Sunday, October 31, 2021

Send Me!

“ Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31

I am always in awe of people who can really love their neighbor as much as they love themself. If one can put another’s good, another’s comfort, before their own, that is truly exemplary. Megan Boudreaux was a 24 year old when she heard God in dreams telling her to go to Haiti. For months, God would wake her up in the middle of the night to ask her to leave her comfortable American life, her good job, family and friends to do His work in Haiti. He did not give her a clear plan and when she reached this God forsaken, poverty stricken place that was just devastated by an earthquake, she wondered what she was doing there. 

On her second day in Haiti when she felt so alone, she asked herself, “Am I crazy? My friends are right. I must be crazy to leave such a great life in the States for a place like this. I don’t even know why I’m here. Oh Lord. Did I make a mistake? Should I just go back home?” 

A few days after that, she walked up to the top of a mountain. She found the tree in her dreams, and it had these dead cats hanging on it. She didn’t know that in Haiti they used mountain tops for voodoo rites. She noticed two little girls crying there. They looked very pitiful, as if they had been beaten up. She asked them what was wrong but since she did not speak Creole, they could not communicate. She looked up in desperation asking God what was she doing there if she couldn’t even help these two little heartbroken kids! Right then and there God gave her the gift of speaking, and understanding Creole! She had her own Pentecost up there in that voodoo mountain! She found out that these precious little kids were child slaves! 

Three years later, Megan was able to build on six acres on that same mountain called Bellevue a school for 500 children. She founded nonprofit Respire Haiti where a staff of 200 educate, feed and address the spiritual, physical and medical needs of these children. "The amazingness of what God did after I made the choice to be obedient is incredible," Megan wrote in her book, “Miracle on Voodoo Mountain”. 

We have so many opportunities to love our neighbor where we are with what we have. And we certainly don’t need to wait for God to call us to uproot ourselves and leave everything behind. Let us not be afraid to say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Recognize Our Gifts

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

There are many misconceptions about humility. One might say that it is thinking oneself more inferior than others. But I think humility is knowing the truth about oneself, knowing one's place in the world. Seeing ourselves through the eyes of God, our Creator. Knowing that we need Him. C. S. Lewis in his remarkable book, "Mere Christianity", wrote, "True humility is not thinking less of yourself: it is thinking of yourself less."

If we are talented, beautiful, intelligent, creative, we should know it and be grateful. We should be confident in our abilities, knowing that God in His goodness has given us our talents for a purpose- to bless us and more so, to bless others!

BUT we should always always know that we are NOT better or superior to others.

Rabbi Israel Salanter said, “I know that I have the mental capacity of a thousand men, but because of that, my obligation is also that of a thousand men.”

This is a perfect example of Luke 12:48- “To whom much is given, much is required."

One day in 1993, a young girl named Darlene faced a problem that made her heart heavy and discouraged. She sat in her home in front of a piano her parents had given her when she was five years old. There, she opened her Bible and started reading Psalm 96. As Darlene meditated on, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day,” she played with the keys of the piano. Suddenly music began to flow and after twenty minutes she had a song! 

Although she was quite reluctant and embarrassed, she asked her music pastor Geoff Bullock to listen to it. “Please  don’t look at me but face the wall,” she asked. After she played haltingly, he assured her that her song, “Shout to the Lord” was wonderful and they sang it at the offering at church. Her Pastor was Brian Houston of Hillsong. As he predicted then, Darlene Zschech’s song would be sung all around the world. Since then, she has written too many praise and worship songs to count. “Shout to the Lord” has been performed for the Pope at the Vatican, and for the President of the United States. 

God can use even our heartbreak to bring something new and wonderful in our life. We just need to recognize our gifts and offer it to Him in humility. 

How much has been given to you? Do you use it to enrich yourself or to bless others?

