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    The Broken Bless

      Over the past seven years I have found myself bruised, broken, torn, bewildered, lonely, facing no answer to medical concerns, blanketed with the weight of depression, laying in a hospital bed undergoing back surgery in a foreign country, bombarded with panic attacks, gaining weight despite a healthful diet plan and 2 hour work-outs at the gym, getting the news that my mother had a heart attack and I was too far away to hold her hand or be present by her hospital bed, hearing the news that my son would not be released from prison- yet again, watching my husband bear the load of watching me have seizures on…

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    Living Fully Present

      Over the past few months I have been in transition. A bit of culture shock as I have left my home in the Philippines and have re-entered my passport country, the United States; for a much-needed sabbatical. I have never been very good at transitions. For some reason, even if I know they are coming and I think I have prepared for them, I still struggle. This transition has been no different. Transitions cause me a great deal of personal, inner reflection as I assess what I am leaving behind and begin to anticipate what I am yet to embrace or going towards. For several weeks now, I have…

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    Day of Victory!

    How is it, that I can wake up on Valentines Day and feel like all the love is slowly being squeezed right out of me? Thirty-seven consecutive Valentines Days shared with my husband Joel, and here I was entering this one with a melancholy attitude I couldn’t identify. I should have prepared myself for the unexpected low, as I had just said hard good-byes to my brother and sister who were visiting here in the Philippines. While my brother was doing ministry work in the Province, I enjoyed two remarkable weeks together with my eldest sister. Each day was hinged with laughter, reminiscent memories of experiences from days gone by,…

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    “Who do you say that I am?”

    “Who do you say that I am?” “Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16 NLT) Who do you say that I am?  As I write this simple question, my heart seems to have stopped. Tears threaten to crumble the dam, that I mindfully erected, long ago.  A protective dam – one that holds all my sorrows, my unmet- unvoiced longings, my fierce disappointments and my unanswered prayers are all kept at bay from connecting with my one-true heart. But today, I am faced with this one question, and this dam of…

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    A Touch of Mercy for The Oppressed

    Over the past seven years I have traveled to many local places throughout Manila, Philippines. Drawn to all things cultural and Filipino, I find delight in: a simple trike ride through local streets, a walk through the center of a neighboring Barangay, a trek along steep pathways where simple clapboard homes teeter precariously along cliff edges, a ride on a crowded unairconditioned train in which I am sandwiched shoulder to shoulder with the locals whom I have grown to love, a handkerchief covering my face from the polluted black belch of a jeep-nee I am riding in, the church that meets outside whose congregants greet me warmly with smiles that…

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    Stop the Masquerade: Unveil the Masks

       “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde  Unveiling the Masks By continuously covering up God’s good and perfect design, we are shouting out the message; “God, your masterpiece is not good enough.” “God. You messed up when you made me!” As Christ followers I don’t think any of us would really believe that message; yet we subconsciously say it when we masquerade as something we were never meant to be, in order, to gain the appeal and approval of others.  “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10…

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    Learning to Live Out of Our True Selves  

      As I step softly into this new year many questions have already begun to occupy my mind. What keeps me from living freely out of my unique, God-created design? What paralyzes me from living out of my true, authentic self? What has me repeatedly running to others to earn validation, applause and approval? “The greatest battle we face as human beings is the battle to protect our true selves from the self the world wants us to become.” E.E. Cummings  Living Out of Our True Self:   The true self are those parts of you that are authentic, and flow from living out of the true identify you have…

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    Knowing God is Enough In The Hard Places of Life

    God is Enough  During a recent visit to Hong Kong my husband Joel and I attended an English-speaking Chinese church where two years prior we had spent a short season of ministry. As we walked through the church doors, we immediately felt welcomed by the love of this sweet assembly of Chinese believers. One particularly welcoming friend was Ruth. As I write this I can still hear the lilt of joy in her voice and feel the warm embrace of Ruth’s hug. It was this Sunday that I would begin to hear the beginning of Ruth’s story. Later I would email her and begin to connect-the-dots of a small part…