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KEITH'S WEEKLY Blog

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - May 1st, 2017

My little pick-up truck is now 21 years old and has 229k miles on it. It squeaks, groans, clicks, wobbles and is slow. The paint is fading, it has old stripes, and dents, just like it's owner. But I love that old truck. It is simple and doesn't have anything fancy, or electronic. You still have to wind down the windows, and push the door locks down with your elbow. Every time I think about getting a new car or truck, I just can't get myself to pull the trigger. Even though the cost of any repair or even an oil change is more than the value of the truck, it just seems worth it to keep it going. That is why I was offended and my feelings were deeply hurt when I walked out of my house to get into my truck and found a card which was advertising a company that buys "JUNK CARS" for cash. The truck I loved was now a piece of JUNK. I couldn't believe someone thought my truck was a piece of junk. I thought maybe they just go around and put that card on everyone's car no matter how new, old, or the condition it is in. So I walked down the block and looked at the other cars parked on the street and mine was the only one. It was also early in the morning when most of my neighbors wouldn't have a chance to see if they had one of those very insensitive, judgemental, discriminatory cards on their window. My poor truck was singled out as a piece of JUNK. I was so mad, I was going to take that card and put it on my neighbors BMW, just to make me feel good, but remembered that it had an alarm because it was new and shiny. Blah, blah, blah, new car. My truck may be old, but at least it is slow. Just like me.

There seems to be a fine line between the benefits or detriment of being "seasoned" with a lot of mileage and experience, and being new, energetic, and idealistic. Is there a point where life experiences cease to be the best teacher? Or can we apply the wisdom we receive from those experiences and overlay them on top of the creative and innovative ideas of today. I think it all depends on the "value" the owner places on the the idea, cause, or person. If the owner agrees with the appearance that something is a piece of "junk" then you wouldn't consider it, use it or value it's relevancy. But if you loved something despite the "mileage" then you would be able to extract the value from the many experiences life gives you. You would be able to understand that traveling down the freeway at 65 mph, listening to your favorite song, is the same in any car whether you are in a Nissan pick-up or a Tesla. God loves, values, and will use us in any and every season of our lives. From the very young to the old, God will never waste an opportunity to grow us. He doesn't judge us on our success or appearance because he can use us in any condition. Not only will God use us "as is," but He also loves us "as is." That is why we should never be reluctant to use the experiences, circumstances, gifts, and abilities to build one another up. That is our true value and worth in God's economy.

update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP, Monday, May 8th.

Family camp registration is now open. Pick up a registration form at the info counter or go online to: http://www.pcjcfm.org/youth-a nd-family-events/

This is a no brainer for those who want their spiritual life to be encouraged, to discover the love that God has for you, and to be supported by those who love you and want the very best for you, and to have a ton of fun. See the attached flyers for more info.

Men's Fellowship breakfast at the Anchor, May 20th @ 8:30am. Come join the Anchor men and be encouraged, supported, and prayed for as we "Sharpen" each other in our faith in God.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 24th, 2017

I was in the check out at Trader Joe's and struck up a conversation with the cashier. During our conversation, I noticed from my side angle that there was something "extra" coming out from her nostril. Now I was in an awkward position. Do I tell her, or just forget about it since I was about to get my bags and leave? It was hard to concentrate for the rest of our small talk because my options were spinning in my head of what to do. If I tell her, it would be really embarrassing. If I don't, what if it falls down into somebody's food. That's pretty gross. I was torn, but decided to let her know of her "extra" nostril baggage. As we finished paying, she turned to me to say thank you and my eyes were drawn directly to her nostrils. Right when I was about to let her know she had something "extra," I saw it wasn't a bodily produced secretion but a really small gold ring. Since, I was to the side of her I never got a real good glance at it, and just assumed it was something different. It was either that or everything she touches turns to gold.

Even if we see things with our own eyes, we all know we can sometimes make mistakes and wrong assumptions about a person, event, or issue. Lighting, angles, and context also have a lot to do with what we "see" and can contribute or take away from the accuracy of what is in our view. So there is a lot more we need to take into consideration before really knowing what we think we are seeing and what we know we are seeing. However, there is an exception. When we go through a life change or "see" a life change in someone else, it is definitive. In any light, angle or context, life change is visible and evident to anyone who witnesses it. Seeing a life changed is the best visual evidence for God. Although, we have seen people transform their outward appearance through will power and discipline, a life changed by the power of God shows both within and outside of a person. It is a complete transformation. That is because God really does have the "golden" touch...

Update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP, Tonight, Monday, April 24th.

Family camp registration is now open. Pick up a registration form at the info counter or go online to: http://www.pcjcfm.org/youth-a nd-family-events/

This is a no brainer for those who want their spiritual life to be encouraged, to discover the love that God has for you, and to be supported by those who love you and want the very best for you, and to have a ton of fun. See the attached flyers for more info.

United worship service, potluck and wedding shower on Sunday, April 30th @ 10:35. Come join us as we celebrate together in one service God's goodness. Pastor Kawahara will give his last message to both congregations before he retires and returns to Japan later in the summer, and we will be having a shower/blessing for Yukari and Johnny. You can go to their registry at: https://www.zola.com/registry/ johnnyyukari

Men's Fellowship breakfast at the Anchor, May 20th @ 8:30am. Come join the Anchor men and be encouraged, supported, and prayed for as we "Sharpen" each other in our faith in God.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 17th, 2017

I was watching one of the infant/toddler boys yesterday and couldn't believe how much energy he had. Or how much I have lost. It took everything I had just to sit down on the carpet, let alone try to sit with my legs crossed. When I tried I thought I was going to cramp up. I had to stretch just to sit down. And it seemed like every time I got comfortable sitting, he would be off to the next thing. Although sitting and standing was rough on the body, the real worry was trying to entertain him. I was doing really great, until I noticed him getting uncomfortable and touching his pull-up. I could tell he didn't want to be distracted and tried to tough it out, but a person can only go so far with that level of "distraction." I know the feeling he had because I get overwhelmed with the same "distraction" every 50 minutes. Well, I was stuck in a dilemma. Do I check to see if he needed a change? Which meant I would have to put my sense of smell to work. Do I ignore it? Preferable method. Or do I take him to his mom or dad and interrupt them? I haven't changed a diaper or pull up since the girls were infant toddlers. So the thought of changing one now is scary, and to offer to change a boy is way beyond my pay grade. Without any good options in which I could see myself coming out in one piece, I decided to take him to his mom. When I did, she didn't even blink an eye. She went through her mental checklist, did the smell test, and that was that. Everything was fine.

I can remember being nervous the first time I had to change a diaper. I don't know why, it isn't complicated. I don't think you can put a diaper on backwards, and yet there is something so new about it that can make you a little hesitant. But after a million diaper changes, it becomes easy. You don't even have to think about it. You don't have to weigh in on all the different options because there is only one option, and it isn't an option. When your kid needs a change, you change him/her. When Jesus came to us, He did so to change us and free us from the "messiness" of life. When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved to be the only living God we will ever know, and became our only option to live by. Empowered by the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, we can also overcome the messiness of our lives. A relationship with Jesus has changed billions of lives, and yet to give him our life can make you a little nervous. But with a small first step of faith, a life with God will become your only option you will want to live by.

Update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP, Monday, April 24th.

Family camp registration is now open. Pick up a registration form at the info counter or go online to: http://www.pcjcfm.org/youth-a nd-family-events/

This is a no brainer for those who want their spiritual life to be encouraged, to discover the love that God has for you, and to be supported by those who love you and want the very best for you, and to have a ton of fun. See the attached flyer for more info.

United worship service, potluck and wedding shower on Sunday, April 30th @ 10:35. Come join us as we celebrate together in one service God's goodness. Pastor Kawahara will give his last message to both congregations before he retires and returns to Japan later in the summer, and we will be having a shower for Yukari and Johnny. You can go to their registry at: https://www.zola.com/registry/johnnyyukari

Men's Fellowship breakfast at the Anchor, May 20th @ 8:30am. Come join the Anchor men and be encouraged, supported, and prayed for as we "Sharpen" each other in our faith in God.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 3rd, 2017

When I was in my 30's, there was a guy named Eddy who used to come to the gym to play hoops a couple of times a week. Eddy was 52 years old and you could tell he was a pretty good player in his day. Even at 52, he could still hit a shot or two and make a decent pass, but he couldn't get by anyone or play any D at all. He was worst than the Laker's. In the locker room afterwards I would joke about playing for so long. I would tell my teammates that if I was still playing into my 50's to have me committed to a mental health facility. Yesterday, I played in a playoff game. I can still hit a shot or two, and make a decent pass, but I can't get by anyone or stop anyone. Almost everyone on my team has grey hair or dye's their hair. We all have bball shorts with pockets, smell like Ben Gay, shake when we come into the gym from our bottle of Advil, have braces all over our body, and our jerseys are all faded especially where our belly stretches out the numbers. It is not pretty. I sometimes have to call a sub during warm-ups. But I can't get basketball out of my system. You would think it would have leaked out of me by now, but I still continue to buy my last pair of basketball shoes each year. I think that tells me not to give up something you still have a passion for. It has also made me realize how much basketball has given to me. It has given me a lifetime of friends, it fills my passion "bucket", it entertains me, it gives me a chance to get some exercise, and it is something my whole family is involved in.

Our team doesn't win like we used to. We can win a half and a little more, but then our bodies hit the wall of reality. One good run by the other team and we are toast. But after the game, instead of being mad or frustrated, we laugh at each other and move on with our lives. We will grab a bite to eat, check up on what our kids are doing and enjoy the rest of the day as if we hadn't lost a game. Win, lose, or draw that is a good day. It feels good to have perspective. Having the "right" perspective on life can give you a wonderful sense of "peace" in any situation. Of course on the other side of perspective is worry, anxiousness, stress, and hopelessness. The "world" can crash on top of us if we allow it to overwhelm us with it's expectations. But when Jesus came to earth he came to give us his peace. In John 16:33 it says, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." God's peace and perspective comes to us through the person of Jesus. I don't know how long my body will let me play basketball, but I do know that basketball won't leave me. I don't know how long I will be here in this world, but I do know that God's peace won't leave me.

update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP, Tonight Monday, April 10th.

Come join our Easter celebrations. We will have a wonderful service followed by a chicken a waffle potluck luncheon. Invite a friend. You won't want to miss this. Service starts at 10:35, with the potluck luncheon to follow. (Anchor does not live by chicken and waffles alone).

Family camp registration is now open. Pick up a registration form at the info counter or go online to: http://www.pcjcfm.org/youth- and-family-events/

United Worship service and potluck April 30th @ 10:35am. Come join us as we meet together in both Japanese and English to celebrate God's goodness as a church family. Potluck luncheon to follow our service.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 27th, 2017

I took some out of state friends to the beach for the first time. They have two young sons and I thought it would be fun to take them to the small aquarium and then to stick their feet in the ocean in Manhattan Beach. The aquarium was closed so we ran down to the ocean. The family took off their shoes, rolled up their jeans and started to walk down to the sand towards the water. When the 2 year old saw the water, he sprinted, and without any fear jumped in. He was wet from head to toe, and had the time of his life. The only problem is we only prepared for him to get his feet wet and not his whole body. We didn't have a towel, or a change of clothes. So when the adrenaline of being in the water wore off and it was time to go, the 2 year old started to shiver because he was all wet. We tore off all of his wet clothes, but he still had his soaking wet diaper and a ton of sand was stuck to him. Fortunately, I had worn a pair of sweats over my shorts knowing we were going to the beach. I took my sweats off and wrapped the 2 year old, but it only helped a little. It also exposed my black crew socks and converse shoes I was wearing. I was now wearing the same "get up" my dad used to wear to the beach. All I needed was a plain white undershirt and white paint on my nose, and I would be my dad. Sorry, for the flashback. We all ran back through the sand and up to the car and finagled something for the two year old to change into. While I was waiting and feeling ridiculous in my flashback wear, I started to people watch. Suddenly, I didn't feel that awkward. In Manhattan Beach people wear all kinds of different things, even though we are all under the same weather. You have people in all shapes and forms wearing lulu lemon gear, you have runners, people in down jackets, those who are wearing flip flops and others who have boots on. You have those confident fellows wearing speedos, and others who are all wrapped up for winter. I even saw one women who I thought was walking her two dogs, but it turned out to be her boots. They were big furry boots that were the size of dogs. I couldn't tell until I noticed her two dogs were in sync with her every step and knew no dogs are that obedient. So my "dad" outfit was perfect.

I had a ton of fun being around those little ones. I also loved being in the middle of so many different kinds of people. Everyone was enjoying the sun, water, sand and ocean breeze. It didn't matter where we were from, how many times we had been to the beach before, or who we were, it was a great day. We were all different and we didn't know each other, but we were all united in the beauty of the day. In the Bible it describes a relationship with God like that perfect day at the beach. Psalm 27:4 says, "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple" That is what is known as God's "Endless Summer." It also describe His day at the beach as incomparable to any other when it says in Psalm 84:10, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere..." God wants all of us to live an "Endless Summer" of days in His beauty and warmth.

update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP, Tonight Monday, March 27th.

Come join our Easter celebrations. We will have a wonderful service followed by a chicken a waffle potluck luncheon. Invite a friend. You won't want to miss this. Service starts at 10:35, with the potluck luncheon to follow. (Anchor does not live by chicken and waffles alone).

Family camp registration is now open. Pick up a registration form at the info counter or go online to: http://www.pcjcfm.org/youth-and-family-events/

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 19th, 2017

I had a new garage door installed at my house and had to clear out my mancave before they could put it up. I couldn't believe how much stuff I had in what seemed like a couple of bins, bookshelves, and cabinets. I decided that since I was going through all of my stuff I might as well throw out what I don't use, give away what I don't want, and organize the rest. I was amazed at the things I had saved and forgot about. Old vhs tapes, old cell phones with a pull up antenna, medium t-shirts that I couldn't get my head through the neck hole, clip art books, old computer floppy disks, and a ton of wires, cables, and chargers which didn't go with anything. On the good side of things, I did find the match to about 8 pairs of socks. Even though I found things which didn't fit, didn't work, or I didn't need or want, it was still hard to throw it out or give it away. I just kept thinking I would use it or need it one day. And some of those things were over 15 years old. There is no way I will ever fit into a medium shirt. I also found myself putting things aside to give to someone who I thought could use what I had forgot about. (Does anyone need a cassette tape of Journey's greatest hits?) It wasn't until I committed to getting rid of anything I haven't used or read in the last 3 years that jump started my purge. After it was all said and done, I got rid of about 70% of the things I had held on to thinking I would someday use. The rest I still use and is still relevant.

Throughout our seasons of life we accumulate a lot of "stuff." The memories of all of our hurts, aches, pains, victories, successes, and experiences form and shape our perspective on life. The challenge for us is to get rid of those things which we hold on to that establishes a negative identity of ourselves. Our hope and optimism for the future isn't dependent on the things of the past but on the state of our heart. The apostle Paul says it like this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" When we have a relationship with Jesus, He creates in us a new heart. The old is gone, but we are still able to keep all that God created in us that we all love. Our identity takes on the characteristics, hopes and desires of Jesus. And Jesus came to give us life, and give it abundantly.

Update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP will Monday, March 27th.

Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, March 25th at the Del Amo Hometown Buffet @ 8am. Come join the Anchor men as we share and fellowship together.

Invite your friends and family to Artsy at the Anchor. Artsy is a craft making event and will be at the Anchor on Saturday, March 25th, at 9:30am. I have attached a card with more info.

Come join our Easter celebrations. We will have a wonderful service followed by a chicken a waffle potluck luncheon. Invite a friend. You won't want to miss this. Service starts at 10:35, with the potluck luncheon to follow. (Anchor does not live by chicken and waffles alone).

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 12th, 2017

I was walking across the street on my way to the arena to watch the UCSD women's basketball team play. While I was waiting for the light to change I struck up a conversation with an elderly women dressed in the opposing team's color. I asked her if she had a granddaughter on the team. She did not, but her husband was a professor at the school and the Division II representative for the basketball teams and she continued to follow them after his retirement and passing. I could tell she was a really good supporter and fan. I didn't have the heart to let her know that she was now my bitter enemy and I could no longer talk to her ever again. However, before I could inform her of my distaste for red, (except when my daughter Lindsey wears it of course) she asked me if she could hold my hand and help her cross the 2 crosswalks and walk her down the stairs. I was in such a dilemma. First of all I am opposed to all public displays of affection. I don't like holding hands, even with Lisa. Not only am I not good with hand holding, I had to decide whether or not to let go while we waited for the second light or I could I drop and re-grab when the light turned green. I grabbed her hand and I could feel my shoulders tense. My biggest fear at this point was if she wanted to use the interlocking finger grip. Luckily, she didn't. I held hands with a stranger across two crosswalks, down a flight of stairs, across a parking lot and to the ticket booth. This fan was nice enough to buy my ticket for walking her which was really nice, but then I kind of felt obligated to be her friend. We walked in and while she was looking over the fan souvenirs, I found my opening. I saw somebody wearing a UCSD t-shirt and I told my super fan friend I was going to go and talk with him, and find a seat. I thanked her and walked towards the guy in the t-shirt. I had no idea who he was, but that was the only thing I could think of to separate myself with the fan in red.

Doing what is right and good has always been our calling. Especially when it comes to giving up that which we like, to get what we need. Jesus asks us to give up of ourselves, so we can trust him at a deeper level. The deeper the trust, the deeper the peace and contentment we will experience in our life. When we give up the things we are most comfortable with, we give God a window to build our character, to change us, to teach us, to show us His strength, and to be His light to others. God allows all kinds of people, circumstances, and challenges to get in front of us to teach us to not rely on ourselves. In 2 Corinthians 1:8-10, it tells us....."It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing." Jesus gave up his life, so we could be rescued from this fallen world. All we have to do to receive that life line and grab His hand.

Update:

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP will Monday, March 14th.

Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, March 25th at the Del Amo Hometown Buffet. 8am. Come join the Anchor men as we share and fellowship together.

Invite your friends and family to Artsy at the Anchor. Artsy is a craft making event and will be at the Anchor on Saturday, March 25th, at 9:30am. I have attached a card with more info.

Come join our Easter celebrations. We will have a wonderful service followed by a chicken a waffle potluck luncheon. Invite a friend. You won't want to miss this. Service starts at 10:35, with the potluck luncheon to follow. (Anchor does not live by chicken and waffles alone).

Thank you Anchor!!! We have enough to order the chairs and hopefully they will be here soon. I am excited, but mostly grateful for being part of such a wonderful, generous, and caring church family.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 6th, 2017

My daughter's college mascot is a Triton. During the games Mr. Triton does his usual mascot things. He leads the chants by banging his trident spear on the bleachers. He tries to do his best to dance along with the dance squad and cheer team even though he doesn't have any rhythm. And he plays with the kids. Pretty simple job description. At UCSD, the arena is set up so the seats are about 7 ft higher than the floor. Which means the cheer and dance team can do their thing and you still have a good view over the top of them. Even Mr. Triton with his big head doesn't obstruct your view. But during the conference tournament, UCSD traveled to another university to play. Their arena was more high school gym than arena. It was nice, but most of the seating were bleachers. This isn't a big deal, but it did take Mr. Triton out of his home "sea" familiarity. As I was watching the game, Mr. Triton would come to the bleachers to try and get the parents to cheer. Well, parents don't want to cheer, they just want to yell at the refs, and coach their kids from the stands. So, Mr. Triton didn't know what to do. And not knowing what to do, he would sit next to the parents and bang his trident on the bleachers, not realizing his big ol' head was in the way of everyone who sat behind him. He was so used to having the area at UCSD, he didn't have a clue he was more of an obstruction than an encouragement. When you are winning it is easier to let it go, but when your losing (which we were) it gets to be annoying. There was one stretch in the game when Mr. Triton sat next to me. I didn't want anything to do with him, but he just sat there banging his trident. I think he wanted me to clap along with him, but I wasn't in the mood and I can't hold a beat for more than 3 claps. For some reason, he continued to sit next to me. Finally, I looked the mascot in the eyes and gave him the "stare" hoping it would get him to leave. But I forgot the mascot's eyes and the eyes of the person inside are probably not the same. I guess I could have said something but I don't think mascots are allowed to talk or can't talk. I was stuck. Me and Mr. Triton were not seeing eye to eye, and you could cut the tension with a trident. Fortunately, Mr. Triton left my side, but unfortunately the game ended with a lady triton loss. It was a bummer. We then stayed for the Triton men's game. I took my seat and again Mr. Triton sat right next to me. Only this time the UCSD men were winning. Since we were winning I didn't care what Mr. Triton would do. When he sat in front of me, I would look to the side of him. When he wanted me to clap with him, I clapped. When he sat next to me, no tension at all. We were BFF's again. I love Mr. Triton.

Our attitudes make all the difference in how we live our lives. Not only do our attitudes influence how we see life, if we aren't careful it can change the shape of our lives. Especially when it comes to faith. If are attitude is skeptical instead of trusting, we will never fully believe in the promises of God. We won't fully buy into his death and resurrection. We won't understand his unconditional love. We won't be able to receive his grace and mercy. And we won't be able to have the full assurance and hope of a life lived forever in His presence. Our attitudes have everything to do with our "heart" condition. In Proverbs 4:23 tells us to "guard our heart, for everything you do flows from it" Our "heart", our attitudes, will be the difference between you seeing God show up in your life or you giving your life over to fate or luck. The joy and peace we receive when we have Jesus allows us to look over the "obstructed" views of our circumstances. God wants us to have a view from the top.

Update:

The memorial services for Pastor John Mizuki's will be at the Anaheim FM Church on Saturday, March 11th at 10am. Make plans to get there early as there will be an over capacity crowd who will attend.

Anchor House of Prayer, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord. Pastor Wayne and Erin lead this time of prayer at the Anchor. Next AHOP will Monday, March 14th.

Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, March 25th at the Del Amo Hometown Buffet. 8am. Come join the Anchor men as we share and fellowship together.

Invite your friends and family to Artsy at the Anchor. Artsy is a craft making event and will be at the Anchor on Saturday, March 25th, at 9:30am. I have attached a card with more info.

Come join our Easter celebrations. We will have a wonderful service followed by a chicken a waffle luncheon. Invite a friend. You wouldn't want to miss this. Service starts at 10:35 with the luncheon to follow.

We have raised enough to purchase 50 new chairs through our Chairity Drive. We need just 10 more. Please drop your donation in the Chairity box located at the info counter.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 20th, 2017

As you know I have a lot of quirks. One of them is wearing a long sleeve shirt and putting a jacket, or a hoodie on top of it. I hate how the sleeves bunch up. So I like to wear short sleeve shirts whenever I layer up. This past week with all of the rain, I got stuck with a wardrobe decision. Do I wear a long sleeve t-shirt under my rain jacket shell and risk being cold but dry? Or do I wear a short sleeve shirt and layer up so I can stay warm, but hate the way it feels? I don't know how I live with myself. I thought I had a solution. I had bought a jacket a couple of months ago that was both warm and waterproof. Or so I thought. Since I thought I had a winning combination, I decided to go short sleeve shirt with the warm, waterproof jacket. We had traveled up to San Diego to watch the Tritons play, and the rain was coming down pretty good. I walked out of the car and into the rain with all the confidence in the world of being both warm and dry. We walked into the arena and took our seat. After a few minutes I started to get really cold even though I had my jacket on. What I discovered was my jacket was soaking wet and wasn't waterproof at all. Not only was the jacket not waterproof, but now my t-shirt was all wet in the back. Now, I am cold, wet, and I had only a short sleeve t-shirt. The only fortunate part of this was the sleeves of the jacket were dry and I was able to wear the jacket backwards and use the sleeves to stay warm. That was fine while I was sitting, but at half-time when I went to use the facilities it felt pretty awkward having a wet t-shirt in the back, and a hoodie rain soaked jacket worn backwards in the front. It just wasn't a good look at all. After sitting through the second half and finally drying out a bit, I was confronted with another decision. What should I do if it is still raining? Do I wear the jacket even though it isn't waterproof? Or do I use it like an umbrella so it will not soak through to my t-shirt, but it will be freezing cold? I decided to put the jacket on and see if it had resistance at all. It had a little, but I still got soaked again. For the rest of the night, I couldn't get the chill out of my bones. Next time I think I am going to use the umbrella I had in the car, but didn't think I needed.

Many times the protection in our lives isn't from the "layers" we put on, or the "proofing" we think we might have, but in the lessons God wants us to learn about Him. I could have worn whatever I wanted and stayed dry if I used the umbrella in my car. Instead I thought I was protected from the elements with my jacket. My assumptions were completely off. I should have gone to what was known. Sometimes we assume we are protected by building up "layers" of emotional, relational, or spiritual walls, but in the end they do not protect us, they separate us from God and others. That is what happens when we live outside of God's promises. God may not protect you from the consequences of a bad decision, but he will protect the love, plans, compassion, mercy and forgiveness he has for you. God's promise to us is nothing can separate us from his love. That protection is guaranteed, and learned through a few rain soaked days in our lives.

Update:

I wanted to announce the passing of both Marian Miyabe (wife of Pastor John Miyabe, and mom to Pastor Jim), and Pastor John Mizuki this past week. Service details will be provided as they become available.

Anchor House of Prayer: 2nd and 4th Monday, 6:30 to 8:30. Next AHOP will be Monday, February 27th.

"Chair"ity Drive: We will be having a Chairity drive to purchase new sanctuary chairs. The chairs are $33 and you can drop off your cash or check into the dropbox at the info counter. Memo your checks: "Chairity"

Please invite your "crafty" friends to our Artsy event at the Anchor on Saturday, March 25th. I have attached a flyer with the details.

Chicken and Waffle Easter luncheon. Invite you friends and family to join us for our Easter service which will be followed by a Chicken and Waffle luncheon. Service will start at 10:35.

Next Men's fellowship breakfast will be Saturday, March 25th, 8am at the Hometown Buffet at the Del Amo Fashion Square.

Family Camp registration coming soon. Get ready to put Family Camp on your summer vacation schedule. Registration will open in a couple of weeks. Camp week is July 16th to 21st. You won't want to miss.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 6th, 2017

I was at an ATM, and a man came up close from behind and reached out towards me. It startled me a bit especially since I was getting some cash out of the machine. When I looked back at him, I think I startled him, and he quickly pulled his hand back. After putting my money in my wallet, the man said to me, "excuse me, but you have something on your back." I couldn't feel anything but tried to reach behind me to see if I could find out what it was. I couldn't find anything but I did start to have back spasms trying to reach areas on my back which I probably have never washed before. Since I am not flexible enough to get to all areas of my back it was going to be impossible to do a complete search. He said it was still there, and by this time another women had joined in letting me know I had something on my back. I tried again to do a hand search, but couldn't find anything. I think I probably looked like a dog chasing his tail, but did not want to walk around with strangers looking at me funny all day. Finally, both the man and women reached out and pulled a few used dryer sheets off of me. I had worn a flannel shirt and there were dryer sheets which had stuck to it. I told them thank you and that I was grateful it wasn't used toilet paper. We all had a laugh and I went on my way.

We all carry burdens which we can't see but for others it is in plain sight. They can tell us we have them, but if we can't see them, feel them, or touch them then we don't always believe they are real. So, we continue to carry them without ever dealing with them. After awhile those burdens begin to grow heavier because it affects the way we move through life. That is why it is so important to have a spiritual community of friends and family around you who can keep us accountable and speak the truth in love to us. Even when we don't think there is anything to worry about. We may never be able to discover the hurts within us or the hurts we are passing along to others without someone reaching out and pulling those burdens from us. Galatians 6:2 tells us, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." God uses the church to help us do the heavy lifting in our lives. Without it we will continue to walk in the dark with the concerns of life weighing us down. God never intended for us to carry our burdens by ourselves. If you want to have the weight of life lifted from you, it might be time to let God in your life.

Update:

Family Camp: It is not too early to start planning your vacation around this year's Family Camp. Camp dates will be Sunday, July 16th thru Friday, July 21st. If you are not able to go but would like to give someone else an opportunity to go please consider giving a scholarship. See pastor Keith for more information.

Matt Toyama: Please continue to pray for Matt. He is currently in language school, and using his new found Spanish to make relationships in the village he will be reaching out to.

Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm. Next AHOP will be Monday, February 13th.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 23rd, 2017

I recently had my annual physical checkup at my doctor's office. I just dread going to the doctor's office. I hate getting my blood drawn, getting a flu shots, and all of the other "man" stuff too dramatic to write down. Even though my doctor's office is trying to change the look and feel of the experience, it still can't change the"why" you still need to go. All of the fake sounds of birds chirping, personalized care and attention, soft contemporary couches, and live plants doesn't eliminate the prick of a needle, or the other "man" stuff too dramatic to write down. But you have to go, so I went. I got to the office a few minutes early, scanned my phone to check in, and had a seat. The nurse came out a few minutes later and said they were running a bit behind schedule, but I would be seen in a few minutes. I waited for about 20 minutes, and then they took me back to take my vitals. They had me take a seat in the patient room and told me to put on the gown. I still have no idea how to tie that gown. I did my best and began to wait. And I waited, and waited and waited. I was in that room for over an hour. The nurse came in to apologize, but the apology did not make the wait any shorter. And it was freezing in the room. I actually put my sweatshirt and pants on over my gown to stay warm. I then noticed a cricket in the room. I was going to try and smash it, but it was my only form of entertainment during my waiting room ordeal. But then I thought a cricket shouldn't be in a place like a doctor's office. It seems unsanitary. I guess it isn't the same as a cockroach, but still. I told the nurse when she gave me my flu shot, but she said that the building has old pipes and they have crickets all of the time. That sure didn't make me feel any more confident of the virus free environment we all like to have at our doctor's office. Finally, my doctor came into the room and checked out all of my aches,pains, and man stuff. He gave me a thumbs up and said I was good to go. I limped out of the room with my sore Achilles, bad fingers, hurt toe, and bad hair, and went to the lab for phase two. After two hours of waiting, I could finally leave.

Waiting drives me crazy. Although having an iphone can help entertain you, it still can't give you back the hour or two of idleness. It seems like a waste of time. I guess you can try to do something productive, but it is hard to feel productive in a hospital gown with your bum showing out the back end. But we wait because at the end of the two hours, we receive the information to be healthy. We aren't able to check our own blood, or look in our own ears, throat, eyes, and nose. We need to go to someone who can, and knows what they are looking at. After our visit we find out how healthy we are. Whether we need to eat more or less, to exercise, to get more rest, or keep an eye on something. It helps give us direction and a plan to stay the same, change, or tweak what we are doing. That is the same when we wait on the Lord. It is hard to be patient, to know if He is up to something, or if He is just out to lunch and forgot about us. When we are waiting it can sometimes feel like we are unproductive and it is a waste of time. But in the end of our wait time, we will receive the information we need to be spiritually, mentally, and emotionally healthy. None of us have the ability to look into our own "heart" and spirit, but God does. And He is the only one who can diagnose us with 100% accuracy. That is why God tells us to be "still and know that I am God" or to "wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." When we wait on the Lord, He will give us the direction to move our lives to a place of health. A place to where we are strong, and vital. Maybe not physically, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally we will be in a place where we can overcome the disappointment, and adversity which comes from the hits we take in life. Waiting has it's economy in our lives, if we take the time to learn and understand the purpose for what we go through.

update:

Tonight: Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Monday's. 6:30 to 8:30pm. Next AHOP will be on Monday, January 23rd.

