Perfect Words

And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. Psalm 12:6

In October my family took a field trip to a pottery festival located an hour of here. We saw miniature displays of how the Koreans made pottery long ago in kilns. It reminded me of reading A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, in which she shows how one small mark can make the clay impure. One character in her story redid his vessel 10x. At the festival, my children participated in a hands-on event, making their own pots along side a potter, using a wheel. As they inscribed their pots, they learned that mistakes were hard to cover up. 

When I read this verse, I was captured by the thought how God’s Words are flawless. No impurities. No revisions or drafts. The first time the Words were written, they were perfect. As a writer, I go through so many drafts, I lose count. 

But God’s Words come from the Author and finisher of our faith. His book is a best seller and has lasted through the centuries and will continue to do so. 

Have you read these important, pure, and perfect words lately? In this Advent season, especially, please put Jesus as the reason for the season and read the Scriptures with your family!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your precious, perfect Words that heal my soul, help with problems, and bring happiness like no other book can. 
In Jesus’ name,



Have Faith, Regardless!

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance… Hebrews 11:13

I was hit by a thought the other day from a Bible study I listened to. I never realized that the people listed in Hebrews 11’s famous Hall of Faith NEVER received things promised. They had probably prayed for things such as Jesus as Messiah, but they died before their prayers were answered. But God commended them for their constant faith, regardless! Oh my goodness!

Now God hasn’t promised to answer my prayers in the way I want Him to, but I wondered–would I still have faith in God if I knew my prayers wouldn’t get answered in my lifetime? For instance, yes, I’d love to live back in the U.S.; but what if God doesn’t allow that to happen?

I continued reading in Hebrews 11, and verse 40 says, God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

I don’t know what God has planned for my future, but whatever it is, must be 1000x better than my current dream.  So I MUST have faith regardless!

How about you? Can you keep the faith regardless?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this record in Hebrews of the godly men and women who kept the faith. I pray that I continue strong in my faith regardless of the outcomes. I trust you for my future.
In Jesus’ name,

What If, God?

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18

Have you ever asked God, “What if? What if such and such doesn’t happen?” I sure have. I went to Iowa in July with my kids and bought homeschool curriculum. I boxed it up into two boxes and mailed them here to South Korea. We received one box within 5 days. The other box is missing! I’ve got an investigation going at the U.S. Post Office, but it’s been almost two months now. We’ve prayed about it, and I keep thinking, what if it never comes? How am I to be an example to my children? Sure, I could pout and quit praying and think God doesn’t hear me. Or I could keep praying and think positively that whoever might have our books will come to know God because there were Christian books in there. For whatever reason, it has been delayed, possibly forever.

According to the verses, Daniel and his friends set an excellent example for what if situations. They had faith God would deliver, but just in case He decided not to, they would still believe in Him.

What is your “what if” question? Are you like Daniel and his friends, that no matter what the outcome, you will still have faith and trust in the God who knows what’s right for you?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the box that we did receive, and I know you can see where our other box is. And for whatever reason it’s delayed or lost, I trust You!
In Jesus’ name,

For 8/21/13, I have my first published devotion at The Upper Room. You can read the devotion here.

I’m also guest blogging for them today as well.

May you have a great, blessed day!

God Knows

…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8

My two children and I recently came back to Korea from a month’s vacation in the United States, visiting my family in Iowa. I had purchased tickets less than two weeks in advance because of a good deal online. However, I was unable to choose seats on the planes, and we would be one three planes, two layovers. So the kids and I started praying right away that we could sit together. And let me tell you, in all cases, God delivered, but still, I was amazed. Let me tell you these awesome stories!

At Incheon airport in Korea, I asked the ticket lady if she could make sure we could sit together on all flights. I don’t remember her saying she could or not, but that there was an immigration problem. So our family ran to the immigration office to square things away as minutes to the flight were ticking away. We literally had to run back and forth from one place to another there. I didn’t even get to glance at our tickets until after I had sat on the plane. Lo and behold, when I checked all our tickets, the kids and I had seats next to each other for every flight to Iowa! I almost cried. 

Then after a month in Iowa, we began praying again for our return flight to Korea. I peeked online, and the long 11 hr flight we were all separated. Maybe that’s good; that way the kids don’t fight 🙂  But I wanted to be with my darlings regardless. However, the man at the Des Moines ticket counter was less promising, couldn’t do anything about it.  So when we reached Denver, I asked the lady, who I think was Japanese. The amazing thing is she had ALREADY changed our seats and printed new tickets. God must have touched her heart and mind to check the children on that flight. God knew our needs ahead of time. 

