Website Redesign

Posted on: Thu, 09/17/2009 - 10:45 By: Trey Rowzie

The site has been in the middle of an upgrade and redesign over the past few weeks. So, feel free to visit and send me a comment about what you think about the new place.

Unfortunately, I'm still in the process of importing the older blog entries and other articles. Please check back later if you're interested in reading them.

Thanks for visiting.

Lord Bless,
Trey Rowzie

What does your "Word Cloud" look like?

Posted on: Thu, 08/20/2009 - 22:25 By: Trey Rowzie
"Word Cloud" of the New Testament

(Photo: "Word Cloud" of the New Testament)
Earlier this year, I was experimenting with Wordle.net; a pet project of Jonathan Feinberg of IBM Research (and, of all things, former drummer of They Might Be Giants) to create "word clouds." A word cloud is visualization of the frequencies of words used in a given document. It was quite interesting to use famous documents or websites to see what frequent words appeared.

Of course, it was normally very predictable... plug in copy of the New Testament and what are the top words? "God", "Jesus", "Christ", "Lord" ... just what you might expect. But there were still a fair share of little surprises as well. Try the site and see for yourself.

Later as I was showing the site to a friend, I started thinking about how we naturally create our a kind of word clouds when we deal with others. Think about people you know... how would you describe each of them? Sports Fan? Connoisseur? Movie Critic? Outdoors Adventurist? Bookworm? Now, outside of watched them in action, most likely you came to these conclusions about them by what they talked about most.

Jesus said in Luke 6:45, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." (See James 3 as well)

What comes out of your mouth? If it was all gathered and tallied, what does your "word cloud" look like?

 

T-Minus 40 years ago and counting...

Posted on: Tue, 07/14/2009 - 06:03 By: Trey Rowzie
We Choose The Moon

I wanted to make a little plug for an interesting website designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

"We Choose the Moon" (www.wechoosethemoon.org) was created by the JFK Presidential Library with a novel approach to celebrating this historic mission to the moon. They have created an interactive experience that is designed to recreate the Apollo 11's mission in real time. The idea is that it would be as if we were watching the mission live 40 years ago.

So, If you're like me and only learned about the Apollo 11 Landing second hand, it has an interesting appeal. (It seems I celebrated this technological marvel by getting christened and spending the rest of the day drooling on a baby blanket). But instead of gathering in front of the flickering tube on olive shag carpet surrounded by faux wood paneling, we'll have to settle with following the mission through desktop apps, streaming video, or via email and Twitter updates. ;)

The live event begins 9:32 AM EDT July 16, 2009. Exactly 40 years after Apollo 11 lifted off.

Nagasaki Weekend Trip

Posted on: Mon, 03/09/2009 - 08:55 By: Trey Rowzie
Observing a few "lilies" (tulips) of the field at "Huis Ten Bosch

(Photo: Observing a few "lilies" (tulips) of the field at "Huis Ten Bosch")

I joined a group from Kyoto Assembly Church on a weekend excursion to Kyushu, the southern most main island in Japan. We traveled by ferry from Osaka and spend Saturday traveling and visiting "Huis Ten Bosch", a theme park design based on Holland. Since the place was filled with tulip gardens, I guess it's not surprising the verse that came to mind but the passage seemed to follow me as we later traveled to Nagasaki for other reasons.

"Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!"
- Matthew 6:28-30 (NASB)

When we arrived in Nagasaki, we first visited the 26 Martyrs Memorial. This was in memory of the Catholics martyred after the newly former Shogun government outlawed Christianity in 1587.  They were captured in Kyoto and Osaka and forced marched to Nagasaki to be crucified in 1597.  One of the most powerful things at the museum was a final speech of one of Japanese martyrs, Paul Miki, saying that he was not being executed for committing a crime but only because he believed in Jesus. He finished by saying that just as Jesus forgave on the Cross, he forgave the Shogun for his actions. And even knowing the persecution that awaited them, he still commended people to accept Jesus.

  (Photo: The group waiting for the train at an old style station)

Later we visited Oura Chapel, possibly the oldest standing church building in Japan. It is also a memorable site because this was where the "kakure kirishitan" ("hidden followers") from Urakami revealed themselves to the French priest Bernard Petitjean at Oura in 1865. They had survived through "300 years of fierce persecution" by hiding their religious practices in Buddhist and Shinto customs.

