Monday, November 16, 2009

Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future

We have to guard what we think, do, believe. If we see someone win a lottery, we have to bless them instead of saying, "oh, that would never happen to me". If we bless them, and praise God, telling God that we trust Him to bless us like that, we allow the spiritual realm to open up. If we want what the other person has, we need to bless them. If we are jealous of them, it blocks the natural love in the spiritual realm, which blocks the flow of blessings towards us.

I was listening to Dr. Mark Chironna and he said that there are seven internal favor blockers. They are old habits that hold you back because they are tied to old beliefs.

1. A major favor blocker is saying that it's too late or it'll never happen to me - you're blocking God's favor.

2. You don't believe you have what it takes. “I am not capable or talented enough”.

3. You believe you are unproductive based on your history, so you predict your future to unproductive as well. If God says it'll happen, you have to believe you will help Him make it happen.

4.You believe it's too good to be true. The truth is: if it's too good to be true, it has to be God!

5. You believe your prayers don't make a difference. If you pray and your posture is "I don't know if this is going to happen", you are not releasing and commanding for it to happen. You don't speak with a command. God is looking for people to command His visions to happen. If you don't believe your prayers will make a difference, why should God even answer them? When you come to God, do you come as a pauper or a prince? When you go to God, do you go as a beggar or a son of God? Your identity will change the way you speak and they way you ask God to make certain things happen. It changes how you act, how you think. If you come as a beggar, you'll only get a small amount. If you come as a son, God will hear you always. We are His family, His children.

6. You feel ashamed of where you are and where you have been because you feel like you failed. You feel like "what do I have to offer"? Shame will kill your opportunities faster than any other infirmity. But God is our Father and that means He still has blessings to give us.

7. You feel like what you want to happen is impossible. Remember that no Word of God is impossible.

God will deliver us from these favor blockers by unlearning what we have always known. Angels want to give us messages from God. We need to learn how to hear them. If we can hear the enemy telling us stuff, why can't we focus on hearing from the angels? We need to unlearn the negative thoughts and learn God thoughts. There are Angels of hope, joy, rejoicing, happy Angels, peace Angels, Angels of faith. They want to minister to our spirits. They give us plans for a future and a hope. When you think you are daydreaming, you could be future-dreaming and the Angels are giving you dreams that God wants for you! I am believing for God to break all of these favor blockers and allow great flowing of blessings and favor in your life! Amen!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ma-Lai (Part 3)

“Thank you, husband. I can’t handle the stomach pain anymore. I will be back soon.”

When she returned, my uncle was sitting on the floor, snoring loudly. My poor husband, he must be very tired for him to be snoring so loud. I am glad he’s asleep, though. She went to place a pillow under his head and a blanket over his body. Kissed him good night and crawled into bed feeling much better now that her stomach pain was gone.

Yes, the next morning delivered a new death in the village. Luckily, it wasn’t my uncle and he was very thankful it was not his wife. They had another month before the next full moon to sell all their assets. My uncle told himself that he was not going to take the chance and will sell everything at whatever price people offered; though his wife would debate with him concerning this. Still, he loved her more than he loved Buddha, so he agreed to sell the items at the true value and was able to sell only one third of the furniture. Only a few more days, and the next full moon will arise.

The day before the full moon, my uncle kept a close watch on the villagers and his wife. He had to make sure she was safe especially when they survived this far. That night, my uncle could see that his wife was in pain again. He thought it was odd that she seems to always have stomach pains during the night and never during the day. He wondered if she was having an affair and this was her reason to sneak off in the night to meet with her lover. Yes, I know. She was supposed to be this ugly woman so why was he so madly in love with her? Love makes you stupid. That is my answer.

Okay, so my uncle had it in his head that she has a lover. That night, he went to bed early and she did, too. She woke up to my uncle’s snore and got out of bed oh-so-very-quietly as to not wake him up. The minute she closed the door, my uncle instantly got up and ran to the door. He watched her go towards the barn. He went after her when he saw her go through barn door. He tried very hard to stay in the dark where she would not notice him. As he got closer to the door, he heard a pail fall indicating that someone was coming his way, so my uncle ducked behind a stack of clay pots. He was able to see through the cracks and saw particle hair that looked like his wife as it passed by. He hid his body and face just as he noticed that it was a floating head with the intestine following it. As he shook his brain in disbelief, he thought: The head and the intestine are floating in mid air! Oh my god, that was a ghost! He could not believe it. He reasoned with himself that he was mistaken and that he was in a dream. After a minute, he sobered up and investigated the barn to make sure he was mistaken.

