Pastor Appreciation Month · 14 October 2017

October is Pastor Appreciation month, so I want to say a few words to thank the pastors and directors at our church for all they do.

We go to Cascade Community Church in Monroe, Washington and I must say that our pastors do a fantastic job. They preach and teach. They offer comfort and kind words. They officiate at weddings and funerals. They pray. Those are the things that people see, but they do so much more behind the scenes. They make sure there are outreach programs. They help to provide for the needy. They organize and prioritize. They figure out what churches to plant and what missionaries to support. Most of all, they give, give, give of themselves. They live a life of service that the rest of us take for granted. A life that just a few words of thanks are not enough to show appreciation.

Still, as inadequate as the words are, I will say them. Thank you Cascade pastors and directors for all those things you do. Things that we see and things that we do not see.

While I appreciate all the things I mentioned, there is one message that I think I appreciate most of all from the pastors and directors at our church. We hear over and over again that if the only time we are hearing the words of the Bible is on Sundays, then we are missing the boat. (Think of Noah.)

I like this message for many reasons. (Besides the Noah pun.)

One of the main reasons I like the message to read the Bible is that we need to read the Bible. Period. People say that they know what it says, but they may have only read “In the beginning…” or some other passage. Or they may never have read it at all. Still, it has been a book of conversation and controversy for all of the over two thousand years since it was written. So if people are going to argue about what the Bible says, they ought to at least know for themselves what it really says. After all, words are much harder to misquote when you actually know them.

The other main reason I like the message to read the Bible is because I love God’s word, and want to know what it says without anybody filtering or misinterpreting it for me. Which is why I appreciate our pastors. They do not try to misinterpret what the Bible is saying. They just read it and expound on it without giving a personal or political bent. They let the words speak for themselves and explain some of the historical and other nuances. And they give us practical and timely applications for those words. After all, the Bible is God’s living word. And no matter how many times we read it, we get the right messages at the right times when we are reading it all the time. When we are following the advice of our professional holy people and putting God’s words in our hearts. Especially, when we do so more than one day a week.

So thank you again pastors and directors of Cascade Church. Especially, for your clear and consistent message to read and know God’s Word.

I know that these few words of appreciation are completely inadequate for thanking the pastors and directors at our church for all they do. After all, they do so much. But like I said, I am most thankful that they show us and tell us not to just read God’s word, but to know God’s word. To me, those are the most important words that anybody can say from the pulpit or model in their daily lives. So thank you. That message is a big reason why I appreciate our pastors and directors more than just in the month of October, Pastor Appreciation month.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Red Lights · 7 October 2017

I do not know if it is a phenomenon outside of our town, but I see somebody run a red light almost every day.

I drive through the intersection of Main and Highway 2 in Monroe at least twice each day. The times vary slightly, but some car, truck, van, or other vehicle seems to run a red light every day. When I am at the front waiting for my own light to turn green, I look both ways to make sure the coast is clear. Usually, just before the light turns, but I also make sure on the way through. Just in case I missed seeing some vehicle speeding through still trying to make it even though (since I am going) the light on the cross street is obviously red.

Now, I know that if a vehicle is in the intersection when the light actually turns red, it is not running a red light (as long as it makes it all the way through the intersection). Maybe I am wrong, but it seems there are vehicles that are not even close to the intersection when the light turns red for them. Thankfully, I have not seen anybody literally crashing through yet, but people do seem to be ignoring the rules of the road.

Which got me to thinking. (I know that is dangerous.) What I wondered was whether the timing on traffic lights has changed over the years. I wondered if there was some delay between when a light turned red on one side and the light turned green on the crossing street.

I wondered this because I have seen so many people run the light and yet I have witnessed no accidents. Of which I am certainly glad.

I suppose that it could also be that not all the people I see speeding through have actually run red lights but got into the intersection before the light changed. In fact, I know that is often the case. But I have also seen many instances where the light was definitely red, and the vehicle sped through anyway.

I have shared this observation with our children. They drive through the same light and other lights where I have certainly seen drivers plow through reds, and so I let them know that they cannot just blindly enter an intersection. Even when they have a green light. It does not make total sense, but it is part of driving defensively. And I certainly want my children to be aware. Regardless of how old they are.

Whether people are just going through yellow lights and I cannot see or there is some delay between turning red on one side and green on the other does not really make that much difference to how I drive. Even when I have a green light, I will still make sure the coast is clear before I go through any intersection. After all, I do not want to be in the way of all those people I have seen run through the red lights.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published October 2017 in Sky Valley Living



The Bee Gees? Really? · 30 September 2017

“Night fever, night fever
We know how to do it.”

I was a teen in the seventies and early eighties. So I know a little about discos and dancing and the music that goes with it. I still like some of that music (but do not tell anybody). Still, I have no idea how Night Fever gets stuck in my head every so often.

I like the Bee Gees as much as the next guy. Okay, probably less than some and more than a lot. Still, I have no idea how Night Fever got stuck in my head. Or at least I did not until I wrote that last sentence. In fact, as I wrote it, I figured out exactly how it got stuck in my head. It has been sitting there since the seventies when I got my first stereo.

My first stereo was actually just an eight-track tape player. It had a built in amplifier and came with speakers, and it was heaven. I could listen to music all day and all night. At least if my parents let me.

Of course, after I got my eight-track, I did not have much music to listen to. Fortunately, back in those days, there were music clubs, which were a great way to get new music to come right to your door. (There was no internet yet.) So I joined one.

For those of you who have always had the internet, eight-tracks were high fidelity equipment that came out before good cassette tape players. These were before CD players and mp3 players and smart phones. That meant that you had to get eight-track tapes, which you could buy at stores or you could get through a music buying club. These music clubs were set up so that you could order a bunch of music at one time as an introductory offer, then you would get a new tape every month for as long as you were in the club. Now, I am not sure why I got an eight-track player instead of a phonograph, but I did. (If I had bought a phonograph, I might be able to take advantage of the comeback vinyl has been making for years and years.)

Believe it or not, one of the first eight-tracks that I got was the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. And you guessed it, Night Fever, night fever was in that movie and thus on that soundtrack.

Well, since I only had a few eight-tracks in the beginning, I played the same ones over and over and over again. So much so that forty years later, Night Fever, night fever is still playing in my head. And while the Bee Gees may know how to do it, I do not. At least if it is getting Night Fever out of my head.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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