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.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

P.M. Sing

I was fortunate I didn't really suffer P.M.S cramps since I started having my period in high school until before I had my daughter. The only thing I would feel during those times were extraordinary sleepiness. I would just sleep whenever I could and I was fine. I still feel that now. And cry. Or laugh. I don't know... for some reason, I become extremely sentimental or happy when I am P.M.Sing. Crabby? Well, I get crabby when I am starving. That's another story.

Someone I know gets super depressed when she was P.M.Sing. When I was with her, it was so difficult for me to get along with her. She wouldn't smile or talk... the worst thing was that she would stare at me like she was mad at me. I, of course, didn't understand her extreme mood swings. It was hard because she was the sweetest kind of person... she was very fun too. But when she is P.M.Sing she seemed to be a different person. Being that I didn't have issues other than sleepiness on my time of the month, it took me a while to understand her and to be a support to her rather than be offended. When I said this, I do not mean to say that I support her mood swings and that it is okay to be mean or depressed during this particular time. Because it is not okay...

When I am hungry or when I am craving for a certain food, I can get really grouchy... the target of it is usually my husband. I try to have "emergency food" in my purse. It is my effort to keep me sane during "hungry" times. I hate being crabby. I hate showing it to my husband. It is plain childishness. I want to mature. I want to be a blessing to my husband and to those around me. It is not okay to be crabby in front of my husband or others. When I am grumpy, I don't show the light of Jesus. This is not to say that I am just gonna hide the real me... my real feelings and etc.. But this is to say that the fruit of the Spirit called, self-control needs to manifest during this particular time. I strive to show positive attitude not only around others but also when I am alone... and this is very possible through the help of the Holy Spirit.

It is never my goal to make Paul and others tiptoe around me because they know that at certain times I am crabby. When accidentally I show my grouchiness in front of him and others, I have a responsibility to apologize for my behavior and not justify my action. I do not want people to say, "I understand. I know you are P.M.S.ing." No! P.M.S. (or hunger in my case), is never a justification to act childish... and there's never a legitimate reason to be childish. Is there? Again, I remind myself that my response (to any circumstances) is my responsibility.

Here are a few verses I like...

A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. Proverbs 9:13

[It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Proverbs 21:9

[It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman. Proverbs 21:9

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mary, Mary...

For some reason, I could smell something fishy in most of the nursery rhymes. Somebody gave my daughter a huge Mother Goose nursery rhymes book when she was just born. But I have only read it to my little girl once or twice. I really didn't like the rhymes there. Some of them just don't make sense at all. Here is one example...

Rock-a-bye, baby,
In the tree top:
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall;
Down will come baby,
Cradle and all.

Why would I want my little girl to memorize that rhyme? Sounds awful to me. Imagine the baby falling to the ground?

I just learned that most nursery rhymes were actually created to criticize the royal family and the government in England long time ago. It was the people's way of expressing their complain of the corrupt ways of the government. Another example is...

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

The rhyme actually talks about Queen Mary's morbid ways. The garden was colloquialism of the graveyard where all of those tortured for disobeying her wishes were buried. Silver bells and cockle shells were colloquial of the instruments used to torture and kill the people. Abominable!

My husband mentioned to me before that the Foxe's Book of the Martyrs records the origin of the drink called, Bloody Mary. He said that its roots is traced way back during Queen Mary's reign. She was such a Catholic fanatic that she ordered all those who didn't believe in infant baptism to be tortured to death. There were, of course, people who didn't believe in it and most of them suffered and died. It is very sad.

Anyway, in our ladies Bible study at church last week, we were studying about how many of us, women, are like "Mary, Mary... quite contrary". We look so perfectly positive on the outside but deep inside us are jealousy, unforgiving spirit, hatred, pride, love of money, power and control, materialism, love for pleasures rather than love for God, selfishness, and etc.. The Bible says, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3:5)

Lord, help us to live a life that is pleasing to you. Search our hearts and forgive us of our contrary attitudes. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness and help us bear the fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Opinion, Opinion!

What's wrong with being opinionated? We have a freedom of speech! And that said right doesn't only apply to males! Plus, we, women are naturally verbal! Yes, yes, yes... but don't you know that we also have a right called, "right to remain silent"?

While it is true that this modern world we are living in applauds a woman who is dressed with confidence in expressing herself through her opinions, it is also true that this kind of a woman doesn't necessarily agree with what God calls beautiful.

