Behind the Scene

One of the blessings I will forever be grateful to God is to have the gift of administration (1 Corinthians 12:28).  Having this gift has allowed me to take responsibilities that I didn’t know I am capable of doing, not just for the church but even at my work place or in my own personal day to day life. The credit all goes to God for entrusting me to do all types of work that He has been preparing me to do.

And do you know what’s great about this gift? It allows you to see what’s happening behind the scene. You get the privilege to see how God works and makes things happen.

Last weekend (June 9-11), our church (CCF Vancouver) went for our first ever church retreat focused on intentional discipleship. Our church leaders asked me to help in organizing the retreat, and as always, it is a privilege for me. No better way to use my time than doing things for the Lord.

When you plan for an event, your enemy is perfection. Of course, you want everything to go as you expect it to be, that includes the things that you can’t even control like weather. But just like any event I have helped organized, not everything we planned went smoothly. That’s why it is very important for me to always let the Holy Spirit lead me. It is not easy when you want to be in control of the flow. But God was not just at work for the event, He was also at work with my heart.

By God’s grace, I learned to submit and recognize the authority of the leaders of the church. As we did planning, there were disagreements but I always reminded myself that God gives wisdom to our leaders to make the right decisions as the Spirit led them. So, if I have to adjust schedules of the event, I must submit. I tell you, it’s never easy.

By God’s grace, I learned to say no to activities that will take my time to focus on planning. Weeks before the camp, I had to free up my weekdays after work so that I can work on preparations for the camp. I had to turn down invitations. It was not easy but I am no superwoman. I can only do much for a day.

By God’s grace, I learned to be more patient. During the last days before the camp, there were so many last minute changes and concerns which some required coordination back and forth. These things were inevitable. And all I can do was to ask God to just sustain me and give me the right heart. It wasn’t easy.

God showed to me that despite my lack of and my weaknesses, He can accomplish great things because it is His work. All His doing.

When the sunny forecast months before turned to a heavy rain forecast weeks before the event, we kept praying. God heard our prayer! We never experienced rain all throughout the weekend. Even if the forecast for the day showed potential rain, rain did not come. We were able to enjoy our outdoor activities, our baptism  and our camp fire fellowship. Only God can do that.

Weeks before the camp, as I was finalizing room assignments, I had some challenges. All I did was really pray that everyone will find their accommodation comfortable. Then, last minute changes happened which surprisingly helped resolve the challenges I had. A family has to cancel because of a sad news that they had to leave the country on the day of the retreat. God reminded me that indeed He is the one who could only appoint people to be in a certain place, event and time.  With that incident, God showed me how He can use something unfortunate into something good for His work. He cares about the details.

God also provided us a beautiful venue for the retreat – Camp Charis.  It’s not just the place but also the people who worked at Camp Charis. They were very accommodating with our last minute requests. I saw God working through them. Everything we needed, they were able to provide. Only God can do that. Indeed, no one can hamper His plans.

When we had our second round of baptism, we thought we will not be able to use the pool when we changed our time. Nothing can stop the work of God. The group who reserved to use the pool decided not to use it as they had to leave immediately at that time. Just amazing! To add, there were 7 people who planned to be baptized but it turned into 17 people including our NxtGen Kids! Amazing!

One of my favorite to witness behind the scene was the work of the volunteers. On the day of the event, all I did was coordination. The volunteers were the ones who were doing things in action. They used their gifts, talents and skills for God’s work.  There is no big or small gift, talent or skill.  All are needed to do the work of God. And it’s just amazing to see and discover potentials of people.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another… Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

I can not put into this blog everything I experienced with God behind the scene. In every little detail, He was there.  It was a Spirit-filled retreat. And my prayer, that retreat would leave marks in the lives of all who were there to cause them to act to the purpose of why they were in that retreat in the first place. And that is to pursue INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP. Same prayer goes to myself.

To God be the glory!!!

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 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

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Weekend Movies: Full out and Waffle Street

If you are looking for great comeback movies – these two movies are for you! Based on real life stories – a gymnast and a financier!

My take away from the two movies:

  • Never give up the thing that you are good in doing
  • In the midst of adversity, never stop helping and encouraging people
  • Don’t be afraid to have a fresh start! (Even if that means cleaning up a clogged toilet)
  • Never forget the people who were there for you when you were at your lowest
  • Find a life mentor/friend!

