Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflecting on the NEW as I relax in my new home :) #oneword365 update

My #oneword365 for 2012 is NEW. 

13 days before the end of the year, I'm sitting here at our NEW place that we just moved in to, staring at our NEW tree. 

A lot of "NEW" happened this year.

New last name.
New role as a wife.
New baby on the way.
New church family.
New job.
New friends.
New trials and challenges.
New lessons learned.
New reality.
New home.

Re-NEWed faith. To believe for even greater things for the coming year. Because that's how my God rolls. His children go from faith to faith, strength to strength and glory to glory. 

For the first time in a year, Hawaii finally feels like home to me. Yes, it is now my home. I said new reality, because at this time last year, I was planning my wedding (and while that made me happy) I was sad and heartbroken coz I was extremely homesick and missed my family and friends. I could not bear the thought that my one year missionary trip that i originally planned wasn't happening. Instead, i knew in my heart it was a goodbye to my family and friends in LA. My husband says I was a basket case last year. LOL! In hindsight, I understand now why God allowed for me to go through a season of loneliness. Because I would've never clung to my husband the way I was supposed to had I been in the comfort of a familiar environment.

With everything else that happened this year... From attending school of ministry, to having closure and saying goodbye to LA and being able to have a wedding there to celebrate with my family and friends, to meeting John's family and making them my own, to moving here to help a small church and meeting my husband and new friends there, but then having to come to terms that the job that was offered to me was not working out, and undergoing the process of meeting different people from different churches in the island and finding a new spiritual family, the journey it took only made my faith muscles stronger because God came through, even when there were loops and turns that took us by surprise. I now belong and work in a healthy church and I'm surrounded by new and old friends as well as our wonderful ministry partners who continue to love and support me and my family and the dreams God has put in our hearts. Aaaand we are now living worry free as we received our permanent legal status here in America and no longer waiting on a visa process to work.

New. We walked into a beginning of a new season this year. A season of fulfilled promises and surprises along the way. A new season i am not used to because it's been barren and hard these past few years and i was so used to a hard life and the season of waiting for soooo long while living in a poverty mentality. This year i had to learn to let go of the old (old thought patterns & ways of thinking, relationships, lifestyles, location,) and embrace the new... A new season of fruitfulness and abundance. And now my heart is being stretched to believe for even greater and NEWer things.

And we did NEW together a family.  John got to experience the new season of being a husband and a dad, belonging to a new church and making new friends, and leading worship with a new team. Christian got to experience new by studying a new homeschool curriculum and making new friends and building relationships. Even Bambam got to experience new by having his eye removed coz of glaucoma. He now lives without constant eye pain. Aaaaaand this new life that God is living in the inside of me.... she is learning new things as well, like kicking and squirming and new karate moves on a daily basis.... and she is also learning how much she is loved by her family. Plus we've never had so many PINK things as we have now. That's all NEW to us!

Till the end, God is showing how faithful He really is to continue to bring in the #new for 2012. And there's still 13 days left. :)

As I sit in our new home, I offer a prayer of thanksgiving and worship to a God who proves Himself to be faithful time and time again. I also say a prayer of thanksgiving to those who prayed, believed, encouraged, supported and walked with us this past year. 

He's already revealed my my #oneword for 2013 :) I'm quite excited because it only means new adventures and new chapters to be written in this wonderful book of life that I am blessed to live. 

Merry Christmas to YOU and your loved ones and we pray you have a happy NEW year filled with God's peace and joy! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thank you @JenniCatron! On winning and pros & cons of living in Hawaii

Thank you @JenniCatron :) I (and the rest of the @gracehonoluluHI team) are grateful for the 2012 Willowcreek Global Leadership Summit DVD's. (received it just in time for my bday!) We already watched one of the videos for our staff meeting and we loved it! I cannot wait to watch more!

There are perks that come with living in this state the rest of the world calls paradise The lovely weather... the background ukelele song you hear everywhere you go, coconut water and mai tai's served to you in every corner and constantly being surrounded by beautiful beaches. 

Okay... Soooo i might have stretched the truth a little about the ukelele song and the coconut/Mai tai's. People here actually work (sometimes 2-3 jobs coz it's really expensive to live out here) and do chores and get stuck in traffic. We are also surrounded by water. Lots and lots of water. Too much water - in fact a couple of thousand of miles away from the mainland. 

That being the case, we don't have a lot of conferences & leadership seminars for churches here in Hawaii. Smaller churches here often have to rely on the bigger mega-churches that can afford to bring in speakers and their teams (and pay for their hotels & food). We have about 2-3 big events a year but that's about it.