Small Groups: If you are interested in starting, joining, or leading a small group please see Pastor Wayne. He will give you the times and listing of the different groups we have during the month.

Family Camp: It is not too early to start planning your vacation around this year's Family Camp. Camp dates will be Sunday, July 16th thru Friday, July 21st.

Matt Toyama: Please continue to pray for Matt. He is currently in language school, and using his new found Spanish to make relationships in the village he will be reaching out to.

Please pray for the search for our next Nichigo pastor. Pastor Kawahara will be retiring this summer and the conference has begun its search for a new pastor.

Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, February 4th@8am at the Hometown Buffet located at 3520 W. Carson in Torrance.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 16th, 2017

I had to pick up a large package at the post office recently. I got there just a few minutes after it opened and was lucky to be the only one in line. There were two customers being served and there were 3 postal clerks at the counter so I thought it would only be a minute or two. After a minute one of the customers finished up and I made a step towards the counter. As I began to take my second step the postal clerk put out the dreaded "wait for next available" sign on the counter. She then went to assist her fellow clerk finish up what he was doing. All the while, the one clerk who was available was trying to solve a problem, and not getting anywhere. My attention turned to the two other clerks thinking it would only be a quick minute before they opened up the service window. A minute went by, then 2, then 5, when I noticed what was taking the two clerks so long. They were counting coins in their cashier's trey. It literally took both of them 25 minutes to count $20 in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. One would stack the quarters in rows of 4, and the other clerk would recount each stack to make sure there were 4 quarters in each stack. Then they would make sure there were 10 dimes in each stack. After all of that, they took out their calculator and added it all up only to discover the calculator did not work. They then had to find another calculator and add the $20 dollars worth of coins. At first, I thought it was laughable, but after about 15 minutes it was getting irritating. And the line started to grow out the door. My impatience caused me to give them the "stare" to try and communicate my displeasure, but it didn't work. They were in there own universe without a care in the world. Finally, the window opened up and I was hoping for a courteous apology for the wait, but all I got was "oh,when did we get so busy?" I think some snot came out of my nose before handing her my package notice. I left in a huff, and tried not to relive the experience in my mind for the rest of the day, but It didn't work.

All of us can default to our own "universe" whenever we want. Especially when we have our smart devices in our hand. We can accumulate gobs of information and interesting facts. We can play games, watch movies, and order food. We can text friends, look at photos, and share in their experiences. We can do all of this and literally tune out the world around us. But the one thing we cannot not do when we live in our own world is grow "deep" in our relationships. A selfie is never as good as face to face in communicating how we are doing or what we are feeling. That is why Jesus taught us to put others above ourselves. So we wouldn't get caught in our own universe. He taught us to put relationships above all things, that love is everything, and serving one another is the best expression of the golden rule. This age of technology hasn't caught Jesus by surprise. He has known about it before time existed. That is why He put so much emphasis on relationships. In the end, it is not the amount of information we accumulate that last, it is the lasting impact of our relationships which will leave our place in this world. So open up the service counter, and look out to the world around you.

Update:

Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Monday's. 6:30 to 8:30pm. Next AHOP will be on Monday, January 23rd.

Small Groups: If you are interested in starting, joining, or leading a small group please see Pastor Wayne. He will give you the times and listing of the different groups we have during the month.

Family Camp: It is not too early to start planning your vacation around this year's Family Camp. Camp dates will be Sunday, July 16th thru Friday, July 21st.

Matt Toyama: Please continue to pray for Matt. He is currently in language school, and using his new found Spanish to make relationships in the village he will be reaching out to.

Please pray for the search for our next Nichigo pastor. Pastor Kawahara will be retiring this summer and the conference has begun its search for a new pastor.

Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, February 4th@8am at the Hometown Buffet located at 3520 W. Carson in Torrance.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 9th, 2017

Whenever my wife Lisa tells me a story she will start it with saying, "Do you want to hear something really funny?" She will tell me the whole story and at the end of it she will ask me, "isn't that funny?" Many times they aren't funny. Interesting, yes. Intriguing, yes. But funny, sometimes not so much. A lot of the times I keep waiting for the "punch line," only to be left hanging. But I still feel obligated to laugh because she said her story was so funny. So I give her an obligatory laugh. Which is more of a HAHA, than an LOL. I feel weird because I can feel my dried apple face wrinkle up with a look of wanting to Laugh Out Loud, but can only muster a forced giggle. I am guessing it looks more like a snarl than a laugh. I was reluctant to tell Lisa because I didn't want her to stop telling me her stories, but also wanted her to re-title them. That way I could react in a way which matches the story content. Instead of this is a "so funny" story, she could say this is an interesting story, or a sad story, and I could move my apple face to the right expression. I sort of feel bad now because she will sometimes catch herself introducing her story with her funny question and will stop to try and think of a new intro line. At least I won't have to pretend to LOL, when all I feel is a HAHA.

Our "life" stories can give us a deep sense of peace and also inspire, teach, mentor, counsel, comfort, strengthen and add value to those around us. But they can only do that when they are grounded in the character and reality of who we really are. Otherwise the stories we tell or are living through just don't match what is going on inside of us. We can walk around looking happy, but inside our needs are not being met. Or we can get stuck being sad and discouraged forgetting that each of us have a plan and purpose for what we are going through. The key to matching what is going on inside of us to the reality of what we are going through is to "re-title" our life story. That is where God comes in. When God is in your life, He re-titles who you are. He changes and transforms you to where the smile on your face isn't because you feel obligated to put on a good face. It is because He gives you the strength to overcome any adversity in your life, and do it with pure joy. God can re-title your life to a place in which you can get through even the deepest disappointment knowing the sun will rise again in the morning.

update:

Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Monday's. 6:30 to 8:30pm. Next AHOP will be on Monday, January 9th.

Small Groups: If you are interested in starting, joining, or leading a small group please see Pastor Wayne. He will give you the times and listing of the different groups we have during the month.

Family Camp: It is not too early to start planning your vacation around this year's Family Camp. Camp dates will be Sunday, July 16th thru Friday, July 21st.

Matt Toyama: Please continue to pray for Matt. He is currently in language school, and using his new found Spanish to make relationships in the village he will be reaching out to.

Please pray for the search for our next Nichigo pastor. Pastor Kawahara will be retiring this summer and the conference has begun its search for a new pastor.

keith

Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - December 12th, 2016

While Lisa and I were in Northern Washington, we decided to take a short trip into Vancouver. As we got ready to go, I realized that we couldn't use our phones without paying international rates. Which meant we couldn't use are gps, or look up restaurants, or attractions. However, since we knew where we wanted to visit I told Lisa to look up the directions while in the USA, and take a picture of it. That way we wouldn't have to use any international data. We got in the car and followed the directions all the way into the city. The city of Vancouver is spectacular. Once we got into downtown, however, we got totally lost. The directions we had didn't account for all of the one way streets that downtown's usually have, and several of the street names would change at certain intersections. We ended up driving in circles. Even stopping to ask people on the streets didn't help. We decided to try and find a Starbucks and get on the WIFI. We had passed about 4 of them while we were lost and just retraced our "lostness" until we stumbled upon the coffee mecca. But there wasn't any parking, and all of the meters required you to use your phone to pay for it, so I started to drive around until we could find a place where either Lisa or I could sit in the car while the other could walk to the Starbucks. We fortunately, found a spot really close. I ordered a coffee and began downloading directions from my seat inside. Lisa was also close enough to connect and got directions. Not wanting to get a ticket, I rushed back to the car only to spill my coffee all over my pants. So now I am lost, I have spilled hot coffee all over me, and I was pretty sure I was going to get diaper rash from having to spend the day in damp coffee stained pants. Well, short story long, we finally found our destination. It was worth the trouble and we had a great visit. But now we had to find our way back. There was an information booth, and the attendant gave us directions on how to get back on the highway back. She also gave us a map, and thought we were fine. We got out of the park ok, but we couldn't find the ramp onto the highway. We again just drove in circles trying to rely on a map which was mostly pictures. Finally, we found the entrance to the street which led to the highway. The highway began on 79th street, and we were at 4th street. At first, we were just happy to be on the right street. That was until we discovered that there was a signal on almost every block. We had to go through probably 50 intersections with signals. It was the most insanely designed city plan in a developed country that you can imagine. I was so happy when I was able to travel more than 2 blocks without stop and go traffic. We finally made it back to the USA, grateful to be able to use our phones again, and I had something to write about on a Monday.

Sometimes it doesn't feel like God is in our lives when we lose our direction, or have to grind through all of the intersections of life. When we can't seem to figure out things on our own, and even those around us aren't much help. And so we think about giving up, or just get stuck wishing we were in a different place or season in our life. God just seems to be on a distant highway. But the Bible tells us, that God is not as far away as you might think. In fact, God is more likely to be found in the daily grind, than on the far away highway we keep wishing we were on. He is the WIFI signal we get when we need direction, and a road map for our lives. And the good news is He doesn't charge us international rates. We can call Him at any time and anywhere. Psalm 145:18 tells us "The Lord is near to all who call on Him." God doesn't want us to put our lives on cruise control, He wants us to consider Him at every intersection. To adjust our lives with every green, yellow, and red signal light we encounter. He will sometimes give you the "green" light to move ahead, or the "yellow" light to proceed with caution, or the "red" to stop. God wants us to move at a healthy pace, so we don't miss out on the best parts of life because we are trying to move to fast, or to build patience and perseverance through the tough seasons. God's destination for each of us is spectacular, if you are willing to work through the roadblocks.

Update:

  • Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Mondays: Next AHOP will be Monday, December 12th from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord.
  • Christmas Post Office through December 18th. The Christmas post office box will be at the info counter through 12/18. All donations will go to support missions. For more information contact Sets Kashitani.
  • Anchor Annual Society potluck and meeting. Sunday, December 18th @12:15
  • Christmas Candlelight Service, Saturday, December 24@7pm. Come and join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at our candlelight service.
  • United Christmas day service, Sunday, December 25th@9am.
  • Mochitsuki, Saturday, January 7th 8:30am to 11:30. Invite a friend and enjoy a taste of one of our Japanese New Year's favorites.
  • keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - December 5th, 2016

    I am not that adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. I like what I like and don't see a need to move too far outside of my palate preferences. Lisa on the other hand likes to try new things. On recent trip to Washington, Lisa found a Russian restaurant which served Russian dumplings. She asked me if I wanted to try them, and I said ok, but wasn't overly enthusiastic about trying something new. We plugged the location into our phone and found the restaurant with an unpronounceable name and walked in. We were the only ones in the restaurant, which is never a good sign, but the place itself was pretty cool. It was a warehouse loft and they had music going from a collection of old vinyl records. Since we were the only ones in there and we had never had authentic Russian dumplings we began asking them what we should try. They suggested we try their homemade "authentic" Russian beef and potato dumplings topped with curry and cilantro. Now I am no expert, but I am pretty sure curry and cilantro are not staples in Russian cuisine. We got our order and began eating the 2 different kinds of dumplings. They were really good and I didn't care if they cross-pollinated the two or three different cultures, it worked. I began munching down when I bit into a chicken bone. I thought that was strange but considering they put curry and cilantro on their "authentic"beef and potato dumplings, maybe they have different kinds of cows in Russia. I didn't think much of it and was just going to swallow it, until it poked me in my gum. I reached into my mouth expecting to pull out a chicken bone, but instead it was an old rusty staple. I licked off the staple because I didn't want to waste any of the dumpling and showed the cook what I found. She was really apologetic but puzzled as to how a staple (an actual metal staple) had gotten into her dumpling pot. I said it was ok, and she instantly became the nicest person and my best friend. It is amazing what a potential bad Yelp review can do to help you make friends. Although the staple thing is kind of disgusting, the dumplings were so good we offered our leftovers to Taylor, minus the staple story.

    It is easier to overlook a mistake or an accident when your heart is in a "good" place. When you have a spirit of adventure, curiosity, or fun. But many times we look for the bad instead of the good, or the negatives before the positives. When that happens even the smallest thing can take away from something which is really good. Mistakes and accidents happen and we have no control over why or when they occur. However, we can control our reaction to them. Mistakes and accidents are not part of a person's character, they are a product of two left feet. That is why God asks us to lead with love. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." If you judge a person by their mistakes, you will see a flawed person. If you lead with love, you will see a person of value and worth. That is how God can love each of us, He sees us through His eyes of grace.

    Update:

    Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) 2nd and 4th Mondays: Next AHOP will be Monday, December 12th from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Pray, be prayed for, or sit in the presence of the Lord.

    Christmas Post Office through December 18th. The Christmas post office box will be at the info counter through 12/18. All donations will go to support missions. For more information contact Sets Kashitani.

    Anchor Annual Society potluck and meeting. Sunday, December 18th @12:15

    Christmas Candlelight Service, Saturday, December 24@7pm. Come and join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at our candlelight service.

    United Christmas day service, Sunday, December 25th@9am.

    Mochitsuki, Saturday, January 7th 8:30am to 11:30. Invite a friend and enjoy a taste of one of our Japanese New Year's favorites.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 14th, 2016

    I have always played basketball for my exercise. I have also exercised in one form or another almost everyday. Usually I do interval training by drinking a cup of coffee, followed by a bottle of water. In my earlier years I worked out so I could eat whatever I wanted. That worked until my breakfast consisted of eggs and prescription medication. Now as my body has changed, I watch what I eat so I don't have to kill myself working out. In my early basketball years, I was very competitive and did everything I could to put together a winning team. We would try to recruit players who could give us an advantage. Our best recruiting line was letting them know they could play as much as they wanted. They could play the whole game. Now when we need a player our best recruiting line is, "you don't have to play that much." I have actually tried to give up both exercising and basketball, but my effort was short lived. I just can't seem to stop doing what I have always done, even if what I do or what I could do has changed. So now here I am, the person I used to make fun of when I was younger.

    Our lives are constantly evolving and changing. We go through ups and downs. We have success and failure. But the constant in all we go through is ourselves. We show up each and every day. Building something worthwhile requires each of us to show up each and every day, for a lifetime. The Bible asks us to "consider the costs" in all we do, because life is too precious to make it a "fun" project. Our faith, family, friends, marriage, relationships, church, and community need for us to show up each and every day to make a difference. To build something that lasts and matters. So whatever you are going through both good or not so good, show up. That may be the difference.

    Update:

    United Worship service and potluck this Sunday. Service starts at 10am followed by a t-giving potluck. Come enjoy a good service, good eats, and good fellowship.

    Anchor House of Prayer 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 6:30 - 8:30. Next AHOP is tonight (11/14) If you would like to be prayed for, pray for somebody, or just sit in the presence of the Lord, come on out to the Anchor. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita 90717. Pastor Wayne and his wife Erin lead this time of ministry.

    Our annual Christmas Post Office will open Sunday, November 27th and will run through Sunday, December 18th. Drop your Christmas card and donation off into the post office box at the info counter. Or send it to our mailing post office, P.O. Box 1659, Lomita 90717. All donations will go towards missions. For more info contact Pastor Keith.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 7th, 2016

    I was trying to strike up a conversation with my nephew who I hadn't seen in awhile. Of course I was trying to be the "cool" uncle, but there are not too many conversation starters between old uncle and young nephew. I did notice how tall he had gotten from the last time I had seen him and used his growth spurt as my opening. I asked him how tall he was and he said, "5' 11." That was a pretty simple question, but wanting to get more out of our conversation I tried to follow-up with what I think might be one of the dumbest questions of the year. I asked my nephew, "how close to 6' are you?" To which he said, "one inch, Uncle Keith." I meant to phrase the question to see if he was still growing, but instead I asked what I asked. I couldn't help but laugh at myself and literally felt one inch tall. Of course I knew the factual difference between 5'11 and 6', but I what I really wanted to know was if he was still growing taller. I think the next time I see him I will write my questions down so he won't get an even worse perception of me than he already has. Well at least he knows I am not a "rocket doctor."

    A lot of times we can fool ourselves by the "raw" data in our lives. We can be unhealthy and young, or fit and older. We can be churched, and wordly. We can be rich and stingy, or poor and generous. It is not the "numbers" which matter, it is the "depth" of our commitments and values which will account for how we will influence those around us. If we rely on just the "raw data," our low numbers can discourage us to the point of giving up, or give us the wrong impression with the high numbers. Thankfully, Jesus never judges us on the "numbers' alone. He doesn't judge us on how many times we give to the homeless, or how many chapters in the Bible we read each day. Instead, Jesus looks at the "fruit" in our lives. The "fruit" is a combination of raw data and your "gut" feelings. Are the "things" you are doing leading to a life of joy, peace, and happiness? Is the time you spend used to help others find their purpose? Do you share your story to encourage and give "life" to others? The raw data is just an indicator of "where" we are, they are not measure "who" we are. If we ask just about the "numbers" in our lives, we are asking the wrong question, we need to know "how" the "numbers" can be used to produce the "fruit" we all want.

    Update:

    Men's Fellowship Breakfast: This Saturday, November 12 @ 8am at the Hometown Buffet, 3520 W Carson St. Torrance, CA 90503.

    Anchor House of Prayer 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 6:30 - 8:30. If you would like to be prayed for, pray for somebody, or just sit in the presence of the Lord, come on out to the Anchor. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita 90717. Pastor Wayne and his wife Erin lead this time of ministry.

    United Worship Service and Thanksgiving potluck: Sunday, November 20. Service will begin at 10am with the potluck to follow. Invite your friends and family.

    Please pray for Ryan Granucci with the loss of his mom. The service will be held at the Wintersburg Presbyterian Church this Saturday, November 12th @ 11am.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 24th, 2016

    I like music, but I can't sing a lick. That is not just a self evaluation. I have had people come up to me after a birthday party or church service and make jokes about my voice. In the beginning I was kind of offended, but a there have been a few times when I have heard myself singing, which have confirmed the reasons for the jokes. It doesn't stop me from singing when I am by myself, but I am definitely aware of my abilities when I am in public. I used to beat myself over it and try to convince myself I wasn't that bad, but I am. Even though my voice sounds like someone stepped on a cat's tail, it hasn't stopped my from enjoying music or singing. As long as the music is loud enough to drown out my voice, I am a happy camper.

    Most of us our own worst critics. Even if the criticism has some truth to it, (like my singing) we all have a tendency to be really "hard" on ourselves. Our self-talk takes it to another level and it can erode our confidence in other areas where we are really talented. In the end, self-criticism is useless. Especially when we have enough criticism from other people. Why would we want to add another person to be critical of each of us, and for that person to be ourselves? Instead I think it would be way better to be self-encouraging. Not to give a false impression of yourself, but to give you the confidence to keep on, keeping on. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:35, "Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised." And Romans 12:3 says, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." God has given you everything you need to do what He has designed for you to do in your life. It is our job not to talk ourselves out of it, but to have the confidence to know that God will give you all that you need to do what He has called you to do.

    Update:

    Please keep Matt Toyama in your prayers as he is off to Bolivia for 2 years to serve in that missions field.

    Anchor House of Prayer Tonight from 6:30 - 8:30. If you would like to be prayed for, pray for somebody, or just sit in the presence of the Lord, come on out to the Anchor. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita 90717. Pastor Wayne and his wife Erin lead this time of ministry on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month.

    Young adult small group this Wednesday, 6 - 8:30pm. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. We share a meal together from 6sih, a life discussion at 7, and we close our time with a dessert. For more info contact Pastor Keith

    Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, November 12 @ 8am at the Hometown Buffet, 3520 W Carson St. Torrance, CA 90503.

    United Worship Service and Thanksgiving potluck: Sunday, November 20. Service will begin at 10am with the potluck to follow. Invite your friends and family.

    Keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 31st, 2016

    We have had a lot of turnover in our neighborhood in the past couple of years. There are 5 new families living just across from us or next to us. Naturally, I have gone over to introduce myself and have even babysat in a pinch for an hour or two. I love having new families in our neighborhood, but there have been a few occasions where I think I have given them the wrong impression. The reason I think that is because when I see them outside they stopped waving hello. They look in my direction, but I get nothing. I think they have stopped because I can't see them without my glasses and so I don't ever wave back or acknowledge them when I am not wearing them. Since I have to take my glasses off to work on my laptop, I don't always put them back on when I go back and forth from my office/garage to the house. I will often see my neighbors out, but I can't catch it if they wave, or even if it is them. I have waved to a few people thinking they were my neighbors, only to watch them walk past me with a blank confused stare on their face. So now, I am either the friendliest person in the neighborhood, or the creepiest. I don't want to know the answer. Now I am stuck. Do I go to each neighbor and "re-friend" them and explain to them why I am so unfriendly and rude? Or do I just wave to everyone whether I can see them or not and hopefully change my "bad" neighbor status as time goes on. I have chosen a hybrid of the two. I am making more of an effort to go to my neighbors, but not explain to them why I seem so unfriendly, hoping time will change their impression.

    All of us at one time or another have slighted others without any wrong or hurtful motives. We have all been slighted ourselves from others doing the same. Words don't come out of our brain and mouth the way we intended, or we show favoritism when there wasn't any, encouragement and support for someone is seen as taking "sides," or we don't wave hello when we aren't sure we are the one being waved too. What are you supposed to do when that happens? Even if you apologize there is bound to be a little mistrust. Well there are two letters in our alphabet that when you put them in almost any word it can help you mend whatever you have broken. Those two letters are "RE." Whatever is broken can be "re"conciled. We can help change our situation if we "re"calibrate. We can work things out if we "re"turn to the table. We can pay back a debt, if we "re"pay or "re"fund what we owe. We can restore, rebuild, renew, retrace, and reunite in almost any situation. But it only happens when we "re"establish our commitment to making "re"lationships the highest value in our lives. Nothing is more important than our relationship with God and with others. The Bible says those are the two highest priorities for which we are supposed to live our lives. When asked about the greatest commandment Jesus answered, "The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” When we return to living our these two commandments it will change you and your neighbor resoundingly. (ok, that last word may be a little bit of a stretch, but you know what I mean)

    Update:

    After multiple layovers, flight changes, and security lines Matt has finally arrived in Bolivia. Please keep Matt Toyama in your prayers as he begins his adventure in Bolivia for the next couple of years. I will pass along any updates along the way.

    Anchor House of Prayer 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 6:30 - 8:30. If you would like to be prayed for, pray for somebody, or just sit in the presence of the Lord, come on out to the Anchor. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita 90717. Pastor Wayne and his wife Erin lead this time of ministry.

    Men's Fellowship Breakfast: Saturday, November 12 @ 8am at the Hometown Buffet, 3520 W Carson St. Torrance, CA 90503.

    United Worship Service and Thanksgiving potluck: Sunday, November 20. Service will begin at 10am with the potluck to follow. Invite your friends and family.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 17th, 2016

    I was brushing my teeth and accidentally touched my tongue which made me gag. I must of gagged really loudly through the bathroom window because the dog across the street and behind our house started barking. At first I didn't think they were barking at me because that is a long way away to be barking. But as I moved around the house every little noise I would make they would start barking. If I dropped something, they would bark. If I closed a door they would bark. If I yelled at the tv during a game they would bark. And not only would they bark, but they barked for a long time. It is almost like they are trying to punish me for disturbing them. I grew up with dogs, but I don't ever remember them being able to bark continuously for so long. I would think they would just get tired of it, and take a break. But they don't unless their owner tells them to stop. And the owners of these dogs don't come home until after dinner time, so all day I have to live with my every movement being scrutinized.

    The dogs are barking in response to what they hear. They don't know if what they are hearing is good or bad. They don't know if I dropped something on my toe or just on the floor. They don't know if I am cheering or complaining when I am watching a football game. They don't know if I am gagging or choking. All they know is what they hear. Their picture of what is happening isn't complete. Our faith and "picture" of God is also incomplete when we only try to discover Him by what we hear. That is why we need to engage more of ourselves into really knowing who God is. By looking into His Word, putting our faith into action, being moved by compassion, by sacrificing in order to give to a need, by trusting Him with our possessions, and serving each other, is really the only way to get a complete "picture" of who God is in our lives. If you are just not feeling like you are in the "sweet spot" in your journey with God, it may be because you not engaging yourself fully into each step along the way. The Bible tells us in Phil. 4 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." This is the best way to keep the dogs from barking, besides getting a fish.

    Update:

    Matt Toyama on his way to Bolivia. Matt will be stopping by the Anchor on Sunday, on his way to Bolivia for his 2 year mission's trip. Let

    The Japanese singing group "Open Gate" will having a concert at the Anchor this Tuesday, @ 7pm. 24100 Narbonne, 90717. Invite your friends and family out for a night of music, fun, and life changing stories.

    Men's Fellowship breakfast: We will be having a revival of our Men's fellowship breakfast on Saturday, November 12, 8 am at the Hometown Buffet in Torrance. Come join the grunts and groans of your fellow man, as well as the camaraderie and support of Godly men coming along side of you.

    Thanksgiving service and potluck luncheon service. We will be having our annual Thanksgiving united worship service and potluck luncheon on Sunday, November 20th. Service will begin at 10, with the potluck to follow.

    Small Group: If you are interested in joining a small group or want more info please contact Pastor Wayne. wtkata03@gmail.com

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 10th, 2016

    I walked into a public restroom which looked like it was newly remodeled. It had granite counter tops, the tile work was nicely done, and it was really clean. However, I was surprised to find out the toilets didn't automatically flush and the sink did not have a "no touch" spout. I almost forgot how to flush the toilet and actually stood there for a moment staring at the flushing handle still thinking it would work somehow. I pulled the handle and went to the sink to wash my hands. As I got to the sink, the water was already flowing. I was confused again. The faucet had two handles but the water was already on. Since the water was on, I washed my hands and expected the water to turn off once I took them away. But the water just kept coming out. I waved my hands underneath, on top, and over both sides, forgetting there were handles. Finally, coming to my senses I turned the faucet handles until I couldn't turn it anymore, but he water was still flowing. I thought about ignoring it since it seemed like the faucet was broken, but it is water, and we live in Socal, and I thought about the waste. I tried tightening the handle more, but it still didn't stop the water. Finally, I tried starting over and there was a mid-point to the handle where the water stopped. The handle wasn't tight to the off position, it was just a point in turning the knob that you had to find. My guess is the faucet was left on by the previous person who did not take the time to figure out how to turn the water off using the handles, or forgot that you had to use the handles. Whatever, the case it was hard for me to just walk away and let all of that clean water go to waste.

    But for some reason, we sometimes don't mind walking past the waste and leaks of our God given resources. Our time, talents, gifts, and experiences can be used in powerful ways to help change a life, but we ignore or downplay it's importance and allow them to go unused. Maybe, it is inconvenient, expensive, tiring, or all of the above which keep us from using our gifts and abilities. But God has given each of us a unique blend of opportunities and abilities to use so that we can encourage and build each other up. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5, "encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." Whenever, we walk past an opportunity to build someone up, we miss out on helping a person in a way we were uniquely designed. We all have a story, experiences, gifts, abilities, personalities, and compassion which God has given each of us to use for any situation which crosses our path. And it isn't an accident that it is crossing our path. The key to not wasting our resources is refusing to ignore who God wants us to build up, and turning the handle.

    Update:

    Matt Toyama will be visiting the Anchor the weekend of October 21-23, with a tentative departure to Bolivia the following mid-week. Things are still pending, but those are the target dates.

    Anchor House of Prayer: 2nd and 4th Mondays @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne, 90717. Next AHOP, TONIGHT, Monday, 10/10 from 6:30 to 8:30.

    Young adult small group: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays @ the Tanita's. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230. Next group meeting Wednesday 10/12. Light dinner at 6ish, followed by our discussion time from 7 to 8:30.

    Small group ministry. If you are interested in joining a small group please contact Pastor Wayne. He will connect you to the groups in your area.

    Wednesday morning Bible study with Pastor Ken at the Lemonade Stand. Pastor Ken from Central Truth Fellowship will be have a morning study on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 11am. All are welcome.

    Every year the conference asks the church to take a special offering to support our retired ministers. Our own Pastor Ray, is just one of the ministers which benefits from this offering. I have attached a bulletin insert for more information. Lets all get behind this effort to honor and support our pastors.

    The Japanese Christian Band, "Open Gate" will be having a concert at the Anchor on Tuesday, October 18th, 7pm. 24100 Narbonne, 90717. Please invite your Japanese speaking friends and family for a wonderful night of life changing music, stories, and fun.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 3rd, 2016

    There are certain things in my life which shouldn't make a difference, but for some reason they do. For instance, I don't like drinking water out of a straw. I can drink something with flavor with a straw, but not water. I also don't like drinking water from a paper or styrofoam cup. Just can't do it. I don't mind cooked carrots, but not raw carrots. I love long sleeve shirts, but I always have to roll up the sleeves. I love my big screen tv, but watch most of my movies on my phone. I like to choose from a large menu, but always order the same things. I am a creature of habit, but I love change. I know I drive my family crazy because they never know how I am going to react to something.

    That is why our contentment can't be dependent upon the "things" in our life. The foods we eat, clothes we wear, the home we live in, the car we drive, the friends we keep, or the work we do. Our contentment and happiness is dependent upon what you have, not what you want. It is a "heart of gratitude" for the things we already have. When we learn and choose to have a "heart of gratitude", our attitudes change, and we are able to tap into the key to our happiness and contentment. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Without contentment, you will constantly be "working" for things which will not give you, what you are trying so hard to get. It will be like drinking water from a straw.

    Update:

    Anchor House of Prayer: 2nd and 4th Mondays @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne, 90717. Next AHOP, 10/11 from 6:30 to 8:30.

    Young adult small group: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays @ the Tanita's. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230. Light dinner at 6ish, followed by our discussion time from 7 to 8:30.

    Clothing and Blanket Drive: This Saturday, October 8th @ Lemonade Stand. Ashima will be collecting from 9 to 12, and will deliver the clothes and blankets to the local shelters in the area.

    Small group ministry. If you are interested in joining a small group please contact Pastor Wayne. He will connect you to the groups in your area.

    Wednesday morning Bible study with Pastor Ken at the Lemonade Stand. Pastor Ken from Central Truth Fellowship will be have a morning study on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 11am. All are welcome.

