Monday, December 31, 2012

Won't let go

God won't let go of my hand even if I let go of His. 

Happy New Year 2013, Family! Do not fear for His faithfulness to us is forever. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Last night was the second day of Christmas. I spent it with some lovely friends in Eindhoven. Didn't know what really struck us, after dinner we started watching Opera van Java. And for the next several hours, we rocked our abs.

In this episode, Pak Bolot was invited as a guest star. He is one of the actors/comedian/artist who was famous in the 70s through the 90s. His signature joke is that he plays deaf. Some have to shout to his ears to get his attention. Others have to have known specific keywords to convey a message to him. Talking to Pak Bolot is a pain.

I have been meaning to write this post for about two weeks. The inspiration was Revelation.

Have you ever been wondering why the letters for the seven churches found in the early part of the last book of the Bible always end with a message to "listen"?

To the church in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, the Word says, "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. (MSG)" One message. The same message. Seven different audiences.

What played in my mind while reading those passages was:
LeftMind: But was it only seven churches that the message was given to?
RightMind: I think that John -the author of Revelation- really needed that message too besides the seven churches.
LeftMind: Why?
RightMind: He saw a completely different new world, unusually beautiful but strange creatures, and a big deal of events happening. He must have been very shocked and distracted from seeing all those visions.
LeftMind: The link between John seeing things and the message to seven churches?
RightMind: Listen. The word: listen.
LeftMind: Go on.
RightMind: It is very normal for human to be distracted. Especially with all the cool things going on around him. John also was a human. He was ordered to write everything he see in that vision but he could have written what he sees as worth-writing about rather than the real message. However, God must have known that human mind is so limited. He repeats to make His point. He said to John, "Listen. Listen to what I say, and write it to these churches."

Is God also telling you to listen, Friends? Or have you been listening to what He wants to say to you? Or instead, you have been telling God to listen to you, to your need, to your requests?

He has our lives, Friends. He bought us full priced. He knows what is best for our future. We are the ones who should have listened to Him. Obey Him. And not Him obeying our orders.

Like John, the message to the churches was for him too, just like this message to you also is for me. Pak Bolot can't hear right in his acts, but outside the stage, I believe he listens to what the director of the show says, lest he won't make such a great entertainer.


 7"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.

Monday, December 24, 2012

All I need is You

The statement, "All I need is You", does not normally come out of the lips of the proud. It comes from a heart-felt statement of those who are troubled, needy, and hopeless.

Thank God of the highest heavens for His presence. Thank God that it is not wealth, health, or bread that makes us whole. It is Jesus.

Merry Christmas, everybody! He is just prayer away.

Let the peace of God guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

So long, farewell Uncle Xiong!

The cancer, eating away his lungs, was acute, stage four. Doctors in Tulungagung thought it was Tuberculosis. For over a year Uncle had not received the right treatment for his sickness. No one thought he would have the big C, his countenance was fresh and red. He just had this cough that seemed immune to all kind of medicines. It was until August 28th, 2012, that this bitter truth surfaced. My mom brought him to a hospital in Surabaya and in a day he was diagnosed. The doctor said that it was just a matter of time. He went back to Tulungagung and died on December 15th, 2012, 8.45 PM.

I do not know much about Uncle Xiong. When I grew up he lived in Kalimantan and while he was in my hometown, Tulungagung, I was away studying. I only met him during holiday season. This is a story that my mom tells me. I am sharing it to you for it has touched my heart and I hope it does touch your heart too.

At his funeral many paid him a respect. Over 500 breads were consumed--a number that was strangely surprising to my mom--at those mourning days. Uncle Xiong was not a public figure nor someone who liked to draw attention to himself. His life was not even a happy jolly life, I would say. He owned the saddest story of this year (my version).

Nine years ago, the reason why he came back to Tulungagung, his hometown, was that he was divorced. His wife cast him away. She took his daughter and wanted nothing to do with him. He was a rich guy; not very wealthy but had more than enough. He had a plantation and lands. His ex-wife took all of them too. I am not sure how that could happen. But he was left with almost nothing. In Tulungagung, he had to live with his sisters in the East house for he had nowhere to go.

