January 4, 2024

I returned to Japan in mid December after four months in the U.S. and Canada, Robert Martin coming as a new missionary at that time as well. As many of you know, there was a major earthquake in our area (Ishikawa Ken) on January 1st. We are ok, and so too are missionary friends the Nickersons and the Trusses even though they were even closer to the epicenter of the quake. More news about this will follow, but please keep the Japanese believers in the Noto area of Ishikawa in prayer. Homes of several of them were damaged and the roads in the area are still very difficult to use. Aftershocks continue nearly constantly, one happening as I write this.

Farmer's Market

October 20, 2023

Yesterday, Robert and I visited a large farmer's market near Waterloo, Ontario.  The purpose was to meet some Mennonite and Amish farmers and give out a few copies of our "Special Animals in the Bible" material. I enjoyed talking to and givin to Henry, Wesley, and one other man and his young daughter. (She was excited to get the cards that go with the set on Bible animals.) -- At night there was a college and career meeting at the First Baptist Church of Waterloo where we will be on Sunday.

Psalmist Trail

September 30, 2023

We are not hiking the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), but the stanza-by-stanza comparison of Psalm 119 to the A.T. has been updated for greater clarity and easier downloading. The summary of content below showing all 22 stanza titles was added.

Visiting Christian Schools

September 6, 2023

Today, Robert and I visited three Christian schools, in Bucksport, Ellsworth, and Bangor. At the final stop, at Bangor Christian, I was surprised at first by how welcoming the office secretary and school administrator were, but I soon discovered that one is a multi-generational friend (known since childhood, through her parents and grandparents) and the other is also from a supporting church. What a welcome! So it was a great day of distributing free Bible study materials.

On the Road

August 17, 2023

I am now in the U.S. and will be traveling with new missionary, Robert Martin, for meetings in the U.S. and eastern Canada for the next few months.

CARDS for the Special Animals in the Bible Set

July 22, 2023

A set of cards and games to go with the Special Animals in the Bible set was just added. The first eight of the cards are shown below.

Bible Top 55 Bingo

June 27, 2023

Why waste time playing Bingo with ordinary Bingo cards? Use our special cards which were designed to go with Bible Top 55 list instead for an uplifting game that is biblical as well as fun. Today, a new page was added to the website for this There are two versions of this game. So two types of sample cards are shown below.

Click here to go to the Bible Bingo page.

The Anointing of Jesus

April 28, 2023

A new study on the anointing of the Lord Jesus in Mark 14:3-9 and parallel passages was just added to the Mark page. Click the link below to go to the Mark page. Then scroll down the page to the first study in chapter 14.

Click here to go to the Gospel of MARK page.

A New Bible Game

April 22, 2023

Roll a die (dice singular). If the number is ONE, select and read a verse in Matthew, and others use a Gospels Summery Chart to name the chapter. If the number rolled is TWO, the reading is to be in Mark. If THREE, in Luke. If FOUR, in John. If FIVE, a verse from one of the synoptics (Matt., Mark, Luke) is to be read and both the Book and the chapter are to be named. If SIX, then the reading is from any Gospel. The key is to use a Four Gospels Summary chart.

Click here to go to the Four Gospels page.

The Samaritan Woman

April 21, 2023

An earlier study / worksheet on Samaritan woman has been greatly improved and uploaded to the John page.

Roll a die (dice singular). If the number is ONE, select and read a verse in Matthew, and others use a Gospels Summery Chart to name the chapter. If the number rolled is TWO, the reading is to be in Mark. If THREE, in Luke. If FOUR, in John. If FIVE, a verse from one of the synoptics (Matt., Mark, Luke) is to be read and both the Book and the chapter are to be named. If SIX, then the reading is from any Gospel. The key is to use a summary chart.

Click here to go to the Gospel of John page.


April 15, 2023

An earlier study on Matthew 16:21-23 has been greatly improved and uploaded to the Lord's Suffering page. A key point of application for us today which is seen in the passage itself with Peter is expectations.

Click here to go to the Lord's Suffering page.

John Chapters 20-21

April 10, 2023

A new comparative study on the final two chapters in John was just added to the Gospel of John page.

Click here to go to the JOHN  page.

Isaiah 53

April 2, 2023

The study on Isaiah 53 has been redone recently and uploaded to the Isaiah and Lord's Suffering pages. This was done in preparation for the message to be given today.

Click here to go to the Lord's Suffering page.

Hebrews & Psalm 110

March 27, 2023

A new study on the close relationship between Psalm 110 and the book of Hebrews was just added to the Hebrews page.

Click here to go to the HEBREWS page.

