April 11, 2012

My Dreams

Every little girl has dreams dancing in their minds. I don't really remember what I was dreaming about when I was a child. What I remember is that my 'dreams' changed so often haha :D I had a dream to be a singer, pianist, violist, and many moree (wew..) Now I am a grown up woman, 22 years old, have been redeemed by the great love of Jesus Christ, and I have dreams again :D But this time, I bet that it will be 'mature' dreams.. Those which are not always about me, but Him :)

#1 To have a great intimate relationship with Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is my Dream Giver. He shall be the most important person in my life. My life should be built around Him daily. I shall want Him like bees crave for honey, babies crave for pure milk.

How to achieve? Set aside quality time regularly to study His Words, pray, and journaling my conversation with Him. The duration at least one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.

It is being said that the relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship you can have. I believe the longer I dwell in His presence and obey His Words, the more I will be transformed like His image :)

#2 To serve and influence others to grow in love with Jesus Christ

To be His witness should be done through both of my conducts and my words. He has said that I am called to be salt and light on this earth. I need to make a difference in this world. I need to create the sense of heaven wherever I go.

How to achieve? Fill my mouth with kind words, affectionate eyes, sincere heart, and polite manner. It's like being Christ's ambassadors where everything I say and do is a reflection of whom the God I serve. Get involved in ministry to share what I have learned from Jesus, taking care of His sheep faithfully and responsibly.

#3 To build a Godly marriage and home sweet home

Marriage for me is the highest calling and ministry in life. It is where the greatest challenge exists and the most rewarding ministry. It is where I will be molded to be like Jesus Christ through the death of my ego and prioritizing others more than myself (of course I do not need to wait until I get married to do that :D)

Home sweet home.. is a matter how I build an atmosphere which is all about love, affection, honor, honesty, and caring for one another. It about being a proverbs 31 woman, a wise wife and mother for my future children.

How to achieve? First, I need to be fully devoted to Jesus Christ in order to be able to build Godly marriage and home sweet home (read: a whole person). I need to prepare myself to be a wife and mother too ;) Mastering housework (even I may not do this all day) and developing Christlike character (again!) are a must! Second, I need to marry the one who shares the same passion and vission with me ehem!) Third, I need to keep depending on God's grace to give me strength, patience, and wisdom to make my family as His Kingdom's miniature on this earth ;)

A glance about me and him ...

My dream for us is to build a great foundation for future marriage in Christ. I want to build this relationship upon a Rock by Grace through Faith. I want our relationship to be a blessing to whoever see us. To give witness to the world that a Godly love story does exist. To truly reflect how Christ loves the church and the church submits the Christ.

Seeing broken marriages around does not make me losing my hope. Not because I'm naive, but because I have favor of God as His Princess :) I am so grateful to have you, Jabrik :D I love the one I trust, and surely you are the one whom I can trust whole of my life #huggie
Oh surely I need to honor him from now on :D I need to shower him with kind and loving words, caring attention and deeds, spend great quality time with him, and support him in every area of life ;)

Oh also.. I have to keep my room and my current house tidy :p Need to be dilligent to clean up all things. Need to try some experiments in cooking ;) Jabrik, I promise you not to cook everyday but will serve you with my best eat-able cooking :D (not a quiet romantic statement haha :p) My cooking are delicious but I need lots of hours to make it #excuse haha :p

#4 Write a book and be a public speaker to influence the world with Kingdom values

Ehem.. I am on the way to do this by writing now :D I keep on learning to improve my writing, expand knowledge by reading good books, and improve my communication skill too ;) Oh do you know that communication is more about listening than talking? Yup.. I need to improve my listening skill and try to improve my memory in remembering names (#blusing).

How to achieve? Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Listen, listen, listen, talk :D .... DAILY! I need to discipline myself to read and write regularly. Build relationship with those who have more experience on this area than I do :) Never stop learning and growing! :D

#5 God can restore my family

It's my deepest longing that Mom, Dad, Sister, and Brother can be united harmoniously in the love of Christ. Nothing is impossible for Him ;) I believe that. I always do.

How to achieve? Prayer, prayer, prayer. Fervently and tirelessly. Some may assume that praying is like doing nothing. Yup.. it seems so. It's actually about I surrender and let God works :D of course i also need to keep doing my part by showing God's love to them (not to shower them sermon #blushing) Acts speak louder than words, don't they?

