Sunday, August 28, 2011


The Father of the heavenly lights, (who) does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17b

It’s not always easy. We packed up our home of three years in Chiang Mai and arrived here eight weeks ago. Four of those eight weeks were spent in a Guest Home. The last four weeks were spent in this rented house. In between visits to cottages, we’d learned to live together as a household of six. It’d been fun and enjoyable and full of adjustments and changes.

On Monday and Tuesday, while Eric, Eli, and Ethan were at their MK retreat, I stayed at my parent’s house to help look after them. My mother changed. She’d been taking a dietary supplement to help her brain function better and it’d been working. Her sentences were still not sensible but when asked why she was scratching, she responded by saying because she was itchy. =) She asked questions and told stories. It’d been awhile since she’d made sense so it made us who looked after her truly rejoice at the change. Thank you, Lord.

Last Thursday, we took Evan to his college for his final year. Since he lived with us when we arrived here, we initially got pleasantly used to him being with us and now, we’re adjusting to him no longer with us. We miss him.

When I took a walk this morning, I noticed that the leaves on the maple trees were beginning to change color. Change is in the air. Whether it’s the frequency of earthquakes or hurricane Irene on the east coast, new things are happening.

Next week, we have more changes as Eric leaves for college.

We cannot escape change as we even change ever slightly as we age every day that we live. A lot of us might resist change and not want to change but it’s undoubtedly a part of our lives whether we want it or not. Change is necessary. The Father always wants to transform us. We must desire change so we can be more like Him faster.

It is a paradox. The instigator of change, the one who wants us to change, will Himself, never change. He’s the only constant. Somehow, I find this truth comforting.
He is perfect. There is nothing in Him that needs changing. =) What a God He is!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Enthralled by Beauty

Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
Honor Him, for He is your Lord.
Psalm 45:10-11

On the 17th of August, 17 days after moving into the house we’re now renting, we decided to anoint our home with oil and pray over each room. The 4-bedroom house we’re staying in belongs to Christians but since we all have sins we struggle with and spirits associated with our sins ensure we keep sinning, we prayed that anything that didn’t belong to Papa God, be removed in each of the rooms we are able to use. (One bedroom is off limits to us because the owners have their things stored in it.)

Our prayer time went well but even more noticeable was the increase in openness to the things of God (over the lure of the electronics) since we prayed. One of the difficulties I see in living here is that between the cable TV and the computer, our sons don't seem interested in doing anything else. Shortly after we prayed however, I’ve been able to have individual times with them just to talk, pray, and bless them. It’s also been easier to have corporate times of prayer. Whew, it sure is great to be able to do those!

This week, a friend sent me the verse above and it resonated within me so much that I spent two days meditating on it. I listened and considered. I knew I was too caught up with the must-dos of my sons and the house work. At my parent’s house, their needs occupy my mind and time. Even when I’m at home, I’m still phoning around to look for a caregiver for them. As the verse stated, I needed to forget my preoccupations. I could perfectly relate! It’s the third line that stumped me. Why on earth would the king, God Himself, be enthralled by my beauty? What beauty?

I was confused and decided He must certainly mean my inner beauty. Still, because I am aware of my struggles, my sins, my past mistakes, and my present temperament and temptations, I couldn’t figure out why God would be enthralled with me. In my mind there is nothing to be enthralled with! I waited for His answer. As I spent time with my parents though, I’d felt Him say, “That’s why!” for the different ways I cared for them. I further became still and waited for more answers. Soon, I understood that His eyes saw our potential. Because He isn’t bound by time, He sees us in our future transformed state. Also, He created us and He is fascinated by the beauty of His work, us! I realize that some of us don’t like some of our features but He made us perfectly. We are beautiful to Him! Most of all, as He sees that we are willing to have Him work in our lives and ask for more of Him in us, He is surely pleased with us because we are becoming more and more like Him. This is why He is enthralled. =)

It is fascinating! The more I understand God, the more loveable He gets. He truly is, one of a kind. Awesome God and Lord, please help us to honor you and do it well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Grace Extended

And You answer, "My child, I love you. And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."
From the song “Grace” by Laura Story

After feeling like I was failing miserably in staying focused on God since arriving in Toronto, I asked Papa God to forgive me, asked further for His help to do better and was soon ready to go to bed. Just before sleeping, I thought to listen to a song that He might want to use to minister to me. My iPhone had 518 songs in the playlist I chose and I proceeded to choose shuffle (an option where the gadget randomly chooses which of the 518 songs to play). Amazingly, the song “Grace” played. Immediately, I was touched and knew I needed to focus on what happened that day, or some time this week. I realize that it is God’s grace that I’m even alive. What I wanted to recall were those moments of His unmerited kindness that were out of the ordinary.

