Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shepherding a Child's Heart (Tedd Trip)-Part 2

Here it is the part 2 of the book.
PART 2: SHEPHERDING THROUGH THE STAGES OF CHILDHOOD
1. Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives
The first stage of development, infancy to childhood, encompasses the period from birth to age four or five. This period can be described in a single word – change. With such dramatic changes over a short time, it is easy to lose focus. The most important lesson for the child to learn in this period is that HE IS AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER AUTHORITY.
In Ephesians 6:1-3, God has drawn a circle of great blessing. Submission to parents means HONORING and OBEYING. Within that circle things will go well and they will enjoy long lives. Honoring parents means to treat them with respect and esteem because of their position of authority. It is honoring them because of their role of authority. Obedience is the willing submission of one person to the authority of another without challenge, without excuse, and without delay.

2. Infancy to Childhood: Training Procedures
When does a child need a spanking? When you have given a directive that he has heard and is within his capacity to understand, and he has not obeyed without challenge, without excuse or without delay, he needs a spanking. If you fail to spank, you fail to take God’s Word seriously.
The following procedure can provide discipline that preserves the child’s dignity: (1) Take your child to a private place where he can be spoken with in privacy, (2) Tell him specifically what he has done or failed to do, (3) Secure an acknowledgement from the child of what he has done, (4) Remind him that the function of the spanking is not venting your frustration or because you are angry, but to restore him to the place in which God has promised blessing, (5) Tell the child how many swats he will receive, (6) Remove his drawer so that the spanking is not lost in the padding of his pants, (7) After you have spanked, take the child up on your lap and hug him, telling how much you love him, how much it grieves you to spank him, and how you hope that it will not be necessary again.

3. Childhood: Training Objectives
The big issue during these middle years is character. Your child’s character must be developed in several areas. In stage one the focus was obedience. Now in the stage two the focus was character. In this stage, the child should learn about his relationship with God, himself, and others. Once or twice a year, you and your spouse should sit down and take stock of your children about their relationship. Develop some strategy for dealing with the areas of concern.

4. Childhood: Training Procedures
Whatever motivates behavior trains the heart. The temptation is to focus on behavior. Behavior is a manifestation of what is going on inside. Your task is to help them understand the “overflow of the heart” aspect of their behavior. Your children need heart change. Change in the heart begins with conviction of sin. Conviction of sin comes through the conscience. You must get to the root issues by dealing with the conscience. You must be a person of long-term vision. You must see your children’s need for shepherding, not simply in terms of the here and now, but in terms of long-range vision.

5. Teenagers: Training Objectives
The benchmarks for this period of life are the onset of puberty and the time when the child leaves home to establish a home of his own. The teen years are years of monumental insecurity. The youth is neither a child nor an adult. He is unsure about how to act. Teens feel vulnerable about everything. They worry about their appearance.
The teenage years are often years of rebellion. Proverbs 1:7-19 furnishes you with such direction about parenting goals in this period of life. Three foundations of life in this passage: The fear of the Lord (v. 7), adherence to parental instruction (vv. 8-9), and disassociation from the wicked (vv. 10-19).
I am appaleled at the skepticism people express about helping teenagers see the importance of the fear of God. It is too often assumed that young people cannot be driven by godly motives. The teen who understands the fear of God will be delivered from danger. He will possess wisdom. He will grow in the knowledge of God.
Proverbs asserts that children will be enriched and greatly benefited by adherence to the values and instruction of their parents. There is no one who will be more honest or more tender than their own parents.
The call to association with the wicked comes to our kids. We must work to make home an attractive place to be. Home should be the shelter where the teen is understood and loved, where he is encouraged and shown the paths of life.