Which drives me absolutely crazy since I lived in LA and everything from leadership seminars to the catalyst conferences to the dream center to visiting saddle back or cornerstone or oasis, etc. etc. etc was available to attend and visit all year round. And you can hear these pastors and preachers for FREE!

In hawaii, If we wanted to join a conference in the mainland....We have to pay a lot of money to fly out anywhere. Coz the airlines have monopolized the fact that we are stuck in an island and that we have no choice but to pay crazy airline fees or stay stuck here and watch conferences online or read and live vicariously through whoever is livetweeting on our twitter feed. That doesn't even include our hotel / food / travel expenses.

So living out here does have repercussions.... BUT the one major perk i have seen this past year living as a missionary out here is...because of the limited resources we have, the local churches here rely on building with other local churches in the island(s) so that we can learn from each other. I've never seen this happen in any part of the United States before. In fact, i've never seen it anywhere. Senior Pastors and leaders from different congregations and denominations actually meet together and share and help each other instead of tearing each other down. It's quite amazing and beautiful to see. There is a unique kind of unity within churches that I've never seen or heard of. And I'm glad I God has allowed me, not only to witness it, but be a part of the network of the body of believers in these islands. I guess isolation has its perks ;)

Who would've thought that one of the ways to actually see and experience a united bride/church means having to fly out as a missionary and live in paradise. :) 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

he sings. she kicks.

He talks to her. He loves on her. He sings to her. And she kicks each time she hears his voice. He's wanted & prayed for a sibling since he was 3. He's turning 13 next year when she arrives. 10 years of praying. That's perseverance.

He's gonna be a great kuya (big brother) to his little sister! 

24 weeks down. 16 more to go! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

family. friends. sexyness and sushi.

our wall of thanks - what we are most thankful for this 2012.

God and His love. family. friends. our church. our new home. the baby in my belly. our dog. our health (we were down with the flu this past week and we are grateful none of us are battling a life threatening illness).

my son made special mention of being thankful of his "sexyness" O_o and also sushi... what can i say...the boy loves food! and he's slightly vain (I wonder where he gets that from?!?) LOL!

last year we posted a "thank you" note for my nephew Mateo being born in November. this year we are thankful for
john's niece hilina'i who was born this month as well! Yay for babies!

"in everything give thanks." 1 thes 5:18

thank you Lord for the treasures you have given us. help us not to get sidetracked and prioritize those things that aren't on this list only to sacrifice our time and effort in exchange for the things we are most thankful for. we pray our hearts would always remain grateful. amen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Go and make things right, then come back to God. #dailysoulfood

This scripture was the scripture that God used when He told me to go and forgive my abusers. This was the same scripture He used when He told me to forgive the father of my child, who left me the day I was pregnant. This is the same scripture He uses time and time again when I run into occasional relational problems with family, friends, co-workers.....

"This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God." Matthew 5:23-25 msg

Im not one to sweep things under the rug or back away from healthy confrontation, especially when it's about trying to fix relationships. I will try to go the extra mile to "talk about and talk through the issues at hand" in order to choose friendships and relationships over petty circumstances and emotional drama.

Throughout the years I've maintained years of friendship and relationship with friends and family, and yes even with the people who abused me, even if it was a hard decision to make. It's not always easy to do this because sometimes its not reciprocated. But I try anyway. And for the most part, almost all relationships have been redeemed. Except for my son's father, coz he chose to not want to be part of his son's life and a couple of others, just because they are choosing not to restore the relationship for the moment (I'm still hoping that one day they will though).

So when i share about the testimony of forgiveness, especially forgiving my abusers... people ask me "why would i do such a thing?" Well i definitely know it's not because I want to.... At least not initially.... coz knowing me and my pre-christian ways and the evil that lurks in my heart.... I would do ALL I can to press people's buttons to make them even more mad or sad. I would stop talking to them, I would get angry, I would fight, I would cuss, I would turn any story you have and use it against you to make you look really bad. and i could choose to still do all that now.. real housewives ratchet style....

Or I could choose to follow God. And I could choose to live in grace. And forgiveness. And mercy. And be kind. And give to others what God has so lavishly given to me.

Some Christians think fixing relationships and having to confront others is not needed in God's Kingdom. Especially if they have valid reasons of being hurt. They always use Paul's example of not seeing eye to eye with Mark about something and going separate ways, sweeping things under the rug and never talking to each other again. That way, forgiveness is never talked about. The issue is never dealt with. Reconciliation never happens. Heart transformation and the power of the gospel is never seen.

