His Beat. His Rhythm. My Steady Heart

I was reading from Luke 24 today. It describes the situation just few days after Jesus was crucified, buried…and resurrected, and how his followers were still in the ‘fear and confused’ mode. This seemed very relevant to this season of life where almost everyone and their mother is going through some sort of transition, whether with work, life, status, location. Many students in our church are graduating (YAY!) and is about to be sent out all-over Indonesia. Honestly, I think it’s very human (…very me sometimes) to have fear and doubt and questions during times like that, wondering if you have made the right choice…

And the truth is, even though I have grown more these past few years, through the help and counsel from many people, things I learned from others, but I can honestly say that I still rarely am able to convince myself that I made the right decision about something. That’s why I am thankful for what God’s Word taught me and rebuked me through this passage. At least these three things :

1.  Jesus’ Words and presence gives hope and strengthens faith.(v.36) Discipleship 101 – personal relationship with God is still number ONE priority, so we can listen to what he says. Just earlier this week from 1 Kings 19, I love how God revealed himself to Elijah, not in the rushing wing or quake or fire, but in the whisper.
And more than that, Jesus is not all talk…but he always demonstrates his love, his faithfulness and his presence in my life daily.

2.  Jesus does everything and reveals everything timely. After Jesus showed his hands and feet, the disciples were feeling joyful but still somewhat in disbelieve. Then, as they ate together, Jesus explains the Scripture and OPENS his disciples minds to understand the Scripture (v.45) I need to believe that for many of my current ‘whys and hows’, Jesus will help me understand when it’s time. Again, it’s in my human nature to feel ‘safe’ if I can always make sense of what’s going on in MY LIFE (see how many things are wrong in that sentence?) – but God’s Word says that it’s his job to keep me safe as I seek and walk in God’s will.

3.  We live for his Kingdom purpose. This is a challenge to all of us self-centered beings especially in the midst of uncertain situation. But in v.47-48 after Jesus comforted and reassured them of who he is, Jesus redirect the disciples eyes towards their mission. …“and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
That is such a great thing. That’s why I believe that Jesus will help me whenever I start to lose track. He is faithful.

cajon

So, this picture is just one symbol of my personal transition, from 88-keys to …one big wooden surface =) Life is always about learning new things, being adventurous… but it’s all about His Kingdom. And as long as we move in Jesus, in His beat…in His rhythm… we can trust that he keeps our heart steady, because HE IS.

From Reckless to Dauntless…because of A Steadfast Love

Monday, March 30th was the most dauntless day this year…or so I first thought.

I don’t know why I agreed to see Insurgent with a friend, (made her promise that it’s not another teen movie). Given, it was entertaining, even though many things didn’t make sense to me haha.

Fast forward to yesterday. I had to go buy fabrics for decoration at the market. I couldn’t find the color I wanted so they told me to go to another market. I had to ask for direction about 4 times before I finally got there. It was quite far from where I parked to the stores. I checked them one by one but still couldn’t find the right color, or if it’s there, they didn’t have enough. Finally I was told to go past the railway track to the other side of the market where there’s more fabric stores.

I thought…might as well. There was actually a train passing when I was right in front of the gate. I remembered the Dauntless group from the movie I saw recently and imagined what jumping onto a moving train will be like (thankfully I was wearing a skirt hahah).
Then I found 2 more stores, but not what I need. At this point it was getting hot and I was getting tired, not of walking but of the unsuccessful journey. They told me there’s another store up ahead and I was hesitant to even try, but my mind went “Dauntless does not give up!” So I walked to the next store as dauntless as i can be…..until one of my sandals snapped. “Of course this has to happen”. -_- I stood there for a while…looking around and trying to decide if I should go back now.

God to the rescue, a nice young lady saw me from across the road and asked me what I was looking for. I thought ‘wow, I hope I don’t look like a crazy person’ and answered her. She pointed ahead and said that she’ll walk with me! We had a nice short convo about her origin and life. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find what I was looking for in that store. So after thanking her I walked back, half barefoot with one sandal in my hand. Finding a new pair of slippers was so not my goal at that point!
I got back to my car, and started driving back. Behold, just before the exit area I saw a fabric store! I put on my shoes (always keep spare in the car!) and…I found what I was looking for in the 2nd store! =)

train-pasar

Anyway, God used this situation to teach me something really important.

