Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: How You Can Send Help to the Philippines

It breaks my heart that my first blog post after six months is a plea for help. Many of you know that the country I call home has recently experienced the most catastrophic typhoon called Haiyan (locally called Yolanda).

Numbers seem to add up by the hour. My last known stats are 750,000+ placed in evacuation centers and more than 10,000 in deaths.

These photos can give you a glimpse of the devastation that slammed the nation I love so much.

 
Photo Credit: CNN





Photo Credit: CNN


First, I want to thank everyone who called, e-mailed, and texted to ask if our families are safe from the storm. I am blessed to call you my friends.

My family's home was untouched and they are all okay. My husband's mother has family in a neighboring town of Tacloban (where the typhoon hit the hardest). We have yet to get confirmation that they are 100% okay.

Second, I am overwhelmed by the amount of people who care and want to help. I hope that through this blog post, I am able to respond and direct you to organizations that I know can use your donations to provide immediate relief to people who need it the most. I trust them 100% and will continue on connecting with them in helping as many people as possible.


Here are places you can send help to:

EVERY NATION MINISTRIES
We have been missionaries of Every Nation since 2008. Manila was our very first mission field. Every Nation Philippines is mobilizing relief efforts for the city of Tacloban where one of our churches, Victory Tacloban, is located.

VICTORY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Victory is an Every Nation church in the Philippines. We served there when we were missionaries in Manila and we consider them family. They have just been amazing at mobilizing relief efforts. If you would like to see photos of the work they have been doing, please save the Twitter hashtag #YolandaRelief. You will discover where your help directly goes to.


Here are other organizations that you can send donations to. I am not personally working with them but I wholeheartedly believe in what they do. I know that your help will also go a long way through their efforts.

Convoy of Hope

Soles4Souls

Compassion International

Samaritan's Purse

For an extensive list of more places to send help to, please click here.

Or here.


I will update this page as soon as I find more organizations sending out help to the Philippines. Please continue to pray for the people most affected by this. Thank you so much for caring.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Link Love: Blog Tips, Women in Ministry, Nashville, How We Respond, Adoption, God

I am so happy to find the time to write again on here and connect with all of you. One of the biggest things I miss sharing with readers is my roundup of favorite links I have stumbled upon the Web in the recent days.

Hope you find some (if not all) of these helpful!


The One Page of Your Blog That Everyone Wants to Read. Do you have a blog and need direction in optimizing your 'About Page'? I know for a fact that I do. Check this out and get some valuable tips.

I Am Not Different (and Neither Are You). I must say, if I can share every single blog post Christine Hoover writes, I would. She challenged me with these questions: Do you know how needy you are? And do you vocalize those needs? Do you allow the body of Christ to minister to you? When she implores, I understand.

Nashville. Nextville? NowVille! I love my current home city. It's been getting a lot of press lately. Read this and you will know why.

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

How to Publish Your Book. Great (and really funny) infographic!

He made you this promise. Having a crazy day? This might help.

Dear Pastor Mark: Pontificate This. Sharing not to generate controversy but to express the grief I have felt several times when I see this famous pastor's tweets. I don't hate him but I do get brokenhearted when I don't see the spirit of kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Don't judge him. Pray for him. And most of all, examine our own selves -- we might be guilty of the very same thing.

Mark Driscoll is My New Best Friend. A very challenging perspective in relation to the previous link. The comments are just as thought-provoking.

The Useless Web. Need a 5-minute break from work? It will take you to funny and interesting places.

The Love Gives Way Story. Andy Brophy, the founder of Love Gives Way shares the story on how he started a community that helps in the recovery and restoration of sexually exploited people.

"He Smelled of Urine and Infection": On Adopting a Russian Orphan. Another adoption story that will leave you wrecked.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

6 Minutes + A Box of Kleenex

I dream of things that most of you do.

A home we can call our own. To take awesome vacations. To never worry about the lack of money. To buy really nice gifts for my family and friends.

