Oct 13, 2009

autumn has come!

It's my favorite time of the year, my best liked season, fall/autumn. Hanoi is now heading towards this cool weather and I thank God for it. Gone are the hot and humid days of summer, well, not until next year. The leaves have started coming off from trees and is slowly covering the narrow streets of Hanoi which turns it into yellowish/brownish hue. Now it's cool, no sun but it ain't raining. A very pleasant time for me and hubby to roam around the place without extra protective clothing. As I was pondering upon this, it reminded me that there are also different seasons in our lives as well. Seasons where God deals with us in victory and sometimes in defeat and loss. But praise God because one thing is for sure, these are just "seasons" meaning they come and go. If we yield to God for a specific season that He's dealing us with, surely we'll get over it triumphantly, but if not then He's gonna bring us back to that same issue until we bend to what He wants us to learn from it. The truth that holds me whole is He deals with us according to His grace and mercy and His hands are never full when it comes to His children.

Sep 28, 2009

my children!

Two of the world's most beautiful, for me!

all about shoes!

One of the things that I am fond of is shoes. It's just pleasant to know that God nourishes us even with our little wants. Recently, a lady friend from Singapore who's here with her whole family gave me two pairs of very comfy shoes. The first one is made in Japan and the other one is named "Ferragamo". This sweet friend has three children, two girls and a boy. I was so ecstatic when she handed me a bag with two pairs of shoes in it, a genuine Crocs and a Birkenstcok for Thea from her younger daughter who is as big as my girl. This is not the first time that we received stuff from this very generous family. Just weeks ago she also gave autumn and winter clothes for Alythea to use and most of it holds popular and pricey brand. I took the chance of sharing to my child, that when we give, we shall receive remembering that before we left the Philippines, she gave most of her footwears to her cousins and to Granny. She nodded in agreement as I explained to her God's principle of giving.

God is good!!

It's been a month now since we came back from our short holiday in the Philippines. We had a good one but then things started to turn a bit of a pain when suddenly we learned that my mom-in-law is confined in the hospital just hours after we landed in Cebu for transit to Singapore. God is good because He was the One who brought us comfort and confidence that our Nanay is being taken cared of by the One who made the heavens and the earth. Now, my family is glad to see Granny well and active again, that's because of His grace alone.
Another testimony that I want to share is that I am super delighted that finally my second semester as an offshore student is over. Admittedly, it wasn't a first rated performance for me as a student this time and it's because the stress level was up to my neck and I should say, if not for Jesus, I could have not done it. Thanks be to God who gives us G-R-A-C-E to overcome.
Thank God also for providing for our needs, financially. Our lease was due September 27th, and we were still short to cover the whole amount until God provided through one person who willingly offered to lend us that amount as a loan. We were able to hand in the money yesterday. PTL!
Our needs can sometimes be overwhelming but until we realize and practice the truth of thanksgiving and praise, we delay His answers. His hands are never short to save us. (Isaiah 50:2)

Aug 31, 2009

Thy Word...

Divine, Ever-Living, Unchanging
"BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER." And this is the word which was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:25).

All human teaching and, indeed, all human beings shall pass away as the grass of the meadow; but we are here assured that the Word of the LORD is of a very different character, for it shall endure forever. We have here a divine gospel; for what word can endure forever but that which is spoken by the eternal God? We have here an ever-living gospel, as full of vitality as when it first came from the lips of God; as strong to convince and convert, to regenerate and console, to sustain and sanctify as ever it was in its first days of wonder-working. We have an unchanging gospel which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah. Opinions alter, but truth certified by God can no more change than the God who uttered it. Here, then, we have a gospel to rejoice in, a word of the LORD upon which we may lean all our weight. "For ever" includes life, death, judgment, and eternity. Glory be to God in Christ Jesus for everlasting consolation. Feed on the word today and all the days of thy life.

Jul 31, 2009

Crook Smart!