Friday, October 29, 2021

One Who Saves a Life

“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” Luke 14:5

If we wish to follow Jesus who repeatedly said we had to serve others like He did, we should not be entitled, expecting others to serve us. We have to have the mind set of loving, and caring. We have to have compassion and empathy for others. It’s not easy at all to do, because by nature we see the faults and failures of others, and not the hurting heart that God sees.

In 1945, 13 year old Edith Zierer was freed from a Nazi labor camp in Częstochowa, Poland. She was so weak she collapsed in a busy village train station. Many passed by but no one helped until a young man stopped to give her a cup of tea, bread and cheese. He then carried her on his back to catch a train in the next village bound for Krakow, and accompanied her to where she wanted to go. She wrote his name down in her diary, the young man in a seminarian’s white garb who saved her. 

In 1978, Edith read in a copy of Paris-Match that Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope! She broke into tears when she recognized the name of her rescuer and wrote him from her home in Haifa, Israel. When they finally met again, Edith recited a line from the Torah: “One who saves a life, it is as if he saves the whole world." 

I believe God gives us all opportunities to save lives. It may not be as dramatic as Edith's story, but let us keep a look out for those opportunities all the same!

Thursday, October 28, 2021


“You are fellow citizens with the saints..." Ephesians 2:9

Saint Paul wrote this to the people of Ephesus, and I am sure if he wrote to us today, he would say the same thing. That we are fellow citizens with the holy ones, part of God's household. I could think I am no Mother Teresa who took care of the sick and dying, and who thought of herself as a little pencil in God's hand. I could tell myself I will never be a Pope John Paul II, a great man of God, who heard God call him as a young man, and followed Him to the Vatican, and helped bring down Communism. I'm not a Saint Francis of Assisi who left all his worldly goods to become a poor monk who built God's church at a time when it was crumbling. 

We may not be called to do something great, but like Mother Teresa, we can be God's pencil, and write what He wants us to write with our life. In 1 Peter 2:5, St. Peter wrote that we are like living stones being built into a spiritual house. Each of us has a role to play, a unique call and vocation. Certainly nothing is impossible with God!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Narrow Gate

“Lord, will only a few be saved?" Jesus answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate..." Luke 13:23-24

Sometimes when we listen to preachers, it seems like all we need to do is say the sinner's prayer and that's it. You're saved. But Jesus says here we have to strive, to "strain every nerve to enter", to "force yourself through it", “to endeavor with strenuous zeal".  The word 'strive' is translated from the Greek AGONIZOMAI, where the word 'agony' comes from. This word is used to describe athletic contests and war. And we know what kind of contests and wars the Greeks had!!! 

It sort of reminds me of the big man who insisted on going through Fat Man's Squeeze in Rock City, Tennessee. His friends said no, let's find some other way, but he insisted on going through this narrow passage between two huge rocks. First he removed his jacket, gets out, removed his shirt, then tried again. Then he unbuckled his belt to take it off. He was able to "force himself through” finally! 

Jesus is saying here it's not as easy as saying a prayer, or getting in a line to accept Him as Lord and Savior.  It's working at it our whole life. There are things we have to get rid of too, like the man unbuckling his belt and removing his jacket.

But I hold on to Philippians 1:6, “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." Let's strive with confidence and finish the race!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

With God, there is Always Hope

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” Romans 8:18

In the Bible, it says: “He watches everything closely, examining everyone on earth.” (Proverbs 5:21) 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 last week 17 missionaries and children were kidnapped in Haiti and the gang leader is threatening to kill them if they are not paid $1 million dollars for each hostage. Isn’t God watching? On my home front, I continue to need oxygen, and my heart beats very fast when I just go up the stairs. 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. And I know there is hope. There is always hope when one believes in God, the One who loves us best. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

The One Who Loves Us Best

“This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” the Lord said. (Luke 13:16)

I always marvel at how much knowledge, entertainment and news is at our fingertips if we have a computer or a phone with an internet connection. The first computer was the size of a room, and the first hard disk drive was the size of a cupboard! And now, my phone has more power than that monster computer which I think was powered by steam!!!

