LIJ Episode Videos

Grocery Shopping in Japan

When it comes to grocery shopping in Japan, there are a myriad of options. You can go the route of convenient and practical, near the train stations and along the way. There are many stores like this and can be very handy when in a pinch. If you want to save money, you can go to a number of different stores that are limited on selection and space but have a great price. And then there are the beautiful, large supermarkets where you can find just about anything, if you’re willing to pay a little more. It’s all here in Japan.

Not just your body needs food…

While preparing this video I kept thinking about the famous words of Jesus “Man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Did you know that your soul, your spirit needs food just as much as your body does? Without proper nutrition, your soul and spirit starve into hopelessness, depression and despair. But with proper nutrition, the soul and spirit can thrive just as the body does. Jesus said “My words are spirit and they are life.” To interact with Jesus and His words bring health and life to the spirit just as a good meal brings nutrition to the body.

Has you been feeding your soul and spirit with good spiritual food? If not, I suggest a healthy meal of the book of the Gospel of Luke in the Bible. There you will read of the story of Christmas and the life of Christ and ask God to fill your spirit with life as you read His words.

LIJ Episode Lives Videos

Living the Best Life

It’s tempting to think that life is better somewhere else, and it’s true that trips and vacations bring happiness for a moment, but when that moment is passed, only a memory remains. A truly rewarding life is built in everyday moments, prioritizing our families and communities. The way we live our normal life determines whether or not we will will enjoy a high quality of life or not. Here’s some of the secrets we’ve found for living the best life.

5 Secrets for Living the Best Life

Involve Others: Good friends and family know that one of the best ways to build good relationships is by spending time together. But it’s more than just spending time together. It’s involving others when you’re just going out to the grocery store, or inviting your child to help you make pancakes, or inviting a friend out when you need to go shopping. I’ve heard it said “If you want to get something done right, then you have to do it yourself” and many times I have subscribed to that thought. But the longer you go it alone to “do it right,” the further distanced you will become from others, ultimately losing what really matters: good relationships.

Get Engaged with Your Neighborhood: We’re learning Japanese because we live in Japan and we’re not just satisfied with skating by on our simple level of Japanese. We want to really get to know people, make good friendships and be a blessing to our community. To do that, learning Japanese is essential. We don’t expect others to learn English, we will rise up and learn Japanese. And in the process, we have met so many incredible people that want to get to know us and so they use English! That is special indeed.

Support Your Local Community: The community you live in should be better because you live there. I constantly see our retired neighbor out and about, cleaning the road, raking at the park, planting flowers, volunteering at community events, chatting with elderly neighbors. This man is an incredible example of someone who supports their local community. We too seek to support our local community by buying locally, supporting local businesses and even running our business to provide a useful service for our community. All of these things factor into supporting our local community.

Become a Part of a Good Church: A good church is a spiritual family that puts God and His Word first and others second. You don’t have to be a Christian to start coming to church. In fact, coming to church (whether online or in person) is one of the best ways to learn about what it is to be a part of a church and why it’s so important. In a good church you will learn not just about God, but led to know Him personally, and knowing God personally is the biggest life change anyone can undergo. In fact, it deserves it’s own point!

Put Your Faith in Jesus Christ: The sooner you can settle who Jesus really is in your heart and believe in Him, the sooner you can start living the fullest life possible. Jesus Himself said that He came to give us life and life to the full. It’s a life that goes beyond any of our natural capacities into God-sized living, and that type of living will blow the roof off of any other type of living there is, because it comes with a promise that once our life on earth is over, we will be with God forever in Heaven.

These are just some of the secrets we’ve found for living the best life. Would you add anything else?


Finding Fun Locally

Japan recently celebrated Culture Day, a one-day holiday we all had off. We took advantage of Japan’s Go-to travel program to travel — this time locally. We explored Omori, an area of Tokyo in-between the major town center of Shinagawa and Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Not even rain could keep us from having a great time together as a family and discovering more about this amazing place we live: Japan.

We were a bit bummed not to be able to see the Tokyo Illuminations we had come out for, it was just raining too much. But an impromptu pajama party sprung up in its’ place and we had so much fun that we could have spent the whole night in the hotel and just had a blast! It just goes to show that some of the greatest things in life happen in the unplanned moments.

LIJ Episode Videos

Japan’s Epic Landscape

One of the best parts of living and working as a missionary, pastor and content creator in Japan is getting to enjoy the absolutely amazing landscape here. A couple of months ago, my friend Kazu told me about a hike he was planning on doing: a 3-night, 2-day hike down Japan’s deepest gorge. As soon as he told me about it, I knew I wanted to go! Little did I know the huge adventure that was in store. I ended up with close to 2 hours of footage from our adventure, and after many a late nights editing, came out with a 40-minute mini-documentary of our trip. Pop some popcorn for this one and settle in as you enjoy Japan at its finest!

LIJ Episode Videos

Second Hand Stores in Japan

Second hand stores (or resell stores) can be found all over the world, but perhaps no where else in the world are they quite like they are in Japan. A whole second-hand store culture has developed in Japan, one where you can easily find quality used items for half of the retail price. But the way they function in Japan is perhaps unique only to Japan and is the focus of this week’s Life in Japan.