Corruption is a concern after any major natural disaster, as millions of dollars in cash and goods rush in from around the world. So the government of President BenignoAquino III, who has made fighting corruption a priority, is promising full transparency in reconstruction spending in areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda. It announced Monday that it has established a website called the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub where funds given by foreign donors can be tracked.
Let us put hearts together in fervent prayer for those we know who are suffering from illness or personal problems and those survivors in the Philippines and that our disaster relief donations will reach the people as intended.
Post Service Sermon
Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the December 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. And thank you very much for your sincere and kind offerings.
What is the meaning of Causality? We cannot bear avocados from papaya seed or watermelon from a mango seed. A few months ago we got a lot of lettuce from our garden planter box by planting lettuce seeds. We harvested a lot of eggplants from planting eggplant seeds. There is a proverb that says, “nothing grows without planting a seed”.
In the Mikagura-uta Song 7: 8 we sing:
Eighth, As this Residence is the field of God,
Everyseed sown here will sprout.
In this verse, Oyasama is metaphorically comparing the daily use of mind with growing crops. When we sow a good seed in the soil, we will bear a good fruit. On the other hand when we sow a bad seed we will harvest a bad fruit. This is the nature of heaven.
When any difficulty arises it comes from our own mind. Oyasama taught us that this is causality or cause and effect. Is causality like our fate and destiny? …that we just have to accept it? No, of course not! Oyasama taught us that we should realize that whatever we are facing now, good or bad, is due to our causality. When we rely on God the Parent and cultivate our mind we can change. In order to change our destiny, God has taught us to help others and accumulate good deeds as mentioned in last month’s sermon. In this way, it would be easier and faster to live a good life.
If it is causality, we will always have to accept it, live with it and pay it off like a debt.
Oyasama always taught us that we are saved by saving others. That is why She bestowed the Truth of Sazuke to the followers.
Note: In regards to administering the Sazuke people are saved and we ourselves will be blessed too.
Sometimes, we encounter a seemingly negative situation. For instance, we might ask our self, “I’m always working very hard, by why do I feel less blessed or why am I not recognized for my abilities or skills? Also some children are born with physical impairment. On the other hand, there are children born with smart brains or physical ability. Seeing this, one might think that God is unfair.
In Tenrikyo we believe in reincarnation. We are born and reborn many times. However, nobody knows what kind of life we had in our past. So sometimes we ask ourselves why do unfortunate things happen in our life? Or Why do I have to suffer? Whatever happens to us, good or bad, or whatever we encounter is a continuation from our past life to our present life.
Generally speaking, people may think it’s fate or destiny. And that there is no hope. But if we can reflect on our wrong doing and realize that we did something bad to someone in our past life, then we can ask God for forgiveness. Christianity and Catholicism talks about repentance and to have one’s sin forgiven in confession. I believe this is also a key to living a better life.
In 1838, God the Parent, who is the God of Origin, was revealed in this world through the mouth of Oyasama, taught us, no matter how difficult our circumstance, God will save us.
If we believe only in our intelligence, we can try our best to solve a problem. If you only believe in doctors and medicine you can rely on it too. However after having exhausted all medical treatment without success, then only God the Parent can save us.
Around 1875, a 16-year old young man named Iwajuro (Iida) of Ando Village was in critical condition. His family desperately wanting him to be saved, put him in a shutter door, moaning in distress and carried him to Oyasama’s residence. He had unbearable pain saying, “I better die, if I have to suffer this bad.”
Then Oyasama said to him, “Do you really want to die?” He nodded his head. Then Oyasama continued,
“You were a pawn shop broker in your past life. You lent people money by taking their possessions with high loan interests, whereupon there were many people who wanted to die because they couldn’t repay their loan. This is the reason why you are feeling the same way they felt.
Resolve your mind and save others.
After Oyasama admonished him, he received a magnificent blessing after having resolved to save others.
Lecture reference: Eiji Ozaki, Mind That Attracts Happiness p220.
Thank you for your attention.
- For those of you able, please join us in our yearend cleaning, Pearl Church Saturday, December 21st from 9am and at Mission HQ on Thursday, 12/26.
- Also mochi pounding on Sunday, 12/29 from 7am.
- New Year’s Service at Pearl Church on New Year’s Day from 7am.
- 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.