Redesigned Gethsemane Worksheet

March 18, 2023

The study on Christ's suffering as (fore)seen in the garden has been redesigned, simplified, and improved in appearance.

Click here to go to the Lord's Suffering page.

Recent Retreat

March 14, 2023

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting three ladies from Yokohama and Bree from Shizuoka for a three day retreat. This photo was taken when we went for a walk around the dam. Our house is partly visible in the background on the far left.

Christ's Suffering & First Peter

March 13, 2023

A  new descriptive study on Christ's suffering was just added to the Lord's Suffering page and the First Peter page. How was Jesus' suffering exemplary for servants but also simultaneously much more as well?

Click here to go to the Lord's Suffering page.
Click here to go to the First Peter page.

Hebrews Introduction

February 28, 2023

A new study on the first four verses in Hebrews was just added to the Hebrews page. Some of the material in this chart was used online last Friday. For some notes of explanation, check out the first study on the Hebrews page.

Click here to go to the Hebrews page.

Ezekiel's Wife & Grief Counseling

February 23, 2023

A new study on the death of Ezekiel's wife and the grief counseling involved in such was just added to the Ezekiel page. Much of the Ezekiel material has focus on counseling. This is a great, practical study.

Click here to go to the Ezekiel page.

The People at the Red Sea

February 14, 2023

A new knowing-doing gap study on the rebellious people at the Red Sea was just added to the Moses page. The main question is, Why did Moses need to tell the people about the future plan of God instead of just reminding them of God's work in the past? Closely related to this is, How is the knowledge of God's work in the past different from and yet somewhat like prophetic knowledge of God's work in the future?

Click here to go to the MOSES page.

Aaron & the Golden Calf

February 10, 2023

A new knowing-doing gap study on Aaron was just added to the Moses page. The main question is, Why did Aaron make the golden calf despite knowing better?

Click here to go to the MOSES page.

Moses: striking the rock twice

January 30, 2023

A new study on MOSES' striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it (Numbers 20:1-13) was added to the Moses Page. Why did he disobey? (He knew better.) Secondly, why did the Lord take Moses' failure so seriously? Did it have something to do with the Messiah and the cross (Hebrews 9:28)?

Click here to go to the MOSES page.

Adam: an overcoming the gap study

January 27, 2023

Today, a new study on Adam was added to the Genesis page. As seen below there are three columns on the worksheet. These cover: 1.) what Adam knew, 2.) what Adam actually did, and 3.) what God did to overcome the consequences of Adam sinfully acting contrary to his knowledge. This study is the first of several involving the gap between what is know and what is done.

Click here to go to the Genesis page.

Moses Summary Chart

January 21, 2023

My main project for the past two weeks since recovering from Covid has been to improve the Moses Summary Chart and the notes that go with it. The new version is shown below. This is placed on a new MOSES page.

Click here to go to the Moses page.

New Years & Covid-19

December 31, 2022

It's New Year's Eve as I write this, and I just tested myself for Covid, having had a sore throat and a temperature for a couple days. Yesterday's test was negative, but the one today, as you can see, is clearly positive. Mitsy has been away for a few days visiting with family in Fukushima. Hopefully, she does not come down with it while there!

Wisdom in First Corinthians

December 28, 2022

A new summary chart on Paul's teaching on wisdom in the first four chapters of First Corinthians was just added to the First Corinthians page.

Click here to go to the First Corinthians page.

Elisha Summary Chart

December 25, 2022

A short essay comparing the variety of methods that can be used in Bible teaching with those used in photography was just added to the Opinion Page.

Click here to go to the Jon's Opinion page.

Elisha Summary Chart

December 22, 2022

A new summary chart of the life of Elisha was just added to the Elisha page.
Question: There are two connections to the Christmas story in this chart. What are they? Hint: they are both in the final "Similar Events" column.

Click here to go to the Elisha page.


November 17, 2022

TODAY, a new website page on selected prominent individuals on the Bible Top 55 list was added to the website. The first study in this series is on Moses, the third most mentioned person in the Bible. It was used for the first time yesterday. Additional studies will be added at a rate of about one per week.

Click here to go to the Selected Bible Top 55 page.

to Bolivia via the web

October 7, 2022

Yesterday, we apparently "went" to the capital area of Bolivia (La Paz) by means of the website as someone downloaded several samples from our Bible outlining page. We have no idea who this person is, but we do know that he or she accessed the page in Spanish rather than in English.
By the way, this method of Bible outlining was developed many years ago and was the first project that we worked on together to put into Japanese, way back in 1986.