    Every year the conference asks the church to take a special offering to support our retired ministers. Our own Pastor Ray, is just one of the ministers which benefits from this offering. I have attached a bulletin insert for more information. Lets all get behind this effort to honor and support our pastors.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 26th, 2016

    Since the kids are out of the house, our utility bills have gone down. Not only that the housework is also half or more. We don't do as much laundry, we don't cook as much, we don't go to the grocery store as often, we don't have to pick up after them, wash the dishes, or compete for the tv. Although, I would rather have them around and pick up those duties again, the new season in my life does have it's advantages. It can also make you lazy, when you don't have a necessary routine to follow each week. A couple of weeks ago, I fell victim to that laziness. With the girls gone, we rarely have to empty out the garbage can in our kitchen. Usually, we take it out to the large dumpster outside before it fills, to keep it from smelling the house up with the rotting perishables. Instead, I let it fill to the top. It probably took a week or more to fill up, but by the time I took it outside it was pretty "ripe." As I took the lid off, I noticed a lot white kernels of rice had fallen out of the trash bag and onto the floor. I didn't think anything of it, and threw trash out into the outside dumpster. When I returned back into the kitchen to clean up the rice that had fallen to the floor, I saw that the rice was moving. I took my glasses off, just to make sure my nearsightedness wasn't playing tricks on me. With my glasses off, I could tell the rice was definitely moving. Not only was the rice moving, but it was double the size of the rice we have. After a few seconds of confusion, I realized the rice wasn't rice, they were maggots. Big ol white, disgusting, squirmy, fly making maggots, all over the kitchen floor. It was so disgusting, I waited for Lisa to come home so she could clean it up because I didn't want to touch them. just kidding. I took about 10 paper towels to create a barrier between me and the maggots and did a combination of sweeping and gathering to get them out of the house. When I threw them into the dumpster, I looked at the trash bag and there were dozens of those things climbing out of the bag. I knew it was going to be 3 or 4 days before the trash pick-up and so I had to figure out a way to get rid of them before then. Not knowing what to do, I sprayed some kind of household cleaner on top of them. It seemed to do the trick or they at least became flies and flew away. Either way, I am back on a routine to throw out the kitchen trash even if it isn't full, and I know why I do it.

    Routines, traditions, and procedures are great when we know the reason why we have them in the first place. However, if we do something but don't know the reason "why," our routines can sometimes replace the "real" purpose for them in our lives. We will do things not because they work, but because we have always done them that way. And if we never look at our routines, we can get caught short-sighted and not notice the things we have always done have lost their effectiveness. That can happen to us personally, spiritually, emotionally, and in our relationships. Our routines can cause us to get stuck in a rut, and it will suck the joy and happiness out of us. Well, the Bible gives us a remedy for being stuck in a rut. The Bible tells us to "test" God in the things which are outside of our routines. (Micah 3) To break out of our routines, and way of thinking, and to trust in a God that is constantly trying to change and transform us into His likeness and a radical life of peace, love, joy and contentment. This life doesn't happen "mindlessly," but intentionally.

    Update:

    Anchor House of Prayer: 2nd and 4th Mondays @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne, 90717. Next AHOP, tonight from 6:30 to 8:30.

    Young adult small group: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays @ the Tanita's. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230. Light dinner at 6ish, followed by our discussion time from 7 to 8:30.

    Clothing and Blanket Drive: Saturday, October 8th @ Lemonade Stand. Ashima will be collecting from 10 to 12.

    Every year the conference asks the church to take a special offering to support our retired ministers. Our own Pastor Ray, is just one of the ministers which benefits from this offering.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 19th, 2016

    I was walking around a department store waiting for Lisa and Taylor to finish up shopping. While shopping, I could hear a small kid just wailing at the top of his lungs. I wasn't that close to him, but I could tell he was upset. I kind of brushed it off since this kind of thing happens all the time, to all of us. But most of the time, the mom or dad can calm the kid down and so the crying is short-lived. Not this time. This kid just kept on and on. Pretty soon everyone in the store was looking in their direction to see if everything was ok. But not me, I got as far away from the crying as I could. I already did my time with my own kids (I mean I watched Lisa do it) I was ready to leave the store, but Lisa and Taylor had a bunch of stuff and also wanted to go to another store in the strip mall. I told them to go on ahead and I would wait in line to purchase their stuff. I got in the back of the line, not even realizing the crying kid was about 8 persons ahead of me. He was still wailing, but the mom was just going about her business like she didn't even notice her crying kid. Everyone in line was giving her that "stare." The stare that tries to communicate with her to do something. I get that stare from my family all the time, so I am familiar with the stare. I tried to put more emphasis on my stare to the mom, and I had hoped everyone else would do the same. Even though the mom didn't do anything, I was still curious to why that kid just kept on crying. I thought he would be worn out by now. Then I noticed he had a brother. The brother was a "rascal." He had picked up a huge black spider from the Halloween decorations the store had put out and he would lift it up to his baby brothers face. Every time he would bring the spider up to his brother face, he would just start wailing. The poor little brother, he couldn't escape the terror his older brother was inflicting on him. He had his two little legs in the cart, his mother didn't care if he was crying, and the older brother was getting the reaction all brothers want when teasing a sibling. This went on for at least 30 minutes, but at least it only felt like "forever." The crying continued until they got to the cashier, paid for their merchandise, and she took away the spider only because she didn't want to pay for it. I was so frustrated I wanted to buy the spider myself, and sneak into their car. I finally paid for my stuff, and walked out the store ready to try and find some peace and quiet.

    This made me realize you can't trust others to give us the "quietness" in our spirit we all want. We can't just hope that we won't have issues or circumstances in our lives which will disrupt our happiness. We can't just hide in the corner and pretend nothing is ever going to happen, or is happening, which will take away the "balance" we desire. If the peace we want is dependent upon the circumstances falling in our favor, we will be living on a fine line of hope and despair all the time. Can we really depend on a big brother to not put a scary spider in our face, when we react in a way that he wants us to? Peace has little to do with our circumstances. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” He also says that “in this world you will have many troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world." So peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of God.

    update:

    Anchor House of Prayer. AHOP Come join Pastor Wayne and Erin on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Lemonade Stand. Come and pray, be prayed for, or just sit in the presence of the Lord. Next AHOP, Monday 9/26th @ 6:30

    Come join our college/young adult group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the Tanita's in Culver City. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230. A light dinner starts around 6sih, and we start our life discussion at 7. We end promptly at 8:30. Our current series is a Bible discussion based on the movie Les Miserable. Next college/young adult group discussion, Wednesday, 9/28 @ 6.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 12th, 2016

    I hate driving through those parking lots with stop signs. I never know if I actually have to stop because it isn't part of a street. (I hope they don't ask me on my next drivers license test.) Since I am not sure, instead of stopping, I cut through the open lanes where there are no stop signs. My thinking is it is better to break parking lot etiquette and common sense, then it is to break the law. As I weaved my way through, and I ended up at a "T" in the lot. I had to turn right to get into the driveway to exit and as I waited for the next car to go by so I could pull out, the vehicle, instead stopped right in front of me. The driver made eye contact with me and waved me through. It was really nice of this person, and by the look on his face he was happy to do it, only problem was, I couldn't get out until he moved his car. He waved again with a big smile, but I still couldn't move. Finally, with a big smile back, I waved him off being careful none of my arthritic fingers were sticking out and send the wrong message. I tried to communicate to him to move, but I didn't know the universal sign to move your big ol truck, otherwise we will both be here just smiling at each other signal. Finally, I pointed my finger to where I wanted to go, and pointed at him that I couldn't get to where I wanted to go, until he moved his truck. Finally, we connected. He smiled and went on his way. And my only benefit is I finally was able to make a complete stop in a parking lot.

    Doing the wrong thing, but being really nice about it, still has its consequences. A smile doesn't change the results of a situation, it just makes it more pleasant. Many times we choose "pleasant" over doing what is right. When that happens our issues never get resolved and it can also keep us from making the decisions to do the right things. By never keeping ourselves accountable to God or others we will deal with the unpleasant realities of our issues all by ourselves and it will stunt our growth spiritually, emotionally, and in our relationships. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 27, "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" and in Hebrews 10, "And zlet us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 anot neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another." That is why God gave us the church. Not to just to put a smile on for everyone, but to love, support, and keep each other accountable to do the "right" things. In doing what is right, God will honor us with good spiritual, emotional, and relational health. The burden we feel in our spirit will be taken away and placed on God's shoulders.

    Update:

    Women's conference simulcast featuring Beth Moore. Central Truth Fellowship will be hosting a women's conference simulcast at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, September 17th. The conference will be from 9am to 2:30, and lunch will be provided. Cost is $20. Check/cash payment acceptable with checks payable to CTF. See pastor Keith to register. Here is a link to her ministry: http://www.lproof.org/

    Anchor House of Prayer. AHOP Come join Pastor Wayne and Erin on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Lemonade Stand. Come and pray, be prayed for, or just sit in the presence of the Lord. Next AHOP, Tonight @ 6:30

    Come join our college/young adult group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the Tanita's in Culver City. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230. A light dinner starts around 6sih, and we start our life discussion at 7. We end promptly at 8:30. Our current series is a Bible discussion based on the movie Les Miserable. Next young adult group, this Wednesday @ 6.

    If you are interested in joining one of our small groups please contact Pastor Wayne.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - August 8th, 2016

    I went to go see the latest Jason Bourne movie last week, not knowing it was being shown on an imax screen. The screen was huge and I was getting excited to watch all of the action. However, if you watch a movie in this format, the tickets are more and you have to pick a seat location. We picked the middle row, and the middle seats. Since we got there early we watched all of the trailers and could tell right away our seats were way to close. It felt like we were sitting in the front row. The movie theater was empty so there wasn't any problem finding open seats even though they were assigned. We went to the top of the theater and had the whole row to ourselves. We watched the rest of the previews, but towards the end of the previews a couple came into our row and sat about 5 seats down from us. It didn't really matter much because the row was still empty. Then as the last preview was playing, I noticed the couple looking around. Not suspiciously, but more like they were trying to find some friends. I didn't think anything of it until they got up and walked towards me. I scooted my legs to let them out of the row, but instead of walking passed me to get out of the row, they sat right next to me. So I am in a row with 25 empty seats to the left and right of me and this couple chooses to sit right next to me. No "buffer", there wasn't anyone tall enough to block their view of the screen, there wasn't anyone behind them kicking their seat, but for some reason they wanted to sit next to me. I wanted to move, but it would have been way to obvious considering we were the only one's in the row. And not only that, they were bad movie watchers. They were talking out loud trying to figure out the plot, they were reading their texts, and their limbs were all over the place. I even had to do the arm rest "dance" with the guy next to me as our elbows touched as we tried to secure our "space." I know my attitude would have been different if the movie was sold out, but it was an empty theater. I don't know where you would find a rule about sitting next to someone in an empty theater, but I think everyone should know that. After the movie ended, I got up and gave them a half smile to let them know the awkwardness of their seat choices. But they just smiled back as it they hadn't a clue, which I am pretty sure they didn't.

    Our personal space is a funny thing. Some of us like to have a lot of "space," while others are comfortable with a lot less. But the space around us is as much about being comfortable, as it is about being in control. When we have space around us, we can stretch out, dump our stuff on the open areas, and don't have to worry about bumping into someone. In a tight space, we feel constricted. We think we have to keep our hands and feet within our boundaries, we try to keep our voice levels softer, and we feel more accountable for anything we might do that bothers the person next to us. When there is a lot of space in between you and the next person, it can feel like they are not even there at all. But in a tight space, it is different. You notice things. You might even pick up a few things from your neighbor just because you are so close. Sometimes when God seems far away, it isn't because He doesn't want to be close to us, it might be because we are not comfortable with Him in the seat next to us. We feel constricted. We think there are to many do's and don't's. We think God is taking our free space away from us. That is not how God sees it, though. God wants us to be free. God wants us to be free from all of the expectations, and attitudes which keep us from living a life He intended for us to live, and we want to experience. Galatians 5:1 tells us,"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." The "yoke," we all experience is the "yoke" of control. We all want to be in control of our life. But in doing so, we actually separate ourselves away from God. The less control we have, and the more control we give to God, the closer His presence and direction we will experience. The closer we are to God, the more we will "pick" up the nuances of a life full of love and grace. We will see it up close and personal. That is when we will be truly free.

    Update:

    Thank you all for your donation towards our backpack drive. We collected 33 backpacks, and also the funds to purchase a few more. We will deliver them to Love,inc. who will then give them out to needy students in the Southbay. I appreciate your generosity and your love for the Southbay. Thank you for making a difference.

    Let's continue to pray for Matt Toyama. He is still in need of monthly financial supporters to meet his financial goals before he can go to Bolivia. If you would like to know more about his ministry or to sign up to support him you can contact him at matt.toyama@sim.org Or you can go directly to his account info and sign up online at: www.simusa.org/give His account # 042903.

    Anchor House of Prayer AHOP is tonight between 6:30 - 8:30. If you would like to be prayed for, pray, or just be in the presence of the Lord, come join Pastor Wayne and Erin for a time of prayer. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita, 90717.

    If you are a college/young adult come on out for the start of a life group this Wednesday. A light dinner will begin around 6ish, and we will start our group time around 7ish. The group will meet at my house in Culver City. 11413 Patom Drive, 90230.

    The Nichigo will be having a yard sale on Saturday, August 27th, 6am to noon at Pastor Kawahara's home. If you would like to donate yard sale items you can drop them off at his home beginning August 22. For more details please contact Pastor Kawahara.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - August 1st, 2016

    I went out to eat with some friends to a Korean BBQ restaurant. Even though I am around Asian food there were a few dishes I had never tried before. Two dishes in particular was a cold soup and the other a cold noodle dish. They were great, especially since it was such a hot day. The other condiment which I have never had was a rice skin paper in which you can wrap your meat and veggies in. I had no idea how to eat them, but saw my friend take his chopsticks, grab a single sheet, wrap his meat inside and chow it down. I tried to copy him, but I could not grab a single sheet with my chopstick. I couldn't grab one sheet with my fingers. For the life of me, I couldn't separate one from the stack. Plus I didn't want to touch everyone of them, even though I probably had already. So instead, I took my chopsticks and grabbed about 10 of them and went about my business. To think I have used chopsticks all my life. Besides my limitations, I loved everything. What's not to love about meat, spice, and kimchee. Afterwards, we gave the valet the parking ticket when I noticed their valet sign notifying the customers of the valet service charge. Here is what their valet charges were," Monday through Saturday - $2, Saturday & Sunday - $2, and finally, Monday through Friday - $2." At first I was confused trying to figure out what day it was, but then I realized it didn't matter. I think $2 was going to cover the service charge.

    Often times we feel like we are implementing change, but all we are really doing is describing what we are doing differently. Every time I gain weight, I tell myself it is because muscle weighs more than fat, but since I don't really work out I know better. The only way I can justify my weight gain as muscle is to actually work out and convert my fat into muscle. That is why change is so hard. We have to do things differently. We have to go from, "wanting" to change, to actually activating the triggers in our life which will jump start the changes. But for "real" change and transformation, we need more than our own grit and determination, we need to have a power infusion. For us to become different and not just look different it starts with God's word. God's word not only tells you what to do, it gives you the "power" to do it. It is change from the inside out. Day by day as you hold onto God's promises you will begin to see His power, and it will change your life. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ” Everything we need to become the person who we were created to be is in the 66 books of the Bible.

    Update:

    Continue to pray for Matt Toyama as he prepares to serve on his 2 year mission to Bolivia. He hopes to leave by the end of this month, Lord willing. If you would like to support Matt you can go to his sending organizations website at: simusa.org/give His account # 042903. If you would like to contact Matt through email: matthew.toyama@sim.org

    This Sunday will be the last week for our backpack drive. If you would like to donate a backpack or a financial gift to purchase backpacks please drop them off at the info counter. Thanks for loving on the community.

    Next Anchor House of Prayer will be next Monday, August 8th from 6:30 - 8:30. If you would like to receive prayer, pray with the prayer team, or just spend time with the Lord, this is a wonderful time which will minister to you.

    I will be going on vacation beginning August 11th - 22 and will be taking a break from my weekly updates. I will continue to email the announcements, but I need a few weeks for things to happen to me so I can write an update about my life. Please contact Pastor Wayne if you need assistance during that time.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - July 11th, 2016

    There is one gas station close to me which sells their gas about 20 cents cheaper than the other stations. So it is always busy. It also has 3 entry points to come into the station. Which means there are cars facing both ways depending upon which way you enter. As I drove up to the station I noticed a backup of cars trying to get into the entry way. I decided to take a chance and cut down an ally and enter through the back side. I got lucky and stole a slot on the front side as another car was leaving. Since I entered from the back side my car just happened to be facing all of the other cars. I didn't think much of it, but as I was filling my tank I could see everyone else as I "people watched." What I noticed is everyone had the same posture and stance when they were pumping gas. And it didn't matter what kind of car it was, what side their gas tank was, or who the driver was, we were all the same. Everyone had a hand on the pump handle, their opposite hand was on their hip, and everyone's eyes were looking out. I thought that was funny until I noticed I was in the same stance as everyone else. I tried changing up my stance, but didn't know what to do with my "off" hand. I tried dangling it, but I ended up putting it in my back pocket. Which is kind of the same as putting in on my hip. I tried putting both hands on the pump handle, but it looked like I was mad at the pump or I was having trouble. I put the pump handle on automatic, and took my hands off, but ended up putting the free hand on the car to rest it and the other remained on my hip. Again, it was the same. I guess I could have watched the gas pump with both hands to my side, but that image is the creepiest of all. I just decided to go with what was natural to me.

    Human nature is funny. We are all the "same", and yet, uniquely different. Sometimes we try to be different, so we won't be the same. But to do so, makes us uncomfortable and we discover the reason for being the "same" as everyone else. What do you do? Do you rebel against "sameness" or feel secure and comfortable in it. Well, the Bible tells us it is both. It tells us to be secure in our "sameness," and out of our sameness we will be different. We all have the same needs as everyone else. We all want to be loved, accepted, provided for, free from guilt, and purposeful. And for those who trust in God, He says He will provide for all of the needs, we all have. Philippians 4:19 says "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." There is safety, refuge and peace when we trust God to meet all of our needs. Out of our needs being met, then it gives us the ability to be different. To live differently from the "world's" standards of success and purpose. John 15:19 says, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world...." When we don't have to worry about our needs, it gives us time to be compassionate for others, to value justice for those who are denied it, to instill hope for the hopeless, to work on behalf of the poor, and to come along side of the lonely. For those who are working so hard to meet their own needs there just isn't any leftover time or energy, or "want to" to do anything else but to look after themselves. But to those who follow Jesus, He changes our purpose and perspective on life. He calls us to be different and to live our lives to make a difference.

    Update:

    Family Camp: Pray for those who will be traveling up to Family camp this coming weekend. We are all looking forward for a wonderful time of refreshment, rest, and for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully for those up and camp (and for everyone else who aren't).

    United Worship Service: Sunday, July 31st @ 10:35. We will start the morning with a potluck breakfast beginning at 9:30. Come out to enjoy a great time of eats, fellowship, and fun.

    Back to school backpack drive: In partnership with Love,inc. we will be having a backpack drive. We will be collecting new backpacks or the funds to purchase new backpacks to give to Love,inc to distribute. A backpack and cash/check donation box will be placed at the info counter. Collection dates will be July 17th through August 7th. You can also drop them off at the office during the week, 24100 Narbonne Ave. Lomita, 90717. Contact Ryoko Narasawa for more information. She is also looking for the cheapest store to purchase a backpack.

    Please continue to pray for Matt Toyama as he prepares for his short term mission in Bolivia. He is still in need of financial sponsors, and if you have been praying about supporting him or want to know more please let me know and I will pass on the info on to him. Or you can go to his sending agency's website: simusa.org/give designate gifts for TOYAMA #042903

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 27th, 2016

    I used to do my daughter's laundry when they were home. But as they have gotten older they now are more picky about their clothes and how they are washed. They don't want the one cycle, high heat dryer fits all clothes method of washing and drying. I still don't get why you have to use different cycles to wash or not put something in the dryer, but I have been yelled on numerous times so I just leave it alone. Most of their clothes have holes in it already, or it looks like they have cut off 3/4 of the material, but I guess they don't want me to damage their clothes any more than when they had bought them a few months ago. Even though I am already in the garage where our washer and dryer is, I don't touch them. When they are home they are on there own. It also means my laundry takes second priority. I also work out in the garage and I usually put my sweat drenched shirts and socks on the dryer until the washer is empty for me to use. Since my daughter Lindsey was home this weekend she did a load of wash and picked up my sweaty clothes thinking they needed to be put in the dryer. She didn't know they were wet from sweat until she asked me. I thought she was going to throw up when I told her. She immediately smelled her hands to assess the "grossness" and ran to the bathroom to wash her hands. I hope she gets over it soon, I have gotten used to not doing their laundry.

    Sometimes there is no difference in appearance between good or bad, clean or unclean, healthy or sick, winning or losing, believing or non-belief, or leading and following. They all look the same. And so how do we know what to do sometimes when we need to make a decision. Especially, when things look the same, really good or really bad. Well, if all things are equal, then decisions are easy to make. You make the most of bad situations, or enjoy the benefits of a "win, win" decision. The harder questions to answer are the ones which affect our future. Where should I live? When should I retire? Where should I go to school? What career should I pursue? The unknown, speculative questions in our life are hard. You don't want to make a mistake and "waste" your time doing something which you don't like or want to do. Well, the Bible isn't specific in telling us exactly the direction He wants us to go, but He does give us everything we need to make a "good" decision. He gives us Himself to guide and lead us. He has "wired" us in a specific way to make decisions which will honor Him. He gives us strength when we are tempted to move out of our God zone. He gives us a moral "compass" to discern our motives. He gives us a community of people to support us and encourage us. Our job in making a decision is to trust in Him, trust ourselves, and not judge our decisions by the world's definition of success, but by the "fruit" it produces. By using the "gifts" and "tools" God gives us it will help us make decisions that are good and true.

    Update:

    Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) will be on Monday, July 11th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm @ Lemonade Stand, 24100 Narbonne, Lomita, 90717. Pray, be prayed for, or just sit in the presence of God.

    Last week to sign up for Family Camp. You can download the registration forms or get more information on our PCJC website: www.pcjcfm.org

    United worship service Sunday, July 31 @10:35 am. Potluck breakfast will open at 9:30 am. It will be a great time to invite a friend to our breakfast and service.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 20th, 2016

    I have never had allergies, but for some reason I have been sneezing a lot. Since I am not used to sneezing I can't prepare myself for them. If it was in the morning when I wake up then I would be ready. Or if I am outside in the garage then I would know I might have to sneeze. But my sneezing is random. There is not a particular time or place where I sneeze more than another. The other night I was getting ready for bed, I turned off the lights, and I sneezed. I didn't feel it coming and so there wasn't any kind of wind up to my sneeze. It just came out and I wasn't able to grab a kleenex or cover my mouth. Which means I have no idea where my "sneeze" went. I felt the depth of my sneeze as it left my mouth, but because of the darkness I didn't see it land anywhere. I turned the lights back on to search for it, but I couldn't find it anywhere. All I had was a general direction, but no other clue. I felt bad giving up because I knew it was out there somewhere. I was just hoping it didn't land on some of Lisa's clothes or mine, I guess. To this day, and it has been a week now, there still is no sign of it. Lisa will probably look for it after this update, but I am resigned to the fact that it probably spontaneously evaporated midair.

    Life is full of ups and downs which we never see coming. We can try to plan for them or protect ourselves from happening, but we can never predict with certainty our own fate. Surprises are great when they are good, but bad surprises can throw us for a loop. Yet, life moves on and doesn't wait for us to take a lot of time to deal with each situation before the next one comes along. If you are not careful they can overwhelm you. It can become difficult to have perspective on life when you are trying to juggle so many things at once. We will begin to live from situation to situation just dealing with the issues at hand. But if we do that our joy and happiness is dependent each day on the issue you are going through. However, if we build our lives on the foundation of faith we are able to "stand" and live through each days problems with a sense of hope. It is that hope, which can keep us joyful in any situation. It is hope which allows us to persevere and have perspective on the important things in life. The Bible tells us to "consider it pure joy.... whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:2-5. Everything we go through can have a purpose if we learn and grow from it. Growing our foundation of faith will give you the ability to live "above" the ups and downs with joy and perseverance. And that is nothing to sneeze about.

    Update:

    Family camp registration is still open. You can download the registration form online at www.pcjcfm.org or pick one up at the info counter. Love to see you go. We have a great line up of speakers, a awesome mountain setting, and a wonderful pcjc family to be a part of.

    Please continue to pray for Matt Toyama as he prepares to leave for Bolivia on a 2 year short term mission. He is getting close to his support goals, but needs a few more monthly givers to put him at 100%. If you would like to support him you can contact him at matthew.toyama@sim.org or go to their website simusa.org/give. Reference # 042903. Once in Bolivia he will kick off his time in language school before assimilating into the life as a Bolivian.

    Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne Ave. Lomita 90717.

    Congrats to all of the graduates. Next steps are always exciting especially when we have God as our co-pilot. I can't wait to see how God uses you in your next season in life.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 13th, 2016

    I went to help my oldest daughter move out of her campus apartment last week. She had finished early and I had to purchase a parking permit to park in the resident lot to load up her stuff. Of course the kiosk is in the most inconvenient location in the lot and about a 100 yards where I parked my car. I would have driven over to the kiosk but there was only one open spot when I pulled into the lot. I hurried over to the kiosk to get the permit. I thought I would get a ticket just walking to the kiosk to get a permit so I wouldn't get a ticket. . While I was at the kiosk, another person came up behind me in line to also get a permit. That was not a big deal, but he lined up really close to me. Almost like he was looking over my shoulder close. And there was no one else in line. He could have stood 10 feet behind me and not lost his place. I didn't want to continue getting the permit because I had to use my credit card info and didn't want him looking at the keypad. I wasn't sure how I was going to reestablish my personal space, but I was sure I wasn't going to let him go ahead of me. I also didn't put this in the "last shall be first" category. I just wanted my personal space back. I decided to play the, "I am an old dad and I don't know how these new gadgets work" attitude and make him wait for me to try and figure things out. I thought that would make him impatient and he would take a step back and begin looking at his smart phone or something. But he just stood there, right behind me, and waited. He didn't offer to help or anything. I decided not to take any more time and went ahead and got the permit making sure I used my hand to hide the keypad. After getting the permit, I wanted to let him know I didn't like how close he was to me in line. Instead of moving to the side I just did a 180 degree turn and ended up face to face with him and left him with my old man, coffee breath to remember our experience together. Yes it was very awkward.

    We all have a sense of personal space. A space which we need to feel comfortable with and a place where it is safe for us to work through our stuff. When someone we don't know enters our space it is hard to function. All we think about is getting our space back and everything else we forget about. But for friends, and family our personal space shrinks. We don't mind if they are in our space. The more we know someone and the deeper we trust them the smaller our personal space is with them. Of course there are different degree of relationships, but we all still realize our space with friends and family is a lot different than with strangers. Many times Jesus might feel like an invasion of our privacy. We might feel uncomfortable whenever he enters our personal space. One of the reasons is because we haven't learned to trust him as our friend. He is still a stranger to us. God will continue to be far from us until we allow him to be our friend. The more you develop your friendship with God, the more our personal space begins to shrink. As our friendship deepens, the distance between us and God will also dissipate. If you feel like your relationship with Jesus is distant it might be time to call him up and reconnect with him as a friend and go from there.

    Update:

    Anchor House of Prayer: Monday, June 20th, 6:30-8:30 at the Lemonade Stand. This is an open time of prayer. You can come to pray or be prayed for. For more information contact Pastor Wayne.

    Father's Day picnic. This Sunday at 12pm @ Wilson Park. Look for the Anchor Banner just west of the basketball courts. If you are a dad, have a dad, or know a dad you are invited to the Anchor Father's Day picnic. The main dish will be provided and the sides, salads, and desserts are potluck. If all you can bring is yourself that is fine. We just want to have a good time celebrating our dads.

    Congrats to all of our grads!!! Well done. God has an awesome next step for you and I can't wait to see you Thrive.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 6th, 2016

    I was in my man cave in the garage and reached for my bag of snacks on a shelf under my desk. When I noticed my bag of apricots was broken wide open and there were apricots all over the shelf. At first I didn't think much of it and just thought a few of the apricots had spilled out. But then I noticed there was an apricot half eaten on the top of the desk. I realized I had an animal intruder in my midst. A mouse had gotten into my stash. I hate mice. They scare me to death and it put me on full alert. I couldn't get comfortable sitting at my desk imagining the mouse was going to come out and attack me. This ordeal now had me in an dilemma. I was still hungry and needed a snack. Do I share my new bag of apricots with my mouse friend or do I throw it away. I decided to share my bag until I saw a dropping stuck to the apricot I was about to put in my mouth. That was it, I decided to ease my mind and put out some mouse traps using the same food source which started all of this. I put the traps out and checked them the next morning. Sure enough the two traps were triggered and flipped on its back. I took a broom and slowly flipped the traps over in anticipation to see a mouse. To my amazement there wasn't a mouse in either trap. However, there were a few drops of blood on some pieces of paper close to the trap. I looked around my desk to see if I could find the mouse, but nothing. So now I don't know if the mouse is alive, dead, injured or waiting to exact its revenge on me when I least expect it. I put the traps out again and for the past few days there has been no signs of a mouse. Now whenever I sit at my desk every little sound or shadow that catches my eyes or ears makes me a little jumpy. I have one more drawer to look through but that I am too scared to check. I will let you know in a few weeks to see if I have any closure.

    There is always tension when we don't know where we "stand" with whatever we are struggling with. Whether it is a relationship, work, grades, or our faith we just want to know one way or another where we stand. Even disappointing news is sometimes easier to take than being in limbo and not knowing anything. This can be especially true when it comes to our connection with God. Sometimes we know exactly where we are with God. We can feel His presence, we have a sense of purpose, we hear Him clearly, and life seems to work. Other times our faith feels injured or dead. It is a struggle to get through life and everything can be like walking in a fog. God seems distant, inattentive, apathetic, and we wonder if it is even worth putting our faith into anything. It is in those places where we just want to throw our hands in the air and just say forget it. But the Bible tells us not to give up when we are in those "places" because that is where God does His best work. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us, " But he said to me, j“My grace is sufficient for you, for kmy power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that lthe power of Christ may rest upon me." It is God's grace and power upon us which will lift our faith in Him to equilibrium and give us the peace and assurance of His love for each of us no matter what we might feel or are going through.

    Update:

    Family Camp: Each year our goal is to provide life transforming encounters with God in the midst of His beautiful creation. We have great speakers and worship teams in all of our departments, and we're excited to see how lives are changed because of how God works each year.

    Pastor Tom Kang,from Saddleback Church is our Adult Camp speaker with David and Leah Gaulton leading worship.

    This year's theme, THRIVE, is inspired by Proverbs 3:6 which says "In everything you do, put God first and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." Our vision for this year's camp is to inspire and encourage those attending to put God first in family, work, finances, dreams, school, church and relationships in order to THRIVE in God's purpose for our lives.

