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7 Steps to Financial Freedom

7 Steps To Financial Freedom

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Q1.When should you start managing your finance and why?
The sooner you start managing your finance, the better! Don’t wait until you reach a certain age or start a family, the best time to start was yesterday and the next best time to start is today.

If you are earning an income, God trusts you to take care of what He has blessed you with. When it comes to finances, the sooner the better, start to save or invest now and let it have time to grow.

Q2.What are some of the benefits of managing your finance?
God promises us that when we do well with what He gives us, He can trust us with more. As you plan out your finances, you can be sure to have more peace and sleep better. Exciting thing to remember is that as you pay off debt and start saving or investing, you will be able to build more wealth and be a great blessing to others!

7 Steps To Financial Freedom
Based on the “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsay.

“Live like no-one else now, so that later you can live, and give, like no-one else.” -Dave Ramsey

(1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV) Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

(Matthew 25:23 NIV) His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

STEP 1. Get A Plan For Your Money – Budget Each Month
“A budget is telling your money where to go, not wondering where it went!” -John Maxwell

“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time” -Zig Ziglar

(Proverbs 21:5 NIV) The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

(Luke 14:28 NIV) Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

STEP 2. Save a Beginner Emergency Fund
(Proverbs 21:20 NIV) The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

STEP 3. Get Out of Debt – The Borrower Is Slave To The Lender
(Proverbs 22:7 NIV) The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

(Proverbs 6:1-5 NIV) My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, (2) you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. (3) So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion—and give your neighbor no rest! (4) Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. (5) Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

STEP 4. Save A Full 3-6 Month Emergency Fund
(Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV) Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! (7) It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, (8) yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

STEP 5. Invest For The Future
(Matthew 25:19-21 NIV) “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. (20) The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ (21) “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

STEP 6. Steward God’s Blessing
(Deuteronomy 8:11-14 NIV) Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. (12) Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, (13) and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, (14) then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

(Proverbs 24:27 NIV) Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

STEP 7. Build Wealth, Be Incredibly Generous and Leave A Legacy
(2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV) Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

(Proverbs 13:22 NASB) A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.

DELEGATION: RELEASING THE NEXT GENERATION

Blog, Ps Rod Plummer

(2 Timothy 2:2 NLT)
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

Multiplying Leaders
The most effective way to multiply leaders is to identify reliable people and bring them closer to you to: engage, train, and encourage them, and give them feedback and opportunity. We call these steps the process of delegation.

This doesn’t mean you have to have people in your home all the time or be available for drawn out meetings. It simply implies working together and connecting on relevant projects and in the process slowly transferring your experience, expertise – and more importantly – your heart.

How do you give people enough of you?
You give people enough of you through:
・Modeling
・Training
・Giving Tools
・Having Requirements and Expectations (setting up a frame work)
・Practical Experience (letting people try things)
・Debriefing (giving feedback)
・Handing Things On (the final step of delegation)

John Maxwell
Here are some thoughts on delegation by John Maxwell, a renowned motivational speaker to the business world. He says:

-If someone else can do a task at least 80% as well as I can, I give it to them.

-“How can I get someone of that caliber on my team?” My answer is always the same – find someone with the ability and willingness to learn, and then invest a lot of time in their lives.

-With everyone who works closely with me, my goal is to teach them to think like I do. So at the beginning, I pour a lot of myself into them. I don’t just make decisions and ask them to implement them. I share my thought processes and encourage them to tell me what they think I would do. Because of our time spent in development, I can now trust each one to make decisions and communicate the same way I would.

-Give away everything you can. It may seem to you that I give away some pretty important tasks. You’re right, I do. And that makes me unusual.

Takeaways from John Maxwell are:
1.Am I forgetting to first develop others before handing off responsibilities to them?

2.What am I holding onto that’s stealing time from my priorities?
A good way to identify your priorities is to make a list of those tasks only you can do and then plan to delegate the rest.

3.How can I teach people to think like I do?
Here are a few ways you can achieve this:
a) Describe the mission
b) Explain the “what”
c) Explain the “why”

4.The process of team building is important and it should include things like:
・Debriefing
・Bringing people into the decision making process.
・Asking people, “What do you think I would do in this situation?”

5.Give away everything you can – including your important tasks – even if the person is only 80% capable.
Aim to only hold onto your priorities!

6.Check for blockages
People are wonderful, but sometimes they can get stuck. Technology is wonderful, but it can become outdated quickly. It’s important that we make the necessary changes with sensitivity and style.

7.Recognition:
We all want to be acknowledged and affirmed. “Well done! That was great.” goes a long way. It helps us feel appreciated and confirms we are on the right track!

I hope this topic will help you go to another level at work, school, or in ministry. I know these lessons have been transformational for my ministry, and I have every confidence that delegation done well will transform your lives.

3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD COME TO LIFEHOUSE CONFERENCE

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Lifehouse Conference is just around the corner!

This year, we’ll be meeting across 3 locations: Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo on 3 different dates.
No matter when you decide to join us, it will be worth the price!
The experience you get out of conference is actually priceless.

