Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Witch to Woman

I like it a lot when the new Korean TV series tells a story of how love changes a person. From the worst, rude, heartless witch to a nice, lovely, caring woman. 

In reality, people hardly change.

Are we good enough to the point where we do not need to change anything anymore? Or is it our pride and comfort that hinders us to be a better person? 

Holy Spirit enables us to change. He teaches us to be humble when we are prideful. He reminds us to be careful in our words when we usually speak carelessly. He pokes with His soft voice and tells us to be forgiving when it is so hard to forgive. 

Are having that dramatic changes that God has intended us to be?

A zero into a hero. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Big Fat Lie

I would be facilitating the cell group in GUPta Youth tonight. So, for the last two days I have been browsing my old posts to find some inspiration and testimonies how God has changed my life.

I write down in my notes, "Christianity without change is a big fat lie."

Oh well, as I was going through the posts, I read and read a lot about the goodness, kindness, and magnificent works that God has done in my life. I was reminded about how He was there through my ups and downs; struggling to finish my thesis, looking for a job, surviving in a whole new world, facing a weird employer, and some more.

It was good read; very good one even. However, I find that I don't really write many posts about the change. The change that God has done in my life. I don't really say I was so bad and God made me this and that (better). The reasons could be that the changing process is not finished yet, but it might also be that there are completed processes which I am too shy to share. So I am now thinking to write the change that has happened throughout my life.

The change
I used to be carefree (cuek). I cannot trust friends. I thought that friends were not real. I had an experience where the best of friends didn't consider me as best friends. I was hurted. So I shut myself up. I didn't want to make social contacts. I focused on the tasks I have been given. There was even a point, where I looked down on people. I wanted to live for myself.

God changes me now into a more socially-relatable person. I enjoy hanging out with friends. I began to find their worth. I treasure every moments, jokes, fights, and long discussions. I try to be there when they need me.

God is a relation-centered God. He is full of relationships. He has a relationship with the Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, with the believers. And He also would like to be in a relationship with those who have never known him. I think this is the reason He wants me to be more open to people, so that those people get to read us, to read Him in us.

(there may be a part 2 of this post)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So Good, It's True!

This excerpt was an answer for my friend's struggle on sleepless nights and wandering thoughts. I am so in awe of the way of God in meeting people's need. He is so good, so caring, so close, so real.

Depression can be experienced at many levels and for many different reasons. It’s rarely an easy thing to get out of depression. And, of course, there is a difference between being depressed and living in depression. Something may go differently than you had hoped and you feel depressed. But when your choices and your life begin to look different because of the negative feelings you have inside, then you are facing depression.

Depression is the fruit of something deeper. You shouldn't feel ashamed about your feelings, but you must know that God desires something better for you. He wants to comfort you and restore you to a life of joy. Get quiet before God and let Him be your counselor.

PSA 13:2 NIV

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Smiling Boy

I saw a smile. So pure. So innocent. So carefree.

It makes me wonder, where along the way have I lost the sincerity?

No winning or losing, no I and my ego, no regrets and tears, it was maximized fun.

The arrogance, the evil ambition, the false intention, erase them all and help me smile that smile once again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

One Saturday

It feels so good to just relax, stay at home, have an easy conversation with my closest circle of family and friends rather than run sprint all the time.

I get it why God created the Sabbath. It is for our sake definitely. Thank you, God, I feel so recharged.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Gourami

Eid ul-Fitr festival 1435 H. Second Day.

It was two in the morning and I could not fall asleep. As I was staring at the ceiling of my bedroom, I thought about the sweet sour Gourami in the refrigerator. Oh, the tenderness of the inside and the crusty outer appearance... Hmm... But I understood it was too late to have a late supper so I hold myself back and switched my mind to having the tasty fish in the morning for breakfast.

Morning came with the mosquitoes having their fill before I did. Dad was in the dining table asking Mom for something to eat. He complained that he had to wait too long for the Chicken Lodho (Ayam Lodho) at his almost everyday breakfast stop, Bu Sri's. Starving, he asked for anything the refrig had.
Thinking about the Gourami, I rushed to the dining table, did not want Dad to have all my tasty Gourami. Mom took it out for serving. I drooled. But something not usual showed. The plate where the fish was watery! The fish was literally soaked in water. Bad! Bad! We did not know where the water came from--it must be water from the freezer.

For a while we weighed the options of saving the fish, so sad we had to let it go, lest we wanted to get sick (maybe?).

