Saturday, August 30, 2008

State Fair

We spent many hours at the fair yesterday. Some 120,000 people visit the fair every day. I like that setting- big crowd, barbecue smoke filling the area, smelly armpits, shuttle rides, sky rides, "other" rides I don't ever take (e.g. extreme swing), shops in tents, ice cream, sugar candy, cinnamon roles, humangoes turkey leg, petting sheep and piglets, watching a cow giving birth and miles of walking under the sun- I mean under my umbrella. Can you believe it? I was the only who used an umbrella yesterday- one in 120,000 people! That's something! Really!

Ethiopian Attire

A friend of ours from Ethiopia sent traditional costumes for Izzy and me. Paul thought that the bigger dress was for him so he wore it. Later, we were informed that it was for me. But that's fine, what's mine is his and it doesn't hurt if he wears my dress from time to time. It definitely won't make him less of a man. LOL!

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's #2 is a Beauty Titlist!

Yesterday morning was never one of those lazy ones for me and Izzy. For one, Paul was home. He took a day off from work so we could go to the State Fair in St. Paul. But what really gave us the jump start in the morning was the excitement to find out who McCain would choose to run as his Vice President. In the middle of our breakfast, Paul checked the news in the internet and found out that McCain chose Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. As early as 9 am we turned on the TV to see who this woman was and what kind of personality she had. We could not afford to see another effusive and angry woman. We could not wait to find out if she was one of those crabby, sassy celebrity-faced politicians!

After two and a half hours, McCain and his family finally appeared on stage at the campaign event in Ohio live on Fox news. When he introduced Palin, we were so happy to see a woman with so much grace, sincere smile, confidence and authentic beauty. When she spoke, her voice and gestures were so feminine and her words were a breath of fresh air. Her speech was definitely inspiring as opposed to the disheartening speeches of the two famous women in the Democratic Party. She didn't tear opponents down but praised their determination and grace in their dream to lead the country. Watching her and her lovely family on stage made me think that she wasn't one of those traditional politicians who crave for power. Well, it is such a relief to see a sane politician in the midst of all the outlandish politicism that is going on in this country.

To know more about Governor Sarah Palin...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

HC Disease

Listening to the speeches at the Democratic Party Convention over the past few days has let me see an epidemic that is going on in the planet that the left wing occupies, I would call it a HC (Hillary Clinton) Disease. This particular disease infects the whole brain make-up of an individual. Symptoms include:

1. Criticizing President Bush from head to toe at all times. (I wonder if they ever pray for him.)
2. Telling the world that the economy in America is in dire straits. Painting a picture of this nation as a place for millions of hungry, sick and neglected people.
3. Creating strong but angry women leaders and women followers.
4. Planning to create a socialist government system in health insurance policy by forcing the wealthy Americans to pay for the health insurance of the poor. I am pretty sure it would be done by increasing the taxes of the already high tax rate for the wealthy. It is one thing when the wealthy offers their riches to help the poor but it's another thing to force them to do so.
5. Referring the baby in the a mother's womb as a potential life rather than LIFE.
6. Infection in the mouth area that causes all of them to say the same sentences, "this is a fight for the future!" and "we need change!"
7. Saying that Iraq war is wrong but voted for it in the past.
8. Bloviating!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Her Friends

Belle and her friends from church. All three of them love to play in the sand. They play together at least twice a week. This is where she rehearses her social skills.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Assistant President?

What was Obama talking about when he told the Democratic Convention delegates in Denver, CO and the whole America last night that Michelle, his wife, is going to be his Assistant President??? He said this live from another city after his wife's speech at the party convention. And talking about her speech, she sounded a different person last night after all the "hate talks" she had in the past. She seemed to triumph in her dream to depict herself as an ideal homemaker rather than a strong advocate of feminism. And what is the drama behind her extreme visibility nowadays? It seems to me that she has big political dreams for herself- launching a career in national politics. It makes sense that her husband called her his future Assistant President. Well, as far as I know, America will not be electing an Assistant President, so they can stop this dilusion.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Scenic Sunday

Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, MN. The shore of this lake is great for afternoon walks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Divine Healing

Growing up, doctors were not really the first thing that came to our mind when we got sick. We never had health insurance. Hospitals were not really thought of until we reached the point of "50/50" chance of surviving. I, myself, had never gone or been confined in a hospital until a few years ago when I needed a general medical exam for my US visa. How did my family survive from all of the epidemic diseases that had spread in our country during those years? We ran to God for divine healing.

