Monday, November 29, 2004

Season of Longer Darkness Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning. For God has said, �I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.� That is why we can say with confidence, �The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. Ah, it�s now November. Outside Indonesia, winter starts settling in as autumn�s colors fade to duller hues of gray and brown. Hints of winter�s coming chill shock our unsuspecting faces. We leave for work or school in the slow fade of the night�s darkness. We return home in the early evening�s dark embrace. From the beginning of November until late December, each day brings a longer darkness. Each night descends with more haste and departs with greater reluctance. We live in the season of longer darkness. Not a few folks of faith find themselves in the spiritual season of longer darkness. A job loss, an unwanted divorce, the death of loved one, the lingering illness of someone precious, the diminishing reserves of retirement, the bitter loss of the mind�s ability, a grievous wounding by a friend, the spiritual failure of a hero... any of these and many more hurts can leave us in the season of longer darkness. In the season of longer darkness, faith�s fire doesn�t burn as bright and its moments of shining don�t last as long. Life is much more a struggle and faith is very much a battle with our will. How do we survive the season of longer darkness? Where do we find fresh hope to continue what seems like a longer and harder journey of faith? In the physical season of longer darkness, there are surprising moments of joy and delight, things like...
  • The refreshing chill in the air after a long hot summer
  • The beauty of a cold clear night where the world sparkles under a full moon
  • The purifying clean and the soft hushed tones of new fallen snow
  • The opportunity for more rest during the longer nights
  • In much the same way, God brings us blessings in the spiritual season of longer darkness. Because life is more a struggle and the spiritual dimensions of our life are more a battle, we often miss these touches of grace, these surprising moments of joy and delight. However, if we look closely we will find them. While sometimes overworked, the little poem �Footprints� still resonates within our hearts because we have found its message true. God does join us in the darkest parts of our season of longer darkness. FOOTPRINTS "One night I had a dream-- I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord and across the sky flashes scenes of my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to me and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way, but I've noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why in times when I needed you most, you should leave me." The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you" -Author Unknown- Yes, sometimes, and maybe even often times in the season of longer darkness, we face grueling periods of perseverance brought on by life�s trials or our own failures and sin. But even in this long season, and even in the darkest of nights that try the human soul, we are not abandoned. No matter what our circumstances suggest, our God is faithful and he has promised that the night will pass; he will not forsake us. No matter how long the night may seem, morning will come with its joy. So hold on if you are in the longer season. And if you are not, find someone who is, and help point them to the Light until their darkness passes.

    Thursday, November 25, 2004

    Glenn Fredly in Concert at Score! Yesterday I went to Score! at Panakukkang Mall, to attend Glenn Fredly's concert by SIMPATIzone-Telkomsel. I got 2 tickets and I ask Bati to accompanied me that night. It was written on the ticket that the show starts on 10 pm, but the reality is the show started on 11.30 pm! There was too many quizes, games and ads made us boring and sick of it. There's no table available when we arrived on 9.30 pm. There are some available tables but they're reserved already. Because it took so long, we only watched Glenn Fredly sang until 4 or 5 songs and then we went back home. We went back home on 00.30 am. The concert was so hillarous and Glenn always give his best and great performance. He sang "Akhir Cerita Cinta", "Hatiku Terganggu", "Kau Milikku", "Kau Masih Di Sini", "Belum Saatnya (Berpisah)". I don't know the rest of the songs sang on concert because we went home after that. The concert was so great, but it was too late for us!

    Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Vacation @Bali On November 17th, 2004 I went to Bali, and went home again yesterday (Nov 20th). It was very fun vacation, and I got some photos to share with all of you :) Place Where I Stayed I stayed at Sekar Sari Inn, on Kartika Plaza Street near Jatra Hotel. It is 10 minutes from Ngurah Rai Airport and 15 minutes to Kuta Centre. The place is very clean and nice. Although it's a very simple place to stay, the price really worth it. 150.000 rupiah/night for single bed, and 175.000 rupiah for double bed. Cheap price for Kuta area in the peak-season. The bed is queen size, so it u wanna stay for 2 people, just take room with the single bed, because it's enough. The room with double bed is enough for 4-6 people. The room got a 14" TV with local stations, self-controlled air-con, and a clean private bathroom. Breakfast also included, and will be ready on 7 am. Place Where I Dine I had a favorite place to eat. The prices are mid-range, but really worth with the taste. Asian Spicy, right in front of the Kuta Paradiso Hotel. Really comfortable place, full of asian ethnic decorations. I ate there dinner and lunch! Hehehe... I've tried udon with beef, yakiniku with rice, seafood kweetiau, Tuna Steak with vegetables, etc :) This place is fully recommended, but those who got any stricted diet, u gotta check carefully. Food which served with pork is written there clearly there so those who can't eat pork may choose other food :)
    Seafood Kweetiau and Udon w/ Beef Cold Ocha (Green Tea) and Beef Yakiniku w/ Rice Hainan Chicken with Rice and Hot n Sour Soup Tuna Steak w/ Vegetables and Ice Campur
    In front of the Waterbom Park, located in the heart of Kuta, they got the biggest shopping mall I ever seen! Its name is Discovery Shopping Mall. Since it's new, they only got Kentucky Fried Chicken, Centro store (shopping place such as metro, only at Plaza Semanggi and this shopping mall) and Starbucks Coffee just now. I stopped there on my way to Kuta Centre and took some pictures, also dropped by at Starbucks Coffee for a Green Tea Frappucino and some cheesecakes :)
    Discovery Shopping Mall in the afternoon Night shot about Discovery Shopping Mall Green Tea Frappucino and Chewy Chocolate Cheesecake @Starbucks
    Place Where I Went, What I Did I went to the Bali Bomb Blast place. Now they build a monument to memorize the very very worst thing happened in Bali, Indonesia. Last year I went there, there's no monument yet, the fench still got many t-shirts signed from all visitors with many f**king writings. Madness and sadness gather in one feeling. I know that feeling and I can feel it through my heart when I was there. The feeling was too strong and I cried there. This time the t-shirts are gone also those writings. I got a very big monument. Still there's a complicated feeling, but the feeling not too strong like last year. The monument is so huge, at the center of it there's names of the victims. I saw my mom's friend' name also written there. My mom cried.
    I went to Joger, but when I arrived there what I got is only bunches of people who made very crowded visitors. I changed my mind and I went to another places. I went to Sukawati and Pasar Seni. I bought some hand-made bracelets, keychains for friends, 2 samurai-looked like pants, short bali pants, 2 bedcovers and many more :p
    I went to Kuta beach, there's so many people. Honestly, I never seen too many people in Bali like this time! Too many people, too crowded! I can't enjoy much actually.
    Ever see a flying phinisi boat? I did. See? Hehehehe... Kuta beach, almost sunset.. Temporary tattoo @my left ankle hehehe.. Still tattoo and.. yay.. rasta-gal hehehe.. This is Kuta Square at night. Mom said that this view really looked like the airport in Dubai.. Amazing! Loves those lights!
    Last words, i really enjoy my vacation in Bali. And I will come back to Bali for the next vacation IF i got enough money and time to go there hehehe... Anyway, I want to recommend a book that really helpful if you planning to travel to Bali. This book is very recommended for any travellers, local or foreigners. Very infomative and really helpful for self-travel.
    Bali, from Lonely Planet.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Vacation: Bali Here I Come! I'm going to Bali! Hehehe yes, it's true! Because of this long Eid vacation, I think I've got to refresh my brain and my head at Bali. Wonderful beautiful Bali, here I come! Hehehe.. How many of you have been to Bali? No, this is NOT my first time to Bali. This is my 5th times to Bali, but I keep on longing to spend my vacation in Bali. Why? Because Bali such a great place! Bali needs no introduction. Artists and tourists have been coming to this island since the 1920s, when air travel was in its infancy and sea travel was considered and extravagance. They heard of the fabulous attractions of the islands by word or mouth and they came, looking for beauty and peace of mind, enjoying its virgin palm-fringed beaches and the sights of its peaceful villages set in a tapestry of green paddies and towering mountains. And, guys, it is really true!! So what I need now is to pack all my things to go. I will need: - sunglasses - money (of course!! yay.. we're gonna shopping there!!) - my sony cyber-shot 4.1 mega pixels digital camera - my sony DV 120x digital zoom handycam - my sony MD-walkman + headphone - clothes to wear - a hat and a scarf - my Nokia 2300 + headset :p I guess all already checked and packed up. What I got to do in Bali later will be: - get a temporary tatoo at my ankle or wristle heheheh :p~ - get my hair being a rasta-gal :D - do bungee or ketapel thing at Kuta - parasailing..!! Gosh, I can't wait a few hours from now I'll be at Bali hehehe.. This is my preparation before go, wearing a funky contact lenses.. heheh :p~
    And here's my ticket, ready to fly!
    Ok, fellas, c ya!! Wish me a SAFE TRIP would u :) Gonna miss u all...

