I wish

image

At first the interpretation was:
The tree was alone.  It felt lonely. The tree had red leaves, which would fall and soon wither.

It had a request.

It wished.. upon a star.
However in day light, there was no star

So it is an impossible request.

Yet the Lord touch my heart and let me see in another perspective of view.

I realise the more Green pasture arround the tree. It is blessed with a good soil

There are stars shining dimly.  (Though it is there because of previously I draw it in a night scene.) It signifies hope

And we know that though the leaves fall, it will later grow again.

This picture signifies my desperation when I first created it.
Now it shows the invisible hope that I did not see due to my clouded heart.

Transformation through Love

“Behind every great man, there is a great woman”

I believe that you have heard the above proverb. Do you agree? I would partially agree on that. For me the proverb should be “Behind every great people, there is another person loving him/her”. I believe it is the love that transforms the ordinary person into a great person.

Love, it is the primary needs of a man soul. Without love all will be meaningless.

I once read “Naruto” (Japanese Manga). In the manga, the villain wanted to destroy the whole world (stir a great war), only because he lost his loved one. At first, I thought what a stupid reason to destroy the world. Can’t the mangaka find a better reason? However, after reflecting (Oh no! Did I start meditating on Naruto? =p) on my life, I felt that yes, it is a strong reason.

When you live without feel loved, you will feel empty.

When you live without feel loved, you will feel meaningless.

When you live without feel loved, you lost the purpose of living.

We are created for love. When we are filled fully with a lot of love, there we find fulfillment in live. We will start to be more creative. We will start to do greater things. All because of love.

My mother told me once; some people want to get marry only after they are wealthy enough. She disagreed with that, because she believed that when you are married even if your career is still low, God will provide the “daily bread” enough for the whole family. When I reflect about this, I think the daily bread that God provides, is through love from the spouse, love from the family. You will be filled with the love from the spouse. This love creates miracles in what you do. Your job/career is transformed from the overflowing love.

Love stirs our passion of creation.

Therefore, surrounds yourselves with loving people around you. It is not only from girlfriend, fiancée or spouses (well, they are one of a great source of love though). It can be from friends, siblings, family community and especially from God.

Mother Theresa once said “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved”. Let us love one another. You may help them (directly or indirectly) to fulfill their purpose in life that God has bestowed them for.

Creation in this reading refers to the act of creating, when we do our work it is the act of creating good things (product, idea or system).

A day of Grace

Because I don’t have the chance to share testimony in Emmaus today, so I decide to write it in a blog. I cannot find a specific title for this story, however after thinking quite long, I think it is appropriate to put this article as “A day of Grace” because only by His Grace I am found again and I am empowered. So here is my story:

In my current job, it has been a very tough week for me. Every week has its own challenges. Even after 3 months working, I still felt a lot of thing that I have not been familiar with, especially for daily duties and responsibilities.  Therefore, I felt so exhausted during the weekdays, and in my last days of weekends, there are always a lot of fears to face again the routine of the week. Moreover, I am working on Sunday to Thursday (still have two off days, Praise God =)), so it is another obstacle to work on Sunday while other people is relaxing. It feels unfair.

This week is even worse. I need to come on Friday (my off day) from 8.30 to 14.00. I thought I could go back on 12.00. However there are assessment for the training, that will be conducted after lunch, so I need to stay until 14.00. I did not expect this to happen, so I was in a very bad mood. I needed to have lunch in company, I expected better food and better lunch. I needed to stay so late, my precious off day hours was cut by 2 hours! T_T

Because of this reason, I was in a very bad mood, almost the whole Friday and at the half day of Saturday. I started to think a lot of other bad things that happened in my life (When  I am in a bad mood, I will find other things to blame for) and become so sad and so emo.

But here is the wonderful things, God  really inspires me and touches my heart a lot today. It started with the mass. I was pretty much disturbed during the mass,  I questioned to God a lot of things. Sometime my mind cannot capture the readings well or even the homily. However, God is present in the mass, and during the mass, I felt that I had all my questions answered through the songs in the mass.

I was affirmed that the Lord is searching me, He knew that I was lost, and He was searching for me. At the mass, I felt that I was found by God again, and with Him, my fear was gone. During the mass, though I did not put much attention on the homily and the readings, I was found by God again and He poured His grace to me. He is real and present in the mass.

After mass, I attended Emmaus, and God touches my heart even more. From the song “Everlasting God” I was reminded by a verse that I put in my Facebook “He who hope in the Lord, will renew their strength and they will soar as with Eagle’s wing” Isaiah 40. God invited me again to hope in him and He promised to renew my strength =).

