Monday, June 27, 2011

Mission Trip

Novices on
 a Mission Trip

We are a group of Californians from Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park and we all love the Lord very much.  We have been given the privilege to travel to the Philippines for our Wonderful Savior and His service.  On the first day, we had very little idea what to expect.  I myself have only read about such adventures.  Our trip consisted of a flight from LAX to Taipei in Taiwan.  This flight was 14 hours.  Then we got on the next plane to go to Manila.  That one only took 2 hours.  Both of these flights were on China Air and the food was better than any food I have ever had on an airplane.  The service, too.

There are many islands that comprise the Philippines and our first encounter was in Manila.  We had a lay over of  about 8 hours.  So Pastor Clark Graham, the missionary in Antipolo, picked us up from the air port in a very nice bus.  It has air conditioning and was very comfortable.  He took us to the American Cemetery Military Memorial which is mostly for remembrance of those who could not be found and those who died in World War II.  It is kept by the United States and is a beautiful Cemetery.  After the Memorial we went to eat in a Mall.  We had to stay close to the air port.  It was all very busy and much different than in the United States.  Yet, it is very westernized.  Most locals speak English.  (One teacher I spoke to said that the Americans brought them education.  I was very happy to hear this.  But I am getting ahead of myself.)  The Grahams are missionaries outside of Manila.  They were with Pastor Martin on IloIlo first and then started their own church in Manila.  

We were all taking in our surroundings and trying to adjust to the weather.  It was quite difficult at first but I think we all adjusted well.  It helps so much that the plane was air conditioned and the bus was air conditioned.  When we got to the mall we took pictures of Jeepneys.  They are an extended jeep with plastic for windows if it rains.  In the US we might allow up to 15 people to ride in one of these.  However, in the Philippines, it is allowed to fill them much more and they do.  The missionaries have drivers because there are no lines on the streets and no traffic signals.  Also, no seat belts or stop lights.  Once in a while there are signs to say to slow down, but they don’t usually slow down.  They do not honk if someone gets in front of them because they honk before they get there if they want to cut in front.  It seems to work well here.  Even the pedestrians do not have the right of way but seem to get through traffic very easily.   We ate a typical Philippine meal at Mang Inasal.  It was very different than the food at home.  After we ate, we went to the airport to wait for the plane to IloIlo.

This flight was about an hour.  So we were finally in IloIlo after traveling for 25 hours.  IloIlo is not a tourist city but a working city.  There are great historical buildings and farms.  The city is not too big and then it is rural.  The people are very kind.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Christians Are Hypocrites

 Have you ever heard someone say that Christians are hypocrites?  Well I want to look into this statement a little closer.  What do we mean by the word hypocrite?  It comes from the Greek word hypokrites.  In the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible the meaning of this word is an actor under assumed character (stage-player).  In other words it is to act like someone different than we are.   It is not only on the outside that this word talks about being an actor, but the heart of the person is the driving force.

I think that there are many ways that hypocrisy shows in people.  A person can act one way at home and another at work.  And then they can be completely different with their friends than they are with the person they are dating or married to.  As humans we have developed this way of acting as a defense against criticism.  But we want to be real with everyone.  When we act in a way that is unreal we are hurting ourselves.  We are saying, “no one will like me if I am myself”.   We, as people, need to act out what we really are because we have a body, soul and spirit that needs to be able to communicate with others and be accepting of others and ourselves.  We need to be what we are.  Like Popeye said, “I am what I am”.

Now you may wonder where Christians come into this picture.  Well, Christians are people with the same insecurities and are struggling with a lot of the same things everyone else on earth is struggling with.  But they are telling everyone that they believe that Jesus Christ is their savior.  They are so bold that they say they KNOW that they are going to heaven.  Wow, the audacity!  They may even be telling you that you have to go to church, read the bible and accept Jesus Christ as your savior.  It is just too much for you to handle.  And then they do things that don’t even line up with the teachings of their Savior.  You can see they are not doing things right even though you don’t know much about the bible, you know that much.

I want to first tell you what a Christian believes and many Americans already know this.  In a nutshell it comes down to this:  There is a loving God who made the universe and everything in it.  He is spirit and has no wrong in Him.  Because He is God, He always does what is right and he cannot do anything wrong, ever.  People have a will and can choose right and wrong.  God wants us to choose Him and His ways over our natural ways.  But He lets us decide.    We can obey God or not.  If we do not obey God, we commit sin.  No one likes that word and many don’t feel it should be a word at all.  But the truth is that without the knowledge that there is sin we cannot want a life without the thing that we don’t want to hear about.  God says that we die from our sins (this is a physical death as well as a spiritual death).  But then He doesn’t want everyone to die from their sins, so in the Old Testament He made a covenant with the Israelites that included animal sacrifice.   This sacrifice was to be without blemish and it would take the sins away from the people.  It was to show His people that there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.  Then God later sent Jesus, His only Son, to live with His people in Israel.  He lived and taught and made disciples and then was crucified.  Then he was buried.  On the third day He rose from the dead.  He was seen by hundreds of people after is death and then He went to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  That is where Jesus is now.  When the Christians give their lives to Jesus, they are putting all of their sins on Him on the cross.  He forgives all the sins of those who believe for their past, present and future.  The Bible is the true source of information about God and this plan of salvation.  Because God is a righteous, just and holy God, He judges each persons heart.  We can’t work our way to heaven.  God says that we must have faith in Him in order to please Him.

So, the Christian is forgiven and knows he is on his way to heaven.  He wants to tell everyone and make sure they are all going to heaven too.  But he still has problems and is tempted and now has to learn about God.  The Christian has a lot of work to do.   And God is never finished with the work He is doing with each person until He brings us home.    When we make mistakes and sin, we must ask for forgiveness.  We must acknowledge that God is in complete control of our lives.  Christians are not trying to be hypocrites, they are trying to live that balanced life that Jesus is teaching them day by day.  God loves us more than we can ever understand.  He loves us so much that He lets us make up our own mind whether to believe in Him and the way of salvation or not.  Down deep in our hearts we have a true desire to have God in our lives.  We want to please God and learn His ways.   God clearly tells us to love others as we were loved by Him and to forgive as we have been forgiven.  He also promises to help us to obey these commands.  We are weak but He is strong.

I know that I cannot change your mind about Christians.  I can only tell you what I know as true and you can judge for yourself.  This in no way justifies the sinful actions of others.  When Jesus comes into our life we are to follow His commandments.  It is a life that brings us away from ourselves and closer to God and people around us.  We are not only responsible to God for our every action, but our thoughts and the deep desires of our hearts.  Just this little bit of knowledge about God and Jesus and God’s plan of salvation may bring you to cry out to God and say  “Abba Father please accept me, a sinner.  Please write my name down in the book of life.”

If you did ask God to save you or you are interested in learning more, I suggest that you read the book of Romans in the Bible.  It is 16 chapters and is a perfect start to understanding what Christianity is all about.

And lets always remember to ask God for help to be ourselves and His people without hypocrisy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Book of Revelation

I have been studying the book of Revelation for quite some time now.  I have answered questions about the chapters.  I have looked up some of the reference scriptures in other parts of the bible.  I started to do a study book by NavPress in the Life Change Series.  Plus, I am now reading a book called The Revelation of Jesus Christ a commentary by John F Walvoord.  This book was one of the many references in the bible study by NavPress.  I am so happy that I ordered this book.  It is helping me so much.  God's word is usually straight forward.  Even the prophecy is understandable after studying what other parts of the bible say along with a certain passage.  I have loved the book of Revelation since the first time I read it, however, I have asked God repeatedly to teach me the meaning of the part about the tribulation period.  This book is very helpful.  It gives examples of opinions written by other authors and then Walvoord explains why he agrees of disagrees.  In the end we can decide certain things for ourselves because we don't know all of the answers until it happens.

If you have been interested in the book of Revelation and would like to read an educational, orderly teaching about it, you can order this book at  As Walvoord said "The present age is an age of grace, an age in which God is testifying concerning Christ and His work, an age in which those who wish to hear may receive Christ and be saved.  The invitation given long ago to the seven churches of Asia to hear what the Spirit says is extended to men today."  God wants us to know all about Him and His character and attributes.  He is at the same time a righteous Judge and Love.  We cannot just choose the love side of God and dismiss the judgement.  If you are like me, you want to know all about God.  He is our creator and gave us the book of the bible so we could know Him better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I was named Blog of the Day!

I am so excited.  I want everyone to know that this blog, Everyone has something to say..., was given Blog of the Day by Free Hot Samples.  The link is

  .  Please go visit her blog.  I know you will be glad you did.  Happy Saving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bible Study Fellowship

I went to my first Bible Study Fellowship meeting in almost 30 years.  I didn't remember much about Bible Study Fellowship except that I learned what the bible is all about.  I have been an avid studier of the bible for many years.
I have attended several churches, moved many many times and had personal mental challenges.  But through it all, God's Word has been the same.  However, my understanding of the truths in the bible has not always been the same or correct.  I only saw the judgement of God for many years.  I felt and knew my true salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ, but could not accept that I was no longer under judgement.  This was due to childhood abuse and depression and the Works theology taught to me in the Catholic church as I was growing up.  (I feel a need to interject the fact that many Catholics, some in my own family, are saved and do not believe that they are saved by works.  They are Bible believing Christians.)   I also had to be in constant counseling and the counselors were not always biblical.  But through it all I have been able to come out of the self imposed judgement and live under the grace that only Jesus can give.
I said all of this to say that going to Bible Study Fellowship is very exciting to me.  It is very structured.  It is a world wide organization.  It is multi-denominational.  It teaches leadership skills.  It teaches how to teach others the bible.  I know that the Holy Spirit will teach me and lead me in the direction He wants me to go.
I am grateful to the Lord for His grace, mercy, loving-kindness, wisdom and knowledge.
If anyone is interested in learning more about Bible Study Fellowship, the link is  Check it out.  I know you will be blessed.
I just want to add that at the church I attend we are learning about knowing God.  At Bible Study Fellowship the study is on Isaiah.  Isaiah is a survey of the bible and God's attributes, judgement, grace and mercy through the Messiah.  God is faithful to show us His ways.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sometimes it Takes Lots of Prayer

Yesterday  I was at my nephew’s house with my sister and we were talking about babies.  It is not always easy to have a baby.  Those who conceive easily are truly blessed from God.  Some people can’t conceive at all and some have miscarriages.  I had 13 miscarriages when I was married to my now ex-husband.  It is very hard to explain the loss and confusions that accompanies a miscarriage.  I was consoled by my friends and they would usually say “you will get pregnant again.”  But, my problem was not getting pregnant, but losing the babies.  My devastation was mostly internal.  At a bible study group, a woman accused me of not believing in having children and going against God because I didn’t have any children and I was 30 years old.  Some people felt sorry for me and didn’t want to talk to me about their babies.  I was having difficulty within myself to decide what I thought about babies and children.  My grief and shame brought me into a very deep obsession that made me feel as if I could never be happy without a child.  I was married on Epiphany day, January 6, 1974 and had my first miscarriage in 1976.  I don’t remember the dates or how many miscarriages I had in a year.  I only remember that I kept looking for answers.  In 1978 I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in my heart as my Savior.  I have had an intimate relationship with Him ever since.  I prayed and asked Jesus why I was having miscarriages and why I was not like my family and friends who had children.  My husband tried to understand but he was happy with his work and his life.  He was getting used to the idea that we may never have a child.  I begged him to adopt.  So we tried to adopt a child from the state and it just didn’t work out.  We went to all of the classes and learned about the fact that we would be getting and older child, not a baby.  We learned how the children are very hurt and most have been abused.  But we could never get even one child to adopt.  All of this time my faith was growing.  You would think that I would give up, but I began to see in the bible how God gave barren women very important children. 

Some of the biblical women are Sara, Abraham’s wife, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and one of my favorites was Hannah.   The story of Hannah goes like this.  She was married to an Israelite named Elkanah.  Elkanah had another wife named Peninnah who had children and Peninnah tormented Hannah for not having any children.  Elkanah loved Hannah and gave her more than Peninnah.  But Hannah was miserable.  She was so sad that she would not eat.  Her husband didn’t understand and she didn’t know what to do.  But when they went to offer sacrifices to God one year, Hannah went into the temple and prayed with all of her heart.  She prayed so hard that the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk.  But when she told him that she was distraught and praying, he told her that the Lord had answered her prayer.  Now her prayer included a gift to God of the child.  She said she would give the child to God to live in the temple.  She did have an answer to her prayer and her son was Samuel.  He is one of the great men of God’s Word.  This story is written in 1Samuel :1-22.

Well, don’t you know that I just had to pray the prayer of Hannah.  Now I did not only pray this prayer, but many prayers.  I watched many evangelist shows and went to many healing services.  Sometimes the minister would pray over me and say that I was going to have the child I was praying for.  Sometimes I would feel the Holy Spirit when I was watching a healer on TV.

Then I became pregnant in the spring of 1983.  We were trying to adopt a baby in Korea and had gone through all of the meetings and paperwork and were supposed to get our baby girl in September.  In July I told the administrator that I was pregnant but that I had always lost the babies before.  But this company was one of the only agencies that will not let a person who is pregnant adopt.  So the adoption was off.  There was another loss.

In January on the 22nd of 1984 I gave birth to Dominic.  It was Super Bowl Sunday.  A day of celebration.
I know that Dominic has always really been the property of God, but I have never felt that torment again.  God is so good.