At a dinner later that week, the movie Insurgent came up in the convo again. One of my good friend Tina was trying to put me into a category but couldn’t find the word. And then she was like …OH, you are RECKLESS!…no…I mean…uh Dauntless! I laughed real hard and told her that she was right the first time.

Here’s few things I learned:

  1. Dauntlessness.
    Movies like Insurgent gives the idea that being courageous and brave means that you do all these outward heroic tough-fighting train-jumping sky rise-climbing actions. But if the definition of dauntless is ‘showing fearlessness and determination, not easily intimidated’, it is a lot more than those external things. –
    Is it not fearlessness and determination that ‘farmers’ demonstrate by staying faithful with mundane tasks of growing crops, even risking not having a good harvest to provide for the family/community?
    How about those who try to speak truth with love, at the risk of being misunderstood or perceived negatively?
    Or those who is determined to keep loving people even after experiencing many hurts from relationships, at the risk of getting hurt again?
    This could be a long list.
    I know some dauntless people who take risk in talking to strangers, to listen and learn, and share their personal stories and testimonies and about the hope in Christ.
  2. Recklessness vs. Steadfastness
    This past Sunday Pst Andrew’s sermon from Isaiah 7-8 titled ‘The Choice‘, was also about being FIRM in faith. Verses.1-9 show how in times of crisis we often make bad decisions that exposes our true self.
    I call that being reckless. The amazing thing is that God is still steadfast with His love and commitment to us. Jesus, through the time of temptation in the desert, who as the Great prophet was rejected many many times and hated by many many people, was steadfast until the end, until he completed what he came to do. I still find these words of Jesus very powerful “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily…”[John 10:18 – NLT]

I’m now reading through the book of Judges (slowly becoming one of my favourite) and I see a lot more of man’s ‘recklessness’ and God’s steadfastness.
In Judges 11:15-27, Jephtah made this long argument, proclaiming more than once how the LORD God had always fought for Israel, saying things like “The Lord, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon”…sounds really confident and firm in his faith in the Lord.
Yet afterwards he still made that tragic vow in v.30-31. Was he wavering? Did he feel like God needed a motivation to give him victory? Did he start to put his confidence in himself and what he can offer? How can I be steadfast and hold firm to my faith in God?

It is definitely not easy. Last week was tough for me in dealing with relational issues, training to be patient, diligent and selfless, and I made many reckless decisions in my response to people and situations, whether shown outwardly or in my heart attitude. Today I learned that these things comes out of a place where I don’t put my confidence in God.
It shows my ‘self protection’ because I don’t think God can or will protect me.

I’m thankful that Isaiah 8 ended with Isaiah Resolve of ‘waiting and hoping in The LORD’ If Jephtah’s reckless words brought him a great loss and despair, the Word of God gives us the much needed firm faith in Christ.
I pray that God in His mercy helps me to not live as reckless people, playing around with God’s steadfast love. Sometimes I play church, play disciple. But Jesus didn’t play dead.
He really died so that he can give life through his resurrection, so that we can be true disciples.
And in the power of his resurrection we can all be Dauntless in how we love and serve God and one another faithfully…sometimes riskfully. For His glory.

Have a blessed Easter Weekend!

Psalm 108

Always Have Hope

(late post from Sunday Feb 15)
I was really blessed by the sermon this morning from Isaiah 2 about God’s vision for us to live with great hope and great fear. Throughout this past week, even today I felt more burdened from some of the conversations I had with people. It’s not just the situations but it’s also the fact that I was seeing my own sins and depravity in them, and the tendency to get frustrated and feeling like…I need to scream on top of a mountain (yes I do love mountain these days =), …and this is why I know that God is good and loving and faithful. He knew that this is just one of those days where I need to be reminded that He is STILL far greater than any circumstances, He is still sovereign and mighty to save. He still calls me his daughter and loves me no matter how I fail and sin.

I recently stumbled upon this band “The Digital Age”, listened to a couple of their songs and I’m hooked. This particular song repeats one word only which means “Praise the Lord” and yet it taught me again about the power of praise and thanksgiving to God. When we say “Hallelujah” we are saying God is GOOD, worthy and he is righteous. When we say Hallelujah, we take our attention off our problems and put it on God and his character. When we say Hallelujah, the way we look at life is being transformed.