With the certain form of euthanasia being legalized in one of the states in the US, people will start trusting God for healing again. This euthanasia, I was informed, was created due to the refusal of some of the insurance companies to fund the care for the aged who are undergoing way too expensive medication and are struggling to live. Apparently, the doctor's role here is to give them doses of chemical that slowly ushers them to death. And it is being done with the consent of the family, of course. Whatever... euthanasia is euthanasia and it is a sin.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! If He healed all kinds of diseases in the past, He can heal us today and tomorrow of our sicknesses and sinfulness!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

America Watch This!

On the issue of abortion, presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, have very different stances. It is of great importance that we know them before November 4 elections. The link below is an excerpt from the video taken at the forum that Rick Warren spearheaded for our two presidential candidates. I don't know about you but I don't only view abortion as one of the social issues plaguing our nation but of a spiritual one and that anyone who downgrades the severity of this act or worse yet, denies that this is sin, basically needs a spiritual regeneration from the Lord.

For a longer version of the video...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


"The Lord [will] bring to light the things hidden in the darkness" (1 Cor. 4:5).

I wrote about Todd Bentley a couple months ago, how I had apprehensions about his life and ministry. My only goal of investigating him was to make sure I do not follow a self-proclaimed revivalist/prophet who is leading people away from the Truth and to warn others from running after the so called anointing that this man is imparting. I mentioned about how I struggled to write that blog, that was mainly because it would offend a few close friends of mine who professed loyalty to this man. I didn't want to lose any of my friends, but on the other hand, it grieved me to see them receiving "fire"
through the hands of Bentley. As a caring friend, I love my friends enough to desire and pray that God will open their eyes of understanding and see the Truth.

Last week, the news about Todd Bentley undergoing a separation process from his wife shocked me. I shouldn't be surprised. But I was. I realized that all this while, even with all the negative reports I received about him, I was giving him the benefit of a doubt. The news was all over the blog world. It has become the hot topic for quarrels among thousands of bloggers. Bentley's loyal followers are frustrated but are not tired of defending him, saying, "God uses imperfect vessels." But with the news that I've just read a few minutes ago, I have a question to all of Bentley's avid followers. If your own pastor is having an affair, seeking to divorce his wife, struggling with alcoholism and is not showing any evidence of repentance, would you still follow him? Would you still let him lay hands on you for "anointing" impartation? I would not. Instead, I would run away from him as the Scripture warns us to.

Here are the links to the latest news on Bentley. But before going there, please pray for Bentley and his followers, however the Spirit leads you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Difference

Ice cream for him and Caribou Vanilla Hazelnut Latte for me. That's how we treat ourselves when we get a chance to get away from our toddler- kind of rewarding ourselves for a job well done in caring for her.

Pink Rose for me! I spotted this beautiful flower beside the pathway as we took our late night walk in Wayzata, MN last Saturday along the shore of the biggest lake in the Twin Cities.

Dramatic Sunset for him. I was telling him how I started to love sky watching after we got married. There is so much more up there to behold!

Izzy's faces

Friday, August 15, 2008

Questions, Question

1. Are you pregnant? No

2. When do you want to get married? I am married

3. Do you curse a lot? Never

4. What are your favorite books? Bible, Apologetics and Fiction Narrative

5. Do wish you were with someone right now? I am with someone, no need to wish.

6. Who were the last three people that sent you a text message? My husband, Juliet Schwartz and Lorelei Houck

7. Are you happier single or in a relationship? Both.

8. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance? Yes.

9. Do you wish someone would call you? No, because I am currently busy playing with my family.

10. What is bugging you right now? Nothing at all.

11. What's something you wish you could understand better? Nothing, I take things slowly.

12. If someone doesn't like you, it’s usually because... I am tactless, insensitive to others' feelings

13. Do you have a wild side? Yes, but it's tamed.

14. Kissed someone in the last twenty-four hours? Of course, my husband and my daughter

15. Have you lost friends in the past year? No.

16. What were you doing at midnight last night? Chatting with my brother and my sister. And yes, chatting with Janet at Facebook.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My HB is 5-P

1. P- Paul Benjamin, Pauly (As his little sister and his friends call him), Pablo (as my friends call him) Whatever... they all start with P.

