I love Japan.
Posted 9 hours ago
I love Japan.
Posted 9 hours ago
Posted 1 day ago
a Japanese friend of mine just invited me to church.
do you know what are the odds of that happening in a country with Christians amounting to less than 1% of the population?
LITERALLY SO MICROSCOPIC THAT THIS IS THE STUFF that probably made the big bang aka stuff OF PURE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT
in related news, I’m learning the Apostle’s Creed and Lord’s Prayer in Japanese! something I’m noticing is how the Japanese define a perfectly executed example of talk: it has to be recited flawlessly, as unoffensive as possible and completely from memory. Thus, the things I’m choosing to be able to recite in Japanese should not only be done in the Japanese way, but also be receptive to them as well. Then again, this is also all just a forecast — we’ll see what it’s actually like on the battleground.
Seriously though, thank you to everyone for your prayers! I hugely appreciate the time one takes to talk to God about how He can be more present here. It’s evident He loves Japan and its people and everything is so exciting! The doldrums will come, but I’ve been keeping them at bay by literally loving everyone I see and talk to to the best of my ability, especially when I feel myself getting annoyed (and it’s noticeably happened a few times already).
I’m currently reading Matthew because a question I want to get better at answering is “who is Jesus?” in case any Japanese person asks me that. The Gospels are excellent — I highly implore you to pick any one of them to read and to stick with it as you are reminded of who Jesus is and why you carry the cross that you do.
Posted 2 days ago
— John the Baptist, when the crowds asked him what to do in order to repent. Sure, John the Baptist didn’t get his own book in the Bible. He’s only a minor character in Jesus’ story. But Jesus said that “among those born of women no one is greater than John.” He was a small part of Jesus’ story, but he was prophet, and many of those who followed Jesus were prepared by John. His words carry as much weight as any other prophet’s. The crowds asked John how to repent, and John said to share - share until you’ve got nothing left to share. How many shirts do you own? (via crunchykiwi)
John the Baptist, when the crowds asked him what to do in order to repent.
Sure, John the Baptist didn’t get his own book in the Bible. He’s only a minor character in Jesus’ story. But Jesus said that “among those born of women no one is greater than John.” He was a small part of Jesus’ story, but he was prophet, and many of those who followed Jesus were prepared by John. His words carry as much weight as any other prophet’s.
The crowds asked John how to repent, and John said to share - share until you’ve got nothing left to share.
How many shirts do you own?
Just to update you all on my Paleo diet since being honest is the best thing I can do for myself:
Today I failed miserably! Succumbed to huge portions of snacks, cookies with light chocolate, cookies with dark chocolate, 3 scoops of pure nutella, and nutella hot chocolate.
I will start over tomorrow from day 0.
Overall, this experience was an interesting indicator of something that may have been a long time coming: I need a lifestyle change. I was already interpreting this as a fast of sorts and I learned more than I ever cared to know about my weaknesses (mostly because I don’t think I’m prepared to deal with all the cracks of my infrastructure quite yet). A minuscule fraction of my habits may have assumed that living on my own, shopping, and carrying out my civil duties would somewhat resemble college life, which was super easy and essentially consequent-less way of life. No utility bills and a dining hall and tons of neighbors made my sophomore year a little too spoiled. But a combination of not realizing my limits, having different resources around me and being in denial of how a 22 year old’s body is different from an 18 year old’s have been my wakeup call.
I wouldn’t say that I’m addicted to sweet things but I’ve always thought that appetite was more of a mind-over-matter situation anyway. I eat a lot because I want to eat a lot, so can I make myself be happier/satisfied with less? While grocery shopping today, I was probably tempted over 10 times to buy cake, or pudding, or fruit cups, or melon pan, or chocolate, or cookies. Talk about a mental/spirtual warfare. You should’ve seen me after dinner; I knew that all these veggies and oil-free ways of cooking were supposed to energize me and make me feel clean and healthy inside and out but I felt miserable. I lost all motivation to keep going. Maybe eating clean and subsequently feeling clean was just another demonstration of mind-over-matter. Was this a battle of flesh and spirit? Was eating nutella by the spoonful really so bad? Can I ever be truly happy with eating veggies and bacon for the rest of my detox period?