At this point, he would rather find his wife naked in the arms of another man. He went in the barn calling her name, “Ngoc!” She didn’t answer. He said, “It’s me, you don’t have to be afraid. I don’t care if you have a lover, just come out. I forgive you.” Nothing. He went through the whole barn and didn’t hear a sound. Nothing. Then he noticed an area in the far back of the barn. In the corner, there were old clothes stacked about five feet high. That was odd to him to have so many clothes in a pile. He walked over to the pile of dirty clothes and noticed his wife’s barefoot. Oh my god, she is probably naked with her lover right now! “Get out from there! I see you!” He yelled as he went around the pile. “What the hell!” He saw her naked body lying on the dirty clothes, her naked breast showing. Nothing was on her, not a man, not a blanket, not even her head. Then, fear crept over him and made him realize that the ghost has his wife and killed her. He ran to the village elder’s home to ask for help. It was now an hour past midnight. As he banged on the door crying, “Help me, help me! The ghost killed my wife!”

“What is it? Are you sure? Is your wife dead?” Asked the elder trying to put on his slipper before leaving the house to follow my uncle.

“Yes, yes, my wife’s head is missing. And all I see is her naked body!”

“Wait! Did you say your wife’s head is missing and her body is still there?”

“Yes. Come with me quick so I can show you!”

The elder stopped and took my uncle arm and told him to stop. “Quan! Tell me one more thing before we go! Were there any blood on your wife’s body? Tell me. Do you think she was raped and her head chopped off?”

“Raped! Raped! Blood. Blood.” He yelled at first, then quiet down when he tried to remember if he saw blood. “No. No blood. What does that mean? No blood? She’s dead! She doesn’t have a head!”

“Okay, Quan. This is what I want you to do. You have to calm down. Come to my house and I’ll explain what’s going on.”

“Calm down? What? Are you crazy? How can I calm down when my wife is dead?” He screamed, ready to punch anything and everything that was in his way.

“QUAN! I know what I am saying. Come to my house. I think your wife is okay. I will explain. Just come to my place and I will give you some whiskey to calm your nerves. Come! Trust me. Come!”

Suddenly, the heaviness of the village deaths dropped on my uncle’s shoulders and he couldn’t fight anymore. “Yes, I will listen. Tell me that my wife is okay. Just tell me that everything is okay.”

In the living room of the elder, the old man weaved his knowledge plain and simple for my uncle as he poured a large glass of homemade rice whiskey. “I told you about Ma-Lai. They have three lines around their necks and they are usually women. What I did not tell you is that the Ma-Lai leaves its body in the middle of the night. Her head and intestine leave her body. She floats and roams the land until she finds human feces. Ma-Lai doesn’t eat like we eat. She likes to eat human feces. The feces coat her stomach to keep her satisfied until the next full moon. Whomever feces she eats, that person dies the next day. That is why we have to burry our waste or cover it with a bowl so she can’t get to it.” The elder took a drink as he watched my uncle closely. “Now tell me; think clearly. Did you see a head floating by your wife’s body? Try to remember.”

“I saw, I saw. I saw nothing.” He lied, but he told himself that he wasn’t lying. I didn’t really see anything except for the naked body. He shook his head, “I think you are right, maybe I was wrong. I saw my wife’s naked foot and ran. I didn’t want to see her with her lover. I need to go back and confront her. I am sorry I woke you up. Forgive me. I love her too much to want and believe that she has a lover. I need to be a man and confront her.” He looked desperately into the elder’s eyes. “Will you forgive me?”

“Ai yah, yes. I forgive you. It’s late and everyone in the village is worried. I understand. Go home to your wife. I won’t say anything to anyone about tonight. Make sure to tell your wife to get rid of her lover or else they both will be punished for adultery.” The old man replied kindly, knowing the stress everyone was carrying.

“One thing, how do you kill a Ma-Lai?” My uncle asked curiously.

“Oh, that’s simple. The hard part is figuring out who the Ma-Lai is, but once you know, you follow it during the full moon. When it hides its body and the head is detached from the body, you just flip the body while the head is away. When it comes back, the head can’t reattach to the body. When the sun comes out and the moon disappears, so will the Ma-Lai’s spirit. It will die before the first rooster crows.”

My uncle thanked the old man and walked home praying to Buddha that he was only dreaming and that he was mistaken about his wife. He went back to the barn where he saw his wife last. There was the pile of clothes, still five feet high. He took a deep breath and walked around the pile. Nothing. His wife wasn’t there. No body was there. Yes, it was just a dream! The stress is getting to me. I didn’t see anything and only imagined it. His walk was lighter as he entered the house. His wife was sleeping soundly in bed and he was at peace once again.

