Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & a special, "Thanks" for attending this, our 2nd monthly service for May. I hope you are all enjoying good health and in excellent spirits.
Last Sunday we celebrated our Tenchi Kane No Kami Grand Ceremony for 2012. I was very happy that Tony-san kindly brought his mother to it and Noji-san couple joyfully joined it. As those of you were with us last week, you know it was filled with Kami's awesome workings. The weather was perfect. It was a fine, clear day & the temperatures were very comfortable.
Best of all, our worship hall hosted 33 people, including 7 beautiful & active children. I realized in this great atmosphere that Kami filled our hearts with overflowing blessings. Everyone enjoyed themselves to their hearts' content.
There were a couple of the new-comers. I thought they especially seemed to want to know what kind of nature Tenchi Kane No Kami has. And our guest speaker then Rev. Takao Kishii, head-minister of KC Toronto, talked about Tenchi Kane No Kami in his sermon so precisely that it seemed every attendee could understand clearly the wonderful nature of our Kami.
One special feature of our grand ceremony was the two musical instrumentalists we had for our service. My wife Rev. Kanako Takeuchi, played the Koto. And Mr. Jamal Leki-Albano played the traditional Japanese flute. Together they created a beautifully solemn atmosphere for the ceremony. I believe Kami loves our Kibigaku music, I'm proud &very grateful for their generous gift of talent. Not only was our ceremony filled with solemn joy & happiness during the service but also many gratifying things happened before and after the service itself.
The night before the service a lady came to bring her offering. It was a batch of delicious bean-jam filled buns. The following day another lady came in the morning to deliver her husband's donation.
Then after the service a third lady showed up. You'll remember last Sunday was Mother's Day. One of her sons celebrated her Mother's Day by taking her to lunch at a luxurious restaurant. That convinced her that even though she'd arrive late, she wanted to join us in our celebration. So, she very kindly showed up as soon as she could. What gratifying series of happenings they were!
At 5:00 pm in the afternoon I took Rev. Kishii to the O'hare airport so he could catch his flight to Toronto. I was surprised when I received his call from Toronto much earlier than I had expected. He told me he got on an earlier flight. Even better, the receptionist put him in business class.
Then why did we have such a marvelous grand ceremony full of peace and joy? Of course we received a tremendous number of prayers of support from all attended as well as from those who were praying with & for us in spirit; near & far. One of Rev. Soichiro Otsubo, our parent minister's, teachings says, "Kami should follow our peaceful and joyful heart like a shadow. Our peaceful & joyful heart is the spirit-heart which inter-connects with Kami. Blessings are not received; they are what are brought into being. It's the joyous intercourse between the believer and Kami. This joyous intercourse is the spirit which even climbs to heaven."
I had wanted more than anything to have our Tenchi Kane No Kami Grand Ceremony filled with peace and joy in attendance for all those people. I had focused on deepening the peace & joy in my heart more intently than ever. I knew by experience that up to now Kami had showered me tremendous divine blessings by my just trying to have peace and joy in my heart. Every time I examine the things that have happened in my life, no matter how difficult it might have been, Kami has enriched my life even when I have so often failed to live up to my intentions in my past. But not this time. As prepared for the ceremony I bounced back on my feet from some difficulties quickly even though I failed to achieve the 'perfect' peace and joy in my heart which is so tantalizing. Now believe that my attitude of faith does reach Kami's heart & that Kami casts a divine gift of peace and joy in my heart like a soothing shadow.
I believe more certainly that Kami is most pleased to see people practice faith by deepening their peace & joy in their heart through everything that happens daily. Whatever happens in our lives is Kami's doing & Kami wants us to deepen our peace and joy by reflecting on the Nature of the Universe. Therefore I have promised myself not to fail to do this any more.
Join me in genuinely committing ourselves to peace & joy within... THEN we can join together as willing workers in repairing the peace & joy in the heart of the world. Surely this is the way that Kami's glory can appear & human happiness can lead in making true world peace a reality.
There's a saying, "It doesn't matter how many times you fail, or are knocked down in Life; the only thing that counts is how many times you get up, dust yourselves off, back on your feet & get on with it."
So, let's tear down the scoreboard of failure & live in the faith that Kami's assistance & blessing will allow us to recover our balance & do our best to deepen our hearts' peace and joy until it becomes unbreakable... just like the Divine Heart of Kami. Thank you!
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