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David
I'm a Filipino-American from Illinois doing missionary work in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, with my wife, Sarah, and my children, Carmen and Jacob.
Interests: I am interested in songwriting, reading, running, writing, singing, volleyball, playing blues on my guitar, hiking, jazz piano playing, and basketball. I am an avid Chicago Cubs fan and crazy about the The Bears. I believe in The Big Blue Nation where the UK Wildcats rule in all basketball games.
Recent Activity
Sunday morning. Watching online services. Participating in various streaming video recordings and live worship experiences of local church services from all over the world. Listening to songs and sermons from pastors I personally know and some speakers, not too familiar, recommended by various friends. Singing along in my heart. Some songs are new, a few are familiar. Singers and speakers using different languages, some I am familiar with and on some instances unintelligible. Nonetheless, worship happens. Regardless of the many differing circumstances, God comes and visits me this Sunday morning, and I am joining countless others worshipping our Almighty Lord.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2020 at David's Reflections
Mrs. Li is a neighbor and a friend. She works as a “collector of recycled materials,” gathering paper, throw-away plastics, and used clothes, and selling them to the nearby recycling company. She comes to our house and collects our stuff at least once a week. She is close to 80 years old and despite her age she still patrols our neighborhood for any recycling stuff. Lately, she has been frequenting our place because of the ever increasing number of items that I am trying to dispose of. Old computers, used clothes, unwanted books, and tons of knick knacks that we... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2020 at David's Reflections
Because God is a Father to the fatherless, the protector of the weak, and a companion to the sojourner, then we should actively pursue services to the poor, the migrants, the widows, the defenseless orphans, the refugees, and other destitute people in all our missions work and Christian endeavors. (Psalm 68:5; Zechariah 7:9-10; Leviticus 19:9-10; James 1:27; and Luke 6:20) Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2020 at David's Reflections
Let me start with a story about a tree that gives comfort. When I was growing up in the Philippines as a young boy of twelve, I lived in a place that is very remote and accessible only by hours of walking. My cousins and I would hike to the nearby barrio for hours just to buy some food supplies, such as sugar, cooking oil, or bags of rice. On this particular hiking trail, we would often stop at one point under a huge mango tree. This is the mango variety where the fruit is fibrous and small, but extremely... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2020 at David's Reflections
Today’s talk is on the theme of God’s visit in our lives. I will be sharing from Psalm 8:1-9, and talk about the sweetness and intimacy of the visit of the Spirit of God. I am hoping that, just like the Psalmist, we respond and say: “Oh Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” One of my missionary friend tells me of his experience with God’s visit. He is used to seeing God’s miracles and power from his everyday life. These are ordinary occurrences in the missions field. But with regards to God’s sweet visit, he experiences... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2020 at David's Reflections
(Below is a prayer and response to today’s turmoil happening in the city streets of the USA.) Our Father in heaven, your word says we must agree “wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” We must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians 2:2-5 NLT). We have failed you dear Father. We have lost the ability to look... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2020 at David's Reflections
(Premika Tamang of South Asia shares her journey of God’s healing in her life.) In August of 2012, we, the sisters and women of the church, started a ministry, a Prayer Fellowship. I was asked to lead in the area of healing and prayer. Although the vision seemed very good at first, I had no idea how to speak about healing. It was very difficult for me to speak in front of many people. Besides, I never had such an amazing healing in my own life. I was very worried. I thought it would be easier for me to speak... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2020 at David's Reflections
Paul lived in Rome for two whole years. The Book of Acts concluded its twenty-eight chapters with the statement: “. . . proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28:31) What a hopeful and victorious way of concluding a book. Let us not forget that Paul went through many trials and difficulties. He was unjustly imprisoned, publicly flogged like a common criminal, rejected by his countrymen many times, stoned, shipwrecked, and wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit. And on top of these, he was, at... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at David's Reflections
