Thursday, May 31, 2018


“My soul magnifies the Lord...” 
Luke 1:46

There is a lot of joy in my heart this morning. I feel like a mother who after 9 months of difficulty, patience, praying, trusting in the Lord, finally gave birth to an awesome baby! I promised the Lord at the start of the year, and even drew it on my vision board, that I would create workshops once a quarter, then once a month, “all for His glory”. 

I held workshops in February, March, and April. 

This May, I became more ambitious, and developed a workshop which was quite challenging. I prayed hard for God’s grace upon me and the participants. Yesterday finally came, and I was expecting 5 participants, and that was totally ok, to have 5 willing “guinea pigs” to practice on! Uh oh, God surprised me. That’s an understatement! There were 22 participants, and some came after traveling for hours from Laguna! A major uh oh! Heebie jeebies in the form of “Is this workshop going to be worth all the time and effort for them?”, “Will they enjoy it?”, and the big one, “Am I up to it?!!!”

But then God and His marvelous faithfulness became concrete for me, when I just enjoyed His gifts, His daughters (and one son), and the moment. Yes, it was challenging for everyone, but how much sweeter is the fruit for having been born after some hardship! 

Mary was a very young girl when God visited her. She held the Creator of all good things in her womb for a little while. She said “yes” to God and never imagined how much blessing it would bring not only her, but the whole world. In a small way, we too can carry Jesus into the world, when we use our gifts, when we say yes to God, when we are brave enough to try for bigger things. God is faithful! God looks with favor upon each of us and has many wonderful things in store! 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WOYWW: The Grass Withers

I was watching a movie on my phone, and painting on my planner last night. I also have some unfinished projects- a stuffed cat and bear I am painting. 

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” 

1 Peter 1:24-25

When I look around me, it seems as if I am safe. My house has a strong foundation, the building where I work has withstood earthquakes and storms, I have flown back and forth in airplanes many times, and the people around me have my good at heart. The truth is my house may have termites gnawing somewhere in secret. Some time ago, my helper who has apparently very good hearing, heard termites attacking her bedroom door and we were able to call a pest control company. As for our building, in the past month, the fire alarm sounded twice! We never know when the fragility of solid things around us impacts our consciousness. 

Of all we know in this world, only the Word of God stands sure and eternal. In 1 Peter 1:23, it says that we can be born anew, not from perishable seed but from imperishable seed, “through the living and abiding Word of God.” Our eternal spirits crave eternal food, and there is only one, the living bread of life, the Word became flesh. So let us try not to satiate ourselves with what the world can offer, but spend more time in pursuit of what our soul hungers for. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Gird Up!

“Gird up the loins of your mind...” 
1 Peter 1:13

Back in Peter’s day, men wore flowing garments that they had to tuck into belts when they had work to do. The long garment could seriously impede them if they had to run or work fast, so it was necessary to tuck it in so they would not trip over them. But how do we follow Peter’s admonition to gird up in relation to our mind?

I think it means to be ready for the work the Lord has for us. Yesterday my sister, niece and I went on our regular store visit to some of our branches. When we got to SM San Lazaro and Robinson’s Manila, we found the stores were clean, the displays were well arranged for the coming Father’s Day. They were well stocked in order to sell well. The staff did their duties and we did not have to remind them of anything they missed in relation to their job. Our staff has a manual where their job is described and all they need to do is to follow it. 

We too have a manual. If we want to do our job well, for our Father in our “family business” as I like to call it, we need to study it, and follow it. The Bible teaches us so much, especially how to gird up the loins of our mind. We have to be able to think clearly, and exercise self-control. In that way we can look forward to the special blessings and inheritance held in store for us! 

Monday, May 28, 2018


“ inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you...” 1 Peter 1:4

What would make someone do everything, even to giving his very life, so that another may have a treasure so immeasurable? Only love. 

Danielle Green-Byrd was a young, beautiful African-American, one of the first women injured during the beginning of the war in Iraq. On May 25, 2004, she was on a rooftop guarding the two-story Iraqi police station when two rocket-propelled grenades hit a barrier on the ground and exploded. A third one hit and her left arm up to her shoulder went flying. As she was being brought to the ambulance, she was screaming. When asked, “Are you in pain?” She answered, “No! My ring! My wedding ring!” 