6. Teenagers: Training Procedures
Internalization of the gospel is the process of your children embracing the things of God as their own living faith. Your wish during this period is to see your children develop autonomous identities as persons under God. It is obvious that internalizing the gospel requires the work of the Holy Spirit in the child. All the reason for shepherding children's hearts is to see them come to know God. Your role during this period is a shepherding role of encouraign the child and seeking to influence him in the process of internalizing the gospel.
Teenagers are capable of colossal blunders. There is an enormous gap between the teen's desire to be autonomous and his understadning of life. What they need is parental interaction that is full of hope and courage when they made a mistake. The Proverbs tell us that pleasant words promote instruction. (Proverbs 16:21)
A good metaphor for the parent and teenage child relationship is the relationship adults would have with one another: waiting for the right time, deal with broad themes, and allowing room for disagreement.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Tedd Trip) - Part 1

This is a book summary of a wonderful book titled Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Trip. I wrote it in two parts. It is indeed a very helpful book which inspire me not only to teach but shepherd a child's heart. PART 1: FOUNDATIONS FOR BIBLICAL CHILDREARING
1. Getting to the Heart of Behavior
The Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life. A person’s life is reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart determines behavior. What you say and do expresses the orientation of your heart.

2. Your Child’s Development: Shaping Influences
Shaping influences are those events and circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for making him the person he is. But the shaping is not automatic; the ways he responds to these events and circumstances determine the effect they have upon him.
The person your child becomes is a product of two things: his life experience and how he interacts with that experience. Shaping influences are: structure of family life, family values, family roles, and family response to failure, family history, and family conflict resolution.
Two mistakes are made in interacting with the shaping influences of life. First mistake is seeing shaping influences deterministically. Second mistake is denial. Neither denial nor determinism is correct. You need to understand these shaping influences biblically.

3. Your Child’s Development: God ward Orientation
Godward orientation is like the set of the sail in a child’s life. Whatever the shaping influences of life, it is the child’s Godward orientation that determines his response to those shaping influences.
Everyone is essentially religious. Children are worshipers. Either they worship Jehovah or idols. They are never neutral. Your children filter the experiences of life through a religious grid.
Parenting is not just providing good input. It is not just creating a constructive home atmosphere and positive interaction between a child and his parent. There is another dimension. The child is interacting with the living God.
There are two issues that feed into the persons your children become: 1) the shaping influences of life, and 2) their Godward orientation. Therefore, your parenting must be addressed to both of these issues.

4. You’re in Charge
Our culture does not like authority. It is not just that we don’t like to be under authority, we don’t like being authorities. One of the places where this is most clearly seen is in our discomfort with authority in the home. We need a biblical understanding of authority. Questions abound. What is the nature of the parent’s authority over a child? Is it absolute or relative? If you don’t answer questions such as these, you will be tentative and insecure in discharging your duty to God and to your children.
As a parent, you have authority because God calls you to be an authority in your child’s life. You have the authority to act on behalf of God. You act at his command. You may not try to shape the lives of your children as pleases you, but as pleases him. Deuteronomy 6 underscores this view of parental responsibility.
Clear thinking about the function of discipline illustrates the importance of seeing yourself as God’s agent, called by God to be in charge. Discipline’s dimensions are not only corrective (not punitive), but also an expression of love. Your objective in discipline is to move toward your children, not against them.

5. Examining Your Goals
There are objectives that direct our choices as we raise our children. Some folks can articulate their goals. Other goals may be implied by the choices parents make. Be careful with unbiblical goals. Parents’ goals in influencing their children could be developing special skills, psychological adjustment, or saved children. Others will think about family worship, well behaved children, good education and control.
What general biblical objectives will guide and focus your view of life and therefore your training of your children? What is a worthy biblical goal? The familiar question of the Shorter Catechism answers these questions. What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. Psalms 36 asserts that it is only in his light that we see light.

6. Reworking Your Goals
A biblical worldview dictates that you should teach your children to exercise and care for their bodies as an expression of stewardship for God’s gifts. Abilities should be developed because God has given the stewardship of talents and special capacities.
In a biblical vision, you should instruct your children to entrust themselves to God in the face of unfair treatment. You should teach them the principles of the scripture.
Our children need is spiritual nurture. They need to be taught the ways of God. They need to be instructed in the character of God so that they can learn a proper fear of God. They need to trust him not only for salvation, but for daily living. Repentance and faith are not acts performed one time to become a Christian. They are attitudes of the heart toward us and our sin. Faith is not just the way to get saved; it is the lifeline of Christian living.