Before, news had to carried by people on horses and letters by boats which took months to reach its destination. Now, a glance at my twitter feed can bring me news faster than CNN! What an amazing world we have!

But are we just as amazed at how awesome it is, that the Messiah that "kings and prophets" longed and waited for, is here with us today? That we can actually have a relationship with Him? We can read His words, His love letters to us. We can read His story and if we read it often enough, and get to know His character and personality, the more clearly we can hear Him speak. One of the best reasons to read scripture is to know Him who loves us best. He can answer our questions and guide us the same way He did for our forefathers. In this story in Luke 13, we see His compassion, even that He is willing to fight the authorities for us, just so He can help us and free us! 

Is it not that we often take for granted that we can actually worship and fellowship with other believers without fear of getting caught, stoned, burned at the stake, or carted off to be killed by animals in the middle of an arena like the Hunger Games? The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah. 

Have we "found" Him for ourselves? 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

I Want to See

“What do you want me to do for you?” 

Mark 10:51

Jesus asked blind Bartimaeus what he wanted Jesus to do for him. Of course Bartimaeus said, “I want to see!" Can you imagine being blind? I am sure we would be willing to spend an awesome amount of money just to be able to see! I know I would!

And so I can consider myself a multimillionaire a million times over! Because I can see, I can walk, I can reach out and take hold of things with my fingers, my heart is beating without a pacemaker, I can enjoy food, I can paint and draw and sing and dance (not very well! my friend once said I dance like a tree trunk!), I can sweat (it's difficult if you can't), I feel pain (even more difficult if you can’t!!!!), I have hair, I have a wonderful family…

and  great relationships in and out of Facebook (ha ha ha!!!) Ohhhh, the list goes on and on and on! But the most wonderful gift is I know God and I know He knows me! The more we know scripture, the more clearly we can hear His voice saying, “I love you.” The more we can hear Him ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Clean Heart and Hands

“Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in His holy place?” Psalm 24:3

Yes who? It seems as if our country and even our Church are filled with people who do not know right from wrong! The answer follows: “He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.” I’m sure that discounts me! It discounts Saint Paul as well, who claimed in yesterday’s reading from Romans 7, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” Paul realized his sinfulness and his need for Jesus. 

When we realize our sinfulness, we see that our wisdom is foolishness in God’s eyes and become aware of our pressing need for Him. We can depend on God to redeem us just as He did Paul. He did not forsake Paul even when he was pursuing His followers, and putting them in chains to punish them. He did not give up on Paul even as Paul watched happily while the first martyr of Christianity, Saint Stephen, got stoned until he died. We too can take courage that God will use us even in our frailty, make our hearts new, and cleanse our dirty hands. Let us always take the time to connect with the only One who can do the impossible and bring us into His holy place. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

In His Will

“Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" Luke 12:56

In this chapter of Luke, Jesus is frustrated that people can't 'interpret the present time', can't see things as they really are.  Part of discernment is seeing things as they are, not misinterpreting situations, people, choices etc. Sometimes I think if only God would make His will clear. If only He would speak and we would just need to obey. To have clarity without doubt!!  

When my son Josh was a baby, it was very difficult for me to breastfeed. Painful!  I wanted to stop but Luigi, my husband, insisted I continue.  So I asked God, hoping He would give me permission to stop.  I was listening to the radio at that time, to FEBC, a Christian station.  Right after I asked the question, the announcer said, “Don't quit. God doesn't like quitters."  I got my answer, loud and clear!

But most of the time, we don't get the answers so clearly. Should we expect God to speak to us?  In John 10:27 there is this reassurance: “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me."  And then there's Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:9 where Jesus says, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find..."  If we persist in seeking God's will, we will find. And why should we persist?

"In His will is our peace." 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Consuming Fire

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” Luke 12:49

Why in the world would Jesus say that? I think of the conflagration in Australia from July 2019 to March last year which devastated 46 million acres. More than 5,900 buildings disintegrated to dust, ashes and rubble. At least 34 people were killed, and nearly 3 billion animals were affected in Australia’s worst wildfire season in modern history. Is this what Jesus meant?