A bloviating woman is obnoxious. Who would be happy around a blabbermouth? And who would not feel trampled down around an opinionated woman? Expressing opinions is not wrong. What makes it wrong is when you do it to draw attention to yourself or to raise yourself above others. In other words, pride and selfishness! The Bible warns us that pride precedes destruction.

I speak from experience. I admit I have a tendency of using my opinions to lift myself above others. But thanks be to Christ who doesn't cease His work of perfecting me into His likeness by correcting, teaching and rebuking me through His Word. Now, every time I air my opinions, I ask myself this question first, "Is my opinion for the good of others? Is it pleasing to God?" If the answer is "no" I try to keep it to myself. Otherwise, I would be blowing my own trumpet.

I love this verse...

Matthew 6:2 says, " Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."

Back to opinions... this is what I have learned in life... when we are young and we know only a little about life we love to have so many opinions and we can't stop talking about them. But when we mature and know so much about life we tend to get quieter.

My Response

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in Nancy Leigh Demoss' radio talk show said, "Our response is our responsibility." How true! It is so easy for most of us to quickly put the blame on the other person when we feel offended. But, really, what the "other person" actually does is revealing the "reality" of our heart's condition.

When we are offended, we don't waste time to justify ourselves and our natural man quickly suggests we hit back. We think of ways we can get even. Our carnal mind is cunning. It is so good at forming creative weapon to retaliate. Oftentimes, this weapon is so creative that it would look like it is culturally and politically correct. But the mind that is constantly surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ functions on a different perspective. It says, "Ouch! That hurts. Does it hurt because it's true? I better do some self-examination." Instead of, "Ouch! That hurts. Here comes my vengeance!"

We are not responsible for the sin of others. What we are responsible for is our own actions. When someone wrongly accuses us, we won't get disciplined or punished for that person's sin. But we will get punished if we hit that person back out of anger or as a way of vengeance. We will certainly know the condition of our heart, whether it is meek or proud, through our response to a "challenging" circumstance.

It is important that whatever circumstances we are facing, we have to make up our mind, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to respond on a way that we know we are making God feel proud of us!

Friday, June 26, 2009


I keep getting this word "meekness" in my brain these days. I think because I get tired watching women around me over-active, over-committed, over-talkative, and overwhelmed. Let's face it I am in a culture where everyone is just busy... and if they are not busy, they post this on Facebook, "I am bored!" In the cyberworld, I see many women busy bragging about what they are and what they have... busy talking about what my hubby calls, "trivial"... busy playing... busy airing their opinion in just about anything... busy becoming opinionated... busy justifying themselves... busy defending their rights... busy, busy, busy! I can not exclude myself from these women because at some point I fell into this obnoxiousness until God's Word rebuked me! Well, only on the area of being opinionated (to be fair with myself :0).

Listening to Nancy Leigh Demoss and Paul Washer describe a beautiful woman has inspired me more to cultivate a meek and quiet spirit in my life. I love to bask in the peace that comes with having a meek spirit!

What is meekness?

1. It is the opposite of the spirit that makes you show off your opinions on everything!

2. It causes wives to submit to their own husbands... it's the opposite of the spirit that makes a wife/mother nag endlessly!

3. It is the opposite of a manipulative spirit.

4. It's the ability to be quiet and wait.

5. It is the teachable spirit.

6. I think it is also waiting for people to praise you and not your own mouth!

I love this following verses...

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


If you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God. Matthew 5:23-24 (CEV)

Reconciliation is one of the most important words in my life. Once it dawns me that someone has something against me, it's hard for me to focus on what I am doing. I get so distracted by the thought that a person is not happy with me- by the way I act or say. It even progresses to tormenting my mind. Okay, I know it's also because of my issue with people pleasing. But, honestly, I also know it's part of me wanting to love others.

I am most hurt by those I love! I'm sure all will say the same. The torturing knowledge that a loved-one is angry with me can for sure paralyze my prayer life. It's hard to pray... hard to worship God in this condition. I desire for quick reconciliation, which is impossible at times because not everyone desires the same.

Most of the time, I initiate reconciliation. When the other person shuts me off... I cry. It hurts me. I want people to tell me what I've done wrong. I want to apologize. I want to heal broken relationship. I want to leave people alone if their reason for shutting me off is that they simply do not want me to be around them and to be friendly with them. I will cry for rejection but then I will be happy they were honest with me and I can start to move on!

