Saturday, January 12, 2013


In celebration of the Church's Ten days of prayer, I am publishing here devotional articles I had written in the book Prayers of the Faithful published by the Philippine Publishing House in 2008.


She was just 18-- young, vibrant, and beautiful.  Austin Cloud came to Virginia Tech clad in her ardent dreams only to have them shattered by a mad gunman killing her and 31 others.  When I read her story, I couldn't help but ask god why these things happened.

Reading the morning papers or watching the evening news, we face many adverse issues that plague our society -- crime, violence, social injustice, economic decline, etc. How long will these things last?

Evidently, the personal issues of life are even more disheartening.  As a teacher-counselor, people come to me with their ailing questions: "Why are others pretty and intelligent and I am not?" "Why did God take my mother untimely?"  "Why are others blessed with good families while I suffer here feeling all alone?" And personally, I thought: Where is God when strife and contention surround the lives of His people?

Some 2000 years back, Habakkuk had an almost similar set of questions. During the earlier part of his life, there had been wonderful reforms under the leadership of King Josiah.  But when Josiah died in 600 BC, corruption set in and people reverted to ungodly ways.  Dismayed, Habakuk asked the Lord why He allowed injustice to prevail.  The Lord partially responded to his plea contrary to what He expected.  Complaints so often emerge out of unmet expectations. When the Lord doesn't deal with our situations according to our ways or act by our own standards, we express our helpless thoughts of disappointment.

In the case of Habakuk, when everything had been said and done, he finally resigned to God's ways and rested his faith on Him.  Indeed, God's purpose is different from ours.  Yet mysterious as they seem, His activities are always a step towards the path of eternal bliss.  The Bible clarifies that when God gives His word He sees to it that it shall come to pass (Isaiah 55:11)

When the howling storms of doubt haunt my perplexed spirit and unfavorable circumstances of life knock me off my feet, I look back to the way the Lord has graciously led me in the past and take comfort in knowing that the God whom I believe never fails in His promises.  Then my soul is hushed as He whispers to my ear: "Be still, My child, be still."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Operation Global Rain: Ten Days of Prayer

"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray... then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin." 2 Chronicles 7:14

'Tis the time of the year again, when Seventh-day Adventists and friends from all over the globe gather together for seasons of powerful united prayers to pray for rain! For the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which will significantly change lives!

In accordance to the General Conference theme Revival, Reformation, and Beyond, "Operation Global Rain" is a world-wide initiative wherein church congregations, small groups,or even individuals are encouraged to set aside an hour each day for meditative prayer.

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest 
and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should 
be our first work. There must be earnest effort to 
obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not 
willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we 
are unprepared to receive it. . . . [It] is our work, by 
confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer 
to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised 
to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected 
only in answer to prayer.” Selected Messages, bk. 1, p121

This year (2013), it is set to run within the week January 9-19.  Based on my personal experience, Operation Global Rain is best celebrated when you pray in small groups through a prayer process called United Prayer.

In a nutshell, United Prayer as the term implies is praying unitedly as small groups (ideally of 4-5 individuals) -- praying bullet prayers, following the ACST pattern:

A stands for Adoration. The Psalm says we must "Enter His gates with thanksgiving." Thus, it is just proper to begin our prayer with praises to the Lord. Praise Him for His goodness, greatness, love, etc...

C stands for Confession. Humility must reign in our hearts before anything else. And so here, we ask God for forgiveness of our sins. It is suggested that as much as we are bold in asking supplications, we also have to be bold in asking forgiveness in such a way that we mention specific personal shortcomings rather than general ones.

S stands for Supplication. This time, we ask God our needs, our requests as well as the needs and requests of others. The Bible says “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14, 15

T for Thanksgiving. Notice here that we deviated from the more commonly known 'ACTS" order of prayer, but instead put thanksgiving into the last part. I personally believe it is best to end the prayer in grateful reflection of God's amazing goodness.

My first experience of United Prayer was in 2010 when it was first launched here in AUP. During that time, AUP workers had a separate revival meeting at Finster Chapel with the well-known evangelist David Asscherick as speaker.  At the end of each meeting, AUP workers form small groups (randomly) for a United Prayer.  During the first meeting, everyone in my small group did not understand the instructions -- we practically just went with the flow, and took turns in saying one-liner prayers. But I still appreciated it because the ambiance was very touching and moving.  The sound of us singing softly together before each segment was so melodious -- I felt angels were singing with us! On the succeeding meetings, I began to better understand the process, and appreciate United Prayer even more.  I realized that it is better to have it done spontaneously -- to pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.  I was amazed at how some individuals can be so honest and bold about their confessions, petitions, and supplications! During the course of the week, I was randomly grouped with administrators, professors, staff members (which includes plumbers, drivers, farmers, technicians) most of whom were mere acquaintances.  It was heartwarming to listen to their prayers, that I have learned to appreciate their personality! Their prayers had become my prayer.  It's amazing when people of different status, from all walks of life gather and unite together in prayer! Powerful prayer, indeed!