Nowadays, people are talking about ways of celebrating life after the end of these lockdowns and quarantine brought about by this Covid-19 pandemic. Do we have to wait? Can’t we celebrate now while we are in the midst of this crisis? Let me suggest some ways of celebration. I will limit my sharing time in the area of the spiritual discipline of celebration. I think practicing this discipline will bring some sanity to our lives, at the least, and usher in joy and freedom, at the most, which only God can give. Spiritual disciplines will give us focus in our... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at David's Reflections
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Due to the government restrictions on meetings consisting of big groups of people, our local churches here in Taiwan have cancelled our Sunday church services. This change of plans is the direct result of the Covid19 pandemic. We at Higher Ground International Fellowship (HGIF), a Filipino and Chinese congregation I am helping with, are doing online services. We are recording everything and posting our services on live stream media. God is good. Church is still going on. One challenge is the practice of serving the Lord’s Supper. Because of this restriction and lockdown we choose to meet at our homes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at David's Reflections
(This is a sermon I shared at a church on Easter Day, 2020.) Good morning everyone. Christ is risen! And your response is: “He is risen indeed.” Let us do that one more time. I say, Christ is risen. And your response is . . . . Today is Resurrection Sunday. We will talk about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and talk about the depth of our “knowing” him. How much do you know Jesus? Let me start with a question. Pick a family member, a good friend, or a love one whom you know very well. Here... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at David's Reflections
(This is sermon shared at a church in 2019.) Good morning! Today is Easter, or what we call Resurrection Sunday. We greet each other by saying: “He is risen!” And your response is: “He is risen, indeed!” Let us look at the biblical story of the first encounter with the resurrection of Jesus. We will reflect on the experiences of John and Mary Magdalene, and their responses to that first day of the week, the first day when they learned Jesus has risen from the dead. Let us read John 20:3-10: “So Peter went out with the other disciple, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2020 at David's Reflections
I want to share with you a person’s change of heart. I want to paint a picture of his movement from being a brash proclaimer to becoming a sensitive cross cultural missionary. This person is the great apostle Paul. Let me start with a verse describing Paul’s way of ministry. He goes to a place of prayer. He sits down with women and talks to them. (Acts 16:13) I think this is unusual for Paul to do. I say this because from an earlier narrative, we see Paul rebuking demons, confronting authorities, preaching fearlessly to Jewish men at a synagogue,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2020 at David's Reflections
(This is a sermon I shared last February 9, 2020.) There is a common greeting we often use in the Christian circles. It says: “I thank God for you.” Whenever you remember a friend who has prayed for you, or a pastor who has mentored you to Christian maturity, you can thank them for their help. Let us be thankful today that we are able to worship God as a community. Please turn to your seat mates and say “I thank God for you.” Paul uses this sentence in his opening remarks in his letter to the Corinthians. If we... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2020 at David's Reflections
This coming Easter Sunday, I will be dedicating Baby Tala, a year old baby from one of our international family here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. With the Corona virus outbreak, however, we are thinking of creative ways to continue with the baby dedication ceremony. What are a the ways of celebrating a baby dedication without touching, being present to each other, or speaking at close range? How can we continue with the ceremony, and still respect other members who are taking serious precaution against the spread of an infection? Would a virtual meeting do justice to the occasion? What would you... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2020 at David's Reflections
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Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are here in Taiwan. The group I am familiar with is Higher Ground International Fellowship (HGIF). This is a group of OFWs who are working in the electronics sector here in the city of Kaohsiung. Some of its members are married to Taiwanese families. Zen, Edz, and Aying are three OFWs who are actively involved with the Filipino community here. They are also connected to our Creator-Savior through different church activities by helping other Filipinos located in the vicinity of HGIF, which is somewhere in Nandzi, north of Kaohsiung. OFW connection means Filipinos reaching out to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at David's Reflections
Happy New Year!!! Our neighbor next door came up to us and gave us a gift. She said: “Happy New Year!” I love living in Taiwan. People here are very friendly. This happens very often. Even if it is not a holiday. Last night, we went out for a dinner celebration with a Taiwanese family who lives close to us. They gave my children Hong-Bao (red envelope). We are so grateful for their friendship. We have known them for almost ten years now. I love living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Whenever I am away, I miss Taiwan’s hospitality and remember my... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2020 at David's Reflections
