Tag Archive | love

5 Tips on How to Enjoy an Intercultural Marriage

Chances are you’re here because you are married to a foreigner. I get it. It’s harder than you thought it would be. You had pre-marital expectations and the real post-wedding scenarios are quite different from what you imagined.  Well, you are not alone. As one of my mentors married to a foreigner said to this effect, “Marriage in itself is difficult and marriage with someone from another culture is much more difficult.”

Let’s not dwell too much on the difficulty. Rather, let’s focus on the solution on how to ease the difficulty we have in our cross-cultural marriage. Take note, I am not claiming to be an expert here. I would just like to list the time-tested tips I have tried in my nine-year cross-cultural marriage.

1. Learn your spouses’ culture.

Do your due diligence in learning as much of his/her culture, custom and history as you can. Thank God there are resources readily available online. Here are the top three links or sites you may want to visit.

If you have a chance to live in his/her home country, observe the ways people behave and think. Also, ask your spouse as many questions as you can to feed your curiosity about their customs and traditions then adjust accordingly without compromising your personal convictions.

2. Learn his language.

Take an extra mile trying to learn his language. Here are the three easy steps that helped me learn my husband’s language.

a. I did a self-study using a grammar book on Bengali in English.
b. I interacted with the people in his village to practice what I learned.
c. I watched online resources like cartoons (lol!) to help me get more exposed to the language. If you are married to a Bangladeshi like me, try watching Meena cartoon.

You just don’t know how many doors of discoveries about your spouse can be opened if you would only try to understand how they express different emotions in their own tongue. You can save yourself from many misunderstandings if you do this.

Some takeaways from my experience?

  • First, never regret investing on books that can help you learn his mother tongue.
  • Second, do not underestimate the help you can get from others by simply using what you know. Things multiply when they are in proper use. 
  • Third, be creative in finding resources that will best help you learn your target language. More senses are involved, the better. Practice reading, writing and listening to his language!

3. Learn to eat/cook his/her country’s traditional cuisines.

As I stepped on the country of my husband, I knew how to cook mostly Filipinos dishes. Thank God for my parents and friends who taught me how to cook!

However, being married to a Bangladeshi, I had to learn how to cook both ordinary and special dishes to be prepared for guests. In their culture, having unexpected visitors is quite common and preparing either lunch or dinner for them is a must especially if they are relatives and if they came to visit from a far place.

I will always be forever grateful to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who are very supportive in my endeavours to be a master chef of my own home. They give honest feedback and generous praise to whatever I cook.

4. Learn his/her beliefs.

While my husband and I are both Christians and agree in most of the doctrines there are in the Bible, I understand that there are also couples who are having interfaith marriage. One could be from a Christian background while the other is from a Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu background. This is when things become difficult. It will depend on your conviction as to which belief you will stick to. Please bear in mind, though, that you have children who would be the most influenced by the decision you are making. Which belief would you like your kids grow up embracing? Pray about it seriously. The last thing you would like to be is appearing to deny the faith God has placed in your heart.

5. Last but not the least, love and respect your differences.

No matter how different you are from each other, remember your vows to love and respect each other. You have your flaws and he has his. Embrace your differences and stay together in love for God’s sake.  Let love prevail!

Are you married to a foreigner? What are the tips you have on enjoying your marriage? Please share them in the comment section and help others learn from you too!

Book Review: “Fan the Flame” by Joseph Stowell

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How are you doing as you walk the journey God has called you to pursue? Have you been weary? cold? just going through the ebbs and flows of life?

I found a very special book which is about as old as me. It was published in the year I was born.

I found this book quite engaging and indeed, soul-inspiring!
I got a copy of this book all because I tried to dig up some books to read from my father-in-law’s library.

One of the most interesting books I discovered was this one by Pastor Joseph Stowell called “Fan the Flame.”

I decided to write a review because it’s too stellar not to be shared about. I believe that this book will definitely ignite the fire in your heart toward God, which might have become cold because of too much familiarity with the Christian routine you have been doing.

I hope the following details will persuade you to get your personal copy or borrow the one I read.

