Spirituality: Growing Up Prayer

With each new day that dawns I am growing up, O God. It is not too soon to start thinking of what I want to be. I think it is very hard to make right decision. But I pray that you will help and guide me, show me what to do and let me share my talents. When you show me, grant me courage to be generous enough to do what you want. Amen

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Spirituality: Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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Photo: Istanbul from the Boat

A romantic ambience of Istanbul [2015: E O]

A romantic ambience of Istanbul [2015: E O]

From the boats, we caught this beautiful historical building [2015: E O]

From the boats, we caught this beautiful historical building [2015: E O]

The city of Istanbul [2015: E O]

The city of Istanbul [2015: E O]

Caught Galata Tower in The Frame [2015: E O]

Caught Galata Tower in The Frame [2015: E O]

Trying to catch fish for dinner [2015: E O]

Trying to catch fish for dinner [2015: E O]

Slow motion [2015: E O]

Slow motion [2015: E O]

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BJ: Shelter in Time of Storm

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom should I be afraid? When evildoer close in on me to devour my flesh, it is they, my adversaries and enemies, who stumble and fall.

Even if my army encamps against me, my heart will not succumb to fear; even if war breaks out against me, I will not have my trust shaken.

There is only one thing I ask of the Lord, just one thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life so that I may enjoy the beauty of the Lord and the gaze of his temple. 

For He will hide me in His shelter in times of trouble. He will conceal me under the cover of His tent and place me high upon a rock. I am confident that I will behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of living. Place your hope in Lord, be strong and courages in your heart, and place your hope in the Lord. Amen. (Psalm 27)

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BJ: No Other God Can Rescue Us

All the princes, governors, lieutenant governor and other official of the king gathered to look at the three men, who had not been harmed by fire. Their hair was not singed, their clothes were not burned and there was no smell of smoke on them.

The king said “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He sent this angel and resecued these men who serve and trust him. They disobeyed my orders and risked their lives rather than bow down and worship any other god, except their own God,”

And now I command that if any nation, race or language speaks disrespectfully to God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he is to be torn limb from limb, and his house is to be made a pile of ruins. There is no other God who can rescue like this.” (Daniel 3:27-29)

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Notes: Negative Mindset

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Life has been extremely hard for me in these last few months. Instead of getting better each month, life seems getting harder and worse. I tried to be strong and believe that everything was okay and would get better sooner than later. But no it did not. It got worse and I could not deal with it well. But was it me unable to deal it well or was it just my negative mindset?

Wait…. that’s what I just discovered! Whether were I really unable to deal with the current life situation well or was it just my negative mindset?

Well let me tell you something, I always said to myself that I must always remove my negative thinking when I have/want/need to do something. No matter how difficult my task is… I MUST NOT say that I CANNOT. Instead I MUST say that I CAN. If I have belief in myself that I can do it, surely I will be able to finish any task, which is given to me. Why did I say that?

Few years ago when I was working for an english newspaper, I was asked to write four stories. It was 2 p.m and the deadline was at 7 p.m. I could not say NO and I would not say No. Instead I said yes. I said to myself that I CAN finish it and I WILL finish it. Even though I didn’t meet the deadline on time, I was able to finish and submit all the stories. I was relieved.  I was happy knowing that I had the ability to do it.

Somehow when I worked on those article, I felt no burden at all. Instead I was enjoying it. But here was the key, I believed that I would not do anything properly without God’s help. (I know I might sound so religious but that’s what I believe : ). I believe in God’s grace).

So as I reflected into my current life’s situation and how I dealt with it, I just felt that the negativity has corrupted my life. It was just a constant complaint.  I always said to myself how unhappy I am, how stressful my life is, how difficult my life is, how hard my life is, etc etc etc. Yes perhaps I am unhappy with the current situation but shouldn’t I just consider it as a test from God?

Well I often said to myself that this difficult life would be just temporary, it wouldn’t stay forever as what Saint Paul said There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

And again Jesus also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

So why couldn’t I deal with my current life situation well? I think it is because I was surrounded by people with negative thinking and somehow it effected to me. No I did not mean to blame anyone here. But now I learnt whenever all those negative opinion comes closer to me, it is better for me to walk away or close my ears to ignore it.

It all comes down to our mindset. If we have a positive mindset, we would deal with difficulty positively, led us to positive attitude and finally we would not feel that we carry a heavy burden. But if we have a negative mindset, we would deal with difficulty with negative attitude, give us frustration and and life getting  hard for us everyday.

I am glad that I have been introduced to God since I was child through Catholic belief. Even though there was a stage of life when I did not want to be tied to any religion but still believed in God, I just found that religious value has taught me something which gives me peace of mind.

Instead of running to alcohol or nicotine  when I got upset (I used to drink a lot but was not an alcoholic, just a cocktail lover. And I knew I smoked few days ago but I rarely did it), I just picked my bible and read it. It might not give me a solution right away but it gives me peace of mind. And that’s all I need.

For me, life is about constant reflection. Perhaps some people might think that I am drama queen or melancholic bitch whenever I share my problem or point of view of life in my blog but I don’t really care anyway. This is how the way I live my life.

And  I just realized that God actually has answered my prayers. Even though it was not a jackpot but God has provided a lot of good things to me during this trial of life.  It might not be the best  but God always provided for us.

Sometimes we just have to appreciate the small stuff because we are blessed more than we realize. I just believed that God would answer my prayers in His own time in His own way.

