Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Eve. As I am a church choir member, I'll be going out and sing Christmas carols tonight in our town. The YouTube below is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I sang it as a soloist at the previous Sunday service.



I went to Israel last month. Bethlehem is the place where Jesus was born. It takes about 30 minutes from Jerusalem by car. As it is under Palestinian self-government, some procedures must be taken from Jerusalem to get there. We didn't go there this time but took a photo viewing over Bethlehem.


The church below is Basilica of Annuciation located in the center city of Nazareth. The tall trees are dates(=なつめやし).


This grotto is located lower inside the church, where it is said to be the site of annunciation: Mary received the annunciation by Gabriel.



Here is a story about the birth of Jesus.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:1-20)

Our Lord, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My life has been completely changed to be blessed since I believed in Him. I've been walking and will be walking with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

神はそのひとり子を賜わったほどに、この世を愛して下さった。それは御子を信じる者がひとりも滅びないで、永遠の命を得るためである。神が御子を世につかわされたのは、世をさばくためではなく、御子によって、この世が救われるためである。(口語訳)

May God bless all of you!!
Love from heidi. :-)

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reunion after 10 years@English cafe

As I began learning Greek two months ago, I feel how difficult Greek is and realized the actual meaning of the phrase "It's all Greek to me." I make it a rule to listen to/watch English news, German news for children and NIV audio Bible on my i-Pod while commuting. Greek conversation CDs have recently been added to my favorite. However, the more I study Greek, the more I came to know the difficulty.

That makes me feel much more familiar with German.:-) With its rebound, I became starved for speaking German with someone. I recalled an English conversation lounge in Tokyo. Checking the website, I found there are other language groups depending on the day of the week. I went there for the first time in ten or eleven years.

To my surprise, the owner of the cafe remembers me, though I was not a customer and visited there more than ten years ago. I asked him, "Do you really remember me? I came here ten years ago." He replied, "Yes, I do." I continued to ask, "Why?" and he answered, "Because you are a unique person." I suppose my face is easy to remember.

I've had no chance to speak German after leaving a conversation school. I used to join the free conversation room every Saturday. Last Friday, I went to the cafe again and was very surprised to see two of my old classmates were there. They said that they visited the place every week. Everyone seemed to look for a chance to use German.

Another surprise is that an elderly classmate has an excellent knowledge of Classical Greek and also Italian Opera. I told him that I sang "Ah fors'e lui che l'anima - Sempre libera" at the last year's concert. Then he brought a score book of "La traviata(椿姫)". Coincidentally, he's also been to Prague to see "Tosca". Well, I had a good Japanese conversation with him regarding Opera at the multilingual cafe.

I do want to broaden my view meeting people with same/different interests each other.


Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Divine Guidance (Testimony 3)

聖霊を受けて(Testimony 2)から洗礼を受ける前までの証になります。

I have much curiosity in everything, particularly I'm interested in something beautiful and mysterious. When I was a freshman at a college, one of my classmates showed me tarot cards, which led me to tell fortunes by using tarot cards, playing cards and astrology. My big mistake was that I believed I could help people around me by fortune-telling. A palmist read my palms to tell me that I was cut out for a counselor, and another fortune-teller asked me to be his disciple.

Later I came to know how sinful fortune-telling is and how much God hates it. After all, I was not able to help people but just perplexed them. When I had communion for the first time at the church, I had a tiny glass of red wine and a small piece of bread. We have communion every 1st Sunday of the month. Only those who have been baptized with water and/or with the Holy Spirit are allowed to have communion at our church. Having Jesus' holy body and blood enable us to unite with Jesus spiritually and remember God's blessings.

The very day I had communion for the first time, I experienced how the Holy Spirit works. As soon as I got home from the church, I felt unpleasant to see a lot of books of fortune-telling on the bookshelf. They should have been my treasure including tarot cards got in Europe and others collected for years. I couldn't endure having such kinds of things any more, though I hadn't feel hatred in the morning.

Stuffing these books into two big paper bags, I hastened to go to a park nearby. I kept praying by the Holy Spirit until they were all burned out, since I learned that Satan, God's enemy, controls the evil spirit of fortune-telling. Later, my heart was filled with joy and peace from God. I realized how strong the Holy Spirit is. I cannot serve both for Satan and God at the same time. Without making an effort by myself, the Holy Spirit purified my heart and made me abandon the bad habit. I have completely been freed from the evil spirit and I have never been controlled or tempted by it any more.

