Monday, January 21, 2013


I wish I would never have to write this post. But because there are no accidents, I, wholeheartedly believe that this is for you, for us. 

Last week, when I wrote the post entitled Treasure, it was about my Blackberry phone. I lost it. And it was not the first time I lost a mobile phone. It was the fifth. Up to now, I am not sure whether somebody stole it or I carelessly drop it somewhere. 

Losing this Blackberry hit me hard. It had been in my life for almost two years and always been there for me when I wanted to call, message, and talk to somebody. I thought it would still be with me for another decade. I treasured it. 

In a way, I feel rob. I feel that some parts of me are missing. I am incomplete without my Blackberry. Moreover, it is very hard to find as good of a replacement as the lost one. I know, there are many cooler phones out there, but they will not be able to replace the memory that we had. 

On the other hand, I am also strongly reminded about this verse. John 10:10a (NIV).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 
John 8:44 says that the thief is Satan (I am not implying about human thief here, but the spiritual thief). Thus I begin to ask me, ask us, these questions. Are we always guarded? Have we build a strong wall or the most advanced security system in our lives to fight against this thief? Or is it more often that we let our guards down and we are not alert that we are in a dangerous zone while the thief is targeting us? 

At times, I admit that I forget that I am in a constant spiritual battle. I think, God is my shield and my salvation, He is gonna have my back. So, I do not really put my armors tight while I am living my daily life. Is this kind of thinking right? Now, no, I do not think so.

Other parts of the Bible also say that (1) our battle is not in the flesh, it is spiritual, (2) we have to put on the full armor of God to be able to stand against the devils' scheme. In other words, we must be guarded all the time, lest we would be bruised, stripped, and left with nothing. 

Losing a Blackberry is not fun. Now I have to pay a big amount of money to get a replacement for it. But I think, it is worse if we lose something precious spiritually (for example: our quality and communication channel with God), because it might be harder and more costly to redeem that. 

I sincerely pray that we will always be ready to fight the devil to stop the devil from stealing from us any longer. We got to fight for more victories in our lives! 

P.S. If God is for us, who could stand against us. Yes, God is there to fight with and for us, but, no, it does not mean that we are free from the battle. We still got to fight, Friends!

Raissa Setiawan

Friday, January 18, 2013


Precious. Lost. Hard to let go.
Better. Treasure them with all our heart. Now. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The reflection of the sun from the icy road was so bright this morning. It was like glaring at the sun directly. I got to be really careful while riding my bike home. 

I got to be thankful to God that the sun does not normally shine this bright when it is raining or snowing. I thought, if it does, there could be many more accidents happened in the road, merely because of the limited range of the drivers' sight caused by the bright reflection from the road.

Praise God for He thinks of every little things. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Cursed Fig Tree

Mark 11 (MSG)
12-14 As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him.

...The story suddenly switch to Jesus chasing out the merchants of the Holy Temple. However, the next day...

20-21 In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!”
22-25 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone,forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

I find this story very odd. It seems to me that Lord Jesus woke up in the wrong side of the bed. For the whole day, He was all so pitchy, cursy, and angry. 

Out of no where, still quite early in the morning, He could not be a little bit more patient to the fig tree knowing that it was not yet the season for figs. I wonder if His disciples were as startled as I am seeing the way Jesus reacted. 

But, He must have a good reason for doing so. 

If I could take a guess, Jesus was trying to say, "Watch out with your words while you are not feeling fine or in a good mood. It can kill a person."

In the later section of the paragraph, the story continues. Jesus explained why He did what He did. And my guess was somewhat right. It was about the power of our words. Our words have the power to:
  • remove mountains,
  • get God's everything (from our smallest need to our biggest one), and
  • forgive the unforgivable. 
As it is written many times in the Holy Book, watch out with our tongue, Friends. If it can make a fig tree wilted in a day, it can also crush somebody in a second. Choose the good side!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Mark 8:34 (MSG)
I have recently started watching Happy Endings as recommended by a good friend of mine. Quickly, I can identify myself so similar to Jane, a control-freak and a perfectionist. Thank God, I am not that severe yet. However, yes, I admit that I often like things to be in my order and my ways.

So, when that verse came up in my morning Bible reading today, I was corrected. I should not try to lead things into the purpose that I want them to be but I should be led by the One who knows the way. For me, it also means releasing control and let God take the steering wheel of my life.
What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? Mark 8:37 (MSG)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Unreasonably right

FLASH NEWS: I submitted my thesis yesterday! Praise God. What a relief, one year of effort translated in 103 pages of writing.

My story today is about how good and great the work of God is in my life. 

For many people writing a thesis is a piece of cake, but not for some, including me. I did not know where to start and how to finish it. Fortunately, I was surrounded with awesome people who support me relentlessly in prayers and words of encouragement. Thanks, Guys!