The next day, my uncle asked his wife where she went last night. She got very upset and asked, “Where did I go? Where were you? You leave me in the middle of the night and I waited until I couldn’t wait anymore. The next thing I know, I find you in bed! Are you having an affair?”

Remember when I told you my uncle loves his wife? Well, he did; a lot! He was afraid she would leave him, so he asked for her forgiven and told her that he was not able to sleep because of the stress and went to visit with the elder. He won’t do it again. They both dropped the subject and were happy again. Though, my uncle was still worried that his wife would leave him, he would stay awake every night until his wife fell asleep first. After three weeks of her staying home every night. He stopped worrying and was able to sleep early and got some real rest. His mind and heart were so fixed on his wife that he didn’t even cared that a death occurred the night he spoke with the elder.

The next month, during the night of the full moon, my uncle was exhausted and went to bed early. His wife said she had one last load to wash and will be in soon. The minute he saw his bed, he flopped on top of the blanket and snored. The full moon shined through his bedroom window and woke him. As he got up to close the curtains, he saw the back of a head and intestine floating towards the barn. Oh my god. The Ma-Lai is coming to get us. I must warn my wife. “Wife, wife, get up.” He looked towards the direction of his wife and saw nothing. Fear drained the blood from his body. He ran outside towards the barn to the exact spot with the pile of clothes. There it was, his wife naked with her head missing. He couldn’t allow himself to be weak much longer and flipped her body over as he screamed and cried, “Oh my god! My god, no!”

The minute his wife sensed that something was wrong with her body; she floated back to the barn. There. There was her husband, shaking as he cried, “This isn’t true. It can’t be. It is a just nightmare. Wake up. Wake up!” As he slapped his face over and over again.

“Husband.” She whispered. Her voice was soft and dreamy. “Husband, you are dreaming. Go back to sleep.” Was all he heard.

“Husband, go back to sleep.”

His eyes slowly closed because he desperately wanted to believe it. He could feel the weight on his head dropping over his chest.

“Husband, you’re dreaming, flip the body back to how you found it.” She called out to him as a nightingale sings to its owner. “Flip the body back.” What? If I’m dreaming, I don’t need to flip the body back. He told himself. He placed his head next to his wife and slowly drifted.

“HUSBAND! I need you to flip my body back! Get up and flip my body back!” Her shriek pumped adrenaline into his brain as he jumped to his feet. Out of disbelief, he ran to the door, but she floated after him blocking his way out.
“Husband, please. I beg of you. Don’t kill me. I love you.” She sobbed trying for his sympathy. “I promise I won’t do this anymore. I promise. I will try my very best to control my urges. Don’t kill me. Don’t you love me? I love you. Don’t leave me for dead.”

He couldn’t bare the tears any longer and walked back to the body. “You promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

He flipped her body back and she instantly connected with her body. She got up and hugged her husband.

He couldn’t look at her and only said, “Quickly, we must pack our things and leave tonight.”

They left that village in the year of 1974. After the communist came, my mother never heard or seen him since.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ma-Lai (Part 2)

The villagers gathered to mourn the young man’s death and gave money to help the widow until she could find a new husband who could take care of her and her three children.

With the sad news, my uncle and his wife did not try for a baby. The weird thing, it seemed that this new village was cursed or something because every month, there seemed to be another death. No markings on the person, no specific age group or sex. One day they were healthy, the next they were dead.

One day, after a long day of hard work, my uncle needed to go to defecate, but was far from home and didn’t have the energy to walk to the nearest river. Luckily, he found a stick in the woods and dug a hole. After he was done, he buried it. He wanted to make sure that it didn’t spread any diseases and he didn’t want anyone to step on it by accident. Usually, if the ground were too hard to dig a hole, you would need to place a bowl over the feces. It was my uncle’s lucky day for finding the stick, because he didn’t carry a bowl with him that day. Don’t ask me why. It is the culture. It is like asking why do dogs bark and cats meow. There is no explanation. It just is.

When he was done, he sneaked around to the other side to hide his embarrassment. There were two elders crouching on the ground whispering. My uncle knew these two men. They were respectable men who had nothing to hide, so the fact that they were whispering, it must have been big.

“Ah, excuse me.” My uncle interrupted, making sure they knew he was there. He didn’t want them to think that he was eavesdropping. “What are you two talking about? You look so intense.”

The elders looked around, looked over their shoulders, looked behind them and pulled my uncle down. “Don’t talk so loud in the woods. The villagers are afraid of all the deaths that are going on around here. It seems that there is a pattern. People would die the day AFTER the full moon.” They whispered.

