Christianity Is Easy The clouds were hanging over us as a mass of darkness threatening to overtake all of Krabi. We raced to our car to escape being drenched in its rage. It was a Friday morning. Jason was set to meet a friend in Ao Nang (the nearby beach town) for breakfast and a … Continue reading The Weight Of Grace
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 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”
“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”
My husband and I are fond of movies. If some couples take pleasure in running together, Jason and I relish our movie time together. One of our favorite genres to watch is crime and mystery. We like following the process of how mysteries are solved and how suspects are proven guilty or not guilty.
In a crime, before a suspect is convicted guilty, three things have to be present: means, motive, and opportunity. About a month ago, Jason preached a concept of living out the teachings of Jesus parallel to carrying out a crime. He asked, “If Christianity was illegal in Thailand, would there be enough evidence in our lives to convict us guilty of following Jesus?” He went on unpacking that question suggesting the means, the motive, and the opportunity before we can be found guilty of being Jesus’ followers.
He proposed in his message that our means for serving should be exercising our spiritual gifts. Our motive should be love. Our opportunity should be the freedom we have in Christ. Continue reading “A Poem: Do I Love You?”
I was not a church girl.
I grew up neither in Sunday school singing about Jesus, reading and studying the Bible, nor hearing about Him other than being a God who walked on Earth performing miracles. I grew up not knowing that He loves me or that He wants a relationship with me.
Yes, as a kid, I have heard and read stories of godly men like Moses and Noah; but I viewed these stories from the eyes of someone whose perspective of God was slanted on the belief that if you are not good enough, He will not let you “in” His circle of exceptional people.
In my eyes, these godly men and women from these remarkable stories had nothing in common with me. They sounded, to me, like perfect people who could do no wrong. Thus, God favored them. It took me awhile to understand that was not true.
When I came to personally know Jesus Christ, it wasn’t a dramatic change. It happened slowly. He gradually abolished layers and layers of lies that I held on to for most of my life.
I don’t think He is quite finished with that. Continue reading “I Am Inadequate”
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 “A Reflection: When Declaring God Is Good”
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”
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 “When All Is Well”
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”