Good Morning, everybody!
Happy Birthday, May-san! You and Tim-san has joined today's service to extend your appreciation to Kami for your happy life and pray for further happiness and prosperity of your family. Kami will be pleased to see both of you today.
Thank you very much for attending our 1st service for the month of Nov. 2011. Welcome, I'm glad that you're here today as we wind down the year. It's been three weeks since our last monthly service. My sermon that Sunday was about Kami's great & wonderful care, if you'll remember. I gave an example of traveling to Toronto for their 50th Anniversary Ceremony which was held in conjunction with IKD-GC. Besides Kami's blessing of saving Rev. Kishii & I from being killed or made very sick from the gas leak, I told you in my last sermon that something else that happened in October that I wanted to share with you, but time wouldn't permit.
So I'd like to tell you about this other event today. Remember I said in that sermon that, "...after a while our day-to-day lives blend each day into the next, to the point that every day, seems to become common-place or run-of-the-mill."
But the fact is that each day is unique and will never come back. Each day is fresh and different. We have different experiences each and every moment. We can vividly feel Kami's workings through everything that happens.
Rev. Motoo Tanaka, headminister of KC Osaki in Tokyo had a magnificent inspiration to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the disasterous Earthquake in northeastern Japan & encourage their survivors at the same time. Within a month of the 3/11 earthquake Rev. Tanaka started this around-the-world praying beginning April 11th.
He wrote and sent a prayer asking Konko believers & friends around the world to pray each month at precicsely 2:46 pm their local time; the hour that earthquake hit just east Miyagi, Japan on the March 11th. That way, our prayer would go around the world at the same hour for an entire day.
Oct. 11th marked the seventh scheduled monthly prayer-day following the terrible event. The gutters on our garage roof were in very bad shape & about to fall off. I had no idea how to remove the the gutters & the rotten wood beams holding them. The morning of that day I told our neighbor about the problem, & he said he'd show me how to fix them that afternoon.
The work was very hard & it took me a long time to finish the job. In the proccess, I forgot saying prayers for the victims & survivors of that earthquake. I'd almost finished removing the rotten wood, when I felt a sharp pain on the middle finger of my left hand. A bee had stung it. That was around 2:46 pm, but as I say, I'd forgot about praying for the victims of 3/11.
But I did not forget that I had to pick Daichi up at his high school. I got him & we arrived home at about 4:40 pm. Chicago time. I called my friend Rev. Nakahara in Seattle to ask him about a computer problem.
He said he was going to pray in 6 minutes for those lost & displaced in Japan's earthquake. Seattle time is 2 hours behind ours of course; & that's when it 'hit me, "...the bee had stung at about 2:46 pm... Chicago time," it made me think, "Kami tried to remind me of Rev. Tanaka's prayer idea at the appropriate time - with the help of that bee."
Immediately I prayed with all my heart that Kami's wishes would be fulfilled for the comfort of the disaster victims & that the spirits of those who died, would rest easy in the next world, free from the pain of awful disaster! Instantly the pain in my hand dissapeared AND the one in my heart was greatly relieved. I felt that, although I'd forgotten to offer my prayers at the correct Chicago time, praying for them at the correct minute somewhere in the world on the 11th of the month, after I'd realized my mistake... DID count!
Kami sees everything in heaven & earth in a single glance & always protects those who have faith. Kami wishes everyone to have faith in order to receive divine blessings.
Sandai Konko-sama, our founder's great grandson often said, "Each day starts fresh." Our Divine Reminder also tells that Kami's blessing can only take root in a human heart which is filled with peace & joy through sincere faith practice.
So, through refreshing showers of potential blessings which fall on us each & every day, let us do our best to deepen the peace and joy in our hearts so we can reflect Kami's glory to the world - Day-in-&-Day-out - minute-by-minute-Each & EVERY blessed day.
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