Second Week of 2018

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Aaaaaand just like that the second week of 2018 is ending. I can’t believe that it’s that easy to actually slump back into a routine and disturbing my new year resolution. I haven’t read 30 pages a day of book.

At the same time, my morning run has also been paused a little bit because of a flu i caught from my dad. I also had quite a fattening weekend with multiple glasses of coffee and hefty dinners.

I’m going to try to have a better and productive week! God bless you all.

Reading the Bible

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For the past few months, other than reading the Bible at church on Sunday, I have been reading few verses every night with my girlfriend. Don’t worry the point of this post isn’t to brag but actually I’m quite in an awe.

I have been reading the bible since I was in elementary school, obviously when you’re little — you have to, since it’s a Christian school. I grew up reading it that I remember the famous verses growing up, but has small meaning to my life.

As I seriously put more effort into reading the bible in a more continuous and constant way, I realized that I had found more verses that might not be as famous but much more relatable to what I had faced, what I’m facing, and probably what I’m about to face.

I realized that when my pastor said “the Bible, the words of God, is the key to life” what he meant by that is in the same permanent words of God, lies different meaning as you grew up and go through different phases of your life. When I came to this conclusion, I feel like I had a change of mindset from “why should I read the same verses again and again” to “wow, how i love the bible can be the answer despite no change of words at all”

Thank You God, for helping me and directing me and my girlfriend to continue studying Your words.

First Week of 2018

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Just like that we have “cleared” first week of 2018. Nothing extra-ordinary so far for me except that I have:

1) Started to get into crypto-trading. Not necessarily Bitcoin but more towards altcoins and ICOs

2) Changed my lifestyle, for the past 3 working days I didn’t eat dinner and slept at 10pm. Woke up at 6.30 and jogs for 30 minutes.

I actually feel awesome and didn’t dread the fact that I’m “fasting” for 18 hours. (One of the things that influence me is Tim Ferriss’ new book Tools of Titans)

How about you?

Being Young

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Having a Korean as a girlfriend, we talk a lot about age as Korea has a very Confucian culture where even one year of age differences matter. Starting my career at 19 with Tech in Asia and also with East Ventures, I have heard a lot of

“Wow, you’re so young!”

“At your age, I’m still like playing games and shit”

“I envy your age!”

Which I of course taken it as a compliment and pushes me even more to do and learn greater things as you are not young forever. This hits me (gradually) harder as I get older. I’m hitting 26 this year, just 4 more years before the big 3.

Although I did win Forbes Asia 30 under 30, or I was mentioned by Tech in Asia as “5 Very Young Entrepreneur in Asia to Watch” and recently was also featured at Gatra Magazine in Indonesia as “Tech disruptor millennials”

It didn’t effect the fact that I’m getting older. I realize that I won’t be able to make so much mistakes anymore, I learned that I wasn’t as enthusiastic or positive as I used to be, with experience comes cynicism.

Being young does have its positives, but in my industry, not so much. People tend to underestimate Talenta, definitely earlier in our startup years, just because I don’t have 10 years at BCG or McKinsey or I didn’t graduate from any top schools in the US. Yet as we progresses, age is becoming more irrelevant.

Nowadays, in tech, that is becoming more and more true, people are getting bigger success at younger age. I recently got in a meeting and pitched Talenta and our achievements so far with a Korean PE manager, who asked me:

“How old are you?

“25, I’m born in 1992″

“Beautiful”

“Umm, sorry?”

“Being young is so beautiful”

I couldn’t agree more, especially as I leave this state but hopefully not its mindset/soul.

2018 Resolutions

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As I grew older (I’m getting used to the way my girlfriend – or practically all Koreans – of adding one year of age once the year turns new) and looking at my past New Year Resolutions: 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016 — it has a consistent theme. I somehow forgot to create one this year but one thing for sure: I traveled a lot this year.

So here goes my goals (not resolutions) next year:

1) Read 25 books a year – or roughly 1 book in 2 weeks. How? By reading 25-30 pages a day for whole 365 days.

