06 January 2015


     "1 O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
     2 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory.     3 Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.
     4 So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands.
     5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips."
          (Psalm 63:1-5 ESV)

This is a Psalm written by David as a fugitive (before he became king of Israel) hiding in the wilderness of Judah. King Saul had been after David for sometime and wanted him dead. David and his small army had been moving from place to place mostly in the wilderness and dessert area in the south. Looking at this background story gives you a better perspective on this Psalm.

Verse 1 was David's motive: "I seek You." His desire; his longing was for God - not for the comforts of a palace or even just a permanent home. For God. Nothing else!

Verse 2 was his response to the previous verse: "I looked for You." He was out in the open where he can clearly see the skies during the day and the vast number of stars at night. The sanctuary he was talking about was not The Tabernacle or any physical place. He was seeking God's presence in the midst of His circumstance.

Verse 3 was the reason why he did what he did: "Your lovingkindness." David said that God's love and His kindness was better than life. Better than his own existence! God is GOD. God is... God, all by Himself, without anything attached to it! God is powerful and glorious.

Verse 4 is another response from David: "I will bless You. I will lift up my hands in Your name." David explains in this verse that he will praise God as long as he exists. He knew his days were numbered. King Saul and his army were after him. He probably also wondered if they would survive the harshness of living as fugitives in the Judean wilderness. David was determined to keep praising the Lord!

Verse 5 is the result: "My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips." What a contrast to life in the dessert! David talks about spiritual fullness, spiritual satisfaction - much more than just the temporary physical gratification.

God is... the only ultimate desire we should have. God is... reason for rejoicing. God is... cause for joyful lips praising Him in spite of our circumstance. God is... SATISFYING. 

This is my desire for the year 2015. I get so caught up in the god of accomplisment and "things to do"  that I tend forget this: "O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You..." (Psalm 63:1)

Hello, World!

I am back! After a long hibernation mode (aka. neglect), I am determined to make my visit here a regular thing. I admit that I have let other duties keep me from writing and from many other things that I should have been doing. Here's to hoping that I will have the discipline and the  determination that this year, 2015, will be different. 

I guess, this is kind of like a New Year's resolution? I usually don't do resolutions, so I will call this a personal goal. 😊

Happy New Year, friends! I hope and wish this year you'll get to know God deeper and experience Him in a more meaningful way. God bless you!

07 September 2013

"Mommy, I Want to be Where You Are!"

He's not clingy. He's just very sweet and expressive. This evening, all he wanted to do was be with me wherever I was in the house and do whatever it was I was doing. I told him earlier that iPad time is up and that he has to find something else to do... like play with his toys, read books, draw, or play with his brothers. He said that he just wants to be with me. He waited at the table while I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. While I was mopping the floor, I told him to sit and wait for me on the stairs. He said, "But mommy, I just want to be where you are. I want to be next to you." My heart, melted. But I had to finish mopping.

This reminded me of Don Moen's Praise and Worship song that I used to sing a lot as a teenager.

I Just Want to be Where You Are.
I just want to be where You are,
dwelling daily in Your presence
I don't want to worship from afar,
draw me near to where You are

I just want to be where You are,
in Your dwelling place forever
Take me to the place where You are,
I just want to be with You

I want to be where You are,
dwelling in Your presence
Feasting at Your table,
surrounded by Your glory
In Your presence,
that's where I always want to be
I just want to be,
I just want to be with You

Oh, my God,
You are my strength and my song
And when I'm in Your presence
Though I'm weak You're always strong
I just want to be
I just want to be with You

A very familiar passage from Psalms come to mind.

"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord." (Psalm 27:1-4)

I am a home-buddy. I love being in my home and being with my family and doing things together. I like the comfort and security it brings. But my home doesn't compare to the rest, comfort, love, joy, and peace that the presence of Jesus brings. May my heart will always seek to be near my Lord and my God who is the Lover of my soul. Just like the words of my five-year-old, "I just want to be where You are, Lord." 

This was the view outside my bedroom window yesterday morning. Looking at the gorgeous hues of colors the sunrise brought to the sky, I felt like God sent me a hug. 

09 April 2012

I Don't Want To Be a Pharisee 'Cause They're Not Fair, You See

Day 241

Have you heard the song, "I Just Want To Be A Sheep?" I learned it a couple of years ago when my co-worker taught it to my children. There's a verse to that song that has these words... "I don't to be a Pharisee 'cause they're not fair, you see."

