I’ve been pulled back

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you. Cobb, Inception.

The last few weeks, I struggled with an idea. The idea of humanism. As a psychology student, I am exposed with many ideas and theories about human. But this peculiar idea, humanism, stuck in my head and began to spread to many aspects of my life like a virus. Belief that human can reach it’s best with efficacy-Bandura, belief that human can enhance with unconditional positive regards through empathy-Rogers, and many others.

I didn’t aware until some point I felt so empty because I didn’t feel God anymore. When it happened, I began to realize that I actually felt God as a human and not as, God. Unconsciously, I see God as someone who listened and empathized but not more than that. And I could find listeners and empathizers through my friends, thus I searched less for God. Unconsciously, I started to forget that God has the power and authority to control. I became anxious for I felt far from God. At that point, I struggled and I asked what had happened to myself. The more I struggle, the more was I concerned with my thoughts. I asked God to show himself, so I can feel him mentally and, for the first time, physically too.

With all the priming I received, at last I was enlightened.

Enlightened by today’s devotion. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened-Romans 1:21. I wondered why I struggled with that idea of humanism and the answer is simple, because it believes in human’s greatness. Unconsciously, I set aside God’s greatness and that was the core of my distortion.

Enlightened by JN’s sharing yesterday about spiritual garden. Gary Thomas’ idea is everyone has their own ways to reach spirituality. Looking at nine pathways given (naturalist, sensate, traditionalist, ascetic, activist, caregiver, enthusiast, contemplative and intellectual), I believed mine is strongest through sensation. As I looked back, I got a lot of sensation from human lately, which strengthened the idea of humanism.

Enlightened by yesterday’s preaching. “Don’t take sensation of unbelief too seriously, take God seriously” quoted from Barth, ST preached that spirituality is vivid, felt thoroughly by our body and our mind intertwined.

Knowing all this, I became aware of myself. Of what my senses might perceive, of what an idea might fill. And I learned to trust God once again, deeper by feel him, with not just my mind but my body and senses as well.

God have pulled me back, and now I give in all the glory to him.

“You are like the sun”

Do you know an anime called “Saiyuki”? Maybe the one you know is the story about a monk and his three friends who went on a journey to the west. Saiyuki is made from that tale; Minekura Kazuya elaborated the tale into several series. Minekura also made a prequel to Saiyuki – Saiyuki Gaiden – where Goku meets Konzen, Kenren and Tenpou in heaven before Goku was expelled to earth and caged for more than 500 years. In Saiyuki series, Konzen reincarnated to Sanzo, Kenren to Gojyo and Tenpou to Hakkai. That’s the short introduction to Saiyuki, what I want to share further is in the story of Saiyuki Gaiden.

!!! CAUTION THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS !!!

***

Konzen was born as an official in heaven, his life was so smooth… and very boring, until Bosatsu (the merciful goddess who is also Konzen’s aunt) brought an animal -Goku- to heaven. That… was their first encounter.

egaiden_chapter_33.33-36

Awesome… You’re shining! Like the sun. That animal‘s first words to Konzen as he touched Konzen’s golden long hair.

Annoyed, Konzen smacked the animal‘s head and called him bakazaru (stupid monkey).

Bosatsu saw that interesting and told Konzen to take care of the animal. Of course Konzen was super annoyed, knowing the animal very energetic and talkative with its innocent big smile. Even after all the smacks for being a nuisance for Konzen, Goku was still attached to Konzen..Later, Konzen gave the animal a name, Goku -Go = understanding and Ku = the void-.

***

Skip to the important part of the story, Konzen grew fond of Goku and really cared for him as his own son. Goku, was later known that he is Seiten Taisei (The Great Sage Equaling Heaven), broke his limiter which made him goes berserk. He killed lots of heaven’s army (where killing is forbidden in heaven) thus became a traitor and was pursued. Konzen, Kenren, and Tenpou were involved and pursued as well. They planned to escape to earth but Konzen, Kenren and Tenpou never made it.

***

In the development of the story, I really reflect what happened to Konzen. Konzen was once always bored and apathetic with all of the things around him, but was so alive and caring after Goku came to his life. Konzen was always been Goku’s sun from the beginning, but as the time goes by, he began to realize that Goku’s was his sun. At the end when Konzen knew he wouldn’t make it to earth he said,

Goku, you were the one who reached out to me first. Next time, I promise I’ll be the one to reach for you. I’ll definitely reach for you.

