A late but fun thanksgiving to come!

Published October 4, 2017 by japaneseismyheart

This year, I am too busy to host thanksgiving in November, so we will celebrate sometime after Christmas Day. I think I will mix Christmas and thanksgiving together once again, and take this opportunity again to introduce the reasons why we celebrate these days and their importance.

I feel really motivated as those who came last year have shown their excitement of celebrating again this year. It is the perfect outreach to others to demonstrate who God is and what He means for us.

Back to amazon to order a 3-5kg turkey that will fit in my little microwave. Last year tasted great, so hopefully this year I can pull it off again.

It will be the first thanksgiving I will celebrate with the love of my life by my side. It really is starting to feel like family celebration 💕💕

I know I’ve said this before, but I can say with 100% confidence now that I could never imagine going back to the states to live. This is my home, and all the people I love surround me. God has been so good to bless me and all around me, and I can be nothing but thankful ❤️

I hope all of you are well, and I’m praying for your blessings!

Emily

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My life today

Published September 23, 2017 by japaneseismyheart

Hi all! I hope all is well, as things are with me.

Since I have deleted my Facebook I am afraid I have lost contact with many of you, but you all are still in my heart and are not forgotten. I would love to reestablish contact if possible. I currently use my emilyaskey@yahoo.com email regularly, so feel free to shoot me an email.

I have been in Japan a little over 3 years now, and have worked full time for about a year and a half.

I am currently in a very committed relationship, and have plans I can’t wait to discuss with all of you when the time is right. It is a great time of life, not without it’s challenges.

My boyfriend Hii-chan and I have jumped through many hurdles together, each time coming out stronger than before. God has been very merciful and has been guiding us this whole time.

I will share more later, but for now please do keep us in your prayers.

God has been our everything in every step we take and we feel very humbled about it.

We are praying for all of you and hope things are well!

God bless!

Emily

Wake Up America!!

Published April 9, 2017 by japaneseismyheart

may those who have ears hear the message (Matthew 11:15)

Wake up, America!
You are getting weak!
Will you stand strong in persecution? Can you live without your mocha frap? Can you praise God in all things–even if you don’t get a good parking spot? Have you practiced discipline in your true identity in Christ?
“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”
Proverbs 25:28

You are getting weak!

What are these morals you have set for yourself?

A man can be a woman, and a woman can be a man.
For heavens sake, one could be a rock if they wanted to with that thought process!

What are you man, to question God’s creation? To say He is weak, that He made a mistake in creating you? He is not a God that makes mistakes. He had established an amazing identity in Christ in you, but you can’t possibly understand that until you understand His word as it is written. Not an interpretation, not just sermons, not devotional books. Pull out the actual Bible, or you WILL be misled. I can’t even tell you how many books I have found to be misleading since I’ve started reading the Bible all the way through.

Do you read the Bible like you eat your food? The Bible is more important than physical food, because one day you will die, and you will eat no more. Thus, physical food is meaningless. But your soul, if starved from God, will be deprived of the reward after death. Do you know what waits for us after death? If you are starved to death, there is suffering and pain, and gnashing of teeth. My heart BREAKS into a million pieces just thinking of it.

Do you know your privilege as children of God? Do you know just exactly what happened when Jesus died on the cross for our sins?
Do you even comprehend what happened?
Or are they just empty words?

You gotta wake up, America!

Get strong, America!
If you don’t read the word more than you eat, and you don’t exercise what you learn, you are hopeless. There is no hope for you. There is no neutral ground. You are either in, or you’re not.

I write this because God is my one true love, and I can’t handle seeing His name ruined anymore. I don’t care about man hating me for it. The Word says I will be hated, just like Jesus was. I wouldn’t have it any other way. To suffer and be called names for His sake is the biggest reward I could get in heaven. I stand up for my Love, the only One that matters. I will fight for Him, and I will gladly die for Him. I know a huge persecution is coming. I’m ready to accept it with open arms. It is birthing pain. It is the way to be even closer to my Lord God, my savior, my King of kings!

To be a Christian is to be enlisted into a huge spiritual war. It is not peaceful. It is full of loss, pain, heartache, and humiliation. It is to lose friends, to be outcasted, to be hated.

This is why it is the narrow road. It is not an easy path. There are boulders, rocks, thorns, and slippery spots. Jesus didn’t invite all He met to a pizza party to encourage them to come to Church. He told them that many were in rocky soil, so they would not grow. He took the approach to discourage–to encourage. Those who are in good soil will produce great fruits, and will be rewarded for their efforts fully in heaven. He isn’t trying to convince anyone to join Him, but speaking to the few that are listening.
Let those who have ears to hear listen (Matthew 11:15).

