Good Morning Everyone! Thank you so very much for attending our service for month June. I hope you are all in excellent health & in bright, warm Summer-spirits.
I visited Japan from June 9th to the 21st. I usually make this trip in October or in November, but I did it earlier this year because I wanted to attend two special celebrations. First was the Commemorative Konkokyo Independence Ceremony held at the headquarters on Sunday June 12th; the other was the third year Memorial Service for my mother, the late Mrs. Itsuko Takeuchi to be held at my Japanese home church KC Airaku on Sunday June 19th.
The Commemorative Service at Hombu honors Konko ministers who have served for forty years, which I achieved this year. It meant many ministers who had trained in the Konko Seminary School the same year I had could get together in person. As classmates at the Konko Seminary School those ministers who had studied together, got to see one another at reunion party after the ceremony. Most all of them I had not seen for forty years. We talked with each other like a bubbling water fountain. We drank, laughed & encouraged each other.
The next day on June 13th KC Otoshima had its monthly service. I admired KC Otoshima as I saw their head minister welcoming our Principal Mediator at his morning procession to the main worship hall before 4:00 am with some young members.
It was a great pleasure to see my niece Rev. Fukuyo Iwamoto, who'd married Rev. Shinji Iwamoto, son of the head minister of Rev. Tokuo Iwamoto at KC Otoshima, in November of 2015.
Fukuyo Sensei sent me an e-mail April 27th that said Rev. Tokuo Iwamoto wanted me to give my sermon for the monthly service to be held on June 13th at KC Otoshima. Then Rev. Katsuhiko Otsubo, my current parent minister of KC Airaku sent the following message on April 30th, "'I would like to become the number one grateful person in Japan.' This is the favorite phrase of the founding minister of KC Airaku, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo. It can be said that after pursuing this gratitude he achieved an unbreakable peace & joy in his heart."
During my silent prayer the next morning 4:00 am, the following idea welled up in my mind: "I would like to recite ありがとうございます(thank you very much) 1300 times a day in my mind as Rev. Torao Iwamoto, founding minister of KC Otoshima did."
When I got back to the Mediation seat, I wondered, ‘how long would it actually take to say this. So I counted how long it took to recite ありがとうございます one hundred times. It took only one minute. That meant it took 13 minutes to say ありがとうございます1300 times. I thought that was a little bit short.
Then I thought who I would give thanks to... & decided... Ikigami Konko Daijin. It took three minutes to sincerely recite 生神金光大神様ありがとうございますone hundred times. So it would take 39 minutes to 1300 times. 39 pronounces "Thank you" in Japanese. So I decided to recite 生神金光大神様ありがとうございます1300 times a day.
Since then I have tried to recite 生神金光大神様ありがとうございますat any time whenever it occurs to me. It has created my posture not to break up my peaceful & joyful heart.
Leaving everything up to Kami. I delivered my sermon for the monthly service at KC Otoshima on June 13th. Happily, it was very well received.
The third year Memorial Service of Takeuchi Itsuko Wagatama Hime no Mitama no Kami was held on Sunday June 19th at KC Airaku. It was filled with Kami's awesome workings. I believe this through the divine virtue of my mother, the late Mrs. Itsuko Takeuchi.
It rained early that morning. Then the sky cleared up. After the service we went to Kanishige to commemorate my mother's life over food & drinks. During that time it rained again, but none of us got wet at all. Everyone read their thank-you messages to my mother. All of her grandchildren especially delivered their messages to her. Each one was wonderful & touched my heart deeply. My daughter Hiroko sent a very moving message to her grandmother. To my surprise my sons Mitsunori & Daichi sent their messages to her as well. I was very happy to hear them.
Thanks to my mother's divine virtue the most important during my visit to Japan this time was to be able to directly see Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo & touch his current way of practicing faith. When he brushed his teeth early morning on May 24th, the blood came out of his mouth. It happened three times in that morning. His wife Mrs. Emilio Otsubo took him to hospital. He stayed in the hospital for five days for examination. The doctor found that Mitsuaki Sensei had had stomach cancer & then told him to see a surgeon named Dr. Takeuchi on June 6th.
Mitsuaki Sensei immediately thought cancer was divine love to develop unbreakable peace & joy in his heart. He worshiped cancer & wished to change cancer cells to Wagakokoro cells through his perfect faith practice each & every moment. Then he naturally came to change his lifestyle completely.
When he saw Dr. Takeuchi, he said there was no other way than to remove his stomach. But there was doubt as to how much the cancer might have metastasized, so Mitsuaki Sensei would have to have another additional tests in two weeks. Now he has done his best to direct his heart toward Kami more precisely than ever to transfer cancer cells into Wagakokoro cells during this time.
I had a plan to stay in Japan for two weeks from June 9th to June 21st. It was almost the same period when Mitsuaki Sensei would do his best to deepen his peaceful & joyful heart in earnest.
So I named this trip to Japan this time my, "Visiting Japan with Peace & Joy in my Heart in Earnest," in order to assist Mitsuaki Sensei's faith practice in any way possible. During my visit to Japan I devoted myself to having unbreakable peace & joy in my heart. Through this I felt Kami near me & heard the Divine voice as if by touching I could feel Kami's warmth & by poking I would draw spurting blood.
Mitsuaki Sensei will receive the final result to decide how to deal with his stomach cancer on June 27th. Let us pray for him sincerely & wholeheartedly. Let us develop our unbreakable peace & joy in our heart to assist his faith training as any possible way. Thank you!
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