Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for being here to attend the February Monthly 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!
This month we will continue our series on the ten aspects of God's Providence: Kunisazuchi no-Mikoto.
KUNISAZUCHI NO MIKOTO
In the human body, Kunisazuchi is the providence of the female organ, of skin and joining; in the world the providence of joining in general.
(From Rev. Ueda Yoshitaro “Kihon Kyouri” (Let's Study the Basic Dogma))
The woman's reproductive organ is where human beings conceive their baby and give birth. Especially the ovary is the most important part because it's where the human egg is formed.
In our salvation work, my wife Taeko met a lady Ms. R. 30 yo, who came from Micronesia about 5 years ago to receive medical treatment. She said that she had lower stomach pains from 1998 and that she was taking leave from work due to the pain. She said that she had endometriosis, which an illness of the uterus and that she can no longer have a baby. She's been seeing a doctor at Kapiolani Hospital, but it seemed that she wasn't getting any better. She let Taeko inside her home and Taeko asked if she could pray for her. Taeko visited Ms. R about 4 or 5 times administering the Sazuke each time. About four months after the first Sazuke, Ms. R said that she was completely cured. Taeko couldn't believe her ears and she asked again. Ms. R smiled and again she said that she was well and that she's back to her regular job. Recently, Taeko went to visit her and her aunt answered the door. The aunt said that she moved in with her boyfriend in Waianae. The aunt said that Ms. R. is now pregnant and expecting in May! I believe this miraculous blessing was due to the power of the Sazuke and Ms. R's receptive and obedient attitude that allowed God to work for her.
In the Truth of Origin, the instrument of joining is represented by the turtle. The turtle has a low profile and although it is slow, it takes sure and firm steps. It may be part of Japanese culture, but Japanese woman are taught to be like a turtle. The turtle has a hard shell to protect itself. When attacked, it retracts its head and limbs. It does not attack others. When flipped upside down, it is able to right itself. In this way Japanese women are taught to be humble, patient, preserving and resilient.
The human body is covered with one complete skin so it can hold the fluids and it protects the body. When we have a cut, there is bleeding and we may need stitches or a band aid to close the opening and through this providence the cut is healed together.
Also, it is said that diseases of the skin, such as rashes and eczema may have their causes in our relationships with people. Our twin boys, Lewis and Lucas had atopic dermatitis when they were about two years old. They itched and scratched all over their body with sores and oozing. We took them to see the dermatologist and got some medication for them. The medication worked, but when we stopped it, the itching and oozing returned. The doctor said that he could not increase the dosage since it was already too strong.
During that time, Taeko was told by a minister from Japan that she should maintain better relations with people. For one month this minister administered the Sazuke to the twins. The twins received a blessing of a complete cure during which time they did not take the medication. Their sores and oozing dried up and fell off. They are now 23 years old and never had recurrence.
I think from this we can learn that it's important to develop and maintain good relationships with people. The basic relationship is between husband and wife because this is how our life begins and we are born.
Mrs. M., who is a long time member of another Tenrikyo church in Waipahu, told me many times, if the wife respects the husband, then the children will come out ok. Then she told me a story about a family where the children were always sick. She told the wife and she must respect her husband. It apparently struck a chord with her because after she started to respect the husband, their children became well. Also recently she instructed a young mother that since her child was fussy, she should smile at her husband during mealtime. The next time, about a month later, she saw that the child was calm and said to the mother, “see… it works!”
For me as a husband, I like the idea that the wife must respect the husband. I just look at my wife and say, “The wife must respect the husband.” But she just gets all upset! But anyway, just this past October in Jiba, I attended a lecture given by the head minister of Tenrikyo San Mateo Church. He was sent from Japan to do missionary work in the U.S. 20 years ago and established this church in California ten years later. Before he left Japan, his father said that doing missionary work in America may be difficult, but wherever you are you can follow the Divine Model of Oyasama. Oyasama will surely work for you. Anyway this head minister is middle aged and looks kind of tough and macho, but he said that the husband must respect the wife and make the wife happy. He says that because he respects his wife and makes her happy, his church has become very prosperous.
