We have one month left until equipper conference13 (ec13). I would like to ask our JCFN members to remember ec13 in prayer, even if you are not planning to attend. One of our main speakers, Pastor Haruhiko Hirayu has sent us a letter on how to make the best of ec. If you are planning to attend ec, please read this letter and prepare for ec. Even if you are not planning to attend ec, I would like to ask that you read it and pray that those attending ec will be well prepared to go back to Japan!
"How to enjoy EC a hundred times more"
(1) Time of Fellowship and Time Alone
Fellowship is one of the highlights of ec. Let us first pray that our time of fellowship will be blessed.
Pray that you will be able to find wonderful friends. I hope you will be able to find someone that you "click" with. Let us make friendships that will last well after ec so they will keep supporting us through prayer.
Cherish the time of fellowship in your small groups, bible studies, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. The secret is not only to listen well but to also open yourself up to others.
This may sound contradictory but it is equally important to spend time alone.
If you don't spend time alone, you will not have time to reflect back on yourself, and the blessings you have received will pour out and be wasted.
Digest. Savor. Reflect back. We always need personal reflection time and remember them in our hearts. Please jot down notes about what you learned, things that you discovered, and any resolutions or goals you came up with.
Time alone such as the devotion time in the morning is the hidden golden time of ec.
(2) A Theme and an Open Hand
Think of a specific theme for yourself before you come to ec.
If you are suffering with any problems, search for a resolution. Some of these are addiction problems, spiritual issues such as huge debts, broken relationships, depression that seems to never go away, past issues that linger on, and low self esteems. ec is a chance to face these challenges.
If you are on the crossroads of life and are thinking about your future (career path), work, or about relationships and marriage, be humble and ask God to lead the way.
At the same time, open your palms wide open and look at the different fields of interests which you may have never thought about before. Come with a soft and moldable heart. Meeting a new world is dynamic and thrilling.
The Lord not only brings us into a deeper world, but also widens us.
(3) Change and "Unchange"
As in the Serenity Prayer (*) below, be able to distinguish what "can be changed" and "what can not be changed."
Is there something that you want "changed"? One of the great things about ec is that you can receive the courage to change. Don't you think it is better to quiet your heart before the Lord and prepare in prayer before you go to ec, instead of being washed away by the emotions and mood of the conference? If you pray and prepare ahead of time, you will know that what you decided at ec is something that you actually put thought into. Then, you will naturally be able to act upon those decisions and those decisions will give you freedom to have a "new beginning."
On the other hand, there is the "unchanging." The "unchanging" points to the reconfirmation of what God is expecting (hoping) of you.
There is a time when you know that what you are doing is God's will but you do not see any visible results. In such times, you need something to propel you. If the bible study you started at your college isn't showing any results but you know that this IS God's will, He will give you the power to continue on.
I wrote about two opposing themes, but these are not "opposing." In fact they are two sides of one thing.
Do you feel like your expectation (hopes) for ec is 80% and 20% fear? I feel the same way. That is why I trust and hope in the Lord. I hope in the Lord because He will surely do good for both of us.
"One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek" (Psalm 27:4)
* Serenity Prayer
O GOD, GIVE US
SERENITY TO ACCEPT WHAT CANNOT BE CHANGED,
COURAGE TO CHANGE WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED,
AND WISDOM TO DISTINGUISH THE ONE FROM
Pastor Haruhiko Hirayu
Born in Saitama, Japan. While in a fencing club in high school, a friend in gymnastics club invited him to East Omiya Evangelical Free Church and he became a Christian at the age of 17. In college, he was part of the college missionary team along with his Bible study members (4 years of tears, hard work, and laughter!). Worked as a pastor in Saitama, Japan and Hawaii. He is currently the pastor of Orange Coast Free Methodist Church in California. He has a habit of saying, "Now it's your turn," in his sermons. He has two daughters, one son, and one grandchild. He enjoys holding hands with his wife and taking a walk every day.
ec13 Registration Info
Registration for ec13 is still open. The maximum occupancy is 280 people, so please register at your earliest opportunity. Final cut off date is on December 15th.
Other contact info for ec13