Click here to go to the VERSE OUTLINING page.

the scapegoat

September 22, 2022

There are now 14 studies on special Bible animals. The latest study added today is on the scapegoat and the Day of Atonement in Leviticus chapter 16. We uses this study online tonight. For much more on this, go to the special animals page.

Click here to go to the SPECIAL ANAMALS page.

Children's Meeting

August 25, 2022

The four girls who came to the children's meeting at the Fukui church today are also regulars in the Sunday school that was begun a few months ago. This is a great blessing!
    Pastor Shirai told the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. In the background, you can see my computer running a program / game that I made and used in the English lesson part of the one hour meeting.


August 24, 2022

There are now two studies on the new Paul's Epistles page. These are on PHILEMON and TITUS. Descriptive worksheets and notes are included for both. Philemon was Paul's most relational Epistle, and Titus was God's health plan for ministry on the sinful (sick) island of Crete.

Click here to go to the PAUL'S EPISTLES page.

Noah's Dove

August 16, 2022

Today, a new study on the dove that Noah sent out three times was added to the "Special Animals in the Bible" page. There are now nine studies in this set, studies on ordinary animals that were used in special ways.

Click here to go to the ANIMALS page.

Special Animals in the Bible

August 10, 2022

Finally, today, seven new studies on animals in the Bible have been placed together on a new "ANIMALS" page. There is a worksheet for each study plus notes which bring out the main points and applications. The most recently study is the one on Elijah and the ravens. This is a great set for personal or group study, and it can be adapted for use with children as well.

Click here to go to the ANIMALS page.

various gem analogies

August 3, 2022

Today, several new sections were added to the 2 PETER 1:5-7 page. These show how and why this special passage is: a literary gem, a structural gem, a floral gem, a mathematical gem, and a neglected gem. The graphic used to demonstrate the mathematical nature of the passage is shown below. Since I have always liked math, this is a personal favorite, but you may prefer the flora gem analogy in which I compare the passage to an orchid.

Click here to go to the 2 Peter 1:5-7 page.

God as Adam's Teacher

July 26, 2022

A great new descriptive study on the naming of the animals in Genesis chapter two was just added to the GENESIS page. What and how did God teach Adam through the naming process? The worksheet for the study (below) and notes with it on the Genesis page answer this question. This is an important and easy-to-do study on God as Educator which is especially important for homeschoolers and others interested in Christian education.
      I have been speaking on this topic the last two Sundays, but this worksheet for small group studies was just added today.

Click here to go to the Genesis page.

Elisha, youth and the two bears

July 24, 2022

A new study on the deadly attach of the two bears on the 42 scoffing youth in 2 Kings 2:23-24 was just added to the Elisha page. Their mocking was much like that of those who scoff today at biblical teaching about the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-52).

Click here to go to the ELISHA page.

The Study on Esther

July 9, 2022

An improved study with a new worksheet on Esther was just added to the ESTHER page. This is the third study on the most mentioned women in the Bible to have been upgraded in the last three days. As is often said, "The only good writing is rewriting." Click the button below to access this great study.

Click here to go to the ESTHER page.

The Study on the Shulamite

July 8, 2022

An improved study with a new worksheet on the SHULAMITE was just added to the SONG OF SOLOMON page. Click the button below to access this great study.

Click here to go to the Song of Solomon page.

A New Study on SARAH

June 28, 2022

A new descriptive and meditative study on SARAH was just added to the GENESIS page. Click the button below to go to the Genesis page, and then scroll down the page to study number five. I plan to use this material in Japanese during our online study on Wednesday.

Click here to go to the GENESIS page.

A New Nature Hike Video

June 25, 2022

Today, I did a loop hike around the nearby dam and pond and recorded 25 short clips along the way which have been edited down to this NINE minute video. You will hear birds chirping and distant thunder as a storm chased me down the valley during the last part of the hike. Did I make it home before the storm hit? Check it out to see.

Paul's Testimony

June 25, 2022

A new study of Paul's testimony was just added to the Acts page. This material was first used in the online study Friday evening, the 24th. It is one of several studies in Acts on the life and ministry of Paul.

Click here to go to the ACTS page.

New Elizabeth Study

June 23, 2022

How would you describe the wife of Zacharias and the mother of John the Baptist? Sadly, she is often overlooked because of being overshadowed by Mary. This new study was used for the first time (in Japanese) Wednesday evening. Click here to go to the Luke page.

Click here to go to the LUKE page.

Paul's Important Defensive Ministry

June 18, 2022

An important new study on Paul's defensive ministry was just added to the Acts page. A main application point is that the evangelical church and individual believers, like Paul, need to be careful about corruption if they are to maintain their testimonies. To see this study, go to the ACTS page and then scroll down to chapter 24.
    This study was first used in our online study Friday night.

