Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amazed by You

Lord I am amazed by You. How You love me. Lord I am amazed by You. How You love me. (repeats) Eoghan Heaslip - Amazed is now playing. And my heart feels so light. It can't stop pouring out my thankfulness. It forces a smile on my face. It is very true that I usually forget about God's love for me. I don't see His Goodness, I say. But there are times when He just reveals Himself and I feel Him. I know His love. I sense His work. Love, so overwhelming. I have been looking for an internship for a few weeks. It seems that all my efforts and time are fruitless. But, this morning, I've got an invitation letter for an interview. What a nice surprise! Thank YOU. Lord I am amazed by You. How You love me. Lord I am amazed by You. How You love me.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Magic Candle

I just had the most refreshing conversation with my mom.

We were talking about this Magic Candle.

She started with stating, "A candle lit up in a house full of candle doesn't really light up its surrounding. The place is bright enough without it. But for someone in the dark, it means the world to him. It lights up his path and brings him to light -- life."

I got to response to her in this way, "But, it's very windy out there. The fire in the candle can be just blown up and gone easily. And the guy would be back in the dark."

She replied, promptly, "It's a magic candle. It won't be lit off by anything."

I was startled. What an interesting truth.

Many times, we would be that candle (light). We are sent to places where we can't find any other candles around us. The place is black. It's scary. It's windy. It seems dangerous. But we are in the right place. The place where we are needed the most.

And as God has said, I'll baptize you in fire, I believe, He's the fire that would keep us alive and shining. And just like the Magic Candle, we would be able to bring people in the right track without blacking out.

Are we too slow?

Earlier today, a friend of mine rang me and asked me to pick her up from her boyfriend's place.

I was so into my writing at that time and if I got up and left my desk, I wouldn't remember the things I was gonna write again. But anyways, I said yes.

I finished some more sentences, closed the notebook, and went hurriedly to pick her up. I didn't want to make her wait.

Once I was there, I rang her letting her know that I am waiting. 1 minute passed. 2 minutes. 5 minutes. I began to be impatient. I wondered what took her so long to get down. I rang her again. And not soon after she showed her face.

While I was waiting, I came across this thought.

Many times, we call on the Name of God. We ask Him to come to our rescue. Hurry, please, we say. And in no time, He's there, ready to save us. But instead of going with Him right away, we let Him wait. We haven't finished preparing. We are too slow. We are the ones who are not ready.

Yes, God is patient. He has all eternity to wait for us. But we don't. I am just imagining, if we could try to be a little bit faster, a little bit readier, how much farther we could go, especially with God beside us.

Anyway, lesson for today, be ready! Efficiency is the key to an effective production.
God bless us, friends!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas' Grass

Matthew 6 (NIV)
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Salomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith?

Reading this passage about clothes or in today's term "fashion", it makes me think about what Jesus meant about 'clothes'. Why didn't he talk about something else, such as: pets or plans. He wanted to make a point--he always did.

For me, they are not clothes, clothing clothes. But they represent us: our body, mind, and soul. Flowers, as what Jesus made an example of, do not need attributes or attachments. Flowers do not put on clothes, for they are beautiful just as they are.

Well, it is true that in the beginning we were created 'naked' (i.e. without clothing) but I guess that's what Jesus is trying to refer to. We are unique in our very way. Maybe it's not our face nor body that make us stand out from the rest, but God has clothes us with humor, brilliant brains, skillful hands, and other potentials within us.

And with these clothes we have on, we are even prettier than Salomon and his royal robes. If Salomon was the wisest and richest king in his time, who do you think we could be?

Once again, princess and prince of Christ, do not worry!
God bless! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rise

A new song that keeps sounding in my ears. The title 'rise' is pronounced the same way as the first syllable of my name -- one of the reasons why it's so easy listening for me. Hope it's a blessing for you guys. Click here for video

Yes, I will rise
Out of these ashes, rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise

'Cause He who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true

Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don't know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Never doubt God! Never!

I have to admit that I doubted God as my sovereign God these last few days.

It started with being all alone at home. Tania was in Mexico, extending her Visa, and everyone else was busy with final exam or having a holiday. As indifferent as I could be, I still was not an island. I needed somebody around me.

People say that in a Christmas season, the best thing to do is to be with your loved ones. I completely agree. I miss my family back home. The thought of not seeing them this Christmas, New Year 2012, and Chinese New Year next year kills me inside.

Yes, I am used to live abroad and not spending Christmas at home. Once, I even liked it - that year, I had to be busy with 'serving the Lord' in Christmas celebrations. But everything is different now. I feel like a grown up. And I don't want to miss sweet moments with my Pa and Ma even though we never had Christmas tree or Christmas lights.

Facing reality of not being able to go home, I started to think what Christmas is about, again. I pondered about it almost every year. Or every other year, Pastors would remind me or give me a newer definition of Christmas. I found myself feeling nothing about Christmas. In my head, I kept sounding, "No Christmas, no Jesus, and why am I here?".

It is crazy that thoughts can go from a polar to the opposite one without having to 'physically' go anywhere. One day, I could be so on fire for God, and the next, I could lose my faith - not exactly losing it, but not trusting that much.

I needed a haircut. My hair was a mess. I dyed it last year and curled it. The dye and the curl had gone and they left my hair destroyed and shapeless. But the problem is I don't know good salons in San Diego.

I had an acquaintance. She came to Flood College in the last few weeks. She was a hairdresser. I thought, I might need to call her and ask her to help me out with my hair. However, I was not that close to her. So, I said to God, if I could meet her tonight in the 8 p.m.'s service. I would definitely ask her.

So, I went to the 8 p.m. Christmas Concert at Flood (FYI, it was the best Christmas Concert I had -- click here to see the video recording). And out of the blue, I saw my friend there. And while I was looking for a seat, she happened to have an empty chairs beside her. I sat beside her through the service. What a coincidence.

I didn't realize that I doubted God. It was just an 'if' statements that I made inside my head. I felt, I was joking. But He didn't joke around. He revealed Himself to me, in the strangest way. How cool.

A present from God this Christmas (for me and maybe for you too): little more faith.

Yes, He is real!
xoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Learn a little

I always hoped that I could skip the little things and go for the jackpot.
I was wrong.
It is okay to learn a little. Mountains are made up of both big and small rocks.

Cheers

JOY

Be joyful despite of your feelings and circumstances. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Circle of Faith

Hi Folks,

I have missed you.

Some so-you-know information about me while I was gone.
- I finished my program in San Diego. Yay! I am fully on vacation right now.
- Yesterday, I had a sweet Thanksgiving day. Lovely housemate + TEMPE.
- This morning, on my way back home from Black Friday shopping, my car slipped (I drove too fast and the turn was too acute -- my bad) and went off-road (almost hit the turning sign). Thankfully, the car didn't tip. I should drive more carefully next time, I really should.

Anyway, right now I am trying to work on my final graduation project. It's a very long process -- meaning, I must not procrastinate any longer.

Reading the course outline briefly, in order to prepare me well for my final project, I need to know my passions, drivers, and ambitions and write them all down. It's easier to answer questions properly during an interview if I know myself inside out.

Looking at myself, my dreams, and the path that I am in right now, I realize that I am apart of what my parents want me to do (my Mom implicitly want me to go med school and my Dad feels that I'd be a good architect). It also means that I have been following my heart so far.

For me, following my heart expresses two things:
- I am all alone if things go wrong
- It is an exercise for my faith, and not just mine, my family's too.

Despite all my doubts and fears, Mom and Dad have been so supportive. They pray for me, encourage me and keep ensuring me that our God is faithful. It's funny that although they don't really understand what major I am in, they believe in me that much.

Sometimes I don't feel so comfortable about their faith in me. I feel like jeopardizing our family's faith. What if I am wrong, what if I should have listened to them and go to med school instead.

Yes, we shouldn't live our life according to people's expectations. One thing is true, we won't be able to satisfy them all. Thus, it leaves me no other choice but surrendering my future and my fears in the hands of the Almighty who promises that the righteous will inherit the land forever (Psalm 37:25-29) and the Almighty who is also God of Hope.