Later, I have experienced another event in a coin-operated laundry shop. While the washing machine was working, I went shopping for a while. When I came back to the shop, I was surprised to find that someone had poured a bleaching agent into the washing machine to damage my matching sweat suits of my boyfriend's. I was so shocked and then filled with anger about that and thought I would never forgive a person who did this. I couldn't understand why a man had done bad on my sweat suits at all.

I wanted even to revenge against him first. My feeling was changed from anger to sorrow and then to pain. I didn't know why I felt painful in my heart. However, when I think something negative, I always feel painful in my heart, and then I say to Jesus, "I'm sorry." My heart becomes peaceful after prayers. I have become not controlled by the evil spirit but led by the Holy Spirit. How blessing God is always with me! Hallelujah!


- to be continued to Baptism with water(Testimony 4) -

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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The Holy Spirit (Testimony 2)

プロテスタントは色々な教派(福音派、ペンテコステ派、その他多数)があります。私の教会はペンテコステ派で、水のバプテスマと聖霊のバプテスマを受けることを重要視しています。教派によって色々な考え方や特色があり、違っていても同じ神様を信仰しているということで一致していますし尊重しています。ただ、私の証(信仰体験の話)はありのままの事実ですが、ペンテコステ派特有の証だということを前置きいたします。

I'll write a story about my baptism with the Holy Spirit.

On the first day I visited the church, K.I. took me to a place in the church where we pray about special matters during the service. She said to me, "Let's get prayed about your stomachache." I was taken to so-called blessed seats (恵みの御座). I still didn't understand what was going on there.

Associate Pastor came to me and asked, "You repent your sins now and believe Jesus as your Savior, don't you?" I didn't know well but I replied to her, "Yes, I do." She started praying in unknown words and asked me to say Hallelujah repeatedly.

I followed her instructions. My tongue became something strange: strange words(Ref.1) gradually came up from my mouth. Then she said to me, "You have just received the Holy Spirit!" Not knowing what had happened to me as I was ignorant about the Bible, I went back to my friend and asked, "You know something. I was told I received the Holy Spirit. What is that?" She said with tears in her eyes, "I'm glad to hear that, heidi."

The reason of her joy is that receiving the Holy Spirit is very important to us who belong to a Pentecostal church. Being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit(Ref.2) is regarded as "one set", in other words, they are like a passport and a visa for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I was explained about them later but still ambiguous to me. However, mysterious events began happening to me after I got the Holy Spirit.
* Ref.1
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
(Acts 2:1-4)

* Ref. 2
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.(Ephesians 1:13-14)

- to be continued to Divine Guidance(Testimony 3) & Baptism with water (Testimony 4) -

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

I was found (Testimony 1)

I'd like to write how I reached Jesus, my Lord.


It was a day in April when I was a senior at a college. I received a phone call from KI, one of my classmates in a senior high school. I was happily surprised to have the call because she had never contacted me since we graduated from the school. She said, "I am getting married at a Christian church. Why don't you come to our church before our wedding?" I replied to her, "OK, I will." This is because I had much curiosity and had no negative feelings to Christianity.

However, what in the world brought me to the church? I didn't have any special problems and suffering in my younger days. I had been enjoying a college life since I left my home town for Tokyo. Most Japanese college students don't study very hard and I was not exception. I was so busy and rich because I had part-time jobs such as a cram school teacher, a tutor and a waitress. Since I was a typical "good girl" and trusted by my parents, they never interfered my life.

The earned money enabled me to make a one-month trip to Europe. I was filled with joy, which might not be understood by other fellows who joined the same package tour and enjoyed buying expensive designer brand goods by their parents' money. I was so happy while walking on a street in Cambridge and thought I could do anything only by myself. I was satisfied with freedom, since it was up to me whether I came back home at midnight or not. To the contrary, I was a bit afraid of being free, for there was no one who scolded me in my life. I suppose now my spirit might seek a kind of spiritual leader or God who taught and guided me.