I no longer belong to this world. I long for the day that I am reunited with my true Father, who will embrace me with open arms, and love me in return for all the hate that I will suffer here on this earth for the sake of His name.

Allow me to be tested like Job, to be thrown in fire for not denying His name, to not just sit around in diapers waiting for Him to give me easy to digest bottles of milk, but to stand up, put on my war gear, and fight for His name.

To live for Him is pain and grief–but I am joyful through it all!

America, you became great in 200 years. What country can say that? You were formed in good soil. The good soil allows growth. Don’t throw away what your forefathers worked hard to give you.
Know your identity in Christ, stand up, and prepare for war. It is raging all over the states already. This is not a time to be sleeping, to be a closed community, to live in a little bubble separate from the world. He told us to go make disciples, to give those who have ears the chance to hear.

Jesus. Is. Coming.

What It Means to Follow Jesus

Published March 22, 2017 by japaneseismyheart

I’m sitting here in Tullys (a coffee shop) in Ueno, contemplating on how to write this, or express what has been happening for me in the last few months alone. There are so many aspects to how God has changed me since 2017 started, that I don’t think I could express it all in one blog post.

I don’t want to speak empty words, and I don’t want to over-elaborate what God meant to be simply put.

I’ll begin with Romans  14:8

“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

Before this year started, I was full of anxiety and fear, always worried about what others thought about me. I was terrified of making mistakes, and being caught in the act of messing up. It drove me to suicidal thoughts, and a feeling of emptiness.

I hadn’t realized what putting God first meant, and, like many others, continued to put what other people thought of me first. I was worried to the point at which I couldn’t move.

Only last night did I realize what it truly meant.

Putting God first means you are choosing the narrow road, a road that very few want to follow.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it –Matthew 7:14-14

There is no such thing as a neutral or luke-warm Christian.

It means you are going to be unpopular:

John 15:18-21 ESV
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Luke 6:22-23 ESV
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.


John 15:25 ESV
But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

Luke 10:16 ESV

“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

I’d rather be popular with God

I no longer care about being popular with people. I don’t know about you, but it makes me tired to constantly worry about what people think, especially when I’m not going to be friends with them for eternity. I’ve found so much more love and glory in the words of the Bible than I ever found with people.

People made me stressed. People made me want to die. People were the reason for my distrust of everyone–including God.

The truth is, the more I read the Bible, the more I realize that those who don’t read the Bible (and that is a MAJORITY of Christians) are off on who God is. I hear a lot of cliches that just aren’t true, and would be found out if people would just read the word.

I’ve decided to put God first, and always protect the truth of the word, not bending its truth in any way. I will trust in God, not in people. I will look for what I need from God, not in people.

I will be strong through God,

not through friends, family, or loved ones.

God is there for us

Psalm 34:17-20 ESV

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He Answers Those Who Seek Him

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”.

Psalm 14: 2

The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.


Psalm 37:4 ESV / 68 helpful votes

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.


It is hard to wrap this blog up in a conclusive way, because there are so many things I want to write. I am tempted to just not post it and keep writing it later, but the truth is, I will probably forget, or not feel motivated to try and fix it. I just hope you can get something out of my crazy writing, and that you too, will be inspired to read the Bible to find the actual truth, and learn who you are in Christ.

We were not made to serve ourselves. We were made to serve and praise the ONE and only Almighty God of heaven and earth.

If you feel you are not putting God first in your life, please, I beg you, pick up the Word and figure out what you need to do. He is a merciful and forgiving God. He has forgiven me of my MANY faults. Now I have died to the old me, and live on earth as it is in heaven.

I love you all, so SO VERY much. That is why I write this post. If this blog irritates you, or if I lose you as a friend, I’ll be sad to see you go–but I can no longer shove God into a pocket and not let Him shine through me. I have found ultimate joy, and no one can make me throw it away.

God bless you all!!

 

Emily

 

 

Awakened リバイバル

Published March 5, 2017 by japaneseismyheart

What can I say? The title says it all.

リバイバル。タイトルだけで理解できると思います。

I’ve spent this whole entire year of 2017 (be it only two months), desperately chasing after God. No more TV, no more youtube, no more facebook, no more anything that took away from the time I need with my Lord.

