12 June 2008

Adoptive Fathers

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 for Father's Day 2006)

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the world, especially to the #1 Dad – my hubby! I know… I know… I’m biased. But really… He’s a great Dad! He loves our boys and he is their best friend. He gives them showers. He changes diapers. He plays ball with them. He takes them to parks. He goofs off with them. He disciplines and teaches them. He says he’s willing to die for these two precious boys God blessed us with.

The picture above was taken just a few days ago in Michigan when we went to see the Weber family. In the picture are Harry, Boaz (the little boy) and Ed. You see, all three of them were adopted. Harry was adopted by Grandpa Weber when he married Grandma Weber. Harry adopted Ed when he married Ed’s mom. And almost two years ago, Boaz was given to us and we adopted him! Maybe this is the kind of legacy the Weber family is leaving for the next generations to come. Whatever it may be, these three “boys” were blessed to have adoptive Daddies who were willing to love them even though they don’t have the same blood.

In the same way, God adopted us into His family through Jesus Christ and our faith in Him. We were undeserving of His love for us but yet He was willing to die for us. As His adopted children, we are equal heirs of everything good that He has prepared for us. Praise be to Him for being our Heavenly Father who is ever loving and merciful!

Ephesians 1 "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved."

10 June 2008

Indescribable


by Chris Tomlin

(There's really nothing much I could say about this song. God is AWESOME!)

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation is revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go?
Or seen heavenly store-houses laden with snow?
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light?
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night None can fathom!

“Indescribable, uncontainable!
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God! All powerful, untamable!
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing, God!”

“Incomparable, unchangeable!
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same.
You are amazing, God!”

03 June 2008

In His Hands

One song I sang a few years back was “In His Hands.” The chorus goes this way:
In His hands there’s only safety
Nothing there can touch me except Him
Bring your burdens and all your failures
Lay them down and rest here… IN HIS HANDS.

The picture above reminded me of this song and one of my favorite verses in the Bible:
John 10:28-29 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

What a comforting thought! With so many things happening in the world now… war, natural calamities happening in every continent, heartaches, incurable diseases, immoral state of mind of the human beings, even the threat of being unsafe in your own home… Jesus, who is God, is there to keep us safe if not physically, spiritually. I know that I have security in Him for all eternity. Praise be to HIM who is greater than he that is in the world!

When I grow up I want to be...


(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on September 14, 2006)

From childhood up to my teen years I changed the continuation of the phrase above probably at least a dozen times. My mother told me that at four years old I declared that I wanted to be a Pastor’s wife. You see, I grew up as a Pastor’s kid and my Dad was a great Pastor and man of God. Then I wanted to be a Doctor until I realized how long I had to be in school. I decided to be a nurse. Then I figured God gifted me with musical abilities so I wanted to be a concert pianist… Then a recording artist…then a teacher… and on and on.

I am in my mid-30's but I’m still a kid inside and I still have dreams. Yes, dreamS. And here they are:

When I grow up…
I want to be a voice in an animated movie. Maybe as a little girl character. Or maybe a character with an Asian accent. I can do really good Filipino or Thai accent.

I want to be a recording artist and become a back-up singer for Steve Green.
I want to be a nutritionist.
I want to be a graphic artist.
I want to be a professional Biblical counselor.
I want to write a book.
I want to be as skinny as I was 8 years ago (you know, the before-children-came era of my life :D ).

It’s not like my life is boring. In fact, I barely have time to accomplish things I need to do daily as a wife, a mom, my son’s home schooling teacher, and a missionary. Sometimes, I still find myself daydreaming. But of all the many hats I wear now, I would never exchange those dreams above for the privilege God has given me as a wife and a mom.

God is good and faithful. And in spite of the ups and downs, life! is! good!

Letter to Amy

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on June 4, 2006)

June 4, 2006

Dear Amy,

I have been wanting to write this letter since we met two weeks ago. That was an unexpected yet very welcomed surprise. I still laugh when I think about my question to Ed on our way to your parents’ house: “What are the chances that Amy will be there today?” He said, “Slim to none.” I just want to be honest and open with you. You’re welcome to share this with whoever you desire to. I just want to put in paper and let you read of how God has orchestrated my life and Ed’s life for His glory. And you are part of the big picture. Here’s how….

It was almost twenty years ago when you and Ed were dating but of all his past girlfriends, I had really been curious about you. When we first got married, I found a pile of pictures of you that he took when you were still dating. It made me jealous for quite awhile. I didn’t realize that it was just one of the things he had in his box – things (more like junk J) that he’s collected over the years. In that box were also pictures and letters from many other friends. The jealous and selfish me made him throw them out in the dumpster. I shouldn’t have. Those were fond memories of friends since high school.