7. Discarding Unbiblical Methods

Unbiblical approaches come to us in many ways. Books and magazines regularly address childrearing. It’s all about methodology how to teach and talk to child. They can be using bribery, behavior modification, emotionalism, punitive correction, or erratic eclecticism.
They lead to superficial parenting, rather than shepherding the hearts of our children. They only address behavior. Hence, they miss the point of biblical discipline. Biblical discipline addresses behavior through addressing the heart. Remember, the heart determines behavior. If you address the heart biblically, the behavior will be impacted. Superficial parenting that never addresses the heart biblically produces superficial children who do not understand what makes them tick. They must be trained to understand and interpret their behavior in terms of heart motivation.

8. Embracing Biblical Methods: Communication
Methods and goals should be complementary. You want your child to live for the glory of God. Your methods must show submission to the same Lord. A biblical approach to children involves two elements that you weave together. One element is rich, full communication. The other is the rod. In the book of Proverbs we find these two methods side by side. (Proverbs 23:13-19, 22, 26)
Communication is dialogue, not monologue. It is not only the ability to talk, but also the ability to listen. The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.
Your first objective in correction must not be to tell your children how you feel about what they have done or said. You must try to understand what is going on inside them. What is important in correction is not venting your feelings, anger or hurt; it, rather, understands the nature of the struggle that your child is having.
You want to understand your child’s inner struggles. You need to look at the world through his or her eyes. This will enable you to know what aspects of the life-giving message of the gospel are appropriate for this conversation. If you are going to understand and helping your child to understand himself, there are skills you must develop. You must learn to help your children to express themselves. You must learn to facilitate conversation.

9. Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication
Communication must be multifaceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, teaching, and prayer. All of these must be part of your interaction with your children.
Children need communication designed to inspire and fill with hope and courage (encouragement). Sometimes a child needs to be brought into conformity with a standard (correction). A rebuke censures behavior. Sometimes a child must experience your sense of alarm, shock, and dismay at what he has done or said. Entreaty is communication that is earnest and intense. It involves pleading, soliciting, urging, and even begging.
Instruction is the process of providing a lesson, a precept, or information that will help your children to understand their world. Because your children’s lives are fraught with danger, warnings put us on guard regarding a probable danger. A warning is merciful speech. Teaching is the process of imparting knowledge. It is causing someone to know something. Prayer is not communication with the child but with God. It is nevertheless and essential element of communication between the parent and the child.

10. Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication
Communication not only disciplines, it also disciples. It shepherds your children in the ways of God. I have used the phrase “shepherding the heart” to embody the process of guiding our children. It means helping them understand themselves, God’s works, and the ways of God, how sin works in the human heart, and how the gospel comes to them at the most profound levels of human need. Shepherding the hearts of children also involves helping them understand their motivations, goals, wants, wishes, and desires.

11. Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod
What is the nature of the child’s most basic need? If children are born ethically and morally neutral, then they do not need correction; they need direction. They do not discipline; they need instruction. Since Bible told us that children are not born morally and ethically neutral, so his problem is that he is a sinner. The rod functions in this context. It is addressed to needs within the child. In Proverbs 29:15 God says, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom…” Elsewhere, the Proverbs connect wisdom with the fear of the Lord.
The rod is a parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children, undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely, measured, and controlled use of physical punishment to underscore the importance of obeying God, thus rescuing the child from continuing in his foolishness until death.

12. Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to the Conscience
Your correction and discipline must find their mark in the conscience of your son or daughter. God has given children a reasoning capacity that distinguishes issues of right and wrong. This God-given conscience is your ally in discipline and correction. The central focus of childrearing is to bring children to a sober assessment of themselves as sinners. They must understand the mercy of God, who offered Christ as a sacrifice for sinners.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black, the Movie

Great movie! I am glad to watch a movie like “Black”. It focused on Michelle McNally, a blind, deaf and mute girl, and her relationship with her teacher (Debraj Sahai) who himself later suffers from Alzheimer's disease. In large part of the film is an adaptation of Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life.

