Category Archives: Spirituality

Notes: Priceless Christmas Gift

All I want for Christmas is happiness [2014: E O]

All I want for Christmas is happiness [2014: E O]

Born in a Catholic family, being baptized as a Catholic since I was a baby and sent to study in a Catholic school since I was 3 years old for 15 years, it does not mean that I grew up to be a devoted Catholic or a faithful Jesus followers. Instead, I have been trying to untie myself from a certain religion since I was 18 year old.  It is because of my disappointment over many religious people, who appears to be hypocrite in my eyes.

Even so, I have always been interested in a spiritual life and religious teaching. I have been reading a number of book about Buddha,  Islam,  Christianity and I also read the Holy bible. Luckily as a journalist, I also often attended a number of religious seminar with religious leaders from Islam, Hindu, Buddha, Catholic and also Christian. It gives me a deeper insight about what religion is and what spirituality is. One thing that I could say from learning from all the religious teaching is that all of them teaching the same thing, L.O.V.E. But the implementation of it depends on its followers.

Interestingly enough, it is not just L.O.V.E to our lover/boy friend/girl friend/husband or wife. It teaches us about L.O.V.E  to our family, to our neighbor, to our family and even to our enemy. Can you imagine to love our enemy?

Anyhow, few weeks ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine in Grand Indonesia mall. She told me that it is required a high intelligence to learn about religion. Why? It is because many religious people tend to hear what they want to hear from the bible and forget about all the warning, which has been written also in the bible also.

Let’s take an example from the life of Christian and Catholic people for instance. Holy Bible is actually contained of  various life guidance ranging from God’s promise of protection to the warning of sins. Honestly I have not finished reading the 3,044 pages of the Holy Bible of Old Testament and New Testament, but I find that Holy Bible as a book of wisdom, which guides us to live our life accordingly so we can find happiness in this life.

Like I said before that I am not a devoted Catholic or Christians. I am not even a righteous. I often make mistake and hurt other intentionally or unintentionally somehow. But one thing that I often see from Christian people is that they like to hear the bible’s verse that they want to hear and forget about God’s warning.

I don’t mean being judgmental but if you go around in social media, many people, who appears to be Christian, like to quote the God’s promise and post in social media whether it is from the book of Psalms or the book of Proverbs. Similar things happened in the real life.

Or, if you have a discussion with narrow-minded religious people about the God’s warning from the same Holy Bible that I read to seek for comfort in God’s promise, they would tell you that we are not a righteous and no human are righteous except Jesus Christ. Oh God… how I hate those argument! As if it is a green light for us to hurt other people.

Yes! We are only human but if you are a sensible person, we have to make an effort as humanly as possible to implement what bible say in our life and don’t be ignorance about God’s warning. But… who am I to remind them? Right?

Well, I should not have been surprised with those reaction! Proverbs 9:8 – 9  says  “Never correct conceited people, they will hate you for it. But if you correct the wise, they will respect you. Anything you say to the wise, will make them wiser. Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge. To be wise, you must first have reverence for the Lord”  It is indeed reflecting how our society is living their religious life.

I like to share my religious and spiritual life experience with you …..

We, Catholic, do not read bible on daily basis. Unlike Protestant, they do. But I started to reading bible since I knew George in 2011. He introduced me with the reading of Holy Bible. I find the joy of reading it. I have been reading bible for more than three years now.

I must say that I do not do it everyday but I try  it as often as possible. I also purchase a daily devotional book as a guidance to understand what I read in the bible. Interestingly enough, I have been reading some bible verse about warning of sin.

I was afraid at first but when I consulted it with my mentor, he told me sometimes we could not implement everything that bible dictates us to do. We are only human and we are not Jesus Christ. So I was being ignorance of what I read. Yet, deep down inside my heart, I still was afraid if bad things happened into my life.

It did. Bad things did happen into my life slowly. It was blinding me. I did not notice when the bad things happen. My marriage was slowly falling apart, my man lost his job, we had nasty argument nearly everyday, I was discourage to achieve the goal of my life, I got sick, I lost many of my friends, I got depressed, I tried to kill myself many times etc. It seems that all the bad things just keep coming one after another. I just felt that there is nothing to living for anymore. I was so tired. I cried to God to ask why.

I saw the answer nowhere near to  coming. I stopped praying. I stopped going to church and kept continuing to live my life. But deep down inside my heart, I scream to God “When are you going to answer my prayer?” Though I have all the material stuff to live my life, I don’t have a peace of mind.

