How Do We Begin?

Photo Credit:  www.sheknows.com
Photo Credit: http://www.sheknows.com

A fresh start. That’s what I need. Or the undo button, so I can modify last year.

This is not an uncommon mantra for many of us at the closing of a year and the opening of a new one. Sometimes, we had a great year. Sometimes, we had a not-so-bad year. Oftentimes, we had a hard year infested with hurts and pains, failures and problems; we were sure we would never get through any of them.

But we did, and here we are at the launching pad of a new year. It brings with it hope and endless possibilities.

But how do we begin — the right way? Continue reading “How Do We Begin?”

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go On Mission Trips

This article originally appeared on YMI (www.ymiblogging.org)
This article originally appeared on YMI (www.ymiblogging.org)

I am a full-time missionary; but I wasn’t always one. To serve full-time in the mission field was possibly the hardest decision I have ever made in my life.

You must be wondering why I would be writing about reasons to not go on mission trips when I am in the field. I suppose you could say these were my reasons for not going on mission trips before I dove in audaciously.

So, here are five reasons why I think you shouldn’t go on mission trips.

If you are afraid to witness firsthand what God is doing in the world

I was afraid. I was afraid that God would show me what He was doing in the world; and worst, even use me and invite me to join in His work because I felt not qualified to be that person He could employ for His purposes. I was lugging with me a massive baggage of insecurity that paralyzed me from taking a step of faith in obedience to Him.

When God first called me to go to missions, I literally ignored the whole idea of it. For a couple of years, I was able to avoid acknowledging the burden I had felt and successfully managed to pay no attention to its existence. Until I could no longer pretend that it’s not there. It was becoming awfully heavy to carry. Continue reading “Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go On Mission Trips”

Christmas Lights

September. The first -ber month of the year. It marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the Philippines — a tradition that I really enjoyed while growing up, and now, long for as an adult. It was the month I looked forward to enter each year even more so than December.

I used to anticipate the obvious and lighthearted shift in the atmosphere anywhere I went in my hometown when the first day of September arrives. Everyone appeared buoyant and optimistic about life. Radio stations would air Christmas songs that were loudly played in jeepneys (a public transportation in the Philippines). Homes and, yes, malls were lavishly decorated with Christmas ornaments and trimmings.

And Christmas lights! They were my favorite. Christmas lights in different shapes and form emitting a variety of hues were ubiquitous; the spectacle was a pointillism of colors. At night, I would be sticking my head out of the jeepney window staring at stunning displays of these dancing lights on the road mesmerized by it all. I remember feeling my heart bouncing up and down in bliss as I carefully watched them showing off. Continue reading “Christmas Lights”

Overtaken

Overtaken

Today was one of those days were everything just seems off.

A few hours ago, I was upset. My anger was eating me up that I unintentionally directed my displeasure to my husband as we were preparing the slideshow for his sermon tomorrow. Poor Jason, he had to deal with my lousy attitude. My irritation consumed me; I did not realize I was being, well, rotten.

After working on the slides, we got ready to leave for the regular Saturday prayer meetings. We were not expecting a lot of people today knowing that some are gone for vacations or other reasons. I almost did not want to go, but I knew I had to. In the car, I was a bit more reflective. I started pondering about how I acted earlier. (Unfortunately, I have not quite mastered thinking first before acting. I frequently fail in this area. Sigh.) I apologized to Jason, and I started pouring out to him. Continue reading “Overtaken”

Fâo Dìao (เฝ้าเดี่ยว): A Picture of Waiting Expectantly On God

Santisuk Krabi 1

Learning a language is a very humbling enterprise. In taking on Thai, my greatest hindrance from truly grasping it is fear to commit mistakes, which to me translates to looking foolish.

Pride, essentially. It was the main culprit of my slow and painful progress, but I had read enough amount of literature and accumulated sufficient personal and vicarious experiences about learning a new language to realize that if I intend to communicate with the people I live in the midst of and share the love of Jesus to them, I had to let go of that crippling mindset.

No, it was not easy. I had to basically swallow my bitter-tasting ego. I had to learn to accept that this time I was not the teacher, but the student. I also had to take my own medicine. I used to tell my students that mistakes are not entirely bad because you learn some valuable lessons that you can’t learn otherwise.

Ah, but I forgot how hard a pill to swallow mistakes are. Continue reading “Fâo Dìao (เฝ้าเดี่ยว): A Picture of Waiting Expectantly On God”

For God is Love

Photo Source:  www.127project.net
Photo Source: http://www.127project.net

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 “For God is Love”

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 “2013”

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 “On Thanksgiving: Counting My Blessings”