“You are unattractive! Unwanted! Unloved!” Believing these lies distorted my self-worth, killed my dream and almost destroyed my life.
Being born in a poor and dysfunctional family in Vietnam, I was not allowed to be in school beyond the elementary level. I was ashamed of being identified as an unloved and low-educated person. I thought if I excelled in my accomplishment, people would love me. So, I became a perfectionist myself and worked very hard to earn a nursing degree after I arrived in the U.S. Outwardly, I was proud of my achievement. Inwardly, I felt insecure, inadequate and unconfident about myself. Read more
By Peter Chow
“…yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
For most, 2020 has been a challenging year…the pandemic…social distancing…shelter-in-place….lockdowns. There are a lot of negativities when we think about these words. But despite these circumstances, a few things that God has been teaching me through all this are that He is always working in everyone’s lives — including MINE and that each and every day, there is always something we can rejoice in the Lord about.
During the last session of our Missions Conference, Pastor Brett really spoke to me about the dire needs of many living in our county. But he also offered hope…if 160,000 households gave $730 each, $117 million of rent debt could be erased immediately. So the very next morning, I wanted to participate in this cause and decided to donate $1000. God has blessed me so generously throughout the year and this was the least I could do. Two things happened after this that totally demonstrated God wanted to speak to me through this.
A couple of days after I donated, I received a postcard in the mail. It was to notify me that I am part of a class action lawsuit against a car manufacturer because of a faulty part which caused unreasonable repairs. This was a car that I no longer owned, but in fact I did pay for those repairs 4 years ago. I just had to fill out the form and I could get back up to $1000! At that point, I knew this was a ‘God-thing’ — it was no coincidence. It’s not like I get these postcards everyday — but I do get a few of these postcards throughout the year. Anyways, I submitted the form online but who knows, as a lot of times nothing will come out of this so it’s not a guarantee that I will get any money back. But the fact that it was for $1000 really confirmed that God was prompting me to make the donation.
Exactly, a week after I donated, I received a letter in the mail. It looked like a check. It was from some Claim Administrator. I opened the letter to confirm that it was a check but I didn’t look at the amount until later. Usually these checks don’t amount to much. I think I’ve gotten between $5 to $40 from these similar checks before. Later that night, when I looked at the check more closely, I became speechless and astounded. It was for $1,029.19! I did some research and found out that I had submitted this claim a year ago.
The point of this writing is not to say that when you donate, you should expect God to give you back the money. What I am most happy about is the fact that God wanted me to participate in His cause, He confirmed it, and how He revealed Himself to me through this incident. When you have been a Christian for a long time, sometimes it feels these things only happen to other people. I’m so glad that this time it happened for me. In the bigger picture, I learned that God is really the CFO of all my finances — I just work in the finance department….with JOY!!!
I served at the Women’s Empower One this year. When it came to serving time as a prayer minister I was attacked with a stomach ache. I prayed to God and said, “I know you called me to serve you right now, I can’t if my stomach aches. In Jesus’ name heal me. I reject the enemy’s scheme; God’s plan is much bigger.” Within 5 mins, my stomach ache left my body and I was able to pray for the ladies for the next 2 hours.
Earlier in the week, during my fasting time, as a passing thought, I thought if I prayed in word pictures, it’ll be cool. As we were in prayer time, the Holy Spirit just downloaded pictures into my mind to prayer over the women. Very cool!
The Bible teaching was on Joseph’s story. This story has always resonated with me. God reminded me to surrender my broken family relationships in my natural family to Him. I do not need to agonize over it. If He wills, in time the broken relationships can be miraculously mended. God reminded me that He has granted me a huge spiritual family that has been through various life stages with me. Christ’s body lifted me up in prayer, we witnessed miracles together, and He is helping me grow a stronger faith in the Lord Jesus.
I am thankful to Jesus for a spiritually soul refreshing time at the 1st Virtual Empower Women’s Retreat. Nothing can hinder the Holy Spirit from working…not distance, not space, not even different time zones.