2) Write at least 1 post a day for multiple blogs/projects that I’m going to do next year

3) Start doing Digital Sabbath - No electronics or screens from Friday night to Saturday night. Less social media (I’ve deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone, blocked its access from my web/mobile browser)

4) Travel more, but to places that I’ve never been. I traveled a lot this year, but the only new place I’ve been is Manila and Boracay.

5) Be more healthy and disciplined. I’m trying to not have dinner after 6, no fast food, no coffee (only weekend). I’m also creating a more disciplined schedule (from waking up to sleeping) — I realized that actually my school days are better since I have a routine I can just follow (and you basically can’t be late for school)

6) Starting a non-profit, God/church related movement. I realized that ever since I was baptized there’s one wish I have for God and what God has been fulfilling: how I can be a platform where God’s name is exalted. How can I convince or inspire people to follow God through my personal and professional life. I want to do more next year in this regard

7) Committing to my love life. I believe that I am super lucky to have found someone that: understands me, saw my worst yet still accept me, I can feel at ease with her, supports me in my hard journey of entrepreneurship, and the best thing: she’s the one who pushed me to start tithing (8 years of new life and I only did like 1% instead of full tithing) and to really read bible.

8) Getting Talenta to where it should be. We’ve had probably one of the worst thing that can happened to a startup in early 2017, our co-founder left, and we sacked our sales manager. Yet, God has different plan for us. We hired an awesome Sales Manager who led Talenta turnaround and managed to triple our sales. Here’s hoping to tripling that again next year.

9) Spend less. I’ve been trying to track my spending yet the effort is half-assed and so I kept feeling that I’ve been spending more than I earn. I bought new PC and TV this year (of which I’m still paying its installments), I traveled way too often because of my long-distance relationship. I aim to spend less and invest more this 2018 year.

I’m sure 2018 is going to be another better and more awesome year blessed by God. Amen!

First Sermon 2018

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Starting the year properly with a kick-off sermon by Pak Handoyo Santoso at Gereja Kemah Tabernakel. Here are the summary:

1) Start your life journey with God guiding you and together with God’s blessing/protection. As being pictured in this verse:

Numbers 10:33-34

33 So they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. 34 The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

2) Just like the way Samuel and Saul relationship, we (God’s sons and daughters) have to have strong relationship with God’s disciples/prophets so that we can be guided to be “King” in this world.

1 Samuel 9:26 & 1 Samuel 10:1

They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.

As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

3) And yet, don’t forget God as God has blessed us.Read Deutronomy 8 as Saul became King and yet he sinned and forgotten Jesus and ended up killing himself, as does Jonah in number 5.

4) This year, do not depend on other people’s help. By this, he meant we still should be kind to each other, but each men has their own trouble and so we should depend on God and God only. Just like the way Samuel told Saul to let his “helpers” go ahead:

1 Samuel 9:27

As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

5) In Jonah book and or life, God has given us several lessons for us:

a) God is in control of our life and everything. This is true when we see how God can make Jonah survive despite being eaten by a big fish. And then again, when Jonah was provided a vine (Jonah 4:6), and again when the vine withered because of only a worm.

b) If you / your life doesn’t follow God’s plan and order, despite your glory (Jonah made a city of Nineveh follow Jesus from their life full of sin) – you will feel like it’s better to die (Jonah 4:3)

c) If God can love a sinful city like Nineveh (that can’t even differentiate their right hand from their left), won’t God love us even more and bless us more?

d) Jonah has made 120,000 people follow God, the biggest in the bible (even compared to Peter who converts 3,000 people when Holy Spirit was given to him)

e) Do not depend on your own idea/power. Despite Jonah helped 120,000 people, he chose to stay on his own – outside the city of Nineveh, and built his own shelter. This shows his arrogance and belief over his own power. (and yet even God blessed him with the vine)

f) See the big picture/focus on winning the war not the battle/small things. In Jonah 4, Jonah are seen protesting a small matter (withered vine) despite winning over 120,000 lives and preaching words over them.