Konzen changed. His awareness towards others emerged, his stubborn personality subdued, his views of the world widened, he dared sacrifice his own life. All because of Goku.

***

One’s life is touched by a sun.

This might happened too, especially touched by a sun – the real sun, Jesus Christ that is.

Us born a Christian have lived smoothly in a comfort zone, almost too comfort that we might as well get bored. Taking God’s word emptily as common as other information. But hey, maybe we don’t realize that Jesus has made his encounter with us; in a positive or negative event. Us who deep down have been thinking that God’s word are so annoying, told countless time before and has no meaning to our life. But it never stops, why? Because we are also his precious suns. Us might go through a path where we start to see changes in ourselves and soon realized that we are getting fond of him because he always have been our sun, always lights our journey of life.

Hoped we can continue like Konzen, giving our whole life for that sun. Fulfill his command and promises until we meet again.

 

 

 

***

500 years later…

epilogue

Wonder how… he’s so shiny… He’s almost like… almost like…

Christmas Message

I’ve heard many preaches this Christmas
From youth communities in church
From church’s Christmas celebration
And I felt somehow it was all connected

Dec 15: Youth Community’s Christmas

“The Simplicity of Christmas”

AH preached from Philippians 2 : 1 – 8
He underlined verse 6 – 8
Where Jesus came down from Heaven to the earth to be human
More than that, to be the lowest from the human
For what? To save humankind

And He did it in simple ways
The preacher gave 3 very different examples:

  1. The shepherds – Luke 2 : 8 – 15
  2. Paul – Acts 9 : 1 – 9
  3. Samaritan woman – John 4 : 1 – 26
For the shepherds whose status were the lowest at that time, the Angels appeared and told them “Do not be afraid….” (10) It happened when the shepherds were watching their flocks (8) which they do everyday -it was an ordinary task to do. That alone made them believe.
For Saul -the name before Paul, it’s totally different. God had to make it hard, because Saul is hard. God even made him blind for 3 days (9). This happened when Paul were doing his job, murdering Lord’s disciples (1-2). This, too, were ordinary task for him. After that, Paul totally changed and became God’s servant to the end.
For the Samaritan woman, Jesus went and spoke to her Himself. This, too, happened when the woman was doing her ordinary task, to draw water (7). But she specially came at noon, because of a certain reason, she had been married 5 times and the man she was with was not her husband (17-18).
These 3 different people, God showed His love in unique ways, different for each of them, but in simple ways, while they were doing their ordinary tasks. And for each of them, He showed His love, His great and same love which He showed to us as well.
Dec 21: Teen Community’s Christmas
“The Greatest Gift of Christmas”
The same preacher with different topic
Now AH preached from Matthew 2 : 1 – 12
The greatest gift as may you have expected is Jesus’ birth
And His humbleness to save us, human
But what interests me in the preach is he underlined for whom the invitation was
The invitation to see Jesus, the newborn King
And he mentioned Herod
Herod was also invited to see Jesus’ birth
He was even closer geographically than the Magi from the east
The Magi told Herod that they saw the star leading them to where Jesus was born (2)
Even the priests and teachers of the law confirmed it (4-5)
But that wicked Herod, he didn’t want anybody to have his throne
So he rejected that greatest gift
Dec 24: Christmas Eve’s Celebration
“The Road to Bethlehem”
Here, the preacher JS underlined Joseph and Mary’s big responsibility to bring Jesus to Bethlehem
How they struggled on the road
Even until they have arrived at Bethlehem
Searching for a place to give birth
Gave birth and put the Baby in a stable
Dec 25: Christmas’ Celebration
“Believing the Impossible”

And at last, the preacher YC also preached from Philippians 2 : 3 – 10
But he preached in reverse
He started from verse 8 – 10 : Jesus as man was lifted by God to be a god
Then he continue to verse 6 – 7 : Jesus a God became human
These two parts seemed opposite, is He the same in verse 8-10 and 6-7?
YC believes it’s different

  • In verse 8-10, Jesus is a God in eternity; in verse 6-7, Jesus is a God in history
  • In verse 8-10, Jesus, objectively, is a God Himself; in verse 6-7, Jesus, subjectively, is a God

And then he continue to verse 3-5 : Jesus showed us the way of living in heaven
by not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (4)
This, however, can not be done in this world
It can only be done in heaven
That’s why Jesus came not only to show how to live
but also, to redeem humanity from sins and deaths
And that is what we celebrate at Christmas!!


