Category Archives: faith

What does the scripture say about debt?

All of us, at some point of our lives succumb to debts. Sometimes, it’s from the financial institution such as credit cards, bank loans, mortgage(s). Sometimes, our monetary debts are from our family, friends, and acquaintances.

This article is not about giving you advice on how to manage your budget and your money; there are so much available resources in the internet for that.

What I would like to share is about the scriptures, relevant to guide you in tackling your debt(s) and how much money you should lend to your family and friends.

When you are the debtor


Firstly, we are privilege and highly loved that God created us in his image and likeness (Gen 1:27 NKJV). He gave us the intelligence and dominion among the animals; He gave us the talents and resources that we need in order to succeed in life.

As part of adulthood, we cannot avoid debts. Just like getting a degree or specialized skills, working, dating, getting married, having children, explore the world by travels, and buying a car and and a house. Ahh yes, buying a house and a car requires huge cash flow. Unless you’re a child of business tycoons, or part of a royal family, or received a huge sum of money as inheritance.

When will borrowing money becomes wicked?

When we abuse the resources given to us by God, when we don’t manage our money well and purposely over accumulate debts, and when our borrowings are higher than savings and assets due to materialism and addiction, that’s when we don’t represent God. And that’s when we become poor. The book of Proverbs 22:7 tells us:

The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

Sadly, there are people in our lives who belong to this category. They can be our friends, family members, and people we just know. Many of them are in the business arena, or commonly in the work force. Because of the rule that when you don’t wear the bling, you’re not in. When you are in highly competitive environment, and you allow yourself to drift in with your peers norms.

Psalm 37:21 NKJV tells us,

The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

In essence, when we decide not to pay back the people or institution(s) whom we owe, that is when we become wicked in the eyes of people and God.

No one is exempted from paying debts, even a person who filed for bankruptcy is required to pay off his/her debts. We can use all the legal and emotional methods to get away from paying our debts, but there’s one person who knows our heart. And that is God. He knows our heart more than we do. He knows if our hearts are righteous and wicked.

Living beyond our means is the common factor of hoarding debts. Another reason sometimes is when we allow other people to decide and manage our resources rather than consulting God on how to run it.

In situations when we need to borrow money, only borrow the amount that wecan afford to pay.

When you are the lender


Like many of us, I was once in a situation when I allow a family member to borrow a quantifiable amount of money. For me, money is important especially when it is a result of hard labor, I valued and grateful for every penny I’m paid as a consultant. When my debtor decided not to pay, it’s a big rage in my heart. I felt betrayed because I was promised of repayment which will not happen. Not now. Not ever. It became a grudge and I’ve hold it in my heart for sometime.

Until, my mother asked me, before she died, not to ask for repayment. Instead, give away and forget about the debt. Forgive. And avoid family feud. I cried hard, but I gave in to what my mother wanted. I seek God. After a while, my heart was healed and I just moved on with life.

As we ran our ministry, as we listen to people asking for help, we’ve faced people asking for financial help, some will be borrowing money and promise to pay back in couple of weeks or months. What I’ve learned is, when they missed out their promised payment date, repaying you or repaying the debt is not in their priority list in their current situation. As such, before giving a person a loan, it is important to ask, what is the purpose of the loan? Scripture tells us,

Proverbs 22:26 NKJV Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts

It’s a bad idea to be a guarantor of a loan; especially when you do not have the capacity to pay someone else’s debt. As such, before saying ‘yes’ to people borrowing your money, you have to assess if they can repay you. Some will say they will repay you within the day, within a week, within a month. A wicked debtor will give you the promises you needed to hear just to get the loan. Always remember, people borrow money because of the shortage they have. And people will change heart that even God can’t supersede because He gave us our free will. As such, as a lender, only loan the amount of money that you can afford to give away.

Lastly, when lending money to the poor, do not charge interest.

Exodus 22:25 NKJV If you lend the money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.

God is not happy when you take advantage of someone else’s misfortune. As such, money lending is a high risk business. Firstly, there’s no guarantee that you will recuperate the money you give as loans. Especially, when there’s no written agreement. Second, you should not give interest to people borrowing because of misfortunes – hospitalization, funerals, and the like.

The golden rule of all when it comes to borrowing and lending,

Romans 13:8 NKJV Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.



Til next time.

Au revoir.

My Four Years After Opting Out

In mid-2013, after 15 years of working in the Information Technology (IT) Industry, I decided to cool off from my solutions advisor role and take a much-needed break from the corporate world. Like the majority of  working adult population, I was working non-stop right after I achieved my Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree last 1997. It was my belief back then that having a full-time job is what I need in order to support my family, paying my rent, and settle my debts and bills. I can’t stop working and I have to climb the corporate ladder and that includes dealing with office politics.

And so it was, until 2012.