Against orders, two of her sergeants went back on the rooftop, retrieved her arm and placed her wedding ring on her right hand. Imagine what her husband Willie felt when he learned that her wedding ring was more precious to her than her left arm! 

The wedding ring was a symbol of her deep love and commitment to her husband. Jesus has an even deeper, more noble love and commitment to us. He willingly gave not only His arm or leg, but up to His last agonizing drop of life and strength. That is why we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven! 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Making Disciples!

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...” Matthew 28:19

In 2006, I was dismayed to find that I could not remember anything about the scripture I read and meditated on during my prayer time early in the morning. I decided to embellish the Bible verses with cuttings from a magazine, just to make it stand out visually on my notebook. From collage, I eventually started doodling, drawing and painting. Now I paint on my Bible. What a journey it has been! 

Next step, God gave me the assignment to post my meditations on my blog in 2009. I did not know where it would take me. From my blog, I went on to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler and Google plus. I have been doing this every day for years now. Every day, I feel like I am partnering with God on a mission. I know I would never have been able to do this on my own! No way! Every day I am pleasantly surprised. 

Do I think I am following Jesus’ command to all of us to “make disciples of all nations”? Undoubtedly! But first I am preaching to myself! This morning I read in my daily meditation guide, “The Anawim Way”- “The first person whom we must “make a disciple” is ourselves. One must be a disciple before one can make a disciple. We cannot give what we do not have...Becoming a disciple is a life-long process, part of which involves witnessing to others about Jesus. The more we give Him to others, the more we grow in Him ourselves.”

When we share about Jesus, we fall in with this long line of “witnesses”, going back to a ragtaggle bunch of fishermen who did not know what they were doing at first. Jesus gave them the power of the Holy Spirit, just as He gives us that same power today. But we have this great advantage over those fishermen! We have technology, and we can reach so many more people around the world than they could. Let us plug into the amazing power of Jesus and use all the tools available to us to give Him to others, and grow in Him ourselves! 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Little Children

“Let the little children come to me...” Mark 10:14

In Matthew 18, Jesus called a small child over to Him, and said to His disciples, “I assure you, unless you ...become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven....” What a lot to chew on! 

What is it about children that enchants and beguiles us? Last Thursday, I invited a little girl named CK to see Pepper, the cat in our office. She was so excited and eager when she saw Pepper. She wanted to hold him. She held his paws in her little hands to rub on her face. She had so many questions. Her eyes danced and she literally pranced around in joy. 

What is it about children that Jesus wants us to be? He wants us to approach Him like a little child, eager to learn, with lots of questions, excited about what He can teach us, delighted with His gifts. Every morning, we can open up the greatest treasure, the Bible, and He will eagerly share His secrets with us. 

If we are persistent and teachable like a little child when we approach God, we will find He is so generous. When was the last time we were amazed at a new revelation? The last time we read something in the Bible and our heart leapt? Oh the things we miss when we just skim over the Words in a rush. We need to savor God’s Words to us because it is the sweetest love letter we will ever receive! We need to spend time with the One who loves us best! Isn’t it absolutely, mind bogglingly amazing that the King-Creator of the Universe wants us beside Him? 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sandpaper to Heaven

“Do not grumble or complain about each other...” James 5:9

I like to train my mind to see the good in people and situations. I do not always succeed, but if I practice all the time, I know I will improve. I got very good advice from one of my godparents in marriage. She said always see your husband through God’s eyes. Today when marriage and family are under constant attack, we need to see our spouses through God’s loving and faithful perspective. God did not give us our spouses so that they will provide everything to make us happy. No man or woman on earth can ever fulfill all our emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental needs. And we will never be able to do the same for any one either, no matter how much we love them. 

I like to think of people as God’s sandpaper. If anyone aggravates me, annoys me, infuriates me, they are just smoothening my rough edges. We all have our rough edges. We are diamonds inside coal. Only heat and pressure, and lots and lots of time and patience can turn carbon into coal, and coal into a diamond. 

God’s ultimate goal for us is we enter His eternal Kingdom and join Him in His love. We obviously can’t get near Him right now with all our sin and imperfections. He’s working on that right now! Every time we say ouch! We need to see all our trials and challenges as opportunities for God to transform us. The stumbling blocks are actually stepping stones to becoming more and more the person we have the potential to be. 