In the sermon Pst Andrew taught how God can be a holy terror (Isa 2:20-22 – took me back to the Ujung Kulon stormy sea adventure). He is the God of the universe and all created things; who knows what he meant in v 12-16 about coming against the proud and those strong mighty mountains and ships and stuff but v.19 says that it will be so terrifying that people will need to find shelter in rock caves and holes…

BUT in His grace he allows us to submit under his covering and gave us the option of hiding behind the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the rock that we hide behind to be protected from his holiness and glory, if we chose to humbly acknowledge our sins and wanting for security, recognition, or control (that’s me, me, me). And our choice when God humbles our pride is to thank and praise him. Hallelujah!

felt inspired last night...

Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent

71 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
    incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge,
    to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
    my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
    you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

1But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
    of your deeds of salvation all the day,
    for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
    I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

Can’t Stop His Love – Happy Valentine’s Day –

February 14 is here. One of the most wonderful day of the year on which the whole world celebrates and tries to demonstrate LOVE for others.  This might be a bit cliche but let me start with the brief legend that people believed to be the real story behind “Valentine’s Day”

“Supposedly, it began in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor, Claudius II and a humble Christian Martyr, Valentinus.  The emperor banned marriage so that he could have better soldiers,  men who are not bound by wife or kids or family. However Valentinus was compelled to perform marriages within the church for those of christian faith. The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about, even though it was against the command of the emperor, under the hypothesis that he wanted his soldiers to be unmarried so that they would fight better.

He was eventually caught, imprisoned and one of the men who was to judge him was a man (some say he was a jailer) called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. Valentine prayed with the girl and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result. In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage.
(sources here)

A priest named Father O’Gara said : “What Valentine means to me as a priest, is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that — even to the point of death.” –

I agree.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

These past 2 days I’ve been reading from Matthew 26 & 27 which taught us exactly of that kind of love. First there were people plotting to kill Jesus. Then there’s the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ last meaningful meal with his disciples. It’s hard to imagine the intensity and somberness (maybe even awkwardness) of that moment. When Jesus foretold about his betrayal and denial, and how the disciples must have felt and the things that went through their minds. Yet in the midst of that, Jesus broke bread and confidently, sincerely… lovingly say “this is my body – broken for you, this is my blood – pour out for you”

Next scene was the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed all night with all his might, in his deep sorrow sweating blood, at one point probably discouraged when he saw his disciples falling asleep. But in the midst of his heart being troubled, He knew his purpose is to obey God the Father – to the point of death. All because of love. After being betrayed and denied he was put through trial, humiliation and torcher…as the people condemned him: “He deserves death!”  “Let him be crucified!”

And he went…to be crucified.

Nothing could’ve stopped his love.

valentine

To finish I want to share a song that was on my repeat since yesterday called, Can’t Stop Your Love by Worship Central. It reminds me of yet another passage from Romans 8 that absolutely nothing, in the present, in the future, nothing in all creation, not life nor death can separate us from his love.
More than just something to encourage us on this special day, I pray that these words would speak God’s TRUTH into our lives, that He is our perfect loving Father, who relentlessly pursues us. That He is constant and faithful even in the midst of our sinfulness and disobedience and chasing for other lovers.

We know nothing can stop his love….what’s stopping us from loving Him?

The struggles that I face, the choices I have made
Can’t stop Your love for me, can’t stop Your love
The darkness of the night, the scars I try to hide
Can’t stop Your love for me, can’t stop Your love

Where can I go, where can I go..
from Your presence?
In Your light I am known
I’m surrounded I will not walk alone.

Whatever lies ahead, You’re with me every step
Can’t stop Your love for me, can’t stop Your love
It’s true with ev’ry breath, it’s true that even death
Can’t stop Your love for me, can’t stop Your love

 No mountain is too high, no ocean is too wide
Can’t stop Your love
No power is too great, You overcame the grave
Can’t stop Your love

God Remembers – ODF intro

FINALLY, starting off 2015! I have so many posts in my draft but i’ll let this one is go first…

I was reading through Gen 29-30 today, learning again about human’s sinful nature. There’s people deceiving people (even their own relatives), envying one another, people rejecting people. Basically everyone in the family have issues, it was very interesting. I know some of what happened in these passages are relevant to the historical culture and time back then but still, reading chapt 30:14-18 I’m thinking…this is messed up. But one thing that caught my attention most was 30:22 : “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.” – I know God does NOT forget so what does it mean that God remembers? There are passages in the Bible like in Psalm 106:4 when people pray “Remember me, LORD..” or Deut 9:27 “Remember your servants..” but I think it’s just language use from us, and it’s not because God really forgot.