Moreover, through the song “Blessed be your name”, I learned to let go. To let go and let everything be done according to His way. Eventually this song reminded me in a lot of times during the week, that God has helped me. I was shocked that I did not give Him enough thanks giving for what He has done. He has actually helped me to finish one of my project that previously I felt that I will not be able to do it. By letting go a lot of my plan and let God do His plans, I started to see His blessing more and more.

Through the teaching, I remembered one very nice quote by the speaker, Ben. “We are all weak, but some people is used to being weak and dependent to the Lord”.  I was touched deeply. During these weeks, I have been trying to depend on myself. I tried hard to meet the expectation of my boss. I did not want to be too dependent on God, I felt insecure if I cannot handle all with my abilities and my skills. I still remembered that I was so frustrated after a teaching rehearsal, knowing that I am still in the same stage where I was before. I can’t get my points across without having rehearsal where my friends helped to give input. I tried to depend on myself, my skill and my ability rather than depending on His Holy Spirit. However, I was reminded again through this experience, to surrender only in Him every day, for He is my refuge, my rock and my shield.

So I am back to the initial stage, to start again as His servant, walking step by step, in my weaknesses, doing my best with His grace daily. I believe the journey will not be easy having said “I trust in His divine providence daily”, but I am doing it with God!

 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me” (Philippians 4:13)

The encounter

Cut to the Heart

It was on Tuesday 4th April. On my MRT Journey to the company, I have habits to read the first reading of Catholic’s reading. It was about the Pentecost when Peter with the power of the Holy Spirit preached the gospel. (Acts 2: 36-41)

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart”

I was reminded of my first Life in Spirit Camp in 2008. I realized God had transformed me, not only during the Baptism of Holy Spirit. The transformation had begun since the second week of LISC during session “Jesus saves”. I did not really remember who was the speaker, yet there was one of this video which reflects deeply about how great is God’s love and what Jesus has done to save me.

Watching this video, I was cut to the heart. I was so touched. I saw myself there, how I longed and thirsted for His love. Though I was sinful, I realized Jesus had done all that needs to be done for me to go back to Him.

They asked Peter and the other Apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,

 in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “

Continuing reading the acts of the apostles, I remembered how I ask to the Lord at that time” Then what is next to do then?”. This question was answered through the teaching session. It is to repent. To say “NO to sin” and say “YES to Jesus”.

At that time, I believed God gave me the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The willingness to know Him more through Bible, the willingness not to sin against Him.

“Thank you Lord for this desire of You, Thank you for reminded me again How I thirsted for you during my LISC. Help me to grow more and more in Your love  and to seek you first and never shifted my focus out of you. Amen”

The end of Article? but there is another story I would like to share. It is still related by the memories of encountering the Lord with my present condition.

My heart is restless until it rests in You, O Lord

-St Augustine-

Watching the video have become a great reminder for me. I see my present self just like the girl in the video. I was once captivated by the Lord so much, that I strived to follow His step. Yet, this present time, I was dazzled by the worldly pleasure. I try to search happiness from my job, my colleagues, my friends, internet, etc.

It is exactly just like the girl in the video. She was dazzled with the man, money, alcohol, good figure. She was dazzled with all the pleasures that the world could offer. However, after she tasted everything, she did not find contentment.

For me, I too have found no contentment when I solely put my hope to  my job, my friends, internet, etc. When I cling only to these things, I find myself was disappointed over and over again. There was nothing wrong with these things. It was sufficient to keep me happy for sometime, yet I long for more. I was created by God with a heart longing for the eternity and the infinite.

Through my meditation, I was filled once again with the peace of resting only in Him. My heart was filled with contentment. God has reminded me over and over again, to hope in Him for He is the source of my joy, the source of my contentment. Therefore I shall say

“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and Green are the pastures where He give me repose. Near still water He leads me, to revive my drooping in spirit.”

-(Psalm 23:1-3)-

Mercy

This writing brings me to a time when I was in my final year in NTU. At that time, I had done things that may be easily misunderstood by other people. Even in my side, I have come to the conclusion that I have done a horrible things. However one event happened, when I feel my soul was saved.

It was after the P&W practice. It was already quite late at night. However I still need to discuss about the flow of P&W with my worship partner. Therefore, I invited him for a conversation in my room. At first, it was just about how to lead P&W session and the message to be conveyed to the community. After some time, the conversation started to shift to a conversation more about ourselves. The conversation has just shifted here and there, until to a point, where I started to share about my story.

