Monday, May 15, 2006

The Power of Story

I was reading in my Bible, (I am currently using the Message as translated by Eugene Petersen) and it struck me;
How important stories are. Especially in the culture in which I currently find myself.
Matthew 13:10-17 The Message (MSG)
Why Tell Stories?

10The disciples came up and asked, "Why do you tell stories?"
11He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. 12Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. 13That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it. 14I don't want Isaiah's forecast repeated all over again:

Your ears are open but you don't hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake but you don't see a thing.
15The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
so they won't have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
so they won't have to look,
so they won't have to deal with me face-to-face
and let me heal them.

16"But you have God-blessed eyes--eyes that see! And God-blessed ears--ears that hear! 17A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.
Matthew 13:10-17 The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
The Message at Navpress NavPress

The passage made me think about stories like those written by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, which have recently been made into movies. There are also many stories of smaller stature, that are less famous but no less important. And it made me think of many more "stories" in the form of artwork or songs.
In the light of this passage they become very significant tools and I think we need more of these kinds of tools in Japan.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Continuing Education

It is far easier to learn a language before you turn forty years of age. Your language learning ability decreases significantly after that age. I recall reading that as part of my preparations before coming to Japan. So far the lingo has been difficult to learn at best. So; I am definitely not looking forward to Monday.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A revisit

The new ferris wheel at Dotombori, although I suppose it works more like a ferris belt or a ferris chain, but that is beside the point. The man in the middle so to speak is a god of business and business men. He has koban (old Japanese coins that are rectangular in shape) at his back; and a cell phone to make him a little more contemporary I suppose.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Dotombori is one of the most well known places in Osaka and also one of the busiest, especially at night. The bridge in the distance is Dotombori bridge which now has tall glass sides to keep people from jumping off in celebration, especially when the Hanshin Tigers win the J League world series.