When I read about Rachel, I remembered Sarah’s similar story from Gen.16 not so long ago. Both women probably has gotten frustrated with their barrenness and decided to be creative about the situation. I’m not sure about Sarah’s reason, but of Rachel I’d say, she really wanted to gain love and acceptance from her husband. Especially after Lea, her sister, was able to give Jacob several sons.

Lea on the other hand, had her own issues. I don’t know how obvious Jacob’s initial rejection towards her in the beginning when he confronted Laban about tricking him into sleeping with Lea instead of Rachel the one ‘he wanted’, but in v.32 it says that when Leah bore a son, she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” – she was also longing for her husband’s love who clearly ‘loved Rachel more than her’ (29:30).

I remembered Diana Jhin’s sharing about Hanna and her prayer to God to give her a son (1 Sam 1). She was a different case. While women like Lea and Rachel might have looked to their husband for approval, love and satisfaction, Hanna was looking to God.

As I am still preparing myself for ODF, I find this helpful. Where do I look in order to be filled, satisfied, loved or accepted? I’m not saying we should not care at all about having loving community and family and good friends, but they should never be the primary source of your satisfaction. Finally, I found another resource on this passage about Rachel :

“Earlier in the narrative, she envied Leah and with little faith took matters into her own hand to get children (vv. 1–8). Now she recognizes the hand of God. The text says He “listened to her” (v. 22), thereby proving Rachel had prayed. But Moses (writer of this text) mentions the Lord’s remembrance of her before her prayer to show us that divine grace initiates all of our blessing. (Here is the full article). This last statement brings it all back home -the Gospel. We are more sinful than we can imagine yet more loved than we can understand. On that note, I pray that I have the desire to feast on Jesus. Not just for ODF, but even after this fasting period is over, to be able to keep recognizing that God satisfies me. Last week when we learned from Nehemiah 1, we talked about why he decided to pray AND fast when he heard the sad news about his people and the devastated city and wall of Jerusalem? Through the church I’ve been taught that fasting is not like us trying to twist God’s arm and expecting him to really answer our prayers and petitions now that we’re doing something ‘more than just praying’, like…’Dear God, I’m fasting and praying…it’s much harder…so…please’ But really, from last week’s lesson, it’s a practical way to make more room for Jesus in our daily life.

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer, he was a man of position and probably living the good life in the palace. I think his decision to fast shows his humility saying ‘I can’t do this without making more room for God to fill me so that there will be less of myself.’ His heart was set to do the mission God has for him to do, and he knows he needed the power of God to accomplish it.

Finally here’s a song that represents my prayer to be satisfied by God and his love.

Lent -Week 1

Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.
– Richard J. Foster “Celebration of Discipline”

…the Disciplines are NOT only for spiritual giants or something beyond our reach, but God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings. In fact, the Disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships. Continue reading

Keep Calm…and Trust

Relational problems. I think for me they are always the worst and I am no expert in dealing with them. Just like 3 weeks ago when I had a hard time understanding what was going on. I felt that something had been done to me that was so unfair, and I began to feel a sense of entitlement. I was assuming things, feeling disappointed and upset and I completely dwelt in it and refused to let things go. I told myself, ‘I deserve to be angry, I wanted to let those people have a piece of my mind’ and this and that. Super silly and sinful. But I believe God allowed me to experience such failure so that He can confront me with the true state of my heart.

In short, I gave in (maybe I was tired hahah) and decided that I need to pray and let Holy Spirit take control. It’s probably more of a desperate grumbly kind of prayer but I’m thankful God listened anyway. After some time of praying and letting God have all my frustrations I felt that God was telling me two things, ‘you need to rise above it’ and ‘Ephesians’. I started reading Ephesians chapter 1…again and again and again.

And the Word of God is powerful. I began to see who I am in God’s eyes. As I read v.7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,..” a slap on the face! So much for entitlement. With verses 17-18 : “asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called”…God was waking me up so I can see that I was allowing darkness to come into my heart and how it took all my focus away from what I was called to do.