My uncle was shocked. He never even thought about a pattern. He just thought it was odd that people were dying like the people were dying in the last village. He knew that there might be a war going on because the Northern Vietnamese were trying to recruit the villagers to push the Frenchmen out of Vietnam. He only assumed it had to do with the Communist. “So you think the Communist has something to do with this?” He said in a low voice, fearing that his life would be next if “they” ever heard the word “communist” come out of his mouth.

“Ai yah! Who cares about the Communist? They are just a punch of gangsters trying to be some important organization. We’re talking about life and death here.”

“Oh, sorry for my naiveté. Please continue. What do you think is the cause of all these death?” He asked feeling sick to his stomach, hoping that they don’t blame my uncle for bringing bad luck to the village or something related to that.

“We think there is a Ma-Lai in the village.”

“Ma-Lai? What’s that?”

“Where were you born? In a city?”

“No, whatever that means!”

“A Ma-Lai is a person who is half-human and half-ghost!”

“Oh come on, stop fooling around. Tell me the truth! I can handle it! Is it like a code for Communist or something?”

Smack! One of the elders slapped my uncle on the side of his head. “Listen and stop being so stupid!”

“Okay, okay, it’s a Ma-Lai. What does it do?”

“Ai yah, these young kids! They know so much, yet so little. Like I said, a Ma-Lai is half-human and half-ghost.”

“Wooohh, how is that possible?”

“Who knows, it just is. It’s like asking me why is Buddha fat. He just is!”

“Okay, old man, just tell me about this Ma-Lai.”

“A Ma-Lai is usually a woman. You can tell who is a Ma-Lai by the number of lines she has on her neck.”

“Number of lines? I’ve never noticed a woman’s neck. I’ve always preferred to look at her hair.”

“Well, start noticing! We need to find this Ma-Lai and kill her before she kills all of us.”

Suddenly, a group of three women with baskets of vegetables walked by trying not to show their fear since they didn’t know whom the killer was.

“It’s getting dark, we should walk back with the girls.”

“Hey, old man, I want to know more about this Ma-Lai. I have a wife I want to protect.”

“Oh yes, sure, sure. What did I tell you so far?”

“The number of lines on her neck!!!”

“Oh yes, most people have one or two lines on their neck. A Ma-Lai has three lines. That’s the secret number. Three. Look around and if you see three lines on a woman’s neck, bring her to the elders and we’ll bind her to the ground and chop her head off. That’s the only way to kill her. You have to separate her head from her body before the next sunrise. We won’t have to worry for another week or so. She only comes out when the moon is full, that’s how we figured it was a Ma-Lai; we would find a person dead the day after the full moon. Trust me, I’ve seen this before when I was 10 years old. It’s a Ma-Lai.”

That night, my uncle couldn’t sleep. He wanted to protect his wife and he didn’t think he could fight a ghost. My uncle thought of a way to sell all of their belongings so they could leave before the next full moon. Then he realized that he didn’t ask how the Ma-Lai striked. For the past months, there were random deaths; the sex and age of the victims didn’t match up. So if I wasn’t able to sell all of my assets before the next full moon, we still have a chance of survival. With that thought, he was able to sleep.

Two weeks past and he wasn’t able to sell a thing. The villagers all thought like he did. People were trying to sell so they could leave the village alive with their family. That night, two weeks since his last conversation with the old men, the moon was full. It was the biggest and brightest it ever had been that year. Everyone locked themselves in their houses, and prayed to their god, Buddha, to protect them.

That night, my uncle tried to keep his wife by his side, but her stomach ached and she said she needed to go outside because she ate something bad. He told her that he would go with her. “No, I would like to go by myself. I am too embarrassed to have my husband hear me and stay by my side while I go. Don’t worry about me. I will scream if anything happens and I will be right outside, not too far away.” She said reassuring him so he would not worry too much.

“Okay, you promise not to go too far out?”

“Yes, just far enough so the smell won’t reach our house or the neighbors. I promise to scream if anything, any small sound frightens me; I will scream.”

“Sure, I will wait for you in the house.” He looks at the clock as the second hand clicks on the number eight. Great, 20 minutes until midnight. I think we should be safe.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ma-Lai (Part 1)

My uncle, on my mother’s side, was a handsome man in Vietnam. So handsome it caused him to be narcissistic and didn’t find any of the women in his village attractive. No matter how beautiful the girl was, he didn’t feel the chemistry – none what so ever. He would wander the village and lived a life of mediocrity because he didn’t feel that life had any value or any pleasure because he was alone without that significant other to share his life with. Months after months, he got more depressed and wanted a miracle, a stranger to walk into the village, but that never happened. One day, after a year of being unhappy, my uncle went to the family and told them that he was leaving. He wanted to travel to see what the world can offer. He wanted to see if the gods had a wife for him because the women at his village weren’t suited for him.