After I settled down and got married in September of 2012, like many high-achieving women in the workforce, family care was placed in my top priority. A month after my wedding, I was contemplating of “opting out”. If I continue my corporate role involving frequent travels, I believe my marriage may not work out. It is my personal conviction that the first year of marriage is highly critical as it’s the era of adjustments, understanding, compromise, and acceptance. I’ve learned it from my past failed relationships due to my lack of “quantity” of time. My ex-manager Ashok was surprised when I handed my resignation letter; I was saddened too, as he was a good and caring boss.

Leaving the corporate world especially when it’s your dream company is considerably heart-breaking. But weighing the situation, facing a failed marriage will be more traumatic.

I am considered blessed as after leaving SAP, I was offered to be a flexible delivery consultant by Claylogixtech Malaysia. I didn’t realize that it’s the kind of flexible time focused on project implementations and customer’s maintenance with a little of presales role is the type of  spur I needed at that point.

Me and my husband tried to conceive. However, factoring the age and realizing blood RH incompatibilities lead us to the practical decision that having kids on our own will be dependent on God’s will unto our marriage. Somehow rather, it lessened the marriage stress and just be ready to respond to family relatives questions during gatherings. We belong to the norm of Asian culture that having our own children (meaning, own flesh and blood) is a must during the marriage.

Now, here are some of my practical derivatives of life lessons learned in the last four years:

  • Time management

Time is the most precious commodity that we shouldn’t afford to waste. As I was surrounded by humongous amount of choices,  I saw myself doing all things at once since you know, my own time is in my hands. I had a hard time finishing the projects that I started. It’s definite that some trusts were broken due to failing to deliver. I realized that when you are working for yourself, it is utmost critical to learn to prioritize, delegate minor tasks that I feel isn’t worth my time, and of course, learn to say no to those requests or business opportunities that isn’t my expertise or I’m lacking of knowledge. When you’re in your 40s, it’s best to focus on those activities that will value your time and self.

  • Every penny counts

Being prudent is one of key factors that will determine a person’s success. When I was paid every month and bonuses coming in, I put in savings for the rainy days. Though at times there’s that want to overspend to satisfy the thirst for shopping branded items, I still make it a point to have some money in the bank. Well, that attitude came handy in the last four years. I had the courage to leave the corporate world as I didn’t have home mortgage to pay, we decided to rent room instead of whole flat, personal and credit card loans were manageable.

So, being prudent served me well in the long run. The only change I had to do is to shop less and not to be mindful of the fashion trend. I slowly changed my wardrobe to less clothes but quality pieces.

  • More Friends

It is normal to disconnect with corporate friends when you’re no longer working full time. I realized my circle of friends have increased. As you venture entrepreneurship, you will be surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs just the same. I still keep in touch with ex-colleagues through Whatsapp and social media; having coffee and dinner from time to time. Basically, you will have mixture of friends, from ex-colleagues to new found friendships and connections.

  • Be grateful

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  ~Matthew 5: 3 NIV

My spirituality deepened during the last four years. I’ve finally ventured to one thing I’ve been wanting to do since I was 26 years old. That is, to serve God. Every year, me and husband conducts outreach program(s) to Philippines. We’re privileged enough to be supported by our church, Moriah Assembly of God, to be missionaries for a month to the northern part of Thailand. It’s not an easy journey but God is truly awesome! So we’ve named our business EL Hannora (which means Awesome God).

Serving God has been my most rewarding decision.

I will always be grateful to God, my hubby Gnex, my family and in laws, friends, biz partners, customers and Mr. Hew Keng Woon, and the staff of Claylogixtech Malaysia and Positive Domain.

Jumping out of the corporate band wagon is scary to death. There’s a gigantic worries and uncertainties because it is a make it or break it moment. With the binge of time, we cannot deny the unspoken norm that you have a slim chance of getting back your position and compensation when you hit 40s and above. The workforce competition is higher and employers prefer the older millennials due to focus, energy, and drive.

Opting out from the corporate and workforce isn’t easy. You will need tons of courage and faith to get by. However, if you survive the adversities, it’s one of the unforgettable milestones in your journey of life. I do not know what the future holds. However, one thing I can say is when you serve God, everything is uncertain. That’s where your FAITH kicks in. If God can feed the birds in the sky, why not us? It only takes us our humility and obedience.

Here are some of the motivational songs that helped me get by for all the ups and downs of life.

‘Til next time. Au revoir.

The Box Up God

Back in the 1990s when economies started to flourished, we’ve seen the rise of countries whose culture focused on God. America for one belonged to the list. America, the land of opportunity, was the most coveted immigration landing point from the citizens of poor countries workers and refugees alike.

In the 1990s the world seen the concept of free markets where blue collars can become millionaires through hard labors and self disciplined. We’ve seen the rise of elites most of which are devotees of God. Christianity was the biggest population among world religions. Christian missionaries get the ticket to travel the world. We can see God everywhere especially in television. Everybody says God, God, God…

As the world economically progressed, the concept of God seem to have fade. We humans have inherited India’s caste system in terms of education. Our identity somehow has been tied up with what we do. Noticed during conversations when there’s always the emphasis of the university or college degree we’ve finished, what industry we’re working, who are we affiliated with. Those who are unfortunate and didn’t complete a course of study are cast out from the white collars.