I've seen Christians leave churches, ministries, friendship, families and they never talk to people they were once in relationship with ever again and use this example repetitively.

Can I just say that THAT is a WRONG example to justify sin? (Yes... i called it out... unforgiveness is a sin). First of all, Paul and Mark did reconcile (2 Timothy 4:11) so to use this scripture as an example of "going separate ways and not talking" is very unbiblical. Second, even Jesus, who was hurt and denied by his closest friend Peter, had to have a healthy confrontation and talked to Peter about the issue in his heart and his love for Jesus after Peter had denied Jesus and left Him hanging (literally and figuratively) when He was dying. And their relationship was restored. And not only was His relationship with Peter restored, but the other 10 who also left and hurt him were also reconciled to Him as well. Jesus had healthy confrontations and resolved to fix relationships, yes... even with Judas, His betrayer. He still washed Judas' feet....He still tried to love to the end.

So if this is the example our Lord made for us, then that example should be our standard. And we should do no less.

So when people (especially Christians... most especially mature christian leaders) choose to not fix relationships and would rather ignore others, especially their christians brothers or sisters... choosing to ignore and stop talking to them and not fixing the issues at hand... being too "proud" to say sorry when they've hurt others... Or choosing to gossip and fight and slander and say mean thing about each other... aaaaaaand even acting worst than teenagers and blocking people off your social media site or not returning texts and calls rather than choosing to fix the problem... When adults choose to do that... it's such a damn shame.

Coz we are quick to teach little children who fight with their siblings or their friends to make amends and forgive. we tell them to "go say sorry and make it matter who was right and who was wrong". And children, who have absolutely pure hearts, listen to us. they really do forgive and become friends and play once again with the other child who was their enemy seconds ago. They are quick to fix things and forgive and love.

I don't fight for reconciliation because I HAVE to. Obeying God is a choice. It's not always easy... And yes, sometimes it's painful because it won't always be reciprocated.. But I still choose to do that... And I teach my son and tell my husband to do same. Keep on forgiving. Keep on trying to reach out. Keep on trying to mend. Keep on praying. Keep on believing and hoping for the best. Keep on trying to make things right. Because ultimately we live to please our God and God commanded us to "go and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God" so we should follow.

It's a principle i live by. because to me... relationships are more important than feelings. and it's more important than opinions. I choose to fight for relationships because it's out of the overflow of the gratitude in my heart that I choose to give to others what I have freely received. And I've been given

A second and third and fourth chance.

Freely i have been given... So i must freely give. (matthew 10:8)

Give freely. Forgive freely. Fight for relationships. It will allow you to see a facet of God's heart and life becomes even more beautiful when we live our lives free from the poison of bitterness and unforgiveness. Choose to live and love.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

P is for.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

good leader VS great leader #dailysoulfood

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to DO and to TEACH (Acts1:1) 

Good leaders do either one of two things: they do all the big ministry work themselves and they are so busy doing that they dont have time to train or empower others... or all they do is teach and not do any work (nor do their lives lead by example).

Great leaders do what needs to be done and they teach others the "how to's" so that others can learn and even do greater things than what the leader has done.

Daily Soul Food: It's not about being the superstar teacher / rabbi / preacher / pastor / boss. It's really all about working with others and building a strong enough foundation on what God has called you to do so your ceiling can be the floor that others can build on.

That's what Jesus did for His disciples... He taught them, then walked them through the process and then He told them something crazy - He said "you will do even greater things".

Jesus wasn't afraid to teach His disciples everything He knew. By teaching and doing... He built strong foundations in their lives and empowered them to do the same. That's how we should do it as well. Aim to be a great leader and not just a good one. Good leaders make it about themselves. Great leaders make it about their team and other people.

Do and Teach. And don't be afraid to let others shine. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

testimonies of your most painful processes become powerful promises ::sharing my heart on single parenting, experiencing abuse and livinglife as an illegal immigrant

"the testimonies of your most painful processes become powerful promises to the people you were born to minister to" - Jim Laffoon

THIS. QUOTE. RIGHT. HERE. this is the reason why i am in ministry. this is why i am a missionary. this is why i chose to hold on hard to God's promises in my life even when life threw me lemons that were covered with sh*t manure. coz if the experiences that God has allowed me to go through can help others find the power of the gospel and the love of Christ, then i will continue to share my story to show to the world that the God i worship is indeed who He says He is.

