Thursday, September 11, 2014

Curiosity, concerts, and too much coffee

Today’s coffees: an espresso and a drip coffee (Kenya) from About Life Coffee Brewers and a latte from The Theatre Coffee. Oh, and there was also a matcha latte from Starbucks before that. I think I’m going to have the shakes.

Sharon, and espresso shots
Gorgeous espresso shot...
This was the Kenyan drip coffee. It kind of looks like I'm drinking coffee in the shower.
Latte with pretty art
So… it has been a crazy week. For the last week, I've not slept in the same bed twice in a row. I’ve been at home, in Nayoro, in Jozankei, and in Tokyo… I really wish all of these trips had been more spread out, but… this is just how it happened. Having taken care of various business this morning and then having had coffee with Sharon (yay!), I’m now killing time until it’s time to take the train to the airport. The weather is bad throughout Japan, so I’m hoping my flight is not too terribly delayed. I’m ready to park myself at home for a few weeks and sleep in my own bed…

The concert went well. I think we played well, and our colleagues, Tim and Miho and three church members did a great job of welcoming the guests. It was an honor to be a part of Nayoro Grace Church’s first outreach concert.

Playing Debussy with Shino
After the concert, with one of the church members and one of Tim and Miho's kids. Somehow we didn't get a picture with Tim and Miho...
Which brings me to the book I’ve been referring to for the last few weeks: I Once Was Lost. The second chapter is about encouraging curiosity about Jesus in those with whom we already have trust relationships. I realized that this is the stage into which most of my concerts will fall: church members bring friends, neighbors, and family members, who may or not have any interest in Christianity, and who might feel weird if they think they are coming to a concert and they get a sermon. In the past, when I was stressed out about preparing for concerts (especially the “testimony” or “message” bit), I felt like God was urging me simply to tell stories that point to him. As I think about it, that’s one way of encouraging people to be curious.

This time I played a favorite hymn (How Firm a Foundation) on Shamisen; before I played, I read Isaiah 41:10 and 43:1-2, the passages on which the lyrics are based, and told a story of how the song had encouraged me. I hope that through this simple testimony I was able to encourage an attitude of curiosity in members of the audience.

Well, time to go to the airport!

p.s. I actually wrote this yesterday, since I had time to kill. I made it home safely and on time, and yes, I got the shakes from too much coffee. Oops.

The sunset from the plane was beautiful... much more beautiful than this picture.

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