Today, the world is financially rich. There are more billionaires the world has seen. But sadly, the world has also become full of labels. More distinctions – whites, blacks, brown, yellow skin colors. Blue collars, white collars at work. Educated people has more voice.

In the world of Christianity, pastoral services has also become a form of job. Less of passion more of job responsibilities. Christian churches have become corporate world implemented with key performance indicators or KPIs. These so called human made KPIs are a measure of performance benchmarks for the church pastors – number of converts, number of baptism, church attendance, increase in the church memberships, etc. When a pastor achieves his/her KPIs, he/she is a good pastor probably a candidate for a pay raise. Simply put it, our societies’ culture are now embraced in the church instead otherwise. Pastors are somehow labeled based on their Bible School qualifications and achievements. The higher education you have, the more qualified you will be.

What are we Christians have we become?

As I can remember, Jesus chose his disciples based on their heart, not their education. If Jesus wants the easy way out and wants to deliver God’s message to the world flawlessly, he should have chosen the high Jewish priests because people will listen to them due to power and authority.

If God is so concern about eloquence in delivering His message with brevity and charisma, then there wouldn’t be any Moses.

God chooses people with the heart of obedience and faithfulness regardless of color, education, and physical abilities.

There’s a danger on what our church and society has become. As we embraced our own personal preference or prejudice, we’re hurting God as we’re boxing Him. It’s clear to some churches, that the voice of the people has become the voice of God. Where the fate of the church are dictated by the majority corporate members and less of prayers and fasting.

Let’s be careful of our personal preferences because the devil has many forms. People in the church tends to listen more when the speaker is of scholarly value. When a person’s charisma is easily mistaken and labeled as God’s gifting.

How do we know when we’re boxing God?

  • When we place our judgement and wants on top instead of God. Is it our carnal nature?
  • When God’s works and answers are based on what and how we want Him to respond
  • When we asked God for answers and we ended up getting inputs only from the educated ones. Because sometimes, God uses the blue collars and the unlovable to deliver His message to us
  • When we decide who are God’s prophets instead of God’s anointing

Let us embrace God for what He is. He’s our father in heaven, the Alpha and the Omega. All things came from Him and all things will end by Him. He’s not a spirit or a deity who’s supposed to work for us. He’s our father, our source of life.

Let’s not box Him up.




EL Hannora Thrift Shop: The Joy of Giving 2014 Part 2

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.

    Psalms 143:10 NIV

Christmas! Is always the time of the year when gift giving is abundant and people tend to forget the mundane of life. All of us are busy thinking the presents that we wanted to give to our family, friends, and loved ones. Christmas is about rejoice and joy, it’s about renewal and gratitude.

Most often, when you are hit with emotional downturn especially when its financial struggle, you always feel that you are the minutest creature of God. You often accuse God of forgetting your existence. When it’s emotional struggle, let’s accept it, its the time that we are very selfish. It’s all about ‘me’ and ‘me’ and ‘me’.

You must not forget, that no matter how low you feel, there’s always a community of people lower than you. If you are sleeping in your home, there are people sleeping in the street. If you’re meal only consist of rice and vegetables, there are people who needs to beg so that they can eat. If you cannot afford to buy shoes, there are people who doesn’t even wear slippers because they can’t afford to. If you can eat 3 meals a days and still complain, remember there are families and people who only eat 1 meal and the rest are nothing but water.

While you are being selfish and look inwardly on yourself, while you blind yourself on egocentric behavior yet you are blessed by God in so many ways… There exist families and people needing your blessings and help.

Last December 2014, me and my husband finally had the privileged to contribute to Philippine One Step Organization. Portion of EL Hannora Thrift Shop’s earnings were distributed to couple of outreach programs in The Philippines. We’ve supported the RVM outreach program by my good friend Bonna. The other outreach program is conducted by Philippine One Step Organization through the cousin of my college best friend and a very good friend, Ms. Charlyn Chua.

Philippine One Step is a non-profit organization with the aim of helping people and families in various ways they can. They consist of volunteers with the main goal of reaching out and blessed the less fortunates to share the blessings given by God. Each year, this organization reaches out to different locales and neighborhood in the city of Manila.

Last December 2014, One Step had couple of outreach programs. One of which is the giving of care packages to families and another outreach is to give aid to St. John Dialysis Center.

We give gratitude to One Step for allowing us to contribute in our small ways. Through this organization we were able to reach out to the less fortunates brothers and sisters in Philippines.

Preparing their care packages

Care packages are ready for giving

The outreach program begins

Gift giving

Gift giving

Recipients were waiting in line

Gift giving

Gift giving

Grateful for the blessings

Grateful for the blessings

Happy smiles!

Philippine One Step outreach at St. John Dialysis Center

 All photos in this article were granted permission to use by Philippine One Step Organization. You can reach their Facebook page here.

Thanking God for the strength He gave me and my husband to persevere with our EL Hannora Thrift Shop. Thanking our resellers and buyers as it’s their contribution that we managed to fund and reach out to God’s children.

In Christ.