My first-visited church was quite different from ones I had long imagined i.e. so solemn and stuffy. The church was rather big for a small town. The congregation looked very vivid and bright, and they welcomed me warmly. As for singing hymns, they were singing while clapping their hands and shaking their bodies. The pastor was frank and very friendly, and his sermon was so simple and interesting that I was able to understand it. The brothers and sisters laughed a lot during the service. I thought it was a happy talk show or something. At that time, the pastor shaked hands with each of them (more than 300 persons) after the service. He shaked hands with me and said smiling, "Nice to meet you. Please come again next week." I replied to him instantly, "Yes, I will." I visited this church again the next Sunday, because I thought I would be a liar if I didn't.

There is another practical reason I kept going to the church. I chose Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" as my graduation thesis. To tell the truth, I had never read the book before choosing it. I easily selected this long novel simply because I enjoyed reading his short stories before. This might be a fatal meeting in my life. The theme of the novel is "sins". I was so shocked, for I couldn't understand it at all even translated into Japanese. The meaning of "sins" was not understandable for me. If I don't comprehend the key word "sins", I never complete the thesis. I went to church for taking "a lecture" on sins every Sunday, and I was sure that I would understand the meaning of sins later.

However, I had never dreamed of being baptized and becoming a Christian six months later. Chance is always mysterious whether we meet people or books. I couldn't have reached Jesus if KI hadn't called me and I hadn't chosen the book.

- to be continued -

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do It Anyway

Recently two Japanese scientists have won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry. That reminds me of Mother Teresa receiving the Nobel Peace Prize dacades ago. The Catholic nun dedicated herself to helping the poor. She left a lot of messages of wisdom. Regardless of religion, there are many people being moved to her words.

I'm encouraged by the following words.

DO IT ANYWAY

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self‑centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

I was able to find its Japanese translation in many blogs as shown below.

あなたの中の最良のものを

人は不合理、非論理、利己的です。
気にすることなく、人を愛しなさい。
あなたが善を行うと、利己的な目的でそれをしたと言われるでしょう。
気にすることなく、善を行いなさい。
目的を達しようとするとき、邪魔立てする人に出会うでしょう。
気にすることなく、やり遂げなさい。
善い行いをしても、おそらく次の日には忘れられるでしょう。
気にすることなく、し続けなさい。
あなたの正直さと誠実さが、あなたを傷つけるでしょう。
気にすることなく正直で、誠実であり続けなさい。
あなたが作り上げたものが、壊されるでしょう。
気にすることなく、作り続けなさい。
助けた相手から、恩知らずの仕打ちを受けるでしょう。
気にすることなく、助け続けなさい。
あなたの中の最良のものを、世に与えなさい。
けり返されるかも知れません。
でも、気にすることなく、最良のものを与え続けなさい 

I've found out that the last part (see below) is missing in the Japanese translation. I don't know the reason it is not translated.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

I'm schocked to know the fact, for the last part is a very important conclusion. I guess "God" is unfamiliar to non-Christian Japanese. Please note God is the Creator, not myriads of gods and deities.

Unfortunately, I am not good at translating to Japanese. (^_^;;
I hope someone will translate this. :-)


Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nostalgic Queen

I was glued to a CS TV program last Saturday, for it was a kind of documentary covering Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. I used to listen to hard rock music in my younger days. To tell the truth, I was a member of Queen's fan club. I had many Queen's LP records and disposed of them, since CDs became mainstream. However, later I bought two or three favorite CDs again.

Searching for something on YouTube, I was delighted to find a lot of Queen's videos on it. My favorite songs are something beautiful and dramatic in their melody lines. I've just realized that my taste in arias is also beautiful and dramatic. :-)

The following YouTube are "Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" and "Nevermore". The latter one is very sensitive not like a rock music.



As I like Queen's early music, I didn't know the following song "Too much love will kill you". I was so moved to my beloved Brian's singing and playing the piano. (I didn't know that the guitarist Brian plays the piano.)



This is the original. It's already been 19 years since he died from AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia. Time flies....



Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Solomon's wisdom

I wrote in the previous posting that King Solomon was rich in wisdom given by God. Let me introduce the relevant background from the verses of 1 Kings of the Old Testament.

God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said to him,
"Ask for whatever you want me to give you."(1 Kings 3:5)
Solomon answered,
"Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?".(1 Kings 3:7-9)
The Lord was so pleased to hear this and He said again to Solomon,
"Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." (1 Kings 3:11-14)

Like Solomon, I pray to the Lord every morning before leaving home for office, "Jesus. Please give me wisdom and help me with my duties at work." for there will be unforeseen matters while working.