#6 Money should not be a problem
It is sad for me that many people fight and use other people for the sake of money. So being financially independent is a must for me. I want to use money to serve Christ's kingdom and have more time to serve Him also ;) I believe that our time does not have to be invested mostly at work. There are many jobs out there who can give you freedom in time with maximum return ;)

How to achieve? Trade and invest smartly ;) Live generously (giving for God's purpose).

I do not think that giving money to every one who asks for is wise. There's one proverb which says, "Give him a fish then you will feed him for a day, teach him how to fish you will feed him for a life time." Thereby, my reasons are quite simply because fishes doesn't make you grow. It can only fulfill temporary needs but at the same time it can destroy characters. So here again, the wisdom of God is needed :)

I give back my dreams unto God's hands for I believe that if I can achieve any of these things, it will be because of Him who works behind the scene. May all the glory be only for Jesus Christ! :)

So what are your dreams?

April 08, 2012

Love Never Fails

It takes a strong person ask forgiveness,
and an even stronger person to forgive

Most of us may have experienced certain hurts accumulated in the past. We may be tempted see ourselves as a victim of situations or persons which misbehave others. I have seen so many people become bitter, and they keep nurturing the bitterness for they think that it is natural to feel hurt when you are treated that way. Yet let us
to look our 'hurt' from different perspective. Our situations and what people do to us are mostly outside of our controls. You can even find that people can also do harm to good people. So sometimes we just cannot help the reaction of others to us. And in the end, it is more about how we respond rather than what the world do to us. We can choose to be bitter or better. Of course it will not be easy, but I believe that it can do you a lot of favor in a long-term. As someone says, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to find out that that prisoner was you." When we hold to grudges, we are actually putting ourselves in a prison where the bad memories torment us day and night. It is only through forgiveness that we can truly be free and live abundantly.

When I learn about the type of humans' characters, it opens my eyes a lot to see that most of the proplems between human is closely related to how we communicate and how we perceived a message.

Every human being has uniqueness regarding the way they think, feel, and do. For example, Mike has a habit of saying words without thinking. He states his opinion frankly without any attention of hurting others. Yet as Josh hears Mike's words, he may think that Mike is humiliating him. And from this miscommunication (for the message perceived hit the wrong intention of deliverance) sparks up, the conflict begins to rise. It seems natural to perceive what we think as the absolute truth. Yet most of the cases, I find it is not. For people may have different way of thinking than us. To
assume what they think will be a tiring job you may not want to get involved with. Grasp each people uniqueness and try to understand them instead demanding them to understand you. Try not to feed your self-pity or pride if they mistreat you. Try to understand what makes them act that way to you. And even in the end they do harm to you intentionally, take heart to forgive. Take heart to forgive. The most basic medicine is to realize that no body is perfect and sometimes things are just happening in different directions that what we intend it to be.

There is a wise prayer which says,

Dear Lord, please grant me
courage to change the things I can,
serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Here are some truths I find as I dig deeper on this prayer :)

#1 Courage to change the things I can

What are the things we can change? Ourselves. Period. Yes, we often thing that the problem will cease when the person who 'cause' our 'problem' change. Well, we cannot deny that other people may play some part in creating problems in our life. But, again, they are outside our control. What we can change is only ourselves. How we respond to what they do to us. I personally always believe that we can only to set the fire off by pouring water on it, not oil. If hate is the fire, then love will be the water. Anger, unforgiveness, and vengeance will be oil which can only make the fire blazes more fiercely.

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked
-Luke 6:35

I guess this is a high calling for us as the follower of Jesus Christ. The world thinks that it is natural for us to hate our enemies, to ignore those who mistreat us. Yet Jesus call us gently to show His love to these kind of people. For by then, the world may see how gracious is the love of our God to sinful human.

It takes courage to love difficult person. Why? Because by giving part of your heart to love them, you place your heart at a very vulnerable place to be hurted. Yet God, as faithful as He has always been, will always provide the strength and grace to enable you to do so. Our God is an ultimate healer. When He asks you to love your enemies, He is actually pointing you at the greatest medicine of your deepest hurt. His way will always turn to be beautiful. The opposite person can be changed miraculously by the touch of His love through you. But if they are still the same, you will be amazed at the end that it is you who change. A forgiving and loving heart is indeed a beautiful heart.

#2 Serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Our past and where we came from are things that we cannot change. No matter how much time we spend to remember or regret them over and over again, it still will never change. Therefore we need to get over what has been done and focusing on today and tomorrow. We are never born into this earth accidentally. There is one popular phrase "Married by Accident" to describe couples who get married simply because the women have been pregnant due to pre-marital sex. Even what the world think as 'accident' is never been accident to God. What human being considers as mistakes, God can still use it miraculously to glorify Him. But it takes our corporations to will and choose to walk into His beautiful unfold plans afterwards. We cannot choose our parents, but we can determine what kind of parents we would be in the future. Accept your past, change your future.