Out of the many reasons why you should come to Lifehouse Conference, we featured 3 reasons why you should.

1.LIFE-CHANGING MESSAGES
One of the reasons why you should come to Lifehouse Conference is because people encounter God.
No matter the season you’re in, we’re all waiting on a specific word from Him.
This year we have Ps. John Cameron, Ps. Rob Ketterling (for Tokyo only) and our own senior Pastor, Ps. Rod Plummer each bringing a timely message for YOU. Let’s all come and drink!

2.FRIENDSHIP
Did you know that Conference is also a bonding time for people that come?
You may reunite with a good friend, or even make new friendships.
Who knows what God can do through friendships?
Come ready to meet new people and have the best time together.

3.Worship
There’s something special about coming together in worship during conference.
Every picture tells us a unique story of what God is doing in our city and among us.
God can change everything in a moment of worship. We can’t wait to worship with you!

We believe God is going to do something very unique and significant during this year’s conference.
Let’s all lean in to get the “One word” from God and be forever changed. It’s gonna be the best one ever!

What is Easter?

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We are heading into April with spring in full swing!
Maybe you’ve noticed an Easter theme popping up around town – Easter events at Theme-parks and Easter themed treats for sale at the supermarkets. Easter seems to have permeated itself into Japanese society, but what is it really about?

Did you know Easter is just as big of an event for Christians as Christmas is? Christmas is the time we celebrate Jesus’ birth, and Easter is the day we remember his resurrection.

You might be thinking “his resurrection?”

As God’s only son, Jesus was given the mission of carrying the sins of mankind on his shoulders and giving his own life on the cross for them. He had lived a perfect and sinless life, which is why he was able to accomplish that mission on the cross. But the story doesn’t end there! Three days after he was crucified, Jesus rose again! He then spent time on the earth with his disciples before returning to heaven. This means that Jesus is still alive today, and that he’s here to help us.

Easter is a time when Christians celebrate! And everyone is invited to join in. Why not celebrate this Easter together with us at church?

Lifehouse Tokyo will be holding an Easter event on Sunday April 21st.

For those with children, we recommend Lifehouse Kids, which is a program the entire family can enjoy! There might even be an Easter egg hunt?! (We’ll also be preparing some sweets for everyone to enjoy.)
All of our programs are bilingual, held in both Japanese and English.

We can’t wait for your to come and be a part of this international community!

Leadership That Belongs

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(Jeremiah‬ ‭32:40‬ ‭NLT)‬‬
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.”

It’s settled, we belong! Out of this God-given security, we can make contributions in our work place or church with confidence. We can focus our desires on doing well in our gifts, bringing creativity, and great ideas, without personally feeling rejected if our idea is not implemented.

This God-given security in people makes them great candidates for promotion or leadership.

When we belong we:

1) Focus on opportunities. Answers and solutions open doors of opportunities for those who can see clear answers to problems.

2) Let what we do express God’s vision and heart for the church. We should ask ourselves what our motives are. Are we here to serve people? When we serve people, we don’t need to feel threatened by what they can do or bring to the church or the work place.

3) Are good at summarizing our ideas or stories. Busy leaders seldom have time for long and detailed stories. They want to know the main concept, the application, and what the overall impact on the organization will be.

4) Allow for a variety of ideas. Two opposing ideas can seem like disagreement, but different ideas are essential, and can be worked through, if we love each other.

Good ideas bring promotion and joy! Be open to change, and other people’s ideas.

(‭‭John‬ ‭15:16-17‬ ‭NLT)
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

Connect with Community

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Big things can happen in small groups! That’s why Lifehouse has many Community Connect Groups, where you can make new friends, learn something new or enjoy your hobby with others. Here are just a few of the groups out there. This time we interviewed Jorie from ”We Love Korea – Community”.

We Love Korea
with Jorie B

Q1: What does this group connect around?
Our group connects around anything that has to do with the language or culture of Korea. Every week, we start out with a short scripture share and prayer, excited to meet new friends, learn Korean vocabulary of the week, and enjoy each other’s company!

Q2: Who can join?
Anyone can join! We have people coming for different reasons. Some may come for their interest in the Korean culture, and others genuinely looking for friendships. Whatever the reason, we hope this is the place where people can learn about different culture, and most importantly enjoy it.

Q3: Why is it good to be part of a Community?
Because no matter how long you’re in the place, I think it’s important that you connect right where you are. It’s in the context of community that you can receive good things from others and do the same for others.

Q4: Why do you enjoy Community Connect Group?
Because we enjoy connecting with people of similar interest and share passion with them.

Q5: Do you have a message to our first time friends?
Join a community connect group because you never know what can happen in life. You never know what God can do. You might as well try it. You never know until you try it!

Find the group right for you!

Breakthrough in Business

Blog, Workers

 When 2018 started, I was excited about all that the new year would bring – new challenges, new opportunities, and new areas to grow. I felt like God was telling me that a keyword not only for the church, but for me personally, would be “breakthrough.”
A major area I felt would be impacted was my job, because I had been thinking about a change for a while.

