Valuing Pluralism: We are Family
When we think of family we naturally think most often of those living in our own household or our extended family who may be miles away. Some of us have loving families; some of our family lives are filled with tension. Some of us think we have no family because we live alone. But for Christians, there is a family of millions. We have brothers and sisters in our local churches, in churches of other denominations in our country, and in other countries. We don't often mean to, but sometimes we seem to forget that not all Christians are just like us. For me, "just like us" is a GPIB mainline denominational member. But in fact, The Spirit can speak to us through many versions of His word and various styles of worship!! Some of our brothers and sisters cannot practice their faith as freely as we can. Some give up their freedom, their possessions, their positions and even their very lives, for their Lord. We are to stand in solidarity with them, since we are all part of His body. I hope you will pray with me that God will help us appreciate and celebrate the diversity of His church, and live in solidarity with His family. Just because we are family!
Diamond in the Dust part 1
Pray for all the oppressed and those who experience disasters wherever they are.
In Car, don't know where - Still in Jakarta.
July 6th 2011 - 11.39 PM
Valuing Pluralism: Be Patient
When we think about patience we often reflect on our need for more patience as we interact with friends, family, and other drivers on the road. It is common to think of patience in this manner because many of us struggle with losing our patience. We need to learn patience, of course, but how do we learn to be patient? When almost no one around us models patience, where can we see it in action? One great example of patience is found when we look at the character of God. God is very patient (Luke 6:35). So patient is God that as the verse in Luke we began with says, "He is kind to ungrateful and evil men." God is still kind to those who never say, "thank you," for His kindness. His still shows mercy to those who will never recognize that all the blessings they receive are from God.
If we learn patience by knowing and experiencing God's patience with us, we will begin to understand what patience looks like. This may go far in teaching us patience. It is not easy to become a patient person. It will take time, prayer, and a lot of effort. One great way to begin the task of learning patience is to reflect on and study the patience of God toward sinners. In so doing we may begin to travel the long road of becoming patient people. Thomas Watson said that, "A Christian without patience is like a soldier without arms...Patience makes a Christian invincible."
Diamond in the Dust Part 2
Still awake and missing you, Ywardhana Septiani Bulo.
On my bed, Beji Kukusan - West Java.
July 7th 2011 - 00.50 AM.
Valuing Pluralism: Do you really know Jesus?
Some of us grew up in a church or we have been studiously studying the Bible for years. We can quote the books of the Bible in order, we know all the stories about Jesus, we know His miracles, and we know the story of His birth, life, death and resurrection. Some of us know a lot about Jesus. The question is: Are we merely fans of Jesus, learning all we can about Him, or are we friends of Jesus? Is there a bona-fide relationship going on between us? My worst nightmare is to die and hear Jesus say to me, "sorry, I don't know you." Ouch.
Now watch this: Suppose I ask you, "when did Christ first start to have an impact on your life? When could you see that changes were being made in your life?" Hopefully you can answer that. No you don't need a specific date, but generally you know when things started changing. And that was the beginning of when you went from being a fan, to being a friend of Christ.
Well, that's it -- a simple little message today -- but one I pray you will take to heart. Try to answer the homework question. Write down your story and track your growth. Are you more a friend of Christ now than last year? Are you more intimate with Christ now than a year ago? If so, great -- if not, something needs to change.
Diamond in the Dust Part 3
In the midst of anxiety heart that gradually disappear due to missed her.
In front of my laptop, Depok - West Java.
July 8th 2011 - 00.28 AM.
Valuing Pluralism: Integrity
So who leads? Who are those who are leaders in the Christian Church? As a Presbyterian, I will say, men of integrity are to lead the church. That is my opinion, but I understand that many who might be reading this think that women should be leaders as well. I do not see that in the Scripture. But to appease some I will simply say a leader needs integrity, eliminating gender.
What is integrity? Well, I Think it starts at home. Do you want to be a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ? I would ask you how your home life is? Family is the big cover up in the Christian faith. Why? Because it is the most obvious. If there are struggles in this place, it becomes really obvious, and really public. This is true if you are a leader already. If you are a leader now, your family problems will be the talk of the church, even if they like your problems: must be hidden. If you are not a leader in the church, well, family problems, no matter what your status, will kill any leadership opportunities in the church, or the church blows it and you get in. To serve Christ is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Saviour. We must serve him selflessly.
Diamond in the Dust Part 4
Through my (holy)day.
Lying on my pillow, Depok - West Java.
July 9th 2011 - 06.28 AM.
Valuing Pluralism: our prayer this week
Lord Jesus - we thank You for the many blessings and the provision You have given us. The more we place You first and depend on You, the more we can share Your perspective and focus. Help us to use wisely the things in our lives all the time keeping our focus on You and Your love, mercy and grace. Amen.
Diamond in the Dust Part 5
In order to commemorate holy communion this sunday.
In car, on the way to GPIB Ps. Minggu - South Jakarta.
July 10th 2011 - 05.25 PM.
Valuing Pluralism: There is no cheat code!
Sometimes, if a part gets tricky you can use cheat codes to get past it. I don't use them most of them unless it is to unlock a special mode that can't be done by normal means. But video games aren't like real life. In life there are no cheat codes. There are no shortcuts – no good ones anyway.
You may try to take shortcuts but in the long run there will be consequences for the actions. In video games, a shortcut just ruins the challenge but in life it can ruin lives – your own and those of others. Numbers 32:23 assures us, "Be sure your sin will find you out.".
If you have to choose between a wrong easy way and long right way, choose what is right. Don't fall prey to the "have it all right now" mentality that consumes so many others.
Diamond in the Dust Part 6
Accompanying my beloved grandmother who was doing her routine therapy.
Ciater Spa Resort, Subang - West Java.
July 12th 2011 - 02.01 PM.
Menghargai Pluralitas: Pacaran dan Menikah versi Kidung Agung 1:2-6
Mencoba melihat Agenda sinodal GPIB yang menentukan bahwa Kidung Agung 1;2-6 menjadi nas kotbah minggu ini. Sudah lama memang cinta di situ dimaknai secara alegoris. Namun, coba pahami konteks Kidung Agung secara keseluruhan yang adalah puisi cinta dari kekasih ke kekasih. Hubungkan dengan puisi cinta pertama di dunia ini, yg dpt dibaca di Kej 2:23 (dari Mr Adam). Berarti cinta berahi dikehendaki oleh Tuhan. Kemudian lihat Kidung Agung 1:5, si cewek yang bilang aku hitam tapi cantik! Itu berarti cinta harus terbuka pada perbedaan, pacaran dan pasca pacaran (pernikahan) jangan menuntut yang impossible dari pasangannya. Kemudian sebaiknya bagi mereka yang pacaran atau yang sudah menikah agar pacaran lagi dan bikin puisi lagi, supaya dunia ini aman, damai, nyaman dan menjanjikan. Haleluya!
Diamond in the Dust (Special) Part 7
Menanggapi berbagai keluhan mengenai renungan yang berbahasa inggris, Diamond in the Dust kali ini spesial berbahasa Indonesia sekaligus menjadi penutup untuk judul yang baru!
Di atas tempat tidur, Beji Kukusan - Jawa Barat.
13 Juli 2011 - 06.01 Pagi.