We also cannot change what people do to us. So at some point we need to be patient enough to endure undeserving behaviour to us and reply it with a sincere prayer so that God can empower us to respond rightly according to His Words. Keep in mind that all uncomfortable things that happen to you are His ways to shape your character so that you can be like Him.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
-Romans 5:3-4

I believe that everything will turn out to be beautiful if we just never give up to endure God's process in molding us into His likeness.

#3 Wisdom to know the difference

The wisdom here is not about not doing what we ought to do when we lose confident that it can change. For example, we stop loving the difficult person for we think that the effort will be in vain. The wisdom here talks about to keep doing our part (to love) as best as we can and surrendering the results to God. It is about to accept the presence of us as God created us to be and be thankful to Him. Keep living with a great enthusiasm knowing that God has prepared a great future for us which we cannot see at the moment.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance
- 1 Corinthians 13:7

There is a purpose why we still live to this very day. It is to love as God has loved us. To show the world how merciful, how great, how deep, and how wide God's love is to the most underserving one.

The question is ... Will you be His vessels of love?

April 01, 2012

Smart Love

What is the first thing that come up in your mind when you hear the word 'smart love'? Does it mean picking the right one to partner with? It tickles my thought to find out what smart love really looks like. I believe that it's not a matter of the whom you love but it involves series of gradual steps which involving the why, what, when, who, and how you love him/her.

#1 Why do we love?

I think it is necessary to put the purpose and reason why we love in the first place before we even meet the potential partner. Many people do not have a sound understanding of what love should be. We can find some say that, "I love him because he is kind and attentive to me" "I love her because she can understand me" and so on. Yet the truth is the why do we love is rarely connected with what the person do or who is the person. The why always begin with our own motivation and purpose. Try to ask this, "Why do I love my unknown future partner? What drives me to love him/her with all my heart" So, the reason of love does not born after we meet the right person. It is wiser to determine it before we meet our potential partner.

[Man] To love you as Christ loves the church endlessly and unconditionally is a privilege for me. Being placed by God as your leader is such an honor. I know that I am given stronger muscles in order to protect you and to serve you. I love you not because of my needs nor insecurity of being alone in this life. I love you not to use you. I love you in order to give you my heart, my soul, my all to be one with you. I know that it will not be an easy journey, but
I also always know that it will be worth it. For I, myself, has been loved by Christ deeply although I am not worthy at all. And by the power of His grace, so will I love you in every condition, through good and bad, joy and sorrow, health and sick. Loving you is one way of me worshiping my living God

[Woman] I haven't met you yet, but I am determined to love you as God intend it to be. I will love you as the church loves Christ as Christ has loved the church first. I love you because of Christ is in work at you. I love you so that I will always seek the goodness behind things that I may dislike. I offer you my loyalty, my heart, my devotion, my compassion, and my time. I know that you will be the one who will treasure it :) I place myself as your supporter, encourager, and a place where you will be at rest. I am offering you a home of peace and not the one which is full of quarrels. I love you no matter what, til the end of time.

If we read these 'romantic promise' we find few things is common here. That love is a matter of giving and placing other as priority over our life :) So the purpose of love is to give. And we do not need to meet our future spouse to practice that. We can begin to give now. It is a great preparation if we have directed our energy to shape ourselves to be a generous giver before we meet him/her. It will do a lot of favor in our future relationship. Yes.. the why's in love is not about the other person's qualities. It is more about
our pure motives which is being prepared now for the future to come :) And how much should we give? As Christ loves the church who gives everything, we need to learn to give our complete self to be selfless:) I think that it's a huge task and responsibility. But a love will be as strong as its foundations. And our pure motives will do a great deal in building it.

#2 What to look for in love

From the why, we move to the what to look for in our future spouse ;) In determining this, we need to separate between what is absolute and what can be tolerated by Jesus' guidance :) Every people has their own sets of uniqueness that makes the what becomes more variative. But I believe there is still the absolute things that Jesus has set before in the Bible. Do not compromise on these things. Unbelivers as you may know are undebateable. There is no more 'what ifs' regarding this thing. Now the confusing part is being equal part ;) How can we describe 'being equal'? Does it talk about social status? Spiritual maturity? Education level? Family background?

