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LIJ Episode Lives Videos

Is it over yet?

There are seasons in life that we would rather rush through. Junior high school was like that for me. I couldn’t wait to get through it. School days seemed so long with so little time to do the things that I loved. I loathed going to school (loathe is the opposite of love). I had been home schooled until 7th grade when I entered private school. Home schooling was great because I worked hard and got all my homework done by noon, when I was then free to do the things I loved: music, play sports, be creative, play games and the list goes on. But in school, it didn’t matter how hard you worked, you were there most of the day. When I finally made it to college, I loved it — it felt like homeschooling! You didn’t spend nearly as much time in class, which meant that if I worked hard, you had time for the things you loved.

This season of everyone being stuck at home kind of reminds me of junior high school. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, you just have to do your part and wait it out. Waiting can be hard. But as I look back, I needed junior high school. It taught me the disciplines that were necessary to succeed in life. I wouldn’t have been ready for high school or even college without going through that phase in life. I think that what we are going through right now with the quarantines and the states of emergencies is preparing us for something greater on the other side. Something we wouldn’t have been ready for had we just rushed into it without the proper preparations.

This time has taught us how to love each other better, it has turned our attention back to the family and brought us closer to each other. It has forced us to establish habits in our lives, marriage and family that sets a better foundation for the future. We are closely involved in our children’s formation — their character is being formed each and every day. We ourselves are becoming better people as we have to force ourselves to stay healthy.

The title of this week’s Life in Japan video is “Is it over yet?” And although we often feel this way, the truth is that we don’t want to rush out of this season, because with each and every day we become more and more of who God has purposed us to be.

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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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LIJ Episode Lives Videos

Amazing Kansai

When life serves you lemons, make lemonade. That’s exactly what we did with the shutdown of schools and many public areas and attractions here in Japan due to Corona virus. After the initial shutdown went into affect, the prices of hotels (especially in Kansai) dropped very low. While there was a lot of things understandably closed due to the virus, there were many things that were still open and safe under the proper precautions. So we ventured out on a surprise trip to Kansai to learn more about this beautiful country where we live.

Kansai is an area to the west south-west of Tokyo that is known for its bustling metropolis of Osaka, beautiful spaces of Nara where you can feed the deer, or the ancient city of Kyoto that’s full of history. Home to Nintendo, Universal Studios Japan and tons of historical Japanese historical buildings, Kansai is a must-visit place to visit in Japan if you want to learn all about this beautiful country. Although most spaces were closed, we were still able to see a lot in the few days we had. Enjoy the latest episode of Life in Japan.

Since our return from Kansai, America too has since clamped down hard to try to stop Corona in its tracks, taking further measures by closing restaurants and keeping people quarantined as much as possible. Meetings at larger than 10 people are highly discouraged. My father said he has never seen anything like it. Japan reacted a number of weeks earlier by cancelling schools and encouraging people to work from home as much as possible. In the case of Japan, we are still able to get together and travel, but everything is done with health in mind. Our meetings are being live-streamed and done online. Another advantage in Japan is that there is a minimal amount of physical contact (shaking hands, hugging and kissing are not social norms). Our prayers are with all of the people and countries fighting a common enemy so that life can move on.

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LIJ Episode Lives Videos

Hope Blossoms

One of my favorite parts of living in Japan is how the Plum Blossoms announce the imminent arrival of spring each and every winter. It doesn’t matter how cold, long or full of viruses the winter is — spring is always around the corner. This year we are especially grateful for this reminder, as we can use all the help we can get to see Corona virus put in check and things be able to go back to normal. Are you thankful for the arrival of Spring this year? Enjoy the latest episode of Life in Japan.

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Videos Words of Life

Find Your Garden

When God created us, He put us in a garden — a place of perfect relationships and protection — a place protected by His Word for us to flourish and grow. But man disregarded God’s Word and disobeyed, and as a result we have lost the garden of God’s favor and protection. But where man’s story begins with a great fall, God’s story enters to rescue and redeem us and bring us back to the garden that He wants for us. There is no need to fear when we find our place in Him, for God has opened a new way into the garden we lost. Enjoy this message from our heart to yours.