February 17, 2014

A Father's Voice

A Father's Voice

Dear Beloved,

I just want to say, sometimes life may be tough, weigh you down, make you lose your spirit, crush your strength and determination, gloomy, sad. Maybe you feel hurt, and disappointed. There are things you want to happen but they fail you. And not just things, maybe people fail you too.

Maybe you have a hard time to trust people, because you've been betrayed before and the memory of it still stings you. Maybe you struggle to still hold on to your idealism and life is no longer the cotton candy castle you've imagined in your younger time. Maybe you've been hurt, bad, really, really, really bad by people you've loved the most. Maybe you find it so excruciatingly difficult to forgive because the scar stays.

Maybe you're anxious. Maybe you're uncertain about your worth. Maybe you look down on yourself and you don't even understand who you are any longer. Maybe you start making unwise compromises to be accepted by people. Maybe you're aching to be known for who you really are.

Maybe you feel unloved and you're convinced that noone cares as much. Maybe you've been misunderstood your entire life. Maybe you think you'll need to be better looking, slimmer, richer, more ambitious, more successfull, smarter, or more perfect, to have someone who'll genuinely love you. Or maybe you've even given up already on love.

Let me say this: YOU ARE LOVED.

Inasmuch as I know, you are loved. Noone is unloved. There are just mistakes and unwise choices. Noone is perfect. Sometimes people hurt/disappoint you because people aren't perfect. Sometimes people tell you have to be more of A or less of B because they've been misled to in their entire life.

Conflicts, differences, disappointment, when they happen it doesn't mean you're unloved! It only screams MISCOMMUNICATION. And we can always fight to make it better by communicating.

Yes, I know it's scary to trust people when they say they love you. You've been hurt very badly and you think it's impossible to find the strength to trust again. But it's okay. You are loved and you are loveable. Doesn't matter what you did in the past. Let the past stays past. Focus on the present and start building the foundation of your future.

You are loved. There are people who love you just the way you are. There are friends who love having you around and friends who NEED you to be around. There are others who miss you, who feel sad when you're sad, who feel happy and satisfied when you are bursting with laughter.

You are lovely just the way you are. Yes, noone's perfect. We'll all fall short of everyone's standard. We'll disappoint some and bring joy to some others. We'll be treasured by some, and be taken for granted by some. It is normal.

For those who can't see your true worth, leave them be. They just can't see it yet. Treat them with kindness, respect their life view and be understanding. It's okay. And for those who see your worth, for those important people who truly see the jewel within you, treasure them. Cherish them. Love them.

You don't need to please everyone by compromising on the things that really matter. Don't invest your time and place your priority on people who don't care about your future. Stay near to those who want to bring the best out of you. Those people who love to see you maturing in your character and wisdom, treasure them.

Love is always at the corner of your eyes. There's always hope for a better life, a better future. Don't let hope walks out of your life. Don't give up. Be strong and fight to be the better you each day. When you're getting tired and needing some encouragement, there's always me :)

Search me, and you'll find love.
Seek me, and you'll understand wisdom.
Treasure me, and you'll discover life.
I am everywhere. I am everything. I am WHO I AM.

1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.

February 12, 2014

There's no faking it

"You've got the words to change a nation
but you're biting your tongue
You've spent a lifetime stuck in silence
afraid you'll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it
how we gonna learn your song...

You've got a heart as loud as lions
so why let your voice be tamed?
Yes we're a little different
there's no need to be ashamed
You've got the light to fight the shadows
so stop hiding it away"

Be honest. Discover who you are. Explore. Don't let the intimidation of the world holds you back from realising your full potential. Don't let the burden, and worry, and insatiable lust dry us from our passion. Listen carefully to what it is that truly matters in our heart.

There's no faking in passion.

Some people value economic stability more than artsy passion. Some value material possessions more than spending quality time with their loved ones. Some value workplace achievement more than personal health. Some people take friendship contentment as more important than climbing up the career ladder. Everyone is inspired by different things in life. There's no faking it.

Some people still pursue their passion regardless of its economic return, trading their financial security with their flaring pursuit of passion. Some others choose to sacrifice, make compromises for their family stability and the children's future livelihood. I don't know what's right or wrong, but I understand that there's no substitute for genuine passion.

Passion is inherent. It stays. Some people who work within their line of passion have it grown bigger, but some who sacrifice their passion for other things can also have it grow. Sometimes we don't need to do anything about our passion but it stays anyway. It is a very personal thing, uniquely hardwired in our personality makeup. What inspire you may not inspire me, and what's tickling your heart may not be what's tickling mine.

Jesus teaches us to test all spirits and prophesies, so one test I use to understand my passion deeper is: if it stays, it's probably true. If what burns my heart few years ago and now stays the same, it's probably the real deal. Just like how Jesus stays passionate about mankind over the millenia, from ages ago till the indefinite future, true passion won't be killed over time.

I didn't have a real passion back then. I realise that what matters to me in the past was merely a byproduct of my wanting to be accepted by people. Want to be prettier, to be richer, to be 'smarter', to be more successful career-wise, be more social, be funnier, be cooler, be more inspiring/influential etc. My identity was obscured by the world's standard of success. It weighs me down and most strikingly, it clouds my eyes to even see who I really am.