Those and many other things are just what I needed to hear. And even during those weeks the messages from Sunday sermons are very much related to it (Here’s the link to “Problem Solving“) How in every situation we need to learn to respond as if we believe God is in control! It just blew my mind how sovereign God is. I have been studying the book of Ephesians more in depth since then and it’s been helping me understand who I am before God and even as part of the body of Christ, to keep growing in unity and purity. Today I went through Eph 4:17-22 and God warned me from having a calloused and hardened heart even from becoming apathetic towards who God is and everything great that He’s been doing. It was great!

Just this week I share this with someone, and afterwards she told me that she’s experiencing the exact same thing at this very moment. In fact she is still kinda bitter,and also feeling that she is being wronged and has every right to be upset and angry. We talked about it for a while and then she mentioned that a while ago when she had the same situation w the same person, she was convicted to pray and fast. And it really worked because that person changed. So I told her,”Maybe you only think that she was changed (even though we had no doubt how God can change people) but, maybe the bigger change happened in you rather than in her, as you fasted and prayed and sought after God.” And she was like… ‘you’re right!’. Okay, the point is not that I said the right thing because it’s not like something new and I’ve been told the same thing by other people. But you know how God is and His timing, and as I was saying that, it was also for myself an ‘aha’ moment. I realized that’s what God’s Word been doing to me. It’s been renewing my mind and influencing my heart. Now even when similar situation happens, I don’t react the same way. Most importantly, it doesn’t distract me from what I should be focusing on. Same as everything else, it is still a process but I feel God’s grace is enough for me.

As I prayed with her together for this, I’m encouraged and grateful knowing that we are in this fight together and we are in this to win because of God. And already I’m hearing good testimonies from her yesterday. Yay God!

So this song has been an inspiration for me throughout this time.

Your word inside of me, …my strength, my everything
My hope will always be Jesus
Your breath inside my lung,…You’re worthy of my trust.
You will forever be Jesus
        You are loving, You are wise
        There is nothing in my life You cannot revive

Six Squared =p

THEN…

Image

and NOW

Image

Image

Few hours ago we sang this at Focus LIFEgroup Karawaci…and since then it’s been on repeat in my playlist. As I was reflecting about this day, it speaks almost perfectly of what my heart is overflowing with…

and on and on and on and on it goes…

it overwhelms and satisfies my soul

and I never ever have to be afraid

coz ONE THING remains

His love never fails.

 “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Colossians 2:6-7 [NLT]

Belitung…Much More Than I Expected

Image

This week me and the ET were blessed to have the opportunity to spend some quality time to chill and bond together in the island of Belitung. We were there from Aug 7 to 9. When we planned this trip, we (at least I) expected a normal trip, playing at the beach, relaxing, taking awesome pictures, enjoying the amazing nature, getting tan…but I experienced so much more.

We arrived at Belitung airport at 7am, got picked up by a lady driver, Ibu Ria who took us for breakfast, yummy mie ayam at the spot where they have the famous meteorite monument, a huge rock called Satam (which Tina later refer to as ‘the Wolverine’ for sm reason. Since this is a homestay we can basically do anything we want in the house so we decided that we’ll cook most of our own meals. Another reason being the Lebaran holiday and most places will be closed and we live kinda off from the main city area. So we went straight to the fresh market which turned out to be the 1st awesome experience. I’ve been to fresh market before but mybe because this is a different place, I felt different. It brought me back to Papua when we had our culture-exploration trip to the marketplace.

Jnaynay of course blended right in =D

Jnaynay of course blended right in =D

After shopping is done and we had to give our car a little push before continuing the journey…that was the first time I noticed how nice&helpful people here are. A couple of men quickly offered their help.

oh the clouds...

oh the clouds…

Instead of a boring hotel, we chose to do home stay (and it’s way cheaper too FYI =p). So we stayed in w a family that we got to know quite well (Tina made the point that we got so comfortable w them that it felt like it was our own home…in a good way =D). . Over the 3 days course we got to have little chat w them, hear their stories and they were just really hospitable.

