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Peace on Earth

Season of Advent is here again. Year after year passed so quickly. It's time for pretty decoration across the globe, for its glimpse of celebration with family and friends, for its cheer and carols. It's time to celebrate Christmas.

People are busy buying Christmas' presents, some are competing to get most unique, limited edition, or more expensive presents. Shopping centers are trying to attract more customer with sale and discounts. Travel agencies offering vacation deal for overseas trip. People forget about the day our Saviour is born.

When we look back on the Nativity scene 2000 years ago, we realize that it's the same situation faced by Mary and Joseph. During that period, it's the time for census, a decree from Caesar Augustus. Every citizen have to go back to their hometown for census. Joseph too traveled from Galilee to Bethlehem. "Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child." Luke 2:4-5

That was the time for Mary to gave birth, but they could not find any rooms, or hotels, or inns. Everyone else were busy with the census, they gather with their family members, catching up with friends, or even they hosted party and celebration. Meanwhile, Joseph and Mary could only find a empty stable. Mary gave birth to a Son and put Him in the manger. The Heavenly Hosts with the angels praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on who his favor rests." Luke 2:6

Our King, Jesus Christ was born in the most humble way. He came into the world laid in the stable, angels sang Glory and the kings offered Him myrrh, frankincense, gold. He came into the world silently, while the rest busy with their own events.

The King of kings is about to come again this year, does your heart busy preparing to celebrate the worldly christmas? or does your heart content in the solitude to welcome Jesus in and make His stable in your heart?

Blessed Advent 2011

Self-acceptance

Your true identity is as a child of God. This is the identity you have to accept. Once you have claimed it and settled in it, you can live in a world that gives you much joy as well as pain. You can receive the praise as well as the blame that comes to you as an opportunity for strengthening your basic identity, because the identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

No fear in love

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

For the past years, i never consider relationship (marriage) as something i want to pursue. As shallow minded and selfish as i was, i actually feared of love. As long as i can remember, i closed my heart to love and avoid any feelings that related to love. It actually affect my relationship with others (incl. family and friends). But God have changed me little by little from the day i have known Him. He said "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26. Yes, He indeed break my heart of stone and store a new heart into me. With God's grace, i slowly open my heart and eyes to see marriage in God's perspective. To my realization, all these while i only looked at the trial and error of human understanding for marriage. When i was revealed about God's first intention for union through Theology of the Body (TOB), then on i know that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18).

I have slowly see relationship as a beautiful blessing from God. Be it family relationship, friends relationship, and marriage relationship, all are blessings from God. When God created Eve (Gen 2:22) His purpose was for Adam share his life and happiness with Eve, "The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion suitable for him." Gen 2:18. Same purpose planted in our being. When God created each one of us, He has planned our 'companion' through our parents, our family members, our friends, even strangers who have and will touched our life in many ways. Everything He have planned indeed are beautiful (Gen 1:31).

God have blessed me with countless grace, He helped me discover the grace in this broken world. I no more fear of love, but i hope in love. A hope that changed me into a person to see relationship as blessing and pursue a relationship with a purpose in God. Through this revelation too, God send me a Christ-like man into my life. In many times, God uses this person to pick me up from my fall, to give me hope when i am hopeless, to share His care when i needed it most. Yes, i can truly see God's love through this person. I thank God that He sent me this person as a friend. And as amazing as God's grace, our friendship growth in God's love.

Right now, we are still in discernment period. Because we wants God to bless this relationship. I don't know what is the outcome, i don't know what God have in store. But through this discernment, God slowly changed me into His perfect daughter. Not a perfection from the eyes of the world but perfection from God's beautiful eyes. I am still broken and fall into sins. I am still imperfect in many ways, but God's promise is perfect and He is perfect.

God shape me little by little to be His perfect daughter. He planted in me the desire for holiness and purity so that i will be made perfect as women of God. Desire to serve His kingdom and His people on earth so i will be made perfect as disciple of God. Desire to share my life story and share His love so i will be made perfect as daughter of God. Because i believe God is not only desire for my perfection but also a perfection for my future husband. And when me and my future husband have made perfect in God's love, only then we are able to love each other as man and woman of God and fulfill His purpose.

Trust in God for your every relationship desire. He knows what is best for us. Always strive for God's heart first, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33. Because when we set our eyes and heart to God, He will gives us the right thing for our life. Even our earthly father wont give stone when you ask for bread or snake when you ask for fish. How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! (Matt 7:9-11).