Michelle was a girl who lost her eyesight and hearing a few months after birth and exists in a black world where she is isolated in the darkness of her own existence, and trapped by her inability to see, hear and express. She grows up becoming more and more frustrated by the black and dark world around her, making her a wild, uncontrollable child. Her parents are frustrating to control her, until one day the light shines through the end of the tunnel.

Debraj Sahai enters this family lives, a teacher for the deaf and blind. Debraj sees himself as a magician. He takes it upon himself to bring young Michelle into the light. He uses rough methods, although always for Michelle's goodness. Initially, Michelle’s father are not agreeing with his methods and asking Debraj to leave. Although her father thinks he is gone, Debraj stays as the teacher while her father is away on business for 20 days.

By the 20th day, Debraj still has difficulty teaching Michelle the meaning of words. When Michelle's father returns, Debraj packs his bags. At the very last moment, Debraj gets frustrated with Michelle's continuing disrespectful behavior and he throws her into a fountain full of water. Michelle suddenly takes to Debraj's lessons at that moment and begins to understand meaning. She is able to recognize her mother and father, and can articulate the first syllables of some words. The McNallys decide to keep Debraj as Michelle's teacher.

The film was ended by the story how Michelle finally gets her degree (Bachelor of Arts) 20 years after her enrollment with full of efforts. We can also see later how she becomes Debraj’s teacher who is beginning to learn to speak and understand. The movie ends on a hopeful note as Michelle who was originally the student now becomes Debraj's teacher.

I learned that as a teacher, we are not the perfect one. We just had privilege from God to enter children lives. We become a part of child’s life and a story in their lives. Even though we will face difficulties, problems, harsh situations, it’s our delight to see them someday become a child who pleasing God and working as God’s instruments. Just like the title of the movie, Black, we may start to enter child’s lives on the blackness, but we believe that God, who is light, will give all of us (as a teacher or student) His spirit to see and hear Him as our Greatest Teacher ever.
*Pictures are taken from various sources.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Korean & Education

My wife wrote some blog postings related to Education which I also want to share it here. I hope it can be a blessing for everyone who read her writing.


It also can be read here.


I am impressed to know how Korean people love to study. Education is on their top list of priority. They will spend a lot of money to equip themselves or their children with the best education they can get.I was surprised when I saw so many high school students walking out from the school at 9pm. My friend who was driving me to the nearest subway told me that the school hour starts from 9am to 9pm, Then into my surprise, she continued by saying that those students mostly were going to English Academy after school until 10.30pm. Some of them probably were going to library to continue study until 11pm. It is normal for Korean students to arrive home at midnight.I remembered that yesterday night when I went to the study room in a public library, I could not find a place to sit. I needed to wait until somebody walked out from his chair. I could not give any comment anymore...it's summer vacation now! And everybody seems having their vacation in library! I only can say 'WOW'...The way Korean value education is also showed by the way they appreciate teachers. May 14 is a national day specially for teacher. Our friends and us also celebrated it for our Korean Language teacher. He is a super nice person. I love the way he taught us. Eventhough he didn't use English while explaining to us, I could understand what he wanted to say.Thank you for your kindness, Gyusunim. God bless you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

What it was like to read it all

Awesome! I am glad to finish reading the most wonderful book in the world. I have already read those sixty-six books that God gave us from cover to cover. Those books were made by God as initiator and through His people as writers. All of those books are God's Word which is used human word for communicating what God wants men to know about. Before I finished reading Bible, in many times I just focused and be attracted to many books that written by people. As Christians, I did not realize that we had an incredible gift from God that is the Bible.

Professor Paul Yu as our Lecture gave the students three months only to read Bible. Firstly, I was not sure if I could finish reading it all in time. “My experience” told me that the whole books of the Bible have many difficult books to read, for example: the book of Leviticus, Numbers, and Revelation. Few years ago, I finished reading the whole Bible in more than one year. My struggles were on difficult words or sentences; how to interpret passages that have different culture settings with mine; and my laziness.