I’m sharing all this with you so that you don’t need to worry about your problems. God ALREADY knows, and He delivers in His time. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for answering our prayer and keeping us together on all flights. You care about little details. 
In Jesus’ name,

How to Feel Young

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

June is my birthday month, and now I’m another year older. Yikes! And I’ve been working so hard on writing projects early in the morning until late at night that I was feeling exhausted. But when I jogged down by the river, this Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31,  popped into my head. God was reminding me that even though I’m not young anymore, He will provide me with strength to run, soar, walk, and not be weary! All I have to do is put my hope in Him.

I might have more gray hairs and stiffer muscles, but God will make me feel young and strong on the inside!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your strength day by day.

In Jesus’ name,

A Powerful God

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you. 2 Corinthians 13:4

After celebrating a wonderful Easter season celebrating the fact that Jesus is alive and resurrected, I am reminded of God’s power. Who else can raise the dead? Many people make pilgrimages to honorable men’s graves of whom they worshiped, to see the body. But when Christians view the grave of Jesus Christ, His body isn’t there. Our God is alive! Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven. And this same powerful Jesus rules the world. I don’t need to fear when I read the news about conflict on the Korean peninsula. God is in control! And better yet, I have access to that same power, because Jesus is alive through his Holy Spirit in me! 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I’m so thankful you’re a God who’s alive and powerful today, working your will in this world. Help me not to fear or worry about news around the world. You’re in ultimate control. 

In Jesus’ name,

God Is My Agent

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

As a writer, I’d love to have an agent, someone who helps me with my writing career, gets me book contracts, and coaches me on my writing. But the more I think of it, I have someone already who does more than agenting. I have God! He’s like my super-agent. God knows how much I can handle, and He has the best timing.

God knows when to bring things into my life and when to take them away. I’ve been extremely busy with some freelance work, but in the midst God was working. Just the other day, a book proposal was accepted, and I have another book to write for God’s kingdom. Before I started stressing about how I’d get it all completed, God already knew! I have a due date that’s very workable. Thank you, Lord!

How about you? As I shared, God knows the exact timing to bring something or take something away in our lives. As Matt Redman sings, “He gives and takes away.” 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I’m so glad you’re in control of my life and schedule. 

In Jesus’ name,

Thankful Amid Stress

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

The past couple of weeks have been more stressful for me as I started a new freelance job that has taken me out of my comfort zone. Some days I work on the computer 6-8 hours after homeschooling! And to add to that, sometimes the homesickness streak hits at inconvenient times. Last week I was just tired of eating the same foods over and over. I wanted REAL American food. 

God has been teaching me the past month how to be truly thankful. It all started when I began the book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She shares her powerful journey of learning how to be thankful and joyful. One morning when I was feeling all this built-up stress, the short, simple verse of Psalm 136:1 stared at me. My life doesn’t need to be complicated, only thankful because God is good. He knows what He’s doing! 

That reassurance comforted me, and I hope it does you, too. Whatever you’re going through, remember to be thankful in all circumstances. God is good. He knows what He’s doing!

Dear Heavenly Father,
Please forgive me for feeling stressed. I want to thank you for every opportunity and person you bring into my life. I want to share your goodness. 
In Jesus’ name,

Worthless Idols

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8

It’s the beginning of a new year, a time when we hear of everyone’s resolutions and goals. But as I think of my upcoming year, more than all the goals I can set, I want God’s favor or His grace. If you know the story of Jonah and how he was swallowed by a great fish, he forfeited God’s grace.

When I think of the word forfeit, I think of sports. If a team forfeits a game, they give it up. I don’t want to give up all the great things God has planned for me. Instead I want God to pour down his kindnesses upon me and my family. The key?

Don’t cling to worthless idols. Well, I don’t have any statues in my home, but I’ve learned that other things can be my idols such as TV, internet, even my kids…anything or anyone that consumes all my time. God wants first place in my life. 

So that’s one of my goals this year…to receive God’s grace by putting Him first. How? By reading the Bible more, praying more, listening to Bible studies… Wouldn’t it be awesome to know and receive everything God has planned for me this year?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I look forward to this year of 2013 and all that you have planned for me. Help me not to cling to worthless idols and only to cling to You. 
In Jesus’ name,