He has healed my heart from painful scars. some of the painful processes that this journey of life has taken me through in the past 30+ years are:
  • the cold blooded murder of my grandfather.
  • the death of  my baby brother.
  • the divorce of my parents... and another divorce of my mom and step dad.
  • seeing the consequences of abuse and adultery and how it can rip relationships apart.
  • growing up and seeing a rampant display of incest, adultery, cheating, drugs, unforgiveness and watching family fight over money and power.
  • being sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally abused and molested as a little girl till i was a teenager. and having it allowed to happen because people were paralyzed by their own situations.
  • growing up masking the pain by drowning myself in drinking, smoking, drugs, cutting, sex, pornography, food, and whatever else i could use to numb the pain i felt as a teenager.
  • being rejected as a 20 year old, left to raise a child on my own the same day the guy found out i was pregnant.
  • getting dengue fever twice and being told i was supposed to die. twice.
  • wanting to follow hard after God - and seeing churches and ministries rise and crumble right before my very eyes and seeing people and leaders fall away from God because the church became a very hurtful place to be instead of being the place of refuge God created it to be.
  • to continue to serve in church and meet and disciple women and challenge them to walk through the good times with God but also through the hard times with God, telling them about His love and faithfulness in our lives, even if there were times when i would go home and cry and question God if He would ever do the things He promised He would.
  • having all my childhood memories and personal belongings burn to ashes as our house burned down in the philippines.
  • living as an illegal immigrant single mother in this country because there was no "home" to go back to. living in constant fear of being caught and deported and being separated from my son or my family.
  • choosing to follow hard after God and keep my integrity to wait on Him knowing that money, provision and even our basic necessities as mother and son would not be met had it not been for His hand of blessing.
  • my mom getting a cancer scare.
  • seeing my son go through the painful experience of sleeping on floors and sleeping bags and not having money for food for that day because we were poor.
  • to continue to hold on to the dreams God has planted in my heart, even when there were people around me questioned me and my motives and didn't believe that it could ever happen.
  • to leave my family 2500 miles away to live out God's call in my life to build His kingdom... and in the process of doing so...experiencing one of the greatest years of joys of my life... but also having to have experienced homesickness, a tearing of relationships with friends and with in-laws and having to cling to God once again to open doors of breakthroughs. 

in each of those processes, there was extreme pain. there were countless tears sowed. there were many sleepless nights. the people that have walked with me for years at a time know the journey it took for me to get to where i was to where i am now. they also know the tenacious faith and white knuckled grip it took for me to hold on to God's will for my life instead of giving up and taking the easy way out. 

this is why ruth is my favorite book in the bible. her life started out real bad...yet God was able to redeem her story and she was blessed with family, with friends, with a husband, with a child, and she became Jesus' great great great great great great (10x) grandmother. what a legacy. all because a gentile woman decided to believe in a God who said He loved her. in her story, His story was told.

i live my life in a glass bowl. i am not afraid and unashamed of the process and the journey that God has taken me through and is taking me through. i am bold enough to share the good, the bad, and the ugly, because just like Jim Laffoon said...."the testimonies of my most painful processes become powerful promises to the people you were born to minister to."

in each of those painful times in my life there have been breakthrough. God has turned each of those situations around and caused good to happen. yes, in EACH AND EVERY ONE of those situations. (romans 8:28)

ALL THESE EXPERIENCES that God had allowed me to go through just means that there are people that God has brought or will bring into my life that need to hear about this journey of mine because they are going through something similar themselves. God has allowed for me to experience these things so i can share to others about this GOD that i worship that has allowed me to overcome. A GOD WHO KNOWS. A GOD WHO HEALS. A GOD WHO PROVIDES. A GOD WHO ANSWERS. A GOD WHO FORGIVES. A GOD WHO SEES. A KING WHO SAVES. A FATHER WHO LOVES.

the testimonies of your most painful processes become powerful promises to the people you were born to minister to if you allow God to work through you and in you during the process and allow Him to tell His story through yours. share your story for His glory.

and now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you - Genesis 45:5

you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives - Genesis 50:20

Thursday, October 18, 2012

hey mom... step aside and make some room =D

hi. i am baby c. watch me grow on my mommy's blog.

here i am at week 6.

here i am at 11 weeks. 

ultrasound at 11 weeks. 
this is my kuya. 
if you mess with me, 
my kuya will kick your @*$ butt coz i am his...