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Proverbs of Solomon

It is said that the proverbs in the Old Testament are mostly written by Solomon, King of Israel and King David's son. He was rich in wisdom given by God. I was really amazed to know that he had 300 wives and 700 concubines.

Proverb is like a guidance to life, which gives us what is right and fair,
how to live well and the like. The words of wisdom contain mostly strict lessons and advices.

However, some of them are very interesting. Please see the following. Japanese version is 口語訳. I suppose that Solomon himself learned lessons from his failures through his own life. :-)

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.(Proverbs 11:22)
美しい女の慎みがないのは、金の輪の、ぶたの鼻にあるようだ。
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(Proverbs 21:9)
争いを好む女と一緒に家におるよりは屋根のすみにおるほうがよい。
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.(Proverbs 21:19)
争い怒る女と共におるよりは、荒野に住むほうがましだ。
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.(Proverbs 27:15-16)

雨の降る日に雨漏りの絶えないのと、争い好きな女とは同じだ。この女を制するのは風を制するのとおなじく、右の手に油をつかむのとおなじだ。

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The origin of "Me kara uroko"

I'd like to write the origin of "Me kara uroko ga ochiru". In English we can say "the scales fall from one's eyes" or "suddenly realize the truth". I believe most Christians know the origin of the proverb, since it derives from Acts Chapter 9:18 "something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again.".

I find Saul's conversion part very dramatic and thrilling. Saul was later called Paul, who was not a character in a novel but really existed. He used to be a persecutor but became a very important preacher.

The following is the whole story:

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"

"Yes, Lord," he answered.

The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.

In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. (Acts 9:1-19)

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You raise me up



Again, please listen to Precious Youth Choir singing "You Raise Me Up". It is still fresh in my memory Shizuka Arakawa was skating as background music at Turin Olympics exhibition. In the lyrics, "You" can be interpreted as the Lord Jesus. How encouraging we can walk with Him!

When I am down and oh my soul so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit a while with me

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
You raise me up to more than I can be

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Jesus is knocking

There are a lot of pictures Jesus is knocking at the door. They are all in common. There is no door knob on the outside the door. The door knob is only on the other side.



The door means our hearts. Unless we open the door, Jesus cannot enter the house. He knows us more than we know ourselves and is willing to help us. The Lord Himself wants to have close relationship with each one of us. We can share any problems with Him. He holds everything in His hands and leads us to the right way. Do you hear He's knocking at your heart?

The picture is based on the following verses of Revelation.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.(Revelation 3:19-20)

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

NIV Audio Bible

This is "NIV Audio Bible" I can recommend as good listening material for English learners. It includes both The Old Testament and The New Testament on 64 CDs. You can get it around 8,000 Yen at Amazon.



There are many English versions such as KJV, NKJV and etc. but difficult to read due to old English. NIV, mostly read, is much easier to understand.

I bought i-Pod several years ago for downloading the audio Bible. The dramatized version takes me back to more than 2,000 years ago. While listening, I feel as if I were in the places connected with the Bible and met Jesus and his apostles.

I might be bored if it was just a recital of the Bible. But the voice actor/actress get into their roles of Jesus and others vividly. I find the four Gospels very interesting. Besides, Revelation, written about the end of the world, was very powerful and impressive to me.

The Japanese Bible is too bulky but The NIV Audio Bible in i-Pod is very handy and useful for studying even in a crowded train. It's good both for my study and, of course, my faith in God.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The recital is over

I spent a very busy weekend having a home assembly (=Katei shukai) and attending an annual recital.

I sang two Italian arias, “Oh! Quante volte oh! quante” and “Son vergin vezzosa”. The type of my voice is Lirico Soprano, which, I think, matches relatively sad and slow arias. I am not so good at singing bright and fast arias. That’s the reason I dared to choose “Son vergin vezzosa” for my study. I tried very hard memorizing the lyrics but was not able to sing “Son vergin vezzosa” without mistakes.