And even though I had missed God's prompts, such as buying a black ink cartridge (not just the colored one) and not bringing bicycle lamps, He still allowed me to submit the thesis on time. The not-fun part was that I had to live with the consequences of not 'really' listening to Him. 

Firstly, I had to go the campus, wait for long queues, and pay a higher cost of printing just because I ran out of black ink at home. Secondly, I had to be extra more careful while riding my bike home, since the sun was already set. The police could have stopped me on my way and sanctioned me with a fee for riding without lights. 

It is only after things passed that I knew that it is the voice of the Lord. It was so soft that I could easily think that it is not important, but I was wrong. It was soft because Holy Spirit is soft and not pushy. His intention is for my best. He will get me where I am supposed to be even though I try to work things on my own. His grace is so abundant that I will not fall out of it but I sincerely think that I got to be more attentive and obedient the next time. And save some troubles for myself.

God bless you, Friends! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Luxury breakfast

Hello, Friends. I wonder how do you normally have your breakfast: quickly or by taking your time like it is a five-course meal? 

The reason I ask that question is that I do not normally enjoy having my morning meal. I even skip it most of the time. Most of the time I even chew my sandwich on the way. However, this morning was different. It was a Saturday and I had more time to actually sit and eat my roast beef sandwich with butter. And milk. 

The action of sitting and taking my time to eat breakfast strikes me spiritually. I began asking myself, "Do I normally eat the scripture without chewing it?" I mean, when I have busy schedule or I wake up late, I practically do not have much time to read the Words of God and study them. I, then, browse quickly like they are side article of the morning paper. 

Additionally, I also started thinking that if there are ways to stimulate our enjoyment during a meal, there should also be ways to enjoy a spiritual meal. Let us say, in a pancake house, one is normally surrounded by the running water on the river and some Dutch music in the background. Even though, what the restaurant offers is only milk, eggs, and flour mixture, one can really appreciate the meal and maybe tell a friend about her experience. 

What if we apply that to our morning (or late night) devotion? We seclude ourselves from the busy and noisy world, turn up praise songs, take out our study books, and start reading our Bible. I wonder if it is going to make a difference. 

Anyway, I am thinking of start doing it. Let me see if I get healthier and stronger spiritually. Nevertheless, you are welcome to join and share your experiences if you want to do so or you have done so. 


Friday, January 4, 2013


This week is the week where my thesis writing comes to an end. After months of effort, I can only thank God that it is ending. Anyways, in my campus, in order to submit the thesis, I need to also write a reflection report. In this report, I am asked to reflect on what I have learned during the last semester of my bachelor studies and write it down in S.T.A.R.R. framework. Surprisingly I find this framework very useful to explain a situation, my approach, and what I have learned from the situation. I would really like to use the framework for my post today. Hope it helps you understand my writing a little bit better.

I am not sure if I have ever written anything about the topic before: waiting. Especially about waiting patiently and eagerly. So, here is for the first letter of the framework: Situation (S).

Situation (S)
Yesterday I ordered online a rim of paper and an ink cartridge for the preparation to print my thesis. I plan to do it today or at max tomorrow evening. The store said that my order should be delivered the next day but it did not specify the exact time of delivery. So I had to wait for the postman the whole day today. I did not want to miss it because if I did, I had to wait for another day or take it myself from the post office the next day. I did not want to burden myself with some additional task.

Task (T)
Be awake and ready when the bell rang so that I did not miss the delivery.

Action (A)
I tried working, cooking, playing games, watching movies to keep me awake.

Result (R)
The delivery came quite late in the afternoon. It was past three o'clock. But I was awake and ready for the delivery. So, after the first bell, I rushed downstairs to pick it up.

Reflection (R)
I had waited for it to come the whole day. It was not enjoyable. My heart and body was alert all the time. I could not rest. I guess, this what God wants when He said that we should be waiting eagerly for His second coming, for He might come unannounced like a thief. I have learned that waiting is an ongoing process of getting our heart ready for an unexpected turn. Our heart may never be settled while we are waiting but that might be because we are hoping to not missing the big thing when it passes. Lastly, though it seems long, we should keep waiting joyfully and faithfully without neglecting our responsibilities.

Be strong in our waiting, Friends, for God is able to sustain us til it comes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Divine loss

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
Psalm 50:14 (NIV84)

It is obviously difficult to be thankful during an uncomfortably hopeless situation. But this verse implies how God is most pleased with our praise in those hateful moments because it has become a sacrifice of praise.
sac·ri·fice (skr-fs)
a. Relinquishment of something at less than its presumed value.
b. Something so relinquished.
c. A loss so sustained.