After I finished reading the Bible few days ago, I amazed with what God has done for His creatures, especially for His beloved people. Even though I cannot fully understand His' thought, but one thing for sure is His love to me, a sinner. His love is pure, not only for me, but also to many people in many different countries. Until now, I still do not understand about how can and why He chose us –sinners– to be His children.

Now, I realize and want to read it again and again because it is God's Word to His people including me. He will direct our path everyday through His wisdom that comes from the Bible. We will save in His Hands through His Words. Thus, we are waiting patiently to Jesus’ second coming when He ended the time. Someday we will face Him and enjoy Him forever. Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Read Bible for All Its Worth

This is the summary of the chapter 1 of the book that I am finished to read it. It is a recommended book to read!

How to read Bible for All Its Worth
by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart,
published by Zondervan, 2003.


CHAPTER 1 : Introduction : The need to interpret
Every so often we meet someone who says with great feeling,”You don’t have to interpret the Bible; just read it and do what it says.” After that they can also say,”any person with half a brain can read it and understand it”. Usually this remark reflects the layperson’s protest against the “professional” scholar, pastor, teacher, or Sunday school teacher, who by “interpreting” seems to be taking the Bible away from the common man or woman.

There is a lot of truth in that protest. We agree that Christians should learn to read, believe, and obey the Bible. And also we agree that the Bible should not be an obscure book if studied and read properly. So the most serious problem people have with the Bible is not with a lack of understanding, but with the fact that they understand most things so well! For example a text as “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Phil 2:14), is not with understanding it, but with obeying it – putting it into practice.

Actually the aim of good interpretation is simple : to get at the “plain meaning of the text” But if the plain meaning is what interpretation is all about, then why interpret? Why not just read? Does not the plain meaning come simply from reading? In a sense, yes. But in a truer sense, such an argument is both na├»ve and unrealistic because of two factors : the nature of the reader and the nature of Scripture.

THE READER AS AN INTERPRETER
The first reason one needs to learn how to interpret is that, whether one likes it or not, every reader is at the same time an interpreter. Most of us assume as we read that we also understand what we read. We also assume that our understanding is the same thing as the Holy Spirit’s or human author’s intent. However, we bring to the text all that we are, with all of our experiences, culture, and prior understanding of words and ideas. For example, when a person hears the word “cross”, most people automatically to think of a Roman cross (†), although there is little likelihood that was the shape of Jesus’ cross, which was probably shaped like a “T”.

Good translators, therefore, take the problem of language differences into consideration. But it is not an easy task. For example in Romans 13:14, shall we translate “flesh” (as in KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, etc.) because this is the word Paul used? Or shall we “help” the reader and translate it to “sinful nature” (as in the NIV, GNB, etc.) because this is what Paul’s word really means?

THE NATURE OF SCRIPTURE
A more significant reason for the need to interpret lies in the nature of Scripture itself. The Bible is at the same time both human and divine. As Professor George Ladd said,”The Bible is the Word of God given in the words of [people] in history. It is the dual nature of the Bible that demands of us the task of interpretation.

Because the Bible is God’s Word, it has eternal relevance; it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture. We must listen and obey it. But because God chose to speak his Word through human words in history, every book in the Bible also has historical particularity; each document is conditioned by the language, time, and culture in which it was originally written. Interpretation of the Bible is demanded by the tension that exists between its eternal relevance and historical particularity.

If we only think that the Bible only in terms of its eternal relevance, they tend to think of it only as a collection of propositions to be believed and imperatives to be obeyed. In the other hand, the fact that the Bible has a human side is our encouragement; it is also our challenge. We must try to understand what was said to them back then and there, and also must learn to hear the same Word in the here and now. One of the most important aspects of the human side of the Bible is that to communicate his Word to all human conditions. God chose to use almost every available kind of communication : narrative history, genealogies, chronicles, laws, poetry, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biographical sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.

THE FIRST TASK : EXEGESIS
Exegesis is the careful, systematic study of the Scripture to discover the original, intended meaning. This is basically a historical task. It is the attempt to hear the Word as the original recipients were to have heard it, to find out what was the original intent of the words of the Bible. This is the task that often calls for the help of the expert, that person whose training has helped him or her to know well the language and circumstances of the texts in their original setting. But one does not have to be an expert to do good exegesis.