2017年が始まってから、テレビもフェースブックも毎日の生活からカットして、神様のみことばを学び、神様と時間を過ごしています。

It may seem extreme, eccentric even, but a miracle occurred in my life that set me free from things I was bitter about. I was able to make up with my family, which was something that really shocked me. Now the future is open to have a happy family!

本当に不思議です!今年は神様との関係を治すプランはなかったけど、神様の計画の中ははっきりありました。 私の家族の問題を治してくれました!!本当にありえないですよ!関係がとっても悪かったからです。でも、だいぶよくなって、これからの将来も明るくなりました!いつか、結婚したら、絶対に幸せな家庭になると安心しました。

Not every day is easy, but there is a whole lot more joy since I decided to put God first in my every day life. Before, I was trying to drown out the spiritual war inside me by drowning myself in media and any other distraction I could find. Now, I am able to sleep without the TV (I needed something to make sure I couldn’t think), and I don’t need to watch lots of youtube videos to become happy. I am extremely satisfied with just the one book: the Bible.

毎日は楽じゃないけど、神様ファーストをすると決したときから、喜びがいっぱいです!落ち込んでしまっても、ずっと続きません。去年まではテレビや動画で自分の中の戦いを無視できるようにたくさん見てしまいました。でも、毎日神様の臨在の中で、夜テレビなしで眠れます!ハッピーになるように動画を見なくても大丈夫になりました。ただ聖書を開けば、すぐに励まされます!

All I can say for now is, I am so full of God’s love, that I can now be free. I have a lot to work on, and I will never be perfect, but He will always guide me, and I can’t let myself stray from His teachings. There is so much more to life than being numb.

とりあえず、神様の愛がいっぱいで、自由になりました。まだまだ弱い部分もあるけど、神様はいつも導いてくれます。神様のみことばから離れられません。この人生ではもっとあるでしょう!

I love you all!

Emily17125016_10155040132585699_82669154_n

Picture from work (I was outside-not a reflection from a window!)

これが仕事が終わったときに撮った写真です。外で撮りました!

How This Year Rocked All Thanksgivings.

Published November 27, 2016 by japaneseismyheart

How can I put this. This year’s Thanksgiving was much more special than any other year. It’s not like I didn’t miss my family, or that I think anyone else is more important than being at home; but it is that this year, it was not superficial. It had the homey good stuff, and it wasn’t just about eating. There was true thankfulness in the air that night.

I was at a loss of whether or not I would do my own Thanksgiving this year, and if I did, would I invite so many people? I was uncertain of what I wanted to do. But once I decided I was going to do it, I got right to work and went all out.

It was my first Thanksgiving meal to cook, and I only had a microwave, stove top, and toaster oven to cook with. It was looking grim. I did not expect to have a turkey, or be able to pull off the main dishes of Thanksgiving. However, once I was informed that the microwave had an oven function, I practiced cooking with it, did tons of research, and went on amazon to order a VERY TINY bird. It was 4 pounds, just able to fit inside my microwave.
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From the bottom left: apple pie, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs (Corey brought that), cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, another apple pie, cheese cakes and other types of dessert cakes (brought by a lovely lady at Church), fried potato cheese balls, mashed potatoes and salad)
The day approached, and Natsumi and I worked through the night to prepare the food and clean the house. We took out the sliding doors connecting our two rooms to better accommodate for everyone. We had games prepared for the guests, and toys for the kids who would be accompanying their parents.

Many people were going to come from many different circles, who had never met each other. I had five friends from work, who brought three children with them. There were three friends from Church, who also brought two kids. Natsumi had two friends come from her church and Japanese class, and I had five others come from the school I graduated from. I also had a friend whom I have watched grow up over the years in Okinawa come as well. (less than five Americans!)

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It was a warm happy environment, many making friends with each other for the first time. I watched the magic of conversation between groups of people who did not know each other, and admired each one for the gifts they held that I did not possess (conversation skills, ahaha).

So many people brought food, snacks and wine. I was so very moved by their kindness. One of our guests used to work at Starbucks, so she made us all lattes! It was definitely a special Thanksgiving.

The food somehow got cooked by 2:30, and the Turkey was the most delicious I had ever tasted (not trying to brag—I was truly shocked it turned out well). I soaked my turkey in salt water with bay leaves for 48 hours before I cooked it. It was in the microwave for about 2-2.5 hours at 160 celcius. I basted it every half an hour, but it didn’t seem it really needed it. Literally the most juicy turkey I have ever eaten in my life. Why do we deal with dry turkey when it can be made delicious is what I want to know.