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    Waiting for Birthday Messages? There was email in the inbox, but it was not ethe mail I wanted to see. There were bills, there were advertisingns, there were thank you notes and invitations, there were so many SPAM emails about winning something soemthing in Florida or anywhere else. But, the piece of mail that I wanted to see in my inbox was not there. I had faith that the piece of email I wanted to see would come, because it always comes. Without fail, every year on my birthday an e-card arrives. Nothing fancy. No money inside. Just a simple note reminding me that I�m getting older and assuring me that I am loved. But, for some reason, this year it was late. The day before my birthday, no e-card. The day of my birthday, no e-card. The day after my birthday, no e-card. Two days later, no e-card. Three days, then four days, and five days after my birthday, still no e-card. When you are expecting to hear from someone you love, every passing minute seems like an eternity. The message from your friend assuring you that the surgery went well. The call from your brother letting you know, �It�s a boy!� The invitation to the party that you hoped for. The long awaited call saying, �You have the job!� Waiting for a word from a loved one is difficult even if it is only a short wait. But imagine waiting four hundred years to hear from someone you loved. That�s what the people of God had to endure as they waited to hear another word from God. Someone recently suggested that the blank page in our Bibles separating the Old Testament from the New Testament is symbolic of those four hundred years of silence. No prophet. Not tablets. No cloud of fire. No manna. No sign from heaven. Only silence. They waited. Then, the silence was broken. The mail finally came. What a message it was! After four hundred years of silence God sent the living Word. After four centuries with no communication God says, �I love you. This is how much I love you. See my Son? He is my message of love to you and to all people. Receive Him. Love Him. Follow Him. Embrace His teaching. Life is in Him.� What a way to break the silence! Maybe you are looking for a message from someone who loves you. Maybe you are waiting for a special word. The message has been delivered. It is in your box waiting for you to open and read. �God loves you.� He wants you to understand that He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for your sins. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to live like you know that He loves you. No matter what you have done or have not done. No matter how unlovable you may feel. He loves you. The mail you have longed to receive has been delivered. The wait is over. Read: John 3:16-17. Oh, by the way, my birthday e-card? It came. Six days after my birthday. I was relieved. I�m still loved. That's about my last year's birthday. But hey.., TODAY is MY BIRTHDAY! Congratulate me.. hehehe :p~ Thanks to God Almighty for (still) giving me chances to breathe and live it up my life, thanks to my beloved family, my dear hunny, and this bunch of people who always surround me whether I'm sad or happy. Also to all of you who always have the intense coming to my blog, all of you! Thank you! Click here to see me today and click here to see me within 25 years ago:p

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    Idul Fitri Untuk yang merayakan, gw ucapin.. Selamat Idul Fitri 1 Syawal 1425H. Mohon maaf lahir dan bathin.