On the night of the full moon, he packed his belongings and took all the cash he had, gave my mother a hug and said his good-byes to everyone. My mother cried, her mother cried and the rest of the sisters cried. He truly was handsome. He was taller than most of the men in the village. His hair was black and not dark brown and his eyes were big. He had a strong jaw line and was built like Tarzan from working in the fields. He wasn’t just a fieldworker; he had a brain, he had imagination and ambition. He came up with a method to collect all the rainwater into big jars for drinking and bathing. Owning a refrigerator in Vietnam was expensive because electricity was hard to come by. The kind of refrigerator they had was a box made of metal and you would have to go to the market to buy a huge cube of ice to put into the box. Then you can store the food you wanted to keep cold. Fish would make things smell bad, so they would never put the fish in the ice box. He came up with the idea of preserving the fish so that the family wouldn’t have to throw away the rotted fish. Uncle told the family that you could make fish jerky. He also knew how to bargain with the locals for goods without paying the usually price that everyone else had to pay. “Yes, your uncle was a catch all right,” my mother would say.

My mom is a good storyteller - probably where I got my gift. I like to tell stories. I just need to hear it once and I’ll remember it to recite it, like I am reciting to you now. Are you ready? You really should crawl into your bed and get comfortable because I am going to explain what happened to my uncle – his life before the Communist came in and took over Vietnam.

My uncle traveled from one village to the next for 6 months. He would stay for only a couple of months in each of the village until he came to this one particular village that was different from the others. It was gloomy like his mood. He didn’t ask questions. They didn’t ask questions. They all kept to themselves and never talked about they lives. They didn’t care who you were, what you wanted or what you liked. They were just people who were there because they were just there. My uncle liked this. He was able to be and did not have to try hard to prove himself. No one spoke to my uncle unless he asked him or her a question. After two months of solitude, my uncle got restless. He started noticing a particular girl in this village. She wasn’t beautiful, she wasn’t plain looking; she was more ugly than anything. Her body was different from most Vietnamese people. He didn’t quite know what it was, but there was something different. She had two arms, two legs and a proportionate body, two hands with 10 fingers and two feet with10 toes. What was it that was different about her? He wasn’t sure. Because Uncle liked to solve problems, his curiosity drove him to speak to her. Her eyes! Yes, her eyes were haunting. They were a little darker than usual with a white cloud in the center. Was that it? Or maybe it was the way she looked at him, the intense stare, as if her eyes were weaving a spell over his mind, his heart, his soul.

A month later, they were married. His new bride wanted to leave the village and start a new life. Her name was Ngoc, which means Pearl in Vietnamese. They moved to the next village where my uncle taught the villagers how to harness the rainwater and preserve their food for the rationing. They lived a very good life there in the village because everyone valued my uncle’s knowledge. He was in good spirit because he finally had a wife and was an important person to the village.

After a year of living at the village, a plague hit the village. People were dying in the village, but it would always be the day after the full moon. No one would understand why this plague would strike randomly without a sign of illness at all. One day, the person would be alive and healthy, then the next morning, that person is die. As the French would say, “Fini!” Ka-put, Dead, Gone, No More.

One day, my uncle was walking by a tall rice field and over heard two elder women talking. “I tell you, this never happened until that young man, Quan, moved in with his wife.” Said one lady as she was cutting the rice grass.

“You right, that young man is good, but the wife if bad. You see her neck? You see how many lines she has on her neck?” Asked the woman who was gathering the grass into bundles.

“You are correct! She has one too many lines on her neck. One too many.”

“We must tell the head monk and ask for help.”

Uncle didn’t want to hear anymore and left without being noticed. He wondered what the monk would say, because my uncle could not understand what they were talking about: One too many lines on her neck? What does that matter? How many lines are you suppose to have? Crazy old women! Forget this, we’re leaving as soon as I get paid for my work.

That month, before the next full moon, my uncle and his wife moved to another village. They started they lives over, built a new home, showed the villagers how to ration their goods and how to preserve the rainwater. Things were good again. The villagers liked my uncle; they respected him and valued his input.

After five months of the good life, my uncle decided they should start a family. He thought it would be romantic to make love to his wife under the full moon that night. He was full of ideas and went into the jungle to scout a good spot for their romance. As he was walking he thought of all the little children and wanted to bring them home to his family in Vung Tau. My uncle couldn’t contain himself anymore and ran to his house.

