Monthly Service : September 1, 2013

Good Morning. Thank you for joining us on the 1st Day of a brand new Week for our 1st monthly service of September, 2013. I hope you are all enjoying good health & excellent spirits.

Some of my family members are now at a new stage of their lives. Our youngest son Daichi began his freshman year of college the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He plans to major in engineering. He's now living away from home for the 1st time in one of the dormitories. I drove him there with a car full of his belongings on Aug. 22nd, his 18th birthday. He has officially come to the life changing point of standing on his own two feet. I hope Kami's desire for him is to be fulfilled & have a very successful & enjoyable introduction to "grown-up" school there.

Our daughter Hiroko's family bought a new house in Buffalo Grove to live with her husband Donphoon's parents. Donphoon sold their condominium in June & bought the new house in time to be moved into it for the new school year. It is very hard to sell a property & buy another one in a short time because of the very difficult housing market in the USA. However he was blessed to be able to do this for his family one & half months through Kami's blessed arrangement.

Donphoon's parents also like this new house very much. When he & Hiroko 1st went to see the house the present owner was there, which is quite unusual. Donphoon & Hiroko had a chance to talk with the owner. I think this was one of the reasons why the man decided to sell his house to Donphoon & Hiroko.

After the last month's service Kanako, Daichi & I visited their house to celebrate Daichi's birthday. When I saw the house for the first time I couldn't help but offer a prayer of sincere appreciation to Kami for their having such a beautiful house. Then I went inside & was even more amazed. The atmosphere of the whole neighborhood is so great. But best of all, they moved there just in time for their eldest daughter Angelyn, to enter first grade. How blessed they are!

From now on all three generations will be living together. It means Hiroko may come across not only a lot more support & satisfaction but also much more problems by living so closely day-after-day.

In Japan it is commonly said that if a wife & her mother-in-law get along well together, everyone will rave about it. It means that it is rare in the world for a wife & her mother-in-law to get along well. I've been told that there are similar sayings in most cultures around the world. Hiroko will not have the luxury to do only as she wishes. There may often be occurrences that she will just have to endure. I believe Kami wishes Hiroko to deepen peace & joy in her heart through any problems she may encounter from now on.

One of our founder's teachings says, "Women are like the fields of the world. Fields must be well maintained in order to produce precious crops. What the chief retainer is to his lord's castle is what the wife is to her family's home. If the chief retainer is not good, the castle has difficulties; & if a wife is not good, the home will have difficulties."

In one Rev. Soichiro Otsubo's mini-interpretation about this teaching says, "Since they're the fields of the world & at the time the fields of the home, they must be fertile & productive. One needs to diligently aim to become enriched & beautiful. In order to have good soil, pray to accept any problem no matter how unwanted. The heart will become fertile, & the problem will no longer be a problem.
The enriched heart is rich with blessings."

I hope Hiroko continues to become such a lady; who always does her best to enrich her heart through everything that happens in her daily life.

With this in mind, this is a perfect way to turn our attention to the subject that we are now in one-hundred-day of the faith training period in preparation for the 130th Memorial Service of our founder's demise. You'll remember I chose to celebrate this Faith Training when I was visiting Airaku for my mother's memorial. So everyday when we have the prayer services we recite the following 'Solemn Pledge': "What we wish now for the 130th Anniversary of our founder's death is to revive the vivid way he lived so each day we will feel Kami near us & hear the Divine voice. We seek to blaze a trail into the active world of Konko Daijin, & experience the essence of his faith -- as if by touching we'd feel its warmth & by poking we'd draw spurting blood."

During this one-hundred-day faith training my goal is to faithfully accept everything that happens in my daily life, develop unbreakable peace & joy in my heart & manifest this solemn pledge everyday. Won't you please join me?

Thank You.

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