The circle of faith in my family, shouldn't stop in me. Have faith, Raissa, make it whole! Be a people of faith and see the awesome works of God!

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Aha! Gotcha!

Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32 NIV)

Sometimes and most if the time I think I am a very patient person. I rarely get angry. But, the truth of the matter is I am just introvert. I get to explode quickly inside.

I love the autonomy of a warrior. I think, it kinda brings the "cool" side inside me out. Even if it's only a prayer warrior. I don't mind. Like in movies, in my mind, I would still look like the 3-star general who kills the enemy's king.

But today, the verse states a different truth. It asks me to be patient rather than to look "cool" because being patient is cooler than being too brave and proud in the frontline.

(last paragraph)

Being a person who takes a city isn't wrong. I think, every society needs this kind of people who are bold, self-sacrificing, and loyal. However, a sieger or a warrior is normally impulsive. They are trained to attack first before they get attacked.

The truth of the verse brings me to picture a patient warrior who analyses the enemy and steadfastly wait for a better time to attack.

Monday, October 31, 2011

the measure of good

how good is good?

in the eyes of human, it is impossible to be good.
i try, and i fail. not just once. but so many times.

there are times when my records are perfect. but once you don't keep to the standard. i fail.

so, how good is good?

how would we keep up to God's standard? it is higher than human's, i'm sure.

grace.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spotlight

Accepting responsibilities might place ourselves under the spotlight. It might make us feel uncomfortable. However, avoiding the spotlight while we have what it takes might mean running away from who we are.

I guess, we will be ready when we are ready - to be responsible and true to ourselves.

Monday, October 10, 2011

U P L Z E Z

I am working on a 1500 jigsaw puzzle at the moment. The puzzle is called Dona III 1965.

The work progress is about 35% right now. Even though it's not completely done, I'd like to reflect some learning points while working on this project.

1. Each piece of the puzzle has its own purpose.
2. Most of the time when I look at one piece of the puzzle, I don't have any idea about what's this piece for, where to place it, or where it belongs to.
3. And even sometimes even a group of two or three complementing pieces still confuses me.
4. Many times I get stuck and get a terrible headache.
5. However, as I keep trying to put the pieces together, a form of object is formed.
6. Eventually, it's going to be complete and it's going to look beautiful.

While I am writing this post, I believe in my heart, that everyone of us has at least played a puzzle for once in our life. Some of us hates puzzle and other loves it. And some would also assume that our life is a piece of puzzle. And when this one piece is placed in the right place, it would show the greater purpose, the bigger picture, and the glory of the Maker.

I like that analogy personally. Each of us has a place designed specifically for us that no other pieces can replace our place. And as a piece of puzzle, we can't move on our own and forced ourselves to stay in a place where we are not supposed to be. We have to let the puzzle Maker to bring us the right place.

So, are we in the right place? I hope we all are. /Godbless

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Like a charm

Oh, tonight was a night full of blessings.

It was raining super hard when I went to Flood College's Life-Group. But it was surprising how everyone in the Life-Group love our Awesome God so much. So many people came in despite of the rain. There were even more people who came in our group than the last two weeks'.

In the group, each of us got the chance to share our 'paperclip stories'. It was very touching how God has been working in each of us, shaped us to the person we are right now, and used relationships in our life to show His love and mercy for us. I was fully refreshed.

Back home, I went in through the door on fire and full of love. And seeing me so glowing, my housemate commented, "Good! It's better that you're this way, so highly-spirited and positive. Go to church more!"

Her comment just got me realize that there is always a blessing stored for me when I take the step to actually look for God. And the fact of the matter is that He loves to meet me too and give me the blessing in person.

Whatever situations that I bring up to God, good and bad, I always find joy, strength, and peace in His presence. He is faithful. And what King David says in Psalm is super agreeable, "One day in God's temple is more than 1000 years anywhere else".

God's presence for me always works like a charm. It's magic.

Experience it, friends!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Back to You

It's been sometime since I shared songs that blessed me. And just now, I feel like this song speaks to me and of me.

Back to You is the title and it is from MercyMe in the Generous Mr. Lovewell album.

Click here to go to Youtube and listen to the song. Or if you're more a lyric-reader kind of person, read the lyrics below.

Jesus bless you today!

"Back To You"

Nobody said it would be easy
Nobody said that life's a breeze
Tossin' and turnin', oh the wind keeps churnin'
Like I'm a little toy boat out on the sea

If I'm down don't count me out
I'll slowly get back on my feet
Stumblin' and fumblin', but I keep on coming
Just as long as you're not giving up on me

When I trip, I fall and slow down to a crawl
And feel like I've got nothing left to lose
I may slip, slide, and watch our worlds collide
But I will
Hit the ground running back to you

There are days my head is spinning
Wishing I could hit the switch and end this ride
If it came to a stop and someone let me off I know
I would just get right back in line

When I trip, I fall and slow down to a crawl
And feel like I've got nothing left to lose
I may slip, slide, and watch our worlds collide
But I will
Hit the ground running back to you

What kind of love would say
I love you anyway
Oh, time and time again


When I trip, I fall and slow down to a crawl
And feel like I've got nothing left to lose
I may slip, slide, and watch our worlds collide
But I will
Hit the ground running back to you
I will
Hit the ground running back to you

I may slip, slide and watch our worlds collide
But I will, yes I will
Hit the ground running back to you
I hit the ground running back to you

I hit the ground, crashing down, rolling round
But I rebound, I get back up and I'll be found
Running, running back to you


I'm running back to you
Back to you
Back to you
Back to you
Running back to you

We (II)

Who says loving anybody is easy?

We need to give more and more. And it's a painful process for we used to be the center of the universe. Now, as we put others first, we shift the center to them--not us anymore.

Only God, the Source of all love, can recharge us over and over again.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Quarter

It's October.

A Quarter of a year more, we'll be in 2012. What could be less exciting than that?

Wrap up the year gracefully, friends! Make it count! I am trying too!

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

We

Love is all we need.

Give more of love and we will receive more.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy! Happy! Happy!

I believe you know the feeling of being so and very happy for achieving something.

Tonight is one of my best nights of the month so far!

Here the story goes...

I've been trying to fix my almost 5 years old laptop for a few days. Every morning I woke up, I opened my laptop and kept looking for a solution for the problem. Well, the problem wasn't very critical to my productivity but more on something that should-be-okay but it-currently-is-not.

It was the graphic card: it didn't want to show up in Windows 7 platform. For almost 8 months, this problem didn't bother me cause I never had to extend my computer to any other display. But recently, after I moved into my new place (and there is TV there), I felt so bad that I couldn't maximize the use of the TV. So I said to myself, "This laptop used to have graphic card inside, I didn't believe that someone took it off while repairing it, it didn't make sense. I should find a way to install the driver!"

If you know me, I am not an IT girl. I'm not too ignorant about taking care of my notebook but also not knowing how hardware software inside out. Normally, I would wait til I get back to Indonesia to fix any problems that my lappy has. Or, I would ask some IT expert friend(s) to help me fixing them. But the heart of the problem is no one I know of here can help in this matter. So now, I have to make it work by myself!

I started with finding out the name of my graphic card -- it was not detected anywhere (not even in the device manager). I installed some device detector programs but ended with being asked to pay for the complete software. So it was a dead end.

Next day, I was able to find the name of the graphic card after finding out the model of my laptop and so I started to search for the driver. But after searching for the AMD support site could not find any tail of it. Moving to other non-official websites, I downloaded some of the drivers but couldn't seem to install it successfully. I tried downloading more and more drivers but it didn't work.

I almost gave up Win 7. Actually, I gave up Win 7. As it was planned by God, my housemate had a Windows XP Service Pack, without thinking twice I backed my laptop up into my external HD and tried to downgrade the platform to Windows XP - I thought, it used to work with XP so this time it would work.