Last week, as I looked forward to celebrating Easter, I was once again reminded of what transpired in the tiny oasis country of Israel leading up to Jesus' crucifixion. The religious leaders, mainly the Pharisees and the Saducees, played a major role in the unfolding of the Old Testament prophets' words about the Messiah's sacrificial death for all mankind. One thing that stood out for me this time was the self-righteousness of those people. Their self-righteousness blinded them to see the truth. Not only that, it prevented them from reaching out to others or seeing the needs of others. In fact, they purposely separated themselves from others because, to them, everyone else wasn't good enough. Sound familiar?

We are just like the Pharisees. When we see redeemed and restored people who don't have an ideal kind of life in our mind and human standard, who don't have an ideal past, who have been scarred by sin and by personal battles, who don't have an ideal family life, who we think are less perfect than us, we turn up our noses in disbelief and tell ourselves, "I am better than they are." We try to shield ourselves, our children, our ideal life from being "contaminated" by those people.

So, what about love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness? Those are the very same attributes of God that placed us where we are now. Many times we think that people who have had messed up lives become totally useless... worthless... valueless. I hate self-righteousness. And I become a self-righteous human being when I begin to abhor self-righteous people. I forget to love. I forget to love God with all my heart and soul. I forget to love others the way God wants me to love them.

Two days before Jesus was hung on the cross, a woman who lived an openly sinful life, whose life was transformed by mere encounter with Jesus, poured out her love for Him by washing His feet with very expensive perfume and wiped them with her hair. (Luke 7 :36-50) The Pharisees were offended by it because of the woman's reputation. Simon thought it was such a waste. Jesus' response to them was, "He who has been forgiven much, loves much." That made me think... If I don't love God and others much, have I truly been forgiven of my sins? Do I realize the magnitude of my own sins that I may consider as minor? Do I have unconfessed sins that prevent me from coming to the ever-loving, ever-forgiving Abba Father?

As I think about that gloomy Friday when Jesus was crucified, it was the self-righteous people that hung him; myself included. My own sin put Him on that cruel cross. Hallelujah to the Risen Savior! Who forgives me, who gives me a second chance, and a third chance, and a fourth chance, and so on. I absolutely have NO right to self-righteousness! I am just as messed up as the next person. But yet... I am forgiven and I am loved.

31 January 2012

Mussings At the Gym with Some Pouting

So, here I am, sitting in the gym lobby with flip-flops and a pout on my lips. Nah, you really can't see it on my face but inside me, yes. The boys are in their swimming class. I'm supposed to be working out but I left my running shoes in the house. Dog gone it!

Policy is... You can't leave the premises while your kids are in here. Ed's out playing golf with some guys from our church. I wish I had my Kindle in my backpack so I could at least read a book for 1 1/2 hours! Ugh! But I never bring a book to the gym and I'm not one of those that can read on the treadmill or the spin bike. I just can't keep my balance if I read and run at the same time. Hahaha! Thankfully, I have my [not so smart] phone with me so I can type and get entertained.

So what's the point of this blah-blah-blah? I got a bad attitude. I'm pouting like a school girl who didn't get her way. More like disappointed with myself. With Ed not around, I can't get myself together. How do single parents do it all? I have become so dependent on my husband.

Back to the question, what's the point of this? One, I need the Holy Spirit to take control of my emotions so I have a better attitude. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." When I'm walking in the Spirit, those things will manifest in my life. No questions, no excuses. The opposite of walking in the Spirit is walking in the flesh. Oh, how easy it is for me to revert back into walking in my sinful flesh! Now I'm singing [in my head] Steve Green's "Fruit of the Spirit" song to shake off the pouting and keep the attitude in check.

Two... I should be happy I get a day off from working out. My body probably needs it. I can always do something when I get home to make up for it. For now, I can go back to the pool and watch the boys swim and see what they've learned in just two weeks of swim lessons.

Thanks for reading this lengthy post.

29 January 2012

Why Did You Eat My Ice Cream?!!!

I was mad and totally disappointed that I was in tears. My husband responded, "But it's just ice cream, honey! I can get you more."

"But they're closed already, it's already 11PM" I replied. I was really upset because I was looking forward to eating my leftover ice cream from several nights ago. I don't eat it very often so I was reserving it as a treat to myself for eating well and working out all week. But it was gone. My hubby ate it.

"I would have been willing to share if you just asked; but you didn't!" Crucifying him with my tearful accusation.

What is wrong with me! It's just ice cream! No, I'm not pregnant. I just needed sugar. Hahaha! And a better attitude.