    Join us this July 17-22 at Redwood Christian Park in the Santa Cruz mountains! Forms are available at our website and you can also register online. www.pcjcfm.org

    Father's Day Picnic: If you are a dad, have a dad, or know a dad, you are invited to our Father's Day Picnic. The picnic will start at noon on Sunday, June 19th @ Wilson Park in Torrance. The main dish will be provided by our Nichigo and the sides are potluck. Just look for the Anchor sign a few yards west of the basketball courts.

    Anchor House of Prayer (AHOP) meets tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 @ the Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne Ave, Lomita 90717. If you are in need of prayer, want to pray, or just be in the middle of others who are praying come on out.

    Congratulations to Wayne Katayama who was ordained as an Elder in the Free Methodist Church this past weekend.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 25th, 2016

    Each morning when I get out of bed I never know if I am going to be able to walk without pain in my feet. I can go to bed pain free but in the morning it sometimes feels like I sprained an ankle. It happened to me about 3 weeks ago. I woke up and when I stood up I couldn't put any weight on my right foot without it killing me. I managed to limp and get up for the day, but it was only because I used the wall and furniture as a crutch. I took a couple of Advils to relieve the pain and limped around for the few days hoping it would get me through the week and eventually clear up. It didn't clear up and I decided to go to urgent care to make sure I didn't break my foot. I parked my car and because of my ego I didn't want to use my crutches or walking boot. I decided to just "gut" it out and walk from the parking garage to the urgent care department. That was a bad decision. Not only did it hurt, but I looked like I was trying out for a part of Saturday Night Fever with my funky walk. People were looking at me like I had a Leisure Suit on. After negative x-rays I met the doctor and all he could do is prescribe me pain medications. I was already taking Advil, but he wanted me to take something which wasn't so hard on my liver or kidneys or both. I strutted my way back to my truck thanking God I made it and discovered I had to pay for parking at a pay station and not on my way out like before. So I had to walk all the way back to the front of the garage to pay for my parking and then walk back. I made it back home, took my new prescription, and waited patiently for it to kick in. I woke up the next day and the pain was almost gone. Lisa and I had planned to go see the girls in San Diego and we started on our way. About an hour into the drive I started getting car sick. It got so bad I told Lisa to drive. We picked up Lindsey and as we began to go out I told Lisa to pull over. I sprinted out of the car and right there in front of Lindsey's dorm I "marked my territory." I threw up in the bushes like I had just returned from a frat party. It was horrible. My right foot hurt, I was nauseous, dizzie, and my left foot began to hurt because of my funky walk. It wasn't a very fun time and it took about 2 weeks to finally clear up completely. The worst part about all of this is I still don't know why this happens. The doctors doesn't think it is gout, my foot isn't broken, and I have had the same feet all my life.

    When disappointment in life hits you it is sometimes really hard to get through it if you don't know the reason why. Why is this happening? Why now? Why me? But for some reason, if we know the reason it gives us hope and strength, and it makes sense, even if it doesn't change the circumstances. The Bible tells us there is a time and a season for everything that we go through. Some seasons we never want to end because they are good to us, other seasons we can't wait until it ends. Like the Laker's season. The Bible tells us no matter what season we are experiencing He is able to make beautiful, but only if we can see our own limitations and inabilities to control life. However, there is one area we can control. We are able to control, Who is in control of our life. Do you want to put your life in your control, or into the hands of the one Who is in control? By putting your life in God's hands you will have a reason and purpose for your life. By having a reason and purpose, God will give you hope and strength to overcome all of life's disappointments and circumstances.

    Update:

    Family Camp: Plan your vacation early and join the PCJC family at Redwood Christian Camp. The dates of the camp will be July 17 - 21st. Registration forms can be downloaded at www.pcjcfm.org. Scholarships available upon request. See Pastor Keith for more info.

    Gift Card Donation: The Anchor will be collecting gift cards in any amount from grocery stores or superstores like Target. We will use the gift cards to help those in need financially within our church and those we encounter from the community. The donation will not be tax deductible. If you would like to donate a gift card there is a blue donation box located on the info counter.

    Pastor Wayne to be ordained at Leadership Conference, June 4th at the Anaheim Free Methodist Church. Come out to support Wayne and Erin as they take their next step in their ministry calling.

    Prayer Workshop coming to the Anchor. The Anchor is hosting a prayer workshop taught by members of our conference. The workshop will be held on May 21st, from 9 am to 12;30pm at the Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne, Lomita 90717.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 11th, 2016

    My daughter Lindsey got invited to a Laker game a couple of weeks ago with a friend from school. Lindsey's friend knows nothing about basketball but knew Lindsey loves it. Neither Lindsey or her friend knew what kind of tickets they had, they were just happy to go. Lindsey knew here friend didn't know much about basketball, but when she began asking her if she knew any of the players the only one she could name was Kobe, even though she couldn't pick him out from the other players. As they got closer to Staples Center they were directed by the parking attendants to a private lot underneath the arena. They walked into the arena and the ushers showed them to one of the private boxes. In the box they started to eat the snacks which were already provided and wondered when the rest of the people were going to show up, but nobody ever did. It was just the two of them. A short time later a Laker official came to the box and asked them if they wanted to change seats. Even though they were in a luxury box they said "sure." The official walked them down to the floor level and into the players tunnel. Lindsey thought that was exciting but thought for sure they would be going up to a higher level once they got to the seats. They walked through the tunnel and the official sat them in two empty seats on the floor level just behind the photographers on the baseline close to the Wizards bench. Lindsey was so excited she said she started to shake. She couldn't believe how giant the players are up close and what they say on the court. She texted us to see if we could see her on tv. She couldn't believe her seats and had the time of her life. Her friend though didn't think much of it. Since she didn't know any of the players or understand how good the tickets were. She just wasn't as thrilled as Lindsey was. However as the night went along I think she became more excited and understood how good the seats were because Lindsey was so excited.

    Isn't it amazing how 2 people can have the same experience but totally different reactions to it. One person can have a good time or the other can have the time of her life. Because Lindsey loves basketball she understood how special it was to be able to have seats on the floor and be so close to the action. To see how big the players are, to see how much work they put in, and the skills they have to be able to play professionally. Our experience in this life can be the same way. Some of us can live for today and have a "good life." But what if there was even more to life than just the "good life?" What if you had tickets to upgrade your seats in life, would you take the upgrade? By following Jesus it is like upgrading your tickets. You get a floor seat to see all of the "players" up close. You get to see the saving grace of Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us. You get to see how strong and powerful the Holy Spirit can be in your life. You can see how God interacts with those who know him. You can get a feel about how special it is to be on the court as a player. The Bible tells us that it is better to spend one day in God's court than a thousand elsewhere. The Bible also tells us a life following Jesus isn't just a good life, it is an eternal life in the presence of His goodness. But there is only one way to get excited about that life, you have to know about the one Who gives it.

    Update:

    Over the past few months or so we have had a few people from the community, a couple of visitors and 1 or 2 or our own Anchor folks in need for some financial assistance. Not spending money, but some assistance to help them with the necessities in their everyday living expenses. In the past we have put together care packages, but many of the items expire and it is hard to store in our existing space. But I didn't want that to stop us from trying to care for our community. I thought it would be better if we could have a "gift card" campaign. If we could have donations of gift cards to local grocery stores or stores like Target which have both grocery and toiletries we could give those out to whomever might need them. We can also add a small amount of cash for bus fair. For the next 3 weeks through Mother's day, the Anchor will be collecting gift cards in any amount. A blue donation box will be on the info counter in the main service room to drop off your donation. You can also donate by cash or check and we will purchase gift cards with the donation.

    Family Camp registration is now open. You can download your application at www.pcjcfm.org. Scholarships are available upon request. Please see Pastor Keith for more information. Don't miss out.

    Pastor Wayne and Erin are on vacation.

    CJC Leadership conference will be June 4th this year at the Anaheim FM Church. Pastor Wayne will be ordained at the conference. Please make plans to come out and celebrate this special occasion. Times to be announces.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 4th, 2016

    There is a business Costco I shop at which has an entrance about 10 steps high. You could take the stairs to get to the entrance but if you have a cart you need to go up the ramp which is about 30-40 yards long. I picked up a cart and began up the slight pitch of the ramp when I noticed a women at the top of the ramp waving hello to me. It was too far for me to know who she was exactly, but she obviously recognized me and so I waved right back. I was curious to see who it was as we began moving closer. As she was coming down the ramp and I was on my way up I still couldn't figure out where I had known her from. When we were around 10' away I still didn't recognize her but she waved again. I waved back but began to panic because I couldn't remember her name. As our carts got closer I was ready to stop and make small talk but I didn't know this women at all. She wasn't waving to me, she was waving to her friend to bring the car around. I was so embarrassed I called out a name just so it seemed like I wasn't waving at her. The only problem is when I called out a name she looked back to see who I was talking to and there wasn't anybody there. I was totally "busted." As we made eye contact I sheepishly smiled at her and walked into Costco second guessing and scolding myself for not waiting to get closer before waving to someone I didn't know.

    At a "distance", I have a lot friends and acquaintances. But in my inner circle of relationships that number would significantly drop. It might drop to just my address now that I think about it. Relationships at a "distance" is easy. You don't have to invest anything into them. In fact you can go through the same motions towards an acquaintance as you can to a complete stranger. That can also be true in our relationship with Jesus. If we just go through the motions, we may believe we are in a relationship but in reality we can still be strangers with each other. We might even call out His name, but there isn't anybody standing there. That is because Jesus doesn't want acquaintances, He wants relationships. "Real" relationships which grow deeper as you get closer to Him, and not a confirmation of your distance as you make eye contact. The difference between having an acquaintance with Jesus and a relationship with Him is in the "fruit." At a distance you have to create your own hope. You have to manufacture your own peace. You have to build up your own strength. You love by your own conditions. But the Bible tells us a relationship with Jesus produces those "fruits" in our life because of our friendship with Him. We don't have to find the "fruit", produce the "fruit", or negotiate for them, all we have to do is experience God's "fruit" in our lives.

    Update:

    Family camp is now open. You can register online at pcjcfm.org or download the registration forms. Camp dates are July 17th - 22nd. Scholarships are available online. Great speakers, awesome music, a wonderful mountain setting, will refresh you and lift your spirit.

    Join us for our new sermon series, "Answers for the Stress and Strains of Life Understand what the Bible says about how to manage your stress before it manages you.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 28st, 2016

    For those of you who are receiving this email for the first time I wanted to let you know what it is you are receiving. Each Monday I write a short story of my life and try to incorporate it into how it plays out in my walk with Jesus. I also use this email for our Anchor calendar events and announcements. It is an email list and not a subscription so it you don't want to receive my updates just reply "take me off the list." My hope is that you will see how God can be interwoven into your everyday life.

    I love my glasses. They are rimless, super light, and I can wear them all day without it hurting my ears or straining my eyes. The only problem is I have to constantly take them off and on to see up close. If I want to put salt on my food I have to take off my glasses so I can see how much salt I put on my food. If I want to tighten a bolt I have to take off my glasses to see the threads on the bolt. If I want to read I have to take off my glasses. You get the picture (no pun intended). With all of the taking on and off of my glasses I am always losing it (my glasses that is). And because they are rimless, and the frames are so light my glasses are also hard to find. They are so hard to find I need my glasses to find my glasses. Well the other day I had dozed off before the start of one of the NCAA basketball games. When I woke up I began to look for the remote so I could be ready to change the channel between the 8 games that were playing simultaneously. But before trying find the remote I had to put on my glasses. I looked around me, and on the floor, and all over the couch where I had taken a nap, but I couldn't find them. I began to retrace my steps but I couldn't find my memory either. I searched all over the house and even in places you wouldn't think off. I looked in the fridge, in my car, around the washing machine, on my desk, on my nightstand, in my jackets and jeans but to no avail. They were nowhere to be found. Out of my frustration I put my hands to my face and lo and behold, I found my glasses. They were on the one place I never thought to look. I had them on the whole time. After feeling stupid for a minute or so, I began to laugh out loud (LOL) until it felt awkward. I just hoped nobody in my family was watching me from afar laughing for no apparent reason whatsoever.

    Many times the need for God in our lives, or the power of forgiveness, or a desire for a deeper purpose to our lives are exchanged for the habits and patterns of life we blindly go through each day. When we get stuck in those patterns we won't ever see the need for a relationship with God, even though you can clearly see the benefits and purpose of knowing and following God. We walk around looking for the very thing you have right in front or your face. The Bible tells us many walk around in spiritual darkness because they have "scales on their eyes." If they asked God to remove those scales there would be a whole new world opened up to them which God has put in reserve waiting for each of us to tap into. It is not the looking around where we will find what we need, it is trusting in Who we know which will meet all we need. That is the difference between "seeing and believing."

    Update:

    Thank you to all of you who made our Easter service such a wonderful celebration. It was a lot of work, but each one of you served with a huge servants heart and with a smile on your face. Thank you.

    Family Camp registration opens up this Friday, April 1st. Don't get left out. The dates will be July 17th - July 22nd. Camp scholarships are available. For those who attend, this is the highlight of their year and you won't want to miss. For more information please go to the info counter at the Lemonade Stand or contact pastor Keith.

    Make plans to attend pastor Wayne's ordination service on Saturday, June 4th. Time and location tbd.

    April 17th we will have a special guest speaker coming to the Anchor. Ryan Granucci will be speaking to our English congregation. Invite your friends and family to come hear him share the Word of God.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 21st, 2016

    My 1996 Nissan truck has over 211,000 miles on it. Of those miles my "check engine" light has been on for over 100,000 of them. When the light first appeared I made sure I drove in the slow lane so I could coast off to the shoulder if my engine died. I had my mechanic check out the truck from head to toe. I wanted to make sure I didn't stall out on the freeway and make the news about holding up traffic on the 405. My mechanic said the engine was fine and the check engine indicator had more to do with the emissions than the engine. Even though it bugged me to drive around with the engine light on my truck it never stalled and I never had any problem with it. The only obstacle I had with the engine light is your vehicle won't pass emissions if it is on. I tried all sorts of things to get the light to go away. I changed the gas cap but that didn't work. I tried putting better gas in it, but that also didn't work. I looked for the wires to disconnect it, but I think that may be illegal. I tried to pretend like I couldn't see it and that actually worked the best. I didn't know what to do and Google wasn't around back when it first happened to search for solutions. And then one day I forgot to turn off my headlights and woke up the next morning with a dead battery. I changed out my battery and while I was driving I noticed my check engine light wasn't lit up on the dash. I quickly took my truck to an emissions testing center since the light wasn't on and it passed emissions. About a day later the light popped back up again, but now I discovered how to get my truck to pass emissions. Whenever I have to take my truck in to get tested I will disconnect the battery and it will give me enough miles to the emissions testing center before the light will come on again. I have done that now for over 10 years or so and my truck has not failed an emissions test yet.

    Sometimes we find solutions to our problems by accident. Even if we have put in a lot of effort to fix something many times our intentions aren't as good as something we just kind of stumble upon. I think that is how "home remedies" are discovered. However, even if it seems like an accident or completely random every solution has principles in it which are disguised as something else. We just didn't know to look for it. When God sent His son Jesus to earth it was because He loved us so much that He was going to give up His son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. The problem was the people during that time didn't recognize it as a solution to life's biggest question of eternal life. But Easter is the answer to that question. That is why we celebrate it. When Jesus resurrected, He conquered death and gave us a way to conquer it as well. Only we have to recognize it as a solution to our own question of life. By giving your life to Jesus you will have a life which is no longer obligated to death. This Easter don't be like so many of Jesus' time and miss out on the solution to life's most complicated puzzle. Believe in Him and you will have life everlasting.

    Update:

    I want to invite all of you to our Easter breakfast and celebration service this Sunday at the Lemonade Stand (24100 Narbonne Ave. Lomita, 90717). We will start the morning from 8 to 10 with an omelet bar and waffle breakfast. Our service will follow at 10:35. It will be a wonderful time and you won't want to miss it.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 14th, 2016

    My daughter Taylor is in the division II NCAA basketball tournament with her UCSD team. As a basketball junkie and dad I am a nervous wreck during the games. In high school there was usually a noticeable talent difference in most of the games and if you were the better team you most likely won. If you had the better team you won and if you didn't you lost. So you knew what to expect and it was much easier to take a loss if you weren't as talented. In college all of the teams are good. It doesn't matter what division or conference all of the players were recruited, have talent, and have professional coaches and trainers guiding them all year long. Which makes it especially hard to win, and get to the NCAA tournament, let alone go far into the tournament. Each game is so intense and a grind. In Taylor's last game I think I pulverized the piece of gum until it just dissolved in my mouth. It was literally dust and I didn't even have anything to spit out. After the game, I was so humid from sweating I had to turn on the defroster in the car to keep the windshield clear and dry. However, no matter which team wins or loses the most difficult part of the tournament is seeing the seniors play their last game. For 99.5% of the women who play basketball in college their last game of their senior season is it. All of their life they have had basketball. They played when they were in elementary school, they played on their high school team, they played club ball in their off season, and they trained and played basketball for their university for 4 or 5 years and now it comes to an end. They will wake up the next day without something which has been a part of their lives since they could remember. The intensity comes from not wanting the seniors on the team to finish their basketball career with a loss. The only problem is there is only one team in the whole country which will not end in a loss. So with each win comes excitement, relief, and a chance to continue with something they love doing, but knowing that someday they will all have to find something else to replace the joy of playing basketball.

    When God looks upon our lives He never wants our season to end. He doesn't want all of the joys, victories, lessons learned, hardships which have been overcome, the hard work which was put in, and the relationships which have been developed to come to an end. He wants us to experience all of what life has for us. But He also knows that we will all graduate someday. We will all graduate from this life to the next. The difference is that He has made it available for each of us to be the winner at the end of the tourney and for the rest of eternity. With Jesus' victory over death He has provided us with the ultimate "talent" upgrade. He has taken away our biggest opponent. By choosing to live a life with Christ, He gives each one of us the same ability to finish on top. To have victory over death. To live a life where the goodness of God, the blessing of His presence will be a never ending season.

    update:

    Come join us for breakfast and Easter service on Sunday, March 27th. Breakfast will be served from 8 -10, and our Easter service will begin at 10:35 @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne Ave. Lomita, 90717.

    Plan your vacation early and join the PCJC family at Redwood Christian Camp. The dates of the camp will be July 17 - 21st. Registration will open on April 1st. Scholarships available upon request. See Pastor Keith for more info.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 7th, 2016

    I am giving one of our bathrooms a makeover. It had needed a new sink, a coat of paint, and some of the floorboards needed changing. I am sort of handy, but wasn't sure how to tackle a couple of the projects and had to consult with Youtube to get rolling. I removed the toilet, the sink, all of the fixtures and the old tile from the bathroom and was ready. But you know nothing is as easy as it looks. When you watch a "how to" video or read a "dyi" article it seems so simple. It isn't. My first mistake is when I put the cement flooring in. I started in the wrong corner and I trapped myself in a place opposite the door. To get out of the bathroom I either had to walk through the cement or jump from the corner to the bathtub and then out the door. I had just spent a ton of time smoothing out the cement and did not want to step on it. I decided to hop to the bathtub, and then broad jump through the door. I was lucky I didn't kill myself. I did it but I am not sure it was a good idea since the floor didn't turn out very level or smooth and I had a limp for about 3 days. But it was done and I checked it off my list. Next was sanding and painting. This wasn't hard but since I have to take off my glasses to see up close every time I sanded I had stuff fall into my eyes. I would put my glasses on and then notice I would miss huge spots. It was a catch 22. Nonetheless, I checked that off. The next step was the plumbing for the toilet and sink. I got a new sink so the old fixture didn't fit and I had to remove the old pipe. I am not a patient person and instead of working the pipe to remove it I tried to force it and broke it off. So I had to cut it out by hand, but before I could get to the pipe to cut it I had to clean out all of the crud, rust, and whatever else you can imagine before getting to the pipe. My hands were black from the pipe crud and my fingernails looked like I had painted the tips because they had so much sewer dust behind them. The last big project was reinstalling the toilet. I was really careful when I took it out to make sure it was in a safe place so it wouldn't get broken. But I forgot about being careful when I went to reinstall it. I went to retrieve it and when I picked it up I had forgotten I had removed some of the bolts from the tank. As soon as I lifted it up the tank began to lean and fall. I tried to save it by sticking my foot in front of it and lessening the impact but all that did was smash my toe. The lid broke and the tank cracked. Which meant I had to get a new toilet. In the end everything turned out ok, but it was an adventure.

    It just goes to show you that life rarely goes as we plan. We can prepare, plan, learn, and know a lot about everything but until you actually live it out, you just never know what is in store of us. Knowledge and information can give you confidence, but until you begin using that information you will never be quite sure of its reliability or validity. That is why it says in the Bible, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." We learn the most when our faith is active. When we use it, we discover its usefulness. When you give forgiveness you will discover the power it can have in a persons life. When you are generous you will understand the meaning of being blessed. When you serve one another you will appreciate the kindness we all have within us. And when we love unconditionally, you will know the sacrifice it takes to actually do that. That is what Jesus did for us. He gave His life as a sacrifice, so we could understand what it means to be loved unconditionally. And we can show our love for Him by doing the same.

    Update:

    Come join us for breakfast and Easter service on Sunday, March 27th. Breakfast will be served from 8 -10, and our Easter service will begin at 10:35 @ Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne Ave. Lomita, 90717.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 29th, 2016

    A friend at church loves the LA Kings and invited me to a game. I know just enough to enjoy hockey and I was really excited to get invited. Plus Lisa knows one of the player's and his family from Manhattan Beach which makes it more fun. It was a great experience because my friend knows where to park, he made arrangements for our picture to be taken in the stadium, we got to go up close to the ice and see the players warm up, and he knows the best hotdog truck to go to after the game. I had the best time except for one thing that I had to get over. When it was time to go to our seats we went up the escalator to the upper deck. After landing on the top level we entered the tunnel to the seats and I was expecting to go up a few rows and sit. But we didn't go up a few rows, we were in the front row. Now these were awesome seats, mid ice, no obstructed views, you could see the puck and plays, but I am afraid of heights. The thing about the front row is there is no row in front of you. There is no buffer between you and death. Or that is what people who are afraid of heights think. The upper deck at Staples is on top of the 3 level of luxury boxes so it is basically a cliff you are sitting on top of. The seats started at seat 3 or so which meant I had to edge myself against the rail to get to the seats. I could feel my knees become like jelly and wasn't sure I could get to my seat without having to crawl. I made it, but then we had to stand for the National Anthem. I love my country but I did not want to stand. I got the strength to lift my body up but the only way I could feel even a little bit comfortable was to put the bottom seat up and lean against the back making sure my heals could touch the curb the seat was bolted too. I normally don't have good posture, but sitting in these seats I made sure my bottom was all the way back. I finally settled in and got comfortable and during the game and I kind of forgot about how high I was. Until the Kings scored. When the Kings score everyone stands up and "high five's" everyone. But not me!!! I sat there like I was stuck to my seat. I couldn't stand up because I knew for sure I would fall. The worse part of it was hockey fans are a passionate group of fans and they stand and cheer and probably expect everyone else around them to do the same. All I could do is sit there and raise my hand as high as it could go. I think the Kings scored 4 times that night. Even though I hate heights I loved my time at the game. I was obviously distracted and became uncomfortable during the intermissions or time outs, but while there was action I forgot all about my phobia.

    Many times distractions come when we are idle. If we are in the middle of something that has action or movement to it, a lot of our fears, doubts, skepticism and distractions don't seem to bother us. We might still have those negative emotions but we are able to move forward, even to the point of enjoying the "ride." That is why an active faith and serving one another is so important in our walk with the Lord. When we "pour" all we have into our relationship with Jesus and with each other our faith grows because we aren't as distracted by the unimportant things. We become rabid fans of Jesus and all we do is support and cheer for the home team to win. The Bible tells us, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." If you find yourself distracted and away from the faith, it is time to get back into the game.

    update:

    Easter breakfast and Easter celebration service will be on Sunday, March 27th. Our waffle and omelet breakfast will be from 8 - 10am and our Easter service will start at 10:35. Invite all of your friends and family to a wonderful time celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 22nd, 2016

    Lisa likes to take baked goods to Taylor's games to share with her teammates. She found a couple of "hits". One is a dessert called pumpkin crunch and the other are brownies with a rolo candy stuck in the middle. But since there are so many games it is hard to find a variety of goodies to take each weekend without just bringing the 2 "go to" snacks each and every time. Lisa wanted to try a couple of new things to bring and she found some recipes to experiment with. One was an apple something, and the other was a strawberry shortcake scone. The apple thing was really good, but her scone was "off" a little bit. Lisa said she didn't have any baking powder and tried an alternative to baking powder using some of the ingredients we already had at home. After baking the scone she wanted me to try it. It looked good. It looked more like a cookie than a scone, but I like both so I was more than happy to try it. When I picked it up it wasn't what I expected. The cookie was kind of floppy and soft. The texture reminded me of play doe. I took a bite and it tasted great, but I just couldn't get over the texture. I was expecting a crispy baked good, not something which was so soft and doughy. I told her that I didn't think it would be a "hit" with the team and that we should just leave it at home. She decided to ignore my advice and we packed it up and took it to the game. During the game she asked a couple of people around us if they wanted to try the scone. The first person who tried it took a small bite and immediately started to shake his head "no" and made a face that clearly showed his opinion. He had the same reaction I did to the texture. He was thinking crispy cookie, not something else. The second person who tried it said it tasted "like it should be good for you." I interpreted that as being a really nice way to say good try. I told Lisa that I didn't think she should give it to the team after the game, but again she ignored me. After the game she started passing out the goodies. I began cringing thinking the reaction to them was going to be a disaster. Taylor tried it and she didn't care for them, but her team liked them. And it wasn't just to be nice, they genuinely liked them. We know that because they asked for seconds. I was amazed. Were they eating something different from the rest of us who had earlier tried them. I think they liked them because I wasn't able to give them a disclaimer of them before they ate them. They ate them because it was a strawberry shortcake treat, not a floppy, spongy, doughy, cookie reject that I had told the others it was before they tried them. They had no expectations it was supposed to be a scone or a cookie and so the texture didn't bother them at all. I don't know if they are another do again treat, but it wasn't close to the culinary disaster I thought it would be. It was fine and appreciated by Taylor's team.

    Our expectations can influence our attitudes about everything and anything. Whether our expectations are high or low the reality of something rarely matches exactly to what we had thought. When something exceeds our expectations we fall in love with it, but if it doesn't then we don't much care for it. Even if something is good, or essential to you, if it doesn't meet your expectations you won't really feel a need for it. That is why faith and expectations often collide. The reason why faith and expectations don't mix is because faith is centered upon God and expectations are based on what we want. In order for us to experience everything that God has for us we have to change our expectations from what we want to what God wants for us. What are God's expectations for us? He wants us to love Him and to love others. The Bible tells us “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” If we do those 2 things we will live a blessed life of contentment with all of life meeting our expectations.

    Update:

    This Sunday we will be commissioning Matt Toyama as he prepares to leave to Bolivia this summer for a couple of years to serve. Prayer cards will be available for you to pick up and begin praying and supporting him.

    Please join us for our Easter breakfast and Easter service celebration on Sunday, March 27th. An omelet and waffle breakfast will be served from 8 - 10. Our celebration service will begin at 10:35. Invite your friends and family. Invitations are on the info counter for you to give out. There are also sign-up sheets to help out with the breakfast.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 8th, 2016

    After our church service on Sundays we have a light lunch which requires us to clean a few utensils and bowls. It isn't enough to need a dishwasher but we do have to have supplies to wash and dry the utensils and bowls before we leave. Since I am usually the one who is last to leave I will take the drying towels home with me to wash and dry. Most of the towels we use are microfiber and clean up real well. However, they also attract a lot of static electricity when you pull them out of the dryer. Even if you throw a few dryer sheets in with them they still cling to a lot of other different pieces of clothing. Then on Sundays when I go to church I will take the clean towels back for the week. One Sunday I took the towels out and placed them on the kitchen sink (our kitchen is in our service area) before service so we could have them for our clean up after lunch. I started to prepare for service and then noticed there was something that had clung to the towels which I hadn't seen when I put them out. One of my family's fancy pair of undergarments had statically clung to the towels. Even though the underwear were clean and fancy it still didn't fit with the "vibe" of our church service. I unclung the underwear and then stuck them in my pocket before the service started. I was still uncomfortable since I didn't know how it would look to have a pastor walking around with a pair of lace underwear in his pant pocket. I also put my hand in my pocket when I speak and I was afraid they would come out when I made a strong point in my message. I was able to make it through the service without any incident and threw the underwear into my truck after service.

    As we grow and mature in our lives there will be people, or circumstances, or opportunities which cling to the momentum we gain from moving forward. It is a natural byproduct of growth. Some of the people, places or things which cling to us will be helpful and encouraging, other things might become obstacles. But it is important to be aware that no matter what, there will be areas of influence which will attach itself to your progress. Especially when it comes to our spiritual growth. When ever you begin to grow closer in the Lord, Satan will not stand by and let it happen. He will begin to try to put obstacles in your way. Most likely it won't be something obvious, but it will begin to wear you down. Discouragement, pettiness, negativity, and frustration can hurt our growth and stifle our spirit. But if we can recognize and discern those areas which are not from the Lord, we can begin to pray through those roadblocks and actually be thankful for them. We can be thankful because it means we are growing. If we weren't there would be no reason to influence your growth. The other reason is because we will learn more from our obstacles than our victories. As we move closer to God and begin to trust Him more we will also need to make sure we are on the lookout for the dirty laundry which will attach itself to us. That is why prayer, accountability, and the support of a church family will allow you to discern whether or not the things which have attached itself to you are from the Lord or from another source. So if you are feeling discouraged don't stop what you are doing, be thankful for what God is going to teach you and strengthen you for the next step in your journey.

    Update:

    We will be having a baptism this Sunday. Please invite your friends and family to our service on Sunday and be a part of God's work in changing lives. The baptism will be at our 10:35 English speaking service.

    Come join us for our Easter breakfast and celebration service on Sunday, March 27th. We will begin the morning with an omelet and waffle breakfast from 8 - 10 and our Easter service at 10:35.

