Last Sunday, Janina, Ryan and I joined a duathlon. Ryan, who’s 14, and I tried it last year and wanted to do it again this year. Janina, our 19-year-old, wanted to join us. Nathan also wanted to race but he got sick last minute.

Since it was the first time for Janina, I wanted it to be a pleasant experience for her that she would want to do it again next time. So I paced with her to guide her throughout the race.

Since it was a duathlon, the sequence was run then bike then run again. In the last leg, we were in our last couple of kilometers. We were tired and worn out. So our plan was to do a slow run, maybe even walk for a minute right before the last kilometer so that we can finish strong. Of course, we need to finish strong for the cameras and Instagram. 🙂

But right before we were at the point of the slow run/walk, out of the blue, Janina’s best friend, Hannah showed up. She surprised her. This gave Janina a boost and totally forgot about her exhaustion.

The Bible says in John 14:16 that the Holy Spirit is our ‘parakletos’ – helper, advocate, and comforter. When we say comfort, we usually think of ease and freedom from hardship. But comfort comes from 2 words. “Com” for “with” and “fort” for “strength” where we get the word fortitude.

The way Hannah gave Janina a boost of strength in the last kilometer of the race, the Holy Spirit has the ability to strengthen us for this life’s race we are running. And the awesome thing is that He doesn’t just do it in the last leg, but He has the ability to empower us the whole time.

Holy Spirit, strengthen us for this week. We acknowledge and honor You as our Comforter, Advocate, and Helper. Because of this truth, as we surrender and yield to your leadership, we know that this week will work out for my good and ultimately for God’s glory. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Here are several photos from the race…


Blog Banners.001By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)

Our deepest desire as Christ followers is to glorify God. But it is possible that in our attempts to do so, we end up doing just the opposite? We try to glorify God but it results in giving credit to ourselves because of self-effort.

Jesus said that He is the Vine and we are the branches. We cannot accomplish anything apart from Him. When we are connected to Him, there is life. When we abide, we bear fruit – fruit that will last. On the contrary, if we are disjointed from Him, we may bear fruit, but unfortunately, it doesn’t last because we do it from the energy we conjure on our own rather than life that streams from the main Vine.

And this is the promise as we abide:

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

I pray that as we begin our week, we will abide not by our own strength but by the strength we are able to receive because we are connected to Jesus. Connect to Him by reading the Word, by conversing with Him through prayer and by walking with men and women who do the same.

Have a great week ahead!


PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flatworldsedge/7948178288/


We had our Ryan checked by a doctor yesterday. Intermittently, he has been having severe pain. He’s still under observation period to see what’s the problem. Hopefully it’s not appendicitis but really just hyperacidity or even hyperactivity (because he really is super active… just can’t sit still :)).

Pain has a way of alerting us to something we need to address – a problem, an issue, an obstacle.

Ryan took antacid. We’re not sure if that’s the solution yet but at least we are aware of the problem.

For many of us, we want pain to go away… or better yet, to never experience any at all.

But God designed pain for a few reasons…

  • To tell us something is wrong.  When there’s pain, we then make the necessary adjustments to address the situation.
  • To teach us a lesson. Touching a hot stove once will teach us not to do it again. Pain does have a way to show us which ones to avoid.
  • To remind us that we need God’s grace… everyday!

C.S. Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Psalm 30:5 says, “…Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

What a comfort! What a relief!

Pain is inevitable but misery is optional. Which is why we need to plug into the real source of joy – Jesus.

His joy… our strength.



David was one stressed out dude.

Coming from Aphek/Jezreel, he was sent back to Ziklag by King Achish.

To his horror, he found his city destroyed and house burned down after the raid by the Amalekites.  To top that, his family was taken together with all that they owned.

If that wasn’t enough, his mighty men and closest friends thought about stoning him because they were all distressed because they too lost their homes, families and possessions.

Not sure if you can relate with him.  But let me take it closer to home.

You just found out that your dad has cancer.
You won’t have a job at the end of the month because your contract is ending.
All your investments were lost because of the economic crisis.
Your professor just told you that you flunked your chemistry class and you have to take summer classes.
Your husband is having an affair.

What do you do?

The Bible said when David cried and had no more strength left weep, he found strength somewhere else.

“David was greatly distressed … But David found strength in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)

Finding yourself in an impossible situation will cause you to try to look for diversions – movie, friends, massage, TV series, Cheetos, hazelnut latte, etc.

All that’s not bad and it will probably work … temporarily.

You see,“There is no genuine strength until it is found in God alone.”

Find rest in Him.


I grew up thinking that the busier I am for God, the more spiritual I become.  It is possible these days for people even in full time ministry (like me) to be so busy for the kingdom that we don’t get to spend time with the king.

As Steve Murrell would put it – there’s a difference between working for God and walking with God.

Isaiah was not exempt and neither was the people of Israel.  God told them that “in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Is. 30:15)

Real and genuine rest can only be found in Him.

I love it when St. Augustine said,
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

Next time you need strength – shush, be quiet and get connected to the Source.