Anyway, here are steps to work through to find possible reconciliation that I've learned.

1. Write or think of reasons for the estrangement.
2. Think through your motive for wanting reconciliation. God's motive is love.
3. Pray for this person to experience God's blessings.
4. Pray for yourself, for the power of the Holy Spirit to do what you must.
5. Start the process of letting go the hurt and anger.
6. Think through whether you can trust again, become vulnerable again, in order to grow an change.
7. Seek to forgive no matter who is most to blame in your opinion.
8. Shoulder your part of responsibility.
9. Swallow your pride, say, "I'm sorry."
10. Follow-up with acts of kindness and striving to restore trust.

If the other person refuses to go the distance with you, bless and let her go.

We should not think that we are fine praying or worshiping God when we don't make an effort to be reconciled with those we know are angry at us. There is no blessing whatsoever when we say, "She is ignoring me, she must be jealous of me because I have not done anything wrong!" We are all imperfect, we offend others unintentionally and intentionally... in both cases, we are to live a life of an ambassador of reconciliation... all for the GLORY OF GOD!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love and Fear

Love is focused on others. It is not self-centered. It reaches out to others... sees other people's needs and willingly extend a hand. Fear is focused on protecting oneself. Because of this, most women who has this unhealthy kind of fear talk more about themselves, what they have and are.

Love thinks no evil. Fear broods over potential evils.

Love focuses on the present. Thankful and contented of the blessings today. Fear frets over the future.

Love moves us toward involvement with others. Fear forces us into withdrawal and isolation from others.

Love is based on fact and on faith. Fear is based on emotion

Love is the highest expression of our humanness and Christlikeness. Fear is a base, instinctive reaction that we have in common with the animals.

Love is a mark of a Christian who trusts God. Fear is a mark of doubt and lack of faith in God.

Let's pray that God perfects us in love for this is a powerful antidote to the toxin of unhealthy fear.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mama Merie

For Mother's Day this year, I bought Mama a flowery blue silky dress. She is one who is much into dresses, so I am positive she will love it when she gets the box I am sending her this month. I also made her a photo book of the pictures from that day we celebrated her 50th Wedding Anniversary to Papa. On the last page of that book, I wrote a personal note. I might as well share that note here since I talked about it...

Ma, there are so many women in this world who look and act noble but you are the best of them all! A businesswoman, Bible teacher, philanthropist (as you cared for those homeless tribal kids), excellent wife and praiseworthy mother!

You have always been an excellent wife to Papa! I am a living witness how you served him with all of your strength and heart. I've seen how you gave up yourself for him. There might be times in the past that you disagreed with his ideas but you always ended up following his leadership... and that is wonderful! It shows how pro-active a woman you are. I love your sweetness to Papa. It is very cute to see you kiss his cheeks and not blushed about it.

As a mother, you have displayed your strong love to your children by working so hard just to earn the resources we needed to get our college education. We owe our education to you! I remember you would wake up very early in countless mornings to make breakfast for us and to prepare your (whatever) goods to sell. It looked like you didn't care how exhausted you were from selling your goods all day long, you came home with a smile and made dinner for your family. You washed your entire family's clothes by hand... you even ironed our school uniforms! Where did you get the strength to do so many things with only two hands? Where did your laughter come from after those days of total labor? I am amazed! See, I am now a wife and a mother and I have all kinds of appliances at home to supposedly do things for me, but I sometimes forget to smile and laugh being tired from doing the household chores! Ma, what an inspiration you always are to me! Thank you for your hard work and devotion to take care of us growing up. Thank you that you were always home when we arrived from school. Thank you for making me and my sister dresses that made us look like twins, even though I am 2 years older than her. That was pure cute! Thank you for your hugs and kisses...*sobs* even when we thought we were too big and grown up for them, we still got them from you.

I must also thank you for asking me so many questions (I felt like I was on an interrogation stand ;)when I got home later than you expected me to be home. It really helped protect me! Thank you for giving me your (unsolicited) criticisms about my suitors when I was in college. When my heart broke for the very first time, you were there to comfort me and tried to make me feel better by airing your disgust about my heart-breaker. Funny how I didn't think you were right about your poor ideas of my crushes... because I can see them clearly now. They were way far from my guy now, who I married close to four years ago. Yes, you were right... you were right... you were right!!! It pays to wait!