LEARNING TO DO EXEGESIS
The key to good exegesis, and therefore to a more intelligent reading of the Bible, is to learn to read the text carefully and to ask the right questions of the text. To read or study the Bible intelligently demands careful reading, and that includes learning to ask the right questions of the text. There are two basic kinds of questions one should ask of every biblical passage : those that relate to context and those that relate to content.

The questions of context are two kinds : historical and literary. Historical context, which will differ from book to book, has to do with several things : the time and culture of the author and his readers, that is geographical, topographical, and political factors that are relevant to the author’s setting. The more important question of historical context has to do with the occasion and purpose of each biblical book and/or of its various parts. Literary context means that words only have meaning in sentences, and for the most part biblical sentences only have meaning in relation to preceding and succeeding sentences. The most important contextual question are : What’s the point? We must try to trace the author’s train of thought. What is the author saying and why does he or she it right here? And Why?

Content has to do with the meaning of words, the grammatical relationship in sentences, and the choice of the original text where the manuscripts have variant readings. It also includes a number of items mentioned above under “historical context”, for example, the meaning of denarius, Sabbath day’s journey, “high places”, etc.

For the most part, we can do good exegesis with a minimum amount of outside help, provided that help is of the highest quality We need such tools : a good bible dictionary, a good Bible handbook, a good translation, and good commentaries.

THE SECOND TASK : HERMENEUTICS
Although the word “hermeneutics” ordinarily covers the whole field of interpretation, including exegesis, it is also used in the narrower sense of seeking the contemporary relevance of ancient texts. Here, we will use it exclusively to ask questions about the Bible’s meaning in the “here and now”. But we can not start from this way, because that the only proper control for hermeneutics is to be found in the original intent of the biblical text.

The questions of hermeneutics are not at all easy, which is probably why so few books are written on this aspect of our subject. Nor will all agree on how one goes about this task. But this is the crucial area, and believers need to learn to talk and listen one another.

Friday, May 15, 2009

God's Love to Me

God loves his children and He will not forget them. One clear evidence of His love is his providence into my life.

In the first time I stepped my feet in South Korea, I wondered if God is still with me? I went to a place far away from home, my wife, relatives, friends and my comfort zone.

"God, are you also with me there in Korea?" I asked.

I started to think that 'Is God real in this country?' I ashamed that I had such a feeling like that. Do I have faith, don't I? It is not God's responsibility to confirm me about his presence to us. Our faith and Holy Spirit in us have already given His clear confirmation.

Thanks God for His blessing and kindness. In the middle of my confused heart and worriness, He still gave me (A LOT) evidences which showing me that He is life, He is real!

I had many stories about those God's love:

1. THE LUNCH BOX: I have shared this before in here.

2. CLOTHES: In two days in a row, I got clothes from different person. Firstly, I got from the head office of PMF (Pusan Missionary for Foreign Labour). He called me to his office and gave me a jacket. It is not new but still in very good condition. Secondly, I got two shirts from one of the Dean at university. I didn't know him before, that's why I was surprised. He came to me and asked "Are you Indonesian? Do you want shirts?". After confusing for a while, I agreed to follow him to his office. He gave me two 'Batik shirts' from Batik Keris. I was amazed and thanked God for it. I shared one of those shirts to my dormitory's fellow.

3. MEDICAL CHECK UP: In my first month in Korea, I experienced free medical check up, included X-Rays and teeth cleaning.

4. HANDPHONE VOUCHER: I received a free handphone voucher worthed W10,000. What a surprise!

5. HAIR TRIMMING: It is free also! Amazing! The lady usually come to the organization every month to help foreigner who want to cut their hair.

6. SOAP, SHAMPOO, TOOTHPASTE: Those things were gifted to me in my first week in Busan. Some of them I received from the International Office, and the rest were from my friends. I never buy those things until now. It is sufficient until few months later.