But nothing, absolutely, nothing comes close to my dream of rescuing unwanted children. As we wait on God for Him to say "YES, it's time," I rejoice when I see families fulfill that same calling.

 

*Note: This video is part of a generosity campaign that is my dear to my heart. I want everyone to know about it. Check it out. Try it out.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Review: Beyond Ordinary

I do not know Justin or Trisha Davis personally. However, I feel closely connected to them because of the following reasons:

(1) Their heart to minister to married couples is very obvious on their online presence -- which I have been following for quite some time now. Their lessons, words of encouragement, and candor have spoken to me quite often. I have also shared their wisdom to many close friends who needed hear their heart.

(2) They have a tender spot for married couples who are in ministry. In fact, they have freely given us their paid (and excellent) 12-month MentorUs subscription program. This is an incredible gift. Robert and I have reaped the benefits of it.

(3) They started ministry as youth pastors. They currently live in Nashville, TN. I feel like if there is a couple we hope we can run to for some "been there, done that" advice, it is them.


When I heard that Justin and Trisha co-wrote a book on marriage, I knew it was going to be something special. I was certain that it was going to be honest, raw, and genuine.

























As I started reading "Beyond Ordinary" (Tyndale House Publishers) right before the holidays, it was clear that it did not disappoint. I was drawn to their non-workbook approach.

 
BeyondOrdinary from RefineUs Ministries on Vimeo.


Their voices became storytellers. And with these stories, I saw in detail how tiny seeds of discontent played roles in the bigger challenges their marriage faced. Communicating this is crucial, as all married couples are vulnerable to planting these seeds. A few of us recognize it from the get-go and seek remedy. Some of us are not as intuitive, letting these seeds grow into thick, damaging vines that cut off the flow of a healthy, loving marriage.

An ordinary marriage is what breeds the more famous marital diseases like dishonor, infidelity or lack of physical intimacy. I am grateful that Justin and Trisha have made themselves vulnerable to the world so that couples can truly believe that even in the depths of brokenness, it is possible to re-claim God's vision of an extraordinary marriage for all of His children.

Whether you are married or waiting to be someday, the restoration and redemption of their marriage is something you need to read about. My heart is that you will see God's grace in all of this -- how He relentlessly redeems through His goodness, mercy, and grace.

Buy it today and hope that it blesses you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from Tynedale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

True Love

I woke up this morning next to my husband. As I looked at his face in deep slumber, my insides pointed to only one state: I deeply love this human being.


It's been 2,144 days since I married Robert and have woken up next to him almost every morning of those 2,000+ days. One thing I can honestly tell you: I have felt the exact same love (if not more) on every morning that I have woken up next to him.

The kind of giddy love that one feels at the beginning of a blossoming relationship. Combine that giddly love with a much deeper one that can only come from doing life with someone for 10+ years (we met in December 2002).

It's the most incredible kind of human love.

My point is this: to be hopelessly in love with your husband after almost 6 years is possible. Whether you are a single lady waiting on your one true love or have been married for years -- it can be your love story too.

It is okay to want it because it is possible.

My heart for you today: may you be filled with hope and encouragement that a love like this exists and it can happen to you.

I will tell you why in my next blog post.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Word 2013: BREAKTHROUGH

There are about 263,000 words in Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. And yet one word stood out -- at least in my own personal quiet time in the last 14 days.


There is something to be applauded on the beauty of rest at the end of a busy year. My time with Him has just been sweet and unhurried.

His voice sounded so clear in my spirit. I knew, without a doubt, that this was His promise to me and my husband.

As Robert sought our Father in his own personal time with Him, he received the same promise. The very same word: BREAKTHROUGH.

I can probably come up with hundreds of scenarios on how this word will play out in our year. But one thing I am certain of: God's version of a breakthrough is way much bigger than I can ever fathom.

I am also preparing my heart on the possibilities that some things need to be broken (well, the word in itself has 'break' in it) in order for God's renewal to activate in me. Will I ever be ready for it? I honestly don't know. But I am thankful that His strength in me can sustain what my own flesh cannot.

How about you:
Did God put a word in your heart for this year?