What is wrong with our telecommunication system here in the Philippines??? Just recently I'm pissed off with their style of robbing from their clients because I myself is one of their victims. Few days ago, I loaded up 100 pesos worth of prepaid card, the calls I've made didn't even mount up to three minutes and 33 pesos was all left in my account. This is sooo disgusting!!Kawat nga harap-harapan man ni ila oi!! And yesterday I loaded 60 pesos again, didn't make any calls, didn't make any sms but they've deducted 20 pesos! This is such a foolish move! I hope and pray that they will come to resolve all this issues at the moment because they won't stop making a dupe out of millions of people when this is not dealt with.

Jul 30, 2009

rainy holiday!

We arrived the Philippines over a week ago and the rain is unbelievable! It's pouring non-stop, bummer! But I thank God for it on the other hand because it makes the weather cooler which is way better than Hanoi's. Getting here faced us with lots of blessings and answered prayers. Just before we took off from Hanoi airport, there was a storm and when we prayed for it to stop, it came to a halt indeed and weeks just before we left, we also prayed for a vehicle to use to make life easier for us while roaming around CdO, God is faithful to provide people generous enough to lend us a motorbike. All the favors He has shown, at first made me wonder of how God can be so kind to answer petty prayers, but I realized that God doesn't take our words and prayers lightly. He listens to it attentively and answers generously because He is takes delight in showering us with favors and pleasures evermore.

Jul 9, 2009

my blog award

The first award I was able to grab! Thanks to my friend Nenette for sharing this award though I feel if I really deserve this(??)anyways, just the thought of having someone share this with me is something special.

The rules for these awards are:

1) To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the http://www.blogger.com/blog-options-basic.g?blogID=6548245571322210343award and his/her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

But can I share it to the other deserving bloggers later? because I figured out that doing so takes so much time or am I breaking some rule here??.hehehehe..

Jul 8, 2009

Is there anything too hard for Me?

Allow me and my whole family to share with you our joys and victories for the past two weeks. This has something to do with our visa renewal. It's been three years now that my school has been providing me and my family our one year B1 visa intended for NGO's and anyone connected through government to government effort. The last two years there had been no hitches at all except the latter part. Our visa from last year was due July 9th 2009 and my overly "oc-iness" prompted me to hand to our admin officer all four passports two weeks prior to expiry date. And true enough that paid off. The admin officer approached me one day and asked if I have the original copies of my marriage contract and my daughters birth certificates because the immigration officer is requiring it, it's the latest development in immig law to hand in to them all papers for perusal for reasons I do not know. Apparently, these new rules are giving so much of a headache to those who are illegal aliens here in Hanoi, hahaha! There could have been no problem at all if not for one word written on my children's document, that referred to our occupation, our purpose, our calling (to those who doesn't know us, just make a wild guess) We didn't take a note of that until last week. It was innocently yet purposely written there by our doctor friend without knowing the consequences tagging it. It sure gave us one suspense, nervous and thrilling experience that left me so anxious and stressed out thinking what's gonna happen next because of the nature of the system here, everything is possible.

My first reaction was ask the admin officer if photocopied doc is fine and she said yes but it has to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy and so that gave me an option to pursue erasing the title, and I sure did! but my heart was heavy and so does my husband. The next thing we both did was pray that Abba would blind the person in charge over our papers so he/she won't take notice of that one word, the day after we still held on to that photocopied, tampered document, then our hearts were heavy still. Then later on we inquired from our veteran friends who have been in Vietnam for over ten years and shared to them our situation and they said it's indeed a potential problem. The next step we took was ask help from the embassy, we brought the paper there and they are asking for 25$ per document and we would have agreed to do that but then when I told them that I erased something there then the Consul said that it's not acceptable, because its falsification of public document. What has transpired during those events left me and my husband begging God what to do. In our time alone with Abba, He just impressed into our hearts to declare everything, all the original copies, if that's what they need then just hand it! Having heard that from Him somehow gave us an assurance that everything would be alright. But then, our flesh is nagging a big "No!!" full of what if's, full of fear!!His Words that time were so vivid and true! For He has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.. yeah, yeah..we heard of that several times already but our hearts especially mine is still holding back until Monday morning came, moment of truth, time to submit all the documents as the due date is getting closer.

Monday morning was so special. As I was preparing to work, my hubby called me and said we better pray first and lay hands over those original papers that Abba would just grant us favor. Then suddenly a still small voice came into my hearing and said, "you have to reconcile with Me. I heard you when you told the Consul General that this title is giving you harm rather than good at this point in time". That broke my heart, weeping and sobbing. I can't believe I've said those words. Truly, it's His kindness that brings every one to repentance, His gentle yet firm words brought me back anew to my relationship with Him. After that, He then gave me a new comforting rhema word found in Jeremiah "I am the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for me to do?". The Word, the Word! I left home to work refreshed and confident that God will do just as He said.

When I was at school I went immediately to the admin office ever ready to give them the requirements without a shadow of doubt. Then as I hand it the person in charge I said, "here are my requirements just please take extra care of these papers because these are so important for us", then she replied "ahh! no need because I called the immig officer first thing this morning and told her that you have to pay 25$ for every document at your embassy then she said that I just have to translate your documents in Vietnamese and school stamp is alright BUT ONLY for her(me), she's the only one exempted to this rule because it's pricey for her to get authentication from her embassy". WHOAHHHH!!! PTL!! God again has proven Himself faithful and made a way out for us! I was crying and praising Him at the same time as I grabbed my co-teacher to testify what God has done, again!!Nothing is indeed to hard for Him, He is able to take away any trap set by the enemy to harm us, but in Him we are surrounded with favor and pleasures evermore!Praise be to the living GOD!!

We now have our passports stamped with one year B1 visa but most of all stamped with His approval and promise that He who began a good work in us is able to bring it into completion. To God be the glory!

Jul 5, 2009

our new flat

Below are some photos we've taken to show our new flat. We praise God for this blessing that brings us a true homey feeling. God is indeed a God of increase!

Jun 25, 2009

"I like you! That's the problem!!

I've been longing to write an update about my family since last week but time didn't allow me to. The weeks past had been very hectic due to work, transitions at church and the move. The hardest part of them all was of course, the move, it's process I mean. As we painstakingly search for the right flat to get, we have finally found one. But the exciting part of the story was when we paid a second visit at the apartment because we wanted to get sure that our hearts are settled before moving in. We met the owner again and surprisingly, there was a Korean family who wanted to take a look at the house, the owner didn't know about it, the security guards led them to the flat for viewing. Normally, these security guard would take a commission whenever they refer someone to the owner for rental. My husband and I were just quiet and took our time looking at all the rooms and furnishings but we were also eavesdropping, sorry about that...hehehe.. The Korean lady was dying to get the flat coz she immediately called her husband and they were willing to give six months advance payment at $550 per month while we on the other hand, had told the owner that we could only pay four months at $500.
The scenario was so intense that we saw the owner so stressed out because of that Korean family who wants to get his nod right there and then. For the owners end, he was "torn between two lover", it's good business for him we just felt. My husband immediately approached him and praise God for wisdom!! I can never respond in such a way my husband did! My love told the owner that it's okay, the Korean family can have the flat because it's good for his business and he will get more money if he would agree with them and no need to worry about us because we can always look for another one, no problem! Amazingly he responded, "but I like you! that's the problem!" We just laughed! We told him that if the flat is still available the next day then we'll take it but if not then it's fine. Then he said, "I won't decide tonight, I will get back to you tomorrow morning". And so we bid him goodbye after that.
In our heart of hearts, there was peace, knowing and trusting that wherever the Father would bring our feet, there His favor will be also. We didn't feel any dismay over that incident and so we moved on to our next meeting. Then thirty minutes later, while we were chitchatting with our close friend, my phone rang and it was the owner on the other line. My husband took the call and they talked. And yes, you got it right! the owner chose us over that Korean family. We were so delighted to hear that because it wasn't us, it was God impressing into the heart of this young man who to choose. I remember the first time we viewed this house, we fell in love with it right away because of it's facilities plus it's just a three minute walk to my workplace from there we asked the Lord knowing the setbacks at hand if we are going take it. The rent fee is over our budget but considering the other options, it's still the best for us because I will be able to spend more time with my family, the girls will have more space and the building is surrounded with mini parks which is really exciting for Thea and Rinnah plus I don't have to drive eighty minutes everyday just to get to work. Praise God! He knows what's best for us even with this minute details of our lives, God wants to be a part of if we'll let Him. We have packed several boxes already and we are finally moving this Saturday! Exciting!


Jun 23, 2009

when cancer becomes healthy

Below is an article by a favorite author of mine, John Piper, about cancer. It was written to assure those who are suffering from it to take a positive and healthy outlook based on the authority of God's word. This is beautifully written to bring out comfort and assurance to those that are afflicted, that God is in control over our circumstances and that no matter what, we should cherish our relationship with Christ more than ever.

Don't Waste Your Cancer
John Piper

I write this on the eve of prostate surgery. I believe in God's power to heal--by miracle and by medicine. I believe it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists. So not to pray for healing may waste your cancer. But healing is not God's plan for everyone. And there are many other ways to waste your cancer. I am praying for myself and for you that we will not waste this pain.

1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: "They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him" (Job 42:11). If you don't believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it.

2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). "There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel" (Numbers 23:23). "The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7). God's design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, "We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him.

4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
We will all die, if Jesus postpones his return. Not to think about what it will be like to leave this life and meet God is folly. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, "It is better to go to the house of mourning [a funeral] than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart." How can you lay it to heart if you won't think about it? Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Numbering your days means thinking about how few there are and that they will end. How will you get a heart of wisdom if you refuse to think about this? What a waste, if we do not think about death.

5. You will waste your cancer if you think that "beating" cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
Satan's and God's designs in your cancer are not the same. Satan designs to destroy your love for Christ. God designs to deepen your love for Christ. Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God's design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." And to know that therefore, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).

6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
It is not wrong to know about cancer. Ignorance is not a virtue. But the lure to know more and more and the lack of zeal to know God more and more is symptomatic of unbelief. Cancer is meant to waken us to the reality of God. It is meant to put feeling and force behind the command, "Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD" (Hosea 6:3). It is meant to waken us to the truth of Daniel 11:32, "The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action." It is meant to make unshakable, indestructible oak trees out of us: "His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers" (Psalm 1:2). What a waste of cancer if we read day and night about cancer and not about God.

7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
When Epaphroditus brought the gifts to Paul sent by the Philippian church he became ill and almost died. Paul tells the Philippians, "He has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill" (Philippians 2:26-27). What an amazing response! It does not say they were distressed that he was ill, but that he was distressed because they heard he was ill. That is the kind of heart God is aiming to create with cancer: a deeply affectionate, caring heart for people. Don't waste your cancer by retreating into yourself.

8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
Paul used this phrase in relation to those whose loved ones had died: "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13). There is a grief at death. Even for the believer who dies, there is temporary loss--loss of body, and loss of loved ones here, and loss of earthly ministry. But the grief is different--it is permeated with hope. "We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Don't waste your cancer grieving as those who don't have this hope.

9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
Are your besetting sins as attractive as they were before you had cancer? If so you are wasting your cancer. Cancer is designed to destroy the appetite for sin. Pride, greed, lust, hatred, unforgiveness, impatience, laziness, procrastination--all these are the adversaries that cancer is meant to attack. Don't just think of battling against cancer. Also think of battling with cancer. All these things are worse enemies than cancer. Don't waste the power of cancer to crush these foes. Let the presence of eternity make the sins of time look as futile as they really are. "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:25).

10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
Christians are never anywhere by divine accident. There are reasons for why we wind up where we do. Consider what Jesus said about painful, unplanned circumstances: "They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness" (Luke 21:12 -13). So it is with cancer. This will be an opportunity to bear witness. Christ is infinitely worthy. Here is a golden opportunity to show that he is worth more than life. Don't waste it.
Remember you are not left alone. You will have the help you need. "My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

Jun 8, 2009

the heat is on!

whoaa! it's extremely hot now in Hanoi. Today's temperature is 38 degrees plus the humidity is a bummer. When summer creeps in, it turns the whole town crazy. It's the time of the year when you get to see local girls wearing intimate lingerie (as in silk and sometimes see through nga pangkatulog)driving motorbikes and walking down the streets. Odd as it may seem but it's an acceptable practice here for culture sake!!Wish I could do the same because the weather is truly unbearable BUT good thing my figure doesn't permit me otherwise I would have done it too. It's also the time of the year when your power bills just soars to 300% because of a/c usage. How can we not switch it on when little Rinnah tends to be more cranky and always wet because of the humidity. We can't wait to go back home and enjoy some fresh air and rain and mud in Balulang.