Few weeks ago, the answer came. If it was an airplane landing, it was not landed smoothly. It was even slipped off the runway. Scary and painful. Yet, everyone was fine. I was traumatized for what happened. I have been crying, weeping and mourning for days as if I could not accept what happened to me.

Until three days ago, I closed my eyes and said a prayer to help me to overcome of my burden. I closed my eyes and opened the bible with God’s help. I ended opening Jobs 42:1 to 6, It says “I know Lord that You are all-powerful that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things that I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know.

You told me while you spoke and try to answer your questions. In the past, I only knew what others had told me but now I have seen with you with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes. “

For me, it was indeed a very strong reminder on how God has been loving me over the years. God has been watching me and sending me a warning but I have been ignorance over it because I have closed my ears and my eyes to God’s warning. Instead, I listened to other people’s suggestion because I have not placed my faith and trust in God.

Few days ago, I joint a bible study with a good friend of mine.  I told reverend that I accepted my destiny, I have made mistake but I could not accept without knowing the reason why it happened all these time. Yet, the reverend told me that it does not matter. Now it is better that I just focus in building my spiritual life and place my faith in God so I can have peace of mind.

For I have noticed that I have sinned, the reverend suggested me to read The Parable of Prodigal Son on Luke 15.  It is written I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said ‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

If you do know me in person, I am not kind of person who easily admit that I make mistake because of my pride. Yet, if I want to have a peace of mind, I have to swallow my pride and admit my mistake. Most importantly, I have to change and be more aware with God’s warning.

For God has also said in Proverbs 8: 32 to 33 “Now young people, listen to me. Do as I say and you will be happy. Listen to what you are taught. Be wise, do not neglect it

I believe that I might appear to be very religious in this post but my experience has taught me a lot about God’s word in the bible. I must say that the bible is not just cloud of words but it is a very wise life guidance, which can be used by anyone regardless their religion and/ or beliefs

Have a blessed Sunday!

signature

1 Comment

Filed under Notes, Spirituality

Notes: F.A.I.T.H

Good News Bible [2014: E O]

Good News Bible [2014: E O]

What is F.A.I.T.H? I asked myself.

I have never been interested with religion and spiritual life when I was young. I had many traumatic experience associated with religious people. So despite the fact I have a huge cross tattoo on my upper back, which I have been carrying since I was 18, I decided to stop going to church and prayed in my heart whenever I needed.  I also decided to untie myself from any kind of religion. Yet, I only believe on the existence of God and I know that He is a good guy. I also have a principle that as long as I treat other people well as I want to be treated by other, that is more than enough for me. Hence I don’t need to tie myself with a certain religion.

Speaking about spiritual life, a good friend of mine, George has always been talking about faith and Christianity. Since I knew him in 2011, he re-introduced me to God and introduce me  to the Holy Bible. I would say that even though I was born and raised in Catholic family, I have been hardly reading bible or even touch the bible. It was covered by dust. I only remembered some chapter that I used to hear during the Sunday service when I was still child.  Yes, George brought back my spiritual life which has been long gone. He came in the right time when I needed some kind of help.

So since then, I found bible very interesting. I enjoyed reading the bible. I found bible as the book of wisdom. There are many events of life written in the bible. Hence it also offers the guidance of life to live this life wisely. Honestly sometimes, I just do not understand what I read and I would keep reading it over and over again until I understand. Or,  I would ask George to explain to me. Yes, indeed bible is the book of wisdom.

Since I was reintroduced to God, I have been trying to go to church every Sunday to join the Sunday service, reading  daily devotional book and bible. I must say that I kinda enjoy it. Going to church to listen the priest preaching (always expect that the priest present the topic in a fun way instead of the boring one), to sing the gospel (expect that the choir prepares beautiful song) and to eat delicious lunch in the church canteen. Yet, I don’t go to church every Sunday tho.  *lol*

I also must say that I really really do enjoyed reading the bible even I don’t understand it sometime Why do I enjoy it? It is because I find there are many wisdom in it, be it presented explicitly or indefinitely through some parable.