Have a blessed Sunday readers!
Ride the bus

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
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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

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Spirituality: God’s Love

No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

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Spirituality: The Prayer of Trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I place

I place my trust in You, O Sacred Heart of Jesus [2013: E O]

In all my temptations, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In all my weaknesses, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In all my difficulties, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In all my trials, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In all my sorrows, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In all my work, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In every failure, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In every discouragement, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In life and in death, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In time and in eternity, I place my trust in You,
O Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From: The Catholic Book of Prayer

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Indonesia: A Letter To Pak Beye

People attend a candlelight vigil at Proclamation Monument in central Jakarta on Tuesday night (August 28th) to pray and show support for Shia Muslims in Sampang, Madura after local Sunni Muslims attacked the community, killing two men and burning dozens of homes. Hundreds attended the Malam Seribu Lilin (Night of a Thousand Candles). [2012: Oktofani]

People attend a candlelight vigil at Proclamation Monument in central Jakarta on Tuesday night (August 28th) to pray and show support for Shia Muslims in Sampang, Madura after local Sunni Muslims attacked the community, killing two men and burning dozens of homes. Hundreds attended the Malam Seribu Lilin (Night of a Thousand Candles). [2012: Oktofani]

Dear Pak Beye,

I am a citizen. I am a journalist. As a journalist, I like to observe, I like to listen to my source when they tell me a story. I do not interrupt them. I let them  take all the time that they need. It is because I realize that people like to be listened to.

Since I started my career in journalism, I often covered stories on human rights and legal issues. As a result, I am very aware of human rights issues now. There is a saying in journalism “Bad news is good news“. And working as a journalist in Indonesia, I would find ‘good news‘ very easily. It is because everyday I see and hear s about so many  cases of human rights violations in this beloved country.

It is very saddening to see that the number of violent attacks on religious minorities keeps increasing each year. Setara Institute found that  there were 216 cases of violent attacks on religious minorities in 2010, 244 cases in 2011 and 264 cases in 2012.

The victims of the attacks mentioned in the report belonged to religious communities including Catholic and Protestant Christians, and Islamic groups Shia, Sunni and Ahmadiyah.

Some people say that journalistic duties are to JUST write down the fact and present it to the public, we must not be involved. That is so true. But sometimes, I questioned myself how can I help the victims? I don’t want to be a hero. But I am a human with heart and feeling.

Ten Shiites from Sampang, Madura, East Java, are heading to Jakarta on bicycles to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and directly convey their complaints over being expelled from their own village in August 2012.

Ten Shiites from Sampang, Madura, East Java, are heading to Jakarta on bicycles to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and directly convey their complaints over being expelled from their own village in August 2012.

Norma Manalu, an activist from Aceh, speaks at a June 4th gathering about women’s rights in Aceh, at Hotel Acacia in Jakarta. Activists say they are not against Sharia Law but question the way it is being implemented.

Norma Manalu, an activist from Aceh, speaks at a June 4th gathering about women’s rights in Aceh, at Hotel Acacia in Jakarta. Activists say they are not against Sharia Law but question the way it is being implemented.

My heart beat stopped when I saw women crying because they could not use their church for worshiping God on Sunday. I cried when I heard that three Ahmadiyah followers were killed in West Java.

I was speechless when I heard a Syiah  follower had nothing to say to his four years old boy that they no longer have house because their house has been burned down by extremists in Sampang, Madura, East Java.  I wanted to scream to the government of Aceh for regulating women’s clothing and movement in Aceh as if there are not more important things to be involved in.

Akh…. Indonesia!  Don’t you remember what your teacher taught you in the class when you were at Elementary School? They taught us about Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).

Akh… Indonesia! We forgot how to respect each other. We forgot the value of humanity. We forgot our national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika . We just care about ourselves and be selfish instead.

Indonesia! We forgot that the Indonesian Constitution has guaranteed its citizen to choose and practice their religion. Yet, Ahmadi cannot use their mosque and some Christians cannot use their churches to worship God.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has just received theWorld Statesman  Award for promoting religious freedom  in Indonesia, while in reality your people cannot  practice their belief and religions in safety.  They come to you to convey their problem, yet you don’t even have five minutes for them. Should you wait until the table turn on you?

Bapak SBY, they are your children. They consider you as a father hence they come to you. Please kindly open your eyes, open your ears and open your heart to them.  Help them justice.

Bapak presiden, they might not have a high education but they know the value of humanity. Open your heart, open your door for them. It is ridiculous that they should come to you because the local government were too blind and to dumb to hear their problem.  We all just want to live peacefully in our home country.

Bapak presiden, if you were a real soldier, you should act like it. If you are a good father, then you should act like one. If you are a good president, then be a good president. The extremists have insulted you big time but you still give them space. That’s unfortunate.

Oh here… I have a song for you Pak Beye “Dear Mr. President” by Pink. I hope you enjoy it.

Love

Ride the bus

An FPI-Free Indonesia supporter holds a sign at a rally attended by about 50 people in front of the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on May 10th, 2012. The group is demanding a stop to violence committed in the name of religion. [2012: Oktofani Elisabeth]

An FPI-Free Indonesia supporter holds a sign at a rally attended by about 50 people in front of the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on May 10th, 2012. The group is demanding a stop to violence committed in the name of religion. [2012: Oktofani Elisabeth]

Indonesian Youth's Express their disappointment to the government because Lady Gaga had to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people [2012: Oktofani]

Indonesian Youth’s Express their disappointment to the government because Lady Gaga had to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people [2012: Oktofani]

The protesters called President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “banci,” which literally translates to transvestite, saying he was a coward for not disbanding Ahmadiyah. [2011: Oktofani Elisabeth]

The protesters called President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “banci,” which literally translates to transvestite, saying he was a coward for not disbanding Ahmadiyah. [2011: Oktofani Elisabeth]