Halfway during the installation, without knowing the exact reason there are a few files that can't be copied during the installation of WinXP which made a fatal error on the installation. Feeling desperate of losing my system (no more W7 and the new WXP not working), I was saved by another W7 that my friend had. I thought, it won't work, but it was a smooth process for the W7 system to hang on to my laptop. So, I was back to the same old problem.

I thought, okay, I couldn't go back to XP, I really had to make it work in W7. I decided to go back to the forums, read some more, and try a little more. Yes, I did find more clue, such as: Mobility Modder (a little software that helps to modify a program for its compatibility with Vista or W7), but it still wouldn't work with my lappy. Finally, I said to myself, "One more time, if it won't work, I'll give it up."

And so I did try one more time, and ... miracle did happen. Miracle does happen. It works.

My housemate was asleep already and I could dance and make some noises if she wasn't. So the happiness builds in inside of me and I can't wait to share this with lucky friends who read this post! I did it! I did it! Just like little child jumping and running around the house once he had built his own Lego Robot and Airplane, yes, I am like that in my mind right now!

I didn't expect that I could make it work, but I did! And the glory is all to God who planted the seed of perseverance and patience from the very beginning this graphic card project began.

And I am so thankful to my housemate who had been so willingly lending me her Windows Installation Pack! Helps come from every direction of the wind!

So, friends, please Stay tune on whatever we are doing! Obediently follow God's prompt(s)! And let him take us to places where He desires us to be (undoubtedly very well-thought and beautiful places).

Good Good! God is Good!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fun Day

1. Driving a big U-Haul track (mover truck) for the first time. It felt so awesome: "I am the king of the road".
2. Watching "The Letters to God"
3. Getting a real sweet deal of two nice and comfortable office chairs.
4. Lifting up a black 3-seat sofa to the third floor (no men and no elevators, lol).
5. Listening to the plumber fixing the leaking pipes with tearing down the apartment.
What an awesome day! Thanks Daddy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

k e y

I had no idea why my mind was scattered everywhere right after I got back from my holiday. Probably, there is just too many occasions to be processed. Worse, I can't remember what I wanted to do a couple of seconds ago.

Here is the embarrassing yet startling incidents that had just happened to me consequently:

1. I drove home from Tania's place and I need to park the car inside the parking space, but the parking lot's key is inside the house.
2. I had two luggage: one was in the right front seat and the other was in the back trunk.
3. I entered my house code but it didn't work. The house code should have been changed. I thought I needed to ask my housemate about the new code.
4. I parked the car outside (in a random parking space with intention to move it asap) brought the first luggage in but left the second one in the trunk.
5. I got into the house, met my housemate, said 'hi' and burst into my room (I didn't ask about the house code).
6. I got the key to the garage, went out of the apartment, but forgot to take the car keys.
7. I returned to the apartment took the car key, went out and park the car.
8. I suddenly saw someone getting inside the residential area, I had to catch him up, lest I would have to wait for someone else to open the gate for me (I still didn't know the house code) so I ran to him.
9. I got the code and back to my room.
10. I realized that I didn't have my luggage with me.
11. I got out again. This time my housemate asked me to check the post box.
12. I picked up my luggage and walked back to the house.
13. In the front door I remembered I had to check the post box.

Silly! I'm like losing my short term memory.

Above all, I realize that sometimes we could prepare for everything. We thought we had had everything but at the end we still missed one or two things. But despite our carelessness, God makes everything good - for the ones who love Him.

The end of the story, I opened the mailbox and the letter that my housemate had waited for weeks came. And I was the one who brought it to him. Joy-making hand.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pain in Love

Sarah: "Why can't you say anything? One thing to make this feels better (sobbing)."

Therapist: "There are no shortcuts, Sarah, in life or in love. This pain must be felt. The alternative is much worse. It's what makes us special, what makes us beautiful, what makes us worthy. That pain of how we love. Now, that pain is accompanied by something else, isn't it? With your pain there is hope. And that's where you are; somewhere between agony and optimism and prayer. So, you're human."

~Brothers & Sisters~

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

+

Fundamental equations that sum my life:

Me + God = Perfect Combo
Me - God = Total Loser

As far as I can remember, my success(es), my victories, or my achievements always include God. Well, what I did was simply acknowledging Him on what I do by praying along the way, thanking Him for everything, having fun and enjoying the moment, and trusting Him to guide my path. In many cases of my life, that works!

It's kinda funny whenever I remember those moments when I wanted it to be perfect but things just turned in opposite way. While the ones that I say, "Let's do it. Let's see what it's gonna be. I don't have any idea but let's enjoy the adventure. Do my best. Pray first (God first)." become the Moment of moments of my life.

I am not saying "let's just be reckless and see what tomorrow brings without planning or even praying first" but it is more on the joy of trusting God in every step of the way. As a Friend, He wants to be in every decision we make (well, why not, He has all the wisdom, very great reinforcement). As a Savior, He knows how to make it work (so, why don't we include Him, in our planning?).

More and more blessings for us!!!

Proverbs 3:5.

Out of Dust

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of dust

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Chorus of Beautiful Things by Gungor.

Since yesterday, the lines of this song's chorus has been written on the wall of my room. And just this morning that I had time to stare at the words and thought of what it could mean.

I happened to be vacuum cleaning my room yesterday and I had this bag-less cleaning machine which I find very convenient -- I can see transparently if the dirt container is already full or not yet and I don't have to worry about looking for the right type or size of dirt bag for the vacuum cleaner ever. And while I was throwing away the dirt from the container I saw dust residing besides all any other dirt type you can think of.

Yes, the small, almost invisible, dirty-making, go-to-trash-bin-, worthless particle, that is dust. Yet, if you see beautiful men like the ones in Gay Parade or beautiful women like the mermaids in Pirates of Caribbean 4, they are all from dust. Only God can make something so beautiful out of dust.

Well, I believe, beauty isn't limited to visual beauty only. I normally find beauty in food, music and lyrics, arts, books, movies, sciences, landscapes and other things that don't cross my mind at the moment. They feed my sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch senses.

One thing about beauty is that it is enjoyable. Like art it might not be for everyone but there is a group of people who has similar perspective in looking at beauty. This group of people is the ones who would be able to enjoy that beauty the most.

I also would like to say that God is also beautiful. He is the most beautiful -- well, if you believe He's the one and only source of beauty. And if we are called His sons and daughters, shall not we have traits of beauty in our blood? I suppose, we do.

So, let's make your world and my world a more beautiful place to live today. Each of us has the seed(s) of beauty inside us! Grow it and share the fruits with others! Else, write a poem, compose an encouraging speech, arrange a song, make a movie, shoot a portrait, curve a sculpture, brush a canvas, bake a bread, fry an egg, build a bridge and sing a song!

God beauty out of us!

Sad Saul

What made David different than Saul?
Were not both of them chosen by God to rule over Israel?

Take a look at their story in 1 Samuel 8-16. I believe, the revelation will be so big for each of you personally. Like it is for me.
", God bless.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Parking Ticket

520 West Ash Street is where my Campus is located. It isn't 30 minutes drive away from the city but it is right in the heart of downtown San Diego. And like in any other metropolitan cities, parking system is very limited and expensive. The less expensive ones are available for shorter time meter, which means that after 1 to 2 hours the parking meter has to be recharged and the car has to be moved somewhere else. If not, the parking officer would be more than happy to tag the car with a yellow envelope enclosing a parking violation notification or the ticket.

It was after class this afternoon when a friend of mine and I saw the yellow-so-hateful envelope clipped beneath the car's wipers. It wasn't expected. He was convinced that he'd had the meter filled up and he even had moved the car to a different place.

Too bad so sad. There isn't many options that we have when a ticket is issued. To go for appeal, we need to have evidences (which in our case, we might not have sufficient ones). Moreover, it would be so frustrating and time-consuming with all of the paper-work. The simple way out would be to pay the charges.

Anyway, it was my first time holding the "blessed" ticket with my own hands. My mistake or not, I was angry -- we did anything that we could do to obey the law, but in return we were issued a ticket -- and what I want to do the most was to tear up the ticket. I assumed that by doing so we could erase all the issues surrounding the ticket from our memory and from the now-heavy-and-dark-air and come clean.