(Shared on July 2010)

God's greater plans

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,


I would like to share about God’s greater plans for us, His beloved children. I will start with this verse from Isaiah 55:9,

“As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

My life is not an interesting story to tell if compared to many of my friends. Even, I encountered difficulties in my studies. I failed most of my subjects and repeated many of it. It came to a point where all my friends had graduated and had started to work. That reality hit me very badly. I started to feel depressed and had low self-esteem. I started to worry about my future, because who would want to recruit a failure like me? Most of the company has set a very high standard. I am not even near that standard. In this time like this, I kept asking God what His plan in my life is. He said that “He has planned my future with hope” (c.f. Jeremiah 29:11) but what kind of hope should I hope for? These questions linger in my mind for years. I was overjoyed when I finally graduated with a degree after 5 long years of studying. But that joy quickly turned into fear. Fear to face what my future is with such below average transcript.

Since my graduation, I have been searching for jobs and got rejected for many reasons too. I was in deep despair and felt hopeless. But deep in my heart, the Spirit of God always strengthen me with a little spark of faith. Just like He said “Be still, and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It is in the stillness that I found that strength and hope to keep carrying on.

One day during the Adoration, I could feel God’s presence and His gentle touch. He strengthened me with His words again. He said, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will received what He has promised” (Hebrew 10:36). Again, it was another affirmation of His great plan in my weakness. I could do nothing but persevere in Him.

As, I was called up for another interview with this big and well-known US MNC. I started to tremble when they looked at my transcript and reviewed it. I could only say a little prayer in my heart, ‘God let Your will be done, not mine’ (Mark 14:36). And the interview went well. The manager mentioned that my result is very average, but he believed that a person’s ability is not measured by grades. He wanted to give me chance to prove his statement. And yes, I got the job! I can’t stop praising and thanking Him for His plans. He had planned something greater than I could have wished for. He planned something beautiful even when my life was in a bad shape. He guided me through and through. Even when our life seems to be in a bad situation and there’s no way out, He will guide us and show us His greatest plan in our life, if we let Him.

I am walking blindly now, because I trust His hands, who is guiding me to the place He has prepared for me. “Because many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

May my sharing inspire you and help you to look at Him again and praise Him, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my Salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).


(Shared on May 2010)

"Fear not, for I am with you"

Back in year 2005, I failed my semester in university. I failed the all of the four subjects. I was really down and upset. I was ashamed to accept the fact that I was a failure. My failure was only the beginning of my suicidal plan. Three months after my result, I received a letter from my university about my bad performance. The university warned me that I had two options if I wanted to keep continuing my study. The first option was to withdrawn and the second option was to appeal. By all the encouragement from my friends, I chose to appeal.

However, it did not end as it were. There were another two options after appealing. The first option was that I would be rejected if my reasons are invalid, and the second option was to sit for APC (Academic Progress Committee) hearing. I was scared to make a decision. I prayed hard and asked for God’s mercy to give me another chance.

After I finished writing my appealing letter, I prayed that my letter would not get rejected and ask for the courage to sit for APC hearing. At that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit moved my heart to open the bible. I opened the bible and that particular verses hit me like a thunder. That verses are Isaiah 41:10,13:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”"

In the same moment, I cried knowing that God is so near beside me. He spoke to me very directly from those verses. He gave me encouragement that He will never leave me, for He will help me. God who is the Creator of this universe, the King of kings, Father of heaven and earth had spoken to me and assured me.

Two weeks after I submitted my appealing letter, I received a reply from the university. The university hade decided to give me another chance to be enrolled as student without having to sit for APC hearing! It was simply unbelievable. That was incredibly amazing. Indeed, God had answered my prayer and fulfilled His promise from the Prophet Isaiah, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

I have been assured again that with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37), and I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me (Phil 4:13).

Dear friends in Christ, when you encounter a failure in your life (study, career, relationship, or family), keep believing that God will never leave you. He sees through all your pain. He counts every tears that you cried. He will stretch His hands to carry you and keep you safe in His arms. He will help you to face whatever trials that come your way. He does all this because He loves you.


(Shared on Dec 13, 2008)

Every beat of my heart

So here we stand
Anchored in hope
Letting the rain wash away every fear
Stars in the sky
Twinkle and shine
I pray they won't disappear

'Cause I don't know
where your journey goes
or how long it will take to unfold
But as long as we keep this moment shining in the dark
I will be watching over every beat of your heart

I wish that time
Could be replayed
I'd keep you here with me everyday
They say that love is letting go
I hope that you find your way

'cause I don't know
where your journey goes
or how long it will take to unfold
But as long as we keep this moment shining in the dark
I know you're watching over every beat of my heart

Every beat of my heart...