Jun 5, 2009

his hands are never full!

whewww!!it was a full week for both hubby and I. Him being the Elder in charge of HIF move to the newly built Intercontinental Hotel here in Hanoi and I being busy at school with all the workload not to mention the other pre set commitments. But even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we still make sure that we attend to our girls needs and keep each other assured at the end of the day. I take my hat off to my man! He's really juggling his time between family and ministry at this moment but his hands are never full when it comes to us, his priority. I just praise the Lord for what He has turned my forever boyfriend into. From what used to be a dilly-dallying person, he has transformed into a very hands-on Dada and husband.

May 27, 2009

you broke my heart naynay!!

Dealing with my two girls can be quite challenging sometimes because each of them have their own unique personality. What works for the elder might not work for the younger one or vice versa. Rinnah is a toughie yet sweet, Thea on the other hand is girly-girl sweet kind of a person. She can never be a toughie, much as I would like her to, she just couldn't and I've come to admit that fact. I should say it is the big girl I'm having a hard time dealing with especially now that she's growing. One night we had a serious chat about some character related issues that I was telling her off and suddenly I was so surprised to hear her say " you broke my heart Naynay!" and asked her "do you mind telling me why?" and she replied "because whenever I'm due for reproof, you talk as if you are really mad at me". Mannn!!My seven year old daughter!!! I appreciate her openness but that came to me as a big blow, I didn't see that coming! I've come to realize that maybe it's not really her who needs some disciplining to hurdle but me. I am still learning to deal with myself which I consider now as my "thorn in the flesh". I do not want to spoil that fraction of time in rearing my chidlren by being such an inconsiderate mother. I know that this is not attainable without God's intervention.I know that I can't but Jesus can!!!

it pays to wait!!

I started purchasing air tickets for our summer holiday over two months ago. I started off with the immediate route like Ho Chi Minh - Manila via Cebu Pacific Air because that time they were on sale, not really cheap one though but at least it didn't cost me a leg. The other routes had to wait until last night when Cebpac announced they are on sale again and man! I was euphoric! Months prior to that I was already anxious to get all the flights thinking that as the date gets closer, I might have to pay more but I'm so glad I listened to my conviction to wait and wait. From what used to be over a thousand USD total, now I just paid a little less than a thousand bucks. My waiting paid off. Praise the Lord!

May 25, 2009

the pain of having to look for a new place!

Aaarrrgghh!!it's hot, it's humid and our house contract is due in four weeks! Last Saturday, Mr. Caballero and I went around Hanoi house hunting and I tell you it was never fun! How could it be when all that goes into your mind is sorting, packing, trashing, transporting stuff in a very narrow alley and all. It is stressful to think that few weeks from now we're gonna relocate to a new place which is still unknown to us at this point in time. Finding a suitable dwelling in Hanoi is so tricky, it entails a lot of patience because you will have to deal with the greedy agents and the house hunting itself. As I was walking down the road with my colleague, the Lord just impressed into my heart of hearts that this too is being taken cared of. That I do not need to complicate things up by being stressed out. Just complete trust and dependence. Amen Lord!

May 19, 2009

a conduit of God's blessing!

When I was just starting out as a believer, God in His absolute kindness provided me with a mentor in the person of Ate Gina Roa. At first I thought that she was way too pushy, she would never accept no for an answer whenever she wants me to do something for ministry or her personal requests. She infused the importance of integrity and cultivating my own walk with the Lord. There were times bickering had found itself in our "discipler-disciple" relationship but we were able to mend them. I remember, at age 19 I already was into leading worship, and as lead worshiper you have to dress right otherwise you'll get slapped on the wrist by the people. The pain that was! I was the first and only believer in my family then, how could I ever convince my Nanay to buy or make some clothes for me to wear at church when she never encouraged me to join in the first place? That was sure an uphill climb for me to beget and Ate Gina came into the picture, she would give me money to buy fabric and pay my mother so she could make me some decent outfit to put on when on stage. There I realized that discipling is not only sharing about spiritual things but you have to influence the whole aspect of a person's life if it is in your power to do, then do it. As I hark back to those times, I just appreciate the way Ate Gina was to me. In fact, just recently she sent us money from Cyprus and I was overjoyed. It's this little girl in me that gets so ecstatic about very simple things that I used to have as a new Christian. Ate Gina is always Ate Gina to me, and I believe she still treats me the same though some things have changed but our relationship, by God's grace will continue to flourish.

