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Relearning Life

Forget “normal” — for better or for worse we’ve entered 2020 and there’s no coming back. Things are different now, and everyone’s adjusting to life these days. Our family has had a fair amount of adjusting to do, just as our latest episode of Life in Japan shows. We’ve had to relearn how to do life in Japan!

Our prayer is that during this time you can discover how much God loves you and desires to protect you, guard you and provide for you. He doesn’t force His love on anybody — He leaves it up to each and every person to respond to Him, but his desire is that everybody respond to His great love in Jesus Christ.

To respond to God’s love, you need to put your hope in God and his Word. We use the word “hope” a lot these days — “I hope things go back to normal soon.” Or “I hope the economy rebounds quickly.” Or “I hope________ recovers quickly.” The way we speak reveals where our hope is placed. And each and every one of our hopes and fears are built on our beliefs. When our hope and beliefs are based on anything but our loving Heavenly Father and His Word, then our hope is shaky at best, just as 2020 is showing us.

But if you hope on God and His Word, then it changes you and strengthens you. You know that He will be faithful to fulfill his promises to guide, protect and provide for those who love Him and respond to his love by living by His Word. Living by the Word of God is so much better than anything else — his Word speaks life and loving correction, His Word guides us, encourages us and strengthens us. No other news does that — the news today is all of death, disease, disaster and tumult. God’s Word is full of unshakeable truth. The news today is a roller coaster of stress. God’s Word is peace in the midst of the storm.

If you need some good news today — and who doesn’t? — open up God’s Word, the Bible, and start reading. Let it challenge you and change you. The Gospel of John is a good place to start. See how God in Jesus has come to give us hope and a future. 2020 may be a terrible year in many regards, but if you discover God and his love for you through it, then you will have found what is most important in life, and that is a very good thing.

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Lives

Happy Easter!

It’s time to celebrate the greatest event in history — enjoy this special one hour premiere of our Paz Church online Easter Celebration, featuring great songs, a special kids music presentation and a message about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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LIJ Episode Lives Videos

TGIF

This Friday — Good Friday — marks our 50th episode of Life in Japan! It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the milestone of 50 episodes, but here we are, and what better way to celebrate than on Good Friday, the day we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross 2,000 years ago to restore our relationship with the Heavenly Father and bring us life, joy, peace and so many other blessings. We would not be the happy people we are today without God’s love, the love of Jesus, in us.

The message of Good Friday and Easter weekend is one that resounds throughout the ages, and it never loses its power. With everything in today’s world out of whack, only the power of God operating in us can bring things back together as they should be. Is your life perfect? Then you don’t need God. But if you’re like me, you realize that you are far from perfect. It’s not our strength that God is attracted to — it’s our weakness. Because when we realize we are weak, He is there to be strong for us. And in God, anything is possible. God bless you this Easter Weekend! May the love of God abound to you more and more.

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Lives

The Strangest Spring

This has been the strangest spring I can remember. Schools are closed, people are working from home as much as possible and it snowed with the sakura in full bloom. Nowhere in the world was prepared for what would happen this year, and as a world-wide Corona shutdown lingers on, and even threatens to make things worse, one wonders how far things will go before we emerge from this crisis.

But with kids and adults back home, we have an unprecedented chance to focus on our families again — the very relationships that make up the base of a strong society. While we are typically pulled in many different directions, now the circumstances have brought us together, and if we take advantage of it, can bring our lives closer to the purpose that God had for us all along. It is a most unusual Spring indeed. How we respond to it will make us or break us.

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Lives

Tokyo’s Quasi Quarantine

Tokyo’s in quarantine. And it isn’t. There is a strange paradox happening right now as parts of society in Japan (such as schools and large events) are shut down, but other parts of society (day cares, restaurants, parks) are up and running — some busier than ever! With the flowering of the Cherry-Blossom trees, the government of Tokyo recently asked people to stay inside this weekend and not go out and clog up the parks. But the government stops short from mandating anything, leaving it as a suggestion. It almost seems up to you to decide whether or not what you are doing is essential. These are certainly strange times, just as our newest video shows.