Since then, United Prayer has become my favorite activity.  Even after the course of the Ten Days Prayer, my friends (co-teachers) and I would still find the time to do a united prayer -- sometimes for important petitions, but oftentimes for no particular reason but just to culminate a meaningful sharing or conversation.

United Prayer has changed me, moved me, and inspired me.  It has given me opportunity to intercede for someone.  It has added flavor to my prayer life.  It has ignited my spirit to always believe in the power of prayer, and to deepen my commitment to the One I pray to.

May we all get involved in this season of prayer!

For more information, resources, and materials about the Operation Global Rain, here's the link:

“A chain of earnest, praying believers should encircle
the world. Let all pray in humility. . . . Let those who
cannot leave home gather in their children, and unite
in learning to pray together. . . . In response to the
prayers of God’s people, angels are sent with heavenly
blessings.” Reflecting Christ, p. 121

Important Info:  At the end of that revival meeting in 2010... I met my husband. I do not remember mentioning a prayer about a life-partner during those seasons of prayer, but that's the wonder of it all! The Lord listens deeply and intently to prayers even our lips cannot utter.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Missing UP: Raising Wise Dads, Moms, and Kids

I'm currently arranging my files, and sorting out journal articles, looking for something I can possibly use in my class....and my UP Days come running through my mind again...

I googled the name of my UP Professor, and I found this video of her during her interview at 700 club promoting her book "Raising Wise Dads, Moms, and Kids."

I'm such a Dr Koo fan! I bought a copy of her book right at the CSM booth during book fair!

Friday, January 4, 2013

To be more faithful

It's always been my habit to write new year's resolutions at the beginning of each year. Some of them I get to follow at least before the year ends, but some, if not most of them stays on the paper -- "drawing". That means, I wasn't able to successfully realize them. But I still continue to make resolutions, and wish lists, and goals, anyway.  I remember I told my students yesterday -- there's already a sense of achievement just by mere jotting them down. :)

When this year 2013 began just a few days ago, I started brainstorming of resolutions, and wishes and's been running in my head for days, but I couldn't think of anything tangible, and significant to wish, or hope for. Twenty-twelve had been an amazing year for me and my family, it was a year full of blessings -- I couldn't ask for more. I CAN ONLY BE GRATEFUL.

-- My third trimester, and practically my whole pregnancy experience was a breeze. Despite fear (more like paranoia) of possibly losing the baby inside me because I travel all the time, and walk and move carelessly (I fell down from a motorbike, was rocked heavily by a tricycle because of a bumpy road) yet my jellybean held on.

---The jellybean came out exactly when I told him to.  During my last month of pregnancy, I was a little anxious thinking that my baby might come out when his father is away.  You see, I have a pastor-husband who, during that time was having series of revival meetings in remote places, and I was oftentimes left alone at home.  I dreaded the idea that I might experience what other minister's wives have experienced of giving birth without their husband with them.  So every time my husband is away, I'd tell my jellybean "don't come out yet, daddy isn't here."  But one friday afternoon, just when my husband was coming home from his last week of prayer appointment, the bean (who was no longer a bean at that time)  tried to make his way out, and the next day, he was out. It was a Sabbath!

---Delivery was a breeze too! No labor pains. And so I had to be CS.  Though it was my first time to be hospitalized, and to undergo a major surgery, I was cool and brave because the pool of professionals who handled me were gentle, cheerful, helpful, and prayerful. Thanks, MAMC!

---Post-partum blues were bearable.  I knew I would experience that. I had read all about that.  But the ones I've read on books are nothing compared to what I felt. But thanks to my very supportive husband who knew exactly how to keep cool and console me during my crying spells.

---My bundle of joy is truly an outrageous bundle of pure bliss and unfathomable joy! Despite bouts of infection, diarrhea, colds, cough, rashes, and flu -- he continues to grow healthy, bubbly, and strong! He is a people-magnet. Everyone adores him :)

---My husband was given the opportunity to enter the academe. And his recent work assignment is a relatively better set-up for our family.

---Despite the long, sometimes dreary, and uncertain road to ordination -- he finally realized that dream.  Though I have never known a pastor as close as I have known my husband, I can still say that he is one of the most dedicated pastors I have known (call me bias :) hehe) I sensed his dedication, and commitment to the ministry from the first time I had the chance to talk to him. And this commitment to the ministry is one of the strong reasons why I married him, and why I am committed to staying married to him! :)

---My father was cleared from a possible court charge. My mother got promoted. My sisters are great, and at least finding their way to living a better life.  My family had been spared from calamities.

--- I have a wonderful career which gives me an opportunity to do what I want to do, earn, and grow personally and professionally without feeling guilty that I might be missing out on the more important details of my life.

--- I have a happy  and satisfying relationships with my immediate, and extended family members. I have good friends.

My life is packed, and filled to the brim. And I always thank God for everything He has blessed me with, most of them I don't really deserve.

And so this year, I RESOLVE TO BE MORE FAITHFUL. In everything. Because that's the least, but nonetheless more fitting response to the One who is most faithful.