldn’t matter if our faith is strong.

But now that the election is over, the nation is focused on the pandemic and the economy.

As of November 1 the world has almost 47Mil cases and 1,200,000 deaths.  With 34Mil recovered and 12 Mil still infected. There’s a 7-day moving average of 500K new cases daily and 6,500 deaths.

The US has 9,500,000 cases, 236k deaths, 6Mil recovered and 3Mil still infected.
The US new cases 7-day average is 82,700 and is increasing. The US new deaths 7-day average is 851 and is increasing with the last 3 days averaging over 1,000 deaths.

No matter who is president, the coronavirus pandemic will still be with us for a long time. So it’s up to us how we are going to help control the virus. Of course, wearing face masks, maintaining our social distance and washing our hands are important, but even more important is how we as Tenrikyo followers must take advantage of this important opportunity to not only keep our strong faith but also to spread the joy of faith to those around us. Our faith, our positive attitudes and the power of our words.

One of the Tenrikyo ministers on the mainland shared an encounter with someone who moved to San Francisco from New York who always stood in line to purchase a cup of coffee.  She noticed all the customers make a cheerful greeting during their transaction.  She felt it was a waste of time and didn’t bother.  She felt guilty about it because she was the only one not saying anything. So one day she started saying, “Hi, how are you?” She felt such joy that it transformed her.  Just a few words changed her whole outlook on life.

On this earth, there is a wide variety of living creatures.  From reptiles to the gigantic whales.  Among the many animals, humans are the only ones with language.  This is a wonderful gift that God gave us to live happily, peacefully and help each other.  However, there is a proverb that says, “Words can be the source of great harm.”  Sometimes without us realizing it, just a word can break up a relationship.

  • A single word can lead to a squabble
  • A single word can help people make up with each other.
  • A single word can hurt our feelings.
  • A single word can make us laugh.
  • A single word can make us cry.
  • A single word can express love.
  • Cherishing a single word.  Enriching a single word.

Many times we forget what we have said, but we get hurt by what someone else said to us and we start holding grudges against that person and say we will never forget that word that person said.  It seems like we easily forget what we say to others, but we remember those bad things that people say to us.  Just a few words can break or destroy a good relationship.

In the Ofudesaki, it says:

Listen carefully: whatever you may say or think,
or wherever you may say or think, V: 87

I shall give a return just as you deserve.
Beware, all of you, for God may withdraw! V: 88

Explanation: No matter how far away you think you might be, whether in a deep forest or the other side of a large ocean…no matter what we say or think, God the Parent will give a return exactly as we say or think.  When our words or thoughts are not in accord to God’s will, God may withdraw at once. No matter what we say or think, will come back to us accordingly.

Choice of words:
As we learn of Oyasama’s 50-year Divine Model, Oyasama always said, “that is good, that is good.”  Always saying appreciative words.

In the Anecdotes of Oyasama #21

That’s All to the Good

Five years from the time Chushichi Yamanaka had embraced the faith, a heavy rain had fallen continuously for many days. The river overflowed here and there, rice fields were washed out and houses were carried away. Chushichi suffered heavy losses. A landslide on his mountain property buried many large trees. Also, his rice fields of approximately ninety ares* were washed out.

People in his village had been deriding Chushichi’s faith and immediately seized the opportunity to heap all sorts of abuses on him, saying,

“Look at him! What a fool he is? Stupid one!”
 Feeling chagrined at what the villagers said, Chushichi visited Oyasama in the Residence and explained the situation to Her. Oyasama told him:

“Sah, sah, that’s all to the good. That’s all to the good. Now that your goods have been carried away to the bottom of the sea, it will come to good in the future. You may wonder why your fields and hills were washed out in spite of your faith, but you must accept the situation with a heart of gratitude. You must do so. That will come to good in the future.”

There are Four Kinds of Speech That Lead to Happiness

In Tenrikyo when we worship, we clap our hands four times, and I personally interpret this to mean that there are four kinds of speech that leads to happiness. The clapping of our hands can be likened to two people coming face-to-face and, from this, I think that there are four kinds of speech that can bring happiness to each other. (In Japanese, the number four is “shi,” and the action of coming face to face is “awase.” The combination of these two words, shiawase, can mean “happiness.”) An appropriate English translation might be “Four Ways to Meet.”

In Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) the Japanese word “kotodama” refers to the Japanese belief that mystical powers dwell in words and names.  The meaning includes “the soul and power of language. Whatever we say or think will come back to us.

The four kinds of speech at will lead to happiness are:

  1. The first kind is greetings. Giving a greeting is a first step in building good relationships: “Good morning,” “Hi, how are you?”.
  2. The second kind is words of appreciation, for example, “Thank you,” “I appreciate that.”
  3. The third kind is apology. We would do well to make a genuine apology when we are wrong. Although it may be difficult to admit our own fault or mistake, let us say words of apology from our heart, which helps keep our mind humble. “I’m sorry.”
  4. The last one is words of request. Ever since we were born, all of us have been cared for, loved, and helped by others. There is no way anyone could live alone. That is one reason why we need to ask for help from other people. “Could you help me.”

I would like all of us to realize the Joyous Life through using these four kinds of speech that lead to happiness in our relationships, starting with people close to us such as family.

Language or speech is a precious gift given to us. If we do not speak at all, speech cannot serve as nourishment in our life. If we remain silent, we cannot make our intention clear to others. It is important to make full use of our ability to speak so that our words will enrich our daily life while ensuring that we can live in joy and harmony, helping one another in all matters.

After 10 months, the coronavirus pandemic is still raging around us especially here in the U.S. Let us not miss the opportunity to reflect on the importance and power of our words and resolve to say a few simple words of greeting and gratitude to the people around us. Take the initiative to live your happy life and ultimately the joyous life for all!

Monthly Service March Sermon 2020

Pre-service talk: As most of you know the novel coronavirus is spreading throughout the world, let us take this time of performing the monthly service to give thanks for our relatively good health, pray for those infected with this disease and that a cure and vaccine can be developed as soon as possible. This monthly service is the service for universal salvation, let us put our hearts together in unity of mind to pray for the Joyous Life, not only for ourselves, but for everyone in the world.

Post Service Sermon

Good morning and Aloha! I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the March Service here at Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings.  I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!

 As I mentioned at the start of the service, the novel coronavirus also known as COVID 19, is rapidly spreading throughout the world.  Originating in Wuhan, China the disease has spread to 84 countries with over 100,000 cases increasing by an average of 1500 new cases every day.

 There was a shortage of face masks due to widespread hoarding. And even in Hawaii the Governor was saying to be prepared by storing 2 weeks supply of food and essentials.  The next day there was panic buying of water and toilet paper.  I went to Costco on the following Saturday to buy toilet paper just in case.  There was a lot of traffic and a lot of people buying toilet paper.  By the time I got to the toilet paper area, it was all gone!

 The whole city of Wuhan with a population of 11 million and 15 other cities in Hubei province are quarantined, meaning that no one can go in or out of the city and the whole province of Hubei

 Taeko’s portion

 What is God’s intention behind the Corona virus pandemic?

About 200 years ago during Oyasama’s physical presence there was a cholera epidemic in Japan in which 100,000 people died.

 And about 100 years ago there was the Spanish flu pandemic in which 30 million people died.

 And early this year the novel coronavirus is spreading all over the world.

 In the Ofudesaki 

The world is saying that it is cholera,
but it is Tsukihi informing you of the regret.

Ofudesaki XIV: 22

 This means that God is showing us a great regret, in God’s eyes.  If you think of it as an illness it’s a shallow way of thinking.

Whatever is done, is done by Tsukihi.
Whatever happens, know that it is not an illness.

Ofudesaki XIV: 20

“No matter what happens,” whatever epidemic, this is what God is showing us.  Whatever kind of bodily disorder, it is not an illness.  This is nothing but the parental love of God in which God wants to lead us toward the Joyous Life.

Whatever I do to the body,
it is not an illness but the care of Tsukihi.

XIV: 21

 This is how God is correcting how we use our mind. 

Because the world does not know this truth,
everyone sinks only deeper into . 

XIV: 26 

This Truth,” is the purpose of human creation. God wants to see us helping each other, live a happy life and God share in that becoming joyful in seeing us live happily.

 Because we human beings do not know of God’s purpose in our creation, we become depressed.

 In the present Coronavirus pandemic, people are fearful of becoming infected.

 In the Ofudesaki we read: 

With you humans, also, your children are dear to you.
Think of this and ponder, please.