Click here to go to the ACTS page.

Troubles that the Women in the Bible Faced

June 16, 2022

A new ranked study on the troubles that the sixty most mentioned women in the Bible faced was just added to the Top 60 Women page. What do you think was the most common problem? Click on the button below to go to the Top 60 Women page and then scroll down the page till you come to the TROUBLED BUT... section.

Click here for THE TOP 60 WOMEN page.


May 24, 2022

Today, a great new descriptive study on EVE (and Adam) was added to the Genesis page. It has an easy-to-use, descriptive worksheet which is great for small group or personal study. I plan to use this material in our online study tomorrow.

Click here to go to the GENESIS page.

Today's Ladies' Photo

May 15, 2022

Today, we were at the Ushitsu (Noto) Church, which is about a two and a half hours drive from our house. There were 18 in attendance, and after lunch I took this photo of most of the ladies. Mitsy is front right. Lorraine Nickerson is back left. Miho Truss is front left. So there are three missionary wives in this photo. Don, Bruce, and I are so thankful for them! There was also a Christian H.S. girl (not in the photo) there, AND one of her friends came to church with her for the first time! It was a good day.

Pastors are not super-heroes.

May 13, 2022

A new study on Paul's exhortation to the Ephesian elders, as seen in Acts chapter 20, was added to the Acts page today. The worksheet is shown below. Go to the Acts page the answers to the worksheet.

Click here to go to the ACTS page.

Preparing this was part of my preparation for our online Bible study in Japanese tonight (Friday) and my message next Sunday.

The judges were not super-heroes.

May 12, 2022

A new study on Deborah was added to the Judges page today. It shows that the various leaders were not super-heroes. For instance, though Deborah was a prophetess and a judge, she was also a wife (4:4) and mother (5:7). So her position was difficult. She was not able to raise and command an army by herself, and she usually stayed close to home (4:5). So the Lord led her to call and work with Barak (4:6-9). Yet Barak was also inadequate. Thus, the lives of Deborah, Barak, Gideon, and others all point to the need for God.

Click here to go to the JUDGES page.

Preparing this worksheet was part of my preparation for our online Bible study in Japanese tonight (Wednesday).

A Happy Day

May 5, 2022

Eriya (Elijah in English) and our younger daughter Yumi's wedding was today, a Japanese holiday. The first photo is obviously of walking down the aisle.

The second photo (below) is with the family, including Ken and older daughter Amy and our two grandchildren. Mitsy's three sisters are in the back row.    
      Elijah is the assistant pastor of a church near Kyoto, and Ken is pastor of a church near Mt. Fuji and closer to Tokyo. We are so thankful for daughters and sons-in-law who love and serve the Lord.

Paul's ministry in Ephesus

May 3, 2022

Today, a study on Paul's longest ministry was added to the Acts page. It has a great worksheet for group or personal study and is my favorite 2022 worksheet! The photos of city ruins help show the greatness of the work.
   How would you describe Paul's ministry in Ephesus? Long & large? Reasonable rather than riotous? Unusual and spectacular? Why were there so many miracles?    
    Many of the points on the worksheet were used during an online study last Friday, but the worksheet itself was just finished today.

Click on the worksheet to enlarge or print out copies.

Click here to go to the ACTS page.

After going to the ACTS page, scroll down the page to this great study on chapter 19.

the bride in the Song of Solomon

April 23, 2022

This is a fantastic new study, especially for couples. Although the Shulamite was awesomely beautiful (6:10) and respectful of her husband, she was not perfect. Moreover, she was married to a very busy man. There was stress in the marriage as well as love. Even so, the bride was somewhat like the church, especially regarding her longing for her husband's return (S.S. 8:14, Rev. 22:20).

Click here to go to the Song of Solomon page.

Two Easter Graveside Messages

April 17, 2022

Today, Mitsy’s mother’s name stone was added and her ashes were place below the Kanazawa church's grave stone. Pastor Saito gave a message on the resurrection. Meanwhile, new green leaves of nearby trees spoke of new life and resurrection as well. So we like to call this special color resurrection green.

Thankfulness is a light in the darkness.

April 15, 2022

Tonight, I went for a walk with a flashlight and camera in the large, empty parking lot near our house in the foothills of Hakusan City (Ishikawa Ken, Japan). This photo, poster, and the following thoughts resulted.      
   The cherry blossoms are beautiful even when there is nobody who sees them. Likewise, God is always good. When we shine a little thankfulness upward in His direction, we can see this wonderful but often hidden reality much more clearly.