For two Sundays, the preaching at church cut me like a two-edged sword to the core of my heart. I was almost in tears during sermon last Sunday. Our Pastor is doing a series on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5. "Christian Counter Culture," he calls it. Last week and this week, he hammered on how we show on the outside how good we look as Christians but we are rotten inside; how we are fake; how we build facades to hide what we really are inside; how we don't hunger for righteousness; how we like to go with the flow to please people.

I am guilty as charged. To most people, save my family and my close friends, I look good. I like to pretend I'm good. I like to show I got it all together. But I know deep inside I don't. I am just the opposite, in fact. Matthew 5:7 says, "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy." Being a child of God I am a recipient of God's mercy and grace. And because of that I ought to show mercy and grace to others. I am a fake. I can't even show mercy to my husband who ate my precious ice cream! I have three little people in my home that look to me, watching how a Christian should live life. When I have a bad attitude, I fail to point them towards Christ. How can I teach my boys how to live a Christian life that's pleasing to God if I don't do it myself? "Oh Lord, have mercy on me because I am a failure." God and I had several conversations regarding a sin issue for the past two months. I am stubborn but His love and grace pursue me.

So, before I finished writing this post, I had to swallow my pride and walk over to my husband and ask for his forgiveness for the way I acted last night about the ice cream. I'll strive to do better.

"Let's go get some more ice cream. Whatever flavor you like." He said.

12 December 2010

Oh, You of Little Faith!

Between my husband and I, I'm usually the one who is stronger in faith when it comes to finances. I grew up in a third world country with my father a Pastor of small churches. Money was always tight... very tight. I owned only two pairs of shoes - one for school and one for Sundays. That's a far cry from how many pairs I own now. Quite embarrassing, actually. I won't mention the many other things that I had few of or things I didn't have growing up. The Lord always provided for our needs. I've watched my parents carefully spend what little money we had. We never owed anyone but we always had food on the table.

For some reason, this week I just really struggled with lack of faith that God will provide for us this month. As I looked at the things that we need to spend for and the low dollar exchange, my heart sank. "Lord, we don't have enough!" In my worry, I started to feel a tight knot in my stomach. Why am I all of a sudden feeling this? I've seen over and over and over again God's faithfulness and provision. 

As I was editing this photo, I was reminded of this verse passage.

Luke 2:22-28:
And he [Jesus] said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 

But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

God will take care of our needs. He always has because He is faithful. Jesus went on to say in verse 33 about selling what we have in order to give to those in need. He didn't just stop to say that our Heavenly Father will provide for us. He also commanded us to share and meet the needs of others. God is good and He is love. I just need to trust Him - daily.

03 December 2010

He Knew All Along

Hold on to your hats, friends! This is going to be a long one but you may want to stay with me. It shows how blessed I am in spite of what happened.

We were running behind my planned schedule. Nothing new. Ha! The boys were finishing school for the day. I wanted to leave at 4 o'clock in the afternoon to pick up Ed at the airport. His flight wasn't coming in until 11:30 that night but I wanted to go in early to take the boys to a mall children's play place. I also wanted to check out the Office Depot at that mall, eat dinner at a Food Court, and still have time to relax in our hotel room a little bit before heading to the airport. My plans... that's all they were.

I've gone only about a mile from the house and my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number so I told Jojo not to pick it up since I was driving, anyway. Five minutes later, Jenni, called and told me Ed was trying to call from Tokyo. His plane was detained on ground more than two hours already. He told me not to bother meeting him at the airport. He would just get a taxi to the hotel. I was really looking forward to meeting him at the airport with him being gone for a week. But there was no telling what time he'd be in.

Only ten minutes after we got on to the big highway, I wasn't getting any power on the gas pedal. I pulled over to the side and turned the engine off. Turned it on again... nothing.... Tried again.... nothing. I was getting nervous. The car died on me! I hope this wasn't something major. I knew I had a lot of gas in the tanks (regular and LPG).

I called our mechanic in town and he said he was sending his guys to help me out.

Although I was fine and calm about the whole incident, I have to admit was little scared - a little woman like me on a big highway with three young boys. I could be a magnet for bad guys out there. But I had so much to be thankful for:

1. I had my plans but God still makes plans for me, overall... and always for MY best.
2. Ed's flight was delayed so I didn't have to feel so bad about not being there at the airport to meet him.
3. We were still within town limits. I was only twenty minutes away from home and our mechanic's shop.
4. We got stuck at  a U-turn spot where there are street lights. Before and after that point, it was dark.
5. We really have an awesome mechanic with very helpful assistants. They've rescued us many times already. Once, they drove an hour one way to get to us because we couldn't find anyone in that town to help us. That night I was stuck on the highway, after coming to check out my car, the employees went to our house, got their boss to bring his tow truck, got the ministry van, and drove it to where I was so I didn't have to waste time going home. They treated me like royalty, helped me with the boys, checked to make sure I had oil and water in the van, and made sure I drove away safely.
6. All the time, my boys were content even though they were hungry (it was 9 o'clock before we got to stop for supper). They entertained themselves. They were understanding and helpful when I needed help.
7. And the icing on the cake? That picture above. What a beautiful sunset sky we were looking at while sitting in the car waiting for help. (picture is straight out of the camera, no editing whatsoever!)