By. Corrine May

Easter

Easter is the celebration of new life. Why new life? Because through Easter all humankind is saved by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Son of God chose to die on the Cross. Jesus, the King of Kings chose to be humiliated. The path HE chose is a path to salvation. That He destroy humankind sins and restore a new life.

In Easter too, i was born again and baptized into Catholic Church. In Easter too, i was renewed and confirmed in the Spirit. Easter Celebration always bring joy into my life. I am always excited for renewal of baptism. For me, Easter is celebration of my new self. To be baptized into Catholic Church is the best gift i ever received in my life. He is my Potter who molding me into a perfect clay. My life isnt the same since i know Him and receive Him as my personal Saviour. I still have ordinary life like everyone else. But the journey is different now, i am no more walking alone. As He walks with me and holding my hands tightly. And i pray that i will never let go His hands. For He is the source of my strength and reason to live.

Lent 2010

EMPTY

By. Tom Booth, Robert Feduccia

Beyond my fear of ridicule,
toward a life of blissful freedom,
beyond all worry, beyond all ego,
toward the poverty of Jesus.

Empty I came, empty I leave,
my heart is restless without you.
Empty I came, empty I leave.

Life without you is illusion,
yet the false, it seems so real.
My heart is aching, my heart is hungry,
but you alone, Lord, are enough.

Breathing in we know you,
your life within us.
Your love consuming,
our love renewing.

Valentine's

Here come the Valentine 2010. For the past few years i have been posting about different entries on Valentine's Day. On Valentine this year i will post something more personal. Yes, it is my personal Valentine's experience. Hold your breath and remember to put smile in your face while you are reading this post =)

I am still single but not available. Nah. I have been single. never dated anyone. Reason is i was afraid of commitment. I had not-so-good impression of courtship in the past. But God had changed me inside out. Since i was baptized 8 years ago, i learn what love truly means. God is love and i have found love since the day i accepted Him into my life. And this love have grown slowly into a beautiful spring garden. He is not only shower me with His abundant love;also, He gives me good friends whom i can share His love even more. I treasure all my friends in Christ, as each one of them have played a role in my life.

Particularly this one person whom i know since 2004. We were in the same youth community. He was such a caring friends (and still is), he would help anyone who need help, he always ask 'how are you?' to everyone he met, he would do funny acts or jokes to break the ice. Back then, i did not really know him well yet. We only met every weekends. As time passed by, we were getting closer. We spent a lot of time together, be it attend mass, lunch, movie, birthday party, short trip and even praying together. Until one time, we decided to bring this friendship into a deeper level. Then we decided to discern whether or not we will enter into courtship.

We still discerning now, not so much of doubting the feeling for each other. But more into discerning upon the situation and circumstance we are in now. We don't want to rush into courtship just based on 'feeling' itself. Why situation and circumstance? It's because we are not same nationality and currently we are not in the same country. These issues make us difficult to see what's there for us in the future. We can only surrender this into God's hands. God is the foundation of our friendship. For He is the Master of plan for our life.

Although me and him still discerning our relationship, i treasure him a lot in my life. He has helped me grow to be more mature and who i am today. He helped me draw closer to God each day. He is always there whenever i need a pair of ears to listen to or a shoulder to cry on. He smiles with me when i am happy. He cries with me when i am sad. He worries with me when i am panic. He helped me find back hope when i lost it. He believes in me. He is always near at heart. I thank God for sending such a great person into my life. I praise God for created such wonderful person to be near to me. And i praise God for letting me in love with my best friend.

Happy Valentine's day to you, my dear best friend. I pray that God will bless and reveal His great plan upon our relationship. Dear St. Valentine, i pray that you will pray with us and help us through this discernment period. When the time come, may we rejoice and be glad for He has done great things (Psalm 126:3).

Blessed Christmas

Wishing everyone a blessed and joyful Christmas 2009.

May we always remember in our heart that God sent His only Son to save us and bring us a new life =)

Let us follow the example of Mary and Joseph to say "Let it be done unto me"


"Let It Be Done"
By. Chris Muglia

When she heard the voice of God
calling her to be
the instrument he needed
to bring our world the King of Kings,
she could not understand
the wisdom of God's plan, but still she answered:
"Let it be. Let it be done unto me."

When he heard the voice of God
calling him to stand
and take the virgin as his wife
and teach her child to be a man,
he could not understand
the wisdom of God's plan, but still he answered:
"Let it be. Let it be done unto me."

And we say: "Yes, Lord,
we're ready to receive.
Yes, Lord, we're ready to believe.
Let it be. Let it be done unto me."

When we hear the voice of God
calling out our names,
Lord, we pray you give us faith
to answer you in anything.
And we may not understand
the wisdom of your plan, but we will answer:
"Let it be. Let it be 1done unto me."