Fukui Children's Meeting

April 14, 2022

Today was the first in-person children's meeting at the Fukui church in a couple months. I led the first part, an English lesson. Then Pastor Shirai gave the Bible story as shown. Finally at the end, there was a fun "Easter egg" hunt. 30 eggs! Yeh!
    All seven children shown live near the church, which is trying to start a Sunday school. This is difficult since none of the children are from Christian homes. Yet, some of the older ones showed interest in coming next Sunday (Easter). Mrs. S. (seated near the piano) did a lot of work preparing the eggs etc. for today.      
    The Fukui church is about a 90 minute drive from our house. There really needs to be a missionary living THERE. More children would probably come if there were such a worker. Thanks for praying!

a photographic report

April 11, 2022

Since this blog is attached to our website, I often mention new pages and study materials. These are all related to our teaching ministry in churches, though they may give a false impression of what we do to some extent. We are active with people and churches, and not just a website!!! Tonight I put together a photographic report on my day to help show this. It was a good day, though not nearly as busy as yesterday, Sunday April 10th, when I preached twice in our main church.

Parenting our Bible Study Sets

April 2, 2022

Today, I added a short essay to the Jon's Opinion Page. It is about how developing Bible study sets is like the long process of birthing and parenting children. There are many parallels.

Click here to go to Jon's Opinion Page.

How can a river be on a mountain top?

March 31, 2022

One is described in Ezekiel chapter 47, and our famous, local Kenrokuen Garden shows how such can be IF THERE IS A HIGHER SOURCE. This illustration was part of a message given about eight years ago and is now, as of today, on our Ezekiel studies page.

Click here to go to the EZEKIEL page.


March 17, 2022

Last month we celebrated Mom's 90th birthday, but last Sunday evening she suddenly collapsed and went to be with the Lord. (Physically speaking, it was the result of a sudden break in an intestinal artery.) Her funeral was yesterday and the evening before. Family members and friends from a number of churches were with us. Pastor Saito gave a good gospel message, and Mitsy spoke briefly at the end about Mom's salvation and life.

New User Friendly Links

March 10, 2022

Recently, new buttons were added to the home page to help users quickly find material that they are most interested in. These eight new buttons and links are here as well. Which topics do you care most about?

What Does God Do?

March 1, 2022

The usability of the God 101 material has been GREATLY IMPROVED. It now includes studies on what God did in the lives of various people on the Bible Top 55 list. Through specific character studies, it is easier to relate to what God does in general. The helpful original list of 101 things that God does is still used, but it is connected to studies of what God did in the lives of people like Adam, Moses, Jeremiah, and Mary. To a surprising degree, God still does similar things in our lives today. So applications follow more naturally.

Click here to go to the GOD 101 page.

What does the Bible teach about war?

February 25, 2022

Today, a new webpage on war and peace was added. The summary of points and the worksheet for the study is shown below. This is to be used with the Bible Top 55 cards and lists to discuss the various aspects of war seen or not in the lives of leading Bible characters--- Joshua, Saul David, Solomon, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, Paul, etc. The most important point is that there are three levels involved. The satanic factor must never be overlooked. God does not cause wars!

Who was Joyful in the Bible?

February 23, 2022

Today, I began a study of the joy - or the lack thereof - seen in the lives of the Top 55 people in the Bible. One of the key questions is, "Why are joy and various similar or related terms rarely if even mentioned in the lives of many Top 55 characters such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, Saul, Elijah, Ahab, Elisha, and Daniel but are often uses in the writings of David, Solomon, and Paul?"  

I spent several hours with computer software looking for patterns in the usage, and then tonight we discussed 12 Bible characters during our online Bible study. David is especially interesting because of his joy in various psalms and when the ark was brought into Jerusalem. Saul's lack of joy stands in sharp contrast. Obviously, sin and unbelief were and still are great killjoys.

Hebrews 11 Summary Chart

February 21, 2022

Today, a summary chart on faith as seen in Hebrews chapter 11 was added to the Hebrews page. (This chart was used in yesterday's message.) It is available in both English and Japanese. For an explanation of the chart, please read about it on the Hebrews page.

Click here to go to the HEBREWS page.

A New Video Update

February 20, 2022

Today, a new video report was added to the VIDEOS page.

Click here to go to the VIDEOS page.

Ice Fishing Long Ago

February 17, 2022

Though I am thankful to still be able to serve the Lord in Japan year round, this time of year I miss ice fishing a bit. Mitsy said this old photo looks like me, but it actually is of my father, on a warm March day in 1979 -- in Maine after my first 4 years in Japan.      