I shared my story. I did not even know why I shared this story. I have never shared this story to any other people, and it was known only by me, God and of course the people who were involved. Though I shared the story with laugh and smile, however deep within me, I still felt there were some parts dying inside of me. It took me several minutes to complete the story. As I come to the end of the story, I said to him, “Well, that’s my story, I know it is weird yet and I don’t expect you to understand it, but I am just glad I am able to share it to you”. Then unexpected response came out from him.

I was expecting answer “How can you do that? It is ridiculous” “It is wrong, and you should have not done that”. Yet he responded, slowly but gently ” I understand, in fact I think it is very normal”. I was stunned for a while. I had been condemning myself for several months, contradicting myself that I should have not done it. Yet, in the end, he who listened to my story did not judge me. His response was neutral, acknowledging my weaknesses yet not judging and not condemning. The response that I have been waiting to hear for such a long time. It was just that very moment, I really felt my soul was saved.

I was liberated. I was saved from the condemnation. From my condemnation, from what I think other people will condemn me.  I believe in that time, I have a glimpse of how the adulterous women felt (John 8). When the other peoples’ condemning eyes were toward her, yet there is one pair of eyes who are full of Mercy.  When other people shout to drop death judgement on her. He said “Neither do I condemn you”.

She might have done the wrong things. Yet He who is sinless, did not condemn. In that time, one soul was saved. One soul was cleansed from the guilt, from the condemnation. It was a liberating moment. It provided strength to transform. from a mere sinner to a person who strive to sin no more.

Reaching near to the Good Friday when He bore all of our suffering and woe to the Cavalry, I was reminded again with my experience. Christ has carried our sin to death, yet not once has He blamed us, not once has He condemned us. At the top of the cross, He sees each and every one of us. Not with condemning eyes. But with merciful eyes He said “Neither do I condemn you” “Go away and sin no more”. For He has come not to condemn us but to save us (John 3:17).

One message to share:
“Be merciful just as your Heavenly Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36)

God vs Man Plan

Currently, I am unemployed and the reason for this is quite long. I believe some of you who know me, or who has read my previous blog know about this. However let me just share with you.

In my final year, I applied job at Tech Semiconductor and was called for an interview. Having no experience in interview, I decided to go for the interview for an addition for experience. Unexpectedly, after 4 rounds of interview with the HR, manager and Director, I manage to get the position as planning engineers. At that time, I felt very happy [because I did not have any other job offer], moreover I felt that this position was very suitable for me. It was suitable because it did not require me to do technical things which I dislike. So at that time, I was very happy with the outcome.

However, after several months, as a final year student, I was doing my final year project, until my professor came and asked me of my plan after graduation. I said, “I get a job from Tech semiconductor so I think I will work for that company”. My professor replied “Oh you have a job offer already, I just think to offer you Project Officer at NTU to continue your final year project until end of November”. So I just said that I will consider it and tell him soon about my decision .

At first, I did not really consider that option at all. However, after some discussion with friends, somehow I begin to seriously consider it. Several reasons of taking this Project Officer is that I felt responsible to “finish” this project and moved by my team’s passion. Another consideration that because I have got a job offer and it will not be good to reject it. This means after the contract ended I need to find a new job. So for several weeks having a serious consideration, I decided to take this project.

In the beginning, taking Project Officer in NTU been as what I have expected. However, after several weeks, I realized that the project manager outsourced professionals to do what had been developed by me previously. As time went by, I was given tasks which I had not expected at all. Taking Project Officer became far from what I had expected and it really made me down.

At the brink of desperation, I encountered a book by Robin Sharma “The Leader who had no title”. I believe this book as one of the way of God’s prompting to me. It gave me a powerful message not to be a whiner however, be a leader. When we did our best in the job, the prize and the rewards will follow. It provided me motivation to work, it gave me reason to stop complaining, and the most important is that it taught me to have the right attitude to work.

I learned that it is one of the reason why God has led me in this path. Life was good after that and at the same time I had two final interview for December. At that time I can say confidently that it was a great plan from God. Yet in the end, I didn’t get the two of the companies.

This is why at the current situation I am unemployed.  Sometimes, when I encountered my friend, I explained my condition and they replied “You should have taken the job offer from Tech last time”.

To be frankly speaking, I did feel sad with my current condition for several days. However, deep inside of me, I could vaguely see His plan for me at the end of the journey. Being a  Project Officer, has its own parts in my life. It is far from my expectation at first, however it has taught me and helped me to develop my character to take on the next challenges for the next job [as mentioned above].

From perspective of other people, it might have been a foolish decision that I have taken. Yet, I took the decision through a discernment process and I believe that this is God’s plan for me. It may look stupid for now, but I believed God has His own reason, and I will soon see His Great Plan for me.