Yet, all those new Christian activity that I have been engaged to… does not mean that it makes me to be a devoted Catholic or Christian. I still have some question deep inside my heart. I would prefer to be called as the believer of God but not the follower of certain religion. Why? It is because I found that there are many religious people hypocrite. They tend to preach what bible said but they hardly implement it in their life. Interestingly enough, they would often justify their action by saying that I am sinner and not a perfect Christian. Funny, isn’t it? I don’t like that

Day after day that’s what I hear and see. Hypocrites. I have seen from people around me. It made me very disappointed. I asked myself What is faith? What is it about faith that makes religious people keep talking about it?  Are they insecure about their life that is why they keep talking about their faith in God? Where should we place our faith in? Why? Does faith allow us to hurt other people? Doesn’t bible show us how to love other people? Doesn’t bible also show us how to treat other human being as we want to be treated?

Well… I should not have been surprised that religious people tend to know how to preach without implementing it in their real life. I have seen it all before done by the closest person to me to the those group of hard-liner, who have been executed their own brother and sister from the same religion. It made me sick and tired with the so-called-religious people. Yet, I have not been able to find the rest of the answer my own question.

But last week, I did a crazy thing! I torn bible into pieces because I felt disappointed with George. For some reason that I don’t understand he felt that he had to always hide his church’s activity and lie about over and over again. I always wonder why. I don’t hate Christian people or other religion’s follower. I will never stop somebody to engage to their religion’s activity. I will never discourage them from engaging to their religion’s activity. So why did he feel that he had to lie about his church activity? Or perhaps, he indeed lied because he was not in the church event. Well, perhaps! All the possible answers were there.

My head was spinning around. I was so upset for some reasons. It is the second time in life that I want to stop building my spiritual life. But this time, I really have been enjoying  my new spiritual life especially I really love reading the book of wisdom. It opens my eyes about life. And honestly, I felt guilty to tear the bible because I should not have done it.  It is not because I considered it as sin but  it was my first bible from George. I don’t have the bible anymore.

Everyday I thought about it and reflected it. Tried to find the answer. But I have not been able to find one. Last  Tuesday, I met a friend of mine. She told me about her spiritual life journey. I shared my problem with her. She said something interesting, which got into my head.

There are many people read bible and completely  understand it. They even preach it in a very convincing way. Yet, they rarely implement it.” she went on. “Have you ever read Psalm 118:8?” I shook my head. She then said to me “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” she went on. “Hence, you should place your faith in God and not in other human being,”

Somehow I realized that I have not done that. I have been always placing my faith and trust in other human being. And now I paid the price, disappointment and regrets. Yet, I am grateful for it because it is a very valuable lesson to me. I am thank God to send George into my life as the messenger. I am thanking God to remind me that I must have placed my faith in Lord, God than human being. I am also thanking God to remind me to always implement what the bible says as much as humanly possible and do not just implement what is interest me only. Thank you God!

PS: I was trying to find the exact bible that George has given to me in 2011 but I could not find it in a number of bookstore. I finally found it in a bookstore in Jalan Proklamasi, Jakarta and it was the last copy. I guess it means something. 

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Notes, Spirituality

Spirituality: Hamsa

Got this antique pair of hamsa earrings at St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market. It is only for 20 $. Hamsa prayer: Let no sadness come to this heart; Let no trouble come to these arms; Let no conflict come to these eyes. Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace. 

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirituality

Spirituality: Trust God

Before your burden overcomes you, trust God to put His arms underneath you.

*

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you – Isaiah 43:2

*

God, give me the faith of a little child! A faith that will look to Thee that will never will falter and never fail but follow Thee trustingly. Amen. (Showerman- Our Daily Bread Vol 10)

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirituality

Reflection: Mouth Guards

The tongue of the wise uses knowledges rightly, but the mouth of the fools pours forth foolishness – Proverbs 15:2

*

Be careful of your thoughts – they may become words at any time. Bite your tongue before it bites other. 

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirituality

Reflection: The Father of Lies

When the devil speaks a lie, he speaks from his resources for he is a liar and the father of it – John 8:44

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirituality

Spirituality: Prodigal Son

Father I have sinned, help me find my way

Remember not my sins, just let me hear You say

Chorus
I forgive you, I love you. You are mine, take my hand
Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.

Father I have turned, my back and walked away
Depended on my strength and lived life my own way  – Chorus

*

Father I have closed, my heart to those in need
Thought only of myself, a victim of my greed – Chorus
*

Father I Have Love if Love’s the word to use
I’ve player so many game they’ve left me so confused-Chorus

*

Father I’ve returned, I’m home with You to stay
Standing by your door, knowing that You’ll say-Chorus

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirituality