by Joe Yoshihara on October 1st, 2020
It seems that we’ve spent the better part of 2020 in crisis mode, trying to fight against the invisible enemy of COVID-19. The physical threat from the virus, especially to our loved ones who are most vulnerable, has been piled onto by the cascade of all of the falling dominos that have come because of it – isolation, children trying to learn remotely, parents caring for kids while trying to maint...
Talking Religion and Politics
by Joe Yoshihara on August 27th, 2020
As we enter the four-year spin-cycle of the presidential election, the unwritten rule for many family dinners and social gatherings is to talk about anything but religion and politics. No doubt, this aversion to talk about these volatile subjects comes with the hope that everyone can get through the gathering without bloodshed or at least avoid a heated argument. The reason these two topics have b...
Is Jesus Coming Soon?
by Joe Yoshihara on August 13th, 2020
Early into the pandemic I was asked the question, ‘is Christ coming back soon?’ It’s a legitimate question that is often asked when there are significant, catastrophic events – whether man made (wars, anarchy, genocide, widespread human depravity, global economic recessions) or “acts of God” – (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, drought, blood moons, and yes, pandemics). What struc...
To Forgive and Remember
by Joe Yoshihara on July 22nd, 2020
As our country continues to deal with generations of racism and injustice, Christians can and should feel conflicted. Peaceful protests can suddenly erupt into violent anarchy. Discussions of reforming law enforcement and weeding out bad officers, pivots to defunding police departments entirely. Affirming that black lives matter as a movement, yet not wanting that to be construed as agreeing with ...
The Habit of Gathering
by Joe Yoshihara on July 2nd, 2020
“24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25It’s hard to believe that our last time physically gathering together as a church family for corporate worship was on March 15, almost four months ago. During that time...
The Messiness of Unity
by Joe Yoshihara on June 18th, 2020
“ 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents…” – Philippians 1:27-28During my years of playing basketball I’ve had the fortune of playing on some exce...
by Joe Yoshihara on June 12th, 2020
“9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11Coming off last week’s panel discussion with Pastor Micah, Pastor DeWayne, ...
Steps in the Race
by Joe Yoshihara on June 5th, 2020
During the time of Judah’s exile in Persia, the prophet Nehemiah received word concerning a remnant of Jews who had escaped the exile and were living in Jerusalem. The report described a broken people, crumbled city walls and gates destroyed by fire. Nehemiah responded with anguished weeping, mourning, and fasting. As he cried out to God, he said,“…let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to ...
With Liberty and Justice for All
by Joe Yoshihara on May 28th, 2020
“…with liberty and justice for all.” Those words stand tall in the collective conscience of our nation. Most of us will recognize those meaty words as the closing refrain to our pledge of allegiance. This week there were two events that gave me pause and a chance to reflect on those words. The first was our annual Memorial Day holiday and my time serving as the co-chaplain for the Nisei Veterans ...
by Joe Yoshihara on May 21st, 2020
One of the blessings of the ‘stay at home’ order is that families have been spending a lot of time together. Rita and I go on walks together and we often see husbands and wives along with children walking or riding their bikes together, dads shooting baskets with their kids, building things with them, kicking soccer balls…In the midst of a global pandemic and a weakening economy, many families hav...
by Joe Yoshihara on May 14th, 2020
It’s been almost four months since Kobe Bryant died in the tragic helicopter accident that shocked and shook our country and was felt in other parts of the world as well. No doubt that this aviation tragedy made the news and stayed in our collective conscience and conversations largely because Kobe Bryant was a basketball icon. Bryant’s accomplishments included 5 NBA titles, 15 All-NBA team select...
Opportunities Disguised as Interruptions
by Joe Yoshihara on May 7th, 2020
A couple of weeks ago, Rita, Kyle, and I donated blood as part of the Bloodworks NW blood drive. It was exciting to see our ministry center transformed into a pop-up donation center and filled with people from the community giving this precious, life-saving resource. There was a wonderful sense of being part of a worthy cause as people from all walks of life are stepping up to care for others. The...