 ♫ Man will live forevermore because of Christmas day ♫
Merry Christmas to all of you!

Giving

Wednesday, 4 Sep 2013
I had Character Building class
The topic is giving
We’re given questions about it
Why do you give something to people?
What do you feel when you give something to people?
Do you believe that you’ll be given more when you give something to people?
And so on…
And the end of the class, my friends and I were discussing about the questions given
That day, I didn’t know I’d be hearing the answers the next Sunday
Sunday, 8 Sep 2013
I was in youth Sunday service
The sermon were answering those questions and it’s real good
The topic is actually “Manage Your Money”
But it was more than just that
First of all, he said

Half truth is a whole lie. Half Gospel is not true gospel.
-JA

He read from the bible
“Sowing Generously”

2 Corinthians 9 : 6-11

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

 

7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Briefly, he said that all our money –etc.– are from God
We are not the owner of ours
God is
That’s why we have to give it all back to God
By giving it to others
And, will we be given more if we give more?
Of course not, it’s all God’s not ours
What about verse 6?
John 4 : 37 gives the answer

Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.

The context in 2 Corinthians is this
Corinthians were rich, Jerusalem needed help
So Paul wanted Corinthians to help Jerusalem
When Corinthians sowed generously –give more
Jerusalem would reap generously –get more
It opened my eyes
I’ve never known the context behind that passage
All I know is who gives more will get more, vice versa
It’s all going back to the top
Half truth is a whole lie. Half Gospel is not true gospel.

Consider Its Ways and Be Wise!

My QT this morning was taken from Proverbs 6 : 4-11
The devotion book was emphasizing about laziness and how we should not, we must not be lazy
A passage that is so popular is taken from Proverbs 6:6, about learning from ants

Today, I saw more than usual
I read again and again, that verse, also two verses after which is still related to verse 6

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

First of all, ants always make a community
Of course, you won’t see an ant alone
They work together
Second, they know what they have to do (8)
They don’t argue, they just doing their job happily
Third, no commander, no overseer or ruler (7)
They have responsibility

I remembered something when I think about these…
The Smurfs
Do you know it?
It’s a comic made by Peyo
The stories are about a community of blue little things called smurfs
There, all of the smurfs have their own name
Such as Clumsy Smurf, Chef Smurf, Narrator Smurf, Baker Smurf, etc.
They are named by what they do
Isn’t it similar with ants’ life?
But, they do have a big difference
Papa Smurf exists in Smurf
He who become like a commander or ruler because he is wiser

Now let’s imagine…
What’s going to happen if humans do the ants’ life?

As we now, ants are the same.
Are we, humans, the same?
I believe we are the same, we are humans
But does it stop here? I don’t believe so
Smurfs are the same yet different, each one has his own ‘particular job
I believe humans are also different, each one has his own uniqueness
We may not have our own ‘particular job‘, but more than that
Humans can do more than just 1 particular job and that makes them special
Then, humans without commander or ruler.
Human did not have commander or ruler, a long time ago
What if it happens now? A world without commander or ruler..

What do you think about it?
Consider its ways and be wise!

Enough is Enough

Today, I got a new meaning from that message

First of all, I’m glad to say that I am a Sunday school teacher now 😀
And this afternoon, I joined the preparation class
One of the discussed topic is God’s care in the desert
When the Israelite got out from Egypt
The passage I want to share were taken from Exodus 16, Manna and Quail
These are some verses that keep humming in my mind

4 “…. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. ….”
16 “…. ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. ….”
18 “…. he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.”
21 “Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, ….”
35 “The Israelite ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.”