Homestay Kelayang, home of Pak Muhadir, Ibu Nila and their daughter Mutia

Homestay Kelayang Wisata, home of Pak Muhadir, Ibu Nila and their daughter Mutia

After we got settled in our rooms, the bapak drove us to the Tanjung Kelayang beach, abt 5mnt away and where our boat had been waiting. And the rest of the day we visited like 6 islands, (all of them were beautiful although I think our fave was the Bird Island) Tons of pictures were taken,there were lots of swimming, rock climbing, some scientific experiments on starfish etc… I forgot to ask the boat man’s name but he was just awesome coz he let me dove into the water & swim to one of the island we were gonna land on (my first dive ever dive into sea..I was super excited). He also gave us crackers to feed the fish when we snorkeled. Oh and our lunch on the boat was peanut butter on everything. =D

photo 2

That was day ONE and if I may quote Eric : “Wow…what a day!”

We got home and started preparing dinner of fish, clams, kangkung, tempe and sambal, and spent the rest of the night chillin in the house and talking to the ibu. She also made us try her Lebaran cookies, ketupat, rendang & opor while we were there.

The next morning we woke up around 4am to get ready to see the sunrise, and the bapak drove us back to Kelayang beach.  Even though we never got to see the sun rises because of the cloudy weather, it was so awesome to be able to have quiet time in the Word and prayer at the dock as the morning dawned.

dock

I also got to spend sm time w my mini guitar by the beach before we went back home to make breakfast. Next, we visited the Tanjung Tinggi beach and spent the rest of the day there. More rock climbing…a lot more swimming, and boat rowing. We walked through a small bat cave, a sister got stung by sea urchin (which led to deeper team bonding time hahah), and to finish off the day, we decided to walk further alongside the beach. It turned out to be a great adventure of climbing up and going down in the water, trying to keep our stuff dry (not very successful at that). We probably walked for almost 2 hrs and around 5.30pm we were hoping to find a way back to the main road very soon. Finally we saw behind the last mountain of rocks, rows of fishing boat…and a man! He told us that we’re at Teluk Limau and showed us a path that will lead to the main road. That’s where we got picked up.

And that was day TWO and to quote Eric again: “Wow…what a day!” (Of course I agree with him every time =D).

We got home, cooked and had another awesome dinner…and passed out. We were hoping to get a 2nd chance to catch the sunrise but the next day it was just raining all morning (I think we’re all actually kind of relieved and happy with the extra time to rest).

But the 3rd day I got to spend time exploring outside the house where we stayed. I found out that neighbors here really know eachother. When we visit the warungs, people were always friendly, and talking to us and even in such a short time they would open up about their life there. I spent 5mnt buying band aid and vinegar the night before at a warung w Resha and the ibu was already asking me stuff and telling me about her daughter who is in college in Tangerang. Maybe it’s because we’re not from there and they really like to welcome visitors but they just seem sincere, it’s awesome.

As we were waiting for our ride to the airport I went across the road, wanting to find out if there’s a path that leads to the beach. And there was. Not only that, I got to meet the neighbors coz when I walked by they just came out and started talking to me. Again, maybe they are trying to welcome visitors, but it was really nice. It’s like the whole family came out to greet me and asked me about my holiday and if I needed help with anything, in their Belitung dialect that sounds a lot like Padang’s. Just right there, there’s a family from Palembang, (with the little girl in the picture) and another from Java. They know the family we’re staying with. These people also grew all sorts of spices and herbs and plants in their yard. One man came out w plastic bag and picked some guavas from his tree for me and he showed me the durian, mangosteen and some other fruit trees around there.

people

I felt so blessed by this trip, which again reminded me about the need for God’s missions for the church. I’m thankful to be refreshed about this after missions trip to Papua few weeks ago (post on this coming up).  Yea, maybe I didn’t get to share the Gospel with any people I met in Belitung, but it was great to get to know them, learn about their background, where they came from, what they do for a living, etc. It was very eye opening.

And the big yay God, finally during the flight home, God opened an opportunity to share the Gospel to the guy sitting next to me. To be honest I really didn’t want to. I tried to ignore my conviction…almost blew that chance. But God really helped and gave me courage. The guy turned out to be a Tangerang resident who likes to hangout around Lippo Karawaci and knows few people from UPH including this girl whom I just found out today many of HMCC members used to know. We talked all the way till we landed but he didn’t accept and was still fixed on his believe in ‘good works’. But I got his name card and he said I can invite him to single adults hangout because he wants to get better in his English…praise the Lord.

In the end, some lessons from this trip:

1.  I discovered the best way to travel & spend holiday. I’ve always liked traveling by myself, but now I discovered that even when I do, it’s more awesome to meet new people, making connections, hearing people’s stories. I was reminded of God’s love for all peoples, tribes and languages. How He made them and loves them too.

2.  God calls His church to work alongside one another . Like pastor Andrew said this morning at prayer, in Luke 5, when Jesus cast the vision to the fishermen about how they would become fishers of ‘men’, he didn’t send Simon alone, because it is not a one man’s work. Jesus is so passionate & committed about building and using His church and no man works or serves alone. Few yrs ago during my trip to the Philippines, I also ventured along the beach from the place I was staying, going further and wanting to find a different way back. It was awesome in the beginning, and I saw a lot of great nature and things. But after a couple hours I couldn’t find any path back to the road and the beach got quieter, tides were rising up and to be honest I got pretty scared hahah (but of course, the story ended well). But this time when I was in similar situation and it got late and we couldn’t find our way out yet, I still felt safe and secure because I had 6 other people with me. At certain times God is still working on my pride and lone-ranger mentality and it’s still humbling to learn how much I need others.

3.  Reminded of the principle from Papua SMP few weeks ago concerning sharing of the Gospel : anytime, anyone, anywhere. I don’t think it’s ever gonna be easy for me to start sharing it to someone. Learning to have faith and obey is still the hardest. But without a doubt…when we obey,as Jesus said in Luke 11, we are blessed.

All in all…I’m very grateful for this full experience, maybe I’ll have the opportunity to go back meet those people again. After all, it is a lot faster to fly to Belitung than driving to Ancol on a busy day =D

God the Builder

Yesterday I visited Depo Bangunan for the first time, to get some screw plugs and…ohmygosh! seriously, if they’d sell ice creams and cotton candy at the entrance, i could have imagined myself being in an amusement park…sort of…but I had an amazing time strolling down the aisles of tools, locks, panels, paints, doorknobs…gardening sections!! Then I started to wonder what’s so fascinating about places like this. Maybe it’s  something about the human instinct to build and create. (I don’t know if this is a scientific fact =p)

But there is a lot in the Bible where God talks about ‘building’. And a very famous passage in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said : “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

God is a creator and a builder. And I believe He is not only creating something in each of us, but altogether He uses each of us as a living stone to build His church, where He is the foundation. It’s the one building that matters. Few weeks ago I was convicted by Heb 3:4 that says “For every house has a builder, but the One who build everything is God…” I think this has been a re-occurring theme these days.

Furthermore, God reminded me about my BIG prayer/vision from 2 yrs ago which I got from Isaiah 58. It is a well known passage about ‘true fasting’. But what stood out for me that time when I was praying for vision and trying to connect things with the passion and burden God laid in my heart was verses 10-12, that says : “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

I remembered reading that awesome line repeatedly and these verses really woke something up in me. I really want to be that kind of person. I want to be a builder. But since that day, God has done a lot of work in me because my old sinful nature was so used to saying things or behaving in ways that are more likely to bring others down, make sarcastic remarks, be negative, etc. Even now I am still a work in progress. I am aware that while God is in the business of building, the devil is in the business of destroying whatever God builds and I can let myself be used for either. So I’m thankful that today God brought this back in my mind to continue to work on, and pray for. This is why ‘community’ makes so much sense to me because we get to learn to build one another up, even as I try to connect this with my commitment to grow in leadership and discipleship. From today’s BRP in 1 John 3 God reminds us again of his command to love one another. “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.” (v.9-10)

Paul taught us in 1 Cor 3:9 that we are God’s building and in verses that follows, how we need to continue to build on the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, and to build with care because in the end, whatever we build will be tested with fire. God’s quality control.

So going back to Isa 58, verse 10, there’s another thing that continues to be a theme in my life. “…[if you] spend yourselves [in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed]…” Don’t worry about being spent for God’s work because He promised in verse 11 [MSG] “I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones.” (‘firm muscles’ is symbolic of course hahah). Not that I’m super generous or giving, but as I’m learning to obey and put this into practice little by little, I can testify that God really does not leave me empty, and I’m not just talking about physical or material things.

This is a true promise that I want to learn to continue live in.

That in Him, I am a well watered garden and v.14 says I will truly enjoy knowing God…and I will delight in Him.

Even much more than I delight in Depo Bangunan or ACE =p

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