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Racists?? Human beings are downright awful in the way we treat one another at times. Take the matter of stereotyping as a case in point. Some is sexual, as in judging women to be �too emotional� or all men as �insensitive clods.� Some is tied to age, as in supposing all teens �irresponsible� and all people over 65 �too old.� Then there is the sort that is in vogue right now about all corporate executives being �greedy.� The best-known and most universal form of stereotyping is racial � Chinese and non-Chinese, Asian and Western, black and white, Jews and Arab, etc. All right, I�m not making this up. The Associated Press carried the story, and its victim is receiving rabies shots in its aftermath. Here�s the scoop... A man was hunting turkeys in upstate New York last month. He was wearing camouflage and giving off his best turkey calls. He was apparently too good at imitating a turkey � so good, in fact, that he fooled two coyotes! A state wildlife expert conjectured they were foraging for food for their pups and moved in for the kill on a man doing his best to sound like a turkey. They must have mistaken him for the real thing. So they did what comes naturally to coyotes. I don�t mean to add insult to the fellow�s injuries or to make light of what could have been a fatal attack on him, but the story reminds me of some people and situations I�ve experienced. See if any of them sound familiar to you: >> His mouth is raunchy with sexist jokes, racist put-downs, and really foul language when he gets angry. His latest tirade came today. >> She habitually wears provocative outfits to the workplace and flirts with every co-worker and customer. But she thought it was outrageous last week when one of them made a blatant pass at her. >> He drinks like a fish at every company social event and routinely winds up making a fool of himself. Yet he is incensed that his boss has told him he has a problem with alcohol and needs to get help. All of us want people to think well of us. We want them to see us in our Sunday-morning personals. We want them to know �the inner me� that is our most virtuous, decent, and admirable self. But people know us through our actions. People take you into their confidence only if you have behaved as a person of principle. They ask your advice about really personal issues only when you have displayed genuine character before them. They will seek out your help in their spiritual struggles only if they discern your honest devotion to God. The best case for us is a joyful, sensitive, and sincere person. The strongest argument against it is a petulant, self-righteous, and hypocritical one. Unbelievers don�t demand perfection of us, but they do expect authenticity. So the moral of this story seems clear: When you�re acting like a turkey, don�t be surprised by the unpleasant responses you get. How about you?

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    Utada: Exodus, More Than The Music... Some die-hard fans of Utada's Japanese music think this is a sell-out. But if they take the time to observe the lyrics, they'll understand Utada's finally professing her deep feelings on the fundamentals of a successful relationship: trust, risk-taking, fun, and love. I've been a fan of Utada's for the past year or so. When I heard she was planning a release in the US I was very excited. As I started to listen to the album for the first time I was a bit surprised by the sound. It sounds pretty electronic to me, and even reminds me of video games. Personally, I find that to be a plus. However, my initial reaction was, "This is okay, but I like her Japanese stuff better." Well, after listening to the CD from start to finish I was in love with it. It is a different sound from her Japanese releases, but it is just as good, maybe even better. The music isn't as ear friendly as her early japanese music, but with observation it is very well put-together. It's a different sound, but look at Utada's eclectic group of musical influences: Bjork, Metallica, Mary J. Blige, Led Zeppelin. Utada has created a sound of her own. I am not a music critic so I can't really break everything down for you, but I really, really like this album. The instruments used, the beats, the lyrics (for the most part, there are some exceptions), the vocals, the melodies, the sounds, and so forth. I find the songs to be pretty catchy, especially "Easy Breezy". I can't really see Utada becoming a mainstream success in the US, but I surely hope this album does well and she will continue to put out English albums. I am impressed with this album and highly reccomend it to all Utada fans, anyone who is curious, or anyone who listens to songs and thinks, "Hey, that reminds me of one of the computer game." Awesome work Utada!