I asked him so many times how special you were to him and many other details in your relationship that only a woman would care to know about. I’m glad you told me you’re the same way. I have to admit, though, that I was jealous of you.

But then... as the years went by and hearing of Ed’s testimony of God’s sovereignty in His life over and over again, I realized that you are part of God’s plan. Ed and I know that you were both young and na├»ve. You were both not living for the Lord then. You both made ungodly choices but yet, God worked it out for good for His glory. Amy, because of you, God led Ed to Winston-Salem, NC. He was so heart broken after your bitter break up but God used that to bring him back to Himself. He started attending church again and after a series of events met a guy that attended Piedmont Baptist College, who invited him to check out a class there. He ended up enrolling as a full-time student. As a missions major at PBC, he was required to take a missions trip and so went to Thailand. That’s where we met.

You see, Amy, if he didn’t meet you he would have never moved to Winston-Salem. Because of your break up, he came back to God and attended Bible college. And then we met. And then we got married and went back to Thailand as full-time missionaries, along the way blessing us with two boys.

That day I met you, God just directed our paths. A Sunday evening church meeting got cancelled so we took our time by driving through downtown Winston-Salem. We also stopped at Reynolda Gardens and Piedmont Baptist College to take pictures. It wasn’t luck at all that you and your mom drove into your drive way the same time we arrived there. It was God! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! Ed was so nervous about seeing you, thinking that you still held a grudge against him. It was a very moving experience for me watching Ed ask for your forgiveness for hurting your feelings seventeen years ago. It took everything in me not to cry when you both hugged and forgave each other.

I have no reason to be jealous of you, Amy. If I do, it means I refuse to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in Ed’s life. If I do, it means I refuse to accept the fact that you were God’s instrument.

So… THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being part of our lives. When we left your house that night, my heart just swelled with gratitude to our God who is just AWESOME & SOVEREIGN! I realized I found a new friend – her name is Amy! I love you with the love of the Lord!

Life abundant!

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on May 20, 2006)

Browsing through my digital pictures from 2001 to the present, I came across this picture my hubby took of me on my very first vineyard trip in Kamphaengphet, Thailand. The vineyard was not that big but it was amazing how the short, little vines can produce so much fruit! It made me think of the word “abundant” or “abundance” in the Bible. In the translation I use, “abundant” appears 23 times; “abundance” appears 77 times. Many, if not most, of those verses referred to God and His divine nature. Here are a few verses I collected:

Numbers 14:18 The Lord is longsuffering and ABUNDANT in mercy, forgiving inquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the father on the children to the third and fourth generation.

Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But YOU ARE GOD, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, ABUNDANT in kindness, and did not forsake them.

Psalm 86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and ABUNDANT in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Psalm 85:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and ABUNDANT in mercy and truth.

John 4:2 ...for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and ABUNDANT in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

I Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly ABUNDANT, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with ABUNDANCE.

Wow! I have a life of abundance – abundant with God’s mercy, grace, love, kindness, goodness and patience. In the Book of John chapter 15, Jesus talks about Him being the vine, and we are the branches. Only if we abide in Him, we bear much fruit. I want to abide with THE VINE so that my life will be a fruit that springs forth from Jesus alone.

How much do I know You, Lord?

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on May 14, 2006)

Oh, I Want To Know You More
Written by Steve Fry
Recorded by Steve Green

Oh, I want to know You, Lord
Deep inside my soul I want to know You
To feel Your heart and know Your mind
Looking in Your eyes stirs up within Me
Cries that say “I want to know You!”
And I would give my final breath
To know You in Your death and resurrection
Oh, I want to know You more


In the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, we are urged to know our love one’s love language so we can love them the way they want to be loved, not the way we want to love them. We won’t know how to do that unless we observe them and get to know them intimately. The same is true with God. But many times we loose our focus on Him. God is awesome. God is vast. There’s no end to understanding His power, His uniqueness, Hi love.

“O Father, may I never be too caught up in myself and my worldly daily tasks. Please forgive me for the countless times that I ignored You and put You last on my to-do list. I love you, Father. Help me to show You everyday how much I love You. Thank you for loving me unconditionally.”
If we truly know God, we can show Him our love like we ought to, and we can glorify and honor Him. And the reward? Joyful and abundant life, a life that shines in darkness.
(the picture above is my husband's photography, taken in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on his 40th birthday)

On Motherhood, Dedicated to All Moms

(originally posted on Yahoo! 360 on Mother's Day 2006)

Four baskets of toys emptied on the floor… Lincoln log pieces, trains and train track pieces, books, more toys, CDs and DVDs, pots and pans, Easter eggs, sofa pillows and cushions…. All on the floor! Every floor space in the house was filled with something. I stayed up late on the computer one night, working on our website. Oh, what a chaos I woke up to the following morning!