XIV: 34

We all love our children. God the sParent loves all human beings in the same way. 

Day after day, the concern of the Parent
is only about the means to save you.

XIV: 35

 Because God loves us so much, God is always trying to help us all. God always wants us to be happy and live joyously. Then what does God the Parent want us to do to become happy and live joyously? 

 In seeking the answer to this question, we must become open and obedient to what God is trying to teach us.  We need to become obedient in putting into practice the words of God.

If we close our minds and reject the Teaching, then it’s going to be difficult to be saved.

So God shows us through our sickness and problems to improve our use of mind.

It’s just a personal experience story but our daughter, Annabella at about 10 years old used to deliver the Hawaii Hochi Japanese language newspaper every day.  So every day after school, she delivered this newspaper.  We were telling her to put the helmet on when she rides her bike on her deliveries, especially during the late afternoon busy traffic time.  She wasn’t obedient and didn’t want to wear her helmet because it was inconvenient and it didn’t look good.  As parents we were so concerned about her safety that we told her strongly that she couldn’t ride her bike if she didn’t wear her helmet.  So reluctantly she started to wear it.  A few days later, a neighbor called to say that our daughter had a little accident. Apparently she made a sudden stop going down a steep slope causing her to go over the front of the bike injuring her little finger which was at a 90 degree angle to her hand.  Needless to say I was so shocked to see our little daughter’s finger in such an unnatural position!  We took her to emergency and the doctor said that there were no broken bones so he simply forced her finger back into position. Needless to say, it wasn’t painless! He said that she would be alright in a few weeks. I’m sure we were blessed with God the Parent’s protection.  After coming home from the emergency room, we found a small rock embedded at the top of Annabella’s helmet and told Annabella that this rock could have injured her head if she didn’t wear her helmet.  It was a good lesson in safety and listening to your parents.

Through this coronavirus, God is sending us a strong message… that we are approaching a dangerous situation in our human thinking and actions. When we look at the world today with pollution in the environment, wars and conflict, we need to reflect on our daily use of mind and make positive efforts to get rid of our selfish thinking.  How can we get rid of our self-centered thinking?  It is through the Service for universal salvation.  Are we going to be obedient in making efforts to perform the service or are we going to reject it? The choice is up to us.

Whatever may happen, there will be nothing to fear,
depending on your mind of sincerity.

XIV: 49

January Grand Service 2019

Aloha and Happy New Year Pearl Church Ohana!

This month we are commemorating Oyasama’s 133rd Anniversary since Her withdrawal from physical life. That’s why it’s called the January Grand Service rather than monthly service.

In the events leading to Oyasama’s physical “withdrawal” the followers were confronted with the dilemma of following Oyasama’s direction to perform the service and the threat of Her arrest if they did perform service due to government persecution.

Oyasama then explained the order of the universe and the followers were then able to be resolved in following Her wish to perform the service.

With the same resolve, please join us in performing the Salvation Service for the Joyous Life World.

Tenrikyo Pearl Church
1634 10th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sunday, January 13, 2019
10:00 a.m.

Rev. Owen and Taeko Nakao

October Grand Service Prayer 2018

Before God the Parent, Tenri O No-Mikoto, I, Owen Osamu Nakao, Pastor of Tenrikyo Pearl Church, humbly express the following prayer:

On this day, as granted to this church, we have gathered here to conduct the October Grand Service to commemorate the Teachings’ day of origin.

As in the following words of God, “I am God of OriginGod in Truth. There is causality in this Residence. At this time I have descended here to save all humankind. I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God.” These were the first words declared by You, God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, through the mouth of Oyasama, Miki Nakayama.

That day was October 26, 1838. From that day on, through Oyasama, You appeared in person to teach us the one final truth, the truth that You are the true Creator and Parent of humankind. You taught us the Reason for our creation, which was from Your desire to have all humankind lead the Joyous Life, helping one another through the marvelous path of single-hearted salvation.
To attain this, You also taught us the Joyous Service with the intent to manifest once more, the marvelous power by which humankind and the world were created where there was no form. Through the sincere performance of this Service, the world will be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life, which is fully in accord with the intent of God the Parent.

Each of us here today, relying on You, intend to perform the Service in harmony and joy, becoming one with the mind of God. Please accept our spirited minds of unity and let the joy of the harmonious union of God and humankind overflow.