At the start, we are like the ugliest lump of gold in God’s eyes. Full of imperfections and impurities. Then He starts His work in us, like a refiner using heat again and again and again to force our impurities to the surface. Ouch! The refiner knows His work is done when He can see His face reflected in the gold! 

In Romans 8:29, Saint Paul writes that God chose us to be like His Son, that we would all be brothers and sisters. Let us thank God for His patience, and stop grumbling and complaining about our brothers and sisters. Let us view each and everyone, and every situation as our stairway to heaven. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Salted with Fire

“Everyone will be salted with fire.” 

Mark 9:49

Sounds painful. When salt is rubbed into a wound, it makes the pain worse. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used salt water to treat wounds and mouth sores, and skin irritations.

Why did Jesus say that EVERYONE will be salted with fire? He also said that we have to be salt in this world. We use salt to preserve food. Fire is used to purify metals, refining the gold and silver from iron and other impurities. Jesus means that we can be salt to a decaying, progressively despairing world. But first we need the refining fire of the Holy Spirit. Without His power, we are fair game for the evil one to toy with his endless deceptions. 

In Leviticus 2:13 we read: “Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God's eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.” Salt was a symbol of incorruption. We are all subject to decay and ruin. 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2) Here it all comes together. We are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, but we should never forget to “add salt”, to preserve ourselves from the decay around us in the world. 

Lord, send Your Holy Spirit, and enkindle in us the fire of Your transforming love!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

WOYWW: Puff of Smoke

My friend loves Starbucks coffee
and I could not resist making her this!

Happy birthday Elma! 

“You have no idea what your life will be tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” James 4:14

Sad but true. Yesterday I was shocked and saddened to learn that one of our suppliers who comes to deliver her jewelry to us weekly had passed away so suddenly. Last week, we saw her and everything was just as before. She delayed her dialysis treatment for a few days and now we will not see her again. We just never know what happens in a day.

It seems to me that we should live our life so we make some difference in the world, and perhaps the only way to do that is to know what God’s purpose for us is and to live that purpose. It does not matter how young we are, how old, whether we are a President, or a janitor in a small school in the province. We have work to do that can give meaning to our life. 

John Bechtel was a missionary in Hong Kong and he had a dream to have a camp for the teenagers he saw loitering in the streets. He found a closed hotel and conference center that would be a perfect place but the only problem was it was being sold for $250,000.00. This was in 1971. 

His friend, Walter Meloon, an influential businessman, believed in his vision and promised to raise all the money he needed. 3 months later, Walter sent a note: “Dear John, I’m sorry. I tried my best. I couldn’t raise the funds. Only one person responded. I enclose it.” It was a note from a 14 year old girl named Belinda Holmes. “Dear Mr. Bechtel, I heard about your plan. I’ve been praying about it. I’d like to give you my pocket money. Here is $1. Please use it to buy the camp.”

John was really disappointed but his wife said, “Follow what she says. Go buy the camp for $1.” So he goes off and shows the letter to the caretaker who laughed but reluctantly gave the offer to the Board. The Board prayed about it and agreed to sell the whole place to John for $1.00. Today Suen Douh Camp still exists and over 100,000 children have accepted Christ during one of their trips there. 

20 years later, John is speaking in a church in the States, and a woman approaches him after his talk. “Mr. Bechtel, I am Belinda Holmes.” That was the first time she heard what happened to her $1.00! 

When we pray each day about what we are to do, when we partner with God, we will never know what He can do with our smallness and our willingness to give what He wants us to give. 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Servant’s Heart

“If anyone wishes to rank first, He must remain the last one and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35

Many conveniently forget this in the pursuit of their goals and dreams. There are many rich and powerful men and women today in government who live as if their goal is to become richer and more powerful still, unmindful of the people they swore to serve. 

I prefer to look for my examples in men and women who have become “small” in the eyes of the world, in order to be “first” with God, in the hopes that something of their virtue might rob off on me. 

Marion Mill is little known, although she wrote an autobiography titled, “All I Want is Everything”. She wrote: “Albert Schweitzer says there are two kinds of people. There are the helpers, and the non-helpers. I thank God that He allowed me to become a helper, and in helping, I found everything."