Here in Japan, today, I worked on a Sunday message on Hebrews 11. The famous faith chapter is A BIG ONE, which is much larger than the small salmon that Dad and I caught 43 years ago.

By the way, how do you like the old (~1966) snowmobile? It is long gone now, but the heros of faith in Hebrews 11 are still very much with us! -- I plan to speak extensively about why the particular heroes in that chapter may have been chosen to be included while others were not.

Click here to go to the Hebrews page.

SIN 101

February 15, 2022

Today, the format of the page dealing with the sinfulness of those on the Bible Top 55 list was significantly improved. The simple cover below was added as well. We plan to use this for a fun but evangelist game time after lunch tomorrow when two college students come for a turkey dinner.

Click here to go to the SIN 101 game page.

Four Gospels Summary Charts Page Expanded

February 5, 2022

There are now SEVEN thematic summary charts on the FOUR GOSPELS page. Each of these are available in Japanese as well as in English. Click on the images below in order to see the sample files full size.


Yumi Engaged!

January 27, 2022

We are VERY happy to announce the engagement of our younger daughter, Yumi, to Eriya (Elijah) Nishimuta of Kameoka, Japan. Eriya is the assistant pastor of the Kameoka Bible Baptist Church. The wedding is to be on May 5, 2022.

Kameoka is very near Kyoto and has over 400 Buddhist temples and the like but only two small churches that are large enough to have official (tax) recognition with the government. Kameoka BBC is one of the two.

New Theology Page Added

January 26, 2022

Today, I added a new page, on the Theology for the Servants of God. Since this page is new, it is still "under construction." I've written a lot along this line in binder notes in the past, but this will all be new on the website.


To Fukui in the Snow

January 13, 2022

Yesterday, I traveled in the snow to the Fukui church for a children's meeting. Today, I edited and combined several short clips taken with the new camera to make an eight minute video report.

Old Photos & Tripod

January 11, 2022

Today, I found these old passport photos from 1988, as I was cleaning out an old file cabinet. They were taken shortly before we went to the U.S. for our first "home assignment." I added the photos to the Gallery page.

I also found an old tripod "hiding" in the dark corner beside the cabinet. I probably have not used it in about 20 years! It still works fine and should be helpful again now that we have a new camera.

The New Camera & The First Two Photos

January 7, 2022

Today, the lens for the new camera finally came.  So this evening after the Friday online meeting, I mounted the lens and took these first two photos. The first one shows various Youtube tutorials on my computer screen, and the second one is of me facing a mirror with a puzzled look. I HAVE A LOT TO LEARN!!!

By the way, it ONLY took about an hour to take the first photo! Apparently, I did not have the lens on quite tight enough at first. So I tried many things -- studied tutorials, read the manual, etc -- but could only get a black screen in the viewfinder. Finally, I took the lens off and remounting it. What a novice! But at least I learned some things in the process!


December 18, 2021

Today, I added a new page to the website which contains the videos which are otherwise scattered throughout. So far there are eight videos shown on this page, but several more still need to be added.


New Psalm 119 Video

December 14, 2021

Today, I made a 13 minute video on Psalm 119 to share with an online fellowship of missionaries here in Japan. I skipped through Psalm 119 touching upon various stanza and verses while sharing ministry experiences and making applications. It is devotional, but it has depth to it as well. Click the photo below to view the video.

Which do you like to hear about more? If you are like most of us today, it is probably the shepherds, though many in the early mostly Jewish church may have chosen the wisemen. Nineteen CHRISTMAS BASKETBALL lines with 1, 2, or 3 point values are shown below. Which line do you like best? One of my favorites is the one about the shepherds & angels passage being like a bridge between heaven and earth (Luke 2:14).


One Year Anniversary

December 4, 2021

It was exactly one year ago today that this Toa Ministries website was first "published" to the internet. Translations into Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish was added in late spring. The chart below is the summary of usage during the year -- featuring the top 15 countries. There were many other countries as well.

We have not promoted the website much in recent months, other than on Facebook which is usually not very effective. We have concentrated on improving the website content instead, especially adding more material in Japanese. Earlier in 2021 we promoted the material to homeschoolers in New Zealand and had a very good response. More promotion is needed and planned.

By the way, the totals users for the U.S. should actually be cut in half, since this include automatic usage by the hosting server whenever we make changes. If that is done, the average time per user goes up considerably. We especially encourage our friends and supporters to use the Blog page on the website for recent news items.

Also by the way, we wish the usage figures for China reflected genuine interest, but I'm afraid this is really just hostile internet surveillance.