Sometimes God’s wisdom seems to be foolish. Some story to share:

Naaman [an Army commander] ask prophet Elisha to cure him from skin diseases. Naaman had his own expectation that Elisha will cure him by performing miracles. However different from his expectation, Elisha ask Naaman to wash 7 times in the Jordan River . For a great commander, it seems to be very foolish, he was furious! Yet because of his servants pleaded to him, he then gave it a try. After immersed himself seven times, God’s plan is revealed. His skin disease was healed.

“God’s wisdom seems to be foolish”

The thought of God became human and suffer for us might look so foolish. If He is almighty and yet omnipotent, why would He wanted to become a weak human and moreover withstand the persecution of human. Yet when it is realized, man caught a glimpse of his justice and his magnificent love, as well as the true meaning of the “greatest love”.

Again… “God’s wisdom seems to be foolish”

Therefore, I try to discern every step that I take. If after discernment process, I feel God wanted me to do something, I will do it and try to stay in my faith even if what I have done might look foolish for now, yet I believe God will show His wisdom. So instead of complaining and pitied myself for delivering myself in this foolish situation, I moved on, I took every opportunities that God gave to me, to be a better person, to be closer to Him, not to limit his plan with my thought and in the end to wait fervently and be surprised of His plan for me.

One of the story that has encouraged me so far is the story of Joseph, son of Jacob.

Joseph began his journey with a dream given by God. Having so excited about this dream, he shared this dream to his brothers and his parents. Unfortunately, it sows the seeds of envy and hatred in the hearts of the brothers. His brothers then decided to to sell him as a slave to Egypt.

Having received such a cruel treatment from his brother, young Joseph must have felt very down. Yet even as a slave, he still did his best. He still worked so hard that he is given a big  responsibilities by his master. He is in charge of the whole possession of the master. When everything seems to be good, Joseph might have think that this is God’s plan. Yet again,  unfortunate things happen to him, he is accused of things that he had not done. He is put in the jail.

Even having put in the jail, Joseph become popular with the chief of gaoler because of his hard work. He is in charge of all the prisoners in the gaol. He stayed in the jail until the famous story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and become the governor of the whole of Egypt. God has indeed fulfilled his dream and kept His promise.

This is a story of a righteous man who lived God’s plan in His life. Though it takes him several years of difficulties, of hardship, of asking ” What is the meaning beyond this experience?”, he has yet done his very best in every position even as a prisoner and keep persevering. Even though he was nowhere near his dream [he became slave and prisoner], he persevered,  he did his best, and managed to help other. What a story of complete trust in God followed by hard work and perseverance.

To close this article I would like to share a story about the magnificent God and our plan

A man come to a retreat, told the father that “I am not Christian however I would like to challenge you”. Being so confused the father asked “What is it?”. ” I am a criminal. If your God is so powerful and so magnificent, ask your God to help me get away from the punishment that I should take. If this happen, I will convert myself to Christian and follow your God”. Then the father calmly replied ” My God is very powerful and omnipotent, therefore, I do not have the right to force Him to follow my will. If it is according to His will, He will set you free, if it isn’t, then you will still have to take the punishment”

Moral of the story? Sometimes we force our plan that we have had in our mine to God that we wanted to have this scenario to happen in our life. Yet we are not greater than our God. He is still the boss of our life and He knows what is the best for us. When we say “I surrender my life and my plan to You, O Lord” do your best in everything, persevere and  just wait for the surprise. He might give you a long way, He might put obstacles around you, He might led you to “miserable” situation just what He did with Joseph.

But the good news is that He loves us and as our creator He knows what our purpose and know what is the best route for us to achieve those purpose. Therefore, currently in my situation I shall persevere, do my best and be amazed with His plan later on.

What happen with the criminal man? Just after the retreat, a police come and arrest him. The next day, the father was walking around the church and encountered the criminal man. This man said with tears in his eyes “Please baptize me as a Catholic, I have witnessed the power of God. Just yesterday, I was released from the prisons.”

Our God is amazing. Our God is omnipotent. Therefore, we are called to put our lives according to His plan, do our best, persevere and wait for the surprise to happen =].

“Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you, Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” [Jeremiah 29:11]

The Power of Word!

Recently, as I have told in the previous post, that I am playing Skyrim. There is one interesting quote that I acquired from the game.

“A Dragon communicate with other dragon with roar. Their roar is the one to cause fire or other magic. One can say that a battle between dragons is a deadly conversation between 2 dragons.”

I find it very interesting that the creator of the game can think of this system. It emphasizes that Word is very powerful. Of course, fire and magic only happen in the game. However, it brings me to a deep reflection that Word do really have power even in our world! Moreover, guided by a book “I is for Influence” by Rob Yeung, I learn that even one word can affect other people’s decision and behaviour on how do they act.