I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4b

God knew all along this was going to happen. God is a caring and loving God, for no reason at all other than just because His very nature is LOVE. He didn't leave me with no help. I had my cell phone; I was able to call our mechanic (I had his number!!!). Many friends on facebook were praying just because I was able to update my status and our co-worker/friend, Jenni put out a prayer request on her status, too. I was tired that day but thank God, I put hot coffee in my travel mug with me!

24 November 2010

Wun Khawp Khoon Phra Chao

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have so much to be thankful for on this "Wun khawp khoon Phra Chao." (That's literally translated as "Day to thank the Lord) This being thanksgiving week, here's what I'm thankful for this week. Not that I'm not thankful the rest of the year. On the contrary, I am so-oh blessed there's too many to list. So... I'll stick to just this week:

- My sweet husband. He had to fly to the States for a funeral but he made sure I had a full 1,000-liter tank of water and 17 more filled jugs so I don't have to do much water run while he's away for a week. And he mopped the floors too! So thoughtful and so caring.

- On Monday, we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I am thankful that my husband is also my best friend. 

- Jenni Starkey, our friend and co-worker. She kept the boys for us for two days so Ed and I can go on our anniversary date.

- The little things that God orchestrates because He knows what's going to happen ahead before we even know, like.... Ed was able to get a seat on a flight to the US just a little over 24 hours before he had to check in. You know how hard it is to get a seat this week, Thanksgiving week??? The lady at the counter asked Ed how he got a ticket because the flight was fully booked!

- Our frequent flyer miles through Delta Air. Ed's round trip plane ticket was less than $400! He was told that the regular price would have been $1,700!!!

- Jenni already planned to take the week off of language school this week before we learned about Pastor Tim's passing. Jenni has been a big help to me while Ed is away.

- Magic Jack! So we can call the States unlimited for free. If you don't know what it is, just Google it. Ha!

- I am rejoicing over the salvation of a dear girl who finally made it right before God regarding eternity. My heart swelled after I heard the news.

- I got to see a friend from college that I haven't seen in 15 years. I am so encouraged by her love for the Lord and heart for missions.

- Pastor Tim Nyhuis. He was Ed's youth pastor since Ed was about 10 years old at the church where he got saved. He was Ed's friend, mentor, and spiritual father through the years. The man had literally seen Ed through teens years, military, college years... ever since he first knew Ed! They talked on the phone only a few weeks ago. So thankful for a man of God who poured out his life on Ed and the many people that God entrusted to him through the 33/34 years he had been at Hartford Federated Church in Hartford, Michigan.

See? I told you, I have a lot to be thankful for, and that's only for this past few days. Tomorrow, Jenni, the boys, and I will travel to Bangkok to celebrate Thanksgiving with other American missionaries. Looking forward to food and fellowship! Happy Thanksgiving again!

08 November 2010

How To Be Nice To Others

A few weeks back I was reading Luke 6:27-45 and found this really good list on my Bible's footnotes. This is just straight from my Scofield Study Bible. I can't improve more on this one so I'm just going to type it word for word.

Tell the truth when testifying about your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
     Do no covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17
Love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19:18
     Don't move your neighbor's boundary marker. Deuteronomy 27:17
Don't take your neighbor to court. Proverbs 25:8
     Don't visit your neighbor too often. Proverbs 25:17
If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. Matthew 5:41
     Pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
Do good to those who hate you. Matthew 5:44
     Love your enemies. Luke 6:27
Bless those who curse you. Luke 6:28
     If someone takes your cloak, give your tunic too. Luke 6:29
Give to everyone who asks of you. Luke 6:30
     Lend to others and don't expect anything back. Luke 6:35
Don't judge. Luke 6:37
     Don't be a stumbling block to others. Romans 14:13

I found myself feeling guilty for NOT doing most of what's on the list. The Holy Spirit gave me a new light to that Luke 6 passage as I was reading it that breezy, dewy morning. It is nothing but Jesus' commands for ME, as a child of God, so that I may show HIS love to others.
  ♬ In my life, Lord, be glorified, be glorified.
In my life, Lord, be glorified today.    
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