I just love your wisdom, endurance and inner strength to live a full life even after you lost your first four children. It's a situation way too impossible for me to imagine. It had to be God! It had to be the Almighty God who made it possible for you to live a life of joy, love and contentment after such a traumatic experience as deaths of your own children. You are a woman of strength, indeed! And it's only because of your wholly surrendered life to Jesus.

Most of all, I want to thank you for teaching us the most important thing in this world... to be right with God at all times! This is the best of all memorials you have given us. I never forget to start and end my day with prayer and meditation of God's Word because you and Papa had planted that truth in my life! The busyness in this world has tried to uproot it from my life but it has not been very successful because it's was planted right and has grown into a big tree. Thank you for pinching my side every time I refused to wake up at 4 am for our family devotion! Thank you for posting all kinds of Bible verses around our house and printing them on cards for us to memorize every morning when we gathered for breakfast! How wise a woman you are! You knew we needed to be filled with the Word of God rather than with what the world could offer us.

Ma, I love you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All About Eve

I'm generally not sort of a fanatical person, except of course about God and the Bible. I can freely say that I don't have a burning desire to watch any shows on TV. I watch it only for the news and a very few Christian shows. I try not to be hooked to that idiot box. In fact, when our Samsung plasma television blew up, I wasn't really affected except for the fact that it was expensive when we bought it almost 2 years ago. And I enjoy home without a television more. I do watch a little TV with my little girl in our basement for her Veggie Tales movies from time to time. Anyway, it's just that, one day, it dawned on me that I was beginning to be so disgusted with how corrupt most TV shows have become. The Filipino channels have not been really careful as to what they show to very young audiences. I found it especially appalling that afternoon variety shows are showing dancers dressed in a very skimpy attires and rendering sensual dances. It's icky to me! I asked my husband to stop our subscription to TFC for that reason.

Ooops... I wasn't really planning to write about TV shows... anyway...

These past few months, I have discovered that I could actually watch some Filipino shows in the internet and choose the shows that I only want to see. I got curious and checked it out. I found this soap called All About Eve. I got interested because Sunshine Dizon and Iza Calzado are the main actors. I just think both of them have an excellent acting prowess. Three weeks ago, I started watching the said soap to find out how the two actors do. However, I eventually got drawn to its story... especially that this time I am working on my Bible study on Managing our Moods by the Women of Faith. The said soap is showing a lot of the drama revolving the moods and desires of women. Last week, we studied on jealousy, and that particular subject is surrounding the story of the soap I've been watching.

All About Eve shows how jealousy can be the starting point of all evil thoughts and deeds that corrupt an envious woman. Jealousy destroys! It wrecks relationships and other people... and it wrecks it's own slave! The jealous young woman character in the soap, Erica, played by Sunshine Dizon is supposedly a combo of beauty and brains but her jealous heart reconstructed her into a very ugly person. It says a lot about how a shimmering supple skin, nice expensive make up, perfect body figure and sharp brain do not have the power to cover the ugliness of the heart.

Thanking God for his power to live a life on the winning side of the battle against the green-eyed monster!!! Praising HIM!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Fight against the Green-eyed Monster

At our ladies Bible study at church yesterday, we studied about what the Bible says on the issue of jealousy. I love this particular study because all women (I dare to say, all...) battle with this thing at some point in our lives. Some women may still be on the losing side of this particular struggle, but some women are already on the winning side.

All my life, I have warred against the green-eyed monster. Growing up, having the cutest, bubbliest and happiest baby sister on earth left me filled with envy in the corner. It felt like whatever I did won't measure up to what my little sister could do, as far as pleasing people was concern. I felt like nobody liked me. That wasn't the truth, of course. But that was what I exactly felt. I was jealous of her type A personality.

When I entered high school, I was 12 years old, I started getting jealous of my classmates and friends. Eventually, I had learned to lie. I became one big fat liar! It was my way of covering my struggle against jealousy. However, the more I lied the more miserable I became. I have always believed that I made God unhappy with my life every time I lie and that He would punish me. And I have always known that liars do not have a place in heaven. That truth made me feel so restless. I wanted to get out from my lying prison. I prayed many prayers with tears asking God for deliverance. I started hating it when I lied... I started to hate being jealous of others.