As we drove home, the whole ticket problem clicked me on the concept of forgiveness. I was guilty -- maybe not just with my parking charges but with my other transgressions and short-comings. But Somebody had paid my charges in full and set me free. He took the ticket from my hand and tore it; and now the ticket has no power on me.

And just by imagining that I didn't have to pay off the ticket anymore, I was so relieved.

Well, I and my friend still need to clear the parking charge, but I believe, I won't have to worry about my other "charges" for Christ had dealt with them around 2000 years ago. He took all of my guilt and shame to the cross and nailed them there so that they would bother me no more. So when the time comes for me to face the Judge, I will be confident that I am not guilty for any charges for I have been redeemed.

What a marvelous sacrifice.

Security Check

Beep, beep, beeeeeeeeppppppp......

"I am sorry, Ma'am, you forgot to take of your boots. Please put them under the scanner and re enter the metal detector gate."

I believe, anyone who has ever had a flight would have experienced undergoing a security check. It's troublesome and time-consuming. But it is necessary for the safety of all passengers and crews in the flight.

A discussion in the class about separating professional matters from personal matters brings me to write this reflection. I do believe that the two matters are inter-related but not sticky; meaning it can be separated and therefore be dealt individually without disturbing the former matter.

The key is that there should be the thin red line, the filter paper, or the security gate which would remind us that it is time to be a professional (my definition of professional is someone who makes a difference in the workplace, is a part of the solution and not the problem and brings positive influence and atmosphere) and to leave the personal matters which won't do any good to anyone in the office or field at home.

And I was so struck at what I'm reminded of. Prayer. The red line is a prayer. The filter paper is a prayer. The security gate is a prayer.

I used to take time to sit for a minute or more to pray before I leave my house to school. In case when I forget to pray I would murmur my prayer when I cycled my way. Over time, the murmur more often had been forgotten. Well, in university, the time when I do have to go to classes isn't as fixed as the time when I attended high school. So, I didn't want to say too much prayers, I thought.

However, today, I realized that I am missing something powerful. By not saying my prayer, I often forget my place. I am at school but my heart and my mind are at home. And I am not being professional or productive at times like that. Friends, colleagues and professors could feel it that there isn't any spirit in me and my presence didn't make any difference.

So, I hope, now that I am now aware of the power of prayer. I would always make use of it and make everyone's day a better day because I'm in the house. Yay.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Green Light. Walk.

The time on the 5th Street trolley station's board was showing 9.47 a.m. when I impatiently stopped my bike to the traffic light in front of me. I was running late to church and I hated to wait for the sign to turn green. Maybe if I were the me of a-few-years-ago-before-that-accident-happened I would have passed through the stop light.

It was an evening after school. I peacefully cycled my way home. Like what I normally believed --that the roads in the Netherlands were safe and the drivers were very cautious and reasonable-- I confidently and carefully crossed every red lights which were slowing me down on my way. I felt that there were just too many traffic lights.

One last traffic light before I reached home, I was convinced that I had to stop. And I did brake my bike and stopped. What happened next was very eye-opening. I witnessed a car crash just before my eyes. It was like a few seconds ahead of me. I thought, if only I didn't stop on that last traffic light. I would have...

So, back to 9.47 a.m. this morning, yes, I stopped. In that cross road, my stress level raised pretty fast. In front of me there was this very long trolley (a.k.a. metro) blocking my view to the traffic light; I didn't know whether it was red, green or yellow. Well, I let it go. I knew it was green but I couldn't go yet for the trolley was still in front of me and not just blocking my sight but also blocking my way. And after my precious next few seconds the trolley left soundly. But, what a coincidence, behind it there was another trolley coming to the station. Ugh, I almost exploded.

Thankfully, I didn't explode just yet. I succeeded in calming myself down and the second trolley wasn't as long as the first one, therefore I could pass the cross road. Foolish me, getting angry at a traffic light, wasn't me? Well, it seemed like it. But I might have learned something diamond-worthy this morning.

This is what I learn: my turn will come. It doesn't matter how long, what's blocking my way, and how annoyed I could be, there will be a time for me to WALK for it's my GREEN LIGHT. I hope, we all have a little more patience to whatever we are reaching for and working for.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Sweetest Portion of the Day

It is when I close my eyes and feel deep inside my heart that I am loved.

It is my new friends, best friends, brothers, sisters, family and especially the Ultimate Creator who had made my day. I pray til tomorrow comes we'll be united in the love of all loves, the love of God.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Passed Halfway

Hi Everyone. It's July! We are officially in the last half of the year. And I just want to write my afterthought. Hope we all be in our own life-calling's track!

Have we lived 2011 more with regrets or with accomplishments?

Come on! We can still make 2011 counts! ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goodness

*in the bus from Philadelphia to New York City, last day of my upper east coast trip.

This trip ends surprisingly.

I am glad I come to Philadelphia and meet my Aunt and her husband. I've never met them before in Indonesia and they have never seen me face to face too. My aunt was close to my Dad and my other Aunties.

I came to Philly very late at night on Friday. But still they welcome me so warmly. They treated me so well and took care of me during my stay. I owe them a very deep gratitude now. And as far as family thing is concerned -- which in most cases, complicated -- I find knowing the never-known relative is fun and energizing.

I know now stories in the past that my Dad never tells me. It is also very heart-warming how a sincere action could really touch a person's life. And it all leaves me with an unending thankful heart for the One who makes it all happens.

Keep sharing resources, time, idea, encouragement and love, folks! I am sure we won't be running out of them after we give 'em all. Bless _.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Forget You

I am not writing a post about the song "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green.

For me, the fact is Jesus loves me so.

The way He loves is unconditional. No matter what I did, how I looked and who my parents were. Even at times when I make silly mistakes and feel so bad about myself.

Forgetful is me. Careless is me. Foolish is me. Yet He still loves me.

Too bad I am forgetful. Too bad I am careless. Too bad I am foolish. I forget how He loves me so. I carelessly get mad at Him. I am a fool thinking He wants me to fail.

The good news is He catches me whenever I fall and then He lets me to stand on my own feet again. I guess, what I need to do is to be more humble and lean on Him all the time despite of the way things should happen like I want it to happen.

Jesus bless you, friends!

21

I am blessed. I am fully blessed.

In life, I do want so many things: more pocket money, smarter brain, wiser understanding, less bad habits, more collection of clothing and shoes, newest and coolest gadgets, and on-going non-stopping list. Oh, how very human I am. Human with never ending desire and satisfaction. :)

Well, the wants, wants, wants prove that I am alive and not death. And I am just turned 21, thank God (and now Tuti has companion --- at least for a little longer)!

It's exciting to be 21. Well, in the U.S., I am now legally an adult. I can drink alcohol (if I want to), I can rent cars and book hotel on my own, and do so many stuff that a minor can't do. However, I am more thankful that by being 21, I have more days in my life that I can be thankful for.

My best friends, the PreUB clan, made me this blog, a special blog for my birthday. Check it out if you want to see how cool and touching the blog is on happybirthdayraissa.blogspot.com. The whole blog reminded me of a lot of great and sweet memories. Plus, how lucky I am surrounded by these very caring friends and brothers and sisters in God. O, I feel so loved. And I know I don't have to say this, but deep inside, I thank you PreUB!!!

Anw, I gotta run first. Continue later. NY trip is coming today. I haven't packed my stuff and I am attending CIBU Graduation ceremony for my peers today. I might not have time to do packing afterwards.

God bless you, ppl!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Where I belong

I would never forget where I belong.

I am Indonesian even though more than half of my blood is Chinese related. I speak Bahasa. I have black eyes, brown hair, and not so-pale-skin. I cook Indonesian foods occasionally. I love and enjoy them a lot. Many non-Asian friends would find it difficult to guess correctly from which country I am from. But I am not confused. I know exactly where I am from.