1. Price on Amazon: It’s only $0.01. Isn’t that a great deal? It’s almost free! Click here to get your own.
2. Length: It’s only 138-page long. It should be a great read during your breaks in a day. 🙂 I read it during the holiday break. The point is whether you are busy or not-so-busy, you can afford to read a chapter or two in your spare time. It’s definite that you will find the words in this book truly encouraging!
3. Quality: It’s full of stupendous illustrations from the life of Pastor Joseph Stowell. It’s filled with encouragement from the Scriptures on how to keep your love for Christ alive. I assure you that you will have so much indelible takeaways from this book!
Here’s a sample for you:

What’s the latest book you have been reading aside from the Bible to help you to continue your spiritual journey? Let me know what that is in the comment box and I will try my best to get my own copy or borrow from one of my friends’ library when I can.

May God inspire you to remember your first love for Christ as you read this book. Keep moving as the Holy Spirit leads you. Have a wonderful journey! God loves you unconditionally.

Leaning on Jesus,

4 Easy Steps: Banana Muffins Even Toddlers Can Bake

Banana Muffins Even Toddlers Can Bake

“Baking is how you start kids at cooking in the kitchen. It’s fun whether it’s baking bread or cookies. With baking, you have to be exact when it comes to ingredients.” ~Sandra Lee

My daughter is now three years old and she loves spending time with me. One of the activities she enjoys doing with me, of course, aside from playing, is baking. I would like to share with you a photo of my little moppet and I while baking.

Joanna & I baking

Joanna is in charge of mixing up the dry ingredients and I mix up the wet ones. She’s one little happy baker.

Writing out this first-ever recipe that she has tried is worth-doing. Maybe some moms would agree with me so here is the recipe that we have customized.


1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp custard powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/3 cup of oil
1 large egg
3 big bananas or 6 small ones

1. Mix up all the dry ingredients.
2. Mix up all wet ingredients (whisked egg, mashed bananas and oil).
3. Scoop them up into the muffin tray.
4. Pre-heat the oven and set  it up to 190°C (375 °F).  Bake for 12 minutes.

Now, you can either print this recipe out or get a pen and recipe card and jot down this simple recipe. Please try it with your toddler. 🙂 I promise that this will be such a fulfilling experience not only for you, but most especially for your toddler who enjoys adventure at this stage.

What activities do you enjoy with your toddler? Please share it with me so my daughter and I can try it as well. Thanks in advance! 🙂

Banana Muffins

5 Quick Ways to Enjoy Reading Your Bible Daily

Someone has succinctly said to this effect–“the best way you can express your love to someone is by giving him time.”

Wives love it when their husbands give them time. Kids love it when their parents spend time with them. And you know what? God loves it when we spend time listening to His Word.

What are some quick ways we can enjoy reading the Bible?

5 Quick Ways to Enjoy Reading Your Bible Daily

1. Read your Bible out loud. 

Narrate the story to yourself. Not only will you be able to understand God’s word better but that will also keep you awake. 🙂

2. Listen to an Audio App while reading your Bible.

In my case, I either use an app from Faith Comes by Hearing Ministry or I go to Bible Gateway. I love the fact that God’s words come alive as they are narrated with some background musical sound effects and different voice tones of the characters in the story.

3. Find an accountability partner. 

In my case, my husband is my accountability partner.

I can remember also when I was not married yet how our church effectively encouraged our church young people to read their Bible through point system. Of course, they did that to motivate us, young men and women of God to be in the Word all throughout the week.

Each Sunday, we had to fill out a form and state whether we read our Bible or not. We had to fill it out with all honestly.

Gone were the days when we had to fill out these forms but doing these over and over, we had developed a habit to seek God early in His word.

If you think you can ask your best friend, your husband, your sister or your parents to be your accountability partner, then do so.

3. Add a devotional book to your assigned Bible reading each day. 

What are my favorites?

You can easily subscribe to some online devotionals too! I highly recommend Daily Proverb and Faith’s Checkbook by Charles Spurgeon. Subscribe to their mailing list and they will deliver their messages to your inbox everyday.