Word is powerful.

Even in the bible, Christian acknowledge that Word is indeed powerful. We as Christian, we believe that Word of God made flesh, which is Jesus. And through Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, sick people is healed, slave is set free, miracle is made, and the greatest effect is that humanity has been redeemed once and for all through Jesus sacrifice. We are free from the slavery of sin and we may become God’s adopted son to live with Him in eternity.

What if The Word of God has never incarnated as human? We would not understand God’s will. We would feel that God is so far away, and would not understand His way. Ultimately, we are doomed for eternity.

Through the Word of God, that is accomplished in Jesus Christ, we experience the magnificent love of God.

To know that word is powerful, I begin to reflect on how have I used my words in my relation to other people.  As I have emphasized before, Word is powerful and do affect people around us. I realized, a bad words can cause inner wounds and change their personality. A positive words can encourage and bring hope to people who needs it.

One of my experience on the bad effect of word :

In my senior high school, I am one of the first grade student in SMAK 1 BPK Penabur Jakarta. As first grade students, it was the first time for us to receive chemistry lesson.  There was one event, when this chemistry teacher was angry at the whole class. The reason was no one could do the exercise given correctly. So she [our chemistry teacher] with a furious and cold face stood in front of the class and scolded us sternly. Her voice is so loud that it filled the whole class. All of the students [including me] were very afraid and stunned. She said that all of us are very stupid and even for this kind of easy exercise we cannot do.

Our defence is that she never taught us how to solve that question, however that’s not the point that I wanted to deliver. Ever since that incidents, I have never liked chemistry subject and I cannot really do well and hardly understood the basic principle in chemistry.

After some reflections, I discovered that the negative and bad words by the chemistry teacher might have affected me so much that I dislike chemistry. Though the words are directed to the whole class and not directly and personally to me, It has affected me greatly. How bad can you think a personal negative word can affect a person. However, the good news Another experience which have good effects:

In my 5th grade of Primary School, I was a student in SD Tarakanita IV at Jakarta. I was still a short and shy boy. Previously, my grade was quite good. The best achievement that I can acquire is rank 10 out of 40 with a very hard work. At that time, I was expecting the result of Mathematics Examination. The examination was a simple algebra [However it was very difficult for fifth grade elementary students]. My room teacher called my name and asked me to stand in front of the class. So I walked in front, and as all of other students stared at me, I heard he [my room teacher] praised me for acquiring the best score in that test. I was stunned!! I have never thought that I could scored so well for that test.

Through this experience, my love for Mathematics Subject grew so much. And the effect? Ever since then, I always get 90++ on my report for Mathematics Subject.

This is the power of words. Because of the praise, I was so motivated that I started to love the Mathematics subject and eventually scored well in every Mathematics Subjects.

Our word is powerful. We need to use it wisely. We might use it to gossip of other people’s scandal (which might not be true) and ruin those people’s life or we might use it to encourage people and put hope in them.

Even in the Bible, Jesus urge us

But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and it is this that makes someone unclean.” (Matthew 15:18)

###-First Habit-###

One way to start this habit is “Call your friend by his or her own name”. It is very easy right? However, I found it is very easy to fail also.

My name is Tommy, and I really hate when people call me as T****l which means mole in Bahasa. Joke with other people’s name can hurt other people, moreover it has power to create inner wound. I am very hurt if I’m called as a mole [which in my opinion, mole is very ugly]. Therefore, I might react emotionally when people call me with those “nick name”.

Knowing the bad effects a nickname can create, I learn to respect people by calling their own name. Trying hard [in several occasion you will need extra self control] not to twist their name, with some joke especially if it gives some negative meaning.

This is what I try to practice in daily activities. The benefit that we can acquire through calling people with their real name that it creates a more personal relationship, and show the respect to him/her and to their parents [who thought hard for their child’s name =) ].

###-Second Habit-###

Another 2 magic words that I wanted to introduce to all of you are “Thank you”. Be generous in saying these two words. Gratitude brings a warm environment. It melts people’s cold heart. It creates joy on people’s life. Give thanks to people for even a small things and you might make someone’s day =). In a religious community, we call it an affirmation. It affirms other people’s good deeds, and motivates them to continue do good deeds for other.

Friends, our words is so powerful.  As in the movie Spiderman, we are told that

“With great power comes great responsibilities”

 and therefore we need to be aware of the effects caused by our words. How do we use our word? Is it to create positive effect or negative effect towards other people?

“Lord help us to be aware in every words that we spoke. That we might use our word for the benefits of other people and not to hurt other. Amen.”