For someone coming from a small town like me (Tulungagung, East Java), I had traveled more than my peers. My motivation is the desire to experience the world, including its culinary. From the beginning I am not a difficult person. I eat what is served on the table. However, if I always have the say, I wouldn't mind eating soto ayam, daging rawon, tempe dan penyetan, burung dara goreng, kepiting saos merah, sate kambing and many other Indonesian foods everyday.

Yes, I miss those times back home: the overflowing supply of food and fruits, the never ending story and discussions on the round-dining table, the non-stop Korean Drama which would make my dad laugh and cry altogether, and the fun beating my cousin in ping pong.

Anyway today's homesick also reminds me that I am not from this world too. My original citizenship is in Heaven. Thanks to the Lord God Almighty who has given His only Son to save me from the hell fire and give me the privilege to have a double citizen (one Indonesian and the other Heaven's citizen).

A day will come when I won't be traveling anymore and I'll come back to the place I belong. It would be such a great joy and reliefs. I would enjoy everything that I long for at the moment. And while I am waiting for that day to come. I am going to travel safely, gratefully, joyfully, and purposefully.

My most dependable insurance

Anything could happen; good ones or bad. But to this promise I will hold on and my heart will praise my God. For ...

...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all of the days of my life.

To the right I see your goodness.
To the left I see your mercy.
And looking around me all I see is Your grace.
All of the days of my life.

Surely goodness - Israel Houghton - The Power of One Album.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't

We know that we're not supposed to take everything for granted. But how could we easily forget that? - Angela in Bones.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

keyword

shopping
hot beef taco
bible
doodle god
plant versus zombie
overseas friends
sauna
oreo family pack
bones
cantaloupe
thanks
smile

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IF He calls us to the fire ...

... and if we have to go through fire, go to the fire, just go to the fire. Worst, we'll be burnt but saved. Else we find out that we are fireproof. For Jesus, He's the God who saves us from fire.

ROCK Church's San Diego Sunday Service 10 a.m.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

IF i've learned anything

If I've learned anything is that we can never let chaos and injustice make us so blind with anger that we become part of the problem. Understanding compassion, kindness, and love are the only true revolutionary ideas. When we compromise those we become what we despise and we lose our humanity. Soccer Mom ~ Bones S03E02.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

IF i can say i love you...

This is the first post i make for the IFseries.

This week it's about romantic love for me. I stayed up later than I would normally be awake for the sake of watching several romance, comedy movies.

I find it amusing but also amazing seeing how a moment can change someone's life, especially when love comes in their way. Let's say, in Romeo and Juliet, one of the most tragic classic love story that man ever heard, I bet, you can count with your fingers how many times they meet (physically). Yet, their love is as strong as death.

Before I go on, I know, I apologize if I am a bit overboard here. FYI, I laugh at myself too while I am writing this piece for I have never thought I would write something like this.

Back to the movies, the part where the main actor and actress say the sacred three-word long, it's always dramatized. The director seems wanting to emphasize that it's all about love. Yeah, the movie and the story are to be told because of their love. Nothing else matters. =D. Well, I guess, that's somehow true. They should appreciate their moment. For they have gone through a lot of hurdles just to be there, to say "I love you" and to make the moment remembered for the rest of their life.

Jumping out of the movie discussion, I am now listening to the New Hillsong United album, the Aftermath. It's their songs that inspires me to write that post. I listened to "Like an Avalanche" and "Bones" and find a similarity in their lyrics. Both of the chorus of the songs have that sacred three-word. This time it's addressed to Dear God.

It's this truth that I've been loved every single day of my life by this person called Jesus that is undeniable. Yes, he loves me so. He loves me more than a romantic love. It's stronger than that. It's an individual experience like all other love experiences; one needs to feel it by himself to know that it's true and to be able to measure his lover's love.

So, IF I can say I love you, why would I wait so long to say it to you? I will say it right here right now, because there might not be a tomorrow. I love you, Dear J.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

'IF's

WHAT IF THERE IS NO IF?

It would be "what '...' there is no '...'?". =D.

The fact is 'if' is in the system. We can't take it out and we are used to have it around.

Inside our complex brain, the system tells us how to react to certain situation complementing our basic survival needs and maybe more (i.e. ruling the world as if in thinking, knowing, learning and mastering what's going on in the universe to control it).

Anyway, it works from the simplest procedure of bringing an umbrella if it's raining up to predicting when the world is going to end if it's going to end.

What I want to say is actually this. I keep on thinking why I make this decision and not that decision. Most of the time for me, the simple decision making of yes, no becomes very complicated inside my brain and there are points where I can't reason further. I don't have sufficient data to continue the if's process.

Whenever I reached that point of frustration, I just wish that there would be no ifs or my mind could work in a more simpler way.

However, a wish sometimes is better to be a wish. I don't have the power to change things, let alone changing the system. We all understand that 'if' helps us to simplify many situations. I guess, what I could do now is to think less and do more.

*While writing this post, I became inspired to write more about my 'if's. Not really knowing how it's gonna turn out but hopefully it can help sorting my problems and maybe our problems too. We'll see how it goes. Bye for now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It is a gift

Everything is a gift. What I am right now. Who I am right now. Where I am right now. It isn't my work(s). It is all given to me as a gift, as God's grace. And all I need to do is to response to this gift, to receive it.

=D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

learning love-hate

What if i say, the truth is no one likes learning.

Studying, learning, and being-taught mean similarly. For me, it's a pain-staking process from not-knowing-anything to understanding-the-thing-slightly-better.

I had a little conversation with my housemate just now. He hates studying at night. He's tired and he needs his sleep and when he's sleepy he's just not in the mood for studying.

Then, I mentioned to him that I love studying at night. It's quiet and inspiration is just flowing over.

Well, I don't really want to point out the differences of studying types here. I only thought that if both of us do love studying, it won't matter when and how we would be studying.

So I come to the conclusion that I personally don't really like studying. Yes, I made a statement that I love studying at night but I guess I meant, I prefer the time at night for studying and not the time when the sun is shining. And if I have the option not to study and go to sleep, I would be under the blanket already and sleep my night through.

What's funny here -I don't know about how you feel about studying, do you like it or hate it- is that the Wise always says that we have to seek wisdom like priceless treasure and choose knowledge despite of wealth, but in fact only a few people do practice it (including me).

I study because I have to study: tomorrow is exam day -what else can I do. I study because I don't want to get red marks; my parents won't like it and I would hate myself. I don't perfectly agree with these reasons. They are too shallow and don't last long.

I wish I could study because I love it, because I want it above all else, because it's my lifestyle and it is for God. I wish.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wrestling

This morning, after writing my NuttKraPy section, I listened to a sermon from the Hillsong London Podcast. The title is Nobody's Perfect by Luke Brendling. For two days in a row, I encountered this word 'wrestle'.

If I'm right, Brendling says that when we wrestle with God, we won't win.

Yesterday, I read Genesis 32. The story of Jacob returning to Canaan and going-to-meet Esau scene. His wives, children and flocks were across the ford of the Jabbock already and he was alone on the other side. A man whom he later thought was God came to him and they wrestled til daybreak.

It seems to me that the fight ended in a tie before God threw Jacob's hip out of joint. Jacob's named changed to Israel which means God-wrestler and Israelites don't eat hip muscles to this day.

I wonder if Jacob was afraid. He was going to face Esau, whom he cheated and robbed before he fled to Laban's place. Approximately 20 years had past and he never had had any contact with his only brother. Jacob was betting all he had: his possessions, his wives and children and even his life for his meeting. The fact that he stayed behind after sending his wives across the ford could mean that he was going to run away, run back to Laban's place.

Anyway, why did he have to wrestle with God? Did God just come to him and say, "Jacob, spare with me, it's been sometime since I've fought with anybody". That's less likely to happen. So, Jacob must have something else in his mind that would make God came all the way down to him and had to fight with him.

It is most likely that he wasn't convinced enough that he had to return to his father's place and go back and face all the mess he created 20 years behind. This time with no support from his mom. He feared that he's not going to be able to escape from the consequences of the trouble he made and got out of the situation alive.