“Wife, wife, it’s almost dark, come with me.” But his wife wasn’t anywhere to be found. He went through the village asking for his wife, but no one saw her. That night, he slept alone until past midnight. His wife came back and crawled into bed with him. She was full of energy and full of life. She wanted her husband and they made love that night in bed.

The next morning, his wife looked satiated, as if she had eaten her fill for the week. A knock at the door. Both husband and wife look at each other curiously. No one has knocked on their door at 8am before. My uncle opened the door to see one of the elders of the village. “Good morning, brother. Are you well?”

“Yes, but there is news in the village. Mr. Tam died this morning.” Announced the elder.

“Oh no! Are you sure? Mr. Tam is a healthy young man. He’s only 33, right? How can he die? He doesn’t even smoke!”

“His wife tried to get him out of bed this morning to go to work. That was when she realized he felt cold and hard. Poor woman, a widow at 23 with three young kids!”

“Thank you for letting us know! We’ll come over and give our respect. What time will the villagers be there?”

“I think 3pm. Good, good. I will see you then.” The elder answered quickly. He needed to announce the news to the rest of the village.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bethel's Writer's Offering Prayer

To my writer friends, this is for you. I was at Bethel's Writer's Conference this last week and we prayed this prayer aloud to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Take this prayer with you and pray for God's blessings over your writing.

Lord, as we offer our writing gift to You, we are believing You for:

Ideas and better ideas
Royalties and remuneration
Sales and best selling lists
Favor with publishers and agents
Awesome style and organization
Originality in metaphor creation
Clarity in communication
Grammar, usage and punctuation
Brilliance in word choice
Grace to finish
Writer's block dispelled
Procrastination diminished

Thank You, Lord, for being the Author and the Finisher of my writing
projects so I may tell of Your greatness and publish with the voice of thanksgiving that all may know You are good!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Dream on

Last night, I dreamt of a world colored in grayish brown. There were no other colors, no life. Everyone seemed content with mediocrity. Their situation, relations among each other had no subsistence. The sky was tinted tan and the walls, people, clothes, cars, buildings- all bland.

There was a gathering of the minds and spirits- the one event that matters. People congregated to study and discuss theology. A girl in the driver seat escorted a new comer to the gathering. She felt nothing throughout the whole drive. Her life was just there, nothing to look forward to. Life equals the transitory of time. The new comer, whom she was with, never said a word. She parked her car and they both walked into a room full of lethargic people- all prepared for the pretentious intellectual debate. Everyone had his or her pristine façade on- everyone, but you.

You walked in. Your face is different- more serious, full of gloom. You stopped to look at the girl. The girl looked at you. She looked away trying to hold back the tears, the urge to hold you, to tell you that she is sorry.

I woke up with tears in my eyes and heaviness on my heart.

As the sun will always set, Jesus will heal all wounds. It was just a dream. I am happy again.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hearing God

These past few weeks, my heart has been aching to know more of God, to sense Him and to hear Him. There are four keys to hearing God: 1. Be still and quiet your mind, 2. Look for a vision, 3. Allow spontaneous thoughts that uplifts you, 4. Write it down as God speaks to you.

I have a hard time sitting still and allowing the Presence of God to guide me sometimes, but tonight, I read a profound poem by Helen Mallicoat. It helps me to sense God in a tangible way.


I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.
Suddenly, my Lord was speaking:

"My name is I Am." He paused.
I waited. He continued,
"When you live in the past,
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Was.

"When you live in the future,
With its problems and fears,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Will Be.

"When you live in this moment,
It is not hard. I am here.
My name is I Am."


Take a moment and drink it in. I am.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jim Caviezel

Last Sunday morning, the Cathedral of Faith in San Jose, had a special guest speaker, Jim Caviezel. Jim is the actor who played Jesus in The Passion. He brought up the profound message that we all need to pray from our heart and not from our head or soul. “Be honest with God. Tell Him that you are hurting, that you are struggling, that you can’t do it on your own.”

These past two weeks I have been struggling and Satan is the great deceiver. He has been tempting me to keep my schedule busy. Underneath every temptation is a lie. The hard part is discerning the lies when pain and confusion have already invaded your soul. “Underneath every temptation is a lie. Underneath every temptation is a lie.” I tell myself this trying to have that truth soak into my blood, the memory of my cells.

My struggle is trying to stay still and know that He is God, trusting that He wants only the best for me. It is so hard for me to be like Mary. I have always been more like Martha. I can never sit still. I have to be on the go, go, go; do, do, do. I have small group, night class, workout at the gym three times a week, go out on three dates in one week, hang out all day at the de Young, usher at church; plus read the Bible every night. My week flies by as if my days perpetually go black.

