I am a beloved child of God and also an ordained pastor, teacher, author, and spiritual director. My motto is to thoughtfully love God by genuinely loving others including myself. This means that I take the time to live deeply and reflectively in God’s loving care and am genuinely interested and attentive as a friend to others in their journey. Rooted in the grace and goodness of God’s love, I value relationships, learning, mutuality, joy, and missional living. My passion is see people from all walks of life dwell more fully in the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been a Christ-follower for over thirty years and a pastor for twenty of those years. I have a diverse background ranging from teaching high school math in the Philippines, being the lead pastor in a multi-cultural church, being an English pastor in a Chinese church (before my last name became Tam), being the team lead on mission trips, being a guest lecturer and speaker at various events and institutions, being an author, and a spiritual director.
As someone who has a broad-range of ministry experiences, I am comfortable with mystery, paradox, and the messy realities of faith and ministry. I have been deeply impacted by wise sages in my journey, including: Leighton Ford, Gordon Smith, and Dallas Willard. Some authors who have greatly influenced my thinking include: Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Parker Palmer, Eugene Peterson, John Powell, Gary Thomas, Philip Yancey, Miroslav Volf, N.T. Wright, and many others. I received a Bachelors of Education from Queens University, a Masters of Divinity from Canadian Theological Seminary (now Ambrose Seminary), a Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Spirituality from Fuller Theological Seminary, and Spiritual Direction training from Tyndale Seminary. I am also an associate at St. John’s Convent in North York.
I offer spiritual direction, life coaching, mentoring, pastoral counseling, or inner healing for a variety of people from a wide-range of backgrounds and cultures. I am experienced in facilitating one-on-one direction, group direction, spiritual formation retreats, and the Ignatian exercises in daily life. I am also competent walking alongside people who have experienced or who are experiencing significant trauma in their journey.
Some of my favourite things
My life verse is: “Those who look to him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5) because I learnt early on as a Christ-follower that whenever I endeavoured to do things on my own strength, I would fail. But, whenever I looked to Jesus for strength, I would succeed. This verse deeply impacts me because shame has been a persistent, undesired companion with me in my journey. Yet, in the light of Jesus, the shadow of shame disappears. My other favourite verse is: “And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). This verse reminds me that everyone of us is beautiful because we are each created in the image of God and we are being continually transformed more and more into God’s likeness to the wonder and glory of God. I like looking for God’s glory when I look at people’s faces. As we trust in God and respond to his invitations of love, our countenance becomes even more beautiful and the shame, which once marred God’s image, increasingly fades away.
I enjoy exploring nature, cooking and savoring ethnic foods, travelling, reading, visiting friends, watching action-packed movies and spy shows, continually learning, being warm, and eating chocolate and strawberries. I especially enjoy being surprised by God as people are set free to live with greater ease and delight in Christ’s kingdom. I’d love to be a spiritual friend to you on your particular adventure with God!