Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I was looking into the files in my old laptop and found this. This was my note when I was asked to speak for a few minutes on a Wednesday night at our previous church. I am inspired again!

Joseph was relentless

 One of the definitions of the word “relentless” is “being unyielding”. As far as being “unyielding”, Joseph is one of the most relentless personalities in the Bible. His being relentless was evident early on the chapter when he was first introduced in Genesis 37. He was working with his brothers as shepherds and at the end of the day, he would go home telling his father, Jacob, all the wickedness that his brothers did in the field. It is very obvious that Joseph could not stand any form of wickedness.

As we all know, he ended up as a slave in Potiphar’s house in Egypt. Once again, he had shown his being relentless as he was being tempted by Potiphar’s wife. In Genesis 39: 10, Joseph said “…how then can I do this great wickedness against God?” And on the second attempt of Potiphar’s wife to tempt him, Genesis 39: 12 and 13 says that Joseph fled!

 He couldn’t stand betrayal. He would never betray his master and most of all he would never choose to sin against God.

Another occasion when Joseph showed his relentless life was when he was summoned by the Pharaoh to interpret his dreams. He was relentless in that he was brave enough to tell the Pharaoh and his people that it wasn’t him who could interpret dreams but the Lord God. He wasn’t trying to be “the man!” He wasn’t ashamed of God in front of these heathen Egyptians.

God looked at his relentless character and knew he could be trusted with a bigger responsibility and bigger blessings!

Background that led him to being relentless

-          Looking back into Joseph’s ancestry, we will find repeated cases of betrayal. Jacob, Joseph’s father betrayed his father Isaac when he pretended to be Esau, his older twin brother, to get his blessings that were meant for Esau. In turn, Jacob was also betrayed by his father-in-law, Laban, when the later gave him Leah instead of Rachel for a wife. Jacob knew and suffered the consequences of his dishonesty. So, Jacob who loved Joseph more than he loved his other sons, must have spent a lot of time teaching Joseph about the fear of God and the serious consequences of sin. Jacob made sure that Joseph would live a different life- a relentlessly honest life especially before God.

We, too, can become as relentless as Joseph!
-          We might not have a calling as great as that of Joseph’s, but we face the same challenges and temptations in life as him. Today, we are bombarded by all kinds of wickedness around us every day: dishonesty, materialism, sexual immorality and so on and so forth. But like Joseph, we can live a relentlessly honest life. We can say, “no!” and flee from sin. We are more than able to do this because we have the Holy Ghost living in us. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you...” 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

I've been really enjoying the recipes I found at ohsheglows.com. The blogger is a vegan. I'm not, but I think her recipes are super nutritious and delicious. Here's one of my favorites...

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used organic dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (another oil may work too)
  • 1/8th-1/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste

Directions: Place 2 cups of raw, whole almonds into a food processor. Process for about 15 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or as necessary. It is a long process, but you don’t want to stop until you have released all the oils in the almonds and the mixture is very smooth and buttery! This took me a good 14-15 minutes.
Just before your almond butter is ready, add the 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp of coconut oil to a small pot. Melt on low. You want to remove the pot from heat when there are still some chocolate chip clumps remaining. Don’t worry they will melt as you stir the mixture. I always take it off the heat a bit early to avoid burning the chocolate.
Add the melted chocolate to the almond butter (still in the processor) and process for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add your kosher salt to taste and process more. Scoop into a container and store in the fridge. Makes 1 & 1/4 cups, 20 one-tbsp servings, or enough to fill a 250 ml jar. Refrigerate. Note that the almond butter firms up in the fridge. Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften before using.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Do We Homeschool Our Children?

Oh, well, why not? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do. The cool dude Tim Tebow (football icon) and Taylor Swift (what is she famous for, again?) were home-schooled! Oh, wait, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison were also home-schooled! A few US presidents were home-schooled like Wilson Woodrow! ***wink wink***

Kidding aside, here is a few reasons why we think home schooling is the best education option for our children. I hope that family and friends will find this post helpful. But first let us look at the definition of the word "education". According to Noah Webster, the man who is called "The Father of American Christian Education" and "The Father of Copyright Legislation of America" and the author of the 1828 Dictionary, Education is "The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties." 

Let us also look at the history of home schooling a little bit. Did you know that it is actually not a new fad in American culture? It's history can be traced to the founding fathers of America. In fact, most of them, if not all, were home-schooled. Can you imagine that during the time when education was primarily handled by parents and church, then tutors and apprenticeships for specialized skills, the founding fathers- the greatest group of men of character and reasoning of all time were produced! Another stunning fact is that the literary level in America was the highest than it’s ever been – virtually 100%!

Okay, so now our personal reasons for homeschooling...

1. Family time- 
Days when our children are little and dependent on us are numbered. Time flies! Before we know it, they are gone. Homeschooling gives us control over our daily schedule. We can be together during our children's best hours, which I also call "learning hours". As opposed to trying to be a happy family when kids are tired, grumpy and stressed out from school... plus, their painful anticipation of doing a truckload of homework.