Last Sunday in 2017

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Ending this year properly with Sunday sermon today at Gereja Kemah Tabernakel. Summing up Pak Handoyo Santoso’s sermon and basically this will prep us up for 2018:

1. Be amazing/create amazement in your circle/for your audience – in the name or for the glory of our God, Jesus Christ. As He did:

Mark 1:27

The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him

2. The way you start your life or anything in your life, and the way you go through it will decide the outcome/the end of it. Start with Jesus Christ and go through it with Him.

3. If you read the words of God (that is the Bible) there are so many promises, waiting to be fulfilled (or already being fulfilled in your life), but remember that in it also exist the rule/the way of living life according to Him.

4. In this parable of the sower (Matthew 13), Pak Handoyo highlighted this part

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

The question: if it fell to THE GOOD SOIL, why not everyone receive hundred percent of the yield? The answer: because some people only listen/read, yet doesn’t understand. Some people understand, yet doesn’t do. Some people listen, understand, and do His words day in day out and thus receiving 100%

5. And even despite all God’s blessing and us doing right in God’s eyes. Be wary (but not scared) of the evil. As the verse goes:

Luke 4:13

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

God bless you all!

God is here for us, sinners

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Continuing from my previous post, I will write in excerpts of today’s Christmas sermon by Pak Pendeta Handoyo Santoso from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel.

Pak Handoyo repeated previous verse again:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And he strengthen it with Matthew 1:23

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel — which means, God with us.

How beautiful this verse is — God is saying that from now on, from this day, from Christmas, YOU are NOT ALONE. You are with Me, your creator, your Father, your Guide. If you choose to accept Me.

And Pak Handoyo continued to read from Matthew 1, where Jesus’ family tree/genealogy is written. From Abraham, to Jacob, to Judah. This might seem to be a “historical verse” to normal eyes.

But Pak Handoyo told us that on this list, there are sinner, not just one but more than a few. Jacob has sinned for he deceived his father and brother. Judah, also sinned by sleeping with a prostitute which no other than his own daughter-in-law, Tamar, and Perez was their son.

God has came for us, sinners, no matter how deep or how bad our sin is. He has came, and it is a new beginning for us. And we should celebrate this beginning, not just the festivities.

The Meaning of Christmas

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For most of my life, Christmas is a period of festivities and as a child back then, it was enjoyable purely since it’s a holiday and I don’t have to do assignments or learn for an exam.

As I grew older and start going to the church, I start asking questions regarding of why are we celebrating God’s birth over and over again.

Over the past few years, I have taken the Christmas day or week leading towards the new year as a way to re-connect (If I feel like I was disconnected) or to rejuvenate/re-fill my faith as I go toward a new year.

Today’s verse is simple yet powerful (Isaiah 6:9):

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The first word might mean nothing; a child is born. But the second one, to us a son IS GIVEN. God was born in flesh, and was given to us all — IF we want to receive Him. IF we want to receive His advices.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s service as I get deeper in preparation for 2018, another year where God will make miracles in my life. Amen.

Achievement in 2017

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As the year comes to close (Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!) especially on my 25th (quarter life crisis, anyone?) – I’m spending this long weekend reviewing 2017 especially on a personal level.

And so when @arisetyo tweeted “What achievement from 2017 that you are proud?” – most people would probably guess my answer will be related to my work/company: Talenta. Yet, despite that, I instinctively replied:

I got into a (long distance) relationship sometimes around September 2016. She’s Korean, lives in Seoul, speak little to no English.

I have been preaching to most of my friends that long distance relationship wouldn’t work. I mean, even couple who live close by would fight all the time, how would a relationship survive hours of flights away, nevermind culture differences, and whatnots.

Yet, here I am, 15 months into the relationship, and I couldn’t be more happier with who I am with. No matter how tiring it is to fly 7 hours for both me and her. No matter how big our fight is when we meet. She’s the right match for me and I feel super comfortable with her, whenever I’m with her I feel at home.

Thank You God, for letting me meet her and to help us stay committed in this relationship under your blessing. Also, she’s the one who got me back on track in Jesus and after all this years, I finally gave a tithe because of what she said “Your money, is not yours, it is God’s”