So, that's why he's acting weird: all mellow, hopeless and away. But just at that point of doubt, God came and made him stronger. And, praise God, yes he didn't win the wrestle but then he was stronger and ready to move on, to face all his biggest fears, uncertainties and worst-case possibilities and to receive the promises God had given him.

May Love love you all. God is love campaign.

NuttKraPy

My morning bread and butter (literally) in San Diego :
1. Down slice: Nuttela, the Original Hazelnut Spread
2. Upper slice: Skippy, Cream Peanut Butter
3. In between: Kraft Cheddar Cheese Low Fat

It's yum with very strong Skippy peanut taste supported by rich dark-milkish Nuttela chocolate. The cheese is a bit odd, but I just like it like that.

Anyway, while preparing my sandwich just now -I ate them in no sec and now it's running down the maze of my body, not knowing how they could turn out to be something, uhm, ... tomorrow morning- I thought of something.

The formation of my sandwich just looks like the formation of relationships. Each one of any living human is created precisely special and unique in all ways that only he/she and the Creator know. Just like my jams: I've got Skippy and Nuttela.

In texture they are very different, one is coarser and the other one is smoother. In color, I have shiny dark brown for the N and light peanut yellowish-brown for the S. So, I assumed I've got two different persons here.

What's interesting is when I am about to mix them together, meaning putting one on top of the other, I insert my slice of Kraft Cheddar Cheese in between those two slices of bread which makes my bright yellow cheese intervenes. It's just like dear Daddy who's so fond of relationship(s) that he just wants to jump in between each of the relationships we're in.

As a result, I have made my own home-made styled sandwich. It tastes just perfect. plus the Cheese, I've added another new breakfast-eating experience in my life.
Good morning, world!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lessons

Suddenly I remember the ways my Mom and Dad used to use to remind me not-to-be-naughty.
I feel funny now, how I could be that stubborn before. Anyway, got some points to learn.

Well, here are how my parents did 'it':

First, they noticed I did something bad (whether it was my need-to-improve habit or my naughtiness, I vaguely remember) then they looked at me in the eyes and shake their head. Meaning: no, not good, stay away.

Second, I ignored the eye-speaking-sign. Mom would start pointing her finger and sway it. She meant again: still not good, I warned you! -- Dad stayed silent.

Third, I still played around the fire. This time Mom will start speaking to me, "Raissa, don't!"

Forth, I was so small, too curious about everything, even curious about the look of my Mom's angry face. lol. So, she'll start calling my name again, this time to sit beside her. She was going to 'cubit' me.

Fifth, I didn't heed her. I ran outside. I knew she was going to make that move if I sat beside her. Then, it came to the time, when she's gonna go after me and grabbed my hand too-tightly til it hurt and finally 'cubit' me and tell me all the things that I should have done.

Sixth, Daddy still stayed calm. However, if there was no Mommy around. He's gonna go directly with the fifth method plus a stick in his hand, or a comb. My doom.

Well, after all, both of them will come to me and explain, that teaching or punishment is sometimes necessary. It's for me to remember it well. I guess, what they did is really effective, ha? I do remember it well.

Now, I hope, I can be more sensitive so that they don't have to scold me physically. Well, if I do get scolded. I should always understand, it's for my good.

Stop Sign

Traffic lights and sign boards are designed to prevent something unwanted (i.e. accidents) to happen. They also directs the flow of traffic. However, most people, including me, perceive that they limit our freedom and ability: freedom to speed and ability to get from a place to another as fast as it should have been.

Well, in the Netherlands or in Indonesia, there are not so many traffic lights as in San Diego. Here, in every turn or every block I make, there is always a stop sign waiting. It's annoying. I could imagine, why my friend always complained every time he drives to school or any other places; he had to stop every 20 meters. What's worse, there could be about 20 traffic lights to school. It's not energy efficient for the car!

Luckily, I ride to school and I find this road where there is not one traffic light blocking my way --up to 10 blocks-traffic-light-free. I am glad I find this shortcut. It feels like I earn back my freedom, I gain my speed, and the road is mine. I am relieved.

Today I passed through this highway of mine. I rolled on the right side of the road, switched to the left side in the next section, pumped my bike harder, glided in between the obstacles of the road and enjoyed the ride. Until I finally encountered a stop light.

I stopped and thought: this traffic light isn't actually that bad. I run fast enough just now. I enjoy it. But now, I have to stop so that I can rest, catch my breath, and get ready for the next part of the exciting journey. And without a stop sign, I might not be able to enjoy the ride as much as I did today.

Well, I know, in the first place, I shouldn't be thinking that traffic-light is bad at all. It's there for my own good. But I am just so accustomed about one thing: rules are there to be broken. But from the joy of riding I have today, stopping means recharging or refilling my energy which I would need a lot in the later part of the journey.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Patience cooks result

The aroma of the chicken broth slowly lurks into my nose and tempts my hunger to hurryly jump to the pot and open the lid.

I am making "nasi tim" at present. I haven't had a single meal yet since this morning. The idea of making nasi tim suddenly came to me. I browsed my refrig and found enough ingredients to make it. Plus, it's cloudy and cooler outside; a warm tasty meal will really make my day, I think.

So, there I am sitting, waiting for the chicken to juice out more and more broth and reading "the Shack by William P. Young" altogether at the same time. Then the aroma comes around. And I wonder...

What a patience should one's have while waiting and hoping for the best to come.

All professional cook, I believe, understands this concept. They can't hurry the meal's preparation, they could ruin everything by doing so. I am not a cook, not even close, I am just learning (from Mom's, sisters, Youtube and cookbooks). One thing that I learn from them: there is guideline in cooking and believe it or not, I should follow the guideline in order to cook it better. If not, I think, I'll be able to eat them but no one else would like to. Lol.

Patience will eventually show better results.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life's Manual

I finally have a bit more understanding of why King David loved to meditate on the Word day and night.

Simply because the Word is the guide and the light of my way. I often get confused and lost. Therefore, preventing an unwise decision to be made and empty promises to be said, I really need to learn the manual of my life inside out; the walk-through of life.

A Significant Factor

The power of God changes life; not magically but constantly day after day.

To be remembered today: I am work in progress, let the Potter shape me according to His will. And during the making process, I need to endure all the pressure, heat and deformation. Cia yo. I'm never alone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New New New

Announcement to make today: I've got my new Bible I ordered from Amazon today. It's the NIV Zondervan Study Bible - recommended by Ce Lisa. It's a study Bible and there are so many notes all around. I hope I'll find it more interesting to read and learn about the context of the passages written. For most of the time I found it hard and confusing in figuring out the reason or the purpose of the text.

Emotional Swing

Have you ever felt numb inside your heart?

I woke up this morning and felt like doing nothing. It might seem to be a sign of laziness for most of you but it was more than that.

I felt like I had lost all of my passion, confused and not knowing what my dreams were. I was blank; brushing my teeth, taking shower, preparing lunch, doing make-up and going to school just like a robot. All in automatic position. Reacting only when stimulus come.

While Kaka has been so happy today, I seemed to be the opposite.

All in all I find it very strange. It rarely happens to me. However, I happened to read across Isaiah 40 today. What a coincidence! Well, there is no coincidence, God makes it happen.

It's the famous encouraging verses, some of the most beautiful promises written. Starting from 29 up to 31. It says:

He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.

For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,

They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind.


These verses do bless me.

Oh yes, one more thing, at the time when I felt nothing, I didn't even want to come to class. I had no mood to step outside my room, ride my bike for 15 minutes and listen the Lecturer for 5 straight hours. But then I was reminded that it's not just about attending classes, it's about everything that I and everyone around me have worked for so hard. It's about investing knowledge in myself so that I can be what I want to be in the future.

Yes, dreams come true is not just one-magic-night-work. It's the accumulation of the effort made each single day, Connie said. I guess, I forget about it today. But now I remember and I will remember it well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No! Thanks.

Saying "NO" saves.
It rescues from unsupposed-to-be situations which most of the time frustating, money and time consuming, and hard to get out of.
For some people, including me, it is not easy to say firm 'NO' but when it's been said, people gets to understand.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Philip's Instruction

I get the chance to read the passage about the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 today.