Something important happened when I was a junior. Our literature teacher had us memorize and recite "Desiderata" in front of our class. I worked hard on memorizing it... and I took it to heart. One of the paragraphs in the said poem goes...

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

I found myself quoting that particular paragraph over and over again when I'm alone. I still do now! That paragraph helped me got on my footings with strength to defeat my enemy- the green-eyed monster. However, the fight didn't end. It continued until I entered college. There were times when I lost, and times when I won the battle.

A youth pastor was sent by the Lord to mentor me spiritually when I was a freshman in college. His main job in my life was to show me and make me understand that I was wonderfully and fearfully created by God... that I am unique, special and different from others! That I was uniquely equipped with skills and talents to fulfill a special purpose in life. Most importantly, he showed me that my identity is found in nowhere but in who I am before my Creator, Savior and Lord! I loved being mentored by that pastor! He ushered me to the only Truth that completely delivered me from jealousy- the Word of God. I especially loved my study with him on the spiritual gifts where I discover not only "who I was" but also "who I was not."

Did my battle against the green-eyed monster end there? No. I am still battling against it? Yes. But, to God be all the glory, I am on the winning side! How? Every time Miss Envy comes to attack me, I remind her that she is powerless over me for the blood of the Lamb delivered me from all unrighteousness and has given me the power to live my life for Him- including recognizing and being thankful of my own blessings and... entering into the successes and blessings of others!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yummy Sunday

Rainbow cake for my hubby's birthday! I thought I would bake a very colorful cake for him being that he loves colors. I wasn't very satisfied with how my cake turned out but it's fun because he thought it was fantastic. For more yummilicious food, check this out...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Very Special Friend

Tiyeen (the nickname I gave her) was my best and close friend for several years. Although, she called me her mother of faith, I never felt like our relationship was that of a mentor-mentee. Realistically, the feeling was that of best-friends. We parted ways when she graduated from college and left our city for a job in Manila. But even when we were far from each other, we were still the best of friends. We communicated regularly and visited each other often.

She was one of the most helpful persons I've ever known. She had the ability to free herself from her obligations at work to help people in need. I cannot imagine how much she helped me every time I prepared for a trip overseas once I became a career missionary. She was there every time I called her for help. The same amount of support she gave to my little sister and friends. She became the person to call in times of need.

I loved and still love her a lot like I have loved my own sister. She has such a fun personality. We just clicked together... we laugh at the same kind of joke. We both love to sing and dance... and we know what each of us is good at. We even decided that she was a singing dancer and I was the dancing singer. If you know who is good at what! We both enjoyed verbalizing our day-dreams. We talked about our dreams for the future. And guess what? Our dreams came true.

Seven years ago, our friendship started to drift away. Some little misunderstandings and lack of regular communication parted us farther as the years went by. Each of our lives was tested heavily. We both faced big hurdles in life. Separately, we dealt with our challenges by God's help. We both longed for each other's friendship support but we were not there. We prayed for each other, that's for sure. And we thought of each other always when we heard the word "best-friends".

Seven years had passed and I felt that it was time to look for her. When we visited the Philippines recently, I asked our friends about her. One of them gave me her contact info but I unfortunately misplaced the card that had her info... Oh, such a bummer! Arriving home, I googled her name and confirmed that she's in the Middle East. I searched for her in Facebook... lo and behold, she is there!!! I sent her a message straight away. The next day, she replied with all of her contact info. I then gave her a call and we had the first talk on the phone after many years. She told me that she had also been longing to communicate with me for a couple years but couldn't find my contact info. Oh, it was a happy day!

Now, we are the best of friends again! I can't wait for her to visit me and my family here in Minnesota. I just can't wait. We will for sure have all-night chitchats and a combo of laughter and crying. Oh and yes, she is a laughing cry-er and I am a crying laugh-er! LOL!

God is a God is of healing and restoration. He healed and restored our friendship. I can't thank God enough for this blessing!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


At our ladies Bible study at church last week, our subject was Temper. It was such a great reminder to read verses that address anger. There are so many verses in the Bible that command Christians to cease from anger. In this culture where being real with our emotions is encouraged... in this "free" world where showing emotions is okay, it is easy to accept even those emotions that are biblically unacceptable. When God says, "cease from anger!" it is because He knew how anger could go overboard, hurting those around us and hurting our own selves.

