Values

Challenging the Status Quo

  Photo by Sweetliferving       I have been amazed at the number of frozen yogurt places that are here in Indonesia. Let’s see… we have: Sour Sally, Sour Mary, Icy Blue, J. Co, Twistberry, Tutti Fruiti, Iceblazz, and the list goes on and on. On one hand, I ask myself, “Why are there so many yogurt places in Indonesia? Isn’t one or two enough?” But then, I conclude that having options and variety...

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The Start of Ramadan 2009

  Photo by MLive       I was always aware of the importance of Ramadan for Muslims while I was in Ann Arbor, but for some reason it has more significance now that we are out here in Indonesia. Just knowing that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population is a strong reminder that many Muslims will be fasting and praying throughout the next 30 days. In the Islamic lunar calendar, the ninth month marks...

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Meeting Various Pastors

  One of the great joys I often get to experience is meeting different pastors and hearing their stories. Today, I was out in Jakarta meeting up with a pastor who was introduced to me through one of the HMCC of Ann Arbor member’s father. This pastor was the shepherd for the member’s family while they were in Indonesia. It was encouraging to hear how their church got started. In fact, it was a powerful...

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Kingdom-Minded People

  Photo by CHEC Pro       This week I had the opportunity to meet up with various people. It is always good to connect with people on a regular basis. One in meeting in particular was notably a blessing to me. I met up with a pastor of an international church here in Jakarta. In fact, I have met up with him a few times over the last year in my visits Indonesia....

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Creativity in Kids

  It has been good seeing some families coming out to our gatherings. There is one family with a child that is into painting. In fact, she is only 5 years old. One day when our team walked into their home, we saw a display of all her paintings. It was pretty awesome to see. Not only was the quality good, but what struck me was the creativity. There is something about creativity that gets...

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Michael Vick and the Gospel

  Photo by AP       It was interesting to hear the responses by various people and sports commentators about Michael Vick signing a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. After serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, Vick was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Now, this is going to be interesting. How will animal-lovers respond? How will Christ-followers respond? How will Christ-followers who love animals respond? Regardless of...

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Trusting the Locals

  I knew I should have taken out my wisdom tooth while I was in the States. But due to all the busyness and procrastination, I never got to it. Then last week, I felt a sharp pain in my mouth when I woke up one morning. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed that my gums were bleeding. Pretty much, I found out that there was no more room for the wisdom tooth...

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Happenings in the City of Jakarta

  For the last couple of days, I have been spending more time in Jakarta. On Saturday, we spent some time with one of the families in our church. I was so blessed by their generosity. They invited the whole team for some of time of relationship building. It was a blessing for our team to be able to swim on the 30th floor of the family’s apartment, which overlooked different parts of the city....

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Dreams Build Our Faith

        I was reading the other day an article that Rick Warren wrote about faith. He said, “Faith is like a muscle: it can be strengthened. It can be weak or it can be strong, depending on how much you use it. How does God build your faith? The first thing God does to build your faith is give you a dream. When God wants to work in your life, He’ll always...

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Saving Face Doesn’t Save Time

  Photo by Tokyo Times       It is amazing how long it takes to “settle in” to a new place. I think the process time increases when you are in another country. It is not only the issue of language, but various cultural expectations and values do not help in the speed of getting settled. So, we have been developing patience, and God is giving us the grace to have greater understanding. I...

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Spiritual Observation

  After we dropped the kids off at school, Christina and I had some time in the morning to run various errands. It has been good to spend time together as we get adjusted in a new country and culture. We live in an area that is very expat friendly; therefore it is easy to get comfort and forget about the needs around us. But driving just a few minutes outside of our area, Christina...

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Getting Lost

  Photo by Corey Amaro       Driving in Indonesia is incredibly fun. I still can’t believe the freedom that drivers have on the roads. You can throw away the “rules of the road” manual in Indonesia. Rules are usually suggestions and driving etiquettes are luxuries. Also, it is not the cars that you have to watch out for but the motorcycles. They are everywhere! I have been calling them “bogies” – yes, similar...

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Passion and Talent

  The YouTube below just reminded me about the importance of passion and talent. When those two things come together it makes a powerful combination. Passion is often times the fuel that enables a person to do something, while the talent is the tools or the instrument in which we can accomplish things. There are a lot of people with a specific talent but they do not have the passion. Then there are a lot...

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Responding with Grace

  Photo by images.com       Every day as the kids finish their day of school, we ask them how things went for them. It has been our ritual so far. Christina and I just want to make sure that the kids are adjusting well. One day, Karissa responded by telling us of something that happened with one of her classmates. Supposedly, a girl in her class made a mean comment about Karrisa’s ID...

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