In Deuteronomy 4, there is a verse there which says, “For the Lord, your God, is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” In another version, it reads, “a devouring fire”. Devouring and consuming are certainly descriptions of the wildfires in New South Wales and Victoria! It is something to take seriously! 

Deuteronomy 4:23 reads, “Take heed, therefore, lest, forgetting the covenant which the Lord, your God, has made with you, you fashion for yourselves against His command an idol in any form whatsoever”. How serious a sin is making an idol in any form, shape or configuration? Very very very serious! 

An idol is a false God. It doesn’t have to be a piece of wood, or a marble statue in a church. It can be anything we put in the place of God. It can be a person we obey and admire and defend even if he himself does and says things against God’s laws, and asks us to do things that God hates. It can be our work if our work separates us from God and the family we love. It can be many things if we put those things before God. Indeed, Jesus wants to bring fire into our lives to burn away whatever is dross from the gold. Are we prepared for God’s consuming fire? We need to be if we are serious about going to heaven! No dross is allowed there! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Much is Required

“When much has been given a man, much will be required of him.” Luke 12:48

God gave each of us gifts, talents, natural aptitudes, and resources. It’s up to us to discover them, hone them so they become skills, an expertise that we can use to bless others and give glory to the One who was generous with us. We’d like to think that God was equally generous with everyone, but the parable of the talents that Jesus told in Matthew 25 shows us that God entrusted more to some and less to others. 

My mom used to say that she had little talent compared to others but that she used it to the last drop. She also did not have much money to start a business. She started by using scraps to make stuffed toys. She did not have business expertise, she used her common sense. But she had faith, a whole lot of it. She prayed for a business, worked hard, prayed, learned what she could, prayed, persisted, prayed, and now that business is 54 years old this October. 

I have to admit, compared to my siblings, that I don’t have as much talent as they do when it comes to art. For years, I did not touch a brush or pencil. But in 2006, when I was dissatisfied that at 10 am I could not remember what I prayed about early in the morning, I decided to embellish the bible verse I meditated on. I would cut up magazines and put borders around the Bible verse in my journal. I would cut up pictures that would illustrate the verse. Eventually I started to draw. My drawing was so elementary but I kept at it. Then I started to paint. Every day I kept at it. Then I discovered painting in my Bible. When I got sick and could not go downstairs by myself to my craft room early in the morning, I started drawing digitally with Procreate. I believe the little seed God put in my hand has grown and will keep growing if I water it every day. 

I would think it’s scary if God gave us many many gifts!!!! We would have to grow each one! But I think God only gives us what we can handle. I remember a story of a little boy following his dad in a supermarket. The boy was holding a basket and the father was putting the bread, cheese, milk into it. A woman observing them, asked the son, “Isn’t that too heavy for you?” “No,” he answered, “My father knows exactly how much I can carry.” So too with our Heavenly Father, He knows how much of a burden we can carry.

Thank You Lord for all our gifts. Help us to take care of everything you give us. May we be grateful, and not proud of what we have, nor envious of what others have. Teach us to use our gifts to help and bless others. How wonderful it is to partner with You in discovering Your plan and purpose for each of us! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” Luke 12: 35-36

My neighbor has a lot of horror stories about her house help. One helper would hide pasta and spaghetti sauce and other goodies in a box hidden in their laundry area. It was covered with old bottles and other recyclables. On her day off she would bring the box with her in a taxi. Another one, a cook, would tell all the other new helpers that my neighbors were super strict and would cook very little food for them until the other helpers would leave and she would have the house to herself. Later it was found out that she would bring home the extra food for her family. Then there were two helpers who spent so much time sleeping at the same time. Anyone who rang the door bell or knocked would have to wait a long time before they would hear and open up. 

In Luke 12, Jesus tells us that we are not to be like that, caught sleeping, or it will not go very well for us. He says we are to be ready for His coming at any time, even in the second or third watch. If He finds us alert, we will be blessed because He Himself shall wait on us at table. 