 

Struggle of a Discipler

My heart was troubled for the past days. This got triggered when I learned something about someone so dear to me. It somehow broke my heart for the fact that she did not tell me about it immediately when she has been open to me about a lot of things. And also, the fact that she pursues something that somehow I thought she would be wiser and spiritually mature enough to make such choice.

Three important things that God is teaching me these past days.

One – this circumstance made me reflect on how I should be as a discipler. I went back to the One who started it all. How was Jesus as a discipler? How was Jesus when He knew that Judas would betray Him? When Peter would deny Him? When the disciples hid and ran away? All of these did not stop Jesus to love them and all the more He prayed for them. I got reminded (not the first time) of how I have to let go the people that God has entrusted me to disciple. Let go, meaning not to stop discipling them but to let God take care of them when they choose certain things which we might think would not be good for them.

Second – this also reminded me of God’s heart. I realize that if my heart aches for my disciples when they choose to do things that are not in obedience to God, God’s heart who has the perfect standard must be aching more for all of us when we do things that are not pleasing to Him.

Lastly – it also made me reflect being a disciple. I realize that I, myself also do not tell everything to my discipler. It could be that I feel like I am not doing anything wrong or I could be scared that I might get judged or I just don’t feel the need of telling. And probably, the girls I disciple are also feeling the same thing that’s why they don’t tell me the things that I thought they would tell me. For whatever reason, I must learn to respect and just continue trusting God who knows the deepest of their hearts.

Overall, I am humbled. God reminded me that the most important that I can do for the girls I disciple are to love them and pray for them. I am also truly grateful for the disciplers that God has used to help me in my walk with Him. I am thankful that they allowed me to depend not on them but on God alone.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (Jesus’ prayer for the disciples – John 17)

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It is FINISHED.

This weekend, I got reminded of one important thing. You see, every year, I always have a list of goals that I want to accomplish. It’s already half of the year and I only have one thing crossed out from my list. I felt like I haven’t done enough for the past six months. I was starting to be hard on myself.

Yesterday, in my quiet time, I read the story about the woman with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume who used it all  up for Jesus (Matthew 26:7-11). Of course, she got an indignant remark from some of the people who were there. They thought she just wasted it when she could have sold it for a high price. However, Jesus was pleased with her. And that’s what only matters to her.

 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10)

As I was reflecting on it, it made me ask the questions – “What is important for me?”,        “Why am I getting anxious of not being able to accomplish the things in my list of goals?”, “What does that make me if I won’t get them done?”.

I got too caught up with a checklist that I forgot the one main important thing. I forgot that no matter how long my list would get and no matter how much I have or have not accomplished from that list, neither can increase nor diminish God’s love and view of me. God does not really care what I have today and what I don’t have tomorrow.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED.”  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

I forgot that Jesus already finished the one thing I can never do for myself. To save myself from trying to accomplish a lot of things when He already promised that He will give me an abundant life as long as I have Him in my life (John 10:10). The events in my life do not define the kind of person I am. Who I am becoming is what matters to God and because that’s what only matters to Him, I only want to be defined through His Son, Jesus.

The three words – IT IS FINISHED are such comforting words knowing that what I need to do in my life is just really to please God on the kind of person I am becoming. I want to become that same woman from the story who does not live a life defined by her accomplishments  but a life that Jesus would say, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

I’m Princess Pepay. A Work In Progress!

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Utterly Grateful

Throughout this birthday week, God has reminded me of how blessed I am with relationship. In all honesty, I am never used with people who are not my family in going out of their way just to show me how much I mean to them. I am humbled and grateful. Learning from the past, I’ve learned to lower my expectation on people to avoid being hurt and disappointed. I have to learn and re-learn how to give without expecting anything.

Probably that’s the reason why I always feel overwhelmed on any gesture (nothing is little or big for me) of goodness and kindness from people. It’s a blessing you can’t contain.

“It’s the thought that counts.” That is so true for me. I may not be able to express it properly, but I truly appreciate the time, the prayer, the thought, the present, the encouragement,  the greetings, the conversation, and even just checking on me if I’m doing okay. Every time someone blesses me, I always think of ways on how I can pay it back. I just feel like I don’t deserve such blessing. Then, God would just remind me that I have to learn as well to accept and receive with humility. That I should also allow people to bless me as it is a privilege for them as well. Same that to bless others is also a privilege for me.

