Sarah’s Mess

Last year, I had the rare privilege of studying women of the Bible with Chinese women in Beijing. We were cramped in a one-bedroom apartment not too far from where my team’s hotel was. I estimate there were about 25 ladies in that apartment, hungry for God’s word and thirsty for the Holy Spirit’s presence. … Continue reading Sarah’s Mess

Will God Give Me More Than I Can Bear?

No, He Wouldn’t

I am not sure when I first heard this encouragement: God will never give you more than you can bear. He will give you only what you can handle.

In the early years of my walk with Jesus, I found these words comforting especially in times when it seems like I couldn’t really go on anymore. I even began dispensing the same pep talk to friends who go through tough times. Continue reading “Will God Give Me More Than I Can Bear?”

I Want To Know God’s Will

“I want to know God’s will.”

A household expression within Christian circles that I am sure we’ve all either said or heard. It has evolved into our prescribed answer for questions about the future or even about today — this very moment. It acts as our antidote for uncertainties and for not being able to make decisions.

I dare say it has become our excuse for inaction.

I believe we say this not because we want to undoubtedly know God’s will. We say this because we want to either ignore what is before us or to “safely” escape from not doing what we already know we should be doing. We give this Christianese alibi to avoid carrying out a step of faith. Continue reading “I Want To Know God’s Will”

For My Own Sake

I get angry so quickly lately. I am ashamed to admit that it’s been easier for me to snap at almost anyone (often, my husband) even with the smallest of things than to extend love and grace. My patience is shorter; I explode for no reason. I have been asking myself why — wondering what brought this on. I was never like this before. There just seems to be so much anger in my heart.

Today, I found the answer to my question.

I need to forgive.

As hard as it is for me to admit, I have to confront this truth about myself: I am unforgiving. Continue reading “For My Own Sake”

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”

Me and Dresses

I did it again. I bought a dress.

I couldn’t help it. It was so cheap.

I didn’t need it.

Me and dresses, we have this thing going on. They are not to disturb me and steal my attention away. They are to look bland and utterly ugly in their little corner at the store while I go buy my groceries. Yet there they are, just a few steps away from where the vegetables are, beckoning me with their pretty colors, adorable laces, and insignificant details visible only to me.

They never stop looking so bright and interesting. I have to muster all control to ignore them entirely.

Once in a while, I’d succeed without ever looking at one dress. Occasionally, I’d fail and try a dress or two. Other times, I’d fail with honors and arrive home with a dress in my bag of groceries.

Tonight, I failed with honors. I brought dinner home with a dress in the bag.

I know what you’re thinking. There is nothing wrong with buying a dress or two. I agree with you.

Except, my closet disagrees. Continue reading “Me and Dresses”

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”

I Desire Mercy And Not Sacrifice

“What if a drug-addicted prostitute came to church and sat beside you one Sunday, how will you feel?”

This question lingered in my mind since my husband raised it during his message a few Sundays ago. I mulled it over and contemplated how I would react if this did happen to our church. After several days of ruminating on it, I came to a definite conclusion.

I am ashamed to admit: I believe her presence would make me feel so uncomfortable and compel me to move away from her. I would probably pretend she is not there or most likely not even talk to her. I might even be offended by her presence.

I asked myself, “Why?” The answer, “Pride.”

Pride because I deem myself better for not committing sins as “big” as hers. Pride because I estimate myself “superior” compared to her for not stumbling over vile sins of the flesh (as if all sin is not sickening to God). (Really, the keyword here is “compare.” Comparing myself to others readily spurs my arrogant heart to either false humility or false superiority.)
Continue reading “I Desire Mercy And Not Sacrifice”