The thing with diets is that if I cheat, the only loser is myself. If I properly resist it, then the only winner is myself. Dieting is a lot more lonely than I thought it would be, even if I do have accountability (one of my neighboring ALTs is doing this too and it’s actually awesome to admit to each other when we mess up).
In any case, I’m starting over again with a guilt-free conscious. What was I able to do well? Resist most carbs, like rice, noodles, and bread! I’m not tempted to cook/buy them at all! Chocolate things are a whole other matter and it’s really unfortunate for me that dried fruit isn’t just super tiny (there’s no way those were blueberries and raisins) but also stupidly expensive.
I realize I never said why I was doing this: I’ve been eating rather unhealthily ever since I arrived in Japan. Losing weight naturally because of dietary changes in Japan IS A MYTH!!!!! You can eat healthily in Japan, but make sure you’ve got hours to cook soup and steam vegetables and have blinders around your eyes to stop you from peering into every conbini (convenience store) just to check if the normal melon pan (and not the pure sugar melon pan) is available that day. Onigiri and croquettes and pudding and ice cream and mochi are always available and they’re affordable too. Temptation in its truest form.
The truth is, I’m all of a sudden very aware of my shortcomings and unhealthy tendencies. I need to eat breakfast regularly. I need to read more books. I need to sleep on time. I need to be responsible. I need to stop doing things out of fear and pride. I should try loving??? in full knowledge that it’s not gonna curb my monstrous appetite in the slightest but gives me more backbone than before to stand up to cake and chocolate and pudding (ughhhh chocolate pudding cake ughhhhh). I’m afraid to be fat. I’m afraid of unfavorable opinions about the way I look. I’m afraid of not being better than my impulses. I’m frustrated with having weaknesses. I desire more control. My standards are a little ridiculous but hella uncomfortable. I’m a hypocrite for the most part and I wouldn’t have been able to admit all of these things if it weren’t for this damn diet. But as BS said, “why fight for a loveless relationship?” Is there anything I’m taking joy in or loving in the process of trying to create better habits for myself? I can’t answer that yet, so this is Rebecca signing off for a bit to read print books, pray, and cry.
— Jesus (in Matthew 16:26)
I’m going to try a detox diet.
After I finish this box of chocolate cookies. Mmm cookies.
I’ll detox by not having any of the following from good ol’ reliable Dr. Oz:
This diet is Paleo, meaning I’m only gonna be eating what my cavemen ancestors ate. It’s so hard. It’s so freaking hard. None of any of the above for 10 days??? What am I supposed to do, eat lettuce 3 days a week for 30 days? Buy 30 premade things of salads? And water???
I’m gonna go crazy because I don’t even like hummus that much but I’m not really trying to lose weight (though that would be nice). I’m just taking into account how much security and comfort I find in food and the idea of giving this up for 10 whole days SCARES ME. We’ll see if this actually makes me feel better and if I recommend it. One of my neighbors is going to do this with me. I’m scared. I don’t want to sever my comfort yet. I’m gonna be so cranky and miserable, but I’m gonna take care of me.
Right now, the militant forces of the Islamic State (IS or formerly ISIS) use this letter ‘N’ or ن in Arabic (pronounced “noon”) to mark the homes of “Nazarenes” or Christians before exterminating them.
In July 2014, extremist Sunni Muslims told the Christians of Mosul, Iraq — a community of Christians who were present in this area for over 2000 years — to either convert to Islam, pay a fine, or die “by the sword.” In actuality, everyone who didn’t convert to Islam were killed or raped; if you were a child, you were “systematically beheaded.”
This violence needs to stop immediately. ISIS is continuing to gain momentum. Regardless of your beliefs, I hope your heart breaks for these people in Iraq and wonders what to do next. Please pray for the Middle East and stay informed!