During this pandemic it has been heartbreaking to hear of so many who have lost their lives, sometimes suddenly, sometimes after a protracted stay in the hospital. We never know when our invisible enemy will hit close to home. That is why we have to be ready at any time to go to our real home. Jesus tells us that if we have “girded our loins and lit our lamps” waiting for Him, He will lead us to a feast, a banquet table. 

We are Jesus’ friends but He also teaches us that we should learn to be servants. When God created us, He gave us a purpose, and He put that in our hearts. We also have a calling, and that’s what we have in our hands. If we want to be good stewards of what He has put in our hands, our gifts and talents, our resources, our time, we need to use it all to fulfill God’s purpose for us. 

Lord, may I be a good servant and use what I have in my hands to fulfill what You have put in my heart. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Saints All Point to Jesus

Today, October 18, is the Feast Day of Saint Luke the Evangelist. He is known as the patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers. 

In Christian tradition, Saint Luke is known to be the first icon painter, having painted the Madonna and child several times. The well known Black Madonna of Częstochowa is believed to be his work. I happily discovered that he illustrated a gospel book with miniature paintings! It's amazing to know that we who paint in our Bibles follow in the tradition of Saint Luke! 

I love reading about the saints. We can discover how ordinary men and women place their God-given gifts, their time, their resources, their voices, at the feet of Jesus, offer their lives to God, and discover their purpose. The saints come in different sizes, colors, temperaments, and professions, but they all point to Jesus. 

Saint Luke was not a Jew, but when he discovered the Savior, he decided to know as much as he could about Him. He interviewed Mary and wrote the most beautiful account about her in the Gospels. He was Paul's companion several times as Saint Luke mentions in the Book of Acts which he also wrote. I am sure he tried to learn as much as he could from Saint Paul and others as well. We find 6 miracles and 18 parables in his gospel not found in the others. 

Luke is mentioned in Paul's letter to Philemon, where Paul calls him "my fellow worker". And after Paul is deserted by everyone else in his final imprisonment, only Saint Luke remains with him. “Only Luke is with me,” St. Paul writes in his letter to Timothy (2 Tim 4:11) Do we get to know Jesus with all the resources available to us today? We may not be able to interview Mary or Saint Paul, but we can prayerfully read the gospels. We can listen to people who study God's word and learn their insights. We can sit at Jesus' feet and listen to Him. He may not speak clearly at first but if we persevere, God will surprise us. After all, He said if we knock, He will open the door. Like Saint Luke, let us open our hearts to discover all that God has in store for us! How exciting it is to wake up every morning to God's marvelous love and generosity! 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Fruit of Love is Service

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45

I am 64 years old already and I still have not learned this very important lesson. To be a servant, one must have the heart of a servant. And no one better exemplifies that than Mother Teresa who spent her life giving love to the least of God's people.

David Kessler tells one of the nicest stories about how Mother Teresa helped him with his book, "The Needs of the Dying". When he visited India in 1996, he had the opportunity to meet with her when she was told he worked with Elisabeth Kübler Ross, a pioneer in near death studies, and was himself writing a book. He described her as having "kind brown eyes, intensely wrinkled skin, and the warmest of smiles." She treated him like an old friend, and told him that soon she would be dying as well. He said that she talked about God as if He was her dearest, oldest friend, and that she was so looking forward to being with Him. 

Before he left, Mother Teresa asked for his business card and she gave him hers:

The fruit of silence is prayer,

The fruit of prayer is faith,

The fruit of faith is love,

The fruit of love is service,

The fruit of service is peace.

When he finished his book, he sent it to her, and she wrote the most wonderful praise for the book. When he told a friend that he felt he didn't deserve Mother Teresa's good words, his friend said: "So you don’t feel you deserve it. Then here is what you have to do. Spend every day of your life earning that praise.” And that is what David Kessler tries to do. 