    Matt Toyama commissioning service. We will be commissioning Matt Toyama at our service on Sunday, February 28th as he prepares for his service in Bolivia. Lets send Matt off with our prayers, and support. We will be having a potluck after our service to fill him up for 2 years with our special Anchor tailgate special meals.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - February 1st, 2016

    Every winter my skin dries out and I am constantly itchy. Especially my face and my back. The only remedy besides scratching is putting lotion on the area. I hate putting on lotion. It just doesn't seem to be me. When I have tried putting lotion on my back I am so inflexible there is no way I can reach the areas where it needs it. I have tried to aim the spout of the lotion container to the problem area only to end up with globs of lotion on my back with no ability to rub it into my skin. The only thing it ends up moisturizing is my shirt. I do use lotion on my hands when they start to crack, but since my face is always itchy I end up rubbing my face trying to relieve the itch. When I do, I usually end up rubbing lotion on to my nose, which clogs the pores, and gives me a big ol pimple on the tip of my nose. Nose pimples are frustrating because you can't really locate them directly. They make your nose red and it hurts like crazy, but you can't ever find them to take care of it. The only thing you can do is wriggle your nose around and wait it out. Whether you scratch your itch or try to moisturize your skin you are kind of stuck if you can't locate or get to the area which needs the most attention. For me, I would rather have short-term relief and just scratch my back or face instead of using lotion. Back scratchers are my best friend. I would much rather have an itch to scratch than have to fight off the pain of a pimple. So if you ever see me with a pimple on my nose or looking for a sharp corner of a wall you know it is probably winter.

    We all have weak spots or areas which we feel inadequate about, but know we have to "get" to it one day. Procrastination won't take care of it, and anything temporary will only require us to revisit the problem area over and over again. Many times we will take the easy route to relief, instead of the route which will clearly identify the area that needs attention. In the Bible there is a story about a man named Moses. God had called Moses to lead his people out of slavery and into a land promised to them by God. Moses was a reluctant leader and when God asked him to take the job, he balked at it. Moses gave God all kinds of excuses to why he wasn't the person to lead over a million people out of slavery. When he (Moses) tried to get out of serving God, the Bible in Exodus 4 says God became angry with him. The reason God became angry is because He already knows He can help us overcome any of our inadequacies, and short-comings. When He can't help us overcome is when we say "no" or "I can't" or we give up. He is God, He can do whatever He wants, but He wants to use us to do His work, despite our weaknesses. God does His best work and is glorified the most when we are weak. So don't let a season of dryness keep you from enjoying the blessinga of God through serving Him.

    Update:

    Easter Service and community breakfast celebration. Invite your friends and family to our omelet and waffle breakfast on Easter Sunday, March 27th from 8 to 10am. We will enjoy a wonderful Easter breakfast together and follow-up with our Easter service celebration at 10:35.

    We will be having a baptism service on Sunday, February 14th at the 10:35 service. Please join us as we celebrate the baptism of Floyd O. If you would like to join Floyd on this Sunday or want to learn more about what it means to be baptized please contact Pastor Wayne.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 25th, 2016

    I was traveling with my mom from Arizona to Carlsbad on one of those wet and rainy weekends a few weeks back. Since I was dropping my mom off in Carlsbad, I took a different route to California. I usually take the 10 freeway all the way, but this time I took highway 8. Highway 8 is different because you go through a few elevation changes. On this particular weekend it was raining pretty hard the whole trip, but what really stressed me out was when we got up to an elevation of about 4500 feet. At 4500' the clouds had dropped down over the road and the heavy rain had limited the visibility to just a few yards ahead. So the roads were slick, I could barely see the curves in the road, my mom was trying to talk to me, my hands were cramping because I was holding on to the steering wheel tightly, there is always a car behind you trying to push you to a speed faster than you want to drive, I had to go to the bathroom, and I didn't want to brake all the way down the hill because that would bruise my ego. On the outside I was calm but on the inside I couldn't wait until the clouds lifted and I could see the road clearly. Finally, in what seemed like an hour we traveled to an elevation below where the clouds met the road and I had unlimited visibility. The roads were still wet, and the highway was still a long series of turns, but it was such a relief to be able to maneuver my way down without all of the stress.

    It is amazing how easy it is to travel when you can see where you are going. When you know a curve is coming, or when you have to brake, or speed up. When you can see what is coming you don't have to think about your next move it comes naturally. You just do it. That is what vision does in our lives. It allows us to see and move naturally going forward. Without vision we can become stressed out because we are always nervous about our next move. We don't live in confidence. The Bible tells us that where there is "no vision the people perish." The Bible isn't talking about physical death, but spiritual death. God's vision is for everyone to be known and loved by Him so He can provide a clear direction for our lives. We can live in confidence knowing we will be fine around each corner in our lives. The roads we travel might be slick and even unsafe at times, but we can still have the peace of mind knowing our future is secure for those who know the Lord.

    Update:

    We will be having our united worship service and potluck fellowship this Sunday, 1/31 @ 9:45. Come on out an enjoy our time together.

    We will be having a baptism on February 14th at our English service for Floyd O. If you would also like to be baptized on this or any Sunday please contact Pastor Wayne. He can walk you through of what it means to be baptized.

    Pastor Kawahara will be on vacation beginning today and will return February 8th.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 11th, 2016

    I was standing in line when I noticed a high pitch sound coming from somewhere close to me. I looked at my phone thinking it was some kind of bad signal, but that wasn't it. After looking around I discovered it wasn't a device making the high pitch sound it was coming from my own nose. Each time I inhaled or exhaled it would make a high whistling sound. I hoped it wasn't noticeable to the others who were waiting in line, but it sure irritated me. I tried rubbing my nose to see if that would clear it but that didn't work. I couldn't run to the restroom to blow my nose because I didn't want to lose my place in line and I didn't have a kleenex. Even if I did,.... I don't know if that would have worked. I tried to ignore it and even tried to shut off the air through that one nostril but I think that might be impossible. Desperate I decided to not breathe through my nose and just use my mouth instead to breathe. That solved the problem but it felt like I should deliver a baby. After finishing up my business in line, I quickly found a restroom to clear my sinuses and that did the trick.

    We all have circumstances which pop-up in our lives which can cause us to lose sleep. Whether it is because of a relationship that has gone bad, or health issues which immobilize you, or you just feel crummy and mad at the world, we all go through seasons in our lives which we hope will come to an end and get us back on our feet. The funny thing is most of the time we know exactly the reasons why we are going through what we are going through, but there is only so much we can do. We try all sorts of different things to remedy our issues, but most don't really take care of the situation. That is because we can only control so much of any situation and the rest is out of our hands. However, we can control how we react to the issues of life which confront us. But in order to react in a healthy way it requires our heart, attitude, and perspective to be in a "good" place. The Bible in Luke 6, says " A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." For us to be into the "good" things in life it requires us to change our heart. The only way to change the heart is to change what is in it. God tells us that He can change your heart from one which is separated from experiencing joy in all situations, to a heart which can begin afresh each day cleansed through God's grace and forgiveness and to restore back to you the life you deserve.

    Update:

    United Worship Service and potluck will be on Sunday, January 31 @ 9:45.

    Pastor Keith on vacation from Friday, January 15 and will return Tuesday, January 26th. Please contact Pastor Wayne during that week if you have any pastoral needs.

    Rev. George Takaya passed away at age 95 peacefully under hospice care at home on December 4, 2015. His son, Timothy, who valiantly fought non-Hodgkins lymphoma, passed away at home, also under hospice care on December 12, 2015. A memorial celebration of their lives will be held on Saturday, January 30, at 11:00 AM at the Camarillo United Methodist Church , 291 Anacapa Drive, Camarillo, followed by a luncheon reception.

    John Marumoto's mom passed away this past week as well. Please lift up the Marumoto family in prayer during this time.

    The family will be having a small, graveside service for the immediate family. And per Mom's request she didn't want any flowers or "koden" sent to the family. If you would like to give a donation she would like it to go to the Harvest Time Ministry or the Anchor Southbay Church Nichigo congregation.

    Harvest Time Ministries: Harvest Time U.S.A., 1415 Warner Ave., Suite A, Tustin, CA 92780

    Anchor Southbay Church: P.O. Box 1659, Lomita, CA 90717

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - December 14th, 2015

    This past Sunday, I opened my message with the story of how my 5th grade teacher thought I was smarter than I had shown with my grades. He had come up to me one day after class and said, "I think you show a lot of potential, but it hasn't come out of you yet." He wanted me to take some IQ tests and aptitude assessments to see if his hunch was right. I took a couple of IQ tests, and some different kinds of assessments over the next few weeks. After my teacher got all of the results back, he asked to meet with me to go over the results. We met and after looking down at the results and then looking at me he said, "I am surprised! You really aren't as smart as I thought you might be." Well I could of told him that. I never thought of myself as better than average when it comes to anything having to do with my brain. All of you have probably known that as well.

    When I got home Lisa said, "you never told that story to me before." I told her, "I usually don't like to tell stories to show how dumb or incompetent you are." She said I shouldn't be afraid to tell her stories like that because she loves me has always known I wasn't very smart or competent at anything. Her love is unconditional. I told her the burden to live up to everyone's lowered expectation of me has been tough, but I will get through it.

    We are at our best when we are who we are. The way we were created. Some people have high academic abilities, others have artistic abilities, and others can work with their hands, but each person no matter who they are... are still created as unique and special. God only asks us to live up to the "bar" He created us for not what other people have created for us. Now that isn't an excuse to never change or learn, but it should give you the confidence that each of us have a unique place and purpose for our life and ministry. It should also give you a great deal of encouragement and hope that God is going to do His best work in you through your weaknesses. That is why the Bible tells us in our weakness, He is strong. God's strength isn't an additive to our own strength, it is a replacement for our weaknesses. In this Christmas season there can be a lot of joy, but also a lot of stress and anxiety. We can feel "down" and worn out, but there is hope. God sent His son Jesus come and fix the brokenness in all of us and to make us "whole" again. We can't do it ourselves. We are who we are, but God can change you into who you are supposed to be if you let Him.

    Update:

    Please join us for our United Christmas Service and potluck this Sunday, December 20th, at 9:45am at the Lemonade Stand. 24100 Narbonne Ave, Lomita, CA 90717.

    Come out and invite your friends and family to our annual Mochi Tsuki at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, January 2nd @ 9:00am. Fun, Food, and Fellowship for all of you to enjoy.

    Last week for our Christmas Post Office. Please bring your Christmas card in and donate the postage you would usually spend to help support missions. See Maria Kawahara for more information.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - December 7th, 2015

    I have known for a long time that my vision is changing. I can still see distances fine with my glasses, but anything up close is blurry unless I take my glasses off. It is a natural part of aging and not a big deal, but you never know where or when those changes in your vision will affect you. Recently, I have noticed that I can't get the seasoning on my food to my liking. I usually like my food with a lot of seasoning and I am always adding salt, pepper, or Tabasco. I know salt is bad for blood pressure, but since I am always injured and can't exercise with any regularity, I figured that is the only way to get my heart rate up so I can maintain my cardiovascular conditioning. But more than a few times, I have over seasoned my food by 10. I have added so much salt it made my heart feel like I ran a marathon, or enough Tabasco to make me have to change shirts because my head wouldn't stop sweating. I couldn't figure out why I was over seasoning my food, until I decided to use soy sauce instead of salt. I wanted to season my food with something healthy and since soy sauce is made out of soy beans I knew I would get my recommended daily allowances of fiber. However, what I didn't notice is when I went to eat my dinner the bottom of my plate was completely flooded with soy sauce. Even though it didn't seem like I had put hardly but a few drops on my food. Then I realized whenever I seasoned my food I never take my glasses off and I can't see how much of anything I put on my food. Especially, salt since it blends into the food. It was only with the darkness and excess of the soy sauce that I could see how much I was putting on my food.

    We all want certain things in life. We want are kids to find their place in this world. We want a career we enjoy. We want relationships that are loving, supportive, and fulfilling. We want the freedom to do what we want, when we want. But there are always "bumps" in the road. Obstacles we have to overcome or adjust too. Whenever we hit those barriers there is a tendency to try and take so much control of those situations that we over saturate it with our own resources. Many times we can't "see" how much of our own perspective we place on a situation or if our perspective is healthy. When we over saturate a situation with our own perspectives, it doesn't leave any room for God to intervene or interject His Holy Spirit in to take control. We just don't see it until we leave a mess behind and then we ask God to clean it up for us. That is why humility is so important. Humility gives you the ability to perfectly "season" your life with a blend of your gifts and abilities, and God's Holy Spirit. If you find yourself all stressed out, constantly agitated, or you just can't find peace in your spirit it may be because you are over seasoning your food. It may be time to take off your glasses and humble yourself before the Lord and allow Him to "season" your life for you.

    Update:

    Please pray for the Takaya family with the passing of George Takaya this past week. George was a member of our PCJC family for many years and he will be missed.

    Please pray for the Graham family with the passing of Dennis Graham. Dennis and his wife Kyoko were former members of our Southbay FM church.

    Christmas Post Office has started and will be open each Sunday until our Christmas Service on December 20th. You can drop off your Christmas card and postage donation at the box located at the LS entry table.

    Please Join us for our United Worship Christmas service and potluck on Sunday, December 20th, @ 9:45am.

    The Anchor Nichigo will be having their candlelight service on Thursday, December 24th, @ 7pm.

    Christmas day lunch will be hosted at the Lemonade Stand. If you would like to have a place to come celebrate Jesus birth with food and fellowship come on out to the Lemonade Stand on Friday, December 25th @ 11am. See Pastor Kawahara for more details.

    Our annual Mochi Tsuki will take place on Saturday, January 2nd @ 9am at the Lemonade Stand. Come bring in the new year will a Japanese favorite.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 30th, 2015

    I went to watch a couple of Taylor's basketball games this past weekend. The crowd watching was small so any kind of cheer or comment can be heard by everyone. And of course it is easy to see who is rooting for who by the reaction from the fans with each call of the referees. If a call goes against your team then one side of the crowd would yell out loud what they think of the refs calls, and usually the other side would cheer. Depending on who and what the calls made were, most of the comments are negative. You never hear a fan yell to a ref, "hey those stripes you are wearing make you look a lot thinner" or "the way you blow your whistle lift my spirits." They are mostly in the "are you blind" or "are you watching the same game as the rest of us" or "call them both ways" variety. It is also amazing how the refs can change a personality of a person. It can change a normally calm person into a raging crazy person. A quiet person into a loud screaming fan. A smart person into a dumb one or a reasonable person into a knucklehead. So for 2 hours you have people who are totally different from the rest of the 22 hours they aren't watching a game.

    Our perspective in life is dependent upon who we are a "fan" of. Who we attach ourselves to. It could be a sports team, a philosophy, money, career, education, a relationship, or a person. If we root for a particular team and the refs make calls against your team, even when they are right you can lose perspective and be unwilling to accept that truth. Or if you believe that money will bring you happiness, then all you will live for will be to make as much money as you can without regard to how you will make it. Whatever you attach yourself to will shape and mold the perspectives you have in life. That is why it is so important to attach yourself and become a fan of the right things in life. What we attach ourselves to will eventually become what we value the most, and it will lead to how you will live your life, and how your life's legacy will be determined. For those who follow Jesus, He wants all of us to attach ourselves and be a Fan of Him. He tells us that "He is the vine and we are the branches" and by attaching ourselves to Him we will be attaching ourselves to a God of love, acceptance, grace, peace, truth, forgiveness, and eternity,l just to name a few. By attaching ourselves to Him, He will give us a new perspective of life which will give us the strength to have hope in any circumstance we face. Plus the refs are never watching the same game I would watch.

    Update:

    Please pray for Dennis Graham who suffered a heart attack and is on life support. Dennis and his wife Kyoko used to be members of our church before answering a call to become pastors of a local congregation in Torrance/Gardena.

    Christmas Post Office has started and will be open each Sunday until our Christmas Service on December 20th. You can drop off your Christmas card and postage donation at the box located at the LS entry table.

    Come out and get into the Christmas spirit this Saturday, December 5th @ 10am as we decorate the Lemonade Stand.

    Please Join us for our United Worship Christmas service and potluck on Sunday, December 20th, @ 9:45am.

    The Anchor Nichigo will be having their candlelight service on Thursday, December 24th, @ 7pm.

    Christmas day lunch will be hosted at the Lemonade Stand. If you would like to have a place to come celebrate Jesus birth with food and fellowship come on out to the Lemonade Stand on Friday, December 25th @ 11am. See Pastor Kawahara for more details.

    Our annual Mochi Tsuki will take place on Saturday, January 2nd @ 9am at the Lemonade Stand. Come bring in the new year will a Japanese favorite.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 23rd, 2015

    I have been scared to weigh myself since I have had to break my exercise routine because of all of my injuries and ailments. Over the past few years I have had to fight my chubbiness each week. I eat less, exercise more, and drink diet soda. You would think that would take care of it, but it doesn't. If I get hurt and can't exercise I will gain weight just thinking about food. I realize as I get older everything slows down especially my metabolism, but you would think that if your caloric intake is less than what you burn in a day you would lose weight. So obviously, I defy science. Although I have a sneaky suspicion that my weight gain isn't from the fat in my body, but comes through all of the new hair growth I have. As I get older everything has slowed except the hair growth in and on my ears, in my nose, and my eyebrows. I sometimes wonder why God created me like that. It doesn't seem like I need anymore hair especially in the places where I now find it. But nevertheless I find myself attracted to all of the hair trimmer commercials trying to manage my new body image. At least it gives me some incentive to take a better look in the mirror before I go out into public spaces. After all I don't want people to look at my eyebrows and ears and mistake the hair for antennas. Or maybe I could pass it off as a new bluetooth device.

    Transitions are just a natural part of life. In some areas life speeds up and in other areas it slows down. You can manage it, hide it, or accept it, but you can't stop life from happening. You can, however, choose to learn and grow from every transition, circumstance, opportunity, hurt, pain, or victory that you experience along the way. If you choose to let your passion, curiosity, sense of adventure, and incentive to learn lead your life, your spirit will remain pliable and will grow. God is never through with you and He wants you to continue to grow in Him. Our circumstances in life should not dictate how our life is lived out. It is God's grace which allows us to live above those circumstances and to grow into His image. And God's grace is best realized through a life of learning.

    update:

    This Sunday, November 29th we will be having our Annual Society meeting at the Anchor. We will meet after the English service tailgate around noonish. Come join us to get an update of this past year and see what is in store for 2016.

    Christmas Post Office is here. Starting this Sunday, November 29th until Christmas Sunday, December 20th we will be receiving your Christmas cards and gifts to help support our missions program. Please contact Maria Kawahara if you have any questions or would like to participate. Please memo your checks "Christmas PO."

    Retired Ministers Fund:

    Every Fall, we ask our churches to take an offering to support the Retired Ministers Fund. This fund supports retired ministers with medical and dental benefits as well as expenses related to retreats and Family Camp / Shuyokai.

    If you would like to give, you can place your gifts in the offering in November and December : November 29, December 6, and December 13. Checks should be made out to Anchor Southbay with “Retired Ministers Fund” in the memo line.

    Saturday, December 5th we will be decorating the Lemonade Stand from 10 - 2. If you are in the Christmas spirit and have some time please come out and join us.

    Heavenly Treasures gift fair coming to the Anchor. If you would like to help change a life we will be having products from Heavenly Treasures for purchase on December 13th and 20th. We will have the products available during and after both our services.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 16th, 2015

    I almost got into a fight with a squirrel a couple of days ago. I was in the front yard about 15 feet from the tree and was putting sand in the sand bags I had purchased to secure an outdoor umbrella when the squirrel approached me. I didn't notice the rodent until it was about 2 feet away from me and it startled me when I saw how close it had gotten. I jumped up and used my size to shoo the rodent away. It retreated back up the tree and I thought our issues were settled. I started to fill up the sand bags and the squirrel confronted me again, only this time it stepped over the imaginary line I had set. I used a few hand gestures and made a sound to get the squirrel to run away but the squirrel didn't run back up the tree when I tried to scare it. Instead the squirrel stood up on its hind legs and looked at me directly with his one eye on the side of its head and didn't move when I tried to verbally intimidate it. Being the man I am, I got up and stomped my feet and ran right for that little rodent. I was determined to intimidate and scare that squirrel into another zip code. Well that squirrel took off back up the tree, but a few seconds later it came right back only this time it had a swagger about him. Again, I got up and ran after it, but that squirrel wasn't scared of me any longer. It just stood there looking at me and I began to wonder why the squirrel had such a big issue with me. After going a few rounds of chasing the squirrel back up the tree I finally realized why the squirrel wouldn't give up. The squirrel thought the sand I was putting in the sand bags was food. So it kept coming down to see if I would leave a crumb or throw the left overs to it. I didn't want to disappoint the squirrel and decided to take the left over sand and made little sand balls to look like food and threw the squirrel like I was sharing. The squirrel went after those sand balls like they were crab legs. It took the sand balls in its cute little paws and it began to nibble on the sand. It didn't take long for the squirrel to discover what it was eating and threw it to the ground. It took one last look at me with disdain, and ran across the street to my neighbors house. It hasn't been back since.

    We all have expectations in life which we think will give us what we want only to be disappointed when we actually obtain it. Maybe it is a position at work, or you think a certain relationship will give you what you want, or you think winning the lottery will solve all or your problems and so you are willing to do whatever it takes to realize your goals. However, the quality of life you want to have is not in what you can obtain, but in what you can give. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to this earth not to be served, but to serve. It is only in our service to each other and in meeting their needs that we can realize what we already have.

    update:

    We will be starting our Christmas Post Office on November 29th and will collect donations until December 20th. Maria Kawahara will be posting the Christmas cards and collecting your donations for those weeks with all proceeds going to missions. If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact her or Pastor Keith.

    Please join us this Sunday, November 22nd @ 9:45 for our annual Thanksgiving United Worship service and potluck. Both the Japanese and English congregations will be together in one service with a potluck Thanksgiving luncheon to follow right after the service.

    Annual Society meeting Sunday, November 29th right after the English service.

    We will be decorating the Lemonade Stand for Christmas on Saturday, December 5th at 10am. Come and join in the fun of transforming the LS for Christmas.

    We will be having a Heavenly Treasures gift fair at the Lemonade Stand on Sundays, December 13th and 20th.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 9th, 2015

    I went out to eat with a friend that I haven't seen in awhile. We met at a restaurant and started to small talk. It was fun to catch up. After about a half hour or so I noticed the restaurant starting to fill up and the background music started to get louder. We continued talking but we went from our normal conversation volume to pre-yelling. Since it was so gradual, I didn't really notice how loud it had gotten until my friend started sharing about a problem he was going through and I could only pick up about every third word. I felt bad I couldn't hear him, but I didn't want to ask him to repeat himself after every other word. So instead I just gave him the head nod like I was tracking him. I continued with my head nods and my "oh really" filler words hoping to catch up in the end, but I really had no idea what his deal was. However, I was to far along to bail out and admit I had no idea what he was talking about or if it was really important. It looked important by his facial expressions, but really how "deep" can 2 guys share anything about their lives. So there I am stuck. He ended his sharing about his problem and I thought I was in the clear until he asked me, "what I thought he should do?" Well, how was I supposed to know since I had no clue to what he shared. And he had just spent a good 40 minutes explaining his circumstances. I didn't know what to do. Do I admit I wasn't listening to him for the last 40 minutes or do I ask him to explain it again for the next 40 minutes. I decided to go all the way with my pretending to have heard him. Instead of admitting not to have heard him, I decided to give him a solution to his problem even though I didn't know what his problem was. I started giving him my opinion with just random thoughts that came to my mind, but I made sure it was barely audible. Almost like I was lip syncing. I gave him a 20 minute solution that would change his world if only he could hear what I was saying. But the funny thing is he started to nod his head and say "ok, thanks" during our conversation like he could hear every word I was saying, even though I knew he couldn't. I finished up with asking him if he wanted me to do any of the things I had just shared and which ones. He said "he was good," which meant he didn't hear any of my suggestions. My friend and I had just spent 2 hours talking and not hearing a word each other had said. It was a great day or I mean the food was really good.

    Many times in our relationships we can go through the motions of that relationship. We can hear without listening. We can see without looking. We can speak without thinking. Or we can give without caring. When we do that it causes the foundation of a relationship to breakdown. That is especially true in our relationship with God. We can go through the motions but in the end what do you really get out of the relationship. Or is the relationship even worth carrying on? Well the answer is yes, it is worth it. Every relationship has worth and even though it can go through rough patches and you want to sometimes give up on a relationship, God's grace can make the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. Even when it is your own sight and hearing which needs repair. God wants us to love him with all of our soul, mind and strength because that is how he loves us. And God also knows that is how relationships are supposed to work. The key to building and growing a relationship is to value the relationship so deeply that you will do anything you can to restore it, care for it, and continue with it.

    Update:

    Supt. Jason Garcia at the Anchor on November 15th. Come meet and greet our new superintendent at both services. Nichigo starts at 9. English 10:35

    United Worship service and Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, November 22nd. Service starts at 9:45, with the potluck to follow.

    Annual Society meeting following the English service and lunch on Sunday, November 29th.

    If you missed the premiere of the Endurance production of the film Masterless they have added 2 additional showings.

    For tickets or more info go to:

    http://masterlessfilm.com/

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70653

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70156

    We will be decorating the Lemonade Stand for Christmas on Saturday, December 5th, @ 10 am. Come on out and help usher in the Christmas spirit to the Lemonade Stand.

    Congratulations to Wayne Katayama who was approved for ordination and will be ordained this coming summer at Leadership Conference.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - November 2nd, 2015

    No update today. I am trying to download some new brain software to improve my updates, but it keeps saying the hardware is defective. I am going to give it a week to see if I can work out the bugs so I can have the latest version or at least think of something creative. I guess that is what happens when you have a brain still running the XP version instead of an upgrade to the 10th version....

    Here are the upcoming Anchor events.

    Many of you know that we will show the DVD of the film "Unbroken" on the life of Louis "Louie" Zamperini on Monday, November 09th. at 2:00 PM at our Anchor South Bay Church meeting place at the Lemonade Stand, 24100 Narbonne Ave., Lomita, 90717.

    A follow-up showing of the special "Legacy of Faith" edition DVD version of the movie will also be shown the following Monday, November 16th at 2:00 pm. This follow-up dvd documents Louie's Zamperini's conversion experience through the Billy Graham Crusade in L A in 1949. This "Legacy" is divided into three segments. In one of them Greg Laurie, pastor-evangelist of the Harvest Crusades, interviews Zamperini. In another Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham, describes Louie's conversion experience at the Billy Graham Crusade in 1949. Zamperini's stubborn will plays itself out and he finally yields and surrenders his life to Christ at the Crusade. His life was changed and Will Graham states that Louie served Christ the rest of his life.

    We plan to show just this 90 minute "Legacy of Faith" edition DVD version on Monday, November 16, at 2:00 PM at the Lemonade Stand. We invite you to both the 2 hour 17 minute "Unbroken" movie on November 09th. and the "Legacy of Faith" edition DVD on November 16th.

    Our TLC Senior Group is sponsoring both of these showings. Please join us for both.

    Supt. Jason Garcia at the Anchor on November 15th. Come meet and greet our new superintendent at both services.

    United Worship service and Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, November 22nd. Service starts at 9:45, with the potluck to follow.

    Annual Society meeting following the English service and lunch on Sunday, November 29th.

    If you missed the premiere of the Endurance production of the film Masterless you can still purchase tickets to some additional showings. So please reserve your tickets now! For tickets or more info go to:

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70653 (Tuesday, December 01 7:30PM - 9:25PM showing at Rave 18 + IMAX - Los Angeles)

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70156 (Wednesday, November 18 7:30PM - 9:25PM showing at Regency South Coast Village)

    We will be decorating the Lemonade Stand for Christmas on Saturday, December 5th, @ 10 am. Come on out and help usher in the Christmas spirit to the Lemonade Stand.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 26th, 2015

    I had a hard time trying to start one of my cars when I was in San Diego visiting my daughters a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know exactly what the problem was but thought it might be the ignition switch. The key would start the car, but as soon as I let go of the key it would die. Even though I am not a mechanic it was easy to diagnose the problem. I didn't want to have it fixed in San Diego because I have a friend who can fix it for just a fraction of the cost in LA. Which meant I had to drive it from SD to LA. I called my mechanic friend and asked him if he thought it would be ok to drive it without it dieing on me. He said exactly what I didn't want to hear. He said it would "probably" be fine, but there is a chance it could die while I was driving. "Probably" is not the word I was looking for. I wanted, "it won't be a problem" or "you can drive it, it won't die or "it will be fine", but not probably. That stressed me out just thinking about it. I decided to risk it even though there was a chance I would make the six o'clock traffic news. I got to the car put in the key and it started right up. That was a good first step. I drove onto the highway and started on my nervous journey back to Culver City when I noticed I was low on gas. That meant I was going to have to turn off the car to get gas. I drove a few miles and a pulled off the highway to the gas station but all of the pumps were down. I turned around and found another gas station 2 miles later, which turned out to be better place to get gas. It was secluded and I decided to break the law and put gas in the car while the car was running. I drove about 3 more miles and noticed my hood was bouncing more than normal. So, I pulled over at the next off ramp and sure enough my hood was loose. I slammed it down to close it and made sure it was secure. I was finally on my way. I told myself that I was going to drive in the slow lane all the way home just in case I had to pull over. That was tough to do but I stuck to it. I was a nervous wreck. Every bump in the road, every time I had to brake, or the car made a funny sound I thought I was "toast." After a while I began to calm down until there was construction on a long stretch of the shoulder of the highway and I didn't have any room to pull over in case my car stalled. This went on for miles and miles it seemed and I probably needed to check my blood pressure at that point, but I don't think they have hands free BP kits. I continued on my journey and I was so disciplined sticking to my strategy of driving in the slow lane for about half the trip. But after an hour I just couldn't take it any longer. After being passed up by a 50 year old VW bug, a few classic cars and a truck hauling porta potti's, I had had enough. I started to re-pass those cars and gave each of them the "stare" and the head nod they gave me when I was driving slow. Even though it was risky, I just decided that if my car was going to stall, it was going to stall, but I couldn't live with the fear of not driving a car that was capable of speeds faster than 50 mph. I finally made it home safe and sound, but needed a nap.

    Fear, the lack of confidence, or stress can really grip you and keep you from reaching your destinations in life. When we live with fear we are reluctant to try new things, to see opportunities, to trust in ourselves, or to live in freedom. All we will be able to do is to look for the safe places to pull over when we get stuck. But even if we stall out and there is an open place to pull over, you are still stuck. You might not cause a traffic jam behind you, but your circumstances are still the same. That is why it is so important we don't put our trust into those things which cannot give us the assurance of being "safe." We don't want to just feel safe, we want to be safe. Feeling safe doesn't change our circumstances, but being safe does. That is why there is so much freedom in having a relationship with Jesus. Jesus makes us safe. We no longer have anything to worry about, when we know our future is secure. There is always hope when we have full confidence of being loved and accepted no matter what. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." Without fear we can begin to use the gifts, talents, dreams, and experiences to take chances, to risk earthly failure, in order to bring change to our families, friends, community, and the world. God never meant for us to live in fear, He wants us to experience life in abundance.

    Update:

    Our senior adult group (TLC) will be sponsoring a movie day for anyone who is free on Monday, November 9th, @ 2pm at the Lemonade Stand. Come join them to watch and enjoy the movie "Unbroken."

