Jesus’ earthiness, and in praise of Jesus’ wondrous disciples Amos Kaua, & Bruce & Isa (pronounced “Eesa”) Sakamoto

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+disciple+of+jesus&qpvt=images+disciple+of+jesus&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=0921017B8D21DE57268D4237D451842785E55629&selectedIndex=69
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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2014/01/the-thing-about-jesus/

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Okay, so there are a lot of “things” about Jesus. But the thing I’ve been meditating on most recently is his mind-blowing capacity to meet people exactly where they are. It seems like a simple concept, but we struggle day in and day out to accept people as children of God. Instead, we tend to ask things of them before they’re deemed worthy of our love, time, or respect. Or before they’re deemed worthy of food or medical care (another post for another time).

Let us think about some Scripture. In John 8, Jesus doesn’t walk up to the prostitute and say “Alright look, I’ll tell them to leave you alone but only if you cleans yourself and promise never to sin again. Otherwise you’re on your own.” Instead, well, you know the story. Instead he tells the scribes and the Pharisees that anyone among them who has never sinned may cast the first stone. And, predictably, they all drop their weapons and walk away. It is then, after Jesus accepted and protected the woman as she was,  that he sends her on her way and tells her not to sin again.

Let’s look at another. In Luke 19, Jesus doesn’t approach the tax collector Zacchaeus and say “I’ll stay at your house if you quit your job and give away your riches.” Instead he sees him up in the fig tree and says “Zacchaeus, I’m crashing with you tonight. Let’s go.” And through this ministry, Zacchaeus is inspired to give away half of his possessions and repay those he has cheated. But this is only after Jesus recognizes him by name, thus acknowledging him fully not as a sinner but as a child of God.

In both instances, Jesus met people exactly where they were. He did not ask for things before loving them. He did not expect change before encounter. And so I ask myself: Can I do that?

There are some lines from a book I’m currently reading that got this whole piece rolling for me. They read, “So, if you want to live in accord with Him, you can’t do it just by being law-abiding. You have to try, again, to be like Him, and to do what He does. He doesn’t wait for us to come to Him where he is, out there beyond the need for the law; He comes to us, right now, where we live in the grip of our necessities, to bring us the rest of His gift, to complete the work the law began.”

I felt like the words were screaming up at me from the off-white page. “Jessica, take note!” See, I’ve spent the last 12 months or so organizing faith groups on college campuses around climate change with the goal of changing hearts and minds. My goals have always been a) to get people to believe in climate change and b) to get them to take action. And shoot, if I haven’t been thinking about it all wrong…

I’m starting to see that I can’t walk into a classroom or a campus meeting or a sanctuary and say “This is what I want you to believe.” I must first meet those children of God exactly where they are. I must acknowledge the realness of their situation. I must speak to them directly without distraction. I must be present in that encounter before we can talk about any greenhouse gas emissions. Because each of these people matter. “They matter in themselves. They are not a means to an end.”

We climate activists get so anxious sometimes about rising sea level, increased intensity of storms, and the level of CO2 in our atmosphere that all we can think about is comprehensive climate legislation. In my mind, we need a bill and we need it now. But by approaching the issue this way, I’m failing to live in accordance with Christ. I am failing to meet people exactly where they are.

So as I continue with this work in 2014, I vow to do better. Change will happen — I have to believe that. But for now, I will do my best with what I can control. No matter the end goal, I must first meet people where they are.

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Christian Pastor Amos Kaua’s ministry is at his beautiful home at the Hamakua end of Todd Ave. in Keaukaha.    His fine exemplar “house church”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_church#House_Church_Movement

is both “atomic and cosmic” because Pastor Amos describes precise (atomic) patterns in Scripture e.g.  Isaiah 1:19-20 http://biblehub.com/isaiah/1-19.htm obedience & sword are a Torah “couplet”   —    which have “cosmic” impact e.g. Torah obedience to God is utmost  — the law — which outcomes via divine blessings.     Pastor Amos & his astute gorgeous wife Ilima are my great role models of Scripture.

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Pastor Amos Kaua look-alike (Hawaii’s greatest post-Kamehameha I monarch, Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III)

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Kamehamehaiii.jpg

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Pastor Amos’ majestic gorgeous wife Ilima look-alike (Ka’iulani)

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=kaiulani+images&qpvt=kaiulani+images&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=6144A70890D56E47DF9B3EDFF5D3B6F33B2E0EE1&selectedIndex=66
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Husband and wife couple Bruce and Isa Sakamoto of Witness Lee’s “local church” manifest tremendous inclusion and empathy, not to mention their mission of establishing “local churches.”   http://churchinhilo.org/history/index.html

http://churchinhilo.org/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_church#House_Church_Movement

A modern day example of the house church movement is the group known as “the local churches” which began in China with Watchman Nee and spread all over the world through Nee’s co-worker, Witness Lee. The local churches have grown to over hundreds of thousands meeting together according to the New Testament pattern of Christian meeting and have been commended by several Christian leaders in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness_Lee#Witness_Lee.27s_View_of_Christianity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Stream_Ministry

