Saturday, April 25, 2015

orange shoes and a dropped phone

Dear stranger from the plane,

So we encountered each other as we were boarding because we were both hungry and bummed that we didn't have enough time to use our airport vouchers as a result of a delayed flight.  You were going home to Cebu, I was going to visit Luzon.  I ended up sitting behind you the whole way to the islands.  You dropped your phone and asked me to pick it up.  You shared about how you were from the area where you can go swimming with whales.  I shared about how I don't speak the language but I understand it well enough that you can't talk behind my back.  I'm not sure if you got the joke.  At that point, I figured you didn't want to speak with me due to a potential language barrier.   However, you said you've been living in LA for five or so years now.  Your English was fine, but I've encountered your kind.  You are more comfortable with your language and I understand that.

I noticed you at check in.  Saw the red hoodie and orange shoes.  Pretty fun.  You asked if I was traveling alone.  I wasn't sure how to answer that.   Originally, we were both supposed to be stuck in Hong Kong overnight.  I think if I stuck with that plan, we could have hung out and become friends.  I would have invited you to CLP and introduced you to a girl I think you would like.  Instead, I flew earlier than you because I needed to meet up with my family that night.  Sorry.  Missed opportunity, perhaps?  I was going to catch your name after we picked up our connecting flight boarding passes, but you left right away.  I apologize for not introducing myself.  At some point you said, "Well maybe I'll see you in the Philippines."  I replied, "Or LA!"  But let's face it, both areas are over populated.

Well, sir, know that I said a prayer for you and your safe travels.  It was nice to meet you briefly and chat with a friendly stranger.  Who knows..maybe we will cross paths again some day.  It wouldn't be the first time that happened to me.

Enjoy your stay for the month.

Another stranger from the plane

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

God's love

The Singles for Christ (SFC) SoCal West Chapter Christian Life Program (CLP) has begun!  If you want to know more about SFC or the Christian Life Program, visit our website.

I can't tell you the number of times I've gone through this program.  It's a series of talks that help guide a person through their faith journey.  Whether it's just the beginning or a supplement to a person's Christian walk, there is always something to learn.

It took years for me to get here, but I finally realized how important it is to attend the CLP.  I understand the wisdom behind its length (be it ten or thirteen weeks).  I attend each CLP talk and listen for a message as if it were my first time.  Humility is a challenging virtue for a lot of us, especially if we think we know everything this community has to offer.  We are sO very wrong.  You learn something new every day of your life.  God speaks to us all the time, and sometimes we fail to hear Him in the words of a talk we think we already know.  If we don't learn one new thing, we weren't listening closely.

So what did I learn last night during Talk 1?  God's love.  Yes, I know God loves me because John 3:16:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

Noted.  Got it.  But what MORE did I learn?

Today I learned this: "Everything I have is yours." [Luke 15:31]

God loves me so much that everything HE HAS is mine.  His SON is mine.  His LOVE is mine.  His grace is MINE.  In the parable of the Prodigal Son [Luke 15: 11-32], the father welcomes his lost son when he returns home.  He welcomes him with a feast and unconditional love.  The brother was a bit jealous since he was obedient to the father and stayed home with him...yet didn't seem to get much from that.  All the father could say to that son was "I love you too.  Everything I have is yours."

The father doesn't short change us of His love.  He doesn't hold back his possessions.  EVERYTHING He has is ours.  He is always ready and willing to give His love freely to us.  Everything.  Died on a cross and all.  Crazy.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me with Your EVERYTHING.  I don't deserve it, but You see me in greater love vision than I see myself.  Thank you.  For everything that is Yours, is mine.  I will love it as You love it.  I pray that all I have is Yours.  I have a harder time giving it all to You, but to love as You love means that I should give You my all too.


Sunday, April 5, 2015


I was walking down the street when a man asked for spare change.  It's mostly true when I say, "Sorry, I don't have any on me."  He replied with, "Even a penny?  That's all I need to change my luck."

I yelled over my shoulder, "Really, a penny?" then proceeded to cross the street.

So a penny, huh?  This struck me as odd only because he said, "...that's all I need to change my luck."

I slowed down after I turned the corner and actually checked my purse to see if I had any change.  Well...I found a penny.

I walked back to him and asked, "So you really think a penny will change things for you?"  He replied, "Well yeah.  It's more than nothing, and I've been here since yesterday."

So I gave him a penny.  He smiled and said, "Thank you!"

I followed it up with a little more money...and said I would say a prayer for him.  I don't think he heard that second part because he just smiled and said, "See!  My luck has changed already!"

I just smiled at him then walked away.

I can't explain it, but I really think his luck changed today.  I prayed that God would make that happen for him in some way.  I pray that things are made right for that man, so he won't have to beg for pennies on the street anymore.

Yesterday, during the Good Friday Stations of the cross, our prayer leader said something that stuck with me.  As the people along the path to his crucifixion were there to minister to Jesus, He was also ministering to them along the way.  He never stopped, no matter how much pain and suffering He was in.  He continued to minister to others to His death.

I felt that even though I ministered to this man in a small way, he actually taught me something too.  He ministered to me.  He gave me hope that sometimes we just need a penny in life to know that our luck will change.  When things are tough, we only need to see that small cent to know bigger and greater things to come.

To me, a penny may be worthless.  To another, it's hope.

I'll be sure not to overlook the value of a cent anymore :)