...little princess.
 week 18


it is a vajayjay for now. unless something miraculously grows there in the next 5 months. 
my mom needs to step aside and make some room...a new warrior princess is coming to town. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THIS. RIGHT. HERE. #thetruthaboutskinnyjeans

Monday, October 8, 2012

on remaining faithful, rocking foundations, promotion, and being a very proud wifey #oneword365 #oneword

Yesterday, Pastor Gregg Brenes officially introduced our little clan to the whole church. He introduced Christian as the card magician, and he introduced me as the small group intern, and the babybump was introduced as well as he/she made his/her first stage appearance.

I was most proud though, was when Pastor Greg introduced John as the Music Director, who will be working alongside my friend Anna to help develop and build the Grace Honolulu's Worship Team. I stood there and smiled as I listened to John introduce himself. As he was speaking, these verses came to mind:  
  • "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (Matthew 25:23)
  • "For promotion comes neither from the east, nor west, nor south but from God (Psalm 75:6 &7)"
Those that know John know how faithful and loyal he is as a family, as a friend and as a son of God. No one can question his character with faithfulness and loyalty. He is so extremely loyal that he has gone to the same person who has been cutting his hair for 15 years. He stayed in the same church for 16 years and served in different capacities, all voluntarily. He worked at a private school as a band director for 9 years and then moved to a different school, now serving there his 4th year. He made the decision in college to serve God and promised to wait for God to bring him a wife before he would have sex and he waited for 35 years and fulfilled his promise to God. When this guy makes up his mind, He is committed and sticks to his commitment for a long time. 

So when God began to rock his world in the beginning of the year to challenge and call him out of the comfortable in order to seek out the NEW and believe God for more, his foundations were pretty much shaken. His loyalty was tested. He was given a choice to stick with God and move in the unknown, not knowing where God was leading him or to follow what was comfortable and easy and please men/family/friends... 

Needless to say, he chose to follow God, no matter the consequence. And boy were there consequences. Relationships were torn and he has felt pain in tearing of relationships that he never thought he would ever feel. In fact, he even got a prophetic word from a prophet confirming the pain in his heart as the prophet mentioned seeing a cave in in relationships and how it felt like for him to have empty promises given to him. These past few months have been extremely hard on his heart and his foundations were tested. 

But as loyal as John is, God is even more loyal and He is faithful to His Word.... And because John chose to follow God and not man, God opened doors for him in ways that only He could. John got a couple of offers from different churches to be music/worship director or to be a music consultant, he was able to network with different pastors around the island and meet different worship leaders and eventually after much prayer and attending different churches around the island, God led us to this church.

God not only allowed him to do what he loves to do (which is to arrange music), but he also gets to lead and develop people to a greater level of being a musician and being a worshiper of Christ. Because He is first and foremost a worshiper before he is a leader. And if that wasn't enough... i also get to be part of the staff and do what i absolutely love to do - which is to raise disciples for Christ and build small groups. Aaaaand Christian loves his victory club and has made really wonderful friends with other kids his age.

So when he was officially introduced yesterday, I could not help but beam like the proud wife that I am. I have seen God work in his heart these past few months in such an in intimate way. I've seen my husband pained through the process yet grow in His maturity and walk with God in unbelievable ways. And because of that I want to honor him. Though some people didn't understand and at some point we didn't even understand what the hell was going on.... God knew. He knew the hows and whys and He has and is continuing to make it all work out. And this circumstance only reassures us that not only has God called us to fulfill my #oneword for 2012 - NEW but also John's #oneword  - PROSPERITY.  

God is so faithful. He sees the lonely and sets them into family. He has set the three of us in family and has made us prosperous in every way (spiritual, relational, emotional, etc).  And it's only appropriate that God would choose this church and this ministry for us to call home. I have been part of the EN spiritual family for 12 years now and John was saved 17 years ago via the campus ministry under this same spiritual family. (our executive pastor was actually the one who led him to the Lord) Our roots were formed and developed in this family and now God is having us bloom where we were originally planted. Things have come full circle! 

That which was lost this past year was poured back into our lap in an unbelievable measure. And though there was pain in the night while going through the process, joy has indeed come. I cannot help but be grateful and thankful and humbled and driven to worship this Awesome God who has opened doors and turned things around for us. And 3 more months before 2012 ends, He is already showing us that He has and is continuing to bring us into a NEW and PROSPEROUS season. 

Be faithful in a little, He will indeed promote you in due time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On defying the norm and stealing a king #dailysoulfood (this one is for parents, aunts, uncles, nannies, caregivers, etc)

2 Chronicles 22:10-12 "but jehoshabeath, took joash and stole him away from the king's sons who were being murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom...and he was hidden with them in the house of God for 6 years"

queen athaliah was going berserk and had every royal heir to the throne murdered. there had been 2 generations of evil kings already and when her son died, she decided to rule over israel and anoint herself queen and kill all the royal babies that had the blood line of David (which means they were heir to the throne). because she was queen, everyone had to follow her orders...I mean she was craycray after all so who would dare to defy this evil queen?!?!!

