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”

Advertisements

A Humbling Lesson and A Note of Thanksgiving

humble1

Being in ministry is tough. It has its own form of challenges unique from what I have gone through as a fulltime classroom teacher.

A friend once asked me the struggles I have with being in fulltime ministry, the major things I have a hard time adjusting to. I have thought of these struggles, but I have never really opened up much on this subject or carefully reflected on it. Her question made me uncomfortable but it allowed me to be honest to myself.

It set in motion a necessary introspection. Continue reading “A Humbling Lesson and A Note of Thanksgiving”

At 33

IMG_0104-2

Today I turned thirty-three.

I felt a soft tugging in my heart to spend the morning of my birthday with the Lord. So I woke up early this morning, went straight to the beach by myself, and spent all morning with God.

Today I turned thirty-three. And I am dumbfounded with gratitude for how God swept me away with His raging love.

His. Insane. Grace.

Staring into the beauty I beheld this morning, God broke the silence. As He softly spoke, I saw the last ten years of my life unfold before me. I furiously wrote what He reminded me with. Continue reading “At 33”

When Death Seems the Only Option

Deut31-8

Hungry and talking about what food to eat, Jason and I were oblivious to what was awaiting us just a few minutes later.

Laughing gaily in our car on our way to one of our favorite restaurants from our prayer meeting at church, we were both in a very light mood totally refreshed from the time of prayer we spent together with fellow Christians. We were on a quite familiar road that we’ve passed through more than a hundred times since we came here in Krabi. It is a narrow, utterly dark two-way street that is littered with fast-moving cars, motorcycles with broken taillights, and tuk-tuks (a three-wheeled motorcycle that is commonly used as transportation means by many Thais and tourists alike in the area.) We have become well-acquainted to this labyrinth on the road and have learned to navigate around it. We were not expecting anything more unusual than it already is from what we are used to, not expecting more than blinding headlights coming right at you or motorcycles driving on the wrong side of the road. These are ordinary occurrences here. Continue reading “When Death Seems the Only Option”

He Is Jealous For Them

She is not for sale.  She is a child of God.
She is not for sale. She is a child of God.

Gently, yet uncontrollably, tears started to fall from my eyes as the words, “He is jealous for me,” began at the background while I was watching the documentary, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. The acute pain and the overwhelming weight of evil I felt in the stories of women sold and sexually violated reverberate in my ears. Words flee me in attempting to paint the affliction that these women bear everyday in their lives. I choke with fear and anger for how this could be present today, and yet it is. The reality of being treated like animals daily endured by thousands, maybe even millions, of women in the world is incomprehensible.

Wounded to the very core, I cannot look the other way. I needed to do something. I must do something. Praying is what seems to be the first thing I can do. Then, writing about it to declare war against this brutal assault on God’s children. Continue reading “He Is Jealous For Them”

Prakhun: You Are Royalty

Prakhun is Thai for grace.

And I am totally blown away with the beauty of this word.

I personally find languages to be captivating. I perceive them as an intimate expression of God’s inexhaustible creativity. While I may feel God’s embrace as displayed in nature, I see and hear God in the languages of different cultures. God’s presence is palpable as people of diverse origins uniquely use their languages in their interactions.

Thai people buying and selling at Pattaya Floating Market
Thai people buying and selling at Pattaya Floating Market

To me, the pulse of a culture is felt in the way its people communicate with words. I believe that for each culture to develop its own system of reading, writing, and speaking is unquestionably God’s doing. The art of words, written or spoken, growing and unfolding in different dimensions with the people who use them exudes so much power and life. It is, most definitely, an illustration of the existence of a big Creator.
Continue reading “Prakhun: You Are Royalty”

Go Left (A Luke 10 Journey)

barefoot1

Photo Source:  www.sheepy.me

Leave at 8 in the morning.

Go left.

That was all Andreas, Cristo, and Anica knew when they stepped out of their guesthouse in Krabi town yesterday after praying where to go and leaving everything they own. With no money and no clothes, except the ones on their backs; and knowing nobody in a strange town where hardly anyone speaks English, they faithfully walked in the words of Luke 10 waiting for the Lord to show them their man of peace. Continue reading “Go Left (A Luke 10 Journey)”

I am in Paradise

The gentle wind blowing on my body and slightly brushing my hair off my face, the calm sound of the waves on my ears, and the grandiose beauty before my eyes while lying on Ao Nang beach have led me to think of God and to see His glory as magnificently orchestrated in this idyllic moment.

I am in paradise; and I am highly favored to be living here.
Continue reading “I am in Paradise”

On Persistence

My God is persistent.  He is persistent on loving me, persistent on burning in me, persistent on keeping me wholly for Him. 

This is what He revealed to me about Himself in the last few weeks. 

October 19, 2012 was the expiration date of my Thai non-immigrant visa.  This visa is the hinge of all our documents here — my work permit, Jason’s visa — thus allowing us to legally stay in Krabi.  In February of this year, I acquired my U.S. citizenship in Hawaii where I was granted my US passport.  This event marked the end of a long process of making sure that it’s okay for me to stay out of the States for a very long time.  Continue reading “On Persistence”