The story of Moses blowing up his temper is especially serving as my red flag. If we remember, in his anger he threw the tablets that contained the 10 Commandments that God Himself wrote on them and broke them into pieces. That very scene warns me to be very careful with my hands when I'm angry. What if it's my little girl that I am holding when I give myself to anger? I would hurt her... and eventually realize that I actually hurt myself for hurting my own child. It would be terrible! I would find it hard to even forgive myself. This is really a warning to me because I have a tendency to slam-bang the cupboard doors when I am upset... I know, terrible!

Another story that really got into me regarding temper is Jonah's anger account. In his anger, he spoke death on himself. How easy it is to find the most hurtful words to suffice our anger! I have to remind myself over and over again never to say anything when I am angry. I better shut my mouth up than throwing daggers to those around me with my words.

Last Friday night, I felt like my hormones were out of whack... I was angry for some reason. I was pouting. But then, I prayed for God's power to help me control myself. I told Him I was angry but that I would not want to hurt my precious family in anyway. Then I made a decision to never give in to my temper. I chose to tame myself. I think that for our anger to be harmless, we should pray first of all, then choose to do the right thing... that what pleases God! When God's word says, "cease from anger", He knows that His children are not powerless to be "angry but sin not!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Yesterday, I was reading an article about how psychotherapy has become so common among Christians who are supposedly struggling from psychological dysfunction. The said article quoted a key point that Dr. James Dobson mentioned in his book about women. The key point the author of the article wrote is that most women in America suffer low self-esteem. I was totally taken aback! All this while I have always believed that American women are the most confident women in the world. How in the world did that happen?

As an Asian woman, I have wished I had the confidence of an American woman. I used to not feel comfortable around men, especially talking to them. I didn't feel comfortable saying "thank you" to someone who tells me that I look pretty. I didn't receive compliments well. It was not convenient for me to voice my opinions without being asked. I used to view giving unsolicited advice as cockiness. I, therefore, avoided giving it to people to the best of my ability. I used to wait until people discover my talents and abilities. I, definitely, was not the type of person who tells the world what I was good at. If I appear to be a very confident woman now, then it is purely because of how God changed me.

I have no idea where Dr. Dobson was coming from when he said that most American women are suffering low self-esteem because I haven't read his book. I am just bewildered over that report. American parents are so good at affirming and building their kids' confidence. Something ordinary Filipino parents need to learn. So where does this low esteem come from? I don't know. But here's what I think... from my experience teaching 15 teenage girls with my husband at our old church and from spending time with our American friends and family, I think the problem that most American women are suffering from is high self-esteem. Most of them think they're better than what they are and have now. In saying this, I don't mean to say that it's wrong to be ambitious, because it is not if the said ambition is in line with God's purposes for our lives, but if it means discontentment and covetousness then it will surely lead to depression.

When I think about depression among women, I think about how many women believe that they deserve better than what they are and have now and be angry at the world they are in. There is no contentment because they think highly of themselves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Barbie Dolls

As a little girl, I was into dolls. I used to play dolls a lot with my baby sister. At first we made dolls out of Coke bottles, dressing them up with my mom's scrap fabrics (Mom used to sew our dresses). I remember sewing a dress for our bottle doll one day. But when my dad started traveling to big cities, he would come home with baby dolls for me and my sister. Oh, how we loved them!

Isabelle wasn't really into dolls until last Sunday. Her cousin gave her a Dora doll set. Since then, she got herself busy changing Dora's clothes and shoes. While doing it, she would say lines that she has memorized from Dora tv show. It's fun to see her enjoying her new toy. She had a Dora rag doll but it's not the same as this set she has now.

Speaking of dolls, I know that a lot of my friends buy their little girls barbie dolls. And their daughters have started collecting them. From the beginning barbies didn't fascinate me for some reason. I just find them cute. Last Sunday, driving from my BIL's place in St. Paul, my husband and I were listening to a radio talk show. The host was talking about Barbie dolls and why they have adult features even though they are little girls' toys. There was a lot of complicating views from the listeners making phone calls to the broadcaster.

Watching Isabelle play with her Dora doll set this morning, I decided to do some readings about Barbie dolls. And here is what I have found...