Hi everyone! It's been sometime since I pushed my fingers onto the keyboard for this blog. A lot has happened--even though I try to minimize those life events--but in a few words, I am back to my homeland, Indonesia. The over-thinking period of staying or not staying in the Netherlands is over and a decision has been made. Tulungagung is my current stop (not sure until when) and it makes me feel a lot more alive!

The Gourami story is a little reminder for me that even the tiniest plan could fail. Who are we to boast about our future?I could not even make sure that I would eat the Gourami I saved after dinner. I hope we will keep calm if things really go wrong (in our eyes), for God does have a better plan for us! I ended up eating shrimps for breakfast... Kya!

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring. 
~ Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
~ Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Friday, March 28, 2014


These verses are pure beauty and yet so powerful. 

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. 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. (Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Favorites vs. Intimates

Does God, the all loving God, play favoritism? 
Does He love that preacher more than he loves you and me? 

I used to think that maybe God loves him (read: that person) more than me. I also wondered why He shows more of Himself and reveals His secret quite often to him but not to me. 

J. Oswald Sanders clears this blurred understanding of mine. His blog post lay out the fundamentals that He loves us all the same. We are not less worthy than the other. The only possible explanation why He seems to 'love' somebody more than me and you is the deep desire this somebody has for God. 
We are as close to Jesus as we choose to be, for the Son of God had no favorites. 
Recommended references
Favorites vs. Intimate (Audio Podcast)
Four Circles Of Intimacy With God (Article)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Choose love

But I don't believe it; to let her go when you really love her. I believe in loving her as much as you can, every chance you get.
~ Emergency Couple

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Why did Daniel pray three times a day?
Why did the story of Daniel and friends start in the Babylon? And not in Israel?

He prayed because he knew that prayers were his strength. God is the source of his strength to get through each one third of his day.

He prayed not because he is religious. He prayed because he was in a relationship with the unlimited source of wisdom. I bet, as a minister of the most powerful country in his time, Daniel needed constant counsel in order to do the right things and make the best decisions for the country.

I imagine Daniel and God were like best friends. They could not stop messaging and put their smartphone away for a second. He wanted to make sure that God led his way.

Earlier I also wondered why the story of Daniel began in Babylon, a place for the exiled. I believe, it should start in Babylon not because it makes a more dramatic story but because it is about depending on God in the most hopeless place.

Before the invasion, Israel was already a chaotic place--unlike the time when King Salomon ruled. But at least, in Israel, Daniel was at home. He knew the culture, he had his families and friends, he was safe and secure, and he was not oppressed by anyone.

In Babylon, I cannot imagine the office politics, especially in a governmental institution where Daniel was assigned to. It must have been so dirty. Once Daniel put his guard down, he could be dead.

All these are merely my translation of Daniel's story. All I want to convey in this post is only a reminder to come to God each and every day and not only when worst things are happening in our lives. Maybe, we are now in the exile, we are far away from home, we cannot depend on the things that normally back us up, and we do not have strength to fight or any idea on how to solve the problem. Just like how Daniel needed God like he needed his vegetarian meals, do we need God that much? A possible explanation of why we do not need God that much is the likeliness that we are using our own strengths and efforts to solve it on our own. From personal experiences, it never got me out of my problems and mostly made me feel a great disappointment to myself. The only times when I felt victorious and glorious are the times when God brought me through.

      Not by might, nor by power but by my spirit, said the Lord. Zec 4:6

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Pyrex

What's meant to break will break.
What's meant to stay will stay. 
I am going to name this accident The Pyrex.

It was a Friday morning in Tulung Agung. A day before I went back to Holland. My pretty cousin stayed over. We watched Jokowi, the Movie, and stayed up late the night before. It happened when we were preparing breakfast.

Mom was in a hurry. She was going to the bank when she instructed us how to heat the soup and not break the Pyrex bowl -for she broke quite a few herself-. While she was blurting out the instruction from her experience, I thought to myself, "why am I being lectured for doing something as simple as this?". Anyway, I followed all her instruction, including not using the metal spoon for stirring.

But we did not know one other factor that would cause the Pyrex to break. Overheating. I turned the gas higher and after a few seconds. Bam. It broke into two. And we ended up having soto without the soup for breakfast.

Mom tried so hard to keep what is valuable to her. But sometimes it does not matter how hard we try to make it right, things will still go wrong. We can't never know everything and every reason why things happen the way they are.

In the absence of rationality. Only God makes sense.

No power is power

If I can't walk, I know you'll carry me through. 
If I can't run, I know you'll fly me there.