I rode my bike today for the first time! It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time. My bike is one of those old-fashioned ones with a basket on the front and a bell. None of that stream-lined, curved-handlebars stuff here. These bikes are for utility, not speed. I had a little trouble balancing the weight of my backpack in the front basket, but I think I’ll get the hang of it.

I had an interesting talk with Johanna tonight at dinner about the worship services here. I went to my first Grace Chapel prayer meeting last night and I finally realized that I will need a translator every time. Even as I continue to learn Japanese, I will probably not be able to follow all that they’re saying. The hardest part I think will be when we worship in song. I have no idea what they’re singing because they are hymns. I never learned hymns as a child, and New Song has contemporary worship. So I was dicussing with Johanna the difficulties in worshiping in song when you can’t understand or sing the words.

I know that no matter which worship music style you prefer, you can always praise God because it’s all about Him, not us. It shouldn’t really matter how we feel about the style of music. And I truly believe that. But it’s different if I visit my friend’s church once in a while and sing hymns there. I know that I can come back to NSC the next week. I know that I will be refreshed before long. But I won’t really have that here. How will that play out? I don’t want services to become a chore, or something that I just do because it’s expected. I want to be able to praise our Lord with my other brothers and sisters. I just worry that I’ll start to tire of pronouncing non-sensical sounds and listening to half-translated messages. I’m afraid I’ll start tuning out the Word and focusing on myself.

Johanna suggested that I ask to attend the Youth Nations worship service once a month. They’re a bit livelier and have contemporary worship. I think it’s a good idea, and I REALLY hope they let me do this. I came here to serve God, but how can I serve Him whole-heartedly when I’m not meeting with Him, when I don’t have any passion for Him? Then I’m just an English teacher.

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