May 18, 2009

meeting VIP's and the King of Kings!

Hello there! One week had past and 'twas filled with meeting a number of important people. I didn't realize it until today. Last Friday, hubby and I together with the other Elders of Hanoi International Fellowship met up with the Ambassadors of India and South Africa in a fine dining soiree at the Ambassadors executive residence. The following day, I had the chance to meet the Ambassador of South Korea, though we've acquainted a month prior to that and their Minister of Education. I am just so surprised to think that I could not even step into the Mayor's Office of Cagayan de Oro but here in Hanoi, we're inundated with these kind of social contact. I do not want to sound bragging, but it's the truth. Hallelujah! Wait till you hear the most important part of my story! After I've become conscious of the last weeks events, the sweet Holy Spirit just took a hedge over me and spoke to me in a very gentle way, why so ecstatic about it? They don't even know me personally and I wonder if they make a big deal out of it same as I do. It's true that we were formally introduced but after that I bet if they still remember my name. The Lover of my Soul rang a bell on this and here's the catch, these earthly VIP's may not give so much importance on meeting with me but He does, they may not recognize and remember my name if we meet again, but He does, He has written my name on the palm of His hand, how could he ever forget? To these people I may not be insignificant but to Him I am, everytime I approach my Tent of Meeting, He unfurls His red carpet treatment and gives me so much importance that He will rejoice over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). It such a wonderful experience to meet up with these dignitaries but nothing really matches that moment when I meet with the King of Kings.

I wanna stay fit...

Just this morning when I sat down contemplating, I found myself in swift need of a treadmill machine. I just realized I couldn't do this anymore, four hours of sitting without any work out, no activities except that of my fingers constantly clicking and fiddling on my pc keyboard. This is just toxic! The only time I get to spend in minimal motion is when I am teaching where I need to stand and teach but that's only three hours and a half per day. Terrible me! I don't want to feel sluggish all the time but unfortunately, it is what I am now. And I put the blame on sitting the whole day. I desire to have a treadmill machine at home so that my husband and I can just hit it whenever we want and stay fit and serve the Lord better and be with our kids longer.

May 16, 2009

the beautiful feet needs some pedicure but where???

It's been ages now that I haven't got any pedicure, manicure and those girly pamperings that I normally get when I'm back home. It's seems impossible to get a sane "pedicurista" here. I had this experience years ago that I was in desperate mode for pedicure, I took the risk of going to a local salon that does all this kind of stuff, it was horrible!!my toes were all swollen afterwards because the pedicurist really did a mess out of it. Since then on I never ever go for one. I will have to wait till July to get it again when we go home for the summer break.

May 15, 2009

delightful dinner with the Ambassadors!

Part of the struggle of having to live in a country like Vietnam, city of Hanoi is being invited over by important people in the expat community like ambassadors and country directors of different NGO's that go to Hanoi International Fellowship for worship. hehehe.I'm just kidding when I said struggle, of course not! It's in fact a pleasure and we stand amazed at how God can bring his lowly children to face kings and important people without any sense of inferiority. He is our only confidence. God is really good at satisfying His children's needs as well as wants. My husband and I were so craving for a very nice meal where we don't have to chase Rinnah around while eating and just enjoy, well, it happened tonight because of that invitation from the Indian Ambassador and his wife plus we had the chance to meet and chat with the South African Ambassador. While we were seated there, the Father reminded me in a swift manner of my place in His Kingdom and how He sees me. That I am an Ambassador too, we all are, we have a duty to follow and that is to represent Christ especially to those who don't know Him yet. Well, it's indeed a privilege serving him and working with Him here in Hanoi.

same same but different, xin chao life!