Biblically, we can intrepret it as being equal in spiritual maturity which is not quite as easy as it sounds too. There is no exact parameter to value one's spiritual maturity. And to do so, wouldn't it be a bit of judging? So there are no exact indicators yet I hope that these guidelines may help you to answer it by yourself :) "Is this person makes me yearn for Jesus more than before? Is Jesus a priority in his life? Does he thirst and hunger to study His Words? Does he obey and do God's words consistently?" I believe that a relationship with a person who loves and obeys God will be the safest one ;) Humanly love is fickle, Godly love sustains forever. Yes, forever. It's possible.

On the other hand, there are more specific issues that will be relevant also to be considered as equal :) Social status, although is not an absolute criteria, play a huge role in succeeding in our relationship. God told Adam to work in Eden before He created Eve. It means that men should be able to provide, protect, and stand on his own feet before getting married. All of these things are meant to minimize potential conflict in the future. We don't want to get married but still struggling in financial area, do we? Statistics have showed that most of the fight between husband and wife are because of money. I personally am determined that money should never be a problem in our life. So prepare well :)

In Eastern culture, family backgrounds also play a huge role to get parents' approval. Well, there is no perfect family afterall. So this is quite a big challenges for couples. What if our family resist our relationship? Hmm.. Maybe this can guide you to answer that :) There is one wise saying which states, "If you know it is God's will but the door seems to be closed, keep going. But if you know it is not God's will but the door seems to be open, don't go" So in the end it comes back to how sensitive we are to God's leading :) His presence and leading will be affirmed by peace that trascends all understanding. His peace does not mean the absence of conflicts nor troubles but His perfect peace is in our hearts even in the midst of storm. When you happen in the midst of this situation, there is no better way than to pray and surrender to God. Do what you can do, keep loving and honoring your parents and family, and let God do the rest :)

In sum, know what you really look for in love relationship based on Godly values :) and you are free to add some which really is untolerable to you too. For me personally, to have a partner who does not smoke and does not lie are absolute matters for me :) It is untolerable and I do not want to risk my 3/4 of life to be with him and bear all the consequences ;) What's yours then? :)

#3 When to love

Yup.. timing to love is very vital too. Joshua Harris said, the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. The matters of right or wrong can be shift so drastically as being applied at the wrong timing :) To be engaged in love relationship is a good thing ... if we are ready to commit to marriage. When we're not ready, there's huge possibility that it will turn to heartache and broken heart ;) Being ready is a matter of maturity. And maturity talks about how well we control our emotion, how well we can endure hard things, how ready we are financially, and how much we want to take responsibility :)

Being in a relationship when we are still teenagers will be unwise choice. We are still depending on our parents and for sure it is still a long way to go into marriage at that time. Yes, there are some couple who began relationship since junior high and they can make it up to the wedding. But these couples are rare! Do not risk your heart at something that may be not worth it in the end. Why hurt your heart with unnecessary hurt?

Love appropriately in its time :) God's perfect time. When your maturity and your partner's maturity have been developed. It will be beautiful relationship you can ever imagine.

#4 Who to love

Finally, we reach this point. Well don't be too excited :D I put this on the fourth stage for its increasing difficulty :) The who is related closely to the what to look for in love. The what will guide the who :) So I bet you already catch the idea from point number two ;) There is no perfect person, no right person. But I believe there is God's best in mind for you. He is exactly what you need to grow into Christ likeness as God intends it to be. Yet some additional guidance that I'd like to offer here is find the one who has developed patience in his heart :) For love is patient. A man or woman of bad temper will bring hell in your life. Oops.. hell may be too harsh, but I want to use it to describe how bad it is. Patience, endurance, commitment, stability, faithfulness, and joyfulness will
be great traits to have in your partner :) God has the best in store for you, do not settle for the less.

#5 How to love

Unconditionally. Endlessly. Without demanding anything in return. As sincere as a dove. Unselfishly. The fourth stages before are meant to prepare you for the beginning of your love relationship. But this fifth stage are meant to maintain it and bring up your relationship to the fullest joy :) We don't want to merely survive on a relationship, but we do want to enjoy it :) Surely it takes a hard work and well determined heart. So focus in glorifying God with all your might. Flee from temptations that will compromise your purity. Honor your partner. Treat him/her like prince or princess of King of all Kings. Die to your self in order for your love to reign. Where ego dies, love grows. Leave out a quarrel that does not worth it in comparison with your love relationship. I believe its a long journey that will bear sweet fruit if we just never give up. Strive forward for a lifetime love commitment. Glorify God with the way we love and praise Him always in any circumstances :)