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/in-praise-of-china-christian-capstones-yu-cidu-dora-yu-1873-1931-margaret-emma-barber-1966-1930-their-acolyte-ni-to-sheng-watchman-nee-1903-1972/

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/father-giuseppe-girotti-wwii-priest-martyred-for-sheltering-jews-beatified-in-italy-antonia-blumberg-huffington-post/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Hamer_Broadbent

Edmund Hamer Broadbent (1861–1945) was a Christian missionary and author.  His book, The Pilgrim Church, first published in 1931, is still in print. The Pilgrim Church is an alternative history of the church, unrecorded by secular history. It covers the history of many small churches throughout the ages that have attempted to follow the New Testament church pattern, the success of those that followed the pattern laid out by the apostles and the consequences to the churches that fell away from the pattern.

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Bruce Sakamoto look-alike

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+japan+movie+actors&qpvt=images+japan+movie+actors&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=0B03558D7D9FCF6E553855C5CAFA573EC59D4DE2&selectedIndex=93

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Isa Sakamoto look-alike

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+anne+bancroft&qpvt=images+anne+bancroft&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=19D34620FD9F3D6BDC05925DE42340309050EE67&selectedIndex=70

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Isa Sakamoto is the most intuitive (revelation of the ascension of Christ) person I’ve ever met face to face.   Yes, Isa is a great mystic a la apostle Paul (Paul’s completing ministry to complete the Word of God  http://thingsienjoyed.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-completing-ministry-of-paul-message.html ), but on top of Isa’s providential gift regarding the mystery of God  — is Isa’s intuition on the ascension of Christ  — a la the most intuitive of the apostles — apostle John and John’s mending ministry http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-FISHING-MINISTRY-THE-BUILDING-MINISTRY–AND-THE-MENDING-MINISTRY.HTML )

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Here is a snippet of Isa’s wondrous supernatural Jesus-driven thoughts  —

 
There is much more to say on this topic but this is my initial response to our discussion on Tuesday night:
 
First of all our God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. These are characteristics of His Godhead.
He has created all things for Himself, He has a good pleasure and a plan to carry out and achieve His good pleasure,
and for this He made choices.
 
God’s foreknowledge, choosing and predestination are clearly revealed in the bible.
Eph. 1:4, 5 Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
2.Thes.2:13 But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers beloved of the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
1Peter 1:2 Chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father in the sanctification of the Spirit unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
Eph.1:11 In whom also we were designated as an inheritance, having been predestinated according to the counsel of His will
Rom. 8:29,30 Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified. (written in past tense!)
 
At the other hand God encourages us to freely receive the eternal redemption which Christ has obtained for us. Many bible verses show that God gives us a free choice and encourages us to make good choices:
 
Deut. 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life that you and your seed may live.
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name.
Rom. 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Rom. 10:13 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
John 7: 37,38 If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink
He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
Rev. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.
 
That predestination on God’s side and man’s free choice regarding salvation appear to be a contradiction according to our natural mind should cause us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and simply believe His word rather than setting the truth of the bible aside in favor of our limited understanding.
However these kind of doctrinal differences are minor. They reflect the degree to which we have been enlightened and dealt with by the Lord. We should never allow doctrinal differences that do not affect the person, work and nature of the triune God, become a cause for accusations or even divisions which always have their source in the flesh. For the sake of the building up of the body of Christ we must be diligent to keep the oneness of the spirit, receive and love one another, and focus on the free flow of life among us so that we all may be brought on to maturity, be build up as living, functioning members of the body of Christ in order for the Lord to gain His heart’s desire and end this age.
 
Isa

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On the fad of others’ autobiographies (such as Pali’s) and the necessity of tamping down resultant ego amplification   —

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“Serrano: Yes. I wanted to be able to travel abroad, particularly in the United States. And you, Pali,  were able to …God knew you were able to fulfill that dream of my coming to the U.S. ….a lot of people followed. … The word that you heard from God. And you helped me to follow.”
 
 
Granted, Serrano’s surrender/glorious attitude to Jesus resulted in Serrano’s upward mobility by vessel Pali.    How does Serrano’s testimony relate to Pali’s miracles?   Do Bible verses link individual miracles (such as Pali’s) with Jesus’ blessings bestowed upon others (such as Serrano)?   Do theological tracts clarify blessings bestowed upon couplet (Pali/Serrano) shepherds and sheep?    These questions trigger  readers’ interest, not the individual miracles and Pali’s self-character-driven confirmations.
 
 
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2 Responses to Jesus’ earthiness, and in praise of Jesus’ wondrous disciples Amos Kaua, & Bruce & Isa (pronounced “Eesa”) Sakamoto

  1. Pingback: New Age Spirituality aka integral/evolutionary/transformational — not to be confused with Christianity’s I Am (Exodus 3:14) | Curtis Narimatsu

  2. Pingback: In praise of Norwegian missionary Marie Monsen, mother of China House Church Movement, and in praise of Father Giuseppe Girotti, WWII Priest Martyred For Sheltering Jews, Beatified In Italy | Curtis Narimatsu

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