New and Better Solomon Cover

December 4, 2021

This new cover for the set of nine studies on Solomon brings out the nature of the material in a more positive and comprehensive way that the older one, showing that the study of Solomon is NOT just about an ancient king. There is much about him and the time in which he lived which prefigures the future millennial kingdom, despite the sad way his life ended. Please try to read the small print on the cover. Click on it to enlarge.


21 David Studies - Now in English & Japanese

November 16, 2021

Today, Japanese copies of 21 studies on people in the life of David were added to the website. This set has already been used in several Japanese churches, but now it is readily available to many more.

The little that was remaining to do on yesterday's skylight "patch" was also done today, but there are still many more Japanese versions of Bible studies remaining to be "patched" onto the website. It takes many hours and even days to so, but it will be worth it.


Roof Repair Nearly Finished

November 15, 2021

The low roof over the front entrace has a large homemade skylight which has been leaking. Today, I finally was able to replace the two large acrylic sheets. It has rained nearly everyday for a week. So it has been difficult to replace some shingles and do the necessary painting. All that is left to do now is a little more caulking in one spot.

I've put this job off for quite a while, but I recently read Ecclesiastes 10:18 -- Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.

Yet, I was able to do many other things in the last eight days while it rained -- online meetings, new Bible studies on the webpage, preparation for next Sunday, etc.

Proverbs Seminar

November 2, 2021

Yesterday, I had a great opportunity to lead a 90 minute online study for pastors on the use of Proverbs. One topic was how many chapters are somewhat like salads which are rich in healthy variety. Another subject was the use of computer programs to discover WHERE in Proverbs certain topics are stressed. (For instance, the graph below shows that "the poor" are mentioned most often in chapter 28.) Please check out our greatly enlarged Proverbs page. (link below) It is much like it was during the study. Not everything on the page was covered, and a few items have been added today.


Japanese Beliefs

October 30, 2021

What do most Japanese people believe? The top priority for most is security in this present life. The focus is very much on the present. Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 shows that this is realistic in some ways, but unbiblical because God and eternity are neglected. We studied this passage last evening online, and today a new webpage on Japanese beliefs was added. The list and diagram in this set are not new however.


Studies in Japanese Added Today

October 29, 2021

The Japanese version of all twenty studies in this set were just added to the "Lesser-Known Women in the Bible" page. Some churches have been asking for this material to be more readily available in Japanese. Now it is!


The Emphasis on Speech in Proverbs

October 27, 2021

The summary chart below shows that about a third of all verses in Proverbs are about human speech, much of which is sinful. This chart and several others were recently added to the Proverbs page of the website, in preparation for a seminar on Proverbs for pastors next Monday (Nov. 1).


12 Minute Video Report

October 8, 2021

Today, I made a video report for a church in Maine. Some family and church photos are included but most of it is "on the road" in tour format. The church below is the Noto Bible Church (the Nickerson's church) where we will be on Sunday. Click below to access the video via Vimeo.


New! Photo Gallery Page Added!

October 3, 2021

Today, I added a new photo gallery page to the website. There are SOME new up-to-date photos -- with the grandkids!! There is also even one old photo from way back in 1974. Some photos concern ministry, but many of them are family photos like this one, with Mitsy's mom and two of her sisters (at New Years 2011).


47 Years Ago Today

September 1, 2021

On September 1, 1974, I arrived in Japan for the first time. On the long, slow train ride south and west from Tokyo, the scene out the window looked something like this. The only somewhat familiar thing was a Coca-Cola truck in the distance. It was not much comfort. The Lord was, however. Now, how I thank him for keeping me all these years and for giving me a family and a home in what was at-that-time a scary and unfamiliar land!

The Great Calm

August 17-18, 2021

How would you describe the calming of the sea in Mark 4:35-41? The summary chart below was finished up today, and will be used online Wednesday.

By the way, it is nearly impossible to find a photo of the Sea of Galilee with it perfectly calm. So what a great miracle / sign the great calm was to the disciples! One reason it was so shocking to them was because they probably expected Jesus to pray, like a prophet might do. Instead, he commanded the winds and the waves.

A new MARK page was also started today, with this as the first study. See this new page for a great devotional study by clicking the button below.


Bible Study Via Phone

August 2, 2021

Today, my retired truck-driver friend, Mr. Y., called as he often does, and we had a good Bible study for about 30 minutes. Since he lives far from us, in Yamaguchi City and there are no good churches in his city, our online studies and fellowship are a blessing. They are for me, as well.

Mitsy says I look much different now since I have lost over 30 pounds this year. I look older too, however.

Happy Day!