Well, one woman did. Her name was jehoshabeath. She had the audacity to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord rather than what was popular to man, even if it meant risking her life. She decided to "steal" joash and adopt him as her son. Joash was an heir to the throne and was going to be the next king. For 6 years she took him in, took care of him, fed him, cared for him and taught him. All in the quietness of her own home, she groomed him to walk in his God given destiny as Israel's king. There were no applauses from the outside world. In fact, she had to do it all in secrecy. Her only audience was God.

Daily soul food: if you are a parent, a nanny, a caregiver, a god-parent, an uncle or aunt, an older brother or sister - this daily soul food is for you. NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER ONE PERSON HAS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILD'S LIFE. It doesn't matter if all hell is breaking loose around your environment, be the kind of person that a child can find solace in and run to. Like Jehoshabeath, be the kind of person that speaks truth and shapes destiny into a child and help them walk in that path. I'm not saying go crazy and kidnap a child...LOL! But just like her, be the kind of adult that defies the norm of being "too busy" with your own business and open up your home and your heart to love on children, no matter what background they come from... Whether they are your blood relative or not and teach them and guide them along the way.

This task is not easy. Often times you will question yourself and ask if what you're doing is worth it. After all, jehoshabeath had no help from the outside. Just her and the boy's nurse. She had no applause from the world and got no recognition for doing this. BUT GOD WAS WATCHING. And He made sure she got her full reward while doing the mundane.

you best believe what we say and do in the life of one child could very well be one of the tools God uses to shape this child and groom him or her for their god-given destiny. all that was recorded of jehoshabeath in the bible was this: that she took care of joash. And then in the next chapter, he was anointed king. Sometimes the most important thing we can ever do in life, is love on the next generation and raise them up to be warriors for the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sometimes the thing that isnt easy to hear is the word from God. #dailysoulfood

2 Chronicles 18: Jehosapath and Ahab, kings of Israel and Judah were given a choice to believe Micaiah's word of warning over 400 other prophets word of encouragement. They wanted to go to war and the 400 prophets encouraged them to do so. Only Micaiah was brave enough to say: "if you go, you will lose and die"

The kings and other prophets hit him, made fun of him, rejected him, ousted him and put Micaiah back in prison because he called them out and was not afraid. He chose to speak the truth and not a lie.

The kings refused to listen to the "hard thing" that micaiah prophesied and went to war anyway. They faced death and lost much possessions and people because of it.

Daily Soul Food: There are times when we need to hear encouragement and more often that not, God speaks to us to encourage us and build us up....but God also speaks to us to warn us and uses people to share warnings and rebukes. Take note of those that God has placed around you that have a track record of 1.) being a committed man or a woman of God and 2.) don't  have a record of lying. If they speak a warning or a word of rebuke towards you, it only means they care about you enough to momentarily hurt your feelings so that you can be a better person and make better decisions in the long run. They care about you enough to put themselves in an awkward position, even if it could hurt them momentarily (like Micaiah) just so the truth could be shared. 

Beware of friends or family who always tell you that everything is good and dont have courage to say the hard things to your face. Like those 400 other prophets, a deceptive and lying spirit was given to them. Friends who don't speak the truth to you and tell you only those things that you want to hear could only be deceiving you and lead you to your own destruction. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm so excited.

"Im so excited to introduce my baby brother or sister to you. He/she is making his/her internet debut at 14 weeks old! :) I prayed to have a sibling and a dad since I was 3 years old..... God gave me a dad last year and he answered my prayer again! He is so good!" - Christian

Monday, September 3, 2012

As waters break out :: my breakthrough place #laborday

Exactly one year ago (today), @jcravalho1 brought me to this beach when i first moved out to hawaii. He was just a "friend" then. This is where he proposed to me a few months after that. Today, we're here celebrating labor day as a family. This beach reminds me that the God I serve is a God of the breakthrough.  This is my personal baal perazim.

"so David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me." So that place was called Baal Perazim. (2 Samuel 5:20)"

#beach #northshore #oahu #hawaii #808 #beach #nofilter #laborday

Friday, August 31, 2012

there is no room.

In God's Kingdom, there is no room for dreaming small. Because we serve a BIG GOD who loves to do impossible things. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Each tear was worth sowing.