It didn’t take long and I was soon thanking Papa God for the miracle of Ethan being accepted at a private Christian school that will soon move near us. We were asked not to disclose the details of the arrangements we made. Although the tuition fee costs $9,300 for the year. The Lord had seen it fit for Ethan to be able to study there. It is truly amazing!

Eli is happy to attend the local public high school for his 10th grade and Ethan will be in 5th grade when school starts.

Before even coming to Canada, two friends (who don’t know one another) wrote about the school and asked if we’d consider sending our sons there. Deep down, I knew I was just being polite to them when I wrote back to say we’d pray about it. I knew of the school’s expensive fees because years ago I homeschooled Evan in his 1st grade as we didn’t have the $7,000 to send him there. After arriving here, I visited with one of my friends who recommended the school. Unprompted, she talked about the school again and she even gave suggestions on how it might work for Ethan to go there. I was still unconvinced but I shared it with the family and we began to pray to find out God's will for Ethan's schooling. Our friend even went ahead and talked to the decision makers of the school so we were soon expected to meet with them. That meeting did happen the morning that the song played. Before we finished the meeting, we were told that Ethan had a green light to attend their school.

The lines in the song went; “I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down? And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?” just before the (Lord’s) answer quoted above. Because of my inability to stay focused on God, I had the same questions and the Lord couldn’t have answered me more graciously than with a song that actually verbalized my questions and answered them.

We have an amazing God. His grace abounds. Nothing is impossible for Him and He always desires to bless. We do not deserve His mercy and grace but He’s always willing and wanting to give it. For this reason, we love Him so. Thank you, Lord, Papa God, for who you are. =) Love you!

Since frog legs were on sale, Evan prompted Eng to buy some and soon it ended up on our table, along with eggplant cooked in bean sauce. Half of us liked the bottom part of the froggies but the rest of us were turned off by them. The half who enjoyed them soon ate them all and we were left with the meat-less bones. Soon, we were all laughing as three of us decided to make the bone legs dance to "can-can" music. =D

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amazing Grace

However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
Ecclesiastes 11:8

On Tuesday, August 2nd, I turned fifty. When I was younger, I used to think people over fifty are old so now I’m feeling old. At some point, I’ll probably begin to wear polyester slacks and double knit cardigans – NOT! =D I don’t think a wardrobe change will happen any time soon but I know I’ll be thinking twice before doing anything strenuous. The other day I saw an exercise bar in a house I visited and quickly did a “chin-up”, as in pull my whole body up with my arms to get my chin above the bar. I barely succeeded and worse, my left arm now hurts periodically. I’m told that I probably pulled a muscle or strained it. I used to do several of those “chin-ups” effortlessly as a teen but definitely gone are those days. My mind can still remember what my body was able to do but I need to be realistic now to understand what it can actually still do. Like Peter and the other disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked them to wait, my mind and spirit could be very willing but my flesh is definitely weaker and no longer what it used to be.

My body’s limitation is my first lesson in what Eli calls, my “turning of age”. Secondly, I woke up early on my birthday to take a walk. During the walk, the Lord ‘wowed’ me with the sea of yellow flowers on the grass, the blue sky, and the perfect cool weather for walking. I was grateful. Still, as the Lord does with me, the next incident happened. On my way back, I was just half a block away from our house when I saw a young lady picking up strewn garbage on the street. A raccoon had knocked down her green bin the night before, rummaged through and ate the smelly leftovers, then left without cleaning up. She was doing the awful job of gathering the stinky mess. I saw some newspapers on the ground so I used it to help her pick up the refuse. She was appalled and insisted that I stop since I wasn't wearing gloves like she was. I continued to help anyway and with her advice that I wash my hands, she introduced herself. Her name was “Grace”. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did anyway. On this blog are several old postings which talks about the times when the Lord literally used women named “Grace” to help me realize what He’d done for me, and extended me. If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know what I mean. At any rate, after our encounter, I knew the Lord wanted me to concentrate on His grace in my life so I spent the rest of the day on the look out for it.

I received several email and Facebook birthday greetings, phone calls, and, cards and gifts from family and friends who came to the house to celebrate with me. I appreciated the show of care and love. In all that, what particularly stands out is the morning walk by the pond in Unionville with my sons and Eng. I picked a beautiful spot and asked them to pray for me. Each one prayed sincerely and thanked God for me. =) Then, they gave me a group hug. In the arms of my four sons and husband, and with the felt blessing of Papa God, I could feel the Lord smiling and couldn’t help smiling myself. Those tender moments made up my best birthday gift!

In addition to that grace, I saw two teens in a locked embrace early last week which reminded me of my ungodly relationship in the past and where I’d been. Had it not been for the grace of God and His mercy, I wouldn’t be married for 24 years, with 4 sons, on Home Assignment after serving as missionaries for over 10 years, etc., etc. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness in my life for the past 50 years! Praise you.