Creating My Life’s Work with God

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At first, I was thinking the title should be creating my work life with God, but then I realized that life itself is a work, and I want to work with God.

I’ve been creating statements around my values and vision and also quantifying it into “Ten Thousands”  to complete these two — I would like to base all of this work/life in God’s name.

For the past year or so, I caught 3 values that I believe is important for me to hold on in order for me to be successful (success is relative but at least, for myself):

Wisdom: I want to be blessed and to have wisdom from God. By this, I mean every decisions that I make or every words that I spoke whether through a speech or a blog post, came from wisdom of God.

Self-control: It is as important to have self control (and fear of God) so that I don’t fall into sins (again). It would be stupid to be successful and then easily fall into the sins I do.

Love: As a human, we need and crave love, but despite receiving so much love — I haven’t been able to give more. I want to give more especially to people close to my heart: my family, and my soon to be wife.

In the years after I got baptized, I found myself kept repeating this wish year over year: “God, please mold/shape/make me into an evergrowing platform in where YOU can stand and when people see me, they can see YOUR power and miracle”

And indeed — I have grown. I have testified how His miracle overturn my life not just between my circles but also I got the chance from Him to share this even as far as Madrid.

Last but also the most important: I want the foundation of my platform to be my faith to Jesus. Without faith, all of this life work wouldn’t be possible. God, bless me with a strong and even stronger faith in You, and so I won’t dwell into darkness or sin. Amen.

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 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”

 

 

Hillsong Conference

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This might be a boring post for non-believers but hopefully even this post can convince some of you to start looking. I have been a Christian since I was born since it is the law here to actually have a religion. My dad was legally Buddhist and my mom is a Christian.

I went to a Christian school and even have a Christian class and even a Christian exam (!). Ended up remembering all the books of bible (10s to look for any verse) and all the stories inside. And yet — just like any teenagers I fell into a deep shithole of sins especially when my parents were divorced. What kind of shithole is for another post but the key thing here is that I wasn’t a devoted Christian at all.

And so, with no other direction but up — I ended up trying to “restart” my faith and actually going to the church with both curiosity and an open heart. I ended up receiving baptism, and like how everyone said it: the rest is history.

Few years after my baptism, I graduated from my uni, was pretty much in a “jaded” phase and or “rut” — I know i need to go somewhere and yet I was stuck. Somehow, God sent me a chance of a religious trip. My good friend and life mentor, Ronald Ishak – wasn’t able to go to his Hillsong Conference trip because he had to go to the United States.

All I had to pay was my accomodation and foods while there – an offer too good to resist — not long after going there, Talenta was born.

Fast forward again another few years, 2017, I honestly felt that we have built something that people want and need, and yet I’m stuck in terms of growth. At the same time, I felt like despite all the achievements — I’ve also have built a stack of sins. Somehow, God answered this again with Hillsong Conference trip. God sent another friend to sponsor and actually went together with me for this trip. (Thank you Ko Jeffrey Gunawan!)

And this are several things I learned this trip:

1) We have to wait and pray in expectation to God. It doesn’t mean that God must do what you want or what you tell Him, but when you ask, God will give it to you.

2) This is just the start, not the endThis particular words resonated with me really deeply because I was feeling tired and hitting this wall I couldn’t go through. I thought that the blessing is ending, yet God said — I just got started :)

3) Don’t just SEE, but LISTEN. Sometimes, all we can focus on is what we see (currently). All we can see is the battle that we are losing (in our daily life) but when you close your eyes, and listen – Holy Spirit is saying that you are winning the WAR!

4) God is raising Kings and Queens in this world. We are our own influencer in our community. We are destined to become something big — and no matter how “small” we thought we are – God want to use us.

5) Holy Spirit isn’t (always) something that you watch or you see externally. Holy Spirit should be something internally, and feeling extraordinaryThe reason this is also part of the things I note is because recently churches started practicing “speaking in tongue” as if we can only have Holy Spirit if we do it. Meanwhile, God is reminding us it’s not about something exceptional that you should see but actually WE should be exceptional in our life.

6) Fastest way to kill something special is to compare. Comparison made you inferior or superior and neither are God. This is actually something that (again) resonated with me — especially in the era of social media where we just can’t seem to stop comparing ourselves to our friends or even a complete stranger.

7) Father in heaven waited for more than 20 years (CMIIW) to “announce” Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need an announcement — but what God wants to tell us is that you may be anointed but not announced, don’t wonder why you have to wait so long to be successful, to be blessed, to be rich, to be famous, to be smart. God has His own time.

