Good morning. 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!
Say Thank You 100 Times a Day
Most people have a mind of appreciation and to be thankful. We do morning and evening services every day. In the morning we thank God for the new day and in the evening, we thank God for being able to go through the day in safety. When someone does something for me or when we receive things, it’s normal for us to say thank you. It’s a matter of course to say thank you. However, recently I have realized that haven’t really been thankful for the seemingly small things in life. The first thing we do in the day is to wake up, we should say thank you. Because if we didn’t wake up then it means that we are really sick, really lazy or perhaps really dead. Next, when we use the bathroom, we should be thankful. Some of us experience pain in our legs or hip or other part of the body and therefore have a difficult time waking up. Still we should say thank you for this experience. When we have breakfast, we drink water, coffee or tea. Again we should say thank you.
Everyone knows this is a blessing, but we don’t really acknowledge it with gratitude. We’re so busily occupied in other thoughts and concerns that we don’t stop to say or think thank you in such routine everyday things in our life. But if we let this continue, then we tend to take things for granted. My personal goal is to consciously say or think “thank you” one hundred times a day.
Life is not always smiling, laughing and good times. We also experience tragedy, hardships, pain and suffering. This is only natural as human beings, this happens to everybody. It is for us to learn and grow. This is also another thank you. The more we say thank you, the more we will be thankful and more thankful blessings will come.
From the Life of Oyasama we read:
…a farm hand, whom the family had hired for the autumn harvest, proved to be exceedingly lazy in spite of his robust body. He was coldly ignored by the others because he shirked his duties no matter how busily the others worked. Miki did not forsake him but persistently strove to guide him, always greeting him in an affectionate way:
Thank you for your efforts.
At first, the man presumed on Her kindness and remained as idle as ever. But, after a while, he realized that he had no excuse for being so idle and began to work, till at last he became an unusually hard worker.
When something bad or troubles happen and when I’m really discouraged, even more I will try to say “thank you,” many times. When I do this, my negativity moves to the side and good thoughts comes to my mind. When my mind is filled with good thoughts, my worries disappear naturally. There are people who live with big families and some people live on their own. Either way, we are not living by ourselves. We are all supported by friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. We are supported by many people. This is how we can live and do our work feeing at ease, without worry. This is another thank you, being supported by many people around us.
I would like to share a paragraph, from Instruction Three, page 3.
“The ever-growing tendency to think that all is well, if it is well for oneself, is progressively weakening interpersonal ties; indeed, even family bonds seem fragile in today’s society. This tendency is contrary to the joyous life. As it says, to keep good ties with people is to care about people with loving kindness.
One page 5:
“Salvation work begins with paying attention to those around us.” It continues by saying that we must “proactively speak to them and reach out to them.” First we pay attention to those around us and with our attitude we express our thankfulness through our behavior and actions. Even in our own families, let’s do something that will be helpful. For example, wash the piled up dishes, sweep the porch, take down the laundry and clean the toilet, etc. Through expressing thankfulness in our daily action, we will become more bright and positive…and the people around us will reflect that brightness.
Recently, our friend, Mrs. D who works at Neiman Marcus, said that her work place has so much conflict, that her mind cannot be at peace. It’s difficult to be calm and friendly. So in such a situation, I try to pray and express my gratitude for the day. She said that even though she’s gone through a tough day with the conflict at work, she was able to be thankful. She asked Taeko, “So what is your schedule tomorrow. She answered, because we live in a church we start our day with the morning service and another service in the evening. After hearing this, Mrs. D. said, “Faith is so important;” and said that it’s such a wonderful thing that Tenrikyo people are able to express their gratitude every day through their morning and evening service. I have heard that the words of thank you, is nutrition for the mind and body. When we continuously say the words, “thank you,” our mind becomes abundant and filled with happiness and spiritual wealth. We don’t have room for the desire to own so many material things. We can be satisfied with the things we have now. Let’s just say, thank you very much! The more we say it, the more wonderful things will come to us.
Thank you power, or saying, “Thank you,” doesn’t cost anything and has no side effects.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
- Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts to recoat the roof in preparation of the solar panel installation later this month. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
- A special lecture by Church HQ staff was conducted for yoboku and members to help us prepare for the Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary. Seven people attended from Pearl Church. Thank you for making the effort to attend.
- I would like to thank those who came to the annual Tenri Cultural Center cleanup on President’s day February 18. Eight persons attended from Pearl Church.
- The annual BGA Spring Camp will be held this month on March 29-31, during the Good Friday, Easter weekend. We would like to ask for everyone’s hinokishin.
- Please take advantage of these activities accomplish several tasks at one time:
- Sweep away your mental dusts and further your spiritual growth.
- Do nioigake by inviting friends and family.
- Transmit the faith to the next generation.
- Plant seeds of sincerity by sharing the joy of faith to the people around you and the community.
- We would like to thank our Tenri University home stay student Yuta Maeda for his six months of hinokishin at Pearl Church. He will be leaving on March 25.