Reminder: Devotionals, just like vitamins, cannot replace the Bible. They are just supplements and I encourage you to do your own digging each day when you read the Bible. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you personally. Ask Him to convict or encourage you and He is more than willing to do so! 🙂

4. Use colored pens and multi-hued highlighters.

This is one of the things that makes me thrilled in reading the Bible. I find it encouraging to see my Bible highlighted with different colors. 🙂 Seeing the highlighted verses on my Bible never fails to make me encouraged or convicted.

5. Keep a journal

I like using old notebooks or spare planners I was not able to use. Journals are also tools to encourage and remind you of the lessons God has taught you.

Review them when you are discouraged to open your Bible and see how that simple act can make you long to seek God in His word again.

What are the ways you do that help you enjoy your Bible reading on a daily basis? Share them with me and our other friends. May God bless us as we express our love to Him through reading and living out His word! ❤

Leaning on Jesus, (2)

My Late Father’s Legacy of Wisdom

March 22, 2015 marks the twelfth death anniversary of my father–Philippine Marines Sgt. Major Rafael Rodrigo de Sagun.


Papang–that’s how we used to call our father.

All I can remember about him was his being a man of few words. Needless to say, he was creative, strict, smart, disciplined, selfless and most of all, a loving father. He was a teacher in and out our home. I have memories of him teaching us sundry life skills–riding a bike, playing volleyball, observing good manners, cooking and even sewing. My mother did teach us many skills too but I am pretty sure that people who know my father well would agree that  he was exceptional among other fathers.

His Words of Wisdom


As he aged, he suffered from many health issues which led to complications. He had bleeding ulcer, went through a surgery after having an inflamed gall bladder. He also had diabetes and high blood pressure. I cannot recall the precise number of the medicines he had to take but I knew it was a lot. His physical condition might have influenced his behavior.

Despite his physical sufferings, he struggled with life by faith. He remained supportive to us. He was not perfect. More often than not, people mistook his strictness as spitefulness.

I, as one of his children, understood well that his intentions were purely out of a desire to do things right as much as possible.

Yes, it’s been twelve years since my father passed away and I am writing this to share with you the words of wisdom that will remain inculcated in my heart:

  • “The sun doesn’t always shine brightly.”–There are days when we feasted on French fries, burger, pasta, and fried chicken and there were also days when we had to eat dried fish and rice or sometimes just rice and salt. He used to remind us that what’s on our table should not stop us from being thankful.

  • “Who are they?”–Other kids would bully you; that’s inevitable. They would criticize you, misjudge you, talk about you but who cares anyway? Their judgement would not make you less of a human. Go on and live your life. Remember how Jesus prayed for his enemies since they did not know what they were doing.

  • “Start and end your day with thankfulness”-After getting up or before going to sleep, he used to remind us to offer prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for our family, relatives and friends.

  • “Study hard so you can buy whatever you’d like to eat in the future.”–it’s self-explanatory. Hard work pays off. Most of the people who suffer financially suffer not because they don’t have a good fate. It’s sometimes a result of their inability to value their studies when they were students.

There are many other words of wisdom that my father taught us but I don’t want to take too much of your time reading. I hope though that I can teach those I mentioned above to my daughter, Joanna, as well.

My father may not have left us a big amount of money, a vast land and luxurious cars but he left us these legacy of wisdom which we can pass on to our next generation.

His Salvation Testimony

My father has passed away, but I am confident that he is with God the Father in heaven–it was not because of his righteous life. As I said, he was not perfect just like every one of us. I am confident that he is with the Father in heaven at the moment because two weeks before his death, right in front of me, he professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted him in his heart that he’s the One and Only Savior of the world and of him personally. He did that while he was bedridden. He went to heaven because he learned from the Bible that religion, good works and anything he has done would NOT save him from the punishment of sin in hell. He accepted that Christ’s death on the cross paid his sins fully–that’s it.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 8:36

Here’s the sad news my friend, you can have all the treasures of this world, and still remain unsure whether you can go to heaven or not when you die. Here’s the good news though, you can know how to get to heaven. 

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:13

Now, would you like to be sure of heaven before you die? Kindly check this one out. You can also read my personal testimony on how I became sure of heaven here.

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then remember to thank God for His gift of salvation.

To you my friend who haven’t made a decision to accept the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please don’t ignore this message. Life is uncertain and so is death. Be sure of heaven.