2. P- Painter/Painting Contractor (Yes, he has been a painter/painting contractor, owns and runs his painting business for 8 years now.)

3. P- Preacher (This past couple years he has really become the preacher who doesn't let any opportunity pass without sharing the gospel to whoever! In 6 months time he will be the speaker in a conference of pastors and leaders in the Philippines.)

4. P- Pitcher (Here, there's a scholarship award called Paul B. Martens Award. It was created by a baseball coach in honor of my husband for his unprecedented performance as a pitcher back in high school. This award goes to an outstanding high school baseball player in Winona, MN. A few months ago, Paul received a thank you card from one of the recipients of the said award.)

5. P- Politician? NO. Political. He told me that if ever he would enter the world of the politicians, he will kick them out of grotesque dirty politics!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Making of a Vikings Fan

It officially starts before turning 2 years old- yes, I'm talking about the making of a Vikings fan.

First, you bring your toddler to the Vikings Training Camp in Mankato,

Second, buy your toddler a purple Vikings jersey.

Third, teach her Skol Vikings.

Fourth, bring her to the exhibition game before the season begins.

Fifth, teach her to make the sign of "First down".

Sixth, let her eat brats and chips and ice cream.

Seventh, teach her to yell and raise her hands up high and sing Skol Vikings on touch downs!

Eighth, you successfully produced a toddler Vikings fan!

Church Picnic

At our Church picnic last Saturday, Isabelle sprinted 20 feet with other toddlers and preschoolers and got the second place. We couldn't take a photo of her running because we were so busy cheering for her. Here, she was choosing her price.

She also joined the Bubbles competition, and got to win another price- a guitar toy.

Something about "over the bridge" makes her really excited. She crossed this bridge like a hundred times, shouting "over the bridge!"

"Over the bridge" under Mommy's umbrella!

Mommy and Baby!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Scenic Sunday

The creek by the pavilion of Hidden Park in Savage, MN, USA. I took this yesterday on our church picnic.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mushroom Girls

My Political Honey

Governor Tim Pawlenty, right after his endorsement speech for Tara Mack. By the way, I'm not that short... it's just that... oh, well never mind. LOL!

When Paul was elected at the caucus as a delegate to the Republican convention, he has been meeting important political figures in the state of Minnesota. Last night, I went with him to the reception for Tara Mack who is running for the office of State Representative. Governor Tim Pawlenty was there to endorse her. We got to talk to him. It wasn't our first time to see him because he goes to the mega church in the suburb of MN that we used to go to. We saw him there as an ordinary church member, but last night it was different because he talked to us as a powerful political figure, who could very soon be the next Vice President. Apparently, he is McCain's personal choice. But even if he won't end up running for the VP position, he will surely be in an important position in the national government. I would be jumping up and down if he would end up the VP. We need a godly person in that position, especially that it seems to me that McCain's spiritual beliefs are out of whack.

The reception last night brought back so many memories to me. I was only in college when I was very involved in organizing political campaigns in our city. After college, I was working for the top government official and his family (literally including his extended family) in our province (equivalent to a state here) for 6 consecutive years. It was totally crazy years! Especially during election time. I thought those where the days and that I'm completely over "politics" fever but now that Paul is involved in it, I don't know... seems to me like the passion is being nursed back to life. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On the Video at the very bottom of this blog...

How easy it is for so many of us to show concern about our country with regards to abortion, same-sex marriage, pornography and other pests that have plagued this country over the years. But have we really spent time in our closets, on our knees, to fast and pray that God would heal this land? I heard a few criticisms about Lou Engle and a lot about the people he is associating with, but I would mark my calendar and join him and the thousands to fast and pray for this nation.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Skol Vikings!

For fun last Saturday, we drove to Mankato, MN to watch the Vikings Football team practice. It was a family night so Belle got to enjoy running with other kids in the field after the practice. We also waited for the fireworks. We really love the fireworks display!