After I've met Jesus, the weigh is lifted one by one. I learn and dwell in His love and wisdom, and He begins His good work in me. I have better sight and I hear the Holy Spirit's voice more clearly. There's this passion God gently puts in my heart, and I'm still testing whether it will last or be killed over time ☺️

We are called for a responsibility to serve a common Christian purpose - to glorify God through our lives as walking testimonies of His grace and power working in us. There's no faking true passion. Selfish passion or not, settle it between you and God cause He is your only judge.

Good trees bear good fruits. Rotten trees bear rotten fruits (or nothing). Time will tell. Are you discovering your passion? (🔥_🔥)

February 11, 2014

The Less of Me

"He must become greater; I must become less." (John 3:30)

As faithful Christians, we know that everything we do is purposed for the one and only big mission in life - proclaiming the Good News to the whole earth.

It doesn't matter where we come from. Doesn't matter who we were, or how, or what grave mistakes we did in the past. What matters is the now.

Who are we now? We are of Christ. We are loved, accepted, cherished, treasured, understood and cared for. We are freed from the chains of the world, released from the prison of our sin and insatiable desires. We are to be who we are in Christ. Full of potentials, learning and growing in His footsteps, personally mentored and guided by the Spirit He has given freely.

We want to look past our shoulders and be able to see that we are greater, stronger, wiser, smarter, humbler, gentler from who we used to be, because we have a great God. We want to be able to tell the world that we are a changed man, because God's power has rested upon us and this unexplainable Spirit has breathed new life into our soul.

Let the Lord be greater. Let the human factor in us be less.

I Don't Mind Being Just A Housewife

I Don't Mind Being Just A Housewife

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Oftentime when I'm having some nice casual chat with my male friends, most of them will come up and agree with idea: It's not cool for men to be weak. The interesting thing is, I can also say that it's true from a female's perspective.

In fact, I think the pressure applies to both gender equally in today's modern society. As my country develops more (Indonesia), the middle class population increases in size and education level also rises up. This naturally boosts and gives way to more intellectual development and stronger pursuit of 'happiness'.

A lot of my friends and people in Jakarta are lucky to be born in a kind of family where Maslow's bottom of the pyramid is already satisfied ie. no worry about physical needs such as food clothing house sleep. Many people have also satisfied the second bottomest level ie. no need to worry about safety concerns.

Life is pretty much stable. No financial turmoil, no anxiety on new clothes every new year, no dangerous physical hazard from leaking roof during rainy season, etc. Level 1 and 2 are satisfied, basically.

As we go up the hierarchy, we start discovering level 3 ie. the need to be loved and a sense of belonging. Strong friendships and healthy family communication mostly provide for this level. Level 4 is the need of esteem ie. confidence, sense of personal achievement, to respect and being respected in return.

After all level 1-4 are met, then people can go on to self-actualise their maximum potential. This level 5, is the ideal environment to catalyse personal growth. It's at this level that we can start seeing explosive creativity, strong morality standards, acceptance of the world and its colorful differences, selfless and noble ambitions, etc.

Church has been talking a lot on life ambition lately and it got me thinking. I used to think I want to be rich, be successful, build businesses etc. Thus I put on a front of being tough, very critical minded, very social, ambitious and pursuer of what I want to achieve. I looked down on those women who opts to be housewives and I certainly won't pick that path, cause that way I feel I'll have more worth as a woman. Bear in mind that this mindset was around even when I'd already professed my Christian faith.

In my search for life purpose, however, God teaches me that my mindset was wrong. He shows me that I desired success for all the wrong reasons such as gaining people's acceptance, loving money, want to live a comfortable flashy life. But the most convicting one was I wanted to be ambitious cause I'll regard myself higher if I can achieve something.

And that's just pure ego. And a lot of insecurity. Jesus loves me the same, none more none less. It's just that everyone receives different calling in life, and although we may be doing seemingly different things/professions, we Christians are all united under One Name and serving One Big Purpose in life. There'a no difference.

Some are called to work in the business field, some are not. For some who don't come from a more economically privileged background (still need to satisfy level 1 and 2), pursuing work within their field of passion is a luxury. For those who come from a more privileged family, financially supported by parents, working with passion or no passion is a choice.

For Christians, it's just the same. Passion isn't for us to choose. Work itself is a responsibility that all of us must bear and endure because we're all called to work, whether it is within our line of passion or not.

I've also observed that some people appear so ambitious, wanting to do this and that, achieve this and that, but inside there's a fragile, empty soul. I myself was there before. Wanting to appear strong, but the inside is full of holes.

When I encounter people who have principles of : "Do anything to achieve what you want, even the illegal/immoral/deceitful stuffs. Pursue success even when it comes at a cost of someone else's soul." I got reminded strongly by the Spirit that it isn't true strength. It is simply selfish. And true men are always selfless.

True strength comes from living for others. Fighting and persevering for a cause greater than themselves, even if the cause comes at the expense of their own lives. Parents who endure long hours of hardwork to be able to provide physical and safety needs of the family - that's true strength. Genius engineers who endure trainings of all sorts to increase a nation's welfare - that's true ambition. Business leaders who work hard for the sake of the employees' long term welfare - true ambition.

Rip away a person from his money, achievements, possessions, family and friends, and see his soul bare naked without all those life complementaries. How's the soul doing?

It's okay for men and women to be ambitious. It's also okay if there's no ambition. I thought I had mine, only to find that I don't, and to find again that I do have some! But this time, it's about people, family and friends that I'm responsible to. I'm far away from being a selfless woman like Jesus, but at least I'm heading there.  My soul is going better thanks to Him so let me boast about God's power in my life. How about you? 😁