If Mother Teresa was able to provoke this man to a life of service, so should we try to spend every day of our life pleasing our Father. 

Lord, may I live my life such that when I meet You face to face, You shall say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Teach me to be a servant like You, Lord. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Faith is the Key

“...the promise made to Abraham and his descendants that they would inherit the world...” Romans 4:13

There are many treasures in the Bible, and many keys to unlock those treasures. “Inherit the world”? What can that mean if I can’t even pay my electricity, or find a better job? 

God promised to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants, but according to verse 13, it’s not based on obedience to the law, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. Abraham is our example as a believer, and he is intensely alive today. More than 3 billion people, Christians, Muslims and Jews, venerate him. He is our spiritual father, our patriarch. 

In verse 16-17, Saint Paul writes that faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free gift if we have faith like our father Abraham. Abraham believed in a God who brings the dead to life, and who calls into being what does not exist. That is the secret to faith. If God says it, we believe it and we can receive it.  The key is finding a verse in the Bible we can claim, believe and receive. We, like Abraham, should be absolutely convinced that God is able to do anything He promised! 

Friday, October 15, 2021


 "Even the hairs of your head are counted!" Luke 12:7

How precious are we to God? So precious He knows how many strands of hair there are on our head. Now I do not know why He needs to know that, but that's what it says in the Bible! If He knows that, then He also keeps track of what we are doing every minute, every second of the day. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says that God has a plan for each of us, not just a mediocre plan, but a really excellent one. So it would be great to get to know what that plan is, to work with God, to make it come true.

Nick Vujicic was born with the tetra-amelia syndrome. He does not have arms. He does not have legs. But he goes around the world preaching to millions of people. One time, he had a short meeting with the President of Ecuador. A few days after that, the President had to consider a law that would allow abortion of disabled fetuses. He vetoed it because he said Ecuador needed more Nick Vujicics! We may not have as big a challenge as Nick, but certainly we have as important a role to play in God's plan for the world!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” Psalm 130:1b

Where did Saint Ignatius of Antioch get his courage? He wrote, “Permit me to imitate my suffering God...I am God’s wheat and I shall be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may become the pure bread of Christ.” 

We will celebrate his feast day in a few days, and I am in awe that a simple man like him born in obscurity would desire to be a martyr. When he was Bishop of Antioch in Syria, he was arrested. He refused adamantly to worship idols and was sentenced to die in the Roman Coliseum. On the journey to Rome, Saint Ignatius was chained, but he was allowed to visit Christian communities along the way. Christians accompanied him from town to town for he was a well known figure.

He wrote in one of his letters that if the animals in the arena were not hungry, he would prod them to eat him and he urged his fellow Christians not to prevent his martyrdom. We may think that this is impossible today, but there are many martyrs in many persecuted areas of the world, people of God who die in the obscurity of the world. When they arrive in heaven, I am sure they are greeted with another arena of welcomers, a cloud of witnesses! 

Image is of a fresco of the Saint in Hosios Loukas Monastery, Boeotia, Greece.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Rock and Salvation

"He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all." Psalm 62:6

I shall never be shaken. I shall not be moved or upended. God is my refuge, my fortress, my high tower. God has spoken plainly and we have heard and read it many times. We can depend on Him. He is our shelter and He has unfailing love for us. Why then do we doubt, why the anxiety, why the worry? 

When I am anxious, I consciously turn my anxiety into prayer. Whatever it is that makes me worry or afraid, I lift up to God. In all my life, I have not experienced this level of confusion with regards to how people think about our president and what he is allowing to happen in our country. Along with many filipinos, I believe he is going about solving the problems of our country in the wrong way. I see the blatant disregard for truth, justice, and human life. I am horrified with how much of our hard earned taxes has been stolen and wasted. So it surprises me and saddens me how so many can support him wholeheartedly. 


I believe that this is a time of testing and trial for all people of goodwill. What does the enemy want? He wants to destroy our country. He wants to bring us down but I believe all of this will only bring us down to our knees. 