What could possibly have gotten into the minds of my five-year old and my toddler? Can’t they play with just one toy at a time and be happy with that for a few minutes? Why does everything have to be scattered all over the house? Aren’t toys enough? Why does my toddler have to mess with the pots and pans in the kitchen and the CDs and DVDs too? Aargh!

Aah, Motherhood…
There’s never an end to laundry and ironing. Never an end to cleaning up after the mess of my two boys. Never an end to cooking and doing dishes. Never an end to saying “No, don’t touch that. No, don’t climb there. No, don’t play with that.”

Now flip the coin…
“Mommy, I love you! Mommy, I need help. Mommy, please read this book to me. Mommy, can I lay down next to you? Mommy, I picked these flowers for you." (actually they were weeds but hey, he thinks they’re flowers!)

Eighteen years will be short. These boys will be off to college before I know it. The never-ending moments of cleaning up after them and scolding them, hugs and kisses and the sweet moments that I treasure with each of them… they will all fade into just memories. Memories that for now, are just piling up. Memories that they will take with them into adulthood. Memories that I will take with me into my sunset years and into my grave.

I am a mom and I love it! I would never exchange it for anything. Happy mother’s day to me and to all mothers who do their best to do a great job in the career world of motherhood! God bless us!

Are You Loved?

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on April 25, 2006)

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd…” speaks of God's provision. He gently leads us to green pastures, not to dry land. He takes us to still waters so we get satisfaction and fulfillment. He provides our every need – physical, spiritual and emotional needs.

“He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom” speaks of God’s tender loving care, protection, and faithful presence in our lives. So many people feel so unloved and uncared for. So many people do not experience peace because they don’t know if they will be safe but as God’s lambs, He takes care of us.

“And gently lead those who are with young.” Speaks of God’s direction. A lot of people are just going through the motions of surviving life without direction and goals. But those who trust in the Lord will receive daily direction. We know that He will be with us every step of the way.

What an awesome verse that reminds us of God’s unchanging love! May He be the LOVER OF YOUR SOUL and may you find satisfaction in knowing that He loves you whether you want to admit it or not. Am I loved? Indeed, I am!

Fretting, Fighting and Fussing

(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on April 24, 2006)

Fretting means worrying.
Fighting means resisting.
Fussing means complaining.

All of those terms describe me when trying situations come my way. I fret because I couldn’t see how the problem can be solved. And then, when God or other people show me the solution and it’s not what I expected, I fight and I fight. And when I don’t get my way, I fuss and I fuss until everyone becomes tired of hearing me fuss.

I read somewhere that 90% of our problems are just fretting. Only 10% are actual problem happening. When I fight and resist, everything is affected. I have a lousy attitude about everything and everyone around me. I couldn’t see any other way but mine. I get hopeless and miserable. When I fuss, I am like the woman that the book of Proverbs mentions about:

“A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs. 27:15

How annoying is that! Wow! I become annoying to my husband and my kids when I do those things. I forget about other people and about other things. All I think about is “I, Me, Mine.” May may daily prayer be that I have “a gentle and quite spirit which is more pleasing in the sight of the Lord.” How humbling!

TUGGING AND PULLING, My Kite Festival Experience


(originally posted on Yahoo!360 on April 19, 2006)

Last Saturday, my sweet hubby took our kids and me to the annual Kite Festival in town. It was my first kite experience, EVER! The boys had fun and so did I. Lots of people went to fly their kites – octopus kite, Nemo kite, lobster, airplane - you name it, they had it, even a trash bag kite. It was a perfect day, the sun was out and the wind was strong.

I sat on the grass and watched my husband teach our oldest son how to fly our kite. You have to toss it up and release it. Then, you have to tug and pull, and tug and pull, release more string. Tug and pull some more until it goes up, up high. Then, a thought came to mind…

How awesome is that! I can’t help but think how my life is like a kite. God waits till there’s enough wind for me to fly. Then He releases me. I feel the wind tossing me every which way possible. Sometimes it’s too hard to see where I’m heading with the wind tossing me in every direction. I feel the tugging and the pulling… and it hurts. But then, I soar up higher and higher and higher to heights I never could imagine reaching.

And the comforting thought about this is that… with all the wind tossing me back and forth... With all the pulling and tugging that I feel many times hurting… GOD WAS THERE ALL THE TIME. He never lets go of the string! He was the one who kept pulling and tugging me so I will overcome the wind and soar higher! God loves me! He wants the best for me! He helps me attain things for Him and for His glory! What an awesome God! May I always be a beautiful kite for Him.
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