Yes, God took really good care of the Israelite in the desert
He provided enough for all of them, for each one of them
But what I see now that I didn’t see when I read this passage in the past is
God also gave JUSTICE to the Israelite
Each one gathered enough, the same portion, an omer, not less nor more
That is what I got from that chapter
In the preparation class, I felt that they emphasized God’s grace
And I didn’t see any discussion about God’s justice
For my surroundings who most of the children’s family economic are in the middle and upper class
I think that God’s care for them are abundant
I believe the children absolutely feel God’s grace
But I wonder if they feel this justice that God has given
I believe it will be wonderful, if they become one…
God’s grace and God’s justice

Mary’s Song

I joined a camp for youth community in my church and at the second day, I did my morning devotion. Actually there was a guide for the morning devotion but I didn’t take it because I didn’t know XD! So, I ended up reading a different passage than it should be.

Luke 1: 46-56
“Mary’s Song”

I was quite shock when I first read it because even though it’s about Mary and it seems common to hear passages from Luke (like in preaches or cell groups sharing), I’ve never heard this passage been exposed before, it’s like reading for the first time for me. I wonder why..
This passage actually gave me such enlightenment. I’ve known that Mary was still so young when she got the good news, but seeing her rejoicing in the passage really amazed me of how she think and feel –it’s not like an ordinary girl would think-.

First, I could see how happy and humble she was and how she lifted God up so high!

46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me-
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

Then, I could see how the virgin really cared for others

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble
.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty
.

I couldn’t stop thinking how Mary could see this in a very young age. It’s not like what people would think, it’s not like what I would think XD, but honestly.. it really amazed me and made me realize that it is true! Mary has seen it! The core of salvation! Like what happened to Israel:

54 he has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Getting this much at the morning devotion, I couldn’t stop rejoicing God! And I think again what have I done all this time. Being from a well-off family and surroundings, did I see others below me below me?
What were my reactions when I meet them?
What did I think about them?
I changed my perspective and also made a commitment about how I will react in my future life.

Pinoko’s Faith

Black Jack, a high-skilled surgeon but his license was revoked despite his patient’s life. He then chose to operate from the shadows.
Pinoko is BJ’s assistant. She came from a terratoid cystoma -she supposed to have twin, but she didn’t grow up and she lived in her sister’s body as a tumor- and was saved by BJ. You can watch the story in BJ episode 44.
For me, there is a most memorable scene from all of Black Jack animes -Black Jack or Black Jack 21-.
Taken from BJ21 episode 3.
BJ was told to be dead, but Pinoko didn’t believe it. Then she was adopted by Saeki Hospital’s director but she didn’t like it. She still searched for BJ. At last she found him, while operating himself in his former teacher’s house. She helped him finishing the operation, but then an assassin walked in. BJ managed to stop him and he was killed by another sniper because he failed to kill BJ.
The scene is a dialog between BJ and Pinoko after the assassin was killed.
See?
Now go back to Saeki Hospital
No!
I won’t do it!
You can’t stay with me.
Please understand.
I won’t go back, even if you beg me to.
Pinoko!
Please!
And Pinoko did stay with BJ after this, traveled around the world to find the truth behind BJ’s family. And even though it’s hard, Pinoko still followed him ’til the end 🙂

Looking at Pinoko’s faith and actions.
Isn’t it somehow similar to Christianity?
Not only God has given me life, but He also gave His own life.
And as Pinoko stated to use all of her life for BJ, so am I for Christ.
The next step for me is to follow Christ ’til the end although it’s tough;
Like Pinoko did!

Success

It was very hard, this big responsibility.
Most of them don’t care about their own responsibilities anymore.
Nothing is on time.
In fact, nothing seems right…

“Are you lonely being in that position?”
Well, no, I’m not lonely.
This is true, because even it was very hard, there are still a few people who support me.
And I mean, really few -you could count it with one of your hands-.
But, that’s more than enough for me.

Yesterday, I was strengthen in my QT (quiet time).
The passage was taken from Isaiah 6:8-13.
It was about Isaiah who was sent to tell His words to the people.
People that won’t listen to him.
But Isaiah still did the mission;
Even though he would look fail in human’s eyes.
And he succeed!
Not in human’s eyes, but in God’s eyes.
He was faithful to the end.

That reminded me about my own responsibility, my mission.
I might fail in my own eyes.
But I won’t give up!
God has given me so much;
I will do my best to be faithful ’til the end!