    Harvest Festival at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, October 31st from 6:30 to 9:30. Kids of all ages will enjoy a night of games, crafts, candy, and treats. (no scary costumes please)

    Supt. Jason Garcia at the Anchor on November 15th. Come meet and greet our new superintendent at both services.

    United Worship service and Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, November 22nd. Service starts at 9:45, with the potluck to follow.

    Annual Society meeting following the English service and lunch on Sunday, November 29th.

    If you missed the premiere of the Endurance production of the film Masterless you can still purchase tickets to some additional showings. The screenings will only take place if pre-sales exceed a minimum threshold, so please reserve your tickets now!

    For tickets or more info go to:

    http://masterlessfilm.com/

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70653

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70156

    We will be decorating the Lemonade Stand for Christmas on Saturday, December 5th, @ 10 am. Come on out and help usher in the Christmas spirit to the Lemonade Stand.

    Don't forget to change your clock this weekend. Fall back one hour.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 19th, 2015

    I was at Costco buying a few items for the house when I remembered that we needed a bag of rice. However, I didn't want to go back through the flow of traffic because it is almost impossible to get where you want to go when the store is crowded. So I decided to walk around the back side of the aisle and leave my cart a few feet short of the pallet of rice bags. I walked over and weaved my way through all of the people waiting for a sample of something green and healthy and picked up a bag of rice. As I picked up the bag of rice from the corner I didn't notice that the bag was open. When I lifted it up rice went everywhere. It was like a rice field. Everyone who was waiting for a sample lifted their feet up to avoid stepping on the flood of rice. I didn't know what to do. Do I buy the half bag of rice or do I put the open bag back on the pallet and get a new one. After all it wasn't my fault, although everyone looking at me seemed to think so. I decided to pretend like nothing ever happened. I calmly put the open bag back for someone else to pick it up and spill the rest out on to the aisle and picked up another bag making sure it was all secure. I walked back to my cart, put the bag of rice on top and began to drive my cart over all of the grains of rice. It was a bit awkward as my cart was making a really loud noise from the vibration of driving over all of the grains of rice. It also didn't help any when several grains of rice stuck to my sweaty feet and onto the bottom of my flip flops. I briskly walked over to the check out lanes trying to get out of there as fast as I could, but not before noticing the trail of uncooked rice following me out of the store.

    Embarrassment, shame, guilt or those kinds of emotions can make you do funny things, even if it isn't your fault. However, even if things are our fault it seems like the embarrassment of the mistake is worse than the mistake itself. It is our shame which makes us want to hide and leave the situation as fast as we can. We don't want to face up to the embarrassment and take care of it, we would rather just remove ourselves from it. But when we don't take care of it, all we do is leave a mess behind us. That is why Jesus wants us to handle our business of shame, guilt, sin and stuff, right away. He doesn't want it to linger in our lives. He knows the longer it lingers the messier it can get. Mistakes happen, but they can be fixed. It is how we respond to those mistakes which make things good or not so good. In the Bible it says things like, "in your anger do not sin", "do not go to bed angry", "turn the other cheek", "do unto others as you would do unto yourself", "give the shirt off of your back", "forgive as many times as it takes", or "love your enemies." It says those things because God is a God of grace. And He wants his people to be that way as well. He knows everyone makes mistakes, but He will give us the "slack" to always be able to keep the relationship with Him and with each other in a good place. God doesn't want any messy aisles, He wants each one of us to be "whole" and "healthy" in His eyes.

    Update:

    Harvest Festival at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, October 31st from 6:30 to 9:30. Kids of all ages will enjoy a night of games, crafts, candy, and treats. (no scary costumes please)

    Supt. Jason Garcia at the Anchor on November 15th. Come meet and greet our new superintendent at both services.

    United Worship service and Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, November 22nd. Service starts at 9:45 with the potluck to follow.

    Annual Society meeting following the English service and lunch on Sunday, November 29th.

    If you missed the premiere of the Endurance production of the film Masterless you can still purchase tickets to some additional showings. The screenings will only take place if pre-sales exceed a minimum threshold, so please reserve your tickets now! For tickets or more info go to:

    http://masterlessfilm.com/

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70653

    https://www.tugg.com/events/70156

    keith

    Our church had a yard sale this past Saturday to help raise funds for missions. I got there early to help set-up and take all of the items out to the yard which was easy since it was still cool. Once all of the items were out crowds of people started going through all of the stuff. There were several of us from the church and whenever someone wanted to buy something they would ask us how much it was. Since nothing was priced each person would come up with a price on their own. I hated coming up with a price. I mean most of it was junk. They would ask me how much I wanted for a doll with all of its limbs torn off or a 40 year old purple leisure suit. It was amazing because whatever I would tell them they would ask me to go lower. Everything was already marked down 99% from its original retail price and I had a hard time discounting the 1%. At first it was a little annoying, but after awhile I realized the negotiations were just part of the yard sale culture. So, I decided to make the negotiations fun. If something was a dollar and they asked me if I would go lower I would tell them, "how about 67 cents?" It took the patrons back a little bit because it was such an unusual amount and to be honest I didn't have any pennies, nickels, or dimes to make change. I just wanted to see their reaction. Over the next 6 hours we sold our way to raising over a thousand dollars. But we had to sell piles and piles of overused, really old, semi-broken, out of fashion, glad to get rid of stuff, to do it. I was shocked at the amount of money we counted up after we had finished, but excited. All of those items we sold for a quarter, dollar, or even 5 dollars ended up to be a good chunk of change.

    Sometimes there are seasons in our life where you might feel overused, semi-broken, out of fashion, out of touch, or without direction and purpose. When we feel like that many times it is our tendency to just give up on life and go through the motions thinking it doesn't matter what you do or who you are. You don't feel you have anything to contribute. But God never looks at us in that way. He values each one of us and gives us infinite worth. So much so that He gave his life for each one of us. Which means we will always have something to offer to Him and to each other. There is a story in the Bible about a widow who gave all of the money she could and put it in the offering. There were several men who saw what she gave and looked upon the women as second class because the amount she had given was so little. But Jesus came to her defense and told those men that God had viewed her gift as a greater gift because it was a larger percentage than what they had given. God does not value us on our net worth, He values us on the percentage of our life we are willing to give to Him. He measures our "heart worth." By giving him all of our heart, soul, mind and strength everything we do, God will multiply into something good. Whether you give of your time, skills, experiences, knowledge, finances, prayers, encouragement it won't matter the amount we give, it just matters if you are willing to give it. And if we are willing God will take all of those gifts and add it up to something much bigger than ourselves.

    Update:

    Thank you to those who helped out with the yard sale. We were able to raise over $1,126 for missions. Good job!!!

    Harvest Festival at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, October 31st from 6:30 to 9:30. Kids of all ages will enjoy a night of games, crafts, candy, and treats. (no scary costumes please)

    Supt. Jason Garcia at the Anchor on November 15th. Come meet and greet our new superintendent at both services.

    United Worship service and Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, November 22nd. Service starts at 9:45 with the potluck to follow.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - October 5th, 2015

    My wife Lisa still has full head of thick, black hair. She will get a few strands of grey every once in awhile, but nothing you would ever notice. Until now probably. When she gets about 3 or 4 she will yank them out. She doesn't have to worry about her hair color which I have heard other people of our age sometimes think about. Even though her hair is thick and still has color to it, there is one thing I have noticed about it. It is everywhere. It is in our sinks, on our floors, in our cars, in our pantry, and every other place you could think of. I don't know why she isn't bald considering the amount of hair we have around the house. I don't think we can go 4 or 5 vacuuming sessions without having to cut the hair from the brushes so the brushes can spin. A few times I have mistaken her hair balls for a tarantula spider. Although her hair is everywhere you can't really see it. It isn't until you pick up a few strands by happenstance that you will notice all of her loose hair. The other day I was opening my snack and several pieces fell on the carpet. I obeyed the 5 second rule, scooped the snacks up off the carpet, put them back into the package and began to munch on them. The snack I was eating was a package of seasoned seaweed and because of the dark color I didn't notice the amount of hair I had scooped up with my snack. I ate a couple of pieces and it was fine, but after that I was pulling out long strands of hair out of my mouth like it was dental floss. The other problem is the chewed up seaweed would stick to the hair when I was trying to pull it out of my mouth. That put me in a dilemma because I didn't want to waste my snack by throwing it out with the hair. However, if I didn't throw my snack out it meant I would have to scrape the seaweed from the strands of hair or eat the hair. I decided to just throw out the hair and the snack because it was too hard to separate the two. I hated to waste a package of nori, but what can you do.

    There are "areas" in our life which may not always be in our visual field. But as we move through the seasons of our lives we can pick up habits, teaching, philosophies, lifestyles, addictions, and relationships which we think will give us "life." However many times the things which attach itself to us are not always good for us. The reason is because many of those areas which we are attracted to are not rooted in the truth. They have detached themselves from the source and are just dead ends. That is why it is so important for the decisions we make to be constantly rooted in a source of life. When Jesus said " “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," it could almost be seen as a challenge for us to try and find anything else which will last past this earthly life, other than having a relationship with a living God. That truth means we have to make sure we do all things which are still attached to the source (God) of life.

    Update:

    Yard Sale: If you have items for the yard sale for Matt Toyama, you can now take them over to Pastor Ray's home. Please call to make arrangements. The yard sale will be this Saturday, October 10th from 6:30 to 12:00ish. If you are available to work this Saturday any help is welcome even if you did not sign-up.

    Supt. Jason Garcia will be coming to the Anchor on Nov. 15th.

    Thanksgiving United Worship Service. We will be having a United Worship Service with both the Nichigo and English congregation on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 9:45. It will be followed by a Thanksgiving potluck luncheon following the service. Please invite your friends and family to our service and potluck.

    Our Lemonade Stand partner church, Central Truth Fellowship (the church which meets after the Anchor services) will be having a Harvest Festival at the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, October 31, from 6:30 to 9:30.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 28th, 2015

    My knee is a lot better, but one thing I noticed while I was hurt is all of the simple things in life I take for granted. Like putting on my underwear. Because of the pain in my knee I couldn't flex my leg or lift it up off the ground. To lift my leg up even a little bit just killed me. So in order to put my underwear on I would have to throw it on the ground, and then with my backscratching stick I would maneuver the leg hole under my toes and around my foot. I would then take the stick and pulled my underwear half way up my calf to a place where I was flexible enough to grab it. I would then be able to put my good leg through the other side. Even then it was still hard to pull it all the way up. Since I couldn't dry my leg after a shower my underwear would stick to my wet skin and I had to fight it up my leg. Each time I was able to put on my underwear I felt a sense of accomplishment. That is until I started to get diaper rash because my underwear was wet. Or like getting out of bed. Since I couldn't put any weight on my knee it was hard to get out of bed. I had to drop, stop and roll like they tell you to do in a house fire. I would have to roll about 2 revolutions until my good leg fell to the ground and the momentum would carry my bad leg off the bed as well. I never stuck the landing but it helped me to get the day started.

    We often take things for granted because we have always done things in a certain way and it has worked. We can do them over and over again and we know what we will get. And it feels good to have that security in our lives. But what happens when that security is disrupted? Do we just shut down until we can get back to where we were? Many times there are areas in our lives which close. Our health can fail, we can lose our job, relationships can change, or the things we used to do don't work anymore. The problem with taking things for granted is we never really learn anything from those habits. We can do them without thinking. The only time we think about them is if they are taken away. Human nature is just that way. That is why we have to fight against ourselves in order to grow. In any area in our lives, whether it is emotional, physical, or spiritual it takes a decision and commitment to change. Growth is never automatic especially when it comes to our faith. We can pray, go to church, read our Bible, but until you make an effort to live out your faith even those areas can become stagnant. That is why God is constantly challenging us to look and take advantage of every opportunity to stretch and grow us. The Bible in Ephesians 4 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." It is God which will give you peace and security, not the habits which we have formed.

    update:

    If you have been collecting things to donate to the yard sale for Matt Toyama, you can drop them off at the Narasawa's beginning next Monday 10/5. Please call them to make arrangements. If you have small items you can also bring them to church this Sunday to give to them. The yard sale will be on Saturday 10/10 from 6:30 to 12:00. To help please sign up at the info counter this Sunday.

    If you are available on Fridays from 4 -6, our Nichigo has started up their Anchor Club tutoring class again for this school year, and can use some help to make sure all of the children able to enjoy their time. They have kids ranging from 5 years old to middle school.

    Ashima and the Girl Scouts from the Lemonade Stand are having a blanket and clothing drive on Saturday, October 17th. They will be there all day to collect blankets and clothing to donate to the San Pedro homeless shelter.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 21st, 2015

    A couple of weeks ago I thought I would try my hand at paddle tennis. A few of my friends play and I thought it might be fun to try it out since I used to love playing tennis back in the day. I didn't think it would be a big deal since the court is so small and playing doubles I would only have to cover a space the size of a driveway. The paddle tennis part wasn't too bad and I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Even though I wasn't very good, I hit enough shots to think I wouldn't mind playing once a week. After playing a couple of sets, I was tired and some of my fat muscles were tight but overall I felt ok. That is until the next day. After waking up I couldn't put any weight on my knee. It was swollen, feverish, and I had never had as much pain as I did in that knee. That includes 2 knee operations, 2 hernia operations, 4 torn calf muscles, numerous ankle sprains, gout, and many hurt feelings from getting killed by my opponents. I tried icing and painkillers but I just couldn't get any relief. I finally went to urgent care and had it looked at. The doctor was an older guy but you could tell he was an old school athlete. He came in asked me what my injury was and then began moving my knee around like it didn't hurt at all. I tried not to cry, but I think the snot coming from my nose was a dead giveaway of the pain I was in. He asked me if I was ok, and after sniffling through my "I think so" I had an x-ray. I didn't have any structural damage to my knee cap, but my patella tendon was all messed up. I also got 2 bouts of elbow tendinitis, a flair up of turf toe, and my foot hurt from walking funny. I have been a mess for two weeks, but at least I have been in a good mood at home for Lisa. Even though I am on the mend I am still not able to walk without a limp yet. So, when I had to move Taylor into her apartment this past Saturday I was worried I was going to re-injure myself. Taylor said she would do all of the work but my ego and personality couldn't just stand there and watch. The only problem was there were steps from the loading area and also to her apartment on the second level. It just killed me to walk up and down those steps but I forged through it. After a few loads though I noticed I was walking like Frankenstein down the walk way because I couldn't bend my knees. I was literally walking like you could imagine a monster walking. It was so embarrassing. Luckily, we were early and there wasn't the rush of a lot of people. I did, however, try to walk really cool if there were people around even if it caused me to be in pain. I just didn't want anybody coming up to me to ask me if I was ok. Which means I spent a whole day walking around the UCSD campus like Herman the Monster. No wonder Taylor didn't want to be seen with me.

    So, no point of the story I just wanted some sympathy. Thanks

    Hiding pain whether it is physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual is probably not as hidden as you might think. There are always outward signs of hurt and pain which others notice. Even if we don't want to bother anyone with are problems or have anyone ask us if we are ok those hurts just don't go away on there own. If we just pretend everything is fine all the time then those who want the best for you will never be able to help you. Help, support, healing and encouragement come when we let others into our lives. Our prayers, love and support are much more effective when it is specific. But that will never happen unless we make ourselves open to sharing our needs and hurts with others. We all see it anyways, why not go through it with the help and support of those who love you. This includes a loving God. God already knows where you are hurting and could do whatever He wants, but is waiting for you to ask Him to help you in that specific area. God wants to be involved in every detail in our life big or small. The more you give to God, the more you will see His presence in your life. You will see Him in the big and small of your life.

    Update:

    We are having a yard sale to help Matt Toyama as he plans to leave for his mission to Bolivia later this year. The yard sale will be on October 10th, from 6:30 to 12:30 at the Narasawa's house. There is a sign-up sheet on the info counter to help out for the day. The Narasawa's will be taking items for the yard sale the week prior from October 5th to 9th. Please call them to make arrangements to drop things off.

    If you would like to be involved with the after service prayer ministry please see Pastor Keith. It will be a rotation of prayer intercessors who will pray for anyone who has a need both in person or those on a prayer request card received from the service. I hope to get enough prayer intercessors to have a rotation each month or six weeks.

    The adult family camp speaker Mike Wilson messages are online at anchorsouthbaychurch.org or pcjcfm.org. Check them out. He is a gifted, funny and insightful speaker and teacher.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - September 14th, 2015

    I was listening to a television/radio program and the host of the show and his celebrity guest got into a conversation about what they like to eat. The guest shared about his preference for steak, and fruit but he didn't like veggies. He tries to have fish once a week and so on and so on. Even though I wanted to hear his opinions about the week in sports, I found his take on his food choices interesting. I don't have a reason why I did, it just caught my attention. It wasn't like he was sharing recipes, he was just letting the listeners know what he likes to eat. Maybe it was because he was famous that made it interesting, or it could be it reminded me of my favorite foods. Maybe it is because I am an "empty nester" now and everything becomes interesting out of necessity just to have something to talk about. So I decided to try and figure out why my interest was peaked and began to share about what I ate for the day with Lisa. I shared how I started my day with all of my prescription medications, a cup of coffee, and a banana for breakfast. I ate a package of Nori (seaweed) for lunch and for dinner a hamburger. She looked at me like I was crazy, but I kept going because I wanted to fill the whole segment just like the radio broadcast. I don't think she found my conversation about food as interesting as I did when the celebrity shared his. In fact she probably doesn't even remember the conversation at all. I wonder if she remembers any of our deep and meaningful conversations. After my experiment, my theory is I found the celebrity guest conversation about his dining preference interesting because he was so accomplished. When a person is that accomplished or famous sometimes you want to know everything about them thinking it is one of the reasons why they are who they have become. You want to see if you can incorporate the things in their lives which might be able to help you in yours. We want to dress, eat, act, and talk like the person we want to try to be. Some habits of these famous celebrities are good, and we can actually learn and grow by incorporating them into our lives. Others we should probably stay away from. I guess it all depends upon who you want to become.

    As followers of Jesus, our goal is to be like Him. Not to be a god ourselves, but to live a life with purpose and meaning. To do so we have to begin to try and imitate his lifestyle. To do, react, and act as He did. The more we become like Jesus the more we begin to change and transform into the person He wants us to become and we want to be. As you change, your whole life begins to look different. You begin to have peace in the midst of chaos. You will find love and patience where there was once hate and anger. You will be moved to action at injustice. You will experience contentment in all circumstances. You will have hope instead of worry. As you grow closer to God, others will want what you have. They will want to know what you do. The more others become like Jesus, all of a sudden families begin to change. Communities begin to look different. Cities take notice and the world will change. All because you eat the same food as Jesus.

    Update:

    We are having a yard sale to help Matt Toyama as he plans to leave for his mission to Bolivia later this year. The yard sale will be on October 10th, from 6:30 to 12:30 at the Narasawa's house. There is a sign-up sheet on the info counter to help out for the day. The Narasawa's will be taking items for the yard sale the week prior from October 5th to 9th. Please call them to make arrangements to drop things off. keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - August 24th, 2015

    My girls are always shopping for new clothes. Which I think means they are still growing or things go out of fashion and they are trying to keep up. I like jeans, sweats, and t-shirts and I am hoping my fashion style is timeless. It also means that I don't pay attention or have a very good sense when it comes to today's fashion trends. I don't even know the difference between leggings or leotards. Aren't they all just tight stretchy pants? So when I walk around I don't pay attention to what people are wearing unless it is way out of the ordinary. Well, about a month ago I was at the mall grabbing a bite to eat at the food court and afterwards I wanted to walk around to work off some of what I ate. As I was walking around I noticed these 2 young adults walking towards Lisa and I. As they got closer something seemed a little "off" with one of the young lady's outfit. When we were about 30 yards or so apart I figured out why her outfit didn't look right. It was because she was wearing a tank top without any undergarments. Now, a tank top isn't unusual, but it is unusual when the tank top gets moved to the side completely exposing your "femaleness" in a crowded mall. She was walking carefree and "otherness" free not even knowing her tank top was out of fashion. Finally, after a few more seconds the friend she was walking around saw what had happened and she corrected the fashion faux pas but not before scarring me for life.

    What we do or say has the potential to influence other people. Sometimes in a good way other times, not so much. Even though we all want the freedom to express ourselves in whatever way our personality drives us, we still need to be cognizant of others. On the other hand, we don't want to have to live up to other people's expectations. We don't want to have to pretend to be something we are not. Well, the Bible tells us there is a balance between expressing ourselves freely and also not living with the expectations of others. First of all, the Bible tells us "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." We can dress, talk, live, and work in whatever way we feel expresses who we are, except when it "tears" other people down. If are actions or our words have the potential to hurt someone or to make them "stumble", then we need to choose to express ourselves in another way. The Bible also lets us know that we don't have to worry about anybody's expectations on us and that we are all loved and cared for unconditionally. God breaks those expectations by telling us, "Therefore I tell you what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life." Can you imagine how your life would change with constant encouragement and not having to worry? That is what God promises us for those who He knows as His friend.

    update:

    Don't forget that this Sunday 8/30, we will be having our United Worship service with both the Nichigo and English speaking congregations. Service will begin at 9:45AM, followed by a potluck luncheon. Come check it out as Pastor Wayne and Pastor Kawahara bring the morning message.

    Please continue to pray for Hisayo Kawahara as she serves on a short-term missions trip to Japan from 8/13 to 9/9.

    Please pray for all of our students as they transition back to school.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - August 17th, 2015

    Before going to Arizona to visit my mom she wanted me to pick up a few things at one of the Japanese grocery stores in the area. I don't mind going, but whenever I do I always find it hard to maneuver around the store because the aisles are so narrow. I don't remember if it is like that in Japan, but I can barely fit myself let alone with a shopping cart. I usually have to go around two or three aisles to get to the aisle I want because there is no clear path for two shopping carts. I also noticed the other shoppers are not that polite. They won't let you squeeze through and it seems like they angle their carts to try and keep you from entering the aisle. I think they want you to wait your turn. I tried once to enter into an aisle and this older grandma gave me the "stink eye" and it scared me straight. Instead of going at it with a little 4'10, 80lb grandma I decided to leave my cart in an open space and walk through the aisles and shop. This seemed to work out great. I picked up my stuff, and my cart and started towards the checkout. About half way to the cashiers, I noticed I had picked up the wrong cart. I wasn't quite sure what to do since I didn't know whose cart I had and I obviously couldn't remember where my cart was. I started to take the cart I had to where I picked it up and saw a couple looking for something and figured it was theirs. They weren't speaking any English, so I couldn't be sure, but it did look like they were irritated at each other because they didn't know where they had left the cart. Instead of asking them nicely if the cart I had was theirs and apologizing for my mistake, I opted to roll the cart to a neutral location behind them when they were looking the other way. I then spotted my cart and quickly picked it up and acted as if the couple had misplaced their cart and forgot where it was. It worked to perfection. I found my cart and so did the couple.

    Sometimes we can walk through life thinking we are facing our issues, concerns, or hurt without ever looking at ourselves. We blame others for our problems, or circumstances instead of dealing with the "root" cause of whatever we are going through. We walk around never even noticing what is in our "cart", in our heart and spirit. Or if we do actually look down to see who we really are and what is causing all of the "stuff" we carry, we are too embarrassed, or proud to make things right. So, we push our issues aside when others aren't looking and run away from our problems as if nothing ever happened. But eventually you are going to have to checkout and pay for the items in the cart you are holding. None of us want to pay for stuff which isn't ours. We only want to pay for the items which we have picked for ourselves. All of our hurts, dreams, concerns, hopes, worries and circumstances are unique to each of us individually, but God can only help us walk through them or realize them if we are willing to take ownership for them. God knows each of our needs and dreams and to try and hide anything from Him is silly. Instead it is better to invite Him to "carry" your "cart" for you. After all, He has already paid for it.

    Update:

    Please Pray for Hisayo Kawahara while she serves on a short-term mission to Japan. She will be gone from 8/13 to 9/9.

    Don't forget the Anchor will be having a United Worship service with both the Nichigo and English congregations together for one service on Sunday, August 30th @ 9:45 at the Lemonade Stand. A potluck will follow the service. Pastor Wayne Katayama will speak for the English and Pastor Nobuo for the Nichigo.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - July 13th, 2015

    During my workouts I used to use a lot of free weights. I would do my "old school" workout and do a few sets of curls, triceps extensions, and presses, a couple times a week. Even though I didn't lift anything heavy every joint in my body hurt. My biceps from the curls, my shoulders from the presses, my back from dead lifts, my knees from squats, but mostly my feelings from not being young. So instead of lifting weights I decided to try pushups. The only problem was I hadn't done a pushup for years and years. I didn't forget how to do one, but I did forget how hard they were. Since I had been lifting I thought for sure I could rattle off 50 without any problem. I got into position and I could barely do 5. I almost broke my ribs on number 5 from dropping so hard without any resistance from my arms to keep me up. After about a week I could do 10 at a time, and then 20, but 50 seemed out of reach. Three weeks later I finally tried to get to 50. I almost died trying to get there, but I finally got to 50. When I hit 50 I was so tired I curled my legs up under me and just kind of sat there in a kneeling position. I looked like I was on my knees praying. Maybe I was praying so I could get up. The most unbelievable part of the workout was the sweat which poured off of my head. I had sweat so much, it formed a silhouette of my face on the mat beneath me. Although I have only gotten to 50, every time I see my silhouette of sweat I feel good about my small accomplishment. I don't think I will ever attempt a pullup though.

    Leaving an "impression" in life takes a lot of work. Usually, it starts off slowly and its impact can be mild or even invisible. But as you continue you become stronger, wiser, and resilient. Setbacks become just another "bump in the road" as you move forward towards your goals. The most important thing is to keep going and to never give up. That is because it is the perseverance, hard work, and sweat which leave its "mark" in life. The Bible says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." If you want God to make a bigger impact in your life, or if you want to leave a legacy of change in the lives of others, you have to do the work. It takes time, effort, discipline, perseverance, prayer, and vision, but in the end you will look back over the years and you will see a silhouette of your life's work.

    update:

    Kansha Creamery has been able to give over $15,000 to the Children's Hunger Fund through the sales of their ice cream. Let continue to take our Lactate and support them with our business, and our prayers. They are open for business from 2 till 11pm, on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., and Saturday.

    Family Camp is coming up soon. Please pray for all of the details to be finalized in the next couple of weeks. Camp will be held at the Redwood Christian Camp from July 26th to July 31st.

    United Worship Service: Both the English and Nichigo congregation will be worshiping together on Sunday, August 30th, at 9:45 @ Lemonade Stand. It will be followed by a potluck luncheon.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - July 6th, 2015

    I know everyone says their memory isn't what it used to be when they were young or when they were younger, but for me I know it to be true. My problem is with names. I can remember faces but recalling their names even after a short time of learning them is tough. The funny thing is, I can remember everything about a conversation we might have had. I can remember the time, place, and the details of the conversation but not the person's name. The same is true for the many food places I go to. I can remember the street it is located, my favorite menu items, and the directions how to get there from any part of the city, but trying to remember the name of the food joint is nowhere to be found. The other day I wanted to see if my family wanted to go get some frozen yogurt down the street at one of my favorite spots. We were driving in another part of town and so they asked me where we should go to get yogurt. I wanted to go near our house but couldn't remember the name of the place we had gone to a dozen times or so. Since we have about 3 yogurt places near our home they asked me which one we should go to. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the name. I described where it was, and what I usually get, but the name escaped me. Finally, after searching my brain I thought I remembered the name and was so excited I yelled it out. I said I wanted to go to "Chemies" frozen yogurt. My family looked at me with a look of bewilderment and confusion and asked again where I wanted to go. I said I wanted to go to "Chemies." They said they had never heard of it, which made me kind of frustrated since we had all been there a few times together. They then realized what I was talking about. The name of the yogurt place wasn't "Chemies" it was "Menchies." Well, at least I got the letters in the name right.

    Names are important because they identify who each of us are. Our names tell us who we are, who we are a part of, and who we belong to. However, our names don't give us our identity. Our identity is rooted in the "substance" behind the name. Our character, values, beliefs, ethics, purpose, and every other detail in our lives make-up who we are. It is those details others remember. We can forget names, but we won't forget a kind gesture, a compassionate act, or a good deed done. That is also what God looks at when He sees us. He doesn't look at our appearance, or name tag, He looks at our heart. He looks at what we believe in, our values, and who we put our trust in. And if we put our belief and trust in Him, He will put a new heart and purpose into our life. A heart which will give us the freedom to be who we were purposed for. We will then take on His name with us as "Christians", but more importantly we will have the "heart" and "substance" behind His name. To carry the name of Jesus Christ means we carry a name which is above all other names and we also have the "goods" to back up the name. Our personal names tell us who we are, God's name tells us who we were created to be.

    Update:

    Please pray for the Nichigo Shuyokai family camp this week. They have about 170 traveling up to Westmont College for their 4 day retreat beginning Tuesday.

    Not to late to attend the English Family camp July 26th through July 31st, at the Redwood Christian Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. If interested see Pastor Keith.

    Mark your calendars for our next United Worship Service on August 30th @ 9:45. Pastor Wayne will be giving the message for the English. The service will be followed by a potluck luncheon.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 29th, 2015

    Sometimes when I am really tired I will give Lisa a warning that I am probably going to snore. Now, I am not smart enough to know if it is scientific fact that when you are tired you are more prone to snore, but that has been my experience. Either way, I like to warn Lisa so she can go to the other room to get a good nights rest. She has tried hitting to stop me from snoring, but I am not sure if she does so because she is mad at me or if she really is trying to get me to stop. We have tried other methods of mediation, but none of them seem to work except to remove herself from the source. Every once in awhile or maybe a tad more often then that, I will forget to warn her. The next morning she will always inform me of the elevated decibel level of my sleep. I think it is funny though because I can predict when I am going to snore, I know I am going to snore, but when I wake up I still need Lisa to confirm it. I always ask her because I don't hear or feel myself snoring even though I knew I was going to. I guess in the back of my mind I keep hoping one day my prediction will be wrong, but so far it hasn't.

    Many times we make decisions or "do" things in our lives without even realizing we are moving in a certain direction. We don't see, feel, or know it at the time, but later we probably could have predicted how we were going to respond to a circumstance. We all have a sense about certain situations or decisions we need to make and we make them according to what we know and feel. We do so because what we "do" follows who we "are." So, if you are a die hard surfer you are going to call in sick to work if the swell is perfect. But if we make all of our life's decision based upon what think and not who we are, then life will not make sense to us. Our decisions will follow a trend, current thinking, or human reasoning. As a result, it won't be as predictable and we will be surprised (not in a good way) of it's outcomes. However, the Bible tells us that when we follow Jesus, He places us upon a "rock" and we will no longer be tossed around by the "wind and waves" of life. We will understand "who" we are, what our life purpose is all about, and where we are headed. When we know who we are the outcomes of life's circumstances will not defeat us. We will always be able to remain standing solid upon the "Rock." Are you being tossed around by the unfairness of life? Maybe it is time to stand on the solid rock of Christ.