Marion Mill was born in a royal palace, the daughter of a European diplomat, who ate with spoons of gold. She went to the best schools. When she was married to the famed director Otto Preminger, she led a glamorous life and charmed everyone with her wit and beauty. Living the fast life had its perils and she soon began to drink, take drugs and tried to commit suicide three times. 

One day she met Dr. Schweitzer in Vienna. After talking to him about his work in Lambarene in the Congo, she pleaded with him to take her there. She went, and spent many months every year nursing his patients, cleaning bedpans and the putrid sores of leprosy. 

“One outgrows things,” she said. “The world I knew was suddenly meaningless and with out purpose. I am quoting Dr. Schweitzer, who says, ‘Sometimes in our lives our inner light goes out and can be put into flame again only by the encounter of another human being.’ Albert Schweitzer is such a human being. I was so impressed with the idol of my childhood that I became his most faithful follower.”

May we surround ourselves with people who can enliven the flame of our inner light. Perhaps we ourselves can be that person who inspires others to serve God and our fellow man the way Jesus wants us to. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Help My Unbelief!

“I do believe, help my unbelief!” 

Mark 9:24

I always pray this prayer, and I should pray it more often. In this story in Mark chapter 9:17-29, one of the men in the crowd surrounding Jesus’ disciples came forward and said, “ I brought my son for You to heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit. I asked Your disciples to cast it out but they could not....Have mercy on us and help us. Do something IF You can.”

“What do you mean, IF I can?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible IF a person believes.” The father instantly replied, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” Jesus then proceeded to rebuke the evil spirit, “Spirit of deafness and muteness, I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again.” 

Today, doctors would probably diagnose that this child’s seizures were caused by abnormal activity in the brain. There would be no talk of evil spirits, and a doctor certainly would not rebuke a spirit of any kind. He would probably prescribe Levetiracetam or another drug that can treat epilepsy. Today, we like to ignore spirits and the spirit world altogether. 

But it says in Ephesians 6:12, “We are not fighting against people of flesh and blood, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” I always go to a doctor when I need to go. But I never forget to pray and claim God’s Word. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV), “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” The Word of God is our best insurance not only for our bodies but also for our soul and spirit. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tongues of Fire

“Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.” Acts 2:3

Although I’ve attended many baptisms of the Holy Spirit, I’ve never seen tongues of fire. I’ve witnessed a lot of crying, babbling in all sorts of tongues, and fainting. One time, a long time ago, an American evangelical visited our prayer meeting, and he just went around with his arm outstretched, his palm towards someone’s forehead, and even without touching, people would fall left, right, and center, without care for where they would fall. My sister and I followed him around, fixing women’s skirts as they fell on the cement floor. The Holy Spirit is powerful indeed, but it is what happens after the baptism that is more important.

The Holy Spirit gives us many gifts. We need to discover them and use them to be an effective and victorious Christian. Although God can give us wisdom and guidance, sometimes we willfully make the wrong choices and decisions. A paper thin cut on our skin when exposed to bad blood is life threatening. The same is true with our soul. When we allow bad images on the internet or TV to invade our imagination, or we go around with people we think are cool but influence us in ways we know to be against God’s ways, we inflict damage on our eternal soul. 

Let us keep the flame burning bright. Let us not let our lamps go out. Let us be careful of what we see, what we hear, who we go with, where we go, and what we do. Life is too short to squander on what is foolish and of no value.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

God is Watching

“His eyes behold, His searching glance is on mankind.” Psalm 11:4

In my other Bible, it says: “He watches everything closely, examining everyone on earth.” Not everyone believes this. They say there is no God because there is suffering, there is perversion, there are horrible things happening all around the world. Just yesterday 10 people, mostly students, were killed in a Santa Fe High School shooting. Wasn’t God watching? Today, I have 5 sores in my mouth, a flare up of my Pemphigus Vulgaris condition. Doesn’t God care? 

I believe He watches and knows everything. But suffering and sin and sickness entered the world when man chose another way other than God’s way. We cannot say there is no God if there is evil in the world. Recognizing there is evil means we recognize there is good and we prefer the good. There is good only if there is a moral law, and there can only be moral law if there is a moral law giver. Who else can that be, except God? 