Lord, You are faithful. I will not be disturbed for I know You sit on Your throne. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Tuesday, October 12, 2021


“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.” Psalm 19:2

There is no doubt that the Rolex or Patek Philippe watches were created by great designers, engineers, and master craftsmen. No way can the intricacy of those watches be put together by flinging the parts on the ground or putting it inside a shaker and shaking it around. In the same way, the teleological argument or the “argument from design” states that we know God exists because we observe that the magnificence of space, the beauty of the flowers, the amazing wonders of the varied animals and even our human body, cannot have been put together by luck. There is an intelligent, and to me, caring, intelligence behind it. 

Just take our skin. I find it amazing that I paint, and glue, I clean and rub dirty things, and I can wash it off and my skin is as good as new! My fingers are awesome! Can you imagine if we didn’t have our thumbs? Or lacked one joint in our fingers? If we go through the human body, one part at a time, our hair, eyelashes, nails, nose hair, lids, the list goes on and on and on, we will just marvel at the care and love our Master Potter lavished on us when He made us from mud and dirt.  And that’s just man! There are more than one million species of insects in the world according to the Royal Entomological Society! I can imagine God crazily putting together the most outrageous colors and shapes and configurations one after the other! I don’t think He’s finished enjoying Himself yet because 15-18,000 new species of animals are discovered every year! I cannot put enough exclamation points when I think about the amazing plumage of birds, the awesome colors of fish, and the pictures we see from outer space!!! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


Father, may I never ever take Your love for granted. You gave us a beautiful, awesome world! May we slow down, appreciate Your creation, breathe in Your goodness and be filled with gratitude always! 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Called to be Holy

"...set apart...called to belong to Jesus Christ...called to be holy..." Romans 1:1-7

Sometimes this scares me...that I am called to be holy, to be set be different. But what does this mean really? It just means that our Father wants us to be like Him. Not to be like the world, not to be filled with the world's ideas and values. 

God wants us to be His special people, to reflect His character to a dying and often times depraved world.

Isn't it but natural that a father wants the very very best for His sons and daughters?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Eye of the Needle

 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" Mark 10:25

This is just such a hard story to understand. On the one hand you see Jesus looking at this rich young man lovingly. Then right after, condemning him to a life of eternal damnation just because he would not sell all he had and give the money to the poor. How many of us would be able to do that at the drop of a hat?  Not many, I'm pretty sure of that! I was thinking if only that man stayed and listened. If only that young man followed Jesus, walked with Him! He would have heard Jesus' teachings, and little by little, he would have desired to do what Jesus wanted him to do.  

Jesus said to His disciples, "Everything is possible with God."  We shouldn't give up on ourselves just because we can't follow Jesus perfectly! Just because we can't give up everything and go to the ends of the earth and spread the Gospel. Just because we get impatient with little things and are ungrateful or cannot really forgive.  Jesus already paid the price for our salvation.  He said, “It is finished.” We just need to follow Him day after day, step-by-step-by-step, and we will change slowly but surely.  

St. Paul wrote to the Philippians: "And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Living Bibles

"Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it." Luke 11:28

Blessed, filled with grace, possessing the good things God has promised, to whom?

To those who hear the Word of God. NOT only to those who read, but who HEAR. Faith after all, comes from HEARING, from listening to the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

While I was painting, I sang this verse over and over, so as to hear it, remember it, embed it in my heart.

To be blessed with God's good things, we not only need to hear His Word, His promises, His instructions, we also have to observe it, obey it, follow it.

What good are instructions if it goes into one ear and out the other?!!!! Faith without good works is dead faith!

(James 2:17)

I was listening to Rick Warren and he said the aim of reading God's Word is to become

living bibles!!! Would you like to be a living bible? To be like one of Jesus' followers,

walking in His footsteps- following the living way, not a dead way with Pharisaic archaic rules, but following what Jesus taught? It's the only way to be blessed!!! Thank You Father for Your Word, which is our key to heaven’s treasure chest.