Author Archives: minuiperiannath

About minuiperiannath

Name: Spencer Wentland College: North Central University Year: Senior Major:Intercultural Studies My story of meeting Jesus in short: Not many weeks after I was born my parents baptized me into the Christian faith at First English Lutheran Church in my hometown, Appleton, WI. There they renewed their promises to renounce the devil and his ways, the world and evil and raise me the same way teaching me to love and fear the Lord, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creeds and when of reading age to put the Holy Bible in my hands and all the while, with the church community, instruct me in the Christian faith. My parents weren't perfect but they did fulfill the vows they made at my baptism. I had my own more personal experience with the Lord around the age of seven when I followed Jesus out of the Gospels to a "quiet, lonely place" in my backyard with the hope to do whatever Jesus did there. Without realizing it or ever being taught how to "receive Jesus into your heart" it happened quite like that even seeing a mental vision of Jesus and knowing I need to welcome him into my heart and let him sit on the throne of my life. I've never been the same since then and the Lord has kept his promise to be with me "always." I confirmed what my parents chose for me in a public confession of faith and the ritual of believer's baptism at a local swimming school where the Assemblies of God church my mom attends used to do their baptisms. I've never regretted a life with Jesus; life has always been richer, deeper and fuller because of it. About Me: Ha that's a funny question, and a popular one today. Well, if you really want to know "all about me" you will have to meet me. For starters I am hard to put in simple categories and often find myself tumbling between labels; i.e. introverted and extroverted, strong and weak, intuitive yet a rationalist, introspective and social, unique and individual yet needing people and empathetic. I belong to and am part of the Way and that is probably the most defining important part of my being. (Acts 24:14) As a God lover in the Way of Jesus Christ I long to see and embrace all things and people in his love for his glory. Creative people and places energize me. I enjoy and appreciate art and artists and like to contribute and collaborate in making my own art at times. I need my own time and spend a lot of time in contemplation- this is where I get recharged and new vision and vitality for life. A con of my personality is my ill attempts to understand everything about everything. At the same time I also get energy from others and love to be sociable. I make matrix like connections in my mind and although my comments often are perceived as random too me they are very connected to something. To me connection and harmony are very important and I believe the truth brings that out. The last few years have been filled with learning, studying and meeting wonderful people. Copenhagen, Escanaba, Nagasaki, and now back to Minneapolis! So excited to learn, grow and finish my last year at university! Call: I feel strongly called by the Lord to work and give myself as missionary of love to the Japanese people. As the Lord leads I hope to take a missionary assignment through ELCA Global Mission teaching English and serving in congregational mission and leadership in Japan. Eventually I would like to serve as an apostolic worker planting boiler rooms (missional/monastic communities) around the Japanese archipelago with a bunch of other Jesus lovers in international, incarnational bands of friends. About this blog: This blog is for my Church Administration and Personal Finance class. I'm looking forward to interesting and practical conversation and learning that will help develop my leadership and organizational skills for however and whatever takes shape out of the Lord's call.

Monday night musings 2

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It’s my first free day of Spring break, I saw the rabbit on the mountain today (this signifies that Spring really has come to Fukushima). The English School is resting and I am trying to as well. I am moving this week. The current house I am residing in has been sold by the owner so it on and out. Not far, and I could probably use a transition in my process to simplify my life ala konmari method. If I get time I would like to apply the same to the classroom as well.

I actually don’t have anything profound to say at this time other than that I am really tired and I am very grateful to have this break.

 

Also, hoping to write more so I hope you’ll be hearing more from me.

 

Peace out.

Under The Weight of Grace

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Under The Weight of Grace

The reality we live in, under the weight of grace. So beautifully put.

Fongs For Japan

The image in this post may represent the single most important image I have had the privilege of creating since coming to Japan. People who know me understand that I love to dive right into editing my images as soon as I can get them downloaded on my workstation. But I allowed this set of images to sit for a while so I could reflect on the man who is the subject of these photos and his life’s journey that brought him to where he is.

Anyone familiar with Japanese culture knows that when they see the tattoos and the severed pinky finger, they are looking at the image of someone associated with the yakuza, Japan’s organized crime syndicates. It is true that this man was once a member of the yakuza, but it has been decades since he was miraculously released from the service of his crime bosses to…

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Christmas Prayer for Fukushima

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We have escaped like a bird
    from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
    and we have escaped.

(Psalm 124:7, NRSV)

It is not from Fukushima City that I write. I am sitting with my nephew and brother in his underground, home office. Outside the snowfall barely sticks to the ground as the winds of a winter storm blow with gusto. Yet we are safe in the warm coziness of this space. Warmth, shelter, family and even a little bit of work. It is here that I write.

Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs from the first years of our Saviour’s life. In a world seeming to grow in violence and oppression there is a word that the Word frustrates the designs of evil. And whereas Satan, through Herod could not abort the deliverance of God, then so it is true that Satan now defeated, the snare now broken, cannot stop the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom in this or any age. We are as birds escaped from the fowler’s snare. The snare is broken. Thanks be to the Lord.