Thinking about all of these, I am also reminded of how GOD as a GIVER is. Everything He provides, He does not expect anything. Indeed, we can never out-give God. We think that we are giving back so much to Him – our time, our resources, our wealth. But the truth is, the amount of blessing He gives to us is immeasurable. All we need to do is to open our two hands and receive His blessing.

And do you know what is the greatest gift that He can give us? His Son Jesus. I owe my life to Jesus. He is the ONLY ONE who can never disappoint me. He is the ONLY ONE who can live up to my expectations. Jesus is the ONLY ONE who saved me from all the pits that I have fallen into without expecting anything in return. He is the source of my joy, my peace and my strength. He is a GIFT none can compare.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10

If you want to know more about Jesus, feel free to message me 🙂

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A recap of my 32nd birthday

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your kindness and goodness! You know who you are 🙂 I can’t believe my mom prepared so much food on my birthday even if I am away from them!! Family Love is the best! ❤ ❤ ❤ And yes, I got a hair cut and for the first time have highlights on my hair! *winkwink*

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For the love of Fatburger…

I just have to write about this before I sleep tonight or else this will just be another item in my blog list.

It’s been a while since I had the biggest laugh in my life. The kind of laugh that gives you stomachache and headache after. If you know what I mean. 🙂

This was a non-typical night for our discipleship group. We usually do our fellowship at Marj’s place in Surrey. However, there was a reason for a “burger” celebration that we had a long week of discussion of where to eat burger. Options were: Fatburger Lougheed, Fatburger Whiterock, Fatburger Langley. Yes, anywhere as long as it’s Fatburger. 😀

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Tonight was more of an accountability night, just sharing and listening to each other’s life stories. No filter, raw and honest. It’s such a blessing that some of us singles get to learn from the married women in the group.

The most important thing I have learned tonight is about being “intentional”. For all of us to meet and really commit to go to Fatburger no matter where that is, that is being intentional. It’s never about the burger. 🙂 It’s being intentional in our relationships – to our families, to our friends, to our church, to our small group. If we want our relationships to improve, we need to make an effort for it. We have to be intentional if we expect change and results.I know this is not something new, however, it’s just good to be reminded about it. And humbling. 

Tonight, I thank God for these amazing women whom I get to share stories, eat burger and laugh out loud (literally) with.

And thank you to Fatburger Lougheed for being so nice of not kicking us out even if we stayed a little bit past their closing time (we didn’t know, sorry…)

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Accountability over Fatburger

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Let praying be a cliché

Last night, while waiting for my friend at the mall, I was reading the news about the attacks in Paris. Just by reading it, you can feel the anger, fear and mourning of the people. And being in the mall, you can see the exact opposite of it. People went on with their shopping, strolling, chatting happily. 

Then, thoughts and questions came in. How much of these people I see at the mall are aware with what’s going on with the rest of the world? How much of these people even care? How much of these people even know how blessed they are to have so much freedom? How much of these people know about God’s Word about the end times? How much of these people know Jesus? 

Then, later in the night, I saw more people in Facebook sharing posts to pray for Paris. And even today, profile photos were updated with the shades of France’ flag. 

Then, more questions popped out again. How should we really pray? What should we really pray for? Do we just pray for Paris? Or, do we also pray for all victims of persecution, terrorism, abuse and slavery all over the world? 

To be honest, when I was praying today, I did not even know anymore what I exactly I should be praying for. When God is very clear in His Word that all of these are expected to happen. And even worst in days to come. Can we pray to stop terrorism? Can we pray to stop killings and persecutions? 

Then, God reminded me to first be thankful because all of these will pass away. However, we should never cease praying. Praying that more people will come to the light of the gospel through all of these happenings. Those people at the mall, the victims, even the terrorists, our friends, our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, our government leaders. That through the gospel, people will realize that in the midst of trembling and fear, there is a lasting peace and joy in having a relationship with Jesus. We may not experience it in this lifetime but in the promised time to come. 

We may never understand all of these things today, but there is only one thing we can always be assured of. In Jesus, we are already victorious. 

I pray that as we all desire to pray for Paris, may we pray not just for Paris but for all the victims of terrorism, persecution and slavery as well all over the world. I pray that praying will not just become a trend just because something bad happened. I pray that we will pray to the point of weeping and breaking of our hearts for those people also who are so lost and deceived by their own beliefs. 

Let praying be not just a one time thing but a constant call out to God in every moment of our life.