7. SUBWAY CARD: While preparing for my wife's coming in the end of March, I thought that I need to buy a subway card for her, but I decided to wait until one or two days before her arrival. Few days before her arrival, my friends were cleaning up the garbage in the house and found a broken subway card that a fellow thrown out before he went back to Indonesia. They gave it to me to try whether it could work. I was extremely happy to know that it worked! I glued the two pieces and top-up the amount for my wife later. It is unbelievable, isn't it?

I think, it is rare to find those 'coincidence' (I don't believe in coincidence though) in Indonesia. God taught me a lot about his providence and his love to me in Korea. I hope that we as Christians can share everything that we have and love one another, just because of His love.

I couldn't count how many blessings He gave me. Those above are the blessings before my wife's coming to Busan. I will share His blessing to me after Dita's coming in the next posting.

Thanks to God!

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:5

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

'Old' is unequal to 'Wisdom'

While I am living in Korea, I found a cultural difference between Korean and Indonesian. It's a bout 'Seniority'. In eastern culture, it's a rule for young people to respect the elders; but Korean emphasizes it more than Indonesian.

Here in Korea, it is common to ask someone age. Thus from that step, it position both parties in the next communication. Korean language is divided into three levels: the most formal, formal and informal. Each level has different usage depends on who is older and who is younger. For example: anyyeonghasimnikka, anyyeonghaseo and anyong.

In contrast, if we read the bible carefully, God who decided the order said that we are not respect to the person older than us without excuse. However, we must respect to the person who has a wisdom. Wisdom is a standard to whon we give our respect to. Meanwhile, it doesn't mean that we could disobey parents or older persons.

Rather than that, we can not use "age" as a measurement on how to deal with someone or to justify how a relationship would be.

Take your time to medidate this verse below.

It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.

Job 32:9

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Worldview from Romans 14

The context of book of Romans was the different position of the Jew and Gentile to think about days and meats. It was difficult for a Jew to rid himself of the sense of difference between days and between meats. A Gentile, having abandoned his whole religious system as idolatrous, did not put any care about it. Human nature is liable to sin on both sides - a want of conscience, an uncontrolled will, and a ceremonial conscience. Christianity recognizes neither of these things. It delivers from the question of days and meats by making us heavenly with Christ. But it teaches us to bear with conscientious weakness, and to be conscientious ourselves.


The focus on this chapter is verses eight, “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord”. In everything we do, we have to do it as for Christ. Therefore in any decision taken, we must think as how Christ thinks about that matter. Christ is the center of Christian's life, and we must apply this point of view as our Christian Worldview generally in our daily life.

Cultural Idolatry

Indonesia is a vast country which has different kinds of religion. Bali, an island in Indonesia, is a unique island where the major religion is Hinduism. We could see many Hindu temples called Pura which is the place to pray. In a complex of Pura, they built many temples. The biggest one which is usually in the center of the area is designated to pray to God. However, the rest of temples around the biggest temple are purposely built for their ancestors’ spirit because they believe that their ancestors’ spirit are still alive. The purpose for built the ancestors’ temple is to respect the spirit of the ancestors, yet to pray and beg something from them. This phenomenon of praising the ancestors is not only happened in Bali, but also in many areas in Indonesia in another kind of religions.


Cultural idolatry as mentioned in the example above explains about a community who believes that there is God who created the universe, but in the other hand, they also praise their died ancestors. From the bible perspective as we read in Hebrews 9:27, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”; we can conclude that every human being who has been passed away has no power anymore in this earth. Since a man has two aspects (dichotomy): body and spirit/soul, so after a man died, he has no body but his spirit/soul will directly enter the eternal life. If they believe in Jesus, the spirit will go to heaven, on the contrary it will go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Worldview

Worldview is very important in human life. Every decision that we make every day in our life is never ever neutral. God gives human beings the ability of keeping, thinking and analyzing information. It means that our brain will process all information needed before any decision is taken in our life, such as: what should we do, what would we do or not to do.

It is very essential for us as human beings to consider who we are, what we are, and where we are from. This is the very first step to understand before we can make any right decision. We have to look back to our God as the One and only source who created us. We also have to ask Him and consider Him before we decide something and walk in it.