"History: Barbie's Debut in 1959 by Erica Wolf

In February of 1959, Barbie was first introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York (Barbie Dolls). Her creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler (co-founders of Mattel) modeled Barbie after the German doll known as Lilli. Lilli began as a cartoon character in a daily newspaper called the Bild-Zeitung (BillyBoy 19). This character, known for her large breasts and sexy clothing, was created for adult entertainment "a symbol of sex and pornography for the men of Germany" (Johnson "History"). Handler discovered Lilli while shopping in Switzerland and brought the doll home for her daughter to play with.

Ruth was inspired to create an adult doll for little girls. Handler had Jack Ryan, executive of Mattel, purchase the rights for Lilli and negotiate with a company from Tokyo to create a doll like Lilli. The reason for going overseas was in order to create an inexpensive new doll. American male designers told Handler that it would be impossible to make such a doll (with stylish clothing and accessories) for an affordable price. The new doll had a softer look created by the "rotation-molding" process used in the making of the vinyl body (Johnson "History"). In addition to a different body, Bud Westmore, the "make-up czar" at Universal Pictures, gave Lilli a makeover (Lord 32). He discarded her "bee-stung lips, heavy eyelashes, and widow's peek eyebrows" (Lord 32). Following these improvements, Ryan modified the doll's joints.

Finally in 1958, Barbie Millicent Roberts was born 11 1/2 inches tall and weighing 11 ounces. She debuted as a teenage model in a black and white striped swimsuit that came with sunglasses, high-heeled shoes, and gold-colored hoop earrings (see Figure 1). Her body was shapely with movable head, arms, and legs. Barbie was the first doll in America with an adult body.

Just by reading that portion made me feel like throwing up! I would never want my daughter to play with that doll.

Another thing that makes me dislike a barbie doll is that it sets a standard of fake beauty. Girls grow up thinking that they have to have a body figure and shimmering skin like that of a barbie doll to be called beautiful. Barbies became a fashion statement too. Many little girls today have a barbie beauty mentality. How sad! Christian mothers should be very careful about what they give their little daughters. It is important to train our daughters to learn to mirror the Bible for authentic beauty.

My Normal Days

A friend of mine asked me what my day is like. Well, it's pretty much ordinary. The only thing that makes it special is the thing I learn from God as I spend time with Him in His Word and prayer. Anyway, I will attempt to describe my daily schedule here...

On weekdays, I wake up between 7 and 8 am. I usually go straight to the couch in the family room and continue waking up (I wake up really slow!) under the throw blanket for about 10 minutes. Then, I would walk to the center aisle in the kitchen to turn my laptop on. While it's doing its thing, I would make ham or tuna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my husband to take to work for his lunch. I would go back to my lappy and open my Audio Bible Online website to listen to a least 3 chapters. Sometimes, I open Revive Our Hearts website for Nancy Leigh Demoss' online radio broadcast. While that is playing for me, I make coffee and eggs for myself. When my coffee and eggs are ready I'd go back to where my lappy is and start following the words in my Audio Bible while having breakfast. Paul is usually done with his breakfast by the time I start mine. Isabelle usually wakes up between 10 and 11 am. By the time she wakes up, I'm done with my breakfast and listening to the Audio Bible and praying. Isabelle, most of the time, calls me to pick her up from her (sometimes our) bed. I'd then go and greet her "good morning" and ask her if she had a dream. Normally, she would say, "yes". Then she starts making up stories. I'd bring her to the kitchen and gave her breakfast. While she is having her breakfast, I'd make the beds. When she is done eating, I take her to her room to change her diaper and clothes. Then, I am ready to face the house work. While she is coloring, playdough, reading her books while listening to her music, I am blogging or blog-hopping, facebooking, doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and doing three of the following once-a-week chores: talking to friends, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, ironing and folding clothes, dusting the furniture, fixtures and windows, cleaning the main floor, cleaning the basement and going out with friends. Once in two weeks, Izzy and I are at the Bible study in our church at these hours. Then we have lunch. We always have rice, veggies and fish or shrimp for lunch. After lunch, we usually study and play. I read her her books and teach her numbers, letters,shapes and colors. We also do picture reading. Then, she takes a nap. She usually naps for 2 hours and while she is doing that, I study. Now, I am working on David 90 Days with a Heart like His. After studying, if Izzy is still sleeping, I do journal or scrapping. Then, I would cook for dinner. Paul comes home and we all have dinner. After dinner, I usually chat with family and friends for an hour or two, while Paul and Izzy are spending time with each other. Then, we sometimes watch the news or talk and get ready for bed. So that's my weekday except when I decide to go out with friends shopping or getting together. Interruptions also include traveling- like driving to Winona which rarely happens- just on holidays.