On Sunday, noticing my worried-face, my choir teacher came to ask me and was kind enough to pray about my recital. She is a veteran opera singer and was a vocal music teacher at a music college. I’ve been learning from her for more than 20 years. She encouraged me a lot. Getting better, I left the church for a concert hall in Tokyo.

Thanks to my Lord's help and my teacher’s prayer. Amazingly, I could sing the anxious area without mistakes except only one: singing ‘mi’ for ‘ti’. My private vocal teacher cheered me up before singing the other area, saying, “As this is a heidi-san like area, go and sing naturally”. I sang the aria with Juliet’s feeling.

I feel relieved the concert went successfully. Looking forward to next year’s from now! :-)


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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Amplified Bible

This is a verse from the New Testament. I suppose it is well-known to everybody. This translation is New International Version.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

We had an old Japanese Version called "Shoyaku Seisho". It is already out of print but still popular among some Christians. There is the website "Bible Gateway" which you can read many versions in many foreign languages.

I was very happy to find "Amplified Bible" many years ago. Please see the following in this version. I think it is like "Shoyaku Seisho" in English.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

You can see it's written more detailed than NIV. This helps us to understand more about the Bible. I believe our Lord God wants us to be positive in faith. "Keep on asking" sounds more positive than "Ask". I'll start studying Greek from next week. I suppose the original is "Keep on asking". I can find out later. :-)

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Greek

I've long wanted to read the Bible in the original. In addition to English, German and Italian, I didn't have enough energy left to study Greek due to hard work at office.

I've been to Greece only once in college days. The Aegean Sea was beautiful deep blue I'd never seen. But looking at Greek letters for the first time, I almost felt dizzy since they were like hateful mathematical characters.

As you know, the Old Testament and the New Testament are written in Hebrew and Greek respectively. I thought maybe I would study them after my retirement.

However, attending Sunday Service, I was inspired to start studying Greek while singing a new worship song. I thought I might come much closer to the Lord if I learn Greek. The time has come.

Without any hesitation, I applied for a beginners class every Wednesday. I look forward to next week!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

In His Time

I'd like to introduce one of my favorite worship songs. "In His Time" is based on the following verse from the Old Testament:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The word "fathom" seems unfamiliar, it means "to understand or find an explanation for something".

We plan all kinds of things by ourselves, but our plans are not necessarily the same with the Lord's. I think He is working for our good if we just believe and trust in Him. He knows what is best to us in His time.



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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Annual Recital

Vocal music is not my major at college. I've been learning it as a hobby for more than ten years. My private teacher holds a recital of her students every September. I'll sing two arias from Italian opera: 'Son vergin vezzosa' from "I Puritani" and 'Oh! quante volte, oh! quante' from "I Capuleti ed i Montecchi". The latter one is Giulietta(=Juliet)'s aria.

The following two YouTube are Anna Netrebko's 'Son vergin vezzosa' and Sumi Jo's 'Oh! quante volte, oh! quante'. Sumi Jo is my favorite opera singer. I love her beautiful and transparent voice.





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Origin of nickname

As you might see, my nickname heidi is a German name. I used to operate a HAM radio using Hidy as handle.

The interest of PC led me to quit radio and go on the Internet. At that time, I became more interested in German than English, and changed from Hidy(hai-di) to German heidi(hai-di).

I don't mean I am 'Heidi in the Alps'. It is very close to my first name in pronunciation. :-)

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

God will make a way



I'd like to introduce this YouTube video sung by Don Moen. He is my favorite singer. "God will make a way" is a special song to me, for this was a kind of encourageous song when I had a hard time two or three years ago. All worries are gone now but this song still cheers me up. I love it very much.

I believe this lyrics are based on "Isaiah 43:19" from the Bible. Please see the following two versions: New International Version and New King James Version.

(New International Version)
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

(New King James Version)
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Have a nice day! :-)

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Precious Youth Choir



There are 5 worship groups in our church; Choir, Children's Choir, Precious Youth Choir, Orchestra and Glorious (worship band). Precious Youth Choir has recently been formed by youngsters, mostly ex-Children's Choir members.

I've been a choir member for more than twenty years. We usually sing hymns or religious music such as Handel and Bach. I personally love to sing English worship songs, and this "Shout to the Lord" is one of my favorite worship songs.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

My favorite verse


(This is a beautiful mosaic picture taken at Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology,  Korea.)
Psalm 23:1-4

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.