Nowadays, there are so many cultural idolatry that we can see and feel around us. Without our awareness to seek God first in our life, we would decide something that is not what God wants us to do. As a Christian we must realize and aware about this condition. We must be an agent of change in our community to critique what is not supposed to be before God's presence.

Redemptive Analogy

Redemptive is an adjective word that means serving to redeem. In the term of Christianity, this word refers to God’s salvation to believers from sin through Jesus’ sacrifice. In the other way, analogy is a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based. Synonyms of analogy are (1) comparison, likeness, resemblance, similitude, affinity; (2) correspondence.

So, Redemptive Analogy is an illustration or similarity or likeness story within cultures and gospel message so we can use it to communicate gospel to among tribal peoples and other cultures.

Sawi Tribe - The Peace Child
This is relevant with the true story “Peace Child”. Don and Carol Richardson who were gifted from God a calling to serve Sawi tribe in Irian Jaya, Dutch New Guinea had difficulties to understand the tribe. Therefore, first of all they learned about the languages. After they can speak and explain the gospel to the tribe, the villagers have misunderstanding about the gospel. It was when missionary Don told the story about Jesus and the part of Judas betrayed Jesus. They thought that Judas was the real hero. This understanding is happened because of Sawi's idealize treachery.

Don wondered how there could be a guaranteed peace in the village if Sawi has a culture like that. Everyone in the village has their own perspective or worldview about treachery that is very different with the common sense. Until one moment of a battle between tribes came, the Richardsons were considering leaving the area. In order to keep the Richardson staying in the village, both tribes had a discussion and decided to make peace among them. Their tradition in making peace was to exchange young children between the two villages. It was called "peace child". If the "peace child"s were exchanged, it would bring peace between the tribes.

In this point, Don Richardson found the key and made this tradition to be an analogy to explain how God the Father redeem human beings from their sin through Jesus Christ, His Son who came as the “Peace Child”. He is the one who made peace between Himself and His people.

Works Cited:
"analogy." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 13 Mar. 2009.
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Call, Ray and Michele. “Cross Cultural Missions Jesus Style” Campus Crusade for Christ, It’s all about Jesus. 11 January 2002. 14 March. 2009

Culbertson, Howard. “Intro to Missions” Southern Nazarene University. 17 November 2008. 14 March. 2009

"redemptive." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 13 Mar. 2009.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to Kosin University


I arrived at Kosin University, Busan-Korea for the first time on February, 19th, 2009. It was a long journey to get there. It needed almost 24 hours from Surabaya to the gate of the university. First I met the security staffs asking the location of International Office (IO). They requested me to wait a moment, as the IO staff will see me as soon as possible in the security's room. It was drizzle when I came to Kosin University. Ten minutes later, a young lady named Sunny met me and asked me to follow her to the IO.


I went to the IO and met Mr. Kim Sung Joon. Finally, I met the person who was the one in charge for my departure to Korea. He and I continually contacted each other to update my visa's status before I came to Korea. He helped me a lot by giving advices on how to prepare and get my visa.

I was amazed when I realized that there is a warmer in the room (in Indonesia usually we need cooler Air Conditioner, because the weather is very hot), that is why I feel so comfortable there. We were discussing about several things about how to get to Kosin and why I only got 3 months permission for visa.

Then he said, "Welcome to Kosin University"and gave me a map and a book of Busan, also a map of Kosin University. After we talked to each other, He asked me to continue my journey to go to the dormitory area. He helped me bringing my luggage (quite big...hehe). We were walking (or climbing ...) up to the high place of dormitory. It was really hard to get there. I have almost exhausted when I brought a big luggage up there. Sometimes we stopped for a while to take a fresh air. Fiuhhhh, finally we arrived in the dormitory.


My room number is 417-a. The room is occupied for 4 person, and I was the first student who attended to that room. It is a cozy place for students to study. The dormitory is also equipped with many facilities such as vending machine, hot water for shower, warmer room, automatic electronic door locked us a password, laundry machine, fitness centre, etc.
















I hope I will enjoy all of this, and the most important thing is I will understand more about God's will and will do my best for studying here.