I went to public schools and so I do know how it is to be away from my parents for at least 6 hours a day. By the time I got home, I was so ready to have a good bonding and interaction time with my parents, but of course, there were "other" activities... like Girls Scouts, Children Bible study, play dates with friends and homework. I found myself with "other" people again. When I finally got to see my parents, I would be too tired to even want to talk to them. At the end of a regular school day (that's 5 days a week), I spent very little (or none) of quality time with my parents. At least though, I slept with them, so when we were sleeping I felt them so near me. That was my bonding moment with them. As a child, it was such a big thing to me that I was near my parents. It gave me a feeling of being safe. Studies show that feeling safe does wonders for a person’s self-image and for their relationships.

In addition, because we control our children's schedule, we can go on vacation anytime we want and guess what, we bring their school with them. We can be a family even on school days!

2. Curriculum control- 
We have the freedom to choose our own curriculum from countless available materials! Our children will not be forced to study for over a decade subjects that they may not have aptitude or use for. We choose our own methodology (with carefulness) according to what we believe well suited to their personalities. We are not time-bound. We do not force our children to complete a certain project or exercise at a specific time-frame. They move on their phase and usually, faster than the public schooled kids because they get one-on-one instruction. There won't be any report cards that tell them how big of a winner or a loser they are. There's no comparing how fast or slow learners they are. 

3. No Homework-
Homework obviously choke up our children's time that is supposed to be spent on things that they like... time that they can use to put their creative mind and hands to work, unorganized and unsupervised. Time for them to discover their own interests, skills and calling. Homeschooling is making this time all available for their young minds. Did you know that when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs quitted school, they were able to start getting creative? And we know what happened to their creations!

4. Real-life socialization-
We want our children to experience the real-life socialization. We choose who our children socialize with. Sticking our children in a class of 10-40 for many hours a day, regardless of whether they have anything in common outside of age is subtly destructive to them. It would be easy for them to pick up habits and ideologies that we, parents, would never want them to learn. Any child psychologist will approve of me saying that there is something called "forming years" in life. It is important who our children spend chunks of time with during their forming years. Because at this time, they are particularly like sponges! Prevention is better than cure.

The issue of socialization always comes up when homeschooling is mentioned. People forget that we don't become social because we are constantly in a crowd. Being social is a by-product of family dynamics, personality and a little bit of training. Peers are in no way the best trainer in this area. The parents are! We, homeschooling parents, ensure that our children get social interaction and not only that but we have the opportunity to pick and monitor their social contacts. I actually smile when people ask me, "So, how do your children socialize?" We have neighbors. We have a church. We go shopping. We go to the park. We have play dates. We have parties to go. We go on trips. Sports. Dance classes. Homeschool coops. There are countless of avenues to meet with people. Ironically, I have seen so many socially awkward kids in public schools. I was one of them. My husband admits he was also one of them.

5. Bible and Character building-
Sadly, Bible is not part of the public school curriculum. If we seriously desire to raise up strong godly Christian children, we don't leave the solid teaching of the Bible in the hands of the church through Sunday School. I'm not talking about daily devotions either. This is a Bible study. This is a journey of knowing God, His power and His ways. Do you think we can still teach our children the Bible when they get home from school. They will be tired and they will have homework to do. Also, what does the public school say about the Bible, creationism, prayer and being a Christian? Go figure. My husband and I felt like we were a misfit at school for being followers of Jesus Christ. Such a struggle that we had to overcome. And at times, we wished we were not Christians so we could fit in. I'm not saying that we Christians should not mingle with those who are not. What I'm saying is that we are intentionally putting our young kids on a difficult spot of feeling they don't belong. Wait for the time when they are old and strong enough, well-founded to defend their faith and are fine living lives that are different than that of the world. They can only be the light in the dark public school when they know and are well-founded in the Light. Every thing is beautiful in its time. Do we send an army of young boys and girls with no military training to the war zone in Iraq and Afganistan? No. So why do we expect our little cutie pies to fight for their faith in a spiritually dark world without their mommies and daddies holding their hands?

Character building is one of the major reasons why we homeschool. That our children become men and women of character is every Christian parents' sincere prayer. Unfortunately, this not a priority of the public school.

6. Safety-
We lock our doors and close our windows at home. Don't we? We are even willing to go far as installing alarm system in our homes to make sure our family is safe, especially the little ones. Oh, and how about keeping a gun at home to help us defend our children from their attackers? So then why send the little ones to live with strangers for 6 hours a day? 

Yes, we do shelter our children from the real world… because the real world is full of bullies and will teach them how to become one. The real world will indoctrinate them the worldly ideology and if lucky they will become pluralistic. Some part of the real world will be invaded by shooters and abusers. The real world will teach them that everything in life is a competition and losers don't have a spot in it. The real world will show them overrated sensuality. The real world will turn the children's lives up side down. What if your child is one of the weak? During their forming years, when they are young and vulnerable, we shelter them from this kind of world because we are their parents and that's our calling and responsibility. Until they are old and strong enough to independently shelter their own selves, WE, THE PARENTS, SHELTER THEM.