June 15, 2021

No, it is not my birthday! June 15th is tax day for Americans overseas. So I was happy to be on my way to the postoffice to airmail the form to the U.S. We will get a small refund, but I am always VERY happy to finish the paper work for another year.

And speaking of small(er), I have lost 33 pounds (15 kgs.) in six months, mostly by only eating twice a day. Now at only 5' - 6" tall / short and 156 lbs. (71 kg.) I still am a little over, but it is difficult now to lose more.

An International First

April 16, 2021

Today, "Dan" (his pen name) in Brazil joined our Friday online Bible study for the first time. He is the brother of Chiharu who is a member of our church here in Japan. It was a wonderful study, with various ones sharing insights on Matthew chapter three and what we can learn for John the Baptist regarding our testimony for Christ today. The study was mostly in simple English with some Japanese and Portuguese added in as well. It was a fantastic blessing! (8 pm in Japan is 8 am in eastern Brazil.)

Newsletter Copy

April 15, 2021

Today, I used the Snappa app. a new way, to make a newsletter. Those of you with a desktop, laptop, or tablet should be able to read it ok. Smart phone? Those with translation software will be stuck with the English since it it a graphic. Sorry.

Cherry Blossoms & Optical Cable

First In-Person Visit in Six Months

April 1, 2021

It has been great to visit with Amy and family this week. Our year old granddaughter (in photo) and nearly four year old grandson (hiding in back of the table) are a lot bigger than last time. This photo shows cherry blossoms at a Mount Fuji area lake, about an hour away from Pastor Ken & Amy's home / church. (I will be going home to the other side of Japan today, but Mitsy will be staying at Amy's for a few more days.)

Missionaries in Serbia (Europe)

March 1, 2021

Word of Life Serbian missionary, Darko Vika, just wrote to us saying, "Thank you very much for offering all this [] materials to us. . . . We will use some . . . for sure! . . . We do our ministry in the Serbian language but will translate your material and use it to reach youth and help them grow in knowing Jesus! The map below shows Serbia and the Vika's location relative to Austria and Romania, all of which are north of Greece.

You can check out the Vika's on the Word of Life Fellowship's missionary giving page. They are doing a great work in Serbian churches, Bible clubs, and camps during the summer, but they are about 33% under supported.

Homeschools: Seeing the World Differently

February 26, 2021

Users of our new website are most numerous in the U.S. at 183 thanks largely to homeschoolers, and New Zealand is #3 at 25 for the same reason. Japan is #2 at 41, including only one or two home schools at most. Australia, #5 at 15, is gaining fast thanks to "distance education," but homeschooling in Canada, #4 at 20, seems a bit weak. (?) Christian schools are numerous in some African countries (10 users), and there are many in some U.S. states, but not in others.

Sometimes it is good to look at the world differently. This world map is from a New Zealander perspective.

more materials going out

January 31, 2021

Yesterday, we received an order for Bible study materials from a large (for Japan) church in the Tokyo area. This church has previously used two other sets that Mitsy translated. Now we have three additional sets ready to use in Japanese, including the Top 55 People in the Bible materials. (cards shown, comes with booklet) Within Japan, it is possible for us to print out and package materials to mail to those who need them. People like hard copies! The English materials for the U.S. etc. can be printed out for free via the website, since it costs too much to ship internationally.

New Who's Who in the Life of David Game

December 26, 2020

more info.

I woke up unusually early this morning (before 5 AM), probably because of eating too many delicious Christmas snacks (with chocolate) yesterday! With the early rise, however, came a great new idea to turn the new People in the Life of David Chart (worked on yesterday) into a game board. With this new "game" learning from the 60 or so people on the David summary chart can be a lot of fun.

I had to create a new list to go along with the "game," and that took much of the day, but it is going to be worth it. Over lunch, Mitsy and I talked about using this material in our next youth / teen meeting. Please check out this great new game by clicking the button above or the "David Who's Who" item under the FUN menu on the home page.

Website Published Today!

more info.

December 4, 2020

What a great day it was, but why did it take so long -- nearly nine months in all -- to develop and publish the Toa Ministries website? The answer is obvious. There are 21 great sets of Bible studies, several of which contain 20 or more individual studies! You will not find nearly that many on most other websites, and certainly not if the site is new. It took months to collect and rework studies from the past, write dozens of new ones, and design the actual website itself.

Thankfully, due to the Corvid-19 pandemic, I had more time to work on all this since April than I would have had otherwise. Most of our ministries have continued in modified form since spring, and the work on the website fit in wonderfully with the various messages given and Bible studies taught (online and otherwise) during the period. So 2020 has been a surprisingly good year for the Lord's work!