Having lived in Hanoi, Vietnam (on and off) for the past eleven years has done a lot of change in my family's life especially that of my daughter's cultural perception. Life here is more laidback, people are just beginning to get rich and we don't even have big malls and the fast food pleasure. I would say this is more of a pro than a con. Whenever we go out, we always come across locals who thinks that we are Vietnamese too. There is never a day that goes without it. They would often say we're "same same but different" I guess primarily because of our Asian features. Dealing with culture can sometimes be a pain in the neck when you reside in Hanoi or Vietnam for that matter. This is a place where queuing is not a custom, men smoking inside airconditioned restos and worst-double standard is such a part of the whole system. Sometimes I feel I cannot coexist with this people any longer but God's grace is really pulling me through all these cultural struggles. Do I hear myself complaining here??Not actually, I've gotten used to it already and this fact terrifies me. We have learned how to appreciate this people by letting good traits overshadow the bad experiences we had. Vietnamese are also close knit people. They value family relationship over and above everything else (well, sometimes except for money matters), they adhere strict rules on respect of elders. Motorists here can get way too crazy when driving but when they see you driving with an elderly or a child, they yield which is seemingly strange. Living in a culture not mine served as a sweet reminder for my family and I that wherever He places us, we should grow in grace.

Why Waiting is Really Trusting

This article swept me off my feet.

Nobody hates waiting more than I do. At Wal-mart, I use the self-checkout, because there is usually no line. Unless, of course, I commit the unpardonable crime of putting the bread on the wrong plastic bag and the machine begins yelling at me. Then, of course, I have to wait for the human to come over and fix the machine.

At the post office, I hate waiting an hour to mail a package. So I usually use the automated box that allows me to send anything slightly smaller than an elephant.

I especially don’t like sitting in traffic in the Chicago suburbs, where I believe they widen the roads once every 76 years. So I have a better chance of seeing Haley’s Comet than getting into the turn lane on my local highways. Nice.

So you can understand that I have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn’t seem to fit His plans into my rushed, hurried, panicked world. And in reading the Scriptures, I’ve learned that He hasn’t changed.

In fact, almost all of the great men in the Bible had to wait. Some agonizingly long. Let’s look at three examples.

Your Prince is Ready

Though Moses grew up in the house of Pharoah and was groomed to be the next in line for the throne, I believe he saw all of this as God raising him up to deliver his people, Israel. His mother probably had something to do with that.

As the years passed and Moses looked from the window of his stately palace and saw the oppression of his brethren, he grew more and more impatient. Finally, he acted on impulse and killed an Egyptian taskmaster.

So that meant 40 years in the wilderness. Here God’s people were suffering and their future deliverer is leading sheep in the backside of the desert. Yet God wasn’t delaying. He wasn’t stalling. He wasn’t anxious.

Finally, when Moses was broken and humble enough to be used as an instrument by God, God sent the 80-year old prince-turned-shepherd back to Egypt.

But do you see what is happening? The headlines wouldn't read, "Prince leads coup. Prince leads revolt. Prince overtakes Pharaoh." No, it wouldn't be about Moses anymore. It would be about God. How about, "God Miraculously Delivers His People"?

Dreams of Greatness

As a young man, God spoke to Joseph through dreams. In these dreams, Joseph was leading and his brothers and even world leaders were bowing at his feet. Kind of heady stuff for a teenager, don’t you think? And it didn’t play too well with his brothers.

But Joseph knew God was calling him to a special place. A place of impact and leadership and power.

So that’s why Joseph was probably stunned and shocked when he found himself in the bottom of a pit, praying his brothers wouldn’t kill him. Or when he found himself sold into a strange country, Egypt. Or when he was thrust into prison on rape charges.

Didn’t seem like those dreams were panning out too well, did it? Didn’t seem like God was working out His plan?

Oh, but God was working out his plan. And Joseph, while he didn’t know a lot, He knew He could trust God.

Running for King

Okay, so this prophet comes to his house, dumps some oil on his head, and then whispers in his ear, “Oh by the way, you’re going to be Israel’s next king.” But then it was back to the shepherd’s fields, back to being the forgotten son and brother, back to obscurity.

David was anointed king as a teenager, but he waited 14 long years to assume the throne. And those 14 years were hard years. He was Israel’s next king, but there was his madman, Saul, who was determined to see David dead and buried.