At first, for Lent I was thinking of giving up eating out for 40 days, but God brought back to my attention that I was being Martha again, trying to serve and sacrifice my time and energy. Yes, it is good to be Martha, but Mary chose the better part. She chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and soaked in His presence. God said to me, “Come back to Me. Be at my feet. Bathe in My Grace and My Glory.”

After a few more conversations with God, for Lent, I am to soak in worship music, pray and read the Word for two hours each night. I have done this three nights in a row already. And you know what I have discovered? It is still not enough time with Him! When you love someone, you want to be with him always. I want to have God with me 24/7. He is the best EVER!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Singles Awareness Day

For Valentine’s Day, the day of love, a group of us went to the Tenderloin in San Francisco and imparted God’s love and grace over homeless women. The group started early that morning by ironing the sheets and decorating the inside of SF Rescue Mission. Stations for foot massages, manicures, massage chairs and full facials were set up to offer free services to these women on Valentine’s Day.

I gave full facials to some of these women who, for a transitory moment, felt strangely familiar to me –a momentary connection between two strangers who have never met before until that very second. God is so good how He brings certain people into our lives. Though these women’s skins were not at their best, I was not too repulsed when I touched them. There was something peaceful about serving God through these women. Serving the homeless unleashed a flood of adoration for Jesus and His children. I even dove in and extracted some deep old blackheads! “Now, if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is!” There were a few times when my stomach churned as I watched the dried-up zit crawling out of the skin as if a worm is eating its way out of an apple. Ugghh… BUT OH! How much more beautiful they looked without the big blackheads screaming for attention. Each woman received a blessing from me while I massaged their heads, hands and feet. I prayed for God to clear their minds, allow their hands to make a living and their feet to run to Jesus.

At the end of each session, the women were so grateful; you could see Jesus’ love invade their souls. As much as I would have loved to help sheltered them, I would not be able add to their lives. At least, I was able to help give them a sense of beauty for 30 minutes and a sense of love when they were in my hands.

Later that evening, I found out that some, if not most, of the women were prostitutes. We served prostitutes! How amazing to know that these women who have been battered and used were actually being served and nurtured. God is so good. There is no other God like my God. No other God who deserves total adoration and commitment. My favorite passage from the Bible (and the wedding vow God gave me) is from the book of Ruth.

Ruth 1:16-17
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Lord, I declare that I will go where You go. Your people are my people. I will serve them well as long as You are at my side. Remove everything and every person who will try and tempt me into leaving You. Amen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


“She is not like an average four-year-old,” said the neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter when her mother asked if Nadia would like a Barbie doll for her birthday.

Nadia, my niece who looks just like me when I was little. Her mother is Argentine and her father, Vietnamese. Nadia –I love saying her name – has always been very mature for her age. She has to deal with the lack of love between her parents, watch her father walk off with another woman in his arms. She speaks Spanish, Vietnamese and English. Nadia watches Indy Foreign Movies with her mother, acts out funny characters from the movies, was taught by her mother to call her father “dork”.

Nadia, I love that little girl. I especially adore her. Not because she is the prettiest little thing, but more because her future will be so tough, because she has a father who cares more about his urges than about his four-year-old girl. Her face is of a sweet round innocent shape, but her eyes, they are so dark you can see the end of the world through them.

Nadia laughs and jokes like a little girl, but there are times when she speaks like an old woman. My poor, poor Nadia. So beautiful, yet destine to see ugliness around her. She sees me and she is happy. She sees her other cousins, aunts and uncles and she gets excited. She talks non-stop and plays games with her cousins. She gets lots of hugs and kisses from me – her auntie who tries to pour love in order to drown out the thought of her own father not loving her, to drown out the neediness of the assurance from a father’s love. She is beautiful how she radiates every time she smiles. She is beautiful how strands of her hair covers her face. She is beautiful how she is so small and thin that hugging her makes you want to hold her forever. “Nadia”, everyone loves calling her name.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Waste it on Jesus

A torrent of questions got unleashed when I realized how inexorably mesmerized I was with the statement the co-star in a movie said to the heroine, “I don’t want you to change. I like you the way you are.” I have learned that men marry women hoping that they won’t change, while the women marry the men hoping that they do change. I believe it is important to change for the better, to grow into our best self.

We all have wrestled with our checklist of what we want in a perfect mate, but what kind of list are we? I mean, if someone were to put us on a checklist, what characteristics do we have that would merit us to be on the checklist in the first place?

This got me thinking. What does it mean to be my best for my future husband? What skills, talents, and qualities would I like to bring to the table? What is the best version of me? What do I need to do to be that person?