Ending the day with a big smile on my face and an extremely grateful heart. The journey it took to get me to where i was to where i am now was very painful and heartbreaking, but looking back, each tear was worth crying because the pain has caused me to see His grace and fall in love with this miracle working God that I worship. I can't wait to share about my real life Ruth story and how, in the middle of famine and heartbreak, I received God's blessing and redemption.

Inspirational graffiti.


Friday, August 24, 2012

boy was i wrong. on being naive enough to say "here i am use me..."

14 days ago...i spent my first year anniversary in hawaii.  that day i had to bring my baby sis to the airport and say goodbye to her. i uttered goodbye to my friends and family in LA last august 10 2011 and august 12, 2012, i had to say those words that bring pain to my heart once again. the rest of the day i sat in a classroom full of (almost) young college age students who were big dreamers and had desires to change the world. i sat in the class looking at each of them...wondering if they knew the weight of the words that came out of their mouths when they uttered the words "GOD USE ME...ANYWHERE I WILL GO FOR YOU...ANYTHING I WILL DO".

i remembered saying that when i was about 20 when i first met my Savior. my heart was on fire, my passion was bigger than life and i believed God could use me for anything and i was ready to change the world for him. i mean why wouldn't we do it together? i had a strong testimony. i was sexually and physically abused as a child, got into sex, drugs and rock and roll and was the poster rebel child... and after an encounter with Him, i had a radical conversion... the kind that saul/paul had. i thought that testimony was enough to be the foundation of Him using me....after all i had already been through hell and back in my teenage years. after that, i thought i was invisible...i had a big dream for God and i thought God was going to shield me from potential heartaches that could happen. I thought those words wouldn't come with a price.


God wanted to use me alright, but the 12 years of preparation to get to where I am was beyond what any classroom setting could give me. He literally took me through the school of hard-knocks and worked intensely in my heart squeezing out self-sufficiency, pride, idolatry, hate, anger, pride and all the other sins that i cradled and worshiped in my heart for so long.

10-12 years of tears and seeing my prayers die. not receiving any answers to the question "why". instead one heart ache after another happened. all this while serving God and remaining to be faithful to Him as best as i could.
  • seeing my sister fall out of love for God and walk in a rebellious lifestyle that continues to hurt my heart till today
  • seeing my parents battle out an ugly divorce while the whole church, friends and me and my siblings watched. 
  • dealing with adultery in the family and learning to forgive
  • learning to forgive my abusers and the ones who tolerated it, and forgive them wholeheartedly, even when it was hard.
  • teaching my son everyday to forgive his father who abandoned him the day he found out i was pregnant 
  • learning to let go and not make sense of it all when all i had was $10 in my bank and me and my son were sleeping on sleeping bags/couches of friends coz we had no place of our own.
  • seeing the ministry/church that i was part of FALL apart big time. and seeing the church/ministry slowly rise back up from the ashes that burned and hurt so many people..and having to go through the process of healing with friends and leaders while watching people leave the church and turn their backs on God
  • fighting to homeschool my son as a single mom while working and doing whatever i could to bring food to the table  and still serving at church and trying to change the world.
and after all that....God asked me to leave my family and friends to move 2500 miles away to a place where everyone was a complete stranger. He asked me to move to hawaii as a missionary, where i knew no one, so that when He would open doors, everyone, including I, would see and know that it isn't by anybody's doing but God. and open doors He did. but even the journey here for the past year proved to be one of the most beautiful times in my life but also one of the most painful times. 

i was blessed with wonderful and beautiful marriage and a loving husband. but we also experienced a church fall out with burned friendships. i celebrated my son finally having a father who loved and accepted him. but we also had in-law issues as well as battling with homesickness, loneliness and intense spiritual warfare. we had wonderful friends who paid for our beautiful LA wedding but we also lost half of my ministry partnership in a year and we had to honorably explain to my ministry partners what happened and why we left the church. i had to learn to let go of relationships and learn to embrace new friendships. i learned to forgive and trust but also be wiser about who to build with. i learned to allow my heart to be hurt and still show grace. our dog's life was saved. we had also desired to be part of one of the most beautiful churches we have ever encountered....only for God to ask us to go back to the flock where John and I belonged...the ministry that has trained me, launched me and been my spiritual family for the past 12 years. LOTS OF CURVE BALLS THROWN OUR WAY. 