For some reason, Isabelle didn't want to have a picture with the Vikings mascot, so I grabbed the opportunity!
Skol Vikings, let's win the game.
Skol Vikings, honor your name...
I've memorized this song as one of my complicated ways to show how much I love my husband!

Here you go, the star of the season last year. Hopefully, he will be again this year.
Hat's off for Adrian Peterson!

Hold on! The Vikings gave this check to Paul and Isabelle?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Scenic Sunday

Of me and my friend, Tricia, at a park in Bloomington, MN, USA.

Friday, August 1, 2008

"God is Love!"

Find more videos like this on The Emerge Network

I found this video in a social network I am a member of. When I first saw this one I was apprehensive. God is love! Yes, He is. And for that, we praise Him for loving us unconditionally and extravagantly that He could give His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our redemption. But this is only half of the Truth. The whole Truth is that God is love and He is a just judge. He punishes the sinners. I found this video rather encouraging people to say, "it is all about me." Me, me, me! WRONG! It is not about us, it is all about HIM! The story of redemption is not about us, but all about God providing us the way to be saved for His glory. His glory and not ours. As He empowers us to live a righteous life, it is not for us but for His glory. The "God is in love with me" mentality is dangerous and has produced so many spoiled brats in the church. Name-it-and-He-will-move-heaven-and-earth-to-give-it-to-you kind of thing. In so doing, we have reduced God into some kind of a boyfriend who is head over heels in love with his girlfriend and would do anything to please her. God is God. He loves us and expects us to love Him back by obeying His commandments.

Izzy's Spiritual Life

For the past couple months, our precious Belle flower has been displaying horrible tantrums. I've heard about TT (terrible two's) a lot and have been praying against it. But it seems like she is really going through the stage. She had a few very bad attacks recently. She would cry and scream and refuse to settle down. Then she would start yelling out her demands like we are her slaves. Paul and I have been so firm with our decision not to bribe her by offering her candies or entertain her just so she would go back to her normal sweet self. We do not want her to feel that we reward such attitude. Instead, we would give her a little lecture and a few spankings on her bottom. We make sure we show her that we are disappointed at the attitude she is displaying. The other night, she had a very bad one when I put her in her crib. She cried and screamed for an hour. That was the longest one so far. We did everything we could. And we felt hopeless. Nothing seemed to work. Until, I got up and told her, "Let's pray." I started the prayer and word for word she followed me, like we do right before her bed time every night. It was a pleasant surprise for me and Paul. Our hearts were so touched to hear her sobbing voice trying hard to pronounce the words in our prayer. I think we've found the very cure to her tantrums in prayer. We'll see about that. But... is there anything impossible with prayer?

My Dad's Wisdom

My father will be celebrating his 76th birthday in 3 days. It's been my desire to write a book about his life story but I am waiting for my writing skills to improve. So for now, I have to be content with what I can do- blog.

Growing up, I've listened to my father so much that I memorized his one-liners. Here is famous three of them...

One word is enough for a wise man.
He would say this to me and my siblings when we won't obey what we were told to do immediately. He didn't want to repeat himself. For instance, when I wouldn't get up at 4am for our family devotion unless my mother pinched my side. She did that to me every single morning. So now you know that I was far from being a wise little girl. But those were the days... I think I've improved a lot now. :) I make sure Paul doesn't give me instructions over and over again.

Play while you play, eat while you eat... that's the way to be happy and gay!
He would say this, especially, to me on our breakfast. See, I was the sleepiest girl in the family. I hated waking up in the morning before I felt like I'd slept enough. How many hours was enough? Well, it depended fully on my mood. So, I would come to the dining table and tried hard to eat and took cat naps in between putting food to my mouth. I heard my dad say this line to me a million times. This line has helped me remember that I need to focus on what I am supposed to do and try not to be distracted. Studies show that multi-tasking is not helping people become better workers. Instead, it is creating jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none individuals.

Plenty of words, plenty of sins... no word no sin.
He said this line when I and my siblings had fights. He would also use this line to stop us when we were on the verge of gossiping about other people. Remembering this line has helped me stop myself talking, especially when I have an anger attack. It also brings to memory the passage in the Bible that says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs 18:21