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Friendship?? A great place to glean some profound insights into life is from children's stories. On a Winnie the Pooh story, for instance, there is a scene that is a delightful illustration of our desire to hear words that are friendly and warm, rather than harsh or hard. One day Pooh Bear is about to go for a walk in the Hundred Acre wood. It's about 11:30 in the morning. It is a fine time to go calling-- just before lunch. So Pooh sets out across the stream, stepping on the stones, and when he gets right in the middle of the stream he sits down on a warm stone and thinks about just where would be the best place of all to make a call. He says to himself, "I think I'll go see Tigger." No, he dismisses that. Then he says, "Owl!" Then, "No, Owl uses big words, hard-to-understand words." At last he brightens up! "I know! I think I'll go see Rabbit. I like Rabbit. Rabbit uses encouraging words like, 'How's about lunch?' and 'Help yourself, Pooh!' Yes, I think I'll go see Rabbit." Friendship is a valued commodity in our society. Everyone longs to have at least one faithful friend who can be counted on for encouragement and warmth. Proverbs 18:24 tells us, "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." As Christians, we have a friend who we can call on endlessly, his name is Jesus. Today, take time to thank Jesus for not only being Lord and Savior, but also for being our friend and source of daily encouragement. ps. I hope this writing can encourage my dear friend who really in deep pain :(

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Good Surgeons Try to Minimize Blood Loss I�m a conflict resolver. A mediator. A peacemaker. It�s what I do for a living �- professionally. More importantly, it�s becoming what I live for �� personally. Frequently when I�m working with a group, business, or church mired in dispute, people say: �You must really enjoy conflict to want to get in the middle of somebody else�s problems. You have a weird concept of a good time!� I�ve wondered about that myself from time-to-time. And out of those wonderings has emerged a stock answer. "I become involved because I am amazed at what God can do. I have a front row seat to see His power unfold." It�s a pretty good answer. My preference would be to avoid anything that remotely resembles a disagreement. Yet, I must admit that there is a certain lift I get from watching people embroiled in conflict discover the higher path. I am totally amazed at the way that honest expressions of feelings and underlying interests unlock within us a God-given ability to see our own faults and to seek and give forgiveness. Perhaps my lowest point is when I find myself face-to-face with individuals who refuse to seek the higher path � or even to take a single step on it once they know it�s there. As I sat down to write today, I took a short detour into the Internet and stumbled across a web site seemingly designed for the sole purpose of maliciously attacking others. No, it wasn�t a hate site for a militant political group in the Middle East. Nor was it the home page of a racially biased enclave of radicals. It was a site devoted to an "honest discussion of WHAT REALLY HAPPENED at [a certain church]." Naively, I bought in to the banner at the top of the page. I heard that there were problems at [a certain church] and I was sincerely interested in learning more. I soon discovered that the site was not devoted to honest discussion. It was merely a bulletin board for spilling bile. I was only able to read a few pages. I was hoping and praying that I would find a voice of reason somewhere. Just when I was about to give up, I found it ... I thought. Some poor, unsuspecting soul wandered into the discussion and basically asked, "What�s going on here?" When a short, not entirely coherent description of the situation at [a certain church] appeared, the new participant, Newton, asked, "What�s wrong with that?" The attacks came from all sides. Computer-literate jackals pounced. "Obviously, you are one of these sons-of-the-devil if you can�t SEE what�s wrong with that!" Since my job is conflict resolution, you�d think that I would grow accustomed to seeing such things. But nothing can normalize such savagery. Anyone who delights so much in his or her position on a given topic that they enjoy drawing the blood of others, has lost sight of the Kingdom of God. We must lovingly teach others. We must carefully correct. We must pray and seek after those who have wandered from the truth. Must. Shine on! Read: Jude verse 20-25