On Sunday, we visit Nagasaki Baptist Church to worship. They have a tradition to start each service at 11:02 in memory of those lost in the atomic blast. However, even with this sober reminder, everyone was all very warm and welcoming to this American.

Finally, we ended our trip at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. Needless to say, it was tough to visit; but needful. There was so much that I didn't know. It was surprised to learn that Nagasaki was not the primary target but chosen in-flight because of cloud/smoke cover over the primary target. Also, that ground zero was Urakami, the home of the hidden followers. With such coincidences, it left me wondering why should such a thing happen to Nagasaki. 

One of the final exhibits was the story of Dr. Takashi Nagai who was known as the "saint of Urakami." Although he survived, his wife was in town at the time of the blast. Later, he could only identify his wife's carbonized body by the rosary she was wearing. And as he in grief held her remains, he later wrote that, her voice seems to murmur: forgive, forgive. Although his body was already suffering from leukemia and then damaged by the blast and radiation sickness, Dr. Nagai still used the last few years of his life to the physical and emotional healing of the victims and also as a prolific writer.

In light of the brief history lesson I received that weekend, I see Nagasaki now as city that has bared untold sorrows but still persevered and even thrived. So, this seems a fitting closing verse.

For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
- 1 Peter 2:19 (English Standard Version)

 

Valentines and very special birthday

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2009 - 12:58 By: Trey Rowzie
Singles Fellowship at Assembly Kyoto Church

(Photo: Singles Fellowship at Assembly Kyoto Church)

Surprisingly, this Valentine's weekend was a very enjoyable and encouraging time. Saturday night, I visit my Fusion friends in Nishinomiya again. Then Sunday evening, I joined a singles fellowship at Assembly Kyoto Church. On a day that is dedicated to love, it was a pleasure to be with those who love God.

On a different note, I wanted to thank each of you again for the many prayers for my grandmother, Mimi. On Wednesday, she celebrated her 97th birthday. With the first news of her stroke, it didn't seem to me that she would even make her birthday. God is merciful.

I was able to finally get her on the phone to wish her a happy birthday. Although I had hoped for a longer conversation, she seemed a bit confused about my call and I guess I caught her after her bedtime. But she at least recognized my voice and was happy for the call.

Thank you again for your continued prayers on her behalf.

Prayer Request for my Mimi

Posted on: Thu, 01/22/2009 - 03:27 By: Trey Rowzie
Mimi

I just got an email from my dad today about my grandma, Margaret (Mimi) Rowzie. She's 96 and my only living grandparent.

He says that Mimi had some sort of stroke ("TIA or CVA") last week. I don't have all the news on this but it seems that she's lost a lot of mobility and she can't even initiate conversations. It also seems that her short term memory has been severely affected.

For all that are able, I ask that you pray with me for Mimi. Please pray that God would be merciful to her in her current suffering. And since the day seems to be approaching, please continue to pray that she would be ultimately prepared to meet the Lord of All through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior.

Thank you.

(Photo: Mimi and me on her birthday during my last visit in 2006)

2008/01/26 Update:
Although there has been no update on Mimi's condition, I have been very encouraged by the personal notes of support and confirmation that many dear friends and brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for my dear grandmother and for me and my family.

Much thanks to each one of you!

Happy New Year!

Posted on: Thu, 01/01/2009 - 00:00 By: Trey Rowzie

2009-01-01_Akemashite
(Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu)

Happy New Year!

I pray that the Lord of Heaven and Earth richly blesses each of you with His peace and rest this new year.

In Christ,
Trey

Forty Years Later, A Christmas Message from Space

Posted on: Wed, 12/24/2008 - 01:37 By: Trey Rowzie
Earthrise

Photo courtesy of NASA: Earth hanging like a Christmas ornament in space)

The year is 1968 and with world in turmoil, Apollo 8, the first manned trip to the Moon,  enters orbit on Christmas Eve. 

That evening, the crew sent their historic Christmas greeting to Earth which included the now famous photo of the Earth rising from the Lunar horizon. A view that Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell would later comment, "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."

Mark Marbry

Posted on: Tue, 08/19/2008 - 05:11 By: Trey Rowzie
Mark Marby

(Photo: Mark on his way back to Tokyo)

When I first moved to Japan, you'll not be surprised to hear that the first few months were quite difficult to adjust. During that time, a group of my dear brothers from New Covenant visited Ikoma to help build the new Ikoma Chapel building. One of those men was Mark Marbry. Mark along with another team also returned about a year later to host a retreat with the hopes to encourage the ICM staff.

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