My mom said that that event brought him closer to God. He was never serious about God before his expulsion. In his last months of his life, he never complained, mom said. Whenever he felt better, he always joined the 4.30 morning prayer at church. He also served on Sunday services as an usher, counting how many people were in and distributed church flyers. He did not just lay in bed, doing nothing and felt sorry for himself.

The best thing was that he could still praise God in his lowest time. Everywhere. In some emergency rooms. In bed. At home. Outside. He told people that Jesus is enough. He told everyone he met that the best thing in life is to know Christ. To be loved by Christ. He even shared that he has his own experience with God. He met God and God is a big, strong, and handsome man. Then God said to him that if he ever needed anything he should come to God.

A few days before he was called home, my mom asked him, "Are you still angry? Angry about your wife, what she had done to you?" He replied, "No, I have forgiven her."

No wonder he had so much joy and peace even when he was in a deep black pit of sickness. His heart was not bitter. His heart was filled with God. God indeed replaced his sorrow with strength and contentment.

Anyway, I pray that his family would know Jesus like he does. For us, my prayer --and his prayer too-- is so that we can know Christ and follow Him wholeheartedly each day of our lives, to keep trusting Him with everything we have got, and to diligently study God's Word and keep vigil in prayers.

See you one day, Uncle Xiong!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wasting time is

Wasting time is spending plenty of time doing something halfheartedly and ends up with nothing at all, but resentment and self pity. 
Have you ever been in my situation? 
I work but my mind is not on my work. It is on 'idle' mode. I, therefore, minimize my work, turn the video player on, and relax, but in a few minutes my mind sends alert signals that deadline is coming. I can relax no more and I can work no longer. 

This is what I realize.
I should do everything wholeheartedly. If I have decided to work, I should work until the work is done. If the work is never ending, I should plan my work so that I will not be over-worked or become a workaholic. If I think I need to rest, I will rest. I will not think about any works that await me and bug me. This way there is no time wasted on being confused. 

Take home points.
Wholeheartedly work. 
Wholeheartedly play. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

10 days before Christmas

I would like to first admit that I have learned hard lessons this year. I went through refining fire. I almost came out burnt as ashes, but praise God, I would not. I believe that He has instilled diamonds quality in me. I will definitely reflects his love more extravagantly once I am out of this furnace. 

Anyways, I just read my own old blog posts from last years. I could see how faithful is my God. He has done great things for my life: saving me from car accident, meeting me with the right people on my traveling, surrounded me with some great folks, allowing me to see the best places of this earth, and many more. Then I wondered if I have had some exciting stories this year. But it is just not the same. This year was less thrilling, less adventurous -- from a story plot point of view. 

Am I being not thankful for this year? I am not. 

I am thankful for everything that God is working on in my life this year. In the top ten of my praise list, somewhere in between God, my coolest family (Mom, Dad, and Lil' Bro), best friends, and church family, there is this guy. He is from Solo. He likes me and I like him. He changes my world. He lightens my burden. He makes me smile. He takes care of me when I am sick and depressed. He surprises me. He listens. 

I know that there is only a few films that tell the after-story of how a boy meets the girl of his life. Those films always end with they live happily ever after. Maybe, film producers that life after that is boring. But I see it differently. I see that things will get much more interesting after 'the end'. 

This post is not intended to tease those who has not found her or his one. I am currently and will be praying the hardest prayer ever prayed, "Lord, let your will be done on me". Courtship is a serious commitment, it is best if I can use this time to really know this guy inside out. Attentive to what God have to say to me, he will give me the strength to do it. 

Map reading

The ultimate GPS system cannot bring us to our destination if we do not carefully read or listen to the instructions conveyed.
Psalm 119:9-10 (MSG)
How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;
don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I look to you

This song, originally sung by Whitney Houston, has strengthened me in the last few weeks. Only in God, I'll find my peace and purpose.

As I lay me down,
Heaven hear me now.
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all.

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun.
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.

About to lose my breathe,
There's no more fighting left,
Sinking to rise no more,
Searching for that open door.

And every road that I've taken
Lead to my regret.
And I don't know if I'm going to make it.
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.

My levees are broken
My walls have come
Tumbling down on me

The rain is falling.
Defeat is calling.
I need you to set me free.

Take me far away from the battle.
I need you.
Shine on me.

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.