If you read the psalms you can experience David’s angst. He scratched his head in wonder, “Why is God allowing Saul to do this?” “Why doesn’t God just move Saul out of the way?”

But again, like Moses, like Joseph, David had to learn to trust God. And waiting, is trusting. David had to be broken, humble, and read to lead God’s people.

Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives his people a dream, a desire, a calling and then puts them through a period of waiting.

It is in this waiting where your real courage and character are forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you’re life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God. You learn to lean on God. You learn what’s important and what’s not important.

So if you’re like me and you really hate to wait, know that waiting is trusting.


Article taken from crosswalkdotcom

May 14, 2009

must be the genes...

Two of the many joys my children bring me are being appreciated because of how pleasant they look (stage momma!)and how well they interact with other expatriate children and grown ups surrounding them in our community. Many people have given their differing opinions as to who resembles who (Thea as very Jinggoy and Rinnah as very Jeaneth and vice versa, which is rather more conscientious than a compliment),but here's my take on this. I believe that both of them (we all are) are beautifully and wonderfully made because Jesus is their Maker, I would like to think further that they be getting more of His image as they journey this life. I'd really like them to resemble that of the Fathers likeness more than their earthly parents because neither me nor my husband has something good except for the faith legacy of introducing the Savior to them.

May 11, 2009

bonding timeee!!

I should say, this is the most wonderful time of the day (which is normally set before bedtime)for my girls, because they get to spend precious moments with Dada and Naynay. Let me make a note of what happens everytime we engage on it. First part of the program is always a battle between Thea and Rinnah on who's gonna perform first, performing means singing and dancing at the same time before their most sought after audience/s, Dada and Naynay. Most frequently, the younger one, Rinnah, controls the platform first since her Ate have learned how to yield to please her baby sister. Then when everyone has come to an agreement, the show begins. Rinnah in her gorgeous dance moves and "par excellence" singing which is filled with babyish words and enunciations and of course, Thea singing in her sweet girly voice and amazing expression, all to the pleasure of their doting parents. We normally end the "show-bonding time" with lots of hugs and kisses, which for them is the most wonderful reward they could ever get. This have become a fossilized habit for my family. I just wonder if they would still do and enjoy the same 10 years from now. I really hope so.

Dig Deeper!

The past years had been an overwhelming journey for me in my personal walk with God. I am super glad that He gave me a very mature, loving, wise, Spirit-filled mentor / husband. Though it’s true that others (that includes my husband) can encourage me to walk the walk and lift me up when I’m down, it is still of utmost value that I cultivate my own personal connection with God. I should have known better. This time, I sensed that God is bringing my husband and I to greater heights, by which I am deeply convicted to dig deeper and saturate myself in His Word.

May 7, 2009

Baby talk(s)

I had a Women's Retreat post mortem meeting last night at a friend's plush villa in Ciputra. I left home hours before time trying to evade the traffic jam that often impede every road trip because they just build up in some of the major pathways of Hanoi in split seconds. I ran off without saying goodbye to my two girls. I had fun chichatting with my girl friends over some home baked pastries. After nearly four hours of being away from my lovely spawn, I headed back home quite late. When I stood outside the gate, my little girl, Rinnah asked me in a raised-clear-straight English "did you go out Naynay?". I stood there astonished of what I heard from her. She can speak clearly now, I have not even noticed it come out so quickly. My baby is now a budding toddler who's so fascinated with language that she encounters everyday and one funny thing about her also is she gets it all mixed up sometimes, Vietnamese-English-Cebuano. One example to this is "di up" which means "go up" (di-Vietnamese word for go). Well, I must say, bits and pieces of everything doesn't hurt anyway.

May 6, 2009

big day out!

hello again!

Today is my eldest daughter's big day out. She's gone to her friend, Brittany's place in the Water Village. The date was set last Sunday as we were invited by our family friend (The Fryer's) over for lunch. Since then on, Thea never ceased to bug me and the whole household with her excitement for her big day out, which is today. She is totally unstoppable on this. She would do everything not to lose this opportunity and experience. Ann, Brittany's mummy, had all the activities set for the two playful girls. I bet, they're having a blast right now.

My Verse for the Week

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go."
Ecclesiastes 9:10

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