Serving God

So many people are posting about the recent retreat – mostly participants and how fun it was. But they don’t know the sweat, tears, prayers it took – and of course the amazing grace and faithfulness of God – that led to the success of this event.

Preparing for the retreat was no easy feat. On many occasions, I asked myself why am I doing what I’m doing? I am not paid for this job. This workload isn’t for a volunteer. A hired staff should be doing these. It’s not like working in the corporate where you can compel your team to work either because the registration team is also composed of volunteers like me. They have regular jobs and own lives too. On top of it all, I need to be calm, firm, yet loving and gracious because I am representing God. This retreat is supposed to bring in people who do not know God, but if I can’t be loving, then why would they even want to go?

And that is so difficult. I questioned my motive. I grumbled, complained, cried. Am I doing this for God, or out of expectations? Because in all honesty, it feels like the latter than the former. And if I am doing all these out of expectations, then I am just wasting my time and effort and money.

1 Corinthians 3:11 -15 says, 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.



Light the fire in my heart again

I feel so utterly alone. I don’t know if it’s the summer heat that at this very moment is prickling my nape, or having no goals in life whatsoever. I’ve been applying for random writing jobs for months because my investments have plummeted and I don’t have a source of income. I’ve been thinking and considering different businesses but still don’t have a direction of where to go. My left foot is constantly painful. I fear that I’d have to take surgery and I’d never walk properly ever again.

My relationships are rocky. I feel like people have less time or maybe it’s because they are busy and I am not. I learn secrets about people from other people – things that I should have known in the first place. I feel like a failure in my discipleship and ministries. Like I have not been intentional enough. Inadequate. I also don’t know what’s the point of it all. Why serve? I obviously don’t love God. Sometimes I question if I’m even a Christian because why am I trapped in cycles of sins and purposelessness. Yes, I know the chief end of man – to glorify God. But why?

The seconds tick away with me wasting them instead of doing something productive. I press the Quick Start on the microwave and watch time slip away, gone forever. And yet that is what I am doing, wasting my time on what not.

I hate living this way. And I hate serving for the purpose of getting the job done instead of loving God. I know I don’t love Him. And it’s a shame, and I feel stuck. Like how do I love God when I don’t want to? When there’s no faith no propel me forward? When there are questions that can never be answered in this lifetime?

I know that I ‘ve been losing my fire for Him for a long time. The wildfire is dimming into a little match but I cannot afford this. People will stumble but I’m also only human.


Dear God, Oh My I’m Old!

It’s an hour and 2 minutes before it’s officially midnight and I turn 28. I am an unemployed, single, living in the second floor of my mom’s house, waking up everyday at 8 or 9 am and getting down just to eat. Gosh! I live an (almost) unproductive life, career-wise. I honestly live this very comfortable life. Talk about being a full-time parasite.

There are many items I am grateful for my 27th year:

  • Our company was acquired so my mom was able to retire (and partly me too)
  • Graduated GLC 2 and will hopefully graduate GLC 3
  • Downlines started discipling
  • Investments that bared fruit
  • Best friend is moving to Singapore (bittersweet)
  • Became more visible in ministries
  • Growing dgroup though lost some
  • Family members are healthy
  • Dogs are also healthy but obese
  • Dating a godly and loving man who loves me deeply
  • Shared the gospel to many people with my dgroup

I feel so old but hoping that the next year will still be awesome and I get more opportunities to serve the Lord especially in my family. And also to be productive and settle down soon even if I don’t know or want to cook.

Sorry, so sleepy.

Day 2. Love that Provides

Psalm 34:10

10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

I am truly blessed beyond measure. I never experienced having little (except probably when I was a kid and my parents were poor – so poor they didn’t have utensils or a bed).

I am blessed that I don’t have to contribute to the household expenses because I can never outgive my mom anyway. So blessed that even if I no longer have a job, I am still earning in stocks. So blessed that I can travel locally and internationally several times a year. That I have enough to support missionaries and NGOs. But mostly, I am blessed because, at an early age, I was taught to be wise with money.

I attribute everything to God of course. He alone provides not just the capacity to earn but the wisdom and opportunities as well. But I’ve never really experienced living by faith – that must be scary and exciting at the same time.

I know I have to give more but it’s also difficult to let go of money because money equals comfort, right? Actually, more than food, I am fasting from checking my trading portfolio. It’s the one thing I do first thing in the morning. I wake up and at 9am, I eat breakfast and watch the Bloomberg news for an hour, then watch another news late in the afternoon about the economy again. It’s what drives me. So fasting from this makes me uneasy because I know that there are opportunities this week to buy and sell stocks. But I also remind myself that what is one week of missing these opportunities? I want to show God that I trust Him to provide even if I don’t “work” this week.