After everything was cooked and on the table, everyone dug in and had their very first Thanksgiving. It was magic. Thanksgiving is rarely talked about in Japan, as it is an American holiday. I spoke a bit about the history of Thanksgiving so everyone understood that it wasn’t just a day you got together and ate.

It was so nice to share some American culture with the community I have here in Japan. I received messages about how they had never known much about Thanksgiving, but were thankful to know now. Others really liked the international feel, and the kids all played together nicely. Everyone walked away, having new warm memories that they will hopefully never forget. Maybe some will even start doing their own thanksgivings every year.

This year was special to me and topped all years of celebrating because it represented the many blessings I have received since moving to Japan two and a half years ago. I had an apartment big enough to house over twenty people. I made many special friends (who I invited because I am thankful to each one of them for specific reasons). I was able to connect my Church friends to my work friends, and both of those groups of friends to my school friends. Although not everyone was Christian, we prayed together, and sang Christian songs together. It warmed my heart, and still does to the point at which my eyes are watering as I write this. It feels as though I have achieved a sort of purpose in which I am living. I am here because God so gracefully led me here, and gave me a second chance at life. He gave me the strength and the courage to be a host of such a huge event, and gave me peace instead of panic on the big day. I was able to cook, and then enjoy everyone’s company instead of cleaning. My apartment is still a mess, but I am happy. I am letting the day sink in first, and I will peacefully clean as I feel led to (NOT a bad way of doing things, I believe).

I hope God will continue to use me in these big ways. I hope to start opening my home to others more, and do Bible studies and fellowship together. I hope to make a support system of friends who become family, and continue to watch out for each other as the years go by.

But until then, God is good, and I am blessed.

How was your Thanksgiving?

How I Didn’t Get to Study Japanese at School, but it Didn’t Matter.

Published July 10, 2016 by japaneseismyheart

The title sounds odd, I’m sure. I was in Japan, so I should have been studying Japanese. However, if you ever saw all the posts I made about my inability to find time for myself, and knew I was studying Theology, it may become plausible to many of you. To me, it was a very real problem that I encountered every day. I wanted to improve, but found no time or energy to devote myself to the study of the language.

However, I spoke a lot. There were times I was shy and did not speak up a lot. However, over time, I gained courage, learned to express myself, and began to find that I was actually doing it. I couldn’t tell you the exact point in which I believe I became fluent (and no, I definitely don’t know everything), but at some point in time I was able to go with the ebb and flow of speaking. There are days where I can’t put anything together or speak straight, and there are certain topics that are hard for me to understand until someone tells me what it is in English (then I can follow along), but the focus and worry on my weaknesses grows smaller and smaller with each passing month.

If you count my short study abroad time and all the summers I spent in Japan with the time I have spent here since August 2014, It has almost been 3 years. This has done so much for comprehension of the Japanese language and my growth in those years. There were times I couldn’t read or write kanji, hiragana and katakana. Now, it is a part of my daily life (life would be terribly hard without those skills!).

I think I have to give a lot of credit to Tadoku (expensive reading) for most of my reading abilities. I read and even got to novel style books (although I often stop halfway because I get tired). It made my confidence grow bigger and bigger.

Lately, since I have gotten more time as a salary woman in Japan, I have been doing Japanese lessons again. I wanted a strong focus on writing, because it will make life easier, as well as improve my Japanese reading skills (which in turn, improves my comprehension and usage of the language). I am studying easy kanji that I can tell some sort of meaning on sight, but don’t know how to write it or know the proper reading for it. I can study up to 100 of these in a week, which excites me very much. I did not think this was possible, but it turns out that every experience I have had with the language has just built up the strength in my brain to be able to remember these kanji (often there are kanji within kanji—these are called radicals).

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I love learning so very much. I hope to help others learn Japanese quickly and gain comprehension. This was what I always wanted when I was preparing to move here from the age of 16.

While I claim fluent in this blog post, I am a far cry from being perfect or understanding everything someone says to me. It just means that I have finally gained the confidence to say that yes, I can understand, and can translate conversations between friends, and gosh, I’m paying bills and talking to the gas company and working things out on my own. I never had confidence to do those things in English, and here I am, doing it in Japanese.

This is not a brag post in any way, but meant to be encouraging. I do believe we can do so much better always, and we should always dream big.

Here is my challenge: Pick a language. Become fluent in 2 years. Trust me, it’s empowering, and good for your brain.

Sincerely,

Issuing-crazy-challenges-but-means-it

Emily