By Kristina Houck
For 21 years, Solana Beach resident Lily Loh
worked as a chef, released her own cookbook, and had two cooking television shows. In September, the 71-year-old released her latest book, “Listen to God Daily.”
“Jesus used the fishermen to become disciples,” Loh said. “I was a chef before, but now, instead of feeding people food, I’m feeding people God’s words.”
Published by Chula Vista-based Aventine Press, the 367-page book includes 365 short meditations and revelations Loh hopes “will inspire busy people to listen to God daily.” She will speak about her latest book on Nov. 7 at St. James Church in Solana Beach.
“God speaks to everyone,” said Loh, who has been a parishioner at St. James Church since she moved to Solana Beach in 1977. “We just don’t take the time out to sit quiet and to listen.”
Born in China, Loh received a bachelor’s in home economics from Purdue University and a master’s in textiles and clothing with a minor in interior design from Cornell University. After graduation, she worked as a designer for “Vanity Fair” in New York City before she and her family moved to California.
For more than two decades, Loh taught Chinese cooking at a variety of places, including MiraCosta College. She released her first book, “Lily Loh’s Chinese Seafood and Vegetables,” which was published by Solana Publishing Company, in 1991. Loh also hosted and produced two cooking shows, “Quick Woking” and “Healthy Woking.” She later published her second book, a family memoir called, “The Lee Family Memoirs.”
After her retirement in 1997, Loh and her husband, a retired engineer, joined the Peace Corps.
“My husband said, ‘All my life, I’ve been taking things from this world, and I want to give something back to this world,’” she said.
While in Slovakia for two years, Loh helped launch a hospice and her husband, George Loh, worked as a consultant for small businesses. The couple returned to Solana Beach in 1999.
In 2000, Loh was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Shortly after she finished her last chemotherapy session, her husband died from a brain aneurysm in January 2001.
“I knew that God spared my life and healed my cancer because he was calling me to do something for Him,” she said. “It was healing prayer ministry.”
In memory of her husband, Loh released her third book, “Two in Eastern Europe,” which detailed the couple’s time in the Peace Corps. For three years, she also participated in a variety of classes and workshops, and trained to become a healing prayer minister.
For more than a decade, Loh has served as a prayer minister in her parish’s Healing Prayer Ministry, which meets several times every month. She also prays for people at the Christian Healing Center in Vista, and is a member of the Order of St. Luke and the Association of Christian Therapists.
“I have so much compassion for the sick and the elderly because I have suffered so much myself,” said Loh, who added she almost died from tuberculosis when she was a teenager.
Loh, who has two children and three grandchildren with another one on the way, spends much of her time in prayer and meditation.
Seven years ago, Loh said another prayer minister prayed for her and told her God was calling Loh to write. Since then, she has read the Bible every morning. After she reads, she reflects and writes in her journal.
“After I had been writing for several years, I read the ones I wrote years ago. They still speak to me,” Loh said. “I realized they speak to everyone else, too, because God’s words never come back empty. God’s words are like a two-edged sword. It cuts through bone and marrow. I think this will help many people.”
Loh began compiling her journal entries into a book two years ago. In the book, she also teaches people how to meditate and journal daily.
“How do I know I’m listening? When I can hear the clock ticking and my refrigerator humming,” she said. “I’m trying to not think of anything. When I cannot sit in the silence anymore, I pick up my pen and start to write. It just flows. I just write out what I hear.”
Loh will talk about her book and answer questions on Nov. 7 at St. James Church, 625 South Nardo Ave., Solana Beach. The event begins at 5 p.m. and costs $12, which includes dinner. All proceeds from the book will support seminarians.
“By reading my book, I hope people will grow closer to God,” Loh said. “Realize that God speaks to everyone; it’s not just me.”
“Listen to God Daily” is available online at www.amazon.com.
For more information, email ListenToGodDaily@yahoo.com.