So looking forward to 2018, I wonder where I should be giving more aside from the tithes? I have given more in 2017 than in 2016 but I know that I should just be giving more and more.

I am also learning it a habit, from Marc’s message, to immediately set aside whatever I get (even from the sale of the tandem bike).

Even though I am well provided now, it isn’t a guarantee that I’ll still have these things in 2018. So I’m still praying, fasting, asking for His provisions in 2018. To have the skills and wisdom in making business and financial decisions and ultimately to be satisfied and thankful for whatever He gives me this year.

Praise God for a God who provides all our needs and comes through just in time. He orchestrates circumstances and moves people to provide for His children.

Day 1. Love beyond the cross

It’s kinda difficult to think how much God loves me. I mean, I know of the cross. I know the sacrifice Jesus did and I know the beauty of heaven with its golden streets and gates of pearl. But I also know that I cannot limit God’s love for me on the cross. For if I say that that is the maximum and ultimate love, then it wouldn’t be an everlasting, infinite love.

Ephesians 3:18-19

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,

Truly, it surpasses knowledge.

I see the deep love and sacrifice of the people around me. I know I am well loved by my family and friends. But I know it doesn’t compare a tiny bit to how much God loves me. I cannot try to put words to describe it. It’s like grasping into the thin air without grasping anything. Infiniteness is incomprehensible.

But perhaps I can share a glimmer of God’s love for me (other than salvation).

By my own choices, I set myself lower and lower for someone to keep him, bending at his whims and requests so he would stay for a while. My life is literally the song “I bought the world and sold my heart”. I did things I never knew I was capable of doing, for someone I thought was staying. But God, by his grace and love, took me out. In the midst of my stubbornness, He orchestrated all circumstances to make me broken and alone before Him. It’s the best thing that happened to me.


2017 Recap

2017 has been a pivotal.

Half of the year was spent at home because my mom and I didn’t have work , after our company was acquired. I still don’t know what I am supposed to do the rest of my life – or at least the next chapter. I am still praying for the next steps, but my heart is leaning towards social entrepreneurship, or something like urban agriculture that should ease poverty and be environmentally sustainable.

On April 7, he stepped up and laid down his intention for marriage. On June 7, I gave him a yes to courtship. On December 7, he told me he loves me with his eyes red from crying (we had a big fight).

The admin team has grown after much prayer, then it dwindled again as I struggled to intentionally build a relationship with each member. Conflicting schedules on Saturdays and the lack of initiatives both from me and the members have strained the initally growing ministry. And also my lack of firmness, I suppose. But I found a friend in Regine, who is so much like me.

Joy and Nej stepped up and have started discipling. And they couldn’t be happier, especially Joy who I feel is more like Ef with how she takes care of her group. Jamie, Grace, Chart have all stepped up in their ministries as well.

Here’s the view from my lounge seat at Belle Maison in Hoi An. But never really finished writing this until January 8, 2018. Hehe.

Serving God is a Privilege

While I was coordinating the reg booth manning this morning from Tagaytay, Joy’s mind seemed so scattered. She didn’t know where to get the cashbox, reg box, keys. I already cascaded all these info repeatedly on Viber and email. Annoyed but restraining myself, I asked her, “You seem to be all over the place today. Are you ok? 😦 Are you going through something?”

Before our company was acquired, I held a key role that allowed me to tap CCF’s Workplace Ministry and start a Bible Study. I was able to distribute Bibles, books and bring people to church.

Now that the company is not ours and I am unemployed, I realized how God has opened another door for me when He tasked me to be the ministry head of the Registration Team a few months ago. So while I lost one area of influence, He has opened another. For some reason and out of His grace alone, God chose me to serve in B1G South in this manner.

My leadership position allows me to influence the lives of six beautiful women and contribute to the direction of B1G South – affecting the lives of 100 regular attendees and their own circles of influence.

In the past months, I have been serving God with a mental checklist. I focused on perfecting tasks to the detail and creating efficient schedules that would help them not get burned out physically. But I know that I could have been more intentional in discipling, serving and loving them.

Joy answered me, “Yes, I am going through many things at work, in my family and I am not okay. I am overwhelmed and tired.”

Had I taken time to check up on her, I could have helped her and prayed for her sooner.

So while I am in this leadership position, I will exert more effort to love and serve them and impact them spiritually.

I came home tonight from the Core planning with a renewed sense of passion and joy in serving God. It is a privilege to serve Him.