I believe that God will (again) put something special into work for me and my life — and I can’t wait to share that with you. God bless you all :)

Independence in God

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Taken from 2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The true independence or freedom is indeed when we are in God. We are free from the punishment of our deadly sin, we are free from the devil that is trying to get us each and every day, so if you feel trapped and scared, receive freedom in God. Because only in Him, you receive a true and eternal freedom.

Happy Independence Day, Indonesia!

 

How Baptism Changed My Life

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Disclaimer: I think this post might be too religious for some, so if you think you can’t read something around that topic, I guess you can stop reading.

Today at the church our pastor, Handoyo Santoso, preached about how we should stay strong or persevere until the end. From Alpha to Omega, and he quoted this from Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

The pastor said that God nor Jesus doesn’t have a beginning or an end. He’s been there all along, and He will still be there forever. But what God meant in this verse is for us, we begin our true Christian life through Him in baptism and reaching the finish line when He came again to this world. Today’s preach or specifically this verse, inspired me to write this post.

I have been Christian ever since I was born into this world with a reason that my mom is Christian. I went to Sunday school sometimes and since my school from pre-school up to senior high school is built by Christian institution, having a class where we read bible and sing a song for God is becoming just an activity for me, just like having a sport class. Although I believe in Him, I never really give my all or put a serious thought about my Christianity.

It has to wait until senior high school, when I fell into the deepest misery ever in my life. If there was hell on earth, I was in one. I ashamed myself in front of my friends, I lost most if not all of my best friends, and the worst thing is I kept disappointing my parents. (No, it’s not about school grades, it was much much worse) I felt like there is no way up, sometimes even the thought of killing myself had became an option back then. I can’t tell you what I did, but if I do, you would look at me differently.

A couple of months after the incident, I started going to a church, the same one as the current one I regularly go on Sundays. I started to seriously pray and I just felt like there is no one else to talk to but to God. After becoming an official member of the church, I applied to be baptized. Usually you have to go for 6 straight months without any absent, but somehow me and my sisters (I have two younger sisters) were getting a call that the appointment was advanced and we were getting baptized in two weeks.

We did it. My youngest sister get Phoebe, the older one get Priscillia, and I got Joshua. I wasn’t that excited back then but when I read the whole book of Joshua, I realized that he is in fact is more successful than Moses, he got to the land of promise and most importantly, the name means: God saves. If this is an article on Upworthy, it would be titled: “You Won’t Believe What Happened After He Got Baptized”

For the past few years after I got baptized and actually wore the name Joshua on all of my internet profile also when I met new people. I used to introduce myself as Kevin but now I’d say my name is Joshua. Not just my name is changed, my entire life changed. I have managed to:

  • Work at East Ventures, one of the most active Venture Capital in Indonesia based in Singapore, headed by Willson Cuaca and Batara Eto (co-founder and ex-CTO of Mixi $5b internet company in Japan)
  • Work at Tech in Asia, the TechCrunch of Asia. Held Startup Asia conferences in Singapore and Indonesia. They have now expanded to more than 50 people and holding a Tokyo conference in a month.
  • Work at KakaoTalk, where I was the Indonesian on the small team back then as a Community Manager. Helped them to reach more than 10 million downloads, now it’s a public company (after merger with Daum) and in Jakarta it has more than 30 employees.
  • Travel to Singapore super often, back then it was a luxury to even fly to Singapore but ever since I start working, it feels like a home away from home
  • Traveled to Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the hottest destination nowadays, visited KakaoTalk office, and did almost all the touristy stuff. Went there alone, came back with more than 10 Korean friends that I met at BeLaunch 2013 – the biggest startup conference in Seoul.
  • Went to the United States for a month. Mostly in San Fransisco. Did a West Coast trip, from Hollywood, LA to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.
  • Went to Alaska with a grand cruise (to be exact it’s a Norwegian Pearl – NCL Cruise). Probably the first 21 years old from Indonesia who did this trip without bankrolled by rich parents.
  • In fact, managed to did all above with my own money that I saved from all the work I have done.
  • Went to Hillsong Conference 2014 in Sydney this summer. Sponsored by Ronald Ishak and Grace.
  • And this year also managed to raise small investment to start my own company that is trying to disrupt the HR industry through technology.

All of these were done in less than 5 years, and in fact these are just the highlight reel, I received so much more important things like friends. All of these happened after I received baptism. So, if you are a Christian, why wait so long to get committed to your faith? Get baptized and feel the difference of living with God and on the road to the Omega, which is heaven. God bless you all :)

This post might seem to surreal and feels like a bragging post (I really hope it doesn’t sound like that) but what I hope is to inspire more people. I’m still the same human who isn’t perfect and make or do sins in my daily life, but what is different is that now I make less of them, I “think” before I do it, I try to limit the sins I make. Thank you for reading this!