Bertrand Russell, the famous agnostic, wrote in a 1953 essay that, "it is impossible, or at least impossible at the present time, to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned." When I read the Bible, I realize how fantastic it may seem to some people. Although more than half of the scientists in top universities are atheists, more and more scientists today believe in God because of new discoveries about the creation of the universe and how finely tuned it is to support life. 

I am happy that my faith is supported by reason and logic, even by mathematics and science. But I am even more happy that I believe in God because I experience His love, goodness, faithfulness, and sometimes His discipline. When I ask, He answers. When I listen, He speaks. I know without a doubt He watches over me, in every little detail of my life. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

As Far as the East is From the West

“As far as from the east is from the west, so far has He put our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

Every time I go to confession, it seems I confess the same sins over and over again. But in the same way we should never give up on ourselves, we should never give up on others. God always gives, even the hardest criminal, the option for authentic conversion. 

It used to be that the Angola Prison in Louisiana was the bloodiest and most notorious prison in the whole of the United States. Blood on the wall, on the carpets, everywhere, and if one went in, they would give you a knife to defend yourself. There were 5300 inmates and 85% were on life sentence without parole. 45 inmates were on death row. Nathan Burl Cain agreed to take the job as warden if he could do it his way. He served for 21 years, from 1995 to 2016. He placed Bible verses every where and had inmates attend bible studies. There was a degree program for theology for former gangsters who wanted to be pastors. The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary put up a branch there and developed many faith leaders. If you visited the prison at that time, you wouldn’t even hear a word of profanity from the staff or the prisoners. There was a real spiritual atmosphere about the place. 

In the execution chamber, there were two pictures. One was a painting of Daniel in the lion’s den painted by one of the inmates. It signified that God can rescue you even in the direst of circumstances. The other picture was of Elijah rising to the heavens on a chariot of fire. If God won’t rescue you from the lion, He will rescue you in another way! 

Thank You Lord that You never give up on us! When we ask for forgiveness, You will put our transgressions as far as the east is from the west! 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Take Courage

“Take courage.” Acts 23:11

The world is changing and it seems to me, much is going out of control in many places of the world. Terror attacks by young children? Vans used to mow through people walking on sidewalks? Churches being targeted? 

In the States, Caryl Ayala, felt she had to quit her job as a teacher. She could not stomach encouraging her students to read specially marked books placed in the school library by the Anti-Defamation League. One particular book among many others, “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris, targeted 9-10 olds. It contained promiscuity, homosexual exploration, sexual intercourse, street language, masturbation techniques, abortion as an escape for unwanted pregnancy, etc. In her school in Texas, most of the students were from Latino background and their parents were not even informed of the new programs. She bravely quit her job of 20 plus years and is now trying to fight the politically motivated curriculum. 

These days we need to stand for what is right, and speak for those with no voice. Saint Paul was courageous even when he knew he would be imprisoned, beaten, and suffer much for the cause of Christ. Let us find our courage to do the same. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

WOYWW: God’s Gracious Word

I am starting a new project. Maybe this will be a monster, or maybe a cute cat, or even a kid with pigtails! Whatever it is, I need to paint it white first and it’s hard to tell where you’ve missed a spot!!!

“I commend you now to the Lord, and to that gracious Word of His which can enlarge you...” Acts 20:32

Another version reads: “And now I entrust You to God and to the Word of His grace- His message that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those He has set apart for Himself.” Saint Luke in this chapter of Acts recounts the last words of Saint Paul to them at Miletus. He was fully prepared for what awaited him in Jerusalem. “The Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for the work assigned me by the Lord- the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.” 

Yes, God’s gracious Word is really the best news any human being can be in possession of. This wonderful message can give us the only inheritance worth waiting for. I confess it was very hard for me to read the Bible at the start. It was tedious going, boring even. I would start reading with the intention of reading the Bible every day, but I would stop because of passages I disagreed with, could not understand or because I was just plain lazy. Then I would start again, stop and start again. Whatever we feed will grow. Whatever we starve will die.  

Perhaps we read and pray out of a sense of duty or obedience at first. But then we gain an interest, and then a love for it. God partners with us in our journey. We do not go through it alone.