I realize that I am not good when it comes to dating, but I do know that if the relationship does not push me forward, if it does not push me to be better -to be my best- then it is not worth a relationship at all.

So… I guess… I rather be single than to be in a stale relationship wasting my time spiritually dying instead of wasting my time on Jesus.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The One Jealousy That Isn’t a Sin.

When I think about how Shawn Bolz gets all these radical experiences with God, I get jealous. Or how a fourteen-year-old gets imagines downloaded to her by God, I get jealous. Or how Jason Westerfield can see the spiritual realm like Neo can see the Matrix, I get jealous.

What makes these people so special that they receive the gifts God want for them? Why can I not have that? Why can I not download God messages as easily as logging on to my computer? It makes me jealous that I only sense God 75% of the time. I want 100% of God!

After researching about these people, I found that Shawn spends a lot of time talking to God and having faith that God will show up. The little girl started talking to God at the age of five and has this close relationship with God. Jason! Jason has only been a Christian for 9 years and he is faced down on the floor praying to God every night for hours!

It is all about spending time with God, soaking in His presence, talking to Him and telling Him about your fears and weaknesses; telling Him about your dreams and hopes. God is faithful to give your heart’s desires. He is ready to give us everything He wants for us, we just need to spend time with Him and build a relationship where we can hear and recognize His voice.

Yes, I am jealous of Shawn and Jason’s relationship with God. This jealousy makes me hungry for more of Him. And wanting more of God is never a sin.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Trapped between the 4th floor and nowhere. Aloud scream came out of my mouth when my body jolted as the elevator shook, screeched and stopped abruptly. I grabbed the handle bar as my heart raced, my mind wondering if this was it. If the elevator drops, did I do all God placed me on earth to do? Of course, thinking back, falling four floors should not kill me, but what if...?

Sitting in the elevator for an hour gave me time to think about all the mistakes I have made and regretted them. But then, the veracity is that the mistake does not matter to God. All the dumb idiotic choices I have made in my life should not matter to the people who truly care about me. It is what I do, how I act, how I treat others afterwards that matters.

If after the mistake, we decide to keep it to ourselves, try to hide it, it is a terrible thing. Paul Tournier, a Swiss physician and author, once said “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets”. Makes me wonder if this is why there are so many people with depression.

I hope to leave this life with more than ‘oh, she was a nice person’. Rather, I want to leave this world known as a person with boldness who tried and failed and tried and failed ten thousand times; a person who did not give up on life, herself or on others; a person who loved so deeply that it would take years to pull herself out of the hole.

We are all trapped in this world until God comes to get us. What legacy do you want to leave?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

In To Me You See

God gave me such an amazing experience today. This morning, I woke up feeling fabulous. Not out of my own doing, but out of God’s goodness and grace. Exactly one week ago, December 27, 2008, I had prayer ministry at Aslan’s Place for four hours; cutting off generational curses, ungodly soul ties, and breaking spiritual warfare. My prayer minister told me that I will be tired a lot and that I won’t be myself for a while only because the enemy will attack even harder. Today was exactly seven days since my visit to Hesperia.

The last six days have been hard on me emotionally, spiritually and physically. God closed doors and dreams that only my flesh would want. These past six days were dark and I admit I was definitely not myself – my closest friend even told me! This morning, I felt like a lightning bolt ready for the ride in the sky, causing the atmosphere to shake. I praised God for the renewal energy and outlook in life.

Tonight, at Promised Land, Valerie was worshipping in the front. As I tapped her on the shoulder, she turned to receive her hug. Valerie started giggling and said, “Go over there! It’s too thick for me.”

“Okay.” I said, while thinking, ‘oh, I must be disturbing her worship.’

Jake spoke about how we should seek Intimacy with the Lord. Once we have intimacy with the Lord, He will be able to download all the promises from I Corinthians 2:9-16. Note to self: New Year Resolution is to have true intimacy (in to me you see) with the Lord.

As I walked out at the end of the revival, I gave Valerie a hug. When she held me, she said, “What happened to you?”

“What do you mean?” I asked thinking that she was talking about the Holidays or something.

“When you walked in and gave me a hug, the atmosphere shifted. It was so thick of God’s presence, I could hardly contain it; so I started laughing.”

So I told her about my visit to Aslan’s Place. We both said, “Praise God. He is so good. Thank you, Jesus!”


– Oh, I think You’re beautiful. Oh, I think You’re marvelous. Oh, I think You’re wonderful in all Your ways. –

When we pursue Him, He is faithful to bless us.

I am excited that I already have my first "God" experience for this year. Life is good and this year is going to be ooooh sooooo very awesome!