From these two stories, we can say that both husband and wife must respect each other and try to make each other happy. After all it is what we promise each other when we get married. I think this is what is meant by having a mind that “tries to connect with people.”
In the world, financial matters and relationships, especially marital, are related to this providence of joining or connecting. For example money connects things and services with people. Relationships are formed and reinforced through the exchange of money. If our relationships go bad, we may lose our connection with money. For example, if we argue with our coworkers and our superiors, we may get a pay cut or even lose our job. If we don't maintain good relations with a customer, we may lose them. If we get divorced we may lose the house or business. I cannot help but wonder if America's financial crisis might have their roots in husband and wife relations.
In this time of economic crisis, the foundation of our financial system is being shaken with companies downsizing or going out of business and people losing their jobs. Our new president Obama says that he will bring change to Washington and the country. But first of all, we ourselves must make changes. We must change our lifestyle and attitudes. I feel that the words “gratitude, moderation and mutual help” resonates at this particular time of financial crisis. We must take the time to reflect on our life and realize that although important, we cannot depend only on money and material things to dominate our life. It is through our faith that we will survive and thrive. Today we talked about just one aspect of our faith which is “having a mind that connects with people.” I hope that all of us can take this teaching the providence of Kunisazuchi no Mikoto, to heart and apply it in our daily lives.
Maintaining a mind of joining will bring happiness to your life and peace in this world.
- Thank you to everyone who came and helped at the annual BGA leadership camp and New Year park cleanup and BBQ picnic on January 24 and 25. Three children participated in the camp and the same three children plus 3 adults came to the Stadium Park clean up and BBQ picnic. Thank you also to those who came out to participate in the monthly Mission HQ community Hinokishin Day last Tuesday at Ala Moana Beach Park.
- We are disappointed that Mrs. Misue Nakao (Tengen Head Minister's wife) couldn't make the trip here due to a sprained ankle. She was scheduled to arrive on Feb 5 to attend our monthly service this month, meet our congregation and deliver her message for the Women's Association.
While she has said that she needs to reflect on her situation and spiritual growth, I believe that we, the Pearl Church congregation, should also do some soul searching, that is to reflect on our respective situations and see how we can advance on the path to spiritual maturity that will be deserving of a visit by Mrs. Misue and receive the Truth of Jiba.
Recently we read about a church that is very active and have resolved to administer the sazuke 1,000 every month. In order that we may receive the Truth of Jiba, thereby advance of the path to spiritual maturity and realize the Joyous Life world as intended by God the Parent we have set a similar goal on a smaller scale. Our goal is to administer the sazuke at least 100 times every month. Last month between Taeko and myself we administered the sazuke 37 times. We plan to increase that, but we would need help to attain 100. If you have adminsitered the sazuke whether it was on your child or other person or however many times to the same person on the same day (maximum is 6 on same person in a 24 hours), please send me an email as to the name, date and number of times so that we may record and keep track of number of sazuke. Please help us attain this goal! It is the goal to the Joyous Life!
- I would like to introduce our home stay students from Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School, who are just staying one week. They are not only learning English, but also working hard to planting seeds of sincerity, such as nioigake and hinokishin. Please welcome Miyuki Fukaya and Asuka Hori. Their last day here is on Tuesday and will be departing on Thursday.
- This Sunday is Mission HQ monthly service from 9am and the following Monday is Nioigake Day from 9am.
- The three associations, BGA, WA & YMA will be conducting their annual All TCC cleanup Hinokishin Day on President's Day, Monday, February 16 from 9am-11am. Lunch will be served so please come out with friends and family to help clean up TCC.
- Also the BGA Spring Camp will be held on March 21-23 (Sat-Mon). See flyer for service practice dates and locations.