On weekends, we usually wake up at 9 to 9:30 am. We all have breakfast at 10:30. It normally is a long breakfast. We have long conversations on Saturday mornings! We then go out for fun or shopping. Eat out for lunch. When we come home, Izzy naps and Paul and I read or do things around the house. The we go to friends' house for dinner. Sometimes they come to our house. We would talk the evening away. Sleep. Wake up on Sunday morning. Go to church. In the afternoon, I sleep for 2 hours. When I wake up we go food shopping. That's about it.

Izzy and I at Cub Foods- Apple Valley

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just Follow Your Heart!

"Just follow your heart." I have heard this piece of advice over and over that I also became one of its thousand "users". I guess it is not necessarily wrong if the recipient of that line has a heart that was redeemed by the blood of Jesus and is ruled by His Lordship.

How can we say, "Just follow your heart" to a person whose heart is not surrendered to God's lordship? The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things. And that out of it comes evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

We can only follow our heart when God is on its throne!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Examining Selfishness

"I am his because he appreciates perfection!" That line is printed on one of my favorite T-shirts. My husband I have been into teasing each other on the area of selfishness. For instance, one morning he heard my cellphone beeping its low battery notice. It beeps every 5 minutes when the battery needs to be recharged. The beeps really get annoying... they definitely get on my hubby's nerves! So he lovingly asked me to give him my cellphone so he could plug it into the charger. And I said, "that's so nice and loving of you to do that for me." And then I said, "Oh, wait... you really didn't mean to show me some love now, you're actually doing it for yourself because you were annoyed with the beeps!" And of course, we LOL! He says that a lot to me too. One thing I like about our marriage is that we have learned to verbalize our thoughts and feelings for each other. On our first year of marriage, I used to assume that he knows what I think and feel and I was frustrated. Women, Asian specially, have that attitude of making their husbands guess what they think and feel. For me that's not fair. Husbands are humans and so they are definitely not omniscient. My husband loves it when I tell him what I think and feel instead of pouting to cue him that something's not right.

Okay, going back to that line... when my husband saw that for the first time, he said, "oh, thanks honey! Oh, wait... that line actually praises yourself more than it praises me!" So there you go! It's a "got ya" line!


I blogged about this girl who sent me nasty text messages in my cellphone a couple months ago... here and here.

Well, I asked her to tell me what I did to upset her a lot of times. She refused. She wasn't being fair to me. She even got to the point of being verbally abusive in her text messages. My only demand was for her to spell my offense out. She sent me a thousand scathing words but never told me what I did wrong. My carnal desire was revenge. Kind of you-hurt-me-i-will-hurt-you thing. But in my heart of heart, I knew it was not right. I prayed and God changed the attitude in my heart. A compassion for her has started to fill me. I felt sorry that she was being eaten up by her bitterness. I know how it is to be filled with bitterness. I prayed for her. Her next hurtful text messages didn't hurt anymore after the prayer. I stopped demanding that she explains how I hurt her because I felt like it just made her angrier. I stopped demanding that she be fair with me... it was just not possible that time. God's message to me was clear, "I know you are offended and hurt, but I want you to show one more act of kindness." I did... I told her to give me one more chance. I asked her to forgive me of whatever I did wrong. But she refused. Well, I did what I needed to do and it was quite liberating.

Then, we met at a Christmas party. Oh, how uncomfortable that was to arrive at a party and see her. Well, I approached her and looked straight at her eyes. She got up from her chair, opened her arms and gave me a big hug... with her eyes starting to get wet with tears and said, "I'm sorry." I was touched. I think I just needed that... no more no less! No explanations needed. I forgave her!

Friday, January 2, 2009


I found that image in the internet and really liked it. It shows a lot of courage on the part of the cat to walk bravely in front of the dogs. Do you think the cat is scared? I think so. But being scared does not automatically make anyone incapacitated. To be scared doesn't disqualify a person to do great things. To be scared is even a prerequisite to be courageous. It's kind of like you have to experience to be scared before you need to be courageous.

I love the word courage. But my favorite definition of this word is "the determination to do right when pressured to do wrong." I also love the Biblical definition of it, which is "obeying God despite the risks or losses."