Verse 26 says, "Later God's angel spoke to Philip: "At Noon today i want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza."

That verse shows us the instruction of God's angel to Philip. I notice, the instruction is pretty clear on the TIME and PLACE. The angel said, "noon" and "road to Gaza from Jerusalem". Philip wouldn't have to worry about getting lost. He knew where to go.

But rereading that verse once again, I realized that the angel didn't say anything about what's the trip about. He didn't talk about the purpose of walking down the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. I wonder if Philip was wondering about what he's about to do.

Moreover he was sent to a desolate place. According to the English dictionary, desolate means barren or laid waste; devastated. It can also mean deserted; uninhabited.

Well, if I were Philip, I would have asked a lot of questions to God. Mostly asking for the purpose of the mission. But thankfully, Philip was obedient enough to follow the instruction. He did made the heaven rejoices.

Thinking again, it must have happened so quickly for Philip to complete the mission. He was probably singing and dancing on that devastated street so loudly before he met the Eunuch. He could also grumble and hate God for sending him to a place so desert and scary. But right after he saw the eunuch, it was all business, and it was an easy catch -remember he didn't have to do anything too difficult or preach out of nowhere; the eunuch was ready to believe. And just as he finished baptizing the eunuch, the angel took him away. No strings attached.

It was surely a good day for Philip. He wouldn't regret going to that dark alley all by himself to save a soul. It was a surprise for him too.

All the thoughts today remind me that it would not be that difficult. Along the way God has spoken and prepared all party's heart and mind. Only when I listen carefully and obey then I will be there. It might be a desert place but I should be moving on because I am on a mission. It's just a click of time before mission accomplished and I'll wonder about God's work in my life and the people around me.

Anw, I didn't expect to write this long. But well, thanks God for His inspiration today. God bless you all!

816

It's the hour face as I look at the time on iPod. 8:16 AM.

I was half-asleep, just waking up from a warm and tight night sleep. The sleep was better than yesterday's when I had annoying bad dreams. My thoughts in the morning, I felt, tend to be too negative. Or, I would say realistic: without hope and faith.

So, I scrutinized my forehead as I read through the hour, and it wasn't just that once, 8:16 or BIG (nominal to letter reading conversion). These past few days, I happened to see it more often. Spontaneuosly inside my head I responsed, "What is it? What kind of BIG thing is going to happen? What is it now that is for me? Am I ready? Ugh, it seems BIG and difficult!"

Well after asking so much questions, I thought, it wasn't necessary. Maybe, God just wants to say good morning by saying that everyday is a BIG day, don't miss it by sleeping for too long. Or calling me BIG, because He wants me to be like that (not physically but inside). Or, maybe it is also true that there would be any BIG surprises coming on my way today.

Anyway, I am nothing, but with God, who is BIGger than BIG, I am made BIG. So, why can't I put a BIG smile on my cute one and only face? I suppose I won't have an excuse good enough not to at least smile.

BIG HEART brothers and sisters!

Foolish Doubt

Ha ha. I laughed at myself.

I felt like a fool questioning how U love me. But the fact doesn't change. U love this foolish silly forgetful and doubtful little lady. Hihi.

Where are U taking me to? I'm going with U.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Breakfree

Ah, so fast time flies.

I've been wanting to write something down since I came to San Diego, California, U.S. But never got to open this blogging website. And now, it's time to update myself.

So far, everything's nice. I like the harbor, the roads with expensive cars rolling on them, the blue color of the sky, the weather (it's warm but not so humid like in Indonesia and much better than in NL), Sea World and the Old Town, and so much more. There are a lot of new things I experience here -thinking about it now, I recommend myself to write a section about that-.

Well, today I just would like to say that it's the day where I start my adventure. For almost 2.5 weeks staying here in this beautiful city, I have lived mostly inside my room in the hostel or in my new apartment. I watched movies, Chinese drama series, soaps and listened to music and sleep. I cooked as well sometimes. However, last night I made a decision to explore the city more.

I woke up early today, left my house at around 10, and head off to Old City. It was an experience. There were nice old and historical Spanish-American buildings including: Saloon, Horse Stable and tobacco shop (shops you see on Cowboys' movies) and lively sightseers and shoppers. I wish I have a better camera, I'm sure I could capture nice moments.

Next, I took the bus number 9 in direction of Pacific Beach and visit Mister Sushi in Garnet Avenue. The sushi is perfect. I had a very nice chat with the Chef and his wife -they are both Japanese-. And they even gave me a guava -as in fruit-. It smells so good! Like it a lot and for San Diegans, I highly recommend Mister Sushi.

Then I ended my day with a visit to Sea World on my way back. Watching Shamu for the second time was still a refreshing experience. You can't never imagine that killer whales can be that cute.

I am so happy today that I can go out and do something different than my routine -staying in my room and playing with computer. Should do it more often.

The Shamu show gave a very strong message that there is nothing impossible when we believe. The interaction between a very huge mammal like killer whale and human tries to convince the audience that very specific message.

Once again, I want to remind myself and you: everything is possible. It only takes our faith to make it true.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HADIRAT-MU

Lyrics : Sari Simorangkir
Music : Arvid Gunardi

DI HADIRAT-MU TEMPAT YANG KURINDUKAN
NAPAS HIDUPKU DAN SUMBER KEKUATAN
DI SANA KAU NYATAKAN ISI HATI DAN RINDU-MU
SEHINGGA KUMENGERTI BERHARGANYA HIDUPKU
HADIRAT-MU YANG MEMBAWAKU
TERIMA SEMUA JANJI-MU
MENGUBAH HIDUPKU MENJADI INDAH
HADIRAT-MU YANG MENGUATKAN
AKU DI DALAM PENGHARAPAN
YESUS UNTUK SELAMANYA HIDUPLAH DALAMKU

This song just came out of my mind this morning.
It reminds me that the only place I can feel safe and strong is in his presence.

God bless you, people!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Please wait, it's loading ,..

I wouldn't say that I am good at waiting.

I know what I need to do when I have to wait but I just can't do it right.

Oh, I really wish that it's going to come to true at the moment I pray, but no, it's not happening.

Faith, faith, o faith, why can't I have a little bit more of you?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Good Night's Sleep

Just as I woke up this morning, I wondered, "Did I just have a very good night's sleep?". I had not slept this sound for sometimes. Not until last night. I don't know myself why or how could that happen.

Amazingly, an answer comes straight to me. I read Proverbs 3 (The Message). In verse 24, it says, "You'll take afternoon naps without a worry, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep".

Who's the 'you' here? I guess, it's the friend who guards Clear Thinking and Common Senses with his life; and never loses sight of them for a minute (verse 21).

So, answer to the question is CT + CS.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Girl's Night

It's been so long since I really pray, I felt.
Ah, this is what it's called praying with power and authority, I said to myself, praying in another dimension of prayer.

It was like a sudden urge in her heart and she just spit it out. She asked me lightly, "would you like to pray with me?". I was surprised. No one had asked me to pray except my Mom. I was reading my Bible back then, and I answered her spontaneously, "sure. why not?".

After that, we started singing a few songs and praising God. It was her who started the prayer. She thanked God for everything: for the day, the opportunity to be here, for our friends, our family and loved ones and even our troubles. Then she started to pray for me, my future and also her future. She ended the prayer with blessing the night. Complete and simple.

But when we prayed, I couldn't think of anything to pray for -usually when I and my mom pray, we always pray for one another and for one topic and another. It was strange, my mind went blank. But amazingly, she covered all the topics that I could pray for and when she said 'hallelujah' - closing the prayer or waiting for my turn to pray - I just said 'Amen'.

I opened my eyes after that and she did too. She told me afterward that it was the first time she prayed like that. Her prayers were very thorough and she really looked like an expert prayer when she prayed. She was shocked too, never imagined that she could pray like that.

I am very encouraged by her prayers and support. I guess, before the prayer, I just forgot how to pray, you remind me about the power of prayer, Jie! Thank you!

