The Storeowner and Joseph’s Prayer

The storeowner and Joseph 2

We kept coming back to his store.

We were in a city in China, window-shopping at a mall looking for souvenirs; we happened on his store. For numerous times, we kept coming back for more of his items. The team came and bought many of his products — me, buying most of his ceramic-made bracelets.

We seem to be drawn to his quirky store, an assortment of charming accessories and knick-knacks. There was a welcoming feeling in his tiny space in this interesting mall.

On the second night (and yes we went to his store again), one of us saw his bracelet with the cross dangling on it. She burst in excitement and asked, “Are you a Christian?” He had a ready and eager answer, “Yes!” With little English on his part and virtually no Chinese on our part that question and answer prompted a heart connection among strangers who have only one common ground — Jesus.

The next morning, after that joyful discovery about the storeowner, we went to the orphanage where we were spending time with kids who suffer from brittle bone disease. Brittle bone disease is a genetic disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily; some of these kids can’t walk due to this condition. Continue reading

From One Sister To Another: Glory Beauty

Glory Beauty

I have battled with insecurities, feelings of inadequacy and ugliness for as long as I can remember.

In those unpleasant moments I sometimes wonder, “Do other women feel the same way?” But a lot of times I just conclude, “I am all alone in this.” Often, consumed and blinded by the lies of what I feel, I become so self-absorbed seeing nothing but my own hurts and pains. It’s like I could not see pass my own nose. I seem to unwittingly surrender to the falsehood of my sentiment and pride; I completely succumb to the trickery of my emotions.

No, I am not trying to shame myself for the whole world to see. I know this is something you don’t admit to people especially when you are a Christian. Best to tuck it away neatly so no one would notice it. Except I know that I am not alone in this struggle even among Christian women.

I am publicly writing this not only because it’s true in my life but I also desire for other women to share in the victory I recently found in this area. Continue reading

A Reflection: When Declaring God Is Good

God is Good

God is good.

I have exclaimed this famous line hundreds of times, possibly even more. I have used it to comfort a friend, to congratulate someone for success, and even to assure people that their situation is going to get better. I have thrown around this statement almost without thinking, not attentively considering if it’s even appropriate or not, or whether the implications of what I declared and when I said it upholds God.

I have recited to various groups of people — strangers and familiar ones — comments like, “God is good. Your son will be healed.” Or, “God is good. You passed the test.” Or even, “God is good. He answered what you have been praying for.”

And yes, He is. He is good.

Yet do I genuinely believe it? Continue reading

For God is Love

Interrupted and inconvenienced.

These words accurately describe our previous week.

At least for me, these are the very words that defined how I initially felt when Jason, my husband, had to leave for Bangkok to help someone who was in a particularly unique predicament. It wasn’t in the plan, and I don’t like straying from plans especially when it involves having to be by myself at home.

I know. I should have learned a long time ago that most of the time, whether you are in ministry or not (maybe even more when you are in ministry), not everything goes as you have designed your time to be.

But I still fall victim to this trap. Every. Single. Time. Continue reading

When All Is Well

When All Is Well

Last night, I read an encouraging blog that a friend shared on her wall. It talked about how easy it is to praise God when all is well in your life, and how we question if God is even there when we are suffering. Then it went on about how God is always there with us no matter our circumstances; that fear should not be our response but faith in His love for us.

I totally agree with the writer of the blog; but it did get me into a train of thought about what if suffering isn’t actually a praise killer but a trigger. Continue reading

2013

2013 is the year I fell in love with Thailand.

It took me awhile to wrap my head around the implications of what I have just recently realized after living in Thailand for over 2 years. Now, I am ready to put pen to paper (or put my fingers on the keyboard), and begin marking my thoughts on a blank page that has been haunting me for weeks.

Buddha

Before Jason and I got married we already knew we were going to Thailand. We knew we would be serving in fulltime ministry. Though Jason has been in the ministry for many years, this would be a leap of faith for me. I have never served fulltime especially in the mission field, which was a very foreign concept to me not too long ago. Continue reading

On Thanksgiving: Counting My Blessings

Thanksgiving-1

Thanksgiving is a tradition I was not familiar with while growing up. It’s not celebrated in the Philippines as an official holiday like it is in the States. While Filipino Christians may be familiar with this practice, the average Filipino is not aware of such occasion.

And so, it is a fairly new tradition for me but I have come to really love and enjoy observing it.

I still clearly remember my first Thanksgiving celebration. It was during my first year in the States while living with six other girls, fondly called the Taylor girls by everyone in our community, in one house. We all decided to rough it up and drive to Maryland, to one of the girls’ aunt’s home. Continue reading