    Update:

    Family Camp: July 26th to July 31st. If you would still like to go please see Pastor Keith.

    Next United Worship Service: We will be having our next United Worship service and potluck on Sunday, August 30th @9:45.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 22nd, 2015

    Lisa found some discount tickets to a Broadway show this past week. I am usually worried when she finds these tickets because the last time we went to a show with discounted tickets we sat in the last row of the balcony. And being scared of heights I could never get comfortable watching the show. My knees were like "jelly" and each time Lisa would bump up against me I felt like she was trying to push me to my death. This time, however, we had really good seats. They were partially obstructed because we were on the outside aisle, but they were only 3 rows from the stage. Being so close is a lot different. You can see the stage hands off to the sides, you can hear the rollers on the stage as each set changes, and you can also see when the performers spit out their lines. One thing I didn't expect by being so close was the eye contact you make with the performers. When they would come to the front of the stage and on to the side where my seats were it was pretty up close and personal. Especially, when the lights would highlight the actor from behind. Not only would it highlight the actor, but some of the flood of the lights would also shine on the faces of the audience. Since the actors were faced in my direction, and the lights were in my face for them to see, I felt obligated to show them that I was enjoying the show. Whenever, I thought they were looking at me, I would put on this big "camera" smile on my face to show them I was REALLY enjoying their performance. Even though my enjoyment level was probably a few notches less then what my face said. So each time the light were on my face, BIG smile, whenever it moved small smile. It was like watching a tennis match going back and forth. I did enjoy the show and had a good time, but I didn't like the way I felt. I hated pretending like their performances was the best I have ever seen just because they could see me.

    Sometimes when the "light" shines on us, we can have a tendency to put on a false front. To not let our feelings, emotions, or our circumstances match what is going on inside of us. We might feel obligated to appear more stronger, in control, or not bothered by the season of life we might be going through, and hope we can just "smile" our way through something until it goes away. In doing so, we won't feel good about who we are. Nobody, likes to live their life not being who they really are. That is why God's grace is so awesome. Grace allows you to live out your life as God created you to be. It gives you the freedom to express who you are, what you are, or what you are going through without fear of being judged or condemned. When God looks at your heart, He provides a buffer of grace which gives you the "space" you need to live out your life as He purposed you to live and not as the "world" expects you to live. When we don't have to live with those worldly expectations, we are able to enjoy each moment as it was meant to be.

    Update:

    Please pray for our annual PCJC Leadership Conference coming up this Saturday.

    Mid-year Annual Society meeting will be on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will update you on our finances, and general "health" of the Anchor. We will also make a report of the PCJC Leadership Conference.

    Thank you all who came out to our Lemonade Stand work day. We got to every nook and cranny, and cleaned, dusted, and repaired everything to its shiny original condition.

    Mark you calendars. We will be having our next United Worship service and potluck on Sunday, August 30th @9:45.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 15th, 2015

    I went out for lunch with my family at a local sandwich place and afterwards my wife and daughters found a retail store called the LOFT next door which was having a really good sale. They said they wouldn't be long and so I waited outside at a small table on the sidewalk. I didn't feel the need to follow the girls around as they picked up each item and told each other how cute it was. Instead I got on my iphone and decided to do something which had a little more purpose in life and checked out the World Cup scores and highlights. But you can only check out the scores so long before your patience begins to run out and you become anxious to move on. I couldn't see them from where I was sitting so I found a table where I could see if they were getting ready to check out or not. My hopes is if they saw me with a bored look on my face they would feel the pressure to hurry up. It didn't work, they either didn't see my face or they just ignored me. Probably both. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime they found what they were looking for and finished up. As they were leaving the store and we were getting into our car they commented about how fun it was to eat and shop as a family since we don't get to do that as often as before. Now the lunch part was nice, but I had no part of the shopping experience they were talking about. I was there. We were all together, but I had no part of picking out an outfit or accessories or whatever you buy at a store called the LOFT.

    Many times we can believe we are involved with an event, or movement just because we are in close proximity to it. We see it unfold and might feel like we had something to do with what happened just because we were there. It is like being at a game when something big happens and because you were there you feel you were a part of the reason why it happened. But being "close" to something is not the same as being "part" of something. We can all believe in anything we want, but it isn't until you make a commitment to belong to something which will tell you if you are really a part of it. That is why it is so important to have a church body to belong to. Belonging to the family of God identifies you as a genuine believer. It says to you and the world what you believe in, and that you are willing to "stand" and involve yourself in what you believe. It is not enough just to say I "believe" in Jesus, we have to be willing to "belong" to Jesus. And Jesus says we "belong" when we are involved in a church body. He never intended for us to follow Him in isolation. We need each other to grow and support each other. To Jesus, "close" isn't good enough.

    update:

    Father's Day BBQ: The Nichigo will be having a Father's Day BBQ at Wilson Park after the English service on Sunday, June 21st @ 11:30. They will provide the main dish and are asking everyone else to bring a side dish.

    Work day @ Lemonade Stand. We have scheduled a summer cleaning of the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, June 20th at 1:30. No experience needed, just an eye for dust.

    Please pray for our annual PCJC Leadership Conference meeting on June 27th.

    Mid-year Annual Society meeting will be on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will update you on our finances, and general "health" of the Anchor. We will also make a report of the PCJC Leadership Conference.

    I have a friend who once share with me the quote, "it takes a lifetime, to become an overnight sensation." Well, for the Anchor Southbay Church our name finally made it to the bright lights of Lomita. Check out the attached marque pic.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 8th, 2015

    There is a woman on my block who takes out her dog for a walk and to do its "business." That is not unusual as we have a lot of neighbors who walk their dogs, but this woman usually drives her car to walk her dog. The dog goes from yard to yard while the woman slowly follows behind. When the dog is ready it will find a place to "mark" his territory. For some reason, this particular dog has marked my house as his outhouse. The only problem is since the woman is in her car, whenever the dog leaves his sizable deposit on our lawn she doesn't clean it up. She just leaves it, which also makes it a target for all of the other dogs to get involved. One day, I caught the dog in mid-deposit and started to see if the woman was going to get out of her car to clean it up. I knew she wasn't but thought it might be different since I caught the dog and her out in the open. As she drove past me, I gave her the "look" of disgust hoping she would feel guilty the next time her dog left a mess on my lawn. And it worked. This time however, she wasn't in her car, she was walking her dog with her walker. I then realized why she was in her car and felt a little guilty myself for giving her the "look", but not enough for wanting her to clean up after her dog. After the dog finished up, the dog owner took her little baggie, picked up the mess, tied a knot at the top, and started back down the street. Perfect. She strolled about 10 feet and then noticed my trash can on the street and dumped her dog "treats" in my empty trash can. That is just great. Now I am going to have her dog's mess in my trash can for a whole week. Regular trash is bad enough and now I have this to contend with. I just thought to myself be careful what you wish for. I wanted her to pick up after her dog which is good, but now I have another thing to have to deal with. If it isn't one thing, it is another. Oh well, life moves on.

    Whenever something starts up, something also has to stop. You can't have a series of starts without stopping something. You can't always have everything you want from two different sides. What was once "good" may not have its usefulness today. What was once relevant, may be outdated in our present time. What worked in the past, may not work anymore. The Bible tells us,"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." Change is always constant, and we can either move and grow from the changes or we can get stuck wishing for the "good ol'days' of ages past. When we get stuck in the past we will have a tendency to become bitter and to shut ourselves down trying to protect and defend what we know and are comfortable with, even if everything else is moving forward. In times when we get stuck, there is a remedy to help us grow and move past our bitterness and it is called gratitude. Gratitude allows us to be thankful for everything we have experienced in the past, good or bad, and to have grown from living through it. Gratitude gives us the opportunity to look to the future with hope knowing we are only going to get wiser and stronger as you go through whatever life presents. Gratitude allows us to have the courage to trust in whatever has to end, so new life can begin. That is especially true in our spiritual lives. Sometimes we can get stuck because we aren't willing to give up on something which is holding us back from growing. That is why Jesus says it is important for us to die to ourselves in order for us to follow Him. Dying sucks, but it is the only way we can fully live a life committed to becoming more like Jesus.

    Update:

    The Nichigo are having a yard sale on June 13th at the Narasawa's house. If you have items to donate please call them to make arrangements to drop off your items. Any day but Thursday this week. All proceeds will go towards the cost of the bus transportation to their church family camp this summer.

    Father's Day BBQ: The Nichigo will be having a Father's Day BBQ at Wilson Park after the English service on Sunday, June 21st @ 11:30. They will provide the main dish and are asking everyone else to bring a side dish.

    Work day @ Lemonade Stand. We have scheduled a summer cleaning of the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, June 20th at 1:30. No experience needed, just an eye for dust.

    Mid-year Annual Society meeting will be on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will update you on our finances, and general "health" of the Anchor. We will also make a report of the PCJC Leadership Conference.

    You can now give online. Just go to www.anchorsouthbaychurch.org and follow the links to our online giving.

    If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Pastor Keith.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - June 1st, 2015

    Lindsey went to her prom this past weekend, but her plans for after the prom were kind of vague. She wouldn't give me or Lisa any details about what time she was supposed to meet up with her friends, what time the prom ended, what her plans were for after the prom, what time she would be home or how she was getting home. We knew she was taking a party bus to the prom and then coming back to a drop off after the prom, but after the drop off her group of friends were going to make arrangements on the "fly." Of course this didn't sit too well with us parents and so we pressed for as much detail as we could get without putting her in an irritating rant about us smothering her. I think she forgets we were both her age once and know what can happen when you give complete freedom to not yet fully mature young adults. Well, all we got was she was going to go out to an after party with her friends and when it was time to come home she was going to take an Uber taxi. All I could think of was there is no way I am going to let her catch a ride from an independent taxi driver at who knows what time of the night, from a location I don't have an address from. So, I offered to pick her up at any time and any place and bring her home when she was ready. And she said ok. I was surprised by her response but happy to do it. The only problem was I knew it was going to be late. Not just midnight late, but early morning sun almost come up late. Which meant I would to have to try and get some sleep, but also be ready to get her text and then get into the car and pick her up. Needless to say it is tough to get a good night sleep when you need to answer a text. After all it is not like I could answer the text the next morning. The whole night I wasn't sure if I was sleeping or half awake. Finally, after tossing and turning for a few hours I got the buzz of her text letting me know that she was coming home with her friends who live right around the corner from us and I didn't need to pick her up. That was fine and I was happy I didn't have to get in the car and go pick her up, but I was tired. And since I had to wake up early the next day for church I wasn't able to sleep in and catch up for the loss of sleep. I knew I would be running on adrenaline for the next few hours until I could get home and take a nap. But even with a nap it still hard to catch up for the lack of sleep. It actually seems to effect the rest of the next day. Your energy is down, you become irritated easier, you don't want to do anything, and you go through the day just going through the motions. Even though I had taken a nap, I was still tired and fell asleep early last night. This morning I was ready to go. No more moping around thinking the world was going to end.

    Sometimes we can get stuck on the circumstances of our past. We linger on how unfair life is, a bad outcome, a missed opportunity, a broken relationship, an unmet expectation, or the lack of satisfaction in our life. As a result we just go through the motions. We do what we are responsible for, but with a minimum amount of energy. Our attitude becomes indifferent never getting too high or low. Our optimism is bent more on the pessimistic view of things and we are easily bothered by everything. But life was never meant to be lived like that. God never intended or wants us to live our lives stuck in a rut. In fact, He gave His life so we could have a life of joy and the ability to move past those things which are holding us down from living a life of "abundance." Jesus said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." But for God to be able to give you that kind of life, we also have to do our part. By forgiving the people and circumstance of our past hurts, capturing the potential of our future, praying for God's guidance, and moving on, God will begin to refresh your tired spirit with His Holy Spirit. The same Spirit which brought back Jesus from the dead, will surely have enough power to give you a life you have always wanted.

    update:

    Father's Day BBQ: The Nichigo will be having a Father's Day BBQ at Wilson Park after the English service on Sunday, June 21st @ 11:30. They will provide the main dish and are asking everyone else to bring a side dish.

    Work day @ Lemonade Stand. We have scheduled a summer cleaning of the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, June 20th at 1:30. No experience needed, just an eye for dust.

    Mid-year Annual Society meeting will be on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will update you on our finances, and general "health" of the Anchor. We will also make a report of the PCJC Leadership Conference.

    You can now give online. Just go to http://anchorsouthbaychurch.org/#/donate and follow the links to our online giving.

    If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Pastor Keith.

    Kansha Creamery has NEW hours. They are open for your ice cream delight on Monday, Tuesday,.......Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 2pm till 11. And remember a portion of every purchase goes to help those in need. Great ice cream and for a wonderful cause.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - May 18th, 2015

    I recently went to Sprouts to pick up a couple of items. I don't normally go there, but it is so close and I knew they had what I was looking for. I picked the items which they have in bins in bulk and you just pay by weight. I bought my dried apricots and sunflower seeds and headed to the checkout line. They were really busy but opened up a new checkout line and I jumped over to it and was the first one there. As soon as I did there were about 4 others who got in line behind me as well. I noticed them but didn't really care how many were behind me as long as I was first. I put my items on the conveyer belt and then the cashier asked me if I had picked up the code for the items. This was the first time picking any items from the bins, I had no idea I was supposed to get the code for them. I just assumed the cashier would know them already. Since I didn't have the codes the cashier had to go over to the bins to retrieve them. So she started to go through each aisle looking for the items to get those dumb skew numbers. I could see her walk and look, and look some more. In the mean time the women behind me was giving me the "look", and I knew I was the object of her frustrations along with the other 4 people in line who I beat to the front. I thought about telling the cashier to forget about it, but she was still in the aisles looking for those dumb skew numbers. I was stuck. I was stuck because I wanted what I went there for, but I also didn't want to hold everyone up. I finally decided that even though there was some inconvenience and frustration I was not going to go through all of this for nothing. After what seemed like an hour (2 minutes) I made my purchase and went home. But the next time I went I made sure to get those dumb skew numbers. I didn't want to take any chances with having to just stand there hopelessly while other people made "stink eye" at me. It took a little effort but it was worth it to get what I wanted.

    There are a lot of times in life we can sometimes feel entitled to something without putting in any effort. We want the benefit to "fall" upon us instead of really investing our time and effort to make something happen. We can hope, wish, think, and pray for something but it isn't going to do you any good unless you make an effort to "plant the seed" to make it happen. As Christians we can sometimes fall into the trap of wanting to be "blessed" without making any kind of commitment to do what God wants us to do. We try to follow by standing still. Even though we are blessed just by being called His child, we are also called to do His work. "Followership" is the key to being blessed by God. It is where our effort and God's grace intersect. He wants the best for us, but He also wants us to put in the work. To persevere, hope, pray real hard, to trust in the unknown or unseen, to let go of the things which are holding you from moving forward, to plan, to fail and get back up, to be grateful for the small victories, and to put in the effort to make our dreams into a blessing. So, if you are waiting around wanting something from God, maybe it isn't our "heart" which is keeping it from happening it could be our "legs."

    Update:

    Please join us for our United Worship service on Sunday, May 31st @ 9:45 at the Lemonade Stand. Both the Nichigo and English congregations will be together for service with a potluck luncheon to follow.

    Father's Day BBQ: The Nichigo will be having a Father's Day BBQ at Wilson Park after the English service on Sunday, June 21st @ 11:30. They will provide the main dish and are asking everyone else to bring a side dish.

    Work day @ Lemonade Stand. We have scheduled a summer cleaning of the Lemonade Stand on Saturday, June 20th at 1:30. No experience needed, just an eye for dust.

    Mid-year Annual Society meeting will be on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will update you on our finances, and general "health" of the Anchor. We will also make a report of the PCJC Leadership Conference.

    You can now give online. Just go to to our donate page and follow the links to our online giving.

    If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Pastor Keith.

    Men's Bible Study Tuesday 5/19, 10:00 @ Lemonade Stand.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - May 11th, 2015

    Buying gifts for any of the females in my house is nearly an impossible task for me. I don't know anything about sizes, styles, or fabric. I have tried to go on my own to buy something and have gotten in all kinds of trouble. I have gotten in trouble because I have to ask for help, and not knowing anything the salesperson has to ask me a lot of questions. They will ask how big or small, what color they like, what is the occasion, what their style is like, and all other questions I have no idea about. I always end up comparing my family's fashion needs with the look of the salesperson. By comparing, I will eventually put my foot in my mouth. I will make comments like "their head isn't as big as yours is", or "they would never wear anything like what you are wearing", or "how old are you anyways?" So instead of asking a stranger, I decided it is just best to ask for someone in the family to go with me to pick out something. That way we can know all of the details beforehand and find just the right present to get. We know the size, the style, the occasion, the fabric which they like.

    Many times we go into situations when we think we can figure things out all on our own. And for whatever reason, we don't like to ask for help or don't want to bother anyone. So, we just try to do our best, but in reality we have no idea what we are doing. But because of our ego, and pride we don't want it to seem like we don't know what we are doing or we don't want others to know, we don't know anything. As a result, we will go through life just fumbling around with never really being able to meet ours or anybody else needs. We won't be able to have our needs met, or help anybody else because we don't know all of the details which are in the middle of our deepest hurts, pains, or which will unlock the secrets to our joy and contentment. That is why it is so comforting to understand that God knows all of the details of our lives. He knows what we like, and don't like, what we need and don't need, where our "sweet spot" is and where the raw nerves are exposed. He knows what we are trying to hide, and where we need to let ourselves shine through. But to allow God to work out the details in our lives, we have to create space for Him. The only way we can make space is for each of us to get out of the way. Our ego and pride has to "let go" and admit we don't know everything. We can't control everything. We can't handle everything. When we do we create the space for which only God can fill, He will begin to transform your life. We need God for what we don't know, not for what we do. When we make ready for God to be a part of our life, the Bible tells us He will send a "fully loaded package" of Holy Spirit to speak and work on the details in our lives. He knows the answer to all of the questions we need in order to find the perfect gift for each of us.

    Update:

    Check out our favorite ice cream shop, Kansha Creamery. It has great ice cream and with every purchase a part of the proceeds go to financially support the Children's Hunger Fund. They are open from 12 to 11pm during the week except for Wednesdays and Sundays. They also have 2 for 1 Tuesdays. They are located at 18515 S. Western Ave. Torrance, 90248.

    Come join us for our United Worship Service on May 31st at 9:45am. Both the English and Japanese congregations will be worshiping together and will be followed by a potluck luncheon. Come experience this unique worship time in both Japanese and English.

    The mid-year annual society meeting will be held after the fellowship lunch on Sunday, June 28th at 12:30. We will be updating you on the PCJC Leadership conference, the Anchor's finances and health for the first half of this year. You don't have to be members, all are welcome.

    If anyone is interested in being baptized this summer please contact Pastor Keith. We are looking for anyone ready to take the next step in your faith journey.

    The Anaheim FM Church is sponsoring two seminars; a love and respect marriage seminar and a two day seminar on how to interpret the biblical narrative. Please go to the Events/Calendar page for details.

    Online giving is available through our conference if that is your preferred way to give. If you are interested please visit our "Donate" page.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - May the 4th, 2015

    My daughter Lindsey is closing up her high school basketball career. She has been playing for most of her life. When she was really young and just learning how to play, the games were entertaining. Nobody cared about winning or losing, it was all about having fun. But in a very short time between developing your "game" and having fun, a switch gets turned on. That switch is called competition. Before you know it everything changes. Friendships can become rivalries, winning starts to become the focus, parents begin to demand perfection, the refs become idiots, coaches become question marks, but most of all our attitudes can change. The questions we ask our kids goes from "did you have fun?" to "did you win?" Our after game comments change from encouragement to instruction. From "good job" to "you should have done this." Now, I don't think competition is wrong or bad. It is a natural progression of development, and there are a lot of good lessons we can learn from competition, but it has to have a healthy perspective. With all of that said, Lindsey's team had a get together to thank her coach, and to say goodbye to that chapter in her life. All of the girls will be going to different colleges, and moving on. During the lunch the girls all shared some memories they had over the last 12 years of being together. Most if not all of the memories shared did not have anything to do with a particular game or tournament. They all shared about each other and the fun and joy they had with one another. All of the silliness, and laughter they shared together will be the legacy of friendship that will be sealed within each of them. Life has come "full circle" in just a short few years.

    Basketball, competition, relationships, career, lifestyle, and everything else in between can either rob you of or bring you joy in your life. It is a choice we can all make depending on our "attitude" in life. Attitude changes our life experiences. Having a positive attitude will allow us to see the "good" in each other, to grow and learn from each situation, and to be content and at peace with the outcomes of life. But knowing, and having a good attitude can be two different things. Many times we can't muster up a positive attitude no matter how hard we try. We want too, but we are just in a "dry" season in life and we just don't feel like putting in the effort. And we all go through those seasons where we are just not that fun to be around. We probably wouldn't hang out with ourselves if we had a choice. You know who you are. Well, the only way we can break out of the "dry" season in our lives, is to refresh it with water. When the "water" flows in our lives we begin to change and grow. We begin to see "fruit" in our lives, and our attitudes and perspectives change. We begin to have joy in our spirit. God knows this and that is why He sent Jesus to us. He sent Jesus so we could have an eternal supply of "water" in our lives to keep us continually refreshed. By doing so, we can have an endless supply of Joy which will be "rooted" deep down in our soul and spirit. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By drinking of this "water" we can come "full circle" to the life God has always intended for us to have. A life of joy.

    Update:

    Kansha Creamery has raised $6,796.50 since opening day to help support the Childrens Hunger Fund. That is amazing. Best of all, we get to help support them through ice cream. They are open from 12 to 11pm during the week except for Wednesdays and Sundays. They also have a "treat yo self" Tuesday discount. Go check them out at 18515 S. Western Ave. Torrance, 90248.

    Come join us for our United Worship Service on May 31st at 9:45am. Both the English and Japanese congregations will be worshiping together and will be followed by a potluck luncheon. Come experience this unique worship time in both Japanese and English.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 27th, 2015

    My daughter Lindsey is coming down the final stretch for high school, although it seems like she has been in her own final stretch all year (aka senioritis). As seniors there are a lot of scholarships available for her to apply towards. Some are easier to get, but most have pretty tough criteria to be eligible for you to apply. A high GPA, a specific aptitude in a career field, a million hours of volunteer experience, innovation, or some project in which you have changed the world is usually the first step. Some you just apply and hope you are the only one because the scholarship committees make it so hard to earn their scholarship. It never happens though, there are always a lot of students who apply to every kind of scholarship available. When you look at their profile you just want to shake your head at what they have accomplished already. The only scholarships I could ever apply to were the ones which didn't require me to be smart, hard working, compassionate, or innovative. All they required was for me to be what I already was. Scholarships for being Japanese, or because I was related to someone, or because they had to meet a quota, were the ones I applied too. And I still didn't win any of them. No, I take that back, I think I got one from being related to someone. No one else could meet that criteria. However, at Lindsey's high school they have an award night for seniors in which the primary criteria for earning a scholarship is you being a student at Culver City High School. They want to support, encourage, promote, and reward their students for being Culver City High School students. Of course, the school is proud of the individual accomplishments of each student, but what they are most proud of is that each student looks upon their time at the school with a sense of belonging.

    If we look to our accomplishments as a basis for belonging we will never measure up. There is always someone else who is more successful, smart, wealthy, healthy, beautiful, athletic, and accomplished than us. No matter who you are, and even if you manage to become the best at something, will you be able to stay there forever? Of course not. Life is always changing, advancing, and moving forward. When those changes occur to whom will we belong to next? That is why it is important to belong to something which doesn't look at what you have become, but for who you are. For those who belong to a community of faith as God's children, we are accepted for who we are. God doesn't bless us, love us, care for us, protect us, or provide for us because of our successes or accomplishments. He blesses us when we place our trust and faith in Him. That is His only criteria for belonging. And that will never change. God loves us and is proud of us just because we belong to Him. That is a criteria all of us can meet.

    Update:

    Not too late to register for Family Camp. If you are still interested you can pick up a registration form at the info counter. If you need a scholarship please contact Pastor Keith. Camp week is July 26th thru July 31st.

    Kansha Creamery had a special guest last week come in for a triple scoop. Jimmy Kimmel stopped by and sent out an Instagram pic. Very cool. Even better, a portion from the sale of his triple scoop will go towards relieving hunger in a developing country. That is a special Kansha blessing. (Japanese for GRATITUDE)

    Palos Verdes Baptist Church is hosting an elder care seminar: “Caring for Those Who Cared for Us”

    Palos Verdes Baptist Church

    28 Moccasin Lane

    Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

    http://www.pvbc.com/special-events

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    9am to 12noon.

    Seminar is free, but registration is requested to secretary@pvbc.com, 310-541-1811.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 20th, 2015

    I am never sure if I am supposed to "tip" at a cafeteria style restaurant. I know they provide the venue and the product, but I provide the service. So, I have been inconsistent with my tips. Sometimes I feel like tipping, other times not so much. Especially, since I always get the same things to eat, the only variable as to whether or not I am going to tip is my mood. Sometimes, I think the servers should give me a tip since I do most of the work for them, but so far that hasn't happened. As I think about it, my tipping potential probably has to do with the employees attitude and demeanor. If they are nice, friendly, and pleasant even if I do all of their work for them, then I will give them a tip. But if they are just going about their business and it "shows", then I don't feel bad about not leaving a tip. When I visited Japan, you weren't expected to leave a tip. They were just grateful for your business. I thought that was really great, especially since I am a dumb, dumb and so bad with math. I would never be able to figure out what 15 or 20% of anything is, let alone convert dollars into yen. So it was easy, you get what you pay for without any other expectation. It was weird though, I was so grateful for not having to leave a tip, that I wanted to give them a tip. Go figure.

    Whenever our "head" and our "heart don't match up, we won't feel good about what we are doing. If we do things out of obligation, expectation or tradition, then we just go through the motions without experiencing any satisfaction. And that dissatisfaction shows. We can't hide it behind a smile, or pretend it doesn't affect us because everyone around us can see it. Our attitude and actions are dependent upon the condition of our "heart." The Bible says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Which means you can change your behavior, or put a smile on your face, but to experience real change in your life, you have to change what is in your "heart." You need a transplant. And what you need to transplant your old "heart" with is a "heart" of gratitude. Gratitude is a game changer. Gratitude changes your "heart" from a place of neediness, to a place where your "heart" is full and blessed for what you already have. Gratitude changes greed to generosity, selfishness to selflessness, needy to satisfied, anxious to content, and hopeless to hopeful. That is why God wants our "heart." He wants us to experience an everlasting life of gratitude by providing everything we need and more.

    Update:

    Family Camp registration is available at the info counter. Family camp will be held at the Redwood Christian Camp July 26th through July 31st. Scholarships are available. For more info contact Pastor Keith

    Check out the article about Kansha Creamery in the Pacific Citizen. http://www.pacificcitizen.org/getting-the-scoop-on-goodness/

    Men's Bible Study every 3rd Tuesday @ 10 am at the Lemonade Stand.

    United Worship Service and potluck. We will be having our next United Worship service on Sunday, May 31st @ 9:45.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 13th, 2015

    I recently went on a college visit in San Diego with my daughter Lindsey. As you walk around you start checking off all of the pro's and con's of the school. I would check off the important parent things like the success of their football and basketball program, their meal plan, and how far it was to the beach. Lindsey was more into the boring stuff like class sizes, how many AP classes the school would accept, if they had her major, or if she could graduate on time. I completely "tuned" out when it got to the detail part of the tour. But I did pay attention to one statistic of the schools presentation, and that was the success of finding employment within a year of graduating. The rate was really high and I thought maybe it is ok, for the sports program to be down if she was able to find a job she loved and could make a career out of it. To bad Arizona State wasn't on her list of schools. She could of had the best of both worlds. At the end of the tour, we all talked about what we liked and didn't like. That is where it becomes a little tough to make a decision. Do the "likes" outweigh the areas which you have some concern or should you just move on to another school hoping to find more of what you are looking for? Well, Lindsey hasn't made up her mind yet, but I can sympathize with her struggle. Do I pick a school which gives her more advantages for the future or pick a school which offers the best college experience in the next four years? I am hoping it is one in the same, but you never know.

    All of us have to make decisions which will affect both our present and future. But which is more important? It depends upon your personality. Some want to make their "mark" quick and fast. Others want to build toward their future. Some don't care about the future. And the rest of us are on the spectrum somewhere in between. But no matter where you are, for any of us to leave our "mark" on this world we need to place ourselves second to whatever we are trying to accomplish. When we move past our own personal desires to that of a "vision", then we accomplish something bigger than ourselves. If not, then our success is dependent only upon our personality and experiences. That is why Jesus told his disciples, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” In putting ourselves "last" to whatever we are trying to accomplish gives us the opportunity to be fulfilled both in the present and the future. We enjoy the present because we have the perspective on the sacrifice we are making, in order to find fulfillment knowing we have done our part to leave a legacy.

    Update:

    Our TLC (senior adult ministry) will be having a fellowship breakfast this Thursday, April 16th at 8:40 at the Carrows Restaurant on Redondo Beach blvd in Gardena. They will be meeting in the back meeting room. For more info contact Pastor Ray. All our welcome whether you consider yourself a senior adult or not.

    Family Camp registration is available at the info counter. Family camp will be held at the Redwood Christian Camp July 26th through July 31st.

    Check out the article about Kansha Creamery in the Pacific Citizen. http://www.pacificcitizen.org/getting-the-scoop-on-goodness/

    Through their sales they have given over $4,000 to help support the Childrens Hunger Fund which goes to feed needy children around the world. Way to go!!!

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - April 6th, 2015

    I never fill out a NCAA basketball bracket because I love for the underdogs to win. To me that is what makes the tournament so much fun. Unexpected teams winning a game they have no business winning. But filling out a bracket usually means you have to pick the higher seeds to win the championship and you have to pick with your "head" and not your with your "gut." Plus there aren't many people at church who try to get a bracket pool together. This year my daughters both wanted Kentucky to win it all. Kentucky was the overall "favorite" to win. They had a 35 game winning streak to begin the tournament and looked unbeatable. When they made it to the "Final Four", I thought for sure they were going to win it all. But they didn't. They lost to Wisconsin in an upset. After Wisconsin won, I called my oldest daughter to get her reaction. She was fine although a little disappointed. I have sometimes been known to call after an upset to kind of "rub" it in and talk a little "trash", but this time I refrained. Having lived with two daughters and a household of women, I have learned that you just never know what reaction you might get depending upon all factors of life. It is just not worth it if the reaction you receive isn't returned in "fun." I would rather be satisfied in the upset win than to risk a household of human "upset."