8. Cost- 
It is much cheaper to homeschool than sending my children to private schools, which is just a little upgrade of the public school. Here's another word from Noah Webster, "The general institution of schools in this country is full proof that ...people never misapply their economy so much, as when they make a provision for the education of children.” 

9. Priority-
My children are my priority! Before I chase my dreams for myself... to make a difference in the world, I want to make a difference in my children's lives first. My children first! They are my priority. I feel like it would be hypocritical of me to teach other people's children (because I am a teacher) or be useful in other fields... to conquer the world and earn tons of money but leave my own children in the hands of strangers. It's not easy to have my profession/career (outside home) put on hold. But I feel like it is a "sweet surrender" for  me. Laying down my personal dreams because my children are so worth it! This is how I show how much I love them. 

I honestly can come up with more reasons, but this is all for now.  See you later...

Friday, July 22, 2011


Oftentimes, as women we get so stressed out by expecting too much from our ourselves and beyond what we can handle. Most stresses in life can sure be avoided. We need to surround ourselves with honest, loving and godly friends. Also, we need to give ourselves a time to be vulnerable. 

Sometimes, we lose our true friends because we show ourselves to be self-sufficient... and that we don't need anybody. Yes, we do! There is a need for every woman to show vulnerability, so the grace of God and the love from people flow in to strengthen us. This is something that the Lord had to deal with me over the years. I was a proud and a very self-sufficient woman. I had the "girl power" thing! But the Lord had to "demolish" that girl power thing. True freedom and blessings came when I finally surrender it and admit my vulnerability. I had to strip off my "super woman" mask and showed who I really am... a person needing God's grace and people's love. It is the key for my very successful marriage, the first step for my becoming a wife who submits herself to my husband and a mother who doesn't hesitate to show tears to her daughter and explains why. I am no longer afraid of showing my vulnerability because I am free. I do not need to perform to be hailed as a great woman. I do not need it. And the more I grow in this area, I have developed great friendships. Friends that would die for me, if needed, including a husband.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Okay, so we all have girl friends who are close to us. Some of them become as close as our own sisters. What do you feel when your very close girl friend basically "parent" your child in front of you? I would feel uncomfortable. In fact, very uncomfortable!

See, I'm not a perfect person but I don't do that. I don't teach/correct/instruct/rebuke a child in front of his/her mom or dad... yes, if the parents didn't ask me. Simple... it's not right. Doing that is putting the parents in an "embarrassing" hot zone. In other words, it's rude.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In my FB today

Me As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 11:22
19 minutes ago · Comment · Like

Marcia Martens

Funny you posted this, a friend of mine did just a few days ago asking for interpretation of it. So how do you interpret this verse?
18 minutes ago · Delete


What at coincidence! Anyway, I am listening to my audio Bible and I was tickled when this was narrated. I think it's a funny picture. Anyway, pigs were considered unclean animals in the old testament and even with a gold ring on its nose, they still stink. Similarly, nice expensive clothes, jewelry and make up won't cover a wicked woman's heart. No... Read More beautification regimen can cover a stinky heart attitude. No social grace in this world can replace the beauty of the wisdom in a woman who fears and love the Lord... one whose heart is redeemed and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
2 minutes ago · Delete

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Subsistence Living

No doubt Beth Moore is one of the excellent Apologetic teachers today. I had really enjoyed her devotional study called, A Heart Like His, when I did it some 5 years ago. Presently, I am learning so much from her 90 Days study of David. The pursuit to have a heart like God's has never ceased burning in me. The intensity of this fire may seem to fluctuate but it has never been quenched. David is one of my very favorite characters in the Bible. It is such a blessing to get a thorough study of his life from Beth Moore.

On our Ladies Bible study at church this week, we had one of Beth Moore's Extraordinary Women DVD's. The heart of her topic on that particular episode was on satisfaction. Here are the points she gave out that really spoke to my heart...

1. We are born needy people. We need food, clothing, shelter and etc.. We need to be loved and affirmed. Since we are born for satisfaction, we are going to look for something to satisfy us.

2. Psalm 6:5 shows that God can satisfy us. In fact, He is the only one who can give us real satisfaction.

3. So many women today settle on subsistence living. Subsistence living is the state of being supported through alms or remaining alive with a minimum of essentials.
They live with an empty cup in their hands and they go to people around them asking for alms of affirmation and love. And when the people they expect to give them what they need fail, they get so broken, helpless and frustrated... blaming the world for their emptiness.

This is so true! It is so easy to expect our husbands, children, parents, other family members and friends to fill our needs. We tend to perform and show off so that we get praised. Some tend to appear pitiful to get extra attention from others. The problem is that the more we expect and demand affirmation and love from others, the more frustrated we get.

4. Until we find satisfaction in Christ, we will wear others out with our needs.

5. We need to default coming to Christ every day with our empty cup and ask Him to fill us with His unfailing love. Only His is a love that never ever fails. In doing so, we won't live like beggars.