i've been here in hawaii as a missionary for a year and 14 days now and even through all that...and everything i went through these past 12 years...i will still continue to say "GOD USE ME...ANYWHERE I WILL GO FOR YOU...ANYTHING I WILL DO". of course, i'm not as naive as i once used to be...this time...i proceed with much wisdom and a slight bit of caution before saying yes to Him ;) but i decided i would rather continue to have big faith in my God and go through the rough times with Him than be jaded. because my God has been so-so-so very good to me that my heart cannot afford to be jaded or poisoned by unbelief or bitterness. 

and as faithful as ever...even these past few months since quitting my job last May, God has opened doors that i would have never been able to open myself. from meeting and building relationships with leaders and pastors  of various churches, ministries and businesses; to john getting offers from churches who want to hire him as a worship pastor and let him grow in his gift of music and leadership; to me having a choices of churches to intern for and great leaders to work with; to having ministry partners and friends who still continue to believe in the dream God has put in my heart, even through the messy; to our whole family making new friends here in these islands, some who who i know for sure are going to be my life long friends and our "ohana" here in hawaii....

GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL TO OPEN DOORS like He said He would. and with those doors come the realization of dreams... you know that "big dream" i mentioned in the first paragraph...the one that has been growing in me for years now!?!?! well....10 years after carrying that baby... i feel like a damn elephant already...i know this past year was a season of laboring something in the supernatural...and i can't wait to see what God is bringing forth for this  NEW season in my family's life.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stay loyal and He will show Himself strong. #dailysoulfood

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"Stay loyal and He will show Himself strong. [2Chron16:9] #dailysoulfood"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Paul barker getting lectured by Justin Kong. @somhawaii

This is how we roll in School of Ministry. (well this is how they roll, I dont understand anything they are doing)

Monday, August 6, 2012

When in pain.

Jesus didn't ignore/deny the pain of His situation & He didn't mask it with a platitude about God's sovereignty either. He faced it and ran to the Father in His distress (Redemption: Mike Wilkerson) :: when people are going through pain, don't question their faith (or tell them to have more faith)... Instead hug em, pray for them and lead them to the arms of a Father who loves them even in the midst of pain. #gospel #pain #BeAFriendNotAPreacher

Sunday, August 5, 2012

family. beach. and dimsum.

My mom is here for a couple of days (extended stop over) before she flies out to the philippines to celebrate my grandma's 91st birthday.

Took her to see and my sis to kailua side. We visited grandma and grandpa c then headed out to relax at the beach. It was so good to swim and relax after a looooong week of work/school o_O

Then we headed out to eat some dimsum at Chinatown. My heart and my stomach is full. I love when my family is here in Hawaii.

Btw... Chicken feet is naaaaasty...i dont understand why my mama loves it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

triple shot of trust #dailysoulfood

"do not let ur hearts be troubled. trust in God. trust also in me" - John 14:1

Before Jesus mentioned this scripture... He was telling His disciples that He was going to leave soon. Imagine the pain and anguish in the disciples hearts hearing that horrific news. The one they trusted to save them and be their Messiah was going to leave them. They had left EVERYTHING for Him and He was now leaving. 

I'm sure in their heads they were thinking "huwaaaaat? What do you mean you're leaving? You're not supposed to go anywhere... We trusted you with our lives..You're supposed to be the promised Messiah. If you leave us... Where the heck are we supposed to go and what are we supposed to do now?!?!?" I'm sure everyone had some sort of mini-anxiety spell at that moment. 

In the middle of dropping one of the saddest news to them, Jesus says: "do not let your hearts be troubled... Trust in God, Trust also in me."

Jesus was telling His disciples to trust, even when they didn't understand the full situation. He didn't just say trust Me (because He knew they were about to witness His painful death). He told them, trust YHWH, my Father God who has been faithful to His people throughout generations....the One who led Israel out of bondage and slavery, YHWH the One who provided manna in the desert and let them win wars even if Israel was a small nation.

And then Jesus said trust also in me, the Servant who came to live with you, dine with you, heal you and walk with you. The One who laughed with you, cried with you and the One who just washed your feet. (the Holy Spirit had not been introduced to them at this time or else im sure Jesus would have said... Trust also in the Holy Spirit)

Daily Soul Food: When God takes us through hard situations and we receive news that we don't understand... He knows how easy it is for our hearts to worry or be anxious or even be heartbroken and in complete pain. But He wants us to learn that in and through whatever news and season we go through, but especially when we don't understand what is going on, Trust in the characteristic of each person in the Trinity. Remember the goodness and faithfulness of our Father God, our Savior and Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within each of us. The remedy for a troubled heart is to take a triple shot of trust in the Trinity.