    Disunity ruins everything. Whenever there is a break in unity it hurts. It hurts momentum, it hurts our trust in each other, it hurts our motivation, it hurts our progress, it hurts our relationships, it hurts our vision, and it hurts our spiritual life. That is why it is so important not to do anything which will hurt our unity. And it is important not just in the church, but also in our family, workplace, and friendships. That is because there is strength in unity. If there is division in an area in our lives, then we make ourselves an easier target to "fall." The Bible tells us a, "house divided cannot stand." That is why Satan is always attacking our unity. He knows the power of being united. But it isn't just Satan who attacks our unity, many times it is in our human nature to bring disunity to each other. Jealousy, envy, competitiveness, and gossip can also ruin a good thing. The remedy of course is encouragement. The Bible tells us, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." In unity, there is no underdog or favorite there are only winners.

    Update:

    Thank you all who were able to come out and celebrate Easter with us. We had a wonderful time celebrating Jesus' victory over the grave with great music from the choir and praise team, an uplifted spirit, an amazing potluck, and rich fellowship. As a reminder our service times will go back to our regular times. Nichigo service starts at 9, and the English service starts at 10:30.

    Not to late to sign up for Family Camp. If you are interested please pick up a registration form at the info counter. If you need help getting to camp please contact Pastor Keith.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 30th, 2015

    I am somewhat addicted to Diet Coke. I say somewhat because I drink at least one a day, but sometimes up to 3. I have placed the threshold for fully addicted at 6 per day. Anyways, it is enough for those around me to know I am not far from having a soda close to me. I also have had articles sent to me letting me know I should stop drinking diet coke because of the detrimental effect it can have on me. But it is hard to stop. I have been drinking soda all my life. I used to drink sugar soda when I was younger but, switched to diet soda when my metabolism stop firing on all of its cylinders about 30 years ago, and haven't stopped since. Recently, I came upon another article which said diet soda did not help in losing weight (like I didn't know that) and in fact it may contribute to weight gain. Even though it doesn't have any calories, the sweetness in the diet soda can "fool" your brain, and the brain starts converting everything to fat. That is just great. You mean, I can actually gain weight by drinking something with no calories. And how can my brain be "fooled" when I already "know" about the effects the diet soda can have. Shouldn't the knowing of the effects and consequences of drinking diet soda cancel out the "fooling" part in my brain. I am so looking for a reason to continue in my enjoyment of a diet soda each day, but unfortunately my brain and my body won't get on the same page.

    In life, we can be confronted with situations and decisions where our brain and body are at a disconnect. More specifically when our brain says one thing but our "heart" says another. That can be especially true when it comes to our faith. The Bible tells us faith is not "seen." We can know it, feel it, trust it, but we can't see it. And because we can't see it, we can sometimes "fool" ourselves into thinking it is not based on "truth." If we don't believe something to be 100% true, then our commitment to it won't be either. That is why Easter is so important to us Christians. Easter is a time when a confirmation of all of Jesus' claims and prophecies came to be 100% true. When He said He was God and would be raised from the grave was true. Everything He told and foretold has come true, not one has been able to be refuted. This is really good news. It is good news because when He says He will love, and care for us, it is true. We can trust it. When He says He will meet our needs, we can trust His words. When He says I am coming back to claim those who have put their trust in Him is true, and will happen. When He says those who have trusted Him will never die, but will live with Him forever, is true. It is also true that those who do not believe what He says and choose not to follow Him will live their eternity outside of the love and care of a Living God forever. That can be the biggest disconnect the brain and body can make and it is one which has eternal realities. My hope and prayer is we can all celebrate the truth of Easter in our lives each and every day.

    Update:

    Join us for our Easter Service this Sunday at 9:45 at the Lemonade Stand. The service will follow with a celebration luncheon. Please invite your friends and family to come celebrate Jesus triumph over the grave with us this Sunday.

    Early bird registration for family camp closes tomorrow. If you are planning on going to camp and want to receive an early bird discount, be sure to get your registration postmarked by April 1st into the conference office.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 23th, 2015

    This is the first time in six years our family is without high school basketball. The first time without going to club ball, or a spring league game or practice. It is also the first time my youngest daughter hasn't had to get ready for a next season. I am not as sad as it is just different. Basketball has been such a big part of our lives and even though my oldest daughter is still playing at UCSD, it is weird not having anything local. Both my daughters had good individual careers and the high school team did really well. Even though we have plaques, trophies, awards, pictures, and rings from the successes of their careers, it didn't change the reality of not having another season. I am not sad, it is just different (did I already mention that). I actually thought I would feel different considering the success we all rooted for the past 6 years. I thought I would feel satisfied and content knowing what big accomplishments they achieved. Even though the excitement of being in the championship game 2 years in a row still lingers, I don't feel content or satisfied. I don't feel that way because past accomplishments don't carry you through the ongoing challenges and changes in life. There is always something new around each corner and you can't just pull a plaque off the wall and apply it to your situation.

    The reason we don't feel satisfied is because God doesn't want us to get to comfortable with this life. He wants us to be excited for what He has planned out for our eternal future. If we are content with this life, then our desire for "more" will dissipate. God is not a God of "just enough", He is a God of "abundance", of "everlasting", of "exceedingly more", of "beyond understanding", and of "more than we can imagine." So we can all move forward building our trust in a God who promises a life beyond our boldest imagination if we don't get too content with this life and its accomplishments.

    Update:

    Family Camp registration is open and an early bird discount is available until April 1st. Camp dates are July 26th thru July 31st. Please pick up your registration at the counter or contact Pastor Keith.

    The Anchor will have one service for Easter. Our Easter service will begin at 9:45 and will be followed by a fellowship luncheon. Invite your friends and family out to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Attached is an invite with the details of our service.

    ZOE is having an info & shopping event to learn about their LA Children's home. Click here to see the flyer with details.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 16th, 2015

    My wife's car had her "maintenance" light blinking when she started the car last week which made her nervous about driving it. We learned the light blinks when the odometer reaches certain mile markers and reminds the owner to have your scheduled maintenance performed on the car. It doesn't indicate if anything is in need of repair or replacing, but when you have as many miles as we do on our van you just want to make sure you have it checked out so you can have a "peace of mind" when traveling. She also thought she heard a strange noise when she started it up. Although, we weren't sure if the noise is because the maintenance light flashes and you think something is wrong or if there is actually something wrong with the van. I asked her to try and make the sound of what she heard hoping we could pinpoint the source, but she said it was a "non-sound" or a sound she couldn't explain. I told her I would call our mechanic but it might be hard to explain what a non-sound or an unexplainable sound....sounds like. When I spoke with our mechanic, he laughed and said he would check it out and see if there was a non-sound that he could hear. We haven't gotten our van back yet, but I am curious to see what he finds. I hope he gives us a non-paying....paying invoice for the work as well.

    All of us have ideas within us that don't have "names" attached to it. Sometimes we call it vision, or intuition, but whether or not those ideas are big or small all of us have them. Many times, however, those ideas never become a reality. They don't become a reality because they don't ever get expressed. We keep them to ourselves. We might think our ideas are silly, stupid, small, or too much trouble and so those ideas die and are never able to realize any kind of potential. But what I have noticed is that most big things happen as a result of a small ideas. Do you think you could put a fried egg back in its original packaging? Or a butterfly back into its cocoon? Of course not. When we have ideas and our ideas are "fertilized", "incubated" and are eventually "hatched" they are much bigger than when we first thought of them. Once hatched, those ideas have the potential to do all sorts of wonderful things. Ideas can solve problems, bring new success into an organization, encourage relationships, or change a life depending on the "name" your idea attaches itself too. As a follower of Jesus, we attach the "name" to our ideas, and call it faith. The Bible tells us by "faith we can move a mountain." When our faith is fertilized, incubated and hatched it comes out a lot bigger than we could ever have thought. It can't fit back into its original packaging. However, if we just keep our faith to ourselves, then our faith can die out and will never be able to realize its full potential. I have an idea, if you want to see God really move in your life, express your faith. It will change its original packaging forever.

    Update:

    Family camp registration is up an running. Camp dates are July 26 - July 31st, and if you sign up by April 1st you can save $50 per registration (That is no April fools joke). If you need a scholarship or can give towards one please contact Pastor Keith.

    Please invite your friends and family to our Easter service on April 5th. We will be having one service at 9:45, for both the English and Nichigo together to celebrate our Lord's resurrection. A luncheon will follow our service.

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 9th, 2015

    The person who cuts my hair always tells me to come back every 3 or 4 weeks for a tuneup. But that seems like such a short time in between considering I just get a buzz cut. I usually go back at around week 8 or 9, or when I actually have to do something with my hair to make it look kept. I have noticed when I let my hair grow out it makes me look more grey and it lays in weird patterns. It looks like I could actually be a Star Wars character. I usually don't care how I go out in public ( as most of you have already realized) but I also don't want to stop caring all together. So around week 8 or 9, you just never know what you are going to get with my appearance. Sometimes you might get "normal" or you could get Star Wars.

    When it comes to God, we sometimes think He is always going to show up in a certain "way" or "form." We expect Him to answer our prayers, come to our rescue, or appear in ways which make sense to us. But God does not want to be limited to our imagination, logic, senses, or expectations. He is bigger than that and He will show up in "ways" in which we don't expect or when we might expect it. The Bible tells us "His ways are not our ways." In the Bible, there is the story of Jesus walking on the water in the middle of a storm and those who could see Him thought He was a ghost. It wasn't until they got a better look at Him that they knew it was actually Jesus. In the "storms" of life, God doesn't always show up in the "ways" in which we expect or want Him too. He shows up in the way which is "perfect" for any situation or circumstance. His presence is promised, but the "forms" of His presence isn't always obvious. That is because God wants us to trust Him no matter if we can "see" Him or not. Trust and faith is what a relationship with God is built on. The more faith we have, will lead to a deeper trust in Him, and it will give us a hope in anything we go through in life.

    update:

    Please invite your friends and family to our Easter Service on April 5th. We will have one service with both the Nichigo and English congregations at 9:45 @ Lemonade Stand (24100 Narbonne, Lomita, 90717) A potluck luncheon will follow. I have also attached an email invitation for you to send out.

    Family Camp registration is here. If you plan on going you can pick up a registration form on the counter. Dates are July 26th to July 31st at the Redwood Christian Camp. If you need a scholarship or can contribute towards a scholarship please contact Pastor Keith.

    On the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am we will be starting up a Men's Bible Study at the Lemonade Stand. It will be a good time to grab a cup of coffee and dig into God's Word.

    Thank you for your prayers for the kidnapped missionary Phyllis Soytor. She was released from her Nigerian captors last week. We are thanking the Lord for her release and safe return.

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - March 2nd, 2015

    I have watched hundreds of basketball games and I have yet to see a game where the fans haven't complained about the refs. Of course the refs have a really tough job and are only able to please 50% of the crowd with each call that is made. Even if they make the right call they still will not be able to satisfy everyone. That is because everyone has a different way of interpreting the rules and how it should be applied. Most fans (parents) apply the rules so their team gets the benefit from the call. If the refs don't make calls in their favor then we have some very unhappy people and they usually aren't shy about voicing their displeasure. Many times there are so many complaints it seems like the refs aren't watching the same game as everyone else. When it gets that bad you can lose track of the game itself. You get so emotionally tied up in the reffing that your frustration can distract you from the game. The only relief you will find when that happens is if your team wins. Then it seems like you can overlook the reffing. But if you are on the losing end, it is hard to let it go. You blame the refs for the loss and it will take you awhile to get over the injustice. Even if you lose a gazillion to 5, you will still blame the refs.

    Perspective is an interesting deal isn't it? We can all look or watch something and see something completely different. It is like looking at the "blue and black/gold and white" dress which is in the news. When the difference of opinion becomes really wide, we might ask ourselves, "are they looking at the same thing I am?" For those who follow Jesus, the Bible tells us we won't see things as those who do not follow Jesus. We will see things from a "higher" perspective as the Holy Spirit leads and guides us into applying God's truth to any situation we might face. In applying God's truth not everyone will be happy with it. Some will disagree, think we are crazy, or close minded, but in the end we are called to do what God asks. But are hope is in knowing a "win" will allow us to get past the hardships, frustration, and injustice we might feel while we are in the middle of whatever we are going through. Our "win" of course is having a supernatural "peace" which God gives us when we are in his care. Our peace isn't dependent upon luck or circumstance, but on the hope of knowing God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives, if we are able to "see" it.

    Update:

    Please pray for my daughter Taylor this week. She is playing in her conference playoff's this week and we want the refs to make all the right calls for her UCSD team.

    On Easter, we will be having one service with both the Nichigo and English together. The service will be at 9:45am, on April 5th @ Lemonade Stand. The service will be followed by a potluck luncheon. Please invite your friends and family out to celebrate our risen Jesus.

    Family Camp registration is out. If you would like to go to family camp this year, please pick up a registration form on the counter. The dates are July 26th - July 31st @ Redwood Christian Camp. If you need a scholarship or can contribute towards a scholarship please contact Pastor Keith.

    Please continue to pray for Rev. Phyllis Sortor. She is a Free Methodist missionary in Nigeria who was kidnapped last week. Here is a CNN news article which gives more details of her kidnapping. http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/24/africa/nigeria-us-woman-kidnapped/index.html

    keith

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 5th, 2015

    Living with a household of females has certain unspoken rules that need to be adhered to in order to survive. The most important of course is to learn to put the toilet seat down after I use it. Early on when I didn't have any kids, I just relied on Lisa's instincts to check to see if it was done. But later as the girls got older there were a few times when I forgot, and in the middle of the night with the lights dim or off they would scream as they fell through the larger opening of the white porcelain. It only takes a couple of times and scoldings from your daughters to shake you into making a habit of putting the seat down. In fact, I can't remember the last time I got into trouble for not putting the seat down. And then the other day, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and use the bathroom before going to bed. I brushed my teeth and then moved over to use the toilet and saw that the seat was up. I was so confused and thought to myself did I already use the bathroom when I walked in but forgot that I had to go, and why do I have to go again if I just went. I had to use the bathroom so I must have just forgot that I already had gone. Or I thought I really needed to cut down on my water consumption because if I did go and it only takes a couple minutes to brush my teeth, then I am in for a long night of getting up. Then I realized it wasn't me and I wasn't loosing my mind. My daughter had some friends over and one of them didn't put the seat down. His parents obviously need to go to parenting class. I was thankful that my bathroom patterns were normal, and also grateful nobody was seriously injured from falling deep within the well.

    There are many traditions, habits, or way of doing things which we all just take for granted now, without even remembering "why" we do the things we do or why we hold on to them. We do things without even having to think about it. That is, until the way we do things gets interrupted or someone else doesn't hold on to the sentiment which we might feel about something. When it happens many times we can get upset or even worse hold grudges against those who don't share the same feelings you have. Even though we have "mindlessly" gone through the motions for years we feel betrayed when someone else challenges the way we have always felt was the "best" or "only" way things should be done. But if we live our lives by going through the motions without ever understanding the reason "why" we do things, then we will never be able to truly experience the uniqueness that God created us to be. We eliminate the special talents, experiences, personalities, and gifts each one of us are called to contribute with. Habits, and traditions are not bad in of itself, we don't want to fall through the toilet, but it shouldn't keep us from looking each time we need to use the bathroom. God wants us to continually be challenged against complacency. He wants for us to renew the visions He has for our lives and to dream big dreams, even if it means changing the way we have always done things. We all know that growth happens when things are torn down and built back up. That is why God always allows us to go through difficult times or challenging seasons because He knows we will grow from them. Our job is to accept those opportunities and not just close them off because they are not the way we have always done things.

    Update:

    If you are interested in attending Cliff Rapp's retirement luncheon, tickets are $25, and you can purchase them by contacting Reiko Tarui. The luncheon will be held at the Orange Coast Free Methodist Church on March 7th, from 11 to 2pm. If you need a ride or can give a ride there is a carpool sign-up sheet on the counter in the main sanctuary area of the Lemonade Stand.

    If you have pics of a community service project either here or abroad or are involved in program at the Lemonade Stand can you send them to me. I am putting a pictorial collage up on the wall in the fellowship area. Pics from your short term mission, mochitsuki, girl scouts, Anchor club or other events like that is what I am looking for.

    We have been updating the events page on our website and have also linked the Nichigo's webpage to the anchorsouthbaychurch.org website for you to check out.

    Pastor Keith's 1/11/15 Sunday sermon ppt

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 12th, 2015

    Ever since traveling to Kenya, I have learned to keep both my wallet and cell phone in my front pocket. Although, it looks kind of stupid having the profiles of each of them in my front pant pockets, it just feels and seems more secure than the back. But having my wallet and cell phone in my front pocket does make it more difficult to pull out when I need it. I think the shape of the pocket doesn't make it easy to have a quick and easy access to either. It is especially hard to get to my cell phone because I have a rubber protective case that grabs the pocket whenever I try to pull out the phone. And if I am sitting down it is nearly impossible to get to my phone. I have nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to hurry and pull my phone out of my pocket to see who was calling me when I am on the road (as a passenger of course). However, the worst part of having your wallet and phone in your front pockets is when you take them out, the pockets usually come out with them. So, depending on how much you use your wallet and phone that day, it also means you are constantly pushing your pockets back into place. Well, over the holidays you tend to use both and instead of pulling my wallet and phone out of my pocket every few feet, I decided just to hold them in my hand. The only problem is I didn't notice when I had pulled out my wallet and cell both my pockets had come out and I didn't put them back into place. So, I walked around the mall with both my pockets hanging out of my pants like 2 bunny ears. Now, I don't pay too much attention about what I wear or how I appear in public, but I also don't want to look like a fool. Well, walking around with your front pockets hanging out looks and feels pretty foolish. After awhile I discovered my fashion faux pas and felt like an dumb, dumb. I then tried to retrace my steps to see how long I had been walking around with my pockets hanging out. If it was just a short time, then fine, but I don't think it was. I think it was pretty much the whole time I was in public view of everyone.

    There are so many things we do, or that cross our paths which can ruin our day, week, month, or season. And in of itself those incidents shouldn't matter and aren't really important at all. It might be a little embarrassing, make people laugh at us, or they may roll their eyes, but when you think about it....it shouldn't ruin your day. But it does. It does because we all care about what people think about us. We all want people to look and feel about us in a certain way. However, when our purpose in life is to try to keep up a certain image, or perception of others, we can sometimes miss the "real" purpose in our lives. We will spend all of our time and energy trying to repair those things which have changed people's perception of us and lose the contentment and peace that God's plan and purpose can give to us. The Bible tell us, "You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." God's purpose in your life allows you to laugh at yourself because His love and acceptance of us, does not depend on our appearance or image but on those things which give us meaning, direction, and contentment in our lives. When we know we are loved unconditionally, and that God has a plan for our lives, then we will no longer worry about the things which don't matter.

    update:

    Just a reminder for those who plan to attend Cliff Rapp's Retirement Luncheon that the reservations are due by February 3rd, if possible.

    The luncheon will be held on March 7, 2015, at the Orange Coast FM Church from 11 am to 2 pm. The cost will be $25 per person for the lunch. You can send your reservations in directly to Anchor Southbay if you do not attend a conference church. GIFT: If you like, you can give toward a gift for Cliff. You can either add it to your reservation check OR you can bring a card with the gift to the luncheon and place it in the “Gift Box” we will have available. If you have any questions, please call Rev. Ray Narusawa (310) 327-6165 or Reiko Tarui (310) 371-4609.

    keith

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    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - January 26, 2015

    While visiting my daughter at UCSD, me an Lisa wanted to get a snack before her game. We were close to the campus grocery store and decided to get something small to take into the game. As I was looking, I saw some tortilla chips for sale and decided to pick up a bag or 2. They were only 99 cents so I ended up buying a few bags for home as well. While we were at the counter purchasing the chips the cashier commented how spicy the chips were. I thought to myself, I don't mind, I love spicy food and she probably couldn't handle the spice like I could. Actually, I didn't even pay attention to her comment until we got home and I noticed a couple of bags we had bought were flavored with Ghost peppers. Ghost peppers are one of the spiciest peppers on this planet and on the back of the chip bag there is a warning you should wear gloves to eat the chips because it could burn your skin. No wonder she said it was HOT. Well, I had never had a Ghost pepper before and decided to try a chip to see if it was really that spicy. I took a chip and broke off a piece about the size of a dime and ate it. That little piece was so hot, I threw the whole bag out knowing there wasn't anyone at our house who could eat it. Then I drank about a gallon of water trying to dilute the sting in my mouth, but I think it only made it worse. The Ghost pepper lived up to it's reputation.

    A few days later we had some people over to eat and afterwards I began telling the story of how hot these chips were and how I threw out the whole bag because I couldn't handle the heat. I then remembered we still had one more bag and asked them if they wanted to try a few chips. I gave then my warning, but they were still eager to try. Unlike me, they didn't break off a small piece, they ate a couple of chips in all of it's glory. We all waited for their reaction and at first they said it was fine, but after a couple of chips more the heat started to get their attention. One of the guys started to talk with a lisp like his tongue was swollen and his eye sockets started sweating. The other didn't have any physical alterations to the heat, but it was definitely hot for him as well. They both survived and lived to tell of their feat. They even split the rest of the bag and took it home so they could share with their roommates. One of them texted me the next day and said his stomach was hurting, so I think the chips might have one that round.

    In life we constantly face risks and have to make decisions which aren't always safe. And we go back and forth as to whether or not we are going to play it safe or if we are going to go for it. Most decisions I think depend on the kind of personality you have and how much risk you are comfortable with. But as a Christian, I am wondering how "safety" has gotten to be such a strong value of ours. We all want safe, and we all want comfortable, but isn't it more important for God to be glorified then it is for us to be kept from harm. That is why we admired the doctors who treated the Ebola patients in West Africa. They knew the risks, but it was more important for God to be glorified than it was for them to be safe. In our everyday life, we also have those choices to make. Do we make our decisions based on our safety or our trust and faith in the God who promises to care for us, protect us, love us, prepare a place for us, provide for us, and be present with us no matter what the outcome is. We can miss out on so many opportunities God gives us when our top priority and value in life is safety. Don't let an opportunity from God pass you by because of your need to be safe.

    Update:

    This is the last week to sign up for Cliff Rapp's retirement luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the Orange Coast Free Methodist Church on Saturday, March 7th from 11 - 2 pm. and the cost is $25. You can reserve your spot with your PCJC church or you can send it in to the Anchor Southbay Church, PO Box 1659, Lomita, CA 90717. Attention Reiko Tarui.

    If you have a chance go check out Kansha Creamery. They are now open and their hours are 1 - 11pm. They have a wide range of homemade ice cream. I had the creamsicle and Lisa had a flavor called Universal, and we both loved, loved, it. Kansha is located on 18515 S. Western Ave., Torrance, 90248.

    keith

    click here to access KanshaCreamery.com website.

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    Pastor Keith's 2/1/15 Sunday sermon powerpoint file.

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    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - Feb 2nd, 2015

    I recently ate lunch at a fast food place which gave a souvenir cup with the purchase of a meal combo. The cup was plastic and had a nice little logo on it but it isn't a keepsake by any means. I also didn't buy the meal combo for the cup, I bought the combo because I am chubby. Although, I did fill it up with diet coke which made the combo meal come just under 3000 calories. It justified supersizing the meal. I brought the cup home, washed it and put it up with all of our other cups. For the last month or so, it has remained in the cupboard and hasn't moved. No one has used it and since it wasn't useful I decided to throw it into the "plastic" recycler to get rid of it. It felt weird to throw it away though. It is a convenient size, brand new, and it doesn't get in the way of anything. I knew I would use it for something someday. I decided to pull it out from the recycler, wash it and put it back in the cupboard. Every time I opened the cupboard and saw the cup it reminded me of its potential. Finally, that day came. I needed a cup which I could fill up with a large amount of ice and my favorite drink for a short trip. It worked out perfectly. I was able to sip on a cold drink for the entire 2 hour trip, and I only had to stop twice to use the bathroom. I knew that cup would come in handy.

    Each of us have a unique set of experiences, talents, abilities, gifts, and resources to be a blessing to someone else. And it doesn't matter at what stage in life you are in, or what you are going through, there is always an opportunity to lend a hand or encourage someone. God never wants anyone to be kept idle just sitting in a cupboard or on the shelf like a trophy. He wants everyone to be used to their highest capacity and to fulfill their potential as a blessing to each other. Even if you are limited in what you can offer, God will use whatever you give and will multiply it to whatever is needed. He is God, He doesn't need for you to be the solution to anything, He just wants a willingness to be used. In fact, many of the opportunities which you will come across is probably the answer to someone else prayer. Someone has prayed and asked God for help and the answer to their prayer might be you. You might be the perfect person that the all-knowing God has chosen to best help someone out. You might be the one to have the perfect words to encourage, the right abilities to help someone out, the right experiences to give wisdom, or the resources to help support them, if only you make yourself available to be used by God. Can you imagine the privilege of being the "answer" to someone's prayer?

    Update:

    If you are looking to get "plugged" into a small group or Bible study we have a few options. On Monday evening there is a young adult small group which meets at Wayne and Erin Katayama's place. Contact Wayne if you are interested. On Tuesdays, the Nichigo have a prayer and praise time at the Lemonade Stand from 7:30 to 9. On Wednesdays, Pastor Ken (from the church plant which meets at the Lemonade Stand) has a participant led Bible study in the book of James, from 7-9pm. This study is replaced by a prayer and worship time on the last Wednesday of each month, and we are welcome to join them for either. There is also a Thursday evening small group which meets each week. For details contact Keith. On the 3rd Tuesday of each month there is a men's Bible Study that meets at 9:30am. Please contact Pastor Ray if you are interested in coming. If none of these options work for you let me know and maybe we can begin forming new groups.

    Please continue to support Kansha Creamery in their new venture and ministry. Their ice cream is awesome, and the reason behind what they are doing is even more awesomer.

    Please pray for the Seattle Seahawks as they try to recover from being dumb.

    keith

    --

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - Feb 8th, 2015

    We got behind in our basketball game and went to a trapping defense. I was the point person chasing the ball and we were able to chase another old guy to the corner for the perfect trap. I was able to pop the ball out of his hands and the ball went straight up over our heads. All I had to do is jump up and get it. I took 2 steps and jumped as high as I could. I thought I was going to get the steal, but when I went to jump I only elevated about 2 inches off the ground. So some young guy just kind of stood there raised his arms and grabbed the ball. He was a little taller than me, but still I jumped as hard as I could. After the embarrassment of only getting 2 inches off the ground, I called for a sub. I was pouring sweat knowing I gave it my all, and yet I lost a jump ball to a guy who didn't even have to jump. I think I need to consider giving up my hoop dreams, but every time I try I end up buying more basketball shoes. So far, I have probably purchased 15 pairs of my "last" pair of bball shoes.

    It is so hard to change or give up things which have been such a big part of our lives. Even though we realize we are past our prime, there is just something in us that can't give up trying, or hoping to be the person we once were. It is who we are. And even if our skills,and physical abilities has diminished we want to continue to play. The key to continuing isn't to try to be what you once were, it is to be the "best" at where you are now. I am still a good 52 year old, low jumping, slow running, hoops player, if I play against other 50 year old players, but a laughing stock against those much younger. When God calls us to do whatever He calls us to do, He never calls us to be something we are not. He always calls us according to His purpose and will use us the gifts, experiences, skill, physical abilities, and passion we currently have. We never have to compare ourselves with others or feel inadequate because God is not limited to our human abilities, He is only limited by our availability. God can do whatever He wants with us, and through us if we say yes to being used by Him. But if we just give up and don't make ourselves available to Him, then everyone loses. Those who say no to God miss out on the blessing of serving Him, those who would have been served miss out on their blessing, and God misses out on the opportunity to be Glorified. God will use us for as long as we are available to Him. It doesn't matter how high you can jump, how fast you can run, or how well you can shoot, as long as you continue to play the game.

    Update:

    Family camp registration is now open. The dates for the camp this year is July 26th to July 31st, at Redwood Christian Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. There is also an early bird price for those who sign up early. Registration forms will be on the counter each Sunday. Also, if you are in need of a scholarship or can donate towards a scholarship please let me know.

    Please begin to pray for someone who you would like to invite to our united worship Easter service on April 5th. Lets pack the Lemonade Stand and celebrate the Lord's resurrection together. Service will start at 9:45, with a potluck luncheon to follow.

    keith

    --

    Pastor Keith's Weekly Update - Feb 23rd, 2015

    Recently, I was put on hold with the phone company trying to cancel one account and activate another. Of course there are a million security questions, pin numbers and account numbers you have to punch into just to get help. By the time you put in all the numbers it looks like you are trying to apply a "pi" equation to something. And if you are like me you don't always write things down which will also slow down the process. However, even when you get through there is still a number of security prompts you have to manage before they can begin to tackle your question or issue. When you finally have the opportunity to ask your question or explain your situation the service rep. will usually have to put you back on hold to research the problem and solution. That is where everything stops. You are put on "hold" for what seems like hours. You sit there and wait, and wait and wait. And every time you think a "live" person is back on the line, it is just the message service telling you to stay on the line until the next available service rep. can help you. So now you are in "no man's land." You don't want to hang up because you have invested an hour of your life to getting this far, but you have also waited for a long time and you are getting impatient. Even if you have a speaker phone you still have to pay attention because you don't want to miss the call. So you wait, and wait, and wait some more. When you finally get to talk to a live person you are probably both irritated and excited at the same time. Hopefully, when it is all said and done everything is taken care of. Even though the process was time consuming, maybe frustrating, the goal was to find a solution to your problem or at least have an understanding of the issue. When we are satisfied with the service, the process becomes worth the effort.

    There are many, many things in life which can be frustrating, doesn't work, we don't have an understanding of something, it goes against our plans, we don't have a solution, or it is just too big for us. There are all kinds of reactions to those situations that we can try. Some of us pray, some might get mad, some might give up, others might ask for help, or just try to forget, but whatever we try we will never feel at "peace" if we are stuck in "no man's land." A place where you are too far in to be able to back up, and a place where you can't see the solution at the end. So what are you supposed to do to get out of "no man's land?" Well, for those who have a faith in God, the key is to stay connected. Even in our impatience, we need to stay on hold because God is on the other side of the line. He has the answers, the solutions, and most importantly the timing or whatever our situation requires. If in our impatience, anger, frustration, or whatever else you decide to try and find a solution outside of Him, and you break the connection and hang up, you also lose your ability to move forward. You will get stuck. God is all about the "process." He wants our faith to be strengthened and our character formed as we trust in His ways.

    Update:

    Family Camp registration is open. The dates for camp is July 26th to July 31st @ Redwood Christian Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. For more information please contact Pastor Keith. Also if you need a scholarship or can contribute towards a scholarship please let me know.

    Please come join us for our Easter Service celebration on April 5th at 9:45 at the Lemonade Stand. Both English and Nichigo congregations will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus together in one service. A potluck luncheon will follow.

    I am emailing you from my new email address. It is keith@anchorsouthbaychurch.org. I will be slowly transitioning to this email over the next few months, but it is available now if you want to make the change.

    Pastor Wayne will be speaking through the book of John again this week.

    keith

    ==

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