God

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When you don’t know…

I love picking out my word for the year. In reality, I’ve only done it once, but I got pretty excited about that one time back in 2011. My word for that year was COURAGE. In 2012 (also known as the year of my blogging incompetence), I didn’t choose a word. But as I look back on the year, I would choose UNDERSTANDING. In retrospect, more than learning new things, I actually gained a deeper understanding of things I thought...

Is it possible to be faithful and foolish?

Recently, I started reflecting again on the story of Abraham. I’ve always admired Abraham’s faith. Hebrews 11:8 says that “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Have you ever wondered how someone can just do that? How was it possible that Abraham was able to head out without a clear destination, without a plan? ©iStockphoto.com/stacey_newman...

How to communicate with God

One of my greatest pleasures these days is receiving mail.

Every morning, I look forward to opening my computer and checking my e-mail accounts. While I'm asleep in the U.S., people in the Philippines are wide awake. On a good day, I usually have a couple of emails from my friends and family waiting in my inbox in the morning [...]

The Best Place on Earth

Right now, I’m sitting in a peaceful library, staring at the serene rose garden outside the window on this beautiful sunny day. The rays of light are shining in between the trees, and the water in the pond is sparkling. I ask myself, “How did I get here?” And the only answer I can come up with is this: I jumped…and God caught me. I think they call it a “leap of faith” for a reason. You can’t keep half...

Dealing with Change

Can you pinpoint an exact moment in time when your life changed? Maybe for some of you, it’s the day you got married. Or maybe it’s the day your first child was born, or the day someone you loved dearly passed away. It’s as if your life changed overnight, and you feel like you’re in over your head, and what was reality for you yesterday no longer remains to be the reality you’re living in today. You know those moments?...

I’ll take one grande cup of strength and an extra-large serving of courage, please!

“Be strong and courageous…” – Joshua 1:6 Don’t you just wish you could go to Starbucks and get some strength and courage to-go? I do. But as we all know, our favorite baristas may be skilled enough to whip up a tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip, but as gifted as they are, I’m pretty sure they won’t be able to add some drops of strength and courage...

Five Ways to Get Your Joy Back

My word for the month: OVERWHELMED. I have been so overwhelmed with all the things that I need to do: between Christmas shopping and Christmas gatherings, weddings and training sessions, I am just about ready to fall apart. Plus I need to start preparing for a big move in January. Whew! I’ve been so overwhelmed to the point of feeling paralyzed and downright unhappy, so I had to make some changes this week to get the feeling of joy back....

Comfort in the Uncomfortable

Sometimes I listen to myself and I cringe.

Too much worrying.
Too much whining.
Too much complaining.
Too many questions.
Too many excuses.
Too many doubts.

Sometimes I'm like a child who refuses to jump into the swimming pool for the first time. [...]

On waiting… (again)

Waiting can really bring out the worst in people. I’m not very good at waiting, and this is proven by the fact that I am writing about this yet again (if you missed it, I first wrote about it here). When I find myself in a situation where I have to wait, not only do I get impatient, but I tend to become more distracted and more emotional. I try to find ways to take away the discomfort that I...

Don’t you love surprises?

When I don’t know what to write, it helps to go back to my old diaries and blogs. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. There are lots of random stuff, there are lots of stuff that are better off staying hidden, but there are also a lot of memories, thoughts, and insights that are golden–they’re valuable to me because they’ve been part of my journey. I came across this entry that I wrote on this same week in the...

Why bother with theology?

I’m currently reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. The book talks a lot about three words that make most people squirm (myself included): theology, orthodoxy, and doctrine. I don’t often read books like this one, but I pushed myself to give it a try. In the first chapter, Harris already gave me a good reason to read further. I want to share with you what stood out for me, because I think he wrote it beautifully: “I’ve come to learn...

What would you do…

…if you were confident that God was with you? Some people would say, “Wait a minute…isn’t God always with us?” And to that, I’d reply, “Yes He is. But we’re not always confident that He is. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we doubt. You can tell by our actions (or lack thereof).” So let me ask that again: What would you do TODAY if you were confident that God was with you? Would you do something differently? Would you start that...

A powerful insight about grace

Early this year, I had the privilege of seeing and hearing philosopher, professor, and author Dallas Willard speak in person at the Catalyst West 2010 conference, where he was interviewed on stage by one of my favorite authors and speakers, John Ortberg. This session was one of the highlights of the conference for me. Willard is not only brilliant and deep, he’s incredibly funny and witty, too. A guy named Jake Ishmael even tweeted: “Dallas Willard makes Yoda look like...

What you need to know about living a great story

The “-ber” months are just around the corner! I was feeling a little nostalgic lately, so I was prompted to look back at my blog archives (on both LiveJournal and WordPress) to see what happened at this time (last week of August to 1st week of September) in the past years. I found two things that I wrote about that seemed pretty cool and interesting back then, but now that I’m able to see how the stories played out, I...