As my heart now turns to thoughts of Fukushima I am reminded of my former student who’s son committed suicide last year. Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more. And yet, the last Sunday of Advent, when the Japan Lutheran Church celebrates Christmas, her and her husband became followers of Jesus in the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Satan cannot  abort the deliverance of our God.

My student’s story is sadly one of a large number who is taken victim by him who holds the power of death and whose native language is lies. The experience last spring of this young man’s premature death is a call to wake up, to be alert; for while we are idle, Satan is busy working to destroy the race of men and Jesus weeps.

But the truth of the Gospel is present in this one line—”the snare is broken.” If Satan is the fowler then death is the snare and its teeth and bindings sin. This contraption, this device of hell is broken. Therefore, where the enemy is bringing attack against Fukushima, where people take their own lives overcome in despair, where individuals reclude themselves from the fellowship of others because they are bound in fear, where people doubt their capacity so much that they refuse to venture into the world I pray love, love, love came down, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day and the snare is broken! People of Fukushima, fly as the freed birds you are on the wind of God’s Spirit!

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer Request: The newly baptized couple at Izumi Lutheran Church who are still grieving the loss of their beloved son.

Monday night musings

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It has been raining and raining for days. Half-week old, reheated curry and the new letter writing occupy night hours between vespers and compline. Mostly letters of gratitude. Thank you friend, thank you stranger, thank you universe there is still good in you, highest thanks to God of All who alone is good.

The summer makes its way to an end. Everyone acts as if its fall but I would like to remind them that fall starts with the equinox. Yet, my favorite season approaches. In the meantime I try to take in the season passing which has drug on more slowly than the way time has felt anytime recently. That’s a good thing. I’m part elven; I like time to be slow mostly. Of course when you’re in love and separated with those you love all of time and space has a different ring to it.

So much is stirring, so much is good in the Lord’s hands, in this heart, the Lord’s workings, saving everything like rainbows and shooting stars exploding from a fountain of life. So good is the Lord to me. Give thanks, give thanks, and praise his name. Amen.

Meditations in the Desert: Rebellion

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The way is shut.

We have not ceased our rebellion

And the Lord’s patience, tried again and again,

At last has rendered judgement.

Banishment from the promise

Exile

In the desert, death.

Their bodies fell.

For they treated their maker with contempt and their Redeemer with hatred.

They thanked him not but grumbled and complained.

A warning to my heart.

Let the Lord’s desert slay my rebellion

Before my rebellion corrupts my heart to hate the Creator and be banished from His promises.

Meditation on Numbers 14: 20–23

Missio agro

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Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.~ the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 16:15

The missio agro, the mission field, is shaped and defined by the dynamic energy and intention of the Triune God. Its periphery, ever dynamic, is defined by the reality of the unfinished task and its meaning is found ultimately in the missio Dei. On this page I desire to share tales from the mission field both as a way to specifically narrow how I share my life in this avenue and to reflect on the missionary task in my specific context of Fukushima, Japan.

The whole inhabited world is the field and in these last days God’s Spirit is being poured out on all flesh. These are exciting days to live in. Perhaps the most exciting since the days of Christ’s first coming. But unlike the indiscriminate, universal, all places, all nations, all flesh, nature of God’s outpouring of the Spirit in his missional heart for all creation, human beings are limited to the confines of our time and space bound mortal bodies. Without supernatural intervention we can’t serve in two places at once and therefore are given our place, our station so to speak in engaging and partnering in God’s mission. This is a tremendous privilege and duty. By God’s mercy and help may I live into it well.

As I continue to write in these pages I will unpack some of the heavier language in this introduction but for now I want to focus on the specificity of my station— Fukushima, Japan. This prefecture sits in the southeast portion of the Tohoku region of Japan. Tohoku is the northernmost part of Honshu, Japan’s main and largest island. Known more recently for its radioactive disaster about ninety kilometers to the east on the Pacific coast it is prudent that Fukushima becomes known for more then that which has stigmatized it. Healing, repairs, pain, grief, brokenness all remain in many. Many have moved on. The tragedy of what has happened should not be forgotten but nor should it define this place or its people.

Looking elsewhere, I found it interesting that Fukushima is known historically as the “Fruit Kingdom.” Known literally in Japan for being a place of producing fruit I have strongly suspected that if what is true in the natural, pictures what is true in the spiritual then this place has an exciting prophetic destiny. I am praying and prophesying over this agro, over this field, fruit—fruit that will last!

I am excited to labor alongside the Lord and God’s holy people here and I continue to pray that God will ekballo; i.e. thrust forth, laborers into this harvest field, I pray that  God will prepare and continue to till the soil of hearts and that fallow ground now and yet to be broken will become a breeding ground for God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom which is a fruit kingdom of sorts, full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, friends, family, wayfaring strangers of good will: will you join me in praying for this land and her people? God so loves them as God so loves us.

Pax Christi,

Spencer Jordan

The Wide Open, Empty

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Have you seen Legend? Do you remember the scene when Tom Cruise’s character has to cross the swampy waters outside of the dark sorcerer’s castle? Or what about all the stories where one embarks to cross some dark, misty waters alone. I feel as if I am about to embark on such a journey. But it’s not the presence of evil that terrifies me so much as the wide, open empty that lurks ahead and seems as if it will invade my own life.

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