Happy Chinese New Year!!! Here in Taiwan, every family is celebrating. There are many ways people express their joy for the new year, but mostly these happen around the family circle. Meals around the family table, hot-pot dinner with friends, and sometimes an occasional visit to the mall for some recreation—the modern version of celebrating an event. For us, we will be seeing one of our neighbors at the mall. Ted, Kouching, and their early-20s daughter, Jocelyn, will meet with the four of us, Sarah, Carmen, Jacob, and I, at a nearby mall for some Thai food. It will be... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2020 at David's Reflections
What is the point of being faithful in little things? Is it for humility’s sake only? Many parables of Jesus teaches us about humility. These teachings present God’s ways as starting in small things. Only later do we see the rewards coming. Now usually, the rewards speak of great things and of plenty, almost the opposite of the small things. These rewards are often times described as the abundance that is inherent in the “fruitful life” of a Christian. There is truth to this description. However, if we go back to our original question, there is more to the “small... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2020 at David's Reflections
Dear Joanne. It is good to hear from you. How are you? How is the winter season in Illinois? Are you coping with the cold? How is Joe? I often think of him and the significant years he has spent here in Asia, especially in Taiwan. Right now, I am in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Have you been to Chiang Mai before? I know you have traveled a lot around the Philippines and to other Asian countries. I was just not sure if you have been to this beautiful city of Chiang Mai. We just finished a day of meetings yesterday... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at David's Reflections
I love December. I remember when I would look forward to one NCAA men’s basketball game, the much anticipated match-up between Louisville and Kentucky, and make plans with my buddies to watch it at a nearby restaurant (the one with a big screen television) after office hours. You can tell where my priorities are, right. I love December. I remember in the Philippines, when I was 12 years old, and my friends and I would brave the “chilly morning” before sunrise to hunt for spiders, the kind that lives in tall grass (cogon) and we can keep as our champion... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2019 at David's Reflections
What I will share today is about God’s covenant and his promise of restoration in our lives. This centers on the idea of re-building houses and cities so that “songs of thanksgiving” will come to us. When God is our covenant God, then God’s story becomes our very own story. We will look at the example of Jeremiah and the experience of the people of Israel during their time of exile in a foreign country. Jeremiah 30:18-22 states: “Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold,  I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2019 at David's Reflections
Different Strokes For (Maybe) Different Folks In the Book of Acts, Peter gives two different sermons for two different groups of listeners. The first one was the Sermon at Pentecost and the second one was the Sermon at Solomon’s Porch. Both sermons highlights the resurrection of Jesus and the eyewitness accounts of the apostles and disciples of Jesus. (See Acts 2:32 and 3:15) Also, both sermons resulted in thousands coming to salvation in Christ. Allow me to give you in broad strokes some differences that is obvious in Acts chapters 2-4. Sermon one was a response to the speaking of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2019 at David's Reflections
Here in South Asia, I had the privilege of meeting two prayer warriors, Mr. Tamang and Mr. Abishek. They are already in their mid-70s, and yet, they are able to walk for days in the mountains, slowly traversing mountain trails for the purpose of praying for churches, local pastors, and families. They give a little twist to the Christian meaning of “Prayer Mountains.” What they would do is visit an area whenever there are Christian events or ministries that are soon to take place. They came to our meeting place in Bear-jet and prayed for our time of training and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2019 at David's Reflections
“Houston, we have a problem.” So, the saying goes. But this time around, it is a good problem. We planned for our Annual Meeting here in this South Asian city for a time of teaching, meetings, certifying our (Conference Ministerial Candidates) CMCs, and consultation with our local partners. We prepared for 50 people to meet here, but we counted 80 persons in attendance. Most of us are here because we want to celebrate this first meeting for this region and to encourage our first candidates (CMCs). We certified 20 pastors. In the years to come, these will become ordained and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at David's Reflections