Through Your blessing, the Pearl Church Autumn Memorial Service was faithfully conducted on September 22 with 12 persons in attendance. The BGA General Meeting and Service Performance was held on the following day September 23 at MHQ of Hawaii with 10 persons from Pearl Church attending. The annual All Tenrikyo Nioigake Day was conducted on September 30 with 4 from Pearl Church. In addition, we have engaged in Kamina Nagashi in Waikiki with the Mission Headquarters group. We thank you deeply for your love and care and we pray for your continued guidance.

During these past weeks we have experienced hurricanes and earthquakes, in Japan, Philippines, Florida, Carolinas and here in Hawaii as well. As we pray for the victims, survivors and their families, please grant us compassion and resolve that we may always extend that helping hand.
With the Shinbashira as the core, we continue to engage in nioigake and salvation work.

May we, Your children, in this 181st year of Tenrikyo, come ever closer to understanding Your intentions, so that we may become “one” with You and manifest the Joyous Life as intended for all humanity.

In union with the congregation I humbly pray may it be so.

Monthly Service Reminder, Sunday, 9/10, 10am

Hurricane Harvey has caused massive flooding resulting in loss of life and property damage estimated in the billions.

Why does God allow this to happen? Where is God’s love in all this? Some people may say that this is part of God’s plan or God’s in control of everything. If God is all powerful why does God allow this to happen?

This and more as we pray for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and conduct the Service for Universal Salvation at Pearl Church

Sunday, September 10, 2017
10:00 a.m.

1634 10th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii

Ph: 808-734-1449

Rev. Owen and Taeko Nakao

One-month Spiritual Development Course 2017

How can we live a happy and prosperous life? How can we improve our health and solve our problems? Find answers to questions like these and experience the true joy of life through attending the Spiritual Development Course. In the safe and nurturing environment of Mission Headquarters, you will:

  • learn the true purpose of life by helping one another and practicing the Teachings in actual situations
  • experience the joy of having faith.
  • learn the teachings of Tenrikyo and be trained spiritually

Sign up and take the first step to a bright and hopeful future!

Date: Sunday, June 18 (Registration 3:00pm) – Thursday, July 13, 2017

Contact us if you are interested!

Shuyokai Flier 2017

*Applications due by Sunday, May 14, 2017

BGA Camp & Pearl Church Mini Bazaar

The Annual Tenrikyo Hawaii Boys & Girls Association Spring Camp & General Meeting was held last weekend from March 24th through the 27th. A total of 79 participating children plus approximately 30 adult volunteers helped at the highly successful camp.

Our annual Mini Bazaar & Rummage Sale is coming up this Sunday, April 2 from 8am to 12noon. Please come and join us!

Owen’s specialty homemade raisin and white bread. Very popular in the congregation.

Annual BGA Spring Camp and Pearl Church Mini Bazaar & Rummage Sale 2017

The annual BGA Spring Camp is coming up this weekend on Friday – Sunday, March 24-26. Please help out whenever you can.

Our next Mini-bazaar and Rummage Sale is on the following weekend on Sunday, April 2nd from 8am-12noon. We will be needing help on Friday: setup canopies, signage, tables and merchandise, Saturday: Sorting and Pricing; Sunday: 7am help make spam musubi and cone sushi, 8am: cashiering (food and merchandise); help cashier add up purchases, bag or box items, sales (talk to the people, ask them how they heard about the rummage sale, spread aloha and goodwill, answering questions, help people make their purchase); help people carry their purchases to their car, etc.

Homemade food for sale at Mini-Bazaar 2015

Please print out flier, pass out to friends.

TPC MB-Rummage Sale Flyer 20170402

2nd Annual Jarrett Pride Day 2017

A total of 7 members of Pearl Church helped run the Tenrikyo Pearl Church Bubble Drink booth which also featured a spur-of-the-moment Andagi sale as well at this year’s annual Jarrett Pride Day.

The event was a success given that we sold out on both bubble drinks and andagi, and the performances by the Jarrett Middle School Band, Ewa Makai Middle School Band, talent show participants, and ukulele clubs from other schools. There were also other games with prizes, a dunking booth, baked goods, food sales from local businesses, and Cultural booths.

Please check out the Jarrett Middle School Foundation Facebook page for more photos.