 However, I was unsure of exactly what I wanted to do next and how I should advance my career. I started seeking after God, asking for His wisdom, and trusting Him for a great job opportunity. For the next few months, I checked job listings almost daily, but nothing stuck out. It was at this time when I thought, “If I can’t find a job I like, why not make one?”. And that’s when my journey to create a business of my own began.

 I’ve always had a passion for sharing the wonderfully unique culture of Japan with those abroad and that – mixed with my love of web design – led to the perfect idea.
I started my own online shop, showcasing lots of items related to Japanese pop culture.

 In the beginning, it was tough, because I had to think of what to sell, how to promote it, and manage the business finances all on my own. But I kept on believing that if God had given me the gifts and passion, He would help me in all of those areas. And He has! It’s been a fun challenge seeing sales increase every month, customers comment with how much they enjoy the items, and seeing myself stretched in new areas.

 I still have a lot to learn, but I know that with the skills I’ve acquired so far and all that God has waiting for me to learn in 2019, it’s going to be just as much of an adventure as last year – maybe even more. I’m thankful for all that the Lord has taught me, especially in the areas of finance and time management (both of which I still have plenty of room to grow in). I look forward to see how He’ll use me, and my business, to be a blessing in the year ahead.

Christie Osawa

VISION SUNDAY 2019

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John 7:37-38 NIV
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Believe, receive, get thirsty!
2019 is the year of OVERFLOW and Viv and I want to invite you to come and drink from God’s living water. If your thirsty for more joy, peace, love, strength, vision, purpose, or simply new ideas, come and drink. Not only will God satisfy your need, he will also cause you to overflow so that you can bless others around you. From the newborn to the eldest, we as a church, are excited to receive God’s overflow!

To see Ps Rod’s Vision Sunday message on OVERFLOW click here!

Discovering The Gift Within You

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You are gifted by God! And God wants you to develop your gifts to their fullest potential so that you can serve others well!

‭(Romans‬ ‭12:5-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬)
“so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

(1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬)
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.”‭‭

HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR STRENGTHS:
1) You’re employed for your strengths!
-Walk into the office and be ready for your 1st task!!

2) Determine what your strengths and weakness are.
-Focus on developing your strengths!

3) Be passionate about what you’re doing.
-What energizes you? This is probably a clue to what you are passionate about. Some people have skills that they are not passion about.

4) Find your learning style.
-Ideas are important! Make sure to write them down on a file somewhere so you don’t forget.

5) Commit to your strengths in:
-Time
-Energy
-Prayer

6) Delegate to people who can compensate and complement your weakness, and oversee those delegated areas.
-Don’t be average with your strengths; Delegate so you can focus on your strengths.

7) Don’t compare yourself to others with similar strengths
-Your personal journey has developed your strengths in it’s own unique way.

8) Excellence.
-Be Proactive + Initiate (don’t think that’s not your job)
-Pray (talk to Jesus, He will guide you)

ASK YOURSELF:
How can you improve your strengths? (A small list is achievable. You can always add more to the list as you achieve your goals).

Letter To Myself 10 Years Ago

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It’s 2009.
I’m young, confused, socially awkward – I’m 16. I had a mind that raced ahead of my own time, but a heart that was inexperienced and had an ironclad wall surrounding it. Impenetrable.

Most girls grow up dreaming about the perfect wedding and family. My image was dysfunctional, broken and hard work. I imagined the children, but not the husband. I imagined being divorced. I have no idea where I got this but I couldn’t shake it, I just believed it. I couldn’t fathom someone loving me enough to want to marry me. To be honest, I couldn’t imaging loving someone else that much.

I was 3 months into a 9 month relationship. I already knew by then that it wasn’t going anywhere, but I held on. I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t heartless and that I understood what love was. Everyone else seemed to know. While they were desperately in love, I was desperately trying to love. For months I heard a burning voice inside that wanted me to end it, so we parted. This made me realise that I was looking for something specific in my future partner. No, I didn’t go off and make a ‘must-have’ list – I was looking for an image. God’s image. At 16 I wasn’t even close to beginning a personal relationship with God, but I was already seeking Him. If you haven’t guessed, that burning voice was God. The One who always guides and protects.

It’s 2019.
What’s changed? I’m a little wiser. Still a bit awkward. My heart? I still don’t understand the depths of it, nor it’s capacity, but God does. He is the Spirit living in me and changing me. Though tempting as it is, I can’t just pray to change the hearts around me. I need to pray to change the heart inside me. I don’t get it right all the time. However, it wasn’t the past experiences or my own understanding that taught me of love. It was God. It’s who He is. He’s always reminding me that His love is real and I can have it. I deserve to be loved, because I’m his valued daughter. Don’t ask for less. Now I can love another because of Him. He’s that powerful.

What would you tell yourself a decade ago?
If I could go back and talk some sense into the 16-year-old me, I probably wouldn’t say a thing. God always has us where we need to be. He knows the time and the place for everything. But If I could be really cheeky? I’d probably slip myself a piece of paper with the words written:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

This scripture is not just for weddings. Let the truth break down the walls around your heart.

An