~when she prayed, the faith inside us grew really strong, and it was then reflected in our words -very powerful and refreshes body, mind and soul-~.

I faith

"Don't you worry just be happy, temanmu di sini", Project Pop sang.

Today my passport plus my US Visa are supposed to come but they are not here yet! It's more than 3 working days already (the website says that it might take 3-4 working days to send back my documents).

Should I worry? I shouldn't but I am worrying anyway. I guess, it's time to trust God once again! I faith Him!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Holiday Routine

1. more than 8 hours sleep
2. read Bible (new plan): Prof. Horner's Reading Plan
3. touch my second child (violin): not sure if i'm really practicing or not, at least my violin would still feel loved
4. graping (watch movies, drama series) or shopping
5. help Ce Lifi and fam (?) cooking and cleaning
6. skyping if there is someone on skype *waiting for someone*

is it good enough? huff

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Ex- or the In- ?

What's your motivation?
What is it that drives your thoughts and actions?
I ask myself those questions this morning.

I was startled by my own answer. I react to things and I do not make things happen. I wait and not actively searching.

I am more determined by the things happening outside me without considering what is inside me.

Oh yeah, I'm going to let it all go and believe that the Spirit in me is not the spirits if fear but the Spirit of victory.

~good morning, Daddy, ilu~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Limited



Oh, my best mates in Shanghai! Nice pic, rite? But, where am I?

Take care, all my friends: T.A. mates, Malang brothers and sisters, Fontys friends, Shanghai family and everyone I know all around the world! May God bless you all and keep you safe and sound!

Twice

Shanghai was a lot of learning process but also a lot of fun.

Now, I am back to Eindhoven the Netherlands. Back to the life in Europe; peaceful and smooth.

I'm gonna tell two similar stories I experienced in these few days of my stay in Eindhoven.

Thursday, 27th of January 2011.
01.15. I arrived at Eindhoven railway station. Grabbed a taxi. Heading to a hostel downtown.
01.25. Found the hostel but there is no one in the receptionist desk. Checked out a hotel nearby. It was fully booked. The guy inside told me that there might be no room for me in all Eindhoven. He didn't know why.
01.35. The same taxi driver sent me to the Hotel Corso in the centrum. Checked it out but no one was there as well. A Dutch guy, jumped into the taxi, knowing that the taxi driver was going to drop me to a close hotel nearby so he could be sent home after me. Went to Sofitel Hotel, but was full as well.
01.45. Following the Dutch guy advice. Saw several hostel close to the PSV Stadium. The receptionist said the same thing too, "no room, fully booked".
02.00. Last resort. Holiday Inn hotel. I couldn't get any room as well. I was told that there was a conference in Eindhoven. A big one, supposedly. Finally called the only contact I had, Mr. C. S. and he agreed to let me stay in his house for the rest of the night.

Thanks God!

Saturday, 29th of January 2011.
12.03. At Ms. L. H. front door. I sent a message an hour earlier while leaving from Mr. C. S. house, stating that I'll be there at her house in an hour. Rang the bell four times. No answer. Couldn't call her. Phone was down. The back-up battery was inside my big 30kg traveling bag. Didn't want to open it up and unpack it.
12.05. Decided to leave the house and hoped that there would be the last bus to the city center. I thought, at least I could take a taxi from the city center. FYI, in Eindhoven, there isn't so much taxi around except you call them first.
12.10. In the bus stand. Saw the schedule. The last bus was coming in 9 minutes. Good. But that bus doesn't go back to the station. It goes back to the garage. Need to walk about 2 km to get back to the station. Well, I might be able to convince the bus driver to drop me somewhere on the way to the garage, but where?
12.15. Took out my back-up battery. Call Mr. E. S., thinking that he might still be awake and sure he was. His house is in the same bus line. I thought it was a good idea to visit him and Ms. R. P.
12.35. Did convince the bus driver to take me with him. Got to the bus garage. Walked from there to Mr. E. S. and Ms. R. P.'s house (the big bag was with me). lol.
13.00. Arrived in destination. Having great fun talking about everything in the past few months and meeting three new friends; Ms. B, Mr. J, and Mr. P. Chat til dropped. Slept at 4 a.m. in the morning.

Two nights and two early mornings, I traveled all around Eindhoven looking for a place to stay. And twice, I found a place to rest my head upon. What does it mean? I don't know. But I am glad to be able to see old mates back here. And they really did save my ass!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are you ready for SURPRISES?

Surprises always take someone off-guard. It is sudden, unexpected and unanticipated.

There could be three types of surprises in this world, according to me, lol. First category of surprises is the surprises which make you happy. The examples are plenty, like: birthday surprises, Christmas gifts, and lottery winning. On the other hand, the second category can be related to loses; disaster, death of a friend or family member, accidents and sicknesses. They break our heart.

The later and the last is the category of surprises which challenges you to do something. It requires a right and reactive reaction at the time you get the surprise. These surprises don’t last too long. They might only come once in a life time. They could be categorized as an opportunity by some people but for the novices, it might be difficult to be seen as one.

Like this afternoon, after church, I took the metro line 6 home. I had to change to line 2. It was quite a cold day today and I was off the train and a bit rushing to take the other train (line 2’s) –couldn’t take the cold and only wanted to get home really fast. Two girls approached me and asked me a question in Chinese. They thought I am Chinese –in fact, I am Indonesian Chinese, but can’t speak Chinese, lol. I didn’t really understand what the question was and I just said that I am sorry, I can’t speak Chinese. And with a nice answer, they thanked me, “thanks”. I would never see them again.

After that event, inside the metro, I pondered I could have helped them in a better way. Yes, I couldn’t understand what they are asking for but at least I could try to understand their question more by asking whether they’re able to speak English or not. If they can, I might be able to help them and thus I created a nice memory in their mind and heart. Also in my heart.

I might not see them anymore but it becomes a lesson for me. The verse of Matthew 5:43 all at once rung inside my ears. It says “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (KJV)”. When people approach us with their problem and questions, are we ready to answer their questions no matter what our condition is? Can we show them that we can exceed their expectations? Would we at least show them compassion?

Even though they would rephrase their question, there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to help or give them what they need (to know). But, an act of good will, intention and kindness can in a way or two make a difference; both in their life and mine.

Are you ready for surprises?
Are you ready to treat a stranger like a friend and an enemy like a family?
Let’s be prepared!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The beginning of an end

Today, my internship in Essential Finance is officially over.

It's been a pleasure to be able to work in a very international company like this one. Moreover, I could experience life in Shanghai.

I won't forget things and hard lessons I have learned here. Selling is not easy but that what challenges me to be better person. I wasn't born to sell and I should study really hard about the art of selling.

I hope my motivation to learn the art of selling doesn't stop here. I used to hate salesman a little bit, maybe now I still do, but I realize that there is nothing wrong to be a salesperson. It's not a bad job at all. It's a great job and can make a lot of money. It also expands your network.

Knowing it's the end of the internship, it's time to begin writing report. Lol. I have 3 weeks left to finish everything up. I am building up my faith and believing that I can do extremely well.

Crossing finger.

Happy New Year, better late than never!

As encouraged by several friends of mine back in Langma Malang, I write this post and make note that I'll keep on blogging.

This first blog for this year will be short. I just want to remind everyone not to throw away your new year's resolution list.

If possible, elaborate on the list you have and make each resolution SMART. For business people or students, I think, you can close the tab now, but for the ones who doesn't how to make it SMART, I suggest you Google it. lol.

In short, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed. So, if you wish to lose weight this year. Write clearly how many kilograms you want to lose from your now-sexy body and will-be-sexier at the end of the year and how you would do it.

If necessary, break your goal quarterly or monthly. It's essential for your tracking purposes.

Have faith that you can do it! Faith is the source of everything, without it all you do is vain.

Wish everyone a great year! It's a lovely and wonderful year! I don't want to waste any minutes of it.

God bless!

Thanks to Sue for the new year's resolution sharing time which inspired me to write this post. ^^